What do you do and how did you get there?

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  • What do you do and how did you get there?
  • Just curiosity really, what is your job and how did you get to where you are now? Simple path or long winding road?

    I’m now a clinical psychologist working with under 25’s who suffer with depression and schizophrenia. It’s been a long road to get here and it’s only now that I’ve really pursued a career in the field I’ve spent most of my life studying. A degree in psychology followed by a masters in philosophy (didn’t know what I was doing). Spent 12 months lecturing at a local college then back to university to complete a doctorate in clinical psychology so I could be eligible for chartered status. I was 28 by this time. Dossed for 6 months, then just stumbled on an assistant psychologist position in a clinical psychology dept until finally finding my feet and working as a clinical psychologist for the NHS (starting last year).

    I never thought I would really get to this point despite my qualifications in the field but alas it seems to have panned out alright.



    I blame Glossop job centre

    wanted to do graphic design or architecture

    they had a structural engineering technician job listed. they told me it was like architecture

    they lied


    I had it all planned out from a young age – good grades at school in the physical sciences, went to Uni and studied physics and astronomy, got a good degree, got hired on my first interview by IBM to be a mainframe systems programmer.

    Then, after eight months sitting in an office, realised that I’d planned my life all wrong, and quit to start a bike business.


    IT started in 1980 – so consider myself very lucky as I’d never heard of computers at school.

    School career advice was – you’re clever and given Glasgow + Strathcyde prospectives. Was looking at accountancy (*oh dear) and physics, bussed up for uni open day – accountancy – incredibly boring bloke in a suit, phyiscs – incredibly boring bloke in white coat, and can’t quite remember why but was taken through computing – which was blokes in jeans and Ts running about looking happy – decision made.

    Milk round – 1st job in London 1980, and then just moved when unhappy or made redundant (3 times), done London/contracting + abroad, now in a 35hr a week, 25 minute country road commute happy place

    My decison making/judgement/astuteness got better with age, regrets – working hard for companies who didn’t work hard for me, but lesson learned.


    Off shore engineering – applications /technical and field ops

    Did engineering at uni as i wanted a numbers based degree to provide broad options at the time

    Went cycling round nz came back , mrs tr decided she wanted to be a teacher , had a choice of edinburgh or aberdeen.

    Came to aberdeen worked in alpine and looked for a job that payed a living wage. Voila found my job. Like traveling and like doing hands on rather than office based engineering so side tracked into field work when mates that started same time as me went into full on apps roles



    Something very bad in a previous life.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk

    firefighter……only looked into doing it retained to bump up my aerospace engineering wage due to overtime bans etc.
    loved doing it retained, applied to go full time and got in first time.
    now disillusioned with it and got one eye on emigrating to sunnier climes, but am at a loss as how to do this. ive done ITTT teaching english abroad course, and ILM management courses, but dont know if theyll help me yet.


    Did a degree in geology at uni, as all I needed for my chosen proffession (officer in the royal marines) was a degree. Failed the entrance medical for my eyesight! Couldnt stand living back at home at all after uni so joined the RAF as an avionics engineer asap. Loved it, only ever worked 3 days a week due to running for the raf.
    Left the raf dispondant after 7 years and worked for marconi comms in coventry, they went down the pan, so I got a job with EADS as a systems field engineer, I work with our and others navys, fixing satcomms systems when they break.

    I hate my job, and am looking to totally retrain in something I love, sport or conservation related. On the plus side I have been to some amazing places with my job , and im free to live where i want. So went from Aviemore, to Hope, and currently in Ludlow.


    Business Analyst in a bank.

    Dropped out of Computer Science at uni, working full time in a bar. Got a job in a call centre for a mobile phone manufacturer, then ran a first line laptop support desk. Moved into a corporate online banking helpdesk, then into another ops area within the bank. I got on a scheme similar to a grad scheme (without the prerequisite degree) and haven’t looked back since.


