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What do you do for a living
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Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
What do you do for a living on 01/04/2008 12:08:40 MST Print View

What do you do for a living? Do you like what you do? How much school did you have to do to get to where you are?

I am a Residence Life Coordinator at Carson Newman College.

I went to Berea College in KY and am now trying to decide between a masters in Counseling or Geology.


(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: What do you do for a living on 01/04/2008 13:58:35 MST Print View


I have been a soldier. That was OK.

I was a polotical assistant... That was interesting.

I was a paramedic... That was the best job I ever had.

Now I work at a company that builds communication satellites. I have been here for more than 8 years and love it. I start a job here that will see me traveling to South America, Europe, Asia, and of course North America. I am excited about it.

I say select a job/skill that will let you do what you want to do.

Geology can get you great jobs working for a variety of companies, special interest groups or the Federal Goverment. Then you have to decide if you want to be in a lab or not. I think this would get you outdoors more. If that is your interest.

Counseling lets you work with people. This might be very interesting.

I would choose Geology though. I have a huge rock collection!

Good luck. I am sure you will do great in whatever you do. I know I have been reading a lot of your posts and you ask a lot of good questions and give many good answers.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: What do you do for a living on 01/04/2008 16:32:28 MST Print View

Self employed, which consists of me:
Running two websites
Running an online gear shop
Gear production

Do I like it?
Yes, very much.

School did get me here in a long winding way. But it wasn't college that did. I would have to give credit to all the classes I took in high school on business and as well with working for a couple small business, the last one teaching me nearly everything I needed to know about selling online. In high school I hated those classes and simply took them as they came easy to me and I wanted to graduate....I am sure that teacher would be happy now to know I used what he taught me!

But....without my husband supporting the family (ie..paying the mortgage) we wouldn't be able to build our business now.

Maybe the best wisdom I can give is this: pick a job that pays you but doesn't suck your soul dry. Treat a job as a way to pay your bills and to be able to enjoy life. A job shouldn't be your life. Don't ever quit learning or exploring new things.

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
Choices on 01/05/2008 08:13:43 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips Jason and Sarah.

My goal is to eventually teach at the college level. I work with college students now and it is a great and rewarding job, but it doesn't pay well and with 2 kids and my wife I really need to look for advancement possibilities. During my undergrad I was a Geology Major until the college dropped it from the college. I was not far enough in the program to finish my degree. So, insead of a major I took all the classes offered(9) and got a minor in it. I majored in Education.

I really like both professions. If I was to choose counseling it would be adventure based/team development. I am not a huge fan of deep mental health counseling.

Anyway, Thanks for the insight guys. I should know something next week by wed or thurs.

Thanks again,


Edited by TCXJWAGONEER on 01/05/2008 08:16:51 MST.

Linsey Budden

Locale: pugetropolis
"What do you do for a living" on 01/13/2008 22:25:25 MST Print View

This question made me chuckle because (at forty) I've had over 30 occupations--the sheer number of jobs I've held remain uncountable. My current job by far holds the longevity record--just over four years. I'm an apprentice mechanic at a vintage British sportscar shop--a decided hobby job with great perks (fully equipped shop at my disposal for my own car projects).

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: What do you do for a living on 01/13/2008 22:35:29 MST Print View

In my case it's: What did you do for a living?

I was a musician looking for a day job and got hired as a draftsman trainee in the local County Department of Public Works. I spent 2+ years there and went on to Missle and Space Systems support in Architecture and Civil Engineering. After 7 years I switched to small private firms and just retired after 48 years. I've never been to college, just taken a few classes for a boost now and then. I always loved the work. People paid me money to design and build things for them.

It was a good life and always paid me very well.

Margaret Snyder
(jetcash) - F

Locale: Southern Arizona
What do you do for a living? on 01/13/2008 22:37:42 MST Print View

I also studied geology as an undergrad. Now that degree is done and I'm working on my master's in watershed mgmt., which is basically hydrology for people who suck at math. I'm working on a biogeochemistry project that makes me sound important, but really I collect and analyze urban storm water runoff in Tucson to determine if this water should be accounted for in the city's water budget as potential groundwater recharge. I do this and take classes and try to fit in as much hiking as possible. This will probably be my life until May of 2009 when I hopefully graduate.

