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Help me brainstorm potential careers for a career change

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EDIT TO ADD: I'm also interested to know -- if YOU were 18 and choosing a career again, what would you pick!?

Hello! I am looking to explore possible paths for a career change and was hoping to get some input.

Context: I am a soon-to-be 40 year old, who 'fell into' digital marketing, website builds and project management. I now have a decent-ish job as a website project manager. However, project management is not really my forte, whilst I have developed skills around stakeholder and resource management, it is not what I enjoy and I find it stressful.

My degree is in English Literature; all of my experience is in digital marketing, but I've worked across a wide range of industries (video games, environmental charities, education charities, local government, d2c private businesses) which makes me pretty confident its the job and not the industry that is the problem.

In a year or so I am hoping to move to the USA, on a spousal visa, and would like to take the opportunity to carry out a career change.

Last year I worked with a career coach, and we identified the following 'wishlist':

EDIT: Just to be clear, I am not expecting a job to hit every single one of these bullet points. I should also add I would be looking for ~$50-60k salary as a baseline.

Your role needs to involve:

* Doing something purposeful that aligns with your values and principles, does some good in the world and has a lasting impact on a person, community or cause
* Building deep, authentic relationships on a one-to-one basis – through meaningful conversations and warm, sensitive communication
* Using your natural creativity to help and/or connect with people – writing, graphic design, photography, artistry
* Researching and analysing information – seeing the big picture, drawing insights, distilling it into key points, planning wise actions, and identifying and solving problems
* Helping to build a better future and deliver change as it relates to society, utopian ideas, the environment and making people happy
* Being an individual contributor within a team
* Having a high level of independence and personal agency – so you have the freedom to make decisions about what you do and how you structure your day
* Having time to think, process, prepare and produce
* Having clarity on the business strategy and framework, and your objectives, priorities, values and what “good enough” looks like
Other environment requirements:

* Enables and values work/life balance
* Has an informal, cheerful vibe and relaxed pace of work
* Normalises flexible working
* Pays well so you can be generous with your money and time
* Enables you to be wholeheartedly yourself and not feel out of place
* Promotes fairness and equality, and everyone is respected and listened to
I am fine with taking time out to re-skill, get a qualification etc. but I don't want to do that and end up right back where I started in terms of job satisfaction.

Really looking for ideas I may not have considered -- there are a LOT of possible careers and jobs out there, I have quite a limited idea of what my possibilities could be!

Thanks in advance for input and help.

Based on your post, I'm not quite sure if you don't ever want to do digital marketing again or if you'd be ok with it, but without it being the way you spend most of your working hours.

As I look at your current skill set, what came to mind is working with a small non-profit or small organization with a clear mission that you believe in. Perhaps even a newer organization that is getting going. You have the perfect skill set to help take on the marketing side of things. For example, perhaps you believe strongly in access to education for girls in a developing country. You find an organization whose mission is to raise money and awareness for this topic. You already have the skillset to:
- create or revamp their website
- create or improve their social media channels
- use your skills to record, photograph, video, and more to create campaigns or social media pieces or fundraising materials to further the mission
- copy-edit all materials coming from the organization
- etc etc.

Instead of working all the time on 10, 50, or 100 social medial channels or trying to create a new website per week, you would be able to focus a few hours a week on optimizing the digital marketing on a topic you really care about, propose creative new initiatives to build awareness and raise money for a cause you care about, perhaps travel to do on-site/in-country work ... in short, you would get quite a bit of variety and you'd be a department of one - so you would have a lot of autonomy on how this is done and within a reasonable time frame.

Of course, there are lots of other options too.

Yep, good point. I'm not totally averse to staying in digital marketing. I enjoy content creation, I less enjoy managing ad budgets and cpcs and staring at data! The issue of course is that AI and off-shoring means content is cheap, so its harder to see how to build a well-paid career within that. And I'm also quite burned out on the whole area.

My main concern is pay; I am the main income earner. The kind of small charities where one person handles all the digital marketing tend to have very small budgets. The bigger charities aren't set-up much differently to prvate sector, in my (limited!) experience except you have even less resource to deliver on the projects.

I would prefer to move towards more of a relationship career though -- I've thought about (and not dismissed) counselling, nutritionist/dietician, social work, teaching etc. I looked seriously at becoming a Marie Kondo consultant at one point, but thankfully did not succumb!

One thing that I would suggest is prioritizing all those many "wants."  Almost no job comes with a laid-back vibe, meaningful work, work-life balance, and great pay.  Most of us have to settle for the compromise that gets us the most of what we want with the fewest things that we hate.  So, for example, you put "good pay" very, very far down your original list.  But your subsequent post says that you're the sole breadwinner in the family.  So in the real world, good pay is probably very, very high on your list, yes?  Supporting your family is a really key value that your next job must support.  OTOH, it's not your only value; you don't necessarily want to maximize income at the cost of all your free time, or supporting an organization that conflicts with your values.  But only you can decide how important each relative value is.

I would also look at what needs/goals you can meet outside of work vs. through your job.  It's awful hard to bring in income through your hobbies.  On the other hand, there are many organizations and charities that allow you to do good for people in meaningful ways and build deep human relationships.  It's great if you can get your connections and meaning through work, but most of those jobs pay for shit.  So you may well need to be one of those people who takes a reasonable job to support the family and seeks meaning and connection outside of work.

Hi InterfaceLeader! One thing that comes to mind as a possibility is a digital team in some part of a university. Potentially that could offer stability and reasonable income but also a sense of purpose and some time off.

You don't have to share details of the location here, but it'd be worth exploring what organizations and institutions exist within a reasonable commute of your target destination in the US. Is there a major company, university, museum, or other institution that directly or indirectly employs a lot of the people in the area? Chances are that a really big organization will have multiple teams or departments that need people with digital / website skills, and some of those teams could be a good fit with nice people to work with.


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