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From 25-35 or so, I was a professional astronomer, working at the big scopes you see on NOVA.

Then, I was a geophysicist in Oil and Gas, from about 35-47.

Now, I'm getting my hands dirty fixing and customizing CNC routers and mills and such, and teaching ASE certifications to people in our low income neighborhoods. Also fixing and upgrading private telescopes. Might do some cool art too, might not, don't know yet, I',m not an artist but I'm willing to try. Maybe get better at welding, for sure get better at woodworking. I'm installing security cameras, getting qualified to be a fire alarm installer, and will very likely have my CDL by summer.

Each time, I was sitting quietly in my life when a burning ember landed in my lap. My first instinct was to knocking it away before it burned me, but both times I instead grabbed it with both hands and made sure it stayed hot, made sure it hurt a bit, made sure it woke me up.

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Old 02-22-2021, 08:40 PM
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I may have experienced a career change. Or two.

I can't be sure.

I have no idea what I did my entire life.

All's I know is I have 5 grandkids that come running when they see me and they see me almost every other day.
Old 02-22-2021, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pazuzu View Post
From 25-35 or so, I was a professional astronomer, working at the big scopes you see on NOVA.

Then, I was a geophysicist in Oil and Gas, from about 35-47.

Now, I'm getting my hands dirty fixing and customizing CNC routers and mills and such, and teaching ASE certifications to people in our low income neighborhoods. Also fixing and upgrading private telescopes. Might do some cool art too, might not, don't know yet, I',m not an artist but I'm willing to try. Maybe get better at welding, for sure get better at woodworking. I'm installing security cameras, getting qualified to be a fire alarm installer, and will very likely have my CDL by summer.

Each time, I was sitting quietly in my life when a burning ember landed in my lap. My first instinct was to knocking it away before it burned me, but both times I instead grabbed it with both hands and made sure it stayed hot, made sure it hurt a bit, made sure it woke me up.
Awesome. I was a certain kind of specialist programmer for 25 years. Quit to retire and travel and un-burn-out. Saw my kids graduate, some cool trips, lots of home repair but now a year of covid and no travel i needed adrenalin and fear. Pictured my perfect job and found someone to pay me. Still a programmer but new job is in ml and way outside my domain knowledge. Terrifying. The math is all new. Stuff is actual wizardry. Im just over 50 and feeling old. The ramp up is crazy but its exactly what i want. When they made the offer i was prepared to work for free.
Old 02-22-2021, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowbob View Post
I may have experienced a career change. Or two.

I can't be sure.

I have no idea what I did my entire life.

All's I know is I have 5 grandkids that come running when they see me and they see me almost every other day.
What else in your life matters more than this? (I already know the answer so there's no need to reply)
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Old 02-23-2021, 02:28 AM
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Well hell! If we're just talking about career changes through life... started off as a teen doing autobody repair work, went to school for HVAC repair, Spent about 5 years working for a HVAC company, got talked into becoming a Real Estate agent, started my own HVAC company, sold manufactured homes, built garages, now buying and selling used construction equipment.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pazuzu View Post

Each time, I was sitting quietly in my life when a burning ember landed in my lap. My first instinct was to knocking it away before it burned me, but both times I instead grabbed it with both hands and made sure it stayed hot, made sure it hurt a bit, made sure it woke me up.
That's it exactly for me too. But I'm not smart enough to think about knocking it away. Just grabbed each one and held on tight and ultimately made diamonds. Painful but beautiful diamonds.

Such a fun life it's been and only 1/3 over.
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Old 02-23-2021, 04:24 AM
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Lots of changes here: from wilderness naturalist/canoe-guide (in the BWCA), to color photo processing lab owner, to commercial/fine art photographer, to Artist in Residence in Vt. schools, to photojournalist (mostly in Ethiopia), to large format camera designer/builder (I have a patent), to nonprofit food distribution to disadvantaged local (Vt/NH) population, to college-level photo-educator and dean of a small college.

Now? At 66, am concentrating on my large format traditional (nothing digital) film-based fine art photography - creating up to 40x60 black and white prints by hand in my darkroom. Essential diversions include my current rebuild/rehab of a 1987 944NA, and continuing, with my wife…to hike in NH’s White Mountains for as long as we can!
Old 02-23-2021, 04:42 AM
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What do you do? I'd say always keep in mind your customers. They should always be at the front of your mind. You're not creating demand. You're answering it better than anyone else. That is either your reason for doing it, or you're just chasing an idea rather than an opportunity. The two are not the same.

I develop, build, and hold real estate. I added a seasonal outdoor business, which is now dominant in my area. I also became a fuel and convenience store operator that is now quite notable in terms of sales volume. I make it a point to have fun and always have concern for my customers and my crew. In the process I built quite the extended family who buy in to my drive for customer satisfaction. Along the way I cultivated friendships with friendly competitors, and just outlasted my rivals. Retirement is probably a good 30 years or so away so I have time to contemplate how to grow what I've done, or make my next switch to something else.
Old 02-23-2021, 05:29 AM
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I'm a few months shy of 50 and two years into final expense life insurance sales. I only got my license because I very unexpectedly lost my job two years ago with no backup plan, but a little savings in the bank. This has been the best, but hardest job I've ever had. I'll never retire. I make more than I ever have, answer to no one, work when I want and there's never a boring moment out there in the field. Seriously, as long as I'm able-bodied, I plan to keep doing this.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:16 AM
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Lawyer 13 yrs, then various roles in investment industry 22 yrs and counting. I had thought I’d have a third career someday, but I’m enjoying this one too much. When and if I no longer do, I might be ready to retire.

Edit: I’ve also thought about going into politics. I’m very involved at the local citizen activist level, I’m a good speaker and communicator, and I know a lot of people in Portland by now. However, the opportunity cost is high. I also don’t know if the frustrations of trying to do goverment based on facts and logic would be tolerable. And, by current local political standards, I might not be “progressive” enough.
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Last edited by jyl; 02-23-2021 at 12:22 PM..
Old 02-23-2021, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjohnson View Post
25ish years into this gig at a national lab has seen me in four or so careers - all engineering but different enough that you still start at step one, just with a bit of a steeper trajectory.

-Plutonium foundry in grad school and a little after that. I can say that I've actually held a pit! Picking up a jar of metal that's been sitting for years and that's warm, even through the gloves, is cool in an eerie way too.
-Designed and fabricated electrical and laser-driven detonators for 10 years. Lots of stats/6-sigma and all of that. These aren't grand-dad's blasting caps, that's for sure - still somewhere between arts-and-crafts and real science though.
-A&E Engr and program manager for security and safety enhancements for the stockpile - 5 years or so. Lots of travel to DC and the UK.
-Venue and asset-focused vulnerability assessment for Very Bad Things. Way too much travel and a really really heavy topic area (and that's saying something in this business). That one burnt me out even if I did get to play with lots of C-4 and spend time with some surprisingly chill and very specialized members of the military.
Wow, now that's nuts. Also "Very Bad Things"- official nomenclature?

rjp
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:19 AM
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I've seen your previous posts. Great questions and sounds like you are in good shape. I am a CPA whose license has long ago expired. Roughly speaking I did 20 years in accounting/finance roles in public accounting and then private industry. At roughly 40 I switched careers and became the CFO/COO of a large non profit. Big pay cut but still decent money, much less stress and enjoyed the work more. I've dabbled in real estate along the way starting in the mid 80's, buying, fixing and holding rentals. About a 1 1/2 years ago I switched again and took a part time job as the controller/business manager of a small catholic private school. The trick is at 25+ hours per week they pay 100% of a really nice benefit package. I'm almost 58 and plan to do this until at least 65. I have tons of schedule flexibility, make enough to pay most bills and most importantly really enjoy the people I work with and support. My wife is also part time so this has opened up long travel weekends and visiting our growing pile of grandchildren with our combined 5 children. I have a small 6 unit apartment building. That's not paid off but the house is and we've got a decent retirement portfolio. I didn't need my technical accounting background for this current job. You have the bookkeeping and business experience to do something similar.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:28 AM
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Went from being a Mortgage Lender for 15 years with a full on shop (several years until big crash) to working on the consultant / analyst side of banking and manufacturing- dealing with IT deployments and regulatory affairs- I get all kinds of weird projects- ranging from Pet Food factories to bank 2052a production and compliance, even did a stint with Wells Fargo helping clean up their IT mess right after SHTF. Pre COVID, lots of travel, it's Corporate so it's dealing with a lot of egos bureaucracy.

