I’m not sure if anyone really chooses a career in their life. It looks like that the Fate influences the decisions that we make in our life. This Force changes your life from one job to another until you are retired and look back on your life thinking: “What if…?”
I think I have to start the essay on “My Career” with me in my teen years, because my life has changed directions several times since then. Originally, I had my heart set on a football career. I was really good at it, playing both offensive and defensive positions. Unfortunately, the Fate that changed my career included a tractor on my Uncle’s farm one summer in my junior year. The tractor won and I lost flexibility of my knee for about 3 years. Needless to say my career was over. A few years later I entered college and found a desire to become an oceanographer. I have always lived near the water and was interested in the ocean, the life under it, and the secrets it holded. As far as I remember, the Fate that ended this career was my own failure in following some strict study habits. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute informed me that they accepted only 3.0 grade point average and above. Another Fate at this time was the Vietnam War. I ended up entering the Navy and was sure that I had found the career of my lifetime.
I had finally found a career where I excelled. I was happy, enjoyed the professionalism, the freedom and authority that I possessed. This new career fit well with my character and what I wanted to do with my life. I trained people, helped them, watched them succeed and grow.
What more could I ask for, the military had a certain form of excitement not shared by any other profession in the world. The places I traveled if duplicated would take a lifetime of trying, the experience, the honor of serving my country, all with an adequate wage scale. The outside forces that ended this career path in the Navy would fill a volume. To keep this long story in perspective and within the confines of this assignment, it is easier to conclude that the Navy became a job and not an adventure. Three crashes, a divorce, and plethora of other smaller forces led to the decision to retire prematurely from the military and return to my home in Syracuse, New York where my family was.
My family, the knowledge of the area, the need for some family psychological support led me back to Syracuse. After a few months of needed rest, I ventured into the job market, interviewed at a few places that either said I was over qualified or not qualified enough. I finally fell back on my electronics background and selected a position with a local Security Company repairing their systems, and installing them. During my interview process the interviewer indicated that my abilities would fit better with as a customer service representative or manager. They also held the carrot in front of me and said that when the positions became available they would call on me to fill one of them. A year passed with no advancement, no benefits, and no calls from the front office for these better jobs. I found myself looking for a better position in life. Still within the industry I selected a larger firm with benefits, higher rate of pay, and with the still promised positions of customer service or management. With this company they kept their word and called on me to fill a customer service position with in the first year there. My career in Security was starting in fashion and with a renewed sense of worth I excelled. I met their challenge and exceeded their expectations finishing what they had asked me to do in a record time frame but what where they going to do with me. The only logical solution they saw was to offer me a position as a sales representative. About five years later and with scores of achievements, I was called on to advance and offered a challenge with the position of Commercial Sales Manager. For five additional years with this organization I exceeded their requirements and Corporate goals. I trained my sales teams, teaching them the ways of selling, the products and the secrets of success. They met their goals both professionally and financially. My goals it seems for a time were beginning to falter with this organization. The outside forces were again at work in my life. The company looking at downsizing, the pay cuts and organizational changes had taken their toll. So eventually to satisfy my basic needs I looked for a position that offered more financial rewards to fulfill my obligation to my family.
My fifth career began and ended in a blink of an eye compared to the cosmic evolution that had led me to this time and space. I left the Security industry to find my fame and fortune in the emerging telecommunications industry. The challenges of a new career, industry and position offered an exciting beginning at first. I found myself excelling despite the lingering feeling of being trapped in a no win situation. After six months of dealing with the feelings with a job that paid well but lacked the personal challenges that I needed, I went back to the Security and Fire Alarm Industry. Those amazing forces were at work again. They were not from outside this time, but from within. I presently am in the second year of my sixth career. Employed at Simplex Time Recorder Co, Inc. I am responsible for the procurement, design and final presentation of fire and security systems to medium to large industrial type accounts. I also design for and develop Electrical Engineers to increase our market share in new construction applications. In addition to the product lines of Fire and Security I am responsible to provide design and selling of Access Control Systems, CCTV systems, Time Clock, Intercom, Phone and Integrated Systems Applications. Overall my position as I see it, is to help people to protect the property and personnel. I enjoy the thrill of seeking a client, designing a system that meets their needs both physically and financially and finally selling them on the idea. The opportunities within my profession are endless. Every business needs one form or another of what I have to offer. For Example, School systems need Fire alarms, Security, Intercom, Time Clocks. We provide other products to the School Systems because of the current affairs regarding the changing teen scene. CCTV, to watch perimeter grounds and building management systems with Access Control Systems to know who is in the building. To get to this level of selling, education and training contribute in a large part to my success factor. The education involves a lot of time and effort. Technical data on the various product lines consumes a large portion of your day to day job. Federal, State and Local Municipality construction codes need must be adhered to even put the pieces together correctly. My training in sales has involved hundreds of hours. Classes, seminars and self improvement tapes, along with many years of on the job training to get to the level of expertise that I now have. Then, once you have the clients’ interest in the project, and sold it, then you have paperwork so that the equipment can be ordered. Then you have the responsibility of project managing the job. This function of my career is very time consuming. I need to ensure that the proper equipment is ordered and in a time efficient manner delivered to the job site for the contractor to install. The contractor needs some technical assistance to ensure they know how to wire it, that they run the correct cable to meet our needs and that they are professional. Why would I need this for a customer that I just sold already? References for future projects and additional sales are the answer. Currently, I am tracking twenty jobs in progress and about three million in presented quotations that are in one phase or another in their progression to become sales. Which of course means, money in my pocket.
I have a salary of around $50K in addition to commissions that range between 4% to 12% of the equipment sold. The company offers health, dental and life insurance at a reduced rate. Simplex offers tuition assistance, expenses, car allowance, EAP, 401K, retirement programs, and a good working environment. I again find myself in the position of being promised with the carrot of a management position. This career I can see lasting between an additional 6-8 months waiting for their promise to fulfill itself. If not, I am sure that I will again look for another career. For another company within my industry or one outside that will utilize my leadership, training and organizational skills to help increase their market share and bottom line. Of course, my only requirement from them is a good compensation package.
The Readers Digest version of my careers in only a few pages. The final chapter is not written yet and is still to come. Check for it in your grocery stores. I enjoy helping people, training them to realize their dreams and successes. However, there is a price for this knowledge. Paid to support my family in a life style that they feel is comfortable. I guess that as I have gotten older, my need for speed, excitement, and adventure as a driving force within my career has been replaced. My outside driving force is my family, my need to help them survive. My career rewards themselves spent on my family’s education, marriages, and for my own retirement with my spouse. Am I happy with my own life and with the career paths I have been fortunate to see and succeed with? Yes! Would I do anything differently? Yes! If I did, would I be blessed with the wife and children that I presently have? I do not know. I do know that my career has been my life, the people I have helped along the way. My payment has been small, with the survival of my family. This fact I would not change for anything. Fate has been a mystical force in my life, and I thank it.