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Old 12-16-2018, 12:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
And now for something completely different...


I spent my career in high tech with titles like Chief Architect. In that kind of job, I'm paid to quickly learn and then make strategic judgements based on what I've learned. Usually, there isn't a subject matter expert in the building so I have to become the subject matter expert. Before the internet and web search engines, there was a heck of a lot more skill, cost, and effort in acquiring the information to teach yourself. Today, I can get the gist of pretty much any technology with a Google and some hours reading. If you don't have the personality type for it, you're probably forced to pay to have someone spoon feed the information to you.
Yeah, but I think the takeaway is that real world jobs just don't work like that. Not even so-called "unskilled" jobs are that friendly toward people who need a little extra training and a reminder here and there. I guess the best thing I can do is just put together a plan and try something. If it doesn't work, at least I didn't just sit around and complain about the problem.

I get that I'm probably not best in high-stress environments where I have to employ the skills of self-teaching and on-the-spot problem-solving. I had no idea that teaching was like that until I actually got that middle school position I resigned from. Student teaching and teacher education made it feel simple and straight-forward. i got the idea that I was going to have the help I needed because that was what made sense to me; I was wrong. I should scratch "teacher" off of the list, I guess, but I have been getting offers to interview as an online teacher.

The problem, though, is I just don't have enough confidence that I would do it the "right" way. I need structure and scripts and props. I assumed college would provide this for me as part of my teacher training, but they didn't. Even to become a tutor, I feel like I would need to invest in a program and learn the formula. Otherwise, I wouldn't come off as a professional or knowledgeable about the subject, because it doesn't matter how much I know; it matters how well I can present what I know.

I really don't understand why it's so difficult for people to provide structures to memorize. After all, people need structure to function. It makes sense to me that teacher education students should be given an outline of what their lessons should look like, along with plenty of examples to follow. It would have given me a lot more confidence if I had been given a bit of a script. That's how I got through my ESL teaching position, and I did okay as long as I stuck to it and didn't try to improvise. High-stress environments really hamper my creativity, so thinking up a solution in the middle of chaos is nearly impossible for me. Having an outline I can refer to sometimes helps me stay on task.

Unfortunately, the "real world" often requires me to create my own structure, which is fairly difficult. I won't say I'm not willing to try, though, but I can tell from trying and failing to teach myself new skills that I'm apparently not very good at it. I guess I need to develop another approach.

Last edited by krmb; 12-16-2018 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:13 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 664,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
And now for something completely different...
... If you don't have the personality type for it, you're probably forced to pay to have someone spoon feed the information to you.

In that vein, this was how I made a good living doing something I enjoyed. I became a unix sys admin and dba in my early 40's after pursuing a variety of jobs to bring home a paycheck and raise a family. Here's my story.

I was failing at my last position as an audit manager (I didn't know I was failing but my boss made that assessment). I was sent to a sort of 2 week career booster summer camp - actually a last ditch effort to salvage managers but unbeknownst to the attendees, we thought it was some sort of reward. It was run by a very smart consultant who was being paid $3K a day to run it. At the end of it I had a one on one meeting for a personal assessment by the consultant. He told me flat out I was not a good manager, I was too hands on, I wouldn't delegate or help others grow, I was using the staff as my eyes and ears but was doing all the work myself. He said I needed to find a technical niche as an individual contributor where I could be of value to my employer. After a short period back on the job I was demoted to supervise the person in the print room who ran mainframe reports and the person who had taken over the info database I had created for the VP and had decided to reprogram it in dbase. Any suggestions I made were ignored and I left them alone. After a couple of years, I was further demoted to a rubber room position for about a year - I was in charge of collecting suggestions from the suggestion boxes which were mostly filled with dirty candy wrappers - but I still had a paycheck. Out of the blue I was asked if I would be willing to be in charge of automating the engineering drafting department with computerized drafting. I jumped at the chance.

As the audit manager I had written up the specs for the automated drafting server and workstations and plotter, based on what another company had done. After a few budget cycles the project had been approved, and the equipment was scheduled to be delivered and the person that was hired for the job had quit after a week. The drafters were a tough bunch of union workers who were up in arms about automation and had harassed and made veiled threats to the lady IT specialist who had been hired from IBM for the job.

As an audit manager I had a thick skin and had done a few special projects for our VP installing computerized bookkeeping systems at a few local non-profits he was on the boards of. I had also learned to use a PC database software to create an info system of daily status reports for the VP. I had also been in charge of the person in the print room who ran mainframe reports and the person who had taken over the input to the database I had created for the VP. So with this limited experience in IT I was asked to take on the job as sys admin and dba for the new automated drafting system the vendor was installing over the next several weeks. Given the climate, no one in the IT department wanted any part of it. Also, the system was a unix system and no one in IT had experience in anything but mainframes and PC's. I jumped at the chance. I had loved computers for years but had no education or training in it except what I taught myself as a hobbyist, and on the job.

