Career Planning/Complex question



I have a complex problem at hand:- I have been out of work for several years(6) due to a prolonged glandular illness which gave me dozens of symptoms such as chronic fatigue which left me unable to work. I am now 40, and faced with  trying to get back to work after a long period of unemployment. I am at a loss as to what to do.

My previous "working "career", prior to all this was nothing spectacular either, due to increasing health-problems. It involved working in a bookshop(currently, a declining industry), working as a telemarketer for a telecommunications call-centre company(a job I hated because such telemarketers are universally disliked due to cold-calling), being a teacher of english in the ukraine for a few months and being a parking warden handing on parking-tickets(this involved being encouraged by the company to cheat, so I wasn't happy).

OK,I have various solutions to my long-term unemployment:-

1) My younger brother suggests altering my CV to give a mention of working several years in Africa as an "assistant manager" in a safari camp, in place of my years of illness. Since this safari company was, until recently, owned by a relative, it could pass as a solid reference as the relative would go along with the pretence.The catch is that my social skills are dire so I am not sure if I could even pass as an assistant, let alone, assistant manager. I am not even sure what jobs to aim for in Austria if one has been a safari manager abroad in Africa.

2)I am now in Austria and have a good knowledge of German and French. I have the option of doing a TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course and then, whether using my brother's lie or not on my CV, applying for some institution that employs TEFL graduates in Vienna.I also have the option of doing a driving-licence and eventually doing a truck-driver's licence. The only catch I've heard is that truck-drivers in the US are not allowed to be insured until 2 years after they get their truck-driver's licence.Not sure re Austria.

3) I would prefer to aim at a high-paying job(which is short on supply but high in demand) that requires some vocational training, but preferably either a distance-learning form of training or short-term, not, at any rate,  one involving me going back to university for another full 4 years. After all, I need to get back to work post-haste! The trouble is that there seems to be very poor info online detailing exactly what exact qualifications etc. are needed to get which particular job, and so on and so forth.

4) I have another option. My mother found out about an institution that helps autistic people into work, usually IT-work. My mother is under the impression that I am autistic, though I have strong, grave doubts. I am well aware that my social-skills are under par, but do not consider me to be anywhere near autistic. Anyway, this organisation provides free IT training, so is another option.It's just that I doubt that I can convince them I'm autistic.

5) I have been thinking of becoming a private investigator. It's an ideal loner's job, one doesn't need accreditation or to have been a police-office except in some US states.Not sure if this is a pipe-dream or realistic. At any rate, there are distance-learning courses to enable one to get a qualification as a PI.

Anyway, any advice you could give would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Hello Edward,

If you are looking for some career direction, I would probably suggest that you start by browsing a website called O*NET. This is a very large and vast free database which lists every career imaginable and what training is required to enter the different careers. There is even a section called "bright outlooks" which breaks down job titles which are in demand.

Now the only caveat is that career information provided is mainly for career seekers here in the States, but some of the information may be very useful. To find the website, the easiest thing to do would be just to type O*NET in an internet search engine like Google, and go from there.  

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Bill Rehkamp, M.S., LMHC


Hello! I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor located in Miami Florida that specializes in providing career guidance and counseling. I promise to listen to your concerns in a calm, positive, and non-judgmental way. I have over 12 years of counseling experience helping individual address a variety of career issues. Are you a student interested in working professionally in the mental health field? I can help you too! I provide career assessment, educational and career planning information to individuals who are considering changing or entering a new career. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


I have worked professionally as a counselor in several non-profit and government agencies for the past 12 years. I first started working on a crisis suicide hotline in Miami, then for a non-profit shelter helping adolescents and families in distress. I have worked for an agency assisting people with disabilities to seek and obtain meaningful employment, and have experience in employee assistance.

American Counseling Association (ACA), Professional Member

I have a Master's degree in Counseling from Florida International University, National Board Certification in Rehabilitation Counseling, and State Licensure in Mental Health Counseling.

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