Not sure what to do with my life anybody else having this problem?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jc0481, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. jc0481 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    First off I am 30 years old and with a baby on the way. Due in November. I want to do something with my life that I enjoy and get a comfortable living at the same time. I recently bought the book "50 Best Jobs for your personality"

    I currently work a warehouse job and I have my goals set in starting school. I can't work this warehouse job all my life. I want a career instead of a "job". My wife and I had this discussion a month ago but it ended up nowhere. She told me I enjoy computers so I should go into that. Yes I enjoy computers but on the other hand I might enjoy something else but not sure what at this point.

    What I would like to do is to talk to a career coach and get tested based on my personality and other likes/dislikes on what I like to do and go from there. If I can't talk to a career coach my next best thing is to get a book that covers what I need.

    Can anyone recommend any good books or good websites I should look into? I feel stuck right now. Has anyone else on this forum felt like this before? If so how did you solve it?
  2. einmusiker macrumors 68030


    Apr 26, 2010
    Location: Location:
    In order to have a vocation and not just a job, you'll need to have a passion for something and youll most likely need to go to school. With a baby on the way youll have to figure out ow practical that is. At 30, I have to ask... What ya been up to dude?
  3. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Don't mix what you love with the word job/career. Trust me, you'll no longer love it.
  4. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005

    Yeah I know 30 years old and still not sure what to do. Well at 23 years old I had a severe case of Uveitis in my right eye. My eye doctor before he sent me to a really good eye specialist told me I have the worst case of Uveitis he has ever seen in his medical career. I got laid off and was in between jobs and for the longest time I could not find work due to my medical needs but I am better now.

    @Puma Thanks for the advice.
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Worst advice ever.
  6. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    Not necessarily.
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Answer this:

    What is your ideal top three jobs, assuming no boundaries or limitations.
  8. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008

    The vast majority of people I know who mixed their hobbies with work have absolutely zero motivation/desire/taste for their hobby anymore. They do their "hobby" all day with the added pain in the ass of it being work, and by the time they get home and can turn to their own projects, they just don't care. Now it's "work".

    Keep your passions separate from your job. Some things are best enjoyed without the taint of work.
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Doesn't really apply to anyone I know. All my friends and family (including myself) in full careers started off with a "lite" hobby version.

    Games are a hobby of mine, and I'm also a Creative Director of a game studio. I'm happy with both!
  10. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    OP- You mentioned that you are considering going to school. I am assuming that you are referring to post - secondary: Junior College or a four year baccalaureate program.

    I would suggest taking as broad a range of courses as possible. If something grabs you, try a few more courses in that area, but don't stop exploring varied coursework. When I was an undergraduate, most of my friends changed their major several times before they found the "right" one.

    I was lucky. Within a year I knew what I wanted to do and stuck with it through completion of my Ph.D. But I was the only one who didn't switch majors more than once.

    Finally, talking with a reputable and well trained career counselor certainly won't do any harm. Check the counselors credentials (academic training, certifications) before investing money.
  11. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    What colour is your parachute,is a useful book.
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Then they either found the wrong job or didn't really "love" it in the first place. Having a hobby does not mean you "love" whatever the hobby is in anyways.

    If you truly enjoy your work, it's not really working. Why would you want to work in a position in which you don't like what you're doing? I've had employees in that situation and not only are they less productive than others who actually do enjoy their work, they tend to be a drag on the rest of the office. They're always the first to get let go and they always wonder why.
  13. ShamrockSolace macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Depends. If you like what you do, you will be better at serving others.

    If you don't like what you do, may get bored, and the ability of advancing will frustrate you.

    My choice is what makes serving less of a toil. There will always be days of suffering, find something you look forward to rather than dread. Nothing is perfect and nothing will be in my lifetime. Be willing to stretch your limits, the experience is usually making people better.
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    @ OP: What's wrong with the warehouse job? If it's steady, has benefits, is safe, pays enough to support a family, etc etc (all of which may not be true - you haven't said one way or other).... then maybe you stick with the job and find your fulfilment elsewhere. You have a family, with a new addition on the way.

