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Thread: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

  1. #1
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    Default Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    I left work early Thursday and out Friday with a bug or flu or something. Been thinking about what I have accomplished as I turned 28 last month.

    Ive finished highschool, although I wanted to quit early. I went to two rehab centers, blind and physically impared. I spent 5 years in community college getting up to speed for some classes and earned two degrees, AS in soc science and Bus Admin. I was at a university for a year then decided to give it a break from the work load. I also earned 2nd place for web design state level for a business group PBL.

    In the mean time Ive helped to deliver 3 different news papers, worked 2 summers as a chrysler mechanic at a local shop, 6 months at a local machine shop, 3 summer interships as a rehab engineer assistant, worked for a year part time at a computer lab in rehab, volunteered to build and maintain lab at community college, cold caller for an equipment company for a year, 7 months inbound call center for blue cross blue shield and now a full time part time temporary job at another equipment company receiving calls for orders, making calls to follow up on past and present orders and service.

    In the mean time I went into and out of the wheelchair with a diet and plan. Most disabled people dismiss the idea and rather take their pain killers and receive their check every month. Regular people say thats nice, now lets race down the street and see who wins. While in the wheelchair Ive made quite a few inventions to make life more comfortable and some low vision devices. Didnt sell a one, not even on ebay. Disability publications and non profit agencys turned their nose up at it. I was written up in one publication, but it seems rather empty after the fact.

    So. Just feels rather empty after all of that and that I am making 11 bucks an hour selling dump trucks at up to 40 hours a week while having no benefits.

    I was talking to the shop foreman if they needed any help with them ramping up for some large orders. He thought i was kidding. He seemd shocked that i had tools and use to work on cars and small engines equipment and building engines.

    Ive done the job thing online with little success across all three websites. The few jobs I get offers for are call centers.

    I had the son of the father I work with getting him up to speed on the computers where we work tell me I should consider opening an IT business. I told him I hated computers and butting heads with those in the IT world who think they know it all. Ever been to a gateway store or some computer store and said something that was quasi incorrect? I told him it was just a hobby and I refused to be tech support for other disabled folks i meet. His dad was a favor since I like him.

    I just seem to think there is a problem solving job that involves your hands that is waiting for me. On the other hand, here lately, I seem to see truck equipment where ever I go.

    Just rambling.......

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Speaking for myself I can say that lack of accomplishments or perceived thereof, only gets worse as you get older and remain unmarried. You naturally remain more self-centered and concentrate more on your own achievements as you don't have to worry about those of a spouse and children.

    28 is a good age. I certainly wish, physically, I could lock myself at that age. You've done quite a bit in the ten years since high school, chances are very good your better days are still ahead of you.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Many of us had many plans when we were young, and looking back on them... well let's just say nothing happened the way I expected.

    The nice thing about going to college is the amount of learning you do that prepares you for future occupations. The bad thing is that you end up 4 to 6 years behind others who start their career right after high-school graduation. In your case, it appears you had other factors slowing you down too.

    I'd suggest going through a carreer aptitude assessment program. They look at your skills AND your interests to see where your best match might be. Sometimes they will lead you to a career that you would not otherwise consider.

    A job is work you do to survive. A carrer is something you devote yourself to.


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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Have you heard of the Meyers Briggs aptitude test? It's fun to take and you learn a great deal about what you love and what you don't. Not a pressure test, but a very eye opening one. Will help with the relationships in your life, too. I think you've done some great stuff! Life is long, so go for it! Even if one is Pulitzer Prize winner, that doesn't mean you've "arrived" in life. Much to learn and to live for. . . Go for it! Go for it! Go for it! Nothing ventured nothing gained. Always be willing to take the chances to make mistakes. That's the best way to keep growing in life.
    Last edited by onthebeam; 10-17-2005 at 03:40 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    All this negativity! BAH!!

    I have discovered in the past two years that one can do whatever they want... if they want it badly enough... no matter how old they are. Perhaps I am just what they (who are they anyway?!?!?) call a "late bloomer"... I dunno. I took my very first college course when I was 40 years old. Decided that I hated accounting. At 42, I crammed for a pharmacy technician certification in two months and passed. I've been working as a certificed tech for the past year. And as of last week, I began a whole different course of study and career... yes, career... as this is what I am most interested in and what I want to be when I grow up... a Crime Scene Investigator.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that very shortly after my 44th birthday (in January), I will be working in that field and continuing with my studies and certifications... eventually achieving the rating of Senior Crime Scene Analyst. I want it badly enough. I'll do it. Old dogs CAN be taught new tricks... and so can young ones...

