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Have you been true to yourself when selecting a career? If not, in later life have you regretted not being true to yourself? Did you ever take the leap of faith and go on to doing something that is fulfilling (other than monetarily). If you are someone who was/is true to yourself, what do you do and how long have you been doing it? I'm only restricting the age group because of the experience factor. But if you're under 30 and have legit perspective, then feel free to comment.

Background for why I’m asking:

In grade 8 we had to do a career match test. You know, the kind that kids take in order for the educational system to better sort out the cuts of meat to be sent off to the grinder.

When I finished the test, the result came back as: Artist.


I was devastated. And here’s why:

I grew up in a family on welfare. Very early on I believed that if you don’t have money or don’t choose a career that will make you money, your life is going to be a constant struggle in this materially-focused world. Before I was ten, my mother told me to marry a doctor because “they make lots of money.” Faaaack. Don’t even get me started on that one.

And by this age, I was already aware that artists struggle financially because people don’t value art in the same way they value what a person with “practical” abilities can do. Artists are/were not considered to be useful sorts of people. Too weird, eccentric, impractical and flighty. Well, I am weird and eccentric, but I am also conscientious and analytical.

So what did I do? Well, I’m kinda embarrassed to say, but I re-read the test questions and selected the answers that would force the result to be “Physician.” Not because I wanted to be a doctor or health sciences type, but because I didn’t want to “be” an artist and feel/be useless/no money. And I handed it in to the teacher, never thinking much of it - until recently I had no idea how much this self-assessment had damaged my confidence.

At 17, I chose an education focused on getting me a piece of paper for a “good” job (my B.A in poli sci), and career path in business management; B2B sales, business operations and some finance related stuff (got a college diploma years later).

Honestly, I had very little guidance as a young person when it came to knowing what to do with my time vis-a-vis working. At one point, I thought of going to law school but couldn’t figure out what the hell lawyers actually do (oh, I found out the hard way many years later thought lol).

When I did propose trying to do something artistic in my early 20s, my ISTJ step-father insisted, rather willfully, that I would go down a dead path and waste my time. Apparently I am not talented enough in these regards. :( So I ended up bottling that kind of energy for a couple of decades.

But here’s where I am now, older, wiser and willing to dissolve the ridiculous critical notions that have prevented me from pursuing what was perhaps the correct path to take. My current career of 15 years offers me very little joy and has changed drastically as a result of COVID-19. Whereas I was once out and about the landscape, I am now restricted to my home office, basically a glorified online and/or telemarketer for a monster-size organization. I’ve been experimenting with new ways to do my work and having only lacklustre results in what I’m doing. I’m struggling with motivation other than keeping my job.

So I did an online career test and you know what it came back with? Artist! LMFAO Amor fati, damn it.

These are the 5-star matches:
Film Director or Filmmaker
Exhibit Designer
Television Writer

These are the 4.5 star matches:
Solution Architect (wtf is that?)
Environmental Technician
Videographer
Data Analyst
Lobbyist
Photojournalist
Executive Producer

Why? Because LOL

"You are a Visionary
Your strongest trait is Artistic, and your second strongest is Enterprising, which makes you a Visionary.

Visionaries are all about creating their own artistic empires. They crave independent and unstructured spaces where they can be creative. They value aesthetics and environments that offer variety and change. They can also be very assertive when it comes to expressing their points of view. Visionaries are risk-takers and find excitement in developing new ideas."

I am also fantasy-oriented, aesthetics-driven and idea-minded, according to this test.

The thing is, I don’t feel like a risk-taker when it comes to my current career. It is rather risk-averse and despite my current disillusions, in some capacity I will always be employable in a corporate machine-like environment. That's a nice, if not hollow, comfort.

My struggle is to take this risk, and it is mostly financially related. I cannot seem to overcome the fear of failure with respect to how my art would be perceived as having value. If I do artsy things “for fun,” it’s just that. And I wouldn’t even know where to start, especially now that art is probably not considered an “essential service.” Am I falling victim to a mid-life career crisis and possibly considering a move in haste? IDK.

TLDR: Usually I have a lot of confidence when I take on new things, however I’ve never had confidence about doing anything artistic as a career (thanks shitty upbringing). I’d love to hear others who have overcome such fears. Or, those who may be dealing with the same.

Cheers!
 

