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Old 30th January 2018, 2:55 PM   #31
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Yes, getting a better job and being able to live on my own is a goal of mine. But again, as far as jobs go, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO. You guys keep acting like there's a blatantly specific job or career I should be pursuing that I'm just not going after.

I'm sorry that I'm getting agitated, here, but it just feels like you guys aren't understanding me. "You're lazy, you're scared, you're afraid of failure, you don't want to take risks. Just go do it!". GO DO WHAT?
Do you think I knew that I could do "title insurance"?

GO DO WHAT? HUSTLE YOUNG MAN!!! Prove yourself.

You said you were a cashier right? Do you do the opening and closing duties? Do you manage schedules, how long have you been there? Have you had any promotions?

Here... is how things work for many of us.

I used to work retail. First started on the floor, worked hard, made good sales, was always on time, actually a bit early straightening up the shop etc.

Manager noticed my work ethic and asked if I wanted to be a "key holder" ie open up shop, and start to handle the morning accounting. First promotion and raise.

Once again, I showed up early and pleasant every day, I made sure I did all of my duties above expectation and took on extra work. Again, manager noticed and again, another promotion and raise. Now I was organizing schedules, signing off on others work, and handling the night deposits.

Now I had an expanded skill set. No longer was I just selling, I was book keeping, and doing light manager duties.

Took that skill set to the next opportunity - again, hustled, gained more experience, more responsibilities and more pay.

College? I have a degree in sociology. Not really one that will fast track you to a lucrative job. But again, I hustled.

I needed work, I had a bit of skills from the side jobs I had in college, my money was going to completely run out in three weeks - so I went to a temp agency - and again, hustled.

Some of the placements were terrible and boring, some were not a good fit, but when I landed in one that looked like it could be a career - I applied myself to the fullest, and now I have been working in that industry for 16 years.

No magic. Didn't know "what I can do" didn't have a set goal besides keeping a roof over my head, and food in my belly.

I honestly do not see why you can't work harder and get promotions in your current line of work, or even go join a temp agency and see what other opportunities are out there.
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Old 30th January 2018, 3:20 PM   #32
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That was really inspiring RC. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 30th January 2018, 3:47 PM   #33
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But I don't really see how that's an "excuse". If you want to get and keep a job, you have to be able to perform the required duties. And in most cases, in order to even GET a job, you have to demonstrate to the employer that you know how to do this and have some kind of relevant experience.
You're really grasping for straws, here. By this logic, how does anyone get their first job?


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There's nothing that I'm "good" at, there's nothing that I have experience in to demonstrate my skills, nor do I have the "charisma" to lie my ass off and "fake it til I make it" to an employer.
You don't have to be that competent, useful, meaningful, etc to get a run of the mill job. You just have to not screw up. When I was in college I worked at an amusement park during the summer. You wouldn't believe the how low the bar was to be able to get a job there operating heavy machinery with peoples' lives in your hands. I'd be surprised if some of the people they hired could read above a middle school level. I'd see hires and wondering if they did their recruiting at a methadone clinic. At the end of the day, they just needed people who could smile and push buttons. Anything above that was on the fast track to management. I'm not sure what kind of job you're after exactly (it appears you don't either), but it's more than likely that you're overestimating how qualified you need to be for it.


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To me, an "excuse" would be "I CAN do this thing, but I won't, because reasons!".
And your excuse is "I CAN do this thing, but I tell myself and others I CAN'T because that's more comfortable and convenient than momentary change and uncertainty, and because then it's not my fault for not doing anything about it, it's the fault of my circumstances, which I can't control, and therefore, can't feel bad about not changing."

Here's something you don't want to hear: You're not stupid. You can have well reasoned discussions and present coherent thoughts. I can already tell you're more than qualified to work at the amusement park. The bad news is that that makes your current situation a result of your own inaction. The good news is that you can change it as soon as you stop hiding behind excuses of "I'm not good enough," "they want someone with experience," or "I don't just want to be a cog in the machine."

You need to accept the following:
- Yes, you are good enough to do plenty of jobs out there
- You don't necessarily need experience, just some willingness to learn and contribute
- It might not be that meaningful, which is fine

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It's not like there's some thing that I can pursue that I'm just refusing to pursue "just because". I'm not good at anything. I have no skills. I have no experience. I have no specific knowledge. I legitimately have no idea what I could reasonably pursue and excel at. I'm not just lounging around refusing to do a thing. I don't know what I can do. I don't know why this is a hard concept for some of you to understand.
It's hard for me to understand because it's dubious. You make it sound like every person with a job walked into their office the first day of work knowing exactly what to do, which you're smart enough to know isn't the case and that you're just being defensive to avoid what you know is the uncomfortable truth.

