Career advice please.

I have a problem. I am simply interested in too many things, hardly any of which I have a particular and special interest in. I fleet from one interest to the next picking up little bits of information from each interest. I value knowledge, the pursuit of it I thoroughly enjoy. I also want to make a difference in the world, but realise this isnt always easy. I wanted to and believed that I could do this through MY ideas. Now im starting to think there are other ways to make a difference.
Im an intelligent person, but ive been out of education for a couple of years now and I dont associate with the most intelligent of people. I want to push myself, I want to use my brain properly, I want to learn things and I want to personally add to the already colossal wealth of knowledge on this earth.
How do I do this without my attempts being futile? I considered writing, but then realised it was unlikely that any kind of success or recognition would come of it. Recently ive taken an interest in biology, but its more the idea of being a part of a solid body of professionals who are adding to our knowledge of the world around us. Yes I am interested in science, but I am more interested in the implications that arise from its findings. Plus I wouldnt be able to get into any of the University courses without having already studied at least Biology and another science (or maths). When I went to Sixth Form College I studied Film (A grade), English Language (B grade), History (C grade) and Philosophy (C grade). Given that, I really do not know what I want to study at University… or for that matter what kind of a career I would like.
Either something where I am adding to our understanding of the world OR something where I am directly helping people, in particular I am thinking of the impoverished, unrepresented and poorly treated.
Any ideas?

go into teaching


I have considered this, but on what level? High school? Or college level? I lack the confidence really.

I really just wish I had some idea of what I wanted to do so that I could aim for it, focus my attentions and have somewhere to get. At the moment, im wandering aimlessly and as a result im going nowhere.

substitute teach at all grade levels and see which group of young minds you prefer (they’ll teach you as much as you teach them if you’re not careful)

and simply because you have yet to decide on a direction does not mean the traveling is aimless…


Become a librarian.

Like the dude says in that film, if you end up doing something worthwhile then the time before that isn’t wasted, it was just leading up to that point. Or something.

I agree with Imp, become a teacher.

Go abroad and become a teacher, more fun, more rarity value, more babes, sometimes more money.

Well, depending where you go.

English Language is a plus, but you’ll need a degree of some kind to get into a TEFL course, unless the rules have changed since 15 years ago. But even without a qualification, some places would accept you just on the fact of your being a true-blue pretty-boy foreigner. Though most probably, these places will be vermin infested rat holes and all the women there will have hare-lips and be inter-related.

Still, give it a thought, it’s a life-changer.

Thankyou for your advice everyone.

Im gonna put teacher on the shelf. If I did pursue this path what subjects at uni would be best?

With regards to finding a direction, I am afraid that the choices I make at uni will greatly influence the path I follow… which is why I want to choose carefully. Im already limited in the paths I can take by choices ive made when I was 15.

Today my mother randomly suggested law. Law has never interested me, but something clicked in my mind. I do care about people and human rights, maybe there is a career in defending human rights. I am worried though that I might just end up working for an average law firm.

You can see already that I do easily fleet from idea to idea. This is difficult.

Philosophy degree?

I’d do English. For a start, the word you are looking for is “Flit” as in “Flit from place to place” like a butterfly from flower to flower.

Fleet is a bunch of ships, and sometimes less often, an adjective about gazelles. As in: “Fleet of foot.” Meaning speedy and graceful at the same time.

I’m presuming of course that you aren’t some kind of weird Gazelle/centaur thingy.

For God’s sake, don’t do philosophy. You may as well just buy a big sign saying “I have no fucking idea what to do with my life” and stick it right up your butt along with the fencepost you’ve already got wedged up there. You may as well study klingon. At least you’d be able to pull the trekkie birds, like in “17 again”.

And yes, you would end up working for a bog-standard law firm, chasing ambulances and praying for OJ to strike again.

I swaggered about such bum-lumber for a full decade before certifying as a teacher (albeit I got the B.Ed before the philosophical detour), and I must concur: one simply needs to shake one’s head too vigorously and for too long after deep submersion into Theoria for it to be worth your while in terms of the “Career” headset. If you aren’t naturally happy being a ne’er-do-well aimless lout, avoid philosophy at all cost. That is, unless you want to be a Philosophy Professor, which requires very focused skill-development as a technician of textual retention. But that’s a LOT of work, man.

