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#1 Posted by thegreatmuta92 (95 posts) -

Sup guys, what's your career and how'd you choose it? I'm confused about choosing a career and maybe seeing how others went about it may help. I'd appreciate it.

#2 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Same boat. 

#3 Posted by LedZeppelin (22 posts) -

I didn't really choose anything, It just kinda happened.

During my post secondary education and literally tried 4 different things. Non of which I was particularly fond of or stuck with. It seemed like everyone I knew who was in college or university was just either dropping out or was unable to find work in their field of study, all while racking up a huge student debts. I ended up dropping out, and just started looking for work where ever I could. I worked a few garbage jobs before I eventually found a decent government warehouse job. I have only been there for 6 months, but even so, the pay is decent (20+ dollars an hour, which goes up every 3 years, 50 dollars an hour if I work OT) and as with most government jobs (this is in Canada btw) there are benefits up the ass. It's not a bad gig.

I'll obviously never be rich working there, but I'll never be hungry either, and will likely be able to live pretty comfortably.

I found as I was growing up there was a lot of pressure on me to find a "Career" or something where I could make some big money and be super successful. Post secondary really wasn't an option, it was just pretty much expected that I'd be going there, and it was scary, trying to make a decision about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. While college and university is obviously the path to the big paying jobs, you can still get a solid job (especially blue collar) without it and make a decent living.

My advice if you are going to college it to stick with whatever you pick and work hard at it, don't flip-flop 50 times like I did, It's a waste of money and will likely never lead anywhere. If you decide to not take some sort of post secondary education, then just get your name out to as many places as possible, and even once you get something, keep looking. There will always be decent paying work to be had, sometimes it just takes a little bit of searching to find.    

#4 Posted by EvGar (133 posts) -

I too am in the search of my career. From everything I've researched, the point that keeps coming up is to find what it is that you truly love, and go from there.

#5 Posted by Hardgamer (610 posts) -
@BestUsernameEver said:
" Same boat.  "
Same boat.
#6 Edited by zombie2011 (5028 posts) -

I was pretty good at problem solving so Engineering was an obvious choice.
I'm also into cars and stuff like that so Mechanical Engineering was what i went with.

#7 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6309 posts) -

I don't have a career yet, but I know I want to write, mostly because it's the only thing I ever did as a kid that wasn't met with a cringe and a dismissive hand-wave.

#8 Edited by NukePuke (31 posts) -

I became a male prostitute because I love sex and money.

#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14426 posts) -

Fat ass dead beat is my career, and I got it after my school screwed me out of my diploma by lieing to me about what I needed to graduate and it prevented me from getting the job I had lined up.

#10 Posted by EvGar (133 posts) -

@LedZeppelin


Thanks for the advice! I can definitely take that going forward.
#11 Posted by big_jon (5770 posts) -

I don't really have one yet so...

But I am wanting to run an Excavator or be an operator in general, I like me some trucks and construction machines. It's like Tonkas for grownups.

#12 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

Went to college for a year and came back home for a summer job. Kind of liked making money and things kind of fell through at the University I was attending so opted to stay working while I looked for a different school. One thing lead to another I got promoted and promoted again and am in a position I'm not crazy about, but rely on it to pay the bills. Don't recommend doing this at all...

#13 Posted by cinemandrew (711 posts) -
@thegreatmuta92: I made a super low-budget film with a bunch of my friends when I was 20ish. It was absolutely ridiculous, and we had little to no idea what we were doing, but it was a ton of fun (for the most part). That eventually led to me going to film school, and learning to do it right. It's not an easy career, and the hours are usually crazy long (12 hours is a normal day), but I cannot imagine doing anything else. I love it.
#14 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -

I decided it was time for a career.  To me that meant probably starting in an office job.  I ended up as a part-time receptionist at a law firm and just took off from there.

#15 Edited by Mahonay (829 posts) -

I'm definitely in the "it just happened" boat.

