My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Picture this: Joe, a fry cook in Gainesville, Florida, wows his family and friends with his Chesapeake Bay Wild Striped Bass and Braised Short Ribs on evenings and weekends. After dreaming of opening a restaurant “somewhere near the Big Sur,” he sells his house, packs his family into a car and heads for California. Joe will learn the multiple definitions of “nightmare” and “disaster” before year’s end.
Or picture this: Joyce, who lives in Decatur, Illinois, has always loved children. She’s wondered for years whether to become a teacher or open a daycare center once her own children leave the nest. But she keeps waiting for some future moment when her world is more settled, ensuring that “what night have been” will remain “what never was.”
Dreams, some say, will take up as much space as we allow. According to Nancy Whitney-Reiter, most of us spend our careers trying to achieve success as it’s defined by others rather than proactively following our dreams and doing what we love. Yet, “Now is the time to do what you love” makes clear that ill-defined career-change goals may remain pipe dreams if we take no action or may become nightmares when we fail to consider realities and create a comprehensive plan.
After establishing the rationale for changing careers sooner rather than later, Whitney-Reiter leads readers through a frank assessment of exactly how their dream jobs will impact that lives, their emotions, their finances, their physical condition and their families. She includes pros and cons, examples, reality checks and “Is-It-Worth-It?” checklists.
When considering finances, for example, the checklist includes such statements as “I am willing to invest a significant amount of time on understanding and improving my financial picture” and “I understand that my expenses might actually rise during my transition between careers.” If one doesn’t agree with such statements, s/he may face roadblocks to his or her success.
After successfully working through the advice and checklists in part one, part two leads career-change dreamers into “Taking the Plunge.” To avoid the financial and emotional nightmare of becoming trapped in a new career that doesn’t meet expectations, one should make a sound written plan and find various ways for trying on the proposed career to see if it fits.
“Jumping into a new career,” says Whitney-Reiter, “is akin to jumping into an unknown river. It may look beautiful and inviting from a distance, but you really have no idea what it’s like until you become immersed in it. Sticking your big toe in–taking a trial run–allows you the opportunity to test the waters first.”
Part three analyzes the realities and requirements of popular career and second-career choices, including converting hobbies into money-making opportunities, leading travel groups, teaching and care-giving, social work, public speaking, nonprofits, real estate and law enforcement. Those considering these careers will find options, laws, certifications and other vital specifics. Others may discover a career they hadn’t yet thought of and/or sound examples of the kinds of considerations any new career includes.
Immensely well organized and practical, “Now is the time to do what you love” is the perfect companion for anyone who is dissatisfied with their current career and/or who is considering a second career after they retire from the first. To become viable realities, dreams require work. Whitney-Reiter’s experience, research and interviews show those ready to take the journey the important milestones to leaving a job that’s just a job and entering a fulfilling career doing that makes them personally feel successful and happy. The book is a very wise dream catcher.