delirium happy

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The future just ain't what it used to be
One of the themes playing through my life at the moment seems to be "planning for the future". That is to say, trying to figure out what on earth I want to do with my life because I certainly won't get anywhere good if I just drift around with no particular goal. Or to put it another way, I'm trying to figure out what I want to happen and when, because if I get to the point of "I want this to happen immediately right now today" then that almost invariably isn't going to happen.

Today's contemplation is on the subject of employment. As I mentioned previously, my plan is not to look to get a full time job until after having surgery some time next year, but that obviously doesn't preclude thinking about things beforehand. It would be a pretty poor show if I got to the stage of being ready and willing to become gainfully employed and found that I hadn't a clue what I wanted to do. As such, I'm trying to figure that one out now.

I really have very little clue what I want to do, but I do have some ideas for the general sort of broad threads of things that would suit me. I think anything I end up doing will probably include one or more of the following:
  1. Science, maths and computers. I put the three together, because there's a whole lot of crossover between them, obviously. This is the sort of area where my education was leading; this is the sort of thing that I've always been good at. It would make some sense to look in this sort of area.
  2. Conveying knowledge to other people. I enjoy this, and I think I'm good at it. I think I'm good at finding ways to word things concisely and in a manner that people understand, and conveying information efficiently and effectively.
  3. Dealing with information or data. Taking a whole slew of information, and boiling it down to the key points. Creating lists and data structures, and understanding how the different elemnts of the whole fit together.
  4. Doing something For The Greater Good. I'm not necessarily talking changing the world here (though that would be nice), but the whys and wherefores of anything I do would be important to me.
  5. Avoiding dealing with the great unwashed. Obviously, this is negotiable depending on other factors, and obviously it's difficult to avoid entirely, but with all other things being equal, I'd take a job with less interaction with the public over one with more.
I have a few vague half-ideas, and have also set my dad to the task of trying to think up things that might suit me, but I'd like to draw you people into the process too. What sort of job do you think would suit me? Based not only on what I've said above, but also on what you know of me as a person generally.

Edit: And since I was just asked over AIM, I shall add that I have no plans to return to university first. I've had it up to here with formal education after 3 failed attempts at getting a degree, and have approximately no desire to go back to it right now.

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Maybe you should try software testing. It's basically computers + distilling information and data + conveying knowledge, and you're more likely to be able to get into it without high-level qualifications than software development (although probably at a 'monkey testing' level where most of the time you're there to press buttons in a pre-ordained sequence and record the results rather than particularly using your brain).

You just described my job, a health statistical methodologist, except that a degree is kind of necessary.

Grant writing comes to mind as something that might satisfy several of your criteria.

Library cataloguing or something else library-related that doesn't involve too much public interaction? Proof reading? (One of my friend earns a living doing the latter and working entirely from home, so if you wanted something that you could try out now that might be an option). Or try temping and see if you end up somewhere you enjoy that has opportunities for doing more interesting stuff? I know that e.g. we often employ temps for IT stuff who just need to be vaguely competent with computers.

Obviously computer-related stuff, though both web and programming jobs vary enormously and can be high-pressure which might not be you want for your first job if you're trying to build up confidence. I thought I hated programming after my first programming job but it was mostly that I didn't like working in that type of company. If you can find the right thing, it could be ideal though.

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