How do I follow a rainbow when there's no
pot of gold in sight?
Q. "My vision of career freedom doesn't pay enough to
live on, but I really want to do it."
A. "No money" can mean that you want to enter a
place where most people earn very little (e.g., working with
children or animals).
Alternatively, you might be evaluating a high-risk career,
where most people fail, many make a living after a period
of struggle, and a few get rich (e.g., acting, writing, art,
The easy answers are (a) donate generously, (b) vacation
in the place you love, and (c) volunteer your time on weekends.
Once you get past those:
(1) Test-drive the dream. Spend some time as a non-profit
volunteer to see if you like the ambience: Many corporate
types run screaming after the first week. Want to write? Spend
a vacation at the word processor, trying the live-alone-with-your-words
(2) Know your career bottom line. Some people find they can
tailor their talents to a money-making field (set up a training
company, moonlight as a volunteer give art lessons). Others
(3) Know your financial bottom line. Can you cut expenses
in half or will one brake job send you looking for a full-time
(4) If your dream comes with high risk, build a safety
(5) Going too fast may actually take you off the fast track
as you get stopped by the Life Patrol. Don't listen to anyone
who says, "You can always go back to where you were before."
Wrong! You'll be different. Your field will have been transformed.
"Close your eyes and jump" and you may land on
your feet -- but usually it's a good idea to build
a staircase first.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.