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We could work here for years: Occupations
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Feb 6th 2007

But in truth: I'm a userer. Look it up

Before I look it up... usurer or userer? I hate to think of you living as some kind of subsidized houseboy on Mrs. From the Future's dime. Much rather think of you as taking advantage of the masses by charging interest.

Feb 6th 2007

I'm one of those "assistant to the". I never understood why Dwight wanted the "to the" removed. It's aggravating.

Feb 6th 2007

Much rather think of you as taking advantage of the masses by charging interest.

Oh, it's this one. I just can't spell.

Feb 6th 2007

So are you a venture capitalist? You'd be a good candidate with your superior chronovantage point.

Feb 7th 2007

Guess I'm a newbie here too-- currently I work at a research aquaculture center where I raise thousands of crabs for a university research project. It's a pretty dull job and I could without a doubt be on the show 'Dirty Jobs' almost every day. But it leaves me time to work on my graduate degree and certificate in GIS mapping. I guess my goal in the future is to work for NOAA, the EPA, or Homeland Security. We'll see how that goes :)

Feb 7th 2007

This seems a non-threatening place for a long-time lurker to post.

I've recently had quite a lot of time to visit this forum, as I've become unemployed. I'd been the director at a mid-sized preschool/childcare facility sponsored by my church. The pastor/business manager and I were constantly butting heads in the profitability vs. serving students effectively arena, and I finally gave it up, and quit without a safety net. Now I'm utilizing my Master's in Education to do part-time administrative temping and futz about on careerbuilder.com.

I've definatively stepped into the aforementioned "what am I doing with my life" angst, as I've served stints as a substitute teacher, Wal-mart cashier, preschool teacher, student-athlete tutor, and middle school science teacher. Now, at the ripe old age of 28, I'm looking to be something entirely different: a mindless corporate drone. I believe the main reason for this career-change is that I'm tired of caring so much. I want a job that I can leave at the end of the day and not think about until I go in the next morning. Is that possible?

Wow...what a downer! I promise, y'all, I'm really a bouncy, positive person! (Note the exclamation points!)

Feb 7th 2007

Tardy Sauce, have you ever thought about being a corporate trainer and/or instructional designer? If you want to try the corporate world, that seems like a good fit with your background.

Feb 7th 2007

There's a lot to be said for not caring too much about your job, tardy sauce (great name!). My dad taught me, though not in so many words, that in the long run it's better to have a job than a career. Jobs leave time for things careers don't.

But if you have a master's in education, why aren't you pursuing a tenure-track teaching position? Teachers may be underpaid in this country, but not where I live.

Feb 7th 2007

Thanks for your encouraging words, y'all. I probably will step back into straight-up teaching at some point--it's a wonderful job to have while raising children and whatnot. I'm in NW Missouri, so the pay is deplorably low, but, then, the cost of living's not bad, either.

I think I'm just dealing with burnout at the moment. I am feeling driven to do something I don't care much about, and in which I don't need to become emotionally invested to do an adequate job.

The corporate training thing is a definite possibility--I'm finding it's not so entry-level, though, so I'm looking for something low on the totem pole.

Feb 8th 2007

Aw, suck, Tardy Sauce. I'd encourage you to stay in teaching, if you can make it work financially -- the money's crap, but it's by far the most rewarding job I've ever had. Maybe the only rewarding job I've ever had. Noble work, and all that. And no matter what you do, there are traps -- private schools pay diddly, public schools have unions that play by seniority and not ability, for-profit schools are difficult to keep going. But if you can keep your mind on the kids, it's great.

I am feeling driven to do something I don't care much about, and in which I don't need to become emotionally invested to do an adequate job.

That's a low place to be in -- but it's worth doing if just to rediscover why you did the other thing in the first place.

Feb 8th 2007

Nice to see a few teachers on NA. It makes me feel better to know that I'm probably not the only NA'er who uses their prep periods to write on the NorthernAttack haiku threads instead of doing actual prepping.

But, to save a little face for the teaching profession, I put a fair amount of time into this job, and I have no issues with the way I use my time.

Feb 8th 2007 edited

I think I'm just dealing with burnout at the moment. I am feeling driven to do something I don't care much about, and in which I don't need to become emotionally invested to do an adequate job.

Tardy Sauce, being in the early childhood field myself, I have seen this scenario too many times. So many really wonderful and gifted teachers have left the field out of necessity for a job that pays better, even if less rewarding. The turnover of teachers, especially at the preschool level is extremely high. This in turn contributes to the quality of the program suffering because stability is so important to children.

I was fortunate enough not to have that concern. I considered my career to be a labor of love more than anything else, because if I was working only to make money there were a lot of other choices I would have made. I last worked at a preschool that is known to be part of a corporation with schools in many countries worldwide. They are a stellar corporation and make the Fortune 500 every year as one of the best companies to work for. All of that is well and good for a career path, but I also felt it was time to leave my position because the company was driven (in my opinion) more to pleasing the parents, than they were to what is best for children and families. I can give you tons of examples, but I doubt most people here would be interested in the details.

