I am a 41-year-old single mom who needs to change the direction of her working life as a matter of mental survival. I’m a classic ENFJ kind of person and have been working behind a desk in isolation (I work in a suite of offices but the nature of our work is to remain quiet and alone) and it’s been wearing down my sanity.

I am absolutely in love with advertising and have always been but when I was young I didn’t choose to study it; it was too intimidating for me then. I’d love to be an ad account executive someday but getting started seems impossible from where I’m sitting. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on (marketing, too – it’s much drier but important to understand the basics) and bothering ad people for advice on how to get my foot in the door.

I have about two years to update my skills (before my daughter graduates from high school and I can focus on a career and/or live wherever I need) but very little money in which to make that happen. I can’t be a full-time unpaid intern; I have to pay bills and feed two people. I can be an evening and weekend person who is poorly paid, but with the abundance of free labor out there it’s tough.

I have a BS in Psychology, an MSW in Social Work and a strong background in writing and research. By nature I’m a collaborator, diplomat, convincer and intuitive, but those qualities can’t be put on a resume. I am not stubbornly stuck on working in advertising; something that is stimulating in a similar way would be wonderful, as long as it’s focused on people and ideas.

If you have any thoughts or advice for me I would very much appreciate either.