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  1. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203

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    Just remember the Scarecrow and Dorothy:

    Scarecrow: "Do you think if I went with you this Wizard would give me some brains?"

    Dorothy: "I couldn't say. But even if he didn't you'd be no worse off than you are now."


    They say the worst regrets are the ones about what you didn't do in life. We all have those, but I'm working hard to not have any more! I do still have time to live in Paris...

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Quote Originally Posted by GLC1968 View Post
    LESSON TO ALL YOU YOUNGER BOYS AND GIRLS OUT THERE - DO NOT CHOOSE A CAREER UNLESS YOU ENJOY THE CAREER, NO MATTER HOW SMART OR LUCRATIVE YOU THINK IT WILL BE.
    True words indeed. Software engineer here since the late '80s. There have been times, projects, hours when I loved what I was doing, but those times were short-lived. I never planned on this career (too late to write the story of how I ended up in it, but I was a psychology major originally!!), and I've never been passionate about it. I've felt, for the most part, that although I've done well financially and survived thousands of layoffs at my company over the years, that I am not in the "right" field for me. That *I* got lost somewhere along the way and inertia set in.

    I don't have passion for it. I should have done something else, something that got my juices flowing. It is often very hard to know what that is when you make a career decision (which may well prove to be lifelong) at a young age. I still don't really know. I only know that this is not it.

    I turn 50 this April and am ready to retire. I can't imagine starting over at something that requires more schooling. I wish I'd figured out my passion many years ago, taken the financial hit, and gone for it.

    So, GLC, I've been reading this whole thread, and I can feel your passion. Yes, there will be difficult times and roadblocks, but I think it's worth a try, since it's something you really want. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Good luck!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Emily, I guess that's why I waited until we could live on DH's income quite nicely. Although I can't say I didn't have passion for my former career. There were times I felt trapped and bored (mostly because I knew I couldn't quit my job, when none of my other friends had to work), so I found the passion by taking on new roles like mentoring, changing jobs (very unusual for a teacher), or investing my passion into the fitness field (where I burned out after 10 years, as opposed to 30 for teaching). I think I got bored by the schedule of teaching... days so highly structured, over which I had no control. While I loved leaving work at 3 or 4, I have found that what i craved was flexibility. I have found I like having control over my schedule, not having to constantly work in a group to mediate decisions, and to have a choice in what kind of setting I will work in. I found that I don't mind working long hours or at night, as long as i have free time elsewhere during the week. While I thought I was ready to retire, with all of my sports activities, etc., I found that staying home was isolating and boring. It dawned on me, that I just needed a different way to work, in a field that I knew I could succeed in. I was interested in a lot of quasi-medical fields, but they all required way too many undergrad requirements, in addition to the graduate training. Plus, I was never good at math when i was younger and i am sure that hasn't changed. My degree has taken a year longer than most of the other programs in the same field (3 yrs. vs. 2), but I knew this was the right program/school for me. The key for me, is that even though I will be almost 60 when I get my license in a couple of years, is that I can continue being a therapist as I get older, on a part time basis, as long as I can talk and write! And i have found that this is a field where my age works in my favor. It doesn't hurt that my co-workers think I am at least 10 years younger than I am, but I have found that my life experiences have helped me a great deal in this field. I could not have done this when I was in my 20's.
    DH won't be retiring for at least 8 more years, maybe more. Until then, I don't want to have too much time on my hands.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    311
    Try to get a job with a vet, volunteer in roles that allow you to work with animals, just get a feel of what its like. I started off wanting to do a degree in speech pathology and went to volunteer with a special school. After 6 months, I realised that my problem with needles meant I was not going to get anywhere close to becoming a speech pathologist and that my interest was really in teaching special ed. After a short trip to East Timor, I realized I wanted to learn how to use technology to help people with special needs live and work to the best of their abilities. So, my point is, volunteering will let you know if that is indeed something you want to do or if there's another path somewhere you haven't thought of that you really want instead.

    As for the pre-requisites, maybe while volunteering, you can go over the materials using various universities' OpenCourseWare classes and syllabuses until you know for sure that you want to get into this? This way, when its time to go do the undergrad classes, you will at least know the stuff and hopefully, that'll allow you to take a heavier courseload and finish faster? I use both MIT and University of Utah OpenCourseWare, there are plenty out there, so do Google.

