What careers did you choose? Would you say you're happy?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Chuck8436, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    Ive been a real estate appraiser for the past 19 years. Its not earth shattering work but I don't mind it. The people I work with are pleasant enough. There is very little stress at my level. I don't do too well with stress so, its a good fit for me. I find the work interesting but, doubt anyone else would.

    My office is close to home and I live in a rural area with little traffic and crowds.

    I'm extremely happy, if not rich. The happiness is a combination of having a happy wife, loving my boys, having chosen a low stress job, and being in fun bands.
     
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  2. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Silver Member

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    You guys must be busy! I tried hiring an appraiser a little over a month ago and must have called about 8 before someone said they could squeeze me in for a drive-by appraisal! I won't even get started on how many times I had to follow-up to actually get the appraisal, lol
     
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  3. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    I work for the county in property taxes. Its extremely busy because so many people are rebuilding after the camp fire. Its gonna be crazy busy likely until I retire.
     
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  4. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Most Honored Senior Member Gold Supporting Member

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    When I was young and in school, I wasn't sure what I'd end up doing; I figured I'd have time to decide what I wanted to do for work. I've always liked computers though, and I ended up deciding to go into software engineering/development. I got an associates & a bachelor's degree in software engineering and have been doing that since 2003. I enjoy it, as I like making something useful, as well as fixing problems.

    That's true. I think the workplace and the people you work with can make all the difference in whether you like your specific job or not. My favorite times at work have been working with positive and supportive people. On the other hand, there have been times when I've worked with people who don't seem to like me much, and that always sucks. It's good to work with generally positive people who support and encourage you, rather than people who bring you down.
     
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  5. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    If you make a career of being the best you in any circumstance, like truly and authentically you, and if you're good to people, you'll be a success in whatever job you decide to pursue.
     
  6. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    I've been delivering beer for 15 years, wouldn't say it's a dream job but it does pay eell and keep me in shape. That's the only job i ever had.

    If I could go back in time tho, I would become an English teacher, I had an awesome teacher in high school that made that matter SO FUN AND INTERESTING. I wish I could give that feeling back.
     
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  7. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    Still a licensed architect. Nothing has changed since the last time (or the first) this has come up on this forum. Good days and bad days. Mostly good.
     
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  8. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Senior Stratmaster

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    My career choice had less to do with what I wanted and more to do with what I didn't want.

    I didn't want to work in the food or retail industries and I didn't want an office job. I liked woodworking but knew it's a hard to make a living (in my area) at it unless you owned your own business (which I didn't want either).

    I had a friend who was a Production Assistant in the Toronto. He said he could get me in. I helped out on a music video and it was an eye opener as to another thing I didn't want.

    I ended up in an automotive parts factory. 23 years later, I'm still there.

    Is it easy or glamorous work? No. Have I learned a lot and really developed some useful skills? 100%. I like having a task and finding the best way to tackle it and I like having a visual of finished goods to prove to myself I did something. I don't like repetitive work at all but I've managed to have roles where even though you're technically don't the same job, the scope is so large that you've done multiple tasks to accomplish each task.

    I've had many roles at the company over the years but for the last 4 I've been a CNC Programmer/Operator. There are parts of this job I like and parts I don't.

    These days I'm not happy. The problem isn't the job, it's the company being managed into the ground and me having been there long enough to know how it should be. So I feel that I didn't choose the wrong path but maybe in the somewhat near-ish future it might be time to take a new trail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  9. LawFlow

    LawFlow Strat-Talker

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    Between layoffs, I was an oil & gas accountant. I am happy to be retired :confused:;).
     
  10. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    6 years as a polymer research & quality control assistant chemist

    33 years in data communications operations, engineering & consulting

    6 years retired / disabled
     
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  11. dante1963

    dante1963 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I've had an extremely weird life.

    When I was 14, I was a geeky kid magician growing up in a small, rural town about 45 miles south of St. Louis, and who had an interest in mentalism. (Mindreading.)

    I got to see The Amazing Kreskin at a big theatre in St. Louis. (No one remembers him now, but in the 1970's he was extremely famous.) He came out, did a mind reading act, and then took an intermission, and then came out and did a hypnosis show. For context on the time, this performance happened a couple of days after the Jonestown Massacre, and they were still counting up the bodies in the jungle. Kreskin started the hypnosis portion of the show by talking about the subconscious mind, the power of suggestion, mass-group-think, and how those things can, and have been, misused by cult leaders, con-men and dictators. It was a fascinating opening, and heady stuff for a 14-year old to take in.

    He then called for volunteers and did an extremely funny hypnosis show. A little light bulb went off in my pubescent brain. "Hey, that looks like a fun way to make a living." So, I started buying books on stage hypnosis and started hypnotizing my relatives and class-mates.

    By the time I was turned 18, I was orphaned, and supporting myself by doing card tricks and mentalism at a magic-themed restaurant. But, still looking into hypnosis.

    By the time I turned 20, the restaurant was closed, and I gave up performing entirely. Because, frankly, starving is overrated.

    I went off to college. UNLV. I was studying theatre tech. No clue why. I think I wanted to be roadie for Van Halen, or something. I picked UNLV because the tuition was an absurd $19 per credit hour. (Okay, it wasn't exactly Princeton.) And, I thought putting 1800 miles between me and a woman I had fallen in love with who was engaged to someone else would make me stop thinking about her. (Turns out, I've always been a moron.) Plus, I had an interest in game theory, and my time with a deck of cards left me with a...very specific set of skills. (The term that is usually tossed around is "card mechanic.") One night in the Special Collections room of the University Library I met a professional gambler. A card counter at blackjack, who was the second-ranked backgammon player in the US, and who was also chess Master and a poker player.

