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We could work here for years: Occupations
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Jul 17th 2006

Wow! And all I was going to say is that I'm a media relations manager for a Big Ten university.

RE: job switching. I think a major part of why people my age are constantly switching is that we don't feel the loyalty our parents did to companies. My dad spent 32 years with the same company. My husband has already switched jobs and is now getting his MBA to switch fields as well. His dad also was laid off from a major company after working for them for 20 years so he has more of a history of his family being burned than I do. But I think that is a major part of it. I felt my previous company didn't feel loyal to the employees, which played out with a union contract fight. And in most cases, companies seem to be more about the bottom line today than taking care of the people who get them there, which is probably contributing to the higher turn over rate. Add in the fact that most of us are Gen Xers who had great jobs during the tech boom and then got laid off as everything started to fail. I know I barely survived a round of layoffs at a major dot com but I got to see them parade employees into the boss's office to get their severance packages.

RE: staying at home. It's been an interesting shift in recent years. During the 70s and 80s, women felt that they had to continue working to hold on to what they fought for as part of the feminist movement. It seems we've taken that a step further -- you have a choice now. You don't have to feel guilty if you stay at home or if you are working. Do what is best for you and your family. All I have to take of right now is a husband, which can be bad enough at times with him in school. At least he knows how to use a fork all by himself. But I have a writing background and hope to be a freelance writer working from home when we have kids to have the best of both worlds. I'm sure things may change between now and then but that's the plan at this moment.

Jul 18th 2006

Re: Company Loyalty
While I think this at one point in history (not too long ago) was a driving force in companies, respecting and keeping their employees, etc, it seems like this has dwindled down to near nothing. Sharky, I agree, $$$ is clearly the bottom line here. Who cares about ethics?(as long as you don't get caught). Who cares if you let go of that 50-year-old guy who's been here 25 years, has 4 kids, is honest, and works hard? - What does it matter if you can hire a 22-year-old for half the salary? Anyway... I agree that company loyalty means little or nothing these days. And why should it? If a business exists to make money, then everything should be done to make sure that happens effectively. right? But it's sad....
Sorry for venting, but as someone with a Psych degree and a tender (I hope) heart, I just feel for the people that have been hurt financially or otherwise by their company's lack of concern for loyalty or experience. Does anyone have a better way to look at this?
Re: Staying at home
YAY for you, if you can recognize the importance of spending time with your child, especially during the magical "first 5 years". I know that in some situations this is not possible, but for those who can manage, or make sacrifices so you can manage, I commend you. My mom was a stay-at-home mom all throughout my school days, and it means so much to me that she did that. I don't think I would have survived Jr. High or high school very well without coming home to someone (my mom) who actually wanted to hear all about my day, my friends, or the cute boy who broke my heart when he asked another girl to prom (and he was later to become my husband, but that's another story). Anyway, being a mom of toddlers is a tough job, so you are awesome, moms. I only hope and pray that I can stay home with my kids. As a preschool teacher, I really value those moms who take the time to be involved in their child's life. (And I know that is possible even if you do work full-time - and if you can hold down a job AND be engrossed in your child's world, then I respect you all the more!). But anyway, it is cool that some of you guys are enjoying being moms. YAY for you.

Aug 1st 2006

Bumped.

What do you do?

Aug 1st 2006

I'm part timing at UConn Law School's bookstore and then it's off to my freshmen year of college, at Wheaton in Norton, MA.

Aug 1st 2006

I'm a Receiving Clerk for the biggest pharmaceutical company in Australia. That's a fancy term for a forklift driver...

Aug 2nd 2006 edited

Work in family graphics business, and when school starts up, I'll have a part-time job at my college. I only have the co-op class left, then I'll have my Associates Degree in Business.

Oct 9th 2006

Bumping this thread again. New folks around.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

Short answer--Freelance editor, mostly educational publishing.