Some workplace that needs an extra body or working set of hands will be more than happy to throw you into the fire and show you the ropes. "Excelling" at it is also a luxury.

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Yes, getting a better job and being able to live on my own is a goal of mine. But again, as far as jobs go, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO. You guys keep acting like there's a blatantly specific job or career I should be pursuing that I'm just not going after.
And you keep acting like "not knowing what you can do" is a reasonable excuse to not be able to learn to do anything else. When I took a job at the amusement park, I didn't know how to operate a rollercoaster. Yet, because they needed it done, they taught me how to do it. I assume the first time you didn't know how to operate a cash register the first time you tried either. Someone told you.

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I'm sorry that I'm getting agitated, here, but it just feels like you guys aren't understanding me. "You're lazy, you're scared, you're afraid of failure, you don't want to take risks. Just go do it!". GO DO WHAT? In order to be able to move out, I need a better job that pays more. In order to get a better job that pays more, I need to be able to qualify for said job and convince an employer as such as well. How can I do that when there's nothing I can do that's worth a damn for anything that would be a better, higher paying job?
How about this, then? Apply for jobs that will hire you on spec and the merits of your willingness to learn, that will show you the ropes once hired (this is "most jobs"). Or, if that isn't satisfying enough, go back to school. Take a real career aptitude test and follow the path you're apt to do sufficiently and not hate. Then you'll have qualifications to get a better job. In the meantime, I have work you can do for some extra money. Not only that, but I can pay you to recruit other people to do it and then give you commissions on top. It requires little to no skill, the only reason I don't do it myself is because I have enough on my plate already.

What's your excuse now?
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:24 PM   #34
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You're really grasping for straws, here. By this logic, how does anyone get their first job?
Most people's "first job" is a bottom tier retail/ service/ whatever job they get as a teenager or when they're in college to make ends meet. Obviously, most low level positions don't require tons of skill or experience, and they're just looking for someone that can be a body to fill space. I'm talking about jobs with career potential. Jobs where you're not just "a body to fill space", but someone who's going to have to do something, jobs that can actually pay you enough to keep a roof over your head and a proper meal on your plate.

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You don't have to be that competent, useful, meaningful, etc to get a run of the mill job. You just have to not screw up. When I was in college I worked at an amusement park during the summer. You wouldn't believe the how low the bar was to be able to get a job there operating heavy machinery with peoples' lives in your hands. I'd be surprised if some of the people they hired could read above a middle school level. I'd see hires and wondering if they did their recruiting at a methadone clinic. At the end of the day, they just needed people who could smile and push buttons. Anything above that was on the fast track to management. I'm not sure what kind of job you're after exactly (it appears you don't either), but it's more than likely that you're overestimating how qualified you need to be for it.
No, I don't know what kind of job I'm after. Again, that's my point. I've, in essence, been stuck in my "first job" phase for over a decade now. The only others positions I could reasonably fill are similar "first job" type roles that don't pay much, and are just looking for "bodies to fill space", and I don't want that. It'd be more like stepping sideways than stepping forward.

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Here's something you don't want to hear: You're not stupid. You can have well reasoned discussions and present coherent thoughts.

But what is that really worth? So I pay attention to my grammar, and I try to logically discuss things in a coherent way. Who cares about that? I can't exactly pay the bills by doing that. Just because I "write well" doesn't mean I have anything worth offering to something better.

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It's hard for me to understand because it's dubious. You make it sound like every person with a job walked into their office the first day of work knowing exactly what to do, which you're smart enough to know isn't the case and that you're just being defensive to avoid what you know is the uncomfortable truth.

Some workplace that needs an extra body or working set of hands will be more than happy to throw you into the fire and show you the ropes. "Excelling" at it is also a luxury.
That's not what I'm saying, though. What I'm saying is that most people find their way, one way or another, and even when they start from the bottom, they end up on a path to something that will eventually give them some kind of purpose in life. Their eventual career might not be a luxurious "dream career", but if they're happy in their position and they can see themselves maintaining that until they retire, that's good. Me, I've never found my path. I'm basically still all the way back at square one, *maybe* two if I'm lucky, when I should be much further along. But I still can't find my way. I still can't get on my path.
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:44 PM   #35
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I must LOVE to argue, because I know engaging with you will result in a argument.

