At the beginning of Plan Nine From Outer Space, famed ’50s phony psychic Criswell says the only vaguely rational thing in the entire movie:
We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.
Everyone has bad weeks at work. I’m coming off of a couple weeks that were considerably less fun than a barrel of monkey overlords. And when these times come up, it’s natural to re-evaluate your place in the universe.
When I got laid off a decade ago, I found myself with sufficient financial resources to consider a career change. Because it interested me, I embarked on a path to become a financial planner. I studied for a year at Duke, then took and passed the Certified Financial Planner exam (kind of like the CPA exam for financial planners). (Real disclaimer: I was never allowed to call myself a CFP, because I did not meet the 3-year work requirement.) I wanted to be a number cruncher, but those jobs were scarce, and were all filled by failed sales reps. So I set out to be a failed sales rep, a task for which I was eminently suited. I reached the level of Failure within 6 months, due to the particular gifts I brought to the job:
- I take “no” for an answer.
- I refuse to care more about your financial future than you do.
- In the engineering world, if I ask you to do something (return a call) and you don’t, I have three options: talk to your manager, talk to my manager, or do it myself. In the advisor/client relationship, you don’t have a manager, my manager can’t make you return calls, and if I could do this without you, I would. Happily.
So I’ve been a software engineer ever since. It’s a job I’m suited for (most of the time). But when I get stressed out, the idea of changing jobs isn’t all that scary. So it’s been very interesting that over the past two weeks, I’ve started getting e-mails full of new and exciting job opportunities in my area, complete with scores that reflect the quality of the match.
My work experience consists of 26 years as a software engineer, 6 months as a failed financial rep, two years at a pizza restaurant, and a summer job as a field archeologist. So what job did they match me up with, at an astounding 93% compatibility?
Primary Care Physician.
Yes, doctor. The man who can’t watch people put in contact lenses cause it’s icky is 93% compatible with the medical world. This sounds reasonable to me, as the missing 7% can be broken down as follows:
- When offering medical advice, I take “no” for an answer. (2%)
- I refuse to care about your health more than you do. (2%)
- If you won’t consent to treatment, you don’t have a manager, my manager can’t make you, and if I could be a doctor without you, I would. (2%)
- The whole squeamishness thing. (1%)
I never knew my employment options were so open! Some of the other career highlights:
- While I am 93% compatible with being a Primary Care Physician, I am only 86% compatible with being a Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care. Apparently I am 7% less qualified to listen to a doctor than to be one.
- Maybe I need a little training, since I am only 22% qualified to be a Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Billing.
- But then again, I’m also 22% qualified to be an Air Force Dentist! I wonder if it’s the same 22%.
- I’m also 22% compatible with the job of part time Health Fitness Specialist. Given my level of health and fitness, this one I believe, but it does make me question the quality of dentistry in our Armed Forces.
- I’m 38% qualified to be a Physician Assistant Nocturnist. In medicine, “nocturnist” is the modern, non-judgmental term applied to either non-sparkly vampires or what used to be called “graverobbers”. Not sure which one applies in this context.
- I’m 27% compatible with the job of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Travel Nurse. I would have thought that ICUs were fairly stationary, given all the sick people.
- One employer has an immediate need for a “Locum Tenens” for a Geriatric Practice (22%). This is one of those pre-Vatican II geriatric practices where they still speak Latin, I guess.
- Also clocking in at the 22% level is Radiation Oncologist. I hope they find someone with a higher score for that position. I’m not looking forward to having the area overrun by rampaging Hulks because someone had the gamma camera set too high.
See? A world of opportunities! I’m inspired by a friend’s young child who, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, said “A fire truck!”
Sadly, he was only 46% compatible.