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Have you ever made a major career change?

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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:36 PM
Original message
Have you ever made a major career change?
As in, gone from a field you had been working in for a while to one that was a big departure from your previous work history or education? I'm considering making a change like this, but it's scary. :shrug:
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. You too?
I am so sick of the company I work for and the job....
I will give up further pension plan increases but I am vested in what I have earned so far.
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yeah...
I can see how that would complicate things. I didn't have a retirement plan at my previous job, but I feel like I'm wasting the time and money I invested in an education I'm not really going to use now.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm thinking about doing that now.
Of course my decision might be somewhat made for me, but it's time to make a change one way or another.
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I made the decision to move
It pretty much forced me to think about going down a different career path. My previous field wasn't very flexible when it came to location.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. Hey if you ever decide to work in the tech field
And live in Sunny California...give me a call!

We may not have the best BBQ here, but we do have the best beer to go along with it...
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. Can I get a tech job without a tech degree?
My job here isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. :D
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yeah, pretty scary.
Went from teaching to woodworking to the Army to civilian techie. Each one scary in its own way.
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Did you find the changes worthwhile despite the risks?
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. Yep.
My life improved significantly with each change. I was brought up in academia, but teaching high school didn't make me happy. I was a contented woodworker for a while, but was just scraping by.

I enjoyed the Army, which was the best-paying job I'd ever had, and in some ways the easiest. I'd had my fill of traveling, though, so when Uncle Same shipped me here (a slot I was able to choose), I knew I was here to stay.

My company hires a lot of vets, and my training was a plus. I'm prospering, in many ways.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Eight, at last count.
Never had the slightest idea what I was going to do with the new business, but figured it out eventually in all cases.

Redstone
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Oh yeah, 3 or 4 times.
Don't be frightened. Work hard and have fun.
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes!
Doing it right now and it's hard, but doable. Good luck to you! :thumbsup:
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Thanks!
:)
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
11. You betcha! Quite a few times.
It's exciting!!
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
12. It's the best things I've ever done for my health, ethics and income:
going from mainstream journalist/editor to artist.

Plan carefully, Lavender Brown, and build yourself a great support system. I'll send ya some good vibes! :pals:
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
13. Honestly, I'm trying to figure out how that works nowadays
It seems like you need such specific prior experience to get ANY job, and doesn't that make switching fields well near impossible these days?
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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Exactly
I feel like I'm stuck in my career path already, and I haven't even been in the job market that long.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
15. it is very scary but I did it, and I never looked back
worked as a drone in a medium sized place for 15 yrs, guaranteed a good income, had a good client base and enjoyed some of the bennies.
Then, looked in the mirror, saw what it had done to me, and made arrangements to get out of dodge. been on my own for more than 5 yrs, and have never felt better, more alive or freeer. Client base is much more terrifying, (if they leave, I become dead meat) but so far, no complaints.
My time is mine, and it is a wonderful thing.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
16. Financial services to IT
I was stuck in a dead-end career and decided to get out. I spent two years teaching myself about the web and how it worked back in the mid-1990s. Although I'd played around on computers as a kid, I didn't have any formal IT training at the post-secondary level. I'm basically a self-taught programmer/developer/sysadmin.

I started doing volunteer jobs and small freelance gigs while still working at my old job to build my resume. Eventually I went PT at the old job and eventually quit to do IT full time in the fall of 1999 as a freelancer.

After the dot-com bust in 2000 I got a job working for a small software company in 2001. A couple jobs later, I'm still doing web-related stuff and doing alright, despite the crappy economy for tech workers.

I don't know if I'd recommend my way to everybody, but if you have the drive and are self-motivated you can do it.
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Allenberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
17. This year I've gone from
military intelligence analyst (discharged) to insurance agent (quit- sales sucks) to applying to college full-time to be a high school social studies teacher.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
18. BTDT. It is creepy but well worth it.
Had a major change in my career path after Material Girl was born. I'd been in the book industry for years, and there was no way I was gonna go back out on the road as a publisher rep after I had my baby. I just could not face being gone from her that much. It was further complicated by my feeling that I was busting my butt to make money for some entity that really didn't improve the quality of anyone's life too much.

I took a part time job as a bookkeeper. It let me be home with the baby and it was with a non-profit social justice agency. We had to cut some expenses, but I will never second guess the time I had with her. She never went to a sitter until she was 18 months old.

