What’s Next?

27 May

I haven’t worked out  in over a week. It’s sort of starting to bother me. I’ve been hopeful that this cold will go away soon, but every morning when I wake up, I have a pounding sinus headache. I’m sure stress is to blame too — there’s no way that it’s speeding up the recovery process.

It just kind of hit me that my wedding is seven weeks away. And that I still have no house to live in. And that I still have a lot to do for the wedding. And no job lined up for the fall. It’s overwhelming, and thinking about everything when I’m sick only makes it worse. Do you feel more anxious when you’re sick? I always do.

via Pinterest

Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who had my life all figured out before I graduated high school. Instead, I spent five years in college with a handful of different majors, and no clear direction in life. Now, one year out of college, I still don’t know what I want to do. I feel like I’m wasting time.

My experience in the 5th grade classroom on Friday went okay. I wasn’t feeling well and it was the kids’ last day of schoolwork (next week is field day and awards), so I spent the day helping them finish projects, take a test and turn in all of their assignments. It was stressful, but it was still much better than the time I used to spend cooped up behind a desk. The frustrating thing is, I feel like I wasted my first year out of college behind that desk. The job that was supposed to help me gain experience and build my portfolio didn’t really help me at all, and now I feel like I have to start all over again. So the question is, what do I do next? I like being in the classroom and working with kids, but do I like it enough to go back to school and earn a second Bachelor’s? That takes time and money. Or do I spend my days applying for random communication positions that I have no real interest in? Or do I pick up a retail job that pays minimum wage and pursue my dream of freelancing on the side? I just don’t know what to do.

I haven’t talked about it too much on the blog, because it’s an issue that only concerns me, but I know I can’t be the only one who has felt this way after college, or in college. I’m not the only one who doesn’t have my career path figured out. Right?

I picked a weird time to quit my job, and it’s only adding to the stress of trying to buy a house and get married. I’m sort of hoping that everything just falls into place when I’m least expecting it — isn’t that how things usually seem to work anyway?

I realize that this post is just a long rant, but it’s something that I needed to get off of my chest. There might be a few more of these as we get closer to the wedding 😉 — there are a lot of upcoming changes in my life!

Hopefully, I’ll feel better tomorrow. Exercise is my biggest stress reliever, and I’ve realized how miserable I am without it! Plus, I think I’ve watched a little too much ‘House Hunters’ and ‘My First Place’ for my own good. Fingers crossed that this is the last day that my butt is parked on the couch.

Tell me about your career path after college. Have you always known what you wanted to do?

How are you with change?



30 Responses to “What’s Next?”

  1. ragingsofaninsanegirl May 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    You know I know how you feel! It’s not fun. I don’t know what to tell you to do…but I will tell you to talk to some teachers before you decide to go back to get an education degree. My mom has been teaching for a little over 20 years (25 maybe?) and she has repeatedly said over the past 1-2 years that she would not recommend anyone going to get their education degree in Indiana right now. Apparently there have been several big changes in IN laws that make it really difficult for teachers to increase their pay and even have freedom to teach the way they want to teach in their classrooms. I don’t understand as well as my mom because I’m not a teacher, but I would highly recommend you becoming really familiar with the new laws in Indiana and talk to some teachers about it. Good luck!!!

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Yeah, I know what your mom is talking about. I’ve heard things from my friend Lindley, who graduated with her degree in Education. Even when I was subbing, I realized how overcrowded the schools are, and it’s not very appealing. So much to consider!!

  2. LeeAnn May 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    I feel ya! I’m still in school but am graduating in December. It’s scary graduating in Education right now. I think I just assumed at the start of college that I would graduate in the spring and have an offer from the school or school district I student taught with, but that’s just not realistic.
    And now I’m seriously looking to move across the country. I have no idea where. I have things I want in the place I move to, but I don’t know much about the area. How do I find a job? How will I interview? What if I interview and don’t get the job but spent hundreds of dollars in travel expenses? What if I get there and it doesn’t work out? I don’t know anyone there. What if I need help? How will I find a place to live? How will I make friends? Will I make enough to cover my bills? Will I just end up making a huge mistake?
    What if, what if, what if. I’m terrified and it’s starting to all become real now as I start to seriously plan for graduation and next summer.
    Any big change in life is usually terrifying, regardless if it’s a welcomed or unwelcomed change. At least you have your love to support and keep you sane. It will all work out in the end. You will find your passion, and, in 5 or 10 years, this year or two of being in-between will seem like nothing in comparison to the pieces coming together for the rest of your life.

