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What career opportunity have YOU passed on?


A Quora user asked, “What were your career alternatives to the one you have today?” I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go back through my (really) old resumes and reminisce a bit. What job or career have you declined in favor of your current path?

I’m grateful to have had an awful lot of job opportunities throughout my life. At the same time I suffered a great deal of wanderlust until around my early 30s which means I’ve had quite a few jobs. I’ll get to the careers in a moment. First I want to start with all the jobs I’ve held for actual pay/wage/salary, versus things I’ve just dabbled in as a hobby, because frankly I don’t think I’ve ever put the complete list down on paper. Feel free to jump to the bottom if you’re only interested in the career alternative to what I do today (for the latest on my career visit me on LinkedIn).

OK, might have missed a few but let’s get back to the original question which was about careers not jobs. Given the above list I can confidently say that I’ve had a few of them! I’ve been a laborer, worked in operations, been a designer and programmer, done a bunch of technician jobs, owned or partnered in several companies – thus why I call myself “Wearer of One-Thousand Hats!”

What about that career alternative I left out?

In the Fall of 2003 I had the opportunity to go to the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. to participate in cyber war games with a group of my peers. Little did I know that what I thought was just a field trip was actually a candidate selection process. Long story short, I won the games and was offered an entry-level role with a three-letter agency. While the career alternative of cyber defense for the United States of America was pretty compelling, alas, I was more interested in starting a broader “generalist IT” & IT Management career so I ultimately declined.

I wouldn’t change a thing!

Original answer at What were your career alternatives to the one you have today?

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