In American society, the purpose of education is to acquire knowledge to apply toward your eventual job; the higher the degree of the education, the more professional, and thus the higher paying, the career. But little in our education actually helps us take a step back and discover what we would be good at, or interested in, or happy doing. Most people simple stumble into a career, and whether they are happy doing it is a matter of luck and happenstance, rather than planning. At the 30 year mark, I am starting a bit late with my career path, but that is how long it took to find what it is I wanted to do, and largely, I stumbled into it. It took years to find the questions I needed to ask myself, much more the answers to those questions.
When it comes to my core skills, most of them revolve around dealing with people. I am an excellent communicator, with the ability to hear and answer questions perceptively. I pay attention to the people I am communicating with, and empathize with their point of view, giving clear answers. This is important, especially as I attempt to treat them. From my education and experience of massage therapy, I have found I am quite adept at putting people at their ease, the better to earn their trust as I attempt to sooth their aches. These skills lend to my ability to counsel people. To help them identify the cause of their ailments, and recommend a course of action to treat and prevent.
I am an excellent evaluator. Paying attention to a client, both what they say and how they act, allows me to appraise and judge their condition, and extract the essence of what is bothering them. An excellent sense of a touch and manual dexterity helps me with the evaluation, as well as the treatment. By handling the problem areas, I can not only identify, but also communicate to them the source of their problem, and illustrate the proper treatment. This all takes precision, and a through grasp of the micro to be as accurate as possible. Specific treatments cannot be dealt with in a general sense. I must be able to communicate specifically if I am to counsel them on the proper treatment. My core skills of communicating, treating, counseling, evaluating, handling, and precision working are not just isolated areas I have some talent at, but work together and bolster the effectiveness of each skill as a whole set.
My ultimate dream location to live and work is San Diego, California. I have always loved the ocean, and wish to live close enough to visit, if not on the coast itself. I hate the cold, and want to be someplace warm, with mild to no winter, and scorching hot summers. I do not want to live too close to my family, as I do not want to put up with the prospect of them stopping by unannounced, so central California or Nebraska is out. An upper-middle class neighborhood, with access to liberal private schools would be best for raising my child; someplace safe, but not isolated from the world and its problems. I want my daughter to have advantages, but not be spoiled or naive. As my main hobby is participation in the S.C.A., access to events is critical, but a couple hours drive time is convenient enough. Above all, the absolute one thing I will not compromise on is that my wife be happy there.
My main interests revolve around the human body, and human potential. What people can achieve if they are willing to push themselves to physical and emotional limits. From this comes a distinct attraction to the martial arts, gymnastics, and swordplay. From this study has come the concept that to physically achieve requires emotional balance. A willingness to accept the world that is, rather than the world we want. As I hope to achieve a personal balance, so too I wish to help others achieve a similar state. I see the main obstacle to such achievement to be injury, whether it is a mild sprain or a blown joint. Such injuries are distinctly discouraging, leading to lethargy and abandonment.
I would prefer to work inside. I like my own space, and enjoy the dependability of a controlled environment (hazaa to air-conditioning!). I can work outside, and do enjoy the outdoors; but still prefer a spa setting rather than nature. I know myself, and know that attempting to work from home simply would not work. Home contains too many distractions, and a thousand things I would rather do besides work. A commute, albeit a short one, would allow me time to switch ‘mental modes’ between home and work, helping to keep those two worlds separate. While I strive to maintain a professional demeanor, a relaxed atmosphere would promote the trust and communication I am trying to accomplish. Working hands on, one person at a time is also important. My clients need to feel that I am giving them my whole, unrushed attention; not pushing them through on the way to their payment. Late afternoon hours, say 10am to 7pm, would be ideal all around, perhaps with some weekend hours to match my wife’s schedule at the time. It would allow me the freedom to take care of any family chores that need to be done, allow me to fit into the schedule of other professionals who must toil in the 8-5 world, and still spend a quiet evening with my wife. Though I prefer the independence of accomplishing my tasks on my own, it is always best to have the support of a team. Like minded individuals who share my profession, and can offer help or advise when warranted.
When I am at work, I am at work. When I am at home, I am at home. I do not bring my work home with me, to interfere with my family life, nor do I let personal affairs detract from my professional performance. As such, I hope to work with people of a similar outlook. I am looking for work mates who take their job seriously, and accept that the environment will likely change to present new challenges. Adaptation, I have always felt, is the key to successful completion, rather than constant complaining. While I hope for a team effort, with those willing to pitch in and help where needed, I have always felt it paramount that professionals take responsibility for their own work. If the group constantly has to pick up the slack for an individual, resentment quickly sets in, destroying the team spirit that once prevailed.
Personally, I have a certain pride. I wish to do my work, whatever it is, with quality and efficiency. I accept to the way things are, and do not waste my time complaining about ‘the way things should be.’ These are the values I hold most dear; personal values that I adhere to, and would very much like to see in those around me. It would be nice to find a way to promote self-sufficiency and acceptance in the people around me, but I just do not have the energy. In a therapeutic career, I would have a chance to get people back on their feet, literally. By pushing them, treating them, and counseling them, I can show them what can be overcome, and perhaps give them a glimpse of what could be accomplished.
I hope to have a comfortable salary, but do not have the grand dreams or desires of a Maserati and a manor. My wife and I are planning on a two income family, with each contributing equally rather than adopting the roles of ‘bread winner’ and ‘home body.’ I am not looking for the inflated salaries or bonuses of a CEO, as I am not looking to be responsible for the performance of an entire company, or even the entire group. I see myself as part of a larger whole, but an independent part; accomplishing with the support, but not the interference of those around me. I think making $50,000 gross, riding the crest of inflation towards $100,000 around retirement, is reasonable for the 8+ more years of education I must invest in. Likely, we will have to pay for our own life and health insurance, while paying to put our little girl through private school.
The S.D.S. workbooks I filled out states very specifically I should be a Medical Record Technician, with a Holland Code of CIR. My main Holland type of (C) is accurate enough. I am consistent and predictable. I have always had a talent for numbers, and am mildly obsessed with time. I like to have things organized out of convenience, more than putting them that way as a hobby. The secondary type (I) also fits. I am inquisitive, and seek knowledge and answers for their own sake. The final type of (R) is actually a trait I pride myself on. I choose to confront reality as it is, rather than as I wish; though I hate working with tools and machines. With my first two letters CI, my code has average consistency, and I would likely find great satisfaction in any conventional career. Even the values and self-perceptions associated with conventional types match me very closely; while my action mode and style are consistent with a realistic personality.
Despite this, I dream of, and am striving for, a career in Physical Therapist, with a Holland Code of SIE. If the true measure of a man is what he does when no one is looking, then I am a social type all the way. Renaissance studies (I am an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronisms), military history, archery, swordplay, hiking; these are the subjects and activities that fill my idle thoughts and sap my free time. If the measure of a man is taken by the company he keeps, then I best fit an enterprising type. Adventurous, energetic, agreeable, self-confident, ambitious; while I may not describe myself that way, this is the list by which my friends identify me. Part of the confusion in nailing down my type may arise from the scoring of section three, careers in the Holland Handbook. The truth is, I have had most of the careers listed under section C. It is very easy for me to see myself doing all of them as I have memories of doing most of them. The fact that I have done so many of them is also how I know I would be miserable doing any of them. I am currently a collections specialist, and hate how little I can do to help my customers. Even with this bias, the difference between my lowest category and my highest is 14. Since the difference is less than 15, my interests are somewhat broad, making it easy for me to fit into many categories, but difficult to find a place in any one.
Luckily, I have been facing the question of what to do with my life since I was 16. After 14 years of thought, the exploration of several options, and not a little soul searching, I am confident I am on the right path as a Physical Therapist. It incorporates my skills, addresses my values, and fulfills my desires. It directly relates to my hobbies and leisure interests, and incorporates the one job I ever had I was happy in. When I worked as a massage therapist, I was happy, skilled, and good at my job. As a straight, local 30 year old male in a career flooded with young, beautiful women, massage therapy is not a realistic career path for me. But Physical Therapy is something I not only can do, but can be truly happy doing. I am one of those lucky individuals that can learn to do any job and be successful at it, but SIE is the career category where I fit.