May 2008

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I don't remember a time when I didn't want to write. I specifically wanted to be in advertising and write radio jingles (the words). In my teens, I wanted to be an author. I decided it was the perfect career because you can work how and when you want and you can make lots of money.

I spent about 8 years in advertising (copywriter) and loved it, I became an editor of a magazine and loved it even more, then moved into corporate communication (loved the work, hated the politics) and finally web development (the most fun you can have with your clothes on!) I plan to be an author still.

Words are amazing things and I still love playing with them after 40 years: I take on the clients I want and I make good money. I may have changed "career" several times, but only to keep up with advancements in the world of the "wordsmith".

Realising what you love to do early on in life makes life very simple. I have friends nearing retirement who not only have never loved what they do, they can't even work out what they COULD love to do. It's sad.


I wanted to be a vet.
I am not a copywriter.
I will soon take some courses on how to become a hairdresser.

I'll prolly end up a serial killer.


I went for an MRI scan a month or so ago, they had one of these on the ceiling and it was actually pretty cool.

They could do with some kind of animation though, like the clouds moving across teh ceiling or something.

Bum Bum Jones

I actually knew what i wanted to do with the rest of my life when i was 5 years old. I'm a musician/composer, BUT what i will say is..........I have made money working with audio waves and editing audio (sound designer). I didn't even know that job existed. Also, i have worked on some sets for music videos and films. There are so many jobs with titles that i have never heard of before.

Bum Bum Jones

I actually knew what i wanted to do with the rest of my life when i was 5 years old. I'm a musician/composer, BUT what i will say is..........I have made money working with audio waves and editing audio (sound designer). I didn't even know that job existed. Also, i have worked on some sets for music videos and films. There are so many jobs with titles that i have never heard of before.

Maurice Condie

It's not just jobs you didn't think off when you were young.
When I was small I never thought I would work with homeless people.
What is more I never thought that it would lead me to have such strange marketing ideas.
My latest springs from the fact that there are, very sadly, a small but significant number of murders and extremely violent incidents that occur in hostels and supported housing schemes for clients sometimes described as the “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know”.
Inevitably, in this country because we don't go around shooting each other (often), these incidents involve “stabbing” usually with kitchen knives. Please note I say stabbing, not slashing. I am sure that slashing occurs but the killing is generally through stabbing.
We also have a culture of extreme health and safety regulation hear in the UK.
So if one were to design and patent a range of kitchen knives that could not stab, then the health and safety people would insist that all hostels used them because they are the safest option. Indeed employers could be sued if, through their failure to get pointless knives they placed their staff in avoidable danger.
This train of thought progresses fine until you invent the marketing strap line, “pointless knives for pointless lives” and suddenly you either fall about laughing or feel guilty and decide not to head off to the patent office.


timmy probably didn't know what's a virgin when he was 5 :P

i realised that i'd write code for a living when i was 12. my current job doesn't involve writing code, but that's just a technicality :D

ps: thanks for the full feeds. your blog's perfect again!

Ian Alston

I was born in 78, in 86 at a dinner party held by (non-engineer (industrial chemist doesn't count)) father, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I stopped, thought a bit, looked the gent in the eye and said 'I want to be an electrical engineer'. I had NO idea what I was saying

Now I'm sitting at my desk at home redesigning the controls for a treatment works...

If there's no such thing as free will then I guess this was the moment when the irrational side of my brain lost the battle and the rational opened the gates to fate.

For mine, I reckon Diana W is on the money, it doesn't matter two bits what you learn, so long as you keep learning...

I think I got off topic there....


I think kids today may be more aware of all the career choices.

I sometimes wonder how differently I would have done things if the Internet were around when I was growing up.


I predict the Wally Sky thingy will sell more than any of the others. Just a hunch.

Dave Oblad

I wanted to be a Rocket Jockey or perhaps a Wizard when grown up.
Wasn't too many job listings for Wizard or Rocket Jockey though.
So I changed my list to things I wanted to do someday, instead.
I've done almost everything on my list finally.

Becoming an Engineer satisfied my desire for becoming a Wizard
and I hoped might someday open the door for Rocket Jockey. If I
could just invent something that needed to be put in space and
if that something broke down, they would have to send me into
space to repair it. Well, I invented lots of things but none of
them ever belonged in space.. Rats..

So my greatest hope now is to get rich and buy a friggin ticket
on a spaceship trip, when it becomes available to the public.
Once I mark that off my list, I can die a happy camper.

Many careers I didn't want was more obvious. Top of that list
was "Cop". Then the Army Draft made me into an MP. Again Rats...
But at least I didn't make a career out of it!

Interesting and funny Blog Scott. Best wishes from Dave :^)


Sneaky b@stard, way to market dilbert crap under the guise of a blog post!


The flaw in your logic assumes people want to grow up. Career advice and selection should take this into consideration, for those of us that do not include growing up as one of our goals.

D. Mented

I knew what I wanted to be from when I was 11.
That didn't work out.
Retrained for electronic tech. It was good until some bastard invented the test bed and put 90% of us out of work overnight.
I took a lot of "day jobs" while trying to figure out what I could live with that would make decent money. The last of these was a factory that sucked completely except for its college reimbursement program, which was a fantasy; full tuition reimbursement for any curriculum as long as you were getting As, Bs, or Cs. Did not have to be in a job related field.
I stayed at that shithole for seven years while I tried to figure out what I should do now that I had grown up and admitted that my dream would not support me.
Gave up and joined a construction trade union.
I've made it through the apprenticeship, got some expirience, I like the work, love the work atmosphere (what can I say - I have a crude sense of humor) but I no longer have the endurance... and I've got twenty years to go 'till I can retire.
I'm afraid I have to retrain again.
I even know what I want to do this time; pharmacist. It came to me in a mailer for a sucky online college, but the idea stuck.
I just don't know if I can manage it financially now that I've finally figured out what I can do to get through the rest of my life.
Anybody know a good grants program for middle aged women retraining for health purposes?
D. Mented


Oh, wow, I have GOT to get one of each of those, for some bizarre collectors purpose.


In an article I read a long time ago, and which I've been trying to track down for almost as long, it was asserted that there are really only 12 or 13 essential story elements in literature (that is, only ca. 13 irreducible representations which, in widely varied linear combination, give rise to all stories ever written).

Given how often we find strangers on the street to be familiar in appearance, I've assumed that the same is true of facial features - 5 foreheads x 5 eyebrows x 5 eye types etc. gives rise to the wonderful aparent diversity of human facial feature.

I suspect the same is true of job descriptions. There really aren't a million unique jobs out there (except in the literal I-work-at-111-Jones St.-on-Monday-from-2-until-4 sense). Probably only a half-dozen job parameters which give rise to seemingly wondrous diversity. (This is the point where my wife would ask, "Who the f*** talks like that?")


When I was a little girl I wanted to be entertainment. A rock star, primarily, but I think really anything would have been fine... a singer, dancer, commedianne, anything. I wanted to go to school for fine arts (I am actually relatively talented and so could back up the dream, so to speak) but my mother convinced me to get an education in business 'to have something to fall back on' in case my show biz career didn't work out so well.

*sigh* Just remembered something new to tell my therapist. Thanks, Scott.


I've done many things well over my life time. Capt. USMC, stock broker at Merrill Lynch, printing business owner, insurance agent with my own agency. I'm 57 this year and still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I think I'll just retire and go fishing and play golf.

Ian Gray

First comment - by Mike Ford - No body knows what engineers do - so true. I was one of the "lucky" ones. I went to my career advisor at high school in New Zealand at the begining of the year that we sat our first external exams (I was about 15). We sat down for about 3 hours and went over all kinds of things and I walked out of his office saying "I want to be an Electrical Engineer" and here i am, 20 years later, still going strong.

His name is Dave Dorset, I don't know if he is still allive or dead.

Post Uni, the conversation stopper at parties was "So what do you do for a living" I went though my early years not being understood - the "Engineers are train drivers" thing came up.
Now, I feel that I am part of the order of wise men that keep society ticking. Anonomously (typical engineer - can't spell!), keeping your power grid going - while - in todays market, making squillions!!!!


I wanted to be a tiger trainer when I was little. I still kinda do.


Dang. Please delete my previous comment, the study is old.


Aspartame researcher?

Here's good news for diet-coke guzzling cartoonists:


light diffusers with designs... that's the best idea i've ever seen in my life! and your dilbert designs are really taking off... this a message i saw on the website:


way to overload their servers!


I just looked at web page. What a cool idea, Dilbert light diffusors I am need some of those in my office.

Andrew Denny

When I was 11-14, I wanted to be an 'Analytical Chemist'. I didn't really know what it was, it just sounded cool. I thought it meant I would know the things my school chemistry teacher didn't know.

Then I made the mistake of telling my peer group, newly awakened with male hormones, and they thought the 'Anal' part at the front really belonged at the back, if you get my drift.

I lost interest in chemistry very quickly, and decided I'd stay a virgin, thank you very much.

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