What do you do for a living and why do you like it?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
7756 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I am a reading teacher, working in a Title One program. I work with small groups tutoring using different research-proven strategies depending on the students’ needs. It can be very rewarding and very frustrating, too. As the OT above stated the paperwork and bureaucracy and uncooperative parents (and, rarely, teachers) can be dreadful. But working consistently with students for several years and then seeing them test high enough not to qualify for services is fabulous. Seeing students who struggled in their early elementary years learn to love reading and be successful in middle school is well worth the frustration.

However, public education has been under attack in many parts of the US. Funding is plummeting, and teachers’ benefits are being slashed (after teachers previously negotiated better benefits in exchange for lower salaries). This leaves many teachers with low pay AND worse benefits than in the past. And with many politicians villifying public education, the public often doesn’t appreciate teachers. Teaching in the public system is not a job anyone takes for the money or respect…

Post # 17
1257 posts
Bumble bee

I am a physical therapist that specializes in working with pediatric and babies in the NICU.

I made the switch to peds a couple of years ago and I’m so glad I did.  Before my switch I was working with adult patients in the hospital that had just had joint surgery (mostly knee or hip replacements).  I got burned out with the adults because to be honest, most just didn’t want to do the therapy.  I completely understood that these patients just had surgery and were in pain.  But I had to explain that early and frequent ambulation was the best thing for them.  I had patients spit at or try to punch me.  And I got yelled at constantly.

My hospital had an opening for a pediatric specialist a couple of years ago.  I had taken some extra seminars dealing with peds specifically so I got the job.  I really like working with kids and babies.  With the NICU babies, most of them spend weeks or months in the hospital so I really get to know them and can tell pretty easily when something is not right.  I also love seeing them grow and make progress.

Of course, one of the downsides is sometimes these little ones do not make it.  It’s heartbreaking, especially if they’ve been a patient for a while.

One annoying part of my job is the endless documentation I have to do.  I feel like I spend more time documenting than actually hands on with the patients.  The adults especially had a TON of documenting, and the case managers/social workers would sometimes get mad if I recommended something like a rehab center when the patient didn’t want to go.

Overall I do like my job.  I switched hospitals a few months ago so I don’t get on WB as much as I used to and I like my new place better.  My manager is really great and understands all the BS that happens in health care.  The pay isn’t bad either.

But….I have a lot of student loans.  I have a doctor of PT; it was changed from needing just a master’s a few years ago; and about 20 years ago you only needed a bachelor’s.  It’s also a super competitive field and I feel sorry for anyone trying to get into it now.

Post # 18
1512 posts
Bumble bee

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redmango : bah! Your comment was so exciting and also disheartening to read. I just wrapped up my first semester of PT school. While I certainly can’t see myself doing anything else and I truly love the field, it’s still critically important to be honest about the downfalls too. Hoping to one day see what PT in the NICU looks like!

Post # 19
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I’m a certified histotechnologist and I specialize in immunohistochemistry. Fancy words for I work in a pathology lab and prepare slides for instruments to stain. I slice paraffin embedded blocks that have patient tissue and place them on slides. The stains help pathologists diagnose cancer or identify bacteria. I totally fell into this by accident but I really like it. It’s cool to see different types of cases and there is some gore which I enjoy haha.

The downside is lab work can get pretty repetitive and I didn’t realize that when I was in college. 

Another downside: It’s hard to describe to people what I actually do. Like people have never heard of it and didn’t know it’s a thing (I didn’t!).


ETA I don’t think it’ll be a career because I want to stay home with our kids someday. And it would be too repetitive to do for 30 years or whatever. 

Post # 20
1257 posts
Bumble bee

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loveydove :  Congratulations on finishing your first semester!

I think with a lot of fields you taught in school how things “should be” then you get into the actual job and see that’s now really how it works.  For example I don’t feel PT school does a really good job on preparing students for the amount of documenting you need to do.  That may be because school wants you to focus on the anatomy and theory, but when you’re assessing a patient, you need to know how to get that info fast, if that makes sense.  You don’t get a week to study a patient.

I also work in an acute care setting, which also is more stressful (IMO) than an outpatient setting.  As I said, patient’s are cranky and the focus is to get them out of the hospital as quickly as possible.  One of my biggest beefs is the hospital system is messed up and patients are discharged way too soon.  And then there’s the you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink problem.

Which is why I like the kids. smile

Post # 21
327 posts
Helper bee

I’m a construction manager for large infrastructure and transit projects. I used to be on the design and engineering side, but I enjoy the intensity and high stakes of construction side. The money is real, the project is real, problems are real 🙂

My job is not unlike project management jobs where I have to manage labor, time schedule, project parts, but I also take on contractors, manufacturers, engineers/architects, government agencies, and owners into the mix. It is extremely challenging trying to coordinate and juggle all of the above but I find it very fulfilling. Imagine if you were planning a $100M wedding, and you’re the wedding coordinator. You have 20 vendors, 100 staff and you have to write all the contracts, review contracts, review their work, make sure people get paid etc etc and make the client happy by staying on schedule and under budget. If all goes well, it is CHAOS lol. This doesn’t include if there’s a safety incident, or someone gets hurt or lawsuits or government shutdowns and people don’t get paid. A million things can go wrong. I love it. 

When I work in transportation projects, the client is a gov agency and the user is the public. Funding comes from taxpayer dollars so I feel tremendous responsibility to deliver projects as promised.

