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#1 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

I'm writing about something that I'm sure is experienced by everyone at some point in their lives except for the very luckiest of us. That is how do you figure out what direction to take your life?

I'm 28 years old, I graduated high school ten years ago and I graduated college six years ago. My whole life I've loved music, and when I was 18 and obviously lacking the foresight to understand the need for enough money to live on my own, I chose to get a degree in music industry ( :picardfp:). My lovely parents likely realizing the futility of trying to convince me differently did not attempt to dissuade me from this particular major. About a year after I graduated, I had a good job that was making me miserable, which lasted 2 1/2 years before I got fired.

The only thing I know about my preferences now is I don't want to work for a huge corporation. I don't feel bad about losing that job, it was one of the best things that happened to me. But now I find myself at a crossroads. I have a more than two-year hole in my resume, but I finally have the support I need to be more independent. So I can either try to find work or I can go back to school.

Ideally I would love to work in the music business but my parents and pretty much everyone I talk to have me convinced that it's a pipe dream, not something I can seriously find a way to make a living out of.

So it comes to the question, how did you figure out whatever put you on your current path in life?

I know one thing for certain, and that is that there is no certainty. I know what I want out of my life but I have no clue how to get there from here. I'm not really asking for advice though if you have it I'm more than willing to listen to it. I just want to know how did you narrow it down and make one choice (or a series of choices) to give your life direction?

#2 Spidergawd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

25% desire, 75% luck. No nans. Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. Other times.... not so much.

Start by following the dream. You may not land there, but you may find something else interesting along the way.

#3 Spidergawd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

Unless, of course, you're a history or philosophy major. Then you're pretty much fucked. :funny1:

#4 unbroken_chain

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

still working on it.

#5 In A Silent Way

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

Or an English major. :unsure:

#6 Spidergawd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

Or an English major. :unsure:


Good point.

#7 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

:lol:

See now "following the dream" tells me that I should follow my instincts and that means the next step is figuring out how to get the eff out of my parents house...

#8 Spidergawd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

1. Speed profile 5
2. Push stick forward
3. ?????
4. Profit!

#9 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

:rolling:

well I might not be totally fucked because my major at least has the word industry in it :lol:

#10 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

more like

1. Speed profile 5
2. Push stick forward
3. Horrific crash/lawsuit
4. Profit!


:funny1:

#11 Spidergawd

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

Yes! That's the spirit!! :lol:

#12 gregoir

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

Trying to figure it out. got a Master's degree but the only teaching jobs are in the lolsouth. Trying to figure out what the fuck I am going to do. :undecided:

#13 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:28 PM

but if I did that I could probably end up in a wh-- oh wait :plain:

#14 In A Silent Way

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

Trying to figure it out. got a Master's degree but the only teaching jobs are in the lolsouth. Trying to figure out what the fuck I am going to do. :undecided:


It's pretty nice in lolPeachtree City, GA, and UM plays the Tab once a year.

#15 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

Trying to figure it out. got a Master's degree but the only teaching jobs are in the lolsouth. Trying to figure out what the fuck I am going to do. :undecided:


I feel for you man... different situations for each of us but ultimately pretty much the same result right now... I hope you figure something out too

#16 Java Time

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:35 PM

:funny1: JW

Find something in the music field that's not so music-y and work yur way up?

#17 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

hmm... I should probably try actually looking for a job before I dismiss that as an option :lol:

#18 JBetty

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

South south west

#19 musicfan

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:10 PM

Its pretty nice in lolCharlotte as well....

#20 Jwheelz

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

I'd be more than willing to explore moving to a new state/city... provided of course that I can get the services I need :)

#21 moed_over

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

I've definitely felt the way you are feeling a couple of times in my life. During those times, I tried to keep in mind that it wasn't possible to just change everything at once. I also accepted that some of the dreams that I had may not work out exactly the way I hoped.

I just started with some small things. I decided that I may not have the job that I really wanted, but if I was going to do it, I might as well try to be the best that I could be at it. That helped a lot as I earned several promotions. I also decided to pick a few things in my personal life to work on and be better at, like being on time, taking up a new activity that I always wanted to do, etc. That gave me some new ways to meet people.

I started small, and kept moving... it eventually lead to bigger things, and now I'm quite happy with what is going in my life. I've got the best possible relationship with an amazing person, I'm going to have a new degree in college soon, and next semester I'll be doing an internship with a company that may possibly become my future employer.

The process wasn't easy, there were many setbacks, and it took many years, but in the end it was worth it.

Are there any small things you've been wanting to do or change that you could start with?

#22 moed_over

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

Oh, and I guess I'm also saying that I had no overarching master plan. It just developed as I started with some small ideas....

#23 Jwheelz

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:32 AM

Oh, and I guess I'm also saying that I had no overarching master plan. It just developed as I started with some small ideas....

yeah, I'm not the type of person to master plan either :lol:

Are there any small things you've been wanting to do or change that you could start with?


I can't think of any small things I'd like to do... the things I want to accomplish are in no particular order:

1. Start making some real income/get off disability
2. Move out of the parents house
3. Start pursuing work directly with music (as a side venture)

actually that probably is the correct order :lol:

those all seem like big things to me... I already am making an effort just to get out more which is helping...

I guess I just feel like I'm at some kind of crossroads, like whatever I do in the next few months is going to determine the outcome of the next ten years or so... I have lots of general ideas of things I might be interested in or able to do but no specific path toward helping me determine what I'm actually going to choose... and I think to some degree at least subconsciously I'm a bit paralyzed by fear of making the wrong choice or heading down another wasted path

#24 Jwheelz

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:42 AM

I actually think I'm at the point where I'm ready for the big stuff... I just have no idea what direction I want to take... I don't even really know what direction I can take... as long as it doesn't lead to another mindless customer service job where I get fired after two and half years I'm okay with it, unfortunately that doesn't narrow it down all that much :lol:

#25 Jersey Thug

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:43 AM

So it comes to the question, how did you figure out whatever put you on your current path in life?

I know one thing for certain, and that is that there is no certainty. I know what I want out of my life but I have no clue how to get there from here. I'm not really asking for advice though if you have it I'm more than willing to listen to it. I just want to know how did you narrow it down and make one choice (or a series of choices) to give your life direction?


all i know is my own path. less than a week after graduating high school and turning 18 (which occurred on the same day, as it happened) i was pushed out on my own with no real idea of how to support myself. i DID know that my job at the rest area on the Expressway flipping burgers and dishing out TCBY wasn't going to pay the bills though...so i went where the only jobs for high school graduates with no college are, Atlantic City.

my first job, i made $7.25/hour taking abuse from angry gamblers. but i was good at my job and a lot of the high rollers took a liking to me, enough that i was offered a promotion to take even MORE abuse, for a little bit more money. it was barely enough to make ends meet, but my needs were few and i stuck it out because i didn't know what else to do. i worked 10-12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, and made it work.

after several years, one day i was invited upstairs to meet the new director of our division. i thought she was going to offer me a supervisory position, but no...our first meeting was about a complaint that a guest had filed against me, that i reacted poorly when he threw a plate of food at me a few days prior. my reaction to him was "seriously???" and turning around and walking away. but apparently, that was too strong a reaction for someone in my position, and so they offered me two options: accept more money and a job in the office upstairs, where they could hide me from this guest and let him think they'd fired me...or walk away.

i walked, and resolved never to work for another casino, no matter what the cost.

my next job was with the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe, who i heard good things about. good benefits, promoted from within, gave back to the community, etc. i took an entry level job for $9/hour and was promoted in under three months to their special events and marketing department. three years later i'd learned a LOT about pr, contract negotiating and coordinating events that made our clients look good...but i was less than charmed by the corporate structure and cut-throat nature of the business, thinly veiled by catchy slogans and kitsch.

luckily i'd made some good contacts though, and within days of deciding i wanted out, i had a few job offers. i took the one that got me out of the corporate rat race and into nonprofit management, and that's what i've done ever since. my next position was with the president of the board at that first nonprofit, and i moved up the ladder a bit more.

two years ago, Governor Christie made the decision that my company, which had been in operation for nearly 20 years, was redundant, and i was laid off from the position i'd held for 6 years. i thought for sure i'd have no problem finding work, because it had always come easy for me before. but my life wasn't in Atlantic City any more, and i was determined to find work further north, to allow us to move closer to Jason's job. his commute takes him almost an hour north every day...i wanted to change that.

but the jobs just weren't there. in 2 years there was ONE job that i actually got excited about, that paid well and that i was well-suited for, in my target area geographically. it was with a corporation that i personally loathe, but...i needed the work, so i sucked it up and jumped through the corporate hoops like a good little monkey. of course, after a few interviews, it went to someone else. i was "overqualified" :lol:

and then, nothing, for months. over the summer Jason and i worked together, painting houses and doing other odd jobs for rich folks living on the island near us. that was fun and certainly paid the bills, but the jobs dried up at the end of summer. and my burgeoning jewelry business is fun, but it doesn't exactly pay the bills.

so last week, i accepted a job down here. i work from home, making my own hours, and travel down to the AC area once a week or so for meetings. not exactly what i was hoping for, but it's work in my field, for a nonprofit whose mission i believe in.
and there's room for advancement, if i want it. otherwise, it'll be great for my resume, as it's always easier to find a job while you HAVE a job.

so yeah...no real plan here, except to avoid selling my soul for money whenever i can :lol: and maybe to finally finish my degree so that i have more options in the future.

i will say that if you're looking to work with a nonprofit, the best thing you can do is volunteer. a LOT. every one of my nonprofit jobs have come via volunteer work and the contacts i make while volunteering. plus, it looks good on your resume. so take your skills and find a nonprofit you believe in, that needs those skills, and give 'em away for free. you just never know where that might lead :)

#26 Jwheelz

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:49 AM

Thuggie thank you for your awesome and well written reply, I appreciate the insight :)

#27 moed_over

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:10 AM

I can't think of any small things I'd like to do... the things I want to accomplish are in no particular order:

1. Start making some real income/get off disability
2. Move out of the parents house
3. Start pursuing work directly with music (as a side venture)

actually that probably is the correct order :lol:

those all seem like big things to me... I already am making an effort just to get out more which is helping...

I guess I just feel like I'm at some kind of crossroads, like whatever I do in the next few months is going to determine the outcome of the next ten years or so... I have lots of general ideas of things I might be interested in or able to do but no specific path toward helping me determine what I'm actually going to choose... and I think to some degree at least subconsciously I'm a bit paralyzed by fear of making the wrong choice or heading down another wasted path


Those three sound like some really solid, doable goals. The steps are a little tougher.

The one thing I've really learned though is that you may make a less than perfect decision, but making no decision is the worst thing you could ever do. Don't let yourself be paralyzed by the 'what might have beens'...It's always better to do something rather than worry about what you didn't do.

Make some choices and run with them! You can always make adjustments along the way. And there's no such thing as a wasted path, as long as you learn something from the journey....

#28 Jwheelz

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:11 AM

yeah I definitely have to go ahead and do something...if it's wrong I can fix it later :lol: