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If You Had To Do It All Over Again, What Would Your Profession Be?

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I've been an Electrician for 40+ years. It's been a decent profession and an honest (somewhat good paying) living. My gal sometimes says "You made an good engineer or builder". This is usually after I fix something or develop a solution/solve to a problem. So, got me thinking today. What would I have liked to have had as my profession.......?

 

For me, I think that I would have enjoyed being a race car driver or a test driver.

 

 

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I made soap and paper diapers for Procter & Gamble, operated a dog and cat repair shop as veterinarian in private practice, and supervised meat inspectors in packing houses.  Each had plusses and minuses.

 

But the most enjoyable job I had was part-time; teaching Physiology to first year nursing students in night school at a local university.  Most of my students were adult come-backers so they were motivated and actually paid attention in class.  I tell my wife it was one of the few times in my life that people actually paid attention to what I said.  (and then I have to duck!)

 

So, for me, teaching Physiology at the college level would have been a good fit.

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I've often thought about this, but I doubt I would change much.  I started off as a chemistry major, changed to geology, ended up working in neither field. Done shipping/warehousing/receiving.  Ran a crew at a letterpress shop, worked for an off-site records storage and retrieval company as a driver, worked for a handyman, and now been at a machine shop for 8 years, 6 of that in quality control.  

Change any of that, especially early on, and I would not have the wife I've had for 30 years.  

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I spent 35 years in law enforcement, most of which was in criminal investigations.  I really liked getting to the bottom of crimes and prosecuting the guilty.  I was actually pretty good at it.  I figured that if I was going to spend the energy and time, it might as well be for felony offences.  Spending all day in court testifying on a DUI case and then the defendant only gets a fine was kind of a letdown.  Spending all day in court on a major chop shop ring and the defendants getting 15 years to serve, well that's more like it.

 

I think criminal investigations and me were a good fit.  However over the years, me and the profession kind of grew apart when it came to expectations.  I retired in 2015 as a Lt. in charge of about 30 detectives in a Metro Atlanta police department.  Reading reports about reports and going to staff meetings was not much fun.  If I had to do it over again starting in today's environment, I think I'd like to work for NASA or Space X.  Working on cutting edge technology and shooting it into space would be very cool.

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Gigello.

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Nearing retirement, this is something that has spun through my brain a lot. 

 

In high school, the aptitude test they gave us for vocational planning indicated that I should be a plumber.

 

Before law school, I worked as a field hand in a farm, an apple picker in an orchard, a counterman in an auto parts store, and a car salesman at an Oldsmobile dealership (remember Oldsmobile?)

 

After graduation, I have put in 40 years investigating and trying primarily products liability cases, most of which involved fire, explosions or chemical events.

 

On balance, I derived the most satisfaction from solving complex puzzles, demonstrating the errors of "experts", and exposing liars.

 

I probably ended up where I belong, but given the chance, I would have wanted to add a law enforcement element - BATFE, FBI, FAA.  On the flip side, I don't have much tolerance for bureaucracy.

 

Hmmm...maybe plumber was a valid choice.

 

LL

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 With the hindsight we are all blessed with, I would have stayed in the army/military and made a career as an officer. 

 

Nearly everyone in my family had served in the military, but always as in enlisted soldier, and only for a few years. I had no clue what it was like to be a career officer or how to manage a career as one. 

 

 To make matters worse, the first unit I landed in was highly toxic. I will skip the details but I felt lucky to get out of there with my sanity and life intact. 

 

 In hindsight, that unit was not the Army, and I walked away from a good thing. But so goes life. I have found that asking “what if” is really not that fruitful of a question, especially when nothing can be done about the answer. 

 

 I am grateful for what I have and where I am in life. That is sufficient for me. 

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely nothing different. I spent the first eight years of my law enforcement career as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Pittsburgh before being lured away by a suburban department as their Juvenile Officer. That position quickly morphed into being assigned to the special investigation division which actually consisted of two of us. We were partners for over twenty years. I was eventually appointed a special deputy US Marshall assigned to investigate crimes against children. 
I had a great thirty six year career, unfortunately I put in thirty eight years. When I retired I wanted nothing more to do with law enforcement My PTSD can be horrible but I wouldn’t change a thing.,

Unfortunately society is doing their best to try to make me ashamed of myself for that career 

Edited by Henry T Harrison
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Absolutely nothing. I loved my job. After college, I worked 40 years in aerospace as a Production Engineer. I was in senior management for 25 of the 40 years. Worked on the Apollo, Saturn II, B-1a, Space Shuttle, F-18, B-2 and several other classified programs. I was never bored, got paid extremely well and have a wonderful retirement.