    I wanted to be a Vet as a kid. Went to Uni and studied zoology to try get into the Vet school. Didn’t happen so left and got a job in the bank working as a teller. Moved quite quickly into IT working in Business Intelligence. Continued with this and Dba work. Now Head of BI for a great company.

    Luckily I found something I am good at and enjoy and it worked out.

    Premier Icon tmb467

    Went from top grades in Maths Chem and Physics at A-level to an MEng at Queens in Belfast

    Discovered clubbing and recreational substances in the early 90s – ended up working in bars / putting in double glazing on German building sites and ended up doing a sound engineering course in Manchester. Took the fall for running post-club after-hours drinking nights and wound up on a computer programming course

    Now after 15 years in IT I architect and design supply chain solutions (ie make the computers do what the business wants their supply chain to do) for a major food retailer.

    I’ve biked all that time starting on a Raleigh M-Trax with no suspension and cantilever brakes

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth


    Boringly, I’m one of those people who can retain info for long enough to look good at passing exams. Did a degree in a subject that interested me (politics). Met Mrs North at university. One day she demanded to know what I was going to do with myself. At Durham the standard choices seemed to be accountancy or law.

    I’m better with words than numbers so I chose law.

    Worked in two of the biggest firms and now work for a telecoms company. Actually like what I do (even though it bores me to tears lots of the time), and now working out how to turn it into a commercial role.

    Premier Icon firestarter

    Firefighter, spent some years travelling in the force then went into comms in first London then Belgium market went pop so went to Switzerland and did mountain guiding , had pre Christmas hol to see parents and saw ad for fire service applied and got in, took 9 months so did antenna rigging for orange til start date as money was good. Now currently looking for other jobs as its now rubbish and set to get worse

    Premier Icon smogmonster

    Left school after my A Levels..had enough of education at that point so didnt bother with Uni and not a clue what to do with my life. Got a job running our local pub, which i did for a couple of years until i started my training as a nurse. Graduated in 1999. Worked a mixture of A+E, Coronary Care, some work as a civvie nurse for the military and then some management before heading to the rigs as an Offshore Medic..which i sometimes hate (usually the day i leave the house), sometimes love (usually payday or the day i go home). Its certainly taken me places i never expected to work..Angola, Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, USA, but currently working off bloody Shetland. I still do some occasional A+E work as well as i really enjoy it. I would love to retrain as a Physio/Sports Therapist but time, mortgage, bread knife and binlids mean not possible.
    I guess my dream job would involve owning my own bike shop or working for the FC building trails..but the moneys crap and i suspect it becomes just ‘another job’.


    Run a pr firm in the events industry.
    Qualified as a Glacial Geomorphologist after studying glacial retreat but in 86 no one gave a ferk about climate change so no jobs about.
    Got on trainee programme with Maersk then via numerous roles in marketing with a number of companies, opportunity came up to set up a business in the Peak Park so grabbed it – that was in 1997 – still happily working away and riding lots.
    Funny way life goes.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn

    Born & bred in Marlborough NZ.
    After school & dead end jobs, I got into a viticulture course at polytech in 92 after school friends parents started one. Seemed to have a nice lifestyle.
    After working in vineyard & wineries in NZ for a while, I moved to Tasmania in 2000. Got a job in a start up vineyard, moving to the winery in 04 & starting a degree in winemaking.
    Now I’ve reached my goals of 20 years ago, i need a new challenge.
    & my school mates considered me basically unemployable.


    house husband

    after a long and illustrious career as a professional layabout, I got a beautiful young professional woman up the stick during a night of drunken passion..

    and here I am now..

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan

    Great thread, nice one 🙂



    IT Security manager

    I slept my way to the top. It took me a long, long time to get here.


    Multiskilled Technician in a food factory. (Mechanical/ Elec maintainance) as well as keeping lines running, we are involved with focused improvements to improve efficiency etc etc.

