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How did you "end up" in your career?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
I know that a small handful of you are actually in careers related to textiles/clothing/fashion.  Examples: Chuck has his own clothing business, Carlo Franco.  Mr. Kabbaz is a custom shirtmaker.  Shirtmaven(Carl) is in the shirt business.  A Harris is the West Coast rep for Laszlo Vass's United States agent.  I may be missing a couple - I apologize if I've forgotten to include you.  This is my question: how did you decide to join the field in which you are now working?  Those who go to college these days are encouraged to choose a "financially viable" major.  Many have aspirations(sometimes their own, sometimes their parents') of going to law school, MBA programs, medical school, etc...which may lead to the "prestigious" careers such as finance/investment banking, corporate law, medical doctor. Here are my goals in life: 1. have a nice home in a location which is warm but not extremely hot in summers, pleasant in winter.  Which places would fit the bill?  I assume certain parts of California and Florida.  Any suggestions? 2. make enough money to pay the bills, have a few "luxuries," put my kids through college, and have enough to have a fairly comfortable retirement, and hopefully leave at least a little something for the kids when I'm gone.  Though money is far from everything for me, it could help to alleviate certain worries. 3. have a job which is reasonably enjoyable.  I don't have to love every moment of it, but it I'm miserable doing it, I'd better be making an insane amount of money(millions).  Better yet, I'd rather not do it in the first place.  Also, if it's a job which requires me to be at my place of employment(unless I'm working from home) for 17 hours a day then I may be making money, but have no time to have a life of my own. I know that some of this is wishful thinking.  For example, I want to find a good place to live and a decent home and then worry about a good job in the area.  I know that this is a broad question.  I'm not trying to map out the next 40 years of my life(honestly.) or figure out the meaning of life.  I just thought that many of you have "real-life" experience and may be good candidates to help me to clarify a few things with your perspectives.  Mr. Kabbaz probably has quite a bit of experience dealing with enormously wealthy individuals who took the Wharton/Harvard Law path.  Chuck gave up a good career in IT.  So...any feedback appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 68
Perhaps they are too shy to say this, so I will. One thing that Mr. Kabbaz, Chuck, and the others have in common is that they love what they do, and are talented at it. I think that this principle is the most important one for anyone to follow in their career. In the end, it doesn't really matter what precise career you choose. You can become rich being a doctor, a lawyer, or a plumber. What matters is that you are good at whatever you choose to do. If you are, then you will be rewarded. At the same time, you should like what you are doing. This is not always the case: some investment bankers hate their job, but can't give up the money. Others are the opposite, loving their jobs so much that they are willing to put up with derisory salaries. Best, of course, is if you can combine both. This is not an impossible task. Actually, it happens surprisingly often, since what you are good at, you usually learn to love, and vice-versa. Good luck.
post #3 of 68
With only 1.5 more years of college left, I'm kind of in the middle of this crossroads. I've been looking for summer jobs for the past few days and found absolutely nothing that interests me. Originally I was dead set on going to law school and ultimately becoming a lawyer, but I've started to find that academia and the general obsession with detail that law requires has really become boring to me, and the thought of 2-3 extra years in that environment is looking somewhat tedious. It's especially hard to tell whether such a career suits me, since it's basically impossible to get any sort of involved job in law that's not some lame clerical desk job unless you're in law school or have really close connections (i.e. family member in a law firm). I've also started to consider getting into the clothing industry somehow, as I've been really interested with what I've learned from my year or two on forums like this one, but that's even harder, especially considering that I've been majoring in history and taking pre-law type classes and thus have nothing to put on a resume other than "I really like clothes," so it's not like I'll be able to get anything there anytime soon. So I'm still trying to figure out which way to go, and with only so much time in school left I have no clue what I'm going to do. Anyways, I just wanted to get that rant off my chest since this whole internship search crap has been driving me nuts for the past few weeks :/
post #4 of 68
Banks, just out of curiosity, how old are you? I don't really begin my career until I'm 30; until then I get to pay a lot of money for the opportunity to add letters to my name.
post #5 of 68
Banks,    The climate you're looking for is Mediterranean.  You're right in assuming that California or Florida are the two states that would best fit your description.  I also have to suggest Georgia or Louisiana -- though they might have more humidity than you'd want. aybojs,    Good luck with your summer job.  I know it's crazy to think that you've gotta know what you'll do for the rest of your life so soon.  Just remember, most people have a job in a field outside their major.  For about 5 years, I thought I would go into civil engineering.  Turns out, I never should've been in that.  Right now, I'm thinking finance and political science.  But who knows if that'll stay the same...
post #6 of 68
Thread Starter 
Norcal, I'm 21. I would prefer to stay in the USA, but if a job I really wanted were to take me to a desirable location I'd be willing to relocate, provided I wouldn't have to give up by US citizenship.
post #7 of 68
Check out North Carolina. I travel to the Asheville area for business and I think it fits your descriptioin to at T. There's also the Research Triangle, Charlotte and Charleston. Northern Arizona is another area to look into as well. The higher altitude seems to tone down summer, but it's still close enough to the desert for moderate winters.
