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Your Life Calling With Jane Pauley

Rediscovering a Passion for Music

Catch up on Jane's recent online chat with guests Elizabeth Craig and Robert Rudolph

Comment from Georgine B.: I'm close to retirement and I'm thinking about how I'm going to spend my time. I like to travel, but I would like to either work part time or volunteer part time. How do I go about finding information on how to start?

Elizabeth Craig: To answer Georgine's question: You will find some assistance by checking back to my three earlier responses about how to volunteer and even take travel vacations where you are volunteering.

Comment from Lisa: What about the challenge of pursuing artistic interests while earning a living? Many people would have to go back to college -- expensive -- then enter a job that may pay much less than they're used to. Since most of us won't have pensions, money is a concern.

Jane Pauley: Lisa, you need to know something about Robert that we did not have time to explain in our segment on the TODAY Show this morning, and that is that all the while he was a mortgage broker, he was always working as a part-time church musician. So his artistic side wasn’t paying the bills, the business was, but it was certainly nurturing his spirit. Would you say that’s right, Robert?

Robert Rudolph: Jane, that is absolutely correct.

Comment from Salley S.: How did Robert write his resume so that those reading it would want to interview him when he had little experience in the church music field?

Robert Rudolph:
The resume was crafted upon experiences (not so much on hard data) that contributed to a successful career in music. The real drawback in the initial phase of transition was not having held a full-time position in the field. It became clear that the change in career would more than likely happen fairly quickly, but that it would be necessary to travel the career path step by step.

Comment from NJ: After a company downsizing, I was laid off after 14 years. I reinvented myself and found a new job. Six months later, I was laid off again. I don't know how to re-reinvent myself. .... now what?

Elizabeth Craig: Yes, company reorganization will continue. Obviously you were able to reinvent yourself previously. What types of things did you do previously that worked? Continue doing those and remember the importance of getting inside company referrals.

Comment from Lynne: To Elizabeth's earlier comments about all that Robert has done has brought him to his current place, there is a great book I've read by Mary Catherine Bateson, Composing A Life, that speaks to how A leads to and is part of B, etc. - Not sure the book is in print any longer but if you can find it, it's worth it.

Comment from Gary A.:  Jane and Elizabeth, this has been a wonderful exchange today. Thanks to Robert, too, for sharing his personal story. You have helped many people with your candor and insight. Also, this is so good that I think you have something with this 'process' that could be used in high schools across the nation. It is really needed! Many thanks for your time and effort.

Elizabeth Craig: This also references back to NJ. Evidence is clear that networking is crucial to job search success and remains the most effective way to land a new job. If you can think of networking as having a group of friends assisting you with your job search it becomes a lot more fun to network everywhere you go. Networking is not just going to a specific networking event. It is speaking with people as you go through your day and having conversations with them. Job seekers need to consider looking for unpublicized jobs as yet another tool in their job-search kit. The wisest strategy is to pursue both avenues concurrently: respond to actively advertised positions and what has often been called the hidden job market too.

Rather than spending time online, network. The effectiveness of networking is indisputable and frequently backed up by research. For example, ExecuNet’s annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, which in 2009 reported that 73 percent of survey respondents found career options through networking, compared with just 14 percent for the next most effective method.

Robert Rudolph: There were no short cuts in changing careers and life’s direction. The driving force was to finally do in life what I actually wanted to do and knew I could do successfully. What became clear in the process was that I needed to prove to the church music industry (and to myself) that I was capable of doing what I was saying I could do. I had always known that I could be successful as a church musician, but that claim had to have substance. As I looked to establish my new career I simply needed to find a position where I could make the biggest impact. I need to say I even surprised myself at what I was able to accomplish. Most importantly, after struggling to find a church position, I found a church that was right for me and I was right for them.

Comment from Yul: This has been truly inspiring, from the TODAY Show segment on. Thank you Jane, the TODAY Show staff, Robert, Elizabeth, and audience. :-)

Jane Pauley: Looks like we have reached the end of our chat time.

Elizabeth Craig: Thank you to everyone for the terrific questions and comments! Cheers! Enjoy the process!

Robert Rudolph: I would like to add the gratitude of myself and this congregation for the professional filming crews respect to the Messiah U.M.C. as a place of worship and this opportunity. In has been inspiring to all that it touched.

Jane Pauley: Thank you so much for participating in this chat as a part of our “Your Life Calling” series on the TODAY Show and here on aarp.org. Elizabeth and Robert – thanks for being with us!

I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. Catch me again on August 17 on the TODAY Show where I’ll be bringing you another great story about someone who is hearing their life calling in a new and different way.

Stay tuned to aarp.org/jane for more resources and inspiring stories on reinvention.

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