Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Follow your dream?

Q.  I know these are terrible economic times and I should be looking for a career that will let me support myself later, but I'm beginning to think there is no such thing. Meanwhile I do have dreams of working in theater, writing scripts, directing, producing-anything in that wonderful world of make believe. My parents go crazy when I talk about it because they're paying my ridiculous college tuition fees. So do I go into business school and forget the magic? I hate the idea, but I hate the idea of feeling guilty if I go into theater arts more.

Ans. No one wants to contradict well-meaning parents who want only the best for you. But in this economy, you are right, even the most prudent education can't promise work. On the other hand, you should take the major you really want to work in, then include a minor in something practical, like marketing or education classes to help you eat in case the first dream doesn't work out. But also give yourself six months or a year after graduation to try and find work in the field you dream about. You shouldn't have to look back at 50 and know you never tried. You may be one of the many talented few that DOES make it by following your dream. Whatever you decide to do, remember that your real goal is to find a job that makes you want to run to your desk every day. Something that will make you anxious and nervous when you come to a red light in the morning because you're in such a hurry for it to turn green so you can get there quicker.

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