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First off- no idea what solution architect is but it sounds AMAZING. lol

I think the key is to be able to find a place where the career where you ended up fits what you really would want to be doing if at all possible. Art is a pretty general thing (for me it was "writing") and could be adapted- like does your company have a marketing division? Or do they use an outside marketing company that could use someone skilled in art and also with knowledge of that industry? Big companies especially have weird jobs hiding somewhere internally.

I had a friend in high school who did the art thing- he was an amazing artist and ended up actually going to the art institute and getting into computer animation despite a crazy difficult upbringing- and his crazy upbringing meant that he didn't mind working all hours of the night for days on end to get stuff done and it ended up being an advantage.
 

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I sat reading through the career book when I finished school (proof of age). Only one career stood out to me as something that interested me. It's not what I'm doing now, but I would have been very good at it (it's now a hobby for me instead) aside from not realising it would have involved a lot of relating to people (I was only focusing on the actual work I would be doing when looking). In my current work I have the same problem - it's very people-orientated and that is the part where I have to push myself to act contrary to the way I might naturally act (which isn't a bad thing - I would argue it's even been good for me, but it has been difficult).

I think that we can work out best what we want to do (although others who know us can help us where we might be missing things - perhaps not everyone would know themselves well). On the other hand we might not have a complete idea of what a certain job might involve, so it's good to talk to a lot of people who could have more understanding of the career and learn about all aspects of it (what it involves, where it leads, future of the work, pay vs. cost of living, demand/how easy it is to get a job and location of work, etc. before we begin (so do your research as well as talking to people).
 

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Have you been true to yourself when selecting a career?
No, although at certain times I convinced myself I was.

If not, in later life have you regretted not being true to yourself?
Regret wouldn't be the right word. I think I've resented a lot of things. It's complicated.

Did you ever take the leap of faith and go on to doing something that is fulfilling (other than monetarily).
These days I'm not trying to derive fulfillment from a career/external work. I'm taking a leap in trusting that everything will be okay even if I don't focus so heavily on being "successful". It is a time of healing for me.

I suppose the question here is what do you actually want? You referenced what is expected of you, what you're meant to do (by a career test), and wanting to do what is "correct", but little about what's inspiring or what you truly value spending time on. It's almost like you're looking for permission to take the risk, express what you already know you want to do.

Will you regret it more if you try and fail, or if you don't try at all?
 

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I'm 30 (just realized I was 20 when I joined PerC). Idk what exactly you mean by "true to yourself", but I have a career that is enjoyable, holds my interest, is not stressful (except occasionally), is geared towards my aptitudes, and utilizes my skillset efficiently. I haven't regretted the choice. It's also fairly lucrative. I'm a data scientist, I made a post about it a few months ago here. My job has changed a bit from when I wrote that, but the overall pattern is the same. I guess the good thing about data science is the variety within the field, and the opportunity for innovation as the field is still rapidly growing. I've been in approximately the same field since I was 22-23. So about 7-8 years.

Edit:

I want to respond more fully to the rest of your post. What are the aspects of being an artist that appeal to you? Is it the freedom/independence/flexibility? Not having an authority over you? The variety/change? The innovation/creativity? The aesthetics--keeping in mind that this is but one realm in which creativity can manifest?

The reason I'm asking: some of these aspects are also present in other careers that you might want to consider. Maybe think about which of these aspects appeal to you the most/which are most important.
 

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I was true to myself in terms of pursuing a college major that aligned with my interests. The career I'd originally planned on (scientist) was also aligned with those interests. As time went on, the career plan changed but I stuck with the major (I couldn't afford to abandon it actually), but planned to go to grad school for additional credentials for a more practical career (engineering).

After my plans for any sort of stable job had failed utterly for health reasons, I started looking into a work-from-home situation in a much narrower range of jobs. There weren't many options with which I could be true to my interests, and the one possible career that interested me the most would have taken time, energy, and resources I didn't have (I was completely broke and somewhat desperate). At that point I had come to understood that I care about understanding things much more than I care about accomplishing anything with the knowledge, so I foresaw a lack of professional motivation that was another reason to not pursue my preferred career. I ended up working at something I'm rather good at (editing), but that same line of work is somewhat stressful to me, so I somewhat regretted my choice.

I had a chance to reconsider this choice when I started working with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, which paid for my vocational training. Instead of asking for training in IT (which is where my interests lie), I asked for training in editing. I was afraid to switch to something new and uncertain, particularly given that I'd made some progress in editing. I felt uncomfortable asking for the IT training because it cost a lot more, because the chances I'd be successful in that career were not high, and because I was afraid my VOR counselor would see me as flighty, unreliable, and not worth the money because I would have been attempting a radical change in the employment plan we'd established.
 