Not bad but honestly not something I really want to do forever.
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QUOTE: NOTA, on dating: "I have a simple system-I ask them to put it in --if they donot it don't go in"
Cockerpunk, on The Muppets- "the fact that you dont think there are sexual advances in the muppets is kinda scary. but it doesn't change the facts that its there."

Last edited by RANDY P; 02-23-2021 at 07:34 AM..
Old 02-23-2021, 07:28 AM
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In my early 60s I fell off the corporate ladder ==and could not get back on --tried but methinks my age worked against me --never mind I was fit and all the rest.

Did transportation for special needs kids for three years -- paid poorly and was the most rewarding work I ever did. Lucky for me i had laid in enough for the rainy day.

For the last year Ive done the type of job one used to start out with in my business--specing fluid handling systems and trouble shooting. Fun in a way but a little tied to the desk--- work from home.

what i am saying --nothing beats preparation if you do it.

In May gonna get all thethe way retired -- gotta see the little grandkids more -out West.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:59 AM
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Well LeeH, that is a good question and one I went through in 2016. I spent 25 years in the corporate/manufacturing rat race and watched the culture deteriorate over time. And the higher the ladder I climbed, the bigger the target became on my back. Couple that with the stress of always being connected and trying to manage up the chain, while still successfully managing your team - I got burned out. Long story, but lost a job and was not keen to re-engage, so I tried real estate, first residential then commercial. I do enjoy that, but they have their challenges too.

Fast forward a couple years to summer 2016 and I am talking with a charter pilot friend and he is talking about a colleague that recently left and went to a regional airline. He talked about the (then) pilot shortage and better pay at the regionals (still low, but more palatable than when I first looked in 2000). I thought, hmmm I think I may try to get paid to do what I love to do. Spoke with some pilot friends asking them if I am crazy to do this at my age (52 at the time). One got me hooked up with a senior pilot at the regional I wanted to go to. Within two weeks I interviewed, was hired, and got a class date a month later.

I flew for them for only 1 year and 8 months before I got a call from a major airline. Seriously blessed. I am coming up on 3 years flying the Airbus A320 and it was the BEST decision I have ever made. My stress is gone, I am happy and not a grump at home, and can create my schedule (to a degree) to fit my needs. Love my job too and consider it my "retirement" job. Sure it comes with its own set of challenges and undesirable aspects, but they pale in comparison to the life sucking culture of corporate America IMO. Not sure how long I will fly a full schedule - maybe until my early 60s or maybe earlier, then fly a much reduced schedule and enjoy time with family and friends. I am blessed to truly be "living the dream."
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:19 AM
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At age 45 I restarted college, finished an AA and got my BAS degree, and went from supporting instructors using technology to full time software development. That was Jan 2019. About to hit "submit" on an application to move me from being a developer to being a Linux admin supporting the developers and the technology stack our work all rides on.

Reboot? No... more like a change in runlevel

Old 02-23-2021, 08:35 AM
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I started out doing commercial flooring. Lots of seamless floors in hospitals and big office buildings. One law office had some special carpet that cost $130 per square yard in 1989. Moved from that and have been in IT for 29 years and only a few jobs in IT.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:56 AM
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Printing industry from 18 to 45 years old. Technical, then sales, and finally middle management.
I bought a small printing company and have been doing that for the last 13 years.
Not making a great deal of money, but I'm my own boss and can take time off to enjoy life.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by id10t View Post
At age 45 I restarted college, finished an AA and got my BAS degree,

Reboot? No... more like a change in runlevel

Are you my long lost twin?

rjp
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Cockerpunk, on The Muppets- "the fact that you dont think there are sexual advances in the muppets is kinda scary. but it doesn't change the facts that its there."
Old 02-23-2021, 09:52 AM
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My 'reboots' were all in the 80's. Went into college seeking a EE holding amateur and commercial radio licenses (which I got in HS) Thought I would specialize in RF. Was building computers and programming by sophomore year. Finished the EE degree, while making way too much money part-time programming.

I turned down a few software jobs out of college, was going to go it on my own, but went to work part time with my father and brother in construction for what I thought would be a few weeks.

Never left construction, and enjoyed it until a few years ago.

I'd like to reboot also.

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Old 02-23-2021, 11:16 AM
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