New Direction: New Fears

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    Feb 18, 2008 3:48 PM GMT
    I recently parted ways with my employer and find myself at an interesting point in my life. I have been in the same industry (public Relations) for almost five years and have not really, fully enjoyed my career. I am good a what I do, but feel the need to do something more with my professional life. I worry about getting into the same routine of half enjoying myself and not really finding my professional Zen. Eventually, I would love to not stare at a computer screen all day and would like to make more money; but who doesn't. I am willing to take some steps to get there, but I have my trepidations.

    But change never comes until you are willing to give up security for a while.

    Have any of you just changed direction, professionally? If so how did you come to decide what you wanted to do. Any pitfalls in the career change process? Love to hear your experience/advice.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Feb 18, 2008 4:02 PM GMT
    After ten years in my chosen career, I decided to go back to school. I don't regret the past ten years, but it doesn't drive me the way it used to. I don't fully enjoy my job like I once did, so I knew it was time to move on.

    I decided to get my natural healthcare practitioners certification because I've had an interest in various holistic treatments for years. Up until this time, I always utilized them on a personal level, I never once thought of it being a possible career choice. Then, as I grew increasingly dissatisfied with my career, the idea of going into the holistic field professionally grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

    There are many sacrifices I've had to make, mostly financial. While in school I still have to work, so my social life is pretty much non-existent.

    It's all paying off, however. I'll be done my course in six months and am in the works of moving down to Texas for work. I'm looking at late summer/early fall. It's been hard, but the payoff will make it worth it.
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    Feb 18, 2008 4:08 PM GMT
    I have been in medical sales all of my adult life, and I can't imagine doing anything else. I think it is once place the you can "make a difference" while still making a good living.

    I have made moves into management, and found that training and building the confidence of others was very stimulating, however I really missed the "end user" contact.

    With your background and good looks, you would be a great "catch" for one of the larger medical companies out there. Damn you might even have to ugly yourself up a bit ...hope that helps and if you want further information let me know
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    Feb 18, 2008 4:09 PM GMT
    US Dept of Labor estimates that recent college grads will have 10 jobs by age 38 and seven careers by retirement. I'm on career #5 and love what I do. You're never too late to change, but you've got to look at what you really want to do, and also what you have to offer that's of value to others.
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    Feb 18, 2008 4:46 PM GMT
    DJ

    I have never put all my eggs in one basket. I started with a government job early in life. With my drive and determination, I worked myself into a training/instructor position fairly quick. The pay was good and the travel was nice for a while. I started to dabble in some real estate on the side along with some system admin as well. I gave up my government gig all together last year. I am now more financially secure than ever.

    Dont be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. There are many paths to travel in life. I firmly believe that hard work pays off. Always be open to new ideas and set yourself obtainable goals. Live within your means and invest your money and time wisely.

    You are most beneficial to the workforce when you are passionate about your job. When you are beneficial to the workforce there is good money to be made. Good luck!

    * I'm on the treadmill sweat'n my ass off right now, so I am not responsible for my spelling or grammar!!*
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Feb 18, 2008 4:56 PM GMT
    DJ,

    It sounds that there are parts of Public Relations that you like. You might want to look at staying in the field, but getting out of your present industry/product.

    This year, with elections, there must be a candidate, local, county or state level, that has captured your vote. Volunteer your skill to that campaign. It opens several opportunities to you. One, you might find that you like being a consultant to other candidates in other elections. And if nothing else, it is a great networking opportunity.

    I started my own consulting firm for Medical Device companies when I turned 60. So it's never too late or too early to strike out on your own, if that is what takes your fancy. But you need the exposure to new experiences and new people. That will be your challenge.

    Good luck
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    Feb 18, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    matt45710 saidUS Dept of Labor estimates that recent college grads will have 10 jobs by age 38 and seven careers by retirement. I'm on career #5 and love what I do. You're never too late to change, but you've got to look at what you really want to do, and also what you have to offer that's of value to others.


    Could not have said it better.

    I am on Career #4.

    1 - Spent 12 years in the Army. Loved it: had a great, exciting, fulfilling, job. Left because I didn't wish to be closeted anymore, and wanted to get another degree.

    2 - After getting degree I went to work for IBM for 5 years. Loved the job, working with a new startup team creating a new division from scratch and parts of other moribund divisions. Left because my main project had transitioned from start up modality to permanence, and because I had an idea about computer forensics and wanted to have a bit more independence.

    3 - Started my own company. Slow start for a couple years , then BOOM! incredible growth.

