Writer, coach, author of six books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life” and host of "Women Entrepreneurs Radio." Coach U graduate, workshop presenter on topics including business writing and communications, personal development and entrepreneurship. My bylines have been in Baseline magazine, Dailyworth.com, Bankrate.com, More.com, Wisebread.com, Working World Magazine and CNN.com. And, I’ve been a guest on Good Day Street Talk on Channel 5 in NYC, ABC6 TV, Fox News Strategy Room and WFMZ TV as an expert in career transitions and reinvention, and I've been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s NY Business, InStore magazine, Moneywatch and Glass Hammer magazine. In addition, I’ve given presentations to organizations such as Ladies Who Launch, NAWBO, The International Association of Administrative Professionals, The Association of Women in Computing, The College of NJ and Dress for Success.
I can relate to where you're coming from for a couple of reasons. One, I love technology, yet I define myself more as a creative person who loves to write. As an employee, I was on both sides of the fence. For many years I was a software developer and systems analyst. And I've also been copywriter and a merchandise assistant in the fashion industry. I was always looking for the place where I fit.
I've spent time in corporate--ended up hating the bureaucracy and politics. And contracting/volunteering in non-profits, which have their own challenges.
Running a business isn't for everyone, so it's good that you realize it might not be the path your want to take. A lot of people do it because they believe it will lead to freedom. But it can be another trap if running a business doesn't fit your temperament.
My suggestion would be to take your time right now. Do some work within yourself to be honest about what you're drawn to, and what is a complete turn off. Don't just run to something to get away from something else.
It might take a while for you to define the right move. I'd start by writing out what you dislike and what you like when it comes to work and self expression. Sounds simplistic, I know. But you'd be surprised how much comes out if you take the time to write it out. Or speak it into a recording device--whatever it takes to get it out of your head.
Don't be afraid to make a mistake while you're figuring it out. Every new opportunity doesn't have to be the "be all and end all." Once I made the move out of IT, I became a contractor and also did freelance writing. Not being a full-time employee allowed me to have an income while not being committed fully to a company or job.
Perhaps your ultimate answer will be to do something on the side, while you work full-time in an environment that allows you to grow and do good work. Or perhaps the freelance/contractor route will click. You'll have to give yourself space to figure out what's right--what makes sense for your peace of mind and for your financial needs.
It's okay if you follow your own path. It just may take a while for you to figure it out what's right for you and how to create the fulfillment you're seeking.
For myself, I accept that my path will not be a straight line. In corporate I had a career path, and I knew what every step would be. That's not true now, and sometimes it can be unnerving not to know. But I've found that it works better for me to have the flexibility, and I'm wiling to accept the "uncertainty" that comes with it.
That's why you have to have an idea of what you want and what you're willing to live with, so you can express yourself in the world and feel good about it.