Career Transitions: Creating Complementary Careers in a Day

Down-sized? Outsourced? Burned-out? Wizened up? That's what I said. Wizened up! Now is not the time to be depressed. Now, is the perfect time to assess your life and what you want to do with the rest of it. One easy way is to explore career options that are complementary to you. Whether you are leaving by choice or have been asked to leave, you probably have more courses of action then you think.

Give yourself several, uninterrupted hours to perform this task. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Have paper, at least five sheets, and pen ready. Do not use a pencil for this. You want to put down everything that comes to your head. No erasing or changing allowed. Relax, take a deep breath, and begin.

Think about the job you just had. List all the types of businesses you or your company worked with while you were there. Include customers, vendors, suppliers, buyers, and strategic partners.

Go to the second sheet. Make a list of all the skills you gained from your education and employment experiences. Don't forget to include your first paper route or babysitting jobs. If nothing else, it will bring a smile to your face and keep you relaxed.

On the third page, itemize your hobbies, interests, and favorite leisure activities. You can make these subcategories on the page or put into the same list.

Finally, write down on the fourth page the careers you considered before going in the direction you did. Also, put down ones that you would consider dream jobs. Don't let anything stand in your way here. Remember the operative word, dream. Disregard your monetary situation, your education, your appearance, age, or gender. If your inner critic shows up, and this is the place they usually do, tell them to go take a coffee break. This is your time to only listen to your soul talking. Finish up the list by adding any careers from comments that people have made to you over the years, such as, "You would have made a great teacher. You really know your history."

Take a moment and look over your four sheets of paper. You did a lot of hard work. Congratulate yourself with a stretch and go get yourself a favorite beverage. But, don't let too much time go by, no more than ten minutes. You're on a roll and you don't want your bored inner critic to find you hanging out at the water cooler, if you know what I mean.

Lay your four pages side by side across a table. Take your fifth and last sheet. List any combinations or connections from your four lists that could go together or would be fun to have go together. Your list may look something like this:

IT person - tutors senior citizens about computers and email.

Boat captain - runs ecotourism tours for the visually disadvantaged.

Nurse - owns a wellness spa.

Pilot - is an aviation school owner and expert witness.

Your complementary career options are only limited by your creativity. This is the time to be open to all ideas and daring in your resolve to consider them seriously. Seek out others who have blended careers or made career transitions successfully. Study the biographies of people like stars, sports personalities, and even military personnel. Many have made transitions out of necessity or desire. Soon, you'll find yourself moving into a life you had never before dreamed possible.

Copyright 2005 Kathy Iwanowski. All Rights Reserved.

Kathy Iwanowski, a former cancer nurse and manager, creates art, speaks, and writes about creative living and work. Her articles, editorials, and reviews on art, business, creativity, and nursing subjects have been published in newsletters, ezines, and books in the United States.

To arrange for Kathy as a speaker for your next event or to find out more about her work, visit her website at

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