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Old 04-08-05, 01:38 PM   #1
timmhaan
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have you gone from, say, accountant to musician? wildlife photographer to computer programmer? DMV employee to activist? i need a little motivation. i'm too content taking jobs that i'm good at, but not passionate about. this is a problem. please share your success stories.

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Old 04-08-05, 01:59 PM   #2
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I've heard plenty of success stories, but they all involve an initial huge pay cut.

If you can get past that, it's usually high-risk/high reward.

Another way to look at it is to fast-forward to your death bed when some well-intentioned relative asks if you have any regrets. Your answer is....
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Old 04-08-05, 02:06 PM   #3
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Sometimes it is ok to get paid for what you are good at and enjoy what you are passionate about after hours.

I am an engineer by day and a bike co-op president and property manager on my time.

Enjoy
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Old 04-08-05, 02:15 PM   #4
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I know you're looking for success stories, but I'll share my experience anyway.

I went from doing something I'm passionate about (music) and will be going back to school in Sept for a job that pays the bills (accounting). In the interim I've worked in insurance for about 3 years. While I'll say the period I was gigging contain some of my fondest memories, I don't miss worrying where my next paycheck would come from, if I had enough in the pantry to eat when I got home, how I was going to pay rent/utilities, etc. Year after year of the same thing was very grinding, physically and emotionally.

I have the utmost respect for those that choose to follow their dreams (and stick with them) regardless of the tribulations involved. But, at least in my case, I had to wake up and realize that you have to make at least some money to live and stay sane. If your passion involves some sort of financial reward (whatever that means to you), then you're a lucky individual.

To end on a positive note, I wouldn't take back at least trying to make my dreams a reality. Those years made me a much stronger person, helped me realize the things I want/don't want in my life, and allowed me to see different parts of the country.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-08-05, 02:31 PM   #5
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I am currently going through a transformation of sorts:
Systems Engineer to English Teacher!
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Old 04-08-05, 02:37 PM   #6
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I was a medical equipment service engineer for over 25 years. The hospital I was working for in 2000 decided they could save a ton of money if they downsized my whole department to zero employees (there were 29 of us). They out-sourced all of the positions to GE for a mere $24,700,000.
Being 55 at the time and unable to find another job in the medical equipment service industry, I decided to accept the fact that I would be unemployed for a while. Did lots of riding every day.
After a few computer (but not medical), temp, and seasonal jobs, I landed a job with my current employer, Atlanta's largest bicycle advocacy organization -- at the young age of 59.

Medical Equipment Service Engineer to Bicycling Advocate. Hmmmm. Sounds like a drastic change to me.

I miss the money but my health has improved 1000%. Before I drove to work and worked long hours and ate crappy food at odd hours and never exercised. Now I'm 60 and eat right, I'm 55 pounds lighter, and I get to ride my bike to work almost every day.
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Old 04-08-05, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
have you gone from, say, accountant to musician? wildlife photographer to computer programmer? DMV employee to activist? i need a little motivation. i'm too content taking jobs that i'm good at, but not passionate about. this is a problem. please share your success stories.
I went from motorcycle cop to airline pilot - rather a divergent switch!
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Old 04-08-05, 02:53 PM   #8
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I went from office worker (clerical support/mail room) to bicycle mechanic back when I was 21. I never made as much as a mechanic as I would have as an office worker.

Three years later I went from bicycle mechanic to key-op (copier operator). I'm still working in copy centers, 13 years later, and enjoy it.
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Old 04-08-05, 02:57 PM   #9
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Sr. Equipment Designer, CADD at GTE ..... to Bicycle sales at the Velomister
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Old 04-08-05, 03:06 PM   #10
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I used to train Seeing Eye Dogs and teach blind people how to use them. After six years at the Seeing Eye, I realized I needed a break. I took a six-month bike trip across Europe and sold the story and some pictures to a now-defunct magazine called Cyclist. I've been a professional writer and photographer ever since. I'm now working editing a university magazine/website and doing wedding photography on the side. I loved the Seeing Eye while I was there, but bike trip to Europe was the catalyst that changed my life in so many good ways.
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Old 04-08-05, 03:12 PM   #11
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Bike mechanic to lighting guy. It doesn't feel all that different, really.
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Old 04-08-05, 03:22 PM   #12
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I changed career fields about five times between age seventeen and age forty. To my surprise, I have been at my current job for fifteen years.

I hope to work for at least another twenty years, so I suspect I have one or two career changes yet to come. When a given job or career is not "fun" anymore, and you no longer wake up eager to get to work, it is time to ask: what would I RATHER be doing today?

So, I'm looking for someone that wants to hire an elderly guy to ride bikes all day. Know of any openings?
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Old 04-08-05, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
I am currently going through a transformation of sorts:
Systems Engineer to English Teacher!
glad to see someone pursuing teaching. [165], are you doing this through a program, like 'teach for amercia' or something like that? in NYC there are several programs that make it easy for professionals to teach. maybe it's something i should consider...hummm...
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Old 04-08-05, 03:36 PM   #14
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Yep. I went from biochem researcher=> market researcher=> paralegal=> heath care clinic owner=> aerobics instructor.

Big changes, but I am just like that.

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Old 04-08-05, 04:17 PM   #15
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I went from flight attendant to internet service provider. In the meantime I started up and became the editor of my own internationally selling magazine. Both were quite poignant changes for me.

With the magazine, I learned how to do it out of a little pocket guide called something like "start your own magazine" . Not as big a jump as from flight attendant to computer knucklehead. I didn't know much about IT but learned very rapidly with some help. I originally went into web design when I wrote a book and my brother said "you should sell that on the internet". I'd only heard about the internet once. Within weeks I was designing my own pages and selling my book.I went from web design to hosting and then to my own ISP. Doing so is the decision I regret most about my life.

I tried to become an artist and may still.
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Old 04-08-05, 04:29 PM   #16
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I tried to become an artist and may still.
You ARE an artist Haggy.
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Old 04-08-05, 04:43 PM   #17
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I went from a body piercer to a ups driver.i hated every day at ups .i drover for 5 years and one day quite. That was a year and half ago, last summer I was a fork lift driver, the job ended at the end of summer. Now my unemployment has run out and Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country. So now Im borrowing money from my brother and starting a pedicab business, if the city lets me.
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Old 04-08-05, 04:44 PM   #18
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Working at a boy scout summer camp to where I am at now working for a software company. One of my coworkers calls me the company encyclopedia, due to my understanding of the government regs. We make software for HUD subsidized properties. freakin reg book is about 5 inches thick. Been here for about 6 years now, and it shows. NOt so tan, and went from weighing 175 to 220. Dang deskjobs.

When my wife gets her degree and starts her carreer. She told me that she wants me to finally finish my school. I joke with her on bike school, but seriously think of a teaching career. Maybe science.
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Old 04-08-05, 04:50 PM   #19
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My first job out of college was as a high school teacher and coach. I lasted one year, then went to law school. There are a lot of unhappy lawyers, but I'm not one of them. I have a unique and ever-fascinating practice that has literally sent me around the world and back home again.

And that year of teaching teenagers has served me very well when dealing with my clients.
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Old 04-08-05, 07:48 PM   #20
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Police officer to professional pick pocket.
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Old 04-08-05, 08:14 PM   #21
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No change at all then
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Old 04-08-05, 08:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Yep. I went from biochem researcher=> market researcher=> paralegal=> heath care clinic owner=> aerobics instructor.

Big changes, but I am just like that.

Koffee
Oh yeah, between market researcher and paralegal, I worked on a fishing boat in Alaska too- in a factory trawler. Now that was the second worst job of all the ones I listed!

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Old 04-08-05, 09:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Oh yeah, between market researcher and paralegal, I worked on a fishing boat in Alaska too- in a factory trawler. Now that was the second worst job of all the ones I listed!

Koffee
So ya gotta tell us--what was the worst?
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Old 04-08-05, 09:13 PM   #24
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The health care clinic. I worked with my sister (we co-owned) and she's an idiot. God, she's so stupid. I literally ran out of there and sold off my part. I think she ruined me for ever working an office job again. I hate morons.

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Old 04-08-05, 09:22 PM   #25
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The health care clinic.
Are you a doctor? How did you own a health care clinic? Was this like a doctors' office, or something else?
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