While I’ve enjoyed doing all of my 23 careers over the past year, there have been a few that I decided were a whole lot of “not-for-me” very early on. I just thought I should give you a quick update on those too, so this blog post is all about the “unchosen” careers along the way:
Antiques Dealer / Furniture Repurposing – I realized this career was not for me very quickly. It involves a lot of time spent at auction sales, garage sales, estate sales, or second-hand stores searching for really cool treasures, then either reselling them or refinishing and repurposing them. Along with that, there is a storefront of some kind to be managed – either a physical location or an online store. This would be difficult for me to take from a hobby to a professional level. After all of that hard work finding and making each piece perfect, I think I would have a very tough time parting with all of my treasures!
Real Estate / New Home Builder – Helping people build their dream homes was pretty cool. Working with many home owners at varying stages of the building process was also fun to experience. The mountain of paperwork throughout the process seems a little daunting, but the housing market where I live in central Wisconsin would be my biggest concern. In a large city, where I actually did this career, I think it would be a much safer bet. While I wouldn’t say this career is a total no-go, I think that I would prefer to be on the owner side of one of these beautiful, brand new dream homes…perhaps overlooking a lake and facing the sunset.
Home Remodeling – From everything I experienced, I would have to say that it’s financially risky, really hard work and involves a lot of up-front expense. The beginning of the process is a lot of fun, though. Who doesn’t love walking into a home and being able to envision a whole new look and layout, then busting out some walls? If only that was all it took! The reality is that it takes months of work to get to the “after” photos. There will inevitably be serious problems and expenses out of your control throughout the project too. I would have to hire and manage a crew because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. I can paint, tile and decorate, but everything else would be a labor expense. I just don’t have the resolve to be able to do this one as a career.
Personal Chef – This one was a lot of fun to check out too, but just wasn’t my thing after all. I like to cook, but this really felt like perpetually making dinner. Plan, shop, prep, cook, and leave the meals ready to serve for your clients – and then do this 5 or 6 days a week. I feel like I’ve already done this for years as a mom. In fact, after doing this career, I think I want to hire someone to do this for me permanently! What a great service! But as far as a new career goes, this one is a no-go for me.
Restaurant Owner – I think I might just repeat myself here from my description of home remodeling; It’s risky, really hard work and involves a substantial up-front investment. It’s also a non-stop, all-day, every-day commitment. Maybe if I was ten years younger this career would make sense, but for where I’m at, I think I will just continue to support my favorite restaurants by frequenting them often! We’ve already established that I would like someone to cook for me. This plan seems win-win!
Food Stylist – Styling the perfect food shot takes hours and patience to create, but there was total creative license to use whatever you could find to make the product look exactly right. Crisco was used to make mashed potatoes and ice cream look great. Pins, sculptors putty and denture cream held meat, cheese and bread in place for a beautiful sandwich. We used dental tools and tweezers to perfectly arrange a salad. Food styling was fun to experience, but it was a lot of pressure and stress, which is just too similar to my graphic design career for me to consider it long-term.
Event Planner – I can sum up this career in three words: So much stress! Weddings, parties, conventions, awards shows – with every event, there are a million details to be handled. Room layouts, traffic flow, menus, music, decor, lighting, flowers, linens, tableware – just to name a few! It was a marathon to even get to the event, which was then both physically and mentally exhausting. Handling all of the problems as they come up and working through them so guests don’t even realize there is an issue – this career just felt like a non-stop crazy-train that I don’t want to get on.
So these careers have been officially crossed off the list. What I really learned while doing all of these careers is that when you know something is not right for you, don’t waste the time trying to make it fit. Just move on. There’s another adventure around the corner.