22 votes

Where do you work and how did you get there?

Topic deleted by author

15 comments

  1. s3rvant Link
    I'm the IT Coordinator and Technical Trainer for a local manufacturing plant. I was a temporary employee at my previous job and had my contract ended through a routine wave of seasonal layoffs. A...

    I'm the IT Coordinator and Technical Trainer for a local manufacturing plant.

    I was a temporary employee at my previous job and had my contract ended through a routine wave of seasonal layoffs. A member of our church was a manager at my current job and recommended me for an interview. The job offer was for an entry level material handler so was pretty easy to get the job though it didn't match the type of work I was really wanting (IT).

    Over my first few years of employment I was able to promote quickly through improving their tracking spreadsheets and replacing paid software with my own web applications. Eventually a position opened as Technical Trainer which I was told is only about 25% training and 75% other work depending on employee's individual skills. The company did not currently have an IT department so I was offered the trainer position to fill that role.

    I've been here for 12 years now and am currently seeking to create an actual IT team (at least 1 more person) as corporate requests more and more IT projects and my applications grow to being used by our sister companies as well. My real goal though is to monetize my side projects to the point that I can be self employed so I can spend more time with my family and allow for more travel.

    6 votes
  2. Pilgrim Link
    I am a Software Engineer who does ETL work (think data). I have been at the same company for 10 years and started as an entry-level technical support call taker. I stuck with the company, survived...

    I am a Software Engineer who does ETL work (think data). I have been at the same company for 10 years and started as an entry-level technical support call taker. I stuck with the company, survived +8 layoffs, and it's paid off as I've more than doubled my initial salary (close to triple now!). It's one of the better employer's in the area. I could probably make more if I job hopped or if I moved to a bigger city, but I'm very happy here. Low cost of living and good schools for my kids.

    Know that most everyone (except for the truly extroverted) are shy to some degree. I felt like puking every time the phone rang when I was in tech support for the first couple weeks. I sat in my car every morning questioning if I should just quit. It took awhile but I got used to it. For awhile I pretend I was on a radio show and each tech support call was my "next caller."

    Before that I delivered pizzas, this was pre-GPS, and I messed up every order I tried to deliver by getting lost. I was so nervous just thinking about having to talk to someone! I was a wreck! My boss at the time let me know that if I didn't turn it around I was going to lose my job. Strangely enough, that actually helped me because I was MORE nervous about that. It worked! I ended staying at that job for 4 years.

    Growth as a human is about putting yourself in situations you are not comfortable with and doing your best. It's great that you're thinking about looking outside your comfort zone, but please don't pat yourself on the back until you actually make a change because too often people stop at the "thinking about it" step. I know that from experience.

    Some ideas:

    • Some grocery stores are unionized and offer good benefits. If yours is like that then perhaps it's a good place to stay and you can talk to someone about starting as a cashier. Put yourself out there and offer to come in and train for free just to get experience talking to people.
    • Go volunteer somewhere to get more f2f experience
    • Take that retail sales job. Who cares if you like it or not? Do you plan on working retail for 30 years? Most likely not. So what's the big deal with working a job you don't love for a couple months or a year? Most people don't love their jobs.

    Know that you typically judge yourself more harshly than any one else. Here's a thought exercise: Next time you're around a bunch of people and feel anxious...pretend for a moment that the person you're interacting with is JUST as anxious as you. Look for sweat on their brow. A shaky hand. Reluctance to make eye contact. Pay attention to their body. They may be just as anxious as you, or not at all, who knows? who cares? But you'll be too busy trying to tell from their body language if they're nervous or not, to think quite a much as you normally do about how nervous you are. Try it. Trust me.

    Oh and one other thing that helps with nervousness: If you have to go to an interview or something like that, go into the bathroom or somewhere private before your meeting and puff up your chest and stretch your arms out - like all the way out. Do that several times. It'll help relax you and make you appear more confident. It's not a magic bullet, but it helps.

    Good luck. Make brave choices.

    6 votes
  3. [2]
    Loire Link
    I am a geologist that works in the oilfield internationally, but primarily in the United States. I specialize in petrophysics (rock analysis), fluid flow dynamics, and log analysis. Basically I...

