I've never held down a "real" job as I've always either been "mum" or running my own business/ self employed, but neither of those options gives very good financial return. Now I'm about to hit 40 and I'd like a career for once, my only problem is I have a serial issue with starting courses getting 3/4s through, getting bored and not finishing them, or starting other things, getting bored and moving on.
We have zero money to spend, so anything I choose to do would need to have reasonably quick returns/ in short bursts so I can pay it off slowly, and the study part would need to be varied and interesting, because I just don't do boring well at all - unless it's totally mindless and I can tune out and think of other things while doing it...
I'm quite interested in gifted education, but not enough to train as a teacher, I'm not organised enough for that kind of career.
I like art, I design kids clothing patterns in my spare time (basic stuff only, self taught but sell the patterns online) I sew - but can only do a pattern a few times before I'm over it, I love books and language - but I've only done 5th form schooling and one yr of university (sociology, pyschology and linguistics) 1.5 yrs tech - web design/ computer stuff, all but the last assignment on a writing for children course, passed with honours on a bartending/ waitressing course but didn't do the required working hours to complete...
See a pattern? heh
Anyone got any suggestions? I no longer have the patience for other peoples small children (even though my youngest is only 3) but I'm willing to consider anything at this stage if it'll give us a decent income and won't drive me mental with boredom *sigh*
For what it's worth I feel like a bit of a fraud being on this forum, I have one girl who is gifted, an older son who I'm pretty sure fits the bill, but have been given the "he's too well behaved and normal to be gifted" line about my youngest son, and everyone assumes Miss 3 is younger than she is because her speech is still very lispy and unclear, and as for me, I've always felt I was a bit stupid - what with not being able to stick with anything, and with being very unobservant, I'm big picture not small detail in the extreme, unlike the rest of my family - including my Mother who's working on her Masters in Performing arts and has two degrees both of which she would never have gotten less than an A on each and every paper (she was a secondary school teacher, now does work with gifted programs, moderation for NZQA etc etc...).
I felt like I was reading my life story here - only I'm a couple of years older and still looking for that interesting course that would hold my interest long enough to complete (in all honesty - tend to complete the coursesbecause I love learning new things, but then move on to next thing before I do anything with what I have just learned). And am also wanting to change my career to be able to earn some decent money too. It's very difficult to find the right thing to do.
Believe me your not alone in feeling like a 'fraud' I feel like that all the time - I actually did complete uni but felt such a fraud that I did nothing with that education either!! My gifted child also well behaved and too normal to really fit the gifted bill - but assessed in 99.99 percentile - I guess that's my feelings of fraud coming out again!!!
Sheesh - I've given up looking for the career change this year and have decided to do a couple of night school courses just for interest (short courses that won't lead to anything) but maybe keep me from feeling so bored.
I will watch this thread with interest to see what others have to say - good luck, my thoughts are with you, I would say you've held down some of the most important jobs (mum and self employed) just unfortunately very undervalued in this society :(
PS what about being an art teacher! I'm sure they are a bit different from your average teaher!!! :)
Gee it's nice to know I'm not the only one!
I would love to be an art teacher, but I'm not convinced my art is up to it, I haven't really done anything serious for years (I keep telling myself I'll get back to it but just haven't) plus it'd still require doing teacher training, and I've done enough research to know that the stuff you get taught in TECOL would make me angry, so many things about our schooling system just don't sit well with me.
Actually, you sound like you are a pretty classic "gifted child" from our generation .... Ive only just gone back to school myself and absolutely I am taking all the shortcuts I can. This coming semester is my last paper in my Dip in Child and Adolescent Psychology then I am adding papers to qualify to assess using cognitive assessments - but its a bit unclear what you need because it is a couple of specific papers and a 'good background in psychology' - whatever that means! Grrrr.
Until I stumbled into the whole GT/VS great abyss, I have never really stuck at anything - although the things I did do, I did really well - they just never really "grabbed me".... the thought of working with VS children and doing cognitive assessments (I will be working for myself) is both scary and exciting and since they have really only scratched the surface with VS I cant imagine myself becoming bored .... so much to learn and I get to learn my own way (I learn best through ëxplaining" things to others).
