How did you figure out what you wanted to do for a living?

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In summary, everyone found their career by looking for something they were interested in and found a way to pursue it.
  • #1
Eclair_de_XII
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Just wondering how everyone came to know what career they wished to pursue.
 
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  • #2
Eclair_de_XII said:
Just wondering how everyone got into their particular fields of interest.
Your title question and this sentencence don't match. You may want to think about that...
 
  • #3
I never did.

I have the classic "shadow career". It is interest-adjacent.
I am an artist by heredity and by nature, but I was always too chicken to try to make money at it, so I went into photo-processing for a few decades, now in web development.

If I don't do well in my shadow career, it's no skin off my soul.

If I were to fail as an artist, I would fail as a person.

TMI?
 
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  • #4
russ_watters said:
You may want to think about that

Noted and edited accordingly.
 
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  • #5
Oh. I change what I wish to pursue about every decade.

I knew I had art skillz in Kindergarten.
Of course, it didn't hurt that both my father and my sister were professional artists.

As for my actual adult career in web design, I was unemployed and my counselor at Employment Canada told me they had $8K for retraining that was about to go away if it wasn't used. I had a tough choice between pneumatics and robotics and computer programming. I chose the latter.

I guess it didn't hurt that I was obsessed with my Commodore 64. One of my first major purchases as an adult.
 
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  • #6
DaveC426913 said:
I change what I wish to pursue about every decade.
That about sums it up for me as well. :oldtongue:
 
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  • #7
I didn't select my career, I fell into it. Early on I noticed understanding technology came easy for me. Because of this and the lack of any higher education I sold consumer electronics. I left sales in my mid-twenties after realizing sales wasn't for me. I then started working for a office supply catalog company as pre and post sales technology support. After about a year an IBM AS400 operations analyst position opened up in information technology. Even though I had no experience with mid-range computing or even any part of IT I still got the job. I only got the job because they were unable to find any applicants in our small area and I was the only internal candidate that applied. This started my 18-year career in information technology with a final position as a manager of IT systems engineering for a Fortune 500 company.
 
  • #8
HankDorsett said:
I didn't select my career, I fell into it.

That kind of sums up my story as well. I went to graduate school in electrical engineering because I wanted to become a professor - primarily for the teaching. By the time I was starting to write my dissertation it was clear to me for a number of reasons that obtaining a faculty position was not going to be my path, so I started applying for jobs. This was in the US in the late 1990s before the dot-com bubble burst, so companies were eager to hire EE PhDs, even those of us who specialized in areas like plasma physics that are not directly applicable. The first job offer came from a place where one of the engineers who interviewed me came right out and said he did not like working there, so I passed. But I accepted the second job offer even though I didn't really understand what I would be doing there. Why? Because they had excellent people, the company had a great reputation, the pay and benefits were good, and it was very close to where my wife had found a job. Plus, if it didn't work out I wasn't worried about finding another job in that market. I am still at that same company about 20 years later, and I am enjoying it now even more than ever. I have been very fortunate.

jason
 
  • #9
Eclair_de_XII said:
Just wondering how everyone came to know what career they wished to pursue.
Start with your interests :)
 
  • #10
Greg Bernhardt said:
Start with your interests :)

It's not easy to become a professional golfer with a 14 handicap. So, I had to look for something else.
 
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Related to How did you figure out what you wanted to do for a living?

1. How did you become interested in your field of study?

As a scientist, my interest in my field of study began at a young age. I have always been curious about the natural world and how things work. This curiosity led me to pursue science courses in school and eventually major in a scientific field in college.

2. What inspired you to pursue a career in science?

My passion for learning and discovery is what ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in science. I have always been fascinated by the process of scientific inquiry and the potential for making meaningful contributions to society through research.

3. How did you decide on a specific area of focus within your field?

Choosing a specific area of focus within my field of study was a process of exploration and discovery. I took various courses and gained hands-on experience through internships and research opportunities, which helped me narrow down my interests and find my niche.

4. What challenges did you face in pursuing your career in science?

Like any career, pursuing a career in science has its own set of challenges. Some of the challenges I faced included the competitive nature of the field, balancing work and personal life, and securing funding for research projects. However, my passion for science and determination to succeed helped me overcome these challenges.

5. What advice do you have for someone who is trying to figure out their career path in science?

My advice would be to explore different areas of science and gain hands-on experience through internships and research opportunities. It's also important to network with professionals in your field and seek mentorship. Don't be afraid to take on challenges and always stay curious and open-minded. Your career path in science will likely evolve and change over time, so be flexible and willing to adapt to new opportunities and experiences.

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