What first steps would you suggest for those who want career or life changes?
For writers, I don’t think blogging is just an option, it’s a requirement. Fiction writers, and especially non-fiction writers, are expected to have a blog and a following nowadays. It’s your entrance ticket to the writing community.
For anyone, I would recommend using social media to help with a job search. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter–networking is the key to finding a job and social media opens up your world of contacts.
The biggest career advice I can give does not have to do with blogging or social media. It has to do with following your passion. It may sound like my latest venture with Tree.com fell out of the sky and into my lap. But it all started with defining my dream and a relentless pursuit of that dream. When the book did not happen for me, I did not give up. I just adjusted my vision to allow room for a new dream.
So start with defining what makes you happy and what you love to do. Then work every day to build your career around that.
Any other advice you’d add?
Only listen to those who believe in you and your dreams. There will always be someone who can give you a hundred different reasons why your dream is unattainable. I could have listened to the teacher who told me travel with children was too narrow a focus. I could have listened to well-meaning friends who told me to give up and get a “real job.” Instead, I chose to listen to my teacher who said I should not ignore my talent. I chose to listen to my friend who said my writing was worth reading.
Ignore the naysayers. They’re wrong. Surround yourself with positive people who know there isn’t a limited amount of success in the world–it’s infinite.