    I am a geologist that works in the oilfield internationally, but primarily in the United States. I specialize in petrophysics (rock analysis), fluid flow dynamics, and log analysis. Basically I use my educational background in the science of rocks to tell engineers whether or not oil is likely.

    I started of University not really knowing what to do with myself. I entered Computer Sciences, and between beeper bot and writing code on paper, I was bored out of my mind. I dropped out of school for a year and became an apprentice HVAC technician. My dad, who works with a lot of geologists, suggested that I should go back to school and try geology. I did so, fell in love with it, and through years of ups and downs, I eventually graduated and went on to do a masters degree where I developed a way of basically telling how much clay there is in a specific type of rock using magnets.

    In geology you basically have three routes: Academics, Oil, and Mining. I hate the geology involved with mining, so that wasn't an option, and after 6 years of University I wasn't looking forward to 7 more in order to fight for one of the dwindling professor positions out there. Hence I sold my soul to the devil. Anyways the science behind oil extraction is very fun, and the oilfield is one of the few industries to pay its people living wages so what can you do?

    I hesitate to give advice on your anxiety because I'm trying to avoid a "Thanks I'm cured" moment. Obviously my background is rocks, not humans. With that said, I can tell you that very few people have their life and career figured out. It's not abnormal and you are not alone to be feeling lost. I was lost coming out of highschool. I was lost when I dropped out, and I was lost when I couldn't find work between my BSc and MSc. And while I have a career now, the oilfield is not going to survive until I'm 65 and I have no idea what I'm going to do when it's time to find a new one. I will be lost again.

    Many of the people in this thread are telling essentially the same story. They did and little of this, and then a little of that, and somehow they ended up wherever they are currently. It might be related to their education/past experience, it might not. That's reality of adulthood. The most important thing I can tell you is keep your eyes open for opportunities, and don't be afraid to jump at them. Many people will go through multiple jobs before they find their career. You will never know until you have the experience.

    5 votes
    1. Gibdeck Link Parent
      Yes this is great advice. Don't get comfortable and get out there and try things! It's not easy though so don't expect it to be.

      The most important thing I can tell you is keep your eyes open for opportunities, and don't be afraid to jump at them.

      Yes this is great advice. Don't get comfortable and get out there and try things! It's not easy though so don't expect it to be.

      4 votes
  4. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. frickindeal Link Parent
      I feel for you working hotel graveyard shift. I did it for about six years. We were in downtown of a NE Ohio city (I think you can figure it out) and we saw some interesting things, and some crazy...

      I feel for you working hotel graveyard shift. I did it for about six years. We were in downtown of a NE Ohio city (I think you can figure it out) and we saw some interesting things, and some crazy things. I saw a well-known former football player coming in with various women that might or might not have been prostitutes; I saw a car wreck with a very early version of airbags that saved a man's life (it was right in front of our huge windows; I was working the desk); I met dozens of celebrities and got to go to a great many shows because of them.

      One thing to remember: two of the worst places to work are hotels and hospitals for one simple reason: they never close. Not for holidays, nor even snow emergencies or even terrorism. I was there through the LA riots, when people were afraid they were going to spread to major cities. I got stuck working double- and triple-shifts because of people no-showing for bad snow storms. I worked holidays and weekends and seven days a week for years. It was rough, but I learned a hell of a lot about relating to people from that job.

      3 votes
  5. Wulfsta Link
    If you're looking for a customer facing position that almost definitely won't have the types of conflicts that some positions do, you should consider finding a locally owned coffee shop or cafe to...

    If you're looking for a customer facing position that almost definitely won't have the types of conflicts that some positions do, you should consider finding a locally owned coffee shop or cafe to work at and seeing if they're hiring. I've had a lot of friends that worked as baristas that became noticably less anxious in social situations. The staff at shops like that tend to become very close knit groups of friends as well. That said I'm not personally capable of understanding what you're going through with anxiety, so I apologise if I've offended somehow.

