Career advice for a 25 year old

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Egg
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Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:59 am

Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Egg » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:44 pm

Shamelessly ripping off Noided's thread because you're all such a bunch of wise owls

-25 years old
-Undergrad in Theology (2.i) from Cambridge (Mickey Mouse degree from a well-respected uni)
-Four years as military officer but now being medically discharged so no further opportunity there
-Decent at French
-Accredited but totally inexperienced project and programme manager

I just turned down the opportunity to train as a government accountant, possibly foolishly, in favour of an offer to do government policy work. Why? Because I believe I am more of a big picture thinker and that my attention to detail would be insufficient to do very well at audit work, and it also strikes me as repetitive work. I could just roll with the policy job - it's effectively a fast track scheme so there's progression, but we're not talking about the big bucks. It starts at £27k/annum and the expectation is that after the four years of this scheme you earn £45k, which is only a little more than I'm on now. Certainly not the end of the world - that's about as good as it gets in the public sector - but I do have ERE aspirations which would be better served by a better paid private sector job.

I do take a big interest in the economy, and investment, and it has occurred to me that something in finance would be a good alignment with my natural interests, whilst offering good earning prospects. I also lived in Switzerland for a bit and would ideally like to move back there in future for a few years, and feel that banking could be portable for that particular move. I don't really know what aspect, though. I'd describe myself as 65% nerd/35% people person if that helps. I appreciate it is hard to advise someone that doesn't really have much of an idea themselves of what they want to do, but any pointers?

Dragline
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Dragline » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:58 pm

Specifically, no. But from a practical standpoint, I don't think you will find the answer through research and theorizing, but only through trial-and-error.

So head down the first path that seems reasonably decent, but give yourself permission to change or reverse course after a year or few.

chenda
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by chenda » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:09 pm

I would suggest the salaries you mention for the policy job are good to excellent in the current climate, for either public or private.

I'm guessing its in Whitehall rather than the regions ?

BRUTE
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by BRUTE » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:23 pm

brute has no concrete advice, but thinks that 4 years as a military officer gives Egg a bunch of experience in "project" management. so if he wanted to go in this direction, the lack of direct no the job experience might not be a problem if Egg sells it right.

The Old Man
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by The Old Man » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:59 am

Egg wrote:-Four years as military officer but now being medically discharged...
Medically discharged sounds serious. What is your disability?

Egg
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:59 am

Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Egg » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:08 am

Dragline wrote:Specifically, no. But from a practical standpoint, I don't think you will find the answer through research and theorizing, but only through trial-and-error.

So head down the first path that seems reasonably decent, but give yourself permission to change or reverse course after a year or few.
Fair comment. I will probably go with the civil service option as it does seem reasonably decent to me. I do feel at 25 though that I'm not as young as was when I started my first career, and there is a certain part of me that's a bit tense about not wanting too many misfires.
BRUTE wrote:brute has no concrete advice, but thinks that 4 years as a military officer gives Egg a bunch of experience in "project" management. so if he wanted to go in this direction, the lack of direct no the job experience might not be a problem if Egg sells it right.
Egg thanks brute for his vote of project management confidence ;) You may be right there - I did get offered a consultancy gig with KPMG last year, which would have involved a degree of project management.
General Snoopy wrote:Medically discharged sounds serious. What is your disability?
It's not that serious. I'd rather not be too specific if you don't mind, but it's not something that prevents me from doing almost any civilian job.
chenda wrote:I would suggest the salaries you mention for the policy job are good to excellent in the current climate, for either public or private.

I'm guessing its in Whitehall rather than the regions ?
You're totally right. Reading back, I realise I probably expect too high a salary for what my actual skills are, having become used to earning £40k+ for a job which doesn't necessarily deserve that much money. It would be Whitehall, yeah. I don't think civil servants get a massive amount of latitude, but one of the potential upsides is that it scores higher for effective altruism potential than most private sector jobs I could get into.

chenda
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by chenda » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:36 am

A lot of my university friends have ended up in Whitehall policy jobs, it seems to have been largely insulated from austerity. They seem to like it and employment conditions seem good, fwiw. I'd probably consider some kind of role there out of interest, if the right opportunity came up.

Augustus
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Augustus » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:43 pm

I am not a management oriented person, and prefer to technical, so this is a bit outside my wheelhouse. You seem to be trying to find your bearings, so here is some general advice.

Good skilled labor is hard to find, be it project management or any other type of skilled labor. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure you're in the hard to find good skilled labor pool, and make sure the industry has good prospects for the next decade or two as well as you can. I've known many generic managers who got left out in the cold because they chose an unskilled "manager" position in a small industry.

Similar to the first, look for career paths with high barriers to entry. If any idiot with a basket weaving degree can do it, or if there are too many people and the market does not find them valuable, be wary. Lately I have been trying to hone in on work that uses software that costs a lot, is difficult to learn, and is widely used by large enterprises. These jobs all pay well, and there is often desperate demand to fill the positions.

Just be careful that you don't pigeonhole yourself to a particular region or area, something that I think may be common in policy jobs. A friend of mine is a PhD in atmospheric something or other, but can only find jobs in 5 cities worldwide.

FBeyer
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by FBeyer » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:27 am

Augustus wrote:...Lately I have been trying to hone in on work that uses software that costs a lot, is difficult to learn, and is widely used by large enterprises...
Working with SAS?

BRUTE
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by BRUTE » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:51 am

Augustus wrote:If any idiot with a basket weaving degree can do it, or if there are too many people and the market does not find them valuable, be wary.
brute thinks this is as important as the barriers of entry. there are tons of fields that are extremely difficult (say, a PhD in Chemistry or Physics) but that pay very badly and are completely messed up career-wise. if nobody actually hires PhDs, the difficulty doesn't mean anything.

Augustus
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Augustus » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:22 pm

@FBeyer: ERP systems lately, anyone who can afford a multimillion dollar ERP investment has the money and the motivation to hire expensive labor to see that said system does not blow up down the line.

@BRUTE: Agreed, and the main reason I put that caveat in there. I have seen many people suffering ecoomically because they didn't follow any or all of the "rules" I outlined. That said, there are exceptions to the rules, such as starting your own business, or being great at politics. If you can get your hands into the public coffers, the sky is the limit.
Topping the list was $9.6 million in handouts to the Drexel College of Medicine in Pennsylvania over the past 30 years to inject LSD into the brains of rabbits to determine whether the drug caused the rabbits to blink more frequently.


I'd gladly take a 100k/yr salary to inject LSD into rabbits and observe their blinking habits. I chose poorly :(

poleo
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by poleo » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:03 pm

How about cooking, carpentry, masonry, farming, electrics, driving or the like? Stable income, easy to develop into many other things, can work most anywhere, and can have free time to pursue the exigencies of the mind.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Career advice for a 25 year old

Post by Stahlmann » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:38 am

Do we have other experts in carrer advice willing to cooperate in more private manner?
More EU based?

If yes, PM me.

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