Do/did you love your career?

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  • Do/did you love your career?

    “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life”

    Just curious if you guys love(ed) your career? I work as a paralegal at a law firm. I love who I work with but never thought I’d be doing this not intend to do it until retirement however I don’t know what I’m going to do. Since graduating college I spent a summer working in electronics and even went to EMT school. Maybe one day I’ll open a wood workshop.

    I thought I’d ask who has been lucky enough to find their true calling.
    Last edited by Bstnsportsfan; 05-15-2022, 02:52 PM.

  • #2
    I loved my career when I started out. I'm a civil engineer (well at least I try to be), and I really enjoyed coming up with ideas, designing them, and then having someone else spending a ton of money to turn my idea into reality. I also enjoyed having clients who could do so; civil engineers in private practice tend to have fairly wealthy clients with interesting lives, and you can work with them over many years and many projects. I ended up with an island because of one.

    Permitting killed my enjoyment of the design business. When I started out, permitting was maybe 10-20% of the overall effort. Over the years, it became more and more of a pain, until it became the major effort in the entire job. It's unbelievably frustrating to have your project dead in the water because some kid working for the county or state doesn't know the application or purpose of a rule that you helped write 20 years ago, and who won't accept your explanation.

    Fortunately, 2009 came along, and killed my business, freeing me to reinvent myself. And once again, I love my career.

    Comment


    • Bstnsportsfan
      Bstnsportsfan commented
      Editing a comment
      As a civil engineer what kind of projects would you design?

    • V_Thirteen
      V_Thirteen commented
      Editing a comment
      Subdivisions, site plans, roads, water and sewer systems, railroad facilities, water plants, wastewater plants, stormwater conveyance and treatment, some minor structural design. I was proud of every one, put my heart and soul into each one, even though I realized that 99.9% of the people who used the system had no idea of what went into it.

      Charlie Brown famously said, "Doing a good job around here is like taking a piss in a dark suit: you get a nice warm feeling, but nobody notices." That is civil engineering, done properly. If people notice engineering, you probably screwed up.

    • duckfish
      duckfish commented
      Editing a comment
      V our backgrounds were quite similar.

      The bulk of my CE days were water & wastewater. A little subdivision, but when I had a enough municipal client base to occupy all my time I refused to do any subdivision work.

      I bailed on that career when most things that were technically feasible and economically most viable were becoming bureaucratically impossible.

  • #3
    My dream was to become a marine police officer, here in NJ you had to become a regular police officer or State trooper first, either of which I had no desire to do. So I started a business after working the job for 2 years and ran with it. It wasn't my dream but it was what I needed and being the boss had it's perks. Outdoors every day 12+ hours 6 days a week, rain snow, heat of the summer sun, what was there not to like?
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties either expressed, written or implied and confers no rights.
    You assume all risk for your use. The author is not responsible for your inability to understand logic, ambiguous references, sarcasm, the imaginary friends living inside my head or William Shatner's acting ability.

    Comment


    • LFBB
      LFBB commented
      Editing a comment
      It wasn't first hand it was learned by observation, not much more humiliating then watching a grown man get the shit slapped out of him between two parked cars. Slaps hurt, not only in the physical sense but the mental sense too. When you're basically a kid and you see a 40 year old in a suit and tie being slapped and begging for forgiveness it's eye opening.

    • Tiretyme
      Tiretyme commented
      Editing a comment
      My nephew is an Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource officer. Usually on patrol via boat in Orange Beach, Dauphin Island, Mobile Bay, etc. Went through Alabama State Trooper training and has a lot of subsequent education on state’s dime to become 100 ton Capt, certified gunsmith, more.

      Loves his job, is very good at it, been promoted, gets all the overtime he wants and great for me to have a relative in LE.

    • LFBB
      LFBB commented
      Editing a comment
      I found out that senior guys got the marine patrol or at least had first dips on it, did not want to be a LEO on land in the least, let alone until I was senior enough to get to pick a job on the water.

