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new career suggestions?
August 23, 2006
3:42 pm
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southgoingzax
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Hi all,

I need to turn to a big pool of supportive people for a brainstorm....I NEED a new job. I'm willing to go back to school but I can't figure out for what. I would love to hear some suggestions/ideas/thoughts.

I have a B.A. in Fine Arts, an M.A. in Anthropology, and a graduate certificate in Women's Studies. I have worked in archaeology, construction/remodeling, house painting, picture framing, at a pet store, and as a graduate teaching assistant. I enjoy teaching, but I don't like kids too much. I like remodeling - I think I really have an eye for ways to improve older homes, but I also need to feel like I am using my brain at work, not mind-numbing data entry...I have thought about becoming a counselor or going to medical school, but I'm not sure about the time and money commitment...

I know I would NOT be good as an administrative assistant, receptionist, or anything else where I would have to work to directly satisfy a superior.

I hope I can draw on the collective wisdom/knowledge here to help point me in the right direction - I've been going to therapy for about a year to help me figure this out, but I feel like I am not making enough progress and I need to broaden my approach.

Any ideas?

August 23, 2006
3:48 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi south: I see that you like remodelling and have an artistic eye. Have you ever though about landscape design? Thats what I do- and it can dramatically change the appearance of a home, uses creative energy and talent, and can also be very technical(city codes, construction details), plus it gets you outside. Every project is different, every client is different, so not very repetitious.

Just a thought.

SD

August 23, 2006
3:53 pm
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pearlita
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August 23, 2006
3:55 pm
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pearlita
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Oops...hit send to quick. What about house flipping? I'm in real estate and really want to do it...scared to jump into though because I don't have the remodeling experience and would have to rely on contractors but if you could actually do the work yourself-you could make a fortune!

August 23, 2006
3:56 pm
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southgoingzax
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sdesigns,

funny you mention that: I was accepted into an M.A. prgram for landscape architecture at the same time as my M.A. program in Anthropology....I chose anthropology because they offered me a fellowship.

If you don't mind me asking, what is the salary range and job outlook? Part of my problem is that I can't support myself doing archaeology, so I need a job with a bright future and the opportunity to make more than $30,000 a year.

Please tell me more about what you do when you get a chance,

thanks so much,

zax

August 23, 2006
4:01 pm
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southgoingzax
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pearlita,

I thought about that too...I can do most of the work myself, but some jobs take two people at least and some stuff (plumbing, mostly) I just don't want to do...and I'm not sure how to get started. Do you know? I also thought about becoming a real estate agent, but that's so dependent on the market and location...what is your opinion on what you do?

But I think I'd be GREAT at house flipping! I love watching that show, on HG t.v. - I just don't know how to get the investment money started, or how realistic it would be to try to live off that income alone...but great idea, I'll have to think more about it.

zax

August 23, 2006
4:09 pm
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readyforachange
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what about pharmacist? I hear the field is wide open, and the need is expected to grow immensely with the aging population. Just thought of it because you mentioned your interest in medical school...

August 23, 2006
4:11 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi zax: I don't know where you live but here in So Cal there is plenty of work. I have a degree in Landscape Architecture but never got my license in that- just as a landscape contractor. I only do the design work though- that is more than enough to keep me busy. I work for myself and make way above the limit you require. It has taken a long time to get my referral base but I am doing much better than I ever dreamed. In fact my goal is now to work less and not make so much.

SD

August 23, 2006
4:11 pm
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southgoingzax
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sdesigns,

oh, and I forgot to ask, what sort of education/training did you need to get? Is landscape design something I can do with technical training or certification, or do I need to get an M.A.?

August 23, 2006
4:12 pm
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sdesigns
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BTW- one of my projects was on HGTV on Landscaper's Challenge.

August 23, 2006
4:17 pm
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sdesigns
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There are some local designers that have no formal education, and some like myself that do. Landscape Architects of course need the education as well as experience before applying and testing for the license. By the time I got my education I already had 15 or so years experience and the license board wanted me to have experience after my degree. That would have meant owrking for someone lese for pennies while I got the experience so I went out on my own. Its been fine. There is a national Landscape Design Association but I don't think it does anything as far as credibility- not necessary, at least in my case.

I have a Bachelor's Degee in Ornamental Horticulture with a design concentration, and a Professional Certicate in Landscape Architecture from UCLA- took 5 years of year round night school to get it.

SD

August 23, 2006
4:18 pm
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southgoingzax
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sdesigns,

you read my mind...or I was too slow typing (my supervisor's been poking his nose in my cubicle - can't he see I'm busy?).

