What Would You Tell Little You About Your Career?

If I could tell younger, more naive Mike anything about working with computers for a living, it would be these things:

  1. You will not just be working with computers, you’ll be working with people.
  2. You will be annoyed by people and their demands far more than you will actually code.
  3. A summary of how I feel about my job: “Get it done yesterday.”
  4. I get paid well and that’s awesome. It’s the single perk.
  5. Learn to spend time helping people hands on, right now (there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer, even if you don’t believe it – ask mom). This will show you what you really want to do.
  6. Working for a Coporation is like a Hell unparalleled by any experience you have had to date. It is a feeling of using all of your energy to restrict and repress your emotions and potential.
  7. 99% of the jobs you can EASILY find are in Corporations, so be aware that you’ll need to work to get a good job elsewhere. By work, I mean talk to people, ask people for advice, ask questions, show people what you’re capable of. Yes, you’ll have to actually talk to people.
  8. You will someday start a business and it would be helpful to you if you a) take a business class or two and b) choose a major in which you can actually give a shit. This major can give you the basis for your business later. For instance, if I were a music major, I can start a business teaching people music or helping musicians with marketing themselves online.
  9. You might not have enough skill or the portfolio to be a musician. And that’s ok. There are a million things you can do with your ears. Like audio engineering at a recording studio or engineering for a Broadway musical.
  10. Research potential careers. That is, talk to people who do those things. What do they think about that field. Do they like it? Why? Why not? Will you like those same things? Will you dislike those same things? Find some common ground with the person so you can compare experiences and understand if their likes and dislikes will be the same for you.
  11. Money is important, yes. But it’s not the only thing. Try to be a little uncomfortable in your daily life and try surviving on less.
  12. Start a band immediately. Express yourself and see how much you love performing, despite the fear holding you back.

To my adult readers, what would you say to the younger you?


4 thoughts on “What Would You Tell Little You About Your Career?”

  1. What were you THINKING is the nagging question in my career choice

    1. I became a single parent (widowed) with a degree, but not what corporate America would think of as steady career experience. I did p/t work and filler jobs to work around promoting the hubby as I was “taught” to do in my generation.
    2. So I ended up at a call ctr (LOUSY FIT for INFP) doing insurance-why, the pay was good, the benefits helped, but the actual job STUNK, because insurance, omg, is the worst in my humble opinion.
    3.Many degreed individuals end up there because their degrees don’t exactly have career opportunities. Lots of June babies end up in insurance, and lots of psych majors. Policy service and sales is what I did…boring and repetitious and somehow we all end up BURNED out and wondering what the heck we stay for. Mostly people will say it is the money. But not the job. If you work with a decent team, that helps, but once my decent team was dissolved. I HATED it more than ever.
    3. INFP’s don’t last in call ctrs very long, because it is boring, it is just NOT a normal environment, it resembles a prison after only a few mths, they are drab and badly lit, and they develop a strange odor of burnt popcorn and overheated machinery. It is repetitious, it is quota generated, and you never SELL enough, or handle calls 100% due to the matrix in ALL call ctrs…how do I know-I have worked for MANY carriers, and the names change, but the matrix’s always increase.
    4. LIFE is sucked out of you because even if you won the latest incentive or promotion, chances are your mgr will be having the “you could DO more” talk monthly with you. And your mgr KNOWS it is impossible to meet the criteria, but they want performance, always more, and they enjoy deflating or belittling your contributions. They are motivated by one thing and one thing ONLY-bottom line, and revenue, and if you aren’t PRODUCING it, you are OUT.
    5. I have lasted more than a decade. I was downsized, and now I wonder WHY I did that for so long. Many from my team ended up in the hospital, or with unexplained illness, chronic fatigue or long term headaches, or ulcers. Or with severe depression, or post traumatic type symptoms. Call centers wear you out. DO NOT go there, unless it is a temporary stop over to a better place.
    6. Run, to any other type of profession, it just isn’t a good fit. I knew this going in, and I knew I stayed too long, but every time I tried to forge ahead in another industry it failed or went under, and I had to return to an insurance call ctr. More prison time…Death, taxes, and insurance, those are constant in life, and if you end up in the insurance industry-try to stay out of a call ctr, it is the worse branch of insurance!!!

    • Thanks! Same industry and your point on 2-3 is very relatable cos its what I as ifnp went through and am thinking of a switch!
      The entire insurance industry and banking industry in the world should be changed!!!!!

  2. I just came across your site tonight and my main comment to my younger self would be:

    You will never get rich in your career as bookkeeper/tax preparer but:

    You will gain satisfaction from upholding your values (making sure people are reporting honestly)
    You will help ‘change the world’ one lonely widow at a time (gathering reporting info. over tea and cookies)
    You will help make life easier for families (guiding through ways to reduce taxes owing or get refunds)
    You will influence young minds (teach transferable skills to ‘office assistants’ – my family – thank you)
    You will dedicate your working career of 25 years to being you: an empathetic, caring person of integrity simply because that is who you must be

  3. Well I’ve ended up as a chiropodist/podiatrist with my own clinic, so it’d go something like this;
    1. You rejected the corporation (nhs/large private practice companies) in favour of doing your own thing. This was a good move.
    2. Through this rejection you were able to make things more personal, you like that.
    3. Whilst you do like working alone you could do with a colleague or two.
    4. You hate small talk, this is what you dread each morning. Ten plus conversations per day about the weather, news etc. is soul destroying for you.
    5. You are good with your hands. Maybe you could do something more creative.
    6. People come to you because you care and you listen. People come not just for the thing you’re selling but to open up.
    7. You’re rubbish at mudane admin. Get help with this.
    8. You don’t like taking phone calls. Get someone to do that if possible.
    9. You don’t need to try to open a person up. It just happens.
    10. Don’t be too worried over business targets. You’re in a caring profession, people come because they know you care.
    11. Go easier on yourself, you’re doing better than you think.

    Good luck little Nicky


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