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NGIB 10-03-2009 10:15 AM

The road traveled
 
With today's unemployment rate and the tough economy thought I'd share my path to where I am today. Currently, I'm the senior accountant for the 3rd Infantry Division and I manage hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. When I entered the workforce in 72, I had no aspirations that this is what I wanted to be - or where I'd end up.

I began my working life in the Air Force as a boiler mechanic & steamfitter and I did this for 10 years. I swung pipe wrenches and I was a wizard with a Ridgid portable pipe machine - I could design and install steam delivery systems with the best of them. At the 10 year point I was forced to change jobs and I chose Manpower. We determined how many people you needed to do your job. We used work measurement, layout analysis, organizational analysis, and serious statistical analysis to make that happen.

During my stint in Manpower we began to computerize and in the early 80s I bought my first computer - a Commodore Vic 20. Over the next several years I taught myself to program that little toy and by 85 I was writing software for the Air Force. I learned networks, computer hardware, wrote software, and still did manpower work.

Retired in 92 and took a job as IT manager for an industrial motor repair company, I was a one man department so everything remotely related to computers and networks fell in my lap. Did this for 7 years and during this stint I taught myself the motor repair business. Many days if the computer side of the office was quiet - I donned coveralls and worked in the shop.

In 99, my GI Bill was running out so I decided to leave the workforce for a year and finish my degree. I chose accounting as one day I was looking at the employment ads in the paper and accounting jobs were everywhere. Also around this time, the wife and I bought our first rental property - we have 10 units now. She manages the rental end and I do 80% of the maintenance stuff myself.

So here I am today, and I traveled a strange twisting road to get here. If you take away anything from this - don't be afraid to make a change as you may not have found your path yet...

CA357 10-03-2009 05:12 PM

Thanks for the insight amigo.

NGIB 10-03-2009 05:15 PM

With so much unemployment I just wanted to share that you can change careers. When one dead-ends, head in a new direction. Never been out of work a day in my life as I've always looked ahead and made changes when it looked like the right thing to do...

c3shooter 10-03-2009 05:15 PM

Excellent post!

I have heard a gent speak that is an accepted national authority on career counseling. Comment that he made stuck with me- If you are 30 years old, you will likely change career fields 3 times before you retire. One of those will be in a field that has not yet been created,

Have made a career field change a few times- a scary proposition when you have a wife and young kids. All were good changes- and they helped prepare me for the NEXT change.

One lesson I did learn some time ago- when your last day on a job comes, you will turn in your keys, credit card, cell phone, laptop- but the stuff that is hanging on the wall goes WITH YOU (certificates and diplomas). I will never turn down a chance to take a training course or school that my company is paying for. Whatever you can put in your head, you get to keep- and maybe sell to someone else in a few years.

In about two weeks I will be spending a week in CA on the company's nickel- making very good money, conducting an accident investigation. Of 650 people in my department, ONE of us has the knowledge in this field to do this. Information that I learned 30 years ago, and never thought I would need in the civilian world.

NG- bet there was stuff you learned on the shop floor you would never have learned in the office !

stalkingbear 10-03-2009 05:21 PM

I'm VERY glad it all worked out for you. An interesting career path.

TXnorton 10-03-2009 05:36 PM

NGIB:

For some reason, I think that you would have done well in any field that you chose to take up.


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