    So, well, what can I say? Stuff got weird.

    Within a few weeks I had dropped out of college and was counting cards for a living. (It's not as romantic as Hollywood likes to make out. It's just trying not to get thrown out of a casino for doing basic math in your head.) Then that guy introduced me to a poker pro, and I was taught how to play poker. That's also not as exciting as it looks on TV. Trust me on this.

    So, my life kinda worked out like this:

    1. Magician/Mentalist
    2. Failed college student
    3. Professional gambler. (For almost exactly one year.)
    4. Political activist. (About a year. It paid less than card tricks, and way less than gambling. But generated better Karma.)
    5. Failed novelist. (I discovered writing somewhere along the line. Did that for about a wasted decade.)
    6. Freelance writer/reporter. (I didn't make all that much more money than I had doing card tricks, but still, that was about seven years of my life.)
    7. Political Pollster. (A friend got me a job managing a polling center for an extremely powerful politician at the time, and for members of the party that politician was the leader of. I did that from March of 1999, through to a couple of weeks after the 2000 election. Any idealism I had left died somewhere around there, btw.)
    8. Straight IT jobs. I wound up taking straight IT jobs after that, for several companies over the ensuing years. Network Admin, System Admin, Database Admin. Etc. (Here is a tip: if you can somehow live your whole life and find a way to NEVER take a straight job, I'd totally recommend that. Straight jobs blow.)
    9. FINALLY (no one asked for my life story, but I thought context would make it all seem less weird.) About a dozen years ago, my girlfriend and I were talking about this strange list of "Weird-Ass Stuff Dan Has Done With His Life" and said she had just read that hypnosis was really popular at that point, and maybe that would be fun. So, I dug out and dusted off the old books, worked up an act, and started marketing. Weirdly enough, for whatever reason, the show caught on. I was able to do the day job while I built up the hypnosis business. And, with the extra money, I was able to buy some rental property which will eventually allow me to retire. Not with anything approaching wealth, but not having to live on cat food. Probably. After a while, I didn't need the day job so much.

    So, in the end, I'm one of the few people I've ever known who, in middle age, actually became the thing he wanted to be at 14. Other than the disruptions of the last year and a half, I do a bunch of shows each year throughout the midwest and south. Corporate parties, colleges, fairs, and high schools. I even did a handful of those full evening Mentalism/hypnosis shows like I saw Kreskin do, but I really don't think I'll be doing any more of those. They are an extraordinary amount of work.

    The final part of that question, though, the "are you happy" part.....

    I guess it depends on the day. Having time to reflect on it during the lockdown, I think the answer has to be, "Not really. Not anymore." The hour and fifteen minutes of the show itself is usually still fun. Ish. But, the countless hours driving, the setting up, the breaking down, the hours driving back, the middle-of-the-night shows where I have to spend every second trying not to hit any of those giant rats with better PR that animals lovers call "those poor deer" (I've failed twice, I wonder if the third deer strike will end up with me or my girlfriend being maimed or killed.) The lousy food. (Can't ANYONE poach a goddamned egg properly, anymore??)

    It's all just gotten...a little old. And so have I. If I've done my math correctly, (and nothing else crazy happens, to, you know, society) I'm going to be able to retire in 1529 days. But who's counting?

    When I type all this out, it sounds a little ungrateful. But in the end, I keep coming back to Henry II's line in The Lion In Winter. "When the story of my life is written, it will read better than it lived."
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  12. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Lawyer here.

    I worked in a restaurant in high school, did a little factory gig during summers in college; also tried to make a go as the bass player in a grunge band--we didn't make it. Worked warehouses between college & law school (about 8 months because I graduated in December).

    I've been practicing law for 21 years. It's high stress, doesn't always pay well, and keeps me tied up to a desk when I'm not in a courtroom (for instance, right now). I mostly do appointed work for the indigent, which I see as necessary and important work, but it doesn't pay well. Seriously, I could make more doing pretty much any full time job. Sometimes it has its emotional payouts. I really like helping people, and sometimes I can make a profound positive impact on someone's life. But those moments are few and far between.

    Fortunately, my wife has a job that pays the bills, she supports me so that I can do the legal work I do.

    The other advantage is, I'm sitting here in an office full of guitars goofing off and talking about guitars online.
     
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  13. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Senior Stratmaster

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    I hope you find what you're looking for
     
  14. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'd watch that movie
     
  15. dante1963

    dante1963 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I appreciate that. :) But the script would be weird, and jumbled. Because, my life has been weird and jumbled. The ending is starting to look anticlimactic. (I'm hoping the most exciting part of my retirement is occasionally sitting in at a local blues jam. That just seems like a boring way to end a movie.) :)
     
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  16. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Senior Stratmaster

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    Or like a happy ending
     
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  17. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    My parents, both accomplished engineers, told me - Everyone will need a phone, this will never go away. So I listened. Then they told me - Learn English, there is no career in technology without English. I listened again. I got my first job in wireless because of this two things and been doing it ever since. I like what I do, I have fun, technology is not hard by itself. Dealing with people is hard. I guess I'll see where it goes.
     
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  18. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Senior Stratmaster

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    What's your native language?
     
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  19. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    It is Russian. But after living in US for almost a half of my life it's easier for me to express some things in English. If you don't practice a language you forget it, that includes your native language too.
     
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  20. Chuck8436

    Chuck8436 Senior Stratmaster

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    I know exactly what you mean. Mine is Spanish. Now when I speak Spanish, I feel like I sound like a child. I can't construct sentences properly anymore
     
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