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Thanks Sasha, your comments made me think differently.

    And as said, my brother with just a HS education is ahead of me, moneywise and about 8 years ahead of me. I was off to a slow start. Spuratic work, laid up 17 months with 2 stress fractures in my leg, 2 years in 2 different rehab centers and 5 years at a community college.

    I had considered going back to VCU to the career dept to go through tests like that and see what is out there. Most of the career fairs require BS degrees and are for recent grads or upcming grads. Others are for co op students. Although I get the announcements on lists from vcu, but I dont think I can apply since i am not a student. I took a range of tests at the VEC about 12 years ago and they just said off the wall things like ashphaut paver, steam roller operator and other construction jobs.

    One big hurdle is not having a license. Many jobs requires one, maybe for company car or back ground check? I think I am just going to have to bite the bullet and decide to fake it and cheat to get my license cause of my limited vision or jump through the hurdles, get special glasses or a doctor to sign off with a day time only restriction and if I get caught driving outside the time frame pay the fine or fight it. I just my parents were more supportive about me getting mines or trying to. Guess I should just read the website and take off early work one day to go to DMV and get it over with.

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    Flashaholic* Nitroz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    If I owned a buisiness I would definitely give you a job. It seems to me that you have a good head on your shoulders. Much better than most people.

    I hope you find a good job in the future.

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    As sasha said, you can do whatever you want bad enough. The trick is to figure out what it is you want. Some folks are happy with simple jobs, others are only fulfilled with a demanding career. I've enjoyed both, and every once in a while I yearn for a simple jopb flipping burgers at McD.

    Just as an example of how strange life is.....

    I started work for the Phone Company while I was still in high school. I got a job as a long disatance operator (assisting people making collect calls and such) because I was told I would be able to transfer from that to being a telephone installer/repairman. That was my career goal in high school.

    Fate stepped in in the guise of "equal opportunity". As a man, I was not allowed to transfer out of my position. All the new installer jobs were reserved for women. It was a strange time. Ot was only through a series of wierd foul-ups that I ended up in a job wher I was doing data input via a terminal. That led me to simple programming. Over the course of several years it seemed that every job I had, I'd end up operating or programming the computers for that work-group. That eventually led to a career in IT.

    Now, when I was young, there were no mail systems, no web servers and few corporate databases. Now that's my livelyhood.

    If you are good at making web sites and enjoy it, there are ways to parlay that into a career in the web field or related areas. My nephew works for the firm that designs and maintains high end web sites. Godiva chocolates (www.godiva.com) ring a bell? the strange thing is, he's an artist, not a web designer.

    By all means, go to VCU and use their facilities. It's there to help the residents of virginia, not just the current students. Use thier job postings, use their carreer councillors. They might surprise you.

    Like Sasha says, you can always learn new tricks.

    Daniel
    (BTW, employers like you to have a DL for many, many reasons. It implies that you are more available on THEIR schedule. It also indicates that you are not here illegally, and that you've not been busted for DUI. It lets you acta as courier if they need it and you are more likely to be on-time despite vagarities of bus schedules. It's well worth getting.)
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  9. #9

    Icon15 Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    I know the feeling, an unfulfilling or dead-end feeling in your job. Sort of an overwhelming feeling of "this is it? This is my life?"

    I've had it in the past, in fact, I sort of have it now. As others have mentioned, being married, having a family does help a great deal. When you're single, other than friends and hobbies, the biggest thing "about yourself" is your career. When you're married and have kids, your family usualy is the biggest single identifier you have. A sucky job has at least some meaning and significance if if is feeding your kids and putting a roof over their head.

    I like many other posters am sick of IT, (I'm glad gadget lover's happy, though..._ and would love to do "something else" if I could just quit banging my head against the wall and figure out what the hell that is.

    The funny thing is, I'm not even one of those "Johnny come lately" IT people who just got into it as a "fad career" during the Internet bubble, and the big corporate Y2K expenditures. I've worked my way up starting in '92 from a local PC builder/reseller, to consultant work and contract staffing type work, from desktop/LAN support, senior call center troubleshooter, finaly to security administration where I am now.

    I now realize I've come to hate IT / I.S.. It's such a boring treadmill. The constant upper mangerial shuffe as they fiddle with projects and changes, to only see nothing ever really change. Inevitably, the parent company is either cheap, inflexible, and usualy both. So all you ever implement is a string of band-aid solutions, and usualy with fewer and fewer resources as budgets are squeezed. With the threat of offshore outsourcing, you can't even complain. On top of suffering all that strategic ineptitude, the day-to-day duties are mind-numbing.

    I've got this nagging sensation that there's some job out there that I'm perfect for, is a great match with my traits and natural abilites, but I have no clue what it is. I'm skeptical about aptitude tests, the results always seem fortune-cookie vauge, and worthless. "You like working with both people and things.." Whoopee! That helps SOOOO MUCH! How could I have not seen that before!

    Not.

    If someone knows of a career chooser/aptitude test system or method that really works, and might actualy point to careers you hadn't thought of. I'd love to hear of it.
    Life is an amazing thing... Without it, we'd all be dead.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Not to get too far afield.....

    If you are tired of IT and can afford it, you may find a great deal of freedom comes with being a freelance. It takes discipline and budgeting, but it's not hard to do. I found that after 25 years as a corporate employee I was burned out. Then I retired and started consulting. It's a whole different world!

    The best part is that I can ignore all the silly politics. At the end of the day I go home and don't worry about what the CEO has just decreed. Even if it has a negative impact on me, I know it's just for X more months. That makes all the difference in the world. There's an end in sight.

    Back on subject....

    We should mention to Cobb that reflection on accomplishemnts is normal and will happen every once in a while.

    When I hit 25, I reassessed where I was headed and was depressed that I was not middle management with a big car and house. When I turned 33, it hit me that I was going into middle age, and while I was middle managment, I was depressed that I was not upper management with a big car and house. It's only on the last 10 years that I've come to realize that I'm happy, reasonably healthy and that I really have no regrets. I no longer want a big car, and a big house would be wasted.

    On the subject of finding a career... I have no advice. I stumbled into one I enjoy. I find that my hobbies fill in the gaps where then job is not fulfilling. When I have a contract that is mostly administrative I satisfy my creative urges by creating lights and writing programs and building things.

    One of the problems with career counciling is that the best fit for your personality and interests may not be one where you can make a living. They may focus on your current skills instead of skills you can learn. your best bet may be to go to multiple live and online career counciling.

    Daniel
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    I too hate IT. I grew up with it, timex sinclear, apple 2 series, tandy 1000rl then pcs. One reason I like selling dump trucks, but it seems like a dead end thing. Like selling cars almost.

    Yeah, just got to take some prozac and shake it off....

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    If you don't know what you want, don't be surprised if you end up somewhere where you dont wanna be.

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Quote Originally Posted by mobile1
    If you don't know what you want, don't be surprised if you end up somewhere where you dont wanna be.
    No offence meant to anybody but I thought that this one was a similar . A bit off topic ....

    "If you don't know where you are heading ,any road will take you there"

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Yeah, I can be a little dense at times, like today.Spent 30 minutes today calling cablevision hq, was referred by someone at the CS line. Long story short operator transferred me to extensions with no answer, someone who handles employee movie tickets and finally a fax machine. This was after i explained to her I was following up on the request from the CS line.

    Most businesses tell me they do not take sales calls. These guys dont seem to do that. Anyway, called again, got gen voice mail and left a message I was just following up with a service request at the office at the CS number.

    Now thats a good question, where do I want to be? I thought the dept for the blind where i use to work as an engineer assistant, fixing stuff for blind people. Those folks have fallen off the face of the earth. After 911 and budget cuts, they have a hiring freeze.

    Other than that, I am fairly flexible and wide open.

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    I think the point that was being made was that unless you know what you want to accomplish, you will wander from one position to the next, often feeling unhappy but not knowing why. Many people eventually find something that they do enjoy and make that their career.

    I remmeber when my oldest was in high school. They had job fairs where the students could spend a day or a week at a job site just watching to see if they liked that field.

