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Thread: Ever came across a decision that could potentially change your life forever?

  1. #21
    Senior Member remember_Cedric's Avatar
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    Trinie, Suzaku made a worthy 2 cents, IMO. Volunteering/ finding a modestly paid job (related to your degree) is one of the ways to make a way out - to gain experience. A friend of mine did that, and she's the only daughter of her parents, and the only child. Or, how about starting off as a teacher's assistant (if there's such a thing over there) or relief teacher?

    The longer you wait, the more time you'll waste. You have to tell them the reality that if you stayed on in US, it's likely things are going to remain stagnant and they don't want that. Better to do so now than keep waiting, you know.

    The fortune teller might happened to spot on but don't believe them too much. You are all you have, and you're going to give your best! Stay firm in your decision and do it! All the best!
    Last edited by remember_Cedric; 03-02-10 at 06:14 AM.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    Seriously, it's your life. You do what you want with it, tell your family to back off. The problem is you don't gain respect from your relatives, because in Asian society being unemployed is a no no. No matter what you do, they going to question it and possibly ridicule it.

    Like Suzaku said, you need to set goals, and have steps planned towards achieving them. Weigh up the pros and cons of each decision along the way. If OE is worth it, go for it. Stop worrying about whether you will get paid as much as white folks, at least you are getting paid and gain some sort of experience. Just make sure you have things organised before going. The last thing you need is feeling lost in a foreign country with no support.

    The longer you wait doing nothing, the harder it is going into the workforce. Seriously, not doing part time work is a bad decision. There are always jobs for new graduates, you just need to put yourself ahead of the pack by showing you have time for part time work, volunteer work and extracurriculars. Surely a masters mean something too.

    And don't waste your money on fortune tellers. They don't know jack shit about you. It really shows how lost you are if you need them.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzaku View Post
    If so you could always look into position as volunteer educator or tuturs for the students at private insitutions or study centers. The economy is rough - volunteering show that you have heart and passion for your field and for the community.
    This is a pretty good suggestion -if you live close to a college or university you can check their libraries or student centers to see if they need tutors in particular subjects. A grayer area is "reviewing term papers" for money.

    This has probably been mentioned but have you considered temping? We occasionally have temps here to watch the reception area, and answer phones. It's not glorious by any stretch of the imagination but it could open up some networking opportunities or you may discover something you find interesting.

    I had a friend who graduated from Harvard (Classical Studies), and she temped for a couple of years while completing a Masters (something bio/chem/medical related) at BU before joining the Air Force (they had a deal where they put you through med school if you served them for 3 years after or some such deal). Hmm... See? It could be worse!

    Might also want to ask yourself if some other field holds interest for you outside of your major. Good communication skills are always an asset regardless of what field you are in. It can be really difficult to find a decent job with a liberal arts degree so you may want to learn something a bit more applied like finance or something technology-related. Business analyst and technical writer often place a fair amount of emphasis on clear and precise writing.

    I run across a fair number of people with music majors and other liberal arts majors when I go through resumes for developers (computer programmers). It might be that I've been in the field for a while, and tend to take things for granted but it seems that it doesn't take much (given decent intelligence) to be a passable QA or developer these days. Hmm... maybe I should write a book "How to become a passable programmer in 30 days"...

    Actually I have a proposition for you (Trinie) -no, not that kind of proposition. If you did reasonably well on your SATs or GREs (let's say 1250+ for SATs and 1900+ for GREs), willing to sign a NDA, and are willing to take the time to learn something new, I will attempt to teach you how to become a passable C#/T-SQL developer in 30 days.

    This means I will explain concepts that I feel are relevant and useful day to day, and give you exercises to do on your own. You will need a computer of your own, be able to download, and install programs on your own. I also require that you have basic computer skills like knowing how to operate Word and Excel. In return you will not share any material I give you unless I give you my explicit permission as per the NDA. You will also of course be providing me with feedback on what can be easily assimilated and what can't -and give me permission to use any of your questions and/or responses if I choose to do so. This will be a commitment of sorts since I won't waste my time with someone who is not willing to put in the effort.

    Keep in mind this is to make you a passable programmer -not a great or even fair one. People in the know may call you a script kitty or the like but my goal is to make you be able to create simple applications that interact with files and databases at the end of this. Think of this as Cliff Notes to being a developer of sorts.

    I'll open this up anyone but keep in mind the the score requirements, and the commitment to actually put in the time and effort. In the unlikely event I'm swamped with responses I will filter with a questionnaire and wait list. Offer is only good for a limited time since my attention span is fairly short.

    Don't know how well this will work but might as well as do something constructive for a change.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
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    What the heck, you want her to change careers?

    So do we have to sit the GRE before applying?
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    An extra skill is always good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yittz View Post
    What the heck, you want her to change careers?

    So do we have to sit the GRE before applying?
    Sometimes you have to branch out. Although as I think about it more maybe working in a Library might be worth considering. Catalogers and stack shelvers aren't particularly exciting positions but they're peripherally related. You might need a higher degree in library science or the like to go anywhere though.

    hmm... I've been thinking about creating an exercise that mimics a library. To quote Hannibal "I love it when a plan comes together!".

    SATs are fine -GREs and GMATs optional. I just want a certain assumed level of competency. She has a Masters so there's a good chance she's taken the GRE. Some people don't get their act together until college so that's why a GRE score might be more reflective of their capabilities if they've taken it. Conversely some folks do worse on their GREs because they're just less motivated after undergrad.
    HK47: Now do you understand the travails of my existence master? Surely it does not compare to your existence but still...
    You: I survive somehow
    HK47: As do I. It is our lot in life I suppose master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?

    -KotOR

  7. #27
    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    how is this field nowadays? i know a few unemployed programmers, some with about 10 yrs experience.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    Yea, I do have a master's degree and I am living in the US. But I am unemployed mainly because I lack experience so I have been struggling to go abroad. My family is wishy washy about it since they sort of support me but then are sort of against it too. Also, since my field is teaching English, a lot of the foreign countries are bias against me because I am Asian American. They think that only "white" looking people can speak English well which makes it even harder for me so I have been struggling with that for a long time. Some people in my family say that I am too small and young looking so they are also bias against me because of that as well(which I don't think is true and only ignorant people would say things like that). I just have to keep on trying and pressing my luck because I am going to be 31 this year and am SICK of staying with my family who looks down on me and doesn't give me freedom. Boy, being unemployed really sucks. Each time any of my relatives see me, the first question that they ask me is "Have you found a job yet or have you been searching for a job yet?" I just tell them that they will know when the time comes. However, I don't want any of them to know that I plan to go abroad or else they will say stupid things to discourage me and my mom/family from letting me go. THat is my only option right now but it is a lot harder for me than others since my family is sooo overprotective of me. I am still fighting though since it is my dream. My mom keeps on telling me "you can't be unemployed like this forever". I just tell her, well if you did not always stop and discourage me, would I still be unemployed?? Life is just so hard sometimes....
    Which countries are you saying is biased? I have a couple of friends who have taught in China and South Korea with no experience at all. They didn't even have an education (teaching) degree. Their only qualification was a bachelor's degree from the US. It was great experience for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pemberly View Post
    how is this field nowadays? i know a few unemployed programmers, some with about 10 yrs experience.
    It seems to be picking up again. There's two or three open developer positions right now at where I work. We're looking for a mix of C# and T-sql programming with ideally some level of financial experience. It's a small company of about 100 people with about 20 developers, 5 QA and maybe 10 IT/Network. Since it's fairly small we simply don't take on junior people at all since it takes a fair amount of time and resources to get them up to speed.

    10 years sound promising, I can PM you with a list of position descriptions if interested. One of the positions we're trying to fill will be part of my group (I manage a team of 5 developers -one of them is moving to another group so I need a back fill). Since it's a financial company there are support hour considerations, and the position is a try before you buy (i.e. 3 month contract before a potential switch to full-time).
    HK47: Now do you understand the travails of my existence master? Surely it does not compare to your existence but still...
    You: I survive somehow
    HK47: As do I. It is our lot in life I suppose master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?

    -KotOR

  10. #30
    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    sure, send me a PM. maybe if i help him get a new job, he and his gf will invite me over for a nice dinner.
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  11. #31
    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJ View Post
    Which countries are you saying is biased? I have a couple of friends who have taught in China and South Korea with no experience at all. They didn't even have an education (teaching) degree. Their only qualification was a bachelor's degree from the US. It was great experience for them.
    I was just talking in general that a lot of countries are biased which to an extent is true. I didn't think about that before, but now I am seeing it more and more. They think "white looking" americans are better than Asian Americans at teaching English. They don't view us the way that they view "white" looking americans. I don't mind getting paid less, but I just want to build my career and go overseas because I have always wanted go.

    To everyone: Thanks so much for all of your advice and support and of course I will go ahead with my dream. I have been doing research and all so it's not like I know nothing about the country that I want to go to. I had some classmates from that country too. I don't want anymore time to pass by since it feels like I am wasting my life away. But then again, I also needed a break since I went to school for many years with no break and got sick of it.I literally went to grad school twice too and it was twice as tiring. I also do admit that I am sort of afraid to re live my past again. I remember back when I was an undergraduate and was in my second or third year of school and wanted to go and study abroad. I still remember how my family reacted and it was not positive at all. I remember my dad(he has passed away now) saying that if I did go, then he never wanted to see me again...They were so against it that it broke my heart.... I remember how much I cried and I am scared to live through that again...But luckily, my 4th brother was there for me and is also encouraging me now. At least I still have him and his wife to support my decision. However, I guess back then it was different for me, I was only 20 and did not even have my BA yet. However, I need to take control of my life and face my fears to make my dream come true and have a career for myself. THe biggest thing is my family is always afraid that I will get raped. That is like my mom's biggest fear. She is afraid that I can't take care of myself, but honestly even now that I am home with them, they don't even take care of me. I take care of them.... I am capable of taking care of myself and others so I am pretty independent in terms of my day to day needs. It's just that my family thinks I am more vulnerable since I am female. My mom thinks that there are bad people everywhere and that no one will be there to help me if I needed it. But that isn't true since I believe there are good and bad people everywhere....I just get sick of her and some other people discouraging me....

    I will be going back here to ask you guys for more advice..... Thanks again and you guys are the BEST!
    Last edited by Trinie; 03-04-10 at 04:37 PM.
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  12. #32
    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkcser View Post
    This is a pretty good suggestion -if you live close to a college or university you can check their libraries or student centers to see if they need tutors in particular subjects. A grayer area is "reviewing term papers" for money.

    This has probably been mentioned but have you considered temping? We occasionally have temps here to watch the reception area, and answer phones. It's not glorious by any stretch of the imagination but it could open up some networking opportunities or you may discover something you find interesting.

    I had a friend who graduated from Harvard (Classical Studies), and she temped for a couple of years while completing a Masters (something bio/chem/medical related) at BU before joining the Air Force (they had a deal where they put you through med school if you served them for 3 years after or some such deal). Hmm... See? It could be worse!

    Might also want to ask yourself if some other field holds interest for you outside of your major. Good communication skills are always an asset regardless of what field you are in. It can be really difficult to find a decent job with a liberal arts degree so you may want to learn something a bit more applied like finance or something technology-related. Business analyst and technical writer often place a fair amount of emphasis on clear and precise writing.

    I run across a fair number of people with music majors and other liberal arts majors when I go through resumes for developers (computer programmers). It might be that I've been in the field for a while, and tend to take things for granted but it seems that it doesn't take much (given decent intelligence) to be a passable QA or developer these days. Hmm... maybe I should write a book "How to become a passable programmer in 30 days"...

    Actually I have a proposition for you (Trinie) -no, not that kind of proposition. If you did reasonably well on your SATs or GREs (let's say 1250+ for SATs and 1900+ for GREs), willing to sign a NDA, and are willing to take the time to learn something new, I will attempt to teach you how to become a passable C#/T-SQL developer in 30 days.

    This means I will explain concepts that I feel are relevant and useful day to day, and give you exercises to do on your own. You will need a computer of your own, be able to download, and install programs on your own. I also require that you have basic computer skills like knowing how to operate Word and Excel. In return you will not share any material I give you unless I give you my explicit permission as per the NDA. You will also of course be providing me with feedback on what can be easily assimilated and what can't -and give me permission to use any of your questions and/or responses if I choose to do so. This will be a commitment of sorts since I won't waste my time with someone who is not willing to put in the effort.