As far as kids go - only my youngest had any problems to speak of - my eldest cruised her way through school - and my grandson looks set to do the same thing. My eldest is at uni now (is 26) but keeps changing her mind about what she wants to do every other semester - this semester I think Teaching and Chinese .... one day she will find something that 'fits her' im sure ..... but I cant really see her lasting in teaching very long .... "we cant its not in the budget" wont wash with her.
Sometimes I think we need to just sit still a bit so our passions can find their way to us.
I've been sitting still so long I've just about grown roots, still waiting for that blast of inspiration so I guess it's not THAT easy unfortunately.
If your eldest goes into teaching I can foresee she will either specialise and move sideways super fast, go alternative, of leave in disgust, the teaching profession is not one I'd be keen to be in these days THANK YOU National government bottom line bureaucrats!
I can't say I understand the whole VS thing, wouldn't have a clue if I'm that way inclined, but the whole psychology/ giftedness stuff does fascinate me, and if it didn't cost an arm and a leg I'd happily do a multitude of psych papers and then hopefully be able to put them to some use, but goodness knows what!
I'm anon from above and my degree was in Psych and found it quite useless!!!!!
I love the "I've been sitting still so long I've just about grown roots" this is me too - sitting still waiting for my 'passion' to come to me - crikey wish it would b**@#* hurry up!
And totally agree about the teaching thing - thought of it as an option as would only have to do one year techer training (as I have the degreeand am interested in all things gifted, but no not for me - couldn't see myself doing that (leave it to my siblings).
Wow I wish some others would come on here with some ideas - my passion isn't just falling into my lap
I really wish there was a profession where you could do what you love without needing to produce bits of paper to prove you know what you're talking about!
I really love learning, but the older I get the less I like being taught via assignments and exams - I started doing course 3 at Playcentre and gave it up in disgust as it's all make work - seriously it's silly, they hold a workshop, tell you the answers and then want you to go away and write the answers again and I just can't force myself to do it anymore!
Helping out in the school makes me want to cry for the kids too, so much of what they do is crap - just make work, and my poor son told me this morning he hates school, hates reading and drawing and thinks he's stupid :(
He's not stupid of course, but because they are doing test after test and he's not getting every single thing right he thinks he's failing! The school is just trying to figure out what levels to stick the kids in, and I just want to pull him out of school and stay home with him and learn about ancient Greece and pirates and the history of lego and read to him and get him to love learning again (my darling husband is dead set against homeschooling sadly)
So part of me would love to be able to wave a bit of paper at the school and take all the bored silly kids who need something more out of the class and give them back their love of learning. Still don't want to be a teacher though LOL.
I really feel a bit like Jack of all trades master of none right now - as long as it doesn't involve math I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to within reason (most stuff comes easy scenario) but nothing ever holds my attention for long so I never get really good at it!
I really envy those people who have a passion and don't get bored with it!
*Just as an aside* I just popped in a more up to date email addy for anyone wanting to contact me .... my other account is more for spam avoidance so sometimes I am slack about paying for it LOL (it doesnt hurt to have spam "bounce back" to the sender from time to time) .......
Ok back to topic ... you know what I really like about there being no actual qualification relating to VS specifically .... I do not WANT people to just "do what I say" because I have some bit of paper or another .... I want them to REALLY analyse ANYTHING I say about the subject and make an independent determination as to whether it may be helpful to THEM and THEIR situation.
I want people to really scrutinise - and it is very ingrained in the western psyche that qualifications are a measure of "authority" in any given area and that you should defer to authority.
For me, thus far, I have found it of CRITICAL importance to find opportunities to learn as much as I can outside of the course materials .... I am LEARNING orientated not academically orientated .... and the actual subject material to date has offered very very little in the way of "learning something new" - I keep having my hopes dashed as far as that goes over and over again .... as my tutor put it "maybe my expectations are too high" - and not for the first time.
Hahahaha and I am still hopeful that the next 2 papers WILL provide me with ample learning opportunities - go figure. Most of my papers have been focused on abnormality .... and life experience has already taught me a great deal about how äbnormality is generally viewed within the context of western culture .... next semester I get to learn about NORMAL people - which to me are a kind of strange mystical and mythical creature that I cant help but be intrigued by LOL.
