How Do You Decide a Career Path?

Updated on July 04, 2012
J.A. asks from Whiteland, IN
13 answers

I've been in school for a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education for almost a year and a half. I just filled out a form to add an additional major of Child Development. Suddenly I'm questioning my entire school choice. A few years ago I had intended on going to school for Massage Therapy. But when I signed up for classes Massage Therapy wasn't really big anymore. And my husband (who I wasn't with at the beginning of those Massage Therapy dreams) doesn't like the idea of me touching other men, so I dropped that idea. But here I am facing the reality that I COULD change my major and study Alternative Medicine. (Also, I am amazing at giving massages and have always dreamed of turning it into a career.)

Alittle background: I'm Wiccan. My husband is Christian and so is my family and his family. I only know a few other people who share my religious beliefs. Most of those people aren't in my life anymore. So I feel trapped. It's almost like I'm not allowed to be myself anymore. And I'm seriously struggling with it.

I obviously do not want to waste the time and money going in the wrong direction. How on earth do you decide which path to take?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! I'm like 75% sure I'm going to change my major to alternative health. Just overcoming the biggest obstacle: my hubby. :) he's been hurt a lot (by others, not me) so it's important that I take his concerns seriously. But I know I must follow my own path.

Featured Answers



answers from Cheyenne on

I am going to school for Pharm Tech. It took me a while to deside what to do. I spent a lot of time looking into all my options and talking it all over with my mom and Best friends. In the end this opption just FELT right. Just do what feels right to you and what would make you the most happy. Give it a little time, you will know where you should go and what you should be doing

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Chicago on

What about adding the additional skill of child massage therepist?

Someone I went to high school with does this - found out from a mutual contact, and loves it. This could be a way to bridge what you have already been going to school for and something you are good at and enjoy w/out touching grown men and making your husband uncomfortable.

You have to find out what you love to do and what you are good at and make it work in the "real" world. I think that MANY parents are seeking Alternative Medicines for their children and I would find a way to blend your current path with your other interests and desires.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I am Wiccan also and in a Christian family.

I think you need to get your hubby onboard with your ideals. You can go through life unfullfilled but that is not fun. You need to do what your heart tells you is your path. Maybe if you talk to a school counselor w/hubby he will understand that Massage Therapy is no different than Physical Therapy, women treat men all the time. It's a profession, not prostitution. You should also check out Reiki and other forms of healing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Here's a combo for you...

ECE/CD... AND therapeutic massage and work in a Children's Hospital.

Or both, but teach part time (or privately), and do massage part time. Advert through women's clinics. Niche out your massage practice as 'Exclusively Women' (will also help women whose husbands don't want them seeing a male practitioner). Or heck, even market specifically towards children... Private schools sometimes have staff LMPs. Double duty as teacher & LMP.

For MYSELF? I'm a cake and eat it, too kind of person.

I'm at a crossroads, though... And STILL cake and eating it, too.

What I'm going to school FOR is anthropology/archaeology & nursing. I want to teach (college) 2-3 quarters a year, be on dig 1 quarter (dig season) doing double duty as staff archaeologist and staff nurse (HUGE bene, because digs are often manned entirely with students and volunteers, and are 6 hours to the nearest med facility, and patents of students are leery of that... And volunteers tend to be older/have more health needs and are leery themselves! Plus I'm a clutz, and have travelled 3rd work extensively... Med knowledge and supplies are more valuable than gold). Then I want to pad the dig season working for the local NGO (nurses w/out borders, Red Cross, erc are 2 of hundreds of spammer ones), and spend my 4th quarter publishing. Hence my quirky schooling. I'm about halfway done.

HOWEVER... Mid divorce, I need to do the whole food and roof thing... So I'm thinking of tabling my Professor/Archaeologist/Nurse path for 10-15 and going into Law Enforcement while I'm still young & fit enough to do the job. The rest I can do in my 50s/60s. Assuming I still want to. And assuming I get the LEO job. If not, I know I can still lead a good life being a student-mom. So I'm currently putting energy towards two completely different career tracks.

Oh. I also write part time.

I love and value many things in life. This can make things difficult (choices!!!), but it ALSO creates possibilities and opportunities where they don't usually exist. For me, it's all about the pragmatic aspect of cake eating.

Sounds like you have the same stuff going on.

Even if LMP and ECE you choose NOT to mix, having both give you a $60 an hour 'side' job that won't wreck your body, because you won't have to depend on it full time... And the ECE will get you through recessions and other hardships. Plus, getting your LMP now, means more money to pay for school.

