Research Needed

They say a person changes their career SEVEN times during a lifetime. Seven? Wow.

That said, I have a few questions. They are direct ones. So if you’re reading this, have you changed your career since graduating from college (or its equivalent)? If you have, what to? And if you have been doing exactly the same thing since that day (more or less) are you happy with what you do? If you could, what might you switch to knowing what it is you know now?

Loaded, yes. But I’m honestly curious. And by no means does anyone have to answer all of these. Even a yes or no will do.

(This is an equal-opportunity question).

28 Comments

  1. I studied Music in university… then switched when I did my masters to heritage… then did a multimedia diploma. I think I’m educationally schizophrenic. Does that count?

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  2. oh lord yes i’ve changed careers. several times, in fact!
    i have an elementary ed degree, and i taught kindergarten for a few years. then i discovered that when you teach you don’t earn enough money to EAT.
    then i managed a craft store.
    then i co-owned a craft store. then 2. then 3.
    then we lost the craft stores.
    then we went bankrupt.
    now i’m an office manager.
    someday, i’m going to be a lady of leisure. i just might be an OLD lady….

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  3. A craft store? That is way cool, chele. I once managed a video store. I enjoyed that quite a bit, actually. Lana, is there a career one can have by just attaining degrees? I would totally do that for a living. Imagine the fun! Imagine how smart I’d be!

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  4. In furtherance of my aspiration to be the most boring person on the planet, I have the same job. I clerked here during law school and they offered me a job when I graduated. ELEVEN years ago. Honestly though, I like my job. A LOT. If only I could sleep in a little later in the morning and possibly wear my pajamas a few days a week, I might be happier. I enjoy coming here. Other than being paid to travel the world, I’m not sure what else I’d like to do or be good at.

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  5. That’s so not boring, Lake. That’s incredible. I admire you. I wish I could write the same words myself.

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  6. I guess the grass is always greener. I so admire you being brave enough to move completely across the country and try new things!

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  7. i graduated with a studio fine arts degree. upon graduating, i worked in a gallery in toronto, and upon seeing the lifestyle, or lack thereof, decided i need to augment my skills. i’d been making books as my final thesis project so i bought a computer and taught myself how to use photoshop (version 1.0) and quark. moved to the states and started doing graphic and book design for architects, worked at princeton for a year when i found the web. switched from print to web design (new york, montreal, sf) which is pretty much the last nine years.

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  8. I have been nothing but a graphic designer / art director for just over twenty years now.

    I dream of opening a one flavor ice cream stand. “You don’t want vanilla? I’m really, really sorry but that’s all there is. Cup or cone?”

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  9. i haven’t changed careers yet. i changed majors alot in college, from painting, to papermaking, to graphic design, all things that would make me get ahead in the world,for sure.

    in high school my best subject was science and biology, and never anything art related. if i could do it over, i’d go back to that.

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  10. Donnie, as always, I love you. I’ll open a stand directly across the street from you and sell only chocolate. :] I too have been nothing but a graphic designer for all my adult life. I taught as well. I loved that. But I taught design, so I’m not sure what that means. I am considering a life of a poor potter as of late. Or a cat walker.

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  11. Well, yes and no. I always wanted to do graphic design. I hate doing it for money. I now teach graphic design and love that, and love doing jobs where the client is good. I have never once switched careers in that, I also always wanted to teach. I will say the idea of not working at all, like never ever again, is very appealing to me.

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  12. Awesome. We’d have a lock on the market!

    I heard that 7 career change statistic recently too [six feet under maybe?] and really don’t think it’s correct. I know a few people who’ve changed careers once but most everyone I know does what they’ve always done just at different levels of the food chain.

    “Jimmies? What’s Jimmies? YO! Hey over there, Chocolate Girl. You ever hear of Jimmies?”

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  13. Hey, cat sitting and/or walking is perfectly legit. I am currently doing that. Nothing wrong with extra snuggles.

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  14. What is our definition of “career”? Is it your chosen lifes’ work? Or the most years in a particular field? After 35 years of working, I only recently decided what I want to be when I grow up. Between my first employment and now, I have had hundreds of jobs. Perahps I’m just a ne’er-do-well. Current carrer: Organic farmer.

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  15. My undergraduate was in international relations. I graduated back in ‘94. I worked in that field for about six years before I decided to get my masters. I am currently working on my Masters of Public Health with a concentration on International Maternal and Child Health. After getting that, I have decided on attempting medical school. My ultimate plan is to become a doctor to work for Doctors without Borders (Somthing similar to what they did on ER) or for Unicef.
    So, I guess I have kinda followed in the same path with the whole international aspect but I have added on the medical/ science aspect as well.

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  16. 1. popcorn popper
    2. theme deli sandwich server
    3. panty peddler
    4. paper goods purveyor
    5. exotic historic house manager
    6. wierd arts organization administrator
    7. big museum money maker (shakin’ it)

    I think this statement means 7 jobs, not 7 careers for what it’s worth.

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  17. So, Mihow, are you thinking about making a career switch??

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  18. Yeah. You might say that. I dunno. I need a career shrink, me think.
    Nico, if that’s the case, i blow that stat out the damn winder.

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  19. Majored in Finance in college. Worked in a bank for 5 years. Laid off. Worked for a quick print franchisor for 5 years. Laid off twice during that time (sniffing under arms at this point). Worked for a wood furniture manufacturer for about 6 months. Got swollen knuckles and probably would have died from sawdust poisining. Worked for a computer reseller for about 3 years. Couldn’t take the corporate mentality any more. Quit that job. Chele got me to get into picture framing, and did it for 10 years. Got laid off (back to siffing under my arms). Havent’ worked for almost 15 months. Don’t know what to do when I grow up. Getting frustrated. Heeeeeeeeeelllllllllppppppp!

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  20. My goodness, Dame! You poor thing with all the lay offs. I too have had numerous jobs. And I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up. Seriously though, I really love graphic design. I just want so badly to find that perfect fit. Unfortunately, in this day and age with one’s need for health insurance and, I don’t know, money one needs a job while searching for that perfect fit. It’s interesting really, it just means you’re liable to jump around more often. Take 15 more months if you can to find that perfect fit, no?

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  21. i studied design in school, worked for few studios but now design banner ads and curse the day! tough times don’t always allow one to have a ‘career’.. like last summer when i had to work in a video store because i was broke.

    i’d still like to teach someday.

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  22. I’ll see your banner ads and raise you 2,334 more.

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  23. -undergrad in English
    -day manager at best coffee shop in the world (see rarecoffee.com) (~1 year)
    -currently web programming (4.5 years)
    -soon: dad. can’t wait!

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  24. I bet that last job you mentioned will be your best one.

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  25. bobw: I know that your last job will be the hardest one you have ever done but it will definitely be the best!

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  26. I now work in oncology clinical trials doing budgets, contracting, billing, etc. Imagine that I almost flunked accounting in college.

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  27. I got a D in typing in high school and I type quite well-very fast-not a lot of errors (meaning by a slip of the hand, I can’t spell or make good grammar fer shit) Still can’t figure out why I got that D. Ah well. I also got a D in Womyn’s Studies (from a man). my only D in college. Somehow I feel sort of proud of this.

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  28. I have not changed careers EVER. Kind of mind-numbing, if you think about it, especially since I knew what my major would be when I was a high school junior (I could even point back to junior high when I first felt the econ urge….sad) and I never budged. Not that I reget my decision, but I do wish I’d not held so fast to it. I may have been a math major or a dance minor (or both!)

    I took two law-type classes in college (one required, one elective) and got a C in each. Why I chose the second class as an elective mystifies me even now. Clearly I was not cut out for law school (like many of my fellow econ majors at Miami), so thankfully that wasn’t on my agenda.

    But I definitely wouldn’t mind shifting to something much more stats-oriented (she says as she notes that she already works at a statistical agency for nearly six years now).

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