More and more lately I meet people who want to live their dream but are stuck living in the slash. Writer / waitress. Actress / barista. Entrepreneur / Retail Sales. Their time is split between what they want to be doing and a job that pays the bills. Transitioning from the job to the dream can be challenging. This can be more difficult for people pursuing non-traditional careers like entertainers, athletes or business owners.
Here are a few ideas to help chart your path out of the job and into the dream:
- Make sure you have talents (natural ability) and skills (learned ability) needed to be successful in the area you’re pursuing. We’ve all seen the American Idol auditions that someone should have redirected a long time ago. If you’re planning to make a living with your passion you must excel in it.
- Decide if you’re willing to commit the time and work necessary to making your passion a successful career. Some interests can be kept as a hobby but don’t have to be the source of your full time employment.
- Bridge the gap. Since success in non-traditional careers can take some time it’s usually helpful to have a dependable way to pay bills while you’re working toward your goals. One option is to look into some certification programs that can be completed in 1-2 years and can have a beneficial return on your educational investment.
- Network. Spend as much time as possible around people doing what you are interested in and ask them how they got started and if they have any advice for someone starting out in the field. One way to find these groups is to search for trade associations in your area and go to their monthly meetings.
- Volunteer or intern in your field of interest to start getting some real life experience and to make more connections for future career opportunities.
- Find a mentor who can help you walk through the process.
- Work hard and don’t give up.