Wedding Woes

I think you need to decide to adult.

Dear Prudence,

I’m a permanent college student. I have talked to a dozen school advisers, career center staff, a career coach, a life coach. No one gives me advice other than to follow my heart. At this point, I need better advice. I graduated college in 2011. I majored in communication, thinking I wanted to go into radio broadcasting or writing, but once I completed an internship I realized I disliked radio and decided not to pursue it. I have been a supermarket supervisor for a decade, which has barely supported me financially. My managers have been trying to get me to become a manager for years—they make great money, and I’m on the verge of just going for it, but I’m positive I would get burnt out after a few months. (These managers live at the store and deal with a lot of BS that I find to be unbearable.)

I have tried getting into an X-ray tech program (denied), gotten into a baking/culinary program (I accepted but couldn’t commit), tried being a travel agent (didn’t like sitting at a desk on the phone all day), worked in bakery production (too boring), finished three-quarters of a master’s-level teaching program (got bored and quit), and finished half of another program for secondary ed (couldn’t pass the state math exam). I just completed a one-year dental assisting program and got hired, but I hated it and quit after a week because they really misrepresented the job they hired me for. I just found a job at a specialty dental office and am going to give it a shot, but I am expecting the same outcome.

My biggest issues are: I like having control and supervising, I am not a huge people person (although I can fake it), and I get bored fast. I have a lot of student-loan and credit-card debt. My boyfriend and I want to get married and buy a house, but he doesn’t trust that I can keep a job. I can’t blame him. I have no problem getting hired because I interview well, but I end up disliking everything I try. My dream would be to have the means to travel and to have my own cafe serving vegan food. That makes me think I need to go to culinary school—but why commit myself to another project I may not stick with? What is my next move? I can’t keep doing this.

—Floundering

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Re: I think you need to decide to adult.

  • Vegan. 
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    mrsconn23levioosaMyNameIsNotMesmrEwe
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
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    I kind of want to slap LW. 


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    mrsconn23eileenrobthisismynickname2
  • I wonder how this person will ever get and stay married if they have this hard a time getting their shit together to figure what to do for a living?   I can only imagine what being a relationship with LW is like.   

    charlotte989875short+sassyeileenrob
  • I wish Prudie was a match-making service, lol.  We could hook up this LW's b/f with the person in the other letter, whose current b/f quit his job and won't look for work.
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    mrsconn23OliveOilsMom
  • More than 4 jobs in the world?

    Ew LW is so annoying.  I was kind of sympathetic during the first paragraph but lost patience.  She doesn’t need a career counselor, she needs a hard reality check.  Most of us (have to )work.  Rarely does one job satisfy every last item of our checklist.  I touch on college and then careers with my 9th graders, and I let them know that every last value (something you love, strong salary, great benefits, flexibility) most likely won’t all be satisfied.
    mrsconn23charlotte989875short+sassy
  • levioosa said:
    It sounds like LW bought into the myth that your job has to be your passion. No. Sometimes you have to do things as an adult that don’t make your heart sing. A job is usually one of those things. Sure, you shouldn’t outright hate your job, but you’re probably not going to be thrilled or be in love with it the entire time. 
    Right?  And it sounds like either the people LW  sought for advice has given bad advice OR LW didn't fully listen to what they were being advised.   At the end of the day, working for money is a means to an end.  
     
  • levioosa said:
    It sounds like LW bought into the myth that your job has to be your passion. No. Sometimes you have to do things as an adult that don’t make your heart sing. A job is usually one of those things. Sure, you shouldn’t outright hate your job, but you’re probably not going to be thrilled or be in love with it the entire time. 


    From personal experience, I love real estate.  I think its awesome and fascinating.  It is one of my passions and I only wish I'd realized that sooner in life.  I will one day only work for my own business.

    But even my own business.  In an industry I have a passion for.  Is NOT always "puppies and rainbows", LMAO.  There are aspects I loathe.  I'd imagine that's true for most/all people who own their own companies.  As well as people who work for others and, overall, love their jobs.

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    mrsconn23charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    I wonder if this person would benefit with speaking to a therapist or doctor over a career counselor.  The fact LW has jumped from thing to thing tells me she can't concentrate on one thing for too long.  Perhaps there is some Attention Deficit-type disorder going on.  But that's just me arm chair diagnosing! 
    charlotte989875short+sassyahoywedding
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
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    Speaking to a therapist is the first thing that came to mind for me.  I don't think their problem is with the many fields they have chosen.  The problem is they have a lot of trouble staying focused and grasping some of life's realities.