Although ‘flit’ might be a more appropriate use of language, I dont really think that ‘fleet’ completely misses the mark.

If I did study Philosophy it would be less to do with my undecidedness and more to do with the fact that I am deeply interested in the subject. For that same reason I have also considered studying Film or History. Im not sure how useful these subjects are going to be in finding me a career path, or if they even need to be useful. Im afraid that studying a subject for the sake of it, as enjoyable and rewarding as this might be, will leave me with just… a degree. There are so many people out there with just a degree and it doesnt seem to matter what its in. It seems like most people just end up with a substandard office job.
I want to make sure that I dont close doors that I might have wanted to enter. Hmm. I dunno.

If you leave them all open for too long though, your career catches a cold from all the draughts.

Yeah I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life within society and I’m about to turn 23 in a couple of months…

(I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to stay in Wisconsin or if I’m going to move again. If I move again most likely I’ll move even farther up North.)

I’m thinking about temporarily going into to a technical school to become a electrician where afterwards I’ll seek to go to college in order to become a history or philosophy professor. ( Shrugs.)

( If that doesn’t work than I’ll just live in the mountains someplace as a rapid anarchist hermit being that I don’t plan on becoming another statistical low income wage slave and public servant within society.)

( Another pet statistic of the social welfare trap within society…No thank-you!)

( I like my independence.)

( It’s too bad that highly advanced technological crime scene investigations exist nowadays in that if I could I would like to try my hand at some profitable criminal activities but even that is becoming more impossible with modern surveillance within postmodern city centers.)

After highschool I tried my hand at medical school which didn’t work after two months of attending because of my failing math grades.

After that I joined the army which didn’t work after nine months because of my insubordinate unruly behavior not to mention I’m not a team player in that I don’t like being told what to do or working with others.

After that I tried my hand at driving semi trucks where that didn’t work after two months largely because of the school I was attending wasn’t a five star rated school like they claimed to be.


( And there you have it…)

Currently I’m unemployed going on one month where I have fifty cents to my name. :laughing: ](*,)

( Everytime I’m on the internet it is through a public computer.)

A biology degree would be a good option at the moment. Anyone who stares longingly at job ads in science magazines can quickly work out that even in recession hit times the field is opening up like a big flowery thing with petals and stuff. Tab’s right though, there’s no point coasting, there’s always a chance at being a renaissance man who comes to study late, but you’ll probably be stuck in a dead end job in the mean time wondering why you didn’t study for something a little better.

The job market sucks atm, so avoiding that for three years and meeting plenty of people at University with goals in mind, might give you ideas beyond the limited scope your A’ levels have afforded you. Your A’ levels don’t take you straight into a science degree but there’s always foundation courses, it’s an extra year but you are practically guaranteed a place with the University, assuming you pass well enough of course. There’s a massive shortage in science teachers if that’s your goal as well. … 19296.html

A brief overview. There’s an A-Z there as well for any degree you can think of.

If you’re a helper by nature then a career in a medical setting might be an option. A science degree would open up possibilities in biomedical science, clinical science or medicine. If you’re wanting to meet the public face to face why not try getting into social work? I will warn you though that that isn’t for the faint hearted, so I hear.

Thankyou again everyone for your advice.

Im getting a little closer towards a a path of some sort. Ive decided that I definately want to study a subject which interests me. At the moment im drawn towards history, but biology is also a possibility. The problem I have at the moment is that any respectable university requires atleast grades ABB. I have grades ABCC, personally I think that two C’s are the equivilant of one B grade. Some universities use a points system which would merit the fact that unlike many people I have 4 full A-Levels, but these arnt the universities I feel that I deserve a place at.
My solution is to study for another A-Level, part time of course, probably biology. Having one science subject at A-Level does not open many doors with regards to biology study at uni, considering most respectable universities recquire you to have atleast two science subjects under your belt (or maths as an alternative). There actually is one decent uni (Sussex) which will accept JUST a biology A-Level and they are ranked 15th best uni (in the UK) with regards to the study of biology. So there is still the option there, besides which having a 5th A-Level at grade B or above would greatly benefit my chances of getting into a good university. Something which I DO deserve.
This is all going to take time though, ive just missed the beginning of the academic year. By the time I apply for uni ill be 23. Is this too late? Should I be concentrating on a career instead? I could apply for uni this year but it wouldnt be an amazing uni and im afraid id end up like every other schmuck with a mediocre degree from the school of mediocre stuck in a dead end job or just… unemployed and in massive debt.

By the way, im not particularly helping in nature. Im a nice person, but my desire to help is based more on the fact that I KNOW I should. I have a desire to practice what I preach. I have considered a career in care, both of my parents and my half sister care for the mentally disabled. This is something I know would be rewarding and id like to do before going to uni.

Hi again AR,

Just wondering, what propells you to excellence? As a matter of career planning it’s of course nice to think in terms of great success, etc. But there are other considerations, too. I agree that a meaningless desk job can be a disheartening prospect, save only for the possibility of lucking out and working with a great bunch of people. Nonetheless, ignomy is greatly underrated… are you seeking fame & glory? Perhaps it’s a slacker-middle-ager’s prejudice, but there’s alot to be said for comfort and security (though I wasn’t seeking that at an earlier age either)…

Well, after initial youthful optimism I kind of began to accept that maybe the best I can really hope for is a comfortable existence. Recently ive started to question how comfortable I will ever be performing menial tasks all day long for the sake of just… existing. I have a brain, ive gotten the grades I have with little real effort. If I actually applied myself and worked hard I KNOW that I could achieve something. Fame isnt what im looking for, recognition would be nice but im really not bothered about that too much either. Im more interested in just having a respectable career, making some kind of difference to the world even if its just one persons world and a reasonable salary would be nice too.
What propells me to excellence is my son. I havnt seen him in 4 months because of my ex being incredibly difficult. Its hard and im trying my hardest to fix things and get some access. I feel compelled towards greatness though, I want to be a role model for my son. I want him to be proud of his father. I have wrestled with the idea of going to uni in my mind extensively. Its going to cost money and its going to be hard work, but I feel that I should set an example to my son. I want to do it for him.

If you’re interested in starting now there is the option of Open University study part time, which carries you up to the end of September the next year. It starts end of January ‘10 so you’ll need to get in before 16/12/09. It’s called Exploring Science (S104) and it can give you an opportunity to do biology at another University regardless of whether you have A’ levels, although you’ll still need a good pass. Universities do generally like mature students, although officially that starts at age 24.

Universities are required by law not to be ageist, but generally the older you are the more likely you are to finish the course, as mature people are more reliable according to the statistics, so age isn’t an issue IMO. I remember at one forum I attended there was a guy who did a degree at University at age 64. … e/s104.htm

Just a thought if you don’t want to sit around until October next year. If you’ve never done a degree then you can get the course paid for by the government if you are unemployed. It’s not always easy to fit the time in if you’re employed but it is manageable, I should know I studied it whilst having to travel 3 hours to and from work every day.

I don’t at all envy you the anguish of your visitation issues, and wish you strength in that regard. But I do certainly envy you the source of your motivation. I can’t think of a more genuine source of inspiration than what you describe. I didn’t become a father until my late 30s, after wandering in universities for 16 years (for which I have no regrets, but it would have been nice to be motivated by something more than “knowledge for knowledge’s sake”). You’re bound to achieve with the attitude you have! All the best.

EDIT: and I’m right with Sidhe above, if you’re interested in starting, then get started. Don’t worry about starting “late”… not only does it have significant advantages (e.g. a sense of purpose), but, truth be told, you’re not that old, and it is hardly late for you. :slight_smile:

From reading what you’ve written it may not be what you’re looking for, but I studied Philosophy for the simple reason that I was, and still am, extremely interested in the subject. Ok, I now work in a call centre, but looking back I thoroughly enjoyed my course and I learn things which have benefitted me. I didn’t like the idea of studying for the sake of studying. I got 5 A’s in my Highers, so potentially I could have studied anything. But I chose something which I was interested in. I’d recommend it, purely for intellectual masterbation :smiley: