Seeking Career Advice After Difficult Journey

In summary, the speaker is a CS graduate who struggled to find employment after graduation and ended up working in a mortgage business. They then decided to return to school for a graduate program in a different field due to their low grades in CS. They have now completed courses in chemistry and received rejection letters from grad programs. They are unsure about continuing with chemistry or finding another career due to their severe hearing loss, which they believe limits their employment opportunities. They have also considered a career in the games industry but worry about their age and competition. Another person advises them to not let their hearing loss discourage them and suggests accommodations such as a hearing aid or lip reading. They also mention that age is not a barrier for grad programs and that the speaker's uncertainty
  • #1
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Ok, here's my situation. Most of the people on here seem like they are pretty straight shooters, but perhaps there is someone out there can give me some advice. I finished my bachelors in CS in 2001, but after graduation was unable to find employment despite having internships. So I took up a job substituting in a high school for a bit, but didn't like it. After that, I started working for one of my brother's friend's mortgage business, but that really didn't work out either, as deals weren't coming in and its a 100% commission job (I was a loan officer - essentially a sales job).

After that, I decided that I would return to school and see if I could get into a grad program. I thought about CS, but my grades as a undergrad weren't spectacular so I thought I would look into another field. So I started taking courses in chemistry, hoping to get accepted into grad programs in chemical engineering. I will have completed organic and physical chem but the end of this semester. I recently heard back from the programs I applied to with rejection letters, one of them being my alma mater. There is still one more to go but it is the best program of the three I applied to and it seems incredibly unlikely

I was wondering if anyone thinks it would be wise to continue with chemistry, or try to find something else to do. The thing is my hearing loss, which is pretty severe now, seems like bars me from a lot avenues of employment. Any job whose function is primarly social is extremely difficult. for me. Some of my brothers also have this loss and one of them is a professor, but it seems like the time to do that has come and gone for me(I just turned 26). It seems like deaf/hard of hearing individuals are either very successful or dishwashers(especially those born completely deaf). There seems to be no 'middle-ground' for these people. I would do something more pedestrial like secondary teaching, but I don't think school systmes want individuals with the amount of hearing loss I have.

I have been meddling around with 3d graphics and would love a job in the games industry, but again that seems like it would be a tough sell as it is extremely competitive and seems like younger types.
 
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  • #2
We have laws that prevent discrimination based on disabilities! Your hearing loss shouldn't be an issue, as long as you're willing to put in the effort to find a way to compensate, be it by getting an interpreter for your classes, or spending extra time going over notes others take during class so you don't miss material you can't hear. Do you have a hearing aid or the ability to read lips? Either can help (I had a student who used a hearing aid, but still needed to supplement with reading lips, and the only extra accomodation she needed was to make sure people faced her when talking so she could read their lips).

I'm wondering why you only applied to three programs? That seems like you're limiting yourself quite a bit. If you enjoy chemistry and do well in it (which you really didn't state in your post), then by all means continue to pursue it. If you don't like teaching and/or feel your hearing loss would present challenges to interacting in a classroom setting, then you can focus on a research-track career. Age isn't an issue either. Grad programs have students of all ages. Some enter straight from college, others work for a while first, others are doing a mid-life change of career, etc.

What might be holding you back at this stage is your own uncertainty. If you haven't convinced yourself of what you really want to pursue, then you're going to have a hard time convincing an admissions committee. So, only you can really decide if chemistry is something you want to continue to pursue.
 
  • #3


First of all, I want to commend you for your determination and resilience in the face of a difficult journey. It takes a lot of courage to keep pushing forward despite setbacks and challenges.

It sounds like you have a lot of interests and skills, but are struggling to find a career path that is a good fit for you. I would suggest taking some time to reflect on your strengths, passions, and values. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What is important to you in a career? This self-reflection can help guide you towards a career that aligns with your strengths and values.

You mentioned your hearing loss as a potential barrier to certain careers. Have you looked into accommodations or support systems that could help you in the workplace? It may also be worth reaching out to organizations or individuals in your field who have hearing loss to see how they have navigated their careers.

In terms of continuing with chemistry or exploring other options, I would recommend researching and networking in both fields to get a better understanding of the job market and potential opportunities. You may also want to consider talking to a career counselor or mentor who can provide personalized advice and guidance.

Lastly, don't be discouraged by rejection letters or setbacks. Your journey may not be a straight path, but it doesn't mean you won't find success and fulfillment in your career. Keep exploring, learning, and growing, and you will eventually find your way. Best of luck to you!
 

Related to Seeking Career Advice After Difficult Journey

1. What are some common challenges faced when seeking career advice after a difficult journey?

Some common challenges may include feeling discouraged or lost after a difficult experience, lacking confidence in one's abilities, and struggling to find a new direction or path.

2. How can I get started in seeking career advice after a difficult journey?

The first step is to reflect on your past experiences and identify key strengths and skills that you have developed. Then, seek out a career counselor or mentor who can help you explore different career options and create a plan for moving forward.

3. Is it important to seek professional help when seeking career advice after a difficult journey?

While it may not be necessary for everyone, seeking professional help can provide valuable insights and guidance in navigating a difficult career journey. A career counselor or mentor can offer objective perspectives and help you create a plan for achieving your career goals.

4. How can I stay motivated and positive during my job search after a difficult journey?

It's important to remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments, and to surround yourself with a support system of friends and family who can offer encouragement. Setting achievable goals and taking breaks to recharge can also help maintain motivation during a job search.

5. What are some key factors to consider when making career decisions after a difficult journey?

Some important factors to consider include your personal values, interests, and skills, as well as the current job market and potential for growth and development in a particular field. It's also important to have realistic expectations and to be open to exploring new opportunities.

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