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wildpotato's avatar

How did you come to be in your career?

Asked by wildpotato (14911points) June 21st, 2009

I think about this often. I always watch movie credits and wonder about how this Jillian Exelcior person got to be the 3rd lighting director, and why isn’t she the 1st or 2nd lighting director?

There are some odd jobs out there – did these people who have them always want to do what they are doing, or do they usually fall into it? As Eddie Izzard says, what makes a person sit up one day and say “I know, beekeeping! I want to keep bees; this is really what I should do with my life.”?

I think about this in practical terms, too – I am beginning to suspect that the job I plan to have will not be the job I end up having…

Sub-question: my mom told me that her career was decided for her in the womb by my grandmother, and she has never had a moment’s doubt about pursuing it. This seems incredible to me. Has anyone else had a career path remotely like this?

Thanks to baseballfan, his/her post about being in HR on this thread made me think to ask the collective this question. How does one get to be an HR rep?

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15 Answers

icehky06's avatar

I haven’t decided yet I’m still unemployed and living my life : P

wildflower's avatar

I think I’m on the right path now…....but you never know what’ll happen in the future.
I got to this point because I needed a big change about 9.5 years ago, so I moved countries and took a job based primarily on my language skills – it wasn’t the right job for me to stay in (phone support), but it got me in to the right organization and I’ve since changed roles about 4–5 times and completed a h.dip. course outside of work….....currently I’m working my way to getting some work-related certifications (PMP and six sigma) and have just signed up for a part-time masters course at the local college.

Careers are like any other aspect of your life, you can’t predict it and things can happen that’ll change your direction significantly. I will say this though: finding the right company to work for means a lot! Even if you start in a position you consider less than ideal.

YARNLADY's avatar

I worked in a variety of different jobs, which I usually got from seeing advertisements. However, my fall back source of income over the years was always in the accounting field. I always had a talent for math, and when I took a few tests at an employment office, I scored very high on the accounting section.

I had several different accounting jobs, increasing level of responsibility. Over the years, I took several classes, and received a degree in accounting.

Jack79's avatar

My teaching/translation job just ran in the family. My parents own a school in which I grew, and at some point I helped my dad translate a book.

My singing career was more interesting. I always wrote songs as a child, and assumed that it was somethine everyone could do, just like painting. Didn’t think much of it until I was around 12 and realised I was the only kid in my class who had written more than 400 songs. That’s when I decided to be a song writer, but didn’t know how to go about it.

I ended up taking the long way around. I started singing, in order to promote my songs, then doing pirate radio, in order to promote my singing. I ended up doing all sorts of shows on mainstream radio and eventually studied Journalism and Communication Theory. Which coincidentally lead me back into music, since one of my professors at uni was a former pop star. He showed me the way, I booked a studio and did my first album. My journalist connections helped me promote it, and that’s how I got back into the music business, eventually as a producer for a couple of record companies. I had a second run as a singer in Germany. I just happened to be in a bar one night, picked up the mike during a break and sang a song, and got offered a job on the spot. The owner also found me an agent who booked me months in advance and I made good money that way.

When I was 17 I was told that if you try hard enough, you can do anything you want. That there will be no shortage of chances, even second and third chances. You just have to be ready for them. I didn’t believe it at the time, but it was true.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Trickery. I applied as an accounts payable clerk to a place that talked me into trying sales for two weeks, paid up front so since I was basically living out of my car and couch surfing, I agreed to check it out, was good at it and have been schlepping ever since.

cookieman's avatar

I was the kid in school that was always drawing something. I spent most of my time alone, so I had hours every day to draw cartoons, trace comic books and paint.

I later went to a vocational high school and studied drafting. This taught me, amongst other things, to be patient and meticulous.

The “voc” had an internship program, so I worked at an architecture firm for a year. Here I learned model building, autoCAD, and worked on the Mac “classic”.

I then went to art college and earned a BFA in communication design (old school curriculum: no computers, painting, sculpting, dark rooms, etc.)

By this time, I had a pretty diverse set of skills and one professor taught me the most valuable lesson ever: “Never say ‘no’ to a gig. Even if you have no clue how to do something, say ‘yes’ – and figure it out.”

I took this to heart and spent six years taking on any freelance gig even vaguely related to graphic design.

“Can you do such-and-such?”

“Sure” I would say, “but I can’t start on it until Monday.”

Then I would take three or four days and cram like hell – by Monday I knew it well enough to get by and learned the rest as I went along.

This is how I learned event design, air-brushing, archival picture framing, photography, as well as PhotoShop, CorelDraw and a whole host of other software.

I even took a job teaching desktop publishing with Quark having never used Quark. I just stayed two chapters ahead of the students.

Now I’m a creative director and a college professor – go figure.

What I learned is this: If you have good foundational knowledge, are a little autodidactic and are willing to bust your ass – you can learn anything.

mattbrowne's avatar

Good education. Hard work. Being authentic.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was made redundant from a previous job and because my dad works in the same place that I do now I managed to get a job as a receptionist here three years ago. I then applied for an office job and here I am. It’s really not an exciting story and I wouldn’t call it my “chosen career” but I enjoy my job enough to get out of bed each morning so it’s fine.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve always been curious, nosy and lazy. I’m a consultant. Generally I give advice by asking people what they know, and then telling them what they know. It’s amazing how many people don’t have a clue about what they know.

DeanV's avatar

Well, if I didn’t go to school, that would be truancy. And I value my education. So that’s why I’m a student, I guess.

Darwin's avatar

I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau when I grew up, but the job was already taken. Besides, I couldn’t speak French.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have spent my life going where life takes me. It currently has me here.

ratboy's avatar

I was apprehended in the commission of a felony, arrested, tried and convicted.

Johno666's avatar

@ratboy Good answer! I am in the career I am in today because of a threat of a longer prison sentence. Although I am totally innocent! All people who go to prison are innocent, don’t you know!

dannyc's avatar

I followed my heart and did what I wanted, rejecting what people wanted me to do or thought was good for me.

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