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The things we do for work
Chordal
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Post: #1
The things we do for work
Hey,

I'm having a bit of a difficult time here in a way that I'm not sure would be safe to disclose on a public forum like this. But it would help if I had some idea of the kinds of work people here either have undertaken or are undertaking, to make a living.

I'm presently in a Master's program, and I'm finding the work to be quite difficult -- a lot harder than I thought it would be. This is to the point that I'm uncertain if I'm cut out for a Master's degree (as some people aren't compatible with undergraduate work), so I'm trying to look at other options, as a preliminary effort, so that if it doesn't work out, I'll have a plan in place.

Thing is that I don't know the types of jobs people undertake which are not either professional in nature (doctor, lawyer, etc.) or service jobs (Macy's, McDonald's, etc). I know I should be able to have an outlet in crafts/skilled labor, and I'm interested in Information Technology, but there have to be other options than this...
2012-09-29 3:35
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Seraphyna
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Post: #2
Re: The things we do for work
Jobs I have held after college:

Retail (halloween store)
Aquarist at an aquarium
More retail (craft store)
Animal care technician at a kennel
Retail (running store)

...and I'll be taking classes to become a personal trainer starting a week from today.

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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2012-09-29 14:06
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Post: #3
Re: The things we do for work
Thanks, Sera.

I'm guessing that, having given it some thought, well, I could try and explain the situation.

Basically...I'm presently employed in a field where there is a very clear upper ceiling for one who doesn't have a specialized Master's degree. It's possible to be employed at a lower level and just never pass it, and make a living that way, but it doesn't seem to be an easy way of making a living. What's come up is...stress, I suppose. Both from realizing that the position I was aiming for is extremely incompatible with my (quiet, not-very-social, shying-away-from-the-public-eye) disposition, and realizing that I'm likely going to have to seek out positions outside the traditional field, because dealing with the public (as I'm doing now, and as I'd be doing more of if I went the traditional route) stresses me.

I am not certain if I mentioned this here before, but I technically qualify as disabled. I need to send a letter off to the Disabled Students Program at my school, I'm thinking, so I have at least a little bit of a buffer...the way I got into this position, though, is from having selected this as a field in Voc Rehab (Vocational Rehabilitation), though it was more like Voc Hab for me. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink --> I'd never had a paying job, prior to 2010, mostly because of being scared that I wouldn't be hired. (That, in turn, came from a Career/Life Planning class, with a teacher who probably wasn't optimal.) I didn't want to be in a clerical position because of the glass ceiling for pink-collar workers, and I picked this outlet because I could utilize my Humanities training. Well, and there's the fact that the upper positions provide benefits like health care, which is basically a necessity for me because of my disability; and a comfortable and reliable level of pay.

But yes, the training that my program is aiming at, is that of a traditional position. However, it's also a position which deals with pretty much scientific data, which my Humanities training doesn't prepare me for. I was messing around with Eureka CCIS the other night, and realized that the reason this vocation was given two different personality-style ratings, is that the traditional position was associated with traditional-type *people* (like the ones who I presently have difficulty dealing with) and the entrepreneurial position -- given the same training, but a non-traditional use of that training -- was associated with my type of personality.

I'm guessing that I should pretty much just get back to work, but I did want to clarify this.

What's basically happening at home (I still live with my parents) is that I'm being told I have to go through with this training or else I'll have a lower standard of living than I do now and I'll basically be "poor" because I'll have to pay out-of-pocket for health care insurance as they do for me now. If nationalized health care goes through, this may not be such a big thing -- but right now my medication is extremely expensive, as is the monthly cost of my health plan, which is likely the only thing keeping me from losing it, right now.

I mean, I already broke down last night trying to explain that I actually am frustrated and that I may not actually be able to do this, with my academic background, and current level of functionality (I sleep from 10-14 hours a night because of sedation from medication; without the medication, I just don't get out of bed, because there's nothing that seems worthwhile enough for me to do so). They say that if I believe I can do it, I therefore can, but that sets up the "you just aren't trying hard enough" argument when someone is obviously breaking down. I don't think *belief* or *faith* is going to get me through this program, and I'm thinking there are other ways of making a decent living than doing something which requires a Master's that I may not be capable of attaining.
2012-10-01 1:25
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Post: #4
Re: The things we do for work
I can't discuss my current career or field of study for legal concerns (whee! <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> ) but I'm a social worker by training. Specifically I focused on safer sex, safer drug use, and teaching service professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, etc) about intersexed individuals and trans people. For a while I was the only source of training around intersexed and trans people in the city.

