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I've been silent on here for a while, but recently I've been given the opportunity to go back to school and I need some help. Basically, I want to talk to somebody about which major to take and how to narrow down career choices. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but I need to lay out the steps to get there. Do I just go to the local college and ask to talk to a counselor? Somebody told me that there are online options for this as well, which would be a lot more convenient. Any thoughts?

I'm 35 years old, so not exactly just out of High School...

Thank you!

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Blake, I just want to let you know that I finally bought Jonathan Milligan's book "Career Manual". It's amazing!

I really appreciate that suggestion. It's just the right fit for me. I had taken several different tests, like DISC, and they helped but now with this book it's all coming together for me.

Thanks for the input!

Update!

I just completed my first class back at school 'Intro to Cinema'. I LOVED it!!!

Also just now downloaded a couple of e-books on choosing a career. One of them written by Jonathan Milligan (as Blake Pennington suggested).

I've been reading a lot and wrote several blog posts, since I'm contemplating starting a Blog before I dive fully into a book... (in connection with that I've also joined an Author group as well and have learned quite a bit there)

I did get a chance to talk to my vet about school and find out more about that.

So all of that still leaves me wondering which is the right path.

I took the DISC profile (I'm basically CSID- a Mediator).

My schools test told me I'm 58% Conventional, 53% Investigative and 41% Artistic (suggesting: Health Science, Information Technology, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Finance, Manufacturing or Transportation, Distribution and Logistics).

And the Myers-Briggs says I'm ISTJ (My top five Interest Areas: Medical Science, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Military, and Mathematics; Top ten strong occupations: Pharmacist, Computer & IS Manager, Veterinarian, Engineering Technician, Optometrist, Engineer, Medical Technician, Medical Technologist, Chemist, and Software Developer; I am likely to prefer working alone, seem to prefer learning by doing, am comfortable both leading by example and taking charge, may be comfortable taking some risks, and probably enjoy the role of independent contributor)

I seem to have some trouble getting the three legs of the chair together...

I can have passion and talent in an area, but the financial end would be lacking (as in my dream to have a hobby farm/ranch), or talent and finances, but lack passion (currently veterinary medicine- am just a little disillusioned, and not quite excited enough to warrant 6 + more years of school...). Same with dog training, there I lack passion because I fear that with so many dog trainers around and everyone thinking they know all there is to know about it, the clients won't share my passion and I'll get frustrated... Of course, on the other hand I suppose I shouldn't shoot it down before I've even given it a try and it something that people consistently ask me about (which is something Dan says he pays attention to).

I do wonder if there's possibly a branch of veterinary medicine I could get excited about that I don't know about yet, or if there's a way to incorporate Marine Biology into it. I know there have to be vets that work with Marine Animals other than in Aquariums...

One of my profiles said that people like me take a long time to make a decision... no kidding!

To make matters worse, I've always loved movies and the 'Intro to Cinema' class I just finished (which was just supposed to allow me to knock out my Art elective) was AMAZING. So I find myself looking into more classes going that direction just to see if that might be something I could do...

Yeah, so in some ways I'm ahead, but I still haven't decided on the direction I need to go...

Sounds like you are heading in the right direction as far as getting out of your comfort zone to try new things and also for seeking out personal development options. Perhaps investing in a coach might help you narrow down your focus a bit. I do this with entrepreneurs, however it sounds like a career coach might be what you are looking for. You can check out some of Dan's coaches HERE and if you want him to connect you with a good that matches up with what you are looking for, you can fill out a no obligation application HERE

Way to go Christina!!

Looked into it. Way out of my budget right now... Thanks though, I'll keep it in mind!

That is great you looked into it. Just a word of advice from someone who was scrapping penny to penny not that long ago - if you really, really want it, then set a goal out to make it happen. Not all the coaches offer the same thing and not all cost the same. If you don't want it, then no need to set out the goal. If you do want it, writing it down with a date can help you see it in a new perspective. This is what I did when we were in the midst of paying off a ton of debt - I thought I can't afford hiring a coach or attending a conference...that was nuts. But sure enough, I set my sights on it and found ways to bring in extra income and save. Seemed like it took forever, but the taking the steps forward helped me see it would happen. Feel free to ignore - just wanted to share from someone who has been at a place where I couldn't see past not being able to do. 

Having said that you are doing GREAT!! Fun to see you moving forward. 

Wow! I just got through the first few chapters of Jonathan Milligan's book 'Career Manual'. It's really helpful so far.

I've even created a 'vocational purpose statement' and by that think I can really narrow down my career choices. It's also helping me understand what energizes me and what drains me and a little bit of why. With that I'm able to see so much more clearly which direction I need to go.

