Following Your Passion

After twenty years of software development and project management, I finally decided I had enough and traded it in for a writing gig. Well, maybe it didn’t go quite that simple, but I did trade in my managerial hat for a pen, a tablet of paper, and a typewriter. Well, again, maybe not quite like that, but that is the gist of it.

Like many, I enjoyed early success in my career and was rewarded with promotions and raises up the corporate ladder. Somewhere along that ladder rung though, I forgot what my passion was. I had earned my BA in Communications. Specifically, I studied journalism and writing while working on my college newspaper and freelancing for local papers covering schoolboard and township meetings.

Upon graduation, still unable to hook on with a newspaper as a full-time writer, I got a job as a software tester. It was a cool job working alongside of other recent college graduates who all liked to go out after work for a few beers and wings. It was the perfect job – my writing job would wait.

Promotions and Lost Dreams

Being good at your job is a good thing. But being good at one job meant I was losing a bit of what I dreamed of doing through my college years. I envisioned myself as a writer, but with plenty of early success in my job, writing got further and further away from becoming a reality. Very quickly a year became two, which became five, and then ten. All of a sudden, twenty more years slipped away. 

Being promoted into management positions gave me the financial success I was looking for, and it placed me in a comfortable spot to go out and search for similar jobs at different companies. I jumped from company-to-company searching for the “right spot” but could never quite find it. Finally, twenty years after my college graduation, I finally realized what it was I was searching for professionally – I was searching for my career.

Up until this point, I didn’t have a career as much as I had a series of jobs with a bunch of different companies. The career I wanted was a writing career, and I was bound to go get it.

Never Too Late to Start a New Career

My career change was a methodical and systematic change. I knew to get back into the writing field, I would need to show prospective employers a portfolio of writing samples and my commitment back into the writing space.

I worked for several years as a freelance writer on the side. Writing blogs and company websites for small businesses helped me build out my writing portfolio. Secondly, I enrolled back in school to pursue my Master’s degree. I used this as an opportunity to show prospective employers updated writing samples and my commitment to the writing field.

The Career I Always Wanted

Starting over professionally is rewarding. My first career provided me with plenty of experience and opportunities that I am thankful for. My second career in writing is rewarding me in so many ways. I am finally doing the job I always wanted. The old cliché is true – if you love what you are doing, you’re not really working.

Getting to where I wanted to be, though, took hard work, plenty of effort, and commitment. I put together a plan on how I would get to my new career, and I followed it.

If you are at the spot where it’s time for a career change, invest in yourself and put together your plan. It may take several months or even a few years to get to where you want to be professionally, but in the long run, it’s worth investing that time and effort into yourself and into your new career.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: