Serious Profession/Career Discussion

Xia

On porpoise
is a Contributor Alumnus
Since we have a good thread going about college applications, I thought it would be worthwhile to have a space dedicated to discussing the professional side of life. Most career paths aren't linear (or require a degree), and I think it's worthwhile for people to share their journeys to show how they got where they are now. Similarly, anyone looking for advice on how to do things like develop a resume, negotiate salaries, or change industries is welcome to chime in and ask questions.

I currently work as a Talent Acquisition Consultant, where my days are spent teaching non-technical employees how to "talk tech" to recruit individuals for roles in Data/Computer Science and the like. Recruitment is a great industry to work in if customer service is something you enjoy, and most companies don't require college degrees for entry-level positions. I started my career as a Sourcing Specialist interviewing people for entry-level retail jobs after graduating college, then spent time working in Business Intelligence and Performance Management for two years before returning to talent acquisition in my current role. I wholeheartedly believe my time spent in Business Intelligence is what allowed me to move from recruiting people for retail jobs to technical jobs, as it gave me the chance to get involved in that industry and better understand what motivates people with that skill set to take on a new role.

I have seen other people with a knack for data analysis do amazingly as talent acquisition specialists, even outside of technical recruitment, mostly because leveraging data as part of the decision-making process is a relatively new concept to the industry. However, the other side of that coin alludes to a generational divide in how willing people are to embrace and use new technology. This has put me at odds with my managers in the past, as they can be hesitant to try out new recruitment techniques, and may be unable to analyze data that would articulate the benefits of trying new things. Tactful explanation is something I rely on heavily, as there are days when I feel like I'm trying to "pull blood from a stone", and my ideas or suggestions can fall on deaf ears. Still, though, the opportunity to adapt and improvise processes and help people find better jobs makes those days bearable.

In the future, I'd love to see myself move from recruitment back into technology, but feel like I may be fighting an uphill battle in order to change industries. My day job doesn't use the same skill set that I'd need in that industry, but I do spend time outside of work fuddling around with code and building macros in Excel. I've been trying to find coding lessons online, but I find myself losing motivation when I move from following tutorials to writing my own code.

If anyone out there has made the leap into tech without a degree, I'd love to hear your story! And if anyone is looking for someone to give their resume a review, feel free to shoot me a message; I'm happy to help however I can.
 
So as being only 19 years old, I'm not too experienced with work yet as I've only had one job and am still working that job. I work at build-A-Bear workshop as a bear builder. Being a bear builder is not just stuffing teddy bears.

Sometimes I would need to do quick repairs, or restorations on pre-owned bears, handle the children and create party game ideas for birthdays. I'm going to say right now that being a bear builder is NOT easy work. My co-workers are nice, and it's a great place to work for a first timer though it can be a pain in the ass.

On occasion you will have angry parents taking problems with other departments of the store on you, whining children, and occasionally the seams of teddy bears opening up while on the machine, things interesting happen quite often. I Remember I had to re-stuff a bear once, and I found it's heart in it's foot... Another bear had like 5 satin hearts stuffed inside of it. If you have any questions about B.A.B feel free to ask.
 
Last edited:

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
Graduated 2008 BSc Economics, 10 years in finance, accountant by profession (FCCA), trained in audit (3 years), now at an investment bank (4 years), briefly startup FC, briefly contractor.

AMA about accounting/audit/banking/finance.
 
Last edited:

Cresselia~~

Junichi Masuda likes this!!
I majored in biology but didn't get into the top percentage of people, as I had poor grades, so I know very well that science jobs won't hire me.
They won't even consider.

I once worked at an office of a pharmaceutica as an assistant and realize just how much I hate office work.
I tried being a freelance illustrator, but that didn't earn me a living.
I later taught piano and now I'm teaching drawing/ illustration to little kids.
I find it quite easy and way more enjoyable than having to work at an office. I still have time for some freelance work nowadays.

I learnt one important rule: supply and demand applies to jobs as well.

In my case, obviously, way too many people want to become freelance artists, and there is not enough demand (assuming, that particular artists' art is professional enough)
For piano, although a lot of kids want to learn piano, there are a hell lot of qualified teachers for piano as well. So the competition is also quite fierce. Also, parents really care about music exams for kids (namely, Royal British School of Music certificates), if you can't make kids pass the exam, then you are basically a fail in the parents' eyes. (They won't think their kids are bad, they blame you for everything)

For drawing/ art lessons for kids, it seems to me that there are very few teachers where I'm from. But a lot of kids / parents are interested.
A lot of parents don't really care if the kid learns anything, because there isn't any internationally recognized art exams for kids.
Kids usually want to draw cartoon or anime characters, like Pokemon.
Sometimes they want some snacks. And snacks aren't really expensive anyway.
So I can make them happy quite easily.
I'd say having taught piano helped me with my current career, since both involved handling kids.

