Marie Claire on “The Art of Reinvention”

You can always tell when I’ve been traveling — I love reading fluffy fashion magazines when I’m flying, and our trip last weekend was no exception. I brought Glamour and Marie Claire onboard a puddle jumper headed to Pittsburgh when we went for a lovely weekend with friends.

I got excited when I saw this article headlined “The Art of Reinvention.” The table of contents describes it as “Stuck in a rut? Meet five women who revamped their careers.” How perfect. Blog fodder lands in my lap.

One woman went from fact checker to race car driver. Another from ad copywriter to novelist. Another from IT manager to theater assistant. From retail associate to coffee shop owner. From software engineer to social-enterprise marketing exec.

I loved that the common thread for all these woman was that they decided to follow their passions, even if it seemed far fetched or illogical or risky.

However I would have loved to have seen the story of a woman who was in a dead-end job and decided to pursue a promotion at her company. Or a woman who decided to get an advanced degree to jump start her career. Or who went from using her skills to make someone else rich to using those same skills to start her own company.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of being a novelist and I salute anyone who pursues her dreams.

But I think sometimes we romanticize the notion of dropping out of the evil, conventional job to do the noble work that pays nothing — particularly for women, who are supposed to care more about love than money. Absolutely, if the golden handcuffs are keeping you in a job you hate,  it’s liberating to break away from that. At the same time, if you decide you’re better than where you are and deserve more money, more responsibility, more challenge, more respect, that’s fantastic, too.

Sure, I have a bias. You should meet some of the incredible women I had the honor to call classmates at Michigan Business School. Maybe we should pitch Marie Claire on that kind of reinvention.

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