when I was in high school ..I wanted to be a FBI criminologist...I spent the majority of my working life in corporate America..which I guess was a criminal use of my time
when I was in Catholic School I wanted to be a Priest until i saw the movie "The Cardinal' and went to class on Monday and asked the Monsignor alot of questions about that movie..i was kicked out the same day
When I was in High school, I wanted to work for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. They were the world's biggest jet engine makers at that time. I did get a job there. Afer a few months I went in the US Army and did my tour in Vietnam. Afer ther war I felt burned out and went back to Portugal for some time. Later on I did go back to Pratt & Whitney and worked there for 35 more years.
I did quite well and today I am retired and am getting a pension from PW and also have a next egg that I built up in those in those years.
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I always had lofty ambitions! I wanted to be a secretary! My grandmother worked for Humble Oil, and she made it sound like the best job a person could have. She wore heels, hat and gloves to work each day, and would park 2 miles away (for free vs paying for parking) and walk the rest of the way. After high school I had all the skills necessary -- typing, accounting, shorthand -- so I went to work! The job descriptions changed over the years, but the skills (less the shorthand) always served me well. I started working 2 weeks after high school graduation, and continued until I retired, at age 54!
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In High School I decided I would pursue a career in Business/Accounting. I realized after my first year of college that accounting would be the most boring occupation. I continued with my major in Business Admin but in my third year of college I answered an add for "Computer Operator". I was cooking at that time and I knew that I would never be an "Executive Chef" type so I took the operator job. I knew that computers were the "wave of the future" so I figured I'd give it a shot even with a 50% cut in pay.
It all worked out. I worked my way up the ranks and with different companies I made a good living and learned a lot while doing it.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
To tell you the truth, I wanted to drive.....anything but preferably race cars. My dad had raced open wheel cars in his youth but I wasn't that crazy (especially since my childhood idle, Pat O'Connor was killed in the '58 Indy 500). No, I wanted to go NASCAR (they have roll cages). I started driving in the hills of upper East Tennessee and saw Thunder Road probably 100 times. Obviously I didn't succeed in my dream (although I used to have fun running the back roads at, uhhhh......... a rather high rate of speed?). By George, one time I even did a "boot leg turn" (turning a car around in the middle of the highway and highballing it in the opposite direction). In that instance, the car was a hopped up '56 Crown Vic that belonged to a friend of mine and at his urgings, mind you, at over 60 mph without rolling it or literally peeling the tires off the rims (which I found out in subsequent years could have easily happened) I completed the maneuver. In other words, the adage "God protects fools" is quite true. I was so scared and surprised that we were still alive, that I couldn't even manage a weak "YEEEEHAAAA!" for a good ten minutes.
I then wanted to be a physician and still have the signature of one but when I discovered there was more to becoming a doctor than having an unreadable signature, I begged off that profession as well.
I found out when I was a youngster working in the town's upscale men's store that I could sell someone the clothes they were wearing. Inasmuch as it goes against my grain to sell something to someone that they really don't need and can't afford (a good salesman's gotta' do both), I passed on that career as well.
As I was too lazy to go to college and become a teacher (another career I'd always loved), after the service, I went into law enforcement and got to be a "teacher" in that field so all was not lost.
So I guess afterall, I can now wind it up and holler...... "YEEEEHAAA!"....cough-cough...wheeze...cough.
I was different. I wanted to be "artisitic" and so I studied music. I moved to Los Angeles at 18 and played in bands. At age 24 I realized i also needed a job so I went to school to be a recording engineer. Now, in 1974 there were only two such schools in the country and a working audio engineer could make a good living - if you could find a job. I finished the program, opened a studio in Hollywood, had a great deal of fun & experience for almost 5 years, sold it and started working for other studios (better ones). I worked in 24-trk studios back when that was state of the art for another six years.
Eventually I ended up at a Grammy winning studio in Hollywood where many famous records were done (Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd) - not that I worked on those records, but the studio was famous.
Then in a few months I got my first job offer on a cruise ship in 1983 (Royal Viking) which I did for almost a year. I had a medical condition that precluded me from going back, so eventually I managed a nightclub (still wanting to be in the music business) but that was not fun.
At age 38 I made a complete change, quit drinking, etc. Soon I was offered another job on a cruise ship (the Norway) then Holland America. I had a girlfriend who was a dancer. We moved to NYC, where I worked in studios, theaters, etc. (doing audio). But in 1994 I started getting too old for "the arts" . I was watching the stock market and I saw tech stocks were always hot, so I got certified in Novell and Microsoft, just mostly so I could understand tech stocks. I took the computer route, like Mike.
I got pretty good at networking, and discovered the Internet. I was also teaching Novell & Microsoft classes. I also taught myself how to build web sites.
I started writing articles for web sites & soon Motley Fool found me. I met Anne Campbell (obviously also a writer) in 1996. I really have to thank Anne Campbell and NY City for bringing out my natural ability to write (which I also had to hone a great deal). I always won the creative writing awards in grade school, etc, but I never thought of writing for a living before.
I wrote my first PAID magazine article in 1997 ("Upside", a silicon valley investment magazine), and soon I was writing public relations articles for a silicon valley company from my home in NY City ( I was on a yearly retainer). Soon, between my retainer and being part time with Motley Fool I was doing pretty well just writing.
In 1999 we started CruiseMates, which was eventually acquired. You guys know most of this part.
Over my years I have only had two "regular 9-5 jobs" which I did not love, and both only lasted a few months. The rest of the time I have been a businessman or self-employed, but I have done well also. I am lucky enough to feel set for the rest of my life (also because I had smart parents who saved every nickel) and any windfall I ever had I managed to make into something.
But like many, I hope this economy holds out because I own two houses and partially own two more. I have money in stocks but although I did very well last year this year I am getting ripped apart. I am unusually adept at trading stocks in any kind of predictable market - but this year has been a ripsaw - plus that tax laws are changing so I may have to learn a new "secret" to making fast money.
In the end, I am a "risk capitalist," philosophically speaking and I understand taking risks in ways I don't think many people do, and I really believe in that. I am happy for people that work their entire lives and have pensions, but that has never been me. I have owned 3 businesses (sold two of them) and worked as a consultant the rest of the time. Every business I ever worked for was a very small business. I never had a corporate health plan or 401k. I have private insurance and IRAs.
Just a note - don't give too many personal details here. ;-)
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
I always wanted to be a teacher, and in a round-about way, I did become a teacher, if only for pre-schoolers. My first love and interest though was in special needs chldren, particularly autistic, but I have yet to find that dream job.....
When I was in grade school, I wanted to be a commercial artist. That gradually morphed into fashion designer. My first job out of high school was at the Mayo Clinic. Eventually, I moved to GA and then CA becoming a secretary along the way. After I married, I finally got a degree. I did everything backwards, I guess.