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Ask Sue
A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem

Make the Right Career Move

Dear Sue:

At present I am self-employed. I work with a partner selling properties worldwide. My partner carries out all of the communication work and I do all of the isolated administration work. I hate the fact I have no communication with the outside world apart from the odd telephone call here and there. I am totally unchallenged in my current job and I fear that if my partner decided to leave that I would not be able to run the business on my own.

I want to move out of this type of work and do my own thing in order to regain my confidence and independence. I am thinking of setting my own business up, but I don't know what I want to do. This has been the story of my life.

When I left school I wanted to pursue my love of music and become a singer but I was told to get a ďrealĒ job. Since then Iíve worked in a variety of industries and positions. Iíve been thinking of going back to school to train in music production, however, if I do, I would not earn any money for at least a year.

How do I determine what is the right move to make? If I start this music course, but never get the business I dream of off the ground, I will regret the move. Yet, Iíve been thinking about doing something for some time and fear I will still be talking rather than doing something if I donít. I am 31 years old and time is ticking. I need to make a decision and commit. Please help.

 - Stuck in a rut

Sue Says: I agree you need to make a decision, but what I sense you need more than anything is permission to make the decision to continue to explore your options before permanently committing to anything.

Based on the information youíve provided, hereís what I know: You want to do something more challenging than the work you are currently doing, you want to be more involved day to day with other people, you want to pursue your love of music, and feel more certain about your career path. You feel stuck because you arenít where you want to be, but Iím not convinced you are in such an awful place.

You have ideas, you have an interest in music, you have a wide range of experience, and you have dreams of things youíd like to do. This is all very positive. And, youíve got time--you are still young!

Donít try to change everything at once. Patience may be your greatest virtue. For now, consider getting more involved in your current business. Why seclude yourself and remain unchallenged? You might find other aspects of the business more interesting and challenging, but will never know unless you get more involved. Tell your partner that you want to learn about all aspects of the business, that you want to be more actively involved. You will feel more connected to the business if you do, and less fearful of losing your partner.

Pursue your love of music. Start small; perhaps you can begin by taking one music class or go to school part time. This would enable you to keep working, while being involved in something you enjoy that is important to you, but minimizes your risk of making a move you might regret.

A ďrealĒ job isnít the ďrightĒ job for everyone. Trust yourself. I agree you need to commit, but this time commit to and making the career move that you want to make and the one that you think is best.

Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She is author of the newly released 101 Tips for Graduates and How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at or visit her web site at

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