How did you know which career was "THE ONE"?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by italiansupernova, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. italiansupernova

    italiansupernova New Member

    After years of formal education (or not) how did you discover your dream job? What is it that initially inspired you to pursue the profession? Or did you just kind of "stumble" into it? Do you still love it now as much as when you first began?
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I worked for a contract that did consruction on medical rooms. I had gone to school for electronics and hated it. I asked the contractor, "Who makes more money- the x-ray techs or the guys that install the x-ray machines?"

    The next thing I know I was in the Army Biomedicla Repair School. This was in 1990 and I have worked in the field ever since. I could not image a better job. I work in something specialized, it can not be outsourced, it is constantly changing, and the pay is GREAT .

    I love it more now than when I started. I have worked in field service in Manhatten adn the Bronx, I have worked in a hospital specializing in life support equipment (ventilators and anestesia machines) and now I am back in field service (FL and GA) specializing in software used for colonoscopys and bronchoscopys. Not really glamorous but interesting stuff.
  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It was when I accepted my Ensign commission in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps that I realized, "This ISN'T it!"
  4. italiansupernova

    italiansupernova New Member


    It seems like no matter what area of healtcare someone gets into be it direct or indirect care the growth of the field has been and probably always will be explosive.


    I spent time in the military myself and your comment echoes precisely what I thought about my entire experience. Sure, there were a few good times, but the experience was definitely forgettable.
  5. Tireman44

    Tireman44 member


    It was the summer before my 8 th grade year and my mother was honing her typing skills for some reason. She instructed me and my three sisters to write something in long hand so she could type. My sisters gave her little parts of something they wrote. I constructed a 10 page paper on the New Deal and in particular the WPA. The feeling I had constructing that paper allowed me to have such intense emotions that I knew I had have a career in history. I was 13 at the time. Later I talked with my grandma and told her I wanted a career in history. I knew I had to have my PhD one day. The orginal intent after high school was to earn a double degree in Meterology and History, then continue on to earn my MA and PhD in history. My trials in math were not happy ones, so I decided to just continue in history.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  7. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

    I still don't know.

    I've been kicked out of many respectable careers. Given my strong opinions and rapier wit, though, I'm sure it's because I think too fast on my feet and it just infuriates people, so they show me the door. At least, that's what I tell myself.
  8. Marylars

    Marylars New Member

    Definitely stumbled...

    I started out as an audiologist with an emphasis on hearing aids and gerontology (before it was acceptable to take that 'dirty' hearing aid money in most audiological circles). I loved what I did until managed care reared its ugly head and I started to butt heads with my boss on ethical issues. Took another job, owner was still was more worried about lining his pockets than ethical fitting of hearing aids.

    I was a relatively young single mom at the time and couldn't really afford to quit my job...but I did, anyway. I knew I could type and answer a phone and needed an income fast, so I signed up with Manpower as a temp. My first temp job was 3-month stint as a background investigator at a nuke plant. It ended just after Thanksgiving. I needed to feed my kids and Christmas was coming and they were at an age where they still believed in Santa and without a job there would be no Santa that year. The folks at Manpower sent me on an interview for an HR clerk. I went kicking and screaming, as I really wanted to do something else. (Didn't know what...but didn't think HR would be a good fit for me.)

    It turned out to be an excellent fit. I moved quickly from HR clerk to assistant to administrator to manager to director to VP -- not all in the same company -- but did it in a total of about six years. Along the way I earned my SPHR certification and started work on my MBA. I have come to realize that my true passion in HR is in recruiting and have recruited everything from nuclear engineers to nurses and now teachers -- all shortage areas and all challenges. My job is like putting together the pieces in a puzzle and it's a natural fit. Where else could I talk to people all day on the phone, connect them with their perfect matches, make everybody happy (most of the time, anyway) and get paid extremely well to do it?

    I don't ever want to lose touch with the rest of HR (benefits, employee relations, etc), so I do a little consulting on the side just to make sure that I stay current. They always say that you should find the job that you would do if you didn't get paid to do it. This is it for me. The only thing is that I didn't find found me!
  9. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    Mostly stumbled or evolved into career