I had no plans in being in post production.  My sister worked in the industry at the time and there was a job opening in the shipping department/film vault at the company I'm at now.  4  years later I'm still here, I now help run night operations and am in charge of company purchasing.

Good work ethic mixed in with some luck will take you a long way.

#16 Posted by Stray (117 posts) -

I'm a chef. I didn't  really choose it, just kinda happened.
I'd always washed dishes in high school and learned the basics of cooking and prepping. After high school I didn't really want to jump right into school. I'd say 90% of the people I knew at the time who went to school right away all ended up with useless degrees. So I continued cooking. And then a few years later I was thinking I should go back to school. But didn't. Just kept putting it off . Then after years of drinking, drugs and partying, I just kinda accepted that maybe I wasn't going to go, so stepped up my cooking education.

#17 Posted by Vager (1654 posts) -

I went from wanting to be a computer technician out of high school then a network administrator when I started college. Switched to web development after a 6 months, then realized I don't like coding much but I love designing UI.

After college I thought myself web design and photoshop. Now I work as a web/graphic designer.

Basically went from hardware > networking > programming > design.
#18 Posted by beanj007 (30 posts) -

Toured the local college in high school... The guys in the computer networking class were "testing the network" by playing Quake over the LAN. Got my Bachelor's in Information Systems, worked as a network/sysadmin (and now IT Manager) for 10 years. So my love for games made my career.

#19 Edited by ectoplasma (983 posts) -

Just don't fall into the trap that you think you can decide everything by just thinking about it. Read up about your possibilities and then start trying out one of the many things that might interest you. If you never practically try the subject or field of work you might be intested in, you won't really find out if it suits you. It's just a common fallacy I fell into myself, that you can decide just by reflecting upon stuff. But our ideas of what a certain field of study or job is like, is always goverend by so many uncleared preconceptions that it will just pain you to no effect. And don't worry about picking the "right" path for you right away, you probably still have a lot of time to try out and change fields.

#20 Posted by zudthespud (3283 posts) -

Well when I left school I decided to take on what I was good at at college, that was Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Music Technology. after a year I dropped Music Tech and realized it was something I didn't want to do, and then started looking at university courses. I went for Motorsport engineering because it's something I'm passionate about and am able to do and now I'm at the end of my first year. I'm now looking at what I want to do when I leave university, because my course opens a lot of doors and I need to get on a placement for my 3rd year of the course.


My tip: follow what you are good at and you enjoy.
#21 Posted by FesteringNeon (2165 posts) -

I just kinda stuck it out, and there she was...

#22 Posted by jschmoe (142 posts) -

I chose my career early.  Back in elementary, we had a computer lab full of Apple IIe computers. That started it.  I got a computer for Christmas a few years later, a 486 (with turbo button, 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" drive!), and loved it.  I knew then I would get a job, something to do with computers.  When I got to high school, there was a programming class, I took that and absolutely loved it.  That was when I knew I'd be a programmer. I went to university with that focus, and took the co-op program (basically, 1 year extra of university, but that year is spent almost like an internship, but fully paid).  I tried out the actual job, I liked doing it, so I stuck with it.  I've now been at the company that I co-oped with for 5 years.
My advice?  I don't really have any.  Start with a wide range, and try to narrow it down by what you want to do, and what you're good at.  Start with what you love, but be realistic.  I thought I could be a game programmer, but once I learned of the conditions those guys were pretty much forced to work under, I didn't want that.  For as much as I love games, I didn't want that ruined for me.

#23 Edited by Lukeweizer (2746 posts) -
@LedZeppelin: How do you apply for something like that?

I'm in Canada as well and looking for a job and the Government is never a bad place to look.
#24 Posted by RE_Player1 (7573 posts) -

I'm going to university to become an elementary school teacher. How did I choose that profession? Well I like working with kids, the pay is good, the hours are good, and the pension is good. Also I can see myself actually liking my job. One piece of advice I could give is find a career you like. You don't know how many times family members have tried to convince me not to become a teacher purely for the financial aspect. Yes teachers aren't making big bucks but I rather be happy than like them who hate there job and complain about it every day. 

