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Sunday, January 08, 2006
Don't Make a Living
Today is Sunday and all over America people are ironing their clothes for tomorrow, setting their briefcases by the door, and fixing their lunches for tomorrow. Tomorrow, as people all over the country drag themselves into their cubes with coffee in hand, they wonder to themselves “What other job is out there for me?” The average American changes post-college jobs at least seven times in their lifetime and changes total career fields at least three times before retirement. Eighty percent of college graduates never work in their major field of study. Just because you start out as a widget-maker doesn’t mean you’ll retire in the same field. In fact, odds are that you won’t!

Gone are the days of thirty-year careers in one field culminated with a retirement party and a gold watch. Corporate loyalty to employees is nonexistent and employee loyalty only extends as far as the next bonus check. Career changes are common occurrences these days.

I was reading an old edition of Mental Floss magazine and there was an article about previous careers of famous people that I thought was very interesting.

Did you know:

Dr. Ruth used to be a sniper for the Israeli Defense Forces?
Sylvester Stallone scooped poop at the Bronx Zoo?
Whoopi Goldberg worked in a funeral home as a make-up artist? (I guess she had no dissatisfied customers.)
Liam Neeson drove a forklift at the Guinness brewery in Belfast? (Now THERE’S a job!)
Elvis Costello was a computer programmer for Elizabeth Arden?
John Malkovich drove a school bus?

Everyone changes careers. Life is too short to do something that makes you miserable. The key is to find something that you love and meets all your other requirements (like the mortgage). I have a young twelve-year-old friend who attended a demonstration over the weekend on the rehabilitation of raptors (eagles, hawks, etc.). He became so excited about the thought of working with these magnificent animals that he volunteered at the end of the demonstration to travel to the rehab center to clean cages, change water bowls, and handle dead rodents (food for the birds) on his Saturdays. Working on Saturdays meant giving up baseball, a sport he had played since he was four years old. He asked me if I thought he could make a living working with wild animals because he was thinking of becoming a falconer. I told him, “Do what you love and you won’t make a living – you’ll make a life.”

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 /


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