I always encourage my children to plan their career goals through their passions. I use the cliche "If you love what you do, you'll never have a day of labor". And I ask "What do you enjoy doing without
I always encourage my children to plan their career goals through their passions. I use the cliche "If you love what you do, you'll never have a day of labor". And I ask "What do you enjoy doing without being made to do it?" or "When you imagine the perfect life, what is your contribution to the world?" I tell them those are their passions! I advise them not to focus on how much money a profession pays; but rather that they're passionate about doing it!
Have you ever had a moment when your own very good advice comes around to knock on your head and scream DUH! at you?! This was my experience when I decided to live my dream of being a creative writer. It's not my dream because I've always planned on it. No. This was literally the dream I had imagined all my life while making plans that didn't support it. It sounds crazy to me too, but it's true. I allowed my fear of “insufficient funds” to lead me away from my passion.
As a child, I was advised to go to a well respected school, study hard, then enter a well respected profession paying lots of money. I was also told authors don't make much money; so I figured I would be an attorney. I loved Perry Mason and couldn't wait to WOW the courtroom with my surprise witness; but that was far as any true passion for the law went. When I found out that surprises in the courtroom haven't been allowed in a long time... well, that passion went down hill. I did, however, complete an AAS in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies at South Suburban College (Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society) and began working in the legal profession as a paralegal.
Next, I studied at DePaul University initially majoring in Political Science which I felt to be a solid foundation for Law School. While at DePaul and working as a Paralegal, I decided that there just wasn't enough passion left for me to still pursue a career in the legal profession. I then switched to the School for New Learning at DePaul, which offers a "create your own degree" program and assesses your competence of subject matters through your writing! No Tests! THIS WAS PERFECT!!! I didn't know what I wanted to do and could therefore use the flexibility of creating my own degree, AND I LOVE WRITING! (Wait... did you catch that? because I didn't at the time...)
One of the classes I took at DePaul was Sustainable Living. From this class I chose a new profession. I would be a Sustainable Consultant with LEED AP accreditation! I love the environment and couldn't think of anything I'd like to do more! (Though I didn't even know what the word "sustainability" meant when I signed up for the course) You've been there before, right? Yeah, I love the sustainable thing and make an effort to live sustainably. I even received my BA from DePaul University with the focus of "The Legal Environment of Sustainability". I even attained LEED AP accreditation and two Building Performance Institute Certifications. However, I didn't love sustainability enough to stick with it while unable to find work in that industry. It just isn't what I'd do without getting paid.
What I did resort to during the storm of the unemployment was writing. I did quite a bit of online article writing while looking for that "job" that I could be "happy" doing though I was "happy" doing the writing while looking for the "happy job”! (Huh.....? Did you catch that? because I didn't at the time...)
I figure the only way to achieve the happiness I've searched for is to follow my own advice and do that thing I would do without pay but find a way to be paid for doing it. Not paid to the goal of riches; but paid as a consequence of allowing my passion to show and having it appreciated. I just hadn't stopped to think about what that was.
Then while setting up my profile on O'Desk to search for another “job”, I came across a section for creative writing and thought, "Oh, I could do that too! That would be fun!" WAIT A MINUTE SELF!!! Do that too?! How about THIS IS IT!?
Then came to mind the poetry I've always written, the many short stories I'd written as a child and young adult, the many book ideas I've outlined, my many online articles, and even the fact that I chose to complete my undergraduate studies through a program requiring A TON OF WRITING and I loved every bit of it! I even thought about how my Advanced Project for my BA in The Legal Environment of Sustainability was a pamphlet on sustainable upgrades for the pre-existing home that I wrote!
Though I haven't always been courageous enough to follow my passion and dream of writing, I have acquired a wide knowledge and experience base. With a passion for writing and such a varied background, I am qualified to intelligently write on a multitude of subjects.
I am now a professional writer!
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