( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a living??

I do social science research at WSU Spokane primarily around children and violence. It is engaging and rewarding work. I am also a mental health counselor, but don't do a lot of that any more. Couldn't be happier!

Perhaps my best advice would be to keep an open mind. If it piques you curiosity, take a look at it. It is easy sometimes to say, "I could never do that." But you never know until you try. Don't be afraid to venture outside of your area of expertise or comfort. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The world is so full of a number of things, I think we should all be happy as kings!" And, of course, always heed the words of the legendary Yogi Berra, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Patrick -
Great question, I'm sure a lot of people have thought of/done the same thing. I work for a nation-wide general contractor doing construction management. While I grew up in and went to college in Washington, I'm now down in the Bay Area counting the days until I can get back permanently. I still have great passion for construction and recommend it to anyone with an interest in it, so no career change for me yet, although I wouldn't rule it out down the road if something changes. Unfortunately, however, the hours are sometimes long, like a lot of jobs out there and it makes getting time in to fish very difficult. I suppose it just depends on where you're at in your life and what works best for you.
i think this i a great and never ending question. we should and probably all do question what we do. as for me i am a recruiter (last 4 years) and love it. my area of expertise is sales people, those folks are always wondering what and why they do what they do. today i work 40 hours a week and have fly fished 60 days a year since i started. however i dont say this is a good career choice since it appears that only about 1 in 20 last longer than 3 months. good luck finding your choice.
International man of mystery.....}(

Actually I work in Corporate Finance for a Seattle-based stock broker...I enjoy what I do and the benefits associated with the job. Would like to spend more time on the water but at this stage in my life, I'll sacrifice that for the paycheck. Hey Skinny, I'm originally from Australia and I can tell you we work just as hard out there as here in terms of hours/week, at least from what I saw. Europe on the other hand is very different, except London, another location where 14 hour days are common.

I'm currently in grad school but I was a NOAA salmon biologist in Seattle for three years and plan to continue in Fed fisheries work when I'm done. I loved being on the front lines of salmon science in Seattle and the schedule was great, but I'm back in school now because a GS-7 biologist can't buy a house in Seattle. I have no idea where I'll get work when I'm done (could be anywhere from Seattle to Ireland) and I have another 4-5 years of school ahead of me . . . which is all part of the adventure. A PhD in fisheries/fish ecology can get work worldwide.

Patrick - I started out working in fisheries management during and then after college. Became idealistic after a couple of years and then gave that up in favor of managing a health club (OK - it's a stretch but there are some similarities LOL). After 9 years at the health club, I tested for and joined the Fire Dept (at the ripe old age of 33) where I've been for the past 12+ years. Currently I have an administrative position by choice because the schedule (4-10s)allows me a three day weekend to spend time with my family and to fish at a fairly regular interval.

Bottom line = Given a choice, I would either 1)work at a job I love or 2) work at a job that allows me to do the things I love to do. Right now I get 99% of option #2 fulfilled and also manage to still enjoy the work I do.

If you feel stumped about what to do or what direction you should head, try visualizing where you would like to see yourself in 10, 20, or 30 years and what it will take to get you there. Keep in mind, some people who focus on the goal, forget to live for the present. How will family, fishing, etc fit into your life while you reach for your goal?

Sorry for the long-winded reply. I just hate to see someone go through the kind of change you are planning to go through without really being sure of the next step. That's what I did when I went to the health club. It was a good experience but looking back if I had really thought about it, I would have skipped that experience completely and gone right to where I am now.

Best of luck and let us know if you need help getting to where you want to be. We seem to be a pretty diverse lot and someone should be able to help steer you towards your goal.:thumb


Another Flyfisherman
I draw a camouflaged pay check. There are many Pros and Cons. Sometimes more Cons than Pros, but it aint a bad living.

Allthough, I am considering changing careers as well since I dig washington. I might just have to stick around here for a little while.....or until there are NO more rivers with steelhead in them and/or I am no longer allowed by law to pursue them with a fly.
I am a computer bum. I sit in my cubicle for 8 hours a day and drive 2 hours a day to sit in my cube.

Work as an AutoCAD drafter for a consulting engineering firm.

Started out wanting to be a Landscape Architect, but didn't want to be in school for 6 years.

Still not sure if this is where I want to be until I retire.


Old Man

Just an Old Man
Well I guess you could say I have the best job in the world but the pay really sucks,benefits also suck,and can just about fish any day I want to. Being retired has its perks.:D

( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

I was in the Navy for 7 years and was a Jet engine mechanic, Anti-submarine warfare operator and Search and rescue, then I went to work for Boeing for a few years and did Structual Mechanics for the 747-400 program in Everett. then I went back to school for information Technology(to get more money)and now I am an Applications Consultant for US bank(yuck!) and speaking from someone who knows I have made a little and I have made alot! and If I could back to making a little to get some of my life back I would do it ! I was just thinking about maybe looking into being a postman. ! LOL:smokin :smokin


Active Member
U-Dub dropout that managed to return after over 10 years and earn two BA's by working as a Merchant Seaman. Sadly, though maybe not so sadly, I'm still working on the ships. After dropping out back in the early 80's, I started working for NOAA on their ships. After 5 years, I quit to join a maritime union. That allowed me to return to school, starting back at Seattle Central and then transferring to the U-Dub. I graduated with the Class of 2000 with degrees in Teaching English and Comparative History of Ideas. I've since switched to another maritime union, the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, and am very happy with that move. It's very comforting to be with an organization that isn't corrupt--especially in these times. I'm still hoping to score a job on one of those ships at Diego Garcia that my union is contracted to. That island has quite the bonefish population, and I've still to string my 8wt with the tropical flyline I got from Wildram007.

As far as recommendations about the job, I'd have to say that it isn't for everyone. The travelling by ship is pretty cool, though the airport scene sucks whenever I have to fly out to a job. The work can be quite dangerous, but people learn to look out for the other person's back. The work can also be rather strenuous, but one gets used to it. The pay is neither a lot nor a pittance. It always seems to be enough--thank God! Meanwhile, it does give me a lot of free time to fish when I'm at home, outside of the obligations of home and family. At the same time, there never seems to be enough time for everything (why is that?). If you are married, have children, or otherwise tied to a needy person, this is not the line of work for you. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be with a woman is independent when I am gone and very loving and understanding when I'm home.

In the end, if you were to ask me in person about my job and the pros and cons, I probably just say, "It's alright, but it ain't what it's all cracked up to be."
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

I'm a grad student. No money in it, obviously, but the schedule can be flexible. It just depends on your personal priorities and how much your advisor is bugging you :+ Not exactly sure what opportunities I will have when the time comes, so I may be asking everyone this question again later!

What a great topic!! :beer2
Architect. It's not all about fancy designs and high pay. I spend my time writing memos, marketing, and putting out fires. Most of the day is spent in front of a computer which allows me to follow this site and wish I could take a day off to fish.

Lots of schooling and low initial pay. For me it is rewarding because we design affordable housing and it pays well enough to have my wife work part-time and stay home with the kids.


Mike Brady lived in a house designed for 9 people that had only three bedrooms, and Alice lived in the laundry room.
One of life's greatest questions....

Personally, I'm in outside sales for an enterprise software company out of San Jose. I too, wrestle with what the hell am I doing almost every three months. (must be quarter end!)

But, the pay is good, when I work hard I'm able to award myself with some time off to hit the rivers and most importantly I get to hang out with my daughter and wife.

Find something you enjoy, pour yourself into it, make a ton of dough................and then call me and I'll come work for you!

good luck man :thumb