Right now I need to write. I need to think. I need to brainstorm. I need to think about jobs and the future and study. Besides thinking about what I want to do I need to think about how I want to think about it and how to go about investigating it.
These following factors are critical in deciding on a course of study or career:
Money: I want to be able to earn a decent wage doing whatever I am going to do. My days of working to make enough to cover my living expenses and sundry occasional expenses are over. I want to be able to afford to travel and buy a house and generally afford a secure future for my own family.
Prospect of living and working overseas: We really miss living and working overseas. There are plenty of occupations that would transfer to a foreign labour market. It would be awesome to be able to live somewhere like Taiwan but earn some serious money. It would be great to have the kind of employment prospects that would make me employable across the world; imagine living and working in Russia, or Singapore, or Hong Kong, or Japan, or Canada, or the Czech Republic, or in Chile. Cool.
Employment prospects: I am not in the mood to qualify in something only to have to battle to carve out a career for myself or have to exercise great patience waiting for vacancies and promotions to come up as the older members in the occupational pool reach retirement age and free up some space. I want to be involved in an area where there is a demand for the knowledge and skills I will graduate with, and where I won't have too much trouble getting a job, and then later, getting a better job or looking for promotion.
Personal interest: Whatever I do needs to offer me some kind of personal fulfillment. There are plenty of jobs that I could mange capably and do very well yet not enjoy at all. I don't want to commit to something that will be unsatisfying and not stimulating enough for me for the next 20 years. I want my job to be challenging and interesting and rewarding and dynamic. I want to have to think and create and write and help people with it somehow. I certainly don't want a job that makes people's lives worse or harms the environment. Ideally I would like to be paid to do something that I was inherently motivated to do. Inherent motivation. Something where I would start work on any day thinking that what I was doing was important; something purposeful, something that had a point to it, not just creating and moving paper around.
Length of time required to attain a qualification: This is a really important criterion. I could choose to study anything really but do I really have the luxury of spending the next four years just to complete an undergraduate course again? It might be worth it if it was something I was very passionate about but there's nothing like that for me. There are lots of things that I am interested in and that I think are important but nothing in particular that stands out for me.
I need to weigh up all these factors and perhaps other factors that I haven't thought about here or have missed in this summary. It is a very difficult time for me and a difficult decision to make. Perhaps one of the most important parts of the consideration is trying to get my head around imagining me doing the job and imagining how I would feel doing it. For that I need to know about the jobs and what they involve, from the immediate perspective and the day-to-day work, to the larger perspective and how my job fits into a wider society - what it means.
I have a lot of investigating and thinking to do.