I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby BL » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:59 pm

In addition to above suggestions, I think it might be worthwhile to read the ever-popular revised
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2013: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
User avatar
BL
 
Posts: 2065
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:28 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby 3CT_Paddler » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:03 pm

mlipps wrote: I don't think my university has an actuarial program, so that might not work. We also don't have engineering.


You don't need an actuarial program. Becoming an actuary requires one thing and one thing above all... passing very difficult exams that deal with statistics/probability/calculus/finances/insurance. If you have a 2.5 gpa in basket weaving, but can pass exams, you have a better shot than a rocket science who doesn't pass the exams.

Its definitely a longer career path, with a large time commitment. But like Sam Gamgee said, once you pass those exams, it really is one of the better careers from a work life balance and excellent pay (at least thats what I hear). But make no mistake, those tests are tough, especially if you are not coming out of an actuary background, where they cover the material for the tests in class. Typically you must pass 2 or 3 exams before being hired (could take a year or three), and then you work and study (a lot) to pass the remaining 5? exams.

PS I am not an actuary, but I did take the first exam a year ago (I am an engineer). I came to the realization that I would be studying almost every weekend and early mornings, and with a young family and a current job where 50 hours a week is not out of the ordinary, I decided it wasn't worth it for me.
User avatar
3CT_Paddler
 
Posts: 2941
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:28 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Rebecca_S » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Most workers will have several job changes and a few career changes over their lifetime. I don't suggest looking for a career right now, simply finding a job that you like okay is a good step. Learn how to work for a business, learn how to manage up, work on developing some expertise. Volunteer to do more of the kinds of work that you enjoy so you can do less of the work you don't enjoy. Work isn't life but it shouldn't be something you hate either.

I've lateralled about 2 times and I'm in my mid-30s working in a job that I have no academic training for but which I seem to be excelling at. I didn't know that this job existed when I graduated college. I doubt I will do this for the rest of my working life; my husband took a dramatic career change over a year ago to start his own business in a new field so I have to be the breadwinner for the next couple years. Then maybe I will try something new again, who knows what opportunities will arise. Relax, you aren't making a decision for what to do with the rest of your life, just for a couple of years until you can change course again.
Rebecca_S
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:55 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby ThatGuy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:21 pm

3CT_Paddler wrote:ts definitely a longer career path, with a large time commitment. But like Sam Gamgee said, once you pass those exams, it really is one of the better careers from a work life balance and excellent pay (at least thats what I hear).


My father was an actuary. This famous work life balance was no where in existance when I was at home. His work group would even make fun of the ignorant reporters whenever actuary was listed as a low stress low hours job, which it commonly is apparently.

Of course, once you have the statistical background you can leverage that into any number of other fields. I hear that big data analysis is hot right now :D
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
ThatGuy
 
Posts: 669
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:00 am

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby zaboomafoozarg » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:34 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Consider an MS in computer science or software engineering. It can be a very laid-back career and pays well. You generally won't earn any more for having an MS over a BS, though.


If software development can be laid-back, I would sure love to know how! Everywhere I've been it is usually stressful, often requires very long hours, and the promotions move me further from the work I like to do.

I have considered contracting, but will have to wait until the health insurance situation gets settled before I seriously think about giving that a try.
User avatar
zaboomafoozarg
 
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby jlawrence01 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:36 pm

Near retirement wrote:MS in Accounting would also qualify you to be a college/university professor teaching accounting in many institutions.PhD preferred, but there are so few, those with MS do well.


Most educational institutions want a MS in Accounting AND 20+ years of SIGNIFICANT business experience for an adjunct position. I am currently being recruited for a few of the positions and they spend MUCH more time on what I have been doing the last 25+ years than my educational background.
jlawrence01
 
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:34 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Atilla » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:50 pm

For the original poster - I'm seriously not trying to be mean - but you seem like a perfect fit as a cog in the university/government machine based on what I read.

Me - I never had a clue what I wanted to do, but I got into a Big 10 business school (figured business school would be useful without being too difficult), got out and lucked into a line of work that has done well for me. I've done the same thing since 1991 (for four different small companies), get to work from home and get paid 7% of gross revenue of what I bring in. I like it, my boss likes it. We're all happy.

None of it was planned and I'm not especially brilliant at anything. I never spent my life thinking about things too much when it came to a career.

Yet here I am - fat and happy living through the ups and downs of working on commission in the private sector. You seem more like a cog in the wheel kind of person.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.
Atilla
 
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:28 pm

My advice is select something you "think" you might like to get graduate degree in. There is no reason for employees to work themselves to death. You can get your work done in the time paid for, then turn off the cell phone and the computer. You will advance as fast or faster than those who spend ever waking hour working.

If you want to work as a consultant, it normally takes work experience before entering this field.

