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Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: Harooneneutics
Date: July 24, 2020 08:33PM
With COVID-19, there's definitely an increased level of stress about (un)employment. I'm wondering if folks have success stories about changing career fields, lessons learned, what you would do differently looking back, whether you had to move out of your area to make the change, etc.

I don't have a story to share (yet?) but would be interested to hear yours if you'd like to share. I thought others might be interested too.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: blooz
Date: July 24, 2020 09:28PM
After grad school (MFA in painting and printmaking) got a job as colormixer in a wallcoverings factory. Not my ideal job but, y'know, wife and kid. I got hired because—hey, artist, must know how to mix colors. Well let me tell ya, big difference in mixing ink on a palette in your hand to mixing it in a 55 gallon drum—with only eight basic colors. Still i managed and eventually became supervisor of the color room.
Parent company shut plant down to save money and shipped equipment to a factory in Canada. I got onto a govt. program for training because of "losing job to foreign competition." So I got to take courses in computer graphic design which got me a job, finally, with a publisher of magazines and college catalogs and some papers. That was not glamorous work but fun and I worked with good people and learned almost everything I know about Macs (except what i learned here). We had those 6100 macs when I started and I was like "Wow, 100 megabytes of memory!" Har, har. The work sustained me for over fifteen years and I loved it all.



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
—Friedrich Nietzsche
Western Massachusetts
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 24, 2020 09:40PM
Grad school, then scientific research for 15 years. Nursing for the last four. Do as you please, make yourself valuable. People will notice.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: norse
Date: July 24, 2020 11:13PM
I was a computer programmer for 22 years (COBOL, mainframe, AS/400). Got laid off and I could not find another job in the U.S.

I then went back to school at age 48 to study to be a X-ray Tech. But the wait list was 1 1/2 years. So, I got into the Respiratory Therapist program. I completed 3 of 4 semesters and found that the program was awful (bad instructors).

During the summer break, I received the acceptance letter for the X-ray Tech program. I decided to accept and went through the 2 year program and did not complete Respiratory.

After graduating, I got LUCKY. I was offered a job, at the age of 53, with a large hospital working in one of the clinics (not hospital; probably grave yard shift) with a normal working shift (M-F, 8-5). Great pay and great benefits. Working and living in same area.

Here's the kicker. As a new grad, I immediately earned much more than what I earned after 22 years as a programmer.

Now, during this Covid pandemic...I'm an essential worker. No job worries. I wish healthcare was my first career.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2020 11:16PM by norse.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: July 25, 2020 01:05AM
Quote
norse
I was a computer programmer for 22 years (COBOL, mainframe, AS/400). Got laid off and I could not find another job in the U.S.
...
Here's the kicker. As a new grad, I immediately earned much more than what I earned after 22 years as a programmer.

Now, during this Covid pandemic...I'm an essential worker. No job worries. I wish healthcare was my first career.

Funny thing is, you could probably find work now reprogramming unemployment systems (COBOL). Not that you need it, and you sound better off now anyway!
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: norse
Date: July 25, 2020 01:44AM
Quote
Gareth
Quote
norse
I was a computer programmer for 22 years (COBOL, mainframe, AS/400). Got laid off and I could not find another job in the U.S.
...
Here's the kicker. As a new grad, I immediately earned much more than what I earned after 22 years as a programmer.

Now, during this Covid pandemic...I'm an essential worker. No job worries. I wish healthcare was my first career.

Funny thing is, you could probably find work now reprogramming unemployment systems (COBOL). Not that you need it, and you sound better off now anyway!

I laughed when I read the article. No way I would go back to coding. I can only imagine how convoluted the code is after being updated by several programmers over the decades.

At my second to last company, I wrote a front-end program to process point of sales data from 130 stores. Over the years, I had to cram new code (I was the only programmer who worked on all the POS programs). That program had gotten so large and complicated/convoluted, even though I used modular techniques, that I could not have rewritten it from scratch if I had to.

