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Thread: Career Paths

  1. Regular Member
    Figgychick's Avatar
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    #1

    Career Paths

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    So, I have come across a few things that are dreams of mine to accomplish over time, as far as wanting to experience more than one career.
    I know in the average persons life time, they change careers "x" amount of times depending on the person. But how many people have experience with that? It seems scary to go from one career that you may be dong well in and making decent money, to step back from it to go back to school or learn a trade and go in a different direction with life. That seems like a big risk, of course people do it, I'm just curious to see how common that actually is.

    For the longest time, I wanted to be a pilot especially in the USAF, but my dreams have been belittled by so many people so many times, that I let people get the best of me and pushed that off to the side.

    More attainably though, I really want to get into law enforcement/criminal justice, not sure if I want to go down the route of being a police officer, or stay more in the forensics side of things, but then I also have a dream of being a lawyer. My dad went to law school and although he never practiced, he has so much knowledge, which caused me to find the judicial system very interesting. It just seems scary imo, to pursue one dream, then switch up because it will take time and money and schooling...but on the other hand, why would you want to live a life never achieving goals and dreams you set out for yourself?

    I'm young and don't have a career yet, and it would be nice to hear others stories/opinions on this.
  2. Senior Member
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    #2
    So just from my experience, when your first starting out in your career its best to go to school and pick something with a job field in mind that you could see yourself doing for life. Sure most of us make some job or sector changes but we aren't totally changing careers. Also, be able to separate paths that you are interested in but you may not want to do for a living. For example, its awesome to enjoy photography and maybe make a little money on the side but it may not be your "pay the electric bill/food on the table" career its more of a hobby. Sometimes when you have too many ideas/dreams it means you can't focus enough to actually accomplish one of them. It's good to have some focused intensity sometimes. Just personally, I love what I do and couldn't see myself doing something else unless my life situation changes dramatically. You should dream big but be realistic about what can actually be accomplished.

    Now there are plenty of people who have multiple careers over their lifetime for various reasons (lifestyle change, economic needs, unrest with current position). And there's nothing wrong with this, but it seems to happen more organically over time than it was planned. For example, DB is on his second act and he's not even in a career that he specifically went to school for. And we are planning for him to "retire" within the next few years and start a business. He's the type of person who is always changing, adapting, and dreaming. But it's not like he set out at 20 years old to say he wanted to do X in his 20s, Y in his 30s, and Z in his 40s. Sometimes he struggles with reeling back in and focusing on one thing so that something gets done. He calls me a dream killer though.
  3. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #3
    I've changed things up a few times, but I also feel weird maybe in that I've never really been invested in a particular field as a "dream job." Like I've for the most part enjoyed the work I did, and I know there's some jobs I wouldn't be happy in, but I also know I could happy working a variety of different jobs too.

    Anyway, I majored in English and worked at a sports radio station right out of undergrad. For the most part it was enjoyable, but I decided to go back to school because the station went under and I didn't have enough seniority to leverage that job into a position at a different place. Got a degree in education. I enjoyed a lot of things about teaching but I learned it's not something I want to do. I think it is one of those jobs that is very difficult to be happy in if you don't have the passion for it, there is SO MUCH that is just at the whim of things out of your control. Was going through a very difficult time in my personal life so I said fuck it and moved overseas to teach there. Loved that (basically didn't have to deal with admin or the other stuff that made teaching not fun for me), and would probably still be doing it now if I hadn't have met DH.

    After I got married, we PCS'd back to Texas and figured out the teaching thing wasn't going to work (we arrived just as the state slashed its education budget). So I got a job at a bank and then ended up getting hired at a different bank and also got a license to write insurance. Now I'm moving more over to the insurance side of things. Totally different than anything I went to school for but I love my company. Again though, I feel like I just enjoy the workplace and the culture and I could be happy doing a variety of different things here at this company. However, I also feel like I'm at an age (mid 30s now) where I don't really want to be moving around anymore. It's exciting trying out new companies and jobs, but I also want to be established in an industry. It sucks moving to a different place and having to prove yourself all over again. The stability is something I value highly.
  4. Regular Member
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    #4
    When I met my spouse I was already well into my career and stayed on that path for a couple years after we married. When he PSC'd and I needed to move with him (well according to him I did) I changed career paths, I still work in the same field so my education, training and experience were still all very relevant.

    I will tell you that working law enforcement is a very rewarding, yet thankless and exhausting career, I have never regretted a single day on the job. However, unless you go federal, it will not transfer with you when you move. Each state has it's own certification process (Peace Officer Standards in Training or P.O.S.T.) and although many states say they will give a waiver to prior LEO from another state if they can pass the state test, the waiver is an option and most do not offer it. This means that every time you enter a new state you need to get new credentials, which means you will be going through a basic academy (usually between 18-25 weeks depending on state) every time and starting from 0 every time.

    I have often thought of going to law school, but I don't have the time right now. While you are young and child free, get as much of your schooling out of the way as you can. My brother is now medically retired from LE due to on duty injuries, so he is forced to make a big career change. He never finished his degree so he is enrolling in school and has been working all the "fun jobs" he and I always joked about wanting to do one day, but they wont be long term as he will need something better to pay bills. He and I are currently discussing all his options and he is desperately trying to figure out what the next step should be and what he wants to do for the next 20 years. He often wishes he had listened to me and finished his degree to have something to fall back on, I always told him it takes one injury to end a cops career, you need to have a backup plan.


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