Chablis is my cohort in journalism disillusionment. Degree in hand, she’s found that the profession just isn’t all it was cracked up to be way back when she started studying it.
Now she’s struggling through a career she doesn’t like and looking for something better.
(tips hat)… Mornin’ ma’am.
After ten long years (of and on) I finally managed to graduate from college with a B.A. in journalism and now I have no idea what I want to do as a career.
Well, having no idea what you want to do can definitely seem like bad news, for sure, especially when it’s too late to change your major.
But on the bright side, your degree is in journalism, which I assume means you can probably write fairly well. I looked you up and saw that you already have a communications-type job, which backs up this theory.
And as I like to say around these parts, writing is the no. 1 skill you can have. You don’t have to know anything about anything, but as long as you know how to write, you can bullshit people into believing you know something about everything. 🙂
The first obstacle is I am no longer fully interested in journalism. Newspapers, deadlines, I’m over it. I discovered this when I was twelve credit hours short of my major.
Yeah, it’s a lot different from 10 years ago when you started, that’s for sure. Especially newspapers. Do you still like writing? I have a journalism degree, too, and I was in exactly the same shoes you’re in shortly after I graduated.
In my final semester of my master’s degree in journalism, I realized that I didn’t really like journalism at all — I just liked writing. It turned out OK for me because journalism school is excellent practice for all kinds of writing, not just journalistic writing.
So if you still like writing (crossing my fingers you do), you should still have plenty of options open. The usual suspects are public relations, corporate communications (of any type), radio/TV writer, producer, marketing, copywriting, reviewer, blogger, etc. A newer one is social media management — essentially, keeping up Twitter and Facebook accounts for employers who know they ought to be doing it, but aren’t.
As for professions outside the usual, I’ll give you my mantra: If you can communicate with people in a way that makes them feel the way they long to feel, then you’ll always be employed (and probably making more money than most people you know). The trick is learning how your audience feels and how it wants to feel (appreciated, loved, admired, listened-to, respected, reassured, etc.), and that’s a process. A little off-topic, perhaps, but it IS relevant to you in that, if you can already communicate well with people, you’ve already fulfilled an important piece of that puzzle.
The second obstacle is an accumulation of debt that must be paid every month in addition to living expenses. Presently, I work a full-time and two part times, this limits my options to volunteer and possibly find something I might actually like.
Yes, student loan debt (and life expenses in general) certainly are obstacles. We’ll talk tomorrow about some processes you can use to find things you’re interested in. Congrats, Chablis — you’re officially a two-parter! 🙂
The third obstacle is having spent so much time during school working to pay bills, tuition and to make ends meet, left me with a mediocre GPA (2.55). At this point, it’s impossible to find a graduate school that accepts anything lower than a 3.0.
To be honest with you, Chablis, I wouldn’t even consider grad school right now — not when you don’t know what you want to do. I’m a firm opponent of going to grad school just because you’re bored or don’t know what to do with your life. It’s one of the most expensive ways possible to find your path, not to mention the undue pressure you put on yourself to like and pursue what you’re studying in grad school precisely BECAUSE of what it’s costing you.
If you thought it was tough knowing you didn’t want to be a journalist after it was too late to change your major, imagine how rotten it’d feel to be paying tens of thousands more for a master’s degree that you also discover you’ve got no desire to use.
And the fourth obstacle is the reality that the last ten years have been work, school, finances and worrying about work, school, and financing. Unfortunately I’ve very little time to develop a real interest or passion about anything.
I’m stuck in a rut and can’t figure a way out. Please help!!! How do I find some direction and ultimately a career? Thanks.
OK, we’re officially on the case. We’ll break from the norm a bit tomorrow and I’ll lay out some easy and free ways you can go about finding stuff you like.
And just a quick note here — it’s not as easy as it sounds. I know some of you are thinking, “Well duh, how can you NOT know what you like?” Well…because when you get bogged down in the minute details of life in [mmjs-regionname] for so long, the very notion of carving out sometime for yourself solely for fun and personal enrichment can get lost very quickly.
I know how Chablis feels — I’m having a bit of an adjustment period to this myself, so I’ll be walking the path with Chablis (and whomever else wants to join us!) tomorrow and beyond.
— What about you guys — got any ideas for Chablis about what to do with that journalism degree? Anyone else realize they were no longer interested in their path of study after it was too late to change your major? Let us know in the comments below.