Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm 32 years old and I don't know what I want to do when I grow up, Part 4

The next logical step in my discussion of jobs might be to take a look at what I like to do/what I'm good at. Although to be honest, I don't know how this will transpire into ideas of what I want to do when I grow up. At any rate, here it goes. Maybe something will come to me as I type...

Kitchen related activities: cooking and baking pretty much any thing. I love putting together complicated meals, trying new cooking techniques, new ethnic styles of cuisine, everything. I also love to bake bread, cakes, muffins, squares, whatever. I'm particularly proud of my breads. I've been doing sourdough for several years and have got my method down pat. I tried a new rye bread this past weekend--divine!

Writing, of course. I'm mostly a long story writer, although I've done a few short stories in the past. Obviously I blog and tweet, although I haven't figured out a good niche to focus on. My biggest downfall is that my command of grammar can be questionable, and my editor-eyes are only half-powered when I'm looking over my own work.

Knitting and the occasional craft project. Most of my non-writing creative energy gets focused into knitting, although I've never felt compelled to create my own patterns. I'm pretty good with complex patterns for sweaters, scarves, mitts, whatever, although I'm pretty new with colour patterns. I don't really sew anymore, although if I had the time and patience it might be nice to get back into.

Aerial skills. So I'm never going to be in Cirque du Soleil (not sure I'd really want to anyway), but I love learning, practicing, and performing on the silks and rope. It's something about the combination of strength, dexterity and grace required that appeals to me; that and I love being twenty feet up in the air and going for a huge slack drop.

Okay, so those are some things I like to do, but what about more bankable skills, things that will help me land a job?

Well...I am the office cake lady. If someone's leaving/there's a special event, I'm often called on to bring something in. Writing and good communication skills are also pretty important for most jobs, but what else?

I know my way around most biomedical databases (Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, CINAHL, etc.), which means if you need literature on a medical topic, I can probably help you out. In more every day terms, I also have pretty good Google-fu. However, don't confuse the term 'Librarian' with 'Search Engine'. My dominant Darcy-Pants gene will probably rear it's head and I will glare at anyone who asks me something for which the most basic Internet search will return appropriate answers.

I'm pretty good with most of the standard citation management software such as Reference Manager, EndNote and RefWorks. I know how to use the various grouping/folder features, make output style filters, and integrate them with Word. However, if there's an actual problem with the software, I can't help you. Also, don't confuse 'Librarian' (at least this one) with 'Tech Support.'

What else? I mean, is this my resume or something? Sure, I can spout off a series of standardize remarks about my critical thinking and analytic skills, ability to work with minimal supervision, my project management skills, etc., but that isn't really the point, is it?

I'm supposed to be reflecting on what I'm good at and what I like to do in order to help me make some job-based decisions, and all I can say thus far is what I like to do (and what I'm reasonably good at) are my hobbies.

So what's the point? What have I learned (Charlie Brown)?

That I, like so many others, would rather live the high-life, have fun, and not work at all.

I do, however, live on planet earth, and am well aware that I can't just have fun all the time without an income to help support Andrew and me.

I think I'm back at square one.

At the end of the semester I had 27 study partners, 8 Mead journals filled with recipes and a D average—so I dropped out. I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I’d do it with cookies." ~Ana Pascal, Stranger Than Fiction


1 comment:

Gregory Taylor said...

Your more recent post reminded me I'd wanted to say something here. Essentially, treat all your skills as "bankable".

First, because as you point out, you can mix baking with work, in terms of special events. (Extend... part time catering service? A teacher friend of mine takes orders well in advance and turns out good stuff. If people question pricing, point out ingredients cost.) You can also mix with other skills. (Writing a book about cooking? About recipes? About failed recipes?)

Second, because your skills help to define you. If writing makes you creative, offer something up to an advertising team. Maybe organized patterns can extend to doing an inventory at work. Even a database coding job (for instance) would require some skill in code commenting and interface work. (Well, one would hope.)

Third, if your hobbies are what you like and do well at, who's to say you can't go Pro with them? I follow the website FanToPro ( the "source for professional geekiness" which encourages that line of thinking, along with analyzing current trends. Granted, it's something more for on the side at first, but give it time.

I don't think you're at square one. Don't focus only on the distant goal, and you might see that you're two steps closer to it.