  • #4
    When I first started my career over 30 years ago, I loved it.. As time passed, people made things unenjoyable. Always those that like to undermine others to climb the "ladder". Then those that live off of others work and actions. I have had several bosses (before becoming one myself) that just didn't care how or who got the job done, as long as it got done. Now, I was always compensated through merit type raises and did well, from that side of it. There was a period of about 10 years that it was really enjoyable. People came to work, did their part and went home. Then people started retiring and different people were brought in and it went downhill from there. The younger crowd always know a better way, that doesn't work the way it is expected to come out.. The older guys have their way and don't want to bend, not even an inch. So, the job became a job. Not so enjoyable anymore.

    One thing that is very different now.. I always took advantage of any and all extra training, school, awareness training, etc.. I always felt it made me a better person/employee.. I felt I understood where people were coming from. Like, I was better equipped to form good teams. More valuable. First Responder. EMT. Hazmat. Hazmat Specialist. Incident Command. Fire Brigade. Confined Space Rescue. High Angle Rope Rescue. Computers. Software. Instrumentation Engineering classes. Leadership classes. I mean everything. All Industrial. Not municipal.

    Now, I realize this is a broad stroke with a broad brush, but with the younger people, they are not interested in this type of stuff. They want to work as few hours as possible. There is a big interest in remote working as well. I have heard many times that there is more to life than work. I work to live. I don't live to work. While I understand that approach, people need to be willing to give a little to get things done, and that is just missing today. Maybe the age difference is the disconnect. I don't play video games. I don't have much in common with them. I love to read, fish, etc.. I guess these are the things that have always been an issue, but I think they are a big problem today.
    As of April 2nd, boatless for the first time in many years.
    2019 Tidewater 252 CC Twin F150's- SOLD
    2016 Tidewater 230 CC VF250 SHO- SOLD
    Mobile, Al.
    Dauphin Island, Al.

    Comment


    • Bstnsportsfan
      Bstnsportsfan commented
      Editing a comment
      I’m guessing from your description you were a firefighter? Did you work in a big city or small town?

    • KMac
      KMac commented
      Editing a comment
      Not a firefighter, per se. Yes, I am trained, and was in the ERT brigade, but I was a process troubleshooter. Analytics Engineer. I tried to be one of the guys, and was for the most part. I am now a development supervisor. My health problems keep me from doing my other job. I mostly develop training material and write procedures now. Do process hazard analysis and SIL ratings. Safety Integrity Levels in Chemical and Refinery operations.

      I am now not able to do those extra duties anymore. But I am glad I did them when I could.

  • #5
    NO!!!!!!

    Started in the print room of an engineering firm, no degree.

    Worked my way up thru the control systems design group, did some construction engineering support, led design efforts - now department manger/project manager.

    I hate it, but they keep paying me(or I keep going to get the money) to stay.

    Its a means to an end, a way to support my family- and I do fairly well for a kid from Philly public system.

    I do not define myself by my profession, I just go to work.

    Comment


    • Bstnsportsfan
      Bstnsportsfan commented
      Editing a comment
      What would you do if you could do anything?

    • Jughed
      Jughed commented
      Editing a comment
      I spent my teen years as a mate/fisherman - always wanted to be a capt or guide… or get into tugboat’s. I had an “in” for a tugboat job, my future BIL was a mate and in the union, but he got a bunch of DUI’s and lost his license.

  • #6
    Originally posted by LFBB View Post
    My dream was to become a marine police officer, here in NJ you had to become a regular police officer or State trooper first, either of which I had no desire to do. So I started a business after working the job for 2 years and ran with it. It wasn't my dream but it was what I needed and being the boss had it's perks. Outdoors every day 12+ hours 6 days a week, rain snow, heat of the summer sun, what was there not to like?
    Uh, snow?😁😁😁

    Comment


    • #7
      Originally posted by Jughed View Post
      NO!!!!!!