    Absolutely, take courses and learn new stuff, and improve your skills - but if at 30 you don't what to be passionate about, then maybe providing for your family is your calling? Very few people actually love the work they do. It's wonderful when a passion and a career coincide - but you are not "unusual" if you find your work unfulfilling - it's called "work" for a reason, and there is a reason why they have to pay you to do it.

    I think you may just be in that anxious phase that occurs just before your life changes forever. We never had kids - but I understand that in fact the change is a positive one, on balance.

    Congratulations. And good luck.

    Definitely go school, but - take courses for fun as well as to help the job. If work will help out, get all the accreditation you can from them (driving courses, first aid, hazardous material handling, etc). You never know when an accreditation for one industry can become useful in another. For example: A friend's kid was working at a skating rink, and got his first aid certificate, and his hazardous materials certificate. Which he then used to get a job as a dock attendant, then guide, at a posh fishing resort. Which he is turning into an opportunity to get his commercial pilot's license.

    Another friend's kid, who is taking marine biology, is getting some fantastic opportunities in school - because she has her food-safe handling certificates.


    A Passion is not necessarily a Hobby, or vice versa - imho, of course.

    Most people have hobbies, that they are not passionate about. It's just a fun thing to do, or it's social. Not everyone has a passion.

    Just because you have a Passion, and just because you find a way to turn that into a career is no guarantee that anyone is going to pay you for it.

    There is a fellow in Australia whose passion is drawing the most amazing pictures in the sand, below a bridge, during the low tide. He's out there all the time, and he is truly gifted - and passionate - and his work truly stands out for creativity and technical expertise. He's homeless, too.
  15. ShamrockSolace macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Hopefully you can get past this problem in life and tackle the next three that take its place.
  16. einmusiker macrumors 68030


    Apr 26, 2010
    Location: Location:
    Didnt mean to sound negative about your age. I also had a severe accident and couldnt start college right away, it made me so much more appreciative of the opportunity than my peers. I was more asking about what you live to do. I followed a career path in music and it is not only my job which I get paid for, but its a part of my every day life. Its just what I do, like breathing. Take the earlier posters advice and take a course which you will enjoy. Once you get started bettering yourself things will start to fall in place
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I have to say I disagree.

    Agree. To the OP, seriously, finding something you like to do, and then managing to get paid for it, is, to my mind, the best possible to spend a working day. At its best, it no longer seems like work, it is a hobby, or an interest that you have managed to transform into an interesting and rewarding career. I would advise that you ask yourself what you like to do, and try to find some way of cultivating that into some sort of position, even a part time one to start with. There are few greater professional pleasures than job satisfaction, and few greater hells on earth than a hated, or desperately boring, job.

    Excellent and thought-provoking book. Well worth a read.

    I agree with you.
  18. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    This is going to be a long post, so skip to the TL;DR if you want...

    OP, I posted in your other thread but what you're going through, I went through something similar as well, so I thought I should post my experiences as well.

    I was also 30 years old when I hit the "What the **** am I going to do with my life?" wall... first, the back story:

    I graduated from a small liberal arts school in Michigan with a degree in Biology... my original intention had been to go to medical school, mostly because of parental pressure. Sure, I thought it was interesting, but my heart just wasn't in it. But I had no idea what else to do... so I felt trapped... my grades began to suffer (almost got kicked out once). I did well on my MCATs, but knowing that my grades would hold me back... I never applied.

    Instead, I took my Biology degree and worked as a research technician. For almost 8 years, I worked in various labs... Just FYI, as a research technician, you're considered skilled labor but you're also rather far down on the totem pole. You're there to support the Principal Investigator, the postdocs, graduate students... pretty much, besides undergrads, you're at the bottom. You don't really get to control anything. And for me, I really began to hate that I wasn't in a position to control the direction of my own research. So for 8 years I worked as a research technician, hating 80% of my life... and feeling like I couldn't do anything about it (see grades above).

