blogs talking about interesting jobs? August 13, 2002 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of sites/blog sections that let people talk about interesting jobs? My question springs from the IT Workers Get Back to Basics thread, particularly the guy who turned to music, the guy who wants to move to France and learn to make wine and the archeologist's assistant. I tried a couple of google searches, but didnt come up with anything that really yielded anything interesting.

I grew up in small towns and wasn't terribly outgoing, so I never got to talk to a wide range of adults about what they did and how they got to doing it in the first place. To me, it's one of the most interesting conversations you can have.
posted by Irontom to MetaFilter-Related at 6:54 AM (16 comments total)

I know this is only tangentially related to MetaFilter, but the question itself has a certain "meta" quality to it, so I hope I don't get beat up too badly.
posted by Irontom at 6:54 AM on August 13, 2002

Third MeTa post in a week about a thread of mine (or, well, just my overall unpleasantness). I feel loved!

Actually, you ask an extremely good question, but I share your concern that it's not entirely appropriate to MeFi. With some more links behind you, this could have been a good front page MeFi post actually.

Anyways, check out the link I made in that post to the Slashdot discussion on the same topic. There are -lots- of interesting stories in there.

Other than that, I don't know of any resources like you're looking for.. but I'd love to know if there is one. I really like reading about jobs, and how people came to be doing what they're doing, etc.
posted by wackybrit at 7:06 AM on August 13, 2002

well irontom, it triggered interest in ME. i am one of those folks who spent little time actually thinking out his life - one result is, at 50, i hate what i do (real estate appraisal) to generate money. well, hate is a strong word, lets say i don't enjoy it. recently, because it was contributing to my increasing discontent, i blew off a long standing gig worth $1000/month. and now i'm faced with this budgetary "speed bump" (HAH! I'M GOING BROKE HERE, FOLKS!) unwilling to simply get a similar gig, and wedded to my main gig by the old golden handcuffs (pension) i've just been sort of sitting like a deer in headlights, watching the oncoming crash. you know, i enjoy my websites more than anything, oh if i could only figure a way to make them generate that grand a month (even half that would actually do the trick!). ah, if i could but play at my puter all day for profit. i know - this is a pipe dream. but who knows, maybe someone around here would pay me just to shut up! [insert smiley emoticon] that's all. just wanted to rant.
posted by quonsar at 7:16 AM on August 13, 2002

Working on computers is often overrated. People who get paid to do such things generally do 5% interesting computer work, 20% negotiation work, 40% on the telephone with demanding clients who are never quite satisfied or want to change what you're doing, and 35% doing repetitive work like data entry or fact checking, and things that weren't in the original contract.
posted by wackybrit at 7:44 AM on August 13, 2002

bubbles bursting under the weight of the truth...
posted by quonsar at 7:46 AM on August 13, 2002

Two books come to mind that might satisfy you in this regard like no weblog can: Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs, a thick tome edited by some people, and its predecessor, Working by Studs Terkel.

Wackybrit, I couldn't find the Slashdot link you were talking about.
posted by kmel at 7:47 AM on August 13, 2002

Here's the link From Software to Soup: On Trading Coding for Crepes
posted by Irontom at 8:19 AM on August 13, 2002

second kmel's book suggestions. not all the jobs detailed therein are "interesting" but they are all interestingly-described. great books both.

You can find some (not all) of the Gig stories on ... uh, do people call it the Internet Archive, the Web Archive, Alexa, or (*shudder*) the "Wayback Machine"? Anyway: here.

Man, I miss again, still.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:51 AM on August 13, 2002

aw crap. grabbed the wrong url. here.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:52 AM on August 13, 2002

Thanks, Saffireblue. That link has stories that didn't make it to the book, which is great because I just finished it and was sad it wasn't even longer than its 670 pages.

And, back to Irontom's question: I imagine that most people are hesitant to talk about their jobs online -- at least the most interesting and juicy aspects of them -- because of Dooce-like consequences. Most weblogs in my repertoire are by professional writers, designers, students, or computer people, or I don't know what their proprietors do for a living at all. Except one: Metafizix is written by a camera operator/grip for major motion pictures. It's not the main focus of the weblog, though. I would love to know about others.
posted by kmel at 10:08 AM on August 13, 2002

I think a great many are hesitant to reveal too much about themselves on any online forum. This is America (for the majority of us at least) and we are what we do, dontcha know?

Another factor to consider is that many may not be at liberty to discuss employment. For myself, I spent far too many years in the juvenile justice system and can't really say too much. The few IT jobs I've done also leave my hands tied.

This is a litigious society and a few poorly chosen words in a public forum can have long lasting consequences.
posted by cedar at 5:37 PM on August 13, 2002

I'm not interested in damning details, just general information. I can read for juicy bits - that's not what I am looking for. As an example, how did you wind up in juvenile justice? Was it a conscious decision, or one that you stumbled into? Why did you leave (once again, in general terms).

The Matafizix site is pretty cool - it gives a general view of a job I never even considered before, and (at first glance) it doesn't reveal any details that could get the guy in trouble.

posted by Irontom at 6:53 PM on August 13, 2002

I would be very interested in helping to build a site such as Irontom describes. I'd do it myself, but it'd happen faster if some of us collaborated. I'm imagining something like Wisdom Springs and VirtualTourist, where people can describe their jobs.

I see this as being more about jobs than about companies, so that you could go to the site and find out what the day-to-day life of a ostrich farmer is like, or a mountaineer, or a train conductor. A community-authored Working.

I've got a lot of ideas for this sort of thing, and I bet a lot of other people do too. Are any of you interested in creating something like this?
posted by Songdog at 7:01 AM on August 14, 2002

Here's what we've been talking about all along: It's very much like a community-authored Working, which may be its problem. It could use some serious editing.
posted by kmel at 8:19 AM on August 14, 2002

That's the idea, but I bet we could do better ;), assuming there's enough interest out there to support more than one site of this sort (and I bet there is).
posted by Songdog at 8:46 AM on August 14, 2002

I'd be interested in a site like this. At very least I'd send in a few bucks or write some copy. Would it be meta-associated, like sportsfilter? Has it ever been made public how much Matt's assistance on SF cost?
posted by Sinner at 8:46 AM on August 15, 2002

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