    Keep in mind this is to make you a passable programmer -not a great or even fair one. People in the know may call you a script kitty or the like but my goal is to make you be able to create simple applications that interact with files and databases at the end of this. Think of this as Cliff Notes to being a developer of sorts.

    I'll open this up anyone but keep in mind the the score requirements, and the commitment to actually put in the time and effort. In the unlikely event I'm swamped with responses I will filter with a questionnaire and wait list. Offer is only good for a limited time since my attention span is fairly short.

    Don't know how well this will work but might as well as do something constructive for a change.
    Thanks for your advice and help Darkscer! I have tutored a lot before I even graduated and did not like it much. People took advantage of me and I did not enjoy it. I also volunteered a lot and hated it too. I did not get paid and they mistreated me.

    Thanks for offering to be a developer, but I honestly did not do well on my SATs and I never took the GREs since my school did not require that for my program. We just had to do a thesis and gosh was that painful...
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post

    To everyone: Thanks so much for all of your advice and support and of course I will go ahead with my dream. I have been doing research and all so it's not like I know nothing about the country that I want to go to. I had some classmates from that country too. I don't want anymore time to pass by since it feels like I am wasting my life away.
    I don't want to be intrusive, and I apologize if I am. But what country do you want to go to? I find it interesting that your mother feels that foreign countries are dangerous. Most of the people I meet in Asia or Canada thinks that US is a dangerous country because of the lack of gun control.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    I was just talking in general that a lot of countries are biased which to an extent is true. I didn't think about that before, but now I am seeing it more and more. They think "white looking" americans are better than Asian Americans at teaching English. They don't view us the way that they view "white" looking americans. I don't mind getting paid less, but I just want to build my career and go overseas because I have always wanted go.
    Where did you get this idea from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    Thanks for your advice and help Darkscer! I have tutored a lot before I even graduated and did not like it much. People took advantage of me and I did not enjoy it. I also volunteered a lot and hated it too. I did not get paid and they mistreated me.
    How did they mistreat you? How come you hate both tutoring and volunteering experiences? Do you really like teaching?
    Last edited by kidd; 03-04-10 at 08:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    I also do admit that I am sort of afraid to re live my past again. I remember back when I was an undergraduate and was in my second or third year of school and wanted to go and study abroad. I still remember how my family reacted and it was not positive at all. I remember my dad(he has passed away now) saying that if I did go, then he never wanted to see me again...They were so against it that it broke my heart.... I remember how much I cried and I am scared to live through that again...
    I totally feel for you. I can understand why you don't want to relive those experience. Some parents really do love to use emotional blackmail.
    Last edited by kidd; 03-04-10 at 08:59 PM.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    No, because every job in the US requires at least a 2-3 years of related experience. Also, in order to teach elementary school, you need a credential which is what I don't have.
    I'm not in the US, but from my personal experiences, even if they ask for 2-3 years, up till 5 years experience, they actually do take chances with freshgrads. I applied to several such positions and do get called up for interview, eventually the job I took, advertised for experience too. But they figured I'd do, and I was freshgrad with zero experience, apart from the mandatory internship during my studies. (I'm an Engineer)

    The most they do is offered a lower wage if you lack the experience. But you'd have to convince them why they must take their chances with you.
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    Senior Member Guo Xiang's Avatar
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    I think Trinie should start working local first. She's so sheltered I am concerned of her chances of surviving overseas. Seriously.

    I'm shocked she's not been able to make full use of her degrees... I would die to get them. >_>

    Trinie you need a job. That's the only way you can continue growing as a person. This is awful but I think your family's holding you (and your growth) back and that's not healthy.

    Are you going to eat off their hands forever? What if one day they just cut you off and by then you still have no working or social experience? No financial foundation of your own too? You can't depend on others forever, too. You are 31, and it's time for you to stand on your own feet instead of still drinking milk from a milk bottle in your parents' arms. Your family need to realise that too. You are simply not a baby anymore so they can't continue treating you like one, and they have to let go of you.

    Also, if you have not held a job for years and years, employers will be wondering about that. Wondering why and if there's anything wrong with you that's stopping you from having a job all this time.

    When applying for jobs, to heck with that experience requirement. Just spam your resume. How would you know they would definitely not call you? The only reason why they would not be calling at all is because you gave up without even trying and they never got to see your resume at all.
    Last edited by Guo Xiang; 03-05-10 at 08:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guo Xiang View Post
    I think Trinie should start working local first. She's so sheltered I am concerned of her chances of surviving overseas. Seriously.

    I'm shocked she's not been able to make full use of her degrees... I would die to get them. >_>

    Trinie you need a job. That's the only way you can continue growing as a person. This is awful but I think your family's holding you (and your growth) back and that's not healthy.

    Are you going to eat off their hands forever? What if one day they just cut you off and by then you still have no working or social experience? No financial foundation of your own too? You can't depend on others forever, too. You are 31, and it's time for you to stand on your own feet instead of still drinking milk from a milk bottle in your parents' arms. Your family need to realise that too. You are simply not a baby anymore so they can't continue treating you like one, and they have to let go of you.

    Also, if you have not held a job for years and years, employers will be wondering about that. Wondering why and if there's anything wrong with you that's stopping you from having a job all this time.

    When applying for jobs, to heck with that experience requirement. Just spam your resume. How would you know they would definitely not call you? The only reason why they would not be calling at all is because you gave up without even trying and they never got to see your resume at all.
    Yes, it may be better to stay local until you have some real-world work experience. I know it's tempting to think that you can move away and re-invent yourself but suddenly finding yourself without a support structure can be daunting. It's one thing to go abroad during college where it's structured, and there are people there you can turn to for help, and quite another to do it on your own. If you've never lived by yourself in another city in the U.S. then you should try that before going overseas.

    Just out of curiosity, what does your resume look like? You may want to post it here minus personal info. Sometimes I've see terrible resumes, and were pleasantly surprised with the candidate. In particular I look for ability to describe what you've done clearly, what skill sets you have and any particular personal attributes or qualifications you feel you have that may be an asset.
    HK47: Now do you understand the travails of my existence master? Surely it does not compare to your existence but still...
    You: I survive somehow
    HK47: As do I. It is our lot in life I suppose master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?

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  19. #39
    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    i know plenty of teachers fresh out of college, younger than you, who have gotten jobs. first they volunteered at local public schools for little or no money just for the experience and to make contacts.

    and even i, with no credentials, used to volunteer as an esl tutor.

    you just have to look and there are plenty of organizations that would take you.
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    Trinie, you mentioned in earlier posts that you're wishy-washy, get discouraging words from various quarters, etc, when it comes to getting a job, but I think that deep down inside, you're kinda scared. Scared of a wide variety of "what-ifs" relating to the job scope, the working environment and colleagues, the salary, the views/hopes/thoughts of your mother/siblings/relatives about the job if you actually found one, the changes in lifestyle that might occur, as well as your own views/perceptions of herself and your desired career.

    I don't mean this post to be offensive, but by making a statement of what I feel is really coming through between the lines of the posts in this thread, I do hope that you will make efforts to address these concerns ... first by getting a job, and then dealing with the "what-ifs" as they pop up, if any at all.

    Some first jobs that might be better avoided at this point: positions that deal with large numbers of irate and potentially irate customers daily (such as customer service, helpdesks, exchange/refund counters, etc), and positions that require a fair amount of non-routine assessments of situations and decision-making.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkcser View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what does your resume look like? You may want to post it here minus personal info. Sometimes I've see terrible resumes, and were pleasantly surprised with the candidate. In particular I look for ability to describe what you've done clearly, what skill sets you have and any particular personal attributes or qualifications you feel you have that may be an asset.
    I'm also interested in your (Trinie's) resume, since I see candidates for teaching positions in my workplace on a regular basis. If you don't want to post it here, you can send it to me by PM, minus the personal info. While I can't offer you a teaching job outside the US (my company employs local citizens only), I can at least give you an idea what your resume might get you in my company if it employed foreigners.

    HYS

    btw: to darkcser: Kudos for all the good suggestions and offers!
    Jin Yong's Ode to Gallantry [侠客行].
    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208
    what about SPT, I need my SPT fix ASAP, pretty pleaseeeee...
    Soon ... SOON!

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