“How Do I Turn My Passion Into A Viable Career?”

Geoffrey's walked away from a role he's been in for most of his working life. He's known for some time where his real vocation lies, but he's not sure how to make it a reality. When you're clear on what you really want to do, how do you get started?

What's your career history and current job?

Up until earlier this year I was working in PR and comms for the railway industry, which I've done for most of my career, apart from a brief time working in sales when I first graduated.

My roles have been focused on external comms, writing and researching press releases, newsletters, liaising with the national and trade press, and preparing launch events.

I'm currently in between jobs. Fortunately, I'm in a position where I have some income so I'm not under pressure to find anything just to keep the wolf from the door!

How do you feel about your work?

Throughout my career in comms and PR, I used to enjoy the writing element.

I had editorial oversight of the company website and newsletter, and was responsible for writing press releases and magazine articles.

I preferred the aspects of the job that were a lot less 'front line' and not in the public eye. Towards the latter stages I had to deal with the national media quite a bit, which was far too high profile for my liking.

It was also very difficult to navigate through the politics of the organisation.

It became a constant struggle to obtain meaningful feedback from difficult and egotistical staff.

There was a lot of day-to-day firefighting and the job changed from being about external comms to something that was quite stressful.

This essentially turned me off communications work of that nature.

What would you like to be doing instead?

Writing has always been my strength, going all the way back to my school days.

I was recently runner up in a writing competition for a classic car magazine, so I know I'm reasonably good at it.

I've been reading How to Get a Job You Love, by John Lees, where he encourages you to think about the last time that you felt engaged in a task that didn't feel like hard work. For me, that was always when I was writing articles or doing something creative. Even when it was a challenging writing task, I enjoyed it.

I've always felt like that's what I'd like to be doing, but I've never really put any serious thought into how I might take it forward seriously.

I'm not thinking I could be the next Jeffrey Archer or John Grisham! It's more everyday writing that I enjoy, so maybe something to do with magazines or a writing role in an organisation.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I don't know where to start when it comes to taking the first step.

I'm in a reasonably positive frame of mind, I have plenty to keep me busy with my family and different volunteering opportunities and money isn't currently an issue, fortunately.

It's the practicalities of changing direction that I need to resolve.

I'd love to hear from people who've been in a similar situation, who've been able to make a change and can share their advice on how they got started, and any resources that helped them along the way.

How should I best approach the process of turning my passion for writing into a new career?

Can you help Geoffrey?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Geoffrey could move his shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone he could talk to?

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