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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007

    Default Career track: what you're doing vs. what you thought you'd be doing

    Basically, are you working in the field you thought you'd be in? Do you have the type of job you thought you'd have when you were just starting out?

    I ask because I'm a 2011 science grad that expected to be working in research, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that career may not happen, at least right now. I'm now considering different career tracks like consulting or teaching. I'm also working outdoor retail part-time and while I enjoy it, I doubt it would pay the bills (currently living with family).
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2000
    Ellijay, GA


    I honestly thought I would be a pro rider or a trainer or have my own barn and teach lessons at least. I graduated from VI in 2001 and have been riding since I was 5.

    I have been doing medical billing for the past...10 years or so...NOT what I had envisioned at all...

    Things did not quite work out the way I had thought or planned.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    Cocoa, Fla


    Not at all.
    Undergrad degree is in science education, moved into computer programming and ended up getting a MSCS. My career has continued to evolve from there - programming into leadership into systems design into networking into higher level leadership.

    Now contemplating possibly moving back into the education field as a semi-retirement move, or perhaps a "virtual" engineering position (since I will be moving into a non-computer area of the country).

    My advice - be open to changes, be prepared to move in a variety of areas - best way to find interesting jobs and keep you employed!
    Sandy in Fla.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009


    Hah, not at all. I graduated with a BA in Econ and Sociology. No real clue what I was going to do with it. Started in retail, went to insurance and have been there for the last 7 years. I'm not sure anyone anywhere ever says "I want to be in insurance?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Florida, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by relocatedTXjumpr View Post
    I honestly thought I would be a pro rider or a trainer or have my own barn and teach lessons at least.
    Was the same way... kind of!

    Went to school and got a Bachelors in International Business... had NO clue what I would do with it... as in, really NO idea!
    Did accounting/bookkeeping/administrative work all throughout college (40 hrs/week)...

    Took a position as a national sales rep a few months after graduating.

    Did that for 2 years, got burned of being on the road 3 weeks/month.

    Started working for one of the largest horse shows in the world in sales... somehow migrated from sales to marketing and PR... with still a bit of sales in there as well.

    Now dabbling in many different pots within the organization and I love it

    So- still in the horse world... but definitely not training (1 year working student stint before college kind of killed that desire)!
    Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2010


    Nope, not at all. But, I'm young (23) so I still have plenty of time to get there

    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011


    I'm doing what I thought-- BS/MS in molecular biology and working in a lab. Been doing it for 10 years and enjoy it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Chatham, NY USA


    Absolutely not. I wanted to teach from 7th grade, when I met John Ayrassian, our amazing, challenging, fearless homeroom/math/science teacher.

    Eventually (after several years in the horse industry having a LOT of fun, but not making much money - not much has changed in four decades :-) ), I did get my Bachelor's degree, and eventually I did teach. For three years - Remedial English at the HS level. Loved it, but don't believe teachers should behave the way they want to be treated (i.e., professionally). So the union sold me. Then taught 6th grade English & Social Studies at a private school. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned challenging teacher gave me the cockeyed view that how and why was a lot more important to know than simply regurgitating facts. And all these coddled, little 'gifted & talented' darlings were accustomed to receiving As simply because they were gifted & talented - everyone had always told them so. One horrified child told me that she couldn't POSSIBLY get an 80 on a test (NOT a final grade) - she'd NEVER get into Harvard with an 80! On one test in 6th grade????

    So, as they say, you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher. I teach what & where I can, because I love it and think it's important. But I work in basically an office job which I used to love (different unit); now just looking forward to getting my 20 years in so I can retire in spring 2014.

    Equine Photography in the Northeast

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006


    Not exactly.....I'm another "thought I'd be training full time". I do hair. Not what I imagined, but I like it alright and it pays the bills (usually!)
    Tin Roof Living- Custom Wreaths & Home D├ęcor
    PM me to receive a COTH discount!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2008
    Somewhere in Texas YEEHAW!


    Glad to see I'm not alone here! I thought I would be a world famous racehorse trainer by the time I was, well, where I am now. Took me a long time to get into the racing industry. I bounced back and forth between working various jobs awith horses, getting burned out and working retail/odd jobs, then back to horses, the cycle continued. Eventually worked my way through the racetrack ranks to become an assistant trainer and run my own ponying business in just a few years. Could have started training on my own in a few more but I just got burnt out again.

    So I quit, went to school for cosmetology and am doing wedding hair. I was a serious tomboy growing up and even after I got interested in hair and makeup and everybody told me I should get into doing it for a job, I never imagined I would, and especially never imagined that wedding hair and updos would be my thing! But I found I had a talent for it in cosmo school so go figure. It's been a few years away from the track, I miss it and am starting to think about getting back on some level (like running a layup farm or just getting a yearling to train).

    I enjoy doing hair, but I just don't have the same passion I did with the horses. However, the horse industry is tough, and it's nice to make good money doing hair and be able to afford my own horse and just enjoy riding. You really have to look at the big picture while pursuing a dream or career. There were many things I loved about racing and horses, but ultimately there were too many things I DIDN'T enjoy and those ended up outweighing the good parts. Best to keep your eyes open to the reality of the situation instead of focusing just on one thing.
    FB group for all things related to non racing Thoroughbreds.. Click here to join ~~~> OTTB CONNECT

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
    the evergreen state!