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 28, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      I know, LeeAnn, it’s so scary. I know that you will find something too, it just takes time! It’s just difficult being patient.

  3. notsodomesticated May 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Hugs to you! I don’t think any of us are super-big fans of change. I’m stressing a bit right now, too, because I don’t have a full-time school psych job lined up for next school year yet. But keep praying, and keep talking to people. Since moving to Atlanta, I’ve discovered some different job options that I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t been talking to people along the way (ex: I’m going to do some work with a private psychologist and I’ve applied to teach an online psych class at a local community college).

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 28, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      That’s neat that you’re going to teach a college class! You’re right…I just have to keep an open mind and keep networking!

  4. Bethany @ Accidental Intentions May 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    You’re free to disagree with this, but personally I don’t believe in wasted time. I think every way you choose to spend your time has a purpose and the potential to be something useful to you if you want it to be. I know you didn’t like your desk job, but I can’t see that as wasted time. You learned a lot of very important things about yourself while you were working there about what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what you felt called to do, and I don’t see that as a waste of time at all. I see that as a fantastic learning experience.

    You’re in a pretty transitory state right now, and I think it’s normal to question a lot of deeper questions when there are so many changes happening. I think it’s important to ask yourself the questions you’re asking and challenge yourself, but I also think it’s important to take your doubts and anxieties in stride. I know that I don’t understand your exact situation because I’ve never been in a situation like yours, but I do know that the times I’ve become the most worried about what I’m doing with my life have been the times when things are changing the most rapidly and the most dramatically, which it sounds to me like you’re experiencing now. Things became clearer for me when I got out of that state of change and things stabilized. That’s not to say that it makes the transition time any easier, but it’s something worth keeping in mind.

    I hope this didn’t get too preachy :/ I’m really sorry if it did.

  5. savorlifesflavors May 28, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    I am bad with change. It can be especially difficult when there are major events on the horizon! I try to relax and assume everything will work itself out but the transition can be so stressful. What is done is done and you made this decision for YOU so just continue to do what makes you happy! Good Luck!

  6. Baking Serendipity May 28, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    My career path has been a hot mess. I majored in education, but decided I didn’t want to teach, so I got into fundraising and hated the pressure behind the sales-like side of it. I ended up back in teaching…which I really enjoyed, but it left me stressed all the time with planning and grading, and feeling unbalanced and unfulfilled. I just quit my job too (to move across the country) and now I’m looking at writing freelance when I get back. That was probably all an over-share way of saving…do what makes you happy and feel good about yourself and your life. Everything else will fall into place. (At least this is what I’ve been telling myself lately!)

  7. Pam May 28, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I’m in a similar situation, I got my degree in nutrition, finished last summer and still haven’t found a degree related job. It seems like it’s a very who you know field to get it in being a graduate with no experience it seems even harder to try and get in, all the jobs I’ve interviewd for take people with more experience, so I’m not sure how I’m ever supposed to get experience! I’ve been working in an office job doing basic stuf so it’s pretty depressed and demotivating and I feel like I’m just wasting my life too and just hoping that something soon will fall into place!

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 28, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Good luck, Pam! As Bethany said above, everything happens for a reason. But I know it’s really hard to be patient.

  8. Alisha @ Pink Spatulas May 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Hi Emily! I’m a new blog follower and wanted to let you know that I was in your shoes two years ago. I was a recent grad, soon-to-be-married, with a part-time job in a field completely unrelated to my degree. I found that in order to break the mold of unfulfilling careers, you have to create your own opportunities. It’s definitely a little scary, but it sounds like you are well on your way to achieving happiness… even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. Never settle and remember…. a wise lady once said perfection isn’t happy :o)

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

      Thank you, Alisha :). I like hearing from people who can relate. May I ask, what type of career did you end up creating for yourself?

