Since I started working full-time in tech (almost twenty years ago!) I had it in my head that I wanted one more career before I retire. It’s been a few years now since I started to figure out what that career might be. I’ve never felt like I was close to figuring it out until recently, though.
I’ve toyed with various ideas in that time. Medical computing specialist, science communications, forensic pathologist, and RN have all been ideas that have come and gone. I have felt strongly about each of those options, but each has one or more stumbling blocks for me. Whether being too similar to what I’m already doing, not supporting a salary high enough to support my spouse and stepchild, requiring too many years of school, each of those options just isn’t practical for one reason or another.
A little while ago I had a great experience having a voice interpreter at an ASL event. It was truly a transformative experience. It also got me started thinking about how I can work to bring experiences like that to other people. I’ve got no guarantees how long my hearing will hold out; a recent audiologist appointment showed I’m on the edge of needing hearing aids, and they said things will likely progress slowly.
I have become very interested in captioning as of late, and I start the part-time preparatory ASL course at VCC in January. Following up on research related to these things led to me discovering CART and similar disciplines, and that really got me thinking. Some combination of CART, non-realtime captioning of videos, and translation seems like an interesting way to make a living.
How realistic is that in Vancouver? For a latecomer like me? No idea yet. I’m 40, but not over the hill. I still love to learn and challenge myself. I am confident I can learn to do these things and do them well. Being something of a perfectionist by nature I think I could do them extremely well, given time to learn and practice.
Something about this just has a feeling of “rightness” that my previous ideas haven’t, and the prospect of it excites me in ways the others haven’t. Who knows how it will turn out? I certainly don’t yet. I just know that it inspires me. If you want to find out, follow me at @unspecifiednerd on Twitter and check in here every so often.