1. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    Job Me.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by The Freshmaker, Jul 10, 2008.

    I've been in college for a while now. I've taken a lot of random classes, because I have no clue what I want to do. I've tried a number of subjects, most recently computer programming. But my college money is running out, and I still haven't found anything that clicks.

    So...

    What I want you guys to do is tell me about your career, or the career you are planning on going into. Describe in detail what it is that you do. Then tell me what you like about your career, and what you don't like about it.

    Basically, convince me to go into your line of work.

    Your participation is appreciated.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Job you, huh?

    Well, I work as an interpreter. A consecutive interpreter to be more precise. There is also simultaneous interpreting, which I have done, but do not do in my current job.

    More on that later.

    Benefits:
    Good pay
    Rarely boring
    When you’re done for the day, you’re done. No bringing the job home with you at night.

    Negatives:
    Very competitive field
    Must speak two languages fluently (Better if you have more than two under your belt.)
    Can sometimes be difficult to separate yourself from the conversation when it starts to go south.



    Consecutive interpretation is when there is only one interpreter and both parties for whom you are interpreting are present. All parties can hear each other. This requires good note-taking skills, because you must wait for each party to stop speaking before you interpret, otherwise there is just cacophony. Some cultures, like my own Latino culture, can be very long-winded and you must keep track of a lot of data to then pass to the other person in their own language. In this setting you may also have to act as culture broker. This means explaining to one party or the other, or both, why things are going in a direction that seems strange to them. Care must be taken when doing this in order to avoid causing either party to feel that you are manipulating the conversation. It's a fine line to walk.


    Simultaneous interpretation requires a special setup and much more training, along with getting certified. This kind of interpretation happens at the U.N. The interpreter does not wait for the person to stop speaking before they start interpreting. The interpreter is usually isolated and has a headset/microphone in place. The interpreter is only going in one direction with the language. If there is going to be two-way interpretation, it requires another, isolated interpreter to do the other language. The clients each have earpieces to hear what their interpreter is interpreting. Sometimes the interpreters are not isolated, like in a courtroom setting, and it can get confusing. You kind of go into a trance that lets your brain divide into two parts, the Listener and the Speaker. They operate independently, but in concert. Hard to explain. The pay for this kind of job ROCKS!
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a Software Engineer. I develop software in a number of different programming environments, and in different application environments.

    Changing application environments gives you a view into many separate parts of the business world, and even areas outside of what most people consider the business world.

    I currently develop software for a company whose business is translation, much like Wrey's business. My role involves tools to allow translators from all over the world to collaborate in real time, to aid the translation process with automation, and to manage translation quality, particularly in translating documents. In this role I have learned new things about natural (human) languages around the world and the complications that arise when the content is mixed in with formatting.

    I've also worked on software to manage paid service (service desks), software security, software development tools, scientific and engineering software, and a few other areas. I won't say it's never boring, but the challenges change from day to day, and there are always opportunities to learn new and different things.

    It's a field that can pay pretty well, although there are better ways to get rich. On the downside, the scheduling pressure can get crazy, the industry is constantly changing so you have to always be learning or be left behind, and layoffs and buyouts are common.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I own an insurance brokerage company. Work is easy, money's great and you have lots of control of your time for writing, etc.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That was unexpectedly candid, Saulty. Thank you for that. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Funny. I have no idea what I want to be. My mom says: dentist or architect. Patriotic side of me says: archaeologist or geologist. Me says: Just get over with it. Any help, someone?!

    But yeah, since I have no idea myself, I'll just say: best wishes.
     
  7. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    Wow, great replies already!

    I actually love learning foreign languages, and have considered studying to be an interpreter. That's certainly an option for me.

    Cogito, I tried going into the programming world. I don't think I could do it.

    NaCl, that's quite the story! You really found a way to turn something you weren't thrilled about into something that made your life spectacular. I was actually offered a job selling supplemental health insurance last year. I turned it down because at the time I didn't have the money to get my license to sell insurance. However, maybe I'll look into it further.
     
  8. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I considered archaeology, actually. I heard that it's actually really boring. However, you would probably always have a great tan.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dean, my off-center mind latched onto the role your health insurance must have played in being able to return to the competitive bass fishing you love.

    I know it's a bit off topic, but it hooked my cerebellum and gave it a quick yank.
     
