T Nation

Worried About Career Path


Because I like these forums so much and can always count on a very diverse group of responses, I figured what better place to ask a question than T-Nation?

Here's the deal...

Since being medically disqualified for military service back in 2008 (I never served, but attempted enlisting when I graduated that year) I've held several different jobs. None of which I have enjoyed, with the small exception of my current job.

I've been a grocery store clerk (Who honestly likes that job as a young adult?), a plumber's apprentice, a hotel employee (Worst. Job. Ever.), and am now currently an IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) technician. IAQ isn't too bad if you like small, dark spaces with poor ventilation and don't mind being covered in dirt or grease all the time. IAQ and plumbing have been with the same company for any who care to know all the details...

I've had an odd relationship with the company I work for. Over the past 3 years I've been on and off with them because of being laid off several times and attempting to try my hand at other careers. After I got laid off the first time I got a job at a grocery store and jumped at the chance to go back to plumbing. During my time as a grocery clerk I had been looking into moving to Florida (I live in Vermont) to go to one of those motorcycle schools to work on bikes. Needless to say that didn't work out, so I stuck with plumbing until, you guessed it, work slows down, Hodgie gets laid off. That's when I worked at a hotel for a few months. That was a living hell and never again will I work in a hotel. After that I finally got rehired yet again and I've been working here ever since. Between being a hotel clerk and getting my old job back, I looked into going to school for a Criminal Justice degree.

Back before I graduated high school I wanted to be a cop. The military was supposed to take the place of schooling, but that didn't work out. (Plus as I became more oriented toward enlisting, I set my eyes on a 20 year career serving my country) After being disqualified and having to move back to one of the most boring states on the East Coast, I became a plumbing apprentice. Then the lay offs and different jobs happened and I started looking at Law Enforcement again. One stipulation I have with being a leo here is that it's so damn boring. Nothing ever happens in Vermont, so I'm thinking I'd want to do more than just be a regular old cop. Lately I've been thinking something like Border Patrol or U.S. Marshal Service.

Here's the thing, though. I just had a meeting with my bosses a few weeks ago to decide what we want to do about me working there. I dropped out of the plumbing apprenticeship because I hate plumbing. Yeah, it's a halfway decent job (if you like playing with shit and other smelly organic matter), but it's not for me. I've been duct cleaning for about 4 months now, and I kind of like it, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life working crappy construction jobs. The problem with college, for me at least, is that I hate school. I love to learn, but I hate being forced to learn or do things that I don't see as being necessary to further my experience in a particular subject.

I guess the problem I'm having is deciding what to do now that I've told my bosses that I want to further my position as a duct cleaner and that they can invest the time and money into me. I'm not so worried about the CEO as I am my foreman. Screw the CEO. She's got more money than I ever will and is too cheap to give me a decent pay grade, so fuck her. My foreman is a pretty decent guy though, so I really don't wanna screw him over by just up and quitting.

I don't want to burn the bridge prematurely and I cringe at the idea of taking out student loans without knowing that I'll get the job I want after graduation.

What are everyone elses thoughts on the matter?

Oh and I apologize for the sporadic way I've written this post. It wasn't easy to do without making it the size of a novel.


Decide what you want to take in college/uni, and then do alot of prestudy. That way the classes shouldn't bother you as much(hopefully).


If you don't like shitty blue collar jobs, then you need to go to college. Spend that time earning credits and figuring out what you want to do. When you're done, make it happen.

If not, go work blue collar jobs and make money, but resign yourself to the fact that that's what you'll be doing, every day, for the rest of your life. You may start your own business, make a lot of money, etc., but it will be in that field.

Stop bouncing around, find a focus, and go with it.


I don't see how you have a problem you seem very experienced. Just become a cop because It sounds like it is what you want to do.