    My Mum applied for an apprenticeship on my behalf (I wasn’t in a hurry to get a job) I did well at the interview and got in!

    That was 20 years ago and I am still with the same company.


    Getaway driver. The money is good.


    Orthopod. Hopefully a trauma and limb recon one when I grow up.

    A-Levels, medschool, many years of working too many hours. Too many months and years of revising for exams and missing summers.

    Nearly there. Best job in the world if you ask me. It’s great.

    Premier Icon zippykona

    Work in a gift shop. Married the owner and she needed cheap staff!
    Used to paint cars. Don’t miss the job but do miss swearing and dirty jokes.

    Premier Icon lunge

    Recruitment manager. Scraped a degree at a crap uni, went travelling, came home and found myself working in a hotel bar earning very little but having a grat time. My best mates dad is a telecoms PM and was meeting a recruitment company who consisted of 3 employees for some intrview prep, they said they wanted to hire a grad and would his son be interested, he wasn’t but his best mate (me) was. That was 8 years ago, I’m still at the same company, we now employ 30 people and I manage a team of recruiters.

    Recruitment can be the best job in the world but I can also be truly horrific. I do debate retraining and moving on but I do quite like it really.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Care worker.

    I’ve been a pawnbroker, world’s smallest doorman, years and years dealing with the legal side of insurance.

    I prefer being a care worker.

    Premier Icon stewartc

    Hong Kong based Regional Product Manager for a large US electronic manufacturer.
    Left school at 16 with low GCSEs and became a trainee engineer (think apprentice without the company responsibilities, thanks Maggie) which got me up to an HND, then got made redundant an spent a few years pissing around and enjoying life.
    Then became a CAD guy for a while which somehow got me into the AV industry and lucky enough that this job also got me to travel the world over the following 15 years.
    In my previous UK job I meet the current MrsC in HK an then one thing lead to another and I ended up here a few years ago, now the only westerner in a company of over 250 spread over the region.
    For a poorly educated Aldershot boy I got lucky, but still, like others also bored of my job and looking for something new….



    picked up good grades at school so was told to either study law or medicine. The thought of dealing with old people freaked me out, so I chose law. 6 years of law school, only tolerable by the fact that I also had a full time job and partied my back side off.

    Spent six years working for a mahoosiv law firm and then realised that everything about it was so so wrong.

    Was hired by a client last year, one of the biggest construction companies around, now spend most of my time setting up and closing large deals for a company that actually seems to value me. Only a handful of investment lawyers in the UK business, so a close knit team of people who actually know what they are doing (the opposite of big law firms!)

    I’d still rather be doing something else though, it’s mostly dull as hell 🙂



    Started v.small as a sole trader late 80’s.. Through some lucrative contracts, grew in the 90’s to a multi million operation. Leveled off for a couple of years then nose dived rapidly back down to single man operation again as most big firms moved IT in house or to the big players.. Cant beleive that after 25 years I’m pretty much back where I started hehehe


    After spending my teens and nearly all of my twenties working as little as possible and doing as I pleased, I kind of fell in a health & safety role as I figured it was a growth industry. 8 years on I look after a number of different things for a big FE/HE college, health & safety being one element. I haven’t really ‘earned’ my position through hard work, more a case of using and trusting my innate abilities. Which is kind of cool as I always thought they’d see me right and were far more important to trust than studying hard.


    LBS “manager” (PA/lackie) via Maths degree, LBS, dole, a go at software, a go at loudspeaker design, voluntary work, more LBS, Law degree & work, left due to difficult bosses.

    No frikkin idea what to do next, needs to not be a “wrong” choice.


    Pretend architect specialising in all the technical and specific space planing requirements for stadiums and arenas.
    3 A levels in art based subjects, foundation course in art, degree in furniture and related product design followed by a year or so of working in pubs and driving vans before getting lucky and getting in to architecture as a cad monkey. Few lucky breaks later and landed a job designing the seating bowl for the O2. Now spend my life doing the early stage stuff on competitions and feasibility studies for major stadium projects.

