Writer’s Workshop: Hindsight

So, this week’s question:
If you had to choose a new career for yourself, what would you choose?

Good question! To be honest, I haven’t given it a lot of thought. Never have. Not even when I should have.

I don’t think I’m alone there, either. I think the majority of people just found themselves doing whatever they could find after they finished college, or high school, based on whatever skills they were able to pick up along the way, and that defined the rest of their career. In my case, I learned how to program computers in college, and save for a couple of years in blue-collar work, that’s what I’ve done.

Now that I’m retired, of course, I can think of a thousand different things I would like to have done. It’s kind of like argument you had years ago that comes to mind in the middle of the night, where you suddenly think of some witty riposte that would have rendered the person with whom you were arguing speechless. In other words, it’s entertaining, but it’s a little late to do anything about it. In the words of the wise man, hindsight is 20/20.

9 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Hindsight

  1. I graduated from college with a degree in English Literature and couldn’t find a job (1980). I ended up working in a bank, processing mortgage payments, then worked on commercial loan closings, blah blah blah. I hated it. I knew I shouldn’t have been there. But….I had debt (four-letter word) and that debt kept me from making some life-altering decisions. I worked for the salary, and spent nearly 30 years doing a job I didn’t like. I was good at it, though, ending my career as a fraud investigator. NOW I do what I always wanted to do (author of novels). I’ll never get rich at this, but I now live debt-free, so I’m happier.

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    1. My decision to go work with computers was driven by the fact that I got married not long after I graduated and needed to support a family. I majored in Operations Management and tried finding a job “in my major,” which led to a couple of years as a production supervisor, not exactly the job for a person with a college degree, but I learned a lot, mostly that it was a dead end. So I got back into computer work and did just about everything there is there. Now I’m retired on disability and doing this for giggles, as they say. There’s no money in it, though there could be…

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  2. I graduated from college with a business degree. I landed my first job as a rater (raters determine insurance premiums) and retired 50 some years later as a commercial property/casualty underwriter. I like to be creative and design things and always wanted to be an architect.

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    1. Before I lost the job at Geac, a friend I worked with came to me and offered me a job with him in marketing. My reaction was “I’m not really a marketing guy,” and he said, “John, you’re perfect for the job, I think you are a marketing guy.” I gave it some thought and decided yeah, I’d like to give it a whack. I contacted him and he said he had brought it up with my manager at the time and was told that I was too valuable as a trainer and consultant for him to let me go do something else. I should have taken it as a sign…

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  3. If I would choose another career, I might go into travel where I’m the one on the bus full of tourists making sure they all get to where they want to go. To be in Europe or somewhere else, would feel fun. I could also see myself go into art and work in a museum taking people to different art pieces and teaching them bout the art. Now, knowing me, by the time I’m in my 40’’s, I could see myself wanting to be home plus the first job could be very lonely. The second job sounds nice but probably doesn’t pay much. So, in the end, I am doing something that I was meant to do even though my family was surprised since I disliked math and had such a tough time but I always saved, I could understand budgeting and could always figure out the approximate change I should get back right away. I have been a credit counsellor for 27 years for a non profit agency and I am proud of my work. Since I was so bullied when I was a kid, I always wanted to help people and I am doing just that. So, if we are in a job we hate, change it and if we can’t, learn from it because there is a reason.

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    1. I knew a guy who wanted to be one of the people who helped people get on the right cruise ship and deal with luggage for them after he retired. I don’t know if he ever did; he was battling cancer when he told me that. The job in the art museum you described is a “docent,” and you find them everywhere. Some friends and I were in Washington, DC and went to the National Cathedral. The docents there wore these strange-looking purple hats that ended up being a distraction.

      Credit counseling is, unfortunately, a really important job these days, because so many people got in over their heads with credit cards and mortgages when credit was loose. I think some of them figured they could pay their Visa with their MasterCard, or that they could mortgage their house over and over. I can imagine you see some pretty desperate people. It’s sad that so many people learn how credit works when suddenly they have a mountain of debt and a molehill of money…

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  4. I enjoyed this post, particularly your ending. I also enjoyed the comments.
    I’ve worked in a lot of fields, and I am surprised at how many I’ve enjoyed. I tend to stay open about opportunities, thinking of it like a journey, an evolution. No matter what it’s been, retail, education, law, finance — it’s always been the people, the environment, that will keep me happy at a job. I like to feel of service, to be part of a team. And that’s odd, because personally, I’m introverted and love solitude. Nonetheless, it’s true.

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  5. I knew from the age of about 8 that I wanted to be a writer, although I assumed there’d be some money in it! As such, I just had jobs rather than pursuing a paying career. If I’d had to choose something different at school, I’d have been an architect.

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