Homeforward thinkingWhat would you do if you couldn't do what you do.

What would you do if you couldn’t do what you do.

I’ve asked the question beforeWhat would you do if you got fired tomorrow?“. Most of you responded with some lame answer like “I’d go get a job doing exactly what I’m already doing, just with a different company.”  That’s the most boring response ever. If I wanted my blog to be boring I would have titled it Punch Exciting People In The Face. Let’s stop being boring, and start being hypothetical…

What would you do if you got fired tomorrow AND had to completely change career fields? 

If you’re like me, you sometimes dream about what life would be like doing something new, starting with a blank slate. I talked with a good friend about this yesterday and he said he would make the jump from insurance agent to general contractor since he loves working on his house and building things.

If I was to get fired tomorrow, I would probably look for a job in sales. Medical sales has always appealed to me. I like medicine (actually volunteered in the ER in college and put a dead guy in a body bag on my first shift ever) and think that a sales position fits my personality well.

What’s more, I like the game of trying to convince people that what I have to say is worth listening to. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering this is probably the very reason I blog. And obviously I created MANteresting hoping it would succeed, and at only two months old I feel like we have shattered every goal I could have possibly had for it. So yeah, I may have never worked a sales job in my life, but I think many of the skills required for the position are part of who I am.

The other attractive thing about sales is the insecurity of it. I know, you’re thinking I’m crazy. My life, post-college, has been for the most part safe and predictable. A sales job is anything but. Some months you can bring home big bucks, while others you could take home pennies. The idea of being responsible for my own income (as opposed to having congress decide it) is both incredibly scary and extremely exciting.

In your fantasy world, what would your NEW career change be? (make sure you say what you do now as well so we can see just how significant a jump it is). What’s keeping you from making the change?




  1. I have zero desire ever to work in sales.

    I would either want to work in nonprofits and do good in the world, or plunge right into business and marketing and the corporate life.

    I currently work in online publishing.

  2. Currently, I am a Sharepoint admin/developer. I have a great boss and an even better supervisor. However, if I had to switch careers, id be a radio host. I effing love talk radio! I think I was born to do it. I’m not sure I could just switch careers and do that. Id probably have to be an intern or something. Or I could just go straight to podcasting.

  3. I would have to say, while I currently am doing web content for a university and I have done tech support (11+ years), I would probably pursue a different career path altogether. I’ve always wanted to become a veterinary technician and have recently considered dental hygienist. Both would require me to go back to school but I could raise our daughter also. We are currently living off husband’s salary (I do contract work so it isn’t consistent) so it is definitely do-able for us.

    • I forgot to add that I’d like a job where I’m not looking at a computer monitor all day, I always feel like I have tunnel vision at the end of the day and my eyes are so tired…

  4. Oh boy. I always used to think I knew, but now that I’m facing the very real possibility of a layoff, it’s like all my courageous guts have flown right out the window.

  5. I’d go back to school and become a nurse. Nothing like a complete 180 to give you a fresh new approach!

  6. At my age and income, the likelihood of finding a full-time job near my home in my present profession (technical writing and multi-media design) is nil, so I would be forced into a slightly early retirement. I would look for freelance writing opportunities, and would tutor high school and college kids on their writing. If none of that pans out, I’ve always wanted to ask, “Fries with that?”

  7. Ugh I always think about this. I think I would move somewhere else, or try for higher paying jobs. I love my job right now, but I’m positive I could probably demand $75K + somewhere else.

  8. I would go back to school to become a small animal veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals but unfortunately back when choosing my career path I had no confidence in my ability to complete the schooling required. Now that I’m finished university I realize I could’ve done that. Also they make a lot of dough, which is always nice.

  9. I took flying lessons when I was in my early 30’s; absolutely loved it, and went as far as soloing in a Cessna 152; had I continued with my lessons, I’d have loved to have been a flight instructor, even if my only job was to take potential students on a “Discovery Flight” to see if they liked it. Lessons were becoming very expensive; had to give them up when Hubby proposed and we had to save for our wedding.

    Dental Technician is also something that appeals to me, and like Becky & Jeff replied, if it ever came down to me having to look for another job, I’d really try to find one where I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer all day.

  10. I’ve worked as a senior project manager for construction, solar, software and other tech, and for a particle accelerator. I’ve also worked in non-profit. I think if I had to try something new tomorrow, I’d want to not manage people, ever again. Ever. I think I’d want to go back to school and get a mechanical engineering degree, or do some form of manual labor. I am so sick of meeting, managing people, and sitting on my rump all day.

  11. In some ways, I would be happy to be fired tomorrow. We have about four years worth of savings (assuming my husband kept his job, one years worth if we both became unemployed). Losing my job would give me the chance to try something different. My current goal is to try and write a book although I realize getting published can be hard. If that didn’t work out, I’d try a few other “less office-like” jobs.

  12. Heh. I’m currently bootstrapping a marketing company in my spare time. If I got canned from my day job, that would get my full attention.

  13. I’m in marketing for a major coporation right now.

    I would want a job where I got to work with animals (doggie day care, vet tech, something like that). Definitely no cube and definitely no sitting at a computer most of the day!

  14. If i knew I would leave my current Job in a heartbeat. Right now I am exploring philanthropy, psychology and architecture. But I am not really that interested in adding to my graduate school loan debt unless I know I’ll love it.

    I’ve practiced law for 5 years in a variety of settings. Although I enjoy.helping people, I’ve learned that I don’t thrive on constant conflict

  15. I have always wanted to be an event planner. Risky, therefore very scary.
    Thought you might like to know that the local news in my tiny town in eastern Canada made mention of MANteresting!

  16. I’ve thought about owning a bakery, becoming a dental hygienist. One I’d have to go back to school for and one has a 50% failure rate. I am also interested in interior design and sustainability, but they are closely related to what I currently do. I work on the management side of construction.

  17. I’m fresh out of college and just starting a position in Sales/Account Management (which is NOT what my degree was in). If I got fired, I’d look at being a Vet Tech. I’d have to go back to school for it (at a community college, which is far less expensive than my original college) but I love animals and I’m sure I’d be happy doing it. Why don’t I just do it now? Too much student loan debt 🙁

  18. I currently work for the Government (not even closely related to stock trading) but I would like to become a full-time stock trader. What is keeping me from switching right now is the rules I put in place for myself which are: I have to be debt-free to switch. I have to have a 1-2 year EF, and I have to of consistantly made a decent income from it for 2 years prior to quitting my current job.

  19. I am currently an electrical engineer. If I got fired I would ramp up my ‘guitar teaching’ side business. My cousin also teaches guitar at a local music store but if we worked together we could probably corner the market on teaching in the town I live in.

    I do love my current job but if the military bases in my town moved I would either have to move to a new town or seek a new career path. Interesting to think about.

  20. Hahhaha you should work at my company. We sell laboratory services and we’re a huge national lab. I think you would like it actually! If you like working for commission…but the people are great.

    If I got fired, I would visit my family and spend lots of time with them. I’d also keep doing what I’m doing – study for the LSAT and go all out with my blog. I’d also try to get some staff writing projects and do mystery shopping. I’d embrace my no-jobness to the fullest!!!!!!! Lol. Then after 6 months when my emergency fund is looking lonely, I’ll start looking for jobs. I have no idea what I’d want to look for though.

  21. First, I would change my investmens to create a cash flow of income. Then I would probably try writing full time. I am so close to retirement and too old for people to consider me for employment.

  22. I’d love to go into project management, but that would take some schooling to learn all that good stuff.

  23. I’m currently a software engineer.

    If money didn’t matter, I’d get my teaching credential and become a teacher – either 5th grade or high school math teacher. Either that or I’d want to be an editor of fiction books, if that exists. I’d also like to be a Victoria Secret model if I can dream even bigger. 🙂

    I say “if money didn’t matter” because both jobs I’m sure would pay much less than what I’m making now – which is one of the things that keeps me from changing (plus, I love what I currently do). If I wanted to change to a job and make approximately the same amount…I’d choose…well, that’s a hard one. I have no idea.

  24. I really enjoy driving. I told DH that if something ever happened to him I would probably become a long haul truck driver after our girls were grown. Getting paid to see the country sounds like a good idea to me. I’ve also considered going back to school and becoming an accountant. This mostly stems from my fascination with people and what they do with their money. I don’t know that I would enjoy either of these things if I HAD to do them, only if I GOT to.

  25. With three kids I need ot loook after everyday, I would go back to freelance writing and web design. I have been receiving offers so I am confident I can easily get a contract.

  26. I’m a studio artist and professional nursery woman (plants, greenhouses, gardening). If I made a complete career change, I would devote myself to animal rescue—-nurturing and healing any and all creatures that had suffered neglect and abuse. I’ve never made a lot of money, and this new career certainly wouldn’t net me any fabulous income, but I would be making a real difference—I would be doing meaningful, important work.

  27. I’d like to say I’d go back to school, study fermentation and go work for a brewery. Or actually get into the house flipping business.

  28. I was recently in wireless phone sales and am currently temping as switchboard operator and a teller at the credit union.

    If I could go back to school…I would go into a field that was geared towards helping others feel their best…chiropractic, massage, cranio sacral therapy. I can’t swing it financially, time wise or not so sure brainwise right now.

  29. I’m actually looking into doing this very soon. Currently I am a full time elementary school teacher and while the job is awesome and I enjoy it, the stress that comes with it I’d rather do without. With parents and the school demanding I do more at work without much consideration for my own health and sanity, I’m planning to quit soon. This is expected tho since I live in south east asia and my fiance is from the US so once we are married (in July, woohoo),I’m moving there.

    I’ve always enjoyed writing and I’ve been doing freelancing jobs with an online paper, and they’ve recently offered me a full time job with them where I’d be based anywhere as long as there’s reliable internet connection! I also love baking so am considering starting a home business baking cupcakes and cakes for kids and adults who love the sweet stuff! So if I lose my job today, I’d definitely do that as well as finally writing my book!

  30. I currently work in the finance industry. If I lost my job, I would become a serial entrepreneur. I have a blog and write for a few others now. With the ‘extra’ free time, I’d pick up on one of the other ideas that I have that is currently on the back burner.

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