What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

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SQRT
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by SQRT » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:12 am

trojans10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:29 pm
SQRT wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm
CPA/MBA. Leading to finance job at big bank. Eventually became CFO. Lots of stress and fairly long hours (50-60 hours per week). Very interesting work with quality people. Pay was outstanding. Loved it for most of my career but eventually it got “old”. Retired at 56 with a very well funded retirement.

Would I recommend to others. Sure but it’s tough. Plenty of education, ambition, smarts,and mostly luck required. That’s true for most worthwhile careers though. My SIL is on the same path. Seems to be doing very well.

Edit to add an anecdote about how I got into my career.
I flunked out if advanced science studies after second year University. Went to work in a wharehouse environment in the food distribution business driving a fork lift. Eventually went back to school part time at night. My first course was Accounting 100. Couldn’t figure out why so many of my fellow students wore suits to class. I had my jeans, steel towed boots and Jean jacket on. Asked one of them and he said they were CPA students. I had never heard of that. Asked him how much a new CPA made and he said $11 k per year. Way more than I was making.

Turned out I had quite an aptitude for accounting and finance and got much higher marks than the CPA students. Given that, I decided to pursue that field. Worked out really well.
Curious, I'm 28. Accounting Minor, Information Systems degree. Is it too late to get into Accounting at my age? I could probably get enough credits to sit for CPA in a year, year and a half. BUT, unsure if it would be worth it.
Depends. It was certainly worth it for me. But that was back in the early ‘70’s Where do you have the most talent or interest? I was several years older than my cohort but it didnt matter. Got my CPA in my late 20’s. Then got an MBA part time as well.

FRANK2009
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by FRANK2009 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:46 am

Another law enforcement guy here. Didn't know there were that many on this board. Worked for that big city department that everyone's heard of.

Decent pay, great benefits. The second guessing by the media, average citizens, and politicized higher ups is just too much. Unless you have a burning desire to do the job, and have a high tolerance for nonsense, stay away. I retired at the earliest opportunity.

user9532
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by user9532 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:21 am

trojans10 wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:29 pm
SQRT wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm
CPA/MBA. Leading to finance job at big bank. Eventually became CFO. Lots of stress and fairly long hours (50-60 hours per week). Very interesting work with quality people. Pay was outstanding. Loved it for most of my career but eventually it got “old”. Retired at 56 with a very well funded retirement.

Would I recommend to others. Sure but it’s tough. Plenty of education, ambition, smarts,and mostly luck required. That’s true for most worthwhile careers though. My SIL is on the same path. Seems to be doing very well.

Edit to add an anecdote about how I got into my career.
I flunked out if advanced science studies after second year University. Went to work in a wharehouse environment in the food distribution business driving a fork lift. Eventually went back to school part time at night. My first course was Accounting 100. Couldn’t figure out why so many of my fellow students wore suits to class. I had my jeans, steel towed boots and Jean jacket on. Asked one of them and he said they were CPA students. I had never heard of that. Asked him how much a new CPA made and he said $11 k per year. Way more than I was making.

Turned out I had quite an aptitude for accounting and finance and got much higher marks than the CPA students. Given that, I decided to pursue that field. Worked out really well.
Curious, I'm 28. Accounting Minor, Information Systems degree. Is it too late to get into Accounting at my age? I could probably get enough credits to sit for CPA in a year, year and a half. BUT, unsure if it would be worth it.
With your IS background you could also go for the CISA certification, and CPA plus CISA would be a good combination. I'm a CPA, CISA managing performance audits for a federal agency and enjoy it.

jodydavis
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by jodydavis » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:46 am

This is a really interesting and helpful thread. I'm struck by how many folks would not recommend their career today, despite in many/most cases having been quite successful. Sometimes it's because conditions have changed (e.g. medicine), and that makes sense. Other times, it's because there are certain downsides to the career. But for those, I wonder whether there's a bit of "grass is greener" phenomenon, since it's often not easy to see what the downsides are of an alternative career.

Anyway, I'm a law professor and would certainly recommend the career, but only if you are interested in the law and are willing to practice in some capacity if you don't get a teaching job. The job itself is great - very good compensation for academics (typically among the highest), a tremendous amount of intellectual and day-to-day freedom, very reasonable and flexible hours (great for families), few concrete obligations during the summer months, little to no oversight by others once you get tenure, interesting travel opportunities.

The only catch is that these jobs are pretty rare and you have to be both good and lucky, so it's important to be willing to practice law if it doesn't work out. Also the job tends to be geographically inflexible, so you have to be willing to move to where the job is and it may be difficult to move later on. Finally, faculty politics can sometimes be frustrating and silly.