Graduated 2008 BSc Economics, 10 years in finance, accountant by profession (FCCA), trained in audit (3 years), now at an investment bank (4 years), briefly startup FC, briefly contractor.

AMA about accounting/audit/banking/finance.
Should nearly everyone buy stocks?
What percentage of a person's income should a person use to buy stocks? (assuming you have no debt)
What if stock accounts in my country have either high service charge, or charge a certain amount if I don't buy new stocks within a month or something?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
Should nearly everyone buy stocks?

Everyone should be saving whatever % of their income that they can afford, especially if it's tax efficient to do so. For the vast majority of people, saving into a pension scheme is superior to buying stocks with their net income.

Long term investment decisions also only make sense if you're not getting killed by transaction and management fees. Otherwise, you're better off with cash until you've accumulated enough capital that these fees become immaterial.

Buying stocks to actively trade them is a mistake for almost everyone; "90% of retail traders lose 90% of their initial deposit within their first 90 days".

With that being said, global equities (and just about everything else) are currently overpriced and the developed world is overdue for recession. Holding cash with the intention to buy assets when they become cheaper is a legitimate strategy, even with inflation and negative real interest rates eroding your capital. To be honest, my pension is entirely in gilts at the moment, waiting for a market correction to move back into equities.

What percentage of a person's income should a person use to buy stocks? (assuming you have no debt)

How long is a piece of string? This depends on your lifestyle requirements, long term aspirations, risk appetite, and when you plan to retire.

What if stock accounts in my country have either high service charge, or charge a certain amount if I don't buy new stocks within a month or something?

Long term investment decisions also only make sense if you're not getting killed by transaction and management fees. Otherwise, you're better off with cash until you've accumulated enough capital that these fees become immaterial.
 
Last edited:

tennisace

dead man walking
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris an Administratoris a Researcher Alumnusis a Top CAP Contributor Alumnus
Community Admin
I'm a Civil Engineer, certified EIT & workin towards the PE. I watch other people build shit and make sure they don't screw up too bad / spend too much money. It doesn't ever go as planned. AMA about CivE / construction stuff tho; if you find you like engineering as a concept but hate actually engineering things then construction project management may be for you!
 

Diophantine

i am the parrot
is a Tutor
When I was 15 an investment management firm from Mayfair approached my school (which was an "underprivileged" one) to take two students for some work experience for two weeks. My school chose me and so, along with another student, I spent time with the strategy team and the marketing team. I loved my time there and they liked me enough to repeatedly invite me back there during each of my school holidays and took me along to their seminars and other such events at places like the London Stock Exchange. I worked for free there writing articles and reports for both the strategy team and the marketing team for four years in my school holidays. I gained a lot of confidence from this place, as even though I was half the age of everyone else, and with a fraction of their experience, they always complimented my work.

When I was 18 I left school to study mathematics at university. I found myself applying to investment banks' spring week programs, where they take first year university students for a week to get them to learn about the bank and do tests and interviews to see if they were ready for the internship program the following year. Tooting my own horn here, but in my feedback from the interviews I was told by one of the interviewers that I was the strongest problem solver he had ever interviewed. I was consequently offered a place on the internship for the next year.

The internship was perhaps the most competitive thing I have ever done. I was working with the stock traders at the bank - essentially attempting to impress them every day. Rather than actual finance knowledge, they prioritised problem solving, analytical abilities, creativity and attitude, which (as I study pure mathematics and not economics or finance or anything like that) was perfect for me. I was asked a lot of non-finance questions like brain-teasers. Funnily enough, a Vice President trader at the bank asked all the interns an economics question and all the economics students answered incorrectly, whereas all the maths and science students got it right. I was offered a graduate job there as a stock trader, which I will start this year. I'm a bit excited currently, because this morning HR phoned me telling me that two managing directors were fighting over me!


