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#59874 - 08/22/05 11:41 AM Re: So... what do you do?
Anne Wentworth
Ching Shih

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 259
Loc: NY, NY

The proofreading gig is intriguing, amateur. I had an aspiring-poet friend from college who did that for a while to give herself time for writing. She mostly worked at night.

I'm currently an editor and writer at a small magazine called RT BOOKclub, a woman's fiction magazine (or, as the tagline reads, the magazine for women who love fiction). I spend about half my time interviewing authors and writing articles and the other half editing copy, mostly reviews. It's interesting, and I've certainly learned a lot from the various authors I've corresponded with. I've made it a point to ask each of them how they sold their first book and what their writing routine is. I've gotten some motivating and enlightening answers.

But it often feels that my real work takes place after I get home. I'm preparing applications for grad programs (MA in 19th century Am/Brit lit) and trying to finish a novel. I don't have much free time.

#59875 - 08/22/05 01:57 PM Re: So... what do you do?
Ching Shih

Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 275
Loc: USA

Right now, my summer job is babysitting a 4 month old, a 2 and a 4 year old. None of whom are potty trained. Some days, I only like the baby - at least he has an excuse for crying. Both of the older kids have speech delay, and the 2 year old is being tested for Sensory Integration Disorder soon. They're hard kids, but only two more weeks. And nobody goes to college in diapers, right?

I have one more year left of being a student, during which time I don't have a job so I can concentrate on my schoolwork. In a year, though, I hope to have graduated with a degree in Global Studies, minor in Learning Disability Advocacy, and get a job as a disability advocate. I've had an internship in the field already, and I love it.

I'm in an odd position because on the one hand, my friends who are Aspies and who have disabilities are often very disparaging of the whole disability-support network. I like being with them because I can be myself. Sometimes it is very hard to work with a group of people in the field of disability all the while trying to hide yours, lest they utter the dreaded 'Really? You don't *look* disabled!' (To which I always reply in my head, 'well, you don't look like an ignorant berk, but there you go.')

Because of my online community, I kind of consider myself to be an advocate-in-training now, and spend my days correcting people who say 'disabled' instead of 'people with disabilities' and trying to get them to stop using the word 'retarded' as an insult. So far, my campaign is not working.

#59876 - 09/20/05 04:59 PM Re: So... what do you do?
Ching Shih

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 513
Loc: Newfoundland

I just spent several years prepping myself for a major career change, and now I find myself doing ... much the same thing I was doing before. But this turns out to be a good thing.

I taught high school English/Socials for 11 years. There were things I loved about it (being around teenagers, especially the more creative/intriguing/screwed-up ones; having fun with books and writing) and things I hated (paperwork, grading, classroom discipline). Basically it was a good career for me. I always wrote in my spare time, too.

When my son was born I planned to stay home while he (and any subsequent children) were pre-school, which I was able to do because my husband had at that very moment graduated from university and gotten a job. For seven years I stayed home with 2 kids and pursued freelance writing fairly seriously, making a decent supplementary income at it and moving ahead somewhat in my personal writing goals, i.e. getting a novel published by a major publisher. Meanwhile, being the perpetual student that I am, I also went to school part time and got a second Master's degree, an M.Ed. in Counselling Psych, with the idea that when I did go back to work I might like to work in counselling, in a community agency or in private practice.

Last year I did a counselling internship at an alternative adult-ed school for young adults who've dropped out of high school and want to come back and finish up. I loved the work and the setting. With my daughter starting Kindergarten this fall, I decided I really wanted to be working again, even though I had toyed with the idea of being a full-writer (the appeal of a regular paycheque as opposed to the feast/famine erraticness of freelancing may have played a role). After applying for counselling jobs all over, I got offered a job back at the alternative school ... teaching English!!! Turns out to be a great choice ... it's everything I loved about teaching with nothing of the things I disliked (very small class sizes so virtually no concerns with discipline or much grading), and I'm working with a population of at-risk youth where my counselling skills are coming in handy. I find these students constantly challenging my creativity both as a teacher and a counsellor ... I just wake up in the morning happy and excited to go to work (of course, it's only been 2 weeks, but I think it will last!!)

#59877 - 09/29/05 11:40 AM Re: So... what do you do?
Gráinne ni Mhaille

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 11
Loc: Arizona, USA

Wow, Trudy, that's a hard post to follow! You're so motivated.

I'm a Buyer for a semiconductor company. I make purchases from vendors/suppliers to support the machinery that we have on our manufacturing line. These include new tools, spares, and services. I also participate in contract negotiations with new suppliers. Other than supporting manufacturing, my primary function is to ensure quality and cost-savings initiatives are met, and to come up with new and better ways to improve our processes.

Before that (I got the job in April), I was a Manufacturing Systems Engineer (developing manufacturing process flows) and an Industrial Engineer (improving tool runrates and capacity).

I am currently pursuing my degree in Business Management with a minor in E-Commerce.

I don't know how I ended up doing this. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was young. Weird how life ends up sometimes.

#59878 - 01/09/06 03:52 AM Re: So... what do you do?
Ching Shih

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 176
Loc: Toronto

I'm a residence advisor at my school. It's not a career, but it's a fun job.

This semester I have organized a pajama party, caught a group of drunken streakers, mediated snowball fights and convinced some students to join me in shaving our heads to raise money for cancer.

I am a counselor, a nurse, a party planner, a narcotics officer and an official party pooper. I like it.

#59879 - 02/12/06 01:40 PM Re: So... what do you do?
Ching Shih

Registered: 10/07/03
Posts: 391
Loc: Stockholm/Oxford

I am still in school, but every now and then I work in a bookstore, which is a really wonderful thing...
#59880 - 02/12/06 06:00 PM Re: So... what do you do?
Ching Shih

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 152
Loc: Ottawa

I'm in the first year of a two-year library science program, and work the reference desk at an engineering library part-time (my bachelor's degree is in chemical engineering). I love being back in school and I quite like the part-time work as well, so this is a huge improvement over where I was a year ago!
#86442 - 07/30/08 04:05 PM Re: So... what do you do? [Re: Albacore]
Amanda the Nasty
Ching Shih

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 196
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT

I am resurrecting this thread because I feel I'm in crisis mode with regard to my current career.

Right now I work for a small simulation company. I'm the sole technical writer, responsible for all documentation needs. I don't particularly enjoy what I'm doing and I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is the field I'm in, not the companies that employee me. I was unhappy at my previous technical writing job (which was on a government contract) as well.

I have a BA in English with a Professional and Technical Writing minor, so I know I have options, but I'm not sure where I want to go. Instead of hopping jobs too quickly, I've decided to return to school and get a second bachelors in psychology with the intention of moving on to a masters, and, hopefully, ultimately a PhD.

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