What do you do?

SckizoBoy

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Given what I've read on these forums, I'm assuming the (if not vast, then still substantial) majority of active users on the Escapist are of working age and are either employed or seeking employment, so for those who don't mind sharing.

What's your job description? Do you have a specialty in the field (if such a concept applies)? What do you like/dislike about?

And the kiddy question: what's your dream job?

Respectively, I'm a literature editor, specialising in STEM papers/theses written by authors whose first (or second, as the case may be) language is not English (though I have taken on less... crunchy, I suppose, stuff before), it being freelance I like the control I have over the workload (and based on the breadth of content I get through, I pick up shit-loads of technical trivia), but despair at what some non-fluent authors try to express when writing directly in English.

And one day I'd like to be a full time author (one step at a time, I've been invited onto the creative team, the world building side, for an RPG expansion due for release next year).
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Given the nature of these forums I really don't want to give away too much about my job because work in the video game industry. I'm not a developer, I mainly deal with legal compliance.

It's a pretty good job. The company is fun to work for, there's a lot of little benefits and swag. Lots of parties, and I really like the people I work with. Everyone is really smart and passionate about doing a good job.

Honestly, I don't have a dream job anymore. After turning 30 I realized that no matter what your job is at some point you'll hate it because you have to do it. It's more important to me that I make decent money and have good benefits than it is to really like the job. It's also much more important to have good management as any job is immediately harder and more stressful if your manager is incompetent or an asshole. Don't worry about doing something you love, work for a boss that treats you with respect. If you don't like your boss you should quit and find a different job. It is never worth it to put up with abusive management.
 

Dalisclock

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I work as a sort of Operational Supervisor for a semiconductor company, though my official title is Manufacturing Technician, but that title covers a completely separately role as well so that's not terribly helpful. What that means is that I monitor the processing equipment under my area(with a small team) and the wafers going in and out and making sure they're processing, that if something goes down for any reason other then a planned reason someone knows about it and can respond, and making sure time sensitive wafers are actually getting through in their mandated window. That's the simplified version.

I generally like it. It generally keeps me engaged without being amazingly stressed like some of my previous jobs and when things are going smoothly I can listen to podcasts/youtube vids while I work as long as I'm keeping an eye on what's going on. Also, my team is easy to get along with and know what they're doing and my supervisor is very supportive and easygoing. There's also some nice perks too(the company has been basically paying for our meals at the onsite cafeteria since Covid started, partially to make up for the fact all the events we used to have aren't possible) and I can work at home from a laptop if I need/want to(but normally I work on campus, which is fairly depopulated at night anyway, especially since a lot of people were asked to work at home when the pandemic hit). The downside is I work 12 hour shifts at night, 745 pm to 745 am and 3 or 4 days a week, alternately every week, so I get longer weekends but I do flip between normal and night schedule like twice a week which can be rough.

My Dream Job: Write novels and make enough money to for that to be my sole source of income. Which is probably never gonna happen unless I'm very good and/or very lucky, but it doesn't change the fact I love writing shit. I have actually written novels but never submitted for publication because one was a joke novel to see if I could(and would get me sued by everyone and their mom for copyright/IP infringement) and the other did not meet my personal standards for what I would want to submit to a publisher. I'm currently brainstorming a new novel(based off an old idea that never got off the ground) but it's very, very early in the process so right now it's a rough outline with a lot of notes scribbled all over it.
 
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Hawki

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Looks above:

Whelp, gonna be a scrub here, but okay.

-Job Description: I actually work two jobs. Both as librarians, but in separate networks (as in, two different local government library networks). Both are part-time, but put them together, and if I get extra hours, I can get around a total of full time hours. Downside is that it means I'm often working 6 days a week, and the travel time is a drag.

One of these positions is that of "library team member, officer in charge," which is a fancy way of saying that I kind of have de facto authority over other staff. The other is simply "librarian," which is the branch I work at one day a week, whereas the other gets all the other hours.

-Don't have a speciality, though specialities certainly exist.

-Whether I like the jobs...this is mixed. I'll spare you my life employment story, but basically, working in libraries is the best job I've ever had, but that's compared to ones that have reached rock bottom (*cough*telemarketing*cough*). Also, what I like/dislike about each branch is going to vary, so without naming names, I'm going to simply divide the answer by branch.