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if this helps you any: in my experience, people have a really 'one talent per person' kind of mindset. so if you do have any particular talent that really stands out, they tend to identify you as/by that single talent and assume that's all you got. so they match you up with some profession or other, and look no further than that. i got tagged with 'going to / should be a writer' in second grade, which is worth about as much as it sounds like it's worth, at that age. but it kept on dogging me. for decades. i'm still mentally tangled about it, in some ways.

similar thing: i am inherently nice. and by this point in my life, i'm pretty much sure that i actually, genuinely am. so you can just imagine the kinds of professions people assumed i'd be good at/enjoy on the basis of that.

If I do artsy things “for fun,” it’s just that.
exactly. in my case people actually kept trying to push me into the 'arts' and/or some helper-ish field. and i had a ream of ambivalence about it. i ended up stumbling across what i do do about 30 years ago and catching absolute fire. took everybody around me by major surprise, i can tell you. it's got an aspect that's highly expressive and communicative, but it's got butt-all to do with the arts

what i've got for you is where i ended up about all of this. it turns out, for whatever reason, there are parts of my whole-dimensional self i'm happy to sell on the open market and other parts i'm just not. i'm willing and happy to think for a living, and that's what i do. i AM entertaining and i AM nice, but those are things it turns out i'm just not willing to subject to the market and so i don't.
 

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I had a couple of issues. I'm 29 but I'm getting there.

Firstly, probably most importantly I didn't know what I was supposed to be looking for in a desired job, and therefore I used the wrong sort of parameters in the first place. The things I would use would be the typical questions on a basic school careers test: "do you like working with people", "do you like helping others", "do you like..", etc. etc. Whereas the questions I've come to realise that are at least as equally important are the ins and outs of the day-to-day: "do you enjoy constantly learning", "do you like routine based work", "do you like getting absorbed into a problem", "do you enjoy thinking outside the box creatively" etc.

So I went into teaching, because yes I liked being around people and helping them, I liked analysing people, and yes I liked teaching people things.. The problem is that I had no awareness of how these incorporated into the day to day of a 5 day work week- so for example while I enjoyed all of the above, in a regular teaching job where you're involved with the same people day after day week after week, the interaction boils down to a setup of routines and repetitive discipline.. my answer to a Q "do you enjoy routine and repetition based work" would have been a hard NO. Another factor would be "do you enjoy being constantly challenged", which I never would have conceived of before, but now I know it's an absolute need, if I'm not challenged to work just outside of my comfort zone I get bored very quickly and fall into a motivational rut.

So while I loved volunteer teaching, when I actually got into a job I realised I had needs that expired after the first month or so.

The second issue was that growing up I was good at a variety of things. I was good at writing and maths, I was curious about things and people, I was creative and analytical. The thing is, I probably enjoy the writing/people part more if delivered in smaller doses, whereas the maths/analytical side is the thing I can do day after day and feel motivated.

Now I'm pursuing front-end development- constant need to learn, constantly not quite knowing enough, constant switching between creativity on the user interface end and the analytical programming end, constantly changing technology and endless more things to learn means the part of the job comprising of routine is the easiest part and not the part that takes up the most time, and involves a good deal of creative-marketing type things that have a psychological component.

Plus teaching crippled me, working with people for that amount of time burns me out by the end of the week. Coding is mentally draining but it's a different part of the brain that gets exhausted so I still have the energy to do other types of things. I remember I used to count the hours and days of the week teaching- I get through 6 hours of coding and problem solving and it passes in the blink of an eye because I get so absorbed, then the next day it doesn't go any slower.


EDIT: Would you look at that..
871882
 

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"Being true to one's self" and "selecting a career" can intertwine in ways that might seem at odds.

Pre-puberty (and thereafter) I knew I was meant to be a writer.

Well! Here I am half a century later, and I have been very successful in achieving my writerly goals ("make lots of $ from writing" was not among my writerly goals). And how was I true to myself in this? For forty years I supported an environment in which I could further my writing by working administratively in Academia doing things seemingly unrelated to writing.

Had I said to myself early on, "It wouldn't be true to myself for me to earn my way through life in any way but through writing," I long long long since would have had to give up my personal dreams and self-esteem just to stay alive. One has to be true to one's self by first realistically making it possible to be true to one's self.
 

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Yes, I'm true to myself because I don't work. I can't think of any career I'd enjoy and be good at. Yet people who are ignorant about my circumstances might encourage me to work as if that would make my life better. But I'm so much happier since I haven't been working.
 
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Ah it depends on what true means - before 30 I was working as a legal secretary for a public defending office and the salary was really good , my initial thought at the time was that I could focus on my passion /hobbies on my free time . I made enough to help down a house with my husband in the Silicon Valley and i do enjoy my job - though I wasn’t passionate about it .

During my late 20s - I went back to get my masters in behavioralism and decided to work hard towards opening a play-base school /family child practice that accepts all income and works with the government bc I strongly believe in the development of the whole child( cognitively , physically and socially/emotionally) .
My school /family child practice is probably something that I’m most proud of bc not only am I passionate about my job it also align with my internal values. Unsure if my mind will change 10 years down the line.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Have you been true to yourself when selecting a career? If not, in later life have you regretted not being true to yourself? Did you ever take the leap of faith and go on to doing something that is fulfilling (other than monetarily). If you are someone who was/is true to yourself, what do you do and how long have you been doing it? I'm only restricting the age group because of the experience factor. But if you're under 30 and have legit perspective, then feel free to comment.

Background for why I’m asking:

In grade 8 we had to do a career match test. You know, the kind that kids take in order for the educational system to better sort out the cuts of meat to be sent off to the grinder.

When I finished the test, the result came back as: Artist.


I was devastated. And here’s why:

I grew up in a family on welfare. Very early on I believed that if you don’t have money or don’t choose a career that will make you money, your life is going to be a constant struggle in this materially-focused world. Before I was ten, my mother told me to marry a doctor because “they make lots of money.” Faaaack. Don’t even get me started on that one.

And by this age, I was already aware that artists struggle financially because people don’t value art in the same way they value what a person with “practical” abilities can do. Artists are/were not considered to be useful sorts of people. Too weird, eccentric, impractical and flighty. Well, I am weird and eccentric, but I am also conscientious and analytical.

So what did I do? Well, I’m kinda embarrassed to say, but I re-read the test questions and selected the answers that would force the result to be “Physician.” Not because I wanted to be a doctor or health sciences type, but because I didn’t want to “be” an artist and feel/be useless/no money. And I handed it in to the teacher, never thinking much of it - until recently I had no idea how much this self-assessment had damaged my confidence.

At 17, I chose an education focused on getting me a piece of paper for a “good” job (my B.A in poli sci), and career path in business management; B2B sales, business operations and some finance related stuff (got a college diploma years later).

Honestly, I had very little guidance as a young person when it came to knowing what to do with my time vis-a-vis working. At one point, I thought of going to law school but couldn’t figure out what the hell lawyers actually do (oh, I found out the hard way many years later thought lol).

When I did propose trying to do something artistic in my early 20s, my ISTJ step-father insisted, rather willfully, that I would go down a dead path and waste my time. Apparently I am not talented enough in these regards. :( So I ended up bottling that kind of energy for a couple of decades.

But here’s where I am now, older, wiser and willing to dissolve the ridiculous critical notions that have prevented me from pursuing what was perhaps the correct path to take. My current career of 15 years offers me very little joy and has changed drastically as a result of COVID-19. Whereas I was once out and about the landscape, I am now restricted to my home office, basically a glorified online and/or telemarketer for a monster-size organization. I’ve been experimenting with new ways to do my work and having only lacklustre results in what I’m doing. I’m struggling with motivation other than keeping my job.

So I did an online career test and you know what it came back with? Artist! LMFAO Amor fati, damn it.

These are the 5-star matches:
Film Director or Filmmaker
Exhibit Designer
Television Writer

These are the 4.5 star matches:
Solution Architect (wtf is that?)
Environmental Technician
Videographer
Data Analyst
Lobbyist
Photojournalist
Executive Producer

Why? Because LOL

"You are a Visionary
Your strongest trait is Artistic, and your second strongest is Enterprising, which makes you a Visionary.

Visionaries are all about creating their own artistic empires. They crave independent and unstructured spaces where they can be creative. They value aesthetics and environments that offer variety and change. They can also be very assertive when it comes to expressing their points of view. Visionaries are risk-takers and find excitement in developing new ideas."