Post # 22
277 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

I teach Leadership to executives and I absolutely love my job  It is very rewarding and wouldn’t want to do anything else 🙂 

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sboom :  

Post # 23
2309 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I work in advertising & I hate it. Actually I don’t know anyone who does like it.

The industry is full of young people. The average age in my work place is 27!

People get to the stage when they grow up and think I can’t do this any longer & leave.

They try to keep people working in advertising agencies by giving them what we refer to as shiny things. Lots of alcohol, long boozy lunches, parties and try to make work into one bit party.  There’s a work party at least once a month. We get given things from media suppliers like concert tickets,  helicopter rides, trips away overseas in hope of bribing us for a portion of our huge advertising budgets. I’ve eaten my way around the best restaurants in my city and not paid a cent. Had many cocktails on the way.

The decent people leave advertising and then the senior people promote the people like them who love to party and not grow up. The leaders of our industry are immature, arrogant,  still partying like it’s 1999 & they’re 50. They’re constantly cheating on their wives. My boss is famous for sleeping with grads and he has his partner at home with 2 kids. I don’t really feel that sorry for his partner as she was the other women once & broke up his marriage.  Leopards don’t change their spots.

I’m not going to my Christmas party this week. Why? Cocaine  will be snorted in the bathrooms and everyone will be off their face drunk. Everyone has to be at work no later than 10.30 am on Friday.  Doesn’t matter if youre still drunk and lying on the floor. Or running to the bathroom to vomit. As long as youre there. McDonald’s will be delivered at 10.30 for hang overs.

Sexual harassment is terrible too. Don’t even get me started.  I’ve thrown wine all over some guy when I was younger as he wouldn’t listen to no and kept trying to sit on me! He was much older and didn’t remember it on Monday.

The clients (marketers) are mainly bullies & jerks. I don’t work with clients these days for that reason. There’s a huge amount of work that’s never ending & it’s very busy. You get a lot of young people 2 years out of university that get promoted very quickly and get no senior support. 

I can’t wait to have a baby. Then I’m gone and not coming back.

In all fairness,  I love the work but not the amount of it. I’ve met some of my best friends at work as we are all young. However my friends are all the ones who don’t fit in and want another career.  It’s hard for them to leave when they get paid so well though. Always the issue.

I fell into advertising.  I studied Public Relations which I believe is no better.

So yeah don’t work in advertising.  Working on famous brands isn’t worth it..

Oh and the Donald Draper era aka mad men isn’t dead. It isn’t as bad as 60s to 90s but it’s still there 

Post # 24
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

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brittnamrogo :  Oh that sounds a lot like me!

I’m teaching English as a foreign language in university level, I have fewer responsibilities than a normal school setting, outside of teaching. Which I love!

But my dream would be to escalate to teaching literature at the university level. 

Post # 25
734 posts
Busy bee

I am a billing manager for a major PT/OT organization. I have been in this field since I started working actually. Started as an office coordinator for a PT/OT clinic and doubled as a patient registrar at a hospital. I then moved up and to a different company but it was still PT/OT. I started working with worker’s compensation claims and moved my way up and have been a manager for 3 years now.

I didn’t choose this career – I just fell into it and just really excelled. It’s a great company and wonderful environment and I love my staff. I do consider this my career and will probably retire from here.

A lot of people don’t realize what goes on behind the scenes after you get any kind of medical treatment. It’s not just bill the insurance and everything is good to go. Documentation has to be correct and many times claims get denied or don’t pay. We have over 150 people who work to get claims paid, make sure things go to the insurance accuratley and ensure everything goes smoothly.

It’s different but the same everyday. My department works with all the others so there is a lot of crossover and research that goes into it everyday.

It being a corporate job – of course there is the typical office drama and politics. A small price to pay but it’s worth it!

Post # 26
734 posts
Busy bee

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redmango :  I’m on the opposite end of you – I do the billing for PT/OT. While the documentation is a pain, just know it’s totally worth it. Having correct, accurate and detailed documentation is what gets those bills paid. At the end of the day, the parents have that to deal with ontop of what is going on with their little ones.

Having a claim paid and the parents not having to worry makes a difference. But if the documention is wrong and then parents get this astronomical bill because the insurance denies is not something they need to deal with.

While you may not hear it or see it – your documenation is appreciated and goes a long way!

Post # 27
113 posts
Blushing bee

I am a FP&A (Finance) Manager. It’s alright, not something I dreamed of doing as a child, obviously. Pays well, but hours can be pretty long, especially during the budget season. I am considering moving away from finance to do something more fulfilling. Even with the amount of work I do and the number of reports I create I do not feel that I am adding much value. 

Post # 28
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I’m a High School chorus teacher at an Arts HS. I am traditionally certified, but entered a program after graduating college called Teach for America which places highly qualified teachers in high needs schools. I was placed in an urban school and, though the Teach for America commitment is only two years, I am in my ninth teaching year at the same school because I LOVE it. The kids are insanely talented and SO dedicated. People often ask if I want to move to a more “affluent” area to teach and my answer is a resounding: NO. I love the city where I teach and the kids are thebomb.com

Agree with PPs that the paperwork and hoop-jumping is a major turn off. I love all the kids I work with but I could usually do without the adults!

Post # 30
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I am a flight test engineer, which is definitely a male dominated profession with lots of travel to dry/hot desert environments and ugly work hours on travel.

Honestly it’s really fun, since you get to be on the back half of product realization and qualification. You get to see everything in action and I enjoy being hands on with expensive flying things. My degree is in aerospace engineering.

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