• Switching Jobs / Switching Careers

    About three years ago, I essentially switched careers. When I look back on that decision now, what I see is that I loved my job, but I hated big aspects of my career, at least in the direction it was headed. I spent more time than I would like away from my family on trips …

  • Should I Move to Find Work?

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Jennifer on Twitter wondered about moving to find …

  • Seven Powerful Meditation and Focusing Techniques

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Terrence on Facebook wants to know about “Meditation …

  • Ten Things College Graduates Need to Know About Finances and Careers

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Facebook, Brittaney asked “what should every soon …

  • Career Dreams – In Three Parts

    What will I do with my life? How will I leave my mark on the world? These questions have been a constant part of my life since I was very young – and it’s still a guiding question in my life. Now that I’m a parent to three children and a mentor to other adults, …

  • Your Job Is Not Your Life

    A few days ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine who is struggling mightily with his job right now. He took a high-paying job with a rather prestigious title at a well-known company. The biggest drawback of this job is that he carries around a company phone and receives calls on it …

  • The Second Job Paradox

    Amy writes in: I’ve been a paralegal with the same law firm for four years. I love the job and the work that I do. I feel like I’m genuinely helping people. In October, my boyfriend and I sat down and looked at our finances as you suggested. We came to the conclusion that we …

  • Got Unused Vacation Time? Put It to Use with a Personal Sabbatical

    In September 2004, I was about to leave my first post-college job. My boss at that time – who happens to be one of the people I respect the most in this world, even now after my radical career shift – observed that I had a pile of unused vacation time that was basically going …

  • Deliberate Practice: Improving Your Finances, Career, and Life

    I’ve mentioned deliberate practice in the past, but after several experiences in recent days, I felt like it was a vital topic worth revisiting. What’s deliberate practice? I first learned about the topic from Stephen Dubner at the New York Times, who was writing about how Alex Rodriguez built his baseball skills. Dubner noted that …

  • Review: You Majored in What?

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. I double-majored in life science and computer science. What on earth am I doing writing a blog about personal …

  • When Should a Hobby Remain a Hobby?

    One constant theme of The Simple Dollar is my encouragement of people to try to find ways to turn their passions and hobbies into a stream of income. This is a path I followed in my own life, as I turned my hobby of writing into a major revenue stream. While that may have been …

  • The Limits You Choose

    A few days ago, Kenia left a very interesting comment on my earlier post What You Are – and What You’re Not: Great post, Trent. Very inspiring. I have to disagree slightly though… “There’s still nothing keeping you from having a life filled with doing the things you love. Focus instead on who you are, …

  • What You Are – and What You’re Not

    I’m never going to play in the NBA. That’s an unrealistic goal for me, and I knew it to be an unrealistic goal when I was ten years old on the playground. I wasn’t fast enough and didn’t have the natural reflexes of the other ten year olds on the court. It was a painful …

  • Review: Evil Plans

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. Evil Plans, by Hugh “Gaping Void” MacLeod, focuses on the desire that everyone has to do something that they …

  • Downgrading Your Job Without Downgrading Your Life

    In March 2008, I walked away from a great job into a writing career path that, at the time, paid me about 50% of what I was making at my previous job. To a lot of people in my life, this seemed like an amazingly difficult step. That move reduced our monthly household income (at …

  • An Artist on the Side: Coppola on the Future of Artists and Artisans

    Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a great interview with Francis Ford Coppola over at the 99 percent. In this interview, Coppola talks about the past and future of people making money from their art, whether it be music, movies, or other things: We have to be very clever about those things. You have to …

  • Review: Bait and Switch

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. One of my first book reviews on The Simple Dollar was of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. In that …

  • Career Moves and Decisions

    This week, someone from my past reached into the present and dropped a job offer on my lap. If this job offer had appeared three years ago, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. It allows me to work from home. It allows me to take complete control of an interesting software development project …

  • Who Is Your Real Boss? Some Perspectives on Career Success

    Let’s get this straight right out of the chute: your real boss is you. “Yeah, right,” you might be saying to yourself. “Easy for you to say. You’re self-employed. I’ve got a boss that’s constantly breathing down my neck and a pile of ridiculous demands on my desk.” Here’s the scoop: you’re making the choice …