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Most people's "first job" is a bottom tier retail/ service/ whatever job they get as a teenager or when they're in college to make ends meet. Obviously, most low level positions don't require tons of skill or experience, and they're just looking for someone that can be a body to fill space. I'm talking about jobs with career potential. Jobs where you're not just "a body to fill space", but someone who's going to have to do something, jobs that can actually pay you enough to keep a roof over your head and a proper meal on your plate.
Did you see my example above? How you can start working your way up? Where do you think the regional managers come from? Usually people that worked their way up from the bottom. Managers and In and Out make $50k - $120K a year. People who started at the flipping burgers level and worked their way up.

My job? The first position I took in this industry paid $10 an hour, in 2002. And there are lots of people in my industry who stay right there at the bottom level - no gumption, no hustle. I however now make well over 6 figures.

Lets take my dad's story. No college degree, but was always mechanically handy. He started as a bag filler at Styrofoam plant. Its as lucrative and exciting as you may image. Stand in front of a machine - fill bag. Grab next bad and so on.

When he retired he was the plant manager, was designing floor plans for factories, and getting flown to Switzerland to start an operation there. He was making very good money, and wasn't too proud to start as a "bag filler" and worked his way up from there.

Those who have hustle, drive, hunger, make their own opportunities.


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No, I don't know what kind of job I'm after. Again, that's my point. I've, in essence, been stuck in my "first job" phase for over a decade now. The only others positions I could reasonably fill are similar "first job" type roles that don't pay much, and are just looking for "bodies to fill space", and I don't want that. It'd be more like stepping sideways than stepping forward.
Why in 10 years have you not been promoted? That is on you. Not the industry you are in.


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That's not what I'm saying, though. What I'm saying is that most people find their way, one way or another, and even when they start from the bottom, they end up on a path to something that will eventually give them some kind of purpose in life. Their eventual career might not be a luxurious "dream career", but if they're happy in their position and they can see themselves maintaining that until they retire, that's good. Me, I've never found my path. I'm basically still all the way back at square one, *maybe* two if I'm lucky, when I should be much further along. But I still can't find my way. I still can't get on my path.
They CREATE their path. Through hard work, taking a risk, applying themselves to the fullest.

Honestly, I see people all the time that never progress. There are people in my company that are still doing that same $10 hour position that I started in 15 years ago... because they never went above and beyond. They never asked for more responsibility. They didn't work harder than the person next to them.

Again, choice is yours. You could start kicking but at your current job, but you won't.
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:46 PM   #36
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No, I don't know what kind of job I'm after. Again, that's my point. I've, in essence, been stuck in my "first job" phase for over a decade now. The only others positions I could reasonably fill are similar "first job" type roles that don't pay much, and are just looking for "bodies to fill space", and I don't want that. It'd be more like stepping sideways than stepping forward.
You'll have to go to school or get some kind of training for a better paying job. But if I recall, you won't do that because you "don't know what you're good at." I've illustrated the fact that you don't necessarily need to be "good" at it, just "good enough" to pass the tests and get the degree.

I didn't have a path drawn out when I went to college. I decided on a major after 2 years or so, then ended up going to grad school for something completely different. After that I managed to create a great career for myself doing something I learned myself/through the internet.

So basically all that's that stopping you now is your unwillingness to simply just take a legitimate career aptitude test, or pick a field you're remotely interested in, take the classes, get your degree, and find a job with your new qualifications. So now what's your excuse not to do that?

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But what is that really worth? So I pay attention to my grammar, and I try to logically discuss things in a coherent way. Who cares about that? I can't exactly pay the bills by doing that. Just because I "write well" doesn't mean I have anything worth offering to something better.
You've been using the fact that you're unqualified as a reason that you can't get any other job. I'm telling you the fact that you possess basic reading and writing comprehension skills indicates that you have a basic level of intelligence that plenty of people who have jobs don't have. So you aren't as unqualified as you think. You could easily learn a new skill or job with the willingness to learn and it wouldn't be for lack of intelligence or aptitude. But you want to insist that you don't think you'll be good enough. I'm telling you, having seen the kind of morons that get hired for things of importance, you're good enough. So it's no longer an excuse.


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Me, I've never found my path. I'm basically still all the way back at square one, *maybe* two if I'm lucky, when I should be much further along. But I still can't find my way. I still can't get on my path.
So get on it. Again, what's stopping you from going to school and getting a degree? Or taking up an apprenticeship for a trade? Or self-educating?

Also, I notice you conveniently ignored the paragrah where I literally offered you a job, so you can understand how my sympathy for you is waning.
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Old 30th January 2018, 4:48 PM   #37
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No magic. Didn't know "what I can do" didn't have a set goal besides keeping a roof over my head, and food in my belly.

