Career Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Rawkmann, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Need some ideas for what to pursue career wise. A little background: I'm 34 and I've owned my own business for the past several years. During that time I make enough to pay my bills and keep my business running, but it's super stressful. Running Your own business feels even less 'free' than just working for someone else really. If I do jump back into the workforce I at least want to do something that I don't hate. I never went to college so I don't have any formal education past high school. Whatever I get into I'm assuming I'll need a degree of some sort, but I can't afford to waste time and money going after something fruitless. My business is retail stores and frankly, I'm tired of working with the general public so I'd like to stay away from that for the most part. If anyone out there has any good career advice I'd love to hear hear it.
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The lab where I work might be looking for someone soon.

    Outside of that, I don't really know enough to say. There's not much money in anything right now, but jobs in construction and medicine are always in demand, insomuch as they are easy to find. Even if you don't have medical training, hospitals still need a permanent maintenance staff, and drug companies always need people to pull levers and fill out paperwork and stuff, although a lot of those types of jobs are rather stressful and don't pay nearly well enough to be worth it.

    When I worked at the post office, I never intended to stay permanently, but a lot of people do stick with a career there for decades. The pay is alright and the benefits are good. You could start out sorting mail or something mindnumbingly brainless, but there are opportunities to move up. The downside, though, like any job where people tend to stick with it, is that opportunities to move up come along very slowly.
     
  3. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the advice. Yeah, honestly the hardest part is trying to figure out where to begin. I'm ready and willing to start working towards a goal, but it's tough when You don't exactly know how or what to be doing exactly. Hell I don't even know how I've made it this far really. I just want some stability and peace of mind, because thinking back, I've never had that and I can't really think of any point in my adult life I've ever been happy or content.
     
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I've been working for the same company for ten years now, and I could say the same thing. Even though I have survived here longer than anywhere else I've ever worked in my life, every 2-3 years there is a big shakeup here and people get canned. It's almost always the case that either the wrong people get sacked along with the ones who messed up, or the ones who messed up manage to pin the blame on someone completely blameless, and the wrong people all get fired. I can honestly say that spending the extra 1-2 hours a day covering my butt like a paranoid tinfoil-hat nutball has saved my job at least half a dozen times. Some people are evil scheming bastards.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I've always thought "being your own boss" was kind of overrated. Being your own boss sounds empowering and all, but it also means you're never not working, you're where the buck stops, all responsibility ultimately falls to you, and you live and die by how your business does, and any down periods can be crushing. Meanwhile, I may work for someone else, but I receive a steady salary and a chunk of profits in our bonus pool, if a problem comes up that I don't think I can handle alone I can pass it up to someone above me for help, things would have to get REALLY bad before my base salary would be impacted, and I can go home at 5 (for the most part, I do put in periodic overtime, but I feel like overall I'm compensated in kind for the work I do) and put my job behind me.

    More to the point - what are you good at? What are you interested in? What DON'T you like about what you're doing now? Don't worry so much about doing what you love or makign your passion your career or any of that other high school guidance officer stuff, look for something you have a natural aptitude for, that you find interesting enough to keep doing it, and that you can make enough money to support yourself doing.
     
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  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Everyone always has to answer to somebody else. Usually by the time you get to the top of whatever ladder you are climbing, you should have realized that you are only up there because of the guys at the bottom holding the ladder.

    As a consumer, I prefer supporting small businesses, not just for the feels, but because I know that the vision of the CEO isn't going to be compromised by anything other than practical limitations.

    As for the "natural aptitude," I second that. I knew a guy who was a crazy good welder. Where most welders would make me something and then I'd have to go back and have leaks fixed, 3-4 times, on average, this guy had a knack for making me tons of tanks and pipes and radiators with tight tolerances and weird specs, and not a single piece ever leaked. Then, one day, he blew me away by telling me that he hated welding and couldn't wait to retire, so he could spend more time fly fishing and doing everything involved in that! Then he said he was terrible at fly fishing. :lol:

    Me, I'm not really good at anything, so I don't feel bad wasting my time doing music (which I suck at), science (which I also suck at), or designing electronics (which I also suck at). I once thought I was good at painting, but it turned out to be a fluke, where my first oil painting turned out phenomenally well, but then I was unable to paint anything else without it looking like a three-year old finger-painting.
     
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  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This guy is my hero. :lol:
     
  8. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    That sums up the last job I before going into business for myself as well. Pretty miserable experience always having to watch Your back on the job and never knowing what kind of situation was going to arise next.

    It is, and I never wanted to be the type of person who thought that way. You will always be beholden to someone no matter what. And You can never just 'leave things at work' after You leave. Taking a vacation is pointless because You are never truly seperated from the business.

    I've been trying to figure this out, but haven't found anything concrete yet. I'm not great with my hands (mechanic, construction) and medical work doesn't excite me much either. I really want to do something that offers decent financial stability and job security but at the same time I feel like I don't have the skills to land any jobs like that.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    So, are you good at math? Good at anything artistic? Good with computers? Good with people? What, in your opinion, is what has allowed the business you've run to succeed for the past couple years? Is that something you could do for another company?

    I guess maybe the better question, actually, is what are the marketable skills you have now, that you can demonstrate in your current business and provide concrete examples of in an interview, that are things you either enjoy enough to do professionally, or you think you're good at? Looking to change careers without a college degree is hard, so is going to school part time while you work an option?

    Only other thing I'll say is that - and yeah, the fact I'm posting this from work in a couple minutes of down time after a meeting undercuts the message a little - pretty much any job that offers financial stability and job security is also going to be stressful. I've got a decent work life balance now, but it took me a long time to get there and there's no guarantee (especially as I work for a small firm annd with that comes occasional high visibility) that will always be the case. Really, I think work just kind of sucks, no matter what you're doing, but it unfortunately beats the alternative, unless you're independently wealthy. :lol:

    But, figure out what you can do well and how you can convince someone else you can do that well, and from there maybe you can start thinking about what else you can leverage that ability in.
     
  10. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    If you've run your own business then if you choose to go to school just pursue accounting. It's interesting if you like puzzles, and the day ends at 5pm no matter what. Great pay and benefits anywhere you work.

    Otherwise look for jobs in operations at healthcare/insurance firms, banks, same thing - great benefits and decent pay. Then you can take classes in the evenings as you go.

    $0.02
     
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  11. HeavyMetal4Ever

    HeavyMetal4Ever SS.org Regular

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    Do you speak any other languages or would you be interested in learning? That is a massively bankable skill. I'd also suggest that your experience running your own business could open up internal service roles at larger companies like PR or recruitment.

    If you want a job that's quiet and gives you lots of free time to read/study maybe look into Hotel Management. Your previous experience would surely help when applying for something like a night managers role.

    Good luck, I hope you find something fulfilling...that can pay the bills.
     
  12. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    I know exactly how you feel, and it is stressful. Let me ask you a question, though... Is this your first "downturn"? And by downturn I'm not talking about the financials or the business but your emotional connection to your work. If so, my first advice would be to stick it out and ride the wave. I've been through about three or four pretty prominent ones, and it is just mentally taxing dealing with all of the aspects with being your own boss. What has made me feel better is knowing that most others I know in the same situation go through the exact same things. I routinely hear them say how they're ready to just give it all up and go get a regular job, but I think there is the realization that the benefits and rewards outweigh the risks.

    At the end of the day, seeking more financial stability (although it may be less) may sound less stressful but remember no job or salary is tenured or guaranteed.

    Is there anything you can piggyback off of from your experience into management?
     

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