Helping Her Sister Out of Career Limbo


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Karen writes: My sister has a bachelor’s degree in sociology (or is it social science?) with a specialization in archeology. (She wanted to become an archeologist, but the college she went to didn’t offer it as its own major, but instead as part of another major.) After she graduated, she worked a few years of archeology “construction detail,” and then gave it up. She’s not interested in that career field or type of work anymore and has been in career limbo for about two years. She’s currently working at a store in a local mall and is very unhappy. She told me that she since she earned a college degree she’d like to be using it. However, she has no idea what kind of jobs she might be able to get! What sort of jobs are available for someone with her qualifications?
The Career Doctor responds: I think it’s great when family members help each other out, so kudos to you, Karen. At this point in your sister’s life, the degree is of more importance than her major to employers… thus, her career options are almost limitless. She’s also not alone — I’ve met too many store clerks with a bachelor’s degree who dislike their jobs and wonder about the value of their education. I suggest that your sister first take some time to think about the things she likes to do — what activities, skills, etc., does she enjoy? If she needs help with this exercise, she may want to try out some of the resources available at Quintessential Careers: Career Exploration Tools. Then she needs to find the types of jobs that use those skills. She may need additional training or education, but it totally depends on what she discovers. Finally, she is going to need to work on her resume — perhaps changing the format to a chrono-functional rather than chronological — to stress the value of her transferable skills.