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Author Topic: Geek Jobs for the Rest of Us
CrimsonDomingo
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Icon 1 posted October 14, 2009 14:25      Profile for CrimsonDomingo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know if this is the right thread for this, but I'm trying to come up with a list of geek jobs, and not the awesome dream jobs like game tester, comic artist, and IT guy for Google, but ones that are easier to get involved in. Jobs for the rest of us.

Anyone?

Posts: 1 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted October 14, 2009 15:01      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Game Tester isn't actually the dream job people imagine it to be. It actually sucks pretty badly, but it's not that hard to get into as long as you're willing to accept low pay, ridiculous hours and lots of stress. It's mostly a dead-end job, however, as the skills needed to play a game and find bugs generally don't apply to any other aspect of creating games. You can make contacts in a company this way, but you'll have to prove your worth some other way in order to have a chance at a job.

Comic artist is also easy to get into. Getting paid enough to live on, however, tends to be a bit more difficult.

Technical support is one of the easiest jobs to become involved in. Outsourced call centers have a higher turnover rate than fast food places (and for good reason). If you're talented and can impress people, it's possible to get promoted, but most people who work in call centers find that it becomes a dead end job until they quit. The experience, however, can be used to land a job with a company that does their support in-house, and those can be nice jobs.

Web design is an easy one to get into as well, but hard to excel at. Thanks to incompatibility and differences between browsers, a good looking website is not something the average person can sit down and knock out in a few hours.

Geek Squad. Icky, but they do hire people. The employees get an employee discount and access to a lot of free porn, so the job has that going for it at least.

The thing is, you won't find an easy to obtain dream job. If it was dreamy and easy to obtain, someone else would have already taken it.

Any job that's easy to get is easy to get for a reason. Something about it will suck, guaranteed. Many of these sorts of jobs are also dead-end jobs with no chance of a promotion. Experience in a dead-end job along with the appropriate education, however, is often be enough to land a better position with a different company.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted October 14, 2009 16:40      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
err...what he said.

Seriously though, while I agree with everything GrumpySteen said, I would like to add a further idea for your consideration.

There is a conflict between two of your principle criteria - dream geek jobs and jobs for the rest of us/easy to get into. GrumpSteen explained eloquently why your examples are not dream geek jobs, so what jobs might qualify?

I would suggest such jobs, if they can be found in their ideal form, would be characterised by features not common in mainstream employment:

1) Academic research - you get a salary for 2 or 3 years, support and mentoring from people you respect, and the freedom to follow your ideas.

2) "Pre-commercial" R & D - just you and a bunch of friends exploring ideas that the mainstream has dismissed as novelties but you know can be brought to market, or even ideas that no-one else has had yet......

3) You get invited to join an established team/company to spend all your time getting paid to do something you would gladly do for free - maybe CERN, or an archaeological dig, or Jodrell Bank, or a steam engine preservation society,or something at MIT etc etc.

So, each of these types of jobs, in their dream format, is just not going to come round very often, if at all. My suggestion therefore, is that your question should be phrased more realistically, and should ask what jobs are available, and tolerable, to geeks and people with geekish tendencies.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted October 14, 2009 16:49      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh.. by the way..

Hello! and welcome. [Smile]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 14, 2009 17:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Depends what kind of geek you are, but if you don't have recognised qualifications, consider retail.

A board-games geek friend of mine works in a game shop, that's his dream job.

The guy at the local video store is a movie geek, he can give detailed off-the-cuff reviews of just about any movie you care to mention. He loves his job.

Maybe you're a book geek, the local Borders might be the place for you.

Photography geek? Try the local camera shop.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2009 03:24      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ CrimsonDomingo Neat User name, I guess from what our other posters have replied. You may think we have not replied, Think of it this way, if when you get home from your job "and they pay me to do this" then you have found your inner calling.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2009 10:24      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
Think of it this way, if when you get home from your job "and they pay me to do this" then you have found your inner calling.

Which would be the proof I haven't found my dream job yet. I am more along: "Good thing they pay me." [Roll Eyes] [Big Grin]

But I still have hope I'll find the job that will make good use of my creative solutions and not mind my lack of attention for details. As my present job helps me get rid of debts, in a few years I could be able to go solo or live on a lower pay job.