-Branch 1: This is the one of "library team leader," and where I spend the majority of my time. It's...okay. Anything good I could list would be about generally working in lirbaries in general (being around books, work isn't overly strenuous, etc.). Downsides though, I could list a few. First, I really don't like holding the position I do - taking it was on condition of being able to work there at all, but it's a weird situation of me being among the youngest staff members, yet having authority over people who are much older and have many more years of experience. It's an awkward state of affairs, and I don't know why the position went to me when compared to other people, but all I can do is make the most of it. Second, in part by extension of the above point, I'm fairly emotionally isolated. Like, I'm an introvert anyway, but even after working there for five years, can't say I feel close with anyone. In part, it's due to the age difference. Third, I'm working in an area where the majority of people come from non-English speaking backgrounds, so this can sometimes make things hard. Fourth, it takes me two hours each way to get there and back - yes, I could halve that if I used private transport, but I'm still a greenie, so I try to use a car as little as possible (among other things), even in the knowledge that it'll probably count for little.

-Branch 2: This is my preferred branch for a no. of reasons. One, easier to get to (40 minutes). Two, less of a language barrier. Three, I'm almost working with the same group of people, so that's given me a sense of cohesion/friendship with my fellow staff-members there that doesn't exist for Branch 1. Fourth, more upmarket (facilities are better, we've never had security/police problems, etc.) Fifth, the policies are mostly better - branch 1 is absolutely assinine on the conditions books are returned in for instance, and has strict rules on how much we can help members of the public. Branch 2 is more live and let live. Downside is that, again, I work far more at Branch 1 than Branch 2.

Dream job would to be a writer. These days, post everything on FFN, but despite having done so for 15 years, and having taken creative writing courses, there's little to suggest I'd ever have the skills to "make it" in the big leagues. Alternatively, if someone would pay me for editing wikis, I'd gladly take it, but again, that isn't an actual job. I guess third dream job would be something to do with the environment (long story short, did env. management at uni, but couldn't get a job in the field), but that's well and truly passed me by.

Overall, can't say I'm happy with worklife, but a job's a job, and even confining things to personal experience, let alone on a global scale, there's much worse positions to have.
 

davidmc1158

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Technically, I am retired. What I used to do was teach college-level history classes at a local, private university. I loved it. The pay wasn't great. I taught evening classes which were all contract-for-the-semester adjunct positions and we had absolutely no say in anything because the day faculty had rigged the system to make certain only they sat on any of the committees. But I loved it.

My boss (the person in charge of the evening program) is a wonderful human being and was very good at her job. Unfortunately, the board of regents had something of a coup and a new power bloc was able to select a new president for the university. For those who don't know, in universities, when a major power shift happens in management, it is incredibly common for the new powers-that-be to get rid of all the management people in order to install their own folks into those spots. My boss was one of the victims of the purge. It turns out that she was at an awards ceremony on a Friday night. She wasn't up for any awards herself, but literally every single person who did win an award singled her out in their thank-you speeches as an inspiration, a mentor and a wonderful leader. When the award dinner was over, people representing the new president pulled her aside (at the diner, mind you) and informed her that she had until Monday to decide if she would accept a transfer into a lower-paying, dead-end job of simply take early retirement. In the end, she chose to take early retirement.

This did not sit well with me. She was the person who had given me the opportunity to teach and keep hiring me back for nearly 14 years, from semester to semester. I did not particularly like the new boss, which didn't help matters at all. The new boss, for the record was never meant to win over anyone at the position as they were simply installed in order to implement all of the unpopular (and in some cases very short-sighted) policies of the new president. When the new policies were put into effect and had been enforced for a few months, they were removed to a remote campus and a new person was installed who wouldn't be held directly responsible for those policies and who could thus deal with the faculty on a more even keel. Oh, the joys of office politics!

The new management straight up lied to us, cut a sizeable number of classes from the arts and humanities in order to free up space for new programs and moved everything towards online. Completely online courses were to become the new norm and any remaining in-seat courses would be reworked to be half-online as well. I'm an old-fashioned lecturer who likes being able to talk directly to my students, asking questions of them and they of me. Between my own reluctance to embrace the new paradigm, the severely reduced number of history classes that were even offered, and my failure to ingratiate myself with the new powers-that-be, I found the number of contracts I was offered dropping dramatically. Eventually, I simply came to the understanding that I was effectively retired, whether I had wanted to be or not.

Ah well, the world keeps on turning and reality has never been overly concerned with my precious fee-fees, so it is what it is.

To be perfectly honest, I really found that teaching college students was a dream job. The number of cheaters was minimal (and almost all of them were students from the regional state university taking night classes with us in order to get their electives out of the way as quickly as possible). The interactions with my students was enlightening and I scored a perfect 50% on ratemyprofessor.com (one student who love my class and one who hated it)! A number of my students even went on to choose history as an area of study (a few who changed their majors to history and more than a few who took it up as their minor), and I consider that to be a major win.
 

laggyteabag

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I am an IT Support Technician for a major car dealership in the UK.