Regarding staying at home--yes, I have one baby and another on the way. It's getting harder and harder to work when the little fella is awake, and harder and harder to stay awake to work when he naps. Don't know what I'll do with two in the house. I get up in the morning and turn the computer on, but find myself mostly with snatches of time instead of chunks, so I fritter away my opportunities in ten-minute intervals on websites like this one. Somehow it all gets done. I'm using the time to post here during the time that I have to give a cursory review to some videos before I can incorporate their content into the documents I am currently working on. Can you say multi-task?

Regarding job loyalty--since college I have held the following jobs:
• Information Booth Answerer
• Customer Service Rep for a mom and pop cable company
• College football athlete tutor
• High School Teacher (I was very bad at this)
• Marketing Assistant for a large company (temp)
• Marketing Assistant for a company of nasty, mean bitches and whores (not exaggerating) (temp)
• Outside sales rep for a translation service company (I was very bad at this)
• Sales Coordinator for a mom and pop tech gadget company
• Math content editor for huge publishing company (laid me off and moved to Ohio)
• Acquisitions and Everything Editor for mom and pop publishing company

Now I edit from home mostly for the huge publishing company that downsized staff and moved away but didn't have any lessening of work. It's sort of a good deal. I make twice as much per hour, when I work. (Aye, there's the rub!)

My family has despaired for years that I switched jobs so much. Considered it a character flaw. I'd just get fed up and have to leave. Getting pregnant was really just a good excuse to leave the office workforce permanently and for the most noble of reasons! I am also a fundamentally lazy person who cares more for the company of my cats than most of the people I'd work with.

Too much information? Uh-oh... video's over.

Oct 10th 2006

I perform internal Quality Assurance for a dental insurance company. Not quite living up to the D.D.S. in my username, but close enough.

I found the earlier discussion on job satisfaction (or dissatisfaction, rather) interesting, as I've struggled at times to come to peace with my current station in life. Brief background - I'm 27, a college drop-out, and I've been with my company for nearly 5 years now. I'm definitely one in Gen X (or is it Y?) who believed that I could be whatever I wanted to be... but couldn't/still hasn't figured out what that exactly is. As so often occurs, life happens and throws your plans/ambitions out the window. I'm good at my job, but it's not personally satisfying. I'm convinced I could be good, even great, at any number of other jobs. What's stopping me from pursuing different avenues? Inertia, fear of failure, growing comfort at the status quo...

I guess I've been so reluctant to challenge myself because it's so easy and convenient to take the path of least resistance, I've been passive in letting events unfold in my life instead of actively controlling my destiny. To use corporate-speak: I've been reactive instead of pro-active. I always justified my behavior as being laid-back and letting life happen to me, but maybe that's just a cowardly and lazy excuse.

Hm. Excuse me while I go through existential anguish.

Oct 10th 2006

just put the gun down, doc.

Oct 10th 2006

I am a thermal engineer and do the thermal design for satellites that orbit the earth...

I actually went to school for mechanical engineering and got a job in this field right after graduation. I really enjoy it so I guess I'm lucky :o)

Oct 10th 2006

KarenM and Krentist, those are two of the most honest posts I've ever read. And, Krentist, yours makes me a bit sad, too. Dundie for Saddest Description of Your Job. Wow. You and Jim would be friends, for sure. If you can keep one another from throwing himself in front of a train first.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

Whoa, I didn't mean to sound so Debbie Downer-ish there. Thanks for the sympathy, though, LT. I actually think my work circumstances correlate more to Ryan, as I started out as a temp and was, well, tempted to stay on as a permanent hire. Don't get me wrong, my company actually is a great company to work for as major corporations go, but there are definitely many drawbacks to cubicle life and corporate culture as a whole.

My situation probably isn't as bleak as I'd painted it, but I guess at times it's good to be unflinchingly honest with oneself. I'm actually well-balanced outside the office; I've just placed a much lower priority on workplace satisfaction, so I've been willing to overlook this blah job for a mostly happy life otherwise.

Oct 10th 2006

I'm a newspaper reporter, which is a pretty cool thing to be. I'd like to thank the wordsmiths on the haiku thread here for helping me to improve my writing immeasurably.

