ALC Consulting

March 1, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I used to hate that question, since it usually came from someone who had really no interest in the answer. And since I was a baby boomer, I always gave the acceptable answer.

“A Teacher (with a capital T),” I would reply. I guess that was the truth. I did become a teacher, and it was a good career choice for me.

My second choice would be a writer, though in my heart, that’s what I really wanted to be. And I have made a living at being a writer for long time.

But I am posing this question in terms of contracting. What is it that you have a passion for? But, secondly, What is it that you do incredibly well that you can make money doing? That’s what a good contractor does, knows what he or she wants to do and does well and works at that. I want to share a few examples of people who have figured out what their passion is and have developed their talents well enough to make a life doing it.

large_bruceI am currently listening to Bruce Springsteen on my PC. I recently watched an interview he gave, reflecting on his life and career. The man, at the age of 59 looks fabulous! And when he performs onstage, the energy is there. The guy has been making music his way for over 40 years, not a bad gig.

kay_newNow for a lesser known, but equally passionate person, is my fabulous friend, Kay. Adams. In the 80s when I was dealing with stuff, I instinctively resumed keeping a journal. In my attempt to get beyond the “Dear Diary” stage of journal writing, I picked up a copy of her Journal to the Self. Over 20 years later, this well marked book still holds a revered place on my bookshelf and I return to it again. It is one of The books I love to read. Check out her website at

One last quote: “In an internet poll on, Kathleen Adams was listed (with Anais Nin and Anne Frank) as one of the three most significant influences on contemporary journal keeping.”

And I get to hang out with her next week!

janet-book-coverJanet Kay Jensen, was a successful speech pathologist and supervised graduate students at Utah State University, one of the premier schools in that field. Despite that success, she decided she wanted to be a published author, and took a leave of absence to pursue this passion. Go to her website: to see how well she has done.

My buddy, Scott had an interested in family history and organizing it, and creating a tool that helps people organize their family pictures. It’s a simple and powerful application. He started working on it several years ago, and gave a huge sigh of relief when he got let go after 19 years at Intel. The fruits of his labor are on display at

I am not giving shameless plugs here, but trying to show how people within my circle of family and friends have given thought to the question and come up with their own answers.

I am amazed at the number of mature job seekers out there, who give their history, and then come up with “What I really want to do is . . .” and then reveal a dream that has absolutely nothing to do with what they have been doing for the past 20 years. I always wonder how did they get so far away from their dream.

There are some good sites out there with talent inventories, and personality tests at career sites that could help. Most of these are free; you do not need to pay for them. If you are working with your local workforce agency, they can administer them to you. It may give you an idea of what your real talents are and what would be a good fit for you. I found this great URL for evaluating such tests.

Maybe it isn’t too late to dig in to find the answer to that question.


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