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View Full Version : Career - if you could do it all over again


76S&S
07-16-2013, 01:49 PM
Just got to thinking about this at lunch today.

For those of us that have been in careers long enough to consider such a thing. If you had the chance to choose your career path all over; what would your choice be?

Please note what your currently do, what you wish you had chosen and why.

I'll go first:
My title is Director of Accounting Technology, imagine having to write that on documents.
I have a degree in Accounting, spent several years in the Payroll area, but currently work specifically on Accounting technology, trouble shooting, custom reporting (Crystal) and am a liaison between our Acct. department and our IT group.

I work for a General Contractor (Commercial) but really wish I had gone into residential construction as the GC. I really enjoy residential, not being in an office all day and just find it interesting.

Edit: and I think I could make more money working for myself. You know what they say about the grass is always greener...

mikeg205
07-16-2013, 01:53 PM
I would have gotten into sales much earlier --- that's where I am now...

The timing would have been perfect in the late 80's - for selling technology.. I got in 0 in 1999.. will never go back inside - outside sales is the way to go for me.

MI_Corey
07-16-2013, 02:13 PM
I'm a CNC programmer. I wish I would have gone into Mechanical engineering or gone in to nursing actually and work my way into management within the medical field. Either way I could have made a lot more money and am debating whether I should drop my current career and pursue one of those.

Traxx822
07-16-2013, 02:33 PM
Just got to thinking about this at lunch today.

For those of us that have been in careers long enough to consider such a thing. If you had the chance to choose your career path all over; what would your choice be?

Please note what your currently do, what you wish you had chosen and why.

I'll go first:
My title is Director of Accounting Technology, imagine having to write that on documents.
I have a degree in Accounting, spent several years in the Payroll area, but currently work specifically on Accounting technology, trouble shooting, custom reporting (Crystal) and am a liaison between our Acct. department and our IT group.

I work for a General Contractor (Commercial) but really wish I had gone into residential construction as the GC. I really enjoy residential, not being in an office all day and just find it interesting.

Edit: and I think I could make more money working for myself. You know what they say about the grass is always greener...


Residential construction sucks. People are Aholes. I do construction but stopped working for homeowners. Cause I hate them. All of them. So dam picky. Now I rehab foreclosures. No one lives there. Its awesome.

I haven't had a long career but a good one. I own a GC construction company. Its fun. But at the same time. Owning your own business sucks major D

pmkkdx
07-16-2013, 02:45 PM
the very small TX town I grew up in had little, to no, knowledge in counseling high school students for career paths from a small town. The majority of the people in the town besides the school teachers were not college educated but had rather learned a trade or were into farming/ranching or were small business owners of small shops. Why even bother going to college? I ended up going to a technical school to get a 2 year degree in Mechanical Design & Drafting technology ... that way I could be a productive member of society and have income in merely 2 years, got married the summer following my first year of tech school to my high school sweetheart (had our 35th anniversary this past Sunday) ... fast forward a few years into my career ... I quickly realized if I ever wanted to have a decent income and/or move farther up the ladder, I better get back into college to get my engineering degree. I went to night school for another 8+ years part time, while starting a family, maintaining my 40+ hour job ... was killer!!! Today I am an engineering manager over mechanical & electrical design and component engineering ... very poor counseling to an 18 y/o lead to many very hard years to get to where I am today ... We are finally financially comfortable and I do love my job.

If I had the opportunity to do it over ... I would have gone straight into an Mechanical engineering program at a major university OR I would have gone to Med school to be either a surgeon or a large animal vet ... but that's a whole different story.

thatsmrmastercraft
07-16-2013, 02:56 PM
Few things are as rewarding and frustrating at the same time as running your own business. I have sold tires and wheels as a factory rep and as a branch manager, as well as working for a large tire wholesale company. Operating my own tire and wheel business is vastly more rewarding than working for a large company. I wish the opportunity had come along sooner.

Grant777
07-16-2013, 03:07 PM
There's not much glamour (left) in international aviation - don't become a long haul pilot. It's been a great 13 year journey: I've seen the world and have no regrets. I just cant see myself staring out a cockpit window for the next 30 years. I'll be heading back to the US next year in search of that greener grass...perhaps start a small business and make less money.

mikeg205
07-16-2013, 03:17 PM
Residential construction sucks. People are Aholes. I do construction but stopped working for homeowners. Cause I hate them. All of them. So dam picky. Now I rehab foreclosures. No one lives there. Its awesome.

