It's Okay To Pursue Several Career Paths

‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. Dear J.T. & Dale: I enrolled in college with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. After my freshman year, I signed up for the Navy. But after an extended trip to Mexico, I decided I was too young to dedicate all those years of service. I started an office job, but being cooped up in a cubicle eight hours a day was driving me crazy! I tried my hand at eBay auctions but went into debt. Now I have a good job and am also going to school to be an architect. But I can't stop imagining how happy and fulfilled I would be as a physical therapist. If I change my major again, it will be like wasting two years of study. I'm 25, and my peers have solid careers while I'm still trying to finish school. Is it okay for me to pursue several career paths? — Simon Dale: Most people don't really choose a career path; they stumble into a job and then keep trudging along the path of least resistance. You, however, have chosen to travel life's journey with my old friends, Mr. Trial and Mr. Error, life's slow teachers. Their lessons are hidden within the story you write together. Perhaps their Big Lesson for you is this: You're not going to be content doing one thing all day, every day. But isn't that what physical therapy would be? Perhaps you should explore careers that are project-based, ones where you finish and move on, which includes everything from consulting to advertising to making movies. J.T.: Ask yourself this, Simon: Would you like to trade places with your peers who have "solid careers?" My guess is "no." If I'm right, you may have what career expert Ilona Vanderwoude calls a "Renaissance Personality," blessed with highly diverse skills and interests. She recommends a hybrid career. In your case, this would mean pursuing more than one passion, perhaps by working part-time as a physical-therapy assistant while continuing to study architecture. There are no rules that say "only one career per person." [You can find more about Vanderwoude and Renaissance Personalities at www.CareerBranches.com.] jt-dale-logoJeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the career management blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com. Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2011 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Photo credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

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We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

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In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

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Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

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During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

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