Fitting a Round Turtle in a Square Hole


I mentioned the other day that I bought — okay, E.g. bought for me — two books on careers. I’ve more or less read through both of them. And Turtle has arrived at the usual conclusion she comes to whenever she reads a career book: Head for the mud.

Well okay, it’s not quite that bleak. And by this age, I’ve pretty much climbed those tortuous paths of Despair, and reached the serene plateau of Resignation. I do, however, occasionally trip into puddles of Puzzlement.

So here’s a question: From what you’ve read in this blog, which of the following descriptions sounds most like Turtle? Don’t worry, there are no wrong answers. The descriptions are from the New Guide for Occupational Exploration. It has sixteen Interest Areas, twelve of which didn’t seem to apply to me at all. The remaining four, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Arts and Communication: “An interest in creatively expressing feelings or ideas, in communicating news or information, or in performing.”
  • Education and Training: “An interest in helping people learn.”
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation: “An interest in catering to the personal wishes and needs of others so that they can enjoy a clean environment, good food and drink, comfortable lodging away from home, and recreation.”
  • Human Service: “An interest in improving people’s social, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

And naturally, of five occupations I thought I could handle, three of them belong in a different Interest Area altogether. So as I said, there don’t seem to be any wrong answers. 

I’m really curious to see what kind of vibe this blog has been giving off. And while you’re at it, you’re most welcome to say which of the above descriptions best fits you!

14 Responses to Fitting a Round Turtle in a Square Hole

  1. Seabrooke says:

    Turtle, right from the start you’ve always struck me as a storyteller. Ever thought of doing your own anthology of short stories? Or perhaps kids’ books or something? I can see you fitting in any of those four categories, but it’s really the Arts and Communication that, from reading your blog, anyway, I think suits you best.

  2. Gina says:

    I agree with Seabrooke, I can see you doing all four but Art and Communications seems to fit you perfectly.

    My degree is in education but I worked in the mental health field and loved it so I know that is the one meant for me.

  3. PennyCat says:

    Interesting. After twenty seven years in a field I really didn’t care for I changed…..I was scared to death. I am artisty. I think you fit in the Arts and Communication hole too, however, I am in “hospitality” and it is wonderful for the art and communications type, as well as those who like to serve and make people happy. Good luck on your quest.

  4. lavenderbay says:

    Seabrooke, Gina, PennyCat, thank you all for your input. I’ve been holding back from responding because I didn’t want to influence anyone’s comments, but I’ve gotta say that I’m pretty happy you all chose the same “hole” .

    Seabrooke, I need to go to Oz to ask the Wizard for some gumption. If I make it to the Emerald City, you’ll be the first one to receive a post card!

    Gina, what would you say links those two fields for you — an interest in how the mind works, or an interest in helping people? Or something else?

    Twenty-seven years in a field you didn’t care for, PennyCat! I wouldn’t last twenty-seven minutes. It’s interesting that you can see the overlap in those two fields, and have learned to blend them to your satisfaction.

  5. goodbear says:

    i say arts & communication, but i can also seeing you using arts and communication to be great education.

    maybe choosing one of those feels, then dabbling in another one as a volunteer…to keep you balanced.

    it is really cool that you have those books to consult.

  6. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, Goodbear! When I was researching for my “Nightmare World of Dr Seuss” entry (i.e. which book was implicated in my childhood nightmare) , I learned that Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote a number of his books in response to a national report deploring the low reading rates among children. Limiting himself to a list of “must-know” words, Geisel produced the “I Can Read” series. Something like that would be so nifty…

  7. I’m going to go with #1, followed by #4.

  8. lavenderbay says:

    Thanks, James! It means a lot to me to be getting all this feedback. Speaking of feeding, enjoy your dinner today!

  9. Shelley says:

    Getting to know you personally, not just the blog I’d say Human Service – you are one to help the underdog. You understand people and their limitations.

    Suggestion – working with deprived children or children in a shelter situation. Helping them learn to express themselves through art, and words. That would give an outlet to your nurturing nature, while allowing you to use your other talents.

  10. lavenderbay says:

    Hi Shelley, and thanks for your input! I’ve sometimes looked into things like art therapy or occupational therapy. At least for that kind of work I wouldn’t need to give grades!

  11. Career choice is a multidimensional task. It’s not sufficient to focus on skills, ‘aptitudes’, and interests. You also must think of issues that are very much related to your temperament. Do you prefer to work alone or with others? Are you comfortable as a team member? Would you accept/aspire to a leadership role? Would you prefer a lot of activity around you, or a quiet setting in which to work. Are you happier doing or thinking; planning or executing?

    Then there is what I call the “love or gold” question. Some people will happily take a job that is relatively unsatisfying intellectually, so long as it pays well. Others could not tolerate that, and may prefer to pursue “satisfying” work — whatever form that takes for them — even if it pays less well. (Ideally, of course, you’d get paid well for doing something you love…)

    But you probably already know all that.

    As a more direct answer to the question you posed: Clearly the side of you that we readers all know is that you are a thoughtful, clear-thinking, friendly person who has an outstanding grasp of the nuances of the English language, and who writes exceptionally well.

    So, in a sense, my reply says that your apparent skills hover on that first category, but some aspects of your personality — the ones that come through on your blog — indicate that you may indeed be temperamentally suited to work in a couple other of those fields.



  12. Alyson says:

    Better late than never? I’m right with you (ahem several weeks late) Yurtle. Your blog does Arts & Communication beautifully, but personally for me, your Human Services are applaudable (it’s a word?) and have come to mean a great deal. I’ve just resigned from my job too…wish my four weeks notice were up already. And I feel like I’m stepping into a void, with a rumoured safety net, apparently somewhere below. 🙂

  13. lavenderbay says:

    Well, Bobbie, I’m gonna hafta head for the antique shops today, to scrounge up a dot-matrix printer and fanfold paper, so I can print out your fourth paragraph in 84-point type and paste it around the living room just under the ceiling. Then whenever I’m in a funk, E.g. just has to point upwards.
    I like your term, the “love or gold” question. In an ESL textbook series I used to use, one dialogue involves asking about someone’s job. The person answers “What do you do?” with, “I’m an actor, but I work as a waiter at night.” I rather think that will be my lot in life.

    So that’s where you’ve been, Alyson! I was getting pretty worried there. Your positioning of the smiley face made me suddenly imagine the safety net somewhere above, in which case it would be a moot point. Wow, I hope everything works out all right for you. You’ll keep us posted?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: