Money is not a deterrent - What is it that you would like to do career wise?
Nov 13, 2010 at 2:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 49

alphaphoenix

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Dear Fellow Head-fiers,
 
First, I want to state upfront that although some of my thoughts may sound like ranting, well, some of it is, but the underlining tone and direction is more of personal observation than anything else.
 
Like many of you, I live and work in the most overly worked (all relative of course) country in the world where everything is based on 40 hours work week despite working 80 hour work weeks at times.   A cog in the machine just spinning by much greater cog mass with greater force moving in one forward direction - a typical depicture of the corporate machine if you will.  I know I can come across as being pessimist, but looking back in my 15 years of professional experience and expressing the natural tendencies of peer comparison, I find that I'm not making six figures,  classified as a millionaire, nor at the very top of my game and written best selling books on it - whatever it is. 
 
Like many of you, my choices was driven by one universal factor - money, which I consider being "the double edge sword of capitalism".  I won't go into philosophy about the root of evil or its perception, but just state that it'll cut you no matter which way or how you handle it.   They are yet another set of instruments used by the machine.  I obviously cannot speak for any other person, but my perception is that most people in corporate wherever would love to do something else career wise with his/her life, but feel weighted down by the ball and chain in risks of loosing current salaries, built up reputations and/or egos,  and the watered down benefits that pushes more financial responsibility onto the employees. 
 
Secondly, upfront apologies for this little rant, but I find the term "passion" the most overly killed term used in corporate wherever.   IMHO, that word is reserved normally towards the arts and hobbies like head-fi that makes us feel free and distances us from the machine's sword, and ball and chain.   I recently had an job interview and was questioned about my "passion" with the company and its products.  Going back to my correlation of passion and complete freedom, I guess I failed to see a false connection.  So my silent and sarcastic response  was on the following lines:
 
"Yes!!!! I'm passionate about working 2/3 of my daily life for company that's expects me to be passionate because I'm fortunate to have a job, possibly compromise my morals and ethics in exchange to the next title and a slighter fatter paycheck, knowing that I can be let go at any time for any reason.  Yes!!!!  I'm passionate of taking part of creating entertainment teasers that not only compromise the safety of oneself and others, be the cause of accidents and other stupid things that defies common sense and reasoning; but who cares because I bought in the technology and therefore I'm pretty damn cool.  Oh - did I mention I'm very, very passionate?"
 
Looking back and if I was questioned on terms of passion and job, the only two jobs that comes to mind is a Marine Biologist or Teacher, which for the very same reason I chose not to pursue them very early on - you guessed it - money or the lack of it.  Until I win the lottery, receive an inheritance from a very wealthy but unknown relative, well, you get the drift.  It's moving in one direction like a cog in the machine. 
 
 
Curious what your "dream job" would be if money was not a deterrent for getting there or supporting you there after.  Life is so much simpler when you only have to worry and feed yourself versus you and dependents. 
 
 
 
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:10 AM Post #2 of 49

logwed

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I would suppose that when a company is referring to your 'passion' for that company and the products that you are a part in providing/producing, that they wonder if there is a sense of pride that you have invested in your work, a sense that goes beyond your biweekly check. It really is logical that a company would like employees with that pride, because without a personal investment in your work, you will only do the bare minimum to keep that job. 
 
I don't really know what you're really going for here, because you basically seem to be pissed off that you aren't as successful as you would like, and you've sacrificed happiness in the pursuit of success. I guess that I'll just say what would make me happy in a career. I think that I need to be able to see concretely the fruits of my labor, it has always given me great pleasure to see something that I have done, that I have made, that I have accomplished. That's why I've always wanted to be an engineer, because I would be contributing to technological progress in my little way. I could never work permanently in a customer service field, marketing, whatever, because there is no real product to that sort of business as I see it.
 
Now, I'm only a freshman in college, so really take what I say with a grain of salt. I have no experience in the real business world, so I can't really say for sure how I'll feel about this subject down the road. These are just a few quick observations.
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:36 AM Post #3 of 49

alphaphoenix

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Like most things, it's all subjective.  However, I won't go into detail, but I do find 'passion' and 'pride' completely different with different purposes.  Curious and completely fictitious, but would you still pursue in engineering if you knew that you would be making only $30K?
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 5:18 AM Post #4 of 49

Ttvetjanu

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I am currently working what I thought to be my dream job. I did very good in school (my highschool average was A) but instead of studying further I decided to go to a cooking school. I currently work in one of the best restaurants in my country, but this passion also has its price. The pay is extremely bad and the hours I work are inhumane. I am expected to do 65-75 hours in a 5-day working week but I only get paid for 40 hours. Not to mention the working conditions. Think Hell's Kitchen without the excessive shouting but with higher expectations and more aggressive threats. My head chef has told me countless times that he will punch me / beat me up if I make a mistake again. I am actually waiting for this to happen as I would get a really nice paycheck and a good reason to leave, not to mention that I have trained martial arts for 8 years. I do have my moments of "awesomeness" but generally the novelty has worn off. Every day I consider if I should go back to school and study physics/automation technology for the pay and general "ease".
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 11:45 AM Post #5 of 49

logwed

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Quote:
Like most things, it's all subjective.  However, I won't go into detail, but I do find 'passion' and 'pride' completely different with different purposes.  Curious and completely fictitious, but would you still pursue in engineering if you knew that you would be making only $30K?



That is a good question, and personally, I feel that the answer is yes. I've actually wanted to be an aeronautical engineer since 4th grade, so there has always been something past money for me. Not that the money isn't a bonus :p
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 12:03 PM Post #6 of 49

Omega

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Money no object?  I'd be a philanthropist.  Yes, I'm serious.
 
