Choosing a Career

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Choosing a Career
8
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 8:59am

Just curious:

1.  Do you LOVE your career (aka, when you wake up in the morning, are you excited to go to work)?

2.  Do you lose track of time when you are working?

3.  How did you decide on what career path you would take?

4.  What motivated you to do what you do to make a living?

5.  Are you happy with your choice in a career?

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 9:10am

1.  Do you LOVE your career (aka, when you wake up in the morning, are you excited to go to work)?  No.  Although there are some parts of it that I love (meeting new people, some of the data anlysis, mentoring people, learning new disease states, etc., overall, I do not LOVE what I do.)

2.  Do you lose track of time when you are working?  In general, no, but there are times when I have a deadline, when I work on specific projects, or when I am doing one of things listed above, that I do lose track of time in a good way. 

3.  How did you decide on what career path you would take?   I "fell into it" because I had to find a flexible job that paid a decent salary when I divorced my first husband.

4.  What motivated you to do what you do to make a living?  See #3.  I studied Business and Marketing because I liked the psychology of people.  I did not pursue psychology (the field my dad was in) because my dad said it didn't pay enough money unless you got a PhD.  He told me that unless I was committed to getting a PhD, he advised against it. 

5.  Are you happy with your choice in a career?   I am happy that my choices have given me much financial comfort.  The finances have funded vacations, comfortable living conditions, dogs, children's education, hobbies (dancing, quilting, photography, etc.)

My line of questions is from a conversation I had with an older woman.  We talked of the generational differences in the choice we vs. our children have made.  My daughter is in Art, right now, which, to me, is impractical.  I woulld love to study Art, but when I was in college, it seemed like the goal was to make money, and it didn't seem like Art would net a comfortable living.  My daughter lectured me on doing something you love as a career.  It seems that each generation learns something different based on the prior generation's learnings.  Right now, I am questioning my decisions, although I also know that we can only make the best decisions we can make at any given moment. There is no 20/20 hindsight possible.  :O  Is this the "midlife crisis?!"

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 1:21pm

I'm not sure how much of this would apply to me since I work part time and it's just a fun job.  I'm w/ your daughter in some respects but you also want to pay your bills.  I would never work at a job I didn't like if I had enough to survive on, eg. I'd give up nice cars, house, etc for a job I enjoy, which is what I do.  I think it's easy to get sucked up into wanting stuff and you have to step back and remember what you're giving up for your stuff.  That said, I do want to eat and have a roof over my head so I'd work any job, even one I hated, to do that. As my friend told her kids, you can major in anything you want, do anything you want, but you also have to accept the lifestyle that comes with it. Unless you find a sugardaddy/mama like I did.;-)

1.  Do you LOVE your career (aka, when you wake up in the morning, are you excited to go to work)?

For the most part but I'm not excited at 5am when the alarm goes off. It's a good trade off that I'm finished early.  When I'm working I enjoy it, especially my advice job.

2.  Do you lose track of time when you are working?

I only work 45 minute increments so it goes by quickly.

3.  How did you decide on what career path you would take?

l did everything--marketing, finance, analysis, adjunct faculty at a community college.  I've always worked out so it just made sense to be a trainer/group fitness instructor.  I also really believe a healthy, fit lifestyle can make all the difference in life. Not thin, not fat, nothing based on size.

4.  What motivated you to do what you do to make a living?

See above

5.  Are you happy with your choice in a career?

For now. But, I'm always looking for something else. I used to do calligraphy and wonder if I should add that back to my jobs.  But, I'll never have a corporate/desk job again. I was out for most of today, walking, etc. because it's beautiful out. It used to make me wistful when I worked. I think what it comes down to as careers go is that if we let go of traditional views of success, we'll have much more fulfilling lives.






iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 10:12pm
Sorry in advance that answers will run together...ivillage still ignores my paragraphs,,,,,I do LOVE what I do. I don't love the politics or some of the people, but I am really good at what I do, and the result of the work is very satisfying. I AMA good problem solver and very organized and structured and my work uses those skills, and I am good enough at it that I know I help people and many are appreciative. I often lose track of time. One reason why I pay for a trainer is thatbi used towork for hours...having a workout appointment getsme. Out of the office....I wandered into my career. When I graduated from high school, girls who weren't getting married (and many were) either worked. In. An officeor went to school tobe a teacher or a nurse. My motherwasan office worker,and she wanted me to go to college. But I don't really like children, and I faint if anything is mildly gory...I liked toread Perry Mason mysteries, so I chose an undergraduate program that allowed you to combine. The last year of your bachelor's degree with the first year of law school. Then I realized that, unlike Perry Mason, my clients would be guilty....and I fell in love so didn't want to be in school that long. I started a masters program in library science...I loved books and to read...but I hated the educational experience...except for the computer related stuff...it was the early eighties and computers weren't every where...but I realized that I could make twice as much money as a programmer as a librarian...so I took some programming classes and I loved them. Eventually my bossy side kicked in and I went into project management...where I am today......I am happy with my career choice. I feel lucky that I found something to do that pays well and I enjoy....I grew up without a lot of money and having it matters to me. I am glad I didn't have to choose between enjoying my work and financial reward.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 12-05-2013 - 11:54pm

