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sandeld


Jan 5, 2012, 9:28 AM
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Outdoor careers/career change...halp!
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I'm fairly new here still, mostly lurk and try to learn some things before I post a question or response. I suppose none of that matters, other than I'm not in any of the cliques on here that tend to develop in most message boards on the interwebz, so I'm hoping I can still get at least a couple of responses...

I'm only 28, and I have figured out that I chose the wrong path in life. Electrical engineering (for 90% of the companies out there) does not interest me anymore, other than the paycheck (which, currently, is massively below the industry standards, but still better than most).

I'm at the point now where I paid off all of my debt except a small student loan, and no longer rely on my paycheck just to make ends meet from month-to-month.

I really want to make a career change, and I really want it to be in the outdoor industry, preferably climbing related. Climbing is my true obsession (though, I'm nothing special at it; I just focus on getting better as fast as possible).

I know my strengths, I know my skills, and I know my wants. The problem is, getting anyone to take the time to listen to me and prove I could do the job, even if I don't have the formal education.

How do I go about meeting the right people? Convincing them to listen to me? I've been trying for the past year with very minimal results. Thanks for reading my sob story!

/emo


Allfred


Jan 5, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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If I were you, I'd just realize your job is what will allow you to do the shit you want. You are now an electrical-engineer-factory-worker. You design the electrons by day, like the welder lays down a bead. Then when the punch clock hits you get to go and do the stuff you want. Almost any job in the outdoor career is going to pay you a lot less.

Now after a few more years of your electron pushing factory work, you can save up enough money to quit the job, buy a crappy van, and drive to PANAMA! (Or you'll land a wife, have a few kids and keep at the factory job until...)

Maybe in the mean time it'd be best to just try to find a different EE job. Maybe with better pay to get you on the path to your van faster.


sandeld


Jan 5, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Re: [Allfred] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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I hear ya cluckin' big chicken, and I've tried thinking about it that way, but when you wake up every single day wanting something different, it's impossible to keep that mindset.

I've looked at job postings, talked to recruiters, interviewed for EE jobs that I didn't really want, and they all sound like a living nightmare. Right, a road construction worker sounds awesome. But, I'm not going to waste my talents doing something like that.

Thanks for the reply, and I look forward to my van! Don't think I need to worry about kids yet. My gf is a climber too, and would probably prefer to live out of a van so we could camp, climb, and mountaineer any time we'd like. Ha!


Allfred


Jan 5, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Have you been to the new VE in mpls? You got a review for me? How's it compare to St. Paul?


sandeld


Jan 5, 2012, 12:35 PM
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I live 2 mi from the Minneapolis gym. Needless to say, I spend most my time there nowadays.

The routes are twice as high in most of the gym. There are 3 bouldering areas that have a mix of difficulty ratings, unlike StP which has the beginner area and the advanced area (as I call them).

The variety of walls is amazing. They're still opening more.

Seems like there's not as many routes and that they're rated more difficult than they actually are, though they're getting better at it.

During peak hours, you will be waiting for routes. StP is usually dead now. I go there when I really want to climb as many routes as I can in a short amount of time, but with 60' walls, you obviously still get better endurance work at Mpls.

Anything else?


Partner happiegrrrl


Jan 5, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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This job listing, http://www.usajobs.gov/...02715000?share=email, for a Climbing Ranger in the Tetons, was posted on a thread on Supertopo recenlty (link:http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1710684/Climbing-Ranger-Job-in-Tetons).

That's one position - take a look and see if it is something you might be interested in. The qualifications needed are clearly stated. If you feel you're a match - then apply! If not, and that type of work still seems like what you're looking for.... think about how you will attain those skills.

That website lists plenty of jobs for rangers and other outdoors stuff. Take a look around and see what is out there, and how you either match up, or what you need to do to get there.

Another job board is http://OutdoorIndustryJobs.com This also includes private sector work, which might be an avenue you would prefer.

I don't know nothing about Electrical Engineering, but it might be possible that the education and skills you have may be cross-over skills which would qualify you for other work. For some people, it can be hard to imagine how their learned skills can fit into a seemingly unrelated filed - but....they can.


(This post was edited by happiegrrrl on Jan 5, 2012, 12:48 PM)


Allfred


Jan 5, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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Cool, I got to get there soon. Anyway I'll be snowboarding for the next few weekends. (If they will be able to make some snow after today and tomorrow.)


sandeld


Jan 5, 2012, 1:17 PM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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Happierrrl,

Thanks for the tips and links! I've been on outdoorindustryjobs.com and outdoorindustry.org for quite some time now. I'm mostly interested in the private sector with carryover skills, but am absolutely open to anything that fits!

