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The job’s got you down? Maybe it’s time for a new career.


I’m talking to my accountant, George. “You know, George,” I say, “I write a lot about entertainment. And you need good speakers to properly appreciate entertainment. So can’t I deduct a new surround-sound system as a business expense?”

George looks at me in a quizzical, judgmental, exasperated way. “Ah, the IRS would not … no,” he says. I don’t ask for elaboration. “You know,” George adds, “if you’re looking to make more money, you could write for the Internet. Lots of money there.”

The Internet? The whole thing? Ah, the Internet does not … no. And honestly, I’m not looking to make more money by writing. Instead, I’m considering something else. Something completely different. Although journalism is all I’ve ever known, I’d really rather be working in restaurants. Seriously.

I’m certainly not alone in wanting to make a career switch. Career coaches I’ve spoken with seem to agree that, for various reasons, the number of career reinventors is spiking. Some people are out of work and have no other choice. Others are expecting more bad times ahead and are looking to get out while the getting is, well, not yet awful. And still others are finding that this time -- economically fluid as it is -- is just the right time.

The latter was the case for Alison Draper. She spent nearly 20 pleasantly remunerative years working in media, eventually becoming the publisher of the Dallas Observer, a weekly newspaper, and then, more recently, the publisher of a daily commuter tabloid from the Dallas Morning News. But this past spring, she quit in order to join the business of one of her longtime friends, Louisiana fishmonger Mike Frugè, whose Frugè Seafood Company sells fresh fish and seafood to retail customers and restaurants. Frugè had been looking to hire a sales leader and partner who could help boost business and also reshape the company for future growth. That person turned out to be Draper -- but not until she’d thought a great deal about it.