Its... fine?

I've done IT support for about 5 years now, between a couple of jobs, and the idea of doing the same thing - or something similar - for the next 40 years before I retire, makes me very sad.

I don't dislike the job, and for the type of work that I do, it pays exceptionally well compared to the competition, but there are only so many times that you can reset a password, or tell someone to submit a form, or fix a basic problem, before it gets tedious.

I'm thinking about going to University either at the end of this year, or next year, and then training to become an IT teacher.

That sounds like a lot of fun.
 

Kyrian007

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Its kind of hard to describe what I do, I work at a radio station.

20 years ago when I started I was a part time night security guard with enough technical skill to get the automation systems running if something went wrong without the engineers having to come in themselves. But I was also interning as a studio assistant for a weekend talk show. Pretty soon I was producing local broadcasts, operating for nationally broadcast sporting events on our station, and even doing some production work (voice over for commercials, promos, features... whatever they needed.) Basically what my company found out is that I had the ability to do whatever they needed me to do. When we changed formats from entertainment and sports to News/commentary and sports they were going to shift me primarily over to sports production until someone dusted off my job application and noticed I had a bachelor's degree in political science. Pretty soon I was producing a news show, being an assignment editor, being a copy editor, and actually writing news stories (in whatever time I had left.) Since just before COVID I have been backed off the news side a little, they needed me to produce a sports talk show. And I am a guest host on both shows when needed.

Do I like it. Mostly I suppose. There's so much of it there's parts I like and parts I don't like. People tell me its weird that I don't like being on the air. I like the behind the scenes technical stuff, and try to turn on my own mic as little as possible.

Dream job...
Honestly, I don't have a dream job anymore. After turning 30 I realized that no matter what your job is at some point you'll hate it because you have to do it. It's more important to me that I make decent money and have good benefits than it is to really like the job. It's also much more important to have good management as any job is immediately harder and more stressful if your manager is incompetent or an asshole. Don't worry about doing something you love, work for a boss that treats you with respect. If you don't like your boss you should quit and find a different job. It is never worth it to put up with abusive management.
This. The corporate structure here is awful, but that's the case everywhere. The local management is fine and we get along. I really don't have a lot of complaints. Dream job... not really. One of these days I'll sweep from this to doing media relations, maybe for a corporation or local government. That's just what we here call selling out for bigger paychecks. And when I retire I can work just doing whatever I want and still pulling down money. Part time produce talk shows, voice over work, campaign work... there's a lot I can do to supplement a retirement and keep busy just doing the parts of my job I like.
 

Xprimentyl

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I'm a supply chain analyst/network planner for a major retailer here in the states. Yeah, it's about as much fun as it sounds. Basically, I'm an info guy; some 6-figure salary wants to know "how long did it take last year for the container of red panties to get from China to the Port of LA, and how long would it take to get a container of blue panties from India to the Port of Savannah next year?" and I'm the guy who answers those questions. Also handle our domestic network of about 10 buildings analyzing performance of our domestic carriers between them.

Funny how I fell into the gig. I started in 2009 as a supervisor in one of our warehouses in Columbus, OH, and in 2010, the building's director asked me if I wanted to move up to corporate and be a part of a new Global Flow Management (GFM) team here in Texas. He said it was an 18-24 month stint; I'd never lived away from Ohio in my [then] 30 years, so I agreed to go. First day on the job, my new boss asks me what I knew about Microsoft Access. I new Access existed, I had NO idea what it was. He shrugged it off and said they'd train me as I was officially 1 of 2 members if the "Intelligence" branch of GFM. So I learned, and within a few months became the "go-to" guy for lots of questions.

Fast-forward 24 months, and GFM was disbanded. Thought I was going home, ready to pack my bags aaaaaand... they moved my position to the home office. 40 miles away. Still in Texas. See, it's the fine print; the stint was indeed 24 months, but no promise of going back to Ohio was ever made. That was in 2012.

Since then, attrition and retirement has left me and my boss basically the ONLY people within the company who know our data as intimately as we do. Sounds like I'm bragging, but I'm really not. I do not like my job, but I'm good at it and am one of extremely few who can do it, so meh. Whatevs.