  10. FlakeandFins
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    FlakeandFins Contributing Member

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    Not too long ago, I used to be in your same position. I started out in Journalism, which was insanely tough (I failed with an 81; 83+ was a passing grade). After that I moved to English, but got bored with being forced to read the same stuff I read in high school. After that I moved to Philosophy with a PoliSci major, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer and the courses offered at my school in these fields would help me greatly on the LSAT. I nailed down what I wanted to be by the second year.

    Third year I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore. It was probably had more to do with me suddenly failing to understand Philosophy anymore (my A's turned into C's). I kept the PoliSci minor and switched back to English. The reason I switched back to English was one of my Philosophy teachers told me that the scenarios I gave to explain certain concepts (Philosophy is LOADED with tons of fictional scenarios) were "creative, clear and imaginative." That's when I decided to settle down into creative writing, to be an essayist and children's author more specifically. I excelled at these areas, and I loved them. I kept the PoliSci minor so I could have grounds to be a political pundit.

    The reason I'm telling you this is so you won't be discouraged by your indecisiveness. Lots of people don't know what they actually want to do when they're in college. My brother went to school for marketing and accounting, and now he is in IT and webdesign. The problem with college is that people insist that you find what you want to do with the rest of your life in a 4 year parameter. That's just ridiculous.

    Whoa, sorry to ramble. I guess to answer your initial question: after I graduated I took a job in government as an editor. The pros are definitely the pay and the benefits. The cons is that it is very tedious and I bring a lot of my work home with me.

    Hope that helps.

    PS- Nacl, your bit about fishing really caught me in also. I love to fish and hope to get to the level you were once at one day. I don't get out to do it nearly enough though.
     
  11. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I am a mental retardation counsellor
    the work is hard physically and emotionally.
    But it is also very rewarding.
    Pay when I did it was just above minimum.
    I worked in an institution with the really bad ones.
    There was little hope of them ever leaving the grounds.
    I loved it and if my eldest son didn't have the chance of
    being born dead or retarded due to the flu I got I would
    still be doing the job I loved.
    but the flu knocked out my immunities and the dr said to quit.
    I never went back.
    So no tech stuff from this job
    It was a 2 year college course and if you enjoy working with people
    it is a great career.
    Now for the past 32 years I am doing the job I have wanted since I
    was 5 years old .
    I am a wife and mother and love every minute of it.
    good luck on your decision.
     
  12. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    When I was twenty I worked as a photo technician in a one hour lab. This was actually quite fun and when I went to work in the private sector in a local studio I made $16 an hour to develop film in their dark room.

    When I was twenty-three I went to work for FujiFilm as a chemical engineer. It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds. basically I created the chemicals used in the C-41 process machines in photo labs. Add to much Developer and those prints turned black add to little and they were blue. That kind of thing. Okay, so this one paid well, very well, but I hated it.

    At twenty-six I worked for the county special needs board as an aid. And I struck gold. I loved it. I worked very closely with children with Autism and I was blown away.

    I had to quit when I got married and had kids, but in a way I guess I didn't, because I still work very closely with kids with Autism every day.

    there you go, three jobs in one go. I totally made this worth your time didn't I...didn't I? :)
     
  13. cargirl86
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    cargirl86 Member

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    I majored in communications, with a focus in electronic media and a minor in English.

    I've produced, directed and hosted a local television show for four years.

    I worked as a reporter, page designer and editorial page editor of a local newspaper for my first year out of college, immediately following graduation.

    I currently work as a writer for an Atlanta-based public relations and marketing agency. I do a little bit of everything, from writing commercial scripts to writing magazine articles to writing copy for Web sites. I'm also beginning a freelance career as well as working on my first novel (that I want published, at any rate.)

    I love what I do because it's competitive, and I thrive on competition. I've been treated so well by each company I've worked for. And I absolutely love this industry. I would watch '60 Minutes' when I was five and would think to myself, 'Journalists can literally rule the world.'

    The job is tough, the hours are long, the pay is volatile (I've always done well, but there's really no guarantee of good pay, particularly right out of school), and the clients are rarely satisfied. But there's usually at LEAST one moment a week when I realize that people care about what I do, that for every critic there are ten others who appreciate the effort I put into a story. You develop a thick skin and strong faith in yourself.

