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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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Choices We Have Made In Regards To Our Vocation.

In my early thirties I started to go back to school to educate myself for a new field. I was an EMT at the time and was considering being a Paramedic or an RN.. I thought hard and long on it. Those of you that know me or have seen my photo know I am not a likely person to be an RN. At one point I turned down a postion to be a state trooper.

Paramedics unfortunately do not get the pay, respect or benefits commensurate with the duties they have to do. I have a lot of friends that took that path and I have nothing but the highest respect for what they do. I also know that when I made my decision I was not going to be wanting to be climbing into wrecks or moving patients from second floors to and ambualnce in my fifities.

So I decided on the RN route. It was one of the few careers where a white male is a minority. It afforded me the ability to move anywhere I wanted with the ease to find employment. The more I educated myself with training and additional degrees the higher I climbed. The job security well I get several calls a months asking me if I would be interested in relocating so it is pretty much a solid area.

I am no longer hands on as far as staffing but I get the benefit of meeting patients and their families to ensure their visits are going well. I also get ot work with some great people staff, peers and doctors. I get to trouble shoot issues and problems daily but enjoy doing it.

I know I made the right choice and plan on doing this for at least another ten years before I retire. So now that I have bored you about saying something about what you do and why you are where you are. Did you make the right choice? Would you do something different? Are you happy doing what you do now?
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LEE View Post
Did you make the right choice? Would you do something different? Are you happy doing what you do now?


I have lucky/well-planned enough to have TWO jobs I absolutely love and they've taken up more than 98% of my working life. I think the secret is to not push too hard in any particular direction but let Life guide you a little and follow your passions. Oh - and it really helps to not consider the income the job is going to provide. When you chase money, you're almost guaranteed of landing a snotty job.

"By looking at the difference between perceived danger and actual danger, you can fundamentally change your reaction." Chris Hadfield.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 03:41 PM
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Was a glass maker until my job was shipped to China. Became a Licensed Practical Nurse for the reasons LEE stated but chose the shorter LPN route because I was government sponsored (Thank you Government of Canada Employment insurance!)

Like: Hands on care, making a difference in lives. When is the last time you saved somebody's life by hands on intervention or simply finding a huge medication error/overdose? Got to keep your ears open, your eyes open, your nose open (not always nice) and be in a constant state of observing/assessing people. Even the people who tell me the same story over and over due to dementia tells me something: their status is not changing.

Dislike: Bureaucracy. The endless redundant amounts of paper work that keep me off the floor in contact with my patients. Crabby, arrogant professionals. There are many.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:16 PM
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I'm currently a postman, but I've had a dozen jobs. At the age of 34, I still have NO idea what I want to do for a living. Honestly, I can't imagine wanting to do ANYTHING for more than a couple years. I bore easily.

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:31 PM
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I'm decidedly not in your position Lee.

If could stomach the work, I would certainly consider an RN type position for exactly the reasons you mentioned, but I know it's not something for me.

My degrees are in electronics, but that was so long ago as to be useless now at 41. For the last 15 years I've been in the recreational marine industry. Initially I worked in sales and I made pretty good money at it - more than before or since. But selling yachts isn't really something I enjoyed. Well, some parts were enjoyable but the day-to-day sales work wasn't my thing.

I then moved over to the service side of the business to manage that department. It was a pay cut, but at least I got to work something approaching a normal schedule again and got most weekends off like the rest of society...including my girlfriend.

The problem now is two-fold: one, I've pretty much topped out in this position and have no room for growth and two, the industry as a whole has been crippled by the last few years. Crippled might be an understatement. Locally there's over 50% job losses as many dealers simply went out of business. We closed 2 of our 3 locations and I laid off all my staff; now I'm a one-man-band either doing the work myself or outsourcing to local contractors/yards. And even at that I'm far from full employment.

So I'm looking to move to a new industry. At 41. Not fun. Trying to find something that at least tangentially uses my experience in the marine world is proving a challenge - most people have no clue what my job actually entailed and think 'service manager' is the same for automotive or other common industries. In fact it's quite different, but it's hard to get that across to potential employers. Whatever I do, I'm likely to take yet another huge step backwards and can only hope it'll be a case of 'one step back and two steps forward'.

Best not to think about's all far to depressing.

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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:54 PM
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I worked in retail for years in the bike trade as a tyre tech for about a decade in my twenties. I started to struggle physically with the work as I lost a leg about 30 years ago and developed osteoarthritis in my surviving knee.
Then about 15 years ago I retrained as a counseller, I worked in the drugs and alcohol field for a while, as well as being invited to work at a local college to train other counsellors.
I now work for our local Council as a trainer in legislation as well as running a team of multiagency trainers who deliver training throughout the care sector.
It's a great job because I have to go and get work for my team as well as delivering training.
No two days are the same sometimes I'm working in a care home with carers and other times I'm with the elected members of the Council and another day with a fire crew.
As a job it's great I do alot of travelling and I meet the most amazing people and most importantly I run my own diary, I have a part time PA and she gets to do all the boring stuff.
For me a change of career was the best thing ever, the doors that have opened for me are amazing.
Retail taught me great customer service works wherever you work so I treat everyone like the most important customer I can have, folk like it.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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Great thread!!

I have very few regrets...I run a very small carpet installation concern..just a two or three man crew (including myself) and I love it!!...I can usually go home whenever I want because I have a fantastic worker I can trust...I've done it since I was 19 (45 now) working out in the field and love the BS that goes with it...different place every day, not stuck in an office cubicle only regrets would be about the last four years for my's been dreadful..other regrets pale next to the positives.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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When I made the decision to become an RN money had very little to do with it. I liked helping people and as an EMT I was very good at it. After becoming an RN I made a lot of lateral and down moves to learn more...I took classes and got more degrees. The more I learned and more experience I got the more I elevated myself.

I find it funny that my boss makes the same amount as me. Evidently OR Directors are few and far between. This is why I get calls all the time from recruiters. Being type A also helps with my work. I just seem to do well at it..

I was right about lifting patients down two or more floors or extricating crash victims from cars. At fifty I would not want to do it on a regular basis. Especially now that I am wearing a sling for the next four weeks.

Once in a while I get jokes cracked at me for my field...but when I can find a well paying job any where in the country or at least a high level interview appointment in less than a few hours it makes me feel good to know I did make the right decision. While it is not about money ....the money makes all the time and sacrifices I put into developing my carreer a little more worth while...
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:18 PM
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Uncle Sam taught me to fix those pesky aeroplanes. I got out, figured I would try a trade and became an electrician. After about four years, I heard aeroplanes, calling me back. Worked on DoD contracts for the next ten years. Money dried up and got the axe. Luckily for me I was prepared for it. Already laid the groundwork to shift to something completely different. For me that is.... Now work for Union Pacific refitting locomotives.

Nothin like sittin in the engineers seat, with 4400hp just throbbing behind you
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:36 PM
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Worked as a pro musician for many years. Saw the good and the bad. Aside,..spent several years functioning on the board of a substance abuse facility trying to lend my expertise, write corporate training material and travel the country training managers.

Currently writing a score for full orchestra,...on my desktop, blows me away.

Maybe I will entitle it, 'RATriumph'

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