GET A LIFE NOT JUST A JOB by Joyce Schwarz, blogging at www.hollywood2020.blogs.com. It could be that not all of you readers know that one of my most fulfilling missions is helping others change their careers and businesses. Since 1986 when I launched my STAR*COURSE classes and my cable television show, I've been showing thousands (more than 2500 in fact) people how to break into the new Hollywood and how to successful change careers.
BOOKS & TAPES/CD'S BY JOYCE SCHWARZ ON CAREER CHANGE:
SUCCESSFUL RECAREERING by Joyce Schwarz, career and change consultant and futurist who also heads JCOM, emerging tech & media consulting firm to launch next-generation technology & media products and companies. Book is available by emailing [email protected] or via Amazon.com.
More than 2000 Hollywood executives, writers, producers, directors and agents have taken Joyce Schwarz STAR*COURSE classes and seminars. For more information on how to sell you and your products and services (ie scripts/books/games etc) to the new Hollywood & Madison Avenue, contact Joyce Schwarz via email at [email protected].
EXCERPT FROM GET A LIFE NOT JUST A JOB:
Get a life, not just a job
By Joyce Schwarz, career consultant, change management expert and futurist, www.joycecom.com, or via phone at 310-822-3119.
“To change one’s life: start immediately, do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
As you determine the course of your career path, you’ll discover that other facets of your life will enter into the picture as well—where you life, how you spend your money, how you spend your free time. This career-planning time is also time to think about life planning. When I meet with my clients for the first time, before I ask them what they want to do, I ask them what kind of life they want to live.
Even in carefree Hawaii, there’s an expression – Pau Hana—meaning “after work,” Until the last decade, most of our lives were built around work and after work. It always seemed upside-down to me that our society encourages us to work long hours at something we hate in order to get a few hours to do something we really love. When I grew up in the Midwest, it was the highest of compliments to be referred to as a ‘good’ worker or ‘hard’ worker.
Our days are typically divided into getting ready for work, going to work, working, working lunches, working late, going home from work, dinner and doing the work we took home to do and then planning for the next day of work.
And so day in and day out, 50 weeks a year with two weeks off, we follow this cycle. And we join—you guessed it—the “rat race” until we are so worn out that we have to be retired.
As we’ve already discussed, you’ll probably have as many as seven careers (or more) in your lifetime. As my mom said so succinctly when I told her the title of this book, “Yes, no more one job.” If you are value-driven and lifestyle-driven, you’ll find it much easier to create a rewarding career, when it fits in with your lifestyle.
Integrate your life/work choice: not starting over –starting ‘better’!
Just remember, this time, you’re not starting over—you’re starting “better”. In writing this chapter, I wanted to include spectacular stories of people who would inspire you to believe that you could trade your tie for a lasso and ride the open range or sell your BMW and spend the next season of your life climbing Mt. Everest. But, when I looked at the case histories, I found that some of them are indeed spectacular, but others may appear more ordinary for “getting a life, not just a job” is a highly personal venture.
Here are three examples of how people not only changed their careers but integrated their choices into their lives:
I had the good fortune to work with international baseball hero Sadahara Oh, “the Japanese Babe Ruth”. Oh San, as he is called, retired from baseball and yearned to give back to the people some of the joy of the game he had so loved. It was my honor to work with him to set up the World Children’s Baseball Foundation, a camp where kids around the world meet to play ball for a few weeks each year. By sharing what he loved, he created a new career for himself in the process. But he didn’t do it alone. I worked with him to create a board of advisors ranging from Hollywood celebrities to business leaders to other athletes to help make his dream come true. Now he can travel around the world each summer visiting his baseball camps in foreign lands.
Another extraordinary man was already integrating his career with his lifestyles while he was still in his 20’s. I met Douglas Heir while working with Olympians Mary Lou Retton and Bob Richards on the Wheaties Search for Champions – a national quest for outstanding amateur athletes. Heir was a member of the U.S. Olympic team wheelchair division. He won four medals at the World Olympic Wheelchair games in the javelin and discus competitions. At the time I met him, Heir was also a law student and teaching assistant at Rutger’s University. He would not settle for just one career but rather combined his athletic prowess with his quest for the law.
Gina, another client, discovered that her true calling was in social work. “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping build a community center brick by brick, board by board with your own hands,” she explains. A stint as a volunteer on a local crisis line led her to go back to school at 35 to get her master’s degree in social work. After she lost her job Enron, she thought the world was over but volunteered at the local YWCA. It was there, working with their ‘displaced homemaker’ program, she realized that just getting another corporate job in Human Resources would not be enough. She had to find a place where her one-to-one counseling would change lives. Today she is fulfilling her dream and helping others by using a grant she got to establish a shelter for battered women.
Too old to change your life?
Many people worry that they are too old to start over. Yet, I’ve found that my clients successfully recareer at all ages. San Francisco actor and writer Dean Goodman dreamed his whole life of doing films, and in his 70’s broke in as a co-star on a Francis Ford Copppola movie.
In doing research for this book, I came across an interesting fact about illustrator H.A. Rey, noted for his charming drawings of Curious George, the nosey little monkey who is always getting himself in and out of trouble. Rey, who lived from 1898 to 1977, sold bathtubs up and down the Amazon River from the age of 26 to 38 until he married his wife, Margaret. Then he embarked on an artistic career that produced the wonderful “Curious George” book series. From bathtub salesman on the Amazon to children’s book illustrator with books now on Amazon.com Quite a lifestyle change!
Life changes brought on by crisis
Not all career changes are planned, Many start by accident or when people like you and me go through tough times—divorce, down-sizing and even financial crisis.
Actor Ed O’Neil, probably best known as Al Bundy on the classic television show “Married with Children” was a professional football player at one time. After being cut from the pro team, he decided to take a break (like many of my clients do) and stay in Florida where he had been in spring training. He supported himself as a bellboy coincidentally at the same hotel he had stayed at as a ballplayer.
He needed what I call a “station break” in life. This is not an easy time for most of my clients. And in fact, making a transition is often filled with a potpourri of emotions—confusion, anger, regret and hope. And challenges. As a bellboy, O’Neil was called to the front desk one day to carry the bags of some of his former team members who were back in town to play football. Can you imagine what kind of razzing he must have taken? He reports that he kidded them right back – using that sarcastic brand of humor that would become his trademark on TV in the future. And he also accepted the tips. Of all the qualities that help during a transition, I’ve found that the ability to ‘lighten up’ is one of the best. And to realize like O’Neil did then, that this limbo period
is not permanent. Someday, you, like O’Neil will move onto the next episode and maybe even a ‘starring’ role.
Many clients making career transitions must deal with dramatic drops in income. Some of these people are ashamed to reveal that they are living on one-third of the income they used to make in the ‘old days’. Tim an abstract painter, is now living on the interest from a small family inheritance – less than he used to pay his assistant. But each day he loves “catching the right light” mixing colors like no one has ever mixed and preparing for his next gig at the Beverly Hills Outdoor Art Show. Will he make it? In Tim’s mind, he’s making it every day now—he’s living his dream!
For more information on the full 180 page ebook available now, please contact Joyce Schwarz via email at [email protected] or via phone at 310-822-3119 thank you.