Remember four years ago when I started taking classes to become a nurse? I’ve been thinking about that again. At the time, Genevieve had just died and I was losing my newspaper job, and I was lost about what to do next. I stopped after a semester for a bunch of reasons. I wanted to do some freelance writing, and I also wanted to keep my life simple for the day when we brought home a new baby, if we were ever so lucky.
I’ve been freelancing for nearly four years now. Some of the work is interesting, and some I take merely to keep busy. I don’t see freelancing as a long-term career option, for several reasons, but it has been good while Henry has been little.
For the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out what comes next. You might have heard that journalism isn’t a booming field. I spent last summer and fall job hunting, and I found very few jobs that I was both qualified for and would want. Mostly, I applied for communications or content jobs. Those jobs tended to involve a lot of marketing and social media strategy, and inevitably, I was passed over for people with a marketing background. The thing is that I wasn’t that sad to be passed over.
If I stay in communications, I expect that I will always be trying to eke out a living. It’s not about the money, though I would like to be paid a respectable salary. It’s about the constant threat of job loss. And the feeling that I will have to settle for jobs that aren’t the right fit. I don’t want to spend the next 30 years wishing that I had tried sooner to change careers.
The thought of changing careers is kind of like the thought of changing husbands. (Don’t worry, Greg, not planning to change husbands.) In theory, I could be happy in a different career, but it’s hard to imagine because I feel as though journalism is so much a part of me. Can a person be passionate about more than one career? And how does she find that new career? I’m realizing all over again how crazy it is that we’re expected to choose a career at 19 or 20. I can’t even choose one now!
I know quite a few people who have gone back to grad school but not many who have done it while raising kids. I’m still interested in science and health, but it’s daunting to think about tackling years of schooling. I’m mulling over all of this and looking at school requirements and hoping that someone with more wisdom can help me figure this out.
So, who else has changed careers? Or, who else wants to change careers?