The carryover stuff is where it's hard to get them to take the time to take me seriously. I was a perfect fit for a job with Black Diamond, but based on the time I submitted my info and the time I was rejected, they didn't get past "David Sandel - Electrical Engineer". (No, that's not my heading, but EE is the 1st thing listed after my contact info.)

Anyways, thanks again! I'll check out usajobs for sure!


Partner happiegrrrl


Jan 5, 2012, 2:05 PM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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Do you do any volunteer work in the outdoors - like trail work, or volunteer hikes at a local preserve. I think one could even., with some clever writing, portray doing first ascents as a community service...

When applying for jobs in outdoors industry, place "Volunteer" experience ahead of "Work" on the resume.

Think to yourself "Quelle Horreur - what WILL they think?"

What they will think, unless they are stuck in a rut, is that you are a smart person who gives back to the community, knows their formal education is creating an obstacle to their career changing efforts and that they have suddenly developed an intrique to see just who this maverick personality is; this one who DARES believe volunteering at the local climbing area is more important that what they did for money in their workaday world.


Of course - this will only be well pulled off if your resume is impeccably written from a professional standpoint. If you do not know - beyond the shadow of a doubt - that your resume could get you an in at the top place in your (EE) field, then get it there before attempting to boldy go where no office drone has gone before, resume-wise.


Gmburns2000


Jan 6, 2012, 4:55 AM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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sandeld wrote:
I'm fairly new here still, mostly lurk and try to learn some things before I post a question or response. I suppose none of that matters, other than I'm not in any of the cliques on here that tend to develop in most message boards on the interwebz, so I'm hoping I can still get at least a couple of responses...

I'm only 28, and I have figured out that I chose the wrong path in life. Electrical engineering (for 90% of the companies out there) does not interest me anymore, other than the paycheck (which, currently, is massively below the industry standards, but still better than most).

I'm at the point now where I paid off all of my debt except a small student loan, and no longer rely on my paycheck just to make ends meet from month-to-month.

I really want to make a career change, and I really want it to be in the outdoor industry, preferably climbing related. Climbing is my true obsession (though, I'm nothing special at it; I just focus on getting better as fast as possible).

I know my strengths, I know my skills, and I know my wants. The problem is, getting anyone to take the time to listen to me and prove I could do the job, even if I don't have the formal education.

How do I go about meeting the right people? Convincing them to listen to me? I've been trying for the past year with very minimal results. Thanks for reading my sob story!

/emo

I was in a position similar to yours a few years ago (though I still have mounds of student loan debt). I saved up as much money as I could for about 18 months and then left my job. I moved to a place where it was cheaper to live (Chile) and eventually moved on to Brasil. I'm now teaching English primarily for income and doing damn well at it. And, oh yeah, I'm WAY happier than I have ever been.

The point: if you can stick it out for another year or so, there are plenty of opportunities to throw yourself into the wind to see where you end up. So far it's worked for me, albeit not without some complications (nothing is perfect).


meatbomz


Jan 6, 2012, 9:24 AM
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Re: [sandeld] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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sandeld wrote:
I'm fairly new here still, mostly lurk and try to learn some things before I post a question or response. I suppose none of that matters, other than I'm not in any of the cliques on here that tend to develop in most message boards on the interwebz, so I'm hoping I can still get at least a couple of responses...

I'm only 28, and I have figured out that I chose the wrong path in life. Electrical engineering (for 90% of the companies out there) does not interest me anymore, other than the paycheck (which, currently, is massively below the industry standards, but still better than most).

I'm at the point now where I paid off all of my debt except a small student loan, and no longer rely on my paycheck just to make ends meet from month-to-month.

I really want to make a career change, and I really want it to be in the outdoor industry, preferably climbing related. Climbing is my true obsession (though, I'm nothing special at it; I just focus on getting better as fast as possible).

I know my strengths, I know my skills, and I know my wants. The problem is, getting anyone to take the time to listen to me and prove I could do the job, even if I don't have the formal education.

How do I go about meeting the right people? Convincing them to listen to me? I've been trying for the past year with very minimal results. Thanks for reading my sob story!

/emo

There are a bunch of guys who lead the semi-nomadic life of being riggers in Vegas when the SW is in an guides in the Valley when it isn't. I would think as an EE you would be uniquely qualified to figure out something that combined EE and climbing skills. I have climbing friends who are window washers, riggers, arborists, etc. I saw a video recently linked to from somewhere about a climber who worked on radio towers or something for his day job. Surely you can come up with something where the combination of EE and love of climbing would offer you the ability to make a living while still providing the flexibility to go on climbing road trips.


granite_grrl


Jan 10, 2012, 7:18 PM
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sandeld wrote:
I hear ya cluckin' big chicken, and I've tried thinking about it that way, but when you wake up every single day wanting something different, it's impossible to keep that mindset.

