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  • What Would You Be?

       April 22, 2006

    I was thinking about the American Idol contestants and what they'll do with their lives when they're kicked off the show. Some of them will (and have) undoubtably gone on to a career in music, but others might try something totally different. For example, Paris Bennett wanted to be a gynecologist before Idol sucked her in. I know several musicians who haven't quit their day jobs. They're marketers, writers and food scientists (really) by day and singers by night. A lot of Americans work for a paycheck and pursue their real passion after 5.

    Sometimes I think as kids we're steered out of some occupations that aren't stable or lucrative. We're encouraged to get a job in an office rather than take a risk and start a business. I understand why. Parents don't want their kids to be starving artists.

    All of this leads me to this question: if you could go back in time would you pursue a different career?

    I think I'm good at what I do and I certainly have an aptitude for marketing, but if I was facing my freshman year in college again, I think I'd start out as a geology major. I look at the course descriptions about geological structures and field mapping and I get a little excited. Or, maybe I would have double majored and ended up writing for a nerdy science magazine or teaching earth science (and yes, my class so would have made exploding volcano models). It's not that I don't enjoy what I do, but rather that, like most people, I think I could do something more.

    So what about our readers? What's your second dream career?

    Posted by at April 22, 2006 02:19 PM

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    #  April 22nd, 2006 10:27 PM      themandownthehall
    I am an Oracle database administrator. If I could go back, I'd take law. Either business law or tax law. Lots more money.  
    #  April 22nd, 2006 10:37 PM      TheUnabrewer
    Current career path is chemical engineer. Alternate realities have me as either a rock guitarist/singer, a computer programmer, or a military officer.  
    #  April 23rd, 2006 12:11 AM      JimK
    Military. I'd like to tell my 18-year old self to get in and try to go as far as I could for as long as I could.  
    #  April 23rd, 2006 12:12 AM      Laura
    Writer. Definitely. I've written a number of manuals for custom software used by hospitals and the petrochemical industry, and I even enjoyed that, but I had the best time writing two novels. I just never had the nerve to try to get them published.

    However - I had already decided to quit being chicken and give it an honest try, so the next one will get submitted. I've already started it and am on track to get it finished by the end of August.

    One of the amazing things about this country is you can start many new careers later in life. My husband dropped out of high school his sophomore year and got his GED in the Navy. He got his engineering degree at age 39 after plugging away at night school for six years.  
    #  April 23rd, 2006 10:11 AM      Walleye
    Alternate Universe - NOLS Instructor.

    I certainly love my current job. I have the privilege of doing for a living, something many dream to do. That said, I miss spending days and sometimes weeks in the Boundary Waters and other such places finding out how far I can push myself.  
    #  April 24th, 2006 8:49 AM      KVBigSis
    I can see three possibilities for myself. Archeologist, sports psychologist or veterinarian. Unfortunately, when I was in college the only one of these things I knew I was interested in was archeology. I took an antropology course with a professor obsessed with the concept of feedback loops, and that turned me off.

    #  April 24th, 2006 3:32 PM      jagorham
    Back at the decisive point in my life (early 1970s), I wanted to be either a classical musician (string bass) or a rocket scientist.

    Of course, that's about the time all the rocket scientists were getting laid off as the moon program shut down; and the joke about the similarities between musicians and medium pizzas came to mind (neither can feed a family of four), so I went into accounting instead.

    So... I'm an accountant, I play bass in a local amateur orchestra, and have built and flown model rockets off and on over the years. I consider it the best of all possible worlds  



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