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

Ron Olsen

Active Member
Great thread; wow, what a bunch of interesting career paths!
I started out in the skiing business in New Hampshire after graduating from college there. Great fishing, tough skiing (will really teach you how to do it right on both counts) but very difficult to make a living. Figured that the hospitaility side of the recreation business was a little more consistent, and after a little more college retraining, was recruited of the WSU campus to a job with Westin Hotels in San Francisco.
A great city, and many wonderful days at Tahoe, Feather River, Truckee River and of course, Putah Creek! Transferred back to Seattle hometown with Westin in 1978. Lasted a few years but got sacked by the food and beverage manager. Uncovered a sceme that defrauded customers on banquet bar tabs. Duly reported it, only to find that the F&B manager was running the scheme! Open mouth, insurt gun. Did learn about service, and taking care of customers; the golden rule. Then there is the other golden rule, them with the gold rules, so:
Wanted to learn about finance, the real way things work and got a job at Rainier Bank. Found a nitch in banking munipalities, sort of a combinantion of investment banking, portfolio management, and cash management. Many mergers later, (and another sacking involving an antique shotgun...) am working for a community bank out of Cashmere, though continue to live in Kirkland. Sure wish they would open up the Wenatchee to C&R! Funny how things evolve. Don't really have to work too hard after 23 years of this, the business seems to find me. Never understimate the value of networks! And there is ample time to fish, ski, golf and bird hunt. Travels to municipalities covers most of the state at some point and there is always room for appropriate boy toys in the trusty Exploder. Hang in there, do what feels right, it probably is.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
I always wanted to be a graphic designer but fate had a different role in mind for me and I became a male prostitute. Old, young, big small, beautiful, plain - as a 'private dancer' I bone women every day for money.

' Oh yeah, tough job', I can hear you snicker . Yeah, the money's great but frankly I'm getting burned out. No one sees the real inner me, they don't look any deeper than my physical beauty and athletic bed skills. After all these years, it's just another boring, routine job. I'd really like to take some classes and get a real job in the computer industry . . .

"When you come to the fork in the road, take it." ~ Yogi Berra

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

Whatever you do, don't become a sole proprietor in the landscape maintenance business! I am currently running on empty with just a trickle of cash flow, as my clients don't really need alot done right now. A few of them have property under spruce trees, so I clean up their property at least once a month and go check after big storms. Business doesn't pick up until things start growing again.
About half of my clients are local retirees, the other half own vacation property here on the beach. They all seem to love my work, and i pick up all my new business from word-of-mouth referrals. This offsets the natural attrition rate due to elderly customers passing on from old age (been in the business for 12 years), or when someone sells their vacation property. I have worked as a cranberry farm laborer, concrete/construction casual laborer for contractor friends, cannery worker, and motel desk clerk to supplement this.
I started doing this so I could control my time so that I could go surfing, windsurfing, and fishing when I wanted. However, I am about as burnt out on it as one can get. I am overdue for a change. I can close my eyes and visualize each property in detail down to nearly each and every blade of grass. I don't surf or windsurf anymore, but i am free to go fishing when I really want to.
I don't owe anybody or the bank any money, and don't use consumer credit.
I did manage to earn a BBA in Economics and Quantitative Analysis from the U. of Hawaii, which helps me rip apart balance sheets, income and cash-flow statements when I am doing my techno/fundamental analysis for investment purposes. I swing-trade about 50% of my Roth IRA. Mainly use Technical Analysis, an arcane voodoo that trumps analyst opinion anyday. I concentrate on small-caps and micro-caps that are profitable and fast-growing. Sometimes I "bottom fish," but usually I hop on and ride the momentum up and bail when it runs out of steam.
I don't give out stock tips because things can change in an instant. You have to adhere to a good set of trading rules, or the pulsating blob of fear and greed that is the market will twist your head off the end of your neck-pipe, and cause you to make costly mistakes. Hope, greed, and fear will only kill you in the market. It is guerilla warfare with the devil, the REAL Darkside! I don't day trade, either. I'd quit it all, and just flyfish and travel if I could find me a Sugar Momma! (yeah, right!)


Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

Say, aaron, there's one thing I always wondered about occasional chairs. What are they the rest of the time?

Me, I'm a scuba diver for roto-rooter. It doesn't pay that well, but it least it's more creative than my previous job as a proof reader at the M&M factory. I'm just thankful I haven't had to live in the Seattle area since 1979.

Moclips Surf Club
Driven by Irrational Exuberance!
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

Occasionally, they're just a pile of wood. Hey, did you lose your job at the M&M factory because you threw out all the W's? ;-)

Happiness melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
Patrick: Bet your question has a lot of folks pondering their own situation.

I'm an attorney with a business and estate planning practice in Bellevue. About 5 years ago, I radically changed my practice from owning a full service lawfirm with multiple employees to running my own shop where I do everything except the bookkeeping. I changed because my kids were growing up without me. I don't make very much money-probably less than most of the folks who have responded-but I'm home when my girls get home from school, I get to volunteer at their drama and choir events and every once in a while, take a day for fishing.

