Strange Brouhaha

Saturday, March 05, 2005


This whole thing with my job has made me start thinking a lot about work in general. I saw a commercial on the television device today for the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, and it started me wondering how people choose their careers. I started with Veterinary Medicine--how do you *choose* to do that? And I think you do have to choose it; medicine in general isn't something you just dabble in, veterinary medicine even less so. I doubt loving animals is sufficient, because otherwise the 87-year-old retired lady down the street with her thirty cats would be a retired vet rather than a retired secretary.

I quickly moved on from that, though, broadening out into something more general: Are people out there just more focused on their future more than I am? I mean, I majored in German in college mostly because the only other thing I had enough credits in was English, and I couldn't bear the thought of having to take yet another class where you couldn't get the books and had to interpret everything from a feminist perspective anyway. Besides, British Literature and I don't get along, and I didn't think I could fake enthusiasm for Dickens and Trollope. (Not that German was much better, you understand--I mean, Peter Handke? And I probably could have gotten higher grades in English.) But I went to school with people who had their futures mapped out. My first roommate was taking as much Biology and Chemistry as he could so that he could go to medical school, for example. For that matter, so was my second roommate, I think.

What made you choose your path in life? Are you like me, on the "I had nothing better to do" track? Or were you lasered in from the start? Why?


  • (Matt) I thought I had a clear objective in high school. You take this aptitude test early your senior year. Mine show high marks for math and business. So the guidence couselor recommended 'Accountant' to me. Sounded good at the time -- you're always going to need accountants. So, off I went to college. After having my first 'real' accounting class my second semester sophomore year, I realized that I hated accounting. So, still wanting to graduate in four years, I switched to finance. First job out of college -- working for an insurance company -- hated it. Second job -- working for a bank -- hated it. Third job -- phone tech support -- hated the job, but really liked tinkering with computers. That has led to my current job, which I like for the most part, unfortunately it is over at the end of March.
    What to do next?
    Early retirement sounds good...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:18 AM  

  • (Damon) I thought I'd be a teacher. Student teaching cured me of that. My brother suggested technical writing as a decent job for English majors. It is a decent job, but it's boring. I'd love to be a studio musician, but I just don't have the Skilz (yo) for that. My parents don't understand my desire to actually *like* my job. They seem to think that I should just work hard and suck it up like dad did. He was miserable a lot of his life and I don't think we should have to be miserable. I'm with Matt, early-retirement sounds great.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

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