Cop51
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Cop51 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:43 pm

Glad to see several other Law Enfocement Officers on here. It’s sad but we all feel the same way. It’s a job and it pays the bills. If it wasn’t for the great Pension (NJ) I would have probably left after 10 years if it was a 401k. It’s really easy to get burnt out doing this job and you do miss out on a lot bc of the schedule. Nights weekends and holidays. I work in a suburban town outside Philadelphia on the NJ side and it’s gotten very redundant. Knowing what I know now about LE jobs I say the bigger the agency the better. Even a federal LE job. It has more movement and opportunity and less politics.

My wife is a Physical Therapist. She loves her job and it was always an interest of mine. I was never a student that applied myself so I knew I couldn’t get a doctorate degree at the time.

Years ago I found a new love for money and finance which is how I ended up here. I would love to do some type of accounting / finance type job knowing what I know now and seeing friends that work those jobs and what they have to say about it.

Allan
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Allan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm

Custom home builder, started my company in 1974 at age 23 with $5,000, no experience, no investors, non-working wife and small child. 1st 25 years I had good and bad (some really bad) and mostly average years. The last 20 years have been good, some have been great. Really great as far as income. I still love what I do, never want to retire. It is now fun, still challenging, works my mind and body, and I engage with others on a daily basis. But it can also occasionally be stressful, although I've done it so long I'm used to it. And I build homes well north of $4-5 million (some on spec), when I finish a home, clients moved in and happy, and I see a beautiful home with my name as the builder, it can be very satisfying.

As much as I enjoy it, for most people I would not recommend because I see few that succeed, most that try lose money, stress out, fail. But for me, the perfect profession!

Allan

theshovel
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by theshovel » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:43 pm

Someone asked about garbage collectors. I'm not one, but I do have a blue collar, dirty, smelly, loud, labor intensive job.

You know how you see cars in water up to their hoods a few times a year on the news when a water main breaks? I'm the guy who digs it up and says it'll be fixed "when it's fixed, Sir."

Fix and maintain water and sewer systems for a big, big municipality. 100-140k a year with excellent overtime, benefits, a pension, 457/401k.

My position is recession proof, and I'll never be laid off. The system is constantly breaking down/failing, and guys like me will be needed forever, which is why we have decent power at the negotiating table.

But it's dangerous, and physically and mentally grueling. One needs spatial awareness and the ability to focus. It's all-weather, all-hours. You have to watch what and how you eat and drink, how you dress, and listen to your body's various aches and pains.

Would I recommend it? Hard to say. It's something you have to experience in January or July, and then decide if you want it.

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alex123711
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by alex123711 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:50 pm

Lots of great replies, especially interesting to see how much things have changed such as jobs that no longer exist or are no longer lucrative, guess it shows that you shouldn't just chase the money because it can change quickly.

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alex123711
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by alex123711 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:55 pm

Also a couple of questions: for the software engineers, are they usually software engineering graduates, or does it include computer science degrees as well? And for the accountants, what would you recommend to someone that doesn't really want to work in a tax firm? Are there many other areas to move around? Also have you seen much automation or oversupply coming for both these fields?

am
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by am » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:58 pm

Subspecialist physician. Would only recommend if nothing else suits you. Long grueling expensive path. Long stressful hours. No turning back as someone said. All physician control is being lost as corporations infiltrate medicine employing doctors and pushing for less expensive alternatives. This causes job security issues. Production demands always increasing with stagnant pay which is still good (easier ways to make good money). Fewer good practice opportunities in desirable metro areas.

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triceratop
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by triceratop » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:05 pm

I'm in mathematical research (the kind that has uses in the real world -- numerical analysis -- at the intersection of math and computing, fast algorithms), currently a later-stage graduate student lackey. Looking to graduate with my PhD in the next year or two.

I recommend the right kind of person do it, and those people will know who they are, it is very self-selecting. The pay at this point is not great, but good enough for this point in my life. The difference you can make is substantial, as I have the chance to contribute to my field in a way that radically changes what people have done for 30+ years and enable new scientific understanding and simulation.

The work environment is a land of contrasts -- you have to be mentally tough to accept your own stupidity and lack of understanding, but also confident enough to know when you have a good idea which for some reason others have not had. The most challenging part of graduate school is believing you belong there, have worthwhile ideas, and are not an imposter (see "Imposter syndrome"). So, mentally it is quite taxing but gives you many avenues in which to grow as a person and into who you want to be.

Overall I would recommend it but tell a younger version of myself to just be more confident and be okay with looking stupid because it will either definitely happen or you won't get anyth ing substantial done.