I honestly do not see why you can't work harder and get promotions in your current line of work, or even go join a temp agency and see what other opportunities are out there.
And I envy your story, I really do. Which, don't get me wrong, I know the point of your story obviously wasn't to "make me jealous", but I'm not expecting something "magical" or life changing. I'd give anything to have a path like yours.

For most people, they go from point A to point B to point C, and so on, and eventually they settle into what makes the most sense for them. Along the way, they make decisions, based on their desires and wants, and those decisions also help shape their path.

Me, I'm still back at point A. Honestly, I fully admit that I'm extremely bad at recognizing and knowing how to take advantage of opportunities around me. So perhaps that's a part of my problem as well.
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Old 30th January 2018, 7:17 PM   #38
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OP, I don't know where you live. And I'll assume that it's not in an economically dynamic community like RecentChange lives in (I've already whined at her in another thread about implicitly assuming everyone has had the opportunities that she has had to turn her hustle into material success. No offense RC, I'm just focusing on location, location, location.). So I can only make suggestions that would work where I live. Obviously YMMV

You don't know what you want or what you'd be 'good' at. So ... find a nearly community college. Speak to the Academic Advisement department. Have them do that assessment of what you'd be good at. Ask them to help you select a program that will put you on a path to a remunerative career. I don't know if it would work for you. And my three sons who all have Associates degrees in STEM fields that did not get them jobs and did not take that path. But, for example, in my community there is a great demand for people in health care: nurses and technicians for therapies (NOT diagnosis) in radiology and ultrasound and operations of devices like MRI and CAT.
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Old 30th January 2018, 8:26 PM   #39
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Inflicted - here is what I think the core of the issue is, having read your threads over a number of years.

Your very unhealthy mother, who has told you time and again, that you are not capable. And out of fears for herself, keeps you stifled so that you will remain dependent, and needing her.

That is not a healthy child / parent dynamic, and does not breed success.

I on the other hand was very fortunate to have a father who drilled into me that I AM CAPABLE. And that I must be independent, that I mustn't rely on anyone but myself in this world. Hence graduating college with $500 in my bank and being told "good luck! Now move and find a job!"

And my parents were a bit extreme, I was encouraged to go explore the hills by myself at 6 years old. Come 16, when I said I wanted to go somewhere - he told me, "well you know how to drive a car, and change a flat - GO!" (how many 16 year olds go on 500 mile road trips solo? Before cell phones)

Honestly, I know I am being a hard ass, but I feel for you. You weren't given a foundation for success... not by nature, no, you were born with the tools, but by nurture.

My dad gave me the tools I needed - which is first and foremost believing in yourself.

So, I may come off as a big meanie, but you are someone who tries to argue with logic, me too, and I am trying to give you a kick in the pants. You are stuck in your head, and thus stuck with in action (just as your mother wants).

As far as location location location. Yes, some parts of the country have more opportunity than others (I didn't get my start in the bay area, but transferred here 6 years after establishing my career). But those same places tend to be HIGHLY competitive. Keeping a roof over one's head here is a real struggle, and not for the faint of heart. In fact, most "locals" are run out because they can't cut it - cream of the crop flocks here. Its sink or swim.

It used to be NYC that had the motto "if you can make it here, you can make it any where" - but my region has out paced NYC in cost of living and a number of other measures.

Sure, I "have it made" now.... but keep in mind.

I wake up at 5:30 every morning and work and commute until 7:00 pm on my "short" days (long days, I leave the house at 6:15 am and return at 9:20 pm).

I have worked crazy hours to work around going to school full time. No job was below me. I used to wake up at 4 am to go work at a bakery before school at one point.

Again, by my dad I was told I was capable - but I was also expected to W O R K and work hard.

Your mother has done you a huge disservice by not giving you tools, nor setting high expectations.

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Old 1st February 2018, 2:47 PM   #40
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Honestly, I know I am being a hard ass, but I feel for you. You weren't given a foundation for success... not by nature, no, you were born with the tools, but by nurture.

My dad gave me the tools I needed - which is first and foremost believing in yourself.

So, I may come off as a big meanie, but you are someone who tries to argue with logic, me too, and I am trying to give you a kick in the pants. You are stuck in your head, and thus stuck with in action (just as your mother wants).
No, yeah, I know. You're not wrong, and I've never been trying to say that you are. It's just... I dunno. Everyone's situation is different, and what works for some people won't work for others, and vice versa. And me, I just can't figure a way out of my situation.

Like I said before, there's a lot of important things that I'm very bad at. Again, I'm terrible at identifying and recognizing opportunities. If/ when they are there, I don't see them. And if by chance I do, I don't know how to take advantage of it, and the opportunity slips by.