Enough with self-pity, and on to the topic: I agree with the Druid: one's hate job can be another's dream job, it all depends on the personnality and the likes of the one holding it.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2009 10:39      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My response may have sounded more negative than I intended. Let me rephrase it simply:

The positions that are easy to get into aren't ones that anyone would want to stay in, but they can be a a good starting point if the skills and experience gained can be applied to other, better jobs.
(and I should know since that's how I landed my wonderfully overpaid job... rare/unique skill sets = good pay for minimal effort)

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SpazGirl
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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2009 19:59      Profile for SpazGirl   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to agree with everyone in the thread so far. The "fun" jobs are hard to get, and even if you land one, it may not be what you're looking for. I can say that the long haul to something you really want to do is worth it, I'm a semester away from my undergrad in biology with a specialty in invertebrates, I work with tarantulas on an almost daily basis, and love every second of it. Oh, and I'm adding another few letters after my name once I'm done with this degree.

I can safely say that I'm going after a job that very few people would want, but I know I will absolutely love. My advice, find a passion for something, chase it down, and make it your own, don't do something because someone else said that it was the best job ever.

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Things, and things.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2009 01:57      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
SpazGirl nails it.

If being a geek means anything, it is about following your star. Whether your occupation has any social cachet, (even within a subculture) matters not.

Mind you, I reckon this lot would be fun to work with!

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2009 03:21      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
.

____ CrimsonDomingo Where are you, You get us all thinking about the jobs we have and then we don't hear a responce. Give us some more, don't go away

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2009 11:34      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some days I'm thinking "I can't believe they pay me" and some days I'm wishing I'd woken up witha fever or something so I didn't have to go in. But even on those days, I can't imagine doing something else. I sort of wish I could. It's scary, when there is nothing else for you but the path you are on.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2009 11:56      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How about getting paid by the Man to keep tabs on possible subversive types on various fora / IRC chatrooms? [evil]

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2009 00:25      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
Some days I'm thinking "I can't believe they pay me" and some days I'm wishing I'd woken up witha fever or something so I didn't have to go in. But even on those days, I can't imagine doing something else. I sort of wish I could. It's scary, when there is nothing else for you but the path you are on.

I know what you mean - my last job was exactly like that. It was the fever days that made me move on and continue training - but that just leads me further down the scary path of specialism...
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Anovadea
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2009 04:54      Profile for Anovadea     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In terms of myself, I'm close enough to Xanthine's kinda situation. But it strikes me that it's entirely what you make of it, and also your co-workers.

In my job, I break UNIX. Every day, I sit down to my desktop that isn't running windows, and figure out why things are broken, or hack away at some scripts that need doing.

I learn about the hot stuff in terms of UNIX operating systems, and what's being pumped out to the server market about half a year from now (maybe even further down the line).

Sure, it's a dead-end job, in terms of being a monkey that sees a bug, chews on it for a bit and then logs it... and deadlines can be a bit harsh, but there's this smug satisfaction when you know you've nailed a problem that's been on your mind for the last forever.

Overall, it's the people that make or break it though. If you're working with people that you'd rather chew your own arm off to get away from than talk to them, then you're probably not onto a winning job, even if everything else looks good.

Similarly, good co-workers can make a less shiny job better. It just so happens that I have a relatively good mix for now.

The only thing I would say is that dream jobs in a field you're interested in might drive you away from that field during hobby-time. I know people who use python in their day-to-day job, that used it in their spare time before their job, but not so much once they got it. Similarly, I don't veg out in front of my computer so much now that I'm working with them 8 hours a day. There again, if your passion is some form of lactating bacteria, what would you be doing playing with that on your hobby-time? [Smile]

Aoife

g.s. Love that office/backstreet boys video, it cheered me up for lunchtime.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2009 13:40      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:


Mind you, I reckon this lot would be fun to work with!

Ooo, co-workers who sing boyboand songs all day....i guess one man's heaven is anouther man's heck.

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BlackBard
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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2016 19:02      Profile for BlackBard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
WANTED: PERSONAL ASSISTANT/EXECUTIVE AIDE/BLUE LANTERN

Have I got your attention? This ad caught your eye because of the “Blue Lantern”, not because of the “Personal Assistant.” You know what that is, and that's the Corps that most appeals to you.

