How to reinvent yourself to tackle a new career is a mystery to many–and at one time, I must admit, to me as well. How many times did I ask my high school teachers, “Uh, help me out here; whaddya think I should do after high school?”
Wisely enough, they weren’t opening that can of worms with a ten-foot church key. Instead, they consistently told me, “You can make it in any field of endeavor you choose.” Or words to that effect. I was ticked; how about a little help here, people?
Now, in 2011, with fifty years of backtrail to study through that ever-brilliant hindsight, it’s obvious I wasn’t ever likely to limit myself to “just one” career. How many were there by the end of it? Let me count the ways:
50 Ways To Make Your Living (And/or Leave Your Lover; take your pick)
1. Just outa college with an Auto Mechanics cert, rather ride broncs and bulls, get dumped in the dirt. Kept on going till the fall of ’63 with the draft down my neck like a nasty old breeze.
2. October that year with no job in sight, up drives a fella to the ranch one night. Offers me a job with a surveying rod; I was pure dee broke so I gave him the nod.
3. Uncle Sam’s Army for a couple of years. Pay attention to your training, not your baby-faced fears. Climbing trees and poles like a good wire rat; with discharge in hand don’t you ever look back.
4. Drop out of college, sell some livestock feed. Got the Range A from MoorMan’s that the ranchers all need. But underfinancing cuts you off at the knees–got promoted just in time; this career is a breeze!
5. District Sales Manager, ought to make it just fine, but it turns out to be tough to hire guys to sell on their own dime. Quit two days before the hammer came down; turned in my briefcase and got run out of town
6. Selling cars, jumping pumps, busting tires, all fine, but none of that paid much till I went to the mine. Drilling and blasting and mucking out ore, not a bad job but restless, had to go to school some more.
7. Amway while at college, selling LOC and SA-8, till I got a psych degree and had to sit down, just wait. Call came in, rescued once again, out to Spokane, became an underwriting trainee then.
8. Commercial insurance left behind, heading east. Group home in South Dakota, just a day at the beach, troubled teens needing guidance and an arm with long reach. Tricky Board, tricky parents, but we left on our own to put my ex back into college near the town where she was grown.
9. Bounce around until I end up with a chainsaw in my hand, cutting timber, slinging logs on Missouri River flat land.
10. Going broke; now we skip ahead to a time of sorta fun, driving truck for Halliburton, got the oilpatch on the run.
11. Oilpatch slump, got laid off, hunting work, 60 companies ignored me, just another oilpatch jerk, got a job climbing derrick on a workover rig, slinging pipe down the hole like it really was no big.
12. Oilpatch even worse, going broke just like before, found an ad in the newspaper, made a break to reach the door. Ended up a social worker seeing kids out in the hills, child protective, what the hey, you gotta know it pays the bills.
13. Ending up inside a city, Portland out in Oregon, boiler room just calling people like I was the Chosen One. Selling chimney cleaning appointments, just a few, but just enough. Kept on looking for something better; telemarketing was too rough.
14. Got a job, General Electric, in a warehouse by the sea, cleaning out old transformers full of hazardous PCBs.
15. Moving on to San Diego, hustle here and hustle there. Then score big with multi level, Matol Botanical, millionaire.
16. No money left, so back to trucking, but this time out over the road. Went to school, pulled a dry van with many a tired and tricky load.
17. Retired a while, burned the the inheritance, back to the patch but not cement. This time hauling a lot of water anywhere the rigs had went.
18. Retired again thanks to Obama, so it seems, hey, time to write. At least it pays now for my Net access. No more for now, so now goodnight!
19. Came into a little money, used the cash to build a house with my own two hands and now it keeps out every mouse.
20. Threw in a few, just 80 titles on YouTube, original songs, though they pay not one bright penny–hey, who knows what might come along?
Okay, so it didn’t come out to 50 career changes after all. Who knew? It would have been double that, though, if we were talking about simple job changes–I lost count of those at somewhere around 100.