The Career Doctor™


Dear Career Doctor:

I find myself in a tough occupational situation. After college I became a licensed stockbroker and worked for 2 years. It wasn't quite for me, so I decided since I had always liked working with children and minored in ed and psych, that I should go back and get my Master's in teaching and take that route. Upon graduating, a few of my friends were involved in the day trading business and doing very well. I got involved and did very well for myself for the first few years. The last 2 have not been very profitable as the business has changed and has dwindled down significantly. So, I decided to use my master's degree and get a teaching job. After a month I was 100% miserable and don't think that teaching is what I want to do for a career either.

Like many others, I am faced with the task of figuring out what it is I would be happy doing for a career. I've asked myself the typical questions like if money wasn't involved what would I want to do? That answer is play golf. Unfortunately the good Lord didn't bless me with that kind of talent. I have some ideas of things that I may enjoy doing but am skeptical. Any advice?


Dear M.T.:

When a career counseling client says something to me like, "I'd like to play golf all the time," I don't dismiss that as impossible. Instead, I start brainstorming to see how close we can come to making that wish a reality.

You say that you don't have the talent to be a pro, but there are other ways to be on the course a lot. For example, there used to be a number of sales positions where client entertainment is key -- and a lot of business was conducted on the golf course. While this kind of selling is getting less common, you might see what you can find.

As for teaching, you didn't tell me what made you unhappy. Do you think you might be happier teaching in a different kind of school or with students of a different age or type. (After all, teachers have a lot of vacation time that can be spent on golf courses -- and some high schools even have teacher-coached golf teams.)

The best advice I can give it to find a career counselor that will give you tests like the Strong Interest Inventory and help you figure out your career dilemma. Before you call a private counselor, you might contact the college career center where you earned your degree and ask if they will give you the Strong and do some counseling with you.

The Career Doctor


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