OT: if you could do it over again

Submitted by tasnyder01 on March 14th, 2019 at 10:42 AM

If you could do it over again, what profession would you choose for your life? Why? Hours, travel?



March 14th, 2019 at 1:39 PM ^

My son is a freshman in college and wants to be an astronomer and astronaut. He took his first pure physics class (took astrophysics in high school instead of regular physics), got his ass kicked mightily, took a second class, ass-kicking continued, he dropped the class and is changing his major from physics to data analytics, at least that's the plan today. i'm bummed for him because he loves space but maybe isn't cut out for the physics part of it. Any other careers you can think of where someone can be involved with space but not have to be an engineer or a physicist?


March 14th, 2019 at 5:18 PM ^

I think that's a joke about that movie where they sent oil drillers to space to drill a hole in an asteroid and then detonated a nuke in the middle of it.

There are lots of careers in the space industry that don't involve physics or engineering. A major one at my company is Procurement/Supplier Management. We buy tons of stuff and then assemble it here.

Naked Bootlegger

March 14th, 2019 at 5:16 PM ^

Computer programming, data analysis, and data visualization offer a direct link to the hard sciences.   Lots of people in my line of work (physical sciences research) are extremely valuable commodities due to their computer, not necessarily scientific, skills.   And many people coming from the comp sci/data analysis backgrounds acquire the necessary science skills through osmosis after a few years.    My advice:  have him search for summer or academic internships in astronomy groups or labs on campus.  There are opportunities.  I'm thirsting for programmers and data visualization experts to help me with big data science projects.     


March 14th, 2019 at 10:52 AM ^

Funny this question comes up. I'm in the early stages of starting my own business in wood working. Smaller furniture (desks, end tables, etc.), end grain cutting and serving boards, guitar racks and eventually (hopefully) electric guitars & basses. 

Working on building some stock and a website to sell it through. 

Going to be a slow go since my day job isn't going away anytime soon, but having a lot of fun so far. 


March 14th, 2019 at 11:28 AM ^

I'm still in the extra stall in the garage but a barn will be in the works in the next year or so. 

I do play guitars; if I really wanted to change it all I could've said I wanted to be a luthier, but as of yet anything like an acoustic guitar is well above my skill/patience level. I'm in the market for a new electric bass though and the plan is to build one rather than buy one. Anyway, all my guitars laying around was the impetus for the rack, and it turned out well enough that I think I could sell a few of them. I'd upload a picture but I've tried like 5 times and this glorious website has told me NO each time.



March 14th, 2019 at 1:16 PM ^

This is amazing.  I play guitar a bit and just watched a youtube video today of a guy making an epoxy and maple guitar.  Good luck.


I'm in the process of starting a side business right now as well.  Call it a mid life crisis, or just being tired of corporate America.  I'll raise a toast to all my mgo-entrepreneurs.

Goggles Paisano

March 14th, 2019 at 9:45 PM ^

I spent a long time working for the man in corporate america and was able to go off on my own five years ago.  It is so much better working for yourself that I can't even explain how much better.  The time, the money, the freedom, the not ever having to deal with people you don't like and all the inter-office politics...etc  


March 14th, 2019 at 10:52 AM ^

I feel lucky. I’d choose where I’m at - a business school professor. Good money, great flexibility, and where Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks still mean something as an adult. I’d love to be back in AA, though. 

Or, maybe a pastry chef. 


March 14th, 2019 at 1:51 PM ^

I left my advertising job to become a pastry chef years ago. I went to cooking school at 25, and then finally took a job at 30. It was physically brutal and I made minimum wage to start. I was at work at 5:30 AM, usually worked 10 hours, on my feet, no breaks, not even lunch, and worked Saturday and Sunday. I was living with my then-husband at the time, and it was tough to have a regular social life on the weekends. I went to bed at 9 PM. BUT...I worked at the best pastry shop in Chicago and learned more than I could possibly imagine. It was a fantastic experience, I went on to become a pastry chef at a restaurant, which was also an ass-kicking experience, but worth it. If you like to learn new things and get out of your comfort zone, doing something like that is perfect. 


March 14th, 2019 at 10:52 AM ^

Easy Football coach.  I always was the kid who had to achieve everything in the proper amount of time.  Go to college graduate in 4 years...get a job right away because I need to make money to buy a place.  I had an opportunity after my bachelors to go to grad school and be a coaching assistant where I played.  I regret not doing this, instead I got a job right away, but on the bright side I get to coach my sons so in a way I get to still live my dream.

Maize and Luke

March 14th, 2019 at 11:45 AM ^

It always comes back to this for me too. I think the intent of the question is to put all of that aside but I find it impossible. While I regret not taking a different path for my college education, obviously my life would be void of everything I have now had I taken a different path. So I guess I'm taking the blue pill (not that blue pill, you perverts). 


March 14th, 2019 at 11:06 AM ^

Considering how many car restoration shows I watch I think I would really enjoy that work.  I’m pretty lucky that my dad has restored and even created some vehicles so I’ve seen it up close but I essentially don’t know a damn thing about it.  

