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choosing a career

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by dirkdig, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. dirkdig

    dirkdig IncGamers Member

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    choosing a career

    I'm going through my senior year of college, and have no idea what I want to do after I graduate. Can anyone give me advice on how they narrowed down potential career paths?
     
  2. Croup

    Croup IncGamers Member

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    Well, I graduated in 2005 with a BA in Political Science. After that, I took a year off (from high academia at least) and lived with two friends while working a couple of random jobs to save some money and make ends meet.

    During that time, I realized that I did like political science after all and wanted to make a career of sorts out of it. So starting just a month ago, I'm in a Masters program at UConn and plan to follow it through to a PhD in order to become a professor.

    Now, I don't know if that'll actually happen. I could get fed up with all of it (already started to in some areas), I could find something more interesting, or I could just fail at it (although I doubt that part). My advice though is to not do anything because you're "supposed to." If I had done that straight out of undergrad, I wouldn't have gotten as much out of grad school and might have given up on it due to a lack of interest. You're much better off coming to that realization of what you like to do on your own, rather than forcing yourself to do something and turn yourself off of it.

    That isn't a simple formula where you do something to fix everything, I know. But it's really the best way to do things. See if you have some friends that would be willing to live together and find a random job that you don't mind doing for a while so that you can think about what you REALLY want to do.
     
  3. Sokar Rostau

    Sokar Rostau IncGamers Member

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    Seconded.

    I was supposed to study law, but against my parents advice I went and worked for a few years. After I got a job with a law firm that specialized in criminal law I thought "yep, this is what I want to do." so I aimed to do the part time course you can do in Sydney. After I changed jobs to a commercial firm, however, I realised it wasn't what I wanted after all. I was caught up in the romance of it all. At the criminal firm we had some really high profile clients, including some of the most well known people in modern Australian criminal history. This was during a Royal Commission into Police Corruption so we were sticking it to the police as well, it was all very exciting. But the reality of law set in once I had to sort through 10 000 pages of commercial documents looking for misplaced decimal points.

    During this whole time I spent my commute and lunch hours reading history and archaeology books and spent the weekends watching films. It dawned on me that I was more interested in history when I was sitting in court one day trying to solve the debate over which route the Israelites may or may not have taken across the Sinai, instead of taking notes like I should have.

    After nearly six years as a paralegal I left and started studying film production while pursuing my interests in history and archaeology. Now I am qualified to make the films, I am doing a degree in History with the aim of making history documentaries. It's a subject and a process that I truly enjoy and I just wish I had come to the realisation when I was 18 and not 25, especially since I have had an interest in both from about age 5 (earlier if you count the mandatory dinosaur phase).

    Had I gone and gotten myself a law degree like my parents expected I would find myself in the same position as my father. In a career I hate wishing I had done something else, but with no real way out.
     
  4. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    What are you getting your degree in?

    I took my dad's advice, he told me to find something I love to do, and then find someone who'll pay me to do it.
     
  5. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    I wanted to be an architect when I was 8. So no help there.

    If you can't figure it out, join the Navy. Give them 4 years as an ossifer, soo the world, kill strange and new people and after that, when you have your head properly screwed on right, you'll know what to do.
     
  6. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    The Navy huh? Sound like a Village People song...
     
  7. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    I would say the Coast Guard but they're so backlogged with new recruits that signing up today MIGHT get you off to boot camp in about 18 months. It's easier if you're prior service - except for Marines. Marines aren't allowed to join the USCG for a year after becoming a civilian puke again. Something about being "too hardcore" for the Coasties :laugh:
     
  8. SmittySixTen

    SmittySixTen IncGamers Member

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    When I first started school I didn't have a dang clue what I actually wanted to do. I thought I'd end up with some accounting job or something along that line.

    However, I was given a scholarship that required me to work with 6th graders in an after school program. During that same time I started to fill my Gen. Ed. requirements and found that I really, really enjoyed my History classes. It took me about a year and a half for it to click, but I realized that I absolutely adore working with kids in middle school (yeah, I'm the one that does :p). I got to thinking, and suddenly it dawned on me "hey wait... they need people to TEACH History in MIDDLE SCHOOL".

    Now, about 4 years later, I’ve got my Bachelors in Elementary Education with a concentration in History, and I'm the lead 4th-8th grade teacher in an after school program while I work on my Master's degree (starting next semester, hopefully).

    Basically, you just need to get some life experience. Chances are you don't really know what you want to do until you randomly find yourself actually doing it.
     
  9. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Become something that pays a bucket of money, save it up and retire early. That's my plan, I figure I'm going to hate any job I do so I might as well get showered in money for it.

    It's a good choice unless you have a family or a girlfriend or a life.
     
  10. LonghornRob

    LonghornRob IncGamers Member

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    Let me know when you find a good answer. I'm a junior with an English major and I'm not sure what to do, except maybe be a sports journalist.
     
  11. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    That doesn't mean all jobs are bad; that means you suck at choosing a career.

    When I graduated with a degree in Japanese I was lucky enough to have a job offer just sort of fall into my lap, and even luckier that it was one I enjoyed for a few years. It made use of what I had learned in school, it allowed me to live in a place where I wanted to be, and it paid enough to let me build up some savings. But I didn't really do much along the lines of job-searching so I don't have much advice there.

    What is your degree going to be in? What are your interests? What school are you graduating from, and where do you want to live--right near home, or are you adventurous and willing to move for work? Do you have lots of student loans and a tough repayment schedule, or do you have a bit of a cushion in that department?

    Lots of questions to think about.
     
  12. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Are you doing any writing now, for your school or community paper? If you think it might be interesting, jump in and try it out now. I have journalist friends who got their start this way, and they're every bit as successful as anyone who went through a J-school after getting the BA.
     
  13. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    I know it isn't about the money, but I saw an ad in our university paper saying they were looking for writers. The pay was $5 per article, hah.
     
  14. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Sounds about right for the really low-end stuff . . . It's a foot in the door, though, and if you get a byline you have some clippings to put in your job-application folder.
     
  15. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    No, I just don't see how I could like any job apart from the attached payslip. I mean, doesn't job satisfaction depend on you feeling that what you're doing is worthwhile? That pretty much rules out any job satisfaction for me.
     
  16. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Nothing you do is worthwhile? Huh, best of luck choosing a painless method of suicide. I hear stingrays are real quick.
     
  17. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Why would I want to kill myself? I'm not the one who sucks, it's the rest of the world.
     
  18. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    The rest of the world is going to suck even more when you learn that the high-paying jobs you're interested in doing for a little while only go to people who are driven and genuinely interested in what they entail. :badteeth:
     
  19. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    If by "driven and genuinely interested" you mean those who have connections, then yes, I agree.
     
  20. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    If you aren't interested in finance and aren't willing to put in the 16-hour days, it doesn't matter how many connections you have; you won't get and hang onto a finance job that pays you a quarter-million a year.
     

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