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The field/career to be in these days?
Old 08-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #1
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The field/career to be in these days?

My wife is considering some post-secondary training and is in the 'I wonder what would be a good career to work towards' stage. She currently is a stay at home mom but in a couple years our child will be off to school full time.

She asked me the other day "What's the career to be in nowadays?" and I wasn't sure what to say given her aptitudes. I would say her main struggles are with dealing with people (she hates using the phone) and higher level science/maths. She is really proficient at writing and reading, and just about anything hands on. She doesn't have any relevant worthwhile employment history, a few unskilled jobs early in our marriage before our child was born.

Right now she's just looking for ideas for careers to look into, maybe to call a few people already doing that kind of work and ask them about their jobs.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
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Perhaps this website will help...

Exploring Occupations
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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Try this link for a while www.indeed.com
Set up several searches using keywords for c*reers she might be interested in, and some she may not. Limit the search to say 25 or 50 miles from your zip code. Select weekly emails (not daily!) and she can peruse the job openings as they occur. Reading job ads when you aren't trying to pay the bills can be very informative.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Tattoo removal and it's financing. Up and coming.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:30 PM   #5
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Hearing loss aids...not only on account of the boomers getting older but the many younger folks losing their hearing from blasting their iPods so loudly.

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
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Way back when I was in HR (mostly pre-Web) we used to offer career preference tests that helped our employees identify careers that aligned with both their aptitudes and their personality/preferences. They were so-so in value. I did a quick Google and it looks like there are such tools on line. This was the first one that caught my eye:
Career Assessment Tools & Tests for Students, Job-Seekers

This is their opening blurb:
What if you're not sure of what kind of job or career you want? Not sure what to do with your life? Need some career direction? Spend some time here and take one or more of the following self-assessment tests to give you a better idea of your attitudes and interests as they relate to possible career choices

Remember, YMMV
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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career preference tests that helped our employees identify careers that aligned with both their aptitudes and their personality/preferences.
When I took that test in junior high school it told me that I should either be a lawyer or a farmer... I ended up as a computer programmer.

Regarding the OP - she needs to pick that job that makes her think "I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this."
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:49 PM   #9
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I would say her main struggles are with dealing with people (she hates using the phone) and higher level science/maths. She is really proficient at writing and reading, and just about anything hands on.
She might want to think about being a Quality Assurance Engineer.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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I really liked the Strengthsfinder test that is part of the Gallup organization. It was first developed for the Marcus Buckingham Now Discover Your Strengths book and has gone through a few iterations since then.

I found it immensely helpful in determining my inborn traits and how those could be translated into any field, as long as my job entailed me doing stuff that engaged my strengths.

It would be worth picking up the book, if not that one, then the one called Strengthsfinder 2.0.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:07 PM   #11
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I would say her main struggles are with dealing with people (she hates using the phone) and higher level science/maths. She is really proficient at writing and reading, and just about anything hands on.
Manufacturing (that's if there's anything left in that sector)
Service and repair of equipment
Mechanic
Engineering?
Data analysis
Writing technical manuals
Translation
Telemarketing
Website development

Most of these would require her to learn some skills outside of her current comfort zone, but they would be ideal for someone who doesn't like dealing with people.

I guess she likes dealing with the OP, though!
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:07 PM   #12
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she needs to pick that job that makes her think "I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this."
Great if you can make a living at it. The problem is, jobs like these tend to pay dirt wages since anyone not motivated by maximizing their paychecks would prefer to do something they enjoy.

Of course, if what you enjoy is separate from "the herd," go for it...
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:39 PM   #13
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I'm a dentist... and if your wife wants a great career with flexibilty, I'd recommend becoming a dental hygienist. If you have the pre requisites you only need 2 additional years to become a hygienist, and they make great money coming straight out of school, plus they have all the flexiblity to work fewer hours to balance family and work.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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If I were looking for a career in the next four years, I would look to aging. Boomers are still the largest section of the population and they have a good 40 years or so before they are out of the population.

So things like physical therapist, nurse, seniors program directors, nursing home administrators, entertainment fields aimed at seniors.

Now having said that. All of that is cr#p if you don't like working seniors. We have a Vet in our town that started out life as a petroleum eng. He did that for about 5 years before he realised it was for him. Put himself through vetinary school and has been running his own office for 40 years and said he is about the happiest guy around.

So, I would narrow the question, what are the best fields around withing _________ area.
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