(By the way, many women are definitely not impressed by this career or at least career stage, so if that is a factor then stay away. It isn't for me.)
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

TheNightsToCome
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:14 pm

Allan wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm
Custom home builder, started my company in 1974 at age 23 with $5,000, no experience, no investors, non-working wife and small child. 1st 25 years I had good and bad (some really bad) and mostly average years. The last 20 years have been good, some have been great. Really great as far as income. I still love what I do, never want to retire. It is now fun, still challenging, works my mind and body, and I engage with others on a daily basis. But it can also occasionally be stressful, although I've done it so long I'm used to it. And I build homes well north of $4-5 million (some on spec), when I finish a home, clients moved in and happy, and I see a beautiful home with my name as the builder, it can be very satisfying.

As much as I enjoy it, for most people I would not recommend because I see few that succeed, most that try lose money, stress out, fail. But for me, the perfect profession!

Allan
"no experience"

But were you a carpenter, or in one of the trades before you started your company?

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aj76er
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by aj76er » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:58 pm

I am in a software engineering position and would not recommend it to anyone; even those with an aptitude for it. It is just too much of a crapshoot as to whether your particular work environment will be enjoyable and/or sustainable.

The ideal situation occurs if you can graduate at a time when high growth fields are just starting (e.g. internet boom, mobile, social media), and you can land a position at a top-tier growth company in one of those (yet undiscovered fields), and you don't get stuck working for a bad boss and/or team that limits your upward mobility. So if all of those stars align, then it will probably turn out to be an okay job for you.

But regardless of how the career starts, after about 10 years on the job, any software engineer will most likely be obsolete and dealing with massive ageism (and/or outsourcing pressure as tech becomes commoditized very quickly).

If I had to give my younger self career advice, it would be this:
Don't learn skills and knowledge that companies will pay for; but rather, learn skills and knowledge that individuals will pay for.
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

Allan
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Allan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:24 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:14 pm
Allan wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm
Custom home builder, started my company in 1974 at age 23 with $5,000, no experience, no investors, non-working wife and small child. 1st 25 years I had good and bad (some really bad) and mostly average years. The last 20 years have been good, some have been great. Really great as far as income. I still love what I do, never want to retire. It is now fun, still challenging, works my mind and body, and I engage with others on a daily basis. But it can also occasionally be stressful, although I've done it so long I'm used to it. And I build homes well north of $4-5 million (some on spec), when I finish a home, clients moved in and happy, and I see a beautiful home with my name as the builder, it can be very satisfying.

As much as I enjoy it, for most people I would not recommend because I see few that succeed, most that try lose money, stress out, fail. But for me, the perfect profession!

Allan
"no experience"

But were you a carpenter, or in one of the trades before you started your company?
I had worked for a framing contractor in high school and my 1st (and only!) year of college weekends, summers, and some evenings. At age 19 I went to work for the Missouri Pacific Railroad as a locomotive engineer, I did that until age 26. My home building career overlapped my railroading for 2 years. But in reality the bit of framing I did only helped a little, it didn't prepare me for everything I needed to be a home builder. But it certainly didn't hurt!

lws
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by lws » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:31 pm

Electrical Power Systems Engineer.
I would recommend it.

mac808
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by mac808 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:35 pm

Allan wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm
Custom home builder, started my company in 1974 at age 23 with $5,000, no experience, no investors, non-working wife and small child. 1st 25 years I had good and bad (some really bad) and mostly average years. The last 20 years have been good, some have been great. Really great as far as income. I still love what I do, never want to retire. It is now fun, still challenging, works my mind and body, and I engage with others on a daily basis. But it can also occasionally be stressful, although I've done it so long I'm used to it. And I build homes well north of $4-5 million (some on spec), when I finish a home, clients moved in and happy, and I see a beautiful home with my name as the builder, it can be very satisfying.

As much as I enjoy it, for most people I would not recommend because I see few that succeed, most that try lose money, stress out, fail. But for me, the perfect profession!

Allan
Construction seems to be a poorly understood field. What would you say separates very successful home builders versus those who struggle?

paramedic
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by paramedic » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:43 pm

I'm a paramedic. I would recommend it overall.

The barrier to entry is low (essentially 18 months of college), which is both a positive thing and a hindrance to the field. A young person can do 18 months of college in total and make about $40,000 to $50,000 base annual pay, which isn't terrible. Extra overtime (if desired) can add significantly to that amount.

The field offers a high degree of autonomy, especially when you and your partner work in remote areas -- and often concerning clinical decisions. You manage acute patient conditions in some cases. You truly can save lives, although the vast majority of our 911 responses percentage-wise aren't "true" emergencies.

The limitation comes from the relatively low level of education for the field and the (resulting?) low hourly pay combined with a low degree of self-governance of the profession. You really have to want to advance yourself clinically in order to become a good provider. I completed an undergraduate degree, Master's degree, and critical care work -- but if/when you do the extra education, you do so with the understanding that it's to improve your patient care and that it won't increase your pay.

