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Jobs, and career trajectory

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jojobobo, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    What's your opinion on your current job, how you got there and your feelings on your overall trajectory?

    Being newly doctored in a science as I'm not wanting to go into the field I'm getting a feeling that it's utterly pointless. It's essentially barred me from a fair few graduate schemes by dint of being more or less too old, is massively more worthless than if I'd chosen to just get chartered in something sensible at an undergraduate level, and apart from giving me a few years of poorly paid job security seems like a waste of time.

    Now I'm unemployed I've looked into the non-industry non-academia stuff I can do, and direct careers are massively limited and competitive, or require another 5+ years educational undertaking. Rather than entering into something well paid, I'm probably going to have to enter into something entry level, in the hopes that after a few years on a job my "I'm so very smart" qualification will hopefully differentiate me from the pack when it comes to promotion. It also means that prospective employers get worried about me staying in the job because I'm apparently too well qualified. Whoooo.

    On the flip side, I probably needed sometime to relearn a sort of medium level confidence, and I doubt without having that I would have faired so well in the first place - so it's not like I can really see myself having ever done anything differently.

    Tell me your own unpleasant tale of dissatisfaction from similar poor planning, or your own smug tale of how planning gave you a sweet life. I'm all ears for any kind of context.

    EDIT: In the sobriety of the morning, I would delete this, but I can't find an option to. So I'll let it linger in a farty, bad smell kind of way. It's not particularly a horrible thread, but the sour grapes and over-sharing are pretty evident.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Winding path.

    Industrial technology in upper secondary school. Physics, chemistry, mathematics, CAD/CAM, NC programming, hydraulics, pneumatics, machine shop, that sort of thing. Always doubted my choice.

    Decided I wanted to work with English somehow, so I studied English to become a teacher in that subject. Had no idea what second subject I wanted, because I needed two. Settled for Swedish eventually, having dabbled in Mathematics, Computer Science and Business Economics before that.

    About halfway to my degree, fucking legendary loads of crisis-level shit happened and I pretty much had to do quit studying, do random factory jobs/be an unemployed bum for a year before eventually returning to uni.

    Have worked for the same school since I got my Master of Education in 2011. Haven't really thought about doing anything else, I like it where I am. I've got great colleagues, which is a really good reason to stay put. Yeah, I teach grades 7-9, and I could probably manage to study what I need to teach at a higher level and make more money, but... meh. Don't know if I could be arsed. We'll see.
     
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  3. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear that not everyone has their whole life on lock from the start, and 'grats on returning to uni and getting your Masters - I know a lot of people when they have a significant setback find it hard to recover. I guess I know a few too many people that stuck to a simple career path and are now making a lot of money at it, so by comparison I suppose I'm always going to come off feeling things are a bit of a mess; it's nice to hear things don't need to be so cleanly cut.

    Teaching is something that is often recommended to people in my position, but I think if I tried I'd probably end up murdering one of the kids! I can't stand rudeness in general given that I try to approach everyone as an equal, even less so from people with no tangible reason to feel superior to me (it'd be nice if work superiors weren't rude either, but bosses throwing their weight around seems par for the course in my experience so it's one of those things you have to accept).

    Kids are absolutely at the bottom of that "they have any reason to feel superior to me" pile, usually having zero real responsibilities at that age. Seems like grades 7-9 would be hell of earth, from my recollection it was the height of kids posturing and acting up until they mellowed out in the latter school years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  4. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered programming? I know someone who did a PhD in chemistry, and then taught undergrads for a couple of years, and then went into the chemistry industry but found it terrible because he wasn't given any freedom and was expected to perform rote reactions all day, so he went into programming and is doing pretty well there now.

    If you've ever written a complicated series of interwoven Excel formulas, and didn't hate it, but at the same time did hate it, then programming is for you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip, but a lot of the PhD stuff I did didn't progress far enough to do rate calculations or anything like that (usually the kind of thing you'd develop the complicated formulas for). Really it's the kind of subject area that is a little hard to sell unless I was looking to move to London (where I could maybe go for publishing at a push, or something similar), which currently as my partner already has a decent job doesn't seem like an option. I guess I could commute, but it would certainly be a highly expensive slog.
     
  6. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Apologies, I realise I've just done what everyone (except Dark Elf) did on my recent thread, where I asked a specific question and instead of answering the question people gave me advice.

    I've never really thought of myself as having a career. When I was at school I wanted to save the environment using Physics, but it turns out that Physics at university is really hard, and isn't really relevant to saving the environment anyway because that's more of an Engineering thing, but I didn't particularly want to restart and do that for four years. On the other hand I had been messing about programming computers since the age of 9, and I guess I have a knack for it, so when I couldn't think of anything else to do after Saving The Environment Using Physics got taken off the table, I started doing programming for money. Since I had previously been doing it for fun, it felt a bit like being a prostitute, (Disclaimer: I don't know what being a prostitute feels like) but I guess I got used to that feeling pretty quickly because I've been doing it ever since.

    I consider myself exceptionally lucky that I was born with an aptitude for something that is very in demand during my lifetime. So I guess this is a smug tale of how a lack of planning worked out great? Hope that helps.
     
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  7. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess it's having the foresight to develop other marketable skills outside of your degree subject, so it's sort of like contingency planning even if it's not directly sketching out a set career path. I suppose my contingency planning was that a PhD would make me broadly more employable even if I didn't want to pursue research, but as of yet that's not bearing fruit.

    Congrats on doing what makes you happy and getting paid for it...

    You bastard!
     
  8. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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  9. The_Bob

    The_Bob Administrator Staff Member

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    It's been around two years since I no longer need a steady job to keep my life on course. I don't mean that like I'm filthy rich or anything, my living costs are low and working as a programmer I can quickly save up enough money to stay unemployed for a few months. Before that, I inherited some debt, so I had to work to avoid losing all my stuff, then I had to have a job to pay for school. At first it was kinda hard to grasp, after some 8 years of what seemed like slavery, that I can just quit and spend my time however I want, for as long as my savings allow. Now I'm trying to figure out what it is that I really want to be doing, still trying to comprehend the fact I've finally arrived at the point I have some choice in the matter. There's a bunch of stuff I've always been interested in, electronics and embedded software, FPGAs, game dev, sysadmin, all sorts of niche programming fields... I feel like I have to at least try to do something other than being the generalist programmer I've always been. It feels lazy to just be satisfied at a good-enough job at this point. Honestly, it was easier when I didn't have much choice, knowing I really needed the job made dragging myself to work in the morning more bearable, now I'm just thinking WTF am I doing this for, I don't really need more money right now, I'm not getting payed enough for it to really matter, and I'm not getting much else out of the job. I can do better, probably, or maybe I should be doing something else entirely. It's the burden of opportunity I guess, trying to seize it makes me seem jaded, but ignoring it will make me a fool.
     
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  10. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you need a couple of kids - that will solve your "I have enough money" problem.
     
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