If you want to be wealthy, you will have to go in business for yourself. You will work more hours, take fewer vacations but mostly likely be more satisfied.

In both cases, I'd suggest the IT or actuarial field.

If you have wealthy parents or grandparents, be very kind and take an active interest in their lives. Then you may inherit money and be able to do what you want at a very old age, if they are healthy.

Or, you can marry someone who has money or a good career.

There's no free lunch .... as the saying goes. So, pick something you like doing.

There are those who have become wealthy making cupcakes, because they liked doing it.
the best decision many times is the hardest to do
User avatar
SnapShots
 
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 1:39 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby gerrym51 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:41 pm

I've heard movie stars have a nice life :mrgreen:
gerrym51
 
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:44 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby novaboglehead » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:44 pm

Ok, so after a lay-off 10 years or so ago, I ended up in admin type job at local college. This wasn't the type of job I wanted (I had been a database administrator), but I needed a paycheck until I found something better. I stuck with it, got to know people, looked around at what was going on in the institution, volunteered to help out in other departments. Eventually, I found my niche and became a college librarian. I never thought in a million years that this would be my career, but life takes you adventures if you are open to them. If you don't know what you want to do, a college is a great place to figure it out.
novaboglehead
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:12 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Rick Ferri » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:48 pm

It also helps to list out what you DON'T want to do.

Rick Ferri
Mutual fund investing is simple. There is risk, there is return, and there are costs. All else is marketing.
User avatar
Rick Ferri
 
Posts: 7749
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:40 pm
Location: Home on the range in Medina, Texas

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby inky » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:22 pm

Default User BR wrote:
frugaltype wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:Consider an MS in computer science or software engineering. It can be a very laid-back career

Is this a joke?

It's worked out for me. It certainly helps to have an aptitude[1] for the work, so you get done quickly and with good results.


1. This is not some sort of brag. I was pretty surprised when it turned out that way, but it did.

Brian


It's mostly worked out that way for me as well, although of course there are still stressful days. You have to find the right company - sometimes your first job isn't it. Also, being a female software engineer is a great position to be in because companies generally fall all over themselves trying to recruit and retain you.
inky
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:51 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Default User BR » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:39 am

Babakhani wrote:
ThatGuy wrote:My little brother likes to lay on the couch and do nothing. Maybe watch some TV or play some video games if he's feeling frisky. What career path can I point him towards that will reward laying on the couch and doing nothing?

Many jobs in the video game industry.

Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.


Brian
Default User BR
 
Posts: 7503
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:32 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby mlebuf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:49 am

Speaking as a former academic, you seem like a potential candidate to teach Accounting or Finance in a university, if you are willing to put in the time to get a Ph.D. in one of those fields. Unlike many academic fields, there is an enormous shortage of people with doctorates in Accounting and Finance. Inasmuch as you work in an academic environment you may be familiar with the plusses and minuses of a college teaching career. You mentioned not wanting to work too hard and two semesters of teaching works out to 32 weeks a year. Last time I checked, newly minted Ph.D.'s in Finance were starting with six-figure salaries for 9 months work. Several of my friends who taught Accounting were CPA's who tried public accounting and did not like the long hours and travel. As a result they opted to go to grad school and became professors. It might be worth investigating.
Best wishes,
Michael

Invest your time actively and your money passively.
User avatar
mlebuf
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby 3CT_Paddler » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:02 am

SnapShots wrote:My advice is select something you "think" you might like to get graduate degree in. There is no reason for employees to work themselves to death. You can get your work done in the time paid for, then turn off the cell phone and the computer. You will advance as fast or faster than those who spend ever waking hour working.

If you want to work as a consultant, it normally takes work experience before entering this field.

If you want to be wealthy, you will have to go in business for yourself. You will work more hours, take fewer vacations but mostly likely be more satisfied.

In both cases, I'd suggest the IT or actuarial field.


I could be wrong, but I think its fairly uncommon for actuaries to start their own business.
User avatar
3CT_Paddler
 
Posts: 2941
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:28 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby SamGamgee » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:33 am

ThatGuy wrote:
enderland wrote:You are approaching the problem wrong. You are trying to find a job which lets you do something you like doing.

Instead, learn what things you like doing and find fulfilling, then look for a career which has those as key attributes of the job. What sorts of things get you fired up? That you do for fun? Sounds like mentoring is a one thing. These are not easy to identify. Maybe ask your spouse and friends. But get a better feel for the types of things you like doing.

After you do some soul searching, it's a lot easier to get advice about what sorts of things you might enjoy as a career.


My little brother likes to lay on the couch and do nothing. Maybe watch some TV or play some video games if he's feeling frisky. What career path can I point him towards that will reward laying on the couch and doing nothing?


"What would you do if you had a million dollars?"

"I would do nothing."

[Offensive language removed by admin LadyGeek]
User avatar
SamGamgee
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:21 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby SamGamgee » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:46 am

ThatGuy wrote:My father was an actuary. This famous work life balance was no where in existance when I was at home. His work group would even make fun of the ignorant reporters whenever actuary was listed as a low stress low hours job, which it commonly is apparently.


I'm sorry to hear that. I get home every day at about 4:30pm. Your dad probably made a lot more money than I do, though.
User avatar
SamGamgee
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:21 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby maroon » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:49 am

If your university engages in research, perhaps you might consider a position in sponsored projects. You could be an accountant, overseeing multiple grant accounts; or perhaps a business coordinator or program manager for an individual grant award. I think a university is a wonderful setting for career exploration.
maroon
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:59 am

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby mlipps » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:37 am

maroon wrote:If your university engages in research, perhaps you might consider a position in sponsored projects. You could be an accountant, overseeing multiple grant accounts; or perhaps a business coordinator or program manager for an individual grant award. I think a university is a wonderful setting for career exploration.


My last job was actually as an admin asst. in the finance department at a think tank, so I'm pretty familiar with this field. It is in fact something that interests me a good bit. Depending on the organization, some of these positions do have some of the project management aspects I'm interested in as well. I'm keeping my eye out for positions like that at my university.
mlipps
 
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:35 am

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Babakhani » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:09 am

Default User BR wrote:
Babakhani wrote:
ThatGuy wrote:My little brother likes to lay on the couch and do nothing. Maybe watch some TV or play some video games if he's feeling frisky. What career path can I point him towards that will reward laying on the couch and doing nothing?

Many jobs in the video game industry.

Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.


Brian



That's exactly what I'm saying. If you love food, work with food.
What is light without dark?
- the devil in "Legend"
What one man can do, another can do!
- Anthony Hopkins in "The Edge"
User avatar
Babakhani
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby jeepster » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:16 am

As an actuary, it makes me CRAZY when people suggest an actuarial career to people who don't know what they want to do. Not only are the barriers to entry pretty significant, if you don't like the kind of work an actuary does and "think" like an actuary, you will be miserable.

The exams are nothing to brush off as just difficult. The sheer volume of reading and memorization in later exams will take more time than most can even imagine. As the education and examination structure has evolved it has become even more important to attend an actuarial school and get started early.

As an actuary who works in finance and corporate reporting I work with many CPAs. The difference in perspective between actuaries and accountants is small to the outsider looking in, but a real difference. You need to know which viewpoint matches yours.

It has worked out well for me. The exam process just about killed me, but now it's a great career and a great fit for me. (as well as lots of money). But I never advise anyone I know to go into it as a career.
jeepster
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:33 am
Location: minneapolis

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Colorado13 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 am

Have you checked into the admission requirements for grad programs at your institution? You indicated you can take courses, but have you verified that you can actually be admitted to a program with a 3.35 undergrad G.P.A.? Depending on the institution, that G.P.A. may be on the low side for grad school admission. But it also sounds like your grades in junior/senior year were higher than in earlier years, so the admission committee may take that into consideration. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Colorado13
 
Posts: 506
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Default User BR » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:25 pm

Babakhani wrote:
Default User BR wrote:Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.

That's exactly what I'm saying. If you love food, work with food.

That's not how it works. Even people who like to cook find that the restaurant business is much different than throwing a dinner party. Let alone someone who just likes to consume the product.


Brian
Default User BR
 
Posts: 7503
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:32 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:39 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Babakhani wrote:
Default User BR wrote:Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.

That's exactly what I'm saying. If you love food, work with food.

That's not how it works. Even people who like to cook find that the restaurant business is much different than throwing a dinner party. Let alone someone who just likes to consume the product.


Brian

Or in other words:
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
User avatar
Epsilon Delta
 
Posts: 3264
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby WhyNotUs » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:44 pm

mlipps wrote:My priorities in life are not my career. The perfect job would first and foremost allow work life balance and, ideally, be a field where it is common for folks to work part time or do consulting/contracting, so that I could have the option when we're ready to have kids in a few years.


Bloom is off the rose of consulting from my perspective. Every Tom, Dick, and Harriet is now a consultant. Lack of consistent abilities is giving the field a bad name, hourly fees are flat or declining in my field, and after 30 years I would say that the days of making a good living and working less than 40 hours a week is over. Too much time marketing, responding to RFPs, interviews, dealing with insurance, etc.
Consulting is a small business and unless one dedicates the time involved in a small business, then it will get even smaller. If sales are not your thing, then you would not like marketing yourself.

College might be a good fit for you, tend to have great lateral movement to satisfy different interests, liberal family time policies, good benefits, etc. There are likely to be some cutbacks but they also likely to recognize your intellect and find something for you. Over time, you could look for a position that allows job sharing. You might already be in the right place from a work/life balance perspective.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
WhyNotUs
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:38 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby mlipps » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:08 pm

Colorado13 wrote:Have you checked into the admission requirements for grad programs at your institution? You indicated you can take courses, but have you verified that you can actually be admitted to a program with a 3.35 undergrad G.P.A.? Depending on the institution, that G.P.A. may be on the low side for grad school admission. But it also sounds like your grades in junior/senior year were higher than in earlier years, so the admission committee may take that into consideration. Good luck with whatever you decide.


At least for our MBA program, average is about a 3.25 & GMAT is around 550-600 range. I'm a good test taker so I think with a little studying a 700 on the GMAT is pretty attainable for me, which will also help a little.
mlipps
 
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:35 am

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby mlipps » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:09 pm

jeepster wrote:As an actuary, it makes me CRAZY when people suggest an actuarial career to people who don't know what they want to do. Not only are the barriers to entry pretty significant, if you don't like the kind of work an actuary does and "think" like an actuary, you will be miserable.

The exams are nothing to brush off as just difficult. The sheer volume of reading and memorization in later exams will take more time than most can even imagine. As the education and examination structure has evolved it has become even more important to attend an actuarial school and get started early.

As an actuary who works in finance and corporate reporting I work with many CPAs. The difference in perspective between actuaries and accountants is small to the outsider looking in, but a real difference. You need to know which viewpoint matches yours.

It has worked out well for me. The exam process just about killed me, but now it's a great career and a great fit for me. (as well as lots of money). But I never advise anyone I know to go into it as a career.


Jeepster, this is interesting feedback. Could you be more specific on the differences you see between folks who are successful in the two careers?
mlipps
 
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:35 am

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Babakhani » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:17 pm

Default User BR wrote:
Babakhani wrote:
Default User BR wrote:Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.

That's exactly what I'm saying. If you love food, work with food.

That's not how it works. Even people who like to cook find that the restaurant business is much different than throwing a dinner party. Let alone someone who just likes to consume the product.


Brian


You don't have to own a restaurant to be in food business. If you like it, then fine, but there is:
1) raising animals for feed
2) farming food
3) bioengineering of food DNA.
4) distribution of food
5) condiments business
6) restaurant need plenty of stuff to serve food.
7) grocery stores
8) food critique
9) journalism in food industry
10) plenty of shows on food that need camera men/women, stage setup, etc.
11) work at Williamson Sonoma

I could go on for another 50 at least.
What is light without dark?
- the devil in "Legend"
What one man can do, another can do!
- Anthony Hopkins in "The Edge"
User avatar
Babakhani
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Babakhani » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Default User BR wrote:
Babakhani wrote:
Default User BR wrote:Not like that. That's like saying that if you like to eat, go work in a restaurant.

That's exactly what I'm saying. If you love food, work with food.

That's not how it works. Even people who like to cook find that the restaurant business is much different than throwing a dinner party. Let alone someone who just likes to consume the product.


Brian

Or in other words:
[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]


[Response to OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

People just need to open their minds a little. Even if its not the exact job, something associated with it will get you closer to the exact thing you are looking for. Opportunities come all the time. You just have to realize it and be there and be ready to step into it.
What is light without dark?
- the devil in "Legend"
What one man can do, another can do!
- Anthony Hopkins in "The Edge"
User avatar
Babakhani
 
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby Default User BR » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:41 pm

Babakhani wrote:You don't have to own a restaurant to be in food business. If you like it, then fine, but there is:
1) raising animals for feed
2) farming food
3) bioengineering of food DNA.
4) distribution of food
5) condiments business
6) restaurant need plenty of stuff to serve food.
7) grocery stores
8) food critique
9) journalism in food industry
10) plenty of shows on food that need camera men/women, stage setup, etc.
11) work at Williamson Sonoma

Most of which have nothing to do with eating food.


Brian
Default User BR
 
Posts: 7503
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:32 pm

Re: I have no idea what I want to do as a career

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:07 pm

This topic has run its course and is locked (no added value). See: Forum Policy

Locked Topics

Moderators or site admins may lock a topic (set it so no more replies may be added) when a violation of posting policy has occurred. Occasionally, even if there are no overt violations of posting policy, a topic (or thread) will reach a point where the information content of the discussion has been essentially exhausted and further replies are much more likely to cause distress to the community than add anything of value.


BTW, this forum tries to maintain a "family-friendly" environment - things you can say in front of the little ones. Discussions targeted for the "over 18" crowd are discouraged.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 17703
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Previous

Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], CFOKevin, hand, $iddhartha, jsradcliffe, kenschmidt, KyleAAA, midareff, OAG, pobrien1902, reggiesimpson, saver65, Wagnerjb and 56 guests