…first, what would you do if you needed to make a parallel change in careers? Meaning, same industry, different role; like moving from waiter to cook in a restaurant. Second, what if you had to make a perpendicular jump and get out of your industry all together? Meaning, different industry, different role; like moving from rodeo clown to encyclopedia salesman.
The first question is actually a little tougher to answer, because the answer depends on what you consider to be “the same industry”. If we’re talking the web industry, I’d probably move to project coordination, since at this point I think I have a pretty good handle on all the technical pieces. If we’re talking the computer-programming/human-computer system industry, I’d love to get into virtual-scene modeling and CAVE systems. If we’re talking the general technology field, I would definitely love a chance to work in the field of self-organizing microsensor networks (I’ve written about that before).
Were I to switch fields entirely, I think I’d become a meteorologist; weather systems have long fascinated me, and I did consider that career path at one point in my life. Failing meteorology, it wouldn’t be much of a radical shift to be a climatologist, which seem a lot like being a meteorologist except in terms of the geographical and temporal scales of study. Besides, both fields do a lot of computer-based simulation, so my existing skills wouldn’t be completely useless.
I do have to admit that both are practical choices: they’re fields in which I could very likely get a job. Those would be in contrast to my absolute top choice, which is to be an astronaut. That was always my dream as a youngster. I can still hope that the orbital tourism industry will get up to speed just fast enough for me to make it up there before I’m too old to survive the trip… but reality has a way of squashing those sorts of dreams.
How about you? What would you do?