Running a business has its own special headaches aside from the actual conduct of business. Most of those headaches revolve around personnel issues-finding, training and retaining good employees is the one consistent issue my clients wrestle with. If you are thinking of starting a business with employees, first assess your personnel management skills before taking the plunge.
I too am at a crossroads, I was in the army, then worked as a landscape foreman for a few years, but now am trying to get back into the military as a flight medic. As of now I'm livin' the dream boys, my wife works and I'm a stay at home... well, I just stay at home and fish! Hopefully all will come around in the end. As for what I enjoy doing,well, I enjoy helping others, which is why I'm going back as a medic. If I can help just one of our boys get home in one piece...:beer2 -D
I'm a geologist, MS, began in mineral exploration everywhere, good fishing in remote places, lots of wilderness stuff, lots of wonderful people and friends for years, lots of motels, lots of republican clients wanting rugged individualist employees (those you needn't pay) so I changed after 10 or so years to know my kids and quit getting stiffed by jerks. Now, environmental regulator, gummint check, pretty good schedule, I now discuss retirement benefits etc. and work in a cubie, so it really isn't satisfactory either but once in a while we get some work done. Too much conflict.

If you want a change and want to control things, be a lawyer. We all work for lawyers.

I fear no beer

Member formerly known as Mark
every consider nursing as a career? I've been an emergency room nurse for 18 years. Have many friends that are military nurses at madigan. It's a great job, good pay, and you still get to help people. Best of all, I get 7 days off every other week. (only work 3 days a week) and if you still want to fly, you can fly for outfits like airlift NW, I got the flying bug out of me already, so now I'm coasting down the road, enjoying my family and fishing when I can.

I fear no beer:beer2
Wow, Patrick, what a response you've gotten here! Not even an ethics post could generate this kind of interaction. ;)

I make my primary income as a freelance event marketer/event planner/media buyer. It's work that I do because I know how to do it, and it pays at a level that is acceptible, not because I'm passionate about it. It also allows me to work from home, and the flexibility for other pursuits which I'm actually passionate about.

My wife and I also got into real estate investments, in hopes that it would supplement our income and/or become my primary income and support Recycled Fish, but it has proven to be a money-loser so far.

My goal is to become the full-time Executive Director of Recycled Fish, because I believe it to be my "calling," and along those lines, I believe it will happen within the next two years.

My wife and I used to in the media, I worked in radio and she worked in TV. We never saw each other. We quit those jobs and did something very unconventional - we joined "mobile marketing" tours, a la the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. That was great for a couple of years. During our time in the media, what I took for granted was a steady paycheck. Now that I'm a freelancer/self-employed I have had to rely much more strongly on Faith that there would be income when I needed it, and that I'd be provided for. My needs have always been met, which has strengthened my faith. Company-provided benefits packages are nice, and appear especially nice when you don't have them. I don't know that I'd recommend the Independent Contractor/Freelancer route - it's a lot like you're still working for the company; you can't exactly be your own boss, yet you don't have the level of job security nor the benefits that you would if you were an employee.

Nobody ever said on his last days, "I wish I would have worked more," and I'm all for drawing on other people's wisdom. Pursuing a passion is certainly a noble pursuit, but must be weighed against the cons of insecurity. As for me, I'm embracing the insecurities right now.

Good luck, my friend. :thumb


You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.
After 26 years in aviation (6 of that at Boeing), I was due for a career change. My current position is a Salmon Habitat Restoration Technician. Love the new job:smokin


Indi "Ira" Jones
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

I teach 5th grade. I absolutely love my job and I don't care what other teachers say about pay, I feel generously compensated every time a child learns something due solely to my efforts. The intrinsic rewards combined with time off for good behavior, far outway the what some consider small monetary extrinsic motivation. Oh yeah, One week off in spring and two and half months off in summer sure don't hurt none neither.
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

I couldn't get into the military back then. Now it's too late. Everything else is a string of 2nd choices.
Did an undergrad in Genetics/Biochem:
Thought I was gonna be a physician. Then my grades said "no you're not"
Grad school? "nuhh uhh"
Respiratory Therapy? "no jobs, and lousy pay"
Somewhere in there I got married to a grad student PhD- Medical Genetics. I went back to construction to pay the bills. Then I got hit by a truck while walking across a crosswalk. Messed up my hip n back a bit.
Back to school - software this time around(network tech to start with) Lousy pay, wayyy too many hours, and I was truly in a Dilbert office. Engineers with short sleeved white dress shirts and bad ties. Mgmt only by seniority not merit.
Enough classes and yrs working later I FINALLY got a work visa to come to this great country and escaped the soviet of BC. Those of you born here in America need to see it from a LEGAL immigrant's perspective to truly appreciate just how good it is here.

Now I get underpaid to break software for a really big BORG software company in Redmond. Somedays it's easy, somedays it's brutal, but the days are always long.

I ain't exactly enthusiastic about my job,and I refuse to drink the purple koolaid, but it's my ticket to my green card. Other than my family that's all that matters for the next couple yrs. Once I have my green card I can actually think of doing something else. Right now, I am legally bound to doing ONLY what my work visa says. I can't even change my job title internally without throwing a delay into the process.

...and for anyone who has a problem with LEGAL immigration; I became an American the day I moved my family here. It will just take green card + 5 yrs to get a little piece of paper that says I'm a citizen.
( NFR ) Just curious what everyone does for a livin...

My turn, but it will take a sec. I spent 8 years in college gathering any number of semi worthless pieces of paper. Taught Sport Psychology and Sport Science at 4 Universities (even a stint in WY). Work as a Sport Psychology Consultant to World Class Athletes (didn't mean they paid their bills) and then spent the next 15 years in the environmental world. By some coincidence after a new president was elected and environmental clean-up was put on the back burner, I got downsized and unemployed for a year. Was offered a position as National Sales Manager (nice tittle, not much $$) by a small manufacturer and that's where I'm at today. I spend most of my free time coaching soccer and when I get a moment I'm fly-fishing.
You can't be sure were the road is going to lead when you take that first step. Mostly they are good ones, but make sure you make plans just incase there is too much shale.