What do you think is a 'successful career'? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-30-2003, 01:10 PM
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At 16, I'm way off having a career, but I'm trying to find one that I'll enjoy.



To me, a successful career is one that I enjoy and want to do, not necessarily one that I get paid large amounts of money for doing something I hate.



Most people I speak to base their idea of a successful career on how much money is earnt, though. Unless they really like what they do, this doesn't make much sense to me..



What do you think? Money or happiness? Which is more important in a career?



I vote happiness
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#2 Old 09-30-2003, 01:16 PM
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I'm 47, and will give you this advice:



Do something that you enjoy and that you're good at. Everything else is secondary
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#3 Old 09-30-2003, 01:21 PM
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A happy live is the only thing that has any worth when you are dying.
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#4 Old 09-30-2003, 01:24 PM
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At first I thought money was a good indicator. I was young and inexperienced. Now, over 18 years later, experience has shown me that it's actually how internally satisfying your job is that counts.



You know you've made the right choice when you don't have any trouble motivating yourself to get out of bed to actually go to work and you feel satisfied that you've made a difference when the day is done. No matter how much money you're paid, if you don't like what you're doing you won't last (or be good at it for very long). Someone that fits this has a successful career in my opinion.
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#5 Old 09-30-2003, 01:30 PM
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To add to what has already been posted, if you find yourself sitting on the edge of your bed in the morning flipping a coin to decide to go to work or call in sick, you're in the wrong job.



However, money does indeed play a role. Depending on what you want out of life could indeed be a factor in your decision making process. If you want a nice (executive) home, with some land, and some extra perks in life, then a job you may not totally love might be more worth it for you. On the other hand, some folks are just as happy making less in a job they love. It's a kind of tradeoff sometimes.



The big plus in your favor is that you are young enough to decide which field of education to study. As was said earlier, pick something you love doing, then find an educational/career path that will allow you to pursue that goal. Perhaps a chat with your school's guidance counsellor would be a good choice to start.
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#6 Old 09-30-2003, 01:31 PM
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Happiness is more important by far. If you can pull off both though, that's the best.
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#7 Old 09-30-2003, 01:33 PM
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Ummm...



Good pay, security, getting lots and lots of time off, being able to do something that you can stand yourself for doing, that's about it.
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#8 Old 09-30-2003, 01:35 PM
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For me, there are a number of factors.

Liking you job is important of course. However, if you're not making enough to do the things that are important to you, that can be a problem. Or, if you have to work so much you can't have a life outside of your work, that's a problem too.

It's a very delicate balance of being happy what your doing, making enough money, and being able to have a life. My friend loved the last job she had, but she also worked 70 hours a week and was paid dick all. So she wasn't happy overall.
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#9 Old 09-30-2003, 01:45 PM
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I agree that it's a balancing act. I don't LOVE my job, but I don't hate it, either. I'm lucky in that I make an excellent living doing something that I don't hate, and makes a little difference in this world. I've had jobs that I hated - as Robert said, where you think about calling in sick every day - and it was pure hell.



I know there are people who absolutely love their jobs, and that's great. For me, it's enough that I like my job and the people that I work with. It's a means to an end for me - my job enables me to support my family, and have some nice things (not necessarily material things, either, but things like time off, great health care, etc.). I feel that success isn't defined by my career, anyway - I'm much more proud of my successful marriage and family relationships than I've ever been of any job.
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#10 Old 09-30-2003, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeggiTash View Post


To me, a successful career is one that I enjoy and want to do, not necessarily one that I get paid large amounts of money for doing something I hate.



I agree with this definition, but for me I would add one thing: I need to believe that what I do has a positive impact. Not necessarily on the whole world, but on some aspect of it. I need to make a difference in some way.
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#11 Old 09-30-2003, 04:23 PM
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If you find yourself honestly saying "I can't believe they're paying me to do this!" then I think you've found the right job for you.
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#12 Old 09-30-2003, 07:31 PM
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I'd choose a job which made me happy. I would find it hell earning a wad of cash for a 60 hour week in an office surrounded by freakin' yuppies.



But dammit, money would be nice. If I could afford to buy all the cool stuff that nobody wants, then that would be pretty sweet. But there's no point in stressing yourself out to buy it.
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#13 Old 09-30-2003, 08:40 PM
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I get to be around kids all day. Oddly though I never thought I'd care for teaching small children (prek and k), I just love it. Plus I get paid to do this. Someone was asking me the other day why I'd work at a job that paid so little. I kind of looked at her like she was joking and said, "If I could possibly, I'd do it no matter what the pay."



I think that's when you know you've found your life's work.



B
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#14 Old 09-30-2003, 08:43 PM
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Bethanie has my dream job. I didn't discover, until I started interacting closely with my niece and stepdaughter, that I love being with them and teaching them. Everything is facinating to them. Such a joy to watch them learn. Had I known how emotionally satisfying teaching children is, I would have been an elementary school teacher. Is 35 too late to change careers?
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#15 Old 09-30-2003, 09:08 PM
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This thread is in the Compost Heap, so how about some arguing, people!
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#16 Old 09-30-2003, 10:39 PM
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"It's all about the money!"



