Author Topic: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice  (Read 4672 times)

jfLip

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20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« on: April 16, 2013, 08:30:50 PM »
Hey ya'll.  I stumbled onto this site while researching personal finance and have been lurking for a while - tons of great info.  Like the rest of ya'll, I'm striving for FI, but my current job won't lead me there anytime soon.  I was reading too much about investing when I realized I just need to focus on career development (aka more income).  Some background info about myself:
  • 24 years old
  • B.S. in Psychology (2011)
  • Been working as a personal trainer at a franchised private studio for 6 months making ~$2400-$3600/month (depending on how business is going), no benefits
I enjoy what I do and am good at my job, but I'm at work for 12-13 hours a day only to make ~40k/year -- this bugs me.  However, my boss has hinted that I'm in line to being promoted to Lead Trainer and eventually Manager.  I'm thinking of jumping ship though, because 1) the long erratic daily schedule and 2) I don't agree with some of the "science" my boss preaches and ultimately runs his business on.  Originally when first taking the position, I wanted to learn the ins and outs of the business because I wanted to start my own studio, but now I'm not so sure. 

I have high-end clientele and from them I've learned the importance of business (owner, management, sales) and being "well-off" (many of my clients earn well over 6 figures, several millionaires).  This lead me to think about taking the corporate 9-5 route, but I don't know what type of position would suite me - I was thinking sales or some type of analyst.  Perhaps if I tell ya'll more about my personality/skills and what I enjoy about my current job, maybe you could help guide me in the right direction.

I'm an introvert but like to think I have great interpersonal skills and can relate to most personalities.  I like to think I'm charismatic.  I tend to over-think and over-analyze.  I'm a big picture thinker and would rather find a solution versus quick fixes/band aids.  My attitude is "always do more than asked."  What I enjoy about my current job:
  • small team setting (there's 3 employees)
  • It's not routine, mindless work
  • It's relatively stress free and "easy"
  • I'm the "boss" - Similar to a dentist or physician in a private practice, I deal with people 1-on-1 and tell them what to do :)
  • I'm an educator, motivator, and like that my work is preventative rather than treating a problem.  I like working with people and the fact that I can have a positive impact on their life forever
Someone suggested "business analyst" to a fellow 20-something that had similar personality characteristics and that looked interesting.  Ultimately I want to be a business owner some day, so selling and managing/leading people is something I'd like to try.  Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and I'd very much appreciate any feedback.

P.S.  A couple of my clients who hold high positions have mentioned that "X position is in high demand, they train on the job and may hire someone like you" -- would it be wrong of me to "network" through my clients and inquire about the position?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 07:10:04 PM by jfLip »

lifejoy

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 09:49:41 PM »
No idea if this would suit you, but I'd take a look at librarianship if I were you!

However, using your current clients as gateways to a new career... Sounds awesome, IMO

Justaerin

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 11:54:44 PM »
If you're going to attempt to network through your current clientele, I'd keep it out of your training sessions and only ask if you can contact them to ask questions once the conversation has already gone that way.  I guess it would be a little unprofessional to inquire about the position while you're meeting with them for a session, as that's time they're paying you for training.  But a quick "Would you mind if I contacted you for more information about that position some time?" shows interest, and it's quick and sweet - not enough for them to feel like they're working for you while they're paying you, I guess.

But it sounds like you might have a good shot at being a sales engineer on the Information Technology side.  Your traits, if you include a technical aptitude, could translate very well into a position like that working for a consulting firm, contractor or an ISP or something. 

If you're feeling morally challenged at your current position, set a good foundation and say your goodbyes.  It's not worth compromising your values because you're trapped by a paycheck.  Always have some "F you" money on hand.  The good thing is that you can probably take your clientele with you and train them on the side.  If the training isn't too equipment-involved you could do it in their homes maybe?  Or set something up with another gym to use their facilities.

pbkmaine

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 08:09:49 PM »
The fact that they are mentioning these jobs to you is a very good thing.  I would use Justaerin's line. It is a good one. Keep in mind that most people love to mentor, given a chance.

Having said that, you want to find a job that suits your personality. Have you taken Myers-Briggs? It is a personality trait "inventory" that can be very helpful in determining what kind of job you should consider. I wish I had known I was an ESTP when I was applying to accounting firms years ago. ESTPs should NEVER be auditors. Once I understood what motivated me, I was able to look for jobs that fit who I am.

ontheupandup

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 08:29:03 PM »
Have you considered human resources--particularly professional training and development roles? Sounds to me like this could be a good match for the aspects of your current job you enjoy, and would likely be a 9-5 schedule. HR manager is also a role that might be a good fit and/or a natural outgrowth of starting elsewhere in the human resources field.

You might find onetonline.org or bls.gov useful websites for doing career research. I work in an undergraduate career counseling office, and a lot of students find these sites useful as a starting point for general career information.

jfLip

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 07:53:48 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!  I appreciate it.

No idea if this would suit you, but I'd take a look at librarianship if I were you!

I enjoy my quiet time, but I think the environment would be a little too quiet for me :P

If you're going to attempt to network through your current clientele, I'd keep it out of your training sessions and only ask if you can contact them to ask questions once the conversation has already gone that way ...

I agree with you Justaerin, great advice!  I want to be a professional and give my clients the attention they deserve, but I really like the line you suggested.  "Sales Engineer" caught my attention and it will be on my list of careers to research.  I didn't know that job existed!

The fact that they are mentioning these jobs to you is a very good thing.  I would use Justaerin's line. It is a good one. Keep in mind that most people love to mentor, given a chance.

Having said that, you want to find a job that suits your personality. Have you taken Myers-Briggs? It is a personality trait "inventory" that can be very helpful in determining what kind of job you should consider. I wish I had known I was an ESTP when I was applying to accounting firms years ago. ESTPs should NEVER be auditors. Once I understood what motivated me, I was able to look for jobs that fit who I am.

Ahh, I forgot about the good ole' Myers-Briggs test.  I'm an ISTJ - Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking aka The Duty Fulfiller.  It describes me very accurately -- reserved, dependable, place importance on integrity, prefer to work alone but well in teams when called for, enjoy being in an authority position...

Thanks for bringing that up pbkmaine, it's a great lead on my journey and I always enjoy learning about my personality type.  P.S. Any tips on asking someone to be a mentor?

Have you considered human resources--particularly professional training and development roles? Sounds to me like this could be a good match for the aspects of your current job you enjoy, and would likely be a 9-5 schedule. HR manager is also a role that might be a good fit and/or a natural outgrowth of starting elsewhere in the human resources field.

You might find onetonline.org or bls.gov useful websites for doing career research. I work in an undergraduate career counseling office, and a lot of students find these sites useful as a starting point for general career information.

Haven't considered that until recently -- one of my clients works in HR for the DoD and said HR is in high demand and they're hiring people with no experience!  I've briefly been on bls.gov before, but haven't heard of onetonline.org.  Thanks for the website suggestions, I'll be sure to check them out. 

anastrophe

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 08:04:01 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!  I appreciate it.

No idea if this would suit you, but I'd take a look at librarianship if I were you!

I enjoy my quiet time, but I think the environment would be a little too quiet for me :P

None of the libraries I have worked in are quiet in the least. But that's not a career that will get you six figures if that's what you want, and there are not nearly as many positions as there are candidates for them.

I agree HR might fit you, and it's an easy entry field (though good if you want an MBA as well).

daymare

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 08:52:47 AM »
I'd recommend talking to as many people & getting as much information about different jobs as possible.  At this point, it sounds like you're mostly gathering information, reading about jobs and seeing if they'd be a good fit for you.  Many people enjoy being mentors, or sharing about their experience and expertise -- you should take advantage of that.

Once you have an idea of some jobs or sectors, I would recommend either asking your contacts through work if they know anyone who might be willing to talk to you, or checking your university's alum page and finding graduates in the areas you're interested in, who are local to you.  The biggest mistake you can make when reaching out is making your email too long or complicated, and delving into too many personal specifics.  The best way you can ask for information is by keeping your correspondence short and direct.

So, let's say you find an alum in your area who has a position that intrigues you.  Don't be overly formal, especially if they're close to your age (I had someone reach out to me as 'Mrs. lastname' -- so weird, I'm 23 and NOT married).  Just email, hi X, I also went to school Y and work in city Z.  I'm interested in how you ended up in field Q and what the day-to-day work involves.  Are you free to meet for coffee during the week, my treat?  I am free on (days/times) but can be flexible.

Basically, make it really easy for them to say yes -- suggest the activity (coffee, whatever) and time.  This sort of request is subtly flattering to whoever receives it.  The best part is that if they find you interesting or articulate, they may be willing to suggest other people who work in areas that might appeal to you.  If you're genuinely interested and not fake/networky, people will be happy to tell you about their jobs and how they got there.

pbkmaine

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 08:55:31 AM »
The best mentoring happens organically. You do not ask for it specifically. If someone seems open to helping you, ask for their advice, listen carefully and ask good questions. Friends of your parents or alums of your college are a logical starting point.

jfLip

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Re: 20-Something Seeking Career Advice
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 07:08:44 PM »
The best mentoring happens organically. You do not ask for it specifically. If someone seems open to helping you, ask for their advice, listen carefully and ask good questions. Friends of your parents or alums of your college are a logical starting point.

True!  People love to talk about themselves as long as they're given open ears.  After learning more about my clients and as our relationship develops, I like to ask, "If you had to stop everything you're doing right now in life and write a book, what would it be about?"  I've received some cool answers and a couple even became emotional.  With money being no issue to them, it's interesting to hear what's important in their lives through all their experiences.