    Let's review her "dream job".  Traveling and opening up a vegan café.  A café, ie a restaurant?  Oh, LW.  You thought the management at your grocery store was at work constantly?  That will look p/t compared to being a mom and pop restaurant owner.  So forget traveling also.  For many years.  You also say you aren't a "people person", but can fake it.  What exactly do you think owning a restaurant will entail?!?!  IT IS a customer service business, FFS!

    Sorry, LW.  I think you'd hate your "dream job" even more than the other careers you've tried.

    But sure.  I'd love to travel around the world.  Maybe only working a week or two, here and there.  How about we both just keep buying the occasional lottery ticket for that "job".


    So much this. Very few people find that perfect job where everything is wonderful. I've always said that my "dream" jobs would be a blimp pilot, a Jimmy Buffett backup singer or a mattress tester. I'm sure that if I actually did do any of these, there would be something that's not perfect.

    My H is an electrician and that is the job for him. He loves doing electrical work. He does not, however, love dealing with customers or amending blueprints or going to the supply house 4 times a day. Does it come with the job? Yeah, so he deals with it. Going to school for 17 different things and deciding he dislikes them before he actually gives them a real change just isn't an option.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    OliveOilsMomshort+sassyeileenrob
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
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    I feel bad for this person. The advice I'd give to the person is to at least stick with something and pay the bills long enough to move to the next thing. Few people, in the grand scheme of things, know their dream job at a young age.

    Coincidentally I also majored in Coms and didn't go into it after graduation because internships let me figure out I didn't like journalism/reporting. I took a boring customer service job right out of college that paid the bills. Went into an MBA. Moved into a different boring job. Got promoted a couple times because each job became boring.  Went into another, more specialized master's. Leveraged that into two jobs now that I actually really, really like. And I just turned 35. 

    Do something you don't hate to pay the bills, pursue hobbies you love. If this person wants to travel, she's going to have to stick with something that makes enough money to enjoy her hobbies. DH and I travel a lot, but that's a byproduct of me marrying someone who works for an airline, haha. 

    My point being, LW needs a slap and a reality check. 
    ________________________________


    OliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    This LW is my godmother 30 years ago. Went to school for something, figured out it was actual work, not fun, went into something else that also involved work and bailed. She's gotten halfway through half a dozen graduate and certificate programs, but bailed when she figured out it's real work or it's hard sometimes. She hates working for anyone, but won't stay with anything long enough to be successful in her own business. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Today, she is 60+ years old, rents her home, has 0 retirement savings but a bucket of debt and is still trying to find herself. I love her, but am constantly disappointed by her choices. It's heartbreaking too, because she is crazy smart and could have been really successful at a variety of things.

    I very much worry about her golden years, but I am not going to support her. 
    short+sassy
  • Speaking to a therapist is the first thing that came to mind for me.  I don't think their problem is with the many fields they have chosen.  The problem is they have a lot of trouble staying focused and grasping some of life's realities.

    Let's review her "dream job".  Traveling and opening up a vegan café.  A café, ie a restaurant?  Oh, LW.  You thought the management at your grocery store was at work constantly?  That will look p/t compared to being a mom and pop restaurant owner.  So forget traveling also.  For many years.  You also say you aren't a "people person", but can fake it.  What exactly do you think owning a restaurant will entail?!?!  IT IS a customer service business, FFS!

    Sorry, LW.  I think you'd hate your "dream job" even more than the other careers you've tried.

    But sure.  I'd love to travel around the world.  Maybe only working a week or two, here and there.  How about we both just keep buying the occasional lottery ticket for that "job".


    So much this. Very few people find that perfect job where everything is wonderful. I've always said that my "dream" jobs would be a blimp pilot, a Jimmy Buffett backup singer or a mattress tester. I'm sure that if I actually did do any of these, there would be something that's not perfect.

    My H is an electrician and that is the job for him. He loves doing electrical work. He does not, however, love dealing with customers or amending blueprints or going to the supply house 4 times a day. Does it come with the job? Yeah, so he deals with it. Going to school for 17 different things and deciding he dislikes them before he actually gives them a real change just isn't an option.


    My dad was an electrician :), though he never worked for himself.

    Making broad, general statements.  People in the trades are typically in those fields because they are tactile and like to work with their hands.  But it's been my experience they often don't like the business end of what they do.

    I don't monkey around with people.  I have all the money needed for a job when I contract a tradesperson.  And I will remit payment as soon as the work is done and they give me an invoice

    That's all they need to do when the job is over.  Give me an invoice.  My electrician usually takes at least one, if not two, months to send me his invoice.  Including big jobs that were over a grand!  Crazy.

    My a/c guy?  He will call me months later, "Hey, I really need to get paid for XYZ job at 123 address.  You owe me $XXX."  Me:  "I'm sorry you haven't been paid, but you never sent me an invoice.  I didn't even know what the final bill was until your call."  I'll even tell him that if he writes the invoice out and e-mails it to me, I'll wait on the phone and then pay him with a 'cc.