Blue Me

March 14th, 2019 at 11:09 AM ^

I'd really rev up the time machine and have my mom bang a dude about four inches taller than my dad so that I'd now be a retired NBA player.


March 14th, 2019 at 11:11 AM ^

I wouldn't change being in the Air Force. I would change having joined so late, though. I would be a couple short years from retirement instead of only halfway.


March 14th, 2019 at 11:13 AM ^

I would’ve stuck to creating “unintelligent life”.  I really fucked up when I gave you monkeys conscious self-awareness.  

I’ll never live that one down.

Naked Bootlegger

March 14th, 2019 at 11:15 AM ^

I'm in the midst of a mid-life professional crisis, so I have been pondering the same question and peppering friends and colleagues with questions about their respective careers.   A very large percentage of said friends and colleagues wishes they would have chosen a different career.   So many of us are unhappy.

My simple suggestion: everyone should change careers every 10 years or so.  Fresh start, new perspective and energy, learn new skills, etc..   The problem is that pesky items like health care, parenting, saving for retirement, re-education costs, and a litany of other complications arise.   I don't have any easy answer to solve this dilemma.  

To answer the OP's question:  I would like to be a basketball coach.   Full time.  Division II collegiate level.    That's my dream gig.






The Baughz

March 14th, 2019 at 11:22 AM ^

I am in sales and if I could go back I would probably want to be a college professor or in sports writing/communication. I listen to ESPNU Radio everyday on SiriusXM and would absolutely love to talk about college sports for a living.

If I could make a decent living by having my own sports blog/radio show; I’d quit my current job in a heartbeat.

Im in my early 30s with no kids, so maybe there is still time...lol


March 14th, 2019 at 1:57 PM ^

This is the right perspective. Sometimes it seems like skilled/talented people look at the "dream scenario" and feel how impossible it is to reach that yet don't realize that step 1 has to be taken first to get to the last step, and step 1 isn't usually that difficult to do now-a-days thanks to the Internet. There is nothing wrong with "starting small." You don't need to quit your job to start a business and see if you can create a profitable idea.

All you need is to throw something together, put time and effort into it to perfect it as best as you can, and throw it out there for the world to see. Whether that's a Youtube channel, signing up for a Shopify store/website or other web developer program, creating an eBay store front, or even just creating a Facebook/Instagram business account, it is easier than ever to get your ideas/products out there. What you may find is that the dream result you are looking for (leaving your career and becoming an entrepreneur) is really not as difficult as you might think. We live in a world where you can do anything from home now, and making money has never been easier. With the right attitude/drive, you can find that changing your career to working for yourself is not as daunting of a task as it once was. It does require patience, and eventually will require extremely hard work, but even creating a "hobby" side job for yourself can be very easily manageable with all the tools out there.



March 14th, 2019 at 11:16 AM ^

I'm pretty happy where I'm at. I design implantable medical devices, mainly spine, slowly transitioning into long-bone implants. I've designed implants that are in 10s of thousands of people worldwide. I work closely with doctors, I spend a fair amount of time in the operating room, and I get to design cool shit, which is both really hard and really rewarding. Sure, I'm not paid as well as those doctors, but I also didn't have to go to school for 10 years after college, and my pay ain't bad as it is. 


Sometimes I wish I was more closely involved in pure biomed research. I briefly entertained going back to get a PhD a couple years back when it felt like my career had stalled a bit. But there's plenty of drawbacks to being on the PhD path too: publish or perish, your experience is heavily adviser dependent, it's possible your years of research come up empty or useless, you're gonna be broke for 5 years (and frankly probably wouldn't do a whole lot to increase my value).


So far so good here.


Michigan BSME 2007


Edit: I probably would have been more disciplined in undergrad, just so my future options would be a little broader. But here we are.


March 14th, 2019 at 11:17 AM ^

Doctor - realized I enjoy problem solving (what I do now as a consultant) but also enjoy helping and interacting with people and having meaningful work.  Plus doctors get so much cred with the ladies.   Either that or something creative.


March 14th, 2019 at 2:56 PM ^

Something else to consider, those doc upsides you mention are mostly true (+/- on the getting cred with the ladies), there's an enormous cost.  And not just the obvious, "you have to go to college for almost a decade then get through the indentured servitude of residency and fellowship" sort of stuff.  The work/research is such a grind, I've given up pretty much every personal hobby or interest outside of catching a handful of Michigan games on TV. I haven't read a book for fun since medical school, and my only hobby is my family. There just isn't time for anything else.  That being said, I probably wouldn't change things if I could do it all over, it's still pretty cool telling a kid and their parents that their cancer is gone, people get pretty happy about stuff like that.


March 14th, 2019 at 7:05 PM ^

Funny you guys mention both of those things.  I’m a spine surgeon in the metro Detroit region.  Self employed in a small group.  Set my own hours and vacation time. Make a great living and rarely work more than 50 hours a week anymore.  Was an ass kicking getting here, but love my job most of the time. Wouldn’t change it for anything....except if I could be in Metallica.