Dear Career Doctor,
I am 31 years old and I want to go to college and get started on a career. I don’t really know what to go for. I want a job where I can earn well, that will give me a flexible schedule. Please help.
Here’s one of the fist things I learned in graduate school: Never assume you know what a person means when they say vague things like, “I want to be happy” or “I want a good job” or ” I want to ‘earn well.’ ” These things mean very different things to different people.
I have no idea what you want to earn, because some people think $10 an hour is good pay while others think that anything under $100 is unacceptable. Much more important, you haven’t told me what interests you. That’s the key to your problem.
While it’s not easy to earn good money with flexible hours, it can be done in every field. For example, many jobs in the medical field, nursing for example, have flexible hours. If you would rather be in business, a number of sales representatives set their own hours too. And some people consider teaching to be flexible, because teachers spend fewer than eight hours a day in class and have many more vacation days than other professionals.
But someone who wants to be in the medical field would probably not like being in sales, nor would they like teaching. So, your first task is to decide the field you want to enter. Then you can research how you might earn what you need, given the hours you want to work.