I haven't had a long career but a good one. I own a GC construction company. Its fun. But at the same time. Owning your own business sucks major D

But you have such a great office... ;)

Jerseydave
07-16-2013, 03:26 PM
I came from an automotive repair career (tech, shop manager) then 13 years as a MAC TOOL distributor and now independent wholesale deli meat and cheese supplier (10 years)
I like what I do, but it's far from glamorous. As others have stated, being self employed has it's ups and downs. No vacation in the past 10 years except for long weekends. Health insurance costs are killing me ($1400/month for family of 4) All insurance is expensive ($5K per year for business) and my own SEP IRA which I contribute to. Bills, bills, bills.

But the headaches are few. I've often thought of having my own sub shop, but I'd need 3-4 of them to make it worth the effort and that would be a lot of headaches. Still it's in the back of my mind. I'd enjoy having my own place of business in my home town, nothing better than that!

nickespi
07-16-2013, 03:28 PM
I think I would have gone into the adult film industry or become a male stripper. Great hours and good pay for something I really enjoy!

mikeg205
07-16-2013, 03:32 PM
I think I would have gone into the adult film industry or become a male stripper. Great hours and good pay for something I really enjoy!

It's a short carreer ain't it? no pun intended... ;)

chrislandy
07-16-2013, 03:40 PM
I think if I could go back in time I'd go back and slap myself for not continuing with my yacht and powercraft engineeering & design masters degree... but hey, now I'm a structural engineer with my own practice in the UK... so not all bad

Nick911
07-16-2013, 04:35 PM
Medical school.

It would be a pay cut though now...

JMLVMI
07-16-2013, 04:43 PM
Medical school.

It would be a pay cut though now...

They put something in the water up there, you guys with all of those shiny new X-30s in Alberta. Oil and Gas?

mcparadise
07-16-2013, 05:21 PM
I'm a Nuclear Engineer...so much for that profession in these times...BUT, if I had to do it again I would be a:
1) Marine Chemist sometimes called a Gas-Free Engineer (they make sooooo much and always in demand)
2) Welding Engineer (always in demand)

mgs96ps
07-16-2013, 05:21 PM
Just so you know...I was going to be the first ambidextrous field goal kicker in the NFL...making no less than the league minimum for the last 20 years.

"I am not as good as I once was...but I am as good once as I ever was" Toby Keith

Nick911
07-16-2013, 05:37 PM
They put something in the water up there, you guys with all of those shiny new X-30s in Alberta. Oil and Gas?

Yeah, big oil...someone's gotta do it. :)

madcityskier
07-16-2013, 06:02 PM
Residential construction sucks. People are Aholes. I do construction but stopped working for homeowners. Cause I hate them. All of them. So dam picky. Now I rehab foreclosures. No one lives there. Its awesome.

I haven't had a long career but a good one. I own a GC construction company. Its fun. But at the same time. Owning your own business sucks major D

Working for a paint company I must agree. Contractors on commercial projects are a mix, residential construction guys are always angry and in need of a miracle because their customer has changed their mind, even though the work is already completed. Like my job, minimal travel and only as stressful as how much you care.

SkiDog
07-16-2013, 06:43 PM
After 31 years in the construction biz,owning my own company, I jumped on board with a LARGE construction firm as a superintendent. I now feel like I am in jail 8-9 hours a day. On the other hand, my fuel bill will drop about $600.00 per month. So there's a raise in itself. After this job is over, If I wanna continue, I'll probably have to travel. Don't know if I'll like that or not. i'm gonna give it a shot though.

CantRepeat
07-16-2013, 06:48 PM
Rocket-surgeon for sure.

There isn't much I would change. I'm not an office type for sure. Even after spending 8 out of the last 13 years away from my family I don't think I would have changed it. It surely changed me.

88 PS190
07-16-2013, 07:04 PM
Its not the career - career works for me.

I would have done a different/more intriguing undergrad.

Anyone who does a "science" or other basic title undergrad should get kicked in the balls - it'd be great to do something really neat like composite engineering, or industrial design. I'd still like to do what I do - but with a better understanding of how to make more stuff.

