Career change... any suggestions?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2011 5:07 PM GMT
    Long story short:

    I've been doing the same type of work since I was 15 or 16... web/interactive production. Almost always been an office job, and almost always has crazy long hours, high stress, and some real dicks in upper management. I've tried a little freelancing but I think I'm just over sitting in front of a computer all day and dealing with the stress. It's had a pretty negative effect on me the past four years.

    I'd like to make a big career change... I just don't know what else I'd want to do. I know I don't want it to be an office job, I don't want to sit in front of a computer all day (hell, I'd be happy to get away from as much technology as possible), and I'd like to have a lot more interaction with other people and be out and about more. A job that keeps me moving around or more physically active and engaged would be great. I don't want to spend a significant amount of time (or money) back in school getting additional education/training, so... something that any relatively smart dude with a B.A. could do would be ideal.

    Any brilliant recommendations? (I'm expecting a little sarcasm from this crowd, but would appreciate some serious recommendations too. icon_wink.gif )
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    Nov 11, 2011 5:10 PM GMT
    I'm in a similar boat man: making a complete career change in the near future.

    Part of what I found difficult is being able to think outside of my own experiences... that is, having a hard time imagining other places I'd be good at because I'm so specifically trained in this one area. Outside perspective from people who know you would really help I think.

    What other things, even non-job things, are you interested in? What kinds of skills do you think you have? What is your personality like? And if, in an ideal world, you got your "dream job" what would it be?
  • Bowyn_Aerrow

    Posts: 357

    Nov 11, 2011 6:08 PM GMT
    McDonald's has openings in the area of customer service, you will meet people, interact with them, and be hustling to fill up large bags with lard and grease. icon_lol.gif

    Seriously though.

    When I went to college I worked construction part time and full time during the season. While working on degrees and other papers (now useless) I did things that at the time I didn't understand I loved to do. Fix things, repair things, build things.

    After I changed my mind about ministry I went into high stress office work, a nice high paying job, and high stress and I was perfectly unhappy. I was living the 'American Dream' in that I was earning hand over fist, but I was not pursuing happiness.

    It wasn't until my doctor told me that at the rate I was going that I would be the first person in my family to have a heart attack in my mid-forties that I seriously reconsidered my 'options'.

    It took me a while, months to re-prioritize, to rethink the whole 'material garbage = happiness' equation. I thought long and hard about the 'happiest' times in my life. At first I thought it was college days because of college, then it dawned on me that it was because I got a deep satisfaction out of the manual labor of building things, fixing things.

    I went back to work in construction, first as a drywall hanger, then moving on to finish carpentry (I love wood more than men). Later on I struck off on my own becoming a 'handy man' where I got to solve problems, get my hands dirty and pit my skills against new problems each week.

    There is nary a day that goes by that I am not humming or whistling. Sure its dirty, labor intensive work sometimes, but there is a satisfaction of being able to step back and SEE that something is done. Even unplugging a drain has that sense of having 'done something' that pushing papers never gave me.

    I do not know what it is that satisfies you.

    If there was any time you did something in your life that brought you satisfaction, then that most likely is 'your thing'. I don't know if you can make a profit, but is profit all that?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    Maybe you're just working at the wrong place. Because I work in web/interactive production, and I work a regular 8 hour day and have relatively low stress... we do have some real dicks in mgmt though.

    If you have strong writing skills, you might could be a beat reporter... that'll get you out running around and talking to people.
  • BCSwimmer

    Posts: 209

    Nov 11, 2011 6:56 PM GMT
    rbdude79 saidLong story short:

    I'd like to make a big career change... I just don't know what else I'd want to do...

    In situations like that there are great books that help you assess what field may be optimal to suit your wants and desires. One such book which I read many years ago is: What Color is Your Parachute:


    Also there are some great websites with brief career articles that can assist. One good resource is FabJob:

    Good luck to you!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2011 7:41 PM GMT
    If you like nature, how about a career in landscape design or a landscaping/nursery/floral business? And if you like public presentations, this type of work can always lead to landscaping spots on the local news or garden shows, etc.
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    Nov 12, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    I'm in the same boat. Been working in IT for about a decade. Want to change careers to law enforcement badly. But the economy is so shitty right now, no one is really hiring. So I'm just waiting around until police departments start lifting the hiring freeze.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2011 5:09 AM GMT
    The only career change I've ever made was from engineer-by-proxy (lab rat turned engineer) to my childhood dream (professional pilot in the subtropics).

    Think of your childhood dream, and go for it.
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    rb, you're certainly not alone.

    WCIYP is a great place to start. Also, who do you know who has a cool job that you'd like to do too?
    Friends get friends leads and jobs.