I have some advice for people that want to get into highly competitive industries. For motivation: if you truly want it to happen, it will happen. I was a bit lucky with the investment management stuff, but all that happened was that a luck factor was erased. I had to do the hard and smart work in order to excel with it. I have put blood, sweat and tears into making myself a very strong candidate for any job that I want, and I started doing that as a teenager. If you really want it, you have to work for free, put in extra hours perfecting your craft and all of that. Even if you don't know exactly what it is you want to do, you should try out everything and you'll eventually find it. I have tried many routes and put as much effort as I could into them, and I have strengthened myself by doing many extra-curricular stuff such as volunteering, running a business, being a successful sportsman, a musician, etc. They love this sort of stuff, it makes you an interesting person at the least, so I highly recommend being as proactive as you can with everything.

More advice, networking is incredibly important. You have to be able to sell yourself, but you have to be smart about it. Understand that the person you are talking to is a human being, and not a walking job-hiring criteria list. You have to be likeable and attend networking events. If you don't have contacts, get contacts. This is a much longer thing to discuss, so if anyone has any questions about it hmu.

I'm excited for what the future holds for me. I'm a bit strange in the sense that I am quite a laid-back person but I'm also pretty competitive when in the right environment. I hope to quit finance at some point once I've achieved what I want to in it and do a more peaceful job (ideally being a mathematics teacher at a secondary school) or as a football (soccer to you Americans) coach. Sorry if I sound like I'm sucking myself off, I'm really excited about everything and wanted to highlight the highs.
 
Chemical engineering student here trying to get into the nuclear industry. Applying for summer internships has been quite the journey with hundreds of applications filed and a few responses, until I accepted an offer at a nuclear facility. I've been getting attention from companies despite not actively searching anymore, which is quite validating. AMA about internship applications/chemical engineering
 
I’m just a Deli Clerk at Publix and honestly don’t know what I want to do with my job going forward. I’m obviously going to attempt to move up the chain here and possibly become a manager, and intend to buy as much Publix stock as I can when I’m eligible so I can have something to fall back on.

lol I slice ppls meat and cheese ama
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
I hope to quit finance at some point once I've achieved what I want to in it and do a more peaceful job (ideally being a mathematics teacher at a secondary school) or as a football (soccer to you Americans) coach.
As someone who began adult life with similar thoughts, the more I learn about the British education system, the less I would ever entertain the idea of teaching. My ex was a teacher, my partner's parents are retired teachers, and her sister is also a teacher. All I have ever heard is how thankless and shitty the job has become, with long hours, red tape, and budget cuts that force most teachers to buy school supplies out of their own meagre salaries. Ever looked up NQT drop out rates? And the % of teachers leaving the profession? It is not pretty.

Dude, if you are still employed within trading/high finance in 15-20 years' time, you can retire and coach a local sports team for free. However, what generally happens to capable people is that as they demonstrate their competence through success, more lucrative opportunities increasingly present themselves. If you do well in the next 5 years, and do not grow to hate yourself and/or your industry, you will likely remain in it for your entire working life. Good luck out there; the hard work starts now.
 
Last edited:

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
if you truly want it to happen, it will happen.
While I appreciate a lot of your post, I do want to emphasise that this (unfortunately) is not how the world works. By all means, everyone should work hard to put themselves in the best possible position to succeed, but that is never enough per se. Remember that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, but whether an opportunity comes your way is a function of being in the right place at the right time.

Also, some people's best is honestly just not good enough in a competitive industry (consider, for example, the vast majority of the ~500,000 aspiring actors in Hollywood) - and that is okay. Kudos for trying, but go do something else with your time. Every job has its fair share of bullshit, and no career should be the be all and end all of your existence.
 
Last edited:

Pyritie

TAMAGO
is an Artist
I've been working as a tools programmer for big video games companies for about 6.5 years. I work on stuff like level editors and 3ds max plugins and servers that build the game over and over and programs that make other developers' lives easier.

I got into it by doing a bunch of game modding (mostly warcraft 3), trying my hand at making my own games (I ran this and did almost all the programming for it), doing a comp sci degree, and getting hired by a company as a generalist programmer. I joined at an awkward time where they were closing off a project and didn't have the time to train me enough to contribute to that project, so they asked me to try fixing up one of their old tools. I ended up rewriting the entire thing and they were pleased with the result so I became a tools programmer full time.

Compared to other game dev jobs, you're in much more demand than something like testers, prop artists, or game programmers, so you have an easier time finding a job, getting a good salary, and having job security, and you do things on your own schedule so if you work at a decent company you'll never get much crunch time. You also still get the other benefits like having a lot of fun coworkers who like playing games and talking about nerd shit and experiencing the game being built.

That being said, a lot of the skills you need for being a tools programmer will also get you a more boring job at a larger corporation with twice the salary. It's only something you want to go into if enjoying your job is more important than getting paid tons.


p.s. please never work at EA
 
While going to school full time, I coach at an axe throwing venue part-time. I gotta say, if you see one open by you it is a fantastic job. You get above minimum wage pay and, on top of that, tips! I've worked at mine for over a year, and I have since gotten involved in competitive leagues and tournaments.

Otherwise, I'm going to school to be an Elementary Teacher, and so far, that's been really enjoyable being able to observe and student-teach.

Axes, kids....sounds like the perfect combo lol
 

Ohmachi

Sun✡Head
I'm a tax accountant... yall already knew that though

McGrrr what difference between IFRS and FASB do you think the other system should adopt?

I think FASB should adopt the close enough rule for capital leases


Also what's your required rate of return and what do you do to maintain it
 
Last edited:
Worked for a few years as mechanical engineer in a fleet management company (dealing with the likes of national express) and then did a year of reservoir engineering work experience at my professors company. Couldnt get a job in the field as the whole industry crashed so decided to get into teaching as I had been tutoring on the side for 6 years and had a good way of teaching according to the students.

Fast forward; just finished my teacher training last September and am now working as a secondary school physics newly qualified teacher. Ive already been promoted as senior leadership have noticed my effort I put in and it shows just how much of a reality the teaching crisis is...there is a MASSIVE demand for physics teachers and if you are good, you can start at a really good salary and jump pay scales like youre in freaking super mario bros.

Love the job as its different everyday (all my other jobs i got bored easily, I recall quitting a cyber security analyst job within 8 hours haha) i get along with everyone and vice versa so that helps tons. Nice when all the kids get you presents as well and cards lol. Hoping to maybe jump to middle leadership within the next 3-4 years..no rush really as I love the teaching part and feel like id hate being assistant/deputy head teacher due to the minimal teaching and alot of admin.

Feel free to ask me anything to do with engineering and/or teaching....especially uk folks.
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
What difference between IFRS and FASB do you think the other system should adopt?

IFRS has been historically more relevant to me because of the domiciles of the legal entities for which I was responsible; primarily UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Curacao. I prefer the approach of IFRS to the definition of derivatives i.e. FASB created a stupid amount of work for me (on a monthly basis) to reclassify certain OTC derivatives as debt (to align with US GAAP due to US parent), when these instruments were definitely derivatives in substance. Interpret this as a general preference for the "substance over form" framework.

Also what's your required rate of return and what do you do to maintain it

Short idealistic answer:
above inflation. If I had to put a number to it? Annualised 7% will double your principal every decade. This was a historically attainable rate of return for a generic 60/40 diversified portfolio between equities/bonds, but we live in strange times.

Long realistic answer: above zero, while waiting for a market correction. Risk averse mix of cash, government debt, and small % of gold. In the current economic climate, my priority is to preserve my capital, because I anticipate an inevitable global recession. While inevitable does not mean imminent, I can not see how the powers that be will kick this can much further down the road. The worst thing that can happen to any investor is to suffer a significant hit to their capital because it can take decades to recover from a >30% haircut, due to the cumulative nature of returns.

Risk is severely mispriced everywhere as a result of the inflationary policies of central banks. There is simply too much cheap money chasing too few desirable investments. I know this for a fact, because my bank is regularly declining financing deals at unprofitable spreads, unprofitable even with the potential for other fee events (e.g. acquisitions). Many of our competitors have clearly not got the memo, because the market continues to have appetite for loss making loans designed solely to keep a relationship. This will end terribly.

The signs of recession are already there. For example, increased restaurant closures has been a historically reliable leading indicator, although budget chains like McDonald's are counter-cyclical. Frauds are also typically uncovered near market tops because there is no more growth to hide behind (just grab some popcorn and wait for Tesla to implode). I fully expect a global technical recession this year.
 
Last edited:

Ohmachi

Sun✡Head
McGrrr explain why japan had issued negative rate bonds and why people are buying them. What would make you buy them? Why would people prefer this over stuffing the money in a matress?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
McGrrr explain why japan had issued negative rate bonds and why people are buying them. What would make you buy them? Why would people prefer this over stuffing the money in a matress?
Great question. For the benefit of non-financial people, it is important to understand that the yield on a bond represents its risk premium i.e. a proxy for the risk of losing money on it. However, a negative yield is a crazy concept that would have been unimaginable a decade ago; how can something have sub-zero risk?! Yet here we are. In 2016, ~30% of global government bonds were negative.