Anyhow I digress .... overall I need to be creative about taking responsibility for my own learning and ensuring I am learning enough to keep me from dropping out - and that really has been the key for me.
You dont actually NEED formal psychology qualifications to work in the field of psychology .... the ONLY thing a diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychology qualifies me for is to work directly with children/adolescents and their parents and teachers directly .... other papers make me elgible for consideration for Level C registration to use cognitive assessments ..... NONE of which makes me a qualified counsellor or psychologist.
Cutting my "own path" definitely keeps it more interesting and challenging for me .... in essence I will be a GT/VS consultant with the appropriate "permissions" to use tools such as the WISC/WAIS and TSI.
This to me is in keeping with my strong belief in the importance of congruence and modelling .... for reasons I wont go into right now, as a VS person myself .... the delivery of education in this country poses a very real physical risk to my ability to function effectively and reliably as an individual (it messes with my neurology detrimentally) so I walk a very fine tightrope between "conforming" for the sake of "pieces of paper and a tick of approval" and being responsible for ensuring my own well being and respectful and accepting of my own way of being.
So I can sit down and say "Its ok to be different" AND say "But you can approach education creatively - you dont HAVE to follow the tried and true path" and be speaking absolutely from a place of personal truth. Hopefully having accumulated some helpful strategies along the way!
I am lucky, I have had all sorts of experiences I can draw upon that allow me to percieve things somewhat differently from the norm ..... like cognitive assessments .... the so called "verbal side" actually allowed me to use my VS far more than the performance side did ..... the supposedly VS tasks on the performance side all had either inbuilt sequencing or had "multiple possible answers" when it was clear that only ONE would be deemed correct so in absence of directly knowledge of the test creators, it was difficult to decide which one THEY would regard to be the "correct" one - more so knowing the creators are from a culture that is foreign to me.
Had I had the formal teaching PRIOR it would have negatively impacted on my ability to observe what my brain was actually doing compared to what the theory assumes my brain is doing .... invaluable .... even more so because chances are that anyone I will assess is likely to have a cognitive profile that differs to my so, it shouldnt be assumed their brain is working the same way as mine either.
If you do have a very strong leaning towards psychology, I say go for it and take a RISK - there are relatively "short" qualification options available that can combine with a more specific area of personal interest that allows you to make the most of your own strengths and experiences in a beneficial way.
Just by "making it really complex" instead of "simplifying" I am actually adapting TO my own way of being .... "simple" doesnt stimulate my brain enough to even wake it up (seriously - I walk around half asleep most of the time unless I can find some nice complex aspect of a concept to open the throttle up and let some juice through to the engine!)
Sadly, I spent waaaaay to many years actually living that way day in and day out - wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I walked around feeling constantly tired .... it was lack of sufficient mental challenge of the right sort for me. Firing on all cylinders was a rare treat for me.
NO ONE could have "dropped it in my lap" though I am afraid .... being able to "bring it all together" like that took an intensive study in ME instead of the usual level of self-evaluation and review. Even then it took a fair bit of creativity to "package the pieces" together in a cohesive way.
The BEST solution was what I was already doing for free anyway and HOPING that others will find my input of sufficient value to them that I will be able to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our back in the process.
Shar, it took a great deal of courage to ask for help--Bravo! You were very honest and sincere, in short, nothing suggesting a "fraud" only someone desiring a more defined purpose and greater authenticity of action. Keep asking the questions, do not get used to being "rooted". Your unique self has heaps to offer the world. It sounds like your time has come to dig yourself out!
Tis me, you are absolutely right in what you say here:
NO ONE could have "dropped it [your purpose] in my lap" though I am afraid .... being able to "bring it all together" like that took an intensive study in ME instead of the usual level of self-evaluation and review. Even then it took a fair bit of creativity to "package the pieces" together in a cohesive way.
Good luck to you both. Shar, Check out this web-site. You may find it helpful. I know I do.
Shar I was planning writing this paragraph until I saw you already had!
"I really feel a bit like Jack of all trades master of none right now - as long as it doesn't involve math I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to within reason (most stuff comes easy scenario) but nothing ever holds my attention for long so I never get really good at it!"
