Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Secret 5: turn your passion into an asset

jamie_pollack.top.jpgJamie Pollack, 44, New York
Then: Associate creative director for a strategic marketing and branding firm
Now: N.Y. representative for Federal Fisheries Policy Reform Project

For 15 years Jamie Pollack did graphic design and branding for financial institutions. Then came the credit crisis in late 2008, and there went her job. Right away, she began looking for another position in her field. And on the side she continued to run Shark Savers, a shark conservation nonprofit she'd founded three years earlier.

Nearly a year into Pollack's unemployment, a contact she'd met through Shark Savers asked her if she knew anyone who'd be interested in a nonprofit job that involved building support for a campaign to end overfishing. "We were thinking of a mutual friend," recalls Pollack. "Then I thought, 'Maybe I should try it.' "

How she did it:

By broadening her self-view. Until that moment, "I'd thought of Shark Savers as a passion, never a job," she says. She'd seen herself solely as a designer. "But because of Shark Savers, I'd accomplished a lot more."

By using her connections. Pollack asked the woman who told her about the job -- and who used to hold the position herself -- to pass along her name, which Pollack credits to helping her land an interview.

By recrafting her pitch. During that interview, she tied together her branding and outreach experiences. "I talked about fliers I created for Shark Savers, and how I could target those for specific audiences." The hiring manager was convinced.

How you can too:

"One of the biggest mistakes transitioners make is not considering skills attained in the rest of their lives," says Laura Gassner Otting, a recruiter for nonprofits.

So think about the things you do outside work -- hobbies, volunteering, social groups, and others -- and whether you might leverage any of them into a job. Talk to contacts made in your pastime about how you might turn it into full-time.

Secret 1: Show how your talents translate

Secret 2: network outside the box

Secret 3: get the skills you need on the cheap

Secret 4: get your finances in order
 To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.93%3.86%
15 yr fixed2.99%3.02%
5/1 ARM3.26%3.20%
30 yr refi3.98%3.92%
15 yr refi3.05%3.06%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,813.39 1.20 0.01%
Nasdaq 5,116.14 13.33 0.26%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.01 -0.49%
Data as of 5:34pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Pfizer Inc 32.87 0.90 2.82%
HP Inc 12.64 -2.00 -13.66%
General Electric Co 30.36 -0.30 -0.98%
Bank of America Corp... 17.44 -0.03 -0.17%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 8.10 -0.20 -2.41%
Data as of 4:02pm ET


Brazilian police arrested a prominent senator and billionaire CEO for interfering in the investigation of Petrobras, which has pushed Brazil into recession. More

Watsi crowdfunds donations to cover healthcare costs of those in need. And it's seeing a surprising trend: micro-donations via the popular Chinese social networking app, WeChat. More

Some of the coolest toys this year are from small businesses. Here are 10 hot toys that just might be a smash hit this holiday season. More

American consumers saved more in October compared to a year ago -- a sign of a behavioral shift in consumer spending. More