Nell Minow
Corporate Governance expert, 'Movie Mom'

Nell Minow

Editor of The Corporate Library, and 'Movie Mom' for Beliefnet.com and radio stations across the country.

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Variety is a lot more fun

Q: In honor of recent graduates: When you finished your schooling, did you know what you wanted to do in life? How long did it take to find a job or profession that "fit" you? Are you still in your original field?

I've always thought of my various career moves as serendipitous, even random. But when our children were applying to college, my husband dished out my college application essay and one of the questions I had to answer was what I wanted to be doing in 10 years.

I had no recollection of my response. I did remember that it was just around that time, as the women's movement really became visible, that I began to think about careers instead of "a job to fall back on." But my recollection was that it was many years in the future before I developed an idea of what I wanted to do.

And yet, there it all was in my one-sentence answer. I listed five jobs that I said I was considering. And as I read it again 30 years later, I had done four of them: lawyer, writer, teacher, and "something about movies." Still thinking about that fifth one!

If you had asked me what kind of lawyer, teacher, writer, or "something about movies" I would have come up with, I would have been way off. But the basic ideas were all there.

People are often surprised when they find out that I have two separate careers -- as a lawyer specializing in corporate governance and shareholder advocacy and as a movie critic who writes about culture and values. But I love both the similarities between them and the differences in the issues and the people associated with them.

I love the juxtapositions the two sets of analyses often present. I love switching back and forth, often several times in a day, and I especially loved the exuberance of starting over in a completely different field, itself the most purely exhilarating experience of my professional life. I can't wait to see what comes next.

By Nell Minow  |  June 21, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Careers and success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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