Also I currently supplement my life with a small jewellery business.

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As we understand all things are not.
2012-10-01 2:47
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Post: #5
Re: The things we do for work
I am a professional writer for my state's government. Basically, I write letters and help draft legislation and do whatever my immediate bosses ask me to do. I graduated college with a B.A. in English which I believe helped me get my job.

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2012-10-01 17:46
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Post: #6
Re: The things we do for work
Before, during, and after college, I've worked as:

Math and reading tutor
Retail slave
Administrative/lab assistant on campus
Kennel technician
Veterinary technician

Granted, I had a science degree, so the veterinary field wasn't too much of a stretch. I've also done some freelance art, but that pays mostly in experience rather than in actual money. In addition, I am a credentialed minister, and teach classes, perform weddings, etc., but I don't generally do that for money.

I think the bottom line is, you can do a lot of things (many of which include health insurance as part of the deal), but you need to figure out your priorities when it comes to jobs. Search through Craigslist and see what's available. If the only thing that matters to you is being financially independent, there are quite a few options out there. The economy's been slowly getting better and people seem to be hiring. If your sleep patterns interfere with maintaining the traditional workday schedule, you might look into telecommuting options, like work-from-home copy editing.

I think in the end, though, it's going to take you figuring out what your goals really are. Are you really interested in your current program, or was it just kind of "something to do?" For me, figuring out that I wasn't happy in my current field took a lot of time, effort, and school, but primarily it took really figuring myself out. I wouldn't say the job is done, but gender transition and understanding kin-ness has unravelled a lot of knots and opened a lot of doors I'd kept shut, and helped me to understand what I need to be happy and fulfilled.
2012-10-02 9:23
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Chordal
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Post: #7
Re: The things we do for work
Hi,

I'm guessing at this point it wouldn't be a big thing to let other people know a tiny bit more about where I'm coming from with this, especially as I may not continue on with it. I graduated with a B.A. in English -- Creative Writing. I really liked the Creative Writing part of that, and really hated the English part of it (Creative Writing might have been considered a concentration under English). Basically I took this major because I couldn't decide on anything else; nothing was as much of a priority or constant for me at that time of my life, as writing. At that time I was really pretty much just desperate to get out of school with any degree that wasn't, "Liberal Studies," and I didn't think I'd ever be going back for a degree above it.

Right now I'm working in a library. Basically, I've read that you can't reliably get a job above the Library Assistant (paraprofessional) level without a Master's in an accredited program. So I took on a Master's in Library and Information Science program, but I don't know if I'm capable of performing at the level they want me to perform at. Like I said, I'm in 6 units right now and trying to hold onto my job at the same time (which I've reduced to 14 hours a week)...and those 6 units are taking over my life, so that I don't have time to do things like cook or go food shopping or go outside of the house for non-essential reasons, or have friends and an internal intellectual life, and not fall behind. And that's *part-time*.

If I went full-time, I *might* be able to complete the program in the 3 years I have before my Financial Aid runs out (given that I don't have to repeat any classes). But going to school full-time means I will not have the time or energy to be employed (and not self-destructive because of stress) at the same time. Continuing employment is critical to getting a job in the field, as most job openings are not advertised, and word of them is spread by internal networking. This means I'll be going to school part-time over a very long period of time and that I will have to take out a private loan (with likely some exorbitant interest rate -- I think right now it's around 7.5%[?]), to complete the degree.

As I'm writing right now, I'm neglecting to do some studying that I would have to do to try and be *less* behind. But I just met with someone and we talked about this, and I have to take care of myself in some way...because I have way too much going on right now to do a good job at everything. This writing is part of my self-care. I could just as easily work myself until I break down and have to be hospitalized, but I don't think that's a good plan.

