Congratulations. Marci Alboher. This former lawyer has a new column in The New York Times named after one of her areas of expertise: Shifting Careers. Coincidentally her book One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success is over to the left topping my list of "What I Am Currently Reading (or Rereading)."
From Alboher's first column "When It Comes to Careers, Change Is a Constant" . . .
When Ted Greenberg left the field of suicide research to become a stand-up comic, he sent out a mass e-mail that began with the following:
“In August of 2005, I left my position at the Columbia University department of child psychiatry to pursue stand-up comedy full time. Occasionally I receive an inquiry about the U.S. securities market. I left that field in July of 1997. Less frequently, I’m asked for a ride to the airport in a Checker cab. I gave up my hack license in September of 1988. January of 2006 represents five consecutive months of me not changing careers.”
Mr. Greenberg’s career shifts may be unusual, but his announcement is something we’ve all come to expect: news that our friends and colleagues are shedding their skins to emerge as very different animals. It’s part of a fundamental change sweeping all industries and professions.
According to the Labor Department, “the average person born in the later years of the baby boom held 10.5 jobs from age 18 to 40.” In 2006, the most recent year for which there are statistics, 54 million Americans, or 40 percent of the work force, left their jobs.
Ah, yes! I understand career shifting well. My lifetime list includes (but is not limited to) high school teacher, dog groomer, cocktail waitress, juvenile probation officer, lawyer, health resort manager, lawyer training manager, writer of marketing materials for a start-up computer company, and candy maker. Today my slash list includes (but is not limited to) mediator/writer/speaker/trainer/student of the brain.
In a quick tour through my head, I estimate that well over half of my friends and colleagues have careers that are slashed. (I wonder about the relationship between slash people and Renaissance Souls.) To all my brothers and sisters in the slash, take a look at Alboher's book and read her column. You will realize you are not alone or misguided, and you will also pick up plenty of extremely helpful tips.
Did I forget to add that I help people design their own funerals? If I keep writing, I will remember more slashes so I am signing off now so this post will end.