    One of my hobbies is locksmithing. Making keys, fixing locks, that kind of thing. A common question (and answer) that comes up is how to break into the business. The common answer is to learn what you can firts, then contact a local locksmith business and explain that you are interested in the field. Offer to work for them doing the menial stuff in exchange for the exposure.

    My dad was an engineer, and said that you should always work in the field that you are studying. If you are going after an mechanical engineering degree, you should at least apply for jobs as a part time draftsman. If you are studying auto mechanics, you should be working in a garage in your spare time. The idea was two fold; 1) you apply what you learn so you learn it better and 2) you find out if the job stinks before you dedicate 4 years to the study. I think he was a smart man.

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    You work in the field you like? Interesting theory....

    Ive met quite a few folks who want to be this when they grow up, goto college, volunteer, etc and end up with that job. I just look at the bottom line, how much an hour.

    My folks and others Ive met kind of fall into what they do and like. I had a relative who was rather smart and going for an engineer education, ended up at a ship yard as a pipe fitter. He liked it. Others wondered where he would be if he went to college instead. Another relative was always asked to build wooden things for folks cause he did it so well, ended up being a contractor and developer.

    I hate to lock myself in one field, but problem solving seems to be my skill. If I can continue with my health, i think I will just reenter the auto field a a mechanic.

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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    You know, I am going to Berkeley right now and I can tell ya, what you did is a heck lot more than I can imagine. The biggest regret that I have is I didn't go in the military after high school. I was at my phisical peak at the time and ever since college it's been downhill(albeit a slow, gradual one). I ask myself the exact same thing that you do. Dang it I'm feeling like I'm a worthless lemon running around in a school where evryone seems to be smarter than me and doing better....
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    There are plenty of ways to gauge one's accomplishments, or lack thereof. I hold firmly to the opinion that if you're not happy with your life then you haven't accomplished much regardless of any fancy titles or big money. Maybe that's the problem here-our society bases too much on material things. Those who don't find material things important and won't work their tails off to acquire them are often seen as failures. This frequently rubs off on the person who might otherwise be happy seeing themselves as a letdown.

    Most of my accomplishments, at least those society values, happened before I was 21. I graduated from an excellent high school, got into an Ivy league college, and graduated with a fairly decent GPA (3.21) for Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. Things were quite different once I tried to get into the working world. Note the operative word here-tried. First off, I found that jobs in my chosen profession were as scarce in New York as wheat fields. I had neither the resources nor the desire to relocate and lose what little support system I had from my family. Second, despite sending out hundreds of resumes to any firms even remotely related to engineering I failed to secure even an interview, much less a job. Given my credentials, this was shocking.

    After about two years of sending out resumes with no results I had to get something just to pay the bills. Sure, I was living with my parents but the student loans were in default and I really couldn't ask my parents to pay for anything beyond my room and board. The first place that hired me was for the position of inventory specialist. Basically, you went from store to store in company vans taking inventory. Pay was $5 an hour to start. The job was tiring, boring, and sometimes dangerous because they had a habit of using unlicensed, undocumented workers to drive the vans. I was personally involved in two crashes, one of which sent me to the hospital for stitches in my head.

    After about 8 months and one cheap quarter raise I started looking for greener pastures. On a whim I went to a taximeter repair shop that was hiring for a bench technician. The boss was impressed with me, and I got the job. I even talked him into $7 an hour instead of the $5 an hour the company wanted to pay. I still worked the inventory job for a while on weekends and after hours weekdays. Within two months though the hours started getting to me and I quit the inventory job completely. The only thing lasting I got from that job was carpal tunnel.

    The working conditions in the bench technician job were better, but it was still boring, repetitive work, including assembly work sometimes, and my first paycheck gave me another shock. $7 and hour is $280 a week before taxes. After taxes it was $220 except that there were other deductions for the union health plan and unemployment insurance totaling about $60 a week. Adding in my $25 a week carfare and I was left with a big $135 for 40 hours of work plus about 10 hours of travel. The only way to make anything resembling a decent salary was to try to get overtime so I did. Three months of 60 or 70 hour weeks followed. Even then, I was still making a below average wage, never mind something I might have made as an engineer.