When I was finishing my PhD and feeling frustration with my career path, I read a nice article about the long-term earnings and non-monetary rewards of various careers.  There are a few careers that are generally highly regarded, while offering very poor returns for the time/effort invested.  The top three?  Chef, architect, PhD biologist.  Work like a dog, earn relatively little, spend your best early years making someone else look good.  All three require extensive apprenticeship programs in order to be competitive on one's own, and all three overwork and underpay relative to a similar career in a slightly different capacity (ie, chef -> restaurant entrepreneur, architect -> engineer, PhD biologist to PhD most anything else).  The lesson is clear...be a plumber!
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:06 PM Post #7 of 49

arnesto

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Some people do work and would do it even if the pay was bad.
 
But most people, including myself work primarily because we want to get paid money.
 
Sounds to me, as you mentioned that you are "a cog in the wheel".
 
And if you financial situation is that you cannot stop working because you have financial responsibilities like supporting yourself or someone else.
 
Then you really have to do some soul searching.
 
I think the question that you should ask yourself. Since I have to work and I only have a limited amount of time before I get old and die.
 
What do I really want to accomplish in my life. Sounds like you career is unrewarding and not the better part of your life.
 
How do you want to spend your time outside of work to give your life any meaning or value.
 
Sacrificing most your time at work day in and day out will drain you of your time and you do need to find something you are passionate
about, but it doesn't have to be work.
 
On your response, to you interview question, I think you have to really think about what is your passion and use those interest to
bring into your job or career.
 
The answer that you gave sounds to me that you have not really thought about it that much and this original post is part of that process
of self discovery.
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM Post #10 of 49

revolink24

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That was a pretty frightening post Jude. That spoiler box needed a Nikongod-esque warning beacon.
 
Anyway, I'm currently studying Computer Science in college. I don't know where you work, but there are, shall I say, a few major technical organizations in Washington.
Computer science is a field that works best if you enjoy the cognitive aspects of it. If you find discovering algorithms to solve problems rewarding, then computer science can be a rewarding field. That said, it is a field that many find tedious, hard work, and controlled by greedy corporations.
 
What I really want to do, truly, cost no object, is become a user experience engineer and researcher: to develop new user interfaces and research new methods in the field of HCI (Human-computer interaction.) I'm planning on pursuing a masters degree in HCI, and I can only hope it's worth it. It's what I want to do, but I suppose you never really know if it's right for you until you really do it.
 
Luckily, the college I'm in places a heavy emphasis on career-focused education, so we are forced to get jobs in our third year of college related to our field of study. We are required to find three such jobs before we graduate, giving us the opportunity to see what is right for us.
 
But anyway, only time will tell.
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:42 PM Post #11 of 49

9pintube

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Quote:
What's really awful is when you have your dream job and then lose it.
 
I just got too old to be an exotic dancer.


Hey Uncle Erik, Maybe I could quit my job and become your new manager/trainer/gofer.etc.etc. and we could hit the "OLD FOLKS HOME" Circuit...What do you say!  Do you still have your routine down???? 
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 3:47 PM Post #12 of 49

mcnoiserdc

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ahahahahahahhaha, that really made me laugh
 
Quote:
What's really awful is when you have your dream job and then lose it.
 
I just got too old to be an exotic dancer.



WEll, I am currently a phd student in biology. Funny thing someone said it is a highly regarded thing, lol, I don't think so.
Anyway like someone said, since very young I felt like there was  a call for me to do something big for everyone else. I know find it just a kid's dream. Anyway I could go for medicine, but I didn't because I wanted to do something new in biology thus, instead of helping one person a time, I would be albe to help thousands if not millions if I do good.
 
So far I am in that path and as I am young everything is going that way. I really don't care about money at this stage since I have a scholarship that lets me have want I need to live my humble life. 
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 7:08 PM Post #13 of 49

nealric

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I would probably form a public interest law firm. I like doing legal work, and wouldn't really want to do something else. Philanthropy sounds good too though. 
 
It's weird to say it, but I don't think I would like it if money were no object. Having everything given to you on a silver platter is a recipe for boredom and malaise. That's why I would never want to own a Ferrari or a Senn Orpheus. Nothing in life would ever excite or impress me after that. Even being able to travel the world on a whim would eventually lead to boredom with the world. 
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 7:29 PM Post #14 of 49
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I tried the career thing, but I'm too opinionated and I refuse to play politics or tolerate BS in any form, so I gave up and moved to Japan.  Kids, I must say, are very honest, and fun.
 
Nov 13, 2010 at 8:40 PM Post #15 of 49

alphaphoenix

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Appreciate all the responses.  I wish you all the best in your endeavors in your chosen profession even if you really want to be a dancer of some type.
wink.gif
  I wonder if any of you experienced the dot.com roller coaster ride starting in the late 90's, which is the context that I speak from. 
 
In any case.  I was not in the best of mood when creating the post.  I do consider myself lucky to be employed during the recession(s) and at times question my path which was motivated by money at the start of the dot.com era.  Perhaps I'm going through a mid-life crisis that's hitting me a few years early where the perceived social expectation is that when you hit your mid life (40), you suppose to be at peak point in your professional career in terms of position and salary.  Where I speak from, being a generalist in the high-tech sector does make the peak point a little blurry as compared to a fixed career in law, medicine, engineering where you go to school for that , get a job in that field, advance, and retire.  
 
When I was younger, I use to think the mid-life thing was crap and for the weak minded.  Aside from the fancy cars and preying on younger woman, the irony of it seems to have pretty heavy blow.
 
Peace.
 

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