I am also fantasy-oriented, aesthetics-driven and idea-minded, according to this test.

The thing is, I don’t feel like a risk-taker when it comes to my current career. It is rather risk-averse and despite my current disillusions, in some capacity I will always be employable in a corporate machine-like environment. That's a nice, if not hollow, comfort.

My struggle is to take this risk, and it is mostly financially related. I cannot seem to overcome the fear of failure with respect to how my art would be perceived as having value. If I do artsy things “for fun,” it’s just that. And I wouldn’t even know where to start, especially now that art is probably not considered an “essential service.” Am I falling victim to a mid-life career crisis and possibly considering a move in haste? IDK.

TLDR: Usually I have a lot of confidence when I take on new things, however I’ve never had confidence about doing anything artistic as a career (thanks shitty upbringing). I’d love to hear others who have overcome such fears. Or, those who may be dealing with the same.

Cheers!

I remember taking one of those in high school, it gave me a very vague answer. What career aptitude test are you using? I'd be curious to see what I get now, 30 years later.

Turns out I have a lot of different aptitudes, which has been further demonstrated as my career has progressed and my personal endeavors have been brought to fruition. For me it was too many aptitudes to pin down to a clear path when I first got that test result. I ended up going after something that I found interesting and reasonably lucrative.

None of my "passions" lend themselves well to financial stability, and those that do have potential aren't well suited to my actual personality. Being raised in abject poverty, I was all done being poor, so I chose my career for more practical reasons that personal fulfillment. I find personal fulfillment off the clock.

I have turned some of my passions into income ventures and found that took a lot of the joy out of them, it's not something I can harness long term. I'm glad I didn't try to base a career off them. Just because you are good at something doesn't make it fun to do when you also have to make a living and thing of practical matters at every turn. I still use those passions for profit, but only on my terms, and only as a side gig for play money.

About the time I was your age I had the same questions for myself, that is when I dabbled in using my passions as a source of income. When it became clear it was not sustainable, I was better able to move on. I do not regret my decision at all.
 

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I took a career test in high school. I took more than one, I believe, and they all said I should be a writer. The odds against making a living as a writer is pretty astronomical. Even best selling authors don't make a lot of money writing. Basically, if you're already famous, and thus don't really need the money, you might be able to eke out a writing career, but most people won't be able to. It makes it worse that I mostly write fiction and I don't have the "right politics" to get published by, usually super work NYC publishers. I've seen the mess that is and all the insane criticism writers get for "cultural appropriation" or writing about the "wrong subjects". I want nothing to do with that scene.
I spent most of my working world in the service industry, because without a car, for much of my youth, I didn't have the opportunity to attend university or trade school. It was miles away from anything I wanted to do. When I did go to school, online, it was for business; I took courses in IT. I also learned how to do some programming. I always felt like it's good to be versatile. Better to get paying work in a job you don't absolutely loathe, than hold out for a job you might love, but be broke in the meantime.
I still write in the meantime. I write short stories from time to time and am writing a novel series. I might self publish with Kindle distribution as well as physical books on lulu.com, that I'll promote via websites and social media. We'll see.
 

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Morning pep talk made me think of this thread...

Me: WHY are you doing sales? You hate selling things to people.
Also Me: Do you like explaining things to people?
Me: Well yeah.
Also Me: Things that people usually wouldn't know otherwise?
Me: Yeah.
Also Me: And what happens if your competitor tries to explain it?
Me: They will mess it up.
Also Me: That's right. So what do we have to do?
Me: Be in sales.
 

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Morning pep talk made me think of this thread...

Me: WHY are you doing sales? You hate selling things to people.
Also Me: Do you like explaining things to people?
Me: Well yeah.
Also Me: Things that people usually wouldn't know otherwise?
Me: Yeah.
Also Me: And what happens if your competitor tries to explain it?
Me: They will mess it up.
Also Me: That's right. So what do we have to do?
Me: Be in sales.
It makes a huge difference if you genuinely believe you are selling something worthwhile to the buyer.
 

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ENTP 5w6 So/Sx 584 ILE Honorary INTJ ♂
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Have you been true to yourself when selecting a career? If not, in later life have you regretted not being true to yourself? Did you ever take the leap of faith and go on to doing something that is fulfilling (other than monetarily). If you are someone who was/is true to yourself, what do you do and how long have you been doing it? I'm only restricting the age group because of the experience factor. But if you're under 30 and have legit perspective, then feel free to comment.