 

Why change............

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If I had a do over, I'd start with the football scholarship that I turned down.  It was to a small college, but it would have definitely changed the direction that I went.  From there???

 

BS - who thinks about that once in awhile.

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That's a good question, and one I have a difficult time answering. I met and married Mrs. Doc while still in college, and she was adamant she didn't want to be a military wife, meaning active duty, Regular Army. That had been my plan up until the time I met her, and I have no regrets. If I had not met her, no doubt, I would have tried for a career in the military. Perhaps as a medic, maybe jumping out of airplanes, or as a flight medic. I will say I enjoyed being a medic as a part time career, and had my body held up to the rigors of active duty, I think I would have loved it as a full-timer.

The day I got the call asking me if I wanted still to go to law school, I was literally sitting down and looking at two possibilities, paramedic and park ranger. I believe I would have enjoyed both career paths more than being an attorney.

 

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I loved being an Engineer after I got out of the Navy and received my degree.  I did Mechanical Reliability on a chemical plant, worked on photographic film processing equipment, was a Packaging Engineer, and ended up being the lead Technical Engineer on fluorine based chemicals and films.

 

However, the best job I had was was being an Instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Facility.  I was enlisted Navy and qualified for Nuclear Propulsion and was picked up as an instructor.  I loved being an instructor.  I loved being with people who worked to make you a better instructor.  I loved the challenge of making newbies competent operators.  I worked with a great group of enlisted guys and a good group of officers.  It was a wonderful couple of years.

 

I've always loved music but am pretty much tone deaf.  I would have loved to be a rock musician but that wasn't to be.  

 

I don't regret anything.  Each bump in the road lead me to something bigger and better.  

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If I could do it over I would have stayed in the Navy, gone to university and OCS. I used to dream about wearing my summer whites on the bridge of the Destroyer I planned to Captain in the South Pacific. 
 

The night before I was to sign my re-up papers my wife said “You can do what you want but I can’t guarantee that I will be here in a year.” The next morning I checked “No” and signed my re-enlistment docs. 
 

I have no regrets and life has been fun. It’ll be more fun in 2 years and 7 months. 

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2 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Gigello.

Yul, You'd have gone broke giving away all those samples. 

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I would finish the med school for family doctor or MD Radiology.

I am a retired A.A.RT. RT. CT. MR. mostly my career was done on trauma centers,  I love my profession even retired still buying books med related.

Administrative part of the business not so much so BS didn't appeal to me.

 

czhen

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I wrote my first computer program in 1964 and retired as “Consultant to technical staff” in 2015.  Every computer guy who visits a customer is a “Consultant” or VP but this was different. I enjoyed it. The most fun I had was when I solved challenging puzzles. I did computer networking before it was commonplace, 1976. In the late 70s I was doing software for newspapers that were automating.  Sometimes I did software that would help them get more use out of their computers before the tax laws would let them upgrade., in other words, the software I wrote was obsolete before I wrote it, but the marketing group loved it.

 

 

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POTUS

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I practiced law, primarily civil trial work, for 44 years, retired at 69 three years ago.

 

I was cut out for it and liked it very much. Obviously, certain parts get old in time. But it gave me a lot of independence, which was important to me. No clock punching ever. Sometimes you work around the clock, especially trying a case and getting ready for it; other times when the calendar is clear for a bit you can just take off.

 

I traveled a lot, taking depositions etc around the country. But just a few times a year; enough to enjoy and never too much to get tired of. As a result, I went just about everywhere in the country on the expense account, so to speak.

 

As my career advanced, I tried cases all over my state; east and west. I tried my last jury case only three months before I retired. My skills were all still intact, which is how I wanted it to end. But in the final year,  I just got tired of it and was ready to quit. I keep my license active but don't practice any law and don't plan to. I had a very happy career.

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I would've like to have been a forest ranger.  cowboy

 

And my ideal "retirement job" would be sittin' on top of peak in a fire lookout tower.   :)

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Chairman of the English Dept at a small but prestigious Eastern university.  Or an anesthetist like my Mama told me to.

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Posted (edited)

At 62, I’m  nearing retirement, so I always get the Q on what I will do when I retire.  I would answer, that I want to be a Swedish bikini model photographer, as a joke.

 

My wife and I went along as moral support with a couple who were getting their engagement photos taken.  The photographer had some really good engagement and wedding photos posted on his website.  He was a salty, talkative old man, so I didn’t mind asking him Qs about his profession.  He said he learned photography in the army, and when he retired, he started a second career as a photographer at a (legitimate) modeling studio, and he had a lot of his pics of beautiful models posted all along the walls of his office.  That guy lived his dream!

