A trip down memory lane

November 18, 2009 at 10:55 am (Reporting)

Chuck Dean, a husband and father of two returns to school seeking a degree to help solidify his future.

“Right now, I work in the IT field as a dataflow technician. It’s okay – but it’s just about all I’ve done for 25 years [in one form or another.]”

“I currently attend Howard Community College; I have one class left then I’ll have an associates [degree] in general studies. I’m also enrolled in the bachelors in intelligence studies at the American Military University.”

“I’ve got a lot of experience in my field, but I’m pretty much locked into it since I have no degrees. I’ve found that many employers value experience, but they’re required to hire folks with a degree – in something. The customer wants people with degrees or certifications to be on a contract; experience doesn’t always get you in the door. I want to be able to have some flexibility in my future career decisions.”

“I’ve always wanted to be an intel analyst, so I’m hoping a bachelors in intelligence studies from AMU [plus my military experience] will help me find something in that field.”

Throughout his life he has held odd jobs periodically. The economy is not the only reasons people look toward odd jobs; Chuck Dean used these options throughout his life.

“I worked on a dairy farm where I basically got the lousy jobs that the owner’s family didn’t want: forking out the manure piles, carrying feed and water to the barns, stacking hay and straw in the haymow. I didn’t get the cool jobs like driving the tractors or milking the cows.”

“One of my jobs in the Navy was a flight deck safety observer. That job consisted of me walking all around the flight deck of my ship, keeping my eye on the guys actually doing the work (handlers, fuel guys, maintenance techs, and ordnance men among others), making sure they worked safely and that they were aware of what was going on around them. Most of them had no communications in their helmets, so they didn’t know when helicopters or Harrier jets were coming or going. I made sure they kept clear of landing spots and that they were wearing their safety gear properly.”

“Odd jobs are definitely character-building experiences… they can teach some humility to young folks who have basically never had to work for anything. Another thing that odd jobs can do is help a young person possibly see some of the details that go on which they may otherwise had not been aware of.”

“I believe that having any job [odd or normal] will enhance a person’s career plans with regards to making more money – if the job is done well.”

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