    I got my BA in Anthropology and French and thought for sure my next stop would be grad school, and perhaps maybe teaching as an end result.

    I ended up working in benefits and am now talent management systems/ hr technology analyst. Go figure.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007


    Well, as a kid, I wanted to be cool things (actress, jockey, etc.) In high school I thought law or engineering (I COULD do law, but I really don't want to and there's a glut of lawyers on the market anyway; I have zero aptitude for the math you need for engineering and they don't do as much of the fun military/aerospace R&D any more anyway), college I wound up majoring in archaeology and anthropology because my parents said I couldn't major in theater, and at least it was easy, grad school I wanted to work in a museum, and I have off and on--but all I focused on in school and all I'm really interested in is collections, but all I've ever done is education (because it's really easy to get those jobs and they're not hard to do, while collections jobs are few and far between--I don't actually like it, but again, easy.) I got a culinary degree so I'd always be able to find work, and I do like food and food history, and I CAN find work in that.

    Honestly, if I could find a decent man, I'd rather be a housewife at this point and write my books on the side. I have never felt anything remotely like this career drive some people claim to have.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Westford, Massachusetts


    Not even close. I started college intending to be a veterinarian. I graduated with a Government/Political Science degree, intending to be an attorney. At 50, I have an MBA, rather than a DVM or law degree and am a systems analyst/programmer working in healthcare IT. I like my job, NEVER would have imagined doing it 30+ years ago.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2000


    I have a BA in English, always wanted to be a teacher. Never happened. i got married right out of college, and have been a stay at home mom for 22 years. Went back to school last year to get my Masters in gerontology. Loved school, but realized i could do what i wanted volunteering without the degree. So now I volunteer at our local foodshelf. I am fortunate that I don't have to work, but I never imagined that i wouldn't. If I could go back to my undergrad days, I would become a social worker or an occupational therapist.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003


    I am 25, graduated college in 2009 with a double major (2 BS degrees) in biochemistry and molecular genetics.

    I did a stint in quality control in biopharma that I actually loved.

    Now I'm a software consultant, traveling most of the time. I make 3x as much money and am at least 3x as challenged. I really like it.

    OP, if you're interested in consulting, the boutique firm I work for is hiring new grads. I can give you more information about it if you're interested. PM me.

  16. #16


    Graduate degrees in English (Poetry) and Classics (Interdisciplinary Studies). Expected to have a career in academia.

    Now working as a business analyst for a software development company.

    I'd have been happy in an academic career, but on the whole I think I am happier that things did not work out as I expected.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2008
    Snohomish, WA


    Definitely not. For many years I owned my own business.
    It went bankrupt. Usually happens when people stop paying you.
    I was unemployed for 8 years. Finally started working again and quit to take care of my Dad. He has passed. Looking for work now but also do body/energy work on animals.
    It's beginning to pay the bills but........

    Quote Originally Posted by kateh View Post
    Basically, are you working in the field you thought you'd be in? Do you have the type of job you thought you'd have when you were just starting out?

    I ask because I'm a 2011 science grad that expected to be working in research, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that career may not happen, at least right now. I'm now considering different career tracks like consulting or teaching. I'm also working outdoor retail part-time and while I enjoy it, I doubt it would pay the bills (currently living with family).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    I am in the field I expected (legal) but in an industry I never could have imagined. I love it and while I wouldn't have planned it ahead of time, I could not have planned it better.

    It's always a good idea to be open to different paths. It would be so boring if we could predict our lives by the age of 17....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    City of delusion in the state of total denial


    I thought I'd be applying for PhD programs in clinical psychology at this point with a future career in academia.


    Awaiting the results of my application for a computer science degree program and hoping the job market for that doesn't change, either. At this point what I'd really love to do is game writing (which I am doing now part time for a small company.) But it's becoming increasingly clear that I need to get some kind of degree I can use for multiple purposes. Currently working as a medical secretary, which pays the bills which is all I needed it to do, but for which I'm overqualified (and my coworker hates me because of it and keeps trying to get me fired.)

    In some respects I feel a little betrayed, although cognitively I know I have no reason to feel that way. I'm 23. Growing up we were told "work hard, study hard, follow what you have a passion for, and you will be able to get a good job in your field [so long as it isn't underwater basket weaving.]" By that standard, I did everything right. Things look pretty dismal from my angle, but I know I'm one of the lucky ones.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006


    I had a couple of majors in under grad, but my primary was a degree in Biology and I had planned to go to medical school. I took a deferral when my then fiance was stationed in Italy so I could join him.

    Long and short, I've spent the last 12 years in technology. The only time I use my Bio degree is to tutor nursing/pre med students at MSU. I LOVE tutoring. And it helps pay for my horse.

    I think my technology experience is pretty portable at this point so I'm happy with that. I am GLAD I didn't go to med school as all my friend did. So I think that some life curveballs can have really great outcomes.

    Best wishes to you!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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