I’m studying to be a system administrator with a focus on cyber security (simply for the girls) but this is far from the only major I’ve studied and over the years I’ve tried my hand at, or simply thought about, dozens of other career paths with varied success.
One of the toughest parts about being a mortal being with only a brief time on the Earth (I assume; being an immortal godlike being, I can only venture a guess) is that there are doubtlessly hundreds of things we’d all love to do but we don’t have the ability to follow every distraction to its conclusion. I’d wager that a large part of why I’ve worked so many dead-end, teenager-oriented jobs in my life is that I’ve been afraid to choose just one path to follow. Even now, well into my degree, I am terrified of the what if’s that come with it. What if I’m no good? What if nobody hires me?
Over the years I’ve picked up a laundry list of potential careers that I followed for all the wrong reasons. My parents expected it, I’d look cool, it was an easy time filler until I made a real decision, and so on. And there are yet other careers that I’d love to pursue if I had an infinite amount of time in which to do so. Here’s my list, which you may or may not care about, but which I want to write about today. So there!
I’m a confessed crack-addict. I can watch videos of people’s bones and joints being cracked on YouTube all day long if I allow myself. Beyond that, our muscular and skeletal anatomy and how it functions has always fascinated me. I also have a personal attachment to the field because I’ve had excruciating, long-term chronic back pain cured by a couple months of chiropractic visits. Like just about everybody, I was a skeptic. After my first couple of visits there was no noticeable change and my chiropractor couldn’t even get my back to pop. As time went on and we kept working at it, eventually the ginormous knots in my back that took decades to forge were obliterated and now my back sounds like a tree branch snapping in the woods when the appropriate pressure is applied.
Having a personal stake in it makes chiropractic medicine more appealing than a lot of other career paths. Plus, a good friend of mine became a chiropractor and once you see someone you know do something, it opens your eyes to the possibility that you could do it too. Still, it’s a lot of hard college and if you aren’t one of the few who are well read, well practiced, and skilled at it, it’s not that lucrative of a job.
I’m all about the Benjamins, baby.
The legal field never even remotely interested me for most of my life. I had a lot of misconceptions about it and about lawyers. I figured they were all fat, balding men with desperate ponytails and Ferrari’s arguing ceaselessly in front of an apathetic judge and jury. Now older, wiser, and more experienced with the field personally, I know that this is only the case about 33% of the time.
In reality, the legal field has proxies in just about every facet of the professional and civic world. There are corporate lawyers, tech lawyers, science-y lawyers, and so on. An extremely small number of them decide to go on and become the pig fucking cunts that we recognize today as senators, parliamentarians, and congresspeople.
As with the above mentioned chiropractic field, I have a lot of personal affiliation with the legal field these days. Many of my friends are attorneys because of where I work, and I’ve had to learn a fair bit about the law to do my job. Lawyers are often misunderstood because when something doesn’t go your way in court, they’re the first obvious choice to cast blame upon (even though in reality you probably just shouldn’t have solicited sex from an undercover cop). It turns out they’re wildly similar to real people, although they watch far too many true crime shows for my tastes.
I doubt there’s a single gamer out there who hasn’t at least thought about developing their own game at some point in their life. Unlike chiro and law, I actually have a fair bit of experience in game development from my younger years, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me.
Games these days are enormous productions with budgets, time constraints, conflicting artistic personalities, and perhaps the most hostile, toxic fan-base of any form of entertainment. While all of that sounds rather dull to me, the last bit is what sincerely keeps me away from even producing independent work anymore.
I hate gamers. If you’re a gamer and someone in your company mentions a game you enjoy playing, you may think “ooh, a kindred spirit!” Not me. I think “oh here we go, a misogynistic born-again virgin sex pest with no ambition.” I could write an entire blog post on why and how much I hate gamers, despite being one (and likely will at some point) but we’ll leave it at that for today.
Other than not wanting to pander to a bunch of under-educated, basement-dwelling slobs, it’s just too hard these days to make a worthwhile product and has a disproportionately low payoff. You have to really love making video games to work in this field whereas in most other fields you have to just not hate it 2 out of 5 days a week.
Stating that you wish any form of art to be your career is a bit naive and ridiculous, but there was a time in which I truly believed I was destined for bright lights and stardom. My eventual alcoholism and drug abuse decided otherwise, but when I was younger I was genuinely quite good at writing music. More than a couple of my songs were received quite favorably by the proto-bloggers of the early internet era and I have a couple of “concerts” (college parties where they were kind enough to let me perform) under my belt.
But as I mentioned, it’s a bit of a naive career goal. It’s no longer even remotely an option at my age and even when I was younger would have required far more time and charisma than I was willing to devote. Although I maintain it as a hobby, I’ve never been able to conjure up the passion and originality I had when I was in my twenties. More than that, technology has changed significantly from those days and I’m mostly lost when it comes to modern musical equipment (although I still enjoy spending thousands of dollars on it and trying to figure it out).
Those are just a few of the careers I’ve thought about over the course of my life, but there are many more. I’ll probably end up doing a “Part Two” and possibly a third installment in the future; I try to not make these blog posts too long and my workday has just started.
Please do let me know in the comments what career you would choose if there were no obstacles to consider!