Mid-Life career change? Any hope?

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Mid-Life career change? Any hope?

Post by HHaase » Fri May 06, 2011 9:02 pm

Ahhh, it's my turn to put up the obligatory "newbie considering a career" post. However, mine does have a bit of a unique(ish) twist to it.

I'm in my mid 30's looking at the possibility of a career change! Though I'm sure that elements of it would be useful, as a whole I don't know how far a degree in Aeronautics would carry me.

Now, I'm not hooked on any particular venue such as Disney, Universal or any such company. Nor am I hooked on a specific niche to fill myself into just yet, as I'm sure any concepts I have in specific roles would likely not survive first contact.

So, that poses my core question here. What would be a logical starting point for someone as myself, who is stuck in "Career Busy" right now, but wants to try and un-anchor himself and find a place?

-Hans

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Post by wokcreative » Wed May 11, 2011 11:03 pm

It's never too late for a career change, especially not in your 30's. You may be surprised at how many people do in their 30's and 40's. Also, your experience may be extremely relevant and useful.
As I always suggest (many times - possibly too much for some), go to
http://imagineeringclass.com/
for a great, cheap, self-paced course. It gives an overall look at the whole process of putting an attraction together, technically and creatively. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Keep us posted on your progress and process of figuring it all out, and ask as many questions as you like.
Welcome to the site.

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Post by HHaase » Thu May 12, 2011 9:00 am

I've been looking at that class actually, It's one of the few out there that doesn't seem geared directly toward college aged students. So I think it will be my first step, once I get this nightmare of remodeling our living room and game room taken care of.

That, and I'll also be making a few purchases at Amazon as well. The local library system carried almost no books on the subject, the only one I was able to get was "Theme Park" by Scott Lukas.

-Hans

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Post by wokcreative » Thu May 12, 2011 8:17 pm

Speaking of Amazon, the I forgot that the class has been put into book form. I still recommend doing the class, for the feedback from Steve and any current and past students that happen to want to participate at the time. The book is at:

http://www.amazon.com/Theme-Park-Design ... 591&sr=1-1

It is called Theme Park Design: Behind The Scenes With An Engineer

By Steve Alcorn

My kids have been reading through it to get an early start on their careers.

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Post by HHaase » Sat May 14, 2011 2:25 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the book, though I agree that I'd rather take the class if possible. If I'm finding out anything in my research so far, it's that networking is pretty much critical. So the more interaction I can find, the better.

-Hans

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Post by Holly » Thu May 26, 2011 9:50 pm

That's great! I had no idea that the class had been put into a book -- very convenient. Even though I have been in it for a while, I still love reading new theme park design books when they come out :-)

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Post by Joey » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:40 pm

If you're after books, I wrote a dissertation on the creative side of theme parks and the bibliography may be useful.

http://josephfells.co.uk/themedenvironments.pdf

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Post by wokcreative » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:31 pm

Thanks for posting the dissertation. I am printing it out to read at work tomorrow.
It is great to see your final concept all together, too.

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Post by Joey » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:32 am

Your printer may be printing for a while!

EDIT: Also, is that course/book any good for people souly interested in creative aspects and not engineering?

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Post by wokcreative » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:37 pm

Completely. It covers the whole range of what it takes to put an attraction together. The engineering side is easy enough for anyone to understand. It helps to know all that is involved and going on, and helps in some ways to be able to design what will be needed, as well as opening up more design possibililties, by learning about other possible technologies, and finding new ways to use existing things in a different way than they have been used before.

Also, Steve Alcorn is known for his engineering abilities and company, but is also an author of novels. He understands, fully, the importance of Story and highlights that "Story is King". Setting up the story that is being told in an attraction (whether a ride, store, restaurant, museum exhibit...) is the first step in being able to do the design, giving the designer something to work from (and not just be "decorating"), which gives it a deep theme experience.

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Post by Joey » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:55 pm

Sounds good, I think I shall invest.

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Post by Tedward » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:12 pm

[quote="Joey"]Your printer may be printing for a while![/quote]
Thank the gods I have an iPad. I enjoyed that.

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Post by Joey » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:46 pm

[quote="Tedward"][quote="Joey"]Your printer may be printing for a while![/quote]
Thank the gods I have an iPad. I enjoyed that.[/quote]
Thank you!

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Post by HHaase » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:24 am

Well, just signed up for Steve Alcorn's class, and am awaiting the student login information to arrive. As it's early Sunday morning right now, I'm sure it will be a bit until it arrives.

-Hans

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Post by wokcreative » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:10 pm

Should be good. I'll look for you there. Everyone gets daily updates of all posts. Look forward to seeing your work.

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Post by Joey » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:30 am

I got that book. It's good, but it's not focused on the creative early development stages, which Is really what I'm into. Still, it can't be bad to know where it goes from there, and I would guess with smaller companies job titles and responsibilities are far more jumbled than he has experience with.

It's a good book, it's very to the point with not a whole lot of depth though. It's certainly worth getting for anyone interested in this stuff.

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Post by Tedward » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:12 pm

[quote="Joey"]I got that book.[/quote]
My copy arrived a couple of days ago and I am really enjoying it so far.

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Post by Joey » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:29 pm

Speaking of good books, the Theming of America is a great one. It's more a critical theory book, but there's some fantastic information which makes you really think about why and how theming is used. I recommend getting it, if you can find a copy. Mine is very well thumbed.

http://www.amazon.com/Theming-America-M ... 0813397650

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Post by HHaase » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:24 pm

As I mentioned in another thread, I just finished up Steve Alcorn's class. (I had a lot of downtime at work lately). And you're right, it was a great introductory class, it also makes me think there are a lot more ways into the industry than I originally knew about. It's a great overview type class for sure.

Part of the class is an ongoing design of your own theme park attraction. You touch on all of the aspects of the design process, but only at a basic level. Even though the class is done, I'm going to keep working with the concept on my own.

The attraction I came up with was a San Fransisco Resteraunt. It seats you all down in your booths, and suddenly an earthquake strikes. It looks as if the other half of the dining room has been crushed under the building, and leaves the building at a steep angle. The remaining booths begin to slide downhill into the kitchen.

As the ride progresses the groups keep getting cut down as various aftershocks or other accidents happen, each time something happens it will look like other people on the ride have been crushed, burned or otherwise eliminated. This brings on a sense of oncoming dread, as you wonder if you will be next. Eventually it gets down to just the four of you in a single solitary resteraunt booth, when you finally get rescued.

Now I need to figure out where to go next, for further education. Though at the same time, I feel that I do have enough career history and experience that I can start looking at the industry, and see where I can fit in right now. I'm thinking some type of park management position, as I am currently an operations manager at my current job.

I'm definitely glad I took the class, no doubt about it.

-Hans

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