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How do I proceed when I have a lot of possible careers but not enough experience in any to work full-time?

I realized late into my college experience that I didn't want to work a math job at all so I finished out my Math degree and am now struggling to find a full-time job I feel qualified for. I have a list of 5 or so potential careers (Including but not limited to: Singer-Songwriter, Writer, Naturalist, Photographer, Artist), but I don't feel like I'm at the point where I could pursue any of them full-time.

I'm wondering if I should just get a math job and explore the other options in my free-time, if I should just find any job related to my current interests, or if I should put off getting a full-time job until I get a little clearer in my objective.

I'm alright on cash for now, I'd just prefer not to live with my parents for longer than I have to. I'm most likely overthinking this and you probably would need some more information to give a solid path forwards, but whatever. I'm here to listen. Thanks for all your help!

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Subject: Career question for you

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Nicolas’s Answer

I would for sure say to utilize your degree now. Remember all the work and effort it took to get the Math degree. You have plenty of time to figure out your other career objectives. Know that when you invested in the degree you don't want it to go to waste. I remember getting my degree in PE, which is highly underestimated, and dabbling in the arts too. Personally, I would never put arts before any concrete job opportunity because it is not promising until you have tailored your skills. Tailoring your skills while getting paid for doing something you already worked for will allow you to move forward into what you're truly passionate about. You can use the evenings and weekends to do this.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Matt
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Thomas’s Answer

Really the only thing you can do in anything like your situation is to believe in yourself and go for it. You don't have to choose one creative career, or one career period. If you think teaching is the best thing to do in this point in time, do that because you can always move to something else if you realize you don't like it anymore. Ask yourself- is it really that you don't think you can do it full time, or is it that you don't think you'll make money. I promise you that money will come if you do what you love. If you pursue what makes you happy- you're motivated to go for the career you want.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Matt
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Keyston’s Answer

Seems like you're in a spot many of us find ourselves in – lots of possibilities but unsure of the next step. It might be worth considering a part-time job related to your current interests while keeping an open mind about other opportunities. This way, you can gain experience while still exploring your passions. Don't rush the decision, take your time and trust that the path will become clearer with time. Keep that creative spirit alive!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Matt
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Afolabi’s Answer

Having multiple potential career paths can be both exciting and overwhelming. Here's a step-by-step approach to help you proceed:

Self-Assessment: Evaluate your interests, skills, and passions to identify the career paths that align with your strengths.

Research: Research each potential career thoroughly. Understand the qualifications, skills, and experience required for each option.

Skill Development: If you lack experience in a particular field, start by acquiring relevant skills. Take courses, attend workshops, and practice to build a foundation.

Volunteer or Intern: Consider volunteering or interning part-time to gain hands-on experience and insights into the industries you're interested in.

Networking: Connect with professionals in your chosen fields. Networking can help you learn about the industry, its challenges, and opportunities, and potentially open doors to opportunities.

Freelancing: Offer your skills as a freelancer or consultant. This can help you build experience while working on projects related to your potential career paths.

Side Projects: Start side projects or personal ventures related to your interests. This can demonstrate your dedication and initiative to potential employers.

Transferable Skills: Identify skills that are transferable across various careers. Highlight these skills on your resume and during interviews.

Continuous Learning: Stay up-to-date with industry trends and advancements through online resources, books, and workshops.

Gradual Transition: Once you gain enough experience in one area, you can start transitioning into full-time work in that field.

Remember that career paths are rarely linear, and it's okay to take time to explore and develop your interests. Stay patient, persistent, and adaptable as you work towards establishing yourself in your chosen career.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Afolabi for the advice. Matt
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Dino’s Answer

Hey Matt, thanks for getting in touch with us. I totally get where you're coming from. Let me share something with you - having a degree in Mathematics is a real blessing. Wondering why? Let me tell you. Not many students have a knack for Mathematics. If you're good at it, consider yourself fortunate. Many students, if not most, find Mathematics quite challenging.

There's absolutely no issue in exploring potential career paths at this point. You mentioned some of your talents - you could definitely seek jobs that align with these. If you have a passion for Arts, Music, and so on, by all means, pursue it.

However, it would be beneficial to consider a career related to Mathematics. This way, you could put your degree to good use. Let's be honest, there are plenty of opportunities out there for someone with a Mathematics degree. For example, you could delve into the field of education. If you're interested in helping children learn, particularly in Mathematics, this could be a great fit for you. Who knows, you might discover a hidden talent for teaching. There's no harm in giving it a shot.