I think accounting may still be in the picture but only as a backup plan.

It appears I need to get with a career counselor at the school and see if they can help me build on what I know now.

I'm going to finish the book first though.

Well, I've made some more progress!

I've taken several online tests as well as the tests from my college and apparently I am INTJ, though over time that changes back and forth between INTJ and ISTJ.

The Career tests show these as my highest possible matches:

Hydrologist

Chemist

Environmental Scientist and Specialist

Microbiologist

Animal Scientist

Geoscientist

Food Scientist and Technologist

Biochemist and Biophysicist

Physicist

Biologist

Range Manager

etc.

Engineering came up some as well (both of my brothers are engineers)

When I use the Skill Profile Report these are the matches:

Engineering and Architecture

Management

Healthcare Practitioner

Life, Physical, and Social Sciences

Computer and Mathematical

Education, Training, and Library

Business and Financial Operations, etc.

My Work Values are from most to least important:

Achievement, Independence, Working Conditions, Support, Recognition, Relationships

So, I tried to take that to the counselor and ask for help there and the lady (though she was really nice), really didn't say anything much. I explained to her my situation and what my interests were and she basically said it was my choice. Well, thanks for that... I already knew that!

Anyway, talking to a few different people, I realize that I have a choice to make...

I can either choose Animal Science/Zoology or something in that direction because it's what I would love, or I can choose Accounting/Finance because it would be faster (already have an Associate's Degree in Accounting) and would almost guarantee a higher income. Couple of things about that: The more I think about it, the more I realize that I REALLY don't want to sit in an Accouting Office. I looked into other areas of Accounting (because I also don't like dealing with Taxes) but I just can't get settled into the thought of being an Accountant, no matter how much I love working with numbers.

Also, when it comes to Animal-related careers I still have to decide if I want to study Veterinary Medicine (which would open up more options for me), or if I want to go with a 4-year degree in Animal Science, Zoology or any of the similar options. I would study Veterinary Medicine not to be a Vet as much as maybe to specialize in Genetics or something like that. I'm also very interested in Animal Behaviorism. Then there's still the idea of helping animals by finding solutions in everyday life that protect wildlife and help people at the same time.

Any thoughts?

HI Christina,

I believe you have answered your own question. You already have your Associates Degree, that should take care of most of the requirements except for the sciences. Along that idea, have you considered getting a Veterinary Tech degree/certification? It would provide you an animal related career (short or long term) that from what I am reading is what you desire.

Ask yourself one more question, the answer will provide you the direction you could follow:

Tomorrow , if money were no object, what would you want to do with the rest of your life?

Good Luck

-Paul

Thank you, Paul!

I am working on the rest of the classes I need to take currently, then I have to decide which Major to take for the 4-year school.

As for the rest, see my reply to Dan's post below. I answered what you asked there.

Wow - it's now been a full year and you're still considering options?  Recognize your tendency to overanalyze, research and study.  I'd say make a decision in the next 30 days - take action and stop second-guessing yourself.  

Yeah, I know. What's even worse is that I found some articles of yours that I got off the 700 Club website, I think over ten years ago!

I am a HUGE over-analyzer.

I keep looking for that one perfect fit, and in the process get stuck doing nothing at all.

However, the good news is that I have been back in school since the beginning of the summer and am taking classes to complete the Associate's of Applied Science Degree. Doing well so far, but I'm still somewhat stuck on which major to take when I move on to get my 4 year degree.

I think, as I said, I can probably rule out Accounting because I'm not passionate about it (and that's a big step for me to rule out a major contender). One thing that I think I realized this weekend, is that what I desire to do doesn't match what my relatives and friends do and what I looked at as being successful in life...

My brothers are engineers (VERY successful in that). My dad, before he retired was VERY successful in banking. My uncle is a lawyer, etc. etc.

And then there's me... I just want to work with animals, have a ranch or farm of sorts, do rescue work. Train horses and maybe dogs. I'd love to have a pet supply store and design new pet supply products, maybe sell them online.

I have ideas to reform the animal shelter system, that would be more effective, than all the spay/neuter legislation, etc. that has been talked about.

I just lack the courage to do that, and I keep getting caught up in 'Who am I, to get to live my dream? Who would want to listen to me?'

That really sounds pathetic, doesn't it? Wow.

OK, point taken, I will continue my research and make a choice.

I have to remind myself that I'm not locked into whatever I choose forever either, so if after a while I want to branch out, I can...

Thanks for being honest, Dan!

Just saw your preview of the new podcast. Looking forward to listening to it!

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