Endless Job Search

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    Some people know they want to go into a certain career or choose one and go for it. Others have certain obvious skills and make a parnassa like that.

    Then you have people who just don’t know where it is that they can make the dough roll in and be able to pay bills plus have money to live even a modest life. You see, I’ve tried teaching, but that doesn’t pay, is draining, and I just don’t always have what it takes to be a good one that has the kids all under control. I can spend thousands of dollars going for a masters, but I really am turned off by all the fields there are that I know about. I can’t imagine sitting in a boring office all day though I wouldn’t mind some sitting time in a job. When all who try to help ask what I WANT to do I really don’t know what it is that I won’t to do. I want to do something… but I just haven’t found that “shidduch”.

    Any suggestions on helping people in sitches like this. I know I am not the only one because I recently spoke to a few ppl who were jobless also and not knowing where to turn…

    looking for suggestions…. Thanks 🙂


    Try to find a career counselor who can assess your aptitude and strengths and offer practical suggestions based on these.


    Is there anywhere you can get vocational testing done, through Jewish Family Services or a frum source?


    Well… I know that jobs are not for fun but you can’t be miserable at them. And if something is not your skill and not your strength why spend thousands to go into something you will not be good at?!?!

    Pahuteh Yid…. it ain’t so “pashut” like you make it sound. You see, I love to do for people but the medical feild makes me cringe and I lots of things bore me to sleep. I like computers but too long in front of one makes me dizzy! I like klal work but the jobs are all either for experienced ppl way farther along the road of life and kiruv involves too much exposure to things I really want to stay away from. It’s scaring me that I really don’t know what it is that I want to do! I guess I can settle for something but… I better figure out what it is… and as for the college thing, as soon as I finish my “Jewish” B.A. in nothing (a.k.a. lib arts) I dont have any interest in going further cuz I’m fizzed out from it and as I said before dont really have an interest in those things.


    zeitbesimcha – try politics, always interesting, and you are doing for the public. city council members all throughout the city are being replaced next year, and there are going to be tons of politicking to do. the first few jobs may be with no or little pay, but get another job meanwhile, as these jobs tend to have weird hours anyway. before you know it, you be a full time staffer, and eventually maybe run a campaign or run yourself.


    Don’t be afraid to look outside of the “normal” job range.

    For example, I am an engineer. Many people have said to me things like “how can you be an engineer, you are female!” and other ignorant phrases, but I just tell them life has progressed pass the 1950’s.

    Anyway, that was a little off topic, but my point is don’t be afraid to find something interesting that most people dont get jobs in.

    Also, look for a large company that you can move around in. If you decide you dont like human resources, then you can move to the accounting department (or anything else) without compromising your pension, 401k etc.

    Good luck!! Is there anything that you can think of that interests you even if it doesnt sound like a job? Share it with us and maybe we can help!!

    If all else fails, become a pharmacist since the pay is great.


    Hey, maybe Obama had the same idea as Mariner. He was on a blog thinking of something to do and someone said, Hey, why not go into politics… LOL!


    intellegent, Thanks for that laugh. You have a good sense of humor.

    anon for this


    I trained as an engineer too. I worked when my husband was learning in kollel & later when he was in school/ training. Now I’m home with my kids because that works better for us now, but I really liked the work.

    I also got some reactions from people about engineering school, but in some ways I think engineering is less problematic than other degrees. One reason people object to college is that the course content can include ideas that are not compatible with frum beliefs, but generally engineering degrees require very few humanitites/ social science courses.

    If you don’t mind my asking, what did you major in? I have a Masters in mechanical.


    Anon I am a mechanical engineer. I graduated from Brooklyn Polytech with a Bachelors. I am trying to get my PE (already took the FE) and I am debating going for my MBA.

    I love Math and its a career that drew me in. I work for Con Ed, so I dont work on “state of the art” stuff, but I like the classics (pumps, piping, heat transfer) etc which is what I am doing now. Con Ed is also a GREAT company to work for because they are really accomodating with Shabbos and holidays.

    I took very few humanities courses and only one time did I come across something that I found non kosher. It was a history class and the professor was showing a french video. He told us there was some nudity in it (which being female didnt really bother me), but it turned out to be male nudity. Luckily, I was able to look away and not really see much (besides, the scene itself was disturbing).

    I agree with you about being a less problematic degree, although I personally dont have problems with people learning things like literature that is not “torah mandated” as long as you know that you wont be influenced by it.

    I think people avoid engineering because they dont like math, but I think once someone shows you how to apply mathematical theory in a way you can understand, math makes a lot of sense.


    I’ve been doing software for about 15 years now. Right now I do high end Javascript and web 2.0 applications for a start up in Israel.

    There are a number of good books on picking a career you can find at your local Barns and Noble or the like. It will of course take some work and training to get there. Any decent job is going to take real skills and real work. It will also take a few years of working up the ladder.

    There are opportunities out there, but they the come dressed in Overalls and require real work to take advantage of.

    In terms of degree I have a BA in Physics from Brandeis.


    Based on that post, I’ll venture to guess that you have set a very high bar for what is “not kosher”. Suffice it to say that most Orthodox folks would not (should not!) take any advice from you on what college courses are kosher/non kosher.

    By the way, do people really call you “a female”? Or is that just how you think of yourself? It seems like a pretty un-progressive way to speak.



    anon for this

    SJS, I attended a midwestern state university. It was huge but I lived with my parents for free & paid only in-state tuition. I also preferred the classic ME stuff–I did work a summer for the local electric utility but only did intern-type stuff. That’s great that Con Ed is good about shabbos–do you do a lot of field work? I took the FE right after I graduated–that way I didn’t have to worry about forgetting all about electric circuits.

