I graduated three years ago with a degree in Computer Science minor in Business Administration. After graduation, I worked as a data encoder and recently, as a customer service assistant (CSA). But my real interest is writing, acting and directing. I got burned out in my job as a CSA so I resigned. My so-called career was uninteresting and I felt I was just “passing through” to earn for today’s expenses. I feel like I have been left behind, because in the first place, my course isn’t really my interest. I am now enrolled in a speech and creative writing workshop to enhance my abilities. I have started to mail resumes to some call center companies. But I think this is also just “passing through.” It’s very hard to find a job; it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. But I also want to grow and enjoy what I am doing. Please give me some tips on what to do. – Misdirected Jobseeker
Into the fire
Well, the first thing this reader can do is not to “jump from the frying pan into the fire.” Jobs in call centers also involve customer service. Considering that you just resigned from a position in customer service because of burnout, the same thing may happen if you do get another job in this area of work.
Why not try applying in companies that do work along your line of interest? For example, media companies in print, radio or television, publishing houses, advertising agencies or even PR firms. Big companies also have corporate communications offices where writing skills are required for corporate publications, press releases and other materials. You may initially apply there for positions related to your course and not necessarily your interest. But over a period of time, you will have a better crack at the type of work you like.
Taking the plunge
This advice comes from my own experience. I graduated from a journalism course during martial law. There was definitely no job out there for journalists at that time. So I got sidetracked into human resources work. Years later, when an opening for a human resource manager in in a daily broadsheet came up, I immediately applied for it and got accepted on the basis of my previous human resource management experience. Since I was already working for a newspaper, although not on the editorial side, I took the opportunity to start contributing articles to the paper. Of course, I had an edge over other contributors because I was already an employee of the company (the editors couldn’t refuse a co-employee’s desperate pleas to be published). After seven years as HR head of the newspaper, I took the plunge, resigned from full-time corporate work, and am now in the field where I really want to be.
What’s the lesson here? Sometimes, our journey through life involves twists and turns. You may have a college degree that’s not your really your cup of tea. Or you may have a job that doesn’t excite you. The thing is, it is never too late to go back to the right course, whether you are 16 or 60, rich or middle class, a college graduate or a college drop out. However, you will need hard work and a firm resolve. But what’s important is you get back on the right track.
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