Dream job? Musician (not to be mistaken for "performer;" I have crippling stage fright.) I play piano and have a strong passion for electronic music. I would love very little more than to be tucked away in a studio, surrounded my every manner of equipment, churning out music. I wouldn't need to be famous or wealthy, but if it could net me a living wage, you'd never see a happier guy eating ramen noodles in a one-bedroom apartment (well, 2 bedroom, one for the aforementioned studio.)
 
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happyninja42

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I've mentioned it multiple times on these forums, but I work for veteran's affairs in an office that assists veterans with filing for their various VA benefits. We help them sift through the large amount of data of what is available, and help them drill down to what THEY actually qualify for, and then help them file the forms to get those benefits. I'm technically an administrative assistant (secretary), but I've been doing it for 14 years now, and I've technically got more experience with the overall claim process than all the actual counselors. So while I can't actually file the claims, I know how they are filed, what VA wants to know, and what data the client needs to try and obtain to help their claim.

I do specialize in education claims though, as those don't require a counselor to file. So most of my clients are vets coming in with their soon to be college age kids, to talk about what scholarships they can get.

What I like about the job, is that I enjoy helping people. The majority of my jobs have been some form of customer service, and I've learned that A) I'm pretty damn good at it. and B) I generally enjoy helping people as a job. So having a job where I get to help people gain access to significant benefits that can change the quality of their lives, is quite rewarding. Especially if it's someone I just randomly bump into out in public, like at a party, and they casually talk about VA stuff, and I point them to some benefits they didn't know about. Having a followup from that person about how they got the thing I mentioned, is always really nice.

What I dislike about the job. Some of the veterans, and some of my coworkers over the years. The reality is, that veterans are regular people. This might seem like a "no shit" statement, but given the way the US culture lionizes the military, I think it's something that actually needs to be stated. There are some REALLY shitty people who are veterans. And having to deal with them, can be really frustrating. Whether they are clients who are clearly trying to just milk the system for every penny they can, or coworkers who are so unstable due to their own disabilities, that they lash out at the most innocuous of things, I often walk around the office, never sure what might set off a client/coworker. I put nothing past them now, when it comes to "the thing that might set them off into a shouting match in their office." Also, the level of entitlement that some veterans (and especially their wives) feel they are due, is kind of ridiculous. Some will come in, with such a sense of self-importance, that they basically want you to just grovel on the ground at their feet. If you act in a way they don't like, they will pull out the "I Served My Country" card, like that's a magic wand that will just let them do/say anything. Well, sorry Sergeant McChuckleFuck, but you yelling at me doesn't suddenly make you qualify for this benefit, and it doesn't make it where you don't have to fill out paperwork to get them! The shitty component is quite small, as most people are pretty chill, and understand that it's not our office denying them benefits, we're just the people helping them do the paperwork. But that small % of douchebags, REALLY get under your skin quick.

Dream job? That would be the fictional "video game industry" job. I think I'd probably want to do something along the lines of creative consultant, or director? Not sure what the industry titles would be, but the guy with the idea, that he then gives to the artists and coders to actually bring to life. I have no artistic talent, and no grasp of coding, but I am pretty creative with ideas, and story elements, and how to hammer those home with impact to an audience. So that would be the best fit I think.

Though at this point, I've decided to dream about being an author, though that's as much a dream, as a work in progress.
 
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Catfood220

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I work in the funeral industry. I work for a company called Co Op Funeralcare and as you can imagine, I look after dead people and all that entails. From picking the deceased up from the hospital, nursing home or their own home, getting them ready for their funeral and performing funeral duties to. There is a lot of stuff that I do.

The job I do is fine, I like it well enough. However, the company I work for have gone right down hill since I started working for it with a lowering of standards in cost cutting measures that includes me (and others) taking a £6000 a year cut to my salary with the promise that we can "do as much overtime as we want" so I am currently working until 7ish every night to make up the money I've had stolen from me so that I can live rather than just get by. Its pretty much killed any enthusiasm I have for the job and the company, so when the job market in Britain improves, I will be looking for something else. I don't know what yet.

Dream job, Lottery winner who after he has finished exploring the world and having fun, settles down to do volunteer work for the Cats Protection League.
 

Drathnoxis

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I'm a millwright at a factory. My job is basically to run back and forth all night trying to keep the place running until morning and the day mechanics get there. What I don't like about the job is having to scramble about to repair a breakdown, it's stressful and tiring. What I like about the job is having to scramble about to repair a breakdown, it forces me to think on my feet and it's like solving a puzzle under pressure.

It's shift work, but I don't mind it. The schedule is pretty good, I get 2 weeks of nights and 2 weeks of days so there isn't too much flipping my day around. As a journeyman, I'm also one of the highest paid people at the plant, but I also work the hardest so it balances out. I could probably make more if I went somewhere else, but I already know everybody and understand the machinery pretty well so, eh. I don't particularly like anybody I work with, but I also spend about 3/4 of my time alone so it's okay.