    4 votes
  6. lazer Link
    I am a software engineer at a game development company in Sweden. I'm self taught, so to get here I had to do a lot of learning and working on hobby projects in my spare time. I started off in QA...

    I am a software engineer at a game development company in Sweden. I'm self taught, so to get here I had to do a lot of learning and working on hobby projects in my spare time.

    I started off in QA at a games company in Australia, but that crashed and burned pretty quickly. There wasn't much of a games industry left there so I got my Australian citizenship, which let me apply for a working holiday visa to Sweden (which has a great games industry and it's only gotten better since the year I moved).

    So I moved and started applying for work, and got a job as a build engineer a little under two months later. I shipped my first game as a build engineer and started on the next game as a tools engineer. After shipping a couple more games as a tools engineer I joined the engine team working on more tools-and-systems type of stuff. I found out about the job through the company website, but I found out about games as a career when applying for my first QA role back in Australia.

    4 votes
  7. Ellimist Link
    I'm a 911 dispatcher for a smaller agency in the DFW metroplex of Texas. I sort of fell into it, to be honest. I floated from job to job throughout most of my 20's. Quite simply, I couldn't...and...

    I'm a 911 dispatcher for a smaller agency in the DFW metroplex of Texas.

    I sort of fell into it, to be honest. I floated from job to job throughout most of my 20's. Quite simply, I couldn't...and really still don't....know what I want to do with my life. For the most part, right now, I'm happy with a steady, decent paying job, with decent benefits and retirement.

    For the most part, I've always wanted to work in a job or field that gave me a sense of purpose. For me, purpose was doing something that I felt was of legitimate help to people. Whether it was my first major, psychology, or working as an EMT, or now as a Dispatcher, I wanted to feel like I was making a difference.

    A paycheck is nice and all but I wanted more than just a paycheck. I grew up in a family dedicated to helping others. My mom was a Paramedic for 15 years. My Dad has been a police officer for 23 years. My stepdad was a volunteer fire fighter. I have 3 uncles who are, or have been, police officers, one was NYPD before retiring. All jobs dedicated to serving others. I wanted the same thing.

    I may still go back to school. 20/hr is good money for an unmarried, childless 31 year old but if I ever want to move up the chain to better money, it's not going to be here. Top out hourly pay is 26 and change an hour. Again, not bad. But not enough if I plan to retire before social security age....if theres even social security to be had by the time I'm old enough for it

    4 votes
  8. NeonHippy Link
    I have extreme anxiety, this has been a problem since childhood, and it's gotten kind of worse in my old age. I have had to deal with the public in 3 jobs that I absolutely hated: as a pharmacy...

    I have extreme anxiety, this has been a problem since childhood, and it's gotten kind of worse in my old age. I have had to deal with the public in 3 jobs that I absolutely hated: as a pharmacy technician, a bookseller, and an overnight cashier. I will never work with the public again. Right now, I do online research for a couple of local attorneys. It's only a few hours a week, and while I won't get rich doing this, my bills are getting paid. I do drive yet it's a terror that I despise, and I will give up that 'privilege' when I relocate out West in 2 months.

    3 votes
  9. hamstergeddon Link
    My title is "Application Developer", but I've always preferred "Web Developer" because I can't bring myself to call websites "applications", no matter how feature-heavy they are. It's been a...

    My title is "Application Developer", but I've always preferred "Web Developer" because I can't bring myself to call websites "applications", no matter how feature-heavy they are.

    It's been a really long, windy road. I was very lucky to figure out that this was what I wanted to do in high school and I jumped into my local community college's fledgling webdev program after HS. That led to a bad internship that turned into a terrible job that burned me on web development pretty quickly. I quit, worked retail for a bit, then eventually got back into web development at a start up that collapsed 9 months later. Feeling the hot blaze of failure again, I worked at a bunch of random places.