      Started in the print room of an engineering firm, no degree.

      Worked my way up thru the control systems design group, did some construction engineering support, led design efforts - now department manger/project manager.

      I hate it, but they keep paying me(or I keep going to get the money) to stay.

      Its a means to an end, a way to support my family- and I do fairly well for a kid from Philly public system.

      I do not define myself by my profession, I just go to work.
      Well said. Getting too attached to a specific profession can blind you to other opportunities.

      Comment


      • #8
        Originally posted by V_Thirteen View Post

        Uh, snow?😁😁😁
        I know it's a joke, but there's noting wrong with SNOW, every event is a money making opportunity. Guys would come in for lunch with a plow and I'd clear my lot with their plow, I'd then tell the Madre de to bring me their check. When they asked for their bill he'd tell them the parking lot guy picked it up. They'd come outside and my lot would be clear and laugh their asses off. I'd thank them and we became friends. Saved me a ton of money and made me a friend. Now when they'd come in they'd say, go ahead and use the truck. I'd plow out half the cars on the block and collect an easy $10 from everyone. A quick $200. If you didn't pay me, next time I'd bury your car, lol.

        You don't want to know some of the things I did or could have done. Doctors would come in, script pads by the hundreds in their trunk, if I were a bad guy I could easily have taken several pads and written scripts for anything I wanted.
        This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties either expressed, written or implied and confers no rights.
        You assume all risk for your use. The author is not responsible for your inability to understand logic, ambiguous references, sarcasm, the imaginary friends living inside my head or William Shatner's acting ability.

        Comment


        • #9
          Yes and no, when I was an electronics repair guy, it was interesting, meeting different customers all day, then when I went into IT at a local University, I got to work with such a diverse range of people, students to Professors, women, men, every nationality, brilliant people, and some dumb as a box of rocks.....I was there for 25 years and loved every day! Some young guys I still can't believe how smart they were, and yet some Professors were brilliant in their own field, but didn't know what day it was outside that field,

          Comment


          • #10
            I had two paths to choose, build swimming pools or pallet rack. I quickly found out buildig a pool in the FL heat SUCKED. At least with pallet rack we were in a warehouse. I had been free labor to my pos dad since I was 10. Tieing rebar and mixing concrete in a wheel barrow.
            I was 12 years old when I was on my first rack job. My step father looked at me and said "your big enough to work". I bet I drilled 10,000 concrete anchors that summer. By the time I was 14 I was 16' in the air walking 8' and 12' beams.
            I figured I would go into the Marine Corp but at 17 a motorcycle accident put an end to that. The ROTC instructor in high school told me "Son, not even the airforce is going to accept you".
            In 2007 I had a lady that embezzled $300k from my company. Two months later in 2008 the economy stopped. Beginning of 2009 wife left me and took everything I had. I was still trying to save the business and didn't have the time or energy to fight her. By 2010 I was penniless. Had sold everything off to get everyone paid off (no bankruptcy allowed in my family) and didn't have a job.
            Scrapped up a few bucks ($6k to be exact. sold some guns and tools) and started again.
            I am still in the pallet rack business. Even larger than before. Still love it with the exception of the permitting. (V-13, I Feel your pain). I may retire one day (just hit 60) but not today.

            Comment


            • V_Thirteen
              V_Thirteen commented
              Editing a comment
              We have so much in common it's scary. Early start in construction (12), slave labor dad, started climbing red iron at 16 (ladder? What's a ladder?), crashed the bike at 20. Differences: happily married for almost 50 years, weaseled through the recession on savings. Rebooted career (no permitting!) and loving life. Figure I'll retire at 70, four more years.

          • #11
            To answer the OP's question..... kinda. Sometimes. But mostly NO these days.

            Started out a farm kid. Loved everything about it, but life's circumstances kinda ended that.

            Went to school and got a civil engineering degree. Worked at a consulting firm for 10 years and at times found it highly rewarding and enjoyable. I'd spend 6-12 month's in the office designing something and then make myself resident engineer and be on the job site for the next year or 2 while it got built. See V_Thirteen's reasons above for why I couldn't take it any more. Plus the firm I worked for told me I had to move in to the office and be a full time suit & tie manager. That was a hard NO.

            Enter the excavating world. Being a farm kid, it seemed to be the best way to get back in the dirt. And it was for a number of years. I love everything about playing with big expensive toys. I love shaping the earth and at the end of the day being able to look over the job site and seeing exactly what was accomplished.

            But the joy is mostly gone. Biggest reason is employees and the change in mentality there. While I still have a couple guys that have been with me for +/- 20 years, and I'd give my right arm for them, I cannot stand the revolving door of worthless takers that don't appreciate anything you do for them. Nothing is ever enough. And generally, they suck as employees anyway. They spend as much time looking at their phone, while a $200/hr machine sits idling, as they do working on the job at hand. Add to that today's insanity with diesel prices, 11-12 month lead time to get materials like ductile iron pipe, increasing liability concerns with anybody/everybody wanting to sue you for anything they can, etc, etc....... I dread most every single day.

            The only way I refrain from putting gun in my mouth these days is I let my trusted superintendent & foreman run the jobs and I work by myself doing whatever misc. tasks need dealing with. Last week it was putting in 650' of split rail fence around wetlands. At almost 60, it's rough on the body, but oh so worth it to be away from the employees. This week I'll work on finish grading & topsoiling a site we just paved. I still love running equipment. I just have to stay away from the shit-show.
            Bob

            S Central PA

            Comment


            • V_Thirteen
              V_Thirteen commented
              Editing a comment
              I have really enjoyed being a one-man operation. Less gross, more net, plus sanity. Have you considered just going to you alone, doing driveways and such? And the fence sounds like a good job. There's satisfaction in just chugging along, looking back once in a while to check out your progress.

            • KMac
              KMac commented
              Editing a comment
              V, happiest I have ever been was when I was a one man show.

            • duckfish
              duckfish commented
              Editing a comment
              Yea the next iteration will be just me, a dump truck & trailer and a couple machines. I have some ideas of things I'd really like to focus on and I'll be happy to do that as long as I'm physically able. Or till I croak.

              We're sort of committed to our long term customers for about a another year's worth of work right now. After that...?????. That's assuming we can get fuel and materials to do those jobs. If not or another recession comes, it's time to shut it down and go do my own thing.

          • #12
            From the age of 6 I said I was going to be a physician.
            I floundered for a few years post HS graduation. Did plumbing, did carpentry built Shamrock boats and finally decided that lifestyle wasn’t for me and went to college.

            I became an EMT then went to college for premed
            and worked in ER’s during that time.

            I met a buddy in the ER and he was a PA
            I said that’s for me!
            Got my BS in Biology and tried 4 years to get in PA school
            nada.

            Lived with a buddy at the time and he was making bank bank in the IT industry. I said “ what do I need to do to get into your world?”
            He replied “take a Unix class”

            and here I am decades later an Network Engineer.

            Do I love it? No. Do I hate it? No
            I find it amazingly challenging at times. Problem solving, finding the solution. But I am not passionate about it like I was with medicine. Not even close.

            Comment


            • V_Thirteen
              V_Thirteen commented
              Editing a comment
              Turn it off and back on, that'll fix it!

          • #13
            Yes!
            I went to commercial driving school in 1990 to get training that lasted 4 weeks, this was before the CDL came out, enjoyed it mostly, loved it some, like it barely now with how responsible people drive now, sarcasm!

            Now just a means to an end!!
            I'm good at it and if you rode with me you might even be impressed with my skill, but, so what, much practice, probably 35,000 to 45,000 hours in over 3 decades.

            I actually enjoy it, but do not love it, paid adequately and more since the ChinaVirus!

            I do not recommend any get in this field now, I conduct road tests and nobody has a very high level of competency!

            Yes, I do fail some if I think they just can't drive, I'm trusted so no one 2nd guesses my decision, no pass, no job!

            I've met some of the finest people in the business and yet I've met some of the scummiest in driving, way more good than bad though.

            I'm still friends with some for over 25 years, great friends, and we all like boats, go figure!!!

            Be blessed in whatever you do, and do your best, all any one can ask.
            I've represented my company of over 150 drivers as the only one to compete at the state level and just try as well as can be expected.

            Kinda neat with everyone telling you how awesome you are, just don't believe all the hype, I'm still just a component, safe, driver, all that matters.

            BWP

            Comment


            • V_Thirteen
              V_Thirteen commented
              Editing a comment
              Another "piss in a dark suit" job. Do well, nobody notices; make a mistake, everyone knows.

            • SeaCat22
              SeaCat22 commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s a lot of seat time. I’m sure you know which truck stops have the best fried chicken...and I know there are some good ones out there. Lol
              My brother just started driving for a very large trucking company out of Tennessee. The crazy driver stories are plenty.
              Be safe out there, buddy.

          • #14
            Wow, some fascinating folks with interesting professions and occupations. Cool to know y’all a little better.
            Yes.
            I started working at 12 in Jr High under a “Work Experience” program at a locksmith shop in Miami Beach. I took two busses there after school and two back home. Since then, I had a dozen jobs working at gas stations, auto glass shop, tire stores, butcher store, forklift mechanic, gun store, Cuban cigar store and other jobs.
            At the age of 19, after graduating from Miami High School, I got on the Miami Fire Dept. It was exactly what I was meant to be. I like helping people, know how to use tools and have good problem-solving skills. I knew construction, mechanics and was good with my hands. My family were not business people so I wasn’t a business man.
            I started MFD in 1981, got into Haz Mat work and special tactics, Paramedic, dive rescue, technical rescue and started teaching the stuff with some great friends from various other Fire Depts around the country. I really enjoyed when the bell rang and we jumped on the trucks to help folks with their boo-boo’s. Medical, trauma, industrial accident and all kinds of interesting situations. Seen a lot of folks in pain and difficult situations. Delivered quite a few babies and other joyful times. Other than teaching a recruit class, back in 1990, I was riding the trucks at the Firehouses. Got to the rank of Capt. Didn’t want to be a Chief. I liked solving the people’s problems, not the internal FD management problems.
            Got to help thousands of folks during my 34 years. I retired in 2015 at the age of 53. It is a young persons job. I still teach the Technical Rescue classes to the young Bucks and Does. I miss the clowns, but not the circus. Lol

            By the way....I still get 911 calls from friends and family when they they get in a jam, break down in the Everglades, need something fixed or have some type of emergency. Macgyver on the way. Glad to help.
            Last edited by SeaCat22; 05-16-2022, 07:19 AM.

            Comment


            • #15
              Used to love it! Now, not so much. Working construction for 45 years with the last 20 as a commercial superintendent. Started out digging ditches and worked my way up. It provided me with a great life but a sore body. Everything I own is paid for and I'll be retiring in 44 days at 62.

              Tired of all the bullshit people I have to deal with these days. It used to be that you could count on people to do what they promised, now you get excuses and you have to coddle them to get any kind of work out of them.

              Comment


              • Billinfla
                Billinfla commented
                Editing a comment
                Ding!

                Graduated college 1971 (I are an (Oceanographer) NO! jobs available, some returned to my summer job..construction. Restored historic properties in Savannah. Yes it was fun back then. Lots of on the site design challenges.

                Industry started going to shit in the 1980's. Designed/restored/ran a B&B for 6 years. It ain't Bob Newhart.
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