Myself... I rarely DROP an aspiration... I merely alter the timeframe or application.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you have a community college near you, take a class there, any class, that interests you. When you are a student, you can use the student services, which includes career counseling. Good luck!

And perhaps look for a Unitarian Universalist church in your area. They often have Wiccan members. - the Indianapolis site.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I knew a lady who gave me massages while I was pregant. She was 60+ years old...... she was a christian and she changed my life. 9 yrs later prior to her retiring , she met with me monthly and it was the best massage I ever had in my life for 9 yrs. I loved going to her. We would pray together and she would share a ministry she had on the side that helped women inmates and rehabilitate them. So anyway, if your passion is massage and your also loosing your christian growth.... This is something that may be a answer to prayer. Just think the life can lead in praying for those that you work on...... it may just be what God is leading you too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

This really is pretty simply, honestly.
Keep in mind that this is something you're going to be doing for the rest of your life.
You konw what you want to do. Very few people actually do. So please, do it.
OTherwise, you'll find yourself going to a job you don't really like, and that will in turn start to affect other aspects of your life.

Make yourself happy first.
Your hubby needs to get over his childish jealousy. This is massage therapy - not happy endings.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Go with what you feel comfortable with. You want to do massages - do them. Do the women and the children and find your place. Perhaps you could do pregnant women or something.

Talk to hubby some more and have him meet with you and a counselor at school to answer his questions.

If you don't follow your dream you will regret it and it will cause problems in the future. Only you know if it feels right to do it.

Good luck to you.

The other S.

PS I have finally decided I want a sewing machine in my life to create what I want and to give back to those who can't.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

When I started college, I was a government major, determined to get a job in state government and make a difference in the world. Half-way through college, I had trouble getting enough credits due to budget cuts at the state university. I took a journalism class because I could get into one for GE credit. I aced the class and realized it was something I really enjoyed. I then became a journalism major, thinking I'd become a newspaper reporter. Well, again, budget cuts forced me to take a summer school course for the units and it was in public relations. I loved it even more than regular journalism! I think things happen for a reason, and in my case budget cuts led me to my career path.

After I graduated, I went into public relations. I have never regretted my career path. In fact, it's such a good thing I didn't go into print journalism because newspapers are struggling now.

I think you have to go with what really excites you and that you know you'll enjoy doing every day. At the same time, make sure there are career prospects in the field. I suspect alternative medicine and massage will both grow due to aging baby boomers, but I'd talk to people in the field and research online.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You make your best guess choice, based on your passions and interests combined with the likelihood of being able to make a living and ability to pay back student loan debt, if applicable.

I assume you are young-ish, so remember you can realistically have approx. 3 careers in your life. So if you are in your mid-twenties or so, you will not necessarily be stuck doing whatever you choose for the rest of your life.

I don't know anything about Wiccans, so I'm not sure how that is relevant to your question. But whatever you do, make sure it is at least something you care fairly deeply about, so you won't be too unhappy with whichever path you choose.

It sounds like you shouldn't go down any path that involves massaging men, since your husband is so uncomfortable with it.

The aptitude tests mentioned by B are a good idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When I began college, I was going to become a pharmacist.
And then in my sophomore year Organic Chemistry culled me out.
I took Intro to Everything 101, and I used the schools career development center.
They had me take an aptitude test which proved interesting.
It pointed me in the direction to becoming a computer programmer.
Surprisingly, the skills you need to be a good programmer are the same ones you need to be a mechanic or a funeral director and I've known many people over the years who have crossed over between those jobs and managed very well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Get yourself calm and let go of all fears and wants and worries and ask the universe to show you, tell you, guide you. You're Wiccan, so you know there are all kinds of methods of divination. Pray and give it over and let it come back. At this point you're letting your fears and others direct. This only leads to unhappiness.

There are all kinds of natural healing jobs, but you have to get into the right path for you. Check into things in more depth. Maybe there is another path in healing for you.

Sending you thoughts for all good things

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

You do what you love and are passionate about. If a subject "grabs" you and inspires you, that is what you should do! Some subjects you just feel, meh. Some subjects you have a great interest in, want to talk about it, want to learn more, etc. If you are amazing at giving massages you should go for it! My good friend here is a message therapist....she has an office connected with her friend the chiropractor. She specializes in sporty people and those with sport injuries. She is getting licensed to do acupuncture as well. She has taken many classes in different types of non-western healing. She loves what she does and is very very good at it. Her office is very professional and most of her clients are recommended by the chiropractor or are people she has known for years. I think if this is what drives your should do it!!!!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions