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Old 04-09-2019, 10:16 AM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,982 posts, read 3,250,733 times
Reputation: 7053


Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
I keep going from dead end job to dead end job, mostly doing factory or labor jobs, but I never liked any of them. How do you know what you are good at? I tried pursuing my dream of wanting to be a film director, but not sure if that is going to go anywhere successful really.

What do you think, or how do you know what you want to do for a career?
I'm wrestling if my counsel is obsolete in the 2019 economy, so you'll have to do what works best these days:

I highlighted a problem in the quoted. Those jobs are mostly dead-end for people with little ambition, or who need a job due to hard luck, or who choose not to work in fields a bit more-subtle in the requirements. Driving heavy equipment can actually be fairly lucrative, but driving a shovel and breaking rocks like Fred Flintstone, not so much. I've met some sharp construction supervisors, believe it. After about age 40 breaking rocks is really tough, so they managed to put themselves into positions that don't require it daily. Still, day to day all those guys worked hard alongside their men, which is the only way to motivate others end of the day.

So dead-end jobs can occasionally have a bit of upward mobility, too. Not easy, though. And dead-end (to you) is by-definition not inspiring.

As for me, end of high school I really liked a certain hobby and STEM field, with another as a minor, and still another as a hobby. Call it 1-2-3. No. 1 had decent earning potential as a professional. My dad helped me realize that was important, 16 y.o. kids don't know any better, and I researched it thoroughly at the library because that's how it was done back then. I then found an undergrad college in Michigan that had an exceptional department for No. 1, and majored in it. From Day 1 to (about) Day 1600 and the end, that was my major, and I did okay: B's, not A's, because I thought it was "interesting" but didn't really care much. Yellow flag, right there...

Did that professionally for a year, and realized it was for the birds: always out in the field (desert and remote places), carrying guns due to God know what you'd find out there, drinking heavily because you can't have a life, making mediocre money (not bad, all considered, "but."). I had more ambition than that, and like lots of 20-something wanted to live in an interesting place like L.A., SF, or similar.

Point being, I "thought" that's what I liked, but once working it for a year it was quite clear that was not the career for me. Still a valuable degree, though, and set of skills...

I picked up a job rapidly in a related field, about 45 degrees off the previous. These were the days if you had a good story and would work for modest wages, tons of work out there in professional positions. I did that seven years, and finally and unequivocally realized: while I "liked" that work, I still didn't love it. If you don't love it, you'll never be really successful. I was resourceful, but there are limits.

SO: migrated to IT. There are major speed bumps in IT, but 21 years later I'm doing just fine and will ride it out another ten years or so (I'm guessing) to the end, at Top 3% income. Not a boast, a statement of ambition and clawing up the ladder.

To do it again, starting in today's tech economy, I'd first think: what do I enjoy, in my spare time? Anything at work I enjoy? Whatever those things are, I'd go to Rule No. 1: "Can you monetize it?" If yes, you're one of the rare few who has found his true love. My no. 3 interest and passion and natural skills were IT related, so I ended up there sort of organically. What within IT can be monetized is another story entirely, and I personally revisit that in-detail about every five years and adjust accordingly. That's about how fast the game radically changes.

As for you, I know diddly about "film director." I'm guessing, if you have half a brain, you explored it thoroughly and determined a path of upward mobility? What were the steps taken, what is the path, what are the expected growth numbers for that field on a ten year horizon?

I further assume you've: joined networking groups for aspiring workers in that field, explored SAG and other related organizations like Directors Guild of America? I accidentally stumbled across the latter last time was on Sunset in West Hollywood (as I recall). So, what were the outcomes? Not kinda, not sort, but exactly what growth, competition, job outlook, expected pay, barriers to entry, etc. are there?

A non-systematic exploration of career options isn't too bright, throwing darts at a board and wondering why you keep missing over...and over...and over. That's loser behavior. Don't be one. Resourcefulness is a requirement of success in America, doubly so in 2019 vs. when I started in 1990.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:07 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,161 posts, read 8,281,799 times
Reputation: 19774
Go to film school and be a director.

