If the career happiness meter goes from a low of 1 to pinning at a high of 10, I know full well what it’s like to experience both extremes and to feel the roller coaster ride when you extend the scale measurements across several decades.
I was blessed to live my dream of being in the music business at an early age by dropping out of college to work as a producer, engineer, songwriter and A&R scout for recording industry giant London Records for 10-years during the crest of the British Wave. Definitely a 10! But, nothing lasts forever (count on it) so when Dudley H. Toller-Bond announced that London Records was sold to Polygram Records the bottom fell out and I descended quickly to a deep 1; one of the worst experiences as well as learning opportunities I’ve ever had.
Migrating away from a record industry struggling to find itself, I reinvented my career by leveraging the Bachelors and Masters degrees that I had completed at night while working with London Records and sought out making my way in the telecommunications industry which was poised for phenomenal growth due to divestiture. To build a track of promotions I agreed to relocate from New York to Texas to Arizona to Colorado to Iowa and back to New York and the career path was well worth it. After MCI, I went on to hold senior leadership positions with Grand Circle Travel, DSL.net and Oxford Health Plans.
None of my corporate career experiences ever rivaled the “10” I had experienced with London Records but I proved several things to myself:
1. I could reinvent myself
2. I learned skills that have been invaluable to me to this day
3. I learned to never settle for doing just one thing
Number 3 was a career life changer for me. My passion for music in particular and the performing arts on a grander scale has always been alive in me. In my ability to juggle my corporate career with my passion, I learned and became an expert at always keeping my creativity side active, even while working 40+++ hours a week at my corporate job:
- Hosted and Produced a TV series pilot Backtrack America for public television
- Became an on-air personality, host and producer on WSTC & WNLK news-talk AM radio
- Hosted and Produced the “DINERS” TV program for Connecticut Public Television (CPTV)
- Hosted and Produced the “Out of Your Comfort Zone” TV show on Cablevision of Connecticut
- Authored the book, DESIGN YOU with illustrations by my son, Christopher
- Studied to become a standup comedian and parlayed my experience into a TV documentary called, “Comic on a Half Shell”
- Performed as a singer-songwriter at NYC’s legendary CBGBs and Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café
- Motorcycled across Egypt
I wouldn’t recognize any time in my life that wasn’t filled with both my corporate side and my creative side which reached its apex just a few years ago. I reflected back on my career and realized that the greatest gift I could give would be to take all of my experiences and lessons learned and help others reinvent themselves and pursue their own career dreams. So, I added several more balls to my juggling act and earned my PhD in Marketing and my certifications as a Career Coach, Résumé Writer and Employment Interview Professional. The new dream begins…
The greatest life and career lesson I’ve learned is that whatever we achieve is only truly significant if it benefits others. And, that’s a “10!”