It's still a satisfying job.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:01 pm

alex123711 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:55 pm
Also a couple of questions: for the software engineers, are they usually software engineering graduates, or does it include computer science degrees as well? And for the accountants, what would you recommend to someone that doesn't really want to work in a tax firm? Are there many other areas to move around? Also have you seen much automation or oversupply coming for both these fields?
The large majority major in computer science, at least at top companies.

Lynette
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Lynette » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:14 pm

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Last edited by Lynette on Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Allan
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Allan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:16 pm

mac808 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:35 pm
Allan wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm
Custom home builder, started my company in 1974 at age 23 with $5,000, no experience, no investors, non-working wife and small child. 1st 25 years I had good and bad (some really bad) and mostly average years. The last 20 years have been good, some have been great. Really great as far as income. I still love what I do, never want to retire. It is now fun, still challenging, works my mind and body, and I engage with others on a daily basis. But it can also occasionally be stressful, although I've done it so long I'm used to it. And I build homes well north of $4-5 million (some on spec), when I finish a home, clients moved in and happy, and I see a beautiful home with my name as the builder, it can be very satisfying.

As much as I enjoy it, for most people I would not recommend because I see few that succeed, most that try lose money, stress out, fail. But for me, the perfect profession!

Allan
Construction seems to be a poorly understood field. What would you say separates very successful home builders versus those who struggle?
Business skills, perseverance, hard work. In my opinion a custom builder has to be very adept in (1) construction knowledge (2) sales and marketing (3) overall business skills (accounting, job costing, legal, technology, etc). I've seen a lot of small builders come from the trades thinking that knowledge alone will make them successful, but most are poor at business and marketing. Margins are low, net profit is 10%-12% annually on sales for the most profitable builders, most don't achieve this consistently. But if you can and you can get sales up to the 10-15 million range (or more) you can do ok. The NAHB has done surveys annually since the 70's, most builders only make 3%-5% profit or so of annual sales. Not talking about what a builder makes on "a" house, that can be in the 15%-20% range, but for all houses after overhead a 10% profit on sales is pretty good in this industry.

clutchied
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by clutchied » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:54 am

CPA public accounting for 7 years then went into private medical.

I think it's a great career path with almost unlimited flexibility. As you specialize it becomes less flexible but more rewarding and higher value.

Yes, I would absolutely recommend a degree in accounting with continuation on to becoming a CPA.

bert09
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by bert09 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:11 am

DrivingFun wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:46 am
It got so bad in recent years especially with web stacks that you can't even find books that are current. By the time Angular 2 book shows up, the latest is already Angular 6. By the time you go through Angular 2 book, people are already on to some other framework. Everything is moving at the speed of light and it's a real concern for me sustaining this career, at least in such way where I preserve my higher-end salary.
If it makes you feel better, I don't think the web stack ecosystem is sustainable for anyone, period, regardless of age. I feel exactly the same way as a younger developer. There is absolutely no good reason IMO for there to be this much technology churn when the end result (i.e. putting a UI on a web page) has not fundamentally changed enough to warrant it. The only way I have found to deal with this is rather than focusing on learning a particular framework in depth, is to learn about these frameworks at a very general high level, so that if a new one comes out, most of the differences are just syntax or minor quirks that you can look up fairly quickly.

For some projects we might also just use something that has been out for years like Spring MVC because no one has the time and mental capacity to learn something new, but it "just works" and we need to get it done quickly.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by musicteacher » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:38 am

Tired of trying to support my kids on the wages of a music teacher. I got a degree in Accounting when I was in my mid-30s. Without a doubt the best decision I made in my entire life. After passing the CPA exam, I used my new credentials to get a start in the corporate world and experienced 30 years of increasingly interesting and rewarding work and (for me) extraordinary salary increases. I retired at the age of 64 with a portfolio I could never have dreamed of prior to returning to school. I encourage you to think about it!

rg422
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by rg422 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:58 am

Registered nurse. Tons of opportunities and would recommend still recommend it to anyone looking into this path. I started working on the clinical floor, however I was given the opportunity for a 'desk' job helping our docs with their documentation for improved reimbursement, treatment, etc. Aside from this I have a side hustle job on the billing side of healthcare auditing insurance claims. Great work/life balance due to working from home.

JuniorBH
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by JuniorBH » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:52 pm

Currently work in financial due diligence at a Big 4 accounting. Was in audit before that and I have my CPA.