I'm amazed at the range of ages and occupations of folks who post here regularly. This thread more than any other, I think, illustrates just what a diverse and thoughtful audience this show has, at least among those with the passion and free time to spend scads of time here.

What's stopping me from pursuing different avenues? Inertia, fear of failure, growing comfort at the status quo...

All I can say, Doc, is that you are far from alone in feeling that way. That existential anguish you mention is just the sense that you're capable of more, and that's what's gong to propel you to great things.

Personally, I've got an amazing wife and a baby on the way. And if I had to spend the next 20 years pushing a broom for a paycheck, I'd call my life a success. Noone's job has to define them.

Oct 10th 2006

Here, here, Brian. (Or is it "Hear, hear"? Maybe in between your reporterly duties, you could clarify that for me.) I don't let my job define me, simply because it would be a very poor definition. I have an analytical position, but I'd like to think I have more of a creative personality. I'd like a career that would take advantage of both my analytical skills and my creative impulses.

I guess that could be a corollary to the original topic/question: What would you want for a job, if you're not doing it already? I bet we have a ton of aspiring writers in this forum, given the thoughtfulness and clarity of responses we see.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

It's "Hear, Hear."

Krentist, you could always go into theater management!

As for what I would do otherwise, I'm pretty happy as an editor. I always wanted to be one and took the very, very long way around. I still think it's a fluke I got in at all, but they needed a math editor and I'd taught ONE basic math class when I was a teacher. So I guess the moral of the story is if you keep looking, eventually something will pop up that you are the perfect fit for (it also pays to be gay).

I hated the most recent company I worked for but really liked the one that laid me off (save a ridiculous commute). Still, because they send me quite a bit of work AND I get to do it from home (where I am never, never bored), I'm really thrilled. Despite my honestsy. I still think cats are better comany than most employees, at least my two animated sofa cushions are. I appreciate being commended for my honesty, Teapot, but I wasn't trying to be depressing. It seems like those two things are usually linked. I do not, however, care for corporate culture. It's sort of a waste of time to to go work, at least for me. Everything I did as an editor was basically with remote authors and designers anyway. My family did think I had a character flaw for not settling down, although my stepfather was sympathetic to my reasons (other people sucked).

Believe it or not, I do make friends!

Brian, congrats on the life, but mostly the baby! I'll ask the two standard questions: when's it due and are you going to "find out" early?

Oct 10th 2006

Just an economics & mathematics student. Senior in college, so I really need to be getting one of these job thingies.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

I am a college professor. Subject? Dance. So, I am incredibly lucky to have a decent-paying job that I truly love...

Having said that, when I was dancing "professionally"--read: supporting my dance habit--I did just about every day job imaginable except waiting tables. Some of my past jobs include:

-Corny-Dog stand worker at the mall

-Nude model. (I did that twice, exactly. Nerve-wracking work if one was raised a Catholic, which I was.)

-Receptionist at a camera store for pros. (Nickname: Processing Wench. Not a PC environment, obviously.)

-Telemarketer for the opera.

-Coffee shop employee. (This was particularly humbling, as this was post-grad school. It taught me to value both myself and anyone doing any job, and to be kind to anyone at any station in life.)

Have to respond to Great Scott:

>

Your professor showed PORN in class? Gosh; I'm always nervous when I cover the validity (or lack thereof, depending) of nudity in dance. I show pretty tame stuff, and I'm always worried that my students heads will explode. Wow.

And, finally, it is really great to hear from some of you how much you value your home life even if you aren't wild about your jobs. I AM wild about my job, but have given up a lot to be where I am.

Oct 10th 2006

Sorry, forgot how to add in others comments for reflection, but I think my point is still readable re: the whole porn thing.

Oct 10th 2006

Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that’s always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you have to just be the boss of dancing.

Whatevs, in your case, you're both!

Oct 10th 2006

Krentist, you rule. I AM the boss of dancing! BTW, I looove Michael's dancing. You have to be really, really good to be THAT bad.

