All Replies on What was your profession and if you could start over would you do it again?

  • Advertise with us
View jim C's profile

What was your profession and if you could start over would you do it again?

by jim C
posted 01-21-2013 01:08 AM

29 replies so far

View patcollins's profile


1683 posts in 2831 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 01:15 AM

I am a mechanical engineer, but for the last 12 years since I got out of school I did the same job that mostly electrical and computer engineers do. Its been an endless hassle of babysitting adults making sure other people do their jobs, I start a new job in a few weeks!

I loved the subject matter in college but I think if I had it to do all over again I might try something like going to cullinary school.

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3144 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 03:18 AM

I’ll Play. For the last 8 years I’ve worked in the commercial HVAC/R field. I worked for a few years as a steel worker but after the plant closing then being bought and re-opened I decided that I wanted something more stable. The heating and A/C trade always interested me so I went back to school and after graduating I went to work for an entertainment company that produced Disney on Ice. I worked as a traveling Ice Engineer (just a nice way of saying that I was one of the guys that made the ice floors) and traveled all over the U.S. and several parts of the world. This got old fast and I moved back to the Chicago-Land area and went to work for a commercial service company.

I have no regrets about it because I have learned more than I ever thought I would. From a simple conveyor toaster to 1,000,000 BTU heaters, from small reach in coolers to large walk-in freezers and everything in between. Truth be told though I often wish I would have stayed in college and pursued my first degree in architecture.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2006 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 05:29 PM

I spent 28 years in law enforcement and I’d do it over assuming I could do it in the same time frame. If I had to start right now there is no way I’d go into law enforcement. It’s a thankless job and getting worse. Too many people out there want to put you in prison for making a mistake when you only had a split second to make a decision. They get to sit back and watch the video over and over and use slow motion and freeze frame, but don’t realize you didn’t have that luxury. And that’s not the only issue in law enforcement. It’s just not a good career to get into any more.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3641 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 01:04 AM

I would’ve been a PGA golfer. Always working outdoors in fairly good weather. Beautifully landscaped workplaces. Caddy to carry your tools to the job site. A polite crowd that never boos, only cheers. Work when you want to, but enough to maintain your union card ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#5 posted 02-05-2013 09:28 PM

I am retired… BUT not still actively “working”...

I was fortunate to be able to get into an Accounting Office for a good Accountant… he taught me the business & I went on to school (I already knew what the school was teaching!)...
Business expanded into getting IBM Electric Accounting Machines (EAM) to do Accounts Receivable for a few clients… (Punched cards: sorter, collator, interpreter, reproducer gang punch, keypunch, and accounting machine… some using plug-boards to control their functions…)

I was chosen to get trained to run them… I LOVED IT!
Data Processing was my LIFE… I ate, dreamed, and thought about it all the time!

It eventually migrated into computers... systems analysis – design… programming…
... learning several programming languages & operating systems… eventually working on the Internet!
... (I believe the Internet to be the greatest thing since the wheel)...
... to finally becoming Self Employed doing all that plus being a Consultant.

If I had to start over, because I loved it so much, I would positively do it again!

I found it very fascinating and rewarding!

Oh, along the way, (in my spare time) I taught data processing and programming at a few Trade Schools…
Talk about being Rewarding! That was one of the most rewarding jobs I have done… Teaching!

Yes, I would do it again…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3551 days

#6 posted 02-05-2013 09:55 PM

I was in the Dental proffesion for 30 years man and boy Orthodontics trained, and then when I got parkinsons retired and then bought a large hotel.Bronwen and I sold that when my wife got cancer and had a tumour removed from her neck so far she has not had it return though it was malignent.I built myself two workshops one for wood and the other a machine shop then extended my woodshop and although I am plauged with poor health I do my best and enjoy the wood side of things more than the metal as it suits my artistic requirements better as I have always been interested in art and design. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3251 days

#7 posted 02-05-2013 10:02 PM

Jim C,

I found your thread to be interesting and have been watching it for the past two weeks….......Well over 400 views and only 5 responses. I guess people don’t like to talk about their careers.

