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Old 08-12-2011, 06:34 PM
 
7,384 posts, read 11,554,473 times
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Hi,

I am currently at a crossroads at my life and am hoping some more seasoned (older) humans could help me with my dilemma.

36 years old. I currently make a salary that would probably allow me to live at a middle class standard (~50K) for the rest of my life. My job field is not in great demand, but is stable and has afforded me steady work for over a decade. I may lose my job and be out of work for a while in the future, but I should, probably be able to find a job for the rest of my life. In terms of my career, I feel like I could be doing more. I am not happy with the salary I make or the job I perform. Of course, I do not hate it either. To me, it is just a job, but I do wish it paid more and was a little more interesting.

I also really love music. I have been playing one instrument or another almost every day in my spare time for the last 15 years. I would love to be a professional, but it is impractical to make a living doing that and I am not really that good. I plan to play semi-professionally eventually and be as good as a musician as possible when I croak.

I am plotting a career change/advancement that will earn me more $ and more interesting daily work. Hopefully also bump up my quality of life another notch. Probably getting another degree. But I already have 2 college degrees and I am not really passionate about any of the potential fields.

Or I am thinking of just letting the day job situation lie as is, and play music as often as I can.

My question is, in your life experience, what was your major regret?

-That you did not push your career advancement into better paying and ambitious employment?

or

-That you did not pursue your passions or even hobbies (whatever made you happy) to a larger degree.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:56 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,232,688 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post

My question is, in your life experience, what was your major regret?

-That you did not push your career advancement into better paying and ambitious employment?

or

-That you did not pursue your passions or even hobbies (whatever made you happy) to a larger degree.
I don't consider either of these questions a major regret for me.

I guess I'm just a boring happy person who's very close to retirement.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:30 AM
 
433 posts, read 991,957 times
Reputation: 389
I have no major regrets. You might rephrase your question and ask 'which major life decision are you happiest about?'

I'm glad every day that I stayed at my bank IT job in the late nineties instead of being lured by recruiters into a dotcom startup. My job wasn't exciting, but it was steady, had good benefits, paid me an ever-increasing salary, and gave me a pension so that I was able to retire. Now I can spend my time doing whatever I want, pursuing passions and hobbies.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:34 AM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,317,177 times
Reputation: 9290
IMO you should be happy at your job; maybe not thrilled, but since it is something you do everyday you should be happy to do it. No matter what path you choose, you have to work for a long time before retiring, so make sure you enjoy it.

When I didn't look forward to going to work, I retired. Never looked back.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
IMO you should be happy at your job; maybe not thrilled, but since it is something you do everyday you should be happy to do it. No matter what path you choose, you have to work for a long time before retiring, so make sure you enjoy it.

When I didn't look forward to going to work, I retired. Never looked back.
Agreed! I was quite content where I was in state government and grateful for the pension and benefits I accrued. I was ultimately promoted out of my comfort zone and while some aspects of the new position were interesting and challenging, others were onerous. After a year I retired - two years earlier than planned - and have neither looked back nor regretted my decision.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,569 posts, read 39,952,759 times
Reputation: 23699
It sounds like you want career guidance, with a subset of 'Tf I had iot to do over.."

Music + making a living... tough order. I would become a Prof, if your genre is condicive to academics. (Get paid (+ benefits VERY IMPORTANT) for learning, teaching, and performing)

I con't say I could have done more that I did, but I have yet to experience even a small portion of my interests / abilities / learning desires. (I DID have a passion / plan for other stuff, Largely AG related (which I knew wouldn't be possible). I did a night shift job which paid very well (availed us to be a single income family). This schedule allowed me the freedom to do what I enjoyed (farming + volunteering with seniors and public schools, as well as be a caregiver (for 32 yrs) for a sick parent, home schooled my kids and others, built several houses, got 3 degrees (for free / company paid), paid to travel and live in several foreign and domestic locations. (as a family ). My passion is still on the farm, but I will try to fit that in, as I need to get better on the piano, and maybe take up accordian (and hammered dulcimer)

Life is short, AND will not be perfect. The greatest enjoyment and opportunities are those you don't expect or plan.

Have a nice day (and continuance of life...)
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,737,425 times
Reputation: 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
Hi,

I am currently at a crossroads at my life and am hoping some more seasoned (older) humans could help me with my dilemma.