When I first got an opportunity to learn how to work with PC's to create the info database requested by he VP, an experienced IT person who I used as a source of information told me learning this wasn't just a job. I had to immerse myself in it 24x7, absorb knowledge like a sponge, eat sleep and breathe computers. I was happy to do that.

Becoming the sys admin and dba for the computerized drafting system was my niche. A place where I could essentially work by myself for the company and the drafters, doing something I loved doing and could make a living at. I immersed myself in learning unix and databases and computer hardware and software. The vendor gave a two week crash course on being the system sys admin and dba. I came back from the two week class more confused than ever and went I went to company sponsored classes and when they didn't take went to outside seminars paid for by the company where the info finally stuck. I reached out to people for help. I even read some pages of pertinent parts of the many volumes of manuals that arrived with the system. I learned on the job to maintain the sytem, help the drafters with the system and most importantly to fix things and make them work and not waste time on figuring why or how they failed. Just about every problem that came up was unique so I found a work around to fix it and move on to the next. Over the following year the entire drafting department had been converted from a manual to a computerized system.

After 5 or 6 years in the position, I proposed and was allowed to lead a team of 3 programmers to reprogram the entire system in house with new hardware and software and a database I designed, and cut the drafting system vendor equipment and software maintenance costs out of the equation.

Now to your quote (sorry it took so long) I learned that most people could not learn or do this job or even wanted to do it because their personalities or egos couldn't live with being wrong most of the time. With computers there are many right answers but many, many more wrong ones. You can't BS a computer. It doesn't care what you look like or wear. It sits there dead until you feed it a right answer. And that can be preceded by many wrong ones. Almost all fixes were all trial and error, being wrong over and over until you spoke to enough people or read something or mostly just figured it out for yourself and the light bulb finally turned on.

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone about work, it would be what that consultant said to me in the 1980's. Find your niche. (It can be any field or any type of work.) Your niche is where your interests and your talent intersect where you can earn a living doing it.

There's things I enjoy doing as a hobby like photography and playing music and singing, but at an amateur, not a professional level. Not my niche. I worked for years at things I was good at but struggled with the office politics and bosses expectations, and many of my subordinates' dissatisfaction. Not my niche. Salary (as long as it is sufficient to live on) doesn't matter. Titles or position don't matter. Doing something you enjoy and making a living at it matters the most. It's priceless.

Last edited by bobspez; 12-16-2018 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:50 PM
 
4,343 posts, read 3,384,435 times
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I'm pretty far away from my niche, then. I have things I like to do as hobbies, and I feel like I could learn them to an expert level if given the proper opportunities. Writing is one. I majored in English and became a teacher. The problem, though, is working with people, well mainly children, isn't one of my strengths for obvious reasons, and, where an adult might ignore my faults and shortcomings as to not hurt my feelings, kids won't. This alone takes away a lot of my enthusiasm for teaching, as it seems like I can't do anything right when I'm in the classroom, even if my colleagues think I did a decent job, because the kids have the final say. It's surprisingly difficult to communicate with them, and I'm pretty sure I've given them a negative impression of me. It leaves me feeling like I need constant feedback from the "experts."

Another interest I have is animal behavior and health. I tried to earn a dog training license, but I didn't have a dog to practice with. My dad thinks I should become a veterinarian, but I don't have enough money to afford the classes. I've considered maybe applying as a vet assistant, but that would probably require additional training, too.

I play with computers and dabble in foreign language learning, but these probably aren't things I could do 24 / 7 without feeling burned out.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:20 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 664,905 times
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My friend graduated with a degree in English and after trying a few different jobs spent 30 years as a public middle school ESL substitute teacher for the the LA school system and retired from that job not too long ago. If you can do that job why not stick with it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by krmb View Post
That's how I got through my ESL teaching position, and I did okay as long as I stuck to it and didn't try to improvise. .
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,600 posts, read 50,705,498 times
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It sounds like your problem is motivation. Which no one here can give you.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,805 posts, read 9,347,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krmb View Post
I studied to be a teacher, so, on paper, teaching myself shouldn't be a problem, and maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to devote the time and energy to creating my own self-study curriculum while I'm between jobs, but it seems like, regardless of how interested I claim I am in learning something, I simply cannot teach it to myself.

Some common problems / patterns I have are:

"Studying" (really just watching instructional videos and maybe completing a few simple online exercises or just guessing the answer system since it's mostly multiple choice) the subject until I'm sick of it. At the end of these sessions, I can answer multiple choice tests, but I can't really do much else.


"Learning" part of a concept but never following through on anything else. For example, I might learn the alphabet in a foreign language but never progress from there. I eventually lose interest, leave, and have to start all over again when I come back.

I live in a place very close to Mexico, so I need to learn Spanish.


I'm from an age group that is supposed to be knowledgeable about computers, so I need to learn at least one coding language.




In theory, I know how to teach myself these things, but in practice, I never get anything done and just wish I could afford a good old fashioned face-to-face class.
There are a couple of issues here.

1. When you try to teach yourself something, you have no guidance as to which sources are valid. Some sources you pick may be totally biased and not representative of a body of knowledge.

2. To be knowledgeable about computers, why do you have to learn any coding language?
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:35 PM
 
18,265 posts, read 15,381,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krmb View Post
I'm pretty far away from my niche, then. I have things I like to do as hobbies, and I feel like I could learn them to an expert level if given the proper opportunities. Writing is one. I majored in English and became a teacher. The problem, though, is working with people, well mainly children, isn't one of my strengths for obvious reasons, and, where an adult might ignore my faults and shortcomings as to not hurt my feelings, kids won't. This alone takes away a lot of my enthusiasm for teaching, as it seems like I can't do anything right when I'm in the classroom, even if my colleagues think I did a decent job, because the kids have the final say. It's surprisingly difficult to communicate with them, and I'm pretty sure I've given them a negative impression of me. It leaves me feeling like I need constant feedback from the "experts."

Another interest I have is animal behavior and health. I tried to earn a dog training license, but I didn't have a dog to practice with. My dad thinks I should become a veterinarian, but I don't have enough money to afford the classes. I've considered maybe applying as a vet assistant, but that would probably require additional training, too.

I play with computers and dabble in foreign language learning, but these probably aren't things I could do 24 / 7 without feeling burned out.
I think working with animals might be good (although becoming a vet is not at all realistic, you donít have the science background and vet school is harder to get into than medical school). Yes, a vet tech would require additional training, but you may qualify for grants due to both your disability and your low income. I would ask at your unemployment and vocational centers can help.

First though you need to make sure itís a good fit. No more career decisions based on what you think something is going to be, because nothing ever is (occupational therapy in reality is far different than I thought it would be). You go tomorrow to your local animal shelter and volunteer. You can do many things. I used to go play with the cats sometimes. They ask for volunteers to do this as many of the cats are too wild to adopt and need to get used to people and being petted. They also asked for volunteers to walk a dog or two, so they get used to a leash and to get out of a cage for awhile. You can just go for an hour once a week or however often you choose.

Most animal care jobs wonít be high pay, but if you are happy doing it that is more important.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:41 PM
 
18,265 posts, read 15,381,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
My friend graduated with a degree in English and after trying a few different jobs spent 30 years as a public middle school ESL substitute teacher for the the LA school system and retired from that job not too long ago. If you can do that job why not stick with it?
She worked with adults at a community center. Working with kids won’t work, being required to turn in lesson plans and other public ed requirements doesn’t work. OP needs to be given a script and told exactly what to do. The lesson plans would all need to be pre-made for her, and all the kids would need to be able to learn in the same rote way. OP was a substitute for several years and the kids ate her alive. The principal needed to come one time because she lost control of a kindergarten class.

It seems harder to get a job teaching English to adults without knowing how to speak Spanish first, not sure.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:14 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 664,905 times
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Working with adults at a community center or night school is something she had success with, until she left the lesson plan behind and tried to improvise. The job had everything she has been asking for.. a script, structure, immigrants who respected the teacher, and presumably a paycheck. Something more is at work here. She says she is lazy, unmotivated. I think she also lives at home, so really doesn't have to do anything. I'm retired with a pension and have no desire to do anything work related either. I'm happy to pursue hobbies and spend time on forums and youtube. But she is retired at home as well. It's surprising how motivated and energetic you get when you are cold and hungry and on your own with a few dollars left and nothing coming in. I'm afraid this is another one of those CD threads that is going nowhere. A person venting with no necessity to take any advice or change in any way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
She worked with adults at a community center. Working with kids won’t work, being required to turn in lesson plans and other public ed requirements doesn’t work. OP needs to be given a script and told exactly what to do. The lesson plans would all need to be pre-made for her, and all the kids would need to be able to learn in the same rote way. OP was a substitute for several years and the kids ate her alive. The principal needed to come one time because she lost control of a kindergarten class.

It seems harder to get a job teaching English to adults without knowing how to speak Spanish first, not sure.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,520 posts, read 39,697,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krmb View Post
I'm from an age group that is supposed to be knowledgeable about computers, so I need to learn at least one coding language.
https://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/pro..._language.html

Quote:
A programming language is a vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer or computing device to perform specific tasks. The term programming language usually refers to high-level languages, such as BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, Java, FORTRAN, Ada, and Pascal.
I suggest COBOL and FORTRAN for the biggest waste of time (If you are already into programing)...

"learn at least one coding language", is a pure waste of time...

You need to learn to how use your computer. If you do not have a computer, perhaps you should get one...
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