A typical scenario that existed over 15-20 years ago:

Parents push you to fill out college applications, obtain a degree in accounting, graduate college and then land a plum position in an MNC. The organization nevertheless promises great benefits and security aka a paycheck; not to mention smiles galore on your parents’ faces.

After burning the candle on both ends in order to survive corporate drudgery; you make a decision to go to graduate school for the simple reason to stand out amongst the new breed of geeks and surpass the competition. After all it is for the sake of perpetuating this ugly lifecycle better known as financial security and maintaining a social status in the society. Armed with an MBA you are ready to work maddening hours at double the pace for an incremental of a mere $10k to your pre-MBA salary. There is no time for personal life, friends, relationships etc. The ends justify the means. If you majored in accounting for your undergraduate studies there is no sane reason why you would switch fields and try out greener pastures.

The very thought is non-existent ludicrous to say the least. “Perfect one major skill/talent/profession that will reap you fortunes” is a coined phrase by people from this era. 

Cut to the present:

An investment banker (we’ll call her Jane) spends hours during the day number crunching, advising clients and preparing proposals. Jane is secretly happy to go home at the end of the day and invest her passions and creativity in producing her private label jewelry. A theatre artist (we’ll call him Mike) has crowds madly applauding his performances and never missing his acts. Mike has recently discovered his grandmother’s pasta sauce recipe and intends to perfect the flavors until it is ready for regional distribution in grocery stores. He also serves as an acting coach for younger theatre artists as well as rents theatre props online to other theatre groups.

So what is the trend that is evident here you may ask.

The very values and traditional pathways that served some people well 20 years ago are slowly disintegrating in today’s times. No longer can individuals adhere to a singular academic path or way of being for years to come. The saying “Jack of all trades and master of none” has never rung truer. Passion has replaced the word mastery and for better reasons. The economic culture that we face today is proof that putting all your eggs in one basket is not wise. Economists and traders have taught us for years that diversification is the key. A diversified portfolio maintains balance and security. If economists have identified this key trait to be used in our investment decisions then why is it neglected in other avenues of our lives?

Jane and Mike are happy individuals thriving in their careers but realize the need for something more. Passive income generating streams, profit spinning creative ideas, newer challenges are phrases that are here to stay. In all a diversified approach to financial security that not only fills their pockets but also their hearts with happiness.  

How to make this work for you:

So are you ready to take the leap? Here are 3 simple pointers that can guide you in the right direction. Say goodbye to your current ways of thinking and get ready to welcome wealth, health and happiness by going the multi faceted way! 

List your interests: If money was not an object what would you enjoy doing the most? When do you find time just slipping by? What did you enjoy as a child but perhaps was told that this was unrealistic or impractical to focus on as a career? These are the questions that should get you thinking and jotting down answers on a notepad. If years of monotonous work in an office setting or otherwise have robbed you of answers then this is completely normal and expected. Despite most people complaining that they hate their jobs it is ironic that they don’t know where to begin if told to invest their energies in the kind of work they love. Ask your loved ones what they perceive you doing well. You’ll be surprised with the different answers you receive.

Network, network, network: You are as worth as your network 100 times over! Quick rules on how to network anywhere:

Networking at a social event: The key word here is “social”. Talk socially and if you must make a connection offer your business card. Try to find someone who knows the person you want to connect with to help you. Whatever you do don’t drink! Any connection you attempt while somewhat tipsy will leave the worst impression.

Networking at a business event: Make sure you carry plenty of business cards. Depending on the kind of event you are attending; study the industry, the business, the key movers and shakers who will be present at the event. Know something that the average person does not know.

How do I connect with a mentor: Mentors provide inspiration and guidance and most importantly they have walked the walk and talked the talk.  Make a list of people (keep it short) you believe that can have an impact on your career. Find a way to get to know them, take them out for a cup of coffee, lunch, drink or dinner. Pick up the tab and ask them value added questions. Be sure to do your homework about the industry, mentor’s career and what you have to bring to the table.

Act: Actions speak louder than words. This phrase cannot be any truer. You must act every step of the way to inch forward to achieving your goals. There is no such thing as a perfect resume, perfect sales pitch, perfect day etc. Everyday ask yourself what are the five action steps that you can take today to make your dream happen.

Written by: Amisha Mody

JID - Editorial Team