If I Could Go Back in Time…

Mmmhh… Looking for work is no fun. It’s a lot of work that doesn’t pay, actually.

I used to say that I wish I could go back in time and tell my past-self to get into editing. I was pretty directionless in the third decade of my life and could’ve used that advice. Now, however, at this point in time I can see what careers are actually in demand, and I’d have to travel back to my middle-school-self when I was still drawing pictures. My advice would be to prepare for design.

Not that that job existed back then. When I was in middle school, our computer class stocked the Apple IIe and the Commodore 64. There were rumors of an Amiga in the near future. At home, I had a TI-99 4A and I spent three days coding a tiny little block-man to move his arm and his leg in a little “dance.” Oh, my mom did not approve of the purchase of that computer. She saw the work I put into it and the result and she was quite upset. And then we moved from a town outside Detroit to a town in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, and instead of a computer class I took a typing class. With typewriters.

No point to that story, it’s just funny to think about. Especially since I didn’t become a proficient typist until after the Army, after community college, when I attended university and was issued my first e-mail account, granted my first access to the real Internet. Online chatting is what drove me to learn typing, and at that time I could clock over 110 wpm with 95% accuracy, or 90 wpm at 100%. My university career was marked by indecisiveness, and my advice from the future would definitely have helped me out here. No dinking around with Applied Psychology, Journalism, German, Communications, or wherever else my declared major wandered. I only figured out that I wanted to get into editing after ten years of office jobs, ad hoc correcting errors that ranged from “understandable” to “how were you not devoured by wolves,” the latter being made not just by my superiors but by people who actually owned companies. Finally I was pushed specifically into my career path by an excellent editing class at Metro State. I knew this was what I wanted to do and my heart broke to think of all the wasted years not doing it.

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