As for dream job?
Dream job, Lottery winner who after he has finished exploring the world and having fun, settles down to do volunteer work for the Cats Protection League.
I was going to say retiree, but this is better.
 

Gethsemani

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I'm a registered nurse in psychiatric care. Currently I'm working a combined psychiatric ER and psychiatric ICU. The latter is something of a misnomer as we do get the most severe cases (which mostly means the really violent patients or those that are so disruptive as to seriously impede the care of other patients) but we also get planned detoxes and most patients that are admitted to the clinic spend at least one night in the PICU as part of their evaluation before being sent to the ward most matching their need. I love my job. It is varied, the co-workers are great and I get that important feeling that what I do actually make people's lives better every day. Knowing you helped save a person's life is powerful stuff, but even the small stuff feels important. It can be as simple as listening to someone who calls the PER and needs to talk about how hard their life is or helping someone who's having trouble sleeping find ways to do so.

If only the pay was a liiiiittle bit better, I'd say I'm doing my dream job. I know that teenage me would look at what I'm doing today and think that I absolutely nailed it and I can't think of anything I'd rather do, so I guess I'm that obnoxious person who lives the dream.
 

Agema

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I'm a senior lecturer (equivalent to associate professor for those of you in North America), I teach pharmacology and neuroscience, and my research career is mostly neuroscience. I like teaching and research, that's why I went into academia: helping students get a degree, make the best of themselves and get to where they want to go in life is immensely rewarding. I've also realised I'm a better educator than I am a researcher. However, I've also ended up taking on a lot of administrative responsibilities which consume much of my time and which I enjoy rather less.

I'm not sure I have a dream job. I think the reality of most jobs is that anything you think would be awesome you will find has lots of downsides when you start doing it.
 

Cheetodust

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Barista. I was working in senior management in a small chain that became scummier and scummier the more they grew and it was either leave or have a fist fight with the owner.

I qualified as a personal trainer and started working in a gym and then there was a global pandemic that you might have heard of. So right now I work in a coffee shop and it's actually pretty great. Even though they're barely breaking even they keep giving me raises.

So right now I'm back in college, doing a bachelors degree in strength and conditioning. Only just started so what my future holds I'm not sure. I might continue on and do a post grad.

Edit: dream job? I dunno. If I get to work in a gym that would be great. My own weightlifting coach works about 15 hours a week and earns what I do in 40 so that would be nice.
 

09philj

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I just graduated. I studied environmental science at university so I want to find a job in that field. I'd quite like to work in compliance because it's systematic and about solving specific problems.
 

JoJo

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Accountancy, tax specialist. It's not whizz bang exciting but it's a steady job and challenging enough to keep it interesting. Most of the folk I work with are older and/or not clued up about computers, so I also double up as my firm's IT support when somebody locks themselves out of their computer or can't get their printer working.

Dream job? I write fiction, particularly children's fiction, and it would be a dream to be professionally published. It's a tough field to get into, though, so for now just a hobby :-D
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Accountancy, tax specialist. It's not whizz bang exciting but it's a steady job and challenging enough to keep it interesting. Most of the folk I work with are older and/or not clued up about computers, so I also double up as my firm's IT support when somebody locks themselves out of their computer or can't get their printer working.

Dream job? I write fiction, particularly children's fiction, and it would be a dream to be professionally published. It's a tough field to get into, though, so for now just a hobby :-D
My dad wanted me to be an accountant, and I fucking HATED the idea.

I did take an accounting class in college (with a really fantastic professor actually) and it was the only C I got in school.

All these years later I think my dad is still disappointed in me about my lack of interest in moving numbers from one column to another.
 
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Drathnoxis

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I just graduated. I studied environmental science at university so I want to find a job in that field. I'd quite like to work in compliance because it's systematic and about solving specific problems.
Wow, congratulations. There aren't many people that would be going back to school and looking to start a new career at your age. I hope to be long retired by the time I'm in my 70s.
Dream job? I write fiction, particularly children's fiction, and it would be a dream to be professionally published. It's a tough field to get into, though, so for now just a hobby :-D
Very tough considering about half the people in this thread have listed it as their dream job.
 

09philj

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Wow, congratulations. There aren't many people that would be going back to school and looking to start a new career at your age. I hope to be long retired by the time I'm in my 70s.
IDK whether that's a joke or whether you have failed to identify the late Alec Guinness.