By Mitchell Baskin, MS, PE
The social worker moonlighting as a winemaker – A man had been a counselor at a shelter for abused teens for several years. While he still loved the work and helping the adolescents, he felt like he was spinning his wheels because eventually the “system” would return these fragile teenagers into the same environment they came from. He was frustrated and said that perhaps it was no longer a good fit. We did the testing with him, and a lot of nurturing professions were uncovered such as social worker, nurse, caretaker, etc. I suggested that he was in the right career, but in the wrong job. He could still be a counselor but he could change industries, or populations he worked with. If he worked with the elderly, or worked as a grief counselor he might find it more rewarding at this juncture of his life. He agreed with me, but said he made little money as it was, and if he had to start all over with different populations, he might not be able to make ends meet. I asked him about his hobbies and among them was craft winemaking. He said he usually spent one or two days a week at a specialty wine store meeting with other wine enthusiasts and even wine company sales reps. I suggested that since he was at the wine store so frequently, maybe the owner would hire him part-time since he was always at the store anyway. They liked his suggestions and hired him for part time work. Once he did that and also started a less stressful job working at an assisted living home, the part-time job at the wine store made up the difference in the pay cut he took to start over in a different job. He keeps in touch and is very happy. The takeway from this is that sometimes two jobs are fine if you really like what you are doing. It is more rewarding than the stress of a job that is no longer satisfying to you
The high-powered salesperson that became a nurse – A woman worked as a sales rep selling health insurance plans to medium and large corporations. She made a fantastic living, but there was not a lot of satisfaction. She worked at least 6 days and sometimes 7 days a week meeting with HR people during the week and conducting seminars on the weekends. She said she didn’t need to make as much money as she did. She told me that she had great clothing, but she would rather have a life. If she tried to take more time off on weekends, her boss would ask why wasn’t she producing. She called her boss a hungry tiger that never got enough meat to be satisfied. She said she had a company car so she couldn’t even spend the money on a high end car. She was 35 years old, single, and people found her rather attractive. She had no problem getting appointments. In her mind, she wanted to make sales calls based on her knowledge, not just her appearance. She worried that she was in a youth oriented sales job. Whether or not that was the reality, it was her perception of the industry, and it bothered her. After the career testing, the Nursing Profession came up high on all the career and personality, career and workplace preferences, and career and interest inventories. She decided she was going to take the plunge and study to become an RN. She quit her job and moved in with her retired parents in Florida. Around six months later, she sent me an email saying that she was enrolled in a nursing program, and it was her perfect career. Additionally, she had met a man through the program who was now her boyfriend, and she was shortly getting engaged. She thanked me for helping to turn her life around.