I’ve been leveling Arcanist and Thaumaturge the last few play sessions to get the former to 30 and the latter to 15. I’m now at Conjurer 30, Arcanist 29 and Thaumaturge 15. Job-wise I’ve had White Mage (healer) already unlocked for some time and with the above level goals achieved I’ll be able to unlock both Scholar (pet class/healer) and Summoner (pet/ magical dps; see this wiki guide). That’ll give me more choice of trinity combat role that I can play in group content.
As I noted when I last took a break from the game, having selected White Mage wasn’t the best option for me for the game’s mandatory story content. Indeed I’ve put off doing the current main story quest in Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak, a level 24-27 dungeon, because I just wasn’t ready to run it with random players. With Summoner and Scholar both unlocked I can level the behind-the-scenes Arcanist class at the same time as playing either job all the way to 50 and not feel like I’m having to pick one or the other.
I’ll still have some thinking to do about tertiary cross-class skill unlocks from other classes (see wiki link above) – I might need to level Archer a bit to unlock extra skills for my summoner for instance.
I’ve taken the advice given from commenters on previous posts and have just joined a guild which seems pretty active even at EU peak time so I should get the chance to get to know some solid, reliable people for the more demanding group content in the future. I’m also going to take a pragmatic approach to dungeons and look at the videos ahead of running them; it’s a lot less stressful to be prepared and they’re not so full of story or plot surprises that I’ll be loosing out by ‘cheating’.
FFXIV offers a good balance of content types but so far I’ve been playing solo and been avoiding most grouping beyond the ultra-simplistic guildhests. I think it’s time to step things up a level and to get into the dungeon-running scene since dungeons are such a core element to this rather traditionally-oriented MMORPG.