It IS what I have always said about my self, I am exactly the same, people see me as "intelligent", but yet I usually feel I never "achieve" because I don't stick at it. I get so enthuastic about whatever I'm doing, I think to myself, this could be "it", but then I get bored, I tend to over analyze, & ask too many questions!
I have come to the conclusion ( & I liked the comment from Tiz Me) about being the classic gifted child from our generation. That perhaps we didn't get that direction/extension & validation about WHO we were (& largely giftedness wasn't recognised then) we were made to "fit" in we just don't necessarily come from the same mould of people that can thrive in their chosen field & be happy with that for the rest of their lives, I still wonder "how can they do that".
I know what you mean about wanting to find your passion, but mabey being a jack of all trades, & being adept & competent at being versitile IS a skill that few people have, alot of my friends wish they could be more like me in that regard.
I have 2 gifted boys, one with a big passion, the other is just good at anything if "he" decideds he wants to do it.
I didn't get extension AS SUCH - but there was plenty of recognition from teachers and a genuine (if somewhat misguided) effort made to "bring out the best" of my abilities .... even though I was never actually challenged in my areas of strenght. BUT - and its a big but (not butt) - when your strengths cover a broad spectrum ..... even if you ARE extended ..... it doesnt help find " direction ". Having reinforcement from EVERY direction that you are "a natural" doesnt help.
Again this is an area where really knowing yourself as you would a friend can really help. Logically there will be people for whom being a 'jack of all trades' really is 'their thing' and only societal messaging is causing them to feel dissatisfaction - a learned belief that they OUGHT to be a "master of one".
But there will also be those who, like myself, experienced that as a "hole" .... missing pieces that they just can't put their finger on. Knowing YOU is to know the difference and being able to move forward in that self-knowledge and self-understanding.
I found having a cognitive assessment very useful as well .... to be able to LOOK at my cognitive strengths and weaknesses plotted out of a chart revealed a few surprises that explained alot. What I have done is to actually 'restructure" my life so that, for the most part (current psychopathology course excepted) I am able to work to my areas of strength .... where "what I do" feels so natural and normal to me that I can both excell AND relax and enjoy the experience of doing so avoiding areas of weakness which, in my case are very well hidden but were responsible for much of the misery and frustration in my former life (which could have easily been experienced as less extreme "dissatisfaction" ).
For example: Reading and sequencing. I used to do an incredible amount of both .... and in many fields they are pretty essential if you are to work "conventionally" in that area. My problem solving skills, ability to imagine and interpret meaning, matrix reasoning (predicting outcomes from non-verbal information) and so on dont just make it easy for me to come up with individual solutions to individual difficulties and interpret the information provided by those who are VS visual spatially .... I actually have to fight AGAINST myself not to do those things .... so when I am not doing that I do not experience the same quality of life.
Depending on what any given individuals exact strengths and weaknesses are, there may be a "conventional profession or vocation" that is a perfect fit or one may need to adapt it slightly.
And new areas are opening up all the time. With the new "multiagency" approach to providing support for children/families at risk for example - creates an opportunity for someone like myself who is particularly skilled at understanding the MEANING of "specialty use of language" ..... makes no difference to me if the "speak" is educational, legal, psychological, medical, political ..... I just seem to understand even with no specific prior involvement.
For many families under stress, dealing with multiple agencies all with their own "private language" can be daunting and leave them baffled - so as a family support person or advocate, my skills would be an excellent match .... infact I found out about that new area becoming available in education because a friend sent me the info thinking it would be a perfect foot in the door for me.
It will be a great opportunity for MANY 'systems thinkers' who do not lean in one direction in particular apart from a general "want to provide more support to those who are struggling with special needs".
Actually, the diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychology is probably ideal for that - no stats papers or anything like that - but I would reccommend taking the Psychology of Stress paper as an additional paper.
Wow. I have a huge lump in my throat reading these posts because it is as if you have read my mind and expressed all that I have been thinking and feeling for years now.
I have tried so many career paths and self-employment options but none have been the right fit and I just can't not believe (yes, double negative) that you should be in a career/job that you are excited about, at least most of the time. I dont believe in the 9-5 drudgery, just going through the motions and waiting for home time every day - just the thought of that makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I feel like such a failure as an adult because I havent got my life together yet. I used to work as a primary school teacher but found that my heart is just not in it. I am applying for relief positions to try and bring in some money but each time the phone rings I pray it is not a school asking me to come in.
My youngest is struggling to settle in at school and his teacher said that because I am at home he wants to be with me rather than at school - I should tell him I have somewhere "important" to go during the day so he will adjust to school better. Ouch. If only she knew how I have been actively searching for that something important for so many years now.
I am just so sick of myself. I am so tired of trying to figure it all out and still provide for my children, who are my first priority above any demands of a job.
Maybe I am expecting too much and being an adult means sucking it up and doing what you dont necessarily want to. I dont know. I hope not.
I'm 45. Was a succesful lawyer, burnt out. Stayed with kids until they went to school. Rattled around, couldn't find what I wanted. Took older, gifted, son out of school 3 years ago, younger one 18 months ago and have never looked back.I love being with them and learning with them.
I'm fortunate that we have a business and I can work from home part time but if you've been self employed before you could do it again, working around the kids. Plenty of families do it on a shoe string.
Just for support you might like to google Ken Robinson's talk 'education kills creativity' .... he's also written quite an inspirational book called 'The Element; how finding your passion changes your life' ... something like that :)
Reading these has given me the strength to believe in how I feel about education, the authenticity of a 9-5 life, my children growing up in a mall ..... just because most people are happy to live their life by rote doesn't mean that by questioning it you are wrong. Best wishes to you. Michelle
Also the site http://www2.careers.govt.nz/ has a lot of information about jobs, including cross referencing (i.e. if you are interested in ...... you might also like....).
Keep an open mind because you might be surprised where you end up, and what you are *ACTUALLY GOOD AT*.
What you are actually good at, may not be the same thing as what you have done in the past, (even if you were successful at that thing).
What you are actually good at, may not even be what you *like doing* at present.
I hope this makes sense.
For example, if your mind inclines toward design, (clothes, language, computers), you might be a successful designer of industrial processes, medical equipment, or packaging.
In other words, you have skills that can be applied outside of your current role.
The reason I suggest trades/apprenticeship is because it means having a job, which is good for cashflow and motivation. The "learning" is built into the employment situation, which is ideal if you can't stand a lot of sit-down learning.
Although apprenticeships are considered a teenager's opportunity, adult apprentices do exist. (like me, at 31 a mechanical engineering apprentice LOL)
Quote "Sadly, I spent waaaaay to many years actually living that way day in and day out - wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I walked around feeling constantly tired .... it was lack of sufficient mental challenge of the right sort for me. Firing on all cylinders was a rare treat for me. " Unquote
MAN, does that hit a chord with me! I'm so often utterly worn out and unmotivated, until I get a 'project' and I get all energised - almost manic I suppose, really focussed and happy and keen to get it done - impatience is a problem because I want instant results but I do love it when I have something to really get my teeth into. I'm so often in life bored out of my mind - I daydream my way through days because the here and now isn't interesting enough, I have a deep love of learning when it engages my brain but even "knowledge" isn't enough sometime - I went on a course today for teachers of hearing impaired children and felt like what they were saying was mostly so obvious despite them trying hard not to be condescending.
I find so much of life is just so much triviality and it pains me to realise that my best thinking years (late teens early 20's according to some study I read) are long past (40 now!). feels like such a waste, that if I had of just stuck at something I could have done something great....
As intelligence is hereditary supposedly, I feel sorry for my grandmother who had to raise children and look after a sick husband rather than follow her passion and become a teacher....
Well the good news is that they have now decided that research was misleading and that the brain is, generally speaking, in EXCELLENT condition between 40-65 - indeed it is something of a "sweet zone". To suggest one is "past ones best" is simply not the case unless there is some "exceptional" reason in play.
Sadly I have found a real lack of intellectual challenge and stimulation in tertiary education - but children of difference are wondrous and amazing and each unique in their own way which means ALWAYS learning from them about them. Sure the inequalities of the education system with have its challenges and frustrations - but with such a motive comes energy!
Sometimes its not the chosen area that is an issue - but finding a way to "work" in that area in a way that is also in accord with ones own way of being and processing.
Patience is overated I reckon .... persistence on the other hand .... thats what finds a way.