General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How did you choose your career and how has your career changed over the years?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37119points) August 9th, 2010

When I was a child in the 60s and early 70s, I dreamed of being an astronaut and flying to the moon. (It seems I wanted to escape to somewhere remote even as a young child.) I went through a phase of wanting to be a preacher. I thought about becoming a doctor.

I didn’t do any of those things other than move farther and farther away from family for various and sundry reasons. I chose a career in international sales management, because it took me far away. After 2 decades of doing that, I went back to school for an MA and loved it. I left the rat race.

What’s been your experience? Have you stuck with one job or one line of work? Have you changed career paths at some point?

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19 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I ended up as I started. I am a writer and editor. I started my career with a major magazine. Then I took a turn into high technology and the information industry. I worked as a management consultant for more than ten years. Then, in order to match my husband’s schedule, I went back to free lance writing and editing.

I am very satisfied with how it has turned out.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I am still in school doing my best and we’ll see how my hard work pays off later in life:):)
I’ll let you know:)

Austinlad's avatar

At 10, I wanted to be a writer because my favorite uncle, a reporter for the New York Times, told me that he liked a letter I had written and that I should write for a living. So all through school, I wrote, and after a year in college I left Texas for NY and followed in my uncle’s footsteps at a different newspaper. I then worked for a magazine, then for a series of ad agencies in Texas and Arizona, and currently for a software company. In short, I’ve been writing longer than many of you have been alive, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. Of course my writing jobs, especially at ad agencies, led me to learn many other skills, but at heart, I think of myself as a writer.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I choose my initial career (betting on the stock market) when I left university at 21 on the basis of how much money I could make.
I choose my current career (nurse) on the basis that I actually quite enjoy it but mainly by accident.
The person I was at 21 would never have dreamed of doing what I do now. The person I am now can not imagine wanting to do anything else.
And the person I will be in 30 years will probably look back and think that we were both idiots.

harple's avatar

I was fortunate enough to find my dream job – self employed peripatetic music teacher and performer – when I was 23… Life happened, and unfortunately I made the choice to leave it four years later… I’ve had several different roles since, including managing a t-shirt printing factory, but nothing has ever satisfied me like that role.

I have always known that I was very fortunate in one way to discover my “true calling” so young, but in the same breath it was unfortunate as nothing in life will ever fulfill me as it did. I have handed my notice in at the office based job I currently work in, and am working my way back to it, so wish me luck!

Artistree's avatar

I stopped selling my time to earn money doing something I didn’t really care about for other people and started spending it doing what I want to do for myself instead.

Frenchfry's avatar

I changed my major three times. When I was in school. Eventually went into business.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@ninahenry MA – a Master of Arts degree. You can look it up on Wikipedia(postgraduate) if you’d like more information.

Like Frenchfry, I changed my major 3 times: Business to Chemistry to English with a minor in math and the intent to secure a secondary education certification. I was all over the board. When the school “suggested” I take a year off, my mother told me to get a job and find some direction. Her recommendation was to seek out something in the hotel business because I had worked at a conference center as a teen and enjoyed it.

So that is what that I did. In 24 years with the same company, I’ve experienced promotions, demotions, and four times my position was eliminated. All changes were either based on the economy, mergers and splits, or accepting a position with a limited time-frame.

It was a fantastic ride, filled with the diversity of learning many aspects about the business. What I never learned until I met my SO is that, sometimes, it is better to stay in a job that you really enjoy instead of accepting a promotion. It is called The Peter Principle, and far too many people succumb to it. I’ve worked for a few of them that did.

ninahenry's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer thanks, we call it BA (Bachelor of Arts) in the UK, so google wasn’t giving me any results

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@ninahenry : In the States, one earns a diploma from high school, and then gets a BA from a 4 year university, and then if one studies further, there is a Master of Arts and finally a PhD (doctor of philosphy).

YARNLADY's avatar

When I went to an employment agency to get my first ‘real’ job, they gave me an accounting test, and I did such a good job, they got me right in as an Account Clerk.

Over time, I gave some thought to getting a degree in accounting, but after my two year AA, I decided that taking different types of jobs was more fun. I was always able to get a job, because the salary wasn’t too important to me.

mrentropy's avatar

I’m in my current career because I was unemployed. I started off fixing printers, then being on on-site PC technician. Now I’m QA tester for a software company.

I really wanted to write games. Or be an author, of some kind.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

After a brief desire to join the KGB, I felt becoming a doctor would be a good idea. Therefore, I spent most of my life getting to that point. I was a bio major in college and a pre-med student. Then I went for my masters in public health and somewhere along the line, I realized medicine wasn’t for me – I didn’t want to be a doctor with all the solutions and the salary seeing my patients unable to afford their treatment because of how broken our health care system is. Screw that – now I want to go into sociology and am applying for PhD programs am writing my graduate school essay right now

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ninahenry we don’t call an MA a BA in the UK. They are two seperate qualifications.

ninahenry's avatar

@Lightlyseared oh well, if this was in social I’d keep asking for clarification, but s’not so I’ll survive :)

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ninahenry So the first degree you study for at university after leaving school is called a Bachelors (could be in an arts subject and be a BA, a science and be BSc, etc). After you have graduated with your BA (or what ever) you can then go on to study some more at post graduate level and you could get a Masters degree (again it could be an arts subject and be an MA, a science and be an MSc etc, etc.) A masters degree is at a higher level than a bachelors degree (like the difference between GCSE’s and A-levels).

Just to be really confusing you can study for a Masters as a first degree with out doing the bachelors howver the course is longer and the entrance requirements are higher.

mattbrowne's avatar

I listed 5 options with number 1 most favorite and 5 somewhat less favorite. Then I considered demand of future job markets. I picked number 2 which was computer science because of that. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to pick number 1. Few people become real actors for example.

TheMadShatter's avatar

I worked in banking, but i didn’t like being in that environment, found it quite restricting and i went self employed in property after 7 years. never regretted it or looked back, especially with the recent financial recession.

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