I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps straight out of High School in 1967. Two tours in Viet Nam. After getting out of the Corps in 1971, I spent the next 9 years working various jobs (mostly Sales) before I bought a small town hardware store in 1980. 5 years later I decided to start my own Custom Woodworking Business and did woodworking professionally until I retired earlier this year.

The only regret I might have is that I didn’t make start my woodworking business earlier; but then again, I will have to admit the experience I gained by working the other jobs first helped me tremendously when I started my own business.

Would I do it all over again? most definitely…..wouldn’t change any of it.

-- John @

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#8 posted 02-05-2013 10:33 PM

I felt that I didn’t qualify because I was not “still working”...
... but, finally posted anyway… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3064 days

#9 posted 02-05-2013 11:05 PM

The post may be starting to gain traction. I don’t know why folks don’t want to talk about their past professions.
I was proud of mine as you are.

Joe Lyddon,
Glad you posted. I love interesting life stories. Thanks

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3403 days

#10 posted 02-05-2013 11:19 PM

I was a jr. High science teacher for thirty years. It was a decent living and I often enjoyed it. Sometimes it was horrid and in the 30 years, two of them were forgettable. I’m glad I didn’t miss it but like I told my daughters. If you can do something else that fulfills you and you’re interested in then try for something that delivers that but at the same time delivers a paycheck a family can live on more comfortably. Thankfully both of them took my advice and although no job is perfect and will have it’s ups and downs, their paychecks are much more substantial. As a teacher, your salary after 30 years with a masters degree will often be the same as other college graduate’s starting salaries. That’s the case in my family anyway.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3641 days

#11 posted 02-05-2013 11:48 PM

If the number of people I have known who live for the day they can retire, there is your answer.

I grew up on a small dairy farm. I knew there had to be an easier way to make a living than working 8 hours on Sunday and 14 to 16 on the 6 work days. I graduated high school with an appointment to the Air Force Academy, alternate to Annapolis and an offer to take the appointment to Merchant Marine Academy. I couldn’t pass the last physical for the Academy because of my eye prescription. I had no interest in Merchant Marine. I started college with an academic scholarship. My first math professor had a PhD on the end of his EE. He said he was teaching because there weren’t many good jobs that paid very well for engineers. He advised me to get in the trade and I did.

Assuming I would never be one of the 125 that make the PGA “Green Card Cut”, I have no regrets. If I regret anything, it is that it is coming to an end. I enjoyed the work and the reputation of being the “only guy in the world” (customer quote) that could do the job ;-) BTW, that customer also said he didn’t want to be screwed on the price ;-)) ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary's profile


9324 posts in 3399 days

#12 posted 02-06-2013 12:03 AM

Well, from High School to 8 years in the military. Got out and worked my way thru college. Finished PhD in Psy. Also had an MBA. Worked in MH for several years then landed a program director spot for DHS. Left that after several years for a Director’s spot for a Hospital. Don’t care for Hospital work. Really a different kind of environment. I’m used to standardized work. Hospitals do what they want, when they want and ignore the rest of the world. I retired. I had a ranch so, I came home to work the ranch full time. Got too old for the work and now I only have 20 acres, 4 horses, 3 donkies, 3 dogs, 1 cat and two chickens. I turned my 40×50 metal barn into a woodshop. My productivity depends on the amount of lazy I wake up with. The only thing I really really miss…..the military. Forgot to mention that I taught in the University for 9 years. Kinda fun….

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4045 days

#13 posted 02-06-2013 12:04 AM

48 years in the retail food business. 20 spent working in a store, 28 as salesman. 7 of those 28 spent behind a desk, As Director of Retail,taking care of other sales people. They were good jobs, but not near as much fun as being retired and spending most of my time in a wood shop. I do miss the thousands of people I met over the years, but a little sawdust on my shirt makes up for all that.

Almost forgot my greatest achievement, being married for near 42 years, to a great lady. Having two sons, and two fantastic grandchildren.

-- Guy Kroll

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3064 days

#14 posted 02-06-2013 12:10 AM

All great stories!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#15 posted 02-06-2013 06:53 AM


Were you wanting ME, retired, NOT still working, to reply to this thread? LOL


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3641 days

#16 posted 02-06-2013 07:05 AM

Joe, It says what WAS, not what IS ;-)) You are in, not outside looking in!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3700 days

#17 posted 02-06-2013 02:59 PM

Thanks, JimC, for giving us a introspective moment to reflect…
If I could start all over…I would have skipped the years I spent in horrid furniture and cabinetmaking sweat shops, electronics wavesolder, and medical device mfr’s…

I would have enrolled in North Bennet St School in Boston, and after graduating, opened my own high-end furniture studio in Boston or Cambridge. Then….I would have had time to pursue my avocational interests, which include learning machine tool processing, home-based metal casting, metal spinning, stained glass, automotive restoration work, building and operating textile looms and woolens looms, sewing and upholstery, commercial lobstering, lumber harvesting and milling, and getting a commercial pilot’s license. Cripes, I’d need several lifetimes to do all of this, and all I got to show for my mis-spent life is a great government job, a well-equipped personal workshop, and a patient, supportive wife. Life is good after all…

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View PittsburghTim's profile


230 posts in 2288 days

#18 posted 02-06-2013 11:44 PM

I’ve been working as an Electrical Engineer for the 24 years since I graduated from Pitt. Started at Westinghouse, which was a great company with a rich history and known around the world for its engineering. We were taken over a few years ago and it has been a downhill slide since.

If I could do it over again, I would go to one of the fine art schools to study furniture design and woodworking or maybe a good school of architecture. When I was making my career choice, I had not yet discovered my desire to create. Now, at 46 and with a wife, two kids, a dog, and a mortgage, a change seems unlikely.

I was sort of pushed towards engineering by my parents and I did have the aptitude for it. I don’t want to sound ungreatful to my mom and dad as they loved me and wanted to see me earn a good living. Engineering has done that. It just doesn’t satisfy the need I have to create and build things of lasting quality and beauty. I try to expose my children to all sorts of occupations and show respect for both the highly educated proffessionals and skilled tradesmen equally in the hope that they someday find a career that is satifying and pays the bills.

I have been building some furniture pieces and am hooked on using natural slabs. I have even made a few high end coffee tables for freinds. This gives me a creative outlet. Maybe I can develop enough skills to allow me to retire a bit early and pursue furniture building full-time.

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#19 posted 02-06-2013 11:47 PM

_This is for the retired/still working folks

I’m retired but NOT still working… (???)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3251 days

#20 posted 02-07-2013 01:12 AM


I may be wrong, but I don’t see anything wrong with what JimC wrote. I took it as he wanted input from retired and/or the still working folks that have worked for years in their careers.

-- John @

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#21 posted 02-07-2013 01:32 AM

huff, I’m NOT saying there is something wrong with what he wrote!

I’m only CURIOUS if I “fit-in” to the group he was directing his post…!

This is for the retired/still working folks

I am retired and not working…

I could be retired and still working in another job…


I just wish Jim C would say YES or NO if I am in his intended group for this thread. That’s all…

No biggy… I’ve already posted… Too late now…

I’m just curious… simply that… OK?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3064 days

#22 posted 02-07-2013 02:01 AM

Huff, Joe,
Relax, this topic is for everyone.
I am interested in those retired, like myself, as well as those still in a position of employment or self employed. This thread is for everyone.
I am looking for life stories, past and present.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2533 days

#23 posted 02-07-2013 02:09 AM

the only thing I’d change is I’d have started investing in a retire plan earlier. I always liked what I did, even though I’ve gone from carpentry/woodworking to a technical career, I’ve always liked both, so I never thought I’d ever want to retire.

Now, I still like what I do, but i’m trying to play catch up so I don’t HAVE to do it forever.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3197 days

#24 posted 02-07-2013 02:36 AM

I went to work for Gulf Oil corp. in 1974. In 1986, Chevron bought Gulf so now I was working for Chv. In early 2000’s Chevron and Phillips created Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. I was still walking through the same gate. :-) In 2008, I retired after 33 years as a process operator. Spent half of my time working 12 hour shifts – either days or nights.

