Are you an idealist who has publicly resolved to change careers, return to work, or join the full-time workforce for the first time? Idealists come in many flavors, e.g.:

  • "Boomers" leaving corporate life in favor of community-based work;
  • Women who have deferred their careers and need to maintain work/life balance;
  • Recent college grads: independent, reluctant to leave college life, and unsure of how to find a job that matches their values
Is it impossible to earn a good living while seeking truth, justice, and the pursuit of happiness – to do well by doing good?

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published an essay discussing this idea, "How to Direct Your Future." While it's not some secret guide to success, the article may just help readers answer the dreaded question, "what are your plans?"

Author Carl Schramm, Executive Director of the Kauffman Foundation, writes the piece as a letter in answer to his children's question, "…how do I prepare myself for success out in the real world?" The author is a successful entrepreneur, an economic policy wonk, and a foundation president; in this piece, his voice is that of an insightful father. In the hope that we'll create some buzz about issues affecting career changers, women returning to the workforce, and college graduates, here are some excerpts:

"We are living in the most entrepreneurial time in history," Schramm writes. He refers to the lack of certainty and stability in the ever more global economy. His advice is to "be ready to be entrepreneurial either on your own or inside an organization that has an entrepreneurial culture. You will be successful only to the extent that you can handle innovation and change."

Schramm preaches to the choir of career professionals, who guide clients through the change process every day. He empowers candidates to pursue happiness through self-reflection, research, networking, and the effective use of communication skills. It's refreshing to read of his wish that we all "look back on a happy life of entrepreneurial success in helping others…, a special kind of wealth."

No, this post is not a plug for the new Will Smith movie! Leads to information, including upcoming events and job openings may more useful:

Complimentary copy of "How to Navigate Career/Job Fairs" upon request from this author's website.