I spent over 25 years of my life in jobs I wasn’t all that happy in, in an industry I had sworn as a child and teenager that I would never get involved in. It just kind of wound up that way.

Both my parents were medical professionals, as were two of my aunts, one of my uncles, and one of my great-grandfathers. I grew up bored to tears of hearing medical talk all the time at the dinner table and elsewhere, and from a very young age vowed I would do something else and never, ever work in the healthcare industry.

Then I got a part-time job at the local hospital when I was 16 years old. Later on, while going back to college repeatedly but never finishing, whenever I was out of school again I’d go to work in some other hospital or some other clinic.

Eventually I stayed in one job for over 14 years. They kept promoting me, and I just stayed and stayed.

And eventually more than 25 years passed and there I was, still in the same industry I’d vowed since childhood I’d never work in. The same industry I’d been bored to death with for literally as long as I could remember.

Not only that, but I had been living in a city I had been ready to leave for well over a decade at that point, and that I had mainly stayed in out of loyalty to my boss of 14+ years. When he finally semi-retired and went to work at the VA part-time, there wasn’t a place for myself nor my longtime co-worker, so I had to look for another job for the first time in over 14 years.

I wound up taking yet another job in the healthcare field, spending another four years there. Then, like many people, I suddenly found myself unemployed in the beginnings of the economy crunch in the USA.

So I basically spent close to 30 years of my life doing stuff I didn’t necessarily hate, but just was never all that crazy about. How boring does that sound?

While I was still in high school and considering what to do college-wise, my dad tried really hard to get me to consider majoring in business, and I thought I just wasn’t interested. Both my parents also kind of tried to get me to consider applying to one of the regional art colleges, and I just didn’t really think that sounded interesting at the time either.

Why did they push all that, instead of pushing me to follow in their footsteps in healthcare?

Because the majority of hours during my junior and senior years of high school had been spent in a marketing class, and my particular area of interest and expertise had been in (surprise!) advertising, and advertising design.

Matter of fact, at the competitive level, I even won regional and state awards one year in advertising, and went on to place fairly high at the national level that year.

So you would have thought it’d have been a no-brainer, that I’d go into business or advertising and marketing, or even design, when I went to college.

Instead I did something completely different in college, didn’t finish, and essentially spent almost 30 years of my life in an industry I felt negatively about nearly since birth, working at jobs that were “okay” for the most part, but wasn’t crazy about.

And now, ironically, 32 years after I took my first hospital job I was ambivalent about, here I am. Knee deep in advertising and online business, and even piddling in a little bit of design for myself personally.

And I enjoy what I do so much, and for hours and hours at a time all day most every day, that Brian has trouble tearing me away from the computer for very long.

Go see a band or go out for dinner? Really I’d rather just stay home and get some more work done, thanks. (Fortunately he is mostly permanently attached to his Xbox when he’s home, so it works out most of the time.)

Do I have any regrets about my college-related decisions to avoid business and advertising? Of course, absolutely. But then again, it’s probably good that I didn’t go that route.

Had I gone for a business degree, I suspect the likelihood of me having wound up in some corporate job I would have hated, or at the very least been as ambivalent about as I was about healthcare, probably would have been very high. And then I’d have been more or less in the same boat.

As one of my best friends has always said, everything happens for a reason. And sometimes the time is just right, and the right time for me just turned out to be now, these last seven years.

Now I get to do what I love, finally.  If it took decades of doing what I didn’t much care about to get here, so be it. Woulda been nice not to have to wait nearly three decades to get there, though.

I’ll have a followup post shortly that is sorta along these same lines, but with a somewhat different takeaway message. See you then and have a great week!

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