In recent years, a wave of white-collar professionals has seized on a moribund job market, a swelling enthusiasm for all things artisanal and the growing sense that work should have meaning to cut ties with the corporate grind and chase second careers as chocolatiers, bed-and-breakfast proprietors and organic farmers ...
The lures are obvious: freedom, fulfillment. The highs can be high. But career switchers have found that going solo comes with its own pitfalls: a steep learning curve, no security, physical exhaustion and emotional meltdowns. The dream job is a “job” as much as it is a “dream.”
- Alex Williams, New York Times, "Maybe it's Time for Plan C"
I went to college with the full intentions of having a career in the publishing industry as a book editor - my then-idea of the dream job. Reading books for a living and going to glam lunches with famous authors while living in NYC and writing my great American novel on the side? What could be better?
Better would be the coming of my second (and subsequent third) great American novel, which I would write from the seclusion of my lakefront home, the one with the two-story tall living room that overlooked my acres of manicured forest and charming boathouse. By then my busy life as a social editing butterfly would be a distant memory as I write full-time and run a quaint bed-and-breakfast on the side as a way to put my hobby of cooking to good use.
To make my dream come true, I did everything I thought I was supposed to do at the time. I majored in English lit while minoring in Journalism and took creative writing courses. I interned at literary agencies and publishing houses. I hung out with other wannabe writers/editors/book nerds and we brooded with each other over Gloria Jean's white chocolate Oreo chillers (the closest I get to real coffee) and goblets of cheap Coors Light at BBQ.
Somewhere along the way in college the dream flickered and I wised up and realized no one could live in NYC off a book editor's salary, amongst other things. I ended up adding a second minor in marketing. I took a part-time job at a B-to-B publication, my first foray into regular corporate America. In a box in my parents' attic sits half a dozen unfinished manuscripts and several dozen short stories. There's a map somewhere in my old closet with the areas I've circled as good places to run a B&B - I think the last place I had settled on was somewhere by the lake in Door Country, WI.
I've always been a big proponent for a person to take a risk, live the life they want and follow their dreams - but I do it sitting here in the safety of my steady corporate job. I've not taken the leap myself. Will I ever get the courage to get escape "the machine?" Well let's be honest, the money where I am right now is pretty good and comes in a regular basis, along with those funny things you don't need until you do need them - medical benefits, paid time off.
I haven't really written in years. I know what goes behind running a B&B now and I'm not sure if I want to commit that much of myself to it. So does this mean that my plan A went away with the tide of reality in college? Am I on my plan B now working as in corporate America? If so, where's my plan C? And would I be brave enough to take that chance if it comes?
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
For those of you with regular office jobs, have you thought about quitting it all to pursue your dreams? What's your plan B (or C)? ♦ For those of you still in school, what do you think you'll be pursuing for a career when you graduate? Is it what you really want to do or what you think you should do? ♦ For those of you who are "living the dream," what is the real-life dream like?
Top: Anthropologie Edme & Esyllte rose is a rose (worn here before - sim here, here, solid here)
Skirt: Talbots washed silk full (worn here before - sim here, mini here)
Sweater: Loft v-neck cardi (sim here, crewneck here)
Belt: H&M (sim here, here)
Shoes: Michael Kors hamilton (worn here before - sim peep here, here)