I graduated with a degree in English with a minor in behavioral studies- which had been my dream way to spend my time at college/university- I wanted to be able to read and write under the guidance of people who'd read and written things I loved to read.
I loved it, but it didn't really prepare me for a job of any sort because I knew I didn't want to teach people like me- I wouldn't have felt that I was doing anything very useful - guiding people to read the classics and write essays about them. Not that I'm putting that down as a profession - I just wanted to work with different sorts of people from people who were just like me.
So, I got a job as a waitress, then I cleaned hotel rooms, then I worked as a receptionist at a Fred Astaire dance studio and then BINGO, I got a job working as a houseparent at residential home for children who'd been taken from their homes and were awaiting placement based on the court's decision.
I went to court with these kids, so I thought, maybe I could be a child advocacy lawyer. I talked to someone who was a lawyer and he told me he didn't really have that much contact with the kids. Then I thought I could be a social worker - but when I saw how many times these kids were fucked around by the system despite their social worker's best efforts, I thought, 'I'd be in a constant state of agitation and worry and disappointment if I did that for a job.'
So I thought, I'll be a speech and language therapist/audiologist. Got admitted to the graduate school in that program - went for six months and realized that I'd be playing a more clinical and peripheral role in these kids' lives than what I'd like to do. So I switched to Special and Remedial Education and got certified to teach any age child from birth to 12th grade who had any sort of developmental or learning disability.
This has resulted in a series of dream jobs for me. I get to spend all my time with people who are different from me, and for whom I feel I make a real difference . It's very rewarding.
And fun - we have a lot of laughs.
I got my current jobt when I went to the local college to get certified in adult literacy. They looked at my qualifications and experience and told me I had the equivalent of a certificate and did I think I might like teaching in a prison. I thought, 'Ill give it a try,' and ended up in another dream job.
Just be willing to keep putting your toe in and experiencing different things and what you most like and want to do will soon become apparent- or at least you'll learn a lot about what you DON'T want to do.