OK, here is the blog post in which you, dear readers, get to play career counselors and solve all my problems. (Thanks, in advance.) I am going to tell you all the diverse things that float my boat and you, in turn, will tell me what my next job should be. Ready to play?
First, a quick outline of my experience for new readers: I am an entertainment lawyer who represented film studios and talent agencies. When I was not busy being verbally abused by one particular partner at my firm, I spent my time writing briefs, going to depositions, making court appearances, trying to be cool when walking around film studio lots and crying in the file room. Highlight: Cher once borrowed my bathroom key.
My other main role was as a TV, film and video producer. I developed numerous television commercials and video projects for one particular client, a scandal-ridden, major mortgage lending company. One of my strengths was remembering which make-up artist the CEO prefered (hint: the hot one with big boobs). This former CEO has been referred to by CNN as one of the “Ten Most Wanted Culprits” of the 2008 financial collapse in the United States. Top ten, baby!
At this same company, I also produced a feature-length documentary about homelessness in Los Angeles which won a couple film-festival awards and played at Cannes. Highlights included staging and filming a one-man theater performance that was then incorporated into the documentary, filming in Skid Row, LA while 8 months pregnant, trying to find a dress to fit my postpartum body for the Beverly Hills Film Festival awards dinner and managing not to spring a breast milk leak during the lengthy ceremony.
I’ve documented my various strengths and skills here previously, but I also have a number of interests that could point me toward potential career paths. Art, design and architecture are three of my greatest loves. I can often be found shopping for furniture and homes that I can’t afford and renovating and decorating houses in my mind. I watch how-to videos on YouTube in an effort to determine whether I can tear out the refinished (spray-painted), formerly pink tile in the bathrooms of our 50s modern house myself or if I should put it off for 6 more years.
I enjoy gardening, but after numerous attempts to grow a verdant oasis in the backyard of my Atlanta home, I’ve officially given up! Everything wilts in the hellish summer heat here and, on the occasions that I actually had a few lush raised garden beds growing, flooding from the nearby creek swiftly wiped them out like a magazine squashing a fly. I now have two dying basil plants and one dying rosemary plant on my porch. I call them topiaries and hope the neighbors don’t get too close.
I love fashion and, while I’m generally in my not-at-all-fashionable mom uniform, I do try a little harder on the weekends. I am quite adept at reading fashion blogs and magazines and firmly believe the day the September issue of Vogue arrives in my mailbox should be declared a national holiday.
I’m also interested in (OK, somewhat obsessed with) perfumes. My friends think it’s insane that I can read scent reviews and peruse perfume discussion boards for hours and Ad Man is less than thrilled with the amount of money I spend on samples every month. This infatuation grew organically from my crazy strong sense of smell. This talent was a bit of a burden when I was pregnant and got within 50 feet of anyone eating anything, but it has proved helpful when it comes to wine tasting, perfume sniffing and identifying that thing that stinks in the refrigerator.
I love to cook, at least on weekends when I don’t have homework to supervise and kids begging for snacks. I even started a Facebook group called Vegetarian Mamas. I don’t think I’d like to cook for a living though because, generally, cooks have to either get up early or stay up late. I’m really more of a middle-of-the-day kind of gal. Oh, and I have a freaky aversion to smelling like food. It’s most likely a nose thing again.
A few other things you might find helpful when choosing a career for me…I have recently started this blog and discovered that I enjoy writing. I am a certified kettlebell instructor. Kettlebells are those weights that look like cannonballs with handles. You know the ones I mean. No? Well, you’re not the only one. I am a skilled negotiator as long as the parties involved in the conflict are under the age of 10. I plan parties and vacations like a boss. And, I’m really, really good at Pinterest.
So, what should I do? Take the Georgia bar (I’m licensed only in California) and try to claw my way back into some sort of legal career? Find someone to pay me to use their money to make obscure documentaries? Become a personal shopper? Be a perfumista and start my own company? Try rooting for truffles with my bionic snout? Remain a kept woman and thank my lucky stars? The possibilities are wide open.
The possibilities would be infinite though if all the over-educated, under-employed moms who wanted to work could band together to build something great. In the 7 years that I have been a stay-at-home mom, I’ve met some extremely educated women who have set aside their careers to raise children. All are as creative and hardworking as those who have chosen to, or have had no choice but to, remain in the job market. I constantly find myself searching for a solution for funneling that huge pool of intelligence, ambition, creativity and dedication into some incredible project.
If each of us brought our job and life experience, talent and desire to the table, we would be unstoppable. So maybe instead of just trying to map out a plan for my career, we should take more of a big-picture view and become career counselors for the group of us former professional women turned full-time moms. So, what do you think? Should it be a corporation, a think tank, a revolution? Let’s shoot high. You’ll get bonus points for creativity. What should we make or build? How do we grab our portion of the profits? What can we change for the better? I’d love to hear your thoughts.