    The last non-webdev job I worked was at a restaurant as a dishwasher a few years ago. I was on my feet 9 hours a day, waking up at 4 am, exhausted, hated it. I swore to myself I was going to bunker down, expand my web dev skillset, and get back into the game. Later that year I did and worked at a local graphic design shop as a developer for almost 5 years. Loved the job, clients, and co-workers, but after nearly 5 there were no benefits and a small 1k raise despite me carrying the shop's entire web dev business as the sole programmer. I put my resume out there for a few weeks and got really far in the hiring process for a dream job but wasn't selected. That basically took the wind out of my sails entirely and I got really depressed and just accepted that I'd be at my deadend (but still enjoyable) job forever. But then a day or so later I got an email from a recruiter saying that I was selected to move forward for a different dream job (remote, too!) that I'd assumed I hadn't gotten. Two interviews later, I got the job and here I am almost a year later.

    I've come to realize that my situation is really rare. Not everyone figures out what they want to do for a living so early on. Some people go years and years without figuring it out. Some people just never do. And all of that is okay, everyone's got their own path through life.

    3 votes
  10. Gibdeck (edited ) Link
    A lot of people are a little lost and unsure what that want to do. What makes it more difficult is you can't just try things out. Entry level positions require 5 years of experience and a masters...

    A lot of people are a little lost and unsure what that want to do. What makes it more difficult is you can't just try things out. Entry level positions require 5 years of experience and a masters these days.

    I left high school at 17, waitering in a steak house for a couple of years before starting to do odd computer fixing jobs here and there. The computer fixing led me to cable pulling - literally installing networks for restuarants which led to managing an internet cafe for 3 months before quitting. Supervised the renovation of a hotel for 3 days before quitting. Moved on to an actual computer technician role which meant more cable pulling, but some building, installing and fixing computers. This role converted into a software support/network support role, then later a programming role. Company liquidated. Moved country and worked as a mobile phone salesman for 5 years. Quit and worked as a technical support call centre person for 2, moved into a project consultant role and after another 1 year moved over to report/workflow automation. Quit. Now in an analyst role and still not sure what the fuck I want to do with my life please help someone help me.................................................

    Anyways, yes - you get used to being customer facing - in reality everything is customer facing. Your boss is your customer, they pay you to do things, and you have to interact with them from time to time. In an office, everyone who wants shit from you is your customer. In retail and the like, they are the same people, just more shouty. Practice makes perfect and it takes time.

    3 votes
  11. pard68 Link
    I'm a system administrator at a university. We have two twelve hour shifts a day, I work the night one, from 7p to 7a, three days a week. I started in a data entry position. Learned how to program...

    I'm a system administrator at a university. We have two twelve hour shifts a day, I work the night one, from 7p to 7a, three days a week.

    I started in a data entry position. Learned how to program and automated my job. Got hired by the Helpdesk and worked there for a year. Then came into my current position because they were looking for someone who was good with automation and wasn't afraid to just take up a project without being asked.

    3 votes
  12. cap Link
    I've worked two jobs, one was a clean up lad from a butchery. You didnt just clean up tho you also had to prep all the meat to sell and do some cashier work. The most recent job was installing...

    I've worked two jobs, one was a clean up lad from a butchery. You didnt just clean up tho you also had to prep all the meat to sell and do some cashier work. The most recent job was installing above ground pools, I got these jobs from just knowing people who needed help. I would recommend installing pools however it is seasonal work were you can't work in winter due to rain/muddy ground.

    3 votes
  13. nachodorito Link
    I'm a high schooler. That is not a job by itself, but my school is generally really hard. I don't know how I haven't got kicked out. Anxiety is also a problem for me, so I can understand the...

    I'm a high schooler. That is not a job by itself, but my school is generally really hard. I don't know how I haven't got kicked out. Anxiety is also a problem for me, so I can understand the hardships of having to talk to someone. But hey! There's always a way out.

    1 vote
  14. Migaloo Link
    I'm an Electronics Technician. I originally got into this by joining the Navy without much idea on what I wanted to do. They convinced me to do ET based on the entry exams. I've since worked in...

    I'm an Electronics Technician. I originally got into this by joining the Navy without much idea on what I wanted to do. They convinced me to do ET based on the entry exams.

    I've since worked in Military, Mining and Transport sectors on varying systems and technology and it's all been pretty engaging.

    There is little interaction with 'the public' due to the jobs I've had but there is interaction with clients and colleges. But it's usually business.

    1 vote