In the end, you've got to do what you've got to do. I still work with some special needs children from time to time, and occassionally substitute, and volunteer. I just can't conscienciously take part in doing so much for the families, that I've robbed the parents of what precious little time they have left with their children. It was a difficult decision, but there were some defining moments that got me here.

We had a similar discussion earlier in this thread, back in July, if you care to read it. Welcome to the board.

Feb 8th 2007

Right now I'm Pam. Really. I support a team of 12 in the marketing department at a multi-national pharmaceutical company (which you have heard of, so it will remain nameless). Michael on a sugar rush? Is my boss. Every day. It's tiring. He's much less abrasive than Michael, though. Although he did make an unintentionally suggestive remark about three-ways the other day.

Since I don't have a wedding to plan, I spend the dull days watching episodes of The Office, Scrubs, and Jackass on quasi-legal file-sharing websites that IT hasn't gotten around to blocking yet. It's fun. Also fun? Snorting Dr Pepper out your nose laughing at one such episode as the boss walks by.

I did, however, just finish grad school and hope to start teaching English sometime in the next year.

Feb 8th 2007 edited

Guess I'm a newbie here too-- currently I work at a research aquaculture center where I raise thousands of crabs for a university research project. It's a pretty dull job and I could without a doubt be on the show 'Dirty Jobs' almost every day. But it leaves me time to work on my graduate degree and certificate in GIS mapping. I guess my goal in the future is to work for NOAA, the EPA, or Homeland Security. We'll see how that goes :)

You don't have to answer this, Mozart's Friend, but are you possibly a fellow Marylander?

Feb 16th 2007 edited

If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now...top 3 alternative careers:

stuntwoman

chocolate chef

muppetteer...especially Avenue Q or Sesame St.

Feb 16th 2007

I'm a software developer. I've been out of school less than a year, and this is my first "real" job. I like it. They let me keep my Ninja Turtles on my desk.

I'm pretty much a dork to the core. (Of course, I really want to be a rock star...)

Feb 16th 2007

Heroes in a half-shell....Turtle Power!

Feb 16th 2007

I like it. They let me keep my Ninja Turtles on my desk.

I love that they let you do this, and that you wrote it like that! It gives me the warm fuzzies to think of an office cubicle with a Ninja Turtle on the desk. You obviously work in a good place.

Feb 16th 2007

You know, I never did go through the whole introduction thing here...I kind of just jumped in (or butted in, depending on how you look at it). :)

I have two degrees - Politics and French. And I work in a recruitment advertising agency. If you can figure that one out, you get a Chunky. But it's actually more fun than it sounds...my company is awesome, and the people who I work with are the coolest. That, to me, is worth a WHOLE lot.

I thought about a career in art, actually, as I have some modest talent in that area but I know that I'd come to hate it if it was deadline driven. I'd rather do it as a side thing and enjoy it than as a career and hate it. I do like web design, though, and have taught myself a few things over the past few years while running a Harry Potter site. So you see...I have a tendency toward obsessing over my chosen forms of entertainment. ;)

Feb 16th 2007

So technically my occupation is "student." But I'm pursuing an English major and whatever I do in life, I have to write. It keeps my soul happy.

As a part time job, I'm the news editor for the school paper and a research assistant for a professor in the English department. It's a lot of just photo-copying and filing, but it's helping pay for my Europe trip this summer so I'll tough out the tediousness.

Feb 25th 2007

I teach first-year composition at a state university.

I'm not what you call "professorial faculty," but hey, at least I have a full-time teaching job!

Feb 25th 2007

Why does that sound like a pretty cool job to me? Is it?

Feb 25th 2007

It has its rewards, Brian, but it's also quite frustrating.

For one thing, the campus where I teach is not exactly our state's "flagship" institution, and that in a state not known for the greatness of its public universities. We're more known for football.

Most of my students are what you'd call underprepared. They haven't learned to write in high school, and they're not really convinced that they need to start learning now.

One good thing: The department's letting me teach the American lit survey this summer. I'll have fun with that.

Feb 26th 2007

Pretty new around here so here it goes. I am an English student at a school full of Engineers. It is actually one of the best engineering schools in the country, and yet I am about as far from an engineer as possible. Because of its prestige, the university actually draws the bulk of it student body from overseas, and I frequently feel like one of the only native English speakers outside of my frat. My summer job is a Junior Level Programmer/Debugger at a small software development firm but I couldn't see my life turning out the way of Peter Gibbons or Jim Halpert so I went the way of the English degree, and have begun to question my choice in career/life every day. I may be a bit younger, but I am starting to feel a little what Tardy Sauce is going through. Any advice/stories/insight from those who are surviving in the real world?

Feb 26th 2007

I like it. They let me keep my Ninja Turtles on my desk.

oh, I think there's a new movie for them coming out!