post #8 of 68
My $0.02: California and Florida may be nice, but they both want you to pay them state income taxes for living there. You'll be sending enough of your hard-earned money to the Federal government when you work in a job (taxes are usually a person's largest expense per year, followed by a mortgage/rent payment), so why choose to live in a State where you'll be paying even more taxes to another, separate government? I'm pleased to inform you that Texas has great weather, mild winters, and no state income tax. Check it out. If you want to do something entrepreneurial instead (which I recommend if you do want to make very good money and pay less in income taxes), Texas is also a great state for starting a business: citizens with a strong, Midwestern work ethic (just try getting employees to do much before 10 AM in San Francisco some day) and a low propensity to form unions making your business less competitive (unlike in the northeast or the Rust Belt). Oh, and did I mention the beauty of women in Texas? Did I mention that, given the warm/hot weather, they don't wear much clothes? As for graduate school, it is sometimes hard to justify the expense vis a vis the incremental income you will make to pay for the expense. I ultimately decided against getting an MBA because of the opportunity cost: giving up two years of income while in school full-time. Plus, you end up with a tuition bill of $100,000+ to pay off for years to come. MBAs get laid off all the time too. I have several friends who went to Harvard MBA school who were out of work for 6 months to a year, just like many other non-MBAs over the past two or three years. Net-net, it didn't change their job prospects all that much. But, when they do get jobs, yes, they do earn more given the "brand" they paid $100,000+ to add on their resumes. So, it's really a tough call financially. I imagine any graduate school is a tough call financially. As for Ph.D.s, I have two great friends who both have Ph.D.s, and they've both filed for bankruptcy at least once and they make the same or less than I do today (I only have two bachelors degrees). My point is: when it comes to making money, it doesn't matter how much education you pay for; it's how creative and hard-working (or, even better: smart-working) you are out in the real world that makes all the difference. It's all about adding value in people's lives such that they are willing to hand over their hard-earned cash to you. Meet that challenge and you are golden. Remember, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and many other billionaires and millionaires never went to or simply dropped out of college. Even Warren Buffett dropped out of graduate school. Oprah Winfrey started from nothing. There is a great education to be had from just reading books about them and the lives they have chosen to live. Get your education over with and get out in the real world as soon as possible (professors hiding out in academia can only teach you so much anyway). Then, as soon as you can, transfer to Dallas, Houston, Austin, or San Antonio. We'd love to have you down here.
post #9 of 68
Hey, Logan, I know one person in SF who does a whole lot before 10AM. And a whole bunch of guys down at the Pacific Stock Exchange who are at their desks at 5 or earlier. Now LA and San Diego, that's another matter. (Ducking projectiles hurled by Renault and Matadorpoeta and others) What's your direct experience with unions that caused you to form your conclusions? I completely agree with you on Austin, and am pretty fond of San Antonio, too. I'll save all my Texas jokes for now... I thought Florida didn't have state income tax? Nevada doesn't either... And I also concur on NC, although I have a friend who lives in Asheville who says it can get pretty cold.
post #10 of 68
Thread Starter 
Spinlps, yes, I have heard good things about North Carolina. I'll have to make a visit sometime. When I was younger my parents actually thought of moving to North Carolina. They also considered Colorado, but ultimately they decided to stay put. Logan, what you said is quite true. I haven't been to Texas since grade school. I would also like to visit Texas. Only thing I wondered was...I thought Florida was known not to have state income tax.
post #11 of 68
Steve, I am a management consultant so I've had plenty of opportunity to deal with with unions. Unions create work rules that create inflexibility in staffing and work assignments. They encourage "group think" which renders an individual's hard work and specific contribution unnoticed and unrewardable (if you pay one individual a special bonus, you have to pay it to everyone to be "fair" according to the many union rules). They create an "us" vs. "management" mentality in a company that needs to work together to succeed and sustain itself. And then there is the corruption. Many union leaders take the union dues of the workers' pay and spend it on themselves. It's very much an "Animal Farm" scenario. I feel sorry for those hard-working individuals who are forced to work in a unionized shop. No matter how hard they work and try to contribute uniquely to the company to advance their careers and make more money to improve their quality of life, the union will always try to hold them back at the same level as the rest of the group. Sadly, I have a neighbor across the street from me that managed airplane maintenance plants and dealt with unions for over 30 years. Finally, at age 63, he just had enough of all the silly rules and union politics and quit in frustration just short of his retirement age of 65 and now forgoes a large part of the pension he would have received had he stayed on for two more years. In the end, the mental anguish of dealing with the unions day in and day out just wasn't worth the extra retirement income he would have recieved. He tried to manage the plants the best he could, but finally just gave up. Now, he's struggling to find work outside plant management at the age of 63. It's a tough road for him. I've even dealt with such "bargaining units" in The Philippines and been threatened with a heavy wrench at an oil refinery there, but that's a whole 'nother story.
post #12 of 68
Thread Starter 
seems like communism on a small-scale basis
post #13 of 68
Logan: I live in Florida and the others are correct, there is no income tax here. But they tax the hell out of everything else to make up for it, believe me.
post #14 of 68
I'm about to get my bachelor's in accounting, with my minor in business. I'm intent on eventually taking the CPA exam back in Hawaii, but I've heard that they're now requiring all CPA-wannabes to get a master's degree. Bluh.
post #15 of 68
I completely agree with you on Austin, and am pretty fond of San Antonio, too. I'll save all my Texas jokes for now...
What, not Houston? And I'm sure that Carlo is going to open up a can of whoop-ass on you over your non-inclusion of Dallas, too. I love San Antonio; and I actually like Austin, too, although you'd never get me to admit that to my Austin friends. I can only take so much prattle about how cool Austin is. This has nothing to do with anything, but my favorite Austin moment (in an evil sort of way) was driving down Research Blvd. just after the tech bust and seeing some large building with a "For Lease" sign out front and two Porshes with "For Sale" signs in the parking lot. A lot of people I know and care about got hurt in the bust, so I'm certainly not glad that it happened. However, Austin in the late '90s did have an Icarus-flying-too-close-to-the-sun vibe about it.
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