    I had fleeting thoughts of wanting to be a teacher when I was younger. I didn't have a great family life and one of my goals was to have a "nice" family with a mom and dad and kids, where of course I'd be the mom. Well, that dream was fulfilled but not exactly in the way I had hoped. I had three great kids with my first husband whom I married at age 19, but our marriage ended in divorce after 13 years with a lot of ups and downs. This was not part of my "dream" and I had to find a new dream for myself and my children so I went to college (I actually started college two years before the marriage ended but a crisis in the marriage led me to this "I need a new dream" stage. I had not spent much time thinking about a career but I always admired many of my own teachers and I could not picture going into anything else, such as a health field. Well, once again, only part of the "teacher" dream came true in the way I expected. I loved teaching GED classes, adult enrichment and computer classes and elementary gifted. But I soon discovered that I like teaching people who WANT to learn. I found myself teaching the low end of high school math where almost all the kids in my class "hated it" and hated school. It was not fun and I knew I could not spend the rest of my life doing that even though I am so glad that I gave teaching high school five years. I have learned so much from that experience even though I don't want to continue in it. During the days before Internet, I searched for college programs I could do from home since my children were small and it was the only way I could hope to attend college. Through this search I discovered Empire State College which was a pioneer in non-traditional college education as we know it today. In order to meet NYS requirements for teachers, I had to cross-register in many institutions so I learned about the Peterson guides, etc. a long time ago and I searched out my own courses that would meet my goals and be acceptable to NYS for my purposes. I took many strictly correspondence courses during that time and there was little personalization or feedback and from my instructors. I really didn't mind because I like being left alone to learn and I rarely have questions that I can't find answers for on my own, BUT I wondered how many students completed courses like that since I know most are not quite as independently motivated as I. I thought, I would love to teach correspondence courses. I know I could do a better job than these "instructors." I wondered how much they got paid, whether they did it from home, and whether they had many students. There were no answers to these questions. When I was teaching high school, I saw an ad in the back of a teacher magazine for Walden University. They wanted K-12 teachers with at least a Masters degree and lots of computer and technology experience to teach online courses. This was in a national magazine and I figured I had "no chance" but I was also thinking how "right" it would be for me so I had to apply. Well, that one "turned out" but it was part time and not enough to allow me to quit my old job so I got the idea to apply at Empire State College. I looked up their website and simply applied. Well, between the two, it was enough to quit my high school job and now I have fell into a career that could not have been envisioned in my youth, but it is still "teaching" in another form and I love it.
  10. JLV

    JLV Active Member

    Suelaine and Marylars, what a great come back. I find your stories extraordinary. What a nice example you set for your kids (and for many here! ;) ). Congratulations to both for that smashing success.
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    While in grade 5, I was first exposed to the elementary school's computer (in the library). At this same time, I was very interested in language as a result of having earlier read The Lord of the Rings and having become fascinated with the constructed languages invented by Tolkien.

    By grade 7, I owned a hand-held computer (TRS-80 PC). One of the first programs I wrote for it was a silly little thing that generated artificial words based upon English morphemes.

    By grade 8, I owned a Timex-Sinclair 1000 (or whatever the number) and was programming maze generation programs on the TV.

    By grade 10, I was up at Simon Fraser University one summer, assisting teaching of Logo programming and Word Processing to children in a summer camp.

    But then, no computers for a while.

    Finally, I was encouraged to get a PC in order to help with my freelance editing work.

    On that computer was QBASIC. I was hooked.

    I took a by-mail computer programming course, and within 6 months had my 2 year Computer Programming diploma (self-paced, obviously).

    From there, it was constant research into linguistics with programming language, and eventually, in 1996, I had a choice to either go to France and pursue a Ph.D. there, or enter commercial software development. I opted for commercial development.

    It was the "boom" -- not so hard back then to get in. I got in with a cover letter that today makes me cringe. (In the cover letter, I stated, "If Hemingway had been a software developer, he would no doubt say of me that I have balls in this regard." Brash -- but it worked.)

    Been in it ever since.

    Always wanted to be a novelist as well, but there's no money in it except for the few, and as I grew out of my mainstream interests, I grew into more experimental fiction (even less money than most forms of fiction). So I just did that on the side.

    I knew from an early age that I would one day be involved in computing. Wasn't sure how or what -- but language figured in there somewhere.

    Presently, I am a software architect (official title = Chief Architect -- New Systems) and technical lead. The most recent project is mostly solid now, entering validation with QA, and was a huge initiative.

    I enjoy language, and I enjoy computer science.

    Had a few other things I did before 1996 that totally flopped, but which were learning experiences nonetheless. The early 20's are a good age to try and fail such things. It becomes less inviting to try and fail as one's responsibilities grow, so I am glad I tried and failed at them early.

    What would be my dream job?

    If I won a bajillion in the lotto, I would still do research into language and compuational linguistics and so on. I would be leading it, rather than coding it, but I would still keep my finger in it.

    My current day job is not in linguistics -- but working in software development in and of itself is quite satisifying even though not in my particular area of expertise and specific interest. Besides that, there's always my "after 5" stuff that I do on my own time to meet that need.
  12. How did I know which career was the "one"???

    1. It pays me a filthy amount of money as an annual salary...
    2. I can BS my way through most of my job duties...
    3. I enjoy what I'm doing...
    4. I can talk smart, work smart, and not break a sweat doing it...
    5. There are good people around me to share the load...
    6. I actually feel like I might be making a difference in the world as a result of my job, despite (1), (2), and (4) above....

    If it doesn't have these characteristics, then it isn't really all that good, is it?

    PS - oh yes I forgot to mention....
    7. There is no blood involved....
    8. I don't have to pretend to believe in something I don't while doing my job
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: How did I know which career was the "one"???

