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Choosing My Path - August 8th 2016, 06:37 PM

Hi Everyone.

So, I've been pretty vocal about wanting to go into the counseling field. That hasn't really changed, but my circumstances, and those of my family's, have. I'm sorry that this is sort of a long and complicated post.

Over the past few weeks, I've been considering taking a different path so that I can contribute to my family sooner. We are in a difficult financial situation and I'm concerned. If I continued studying to go into therapy, it would probably be at least five years before I could actually have a job seeing clients full-time.

So, with that said, I'm considering leaving the BA program I'm in and finding some way to get a decent-paying job sooner than that (within a year to 18 months). I'm thinking of trying to get an AA in some other field, or possibly a Certificate or some sort of apprenticeship (if I find something that doesn't require as much formal education).

Unfortunately, there's also a bit of a battle that I'm feeling inside me about this. For a long time, I've been much more concerned about doing good than making a lot of money. But now, I feel like making money so that my family doesn't have to suffer might be really important. Just to make things complicated, though, I'm concerned that my interest in...whatever field may come off as not being genuine because I'm just trying to support my family. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I'd like to choose something that I'm passionate about, something that will serve the well-being of others, but also something that could make decent money so that I can support my family and help them through this.

Does this make sense? Is it reasonable to want to do both at once? Am I being naive?

And, the last thing is, does anyone have any suggestions for what sorts of things I might be able to pursue?

Thanks.


Chris
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last updated on 11/11/17
   
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Re: Choosing My Path - August 8th 2016, 07:11 PM

Hey Chris, I don't think you're being naive, but jobs that help people don't make a lot of money regardless of the field, unless you get the most education possible and even then, some don't make that much comparatively.

The best ones I can think of would be allied health positions like Medical Assisting, dental assisting, etc. If you're squeamish or don't like the medical stuff, you could try a CDA and work in a daycare, or you could try a resident assistant in a nursing home. My friend started doing that while we were still in high school and makes decent money, now she's in nursing school. There mightbe one for alcohol/drug counseling, but I'm not sure. Medical Billing and coding is an option too if you don't like direct care, but all jobs there want at least a year of experience in either that or a related field.

Most of these you can get either a certificate or an AAS in. If you're close to finishing your BA though, it may make sense to knock it out first for the sake of finishing it. Start looking at community colleges near you and see what you can find. Remember, you don't have to decide right this second.


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Re: Choosing My Path - August 8th 2016, 07:20 PM

Hey Kate,

Thanks for the reply.

I haven't really looked at medical stuff, but I don't think that would be my thing.

I should qualify that when I say "decent", I'm really just talking about something significantly better than minimum wage (the minimum in this part of California is generally between $10 and $12, depending on the city). I'm thinking in the realm of $20-$30/hour ($40-$60k/year) would be a great start.

Activism work or even something in the media industry where I could influence conversations about world issues would be fine, even.

More informal teaching (such as music teaching) would also be cool. I actually do have a (very) small business doing that right now, but I think my lack of a music degree would probably be an impediment to my being hired by most people, which is annoying because some people without degrees are still VERY good at what they do.

I'm entering the second half of my BA next month, but that still means at least a couple years. I know I could work part-time now, and I'll likely try to find something in the fall, but even if I only studied half-time, I wouldn't feel like I could make much of a contribution.


Chris
You can always contact me to talk about anything!
---------------------
Proud to be myself.

Need a hug? Please take one!

Image Credit: startingover18 (Tumblr)


last updated on 11/11/17
   
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