Future Career Options

Do you have your dream job? What’s that you said-is the sky green? No of course not-oh, I get it.

See, now that I’m in high school, I, along with many other teens, am supposed to start figuring out what interests me.  The only problem is that I have no idea.  But that, of course, is the reason there are these things called ‘career surveys’.  Apparently, you take a ‘career survey’ and it tells you what to do with your life.  There are even rumors that you can take ‘Personality Surveys’, ‘Leadership Surveys’, and ‘What-Color-is-the-Sky Surveys’ (which the imaginary being that I was talking to at the beginning of the post should definitely take).

A sample question (with my thought process) is something along the lines of:Computer SurveyTeen ExpressionNervous TeenWorried Teen

My thought process goes: How should I know?  What kind of people?  People-people, or just normal people?  I have to be famous-will this make me famous?  Can I work with famous people? Are there good dental plans? Can I work with dogs instead?  If I lie, how much bad karma will I receive?  WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?

I recently took one of these surveys (I consider myself someone who embraces new technology.  In fact, that’s the reason I doubt the results, because one question I was asked was: Do you know how to use a floppy disk?  Regardless, I must be getting old for a freshman, because the answer was yes).

By the way, if you didn’t already know, I like to write (either that or I am being forced to do so by an evil overlord who is using me to melt your brains.  Even if that’s true, though, I won’t tell you.  I will tell you, though, that overlord guy probably doesn’t enjoy working with people, and he is a sworn archenemy of floppy disks).  So, naturally, I looked for the results in the writing section.  There was one.

Apparently, my survey so baffled the survey-thing that, in my results, I learned I would be a good technical writer.  What’s that, you ask? Only someone who would: write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions, and may assist in layout work.  I could come up with any number of jokes, but I think it’s best if I give you a scenario focused on take your child to work day:

Kid: Daddy, who’s that?

Me: Oh, just some high-ranking engineer.

Kid: What does he do?

Me: He creates new products for us to sell.

Kid: What is it you do again, daddy?

Me: I write the instructions for those products.  Think of it this way: if that guy wrote Sesame Street, I’d be the guy whose hand controls one of the minor characters.

Kid: So you’re really important?

Me: Yeah.  Without me, no one would know that a battery-powered laptop actually needs to be plugged in once in a while.

Kid: Do your instructions have pictures?

Me: Yes, but I don’t get to do those.

Kid: So you write the words in the big books that come with new things?

Me: Pretty much, yeah.  I write the instruction manuals for the products of this company.

Kid: Are those the same books Mommy uses to start fires in the winter?

Me: Well, uh-yes.

Now, I’d expect this to be a blow to any writer’s ego, but for me, the consequences are greater.  The type of person who actually reads all of those manuals wouldn’t know when I was being sarcastic, and this would probably lead to numerous lawsuits (if you, dear reader, do actually read those manuals, it turns out that this only applies to people with no sense of humor.  You read this blog, so I hope you have a sense of humor).  Imagine reading this:

Next, you push the two previously installed dowels into the drawer opening until pigs fly.  Then, take the assembled mess of what you hope will turn into a desk and drop it out a second-story window.  (I would also need the bribe the illustration guy to go along with my descriptions.  Surprisingly, technical illustrators aren’t all that good at drawing farm animals).Pigs FlyTechnical Diagram

I don’t think this is a viable career option for me, so this leads me back to my dilemma-what do I want to be when I grow up?  I’d love to do this blog for the rest of my life, but unless you tell everybody you know about this blog, and they tell everybody they know, who then tell everybody they know, who then tell any remaining humans who don’t already visit this blog a gazillion times a day, it looks like I’ll have to figure this out eventually (in the age of technology, it only takes 4 cycles of ‘everybody’ to reach the world’s population).

I guess I could always fall back on the one result of the survey that involves only “some preparation”, but I’d imagine any lyrics I’d write as a singer would only make sense to myself and technical writers (who, surprisingly, don’t attend many pop-culture concerts).

Readers: This is the first illustrated post of this blog.  I’d love to know your thoughts on the illustrations (were they funny, did they add or detract from the post, would you like or dislike to see more illustrated posts, am I the next Picasso, etc.) in the comments, so please feel free to share your opinion.

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Comments

  1. I liked the pictures, well worth the effort I think. Hardest thing I ever did was pick a major in college and never really did until I went to grad-school.

    Updated 2/27/11
    http://more-w-less.blogspot.com/

  2. Thank you for the feedback. I took a look at your blog, and I'm guessing you did some sort of theater or art major?

    I read your header, and I hope I can become one of those sources of entertainment on the web that you mentioned, even though I haven't devoted all my resources to this blog (if not entertainment, then I hope I achieve, at least, a status somewhere between 'kinda amusing' and 'oooh, I get it-this guy is trying to be funny'. As long as I am above the 'deserves public humiliation and/or a flogging' status, I'm thrilled).

    Also, congratulations on being my first comment.

    - Phil

  3. I loved the pictures, loved the blog, uve got a new follower/reader

  4. Thanks for the feedback and for following this blog. I'm glad to know people enjoy our writing.

    - Phil

  5. "…Do you know how to use a floppy disk? — yes!"

    I assume you meant those little 3 1/2" things that weren't really "floppy", not the real old 8" ones that actually WERE floppy ;)

    I've been around long enough to remember when that was "cutting edge"

    Good writing! I'm considering your request and I'll get back to you after I read more. From what I've read so far, I'm leaning "yes"

    …Mark

    P.S. Tech Writers get paid BIG bucks because engineers and programmers usually can't write or spell.

  6. "Kid: Are those the same books Mommy uses to start fires in the winter?
    Me: Well, uh-yes."
    Omg lines these are amazing, and also I like the pictures! =)

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