Finding Something Friday on Careers and the P Word

When I’m not busy writing and taking care of business, I’m busy taking care of other people’s business. And by other people, I mean the Cathy C. Hall family people. (The family people may suggest that my scope attempts to reach farther, but if they knew what they were talking about, I wouldn’t have to take care of their business, right???)

That’s why I’m reading The Career Clinic: 8 Simple Rules for Finding Work you Love. Now, I’ve found the work I love. But certain Hall family people are in the process of looking, so I pick up books, read Craigslist, and try in other little ways to um, speed up the search. And what I’m reading in The Career Clinic is so darn interesting, I just had to share.

Here’s what I love about how this book is presented: lots of folks, some famous, others not so much, but all happy in their life’s work, share their stories. Or offer advice from what they’ve learned in their searching days. Each rule is exemplified with these brief tales of job satisfaction.


Take Dave Swanson, who’s had varied careers, but is happiest working now as a career consultant. Dave likes to ask clients to complete this sentence: I have to_________. Dave says he thinks of George Balanchine, the choreographer, who reportedly said that he doesn’t hire people who want to dance. He hires people who have to dance. Dave’s advice? Find what you absolutely have to do that makes you happy, then do it.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? So, why then are so many people, young and old, working in jobs that they can barely stand, day after day, year in, year out. I think it comes down to the P-word. Perhaps they’ve lost touch with their passion. Or maybe they’re afraid to pursue their passion for fear of failing. Or could it be they’ve sold out their passion for higher pay, steady work, benefits?

I think it’d be a swell idea if colleges required a serious class on career planning. Have students read The Career Clinic, or that other career-planning bible, What Color is Your Parachute? Give young adults the opportunity to explore the passion they had as kids. I know that’s how I made it back to writing. Or more accurately, creating. But it took me years to find the outlet that served my passion so well.

It’s all about the P word that’s used so often, I wonder if it’s lost some of its power. But the power of passion is still around, still a force to be reckoned with, once you find what you have to do. So, how happy are you? (Not that’s it’s any of my business-)

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6 thoughts on “Finding Something Friday on Careers and the P Word

  1. I heard that saying in radio many times..it's not something you want to do, it's something you have to do. As glorious as it sounds, there are a lot of great radio people looking for work. The same in life that sometimes you do what you have to do to put food on the table and keep the electricity running. Kids would be well served to watch those like the Benevolent Mr. Hall and how he left a job he loved to go with a company with a future that provides for his family. Or a mom who teaches school to help provide, putting a writing career on hold. I'm just saying….

  2. Good points, Bill. When I think back,(waaaay back) to all the jobs I've held through the years, each one brought me closer to what I loved. And I think I always looked for (and sometimes found) a way to be creative…even at a library, and most especially, teaching. But I couldn't do what I do today without the Beneficent Mr. Hall paying the big bills.And in many ways, that man has a dream job…but I think I'll keep those ways to myself. The Boss might be reading!

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