part 1 of career shape-shifting: the parachute dilemma

Starting a business is no easy task. It’s been a tough road just getting to the point where I know it’s what I want to do, and my blogging has largely been silent on this. Now, with the spectacles of hindsight, I think can write about it in a coherent, non-whiny manner.

This is the first of several posts looking back on my 1-year journey into entrepreneurship. It started with figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.

When I left the real world of work just over a year ago, I knew I only had one more chance at this career change thing. Let’s face it, I’m almost 40, my husband and I have 2 kids to raise, and we’re pretty sure there are no trust funds out there waiting for us to come of age.

I had graduated from Boston University with a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. “What the hell were you planning to do with that?” you ask — everyone asked. Truth is, I didn’t care. I liked reading and I liked writing, and I could still take plenty of art classes as electives. I quickly decided law school was not my gig… and thus began my “multi-faceted” (read “directionless”) career.

I have been a retail manager, furniture salesperson, prenatal/infant care expert, event planner, marketing/PR specialist, investor relations manager, legal assistant, administrative assistant, and stock broker assistant. What to do with this crazy cocktail of experience was completely beyond me.

So I sought out a career counselor. I looked into independent career counselors, and found that they charge upwards of $125/hour. That’s our weekly grocery budget! This was clearly out of the question. But wow, what a great gig these independent consultants have. Then I remembered how fortunate I am to be living in the city of my alma mater.

I gave the BU Center for Career Development a call. When I went to BU, it was called the Office of Career Services. It was in a basement of a building on Deerfield St in Kenmore Square and smelled like a basement. These days, it’s a “Center” that “develops” you rather than “serves.” It has also moved up to swanky digs on the 3rd floor, about to move into swankier new digs in a brand new building across the street. I think they’ve figured out that if they do a better job of helping liberal arts majors like me make a ton of money, they’ll get a piece of that in alumni donations.

As an alum, I was eligible for three counseling sessions and two assessment tests for the bargain price of $90. This was a steal, and I’d be crazy to turn it down. Plus, I LOVE taking personality tests.

Tune in next week for Part 2 of Career Shape-Shifting: “INFP”

SIDE NOTE:  If you’ve never perused the Work/Career section of your local bookstore, the blog title refers to “What Color Is Your Parachute?” which I read in my 20s. Please don’t take my recent state of career confusion as evidence the book fails its intended purpose. It’s a fabulous book. My career track derailment has more to do with variable commitment on my part than anything else.

Advertisements

what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s