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Not_here April 7th 2015 08:11 PM

I'm getting my BA in sociology and though I'm highly interested in the discipline, I don't like the jobs that seem to come out of it. I'm also concerned with burnout and not feeling my job has meaning or it has meaning but I'm too stressed out in that work environment. Example is when I volunteered at an organization and I was basically sitting at a computer punching in numbers. It was so mind numbing. At the same time I was keeping a record of important information that helps immeasurably to immigrant voters. But the job is boring and does not challenge me in anyway. I would rather work in something else that isn't directly a helping profession. Something that makes me feel intrinsically motivated and energetic instead of draining me with energy.
Iaess what I'm trying yo say is that I've learned that meaningful doesn't equate to helping profession. I can be a storyteller that inspires people and brings hope but never set foot inside a psychiatric unit whose function is to treat people who lack hope.

After I punched in numbers I helped out with a youth program with the same organization. It was a little better but very slow paced and very...dead
The high school kids came on a Friday after school stuck on their phones texting. We ate snacks and sat around two tables. We had a white board upfront and the leader made an ice breaker. That was not so bad. Then we watched a video about participatory budgeting which I've already watched but it was still okay to see it again. But then it became really slow and dull when we had to come up with ideas as a group what are ways to get the word out about participatory budgeting. I was not supposed to answer because I'm a volunteer but it seemed lack of excitement and everyone seemed tired. So some students gave ideas. And we got paper and markers and spent an hour and a half making posters. I basically finished mine in 10 minutes-the paper was small anyway.

The thing is, most of the kids finished quickly and just went on their phone or talked to friends. And the 2 leaders just walked around and tried to encourage them to make another poster and you can see how much they didn't want to. To them it was boring schoolwork. I would think of it that way too if I were them. Just busywork to pass the time. I know it will be used for spreading the word. Some pictures were taken with these signs and put on Facebook but something about the whole environment was really off.

The thing is, I have always thought leading a youth program is something I'm passionate about but now I'm not so sure. The environment is not a place I want to be and this organization has things going for it! It is 30 years old, there's some great staff and leaders, theyare aactive and they are helping people in their community that is predominately Asian American or Asian immigramts undocumnted. One thing was that the students at the youth progrsm spoke korean or chinese just like the leaders so thry had that extra connection that might not be provided in schools but overall i felt the environmrnt to be not a good fit for me. I felt like there could be so much more done with 20 teenagers, a conference room and 2 hours of time, and supportive staff andbut maybe thats just me.

I guess I feel overly confused about my future and need some advice. I know somewhat of what I want but need a lot more clarity.

Kate* April 7th 2015 10:00 PM

Re: disillusionmemt
When I lost the counseling program the only other degree the faculty really pointed me to would prepare me for behind the scenes "leadership or teaching positions in the social services" since I seemed to struggle with the direct care aspect of the counseling degree. Their list links to my school, but here's what they said people with the masters have gotten jobs doing (locations edited)

Assistant Director, University Career Services
University Learning Specialist
University Academic Advisor
University Instructor
Even Start Program Director
Communications Specialist, Hospice
Family Support Coordinator, at a Ministry
Help Me Grow Service Coordinator, and Parents as Teachers Parent Educator
Coordinator, Guest Services/Cancer Resource Library at a hospital
Special Needs Child Care Consultant at a social service agency
Social Worker, Child Protective Services, Dept. of Job and Family Services
Guardian ad Litem, Domestic Relations Court,
Service Coordinator, Help Me Grow,
Family Advocate, Transitional Housing
Case Manager, Volunteers of America

Do any of these sound like they might work for you? You would be doing something meaningful without really interacting that much with people who don't want to be there and NO counseling or psychiatric care required. This would be an M.A. in Human Development and Family Studies, your school might have this or something similar.

Not_here April 12th 2015 10:51 PM

Re: disillusionmemt
I looked at these but I'd have to research job descriptions. That being said I don't want to go to graduate school. At least not right away. I'm getting my bachelor in year so I have some time to figure things out but I'm still unsettled. Something about becoming social worker makes me uneasy. It seemed like a dream job but now I'm ambivalent. I know I don't want to go anywhere near cps. That I am certain. I have to sit with myself and think but I get stressed out when I try.

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