“…Then Jack Happened.”

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Question: “I’ve been an outstanding bartender for most of my life, but I am ready for a change. What should I do with my talents/resume? I’m worried I won’t find something that can match the money I make now.”

Answer: I was in a similar situation not too long ago, waiting tables, cooking fish, paying the bills, but not quite satisfied. I decided I needed a change, went back to school, took some loans, and after four years, I am happily employed. I understand the trepidation involved with taking the risk, and it’s not easy. The number one thing before changing professions is identifying what you want, or think, you want to do. Nothing would be more professionally stressful than leaving a productive job, for a job you dislike more, that pays less. So identify your passions/talents, and figure out how to make money off them. Speak to people successful at what you want to do, and use their experience to forge your own path. Contact any resources available in the fields you identify, communes, unions, professional groups, fight clubs, mixers. Risk will always be present in a big life move, but with due diligence, you can mitigate the chances of failure. In your corner is your work. I assume you mainly work nights, and weekends, so if you are dedicated enough in your free time, you might be able to continue working while doing the ‘personal’ work that establishes your new future, all the while lessening financial stressors. Remember that if you do end up taking a step down in pay, which you seem to be bracing for, and can reasonably expect for a period of time starting fresh, if what you find brings you more happiness, greater challenges, and/or establishes a new future for yourself, a sacrifice on the short-side could be worth it in the long run. Most importantly, if you got that “I am ready for a change” itch, you got to deal with it one way or another. Either re-dedicate to the path you are on, or begin to positively make a new change. Otherwise you might become unhappy wherever you are, despite the money, or lifestyle you are leading. Good luck! We happily encourage your participation in the column. Send all questions to Andthenjackhappened@gmail.com