#25 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -


My career was determined by my limitations and shortcomings. I never was a good learner; not in elementary nor in high school. My biology and chemistry teacher noticed I struggled keeping up with the rest of the class. It was not due to a lack of effort. I did my homework and I paid attention to the teachings.

I had to do a cognitive screening test, conducted by a psychologist and he established I had an average IQ of 115 and (what my teacher already suspected) I was dyslectic(!). That was both relieving and painful  to hear. I was excused for my mediocrity, but I also had to be modest with my life's expectations. I never had plans to become a scholar lol, but a job as a journalist or writing in general would've been great. Well, that was off.

I knew, if I wanted to have some success in life, I had to at least earn a BA in 'whatever discipline'. Knowledge that I could put into practice. I graduated from high school and went to college for three years to earn my BA degree in Logistics Management. I currently work for the Foodbank (paid position) and I'm comfortable with my situation. So yeah, that's my story. : )

#26 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i don't know, i'm still in college. i picked out what to learn by looking at what i liked and put that into it. i liked art and wanted to learn how to use photoshop. i looked into a college catalog of local colleges. i picked one, i kind of like it. i think i might be a graphic designer when i get out of college. i have to say that i don't know if i'm going to become rich from a job since there are a lot of graphic designers out there.

#27 Posted by nemt (862 posts) -


I joined the Army because grad school was boring as shit.

Little did I know the Army is just as boring.

#28 Posted by MightyDuck (1524 posts) -

I had a few great teachers in high school.  They really looked like they enjoyed their job.  Having the summer off is pretty nice too!

I ended up becoming a teacher.  However, I originally got my degree to teach History, but...there is no need for history teachers at the moment where I live.  I instead went back to grad school to get endorsements to teach Special Education.  This is what I'm currently doing now.

#29 Edited by LiquidPrince (16108 posts) -

I tried forming a career around what I love, art, drawing, painting, games, movies etc...

#30 Posted by MKSKILLZ16 (130 posts) -

I'm in university right now, taking mainly chemistry and psychology (with a couple english courses in between), wasn't able to get into biology because the class was full.  Right now I'm not sure if I want to keep doing the whole science thing, but it is all I've ever done.  Also there is no word to describe how bad I am at math, and how much I resent that math (see Calculus) is a requirement for so many things even though you hardly use it apparently.  I also want to enjoy my job, be good at it, and get paid well, but I just have no idea what I even want to do.  I also feel I have a bit of the 'impostor complex' type thing where I don't think i deserve the things I have accomplished or that I don't know what I'm doing even though I get fairly high marks.  Plus parents think I'm too smart to settle for low-paying work, so there is that (they are paying for school), and I just do not have any clue as to what to tell them.


Maybe 'writing' because of the block of text above, I don't know, but this helps vent.
#31 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Career eh? I have what one calls a "job". Big difference.

#32 Posted by Mars_Cleric (1595 posts) -

I figured I'll just mess around until I get kicked out of uni and end up homeless and on the streets before dying cold and alone.
#33 Edited by Scrumdidlyumptious (1641 posts) -

I don't have a career yet, but I'm studying Software Engineering. I don't really have any interests I could turn into a career with my skills (games are pretty much my only hobby), so originally I just chose the safest and easiest degree for me which was Electrical Engineering, but halfway through I was bored out of my mind and decided to switch to Software which is also a somewhat safe(maybe?) choice. Have no idea how it will work out, but I'm hoping for the best. Maybe it will even lead me into a career making games which would be in line with my interests, but it's not really something I'm actively pursuing knowing how the industry works even though I'd love to do it.

#34 Posted by ajamafalous (12121 posts) -

I regret my college path.

#35 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I enjoyed my work experince at a school, so that led me towards childcare
#36 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -
@MKSKILLZ16 said:
" I'm in university right now, taking mainly chemistry and psychology (with a couple english courses in between), wasn't able to get into biology because the class was full.  Right now I'm not sure if I want to keep doing the whole science thing, but it is all I've ever done.  Also there is no word to describe how bad I am at math, and how much I resent that math (see Calculus) is a requirement for so many things even though you hardly use it apparently.  I also want to enjoy my job, be good at it, and get paid well, but I just have no idea what I even want to do.  I also feel I have a bit of the 'impostor complex' type thing where I don't think i deserve the things I have accomplished or that I don't know what I'm doing even though I get fairly high marks.  Plus parents think I'm too smart to settle for low-paying work, so there is that (they are paying for school), and I just do not have any clue as to what to tell them.

Maybe 'writing' because of the block of text above, I don't know, but this helps vent.
"
Your situation has 3 options: get a job (or two) and pay for your own education, drop out of school and look for a job you might like to do for a while, or get a degree in a field you don't enjoy. Personally, I'd say 1 or 2 are the best options, as they allow more freedom. I know that if I go back to school next fall, I'll be paying my own bills, because I don't want my parents to spend money when I'm not even sure if I'd be staying in school.


As to the OP, I don't have a career yet, but I know a little about what direction I want to take: I will not EVER work at a true deskjob. I'd rather be a janitor than be stuck doing enrollment or scheduling, which is what most of my "co-workers" (quotations are because basically everyone else is higher on the food chain than I am) do.

Getting your "dream job" is really really hard, and really unlikely. It's far more common, especially today, to end up working somewhere that's only tolerable. But the bills need to be paid, and so sometimes you need to settle. Try to find something that you won't mind doing, but remember that once you clock out, the rest of your day is yours. And one of my struggles right now is whether I'd be willing to work a job I don't really like in order to enjoy the rest of my life outside of work more fully. I can't answer for myself, so I certainly won't answer for you, but it's something to keep in mind.
#37 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

I'll let you know once I know.

Important thing is to never do what you don't like.

#38 Posted by sopachuco13 (392 posts) -

I think that the idea of "career" is dead. Most people don't keep a job for longer than 5 or 10 years. Especially people who work in the technology sector, because there is always shifting around and layoffs. I wouldn't worry about a career too much. Just find something you want to do and do it. But, make sure that you start a retirement fund because you will need that and you will need to be on top of that with your jobs. Never rely on the company to take care of you. It won't happen. 

#39 Posted by Castiel (2702 posts) -

I haven't choosen one yet. I have gone to some film-schools and graduated, but recently I have experienced a little with writing. I'm thinking of maybe trying some scriptwriting.

#40 Posted by troll93 (391 posts) -
@zombie2011 said:
" I was pretty good at problem solving so Engineering was an obvious choice. I'm also into cars and stuff like that so Mechanical Engineering was what i went with. "
So your one of thouse engineers....... I think its time us cviil and mechanical engineers get together and get  thouse dam eletrical engineers.
#41 Posted by newtothegame950 (6 posts) -

 My family enforced on me, I'm a law student :)

#42 Posted by zombie2011 (5028 posts) -
@troll93 said:
" @zombie2011 said:
" I was pretty good at problem solving so Engineering was an obvious choice. I'm also into cars and stuff like that so Mechanical Engineering was what i went with. "
So your one of thouse engineers....... I think its time us cviil and mechanical engineers get together and get  thouse dam eletrical engineers. "
We should feel bad for them actually i had to take a Circuits class to graduate and it was the hardest thing ever, i still don't understand any of that bullshit. 


#43 Posted by LedZeppelin (22 posts) -
@Lukeweizer:

There are a few different avenues one could take if interested in working in the government.

The first thing I would suggest doing would be to visit the Government of Canada website (link here) and take a look around. There is a link off the main page to a page with some government listings. There are loads of different departments and branches of the government that many people are unaware of or just overlook when job hunting. If you find something that you think may interest you or something you think you could do, then visit their website (Ex: Parks Department, Department of Fisheries, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.) Often times these sites will have listings for job opportunities that are open to the public. If there is nothing available, just check back in a week. Something will come up eventually. I know that Canada Post is a solid place to work, with wages starting at $24 an hour, and all of the government benefits you could ever want.  They are constantly updating their website with job opportunities.

The second way to get work within the government is to know someone who works there. A fair amount of jobs go to people who are friends or family of employees. You'd be surprised to find how many people you know that work within the government. Ask your parents, relatives(both immediate and extended), friends, neighbours, and anybody else you can think of if they or if anyone they know works for the government. You're bound to find someone who is.

The last thing I will say is don't give up. I checked everyday for jobs, applied for many, and it was almost 6 months before I got a call for the place I work at now.  Just keep getting your name out there to as many places as you can, even to jobs you may not be qualified for. Obviously I'm not saying to apply to be a brain surgeon if you don't know the difference between a scalpel and a butter knife, but throw your name in for entry level office jobs, and the like. A fair amount of places will train you, even if you have little to no experience. You just have to sell yourself to them, let them know you are more than willing to work, and are always willing to learn. That's what the interview is for.

Good Luck, and remember to never give up. Something will come along eventually
#44 Posted by troll93 (391 posts) -
@zombie2011 said:
" @troll93 said:
" @zombie2011 said:
" I was pretty good at problem solving so Engineering was an obvious choice. I'm also into cars and stuff like that so Mechanical Engineering was what i went with. "
So your one of thouse engineers....... I think its time us cviil and mechanical engineers get together and get  thouse dam eletrical engineers. "
We should feel bad for them actually i had to take a Circuits class to graduate and it was the hardest thing ever, i still don't understand any of that bullshit. 


"
Exactly my point, there is something wrong with them. I am about 90% sure they are actualy wizards.
#45 Edited by Fajita_Jim (1463 posts) -

Huh, well, it may be common today, but back in the 80's knowing how to 'use a computer' was a big deal. I learned BASIC on a TI-99 during downtime in 4th grade and it all took off from there. I entered college in 1995 with the aim of graduating just in time for all the Y2K panic hiring to begin, what we didn't expect was the internet bubble.

So yeah just the basic fact that I was the only person I knew (then) who could do much with a computer led me to the IT field, simply because (at the time) it was high-demand.

If I had gone with my interests instead I would have ended up in astronomy or archeology begging for funding. I should probably be thankful.

#46 Posted by Starfishhunter9 (369 posts) -

Do what you find interesting. Doing what you love is it's own reward

#47 Posted by Fleppie (200 posts) -

Kind of rolled into mine, but I am sure this is for me. And when you look back to your childhood an stuff you've always been doing it will all make sense.


Somehow I became a dance-teacher, been running a dance-company with my girlfriend for the last 5 years. But looking back it makes a lot of sense. Besides gaming it was one thing I did the most.
#48 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

This is a huge problem nowadays, and it's getting worse all the time. I'll say here what I told my sister when she went through this problem: 

If you don't already have a clear interest in something you need to do some research. Do a lot of different stuff, read, talk to people, go to places where professions are put to use and think very hard on the type of activities that you enjoy doing and which of those you are actually good at (or feel comfortable with). There is no magic test that can put you on your way, you need to actively find it for yourself.

For me it was fairly easy cause I stumbled upon music early on and quickly realized that there was nothing else, but I had to bust my ass studying (and I still do) so keep that in mind too: If something is awesome chances are you'll have to work very hard for it.

Good luck with your search!
#49 Posted by phish09 (1110 posts) -

I run a painting company, a paint store and a sign company.  I wouldn't necessarily say that I chose this career as much as it chose me.  Family business ftw.
#50 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1180 posts) -

Go to a career Expo, pick up a lawn dart and whoever you hit go for that job as there is now a position opening.