    4 - Was approached by some people in Europe about merging my small (but very fast growing) technology company with a small company based in the UK. After some serious negotiations decided to make the move. Borrowed every penny I could and managed to gain a majority interest in the new 'merged' company.

    I have never been afraid of risk. If you crash and burn, you just have to start over.

    Yes, you have to be willing to take some risk every step of the way. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. For me personally, I was young, single, no dependents, in good health, and knew I could find work somewhere else no matter what happened. The decisions were fairly easy.

    Each time I changed direction I decided that I wanted something more, something different, something better. I was willing to give up my comfort zone to get it.

    Yeah - there are a lot of pitfalls in change.

    When I started my own company I ended up working 3 outside jobs just to make rent sometimes. I slept on the floor of my office for months, and took showers at the Y. I ate enough .99 cent hamburgers and Ramen noodles to last me a lifetime - and sometimes I didn't have that.

    Its hard to sign a paycheck for your employees, then look at the bank account and realize that there is no money left to pay yourself, or even to go buy groceries that week because you have to pay the employees next week too. It is almost heartbreaking to see employees waste paper on useless - frivolous - printer jobs, when you know that you had bought the paper the week before instead of replacing your totally worn out shoes.

    Would I do it again?

    In a heartbeat

    In my humble world view there are two kinds of people. The warriors and the chair borne; those who run toward an accident or fire, and those who run away; people who step up, and those who look for someone else to help them.

    Good Luck!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    I have been in the same field for about 20 years and still like it. The field however (Computer Science) is diverse enough that I could branch out or specialize if I wanted to. Fortunately, I still love the tech field.

    Addressing the topic a little more though I should say that what I have realized is that you need more than a good paycheck to be fulfilled.

    You should feel free to follow your heart and do something you really like or at least closer to what you like. Its easy to fall into a rut where you stay in the comfort of the familiar, but being adventurous, spontaneous, and clever can really make you feel alive and exhilarated. That is a fun part of a career -- actively engaging your course and making things happen by working with the opportunities that arise.
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    Feb 18, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    1. Cocktail lounge pianist.
    2. English teacher (8th grade).
    3. Headhunter (Wall Street lawyers).
    4. Options floor trader (American Stock Exchange).
    5. Owner of retail stores.
    6. Commodities broker.
    7. Precious metals broker.

    Every one of the careers was interesting, and most were financially rewarding. You should pursue something only as long as it keeps you wanting to get out of bed every morning. When it doesn't, change.

    Hey, it's worked for me.
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    Feb 18, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    ever thought about starting your own business? find out what consumers want, and give them what they want. of course, whatever you decided to do had to be something you LOVE to do because otherwise you wont be as passionate or successful. best way to make good money is to be your own boss.
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:12 PM GMT
    l used to change job's like britney spears changes her knickers when i was young as i got bored easy! But when you are 30 plus it's harder but go with your gut feeling always in life..

    Good Luck1
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
    I spent 14 years in banking to realise I actually hated it.

    I left that to become a Human behaviour trainer and then went into my current role which is a B2B role in influencing Human Behaviour

    When I left the bank my salary halved, but now I am on double what I was on when I left the bank. It was gamble it paid off, but the thing I put my pay rises down to is that I have passion and drive in my work nowadays and that shines through.
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    Feb 19, 2008 10:17 AM GMT
    At 18, I was already in my junior year of BS Biology. Getting high grades, and a university scholar due to maintaining a grade average not below 1.5

    I realized that after graduating the only choices I'll have in my career is to become a teacher or a researcher. Options not readily available in the Philippines.

    Or I would have to go through another 2 years at least and proceed to Nursing or Medicine, both have higher employment probabilities.

    This was also the time I was starting to sink into depression (from a broken heart and closet pressures, hehe), so I decided to just give it up and switch.

    Much as I loved Biology, I have one other love - Computers, which has better chances at employment. I shifted courses. A decision I have yet to see if I'll regret.
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    Feb 19, 2008 10:40 AM GMT
    I know very much what you mean. I just got out of service after serving for 8 long years. I now find myself at a few crossroads with some difficult challenges, but things are going well for me. I'm going back to school and the possiblities for me are endless.

    I also find myself liking the palce where I was last stationed (Alaska) and plan on staying here for awhile longer until Ifeel it's time forme to move. Feels good to be a civilian again.
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    Feb 20, 2008 3:31 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the great personal experiences. I have an informational interview with a small company on Friday. No pressure. I am just going to start looking to see what is out there. Who knows what I might find.