Since that time, life has just unfolded into the political appointment I hold now. A couple of years later, I was with a different non-profit when we lost our funding. The local Dem party needed somebody to fill this appointment, and they asked me if I'd do it--if I'd make the educational commitment it required. I figured I was without a job anyway--I had nothing to lose--why not?

I love what I do, and I help people. Not a bad result of a job change.



Laura
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Mr. McD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
19. From factory (dept) supervisor to Electron Microscope technician.
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 10:02 AM by Mr. McD
Due to back problems. I still don't make as much money as I did but it is much more interesting.
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. I took an EM class in college. Fascinating machine!
Ours broke once, and I watched the tech working on it. She went into great detail with me about it. It was really interesting!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
20. Not a big departure in subject matter, but a big departure in lifestyle
I went from being a college professor with a regular salary and benefits to being a free-lance editor and translator who lives a feast-or-famine existence.

I'd been considering it for years, but I didn't actually do it until I lost my teaching job.

It was one of those "fortunate misfortunes."

Judging from what I hear from my former colleagues and other academics I know, this is not a good time to be in academia.

Although I wish my income were more predictable, I have unparalleled flexibility, and if I felt like it, I could pack up and move anywhere in the U.S. or to any country that would let me in.
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tokenlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
21. It can be scary and humbling...over a period of years
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 10:43 AM by tokenlib
Just for food for thought... I studied for years and directed my life toward a "professional" type position. Then I decided in a dramatic 180 degree turn that I was not happy. Things didn't work out and I have been working ever since but in areas where some might consider me "underemployed." There was a lot of second guessing, doubts and regrets. Then you get to a point where you accept it, find peace, and go on with your life.

If you make a career change "upward"--good for you. But if you find your dreams just don't work out, it can be rough. Fortunately I have met a good number of people with college degrees in various fields over the years--who ended up working in retail, or grocery stores--in "underemployment" and found peace.

If you work as hard as you can--you don't always "SUCCEED" with a higher position and wage in this society. Some of us have had to deal with that--others will have to confront that in the future....
But it can be liberating and a good thing...
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Left_Winger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
22. Yes
During the late '80s I was a computer programmer with a Savings and Loan (remember what those were?) before the feds put all S&Ls out of business; I was laid off in 1989. Then I found similar employment with our rival financial institution (which had reorganized) and was once again laid off in 1991 when they sold themselves to First Union. We were promised that no one would loose their job. Guess what? We all did.

So, the big change: I returned to college, earned a graduate degree and now I'm a teacher. As to the change, I actually enjoy it.
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bugslsu9 Donating Member (457 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
23. I'm in the middle of it
Going from customer service to politics. It really is the best thing I have ever done!
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
24. Well, does going from working for a not-to-be-named
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 01:13 PM by Redstone
company doing not-to-be-discussed things, to being a jeweler, to playing music, to doing sales & marketing, to doing application engineering, to owning a photography studio, to owning an advertising agency, to freelance writing (not necessarily in that order, and a few concurrently) count as a "major" change?

If so, then yes.

Redstone

On edit: Life's more fun when it's a constant adventure. Making a mojor change is good for you, because all of a sudden you have to figure out how to do something that you have no idea how to actually do. Keeps you sharp.
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
26. I did.
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 01:23 PM by Lisa0825
I have a degree in biology and worked in medical research for about 10 years. I got burnt out on it, and quit about 5 years ago. At the time, I had the opportunity to move in and help take care of my mother, so I wouldn't need to pay rent, and I figured I could go back to school. I initially planned to get microsoft certified, but right around that time, IT went plop. I floated from one waitressing job to another for about a year and a half, and then got a job with a non-profit organization that provides employment counseling and services to job seekers. It was a job I'd actually applied for a couple years before, but got the run around on it. This time, I got it! I have been working here for over 3 years now, and I enjoy it. I'd like to eventually move up in the company if I stay in the US. I plan to start on a masters degree in cross cultural studies this spring (hopefully). I'd like to stay in the non-profit atmosphere with a company that provides some type of community services, or work for a universty as an acedemic, employment, or international students advisor.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
28. yes, I jumped off the good job train in 1986
and graduated from graduate school in 1990. Since then, except for my own failed businesses, I have worked menial factory jobs since then, only recently getting a full time job with benefits. It does not help that I have 'general' degrees in math and economics instead of degrees in fields that have jobs attached to them like engineering and accounting. I would advise a person to be very sure of a soft landing before they jump off the good job train.
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trackfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
29. Actually having one would be a change for me
and for most of the people I know. I do know a few people with careers, but most people in my life just have jobs.
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