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Autor: anton 17 November 2010
Words: 1916 | Pages: 8
My career choices have changed through the years from mother and housewife through architect, accountant, or teacher, finally I have arrived at a computer career. The following is an idea of the path I have followed.
What I want to be When I Grow Up
Coming to the point of my current career choice has been a long road. My idea of what a career is or should be has changed with circumstances and age. According to Weintraub (2005), "the average worker spends only four years in a job and will have 12 jobs in as many as five career fields during his or her working life." (para. 1) My first career was marriage and motherhood followed by a surprising healthcare career. What the future holds waits to be seen. With a bachelor of science degree in information technology the options are wide open.
Childhood Career Choices
Most children seem to have ideas of what they would like to be when they grow up. The average person walking into any kindergarten class today would find future teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, astronauts, firefighters, and ballerinas; the list is endless. I never had the chance to even dream about what I wanted to be when I grew up and was given little chance to develop my own tastes and ideas towards this goal. I spent my childhood trying to be the good example to my younger brother and sister that my father demanded in his letters. All the while I was hoping and praying that my mother and father would get back together. The only thing I knew was being a mom and that is what I thought I wanted to be.
Adolescent Career Choices
In high school my ideal career seemed to change from day-to-day. I tried working at a fast food restaurant, and ice cream parlor, a day care, but none of these led to any career decisions. I wanted to join the military so I took the ASVAB but I was not confident enough in my ability to make it through basic training so I gave up the idea. I wanted to be an architect so I applied for admission to the CAD program at ITT Technical Institute and was accepted. I was scheduled to start classes on June 12, 1989, but deep down what I truly wanted was to a wife and mother and the idea of getting out of Rantoul, Illinois did not hurt either. My unspoken desire came to the fore when I met my future husband in January of 1989. We were married on June 10, 1989, four days after my high school graduation and two days before I was supposed to leave for ITT Tech. He graduated from his Air Force technical training and received orders to Clovis, New Mexico. I was getting everything I wanted, or so I thought.
Early Adulthood Career Choices
Two months after my marriage in 1989 I was pregnant; my high school career choice had been fulfilled but I was not able to fill it. I did not feel satisfied as a stay-at-home mom, and I began looking for a new career. I started taking classes at Eastern New Mexico University in Clovis, New Mexico with a major in accounting. In my second semester I realized that this was not what I wanted to do so I switched to a general studies major taking any class that looked interesting trying to decide on a major. In my third semester of classes my first career choice reared its ugly head and my husband received orders to go to Germany. We packed up and I was back to trying to be a stay-at-home mom.
While in Germany I tried a correspondence course for computer repair. I loved this but could not keep up the payments when my husband decided he wanted a divorce. Once I was back stateside I tried the traditional college path again. I enrolled at Eastern New Mexico University in their associates of applied science in electronics/computer technology but this did not pan out for me either. I loved working with computers but working and attending classes full-time along with raising two children alone was more than I could handle. I dropped out of school and moved to Wisconsin to have the support of my family. Once in Wisconsin I enrolled at Blackhawk Technical College in their computer repair degree but I tired of family taking advantage of my computer expertise and was not doing well physically or emotionally so I dropped out of yet another program.
I took a long break after moving into my mother's house and dropping out of Blackhawk Tech. I did not know what I wanted to do and feared failing yet again. One day the opportunity to be trained in transcription fell into my lap. I did not consider this a career choice at the time but it was a job so I finished the six month training program in four months and was offered a job at Memorial Community Hospital. I had never seen myself in the healthcare field but here I was.
After less than a year in the medical records department transcription was downsized and I was no longer needed. I was fortunate to have a supervisor that saw potential in me and I was offered the opportunity to help develop a new position in the department. Over the next six months I worked closely with supervision developing the assistant medical records clerk position at the hospital. I enjoyed the development of the position but soon became bored with the job.
An opening became available in the admissions office so I applied and moved to a new job and department at the hospital. Once I had learned the job I soon became bored with yet another position and was looking for a new opportunity. At this point I still did not consider healthcare a career choice; it was just a job to pay the bills.
In August of 2002, the medical records department, now called health information management, found themselves with a new supervisor. The new supervisor received approval from upper management to add a new position to the department, and I was offered the opportunity to move back to the health information management department as a transcriptionist/coder. I jumped at the chance to again try my hand at developing yet another new position and to learn medical coding, which was something totally new to me.
I had received a few months of on-the-job training and was doing well when the part-time transcriptionist retired and the hospital hired a second full-time transcriptionist. This gave me the opportunity to become a full-time coder. At this point, after working at the hospital for two years, I was finally thinking of healthcare as a career. I have enjoyed the challenge of working in the healthcare field but have again reached a plateau. After two years in my current position I would like to move forward but there is no where to go. To best facilitate upward career mobility I enrolled in the bachelor of science degree at University of Phoenix.
Future Career Choices
Today I still have not decided what I want to be when I grow up. I know I would like to work with computers so I just need to find the opportunity with a company where I can grow as I learn and have the opportunity to keep growing.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2004-2005) lists 179 possible jobs related to computers. I am considering following a programming path and working for a healthcare software vendor. The idea of taking my experience in the hospital environment and transferring it into helping create programs that work more efficiently for the job being done appeals to me. With a software vending company there is also the opportunity of training users on new software, I have had some opportunity to do this currently and find it very rewarding. Another consideration is entering the healthcare management field. I have the majority of the skills to manage the department but not the degree. With the implementation of the electronic health record a new field has opened in healthcare called healthcare informatics; a degree in computers would be extremely valuable with this new field and combined with the Registered Health Information Administrator credential from the American Health Information Management Association the opportunities in healthcare management would be wide open.
There is, of course, the possibility of totally leaving the healthcare field and moving on to greener pastures. With my future bachelor of science degree from University of Phoenix I will have the degree to back up the skills I already have with computers. With the growth promoted by the staff at University of Phoenix I should also have the confidence necessary to sell myself to potential employers. The information technology field is growing exponentially with every new computer development, which means the career I choose on graduation in three years might not even be considered a career today.
Something hitherto unconsidered is the possibility of going on in my education to receive a master's or Doctorate. With a master's or Doctorate I could even further change the focus of my career goals; library science and law are fascinating subjects to consider. While driving the possibility of tax law popped into my head. Entering the educational setting once again has opened my mind to new directions for my current career and new ideas for future possibilities.
Only time and opportunity will tell which direction might be taken. Tamara Orr (2004) states, "few people may know early on exactly what they want to be, but most of us hop around and explore different options as we get older." (para. 2) This gives me faith that I still have ample opportunity to make a decision, and I can always change my mind. I think I would be happy to follow Robert Frost (1920) and take the road less traveled by.
In summary, throughout my life many career choices have crossed my mind. I have tried being a stay-at-home mom and a hospital employee. I am working on trying computers. The path I chose in computers is yet to be decided but the opportunities are vast. My current path leaves me many opportunities in healthcare and computers but the possibilities do not stop there. With further education I could still do anything.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2004-2005). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved
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finding your direction in life? That would be you.
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Weintraub, M. (2005). Commentary: Three ways to survive today's job-change pace.
The Daily Record. Retrieved on May 22, 2005