Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Best Career Options for the "Leisure Economy"
Reading a recent Shifting Careers column by Marci Alboher, I learned about the coming "leisure economy." Whether this will come true or is just an economist's dream is for you to decide. But a trip to any bookstore shelf on personal finance shows an unabashed worship of the millionaire, leisurely you. So this desire to be a part of the leisure economy is real.
How does choosing your best career option fit in with this desire for leisure? You could make your career a part of the industries likely to benefit from the leisure economy (according to the above column and cited book, "education, crafts and hobbies, fitness and sports, gambling and travel") or incorporate leisure as a part of your work/life balance career goals. If your interests do not lie in the former, then I recommend the latter strategy. While I enjoy scrapbooking pictures of my young son, my interests do not lie in becoming a scrapbook consultant no matter how great the demand may be.
Leisure is part of work/life balance - how much do you need? And what does leisure mean for you? Lying on a beach? Researching your family tree? Spending time with aging parents or your children? Racing cars? Freedom to volunteer for occasional projects? Leisure does not need to mean laziness, and leisure can be done part-time - say, on the weekend. You don't have to have the same vision of leisure as Paris Hilton does.
As you go through the decision-making process of choosing a career, work/life balance is an important factor to consider. Information interviewing, actually talking with people who are in your career of interest, is critical to finding out whether a particular career path is compatible with your needs. You cannot, by only reading job descriptions or watching career videos, know how much leisure time you will have. Or the realistic salary projection that will get you to a "work-free" leisure state. The only way to get unvarnished information is from talking to multiple people in a career path.