    Because, if I ever get audited, the IRS doesn't accept, "Oh well, you know, my a/c guy doesn't like to write out invoices.  But I paid him $XXX."  I suspect they would not find that amusing, lol. 

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    charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
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    Oh boy...  Sort of like Cousin Eddie - holding out for a position in management.  The first thing I notice is her expectation about careers, she's written them off before she's had a chance.  Her cafe' idea would be an absolute disaster if she couldn't handle production work in a bakery, let alone good luck finding enough Vegans to support a living wage business unless the place has the perfect location - and I really mean PERFECT!  She needs a variety job that she's not sitting in an office - which means anything in the trades that do not work in an office building and goes from job site to job site...  All that with a fantasy land schedule because there are too many ways this gal would be a nightmare employee...

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  • levioosa said:
    It sounds like LW bought into the myth that your job has to be your passion. No. Sometimes you have to do things as an adult that don’t make your heart sing. A job is usually one of those things. Sure, you shouldn’t outright hate your job, but you’re probably not going to be thrilled or be in love with it the entire time. 
    So true. I think a lot of people who were in school or looking for their first grown-up jobs during the recession (people about my age, as I suspect LW is) were basically told that they should just find a job they are passionate about and do what they love because everything was so uncertain at the time. This has translated into a lot of those people thinking they should be able to make really good living doing what they love, and that just isn't often the case. If you want a stable job situation and be able to pay your bills, buy a home, etc., chances are you are going to have to take a job that isn't perfect all the time and that you don't necessarily get all that excited about. 

    Basically, LW needs to grow the hell up -  adjust her expectations of a job and decide (in a practical, realistic manner) what she can live with and what she can't. I think she will need to see both a career counselor and a therapist to work through this. Frankly, her boyfriend is wise to delay the next step in their relationship, because clearly she cannot commit to anything right now.

    image
    thisismynickname2short+sassy
  • Maybe try out a temp service to try out different fields. Or perhaps a flight attendant to travel. I can’t imagine how stressed you must feel, but definitely wait until you find what you’re looking for before getting married. Another option, and kind of an adventure would be to join the peace corps or a non profit outside the country. Getting outside of your comfort zone, away from home and in a position where your day revolves around others may bring some clarity and peace. None of my suggestions would help you with student loans though. Choose something that you feel is the most tolerable and invest in hobbies on the weekends. Good luck and I hope it works out. 
    OliveOilsMom
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    They updated in the chat. Completely ignored the part where Prudie said to just work a job and pay the bills. I'm not sure what they expected the response to be. No one can say, "you should be this" from an advice column letter. 


    "I submitted a question last week, “Floundering.” I really tried to take what you said seriously about ADHD and executive function disorder—no, I have never been diagnosed, and yes, I have mentioned my troubles to my doctor, who has never felt I had anything like this. But I feel your response was super off base. Getting bored or feeling a major or job is not the right one for me, even multiple times, doesn’t mean that I am unable to focus, manage time, or that I lose track of things quickly. I am really stunned researching executive function disorder. This is a hefty potential diagnosis for someone to ask another to look into who is not a psychiatrist! Thank you for your thoughts and for featuring my question, but I do not have this. I am actually extremely good about time management, focusing, getting things done on time, etc. I am just very confused about a career. I do not have ADHD or executive function disorder."

  • "Prudie, tell me what to be when I grow up."

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    mrsconn23eileenrobInLoveInQueensMesmrEwe
  • Look, I can get not talking about a diagnosis and if you're not a medical professional it's probably not responsible to make that suggestion.

    That said, plenty of people don't like their job.   In the meantime, you keep it because it's a paycheck.  
    OliveOilsMom
  • I wonder what, exactly, this LW was looking for. Like, did she want Prudie to rub her little magic crystal and say, "You should be a concession stand employee".

    Or did she want Prudie to just say, "Just keep doing you, girlfriend. Keep racking that debt up and dicking around in every industry for ten minutes each. Who needs to retire? Amirite?"
    Exactly.   If the LW wanted a career counselor WTF was s/he doing writing to Prudie? 

    In the meantime PLENTY of people go from job to job that isn't perfect but do you now what makes them happy?   Not being in debt, getting their bills paid and their hobbies.

    My BIL went to college for four years and graduated with his education degree to find out that he didn't want to be a teacher.   So he floated from job to job until he took the LSATs and ultimately went to law school.   He's been a practicing attorney for the last 10 years because he figure out what he wanted to do and in the meantime knew that rent wouldn't pay itself. 
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