Do I have to Give Up my Dream Career for Stability


MS was a freelance writer, editor and consultant, usually working in collaboration with other authors, developing book proposals or book manuscripts. He’d reached a point where the attributes of regular employment—a steady paycheck, an institutional home, a benefits package—had become very important. Yet he also wanted to retain the flexibility and the freedom of being a freelancer.

Career Coaching Experience

In my work with Cissie, I realized that the dramatic tension in my life story was my conflicting career aspirations. Specifically, I wanted the freedom to pursue further training as a professional writer and to invest time in my own writing projects. The central conflict here, in other words, was between serving near-term goals (income, stability) and longer-term goals (a wider career horizon, a more creative work life).

Cissie helped me to see that, while I did need to make some tough choices, I didn’t need to choose one set of goals over another. At the same time, she worked with me as I explored options and opportunities on each side of that broader (apparent) conflict.

Cissie’s special strength lies in nimbly shifting back and forth between the broadly strategic and the narrowly tactical. Where necessary, she helped me tackle concrete challenges, from writing a cover letter to negotiating a contract. But she always encouraged me to view those matters in the context of an evolving career vision.


MS enrolled in a graduate journalism program while practicing his trade in a steady position for a major research and educational institution. He also takes on contract writing and editing projects, which included a stint as a freelance correspondent for a major newspaper.

— M.S., Writer and Editor