Yes, I'm better off now. I went from sitting in a cubicle by myself with just some contact with end users to having patients change into a gown, then "invading" their personal space by touching them, and talking/joking with them. From one extreme to the other.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: July 25, 2020 07:47AM
I spent a dozen years at one of the big aerospace companies, which was at least five years too many. Bloated, bureaucratic, weak leadership, encrusted with endless layers of process (each layer had its own constituency, and thus couldn't be killed), the whole deal. I didn't realize how miserable working there was making me until the company suddenly announced they were moving all the engineering work halfway across the country, and the staff had 30 days to decide whether to either accept the move or be laid off.

I walked out of the meeting, got on Monster, found another job with a small company and have been immensely happier ever since. A couple of months later my wife crystalized it when she noted, "You're a lot more fun to be around when you don't hate your job."
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 25, 2020 10:39AM
No career here, ever, It's always been about what interested me, what was presented to me and available.

- stereo sales
- retail banking (operations side, so customer service etc)
- newspaper archiving
- stay-at-home dad
- an instructor liaison for a global association (it's mostly an admin job but I have a heavy hand in some policy making)

I'm NOT recommending it as a course of "action," but then again I've never been tied to an identity that stifled me.

I take that back. Working 8 yrs in archiving didn't prep me for library work (considered it, sorta) and got stifled staying at home for more than 10 yrs. My current reset has been a very welcome change, especially since I can do it from home.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 25, 2020 10:41AM
Quote
norse
...I got LUCKY. I was offered a job, at the age of 53,...

My path was very different but also consider myself lucky to be back in the game at 53. Yes, it meant someone had to take a chance on me. Working hard to make the most of my opportunity, taking nothing for granted I hope.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 25, 2020 12:05PM
Back in the early 1970's. I had just over two years in college and, just didn't see a bright future. I was working a 40 hour week (spread over six days) and, was making more in a low level sales job, than many college grads were making. Someone recommended that I take some Civil Service tests so I did. I always did well on whatever tests I took and, in less than a year, had Civil Service job offers rolling in. I turned down a couple of Federal positions (VERY low pay). One day, I got a letter telling me to report to an office deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, NY at 8:00 AM. I figured that they were just looking to "cull the list". I showed up on time and, three hours later, I was a Bus Operator! Paid well, good benefits and my employer put me (and others) through their training program getting me my (then) Class 2 CDL (now it's a Class B CDL). I did that job for two years when I was offered a job as a NYC Corrections Officer (when I took that written test, I did NOT know that a "Corrections Officer" meant Prison Guard facepalm ) . I was only in that job four months when I finally got hired by a Police Department where I then worked for 30+ years (and am now enjoying a well earned retirement smiling smiley ). It's strange how life often works out. Had I NOT taken the battery of Civil Service tests, who knows how my life might have turned out. Also strange, upon HS graduation, I tried to enlist in the Air Force but, the Recruiting Sergeant I spoke with, after learning I had been accepted by a four year college, said "son, come back and see me in four years". At that time, I was 17 years old and, could NOT enlist without my parents signing off on my choice. Had the sergeant told me about this restriction, I would have skipped college and signed up a few months later when I turned 18. I think EVERYBODY should be required to give at least two years of service to their country. Get kids away from mommy & daddy and, get them to start being responsible for themselves while they're still teens. Down the road, they'll have had the experience of service to country and, I believe they'll be much better and well informed citizens. old fogey smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2020 12:14PM by testcase.
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: July 25, 2020 11:18PM
FWIW-
Professional photographer
Amtrak Bartender
Massage Therapist
Lawyer in firm(s)
Director of council of senior corporate executives
Consultant
Professional Coach
Lawyer in firm
Lawyer working in a government agency

It's NEVER too late to move on to something better! And, sadder but wiser to say, it's never too early!
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: July 26, 2020 08:02AM
I was a photojournalist/photo editor for 30-years. When newspapers went into the crapper, I took a buyout and ran. I've worked in schools the last ten years.

I miss the old days, but my stress level was reduced significantly. Now I just need to survive school reopening in pandemic central Florida. My motto has become - One Day Closer (one day closer to the weekend, one day closer to the end of the school year, one day closer to retirement, and being the pessimist I am - one day closer to death).



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: Career Change Success Stories?
Posted by: Harooneneutics
Date: July 26, 2020 08:43PM
Thanks — these were awesome to read, not to mention inspiring.
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