It really is just that simple.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:18 PM
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,586 posts, read 3,010,942 times
Reputation: 12789
The real problem is that everyone is supposed to pick their career by 17 and then bet all their chips on it... meaning the practice of looking to see what the highest-paying pool of jobs in 5 years will be rules.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:32 PM
6,528 posts, read 2,358,678 times
Reputation: 15011
Iron pony, there's such a thing as Career Aptitude Tests. I took one way back when I was 30 something, going through a divorce, and going back to school. I was seeing a psychologist while I was separated from my husband when I took mine. I would bet your local community college might offer career aptitude testing. I think you might find it very helpful.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:43 PM
4,830 posts, read 1,534,912 times
Reputation: 1421
Oh thanks, I'll look into such a test.

I asked my friends and they said maybe I should be a photographer since they say I am good at taking photographs, but not sure if there is a lot work for that for a full time career.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:59 PM
Location: Texas
1,970 posts, read 1,372,876 times
Reputation: 6740
For some of us the career finds you. I never knew what field suits me and I found myself in the military due to draft notice. In college my major was accounting, not something I liked, but I was good with numbers.

One day I had a conversation with a young officer with a BA that came back to school in order to take computer courses. He said I should switch to computers, it was the next big thing. I did, and was hired instantly by a large corporation even without having my degree at that time.

I retired from the company 27 years ago as a computer systems supervisor.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:55 PM
Location: Tucson Arizona
3,876 posts, read 1,646,297 times
Reputation: 10159
http://wishcraft.com is a site that helps you figure out what you love, and then how to build your skills.

You need to build a career, not just stumble onto one. And you can't usually start at the top.

You want to be a screenwriter? Find an entry level job in films and work your way up, talking to people and seeing what they do. Listen to the director and screenwriter on the set. See what changes are made, then go see the final movie to find out what made it past the cutting room.

Write every chance you get. Write bad stuff, write good stuff.

Take classes to improve your understanding of the craft. Improve your spelling and grammar; it's sometimes painful to read, and that's going to turn off some people who might otherwise consider your script.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:03 PM
2,404 posts, read 684,967 times
Reputation: 3394
Take a Myers-Briggs test. Plenty of websites that have them free online.

You'll find out which one of the 16 personalities you have and then you can google for "jobs for INTJ's" (or whatever personality type you have.

The test is not perfect but it gives some idea which direction you can go.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:52 PM
1,546 posts, read 399,556 times
Reputation: 2887
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Oh okay thanks. If I am at a job I really don't like though, would it get better the longer you work there? Cause I was under the impression that things would stay the same. If you are on a sinking ship, I thought it very much likely will not float back up and start working again, so the logical thing to do is get off the sinking ship.

If you work at a place that you feel is bad to work at, will it get better just because you choose to stay there for a very long time?
A place to work isn't like a sinking ship unless the company goes under completely and is out of business. And if that's the case, you find another job.

Each job is about accomplishing something. You set your goals on doing that the best you can, find out how to improve to do that, find mentors there to help you, and ignore the rest. It takes a while to work someplace in a new job, new industry, new people, new location, new customers until you feel you have a handle on it. If you give up quickly on things looking for something else, you will never know what it is like to overcome the things you have a problem with. Also, things you might not enjoy doing will come in handy later on when you have related work to do or manage yourself. You might not like, for example, working in customer service, but some day when you get into a management role where the customer service department reports to you, you are going to be glad you worked there to know what the job is really all about.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:42 PM
17,250 posts, read 10,176,823 times
Reputation: 28762
Sometimes you just have to go through life and try different things until you find something that clicks.

I could have taken all those personality tests and whatnot to try and find my 'ideal' job, but none of those would have directed me towards what I have been doing for the past 25 years. I happened to get into this industry simply because someone I used to know from the military referred me in.

I wouldn't say it's my dream job. My dream job is to travel around the world and be a travel reporter or blogger type. But I need to pay the bills, and I've made a decent earning so I have no complaints.

Life is all about compromise and having realistic expectations.
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