What's your problem?

The lack of courage I've had during my career depresses me.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 30 Sep 2010

Q: I've worked in marketing services for a large City firm for 13 years although I've always hankered after a career in politics but I've been too chicken to jack in my job and now have a family of four to support. My lack of courage depresses me and I'm scared I'm going to feel like this for the rest of my life. What should I do?

A: 'A career in politics' could mean many things. Do you mean a career in the advisory, back-room sense - perhaps for one of the many influential think-tanks or research centres? Or do you imagine yourself applying for inclusion on your party's prospective parliamentary candidate list and then offering yourself up for selection to a series of constituency associations until one of them adopts you? If this last, you can of course pursue such a path while working full-time in your City firm. It will be extremely time-consuming and your family may not see much of you - particularly at weekends - but at least you'll be satisfying that itch that's been troubling you for so long.

My guess is that it's worth a go. It doesn't entail an immediate drop in income and you can assess your satisfaction levels as you go along. If all goes swimmingly, well and good. But if the effect on your family is serious and first-hand exposure to politics turns out to be a bit deflating, you can always pull out, with no harm done and with curiosity satisfied.

- Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office? is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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