"No it's not, you're not in touch with reality!"



"Your opinion doesn't mean **** to me!"



"You wanna take this outside?"



*carnelian trying to pacify Kurm*
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#17 Old 09-30-2003, 11:39 PM
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My career story (stay tuned for my answer to the money/happiness question at the end):



When I was 16, I worked in a child care center. After graduation, I got my certification as a preschool teacher and did this for another year or so. I loved working with the kids so much, but I was literally going into debt working there. I was making just above minimum wage and had no benefits...no health insurance...(I was always sick while I worked there)

I eventually started resenting the job, even though I loved the kids & work that I did. I quit.

I needed a big change so I started doing office work. I was making lots more money. I usually enjoyed the work but didn't like the people who told me what to do all day. And I didn't like being chained to a desk.

In between all of this, I met my husband, who loved me enough to dig me out of debt.

I worked really hard to move up the ladder in the office I worked in and I did...but didn't get more money to show for it - and I was working even harder. It didn't take me long to get a bad attitude about that and I quit.

I decided at this time that I could no longer work for other people. I was stressed out all the time and my health wasn't good. My husband was supportive of me so I decided to get my certification as a bridal consultant (yes...I was a wedding planner). This was so exciting to me. I went into business with another person, and that was fulfilling (but stressful) until she ended up screwing me over really really bad.

At this time we decided we wanted to get pregnant and I was going to stay home and raise our baby. I was tired of the corporate stuff. I needed something more fulfilling. Raising a baby fulfilled that for me.....until I got anxious to get out of the house again and interact with adults and make some of my own money.

....Fast forward to 9 months after our son was born and I started doing my skin care and cosmetics business. It has now been a year since I started and I am FINALLY saying "I don't care if I make a dime at this business, I love what I do!" I can see myself doing this for many many years. I don't have anyone breathing down my neck telling me when I can and can't take a lunch break, when I can take vacation, when I can get a raise, etc. I call the shots. I work hard when I want to. I have independence! That's something that's very important to me. Plus, I get to play with makeup, help people feel & look good & help fight animal cruelty. AND I get to be at home raising my son. Bonus, bonus, and more bonus!

Unfortunately, as far as the money/happiness thing goes, I feel that a person can be very underpaid but love your work/job. If being underpaid is causing strife in your life, then you're probably not too happy. Having more money coming in could really affect your happiness. But I don't think that if I earned a million dollars a year I'd be any happier than I am now, if that makes any sense.
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#18 Old 10-01-2003, 01:38 AM
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It's about balance.



It's nice to have a ferrari, but what if you have to work so hard/much for it that you bearly have the time to drive it?



You can see the value of a big house, but what if the kid says "mom...who's that man that comes in our house without ringing the doorbell?, That's your daddy O I have a dad? I told the kids at school we are divorced.....
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#19 Old 10-01-2003, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Power View Post

If you find yourself honestly saying "I can't believe they're paying me to do this!" then I think you've found the right job for you.



I couldn't have put it better myself. Money means nothing compared to contentment. As long as you have a roof over your head and enough food to stop your belly growling nothing else really matters. Not even the internet!

Love the post? Why not buy the T-shirt!
http://www.kiz-shop.de/index.php?page=categorie&cat=8
http://www.kiz-shop.de/index.php?page=product&info=94
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#20 Old 10-01-2003, 07:44 AM
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i think that happiness is important, and i ahve to admit that i do love my job. i love teaching yoga.



but now, i'm in the hard part. I'm running my own studio. This is what i wanted, but right now it's really tough. there aren't a lot of students yet--so that's troubling. But it's only been open two weeks. We have some events planned, too, so that should help bring people around! I'm really excited about the prospects. . .but it's a lot of work right now and sometimes i do just want to stay home and hang with my husband!



So, today is a happy, but tired day. Also, right now, i don't make a lot of money, which is putting a few stressors on us.
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#21 Old 10-01-2003, 09:13 AM
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Here's something I've learned about myself:



I worked many years in **** jobs, making decent money but feeling no real life benfits from the work other than the pay check--cog in the machine type jobs.



So one day I decided that in order to be happy, I needed to do something useful with my life. So I went back to school and became a high school teacher. Now, I do have the chance to genuinely affect kids/society/whatever in a good way and that's nice and it is rewarding and I can stand myself at work now and it's probably the best job I've ever had. But you know what? It's still a job. It's work. It's physically and emotionally draining. And many many days, I wish I could just stay home instead of going in. This was a surprise for me.
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#22 Old 10-01-2003, 09:30 AM
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I think happiness is very important. It is also important to realize that it may take alot of effort and hard work to get where you want to be. Going to med school, setting up your own business, etc, all require a huge committment.

As a grad student, I knew what I was getting into. Sometimes I feel like I have no time for fun, as I practically *live* in the lab. Somedays this makes me happy, sometimes it gets frustrating.

