Considering Alternate Careers

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62 Replies - 3611 Views - Last Post: 06 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

#1 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:27 PM

I thought about putting this in the Corner Cubicle, but it's not really tech related. In fact, it's more anti-tech related.

As many of you know, I've encountered some.... discomfort.... at my cushy job, and while I am still gainfully employed, the changes have been discomforting enough to start me looking for a new employer.

My skills, education, and resume as a coder are plenty marketable and I most likely would have little trouble in finding another position similar to my current position. My quandry, however, is this: do I want to be a coder when I grow up?

I've opened threads here previously whining about how I feel like I don't contribute anything worthwhile to society and that my career path is very cold and unfulfilling. In my little personal dork quest for the meaning of life, I came across an article on Forbes of the 10 Most Hated Jobs. Guess what career path fills half that list? Apparently, I'm not alone in feeling the computer industry is a miserable place to be.

I'm interested in doing something far more helpful and useful... something that makes an impact on people more than "Ooh, you sure make perdy picktures on them thar internets!" Something humanitarian. Something requiring more compassion and less cynicism.

But - as always - I have restrictions.
  • It can't involve international travel - I'm a single parent... what do I do with my kids when I'm traveling abroad? Besides, I'd really like my efforts to go toward helping people here - not faceless masses somewhere else.
  • I'm more than happy to relocate, but it can't require extreme relocation... while the idea of getting the hell out of Podunk thrills me to no end, I'd still like to be within an 8 hour drive of my family.
  • Also, for 8 more years, I have court-ordered visitation schedules to deal with every other weekend... which means the further away I am, the further I have to drive to meet my ex half way with the kids every other Friday and Sunday.
  • It has to be something I can get full-time with a livable wage... bills to pay, mouths to feed.


So I guess what I'm looking for - what I'm asking you for - is an idea of what job titles I should be searching for? So far, I'm turning up results like "door-to-door fund raiser", "internship", "non-profit data entry", "international ambassador", and a some shit that just sounds not quite right, if you know what I mean.

I know. It sounds retarded. And there's a 99% chance I'll stick with what I know and just continue being a damned code monkey anyway... but if I'm standing at this crossroads anyway, why not at least explore the option of doing something worthwhile with my life, right?


TL;DR: I'm retarded. Give me ideas.

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Replies To: Considering Alternate Careers

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:31 PM

I know a guy that - when he was laid off with me - went down to SC to work on website creation/maintenance for not-for-profit groups. Warm fuzzy AND marketable.

The last time I talked to him he seemed to really be liking it.
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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:42 PM

Doing the same job for non-profits is a good option. I remember in the past you've had a particular aversion to teaching; however, community college would allow you to teach without dealing with parents and bureaucratic bullshit.

I know healthcare is in big demand as well. My cousin in upstate New York got a job sitting with people in the hospital, which has good pay and flexible hours. Since your older daughter is diabetic, that could help with scheduling. That being said, sitting isn't something easy to do.

Beyond IT, what sort of a skillet do you have?
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#4 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

*
POPULAR

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 30 October 2012 - 05:42 PM, said:

Beyond IT, what sort of a skillet do you have?


Posted Image
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:35 PM

Do you have hobbies or things you would like to learn how to do? Are they marketable skillsets in the workplace? Perhaps it's time for some additional training.
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:51 PM

lol. I knew what you were asking. I was being an asshole. Which, incidentally is one skill in which I can say with absolute certainty I am 100% proficient.

Aside from that, I have other skills. I'm quite handy with power tools. I bake some kick-ass cookies. I have some mad OCD organizational skills. I can write, both technically and creatively. I'm semi-fluent in English. I am both artistically and musically inclined.

I dance very poorly, but I'd wager if I use a pole for stability, I can wing it. And there's always that cast iron skillet. I could do cage match fencing with my trusty skillet.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 30 October 2012 - 05:51 PM, said:

I can write, both technically and creatively.