  9. Brittany May 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Praying for you sweet girl! I am not a fan of change at all either! I know it is hard to be patient and unsure of things. Sometimes it is good to just vent and let it all out. I hope you are feeling better soon, because I know that doesn’t help this situation! 🙂 xoxo

  10. Mel May 29, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    What you’re feeling is all to familiar and sometimes it seems scary knowing that most it’s something I – and most people – will wrestle with a few times across our careers. With the changing workforce and changing personalities, it’s realistic to reinvent your career 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road. (My mom has!) So don’t worry! It’s all part of the process and some thing will work out.
    Since someone mentioned it above, you should know that many community colleges only require a Bachelor’s degree to be an instructor of certain classes. Usually they allow people to pitch their own classes for Continuing Education or to instruct in an elective course (not something for transferable credit) so maybe it’s worth networking with your community college. Also, if you did want to continue on with communication, you could look into merging it with education because most school institutions or districts have a PR, community relations or marketing person. If you connect with some of the heads of these roles, maybe you can take on something part-time (like helping with parent newsletters? helping with the website content?) while you look for other work. I do PR and Marketing for a community college and I love the skills I’ve picked up and the general tasks: writing student success stories, interviewing faculty with exciting accomplishments, etc. While you’re substituting you may find some good networking with the administration.

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 29, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      These are all great ideas! I’ve been interested in higher education, but always thought it required a Master’s degree. Thank you!

  11. squigglefloey May 29, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    I so completely understand what you’re going through.
    I graduated last year with a BA and journalism and I have no freaking clue what I want to do with it. I haven’t been able to find a job in print or marketing (not that that’s what I really want to do) — and right now I’m toying with the idea of going back to school for Nursing. I know it’s going to be a long, hard, and expensive process.
    Not to mention I’m not getting any younger…hah.
    So I totally feel you, I’m definitely at a cross roads and just trying to find a way to make some money these days and semi-enjoy what I’m doing.

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 29, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      I have a friend who’s going back for nursing after graduating last spring, and she seems to like it so far. It does take time, but it might be worth it in the end!

  12. Meg May 29, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    I hope you start to feel better soon Emily! Don’t get down on yourself for not working out, love. I am much happier to hear that you are actually listening to your body and giving it rest ❤

  13. Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition May 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Take time for yourself!

    I had no idea what I wanted to do after college– I was so lost for a while. Every day is still a new discovery for me : )

  14. Kailey May 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    I think its good that you are taking some time off from exercising to let your body heal 🙂
    I hope you get everything figured out!

  15. ittybitsofbalance June 2, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    I’m a little late, but I know exactly how you feel! Although I’m still a few years behind you, I decided mid-way through my college degree that I didn’t want to practice law and that my major was pretty much a waste. THEN I had to go ahead and complete it, just because it was too expensive to start all over.

    You are definitely not alone, and I know how stressful it can be to feel like you have no clue what to do next. God sometimes puts us in these situations to strengthen us as individuals before showing us where we’re meant to be, so please do not be discouraged! The fact that you are thinking about your future this much shows that you are passionate about finding your calling– and I’m sure that you will be successful in whatever you do end up pursuing ❤

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 2, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you, Brittany :). It makes me feel better knowing you can relate, because sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy, especially when I talk to my friends who have known what they wanted to do for their whole life!

  16. kitkat1126 June 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    I know I’m late to comment (catching up on so many posts!) but first, I think it takes incredible courage to leave a field you weren’t happy in and to really think about what you do want to do. I completely understand your feelings (I left college, started working at my current job and got my masters while working and now 5 years later I feel so stuck! I have experience and credentials only in this industry – it feels impossible to make a switch!) but point being whatever you decide it doesn’t have to be forever. I would say that anything that requires another degree is worth really testing the waters in first (part of why I feel stuck is I can’t fathom wasting the time and money that I spend on my masters) to figure out if it’s really for you. As much as the change is hard, and it’s at somewhat of a stressful time for you, by just putting time and effort into figuring it out now will really pay off in the long run. Keep your head up! I’m looking forward to following your journey!

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