I think the happiness I experience now, as well as the future payoff of graduating with my PhD outwieghs the annoyances. (BTW, the degree will give me lots of freedom to choose what I want to do in the future, not necessarily let me make lots of $$$)

(ok, this was a bit of a ramble! )
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#23 Old 10-01-2003, 03:06 PM
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I think the word "success" means lots of things to different people. To some it means having a big house and lots of 'things". To me, it's about finding balance and doing something that you love. I LOVE what I do. I work for a consortium of colleges that provides distance education classes for people all over the state. I find my job satisfying because I get to help people achieve thier dreams, that makes me very happy.



In case you are interested, here is a link to a bunch of career profiles. You have lots of time to explore what you want to do with your life. If anything it's good to dream.



http://www.icpac.indiana.edu/careers/career_profiles/



Ruthieb-It's never too late to make a career change! If you already hold a bachelors degree all you would need is a teaching credential. Check with your states department of education website. Plus, many states have programs that are urban/rural teaching opportunities that enable those who want to teach get practical classroom experience while earning a teaching credential.
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#24 Old 10-01-2003, 04:22 PM
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Like some people who posted here, I have been on both sides of the fence. After I graduated college I was making a sick amount of money (just under six figures -- a lot for a 22 year old) but it was in a field that I had absolutely no passion for. It would take every ounce of energy I had to drag myself out of bed and into the office everyday. For a while, I deluded myself with the thought that the money and the things I could buy made it all worth it And it did for a little while. But then you get to a point where you just start really hating the whole thing and I did a lot of soul searching, gave it up after about 3 years, and now I'm doing something where I'm making less than half of what I was before, but I'm really enjoying it and getting satisfaction out of it.



The bottom line is that money does matter -- to an extent. You need to be able to pay rent and to feed yourself (and your family, if applicable). And most people aren't going into work with a big goofy smile on their face every day of their lives. That's not reality. The idea is to find some middle ground -- a job that you mostly enjoy (something that makes you feel good when the day is done) and one that takes care of your minimum needs. Some lucky people find one they enjoy and it takes care of a lot of needs & wants and that's great.



Good luck!
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#25 Old 10-04-2003, 11:09 PM
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I think it's absolutely necessary that your career challenge you and keep your mind working, those wheels turning. Not too much stress, either, which can come from financial strain, so a career that enables you to be comfortable in your financial situation is definitely a plus! A great boss and coworkers is also essential.



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#26 Old 10-05-2003, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
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I think it's absolutely necessary that your career challenge you and keep your mind working, those wheels turning.



Keeping one's mind working is important (at least to me). At one job I loved one day I was temporarily assigned a task of organising 10,000 plant pots into size, shape and colour. It didn't require any brain power and drove me nuts...... when my manager asked how it went I told her if they want me to EVER do that again they can kiss my arse.
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#27 Old 10-07-2003, 02:18 PM
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Cheers for all the interesting (and very true) comments!

They've definitely made things a bit clearer for me
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#28 Old 10-07-2003, 02:27 PM
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whoa. every morning that i wake up and think about my day filled with housework and childcare, i wish i could call in sick.



but there's no escape!!!!
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#29 Old 10-07-2003, 11:38 PM
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Success isn't all about a career either...



You can also do volunteer work in your spare time, to help fulfill your life. I enjoy my job, but it's not "fulfilling" to me in the sense of making the world a better place (unless you consider selling construction software a world-saver. Then again, one of our most recent clients is halliburton, so - there ya go). So anyway, to enrich my life, I volunteer with portland literacy.



I have a mentally stimulating job that makes me a pretty decent amount of money, takes me all over the place, AND has a lot of upward mobility. But it's not socially rewarding. I get that through volunteering.



So I don't think that you have to put pressure on yourself to find the "perfect-fit" job. Maybe there are a few things out there that complement each other, allowing you to fulfill your life. just make sure you have time for fun.



amy
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#30 Old 10-09-2003, 12:14 PM
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Figure out what fascinates you and see if there is a career you can do with it. After college I was an Internet programmer consultant and got to choose the most appealing jobs (good environments, friendly coworkers, exciting work) and I loved my career. I found myself working on similar stuff on my own free time at home, that's how much I loved it. For a few years, it paid real good too ($120k+). Husband now does it and makes twice as much, so that's pretty nice. Eventually it got too addicting, all that time spent at the computer and thinking and creating stuff, and I wanted to balance out my life some. So I quit my programming career.



I don't work anymore, but I miss it. I'm currently studying on my own towards a medical degree, but I doubt I'll work again (going to be a mom soon). In the past years my new obsession is nutrition/fitness and natural healing. So it's a current fantasy of mine to become a doctor that blends traditional and natural healing. I bought lots of medical textbooks and am teaching myself, perhaps someday I'll go to med school. To me, this career would be more about a passion of mine, and the wanting to help others. I suppose there might be money in it as well, but I don't want that (greed) to get in my way of my dreams by contorting my path in anyway and stopping me from my main goal of helping others learn to live healthy lives.



In the end, definitely happiness is most important.
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