    I hope you find a satisfying career path. At least you get to tell people that you've really seen and done different things.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Emily, I guess that's why I waited until we could live on DH's income quite nicely. Although I can't say I didn't have passion for my former career. There were times I felt trapped and bored (mostly because I knew I couldn't quit my job, when none of my other friends had to work), so I found the passion by taking on new roles like mentoring, changing jobs (very unusual for a teacher), or investing my passion into the fitness field (where I burned out after 10 years, as opposed to 30 for teaching). I think I got bored by the schedule of teaching... days so highly structured, over which I had no control. While I loved leaving work at 3 or 4, I have found that what i craved was flexibility. I have found I like having control over my schedule, not having to constantly work in a group to mediate decisions, and to have a choice in what kind of setting I will work in. I found that I don't mind working long hours or at night, as long as i have free time elsewhere during the week. While I thought I was ready to retire, with all of my sports activities, etc., I found that staying home was isolating and boring. It dawned on me, that I just needed a different way to work, in a field that I knew I could succeed in. I was interested in a lot of quasi-medical fields, but they all required way too many undergrad requirements, in addition to the graduate training. Plus, I was never good at math when i was younger and i am sure that hasn't changed. My degree has taken a year longer than most of the other programs in the same field (3 yrs. vs. 2), but I knew this was the right program/school for me. The key for me, is that even though I will be almost 60 when I get my license in a couple of years, is that I can continue being a therapist as I get older, on a part time basis, as long as I can talk and write! And i have found that this is a field where my age works in my favor. It doesn't hurt that my co-workers think I am at least 10 years younger than I am, but I have found that my life experiences have helped me a great deal in this field. I could not have done this when I was in my 20's.
    DH won't be retiring for at least 8 more years, maybe more. Until then, I don't want to have too much time on my hands.
    I think what you are doing is great and have followed many of your career comments on other threads. It makes perfect sense in your situation, since being retired without one's spouse can indeed be a lonely, isolating thing, and you've found something you really enjoy. Nothing at all wrong with serial careers; in fact, they make a lot of sense and keep things fresh.

    Our situation is reversed in that my DH was laid off during the telecom bubble burst of 2001 and basically just retired after that as there were NO jobs out there for him, and we were debt-free and could live on my salary. Since then he's been waiting for me to join him so that we could have fun and adventures. I've been the bread-winner, which has necessitated staying put, no job changes, no leaving to go back to school, etc., as we needed the paychecks and benefits my job provided. Having a house husband has some really nice perks, so it actually worked out well for us, as he was very burned out on being in an office, preferred the variety of retirement, and picked up lots of the cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, dog care, etc.

    Now, though, I'm just so ready to join him so that we can spend time together pursuing our non-technical interests. If he were still working, I'd probably have left my job at least 5-7 years ago to do something completely different. Kinda like GLC!

    Sorry for the hijack, GLC...back to it!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Having a house husband is definitely a plus. My DH was one for about 8 months, during the last semester of finishing up his BS, plus about a quarter of the semester before. He sold his very successful catering truck business (people who know him now cannot believe that he did this) when DS 1 was born. We used the $ to live on, instead of saving it. After my 6 week leave, he stayed home until he graduated and it was the end of the school year in May. Then, when he went back to work, I was on vacation for the summer, so one of us got to be home with the baby for almost his whole first year. It was *not* a wise financial decision; in fact since we already had the nice house in the suburbs and 2 nice cars, it took pretty much until the kid was about to graduate from HS until we were free and clear of debt! Although moving across the country had a lot to do with this. But, it was great to have dinner on the table when I came home. He would go off to class and I would play with the baby, give him a bath, and put him to bed. When DS 2 was born 2.5 years later, I had a pretty tough adjustment, since DH was traveling a lot. I always say (sort of jokingly) that it was the best year of my life . And there truly is a special bond between DH and DS 1, although DS doesn't remember any of this.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate of SC
    Posts
    197
    I'm a DVM and have been since 1985. I really think age and age bias is a non-issue within this profession. When I was in school in the early 80's, we had many older students. One was retired from the Air Force before he applied to vet school.