 

Me?  I wished had gone to law school.

Edited by South-Eye Ned

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If I could afford farm land in Iowa, where I was born and raised, I would definitely take on that profession.  Law enforcement be damned.  I regret every second I spent in a blue uniform.  The military has been good to me, although I would still have preferred to just do a few years and then go farm.  

 

I've never met a farmer with PTSD, and the ones in my family are bona fide millionaires.  

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In a dark fantasy world where I had no morals or responsibilities I believe  I might like to start over as a right-wing hit man fighting for truth, justice and the American way. You know, vote from the rooftops and all that jazz. But that would be in a parallel universe or some such thing...:D

 

I am kidding...seriously. I am kidding. 

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17 hours ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

 With the hindsight we are all blessed with, I would have stayed in the army/military and made a career as an officer. 

Perhaps I would have but I was an OCS Officer and there was obviously a RIF coming. OCS dudes would have been first on the list to go.

 Also little people kept trying to kill me. :D
 

Loophole’s plumber remark isn’t a bad idea actually.
As a young park ranger I did a lot of plumbing installation and repairs in the state parks. It’s actually enjoyable. Lots of different parts and doo dads, you need to use your brain In figuring how to put a system in. Pay’s good too. (Not for a park ranger though. We had to do plumbing, electrical, fire fighting, law enforcement, public speaking, administration, landscaping.......all at a low low wage. Taxpayers got a hell of a deal back then.

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Well, I don't think anyone can top Yul Lose.

 

I think I would do almost anything to have stayed at least within a couple hours of my parents and my sibs around Lubbock, TX .  But no, I had to plop down anywhere from 700 to 1100 miles away without the resources to see them more than a couple times a year for the next 25 years.

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When you people ask me if they should go into the computer business, I tell them, "Absolutely not.  Be a plumber."

As a plumber, you cannot be outsourced.
As a plumber, you won't be replaced by an H1B.
As a plumber, you will have much less exposure to "the offended", the politics and the endless workplace sex harassment baloney.
As a self-employed plumber, you won't have management who is too stupid to pour water out of a bucket with the instructions on the bottom side.

When it is 7pm on a Sunday night, and you have four inches of black water on your bathroom floor.. who ya gonna call?  Not ghost busters, nor an H1B.
"That bill will be at emergency weekend rates, outside of normal hours..."

I can't ever go back to those groundbreaking days of big computers nearly 50 years ago.
Those were heady days on the absolute leading edge of innovation... gone now, forever.

It died when top management engineers were replaced by sales management.
These are the idiots with tassels on their shoes and two interchangeable parts:  mouth and rectum.

 

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I went through ROTC, was commissioned a 2LT Armor Branch, had a degree in English, never taught that. I found out after Vietnam i was attitudinaly disadvantaged and worked most of my adult (?) life in mechanical trades where I taught newbies how to work on forklifts. As an aside I was a Suicide Prevention volunteer on a hotline for 13 years, including training new folks. Probably my most rewarding job and my biggest contribution to the world. Now that I am retired I caretake my father. When that ends I think I will take up quality control in a cookie factory. or a bikini adjuster at the beach. I might even practice shooting...

 

Imis

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I think I would have been a guitar player for either a country band or a 50's/60's rock n roll band.

 

..........Widder,  still in the key of 'J'..... :lol:

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

Hmmm...maybe plumber was a valid choice.


A couple of years ago I overheard some boys at the gun counter of a dept store in Oregon called Bi-Mart. Think mini Walmart. 
Anyway these 3 were discussing what they were doing after high school. Two of them were going to Oregon State to study Computer related courses. The third was going to join the IBEW to learn a trade as an Electrician.  The two computer boys were verbally ganging up on the boy that wanted to be an electrician. 
I spoke up and congratulated the boy that was going to be an electrician. I told him he would always have a job, that he could go anywhere he wanted to live and find work and I told him that I personally knew Electricians that easily made 6 figures a year if they were willing to work some overtime. 
I told the other two boys that when they were going into there Junior year their friend here would be easily making $60-70K if he worked in a metro area. I also asked them how many people were taking these same computer courses at the school they were going to. One of them answered “at least 250”. I explained that they would need to do very well due to the competition they would have upon graduation. 

I convinced one of my nephews to go into plumbing. He makes a very nice living now. Proud of that young man. 

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If I had an interest in the trades it would be as an electrician for the reasons Pat mentioned.  However, between the military and private enterprise, I saw much of the world, and had one-off kinds of jobs that left me pretty much on my own.  So if I had it to do over again, I would probably do the same.

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