Q. My parents are pushing me to get an MBA or study law or medicine. I really am interested in creative fields and don't know how to explain it to them. They lived through lean years and want to feel I'm in a "safe" profession. What do I tell them?
Ans. Begin by telling them there's no "safe" profession anymore. Even if you have those credentials you must do creative marketing and business management to keep clients and patients in any job today. Since you're lucky enough to have creative "instincts," use them and consider yourself lucky. According to Ken Robinson, author of "The Element How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything" (Penguin $15), the way to succeed is to take an inventory of your interests and abilities and follow them into a career. He notes that during this time of massive unemployment many successful people have done just that to reinvent them selves for more satisfying careers. While that's risky, everything is, and this route often leads to greater contentment.