Anyhow...one of the reasons that I decided to go into this field is that my English training backs me up, here. I also thought it would be a good outlet for me if I ever decided to actually become a professional writer, as reading was heavily stressed as a prerequisite to writing (or at least, "writing well"), in my program. I don't think I've actually read all that much fiction while I've been here, though, and to be honest, I'm pretty lost when it comes to modern fiction writers who I actually like...as they're categorized by genre and last name, not by content. It seems you're supposed to know what you're looking for before you look for it.

Another reason I decided to pursue a career in the Library: I didn't want to have to deal with being told that I shouldn't be in my field because I'm female. But as things stand now, being in this program has pushed me to come out as trans within the program and at work, which in turn has set in motion a lot of stuff in my personal life. Part of what it's set in motion is the drive to transition, as I've found out that a lot of people don't really have a strong investment in my gender identity or presentation, and it's likely going to be mostly fine if I start presenting as obviously male. This then gets rid of one of the barriers that I'd had up, because if I do transition, I'm probably not going to have to deal too much with people saying that I shouldn't be in my field because they see me as a woman...because I'm not going to be seen as a woman.

As for whether I'm interested in my current program...before I got into it, I thought I was. But I am very, *very* not suited to being a Public Services Librarian (Adult or Children's), which is primarily a social job. I'd rather be working behind the scenes somewhere, not on the front lines directly dealing with customer interaction and public relations (which knocks out Academic Librarian as well). What I'm interested in doing, right now, is learning to build Web pages, especially as an alternate form of publishing (rather than through a brick-and-mortar publishing house).

I'm not certain that I totally have the creativity to do something like Web Design, which is where I was at before I went through Voc Rehab...one of the medications I'm on feels like it has the effect of inhibiting the creativity I had before I started it, which in turn decreases my confidence that I'll be able to do well with a creative job. Even though, that's still what I want. Web Design has the drawback, though, of being extremely competitive (the market is flooded) and stressful because of needing to work overtime to meet deadlines...and that is contraindicated by my diagnosis.

As regards brick-and-mortar publishing, I could probably do well as an Editor, but I'd need to intern for that and see if I actually like it...and doing that is tough while I don't have a car of my own and haven't yet fully learned to drive.

What I found out about what I want to do, though -- I do want to help further LGBTQQIAA culture. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> I'm not entirely sure just *how* I'd want to help, though, which I suppose is where I need to be looking at my desires and strengths. I know I have strength in writing, and that I have some strength in design (particularly where it comes to color). I'm also extremely attentive to detail, and I know that the way clothes and jewelry are made and marketed makes some apparel and accessory choices near-impossible to display, if you don't have the skills to make clothing or jewelry, yourself. I've just noticed the fact that most clothing in cuts for female people send the encoded impression that one is feminine, and it's really irritating to have to deal with that social message when I wear things out of Petites.

I had been making jewelry for other people, but this is kind of stressful for me because I want to make it *perfect* and I can't make it perfect all the time, and it's unrealistic to tear out 2.5 hours of work because of a mistake that can't be undone. Plus, jewelry doesn't pay all that well, given that it's labor-intensive, and that it can take three hours of manual labor to make a bracelet. I've seen people compensate for this by using materials which are popularly regarded as valuable (like blue topaz or sapphire -- I've been using sterling and gold-filled wire myself), but I don't really want to be making things that no one can afford. I've been hoping to take some classes in metalwork, and branch out into macrame -- but I don't have the time.

Jewelry design and construction seems it would have to be an auxiliary path, as being self-employed doesn't look like it would carry benefits. I could very well work in a bead store, though, or a jewelry store. Or a non-typical clothing store.

...I think my brain is running out of ideas. But I notice a clear theme of art, design, and culture...maybe someone is seeing connections that I don't?
2012-10-05 2:17
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Chordal
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Post: #8
Re: The things we do for work
Gesigewigus Wrote:Also I currently supplement my life with a small jewellery business.
Hi, Ges?

What kind of jewelry do you make? Are you into beads, leather, metalsmithing? I ask because it would be nice to find another person into this...and I have no experience with hot metals, besides having soldered together a roller-coaster for a marble in high-school Physics. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

The major problem (besides my perfectionism) that I saw looming about going into the jewelry business, had to do with all the time I'd spend working with my hands and eyes, as contrasted with my intellect. I have a very close relative losing their eyesight right now. That, plus the fact that I've realized how fragile motor skills are when dealing with illnesses -- and medications -- which can cause tremors, has led me to be a bit wary of having a career which relies on high precision.

