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TheStreet Open House

Safeguarding Your Career Switch

Avoid burnout; maybe get paid to not work

I don't need to warn you about spreading yourself thin, nor do I need to tell you how to relax. But I've found a way both 1) avoid burnout; and 2) get paid for it. Because much of my workweek consists of writing, I find that I often need to do an activity that requires relatively no “right-brain” thinking. Thus, I've taken on a mundane gig that consists of cropping photos. After a long week of writing, I actually find it therapeutic. And better yet - I'm getting paid to switch brain sides for a couple of hours.

Insure your career, even your old one

Telling my boss I had put in four years at her company only to move to California to pursue a dream was one of the most difficult things, career-wise, that I've had to do. But during that meeting, something interesting happened. Instead of telling me to get lost, she actually asked me if I could continue working for her at my convenience after I moved.

I was stunned. This meant I wouldn't have to immediately dip into my emergency fund.

I got lucky; I had a really cool boss. But if I hadn't worked hard at that job, as great as she is, I doubt she would have asked me to keep working for her. I was thankful that I'd insured my career.

What's worked for me

Everyone's different. What works for me isn't necessarily what would work for you. Some might find their career switch to be most effective by “just doing it.” In fact, I know a couple of people who left their jobs, moved to Los Angeles with nothing and are now getting by perfectly fine. Not many, but a couple.

But for me, it took many years of contemplating, deciding on and planning my career switch. I took a decision that some would deem irresponsible, and I tried to make it happen as responsibly as possible.

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