I am just about half way through earning a master’s degree in conflict resolution. I am beginning to think about what comes next, career wise. Can you make a living resolving conflict for other people?
The most obvious path seems to be mediation. There are several instructors in my program who are professional mediators. I have gone to a mediation conference (and am going to another one next month). I have gone to a mediation study group that discusses the trials and travails of professional mediators. I am just about to finish my mediation class. All indications are that I would make a fine mediator.
There is one problem, however; I don’t really seem to have the temperament for mediation. I am not really interested in other people’s problems. Personally, I think this is an advantage. If you don’t really care about the problems of the people before you then it would seem to me you are less likely to try and pick sides. I can remain neutral because i don’t really care.
My mediation instructor does not appear to be amused by this theory. She suggests careful and empathetic listening.
Anyway, I don’t care to put myself in the middle of other people’s problem. I am more interested in structural conflict and the policy implications of conflict. This is what fascinates me; how the system creates and solidifies conflicts between the system and individuals.
This would allow me to use what I learned in studying public administration for my bachelor’s degree. It would also let me put my master’s coursework to use. I just wonder how much of a market there is for an expert on the mitigation of structural conflict.
Where would I find my customers? What would I actually do for money? I have a lot of questions right now, and not many answers. Stay tuned, because this seems to be one of those things you have to figure out as you go along.