Being part of the education sector opens up a plethora of opportunities. If you're good with computers, you could even teach computer courses. As a Mathematics major, you'd be required to get a Teaching Certification, and from there, the world is your oyster.

Take the time to explore all possibilities while you're young. I admire your desire to be independent - that's a great attitude to have. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Dino for the advice. Matt
Thank you comment icon You are very much welcome!!! Dino Ubalde
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Emily’s Answer

Your interest seems to lie predominantly in the artistic realm, which is fantastic! These careers, however, may take some time to establish and generate a steady income. For instance, if photography is your forte, you could start your own business, although it will require time to flourish.

It would be beneficial for you to reflect on and refine your objectives. Remember, your current goal can and likely will evolve over time. Don't feel pressured into thinking that your decisions now are set in stone!

Your math degree doesn't limit you to a specific career path. It can, however, provide a source of income and work experience while you explore other potential interests for your resume.

Considering your objectives, you might want to pursue further education in an area that piques your interest. This could range from informal training and certification programs to pursuing a master's degree.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Matt
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Matt !

You have a degree in Math and I can tell you that is a good foundation. Of all the careers that you've mentioned, the one that I think shows promise is photographer. Sometimes, it doesn't matter what your degree is in, it's the degree that matters as it shows you have college experience. Apply for various jobs and see what happens. Even photography jobs. If you want to move out, you will have to get a full time job, but do not cancel out jobs in your other interests. There may be opportunities with Madison's (WI) Department of Parks and Recreation. How about the local newspaper or their website ? If you're okay with doing Statistics somewhere, that could be another option till you settle on either further education, certification or training in your interests. But I agree with you about getting a job now since you are planning to get your own apartment.

You seem like a versatile person and I would suggest that you seek employment in whatever you feel confident in because you mention that you don't feel that you can do any of your interests full time. Is that because you don't have the experience ? Also, with music, you would need to have work ready for people to hear. I would try it all, though. Go to an employment website and after you register, create alerts for Math jobs as well as jobs in singing, writing, naturalist and photographer and artist. You will be surprised, especially at the employment website Indeed, how your in-box will fill up with possible jobs. Make an account on Linked In, too. Become familiar with each job's requirements. You just might qualify. I know it's difficult when you don't know what employers are expecting, but it does pay to cover your bases when looking for a job. You'll get a clear idea of your qualifications by seeing exactly what opportunities are out there.

With all of your skills and your education, I have a feeling that it won't be difficult for you to get a job that will allow you to obtain your own apartment and work that you will enjoy. Best wishes with all you do !
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Michelle! This was such a thoughtful answer. Matt
Thank you comment icon You are most welcome, Matt ! Michelle M.
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David’s Answer

The fact you have potential skills are good and you can start from there. In life you have to do what you have passion for. If you do not have passion as a math teacher, what's the point taking it as a career?
Is good you do what something you love , and you will do it better.
So if you love this skills you mentioned then venture into one or two of it , get a thorough lesson or course and you will be happy doing what you want.
Thank you comment icon Thanks David, I appreciate you! Matt
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Enise’s Answer

Hello Matt,

I can only give an advice on an experience I have learned.

As a Creative Writing graduate, I would say that you can be a writer (if you have previously written a short story/fiction/non fiction/poetry, you can choose any of these). If you have not written any story, do not worry, I was the one who had not experienced on writing either. Yet you can start writing stories; once you learned how to write a story, you may write the story that you had written in the past.

If you request to be a writer, you can enroll to Creative Writing club at the school, and/or you can learn how to write on certified courses on websites, or you can apply BA Creative Writing and study Creative Writing at the university.

If your college does not have Creative Writing or any writing courses you can think of, then stick with certified courses (if you are the first generation learner, or know about it but wish to develop your writing). There are numerous free (I hope) courses out there, and you can learn how to structure your story, how to build on “show not tell” technique, how to write more creative and imagery, and know about genre, plot, flashbacks, first, second, and third person narratives etc. For poetry, you have to learn meters, stanza, line etc. You will know about all those techniques in the future.

If you wish you study at the university, it can be an amazing step for your career. Do not worry, professors must tell you about all those techniques and requirements even you know barely. Yet my advice is that you have to practice on writing.

Practice, practice, and practice!

You may need to read books for your preparation. You can surf the internet and research on both literary and poetry books with articles (if you can access article websites. If not, you can visit your library first).

I hope this helps.

Enise recommends the following next steps:

Writer
University
Practice
Library
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Matt
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