Skipper
07-16-2013, 07:15 PM
Nope. Would not change a thing. Well I would have gone to Ranger school.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

barefoot
07-16-2013, 07:17 PM
If I were to do it again, I wouldn't get an MBA. I did it for the wrong reasons and I'm not in the position where I could/would benefit from it. It wasn't as if I got a pay raise or promotion...I own the business. I refer to it more as a back-up plan than anything else. When I graduated, the Dean said 'Ryan, I don't know why you did this...you're doing what were trying to teach.' It was a sobering moment...

I try not to think in terms of 'what could have been'. It's usually a waste of energy. What I do think about is 'what do I need to do now to change the future?' I find that a better approach because it becomes a conscience decision...a plan to work to. I'm more focused than I ever have been...and I still have plenty of work to do.

I own a retail coffee shop, two coffee kiosks, and an espresso catering business. I'm doing what I want to do and the financial rewards are in the making. If I were to do it again, I would have done espresso catering sooner. But it would have been a harder hill to climb without the retail shop...

Voodoo
07-16-2013, 09:24 PM
Navy fighter pilot, Air Guard fighter pilot, airline pilot -- enjoy it all. If I could start over -- Navy SEAL, then fighter pilot and airline pilot. But, could I get through B/UDS? That is the question...would have loved to give it a go. Never entered my mind at 21 yrs old.

Astepatatime
07-16-2013, 09:46 PM
I've had a roundabout journey. Started in college with a pre-med program and intended to be a doctor. Got interested in computers and robotics. Got dual undergrad degrees in biology and computer engineering, with the intention of going into bioengineering (this was the dark ages of that field almost 30 years ago). Got sidetracked with an IT job, grew into management. Decided an MBA would be good, which led to a stint in management consulting, which lead to corporate positions. Now a CEO and part owner of a technology consulting business. It's very rewarding and most days I love it. But all jobs have headaches.

When I do the "what if" game, I wonder if I'd stayed the course in medicine or bio engineering, what would have been. And there's a part of me that wishes I'd spent time in the military. But all in all, very blessed an no strong regrets.

Nick911
07-16-2013, 09:46 PM
Navy fighter pilot, Air Guard fighter pilot, airline pilot -- enjoy it all. If I could start over -- Navy SEAL, then fighter pilot and airline pilot. But, could I get through B/UDS? That is the question...would have loved to give it a go. Never entered my mind at 21 yrs old.

Yes good call. The Canadian Tier 1 equivalent is JTF-2. I would have loved to give this a go. Something more rewarding than the private sector and building homes for rich people.

Hogwild
07-16-2013, 10:17 PM
Dentist all the way...4 day work weeks and your assistants do most of the work for you!!!

timvan
07-17-2013, 08:42 AM
Navy fighter pilot, Air Guard fighter pilot, airline pilot -- enjoy it all. If I could start over -- Navy SEAL, then fighter pilot and airline pilot. But, could I get through B/UDS? That is the question...would have loved to give it a go. Never entered my mind at 21 yrs old.

Military for sure, would have already been retired with a pension and benefits. My 7yr old son wants to be a pilot, hopefully he will pursue his dreams

d2jp
07-17-2013, 09:01 AM
Good to see I'm not the only one self-employeed and works 60ish hours per week w/ no vacation other than a long weekend:) I own a retail bicycle shop (2 locations) and I love the business....but it does suck being so dependent on good weather. The Southeast has been so cold and wet this spring/summer. It's frustrating to have things like the weather, which are out of your control dictate the customer traffic. I'm blessed with a great staff and great customers though.

I've been in retail all of my life - but if I could do it over I would teach either at the HS or college level and do some coaching.

76S&S
07-17-2013, 09:26 AM
I started this thread, but I may have my 17 year old twins read it. Lots of interesting careers, some of which I've never heard of.

waterbug
07-17-2013, 10:21 AM
Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer... I am in my 40's now and think about it almost every day. I certainly had the ability, and should have used my god given talent to do something good. I was a lifeguard for 6 years while in college. I was a competitive distance swimmer half my life. Spent all my time training, and maybe had a shot at the Olympics (that was my goal) I was young, and it would have been a huge commitment. I decided to finish college. I now work in finance. It's boring, but a good, stable job.

I wish I would have known back then.....

