So, I hesitate to come here, but I'm in a bit of a pickle. I know everyone gets to this point in their lives, but I really have no clue what kind of career I would like to pursue. Sorry if this kind of thing gets posted here a lot. There's a TL;DR at the end.
But the moral of the story is that I currently work a cushy desk job making a decent amount of money. More than I've ever made at a job. But I'm very unhappy. Never mind the fact that I'm introverted as fuck in an outgoing, office-politics environment, but I also feel like I'm going to end up wasting my life away there. I'm feeling more depressed by the day, and I don't know how all those 40-something soccer mom lifers don't off themselves at the first chance.
So I look at it this way: I have a good income. This could be a great stepping stone for bigger and better things. I thought of becoming a pilot. Could be cool, and the pay is great. I've done my research on that type of career already so I know what I'd be getting into. I've looked up countless careers, but I still feel like I just don't know what's out there.
I was wondering if any of you have career advice for someone who is:
-good with small details, but sees the big picture more than most
-not a people person
-sort of interested at the prospect of operating complex machinery with lots of knobs and shit
-really good at explaining things
-22 years old, since I know someone will ask
-I do have some college credits under my belt.
-If it has any bearing whatsoever, I am very into music. I play multiple instruments, but not at a professional level by any means. Writing and listening to music is what I mostly do in my free time.
-I don't live at home.
I just really don't want to sit at a desk all day, guys. I really appreciate any replies I get.
TL;DR – I hate my job. What kind of non-office career would you suggest to someone who is smarter than the average bear and is not a people person?
Don't become a pilot. It's retardedly expensive, literally costs more than becoming a doctor, and at the end of the day, you're a glorified bus driver. The pay CAN be good, if you get into a decent airline, but honestly you'll be paying off that debt for years and years to come.
It would cost me about $10,000 overall. With my income, I could get my license in roughly a year if I really wanted to. But the glorified bus driver thing I kind of agree with. And unfortunately I don't have the time to become a full blown doctor either. Working full-time to maintain my income, it would take an eternity.
ever considered becoming an officer in the merchant marine and working on cargo ships? The pay is excellent and it sounds like it might fit the criteria you listed. It would require you to get a degree from a maritime school which (assuming you're in the US) there are 7. I really enjoy it but a life at sea isn't for everyone. I could go on at length about it if you were interested.
Op here. -Man I didn't realize how outdated this board is.
But yea I can see that. But the hard part is figuring out what branch I am to take. And aren't most of those types of jobs more or less desk jobs?
not through the military, I'm talking civilian cargo ships like tankers and container ships (though there are jobs with military sealift command which is quasi military since they bring fuel/supplies to navy ships out at sea)
Generally the schedule most follow is 3 months at sea then 3 months vacation, but its one of the few jobs like that where you're actually making enough money to support yourself during that long hiatus. Starting salary for a third mate fresh out of school is $90k.
As for what the job entails there are two sides to it, deck and engine. I'm deck so I know a bit more about that side than the other. The deck department is responsible for standing watch on the bridge to make sure the ship stays on course and doesn't hit anything (sometimes easier said than done) and the ship's cargo. Unlicensed members of the deck department (ie deckhands, so no college degree) also maintain the physical integrity of the ship. As a watchstanding deck officer you'll stand 8 hours of watch on the bridge each day, if you say for example have the 4-8 watch you'd get up at 0400 for watch and get off at 0800 then be back on at 1600-2000 that evening. During one of those 8 hour breaks you'd be expected to do the rest of your work around the ship which as a third mate would be maintaining the ship's safety equipment which usually takes around 4 hours a day. (the second mate is the navigator and keeps the ship's maps and nav equipment up to date, the chief mate watches the cargo and makes sure the unlicensed deckhands are doing what they're supposed to, the captain doesn't stand watch but is always on call). Additionally its a 7 day work week when out at sea so you make a truly obscene amount of overtime.
The Engine Dept as I said I know a bit less about due to not being a member of but they maintain the ship's engine, which is a rather massive job since the engines are on an unbelievably massive scale and are running 24 hours a day.
Piracy is not so much of a problem as it once was, all the shipping companies eventually caved in and just decided to pay for mercenaries when transiting that part of the world. Usually you'll have them between Jeddah and Karachi. Realistically they're just military veterans who are given an assault rifle and stand out on the bridge wing bored out of their minds, but in theory if pirates ever tried to board the ship they would fight them. Not that it would ever happen, pirate tactics are all about finding the least defended ship possible. You still see lots of fishing boats in that part of the world and wonder how many of them are actually pirates, but they're not really a concern anymore.
As for close calls, I've seen near misses happen. Ships don't have brakes so you HAVE to get out of the way to avoid collision. In the middle of the ocean its easy as no one will ever come closer than a few miles of you but when you get into heavily trafficked areas like the english channel, strait of gibraltar, or some parts of the gulf of mexico yeah it can get serious. You get out of the way of one ship and it puts you in the way of 3 more. But its not like you're flying a fighter jet, ships rarely go over 20mph and you'll see someone on your radar scope before you can see them visually even on a clear day. It also gets a bit serious at night time since it gets black as pitch out at sea and the only things of ships you'll be able to see are their lights, you can't make out the actual ship at all. So you look out to the sea and see two white lights and a red light in between, that means you're looking at the port side of a ship transiting from right to left, so you have to go around it. But thankfully the captain is always available if you feel unsure about what's going on so you can call him to the bridge to help you out. Captains get the blame for anything that goes wrong, even if they were asleep at the time. lol.