Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun Monday - Careers

I've been out of town (and then trying to catch up from being out of town) the last couple weeks, and have missed playing along on Fun Monday. I'm finally caught up beyond caring about being behind, I just wanna have some fun.

This weeks hostess is Dungareesablaze at the Irish Coffee House and here's a great topic for those of us who like to use our blog as a way of remembering things...

Careers- Then and Now

THEN: As a child day dreaming of what your future would hold for you, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you ever pursue or achieve it?

NOW: If you could be trained and placed in any career beginning tomorrow, what would it be?

My destiny was clear in my mind from second grade onward - I was going to be a veterinarian. That is, until my senior year in high school, when I met my first love. I just couldn't bear to be separated from him by going away to college. Unfortunately, he didn't tell me not to give up on my dreams, that he would wait for me, we would make it work; the way I now understand that true love does. So I changed my dreams for him. The relationship didn't last, but by the time it was over I was too far into my degree (and student loans) to change majors.

I majored in accounting, because I was good at math. Not exactly the best way to choose a career. I ended up with an internship at a really big company my senior year of college, and this led to my relocating from KY to NH.

A few years later I was still in NH, independent and financially successful, but not really happy in my career (or other areas, but that's a story for another day.) Someone said to me - "why don't you do something else if you are so unhappy?" I decided to look into vet school. I visited the nearest vet school, and they told me the first thing I needed to do was arrange to work with a local vet. I went to the nearest vet's office, and he scheduled me to work with him weekends for a month.

Among those who have influenced me, I have to rank him among the most positive of influences. He took the time to make me really think about what I wanted to do, and to understand what would be required to make this career change. He let me fully observe the activities at his veterinary hospital and realize what really is involved in veterinary medicine. And he told me "You don't do this because you love animals. If you love animals, there are plenty of other ways to be around them and help them. You do this because you love the science of veterinary medicine."

In the end, I understood that I would have to go to school for 4-6 years, incur massive student debt, and when I graduated I would make less than I was making in my current job. And being a vet didn't look quite as glamorous as it did when I had no experience in the field beyond taking my own animals to the vet. I realized that my dream was more of a fantasy - an idea I had created based on a love of animals without adequate consideration of what the career involved. Instead of changing careers, I looked for a new job. Preferably one with lots of opportunities for travel, which was the one part of my current job that I actually liked.

I found a great job, got a huge pay increase, traveled extensively, and while on the road, met Kilowatt.

I'm happily married to Kilowatt, with a wonderful daughter who teaches me something new every day.

I explored a few other career options along the way. I considered teaching high school math (shudder), I've been (and still am) a travel consultant, and I've taught computer and accounting classes.

This fall, I'm starting a PhD program in accounting, so I can teach and do research in my favorite areas of accounting: forensic accounting and accounting systems. So I think this answers the 2nd question.

And while I reflect back over how I got to where I am today, I am reminded of the Garth Brooks song Unanswered Prayers: "I guess the Lord knows what he's doin' after all"


Hootin' Anni said...

Great FM! I love how you ended your story with Garth Brooks! Excellent read.

Hope you can stop by sometime today for a visit, my Fun Monday is posted.

Sayre said...

Ha! We seem to be in the majority here - little girls appear to dream of three things: being a vet, being a teacher, being a mom. All three are nurturing professions. And none of them pay beans.

You seem to have the best of both worlds though!

Robocop said...

That was alot of schooling. You have great mental endurance.

Molly said...

You have written a wonderful post. Very interesting, how you took a second look at becoming a veterinarian and found that being a vet was not exactly what you wanted. Starting a PhD program in accounting, so you can teach and do research in your favorite areas of accounting: forensic accounting and accounting systems...sounds exciting.

A Slice of Life said...

Good for you for exploring the realities of your dream and finding what really works for you!

Now I've got to find Garth on my media player so I don't have that one little snippet stuck in my head all day!

iPost said...

Great post! What in the world is forensic accounting?

Cruise Mom said...

Bologna and Lindquist (in Fraud Auditing and Forensic Accounting, 1995) define forensic accounting as “the application of financial skills, and an investigative mentality to unresolved issues, conducted within the context of rules of evidence. As a discipline, it encompasses financial expertise, fraud knowledge and a sound knowledge and understanding of business reality and the working of the legal system.”

Short answer, someone who prepares support for legal cases like those against Enron and WorldCom, and works to prevent it from happening again.

Faye said...

What a great favor your vet mentor performed for you by helping you understand the real reason--not the rose-colored glass reason--for going into veterinary medicine. Like the way you weigh the pros and cons in making important career decisions. Sounds like you've been a great "Decider" so far.

hulagirlatheart said...

Unanswered prayers are often the best. You know, growing up, I always thought you'd be a vet. I'm glad you're still working with horses. Good post.

Jan said...

Very interesting, and you're still moving forward. Good for you.

Alison said...

I think it is wonderful that you were able to realize that your dream career was in fact not the perfect career for you...that is a true gift you were given.

Big Momma said...

Great post! Can't wait to see how you shine in the Ph.D. program!!! Be sure to keep us posted.

ChrisB said...

I read your post yesterday but do not see my comment, so not sure what happened!

That vet was a very wise guy enabling you to make to correct career decisions for yourself.
Good luck with your PhD.

Cruise Mom said...

Thanks all for visiting, and for your kind wishes. I plan to blog my way through school so I can look back and actually remember some of it!

Anonymous said...

I know someone else who is starting his PHd in accounting this fall and we were giving him a hard time about it, all the best in your studies I am glad that you realised that being a vet is not what you really wanted.