PT 1999 ProStar
07-17-2013, 10:49 AM
Current: been in medical device sales for 15+ years and it's been very rewarding both clinically and financially. Worked for 3 major healthcare companies who provide you with great benes but with that comes BIG borther always watching. Current administration (government) policies will make it interesting In the next few years!! I enjoy the fact that I went through four years of college with an ecomonics degree and I now train, teach and sell the surgeons on our technologies who btw had 8+ years of schooling. I like the freedom of sales allowing me to have "my time" and not sitting in an office all day. I've turned down management jobs because I don't want to get it from the top and deal with the reps below. Besides most good reps make more than their managers with much less headaches. So no regrets..

If I could do it again I would get my degree in business management with education as a minor and focus on becoming an althetic director at a high school. I love sports and coaching. I coach my sons lacrosse team and it's rewarding. Plus our town just hired a new AD and the salary is over $150K. Not bad at all. There's headaches in everything we do but I really think I would enjoy watching, supporting and helping athletic teams succeed. BUT who knows.....

lukedeuce
07-17-2013, 11:56 AM
I am just starting off with my career, although been with the company 8 years. I am a Foodservice consultant (design and contract specialist) meaning I design commercial kitchens and bars. I love what I do and there is no salary cap - what I sell is what I make. I went to college for small business entrepreneurship and business management. I have a lot of different careers I can go with, but best fit where I am now. A lot of people look to me for answers, inside and outside the company. I feel that is an accomplishment in its own since I am the youngest in the company.

I don't think I would change anything - still plenty of opportunity to own a bar/restaurant, which could be very profitable or not.

Any of you restaurant owners out there, give me a call! I am sure there are things I can do to help your bottom line!

76S&S
07-17-2013, 02:30 PM
Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer... I am in my 40's now and think about it almost every day. I certainly had the ability, and should have used my god given talent to do something good. I was a lifeguard for 6 years while in college. I was a competitive distance swimmer half my life. Spent all my time training, and maybe had a shot at the Olympics (that was my goal) I was young, and it would have been a huge commitment. I decided to finish college. I now work in finance. It's boring, but a good, stable job.

I wish I would have known back then.....

One of my boys has mentioned the Coast Guard as a possible career path.

sp00ky
07-17-2013, 11:37 PM
A pilot no doubt about it. Maybe through the military route but I feel I would have make a great pilot.

76S&S
07-18-2013, 09:15 AM
^ Have you seen what it cost to go to flight school these days? Wow, there will surely be a shortage of pilots in the future.

02ProstarSammyD
07-18-2013, 09:28 AM
I would be a trophy husband for some super wealthy middle aged woman.

JohnE
07-18-2013, 09:58 AM
Almost went to school for architecture. Wish I did.

Got electrical engineering degree instead, worked self employed as electrical contractor for past 20 years. Still own that business, but took full time job as Building Commissioner working for the Town. No real regrets but went I went the architecture route as I came very close to choosing 26 years ago. Self employment is great when it's good but when it's bad it can be real bad.

Skipper
07-18-2013, 10:28 AM
I would be a trophy husband for some super wealthy middle aged woman.

That sounds like a good job.

hondaprlud
07-18-2013, 10:28 AM
Self employment is great when it's good but when it's bad it can be real bad.

Amen. But I wouldn't change a thing.

JohnE
07-18-2013, 11:57 AM
Amen. But I wouldn't change a thing.

I said that for years, but I'm not so sure now. Maybe the changes I would have made have less to do with self employment and more to do with who I chose to do work for. Economic downturn aside, I've been flat out stiffed and not paid on tens of thousands.

Ryan
07-18-2013, 12:03 PM
At times I wish I had stayed in sales vs going to brand management. But I have enough good days to keep me happy.

Being a helicopter pilor would have been a lot of fun. Did spacecamp in the 6th grade and always wanted to be an astronaut - glad that didn't work out with the somewhat limited job prospects right now ;)

88 PS190
07-18-2013, 11:06 PM
Dentist all the way...4 day work weeks and your assistants do most of the work for you!!!

Ya... or if you run your own practice you can drive in on Christmas eve or random evenings to fix folks up before they travel, because no one wants to travel with that tooth ache.

I'd say any medical profession has more hoops/liability/and crap to wade through than any other profession of similar compensation.