    I got married to my college sweetheart, and she saw how I was suffering... but she also saw how much I loved computers. My response was like some of the others in this thread, "No way, I don't want to ruin what I love with work...". In fact, this wasn't even the first time I had been told to combine what I loved (computers) with what I was good at (research)... I had been told by a couple of my bosses to look into bioinformatics. And like my response to my wife, I would always say "Sure, I'll look into it... in a few years."

    Then a couple things came together that really gave me that final push... 1) having a crappy boss, 2) hitting that point of "what am I going to do with my life?", and 3) being asked to analyze some computational data at work... again, just for your information: one of the major revolutions in experimental research has been the use of high-throughput computational resources to look at complex biological processes in different ways. This has lead to all sorts of innovations in biology and medicine (ex. personalized medicine through sequencing), but what spoke most to me was the idea that experimental research could be guided and made more efficient by computational resources. Experiments that had previously required months if not years to plan and execute, could be streamlined to a matter of months, if not weeks.

    That was it, I was hooked. But what about my grades? No graduate school would ever take me with those grades, I thought. So, I re-took some classes at the local CC, and since I'd never programmed before I took some extra classes in Java and C++ to get some experience and a feel for it all.

    Armed with these new grades and classes, I applied for PhD programs in Bioinformatics across the country... and I was rejected by every single one. At that point, I just about gave up... my grades must have been just that bad for not one school to take a chance on me. But then, I swallowed my pride and I e-mailed a couple schools if they would instead consider me for their Master's programs. I got in.

    1.5 years later, I graduated a semester early with a M.S. in Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan. I could have stopped there, probably would have been able to find a nice job in a lab or in the industry make double or even triple what I had made before... but I had gotten the bug. I was really hooked... I wanted more. I wanted to be on the cutting edge, making a contribution to the scientific community, but most of all... I felt that I wanted to be in even more control. I wanted to share my ideas, and if they were good, see them put into action as meaningful research. So I applied for PhD programs... and what do you know, I'm starting my PhD in Bioinformatics in the Fall.

    Now, maybe you're path isn't in computers... you'll have to figure that out for yourself. Maybe you can use part of your warehouse job experience to shape a part of your future. Maybe as someone who has done all the nitty gritty, you've begun to recognize some of inefficiencies in your job. Maybe you could become a process engineer? Maybe you had a few experiences supervising other people... maybe you could get a degree in management? It's all really up to you.

    For me, it was coming to the realization that I wasn't going to ruin what I loved (computers) by making it part of my life's work (bioinformatics). I wil say that the one thing I don't get to do anymore, that I used to love doing, was playing video games almost non-stop. But to tell you the truth, I don't even really miss it that much... because the computational problems that I run into everyday, solving those puzzles are more fun to me now and more gratifying than doing some quest in Borderlands. Sure, I still game every now and then... still play Torchlight every so often... but to me, work is almost as fun, if not more so... which I would definitely have never thought I would actually say a few years ago.

    A couple of other tips to help you on your way...

    - You're going to be one of the older students in your classes, but don't worry... people like us are becoming more and more common, and sometimes you'll find classes with people even older than you (I had a lady who was easily into her 50's in a Complex Systems class that I took).

    - Don't get discouraged (re: my PhD application failure, above). If you know what you want, keep working at it. In my case, I eventually learned that it wasn't even so much about my grades... but that I had been out of school for so long. Basically, they wanted me to prove myself... that I could handle graduate school. When I asked to be considered for the Master's program, two schools accepted me within a couple weeks.

    - hit 30, thought "wtf am I going to do with my life?"
    - took classes, applied to PhD programs and got rejected
    - applied to Master's program, finished early, got accepted to PhD programs the second time around
    - ???
    - profit

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