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What was your first conscious career choice?

My earliest memories were of wanting to be a "scientist", because scientists got to study things. I was always curious about nature and science.

Toward the end of 8th grade, we had three one hour group sessions with guidance counselors where they asked us questions and then turned us loose to research possible career choices. My choices were engineer, airline pilot or auto mechanic. My father discouraged the pilot path as being nothing more than a flying bus driver. He didn't like the auto mechanic path either. He wanted me to become a manager in his landscaping company (wielding power was his idea of a good life).

I went into college as a "No Pref", but I left as an Electrical Engineer. During my counseling session during orientation, a counselor asked me very pointed questions about what I was good at and what I enjoyed. She counseled me not to do what I loved as a career choice if there was something I also enjoyed and was good at. That lead to problem solving/analytical career choices and the rest is history. I still love writing and I retired from my engineering career at age 42.

And I'm so glad I avoided the trap of working for my father. That would have been hell.

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