Thursday, August 9, 2012

Career Un-Change

Being an adult is a lot of responsibility and not as much fun as everyone under the age of 18 thinks it is.  I have to make difficult decisions like what to eat, when to sleep, what to do with my free time and (by far the worst) what career path to follow.  Being in the military made things so much easier.  It was like being an adult but with training wheels on.  There was always someone there to tell you "Re-enlist", "Eat at this dining hall", " Go live here", "Don't step on that grass", and "Between the hours of 1300 and 1600 we will have fun today and you will like it".  Being a civilian means you make all your own decisions but it also means you take the blame for everything that results from those decisions.  Initially this was a liberating experience for me and I did what came naturally for someone like myself who had been recently liberated: I ran as far away from military stuff as I could.  This was fun for a while and then I started school again and made plans to change my career.

I have to say that I'd envisioned a career change as being a bit easier.  Call me naive (because I totally was and am) but I thought that making that decision would make it so (like an order from Captain Picard).  Little did I know that finding even an entry level position in a new career would be like trying to find an honest man at a political convention.  School was no problem as I easily got accepted back into college and have made an A in every class so far.  Trying to find part-time work in the Biology field with no previous experience, however is proving to be an impossible task.  The employers either want someone with some experience in the field already or someone who has no experience that they can train from scratch.  Someone with an existing degree and work experience in a different career need not apply.  I'm sure this recession creature has something to do with it too but I'd rather not blame my problems on a concept.

I'm a firm believer in the mantra that "Everything happens for a reason" because not believing that would just mean that I was getting shit on by whatever deity is responsible for doling out jobs.  So I decided to look back into the possibility of going overseas as a civilian contractor.  Why make my re-entry into the field overseas and not state-side?  There are two main reasons for this choice:  it's easier to get an overseas position and I'm not prepared to move again yet.  Once I know for sure if this is going to go down or not then I'll make long-term plans but at this point I'm just testing the waters.  I wouldn't be the first person in this field to come crawling back after getting frustrated with the "real-world" but I honestly didn't think I'd be one of them.  But, let's be honest, the civilian world is full of people that just don't seem to understand what it's like to have a career.  Simply having a job doesn't cut it for me.  I need a sense of purpose that working as an office assistant just doesn't give me.  Yes, it's about my pride and about the money but it's also about security and feeling like I'm contributing to society in some way.  If most Americans can do the job that I do then I don't want that job.  Perhaps this stint in the civilian world has made me truly appreciate my career.  It's been kind of like Rumspringa....I've allowed myself to lower my standards for a bit but now I realize the need to hold myself to a higher standard.  Here's to hoping I haven't already been shunned.  

1 comment:

Sarrestia said...

I hear that! Remember when we were told that it would be no problem finding jobs in the civilian world that were practically counterpart to ours?! Yeah, whatever! I did read an article recently that the lack of jobs and employment have well begun in the science fields. I've heard of only two jobs that have been untouched: work with dead bodies or something finance accounting.

Good Luck! You've got the dedication to find something that will work out!