    I'm 39 and have been in education for 13 years. I too would like a change but am not quite sure what direction to go in.

    I wish you the best. Not many of us have it perfect at work.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:10 AM GMT
    Hi. In my case, similarly I decided to look for a radical career change. I also had some savings. I can add it felt good granting myself time to try find that.

    Speaking to piers and close friends, throughout your search, I found it's most helpful. even if we disagreed, helped me listen to what I felt and needed.

    You may be surprised with what you find. I realized the change that would really help me enjoy work hours had more to do with my personal life so to speak. Meeting friends more, cooking lessons, you name it (maybe your case has to do with being physically active as you already suggested...) I also realized a 50% change suited me better than shifting 100%. I did start another business and training for it. And my past expertise still pays my rent, 50% ;).

    It may take more than expected, I'm still working on it. I haven't got to "the perfect job balance", if that destination does exist. But heading towards that ideal seems quite enough. Small steps..., even if I never believe that cliche, it is true. I'd say explore... I've tried different options, on jobs and training.

    Back-up and step forward: keep good company while you shift, friends, good advisers,, rest, and healthy activities, etc.

    Hope something between these lines may add help. Good luck man!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2011 7:37 AM GMT
    i've had a ton of jobs, cant say i've really loved ne of em, got a ton of experience in all kinds of stuff tho. Now i'm just in it for the $$$, have considered working for myself, sick of making other ppl rich, hopin to b n a better job before christmas, dead end lazy jobs like mine are great until u realize how bored you are
  • LJay

    Posts: 11634

    Nov 12, 2011 7:52 AM GMT
    I admire teh confidence of those of ou who are about to change jobs in these economic conditions.

    Start reading Career Builder and Monster and such and then repost. I wanna know what you think.
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:22 PM GMT
    Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys... lots for me to think about. I know it's not going to be an overnight thing, even as much as I'd just like everything to be figured out now. icon_confused.gif

    A lot of it is just a mental thing... I think I just grew up in this world where work = 9-5 office job, moving up the corporate ladder, big paycheck, etc. I kind of need to get beyond that and realize there are plenty of other things to do out there, even if it's not big $$ and your typical work environment.
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:36 PM GMT
    Yeah I would def explore your options. Don't do anything crazy like quitting your job. I'm sure if you work in IT (I think) you are making bank.

    It may be great to chase some job that will make you happy, but if you end up going to make like 25,000 a year that may suck especially since you live in an expensive area.

    Here is a great example. I left a corp job that I was making about 75 - 100 depending on sales that I worked at from age 22 til 26.

    I hated the job truly everyday for the last year or two of it The corporate culture changed for the worse. We got offered a voluntary buyout. I took it along with basically everyone who I was friends with there. Some people are working at different jobs now and are generally happier....however a lot are making 50% less.

    My one friend said it the best it sucked whoring myself out everyday for that company....but it was nice because I had disposable income to do things I enjoyed. Now my job is not as stressful, but I'm broke haha.

    I am looking for a job now though.....I did some consulting and made a little money here and there, but now have to go back to the grind. The 9 to 5 office job makes me want to shoot myself. I am hoping to find an outside sales position where I can work from home and not be in the office environment because I know it sucks most of the time unless you work with really cool people.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Nov 12, 2011 6:42 PM GMT
    the world (and ariodante) can always use another bakery
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    calibro saidthe world (and ariodante) can always use another bakery

    mmmmm bakery....

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    Nov 12, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    Have you considered joining the ADF Reserves? Passing the physical shouldn't be a problem and when I checked ( for you) the only max age restriction was 30 for commando positions. Sounds like the military would be a great opportunity for you and the Reserves would give you a chance to try it out and still do other stuff.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    You might be surprised at how your skills are transferable to other work areas. I'm now on my third career, or I guess I'm back to my second career.

    My first career was in the music business. Then I transitioned into IT. Then I took a two year break and worked in nonprofit. I'm now back in IT.

    As different as those three careers are there was always something that was similar enough to where I could apply skills I learned previously to the job I was going into.

    So take a good look at how the skills you have now can be applied to other jobs. Don't think you're necessarily limited to something similar to what you've always done.

    You might want to think about doing something in tourism. I remember when I went to Thailand several years ago and went scuba diving, I thought the instructors must have the best interaction with so many people from all over the world and get to be outside in the water all day in the most beautiful scenery. Now that would be a dream job.
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    Nov 12, 2011 7:10 PM GMT
    I think the medical profession is one of the most stable career in this tough times. Everybody get sick. Pursuing a degree in nursing is doable and jobs are available almost every state. Just a thought.