You want to change the world, but you're not the sort of person who plays in the limelight. You're happy to be the support team. You might have worked stage crew in high school – but you were dang good at it. You're the best tech support person you know – not just because you're techie, but because you're able to focus on helping people in need. All of your friends who are writing books ask you to edit them. Your attention to detail is impeccable. In the SCA, you're on track for a Pelican. The job needs to be done, so you do it. In the Military, you'd be the Commander's Executive Aide.

You've got some extra time and you want to change the world, but the missions that have come across your RADAR are strangely unappealing. There's a ton of startups out there, but they seem to be about making money, or a specific product. You want to save the human race.

We're the Inherit Initiative. Our goal is to reverse the anti-intellectualism in society through the celebration, quantification, and gamification of geek culture. We're going to change the world in a big way or go down in flames. I can't promise you an easy job. I can't promise you big pay – or even any pay – while we're starting up. Health care? We're still working that out. Stock options in companies that we build? Sure! But until we get the right lawyer and accountant on board, I can't tell you how much.

I can promise you a work environment that makes you happy, and an A-list crew that speaks your language. Know your D&D alignment? So do we. Like to cosplay? Our folks would help you find the last shiny button for the costume you've been working on for months. We'll get your jokes – and share ours. Who's your favorite superhero? The folks on our team may have different answers to that question – but, they all have an answer to it. A well thought-out, reasoned answer. Want to work with people like that? You'll have a hand in selecting those very people.

I can promise you long hours and hard work. You think Samwise had it easy supporting Frodo through Mordor? We may not be facing down Sauron in his own lair, but I can promise you one heck of a ride. If we manage to pull this off, generations will remember us as heroes – or legends.

This is not a job for the faint of heart. This is a job for someone who believes in what we're doing and recognizes that it will be difficult, take a lot of work, and is willing to put in the time to make a difference. This is a job for someone who can maximize my effectiveness – I need a Blue Lantern to make my Green one more effective.

Click here to apply: https://form.jotform.com/60558125568159

-Stephen
Blessed are the geek, for we shall inherit.world.

PDF version: http://www.blackbrd.com/files/160426-AD-BlueLantern.pdf

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 09, 2016 21:26      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is is my imagination, or did you resurrect a many years' old thread to post a vague job for a cult without a website? Details seem sparse, and "Inherit Initiative" does not appear to turn up any relevant result in DuckDuckGo.

I'm gainfully employed by a non-vague entity that does measurable good...and I'm finally back to writing Perl, so I think I'm what passes for happy in my job right now. [Smile] (Plus, the benefits are great...and my free time is actually my own. [Except for when I'm on call. :/])

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted May 10, 2016 15:13      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to agree with Dman. I am too old to go chasing windmills.

BlackBard

I found your facebook page and found it paints you as a "Bird of Prey" or maybe a scavenger eating the corpses decaying after the Bird of Prey has left.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted May 10, 2016 22:59      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
I have to agree with Dman. I am too old to go chasing windmills.

I found your facebook page and found it paints you as a "Bird of Prey" or maybe a scavenger eating the corpses decaying after the Bird of Prey has left.

My Facebook page? I thought I never signed up for one. [Wink] Damn Zuckerberg...getting sneakier by the day.

Oh wait, you mean the other guy. [Razz] I just noticed the 'homepage' link which goes to the very confusing Facebook page.

These days, I generally prefer the idea of working at a place where I think it's unlikely that the rug will get pulled out from under me. So, even though they might be fascinating, I don't think a startup is the place for me. I just heard that a guy runs a bunch of servers at work is leaving for a hedge fund. There might be some real money to be made there, but they'll probably get blood for their money, and I think it's hard to feel good about helping very rich folks get a lot richer.

This would seem to be neither a startup, nor a place that will make you filthy rich, but rather a well-meaning geek cult. [Wink] I'm not a fan of any kind of proselytizing, not even for Linux. Lead by example, and if your example is good enough, hopefully people with both respect you and perhaps be interested in learning more. (And for those of us who just aren't interested, leave us the hell alone. [That is chiefly aimed at the screaming bible thumpers at subway stations.])

For now, I'd very much like my 401k to be vested before I contemplate any further moves. [Smile]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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