Governments issue negative yielding bonds because that is their only option once yields fall to zero, and monetary policy remains inflationary. Japan is notorious for injecting stimulus after stimulus (with ever diminishing effects) in its attempts to support its economy during the past thirty years; ever since the bursting of twin asset bubbles in the Nikkei and real estate.

There are three groups of buyers:

Central banks
* Central banks are price insensitive. They have to own foreign bonds as part of their foreign exchange reserves, regardless of their yield.

Institutions
* Insurance companies also need to hold government bonds as part of their reserves.
* Banks need to satisfy regulatory liquidity requirements. They also need government bonds to pledge as collateral in money markets.
* Pension funds need to match their liabilities.

Investors
* Speculation - if you buy a Japanese bond and the value of the Yen appreciates against other currencies in excess of its negative yield, then you have made a profit.
* Flight to safety - the Yen is still perceived by many to be one of the safest currencies, so global investors will buy Japanese bonds when they are fearful of even worse returns elsewhere.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Xia

Surgo

goes to eleven
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Programmer Alumnusis a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
Reading this thread reminded me to get off my ass and move my own retirement fund into a cash equivalent, because I feel similarly to McGraw.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Xia

BP

Champagne and Pools
Currently I'm a Freshmen in college undergoing my second semester at UW-Platteville. I'm studying to become a teacher and a coach. Ideally I'd like to Coach Track & Field mainly Hurdles and long jump while also Coaching Wrestling. I plan on Teaching wherever I coach and my goal is to become the districts Athletic Director after a few years of teaching. Currently, I have not decided whether I want to teach grades 6-8 or 9-12.

This doesn't really pertain to what discussion is going on but I felt the need to share with everyone my current game plan!
 
Currently I work as a help desk analyst which I know isn't that impressive or anything but it could lead to me becoming a project manager, QA on programs we develop, or even a developer.

I believe my luck honestly boils down to work experience and connections. I was lucky enough to have a high school with some good tech classes to teach me enough for a certification that helped me get a job at the local best buy selling computers. I worked there for a few years and then transferred into help desk work. It's roughly $30k a year starting. Which I felt was pretty good without a degree. I tried the whole college thing, but it just really didn't fit well with me. All throughout high school i hated that i had to take general education classes instead of what I was interested in, computer science, and I just couldn't handle it a second time around in college.
 
I work as a Junior Software Engineer on a healthcare subsidiary of a really big multinational conglomerate, it is my first job of this caliber but i kinda have mixed feelings about it, despite how well it looks on my resume.

I basically have to deal with high redundancy code that is also built on ancient stacks, it feels miserable and it drains the joy out of me.
There is also a bit of a language barrier and i do not really groove with the rest of my colleagues, i feel like i am the main subject of lots of gossiping and blame games that go behind my back.

Despite all this, there are a few enjoyable projects that i really hit it off with, like on a MRI viewer software i worked on a few weeks ago and did a really good job at, i think a few more of those and i might gain a bit more visibility and name for my self especially in the upper desks.

Ok, so that is enough rumblings for one day. thanks for reading.
 

Yonko7

Guns make you stupid. Duct tape makes you smart.
is a Contributor Alumnus
Wow, there's a lot of people doing a lot of interesting and valuable careers!

As I'm (somehow) older, a helpful piece of advice for those in high school and early college, is to maintain a job long term. For example, I worked at an ice cream shop from 16 - 24, with varying degrees of work hours. This shows future employers, or schools, that you are in it for the long haul, and if someone will keep you around for a long time, then that means you're doing something right! Further, try to get an internship in the field you want to go into, ideally, sometime in college. For example, if you are an engineering major, try to get an internship at an engineering-oriented company. You don't have to be in the R&D lab, even being an office assistant is better than nothing.

As for me, I am currently in my 3rd year of medical school, and did engineering in college. So if anyone has any questions about the process, thoughts, concerns, MCAT prep, etc. about getting in the medical field feel free to probe my mind. Also, if someone is further than me, please reach out and give some sage advice! Currently, I am on clinical rotations, which the purpose of is 2-fold: to get valuable clinical experience (duh) in various setting, emergency room, pediatrics, adults, obstetrics, etc.; and two, to have an idea of what to focus on for residency after graduation. For my own profession, I am still deciding what I want to pursue. But just trying to enjoy the journey!
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top