    Premier Icon pedropete

    Building inspector – started out as draughtsman for consulting engineers but got fed up drawing straight lines. 3 years full time at tech college + further 4 years day release to get professionally qualified. Enjoy the variety the job brings & the fact that I’m out & about meeting all sorts, but it can be pretty confrontational sometimes. Always think I would like to do something completely different but I’m probably too old for that now.


    Illustrator, artist, storyboards.

    Left art college went to work in music shop, became manager at 18 loved the job but saw the retail side of the industry collapsing so at 21 went to uni to do art.
    Buyer from famous gallery moderated my degree show and purchased all my work.
    A few years in various jobs I hated.
    Diagnosed with manic depression.
    One year off.
    Email off buyer from gallery about doing some work, job centre useless helping me set up self employed. But did it.
    Introduced to famous pop star, started a relationship. She opened doors for me and got me to storyboard her bands videos.
    Ended that as I didn’t like being in public eye, stress.
    Carried on with storyboards, do free lance and what ever else.

    Trying to get a part time job to get me out the house a bit more.


    Now IT network engineer. Was electrical engineer before that and started working life off as a floor layer.

    Got to this stage by working my ass off and doing lots of reading which is funny as although I didn’t mind school and i was reasonable well behaved, I just didn’t try much.

    Think I’m lucky as I enjoy what i do, I’m good at it ( just seems to make sense) money is good, you can do it most places of the world and it changes so there’s always something new to learn.

    Not sure I’d want to do another job…. Well apart from fighter jet pilot or racing driver 😉

    Premier Icon Alex

    On being offered ‘economics, history and British Government’ as A level subjects, decided to try and give these new fangled computers a go instead. Worked for big companies, small companies, two of my own companies and now just me.

    Serial troubleshooter mostly outside of IT nowadays. It’s an interesting and well rewarded filler for the more interesting things in life.

    Wanted to be a Journo – quite glad I ducked that bullet 😉



    Didn’t get grades at school to be a doctor, did IT at uni as my part time boss in IT support offered me £25k and a car if I came back with a Degree. Found I hated computers and quit uni and ran a bar instead. Decided I had to “do something with my life” thought the ambulance service looked like a laugh, applied, didn’t get in. kept applying and finally got in on PTS (out patients mini bus) did this for a year, moved up to urgent tier, did this for four years, moved up to A&E, now work on an RRV, training for my practicioner qualification and hopefully soon applying to work on a bike….

    Prison Officer.

    Not a career choice but cos I screwed up twice (pardon the pun) earlier on in life & ‘ended up’ here.
    If i stayed in my 1st job (council plant/vehicle fitter) I’d be retired now.

    It’s carp BTW.


    Sparky, hate it. Mrs kerv and me thinking of selling up, moving to Wales and becoming bums.



    Was never really in my sights, but after a Biochemistry degree and a year at Pfizer I got bored so went on one of those Operation Raleigh expeditions. Just mooching about doing odd jobs after that, when three wholly unconnected people told me that Hampshire Constabulary were recruiting and ‘you’d be good at that’. Turns out I did have a knack for it, and after a number of years in England I moved up to Scotland, where I now spend my time trying to win all expenses paid extended holidays for thieves and deevs. Can’t see myself doing anything else really. It’s what I’m good at, and I can do it anywhere I want to live.

    I wanted to be a vet as a kid but I wasnt clever enough and had a bad attitude to school so said all the teachers. So I was kicked out of school with a few GCSE’s. Went to a sixth form did a bit of work redid some gcse’s and got some decent a levels and went off to uni to do ecology. Left determined to change the world but that didnt realy happen. Worked in a lab, bummed around for a few years and went back to uni to do a masters then phd. Left wanting to to do research on farmland biodiversity. Did research for a few years and got very bored. I am nkw a teacher…how the **** did that happen I hated teachers and school but somehow love my job.

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