Tom - Have you thought about environmental consulting?

Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Re: What do you do for a living on 01/14/2008 10:28:03 MST Print View

After an undergrad degree in philosophy, and law school, I'm now a lawyer (I know, I know). I was practicing in DC doing environmental and energy law (mostly energy) and now I am working for a federal district court judge doing a clerkship. Sometimes it can be really intellectually interesting, but mostly I wish it were possible to make a living as a professional thru-hiker.

I'm not sure if anyone asked for any advice, but if I were asked, I'd say to be cognizant of student loan debt. Having too much can force a person into a miserable job just to get the $$$ to pay down the debt.

Chris Lowe
(TNChris) - F

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: What do you do for a living on 01/14/2008 15:07:13 MST Print View

I'm a medical student right now and 2LT in the US Army Reserve. It pays the bills and pay for school, so I don't have to worry about the student loan debt. I'll be worrying about time debt (4 yrs) to repay Uncle Sam.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: What do you do for a living on 01/14/2008 18:01:21 MST Print View

Im a student at the moment. I have a B.Sc(sustainable environments) majoring in Land and Water Conservation. I'm currently doing a B.Sc honours degree, with about 4.5 months left to write my thesis. I don't have a job at the moment...I can't really fit it in...I'm living off my savings and the pitiful social security student allowance the government gives out to full-time students living away from home to study (what sucks I reckon is its way less than what dole bludgers get on the dole...what the?)

When I finish completely in June I'm doing a bit of walking/rogaine setting, for about 6 weeks, then hopefully I'll start working somewhere, likely contracts for a while. I'm trying to tee something up at the moment doing research and field work.

Then I'll probably start a Phd in 2009 or 2010.

Luckily in Australia as an Australian citizen I don't have to worry about Uni fees...the government pays it all up-front, and part of it goes onto a government student loan debt called HECS-HELP. Basically its about $6k per year for me for my Science degrees. You don't have to pay it off until you start earning a minimum amount (about $35k/annum at the moment I think), and its taken out at about 2% as an extra tax, and increases slightly depending on your wage/salary. The debt is indexed with inflation, but it has no interest, so there isn't much point really in trying to pay it off extra fast, as you are better off investing money instead. If you are working overseas and not paying tax to Australia you don't have to pay it off anyway.

So, along with free health care, schooling, the dole, freedom of speech, democracy, etc, we have it pretty good in Australia!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Wait just one minute! on 01/14/2008 18:10:25 MST Print View

First you want to know my Personality Profile then my Avatar and now what I do for a living.

What's next?

Just kidding.
What I do, is NOT MY JOB. My job is just my work and what I do for a living is when I am not at work.

I am an Ultra Junkie that has a hard time meeting others that are as crazy as I am and will do the things, (at the distances), I like to do.
I figured the Adventure Racing folks out there would be a crazy as I am but they're such a close knit group, (team) it just doesn't happen.

We need more people out there that do crazy things for a living.

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
Goals and thoughts on 01/15/2008 09:38:51 MST Print View

Thanks for the responses everyone. My wife is a nurse, knew she was going to be a nurse when she was young and she is one now. I have bounced around so much about what I want to do that it makes her mad, that is why I posted the original post. I went with the counseling degree and started last week in classes. I had some grad work already in counseling but the chance to do geology again was tempting. I went with counseling to focus on team development and leadership. I would love to work as a professor or run a small outdoor school. I have done leadership training of all sorts from about the age of 10. first as a participant and then as a counselor. I love being outside and especially backpacking so I really want to find a way to bring all of them together. I know what you do to pay bills may not be what your passions are, but I have worked jobs that are for $$ and I get frustrated quickly and move on. Right now I work as a Residence life coordinator at a small school in TN. I am very passionate about helping and assisting these college students, but this job is a live in position. I have a wife and 2 kids so you can imagine the mad house this can be. I live with 250 18-21yr olds.


Edited by TCXJWAGONEER on 01/15/2008 09:40:55 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Goals and thoughts on 01/15/2008 10:56:11 MST Print View

I'm more like your wife. I knew I was going to be an accountant when I was a junior in high school. I picked a college with a good accounting program, charted out my courses for the next four years on Day 1 and picked out the CPA firm I wanted to work for pretty early on as well.

But we are all wired differently. I don't see anything wrong about "bouncing around" at all. If one has a steady income and lives within his means in supporting his family -- and balances that with enjoying life -- that's pretty sensible, right?

Just about the only thing to watch for is that however many times we might change jobs or even careers, there will come a time when it will pay more to settle down rather than changing and starting over yet again. It's a balancing act.

Best of luck with your studies!

Edited by ben2world on 01/15/2008 10:59:13 MST.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
When I grow up on 01/22/2008 20:12:09 MST Print View

I still don't know what I "want to be".

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
what do you do for a living? on 01/31/2008 14:42:53 MST Print View

what do you do for a living?

Well I am self-employed as a graphic and website designer/consultant and I run my own online magazine for outdoor adventure in Canada and a wilderness cooking website.

I am also the author of a new wilderness cookbook called A Fork in the Trail.

I have a passion for what I do and I love my work.

While I didn't graduate I studied a double major in English and Fine Arts, both which apply to what I am doing now.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
"What do you do for a living" on 01/31/2008 14:57:52 MST Print View

Retired from U.S. Army. Spent time as an Airborne Ranger, Combat Medic, and Hospital Administrator once I got hurt playing Army. Was privileged to backpack Europe, England, Scotland and Wales while stationed there. Now back in school getting a MSW with a specialty in Gerontology and working the A.M. shift at UPS to stay in shape. Now in my 50’s I figure when I end up in a nursing home, I want to run it. Constantly attempting to lower my base weight, I have learned much here. Long trips on hold as long as I am in school so lots of short trips.
My avatar is appropriate as I really enjoy both cave diving and spelunking.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
My Job on 01/31/2008 15:20:02 MST Print View

Does anyone care...?

Anyway, I'm a physicist doing pure research at a government-supported research laboratory. While working for universities I did research at a number of labs, now I work at one (Jefferson Lab in VA).

Our user base consists of around 2000 physicists and students from all over the world (incl. China, Russia, Armenia, Japan, Australia, Korea, you name it!).

Our "product" is research papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

Vacation time is generous, but not nearly enough for thru-hiking!

Edited by ewolin on 01/31/2008 15:22:28 MST.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: "What do you do for a living" on 01/31/2008 15:25:48 MST Print View

Currently, studying Electrical Engineering at the new, improved Missouri University of Science and Technolgy, or Missouri S&T for short. (As one of my professors observed, "Why no U? Because the university obviously doesn't care about U.")
Anyway, I enjoyed playing with electronics in high school and even took a 2 year Electronics program at the vocational school and still liked it. Came here and started doing math, and while I don't like the math so much, I do still like messing with electronics and love playing with stuff in the labs.
For cash on the side (I get money back from all of my scholarships) I work for the university's IT dept, playing with the stock of 'redeploy' computers and teaching myself about all things related to computers.


Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: What do you do for a living on 01/31/2008 15:37:29 MST Print View

I have a BS and MS in Computer Science and I currently do just about everything there is to do in the web world for a Fortune 100 company. I really love tech and programming and I think my passion for the outdoors is a nice way to balance out my office job.

I have been developing an online gear list tool for about a year now, but unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to work on it and been using google docs as a crutch.

Edited by fperkins on 01/31/2008 21:05:04 MST.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
well ,today as little as possible and still placate the evil overlords on 02/01/2008 10:06:26 MST Print View

Well, today as little as possible and still placate the evil overlords.
For years I flogged the outdoor industry as a climbing guide, river rat, and ski coach but, alas, aging gracefully I found the clients actually preferred people both younger and less infirm then themselves. It's pretty spooky having a geezer nodding off while on belay, you know what I mean?
I'm currently project electrical engineer on huge job in our area. I also teach in the evenings at a local junior college. This keeps me in pickles and barbies.
I occasionally sell a cartoon for incredible sums of dollars or euros [for some reason I have more "luck" in the UK], sometimes they are even funny. I've completely given up on any other form of art because basically every person I've dealt with would rather have a poster in their expensive homes then an original work of art.
This is not who I am, this is what I do.
thanks for asking.