Technical writing is a pretty broad field, but it's one that you can usually bs your way into, and it can pay decently. If you're able to relocate to spitting distance of a city, you should be able to find something.
The down side is that it's probably going to involve a lot of stuff that you're doing already. The upside of that is you can shift focus to a more content-oriented role, and your current experience will leverage nicely.

Quote

I dance very poorly, but I'd wager if I use a pole for stability, I can wing it.


Well it's true dancing for money often involves a pole.

Spoiler


... but I don't see that as a brilliant career move.
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#8 Slice  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:39 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 30 October 2012 - 09:27 PM, said:

I'm interested in doing something far more helpful and useful... something that makes an impact on people more than "Ooh, you sure make perdy picktures on them thar internets!"


I've been having thoughts along these lines recently, whether or not to switch course in Uni to do something more worthwhile.

The only problem is that when I talked to people about this, they normally say stuff like "be a carer for the disabled" or "work for an animal rescue service". They are jobs that make a difference (and I have a massive amount of respect for the people that do those jobs) but they only affect handfuls of people, whereas I'd rather do something that benefits everyone. I'm talking worldwide. That in mind, it's pretty limited to things like coming up with a clean sustainable unlimited energy source or magic crops that grow in harsh environments.

Maybe one day.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:53 PM

Clean sustainable unlimited energy source? Well, physics says "no". You can get cleaner, more sustainable, less limited, but these are not always compatible.
Interestingly, the cleanest, most sustainable, and potentially richest energy source available today is reduction of use. Not talking about efficiency - we can get more efficient usage - I'm talking about just not using as much. If America drives 10% less, that's a huge source of energy. To do that, you have to overthrow a lot of the basic assumptions of our economy, which is based on growth. (If America drives 10% less, some huge number of jobs go away, economy tanks, all die, no good) The reasons for this basis are not hard to understand, but it's an unpalatable assumption. Ed Abbey called it "the economics of the cancer cell", ie, growth for its own sake.
So if you can develop an economic model that survives scaleback in consumption, you might actually unlock that rich energy source, and, maybe, save the world or something. So economics might be a good place for you to start looking. The danger is that you maybe get seduced by the MBA track (ie, the dark side) and get rich by becoming a vampire.
But even then, hell, you're rich.
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:56 PM

I was even thinking along the lines of a managerial position or coordination position or logistics position within an organization that makes the worldwide difference you're talking about.

Or even this week with the hurricane hell, so many people out there in need of help and instead of being involved in something that could or would have made a difference for some of those people the past two days, I sit in my kitchen sorting out database errors for a hoity-toity over-priced fitness center website. Because Buffy and Trevor knowing what time they can get on the stair climbers is going to make life so much better for those people on the coast who've lost everything.
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

View PostBenignDesign, on 30 October 2012 - 09:56 PM, said:

Or even this week with the hurricane hell, so many people out there in need of help and instead of being involved in something that could or would have made a difference for some of those people the past two days, I sit in my kitchen sorting out database errors for a hoity-toity over-priced fitness center website. Because Buffy and Trevor knowing what time they can get on the stair climbers is going to make life so much better for those people on the coast who've lost everything.



Look at the bright side -all those houses that were destroyed? Jobs, baby. Rebuilding. Good blue-collar god-fearing American-type jobs for guys in big pickup trucks.
Don't try to tell me global warming is bad for the economy!
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#12 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:56 PM

I've always wanted to be a working girl when I grow up.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 30 October 2012 - 09:57 PM

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#13 strawhat89  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

I thought you loved doing musicals and plays ? Why not try something in that field ? You know, musicals for charity and stuff..
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#14 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:22 PM

Unless you want to devote 70hrs + a week stay clear of plays, its also very difficult to make money in this field, want proof search for controlbooth and read a couple how to get in the industry threads.
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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Considering Alternate Careers

Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:27 PM

View Poststrawhat89, on 31 October 2012 - 12:46 AM, said:

I thought you loved doing musicals and plays ? Why not try something in that field ? You know, musicals for charity and stuff..


Yes, because theater is well known as a lucrative industry and always in desperate need of new labor.
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