I would recommend a degree in accounting and an CPA as a great place to start a career as it opens numerous doors. The Big 4 offer a lot of service line options (audit, tax, technical accounting, corp finance, strategy, etc). Also, being at a Big 4 for 2-3 years qualifies you for a number of exits into the private sector (i.e. accounting controller, financial analyst, FP&A, etc).

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:11 pm

From 1975 through 2014 I worked in various jobs as what I prefer to call a "computer programmer." (I think the term "software engineer" is a loaded term and incorrect; it is art, not engineering, however much managers wish it were and no matter how many management-book authors say it is). I always worked as either a sole contributor or as part of a small team. If CMM means anything to you, I always worked at CMM Level 0 and darned proud of it.

I would recommend it to anyone who loves computer programming.

I would not recommend it to anyone who does not love computer programming.

For me, it was like being allowed to play with the world's biggest electric train set and getting paid for it. Of course it's work and it has all of the frustrations and difficulties of work. I'm sure that is true of professional athletes, musicians, commercial artists and what have you, but still it was something I loved. I got paid, meh, OK. Always something resembling the going rate for people at my level in whatever city I was working in.

I would not recommend it to anyone who does not love computer programming. I really believe people might as well work in a job they like, because then it's never unbearable getting up and going to work. One of the less satisfactory jobs I had was a three-year stint at a Fortune 500 computer company, and it always amazed me: most of the software engineers in R&D (several thousand) hated it. And I would ask them, if they hated it, why they were doing it. And they would say, unenthusiastically, "I thought the pay would be good." And I would ask them, "and is it?" And they would say, "It's sort of a myth that high-tech is good. Meh, it's OK." So they felt the pay was "meh, it's OK" for a job they hated, while for me the pay was "meh, it's OK" for a job I mostly enjoyed.
Mark Twain wrote:Intellectual "work" is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. The poorest paid architect, engineer, general, author, sculptor, painter, lecturer, advocate, legislator, actor, preacher, singer is constructively in heaven when he is at work; and as for the musician with the fiddle-bow in his hand who sits in the midst of a great orchestra with the ebbing and flowing tides of divine sound washing over him—why, certainly, he is at work, if you wish to call it that, but lord, it's a sarcasm just the same. The law of work does seem utterly unfair—but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash, also.
You can add computer programming to his list of occupations.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

TexasCPA
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by TexasCPA » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:23 pm

As someone who recently decided on a career change and went back to school to pursue a Masters of Accouting and the CPA license I am really enjoying this thread

MP173
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by MP173 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:03 pm

This is an outstanding thread. I really enjoy discussing careers with people and typically you do not get to ask what kind of compensation is involved.

I am in sales for a graphics manufacturing company...large format digital and screen printing, primarily graphics seen on trucking fleets or other forms of transportation. Our ideal customer is a consumer product manufacturer or distributor who wishes to use their assets as a form of marketing such as food, beverage, furniture, or industrial. Other customers are trucking companies or railroads.

My career has spanned 28 years and I have seen major changes in technology and sales. For instance....25 years ago I would drive several hundred miles each week and see from 10 - 30 accounts (sales calls). Today I receive and answer several hundred emails per week (75 already today) and perhaps see 3-5 customers during the workweek. The benefit is that I work at home and that gives me flexibility to manage my time and accounts quite well.

Primarily, I am a commission sales and there can be lean periods (2008 - 2009 were brutal).

Sales has changed dramatically during my tenure. It is very difficult to reach people to set up appointments and thus to develop new business. That being said, it has been a great career for me. Would I recommend my career? Probably not, due to all the changes which have occurred in sales, the industry, and how companies communicate and make purchasing decisions.

Ed

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Gill » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:39 pm

Amanda999 wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:56 pm
Lawyer. No.
+1
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:49 pm

alex123711 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:55 pm
Also a couple of questions: for the software engineers, are they usually software engineering graduates, or does it include computer science degrees as well?
There's a lot of computer engineers and electrical engineers when you think of tech as broader than the latest phone app or social networking site. Someone is writing the operating systems, compilers, and device drivers, which requires a deep understanding of the hardware.

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alpenglow
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by alpenglow » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Middle School Teacher

I'm 15 years in and going strong. I really like my job, but I'm lucky enough to work in a "good" district with supportive parents and admin. I have solid benefits and pay ($115k+). In theory I will also get a nice pension. I would highly recommend this job to the right person working in a state where teachers are paid well. Did I mention that I just started summer vacation? :beer

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pjshen
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by pjshen » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:51 pm

Attorney (litigator)
Well covered by earlier posts from fellow attorneys, so I don't have much to add. Despite the crazy hours and volume of work at BigLaw, I found the job intellectually stimulating working with really smart colleagues on tough problems and I even enjoyed the occasional adrenaline rush. No doubt it helps to be insomniac and immune to stress.
High salary/bonuses -- about $200,000 to start -- but certainly not a family-friendly environment. My kids have said "no way" on following my path as they're allergic to hard work. :wink:
I'd recommend the lawyer gig for those who are driven (you know who you are) and who really like law. I've met a lot of lawyers who hated the job but it's understandably hard to walk away from the $$$. As other posters have cautioned, salaries are bi-modal; it'd be risky to pay for a law degree that isn't from a top law school.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by London » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:18 pm

COO for technology at a major Wall Street bank. Despite having no formal technology education, somehow they let me run the day to day. I've had a variety of roles at banks and this is my calling I guess. The pay is amazing, the hours are long, the people are smart, and the job is a lot of fun.