    What do you do?
  14. David Williams

    David Williams New Member

    Stumbled; quite literally.

    I joined the family business after high school which in my little corner of Pennsylvania meant becoming a laborer for US Steel. My father encouraged me to go to college but I thought an apprenticeship as either a millwright or motor inspector (steel lingo for electrician) was more my speed. Either was competitive with a long front end if indeed you were ever selected. I was assigned to Transportation and General Services, the organization’s primary labor pool that offered the mixed blessing of working in most facets of 1960s steelmaking. General Services furnished manpower when the regularly assigned labor was insufficient to manage the task. I say mixed blessing since I got to be part of the American steel industry at its apex although human nature being what it is the foremen in, say, the open hearth or the rolling division would take care of their own laborers and assign the truly miserable jobs to General Service interlopers. Running a jack hammer in conditions so hot four crews were assigned each of which went into the furnace only 15-minutes out of the hour and shoveling iron ore from between the ribs in the hold of decrepit and inevitably Liberian flagged liberty ships where the last load was some variety of foodstuff that attracted mutant, international rats the size of a dog comes to mind. I bid for a job on the railroad once I acquired a bit of seniority. Steelmaking was so compartmentalized the company had its own contingent of switching locomotives and crews to traffic the various materials about the mill. After one entire day of ‘train school’ that mostly consisted of learning how to throw a switch and get onto and off a moving train I qualified as an extraboard switchman. If there was enough work I was assigned to the railroad instead of general labor. This was the mid-60s before the American steel industry went belly-up; the country was pouring tons of steel into Detroit and the Vietnam War so I usually ‘got out’ at least three times a week. My day of reckoning came about 3AM one dark and moonless night. We were transporting a ‘drag’ of gondolas (half-height, open top cars) containing scrap steel to be reprocessed. I was at the tail end of the train and when I dropped off to throw a switch my foot became caught in a ribbon of sheet steel hanging from the side of the car. I was drawn into the trucks (wheels) as the train moved forward and I saw my life pass before my eyes. I signaled the engineer to stop, moving my lantern so fast he later commented it appeared to be a single line. He threw on the locomotive brakes but since it wasn’t policy to connect the hoses that activate the airbrakes to the cars that make up the train it took some time to stop. Thankfully, it slowed enough so that I was able to extricate my foot. This stumble caused me to reconsider my father’s advice. I decided to go to college and I eventually earned graduate degrees in social work (MSW) and psychology (PhD) and much later a dl BS in IT. I still have my USWA union card and railroad lantern. In point of fact, I worked at the mill summers while I was in undergrad and I can honestly say I never had as much work related fun as when I was a steelworker. Although, the pranks we pulled probably wouldn’t be tolerated in today’s workplace. Nonetheless, I’m glad I ‘stumbled’ out of steel. I’ve had a great career in psychology. I’m soon to retire and with the perspective of time if I could go back and start over what would I change? Not a damn thing.
  15. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Re: Re: How did you know which career was "THE ONE"?

    Confused??!! The TRS-80 computer was not a hand held by any means (fairly large in the scheme of things). I had both myself and the Timex-Sinclair came out a full five years before the TRS-80. (or trash 80 as everyone called them). I also owned a Morrow Designs PC with a CPM OS (DR DOS as well). Have you ever used Double DOS? My actual first encounter was at my dad's office at Pac Tel in SF. He was one of the engineers who developed the first picture phone and he showed me how to use the TTY interface to the main frame. (I think I was perhaps 10 years old).

    I also owned a VIC 20 which I programmed to translate CCW (too lazy to do it myself) - and of course a Commodore 64 which is still in my attic.
  16. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    I went into electronics because my dad was an electrical engineer/business owner. So - I fell into that. When I was a pre-teen, I used to help him in his weekend job at the Piedmont PD installing and maintaining police radios. He also owned a business in the late 70's and early 80's so I worked for him as at tech for short time (working for a parent is a pain in the ass).

    I went into LE because my brother was a Chippie. I had actually passed all of the tests for both the CHP and Sheriff's Office but I opted to take the SO job. (in hindsight - a bad decision).

    After 3 years of that, I decided that I couldn't see myself doing the LE gig for a lifetime so I opted to go back into engineering. I fell into Semiconductors because I hated to commute and found a job in the south bay only a few minutes away from my house.
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

  18. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How did you know which career was "THE ONE"?

    I don't remember this calculator - I was speaking of the Radio Crap PC TRS-80. I still have one of the original TI handheld calculators (ADD/Sub/Mult/Divide only).
  19. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

  20. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    Re: Re: Re: How did you know which career was "THE ONE"?

    I stand corrected Quinn - the TRS-80 did come out before the Timex - Sinclair. I guess my long-term memory is starting to fade with the onset of Alzheimers. :D

    I did have all three computers. I think I have at least one of them left in my attic. I also have one of the older editions bag cell phone.

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