    I have two much older vets who work in my practice (I'm the practice owner, so that makes me their boss). I have to plead ignorance to their exact ages! One is about 75 and one is about 65 They're great workers and enthusiastic about the profession.

    The oldest one was awaiting a kidney transplant and on dialysis 3 days a week when he started working with me. He had retired and had to study to take the state boards again.

    Almost all of my techs are also middle-aged and older (one is 63). At 52, I'm a relative spring chicken.

    I do have to express some concern about people with multiple career path changes. One of my friends in college was a Ph.D., a Chaucer professor. This person went to vet school, dropped out...went to law school...dropped out...and is now teaching Chaucer again.

    A good many of us leave private practice for other careers--we work for industry, government or do consultant work. And sadly, one of my classmates just comitted suicide. He had changed career paths after vet school, too.

    I'm not being biased against you. All I'm saying is that people I've known who have changed career paths multiple times may have deeper issues that result in ongoing frustrations, etc.

    Burnout is an enormous problem in my profession. I can't count the number of times I've been to the brink and back. We see so much sad and tragic stuff. We have to deal with non-animal problems--staffing, business, management, cash flow... The animals and their care are only about 50% of the job. Every animal that comes in is attached to a person, and offices don't manage themselves.

    Also, in the early 80's, I got through with rather minimal student loans--which it took me 10 years to pay off. I understand that student debt is astronomical now.

    That said, I love what I do. I love the medical thought and decision-making process. I love being a clinician. There are still days where I get an endorphin "high" from my work.
    Cycling is the new running.

    Visit my blog: http://www.riverofmuscadinespublishing.com/

  8. #53
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    SlowbutSteady - thanks so much for your input. I knew that we had to have at least one practicing vet here at TE!

    I definitely appreciate how unusual it might look to some that my career is constantly changing. But I should point out that I haven't exactly been flighty. I got my first degree in the traditional 4 years and started working in retail management right away. It was 7 years before I left to go back to school in order to make a change and branch out.

    Then it took me 5 years to finish a second bachelors and a masters in EE. I had a job and had started working before I'd even defended my master's thesis. I've been working in the same field for 8 years now and it'll probably be closer to 10 before I actually apply to vet school.

    I think that my track record shows that I make a commitment and I follow through.

    And of course, no one dreams of being a retail manager or a product engineer when they are a kid. I did dream of being a vet...so it's a safe bet that this path is going to be a good one for me.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,316

    Abc

    GLC, I didn't get to listen to http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters...11/3118363.htm when it was on this morning but thought it might help you reaffirm your choice to change careers.

  10. #55
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Thanks, CC! I downloaded it and I'll listen to it tonight.

    At lunch today, I'm going to visit the animal hospital that is right around the corner from my office to see if they have need for volunteers.

    Time to get this party started!
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,333
    I haven't seen jesvetmed in a long time. she's also a practising DVM in the pacific northwest and she became a vet later in life, in her 30's, I believe. She'd be really good to talk to, if she's still around!

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate of SC
    Posts
    197
    Here's a link that you may find helpful: http://www.aavmc.org/index.html
    Cycling is the new running.

    Visit my blog: http://www.riverofmuscadinespublishing.com/

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    More large animal vets needed (but fewer women ):

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content...k.html?sid=101
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #59
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Interesting, Oak! And not surprizing based on my limited experience. Part of the reason I originally thought about vet school again was the severe lack of vets who will treat small ruminants in my area. There are none in our entire county and only one if you also count the next county over (both of which are predomantly rural communities). That just blew my mind! It may be that large animal/small ruminant vets don't make much money, but I'm not doing this for the cash anyway.

    While I do believe there are a good number of typical large animal vets in our area (horses)...they won't treat goats, sheep or in some cases, even cattle (all the food animals). I figure that as the small farm makes a necessary comeback (when transporting food hundreds of miles becomes too expensive), there is going to be a growing need for vets to handle these types of animals.

    Plus, I find these animals fascinating!
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Bridgeport, PA
    Posts
    232
    Going back to school at 40 has recently crossed my mind. Not for a Vet degree though...

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/lees...ree-in-cycling

    "The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." -- Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

 

 

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