    PM me if you have any specific questions. I'd be more than happy to answer ... plus, I'll be home all weekend working on the aforementioned novel, so expect me checking the boards a lot. :)
     
  14. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    hello, Im a welder and metal fab instructor, the pay sucks, i got the iq of a slug, i quess thats what happens when you work with hot metal and flying sparks. i'm not smart enough to do a job like most the people here. If i had it to do all over again, i would have paid attention in school but its to late now. hopefully you wont follow a path like me. thats what i keep telling my kids.10-12 hr days is brutal.
    jim
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you choose to enter the insurance business, remember that it is not a field with a lot of intrinsic satisfaction. Its greatest value is as a "life-catalyst"...a benign career that makes many other wonderful things possible.

    I was uncomfortable revealing so much about myself in that post but it was necessary for you to understand the totality of the experience and why it warrants consideration. Now that you have read how the insurance business can be used to further your interests in life, I am deleting the story.

    Good luck in whatever career you pursue.
     
  16. Afterburner
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    Afterburner Active Member

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    Well I'm starting college in the fall, and I plan to major in marketing. I will basically aid a company in targeting their product or service to their intended customers. I also plan to minor in advertising, so I might be working on creating ad campaigns and slogans.

    Pros:
    I get to be creative and use my imagination.
    I've been told the pay is good.

    Cons:
    It's a very competitive field.
    Gotta wear a suit and tie 5 days a week.
    Gotta deal with the business types.
     
  17. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Well I majored in History and political science. The good thing is they both interest me greatly. The downside is they don't really prepare you for a job. So instead of getting a job in the government (too boring) or business (which would have nothing to do with my interests), I became an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.

    My main job is teaching University students English. I have also taught students ranging in age from 8 to 15, and I teach adults English as a second job.

    Pro:
    -I work about 25-30 hours a week. If I didn't have my second job I'd be teaching 19 hours a week. So the workload is easy.

    -You get to see the world. As long as they need students to learn English you can get a job almost anywhere. It helps to have a degree in any field but isn't essential.

    -Great way to learn about different cultures and points of view.

    -Learn a new language.

    -If you like a place you can probably stay there for several years or decades. Or you can go someplace new every 6 months to a year (get a new job each term, difficult but doable. Or find a new job with each school term, much easier).

    -Unless you get a bad contract, the pay is usually very good for the country.

    -Usually the bosses will leave you alone as long as the students aren't complaining, and you get the marks to them on time.

    -You can be very creative in what you do and how you do it.

    -Housing is often paid for and sometimes food is as well. You won't be living in a great place usually, but its usually clean and a free bed is a free bed.

    -The experience. There are some experiences you just can't get back home. Participating in festivals, trying new authentic food, discovering new facts and legends about the country, seeing how other people live and finding out why they do things the way they do.

    Cons
    -Sometimes the students are dumb, or they just don't care. If you can deal with them not showing up or not paying attention good. If you can't get a new job. (I have one very bad class that does this and two or three that sometimes do this. I just smile and keep teaching. They can do badly at the end of term exam.:))

    -Little help from your bosses. Sometime you won't even be able to talk to them due to language. You are very much on your own in most places unless your very lucky, or get help from other teachers. (That really screwed me over in my first 6 weeks. But I'm enjoying it now.)

    -The exchange rate is not your friend. I'm upper middle class here in China. But when I change my pay into Canadian dollars I realize that I would make more at McDonald's. So learn to save your money religiously if you want to have any savings when you get back home.

    -The language barrier. (I don't mind hearing other languages, but I think once I get back to Canada this summer, I'm going to start crying when I hear English being used by the person selling me a pop.)

    -Most places are poorer than you are used to and it will show. If you are Western Europe, or Japan and South Korea, this won't be a problem. But in Eastern Europe, most of Asia, virtually all of Africa, and South America, people don't have as much money as you are used to. If you are in most of Eastern Europe, China, and some other places that are developing rapidly you can almost miss it most of the time. But every once in a while, more often in the poorer countries, you'll see stuff that makes you stop and go "Oh my God". (For me its the people who have been born with severe defects or crippled due to an accident, in the West they could be fixed, if not easily, they could at least be made better. Here, most of them just take up begging and try not to die.)