I've looked at job postings, talked to recruiters, interviewed for EE jobs that I didn't really want, and they all sound like a living nightmare. Right, a road construction worker sounds awesome. But, I'm not going to waste my talents doing something like that.

Thanks for the reply, and I look forward to my van! Don't think I need to worry about kids yet. My gf is a climber too, and would probably prefer to live out of a van so we could camp, climb, and mountaineer any time we'd like. Ha!

Oh yeah, I'm sure it would be a blast!

What I have learned in my years as an EE working at quite a few different jobs over the past few years because of the bumpy economy is that the grass is always greener. I really don't think that I'm going to be truly happy in an job. What I want to do is NOT work at all and just travel and climb. You know what's going to get me there? A well paying EE job and being smart with my cash.


sandeld


Jan 11, 2012, 8:17 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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When I look back to my highschool and college summer jobs, I enjoyed myself much more building houses and pouring concrete. So, road construction does sound fun. But again, a waste of talent.

Also, I don't know what you make as an EE, but I sure as hell am not making enough to one day quit and travel.


granite_grrl


Jan 11, 2012, 2:23 PM
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sandeld wrote:
When I look back to my highschool and college summer jobs, I enjoyed myself much more building houses and pouring concrete. So, road construction does sound fun. But again, a waste of talent.

Also, I don't know what you make as an EE, but I sure as hell am not making enough to one day quit and travel.

Yes, you are making enough money, but like 90% of the population out there you don't know how to save your money.


sandeld


Jan 11, 2012, 2:33 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:

Yes, you are making enough money, but like 90% of the population out there you don't know how to save your money.

Weird, I don't remember showing you my finances so I'm not sure how you would have any right to say that.


granite_grrl


Jan 11, 2012, 2:47 PM
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sandeld wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:

Yes, you are making enough money, but like 90% of the population out there you don't know how to save your money.

Weird, I don't remember showing you my finances so I'm not sure how you would have any right to say that.

I was just going by the amount of time I've been laid off in the past three years and you've held a full time job. I was collecting unemployment and probably still comming out ahead of you.


sandeld


Jan 11, 2012, 2:55 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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You're making some hugely illogical assumptions. Especially since I've given a brief snapshot being debt-free sans a small student loan, but go on with your bad self. I must be more underpaid than previously thought if I can't keep up with unemployment.


caughtinside


Jan 11, 2012, 3:53 PM
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Not that illogical. You say you can't afford to quit and travel. Ergo... you either have no savings or you don't know how to travel on the cheap.

But you are debt free and employed for the moment. Use this time to bank cash and figure it out, and maybe also explore a career change.


sandeld


Jan 12, 2012, 7:11 AM
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caughtinside wrote:
Use this time to bank cash and figure it out, and maybe also explore a career change.

Ha! Thanks! Did you read the title of this post or my original post?


caughtinside


Jan 12, 2012, 9:14 AM
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sandeld wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
Use this time to bank cash and figure it out, and maybe also explore a career change.

Ha! Thanks! Did you read the title of this post or my original post?

I can't remember... I made the mistake of clicking on the link you have in your signature and I'm sorry to say I was overwhelmed by the douchiness.

Maybe you should just stick to the weight room with the rest of the meatheads?


sandeld


Jan 12, 2012, 9:19 AM
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Why?


Allfred


Jan 12, 2012, 10:09 AM
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sandeld wrote:
But, I'm not going to waste my talents doing something like that.

sandeld wrote:
But again, a waste of talent.

Whose opinion are you trying to live up to? Sounds to me like you're scared to do something that you might like because you're afraid of what somebody might think.


sandeld


Jan 12, 2012, 10:20 AM
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You know, like Christopher Langan, but with a lower IQ. :-p


carabiner96


Jan 12, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Re: [caughtinside] Outdoor careers/career change...halp! [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
sandeld wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
Use this time to bank cash and figure it out, and maybe also explore a career change.

Ha! Thanks! Did you read the title of this post or my original post?

I can't remember... I made the mistake of clicking on the link you have in your signature and I'm sorry to say I was overwhelmed by the douchiness.

Maybe you should just stick to the weight room with the rest of the meatheads?
Yuck, I would never have clicked on that link unless you had said that. Give me a minute to clean up the vomit...


Partner macherry


Jan 12, 2012, 6:26 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
sandeld wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
Use this time to bank cash and figure it out, and maybe also explore a career change.

Ha! Thanks! Did you read the title of this post or my original post?

I can't remember... I made the mistake of clicking on the link you have in your signature and I'm sorry to say I was overwhelmed by the douchiness.

Maybe you should just stick to the weight room with the rest of the meatheads?


NO EXCUSES NO BULLSHIT!!!

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