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
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, coaching).
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 life.
(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 want all-or-nothing.
(3) Know your financial bottom
line. Can you cut expenses in half or will one brake job
send you looking for a full-time job?
(4) If your dream comes with
high risk, build a first.
(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
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*