Oct 10th 2006

Brian said,

Personally, I've got an amazing wife and a baby on the way. And if I had to spend the next 20 years pushing a broom for a paycheck, I'd call my life a success. Noone's job has to define them.

By that statement alone, I only hope your family realizes how fortunate they are to have you. I mean, really.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

pursegirl we have parallel lives. I went to school as a journalism major, worked as a reporter for several years. Switched to PR for the Red Cross for three years and then quit to be a stay at home mom when my son was born. He is also 2 years old. And I am also 30--just hit it on Sunday. Yuk. I still freelance for about 5-10 hours per month. I have a couple thousand dollars left before I pay for that diploma, too. We are probably going to have baby #2 next year and my workload will double. :-) It is the most important job--and it isn't easy.
You're right when you said (I think it was you) that our generation is again staying home with their children. Many of the moms in my neighborhood stay home and I am a member of a moms group who all stay home. It's important to us--and we make sacrifices to be able to do it. If it makes you happy, then it is worth it 100%.
Hey, you're not in Cincinnati by chance are you?

edited for spelling

Oct 10th 2006

Hey, I went to school for journalism, too! My degree is in English, with a minor in journalism. I actually thought I was going to be a reporter until...I just wasn't (see Krentist's post above, which is a pretty accurate description of my career trajectory as well). I worked in an insurance company and a bank, taught middle school English for 5 years, had my daughter...and now I've been at home with my kids for the past three years.

That's a new marketing campaign they haven't thought of, I'm sure: "'The Office.' Preferred by 4 out of 5 stay-at-home moms who actually have the energy to stay up and watch television after 8 pm."

Oct 10th 2006

I'm at school for psychology and I could use a job, but it's a lot more fun to be able to check here all the time. Someday, it's my dream to write a tv series about the psych ward of a hospital, with the humor of the Office and the medical intrigue of Grey's Anatomy. We'll see how that one works out!

Oct 10th 2006

I'll ask the two standard questions: when's it due and are you going to "find out" early?

He's due Jan. 10. And thanks.

By that statement alone, I only hope your family realizes how fortunate they are to have you. I mean, really.

That's very nice of you to say. But we're all lucky to have the people who make our days brighter.

By the way, some day I'll introduce my son to my Office DVD collection (seasons 1 through 12), and then my wife will have to give in and start liking the show.

It's been said before, but I'll say it again: I feel God in this thread.

Oct 10th 2006

Flonkkerton, I live in Florida (Homestead). Yes, I think a lot of us have chosen similar paths. Amazing that we all met up here. The Office, what a show! Your right LT great campaign!

Oct 10th 2006

First of all, to all of you "stay at home moms" - kudos! I really really respect women that do that. (Ok, people that do that, I know a few men that do that too - but lets not get into gender roles in society lol) - to me, raising your children is the most commendable job.

Though I posted here before, it was under my old name before I changed it to this name. I'm an attorney. It's nothing high powered, high paying or glamorous, heck, most people don't even find it interesting, but, I love what I do.

Oct 10th 2006 edited

Jim Mosby, that you are an attorney is absolutely commendable; don't think we judge you on that because you have a high-profile job. And I love that you love it! (I know a few unhappy lawyers....)

I think you can find a happy medium; it's just that so many of us don't. For example: I am TOTALLY satisfied in my job, but I have no life where I live. I can drive 8 hours from where I live (Michigan) in any direction, and literally be at the doorstep of people who will take me in no matter what. I don't have that in Michigan itself--after 6 years here--which is strange.

I am what anyone would call a "happy person"; the one who is new in town and will throw a party for people I don't know, just to get some dialogue started. But here? Where I am, you have to have lived here for 10 years for anyone to take you seriously as a member of the "inner circle".

Its rough. As a single woman living in a failed social circle (for being single at the ripe old age of 36, in a married environment), people in my age group don't know what to do with me.

Edit: About two days after I posted this, not one but TWO local acquaintences asked me to do stuff socially! Isn't that magical, considering the depressing quality of this post?

Oct 11th 2006

whatevs: let's do lunch. You sound like a very cool chick. They don't know what they're missing.

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