Finding your career path after college?

Finding your career path after college?

Ms. Paprika Ms. Paprika
Hi Eden Fantasys!
I know this isn't quite like the other topics in this forum that can take one sentence to answer, but I feel like this community, which is very open and loving, would give some great advice.
I'm also positive I'm not the only person trying to find answers to this question.

Like a lot of other people of my generation, I recently graduated University and quickly found out that paid, as well as unpaid internships in the fields I was interested in were just as competitive to get as full time salaried jobs were. Currently I work part time, but the general feeling is one of plateauing as it is the same job I have done for the past five years and while it (barely) pays the bills, I don't see myself doing it as a career even if I did become a full time employee.

(You can totally skip the two paragraphs below)
My long-term interest has been in the field of social psychology with a strong focus on justice and community mental health (stereotypical job: social worker). I feel it's important to strengthen the community you are in by helping others have a voice and access to basic resources. I feel very strongly about this because of my own personal experiences, and emphasize with those some look away from, including prison inmates and drug addicts.
But a number of my friends are social workers, and job-burnout is really, really high. As I tend to take my work home with me, I wonder if this is something I'd be better off doing on a volunteer basis.

My other interests are very recent-market research or copywriting for advertising. I am introverted, and love conducting qualitative research and analyzing data. I tend to view the world through this filter: "What can be done better? Would it work?" It appeals to the scientist in me.
As for copywriting-I love words and creativity! And when advertisements are done well, they are inspiring. On the other hand, I would have to learn to tone down my self-expression in writing to better serve the client's needs.
But I think these fields are appealing for the fact that goals are usually achievable vs chronic poverty. But I don't know much about marketing and its sister field advertising, besides some books I've read like "Buyology",some game theory/economics books I've read, and a few blogs.

For those who have found a career they love-how did you know that was something you wanted to do? What about your personality or values made it a good fit?

Any advice on how to "brand" yourself to employers when you're jumping into another field and are bringing over mostly "soft skills" as opposed to hard skills and experience?

How do you find people in the field to talk to if you and your friends/family don't know anyone? (And overcome the fear of making that contact, haha )

Any other advice?

And for those who are still looking, well, let's keep trying and learning!
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Zombirella Zombirella
I'm having trouble as well, you aren't alone. I recently acquired my first full time job, but it's with the cable company (call center). It pays OK and has awesome benefits, which is why I took it for the time being. I have found out fast that this is NOT a job I want to do forever, I'm stressed to the max and I'm still in training. The only thing that keeps me going is that awesome paycheck, medical/dental insurance, free cable and internet and the fact that I'm saving money to move to a city where I will be closer to more available jobs.

I am still looking. I have heard that the new year is supposed to open up some positions in my field. It is hard when you live in a small town and the closest major city is an hour away. After winter, I will start applying there but my car isn't reliable to go that far in snowy conditions 5 days a week.
I MAY have recently got some luck, but I'm unsure so just praying, crossing my fingers and keeping it quiet.

I had one process that I thought I nailed, but I haven't heard anything back and I don't understand why because it was the background check and I have NO flippin record! I got turned down for another position that I KNOW I was qualified for and though you didn't have to have a degree to get it, I have a bachelor and I think I was tossed out because they know I can get a better paying job and probably thought I'd bail on them I was invited to attended a meeting for job I was qualified for, I didn't stay after reading the info sheet. Even with my bachelor degree, I make more money working for the cable company than I would if I got hired there (WTF?) and it was a gov't position!

All you can do is keep looking, try for something full time out of your field like I did until you get something. Worst case scenario for me, I have to keep this job til spring or summer while saving up money so my fiance and I can get a place and move at the halfway mark between home and the bigger city so that I don't have to drive as far. When I started, my field had a good outlook, but then the government started with cutbacks.
I get depressed sometimes (often lately) but I will not give up! I didn't go to school for 6 years and give up partying/having a social life for NOTHING. (my 4 years turned to 6 because I was stupid and dropped classes and didn't take summer quarters). I just keep trying to think that it's gotta happen some time! I have a friend with a Master's degree that is having trouble. She did have a job but they screwed her over when she went on maternity leave early because of complications.

I graduated in March but had to put my job search on hold because I had to have foot surgery, and I wasn't able to start looking for a job until late July, per doctor's orders and I worry that people may look at that negatively and I wish I could have a chance to tell my story. I had to quit my part time job in Nov. last year due to my foot and some whole big FMLA BS (WalMart is a horrible company to work for). My mom just told me to finish school and not worry about a job until I got the surgery, which I couldn't get til after I graduated because I wasn't able to walk for 6 weeks.

Good luck in your job search, keep pressing on even when you feel like hope is dwindling. We worked too hard to give up!
Total posts: 2
Unique posters: 2