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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

Today's participants:

Jane Pauley, AARP's "Your Life Calling" Ambassador

Elizabeth Craig, master career development professional

Robert Rudolph, church choir director and former mortgage broker

Online visitors to AARP.org/Jane

This transcript has been edited for clarity.


Jane Pauley: Hello everyone! Thanks for joining us. I hope you were inspired by our TODAY Show segment this morning featuring Robert Rudolph. Robert’s been passionate about music since he was very young, but when it came time to choose a career, he felt the pressure – from both his family and society at large – to make money the deciding factor in this choice.

Later in his life, he decided his passion was so strong that he’d give up his financial luxuries in order to pursue it. Many of us have similar artistic passions, but it’s daunting to figure out how to reconcile them with the economic realities of everyday life.

My guest this afternoon, Elizabeth Craig, is a Master Career Development Professional who has a lot of experience talking to people about this subject. She’s here today to discuss the practicalities of following your artistic dreams and how you can find fulfillment by getting in touch with your creative side. Welcome, Elizabeth! Thanks for joining us.

And we’ve also got Robert Rudolph himself with us this afternoon. Hello, Robert! Great to have you here. Let's get started!

Elizabeth Craig: Hi Jane. Thank you for the terrific segment with Robert on the TODAY Show! I am happy to join you as you host this valuable live web chat discussion for those interested in reinventing themselves to find personal and career fulfillment in their own lives.

Jane Pauley: Let’s take some questions!

Comment from Becky: I just saw the segment on TODAY. I'm a Chief Communications Officer in higher ed and just got laid off. I'm considering going to what I love doing, rather than just going for the money. I'm reading a great book, Thank You For Firing Me!  Are there tips about taking that path?

Elizabeth Craig: Robert made choices to bridge to his future and do what he had always wanted to do. Reinventing yourself to find personal and career fulfillment in your life often involves doing a variety of things. The following can help: look at your natural abilities, skills, gifts, and talents; values; passions; utilize assessments; volunteer, partner with a career transition adviser; and form a personal group of positive committed listeners.

Some or all of these activities can assist to narrow choices, set goals and put together an action plan to make the fulfilling changes a person desires in their life. Many have found the classic national bestselling book Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges very helpful. Looking at each of the areas of your life can make the entire process easier and like Robert, move you forward in creating the reinvented life and career you desire.

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