When folks talk about early retirement, it doesn't interest me. That said, Wall Street has a way of telling you when you're done, so save some money.

I'd highly recommend it but it takes a while to work your way up the ladder. You basically start as a business manager for something financial or technical. If you are able to run things effectively, you will slowly take on more responsibilities. I've always been the type to get things done without issues. I found a job that values it. I like delivery and performance being on my shoulders and I never feel work related stress. I'm not saving lives after all, it's just money.

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wornout
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by wornout » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:03 pm

I was a mailman, or actually a “letter carrier”. I was lucky to retire at 56, thanks to the excellent Thrift Savings Plan and the Federal Employees Retirement System. I loved my job, but it wore me out!

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by plantingourpennies » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:45 pm

B2B technology Sales, sales training, and then research and analysis.

I got in, got paid, and moved laterally a few times in the same company to less stressful work. Just FIRED at 35...wouldn't have been possible without learning how to sell.

If you have a humanities degree and want to make lots of money, look no further.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by RVosen » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:22 am

I'm currently a plumber working in new construction. Mainly single family homes with a few years experince in commercial construction as well. I have to say that I do like my job.

Pros: good pay, decent benefits, I find the work rewarding.

Cons: dirty, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, physically demanding. I take the nesscary precautions but you still can be exposed to stuff in construction that isn't good for you over the long term. Things like some of the chemicals in our glue, silica, and fiberglass.

It's a great route if college isn't for you or you don't want to work from a desk. Defintely not for everyone like most jobs.

Before that my adult working career started in 2009 when there wasn't a lot of options for people without a specialized degree. I took a job as a corrections officer for the job security and benefits. I stuck it out for 5 years and still question how I lasted that long. In my opinion it was absolutely horrible but plenty of people make a career out of it.

Corrections officers pros: benefits

Cons: work schedule, low pay, extremely negative work environment, bad office politics, promotional requirements sometimes just don't even make sense. Forced overtime whether you want it or not.

Of course that is going to vary a lot from state to state and hopefully there are plenty of states out there that are good to work for.

If I could do it over again I would be interested in trying to get a degree in either engineering or finance. But realistically I wasn't the best student and think a four year degree would of been a struggle for me. So I still think things worked out alright.

Therapist Investor
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Therapist Investor » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:41 am

goodenyou wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:32 pm
MD. Specialty Surgeon. Would not recommend going to medical school. Way too costly and way too much time. If you don't like it after many years, you will be trapped. How many times have you met someone in a different career that used to be a doctor? Career rapidly changing for the worse. None of my kids will go to medical school. Most of my colleagues' kids will not either. I would recommend being a "provider" if you want to help people. Cost and time is less and compensation is still very good. No need for a residency to call yourself a "specialist", and you can change anytime you wish and become a different "specialist". Not possible as an MD. My wife is a "specialist" Nurse Practitioner.
For those physicians out there who will not recommend that your children go to medical school: what professions would you encourage your children to go into?
"Get what you can, and what you get hold, 'Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold." | -Benjamin Franklin

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by student » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:07 am

alpenglow wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:23 pm
Middle School Teacher

I'm 15 years in and going strong. I really like my job, but I'm lucky enough to work in a "good" district with supportive parents and admin. I have solid benefits and pay ($115k+). In theory I will also get a nice pension. I would highly recommend this job to the right person working in a state where teachers are paid well. Did I mention that I just started summer vacation? :beer
I guess you are not in Oklahoma.

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Johnsson
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Johnsson » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:16 am

Was happily a mechanical (project) engineer that settled in a LCOL. The manufacturing plant where I worked closed and we chose to stay in area due to HQOL and kids in high school. Went back to school to be an RN (wife is also an RN) and have done that for 12 years.

I would recommend healthcare. I can says that there are MANY options as an RN with income from $60K to 200K+ depending on specialty/training. There are opportunities literally everywhere, options to 'travel' for higher pay with expenses paid, part time work is easy to find, many options that don't involve touching people (in research, insurance companies,...).
'In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.' Yogi Berra

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by WVbaron » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:24 am

Another really good thread and I have enjoyed reading all of the comments so far...

I wasn't going to comment but after scrolling through the entire list, I noticed there wasn't a single mention of my industry and thought I would give it a shout out - Retail.

After graduating college and serving in the Peace Corps for 2 yrs, I found myself back in the US and sending out resumes for work in my field. I got a retail store manager job to pay the bills, support myself during this process. I fell in love with the company, it culture, and the product. Over the past 13 years, I moved from 1 store, to a regional manager position, and over the past 6 years I have been in several different countries with the same company as Head of Stores / Operations.

This industry is often so overlooked and there are obvious challenges ahead, including the growth of Ecomm. However at 38 yrs old, I feel like I have a dream job, very good 6 fig salary, and although its hard work, lots of hours, pressure to deliver the P&L, etc, feel very fortunate. There are lots of high paying, good jobs in this industry both in the field and head office of companies.

As with so many things in business, it really comes down to people. A good work ethic and positive attitude can take you so far in a career. I look forward to reading more of these posts in the thread...

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by FBN2014 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:36 am

Cheyenne wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:36 am
Professional musician. Recommended.
What type of music and instrument?
"October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May March, June, December, August and February." - M. Twain

tigerdoc93
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by tigerdoc93 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:02 am

I’m an Emergency Physician with 2 young adult children. I didn’t have to advise them to avoid medicine because they witnessed firsthand the difficulties in work/life balance inherent to the profession. Becoming a physician in today’s environment is not a particularly financially savvy move. It costs too much money and takes too long to see a return on investment. In my opinion there are much easier ways to make a living. Some professions that I would consider in today’s environment include Nursing, nurse practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, physician assistant, pharmacist, dentist, veterinarian, engineer, finance, accounting, small business owner, supply chain management, actuary.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Swarm Trap » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:36 am

I am a Risk Manager (Regulatory Compliance) at a mega-corp. I started here at an entry level phone associate role 20 years ago. I am responsible for ensuring my company's adherence to laws and regulations. I am well compensated compared to others in similar roles probably because of my tenure. There are aspects of my job that I find rewarding, and others that drive me nuts. All things considered, the education level required to be successful is relatively low for my role. A 4 year degree and a couple of professional certifications would likely put you ahead of most in my field.

It's not a "sexy" career, but it's suits me and I feel like there is stability and room for growth.

BradJ
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by BradJ » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:47 am

I work in the utilities industry, have worked several jobs centered around System Operations. I recommend it because there is always something to learn and things are always changing. Be careful though, there are two camps in the industry: engineers and non-engineers....I will let you guess which one they prefer. I worked swing shift (12 hour shifts) on the Operations floor for over 6 years, I still think swing shift is a great way to work if you can handle it (a long with your family).

azanon
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by azanon » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:21 am

Environmental Regulatory Biologist with the Federal government. Now in a managerial position. All Recommended

My federal job has been great; pay now exceeds 100K, benefits including eventual pension, great healthcare (3/4ths paid by benefit), the TSP for investments. And the hours and time off are pretty hard to beat. And retirement eligibility at 57? Yes. Though some here actually think their job is stressful, I think they have a strange definition or perception of stress with a 40hr/week federal job with weeks and sometimes months to finish a "job" or environmental review.

The hardest part is just getting your foot in the door with the Feds. I went the route of advanced degree > (lower paying) state job > fed job, which is a pretty common route, but I think the wisest of those seek out an internship with the feds before they leave school and have a job basically waiting on them when they graduate.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Quickfoot » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:37 am

I was a QA Manager in Software / Firmware for 18 years and it was an outstanding career, I'm now a senior database administrator which has a great outlook. Data is simply growing out of control and skilled DBA's are always in high demand with very good compensation. With bonus I make 130K in a very low cost of living area and work from home :). I would recommend it however becoming senior is a good 5-6 years of work and requires constant education.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by goodenyou » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:07 pm

SelfEmployed123 wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:41 am
goodenyou wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:32 pm
MD. Specialty Surgeon. Would not recommend going to medical school. Way too costly and way too much time. If you don't like it after many years, you will be trapped. How many times have you met someone in a different career that used to be a doctor? Career rapidly changing for the worse. None of my kids will go to medical school. Most of my colleagues' kids will not either. I would recommend being a "provider" if you want to help people. Cost and time is less and compensation is still very good. No need for a residency to call yourself a "specialist", and you can change anytime you wish and become a different "specialist". Not possible as an MD. My wife is a "specialist" Nurse Practitioner.
For those physicians out there who will not recommend that your children go to medical school: what professions would you encourage your children to go into?
I would encourage them to keep their eyes wide open to what is happening in the field they are choosing. My first chose business/combined Masters in accounting and finance. The second in supply chain and technology. They have witnessed the changing healthcare landscape and exorbitant cost of medical education. Young wannabe doctors need to keep their eyes open before they forge ahead into a career that demands astronomical financial risk and time risk and narrows options more than any other career choice. I have seen unprecedented plummeting satisfaction levels in the practice medicine for the past 10 years. Sadly, suicide levels are at all time highs in medicine. I personally know of several in the passed few years, including my Senior Partner. If you want to be a doctor, I urge you to stay away from the staff cafeteria at your local hospital. There are exceptions, and I am thankful for those who choose to become physicians and surgeons. Our country still need the best and brightest to go into medicine more than ever. In lieu of medical school and to avoid (relative) cost and time, I would recommend becoming a NP (like my wife-especially Dermatology), PA or a CRNA if you want to be a “provider”.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:49 pm

OP,

I am an engineer. I get pay well for solving the interesting problem. I save 1 year of annual expense every year. After working for 20+ years, I could early retire around 50 years old if I do not gamble. So, what is there not to like?

KlangFool

Random Poster
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Random Poster » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:12 pm

Oil and gas transactional attorney.

Would recommend, but with reservations.

I have been extremely lucky in my career, which no doubt influences my views, and I am undoubtedly an outlier when it comes to experiences and results.

Graduated from a non-top 50 law school (but from the top law school in the state) and completely lucked out in getting a job before graduation as a consequence of (1) answering the phone (something I almost never did at the time, but I had a odd sense at the time that I really should pick up the phone as it was ringing); and (2) one associate at the firm moving to another town (thereby providing the job opening).

Started doing mostly oil and gas title examination work at a small firm in a midsize town, where the work isn't "sexy" but the hours are easy to bill. Pay was on the low end of the lawyer scale. Got tired of living in that town and working for a particular person, so quit after two years and traveled around the world for several months.

Upon return, got extremely lucky again and landed a job in a midsize firm in a large town, again doing oil and gas title examination work. Pay was in the middle---very low end of the higher bimodal scale, but definitely more than what those on the lower end of the scale were making. I never would have gotten the job with that law firm had I not taken my around the world trip because (according to the hiring partner) quitting one's job and taking off showed a ton of gumption and confidence. Never worked more than 40 hours a week, but somehow impressed a senior partner enough that he graciously took me with him when he bolted for a BigLaw firm.

I worked at the BigLaw firm with the senior partner for a year (where the pay was finally on the high side of the bimodal scale), doing some title examination but also more pure transactional work (still never working more than 40 hours a week, which, admittedly, is very rare for BigLaw), and resisted the firm's pull to do oil and gas mergers and acquisitions work and got---once again---a phone call that I felt the urge to answer that got me into an in-house role at a big E&P company doing oil and gas operational and transactional work.

Been with the same company for almost 11 years now, and I'd have the exceptionally good fortune to work for several years in an expat assignment. The good times came to an end a few years ago, when the expat assignment ended and I got sent to a dry, dusty, windy, and hot West Texas town I don't particularly like, but I don't plan on sticking around here too much longer. Pay isn't as great as what a comparable lawyer at a big law firm would make, but the hours are much better.

I wouldn't recommend law school for most people (and I think that there are far too many lawyers already in existence), but for someone who is interested in oil and gas (or energy, or mining, or the like) but lacks the mathematical prowess to be an engineer, oil and gas law can be a good way to get into the oil business.

I think that the key to being "successful" in the law field for someone like me (not having the best grades, not from a great law school, not particularly outgoing) is to pick (or get into) a niche field, learn everything there is to know about it, be willing to do the "unsexy" work, and (it must be said) answer one's phone. There are only a few law schools that truly teach oil and gas law, and if you are decent at it, I think that one has a better-than-average chance at ultimately getting into the jobs that are typically reserved for the top-10 law school graduates. Plus, the hours are generally sane and as long as oil and gas is being produced and properties are being exchanged, there will be a need for attorneys to do the work. The downside, however, is that the work can be extremely geographically limited.

But, I've got to admit, I don't really enjoy the work all that much any more and I'm thinking of quitting within a year.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: What is/ was your career and would you recommend it now?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:50 pm

Bogleheads:

My career:

1. Laborer on a construction project (my first job and the hardest).
2. Paratrooper in World War II
3. LIfe Insurance Salesman (disliked the most).
4. Commercial laundry manager
5. IRS Revenue Officer
6. SBA Chief of Financial Division
7. Miami-Dade Housing Director
8. Charter-boat captain
9. Teaching sailing
10. The Bogleheads Forum

The last two are my favorites.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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