I am 61, and offically retired from a paycheck, altho I do "work" every day-- daycaring my 1st granddaughter, and awaiting her cousin.  I actually had 2 careers.  My first college degree was in behavioral psychology & business admin.  I started in psych, but by the end of sophmore year, reached the conclusion that without a PhD, I would be cleaning rat cages for my "career".  So I picked up a business admin second major, and graduated looking for a path to managment where I could all my education.  And as so often happens with dreams, the reality is less wonderful than we imagined.  The money, challenges, and successes were great, but long hours, travel, stress, & business politics were no picnic.  Add a husband who also had a stressfull job, a house, 2 kids with ADHD, a mom with emphysema, heart disease & diabetes, and it was time for a new career. 

At 40, I went back to college and became a Registered Dental Hygienist.  The hours were more flexible, the jobs were close to home, and pay was good.  I enjoyed the patient contact-- both the "workman" part, and the challenge of diagnosis, treatment and education.  It was certainly a change having a boss who was 10 feet  instead of 10 STATES away from me.  No layers of command, no one to run interference, no one to balance out an idiot.  But the biggest drawback working for a person, instead of a corporation, was poof, no benefits.  No life, no health, no 401K, no pension, no vacation.   No work = no pay. The best part was, I did my job and when I walked out the door, I was done.  Nothing ever came home with me. 

I can honestly say I was NEVER, in 40+ years of working, excited to get up and go to work. That does NOT mean I did not enjoy my careers, but sitting on my deck at 10am, with a cup of coffee, is a lot more fun.  And getting up at 5am to make your breakfast, make your lunch, make your bed, take the stuff out of the dryer and fold it, put the stuff you washed last night in the dryer, walk the dog and hit the road by 7am, is NOT.

Also, I never lost track of time while working.  Time is money.  An effective, successful person does not get lost in the ozone. 

And finally, I agree that going to college, and spending good money to learn advanced basketweaving, or something else that will NOT repay the cost of education, is stupid.  HOWEVER, that does NOT mean that there is no way to achieve both ends.  I certainly used my psych education, in BOTH my careers.  And one of my kids recieved a BFA in Studio Art, while getting a simultaneous drgree in Secondary Art Ed.  She teaches HS art, and also does her own work.  After she has her baby, she'll probably teach a little less, and paint a little more, but she would still be able to support herself AND her child, by herself, if she needed to.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 7:54am

Thanks for your responses, ladies!  It's nice to hear other perspectives.  Jean, YES, part time work qualifies, and there is a part of me that is envious of you who jumped out of the big corporation world.  SJ, that is wonderful that you found something that you love so much!  And, Sabr, I  relate to so much of what you wrote!  I use my psych knowledge in almost everything I do, and life with an abusive first husband and children with all of their "issues" derailed my original plans.  SJ, yes, there are parts of my job that I AM really good at. am each of your comments is making me feel much better, more at peace with where I am today.  And, yes, my daughter's life is her own, along with the consequences that come with it.  She wants to be in graphic design, like her older cousin.  And her life will probably take some twists and turns, just as it does for most people.   Life is a journey, adventure, and not a linear process.  :D

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 10:12am

Being good at your job AND being recognized for being good makes it so much better!  That's one reason I love my advice job. I feel like it's a natural fit for me to tell people what to do.






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 10:17am

It's a really good point that there are the "extras" to having a job that can make or break it, too. Getting up at the break of dawn isn't fun, being tired and not wanting to do housework, etc. are challenging to manage so there are definitely downsides to my job. It's not the job but the outliers of it.






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Fri, 12-06-2013 - 4:07pm

1.  Do you LOVE your career (aka, when you wake up in the morning, are you excited to go to work)?

I don't know that I have ever woken up excited to go to work.  Maybe a few times when I was a recent college graduate and I was going to change the world.  Tongue Out

2.  Do you lose track of time when you are working?

With training, I'm paid for a certain amount of time so it behooves me to keep track of how much time has elapsed.  With writing, I do sometimes lose track of time.  I'm naturally time conscious so it's kind of nice to get lost in something.  

3.  How did you decide on what career path you would take?

I have always loved psychology and declared my major the first day of college.  I had every intention of going to grad school but after I got married, I realized that I needed a break.  I did social work for several  years and loved it but it's emotionally draining.  I worked for my husband's company for a while before getting into personal training.  Recent health challenges have pushed me towards writing.  

4.  What motivated you to do what you do to make a living?

I loved exercise and wanted to help people.  In terms of writing, I love words and I find it challenging.  

5.  Are you happy with your choice in a career?

I am.  Being a trainer gave me a lot of insight and it's been a nice segue into writing.