Then, there was the fact that when I was doing this more of the time, I'd want to be doing something intellectual, like reading religious material, and learning Japanese, and I didn't have the time for it on top of my salaried job and life, plus the beading. It felt like it was taking over my life, much like library school feels to me now...I just don't have time to pursue my interests. But actually, the effect of library school, taking over my life, is much worse than it was when I was beading. I don't have to rely on my creativity as much, which makes it less scary (maybe I should ask Rabbit for help again with that); but I'm constantly behind, which is its own form of stress.

I also recently did an assignment where I was reading about the incidence of violence (including aggression, verbal abuse, sexual harassment) within public library systems -- directed at the staff -- which clarified to me one reason why I don't like working in a library.

I realize we haven't really spoken in a long time. Thank you for taking the time out to respond to me. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->
2012-10-08 1:12
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Post: #9
Re: The things we do for work
Wolfsnake Wrote:For me, figuring out that I wasn't happy in my current field took a lot of time, effort, and school, but primarily it took really figuring myself out. I wouldn't say the job is done, but gender transition and understanding kin-ness has unravelled a lot of knots and opened a lot of doors I'd kept shut, and helped me to understand what I need to be happy and fulfilled.
Hi!

I've noticed the doors opening up, too, in regard to the idea that I don't have to spend the rest of my life in a female form. If I don't look like I'm a woman, then a big source of trepidation as to how I'll be accepted (or relegated) in the working world outside of the library, goes away. I've been around enough transmen to know that past a certain point, it borders on ludicrous to continually misgender somebody. I realize I'm still in a pretty soft, vulnerable point. I don't know if that will change once circumstances change, but I do wonder about...coming off initially as male, and then being this sweetheart inside. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Kin-ness, yes. I've gotten to the point with the "demon" label where it almost seems tongue-in-cheek to me now. I do identify with Demons, it's possible I might be someone who's lived in that mix for a while; but whether I am literally a demon or not doesn't matter, so long as I remain respectful. If I'm a demon, I'm a really tiny one. If I'm a human, I'm just really creative. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> In either case, I feel surrounded by others who are helping me -- even if I am not fully sure of their names or spiritual categories -- and I know they're at least tolerating me, if not doing things like pointing out people who I would be in good company with.

When I was back on the Satanist listservs, even, and then later on the Demonolatry board...I've felt that there is no necessary and inherent opposition between Demons and Angels...which could be part of the reason why...I'm able to feel safe, now. I'm not talking about relations just between demonkin and angelkin...I mean that I've at least thought myself to have dealt with both Demonic and Angelic forces, and neither have harmed me, or discriminated against me for having contacted the other group, or for loving who I've loved. My trepidations were my own. Hanging out around Satanists who have really been harmed by twisted versions of Christianity doesn't help things, but at a certain point one has to define one's own limits, not run by someone else's.

Then, I should let someone know this -- I have been experiencing what may be scent hallucinations, again. Last time, it was burning paper. I didn't get up to ask about whether anyone else smelled it...I've kind of gotten to the point where I tell myself, "if it disappears in a few seconds and doesn't come back, don't worry about it." But the scents I've hallucinated have normally been smoke and sulfur dioxide. I'm not sure if it totally is just my mind generating it, or if there's a reason for it...but it happens around these times when I have spiritual awakenings. And I can feel that I'm kind of in one of those "mystic" states right now...so if I'm sounding really gentle, that's why.

I do almost feel like an infant being nurtured, it's just the end point of the journey which is unknown. Because I realize that I did not take everything into account before embarking on this first leg...

And yes, I am wondering if I could reduce my medication, with the level of spiritual support I feel now, and gain back some of my creative drive...and then be a jeweler, like totally, a Demon Jeweler... ;D
2012-10-08 1:47
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Post: #10
Re: The things we do for work
Elinox Wrote:I am a professional writer for my state's government. Basically, I write letters and help draft legislation and do whatever my immediate bosses ask me to do. I graduated college with a B.A. in English which I believe helped me get my job.
Eli -- thank you for your response. I'm sure it sounded like you were just repeating what was in the other thread, but, you know...thanks. Have you found other outlets in which to use your B.A.?
2012-10-08 1:53
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