    -Bad contracts. This is the biggest problem being a foreign teacher. Read any contract over very carefully. Sometimes they will say things that don't make sense, and you will have to do it anyways, like working no more than 12 one-hour classes a week, but having to work 15 hours a week. Or "Party B (you) will not be allowed to complain concerning Party A (your boss)". Also make sure that they won't screw you over with little things. Like promising a house, but giving you a roach infested, moldy, leaky apartment (heard about this one). Or working at two campuses 2 hours apart, and only having 1 hour to get to your classes in each campus. (I've been lucky and only had to deal with the first example. I said no to the second example)

    -Bad bosses. This is really bad in jobs that aren't exactly legal, but sometimes happens in legal schools, especially in South Korea. If the school isn't hiring properly accredited teachers, or doesn't tell the teacher all the facts they can and will do whatever they want. If your working illegally with only a tourist visa, you can and will be thrown out of the country if caught, and probably fined. So these bosses will say "Do everything I say or I will call the police." With your diploma you don't have to worry about that. But sometimes the school will hold your workers visa. Then they will tell you "Do what I say or I'll tell the police you are working illegally and you will never see your work visa." This happens a lot in South Korea. Mostly what they will tell you is to work extra classes, accept less pay, teach more students. I haven't heard of any cases where the boss demanded something illegal or bad. Just extra work and less money. So if you get a job overseas make sure everything is legal, and KEEP YOUR WORK VISA WITH YOU. If you have the work visa and passport you can do anything you want within the contract and your boss can scream, shout and threaten but thats it.

    -Exams. Yes it sucks being a student and writing exams, but you will have to mark them. Don't expect help. If you can get a teacher to help you awesome do it. But unless you make your exams very easy to mark (multiple choice, fill in the blank, spell the word correctly) you can't get any of the students to help you, and no one except a very good friend will offer to help. So expect to spend a few days or a week or two very, very busy marking exams.

    -Homesickness. Expect to be homesick a few times. Traveling to another country is not for the faint of heart. I wanted to travel, and there have been a few times when I've been bouncing of walls wishing I were back home. You will recover. When you realize you are homesick go and do something fun. Anything. You'll feel better in a few hours to a few days.

    -Sometimes you will be told, "Make every student pass." The student may not deserve to pass, but you'll have to pass them anyways. This happens most often in private schools where the owners want to keep the parents happy. It also happens with transfer students, if they fail then it messes up the visa's, and the school will lose a student. Work in public schools to avoid most of this. (I failed about 18 students last term and the only ones that complained were the students. This term I was nicer and they did better so no one failed.)

    Being an ESL teacher can be great or it can be horrifying. As I'm looking over the pro's and con's list it seems that the cons are a lot bigger than the pro's. But most of the cons aren't that bad. If you make sure to work legally, read the contract over very carefully, and ask questions before being hired you should avoid the worst problems. Too many people agree to the first place that offers them a job and don't read the contract carefully, or don't ensure the school is legal. For the other problems if you are easy going and know how to relax you should be fine.
    If you want a lot of help, and expect everyone to pay attention don't do it. In this job the most help you MAY get is from your fellow teachers and that is hit and miss. Also most students are just like any other students. Some want to be there, some don't, and with some it depends on the day. So try to keep things interesting and as long as some are paying attention be satisfied.
    I have 9 classes. In one class almost no one shows up and they never pay attention. At first it got to me until I yelled at them one day (not good). I had to apologize and I was extremely upset. Fortunately the Spring Festival was starting soon so I got a month to relax. I realized I had 6 classes that really liked me, one class that was starting to like me, one class that didn't care, and one class that didn't like me. So I went back the next term and when I dealt with the bad class I simply thought "Your doing this for the money, if they don't want to learn its their problem." Then I was able to happily teach the much better class right after them. I didn't give up on the class, I still taught them the lesson. But I simply treated them like I would an annoying customer at McDonald's. Get the order done and hope the next one is better.
    If you can do that being an ESL teacher is great. If you can't, don't do it.
     
  18. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    Well, my current line of work is home-maker, but it's not something you can really be trained for in college. :D Likewise, my past jobs at fast food restraunts probably don't inspire emulation. If you love writing though, I'd recommend going in for a degree majoring in English. That's what I'm working on at the moment. Sell a few shorts to mags, gain some publishing credits (e-zines and e-books are now providing a lot more opportunities for writers than we once had).

    Hang in there at school and find your focus point. What appeals to you? What would you not mind doing (or even enjoy doing) every day for the rest of your life? Just don't drop out. Then you're at a point where you're past the typical college age and don't even remember anything you learned in highschool. It's a lot harder to go back that way. Trust me. I know.
     

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