And it's hard to make the first steps to anything because I don't know "where I want to go". Yes, obviously my "goal" would be to be able to live on my own and whatnot, but I need a path to follow in order to get there, and I don't know what that path is.

Back when I was in college the first time, I kept bouncing around, because I couldn't figure out what I could commit to, as I couldn't see myself actually doing any of it once I started getting into the deeper stuff. Truth be told, I was getting ready to drop out of college towards the end, because I was feeling burnt out and frustrated by my inability to land on anything, and I started no longer receiving any grants because they stopped paying out after x amount of semesters, so I felt like I was wasting money.

I was excited and hopeful when I finally landed on something, and decided to move towards a trade school for that thing, but my inability to find and take advantage of opportunities bit me in the ass pretty hard and I wasn't able to make anything of that education. And that's frustrating in and of itself, because I really wanted that to work out. Perhaps that also holds me back still, because there's a small part of me somewhere deep down that wishes I could still do something with that, and I can't quite "let go" and move on. I dunno.
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Old 1st February 2018, 6:25 PM   #41
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If you don't know what to major in, seriously consider business. It's the one degree that will open doors for you for all manner of entry level jobs that pay well. It also affords you the opportunity to choose your career after you graduate, really, because it can be applied to so many jobs. When I was on the job hunt after undergrad, I was shocked at how it appeared that 80+% of job listings online wanted a business degree, even over health-related degrees in companies that catered toward health. It will be a goal that will eventually pay off in spades and afford you more time to contemplate where you want to work/what you want to do.

It will also give you the chance to socialize with and work closely with others because a business major can have an emphasis on group projects.

Trust me, the only handicap you have right now is your perception of yourself.
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Old 1st February 2018, 10:34 PM   #42
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I still argue that you have to make the most of every opportunity. Can you honestly say you are doing that now? Sure, you have no interest in moving up in retail, or management, but you have no other suggestion aside from some vague “doing something” and a “career”. This is the start of your career. Take it seriously and take some pride in what you do. Why do you hate it so much? What is your alternative? We are all bodies filling spaces, doing stuff.

If you don’t know what you want, just make the most of your current position. Training programs, promotions, set small goals and smash them. It doesn’t really matter if that doesn’t excite you, what else are you going to do? Being 30 with the same entry level role on your resume isn’t going to help you, even if you go off and get a degree.
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Old 1st February 2018, 10:37 PM   #43
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I also think that doing so will give you momentum, confidence and self worth that you need. Then you have the oomph you need to be successful and ambitious. The end goal is not so important. Just keep moving and growing.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 11:30 AM   #44
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If you don't know what to major in, seriously consider business. It's the one degree that will open doors for you for all manner of entry level jobs that pay well. It also affords you the opportunity to choose your career after you graduate, really, because it can be applied to so many jobs. When I was on the job hunt after undergrad, I was shocked at how it appeared that 80+% of job listings online wanted a business degree, even over health-related degrees in companies that catered toward health. It will be a goal that will eventually pay off in spades and afford you more time to contemplate where you want to work/what you want to do.
Business was actually the last major I was taking when I was on the cusp of dropping out of school. I shifted to that because the course structure seemed relatively easy, but after a couple semesters, I just felt like the soul was being drained from my body, and I was seriously losing my focus.

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Take it seriously and take some pride in what you do. Why do you hate it so much? What is your alternative? We are all bodies filling spaces, doing stuff.
I mostly hate having to deal with and interact with the general public, aka customers. It can be a very mixed bag, and it's just incredibly draining. It can also require a bit of "negotiation" between you and the customer, and I dislike that, as well. I just want to "do", I don't want to sit there for a period of time trying to figure out what someone needs and how to adjust things based on what they want and how to make them happy, etc.

The reason I have no interest whatsoever in moving up to management and whatnot is because you not only have an even bigger expectation to make customers happy, but you also have to be a good decision maker and a good leader. I'm not those things, nor do I care to be. I don't want to have to "make decisions", and I don't want to be a "leader". I just want to "do".

I work right now in what is basically a print shop. The truth is, I actually don't mind the projects; I guess I would say that I like making things. I "make" various print projects for customers at work. In my free time at home, I "make" video content for my silly little YouTube channel. I like "making". I guess I wish I could find a way to "make" things as a career, without necessarily having to deal directly with the customer end of things. Ideally, I'd love to be able to just "make". What that could actually amount to, though, I don't have the slightest idea.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 5:22 PM   #45
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I'll be your friend, bud...you can practice with me. I'd help you out
Honestly, your pessimism or realism is kind of cute. Don't give up hope.
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