Radical Careering


Okay, so I couldn’t find the job title for “the guy who puts contact lens on chickens so they don’t peck each other to death”! But, there are still 974 occupations to peruse with detailed job descriptions! You can research jobs on O*NET by your skills, interests, work activities, work motivations and work style. That’s a huge cross-indexing feature.

Enter “poultry” in the search pane and 30 strongly related occupations come up. Enter  “optometrist” and 7 related occupations appear. It is better to be more specific than less so. For example, enter “mechanical tools” and you will be offered 496 potential occupations as opposed to “chicken coops” which offers 20.

This is a great site for exploring or comparing jobs and careers. I recommend to my clients that they review job details when preparing a resume or before an interview. It requires only a little fumbling to figure it out and if you have a navigation question regarding the site, you will receive a timely, helpful response. Your Federal tax dollars at work for you!

Inside O*NET

In selecting a career that expresses you, 'the devil IS in the details'. Take the Strong Interest Inventory. Based on your responses, you will receive a one to three letter code that reflects your interests, work motivations, work style and work environment preferences.  That code can be any combination of six occupational themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. 
An RSI theme suggests you share many interests and values with a cabinet maker and a Marine Corps Officer.  An IRE theme code suggests similarities to an archeologist and a food scientist.  An RSE theme code suggests that either an athletic director or County sheriff fit your responses.  Careers that share the ERI code include pilot and industrial engineer.  These codes are only mildly helpful without counseling support. By knowing how to learn more about you, a counselor can help you make results meaningful and guide you to your next steps.  Details, details, details.....


Self-employed, independent professionals working full or part-time as “freelancers” are changing the employment landscape for workers and employers.  According to the Freelancers Union website ( there are 53 million freelancers working in the US today.  By 2020, there will be more freelancers than full-time employees in America, according to Briana Lo Chiatto, Strategic Account Director, Aquent/Walt Disney. Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible (Workman Publishing, N.Y., 2012), lays out everything you want to know about working for yourself, including: how to find clients, get insurance, network, and charge for your services.  Imagine working for the Disney Corp. in your jammies from home!

"The man [or woman] who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to make money nor find much fun in life."

- Charles M. Schwab           

Insight on Strong II

I have to recommend to the assertive career seeker a mighty little book by Sally Hogshead, Radical Careering (Gotham Books, 2005). It is full of pithy, unconventional advice, not necessarily the kind our parents would have given us. Consider Hogshead's Radical Truth 54:

"When an employer is not just your boss but your only possible meal ticket, you begin to resent him or her. You and the boss both know that you're powerless. You're an indentured servant." Not for the faint-of-heart, but guaranteed to inspire boldness!

\jet-sam\ n. [alternative of jettison] 1: the part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is cast overboard...and is washed ashore.

If you want proof that age is no barrier to pursuing new, unique interests and earning a living from those interests, consider Veronica Williams.  In her mid-80’s, Veronica is the “queen of fungi” or a professional forager. I recently met her in Astoria, Washington in a local coffee shop and did I learn a lot about mushrooms!  Her list of  “careers” includes:  restaurateur, cook, author, teacher, foraging guide and entrepreneur (before we even used that term!).  You can read more about her HERE in an article by Cathy Zimmerman of The Daily News. After cooking with her lobster mushrooms, I will never settle for boring white mushrooms again.  Additionally, her independent, joyful spirit of adventure will continue to inspire me!