36 years old. I currently make a salary that would probably allow me to live at a middle class standard (~50K) for the rest of my life. My job field is not in great demand, but is stable and has afforded me steady work for over a decade. I may lose my job and be out of work for a while in the future, but I should, probably be able to find a job for the rest of my life. In terms of my career, I feel like I could be doing more. I am not happy with the salary I make or the job I perform. Of course, I do not hate it either. To me, it is just a job, but I do wish it paid more and was a little more interesting.

I also really love music. I have been playing one instrument or another almost every day in my spare time for the last 15 years. I would love to be a professional, but it is impractical to make a living doing that and I am not really that good. I plan to play semi-professionally eventually and be as good as a musician as possible when I croak.

I am plotting a career change/advancement that will earn me more $ and more interesting daily work. Hopefully also bump up my quality of life another notch. Probably getting another degree. But I already have 2 college degrees and I am not really passionate about any of the potential fields.

Or I am thinking of just letting the day job situation lie as is, and play music as often as I can.

My question is, in your life experience, what was your major regret?

-That you did not push your career advancement into better paying and ambitious employment?

or

-That you did not pursue your passions or even hobbies (whatever made you happy) to a larger degree.
Can we assume you are single, with no children, and intend on staying such.

The advice can vary based on your situation.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,417,109 times
Reputation: 9552
Hm. I don't see it as an 'either/or' question.
Twice my hobbies - writing and ceramics - turned into businesses. Before they did that, I worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs, always enjoying what I did but always thinking "Hey, that looks like fun, maybe I'd be good at THAT!" and trying something new. But - money was important - it financed my hobbies as well as my lifestyle. So I would stay with mediocre jobs until something better came along that paid more.

Music is not as lucrative a career as some; there is a lot of competition and everyone who had an indulgent mother thinks they can sing or play, which dilutes the field. But it can be developed over time, depending on whether you just want to play in a local bar band or challenge the Black Eyed Peas. I was lucky with the writing - it went from writing the occasional Letter to the Editor, to being a newspaper reporter, to writing political speeches to running campaigns to writing a weekly political column, to traveling the country, paid to teach classes on political organization and campaign management. Then as an outgrowth, I had my own ad business where I designed ads for national corporations as well as planned their meetings and events. What started out as fun actually became an enjoyable and challenging career! The ceramics business was just a local thing that I enjoyed doing for the community and kids.

My advice to you is - nothing is set in stone, and with hard work, constant forward activity, and planning, setting goals, and putting yourself and your talents out there, there is no telling how far you can go. Don't think of it as either/or; explore, examine, experiment - all you can do is fail, and use your failures as a learning experience. My only regret is the fear of failing that held me back when I was younger.

I have completely remade my life over 7 times. Now I sit on 60 acres in a 100 year old farm house, still doing things I love, messing with animals and plants, happy and productive still, just differently.

By the way, I had a great hubby, three children, and a half-dozen foster kids during those times. You really CAN have it all - you just have to be determined, work hard, set goals, plan and think about what you want, and where you want to be. And don't be afraid of exploring the side paths... sometimes they end up to be a real road!
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:55 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,932,349 times
Reputation: 18050
Souhnds like you might be at that mid career crisis point. I'd be careful because by the time you get aanother degreee you wil be 40 and its hard to start at the botto at that age uless its a self employed degree really.That should be when you are enterig the high paid position withi your field on adavancement. just think it over carefully has i have seen many go doward at that point by making radical changes.You might be the 105 or so who chnage and do better but look at the odds. Good luck
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,856,609 times
Reputation: 8956
I was just thinking about this today. If you can have a job that is not too demanding and then have energy left over for your passion, I personally, in retrospect, feel that is a great way to go.

I worked in "corporate America" for 15 horrible years . . . I do regret that I let so much of my life and my lifeforce be sucked out of me by an ideal that I had at the time, which I have subsequently determined was misplaced . . . I projected idealistic values on corporations that really could not give a crap about me, and further more, had little to no respect or concern for their clients! That last one was a real shocker to me . . .

So I would live as joyful a life as you can and do the minimum at the day job (by "do the minimum," I don't mean not to be conscientious, but don't let the job eat you alive . . . save the good parts for your passions . . . and live them fully. See if you can get a part-time gig maybe playing on weekends or something. Have fun while you can and do the things that matter in life . . .
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