    I worked for a defense contractor which sounds high-tech but was generally the regular engineering stuff, plus everything had to meet military specs.

    I figured I’d like engineering because when I was in high school I liked math & physics and, even though everyone else disliked word problems, I thought they were neat.

    Sorry about taking this off-topic.


    First of all thanks to everybody for trying to help out…

    So far your ideas were really interesting but unfortunately, I just can’t seem to make them feel right for me yet (but keep throwing out ideas cuz one of them just might be a winner!)

    I dont see myself in the med field, as well as many other masters ideas besides that I am just burnt out from school even though its been a few since I’ve been there! I think i would pass out from boredom working at a comp all day, teaching doesn’t pay enough money besides for the issue of controlling a bunch of chutzpadik kids, and I would probably electricute myself if I was an electrician, and drown if I were a plumber!!! I know I am making light of this but I really don’t know where to start! Every time I get a new idea it just doesnt seem like I’d be the one for the job. Baruch Hashem I am very happy being the person I am and wouldnt trade it for anyone but I mean this is ridiculous… there’s gotta be some skill or talent i have that will lead me in a direction of parnassa.

    ok… here’s a few things i can throw it that may make it easier for you to jelp me out.

    I like poeple, I like being productive, I can be creative but I need motivation and not too much pressure, I like kids too but don’t really know if that’s what I wanna do, I like being a source of connection for ppl but I have no clue if that has shaiches to a job for me, um… what else, I am a thinker but really not into the math stuff and politics and all the brainy stuff, although I do enjoy slight stimulation, I need a kosher environment to some degree, I am ok with computers but can’t handle only that cuz I need to move around or I’ll fall asleep, I like hock, though again that may have no shaiches to a job, and I am not sure what else to say at the moment… does that maybe help everyone to help me?!?

    Oh and one more thing, I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing… I dont mind off the beaten track as long as it’s not walking around town in a clown costume!

    thanks again!

    anon for this

    I agree with the posters who suggested vocational testing.

    Another point: if you like some aspects of teaching but have trouble with large classes & grading lots of papers, tutoring one-on-one or in small groups may be a better fit for you.

    You may want to try to sign up with a temp agency; that could give you a chance to work at different companies & find out about different jobs.


    Temping can be a decent way to make money in the short term. And I know a few folks who did it long term, but I would not want to. (YMMV). Check out “What Color is your Parachute” you can find it for about $13 on Amazon or in your local public library.

    If you are a smart person who is willing to work hard and learn new skills as needed you can find a job you will like long term. OK your first job will be lousy, mine sure was, but think of it as paying dues, learn all the skills you can there and learn how to work.

    If anyone wants advice on becoming a programmer or similar please let me know, I will be happy to point you in some useful directions. ([email protected])


    Squeak – I dont think anyone should take halachic or hashkafic advice from ANYONE on the internet, me included. And I may not be as stringent as some, but I can tell “treif” from “kosher” – although the kosher part is a little bit more subjective.

    My rabbinic authorities have no problem with me learning things like English Literature. Reading Harry Potter is not going to turn me to witch craft. Reading Crime and Punishment will not cause me to nor prevent me from murdering my landlord for money – it just gave me an interesting perspective on someone who though the end justified the means and then what happened (he kills his landlord for money because he thinks he can change the world if he only had some money). It didnt corrupt me, just gave me a different view on things [yes, morals should be learned from Torah sources, and this is just a different perspective]. And honestly, I think its a good lesson for everyone to learn (especially some Jews who think they are above the law).

    However, if you think reading these kinds of things will corrupt you, even though it might be mutar, you should stay away.

    Most bachelor degrees nowadays require many credits of humanities. Many of these classes are very problematic. I opted not to take a psychology class because it was taught by a vulgar professor. I avoided things which were not kosher for me – but in my humble opinion (supported by my Rabbis), english literature is fine to learn. That is all I meant (and this might be a ramble). Since Engineering requires less humanities, you have less opportunity to fall into classes that are inappropriate. A little research goes a long way to find out how kosher a class is.

    BTW, why is “female” un-progressive? Is it different from “woman”? I’m not specifically a “progressive” person (I’m more of a striver for equality). And yes, I have been refered to as female.


    You might enjoy doing sales. promoting products to stores. the working place always changes as you go from store to store so you won’t get bored too fast. something to consider. hatzlucha!


    Would anyone be interested in a longer post on how to get into computer programming? I would be happy to write it, but would like to know that someone will care before I spend a few hours on it.


    I hate to sound unintelligent but what exactly is vocational training… like how does one go about that? What types of jobs are included?

    How bad is it to get a job in something you really arent interested in just so that you have a job and then to keep looking for something you really want to do??

    I mean bills gotta be paid but I feel almost like it’s cheating the first ppl only to use them as a back up until I find something else.


    Zach, I think people will find it beneficial if you post about programming.


    The testing looks at your interests and ways of looking at work, and match it up to see what group of workers you most resemble. For example, teachers tend to be very conservative in many ways, as they do the same thing year after year, and the culture has usually been pretty static.

    There are also aptitude tests, to learn your relative strengths and weaknesses.

    But this comment:

    — “I know that jobs are not for fun …” —

    Nope. Work can be the most fun part of your life.

    You seem to be somewhat aware of yourself. Why not try starting up some kind of little business? could be service, or something else.

    Be an entrepreneur.


    Ok, I will work on a piece on how to get into programming. However I work a lot of hours these days so it may take me some time, I’ll send it in for a top level post when I have it done.

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