Background for why I’m asking:

In grade 8 we had to do a career match test. You know, the kind that kids take in order for the educational system to better sort out the cuts of meat to be sent off to the grinder.

When I finished the test, the result came back as: Artist.


I was devastated. And here’s why:

I grew up in a family on welfare. Very early on I believed that if you don’t have money or don’t choose a career that will make you money, your life is going to be a constant struggle in this materially-focused world. Before I was ten, my mother told me to marry a doctor because “they make lots of money.” Faaaack. Don’t even get me started on that one.

And by this age, I was already aware that artists struggle financially because people don’t value art in the same way they value what a person with “practical” abilities can do. Artists are/were not considered to be useful sorts of people. Too weird, eccentric, impractical and flighty. Well, I am weird and eccentric, but I am also conscientious and analytical.

So what did I do? Well, I’m kinda embarrassed to say, but I re-read the test questions and selected the answers that would force the result to be “Physician.” Not because I wanted to be a doctor or health sciences type, but because I didn’t want to “be” an artist and feel/be useless/no money. And I handed it in to the teacher, never thinking much of it - until recently I had no idea how much this self-assessment had damaged my confidence.

At 17, I chose an education focused on getting me a piece of paper for a “good” job (my B.A in poli sci), and career path in business management; B2B sales, business operations and some finance related stuff (got a college diploma years later).

Honestly, I had very little guidance as a young person when it came to knowing what to do with my time vis-a-vis working. At one point, I thought of going to law school but couldn’t figure out what the hell lawyers actually do (oh, I found out the hard way many years later thought lol).

When I did propose trying to do something artistic in my early 20s, my ISTJ step-father insisted, rather willfully, that I would go down a dead path and waste my time. Apparently I am not talented enough in these regards. :( So I ended up bottling that kind of energy for a couple of decades.

But here’s where I am now, older, wiser and willing to dissolve the ridiculous critical notions that have prevented me from pursuing what was perhaps the correct path to take. My current career of 15 years offers me very little joy and has changed drastically as a result of COVID-19. Whereas I was once out and about the landscape, I am now restricted to my home office, basically a glorified online and/or telemarketer for a monster-size organization. I’ve been experimenting with new ways to do my work and having only lacklustre results in what I’m doing. I’m struggling with motivation other than keeping my job.

So I did an online career test and you know what it came back with? Artist! LMFAO Amor fati, damn it.

These are the 5-star matches:
Film Director or Filmmaker
Exhibit Designer
Television Writer

These are the 4.5 star matches:
Solution Architect (wtf is that?)
Environmental Technician
Videographer
Data Analyst
Lobbyist
Photojournalist
Executive Producer

Why? Because LOL

"You are a Visionary
Your strongest trait is Artistic, and your second strongest is Enterprising, which makes you a Visionary.

Visionaries are all about creating their own artistic empires. They crave independent and unstructured spaces where they can be creative. They value aesthetics and environments that offer variety and change. They can also be very assertive when it comes to expressing their points of view. Visionaries are risk-takers and find excitement in developing new ideas."

I am also fantasy-oriented, aesthetics-driven and idea-minded, according to this test.

The thing is, I don’t feel like a risk-taker when it comes to my current career. It is rather risk-averse and despite my current disillusions, in some capacity I will always be employable in a corporate machine-like environment. That's a nice, if not hollow, comfort.

My struggle is to take this risk, and it is mostly financially related. I cannot seem to overcome the fear of failure with respect to how my art would be perceived as having value. If I do artsy things “for fun,” it’s just that. And I wouldn’t even know where to start, especially now that art is probably not considered an “essential service.” Am I falling victim to a mid-life career crisis and possibly considering a move in haste? IDK.

TLDR: Usually I have a lot of confidence when I take on new things, however I’ve never had confidence about doing anything artistic as a career (thanks shitty upbringing). I’d love to hear others who have overcome such fears. Or, those who may be dealing with the same.

Cheers!
HELL NO!