I'm in Colorado, the housing market is still pretty booming here, lots of new construction, so I think there would be a lot of work in that field.

ready,

that's what my mom has suggested, and I knew a guy (a young guy, maybe 26?) who only worked 3 days a week as a pharmacist, because he could. Because he got paid enough and the demand for him was so high, he could do what he wanted. That's pretty cool.

Of course, I think it might be pretty boring...but then again, my current job bores me TO TEARS and pays squat, so maybe if I were making enough to live on, I wouldn't find it so dull.

Do you know any specifics about the work they do? I just see the guys at the grocery store pharmacy, putting pills in bottles...there must be more to it than that, right?

August 23, 2006
4:22 pm
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southgoingzax
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sdesigns,

No WAY!!! That is too cool, about HGTV. I am going to have to give some real thought to this. What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

I love plants and gardening, although the colorado winters tend to kill stuff off...

Hmmm....you're really making me think.

August 23, 2006
4:38 pm
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sdesigns
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LA's have a stricter licensing procedure and its much more technical. I prefer not to do construction details, etc- boring. I'm not sure what the laws are in Colorado- I knew once- had thought about moving there since I have family there. And you're right about the winters- so maybe it would be seasonal work there. Much fewer plants to learn though, thats for sure.

August 23, 2006
7:04 pm
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gracenotes
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Gracenotes,

Landscape design sounds like such an interesting career. I did consider this at one time, especially since a local college has a program in it. Cool!

August 23, 2006
7:11 pm
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southgoingzax
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It really does,

I am actually excited about this...although I checked it out, there aren't any university programs for landscape design within the state, only landscape architecture, and sdesigns is right, I don't want to deal with that kind of technical stuff (bleh).

But, a community college nearby does offer an associate degree in horticulture and plant management with the option to get a certificate in landscape design.

I wanted to ask sdesigns what she thinks about that as a starting point - I already have the art background....any thoughts, sd?

August 23, 2006
7:29 pm
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southgoingzax
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Also, I haven't done a darn bit of work here all day...they should really fire me. And I still have 30 minutes to go...11 hour days sure are long.

August 23, 2006
8:03 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Zax,

Now that you have gotten a few ideas...you can check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ ...or just google Dept. of Labor.

The OOH lists all of the available occupations and gives statistics and other informations on job outlook, education and experience requirements, salary range, etc.etc.

It really is a great tool to help you make informed decisions about what path to take.

Gook luck,
Lolli

August 23, 2006
8:05 pm
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lollipop3
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It also gives job projections through 2012 (if I remember correctly) as well as related fields.

August 23, 2006
9:10 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi zax: Yep, I would take the classes at Community College and go for the Landscape Design part. You could also take some of the courses in Landscape Architecture, and skip the stuff you don't want, if they will let you. The hardscape part is what gets tricky, but thats where the money is- walls, paving, concrete work, etc. Patios, planters, pools, ponds, BBQ's, fireplaces, etc. Every city has dif codes so you have to have knowledge of that but include time in your estimates to go to the city and find out.

I taught classes at the community college level, and thats a good start. Plant knowledge is a must, but its only part of it. Sometimes suppliers will have dif classes or product demonstrations, seminars, trade shows, etc. Go to all that you can.

Contractors are good to hook up with for work. They often refer me to do a plan, and I refer them back to do the work. I don't advertise- don't have to- and have more than I can handle sometimes.

It really is a fun thing to do- meet interesting people- can be creative- and you get to spend other people's money. As one contractor puts it "I put their dream on paper". It really is fun at the end of a project to see how people enjoy their yard. It improves the quality of life for them and is very rewarding.

SD

August 25, 2006
2:29 am
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doubleloss
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just found this thread.
Are you creative? do you work well on your own? do you rather have a 9-5 job? I think sdesigns suggestion to take community college courses is a GREAT idea, see if it's something you are truly interested on and if you are you can pursue it.
Have you thought about interior DESIGN? that can be very challenging, innovative and never dull, though stressful. There is interior DESIGN and interior DECORATION. The interior designers are qualified (at least in Canada) to work with architects and engineers, come up with floor plans, lighting design, tear walls down, etc + the decoration. Interiour decorartors deal only with furnishings, accesories, "look" of a place. So maybe that's another option.

What about teaching? or maybe after you solve all your current troubles you'll find yourself inspired to help others, with degrees in antrhopology and women studies, it would give you an interesting starting point for counselling women + your own trial and tribulations.

What are your strengths? what gets you fired up? what would you do for NO money?

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