    About a year into the job the main office in Virginia started getting tight with the overtime. I was back to taking home $135 a week although I saved about $12.50 of that by walking 3 miles each way to/from the subway instead of taking the bus. I was starting to get disgusted with this job. Just like my last job, I was tired all the time, unhappy with the money, and bored to death. I gave them the ultimatum-either a decent raise (not another stupid union mandated $0.16 an hour raise) or I'm gone. I guess I had made a good enough impression because they gave me $10.76 an hour and stopped the additional deductions for health care and unemployment insurance. That brought my take-home for a regular week to over $300 after carfare. With 10 hours overtime I was actually making something halfway decent even if I was still bored with the job.

    8 months into 1990 and when I came back from my first ever paid vacation I got the bad news from the boss. They were shutting down the New York shop because it was losing money. I figured as much. Just my luck that I'm finally making almost decent money and it doesn't last. In a way I was relieved. My carpal tunnel was getting really bad, so I had planned to finish out the year and then quit. I just couldn't work full-time any more. I was the only one offered a job at the main office in Virginia. Since the pay would have been the same taking the job was out of the question. I really had zero desire to live in Virginia but on what I was paid I couldn't have afforded it anyway. Not having a license or car was another problem. Come September I was unemployed.

    I collected unemployment insurance for six months, and then another six months when the President extended benefits because of the poor economy. The unemployment office was virtually useless for any help finding work, and I had no luck either. There was one piece of luck though. My old boss bought the shop from the company in order to run it as his own personal business (which he runs to this day). A few months after getting laid off I started repairing meters at home. It wasn't much money, maybe $75 a week on average, but it helped. After my unemployment insurance ran out, it was my only source of income.

    Over the years I continued to do work at home for my old boss and still do. Sure, a lot of it was repetitive, but per hour as a consultant I made a lot more than I used to, and can now command $60 an hour for design work. Best of all, I'm doing less of the repair and assembly stuff, and more of the design stuff. The only problem is that he simply doesn't have enough work for me to earn anything resembling a decent annual income. As a result, I've worked on things which I'll eventually try to turn into businesses. If I have enough things going, even if each only earns my a few hundred a month, I can ultimately make serious money.

    I've completely put out of my mind ever working as an employee again. First off, because of my carpal tunnel full-time employment is out of the question (and I was tired all the time when I worked full time). Second, typical business hours don't agree with me. I've never been a morning person although I didn't realize how much it affected me until I noticed how much better I felt when I could sleep late. Long term that would certainly impact my success if I worked in a place that required morning hours. Third, I just hated the routine of steady work hours with a passion. Routine negatively affected everything else in my life. Some people thrive on routine, others like me just fall apart. To me having free time when I want it is as valuable a commodity as having lots of money.

    Now that I've finished talking about my work history (which is admittedly anything far from successful) I'll talk briefly about the other things society considers as accomplishments-marriage and children. Here I can't say I've had any success at all. Truthfully, I never wanted children anyway so nothing is lost there. However, I often think how it might have been nice to have had a successful marriage, or at least a long-term relationship. My one attempt at it ended on such a tragic note that I gave up on the idea entirely. First off, there was just a lack of opportunity given the jobs I've had and my overall selectivity. Second, I never really got over my first love enough to try again even if an opportunity presented itself, which one hasn't.

    What's my point here? Well, I think what someone can take from all this is that no matter how promising a future it may seem someone has, fate can deal them a bad hand and they just have to make the best of it. Likewise, I've learned many people who are more successful than me in all aspects were often just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. In effort were all that was required many of us here would be millionaires and happily married.
    Last edited by jtr1962; 10-20-2005 at 10:38 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Just thinking about my accomplishments or lack there of

    Man, you floated your resume for 2 years with no bites? I get bites, just most places are outside the bus line by quite a few miles in either direction. Chesterfield, Chester, Hanover, Colonial Heights, ShortPump, Oilville have jobs and Ive been offered them. I am limited to Richmond, Henrico and during business hours and weekdays. 7-7 m-f. Guess in that case I am a bit hotter. I also just settled for the past 3 jobs based on need to earn money to buy food, do the job and getting to it. The rehab assistant I fell into while a student at the rehab center for the blind.

    Maybe I am more lucky or desirable than I think?

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