I joined the Navy at 17 and didn't start college until I was 22. At that point, I thought I'd be a school teacher. It took me 5 years to finish my degree (I was in no hurry). I couldn't find a teaching job in Western PA (someone pretty much had to die, or bribe someone to get a teaching job at the time) so I started grad school. After a couple of semesters of that, I did get a teaching job nearby. It paid $20,000.00 a year in 1998-99. After taxes and other deductions, I took just $1000.00 home per month. I made just enough to afford a small apartment and groceries. My only excitement was buying a case of beer every two weeks. The end of that year, I got married. My future ex-wife was also a trained teacher with a masters degree, so no school district in the area wanted her (they would have had to pay her more for her advanced degree). She finally got hired at a school district in Las Vegas, so I quit my job and followed her there. I was able to get a teaching job there too. I immediately got a $10,000.00 raise out of the deal. I lasted a year. I just didn't have the temperament for all the bureaucracy and paperwork (the kids weren't the problem. The parents and administrators were). I was pretty much told to seek life elsewhere and I fell into a deep pit of despair knowing that I had wasted my undergraduate education on a field I was never well suited for.

I retooled quickly. I got a job working as tech support for Dell computers (before they moved everything to India). I brokered that into a better job helping pharmaceutical reps use their laptops. That job petered out, and I found myself hopping IT contracts for a few years. I did batch upgrades for companies overnight, I worked a long-term job installing the first 7 CVS pharmacies in the Las Vegas Valley, I worked fixing desktops and laptops for Dell, Compaq, and HP computers. I worked for a courthouse implementing new court management software. I then had an opportunity to do call center work again working for HSB bothering people to pay their credit cards, or take a contract job working for a satellite network hub. I chose the latter.

Within 6 months, I was hired on full-time permanent. That was April of 2005 (right about then, I got my masters in Computer Information Systems). I've been with this company ever since. I stayed at that site until 2016. In 2015, I got divorced and started to REALLY hate living in Las Vegas alone. All my family lived back east, so I looked at other opportunities until I realized there were openings at my company back east, which would put me within 6 hours of my family (and 3 hours of my friends). I applied and got it. I took out a loan from my 401K, packed up a Uhaul, my dad flew out to help me drive from Vegas to Maryland. We stopped and picked up some more furniture before we moved everything into my new apartment. I officially became a Maryland resident in early January of 2017.

I've been through a lot since then. I was promoted in 2018. I have gotten 3 merit raises. In 2019 I nearly died of chronic diverticulitis. I spent half the year on medical leave, but I got back on the horse until early 2020 when the pandemic caused my company to rapidly transition to telework. I've been working home since March of 2020. I'm saving a lot of money in not driving to work (I'm sort of dreading the day I have to start dressing up again and going back in).

So no, I didn't stay true to my original career plans. I shouldn't have trained to be a teacher. I would have been happier in a technical field (maybe even engineering). I hope this helps.
 

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I took a career test in high school. I took more than one, I believe, and they all said I should be a writer. The odds against making a living as a writer is pretty astronomical. Even best selling authors don't make a lot of money writing. Basically, if you're already famous, and thus don't really need the money, you might be able to eke out a writing career, but most people won't be able to. It makes it worse that I mostly write fiction and I don't have the "right politics" to get published by, usually super work NYC publishers. I've seen the mess that is and all the insane criticism writers get for "cultural appropriation" or writing about the "wrong subjects". I want nothing to do with that scene.
I spent most of my working world in the service industry, because without a car, for much of my youth, I didn't have the opportunity to attend university or trade school. It was miles away from anything I wanted to do. When I did go to school, online, it was for business; I took courses in IT. I also learned how to do some programming. I always felt like it's good to be versatile. Better to get paying work in a job you don't absolutely loathe, than hold out for a job you might love, but be broke in the meantime.
I still write in the meantime. I write short stories from time to time and am writing a novel series. I might self publish with Kindle distribution as well as physical books on lulu.com, that I'll promote via websites and social media. We'll see.
I've always said to people it's better to pick something you aren't sure about than to wait around forever for something you are sure about. That's what landed me in Engineering but I've found my true love for psychology and I think I'm going to go back to be a clinical therapist. So glad I picked something in the mean time because I'm 27 just now figuring out what I want to do and I'll always have engineering to fall back on.
 

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Morning pep talk made me think of this thread...

Me: WHY are you doing sales? You hate selling things to people.
Also Me: Do you like explaining things to people?
Me: Well yeah.
Also Me: Things that people usually wouldn't know otherwise?
Me: Yeah.
Also Me: And what happens if your competitor tries to explain it?
Me: They will mess it up.
Also Me: That's right. So what do we have to do?
Me: Be in sales.
Hilarious, my friend! Go save the world. One ignorance at a time.
 
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