Welcome Dink&Flicka (man, I love Darryl!). I'm in a similar boat, with an occupation title of "grad student/lab money." Also trying to sort out the real world.

Feb 26th 2007

Dink&Flicka, the jury's still out on whether or not I've survived, but I got my bachelor's degree in Journalism and my master's in English. I'm now teaching (see above).

Are you interested in going to grad school, or...? The thing about a degree in English (which I can tell you're already aware, hence your misgivings) is that it will hardly ever put any money in your pocket, unless you use it to go to law school or something where they still appreciate the "well-rounded individual."

But hardly anyone ever does appreciate their employes being well-rounded anymore. They want you to be trained for the specific job they're hiring for before you even get there, and any other kind of learning is just a waste of time, as far as they're concerned. It's really hard for people who refuse to be office drones (like Peter Gibbons or Jim) to find their way in the world. At the same time, we see how much satisfaction the Peters and Jims actually get from their jobs.

Out of curiosity, what school are you going to right now?

Feb 26th 2007

My summer job is a Junior Level Programmer/Debugger at a small software development firm but I couldn't see my life turning out the way of Peter Gibbons or Jim Halpert so I went the way of the English degree, and have begun to question my choice in career/life every day.

Dink&, I have an English Lit BA and MA, and started my life as a high school teacher, ended up in a string of offices as a temp, and finally found work as an editor in educational publishing. I do it freelance now, and I do think there is enough freelance work to do full-time, although I am not doing it full-time right now. I really had almost given up on finding editing work (prematurely, perhaps, because there were only three years of temping and looking) when a job came up that was so niche I actually was one of the few people who qualified; I'd been given a single basic math class to teach one year and the job was for math curriculum editing. Not a lot of editor types can write math lessons, apparently. I do not think it was a coincidence, however, that I had my masters before getting the job. I was going to grad school at night while temping during the day--can you say Ryan?

A friend of mine went through a professional certification program to get her copy editor certificate and ended up going down the tech writer path, which is quite lucrative. If you have technical background at all, you could probably make a killing. Seriously. I see jobs for tech writing all the time.

I loved studying literature and have absolutely no regrets. It was like being in a ten-year book club that met every week. I started college as a math major but switched halfway through. I do think it is very important that you study something you want to know about. You haven't messed up your future. I feel like sometimes I've messed up my future because I am not advancing professionally and I'm already in my thirties (without ever having been promoted--I've only moved laterally). But then I realize I don't have any ambition or desire to manage people or create budgets or wear business suits. Hopefully I can spend the rest of my life freelancing.

Feb 26th 2007

Hail, Hail to old Purdue, all hail to our old gold and black. I am indeed a Boilermaker, and of our 42,000 students here in West Lafayette, we have less than 500 students in the Department of English. How weird is that? I believe we have more people studying both Animal Husbandry and Biochemical Engineering than the language we all speak. Kind of surreal at times. I have thought law school at times, but my folks still have my sister to put through college and that kind of debt is tough for even an upper-middle class household to handle. I also don't know how much more schooling I could handle so grad/law school are pretty far off choices.

All of my teachers since childhood have said I should either be a lawyer or a professor since I am a pretty solid orator, but now I don't even know. I hear people all the time saying that "money isn't everything" or "money can't buy happiness", but ever since junior high I have been brainwashed into the "You need to get good grades because you need to go to college because you need to get a good job because you need to make lots of money otherwise you won't be happy." style of guidance counseling so I guess I am sort of at a crossroads for the time being. Either way, I am too cynical to probably ever be truly happy, so I don't know why I put so much time into caring.

Feb 26th 2007

I hear people all the time saying that "money isn't everything" or "money can't buy happiness", but ever since junior high I have been brainwashed into the "You need to get good grades because you need to go to college because you need to get a good job because you need to make lots of money otherwise you won't be happy."

Lacking marketable skills with which to make a comfortable living is not the path to happiness either, unless you find a way to get by doing something that truly satisfies your soul. But the two are hardly mutually exclusive, and you can't let yourself think they are. If the only way you can truly be happy is to be a starving artist, then by all means. But it is quite possible to combine your passions and abilities and find a job that pays well and makes you happy. I guess I'm saying, don't just chase the money, but don't think you can't make a good living doing what you like either. Plenty of people do.

Feb 26th 2007

I think law school would be really interesting and that working as a lawyer would really suck. But again, I have no ambition so I'd probably be edged out of any firm that hired me. And I think having enough money makes a huge difference in your happiness level, but you don't need to pull a lawyer's salary to get there. If you really want to get rich, learn a trade, like auto repair or electrical work or cabinetry. I'd go with electrical work with all the home improvement trends out there. People are always trying to rearrange their lighting scheme it seems.

Cynics are in the best position to experience happiness, I think, because they aren't fooled by appearances. Don't let that personality trait discourage you! Besides, you are supposed to be cynical in college. Sometimes it actually sticks.

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