While working, I got interested in photography and did some woodworking which I had learned from my dad.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10048 posts in 4018 days

#25 posted 02-07-2013 05:48 AM

jim C
Jim, Thank you for clarifying that… As Time was going By, I kept thinking, “Does he mean Me or someone else?”
I’m glad I put my foot out to find out… LOL

Don W Investing… quite a new subject! ... Part of my problems…
I was making good money… being a gambler, at heart, I gambled on Penny Stocks, etc. hoping for the Grand Slam! ... Never did happen… I came to find out that the Penny Stocks, etc. were nothing but Fun & Games for the Insiders!
If you were lucky by happening to hit one of THEIR planned UP swings, you were due for a nice “Happening”... else, you felt like you had just been stabbed in the back!

Once you have been around the block a few times, you will find out that it’s better to stick to good solid fundamentals than “Hope it Happens” stocks!

I blew a lot of money on “Hope” stocks… until I finally saw the light when the income began to drop… almost too late! (may have been too late… time will tell!).

Believe me, stick to the GOOD fundamentals on the NYSE or NASD! Anything else is a crap shoot!

Unless you can spend hours & hours in study & research, & feel that you KNOW what you’re doing, DO NOT play around experimenting with the Long Shot Penny stocks…

Find an experienced investment adviser / manager and let hem make the decisions… (with your final approval of course)!

You will be ahead in the long run!

One of the Only Home Runs I have experienced was in Gold & Silver… Still going strong… and will probably help me survive when the final FLUSH happens! (Oh, I hit a few good stocks on the way, which was fun while it was)

Obama is taking us to the end… the final Flush… Enjoy it while you can!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3641 days

#26 posted 02-07-2013 05:55 AM

PittsburghTim, I could have easily ended up like you as a an EE or Aeronautical engineer. I know if I had past that last physical and went to the Air Force Academy, I would not have liked the military or being an engineer. I did not realize that until I was in my late 30s and 40s. I got lucky. I am amazed by the decisions we make long before we have any idea of the impacts they will have on our lives.

My mother was very disappointed when I dropped out of college. She seems to like telling her pals about some of the accomplishments I could never have achieved if I had gone to college instead of serving my apprenticeship.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Alex Ochoa's profile

Alex Ochoa

4 posts in 1901 days

#27 posted 02-07-2013 05:59 AM


Well come to all of you. This is very interesting post. I am really thankful to you for providing this unique information. Thanks for the excellent contribution to the discussion.

Thanks a lot!

-- providesthe comprehensive range of highest quality sheds' products such as outdoor storage sheds.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3641 days

#28 posted 02-07-2013 06:21 AM

Joe, Too bad I didn’t know you when I was having my decade long heavy duty migraine. I HAD GOOD TIPS! I could see events in the future and it was unnerving to say the least. Unfortunately, I was not like a physic who could dial things up on demand. They just popped up. In 2004, I got the bottom of the DOW after 9-11 within 2 points. I was within 100 points of several other bottoms for the DOW and NASDAQ. Considering my condition at the time and not being a gambler, I never put any money on those premonitions. I remember one night I was watching the news. They announced some great news about a high flying stock. My premonition was I am glad I don’t have that one. 2 days later, it crashed and burned!

The only time I put any real money on penny stocks was when Wendt had me on 400 mg of Topamax. Seeing that idiot was a $250k mistake! ;-(

Now that the migraines are nearly gone, I have very few premonitions. In the day, they would be several a week. Dr Sheena Aroura, a leading migraine researcher, told me lots of migrainuers report this phenomena.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 3211 days

#29 posted 02-07-2013 06:52 AM

The only thing i would do differently is I would have tried to finish my Masters degree faster so I could have tried to earn a PhD before the cyst in my brain stole a great deal of my short term memory.. Of course, I had no way of knowing that would happen, so…..
If I had finished it, I would have loved to teach in a college setting, or have been an historian of some kind.
But despite that, life has been good to me.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics