CareerQuest Newsletter
Two Simultaneous Careers: A Reality or a Passing Fad?

March 2008
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

This issue has an unusual article, Two Simultaneous Careers: A Reality or a Passing Fad?

CareerQuest will also present its first free Interactive Teleseminar with Career Doctor Don. The topic is How to Choose a Career Counselor, Coach or Advisor. Two identical one-hour sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, 2008, the first session at 12:00pm EST, and the second session at 8:00pm EST. Due to the limited capacity of the conference call line, early registration is required. Look for announcements and reminders in your email inbox. Details to follow.

Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit to read more.

We actively solicit your comments and feedback.

Until we meet again through the magic of email...

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.), PE
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach

Two Simultaneous Careers: A Reality or a Passing Fad?
by Don Sutaria

As a child, if you wanted to become an artist or a musician, guess what your mother might have said: "How are you going to make a living and support yourself?" Perhaps she had visions of your becoming a doctor, lawyer or engineer.

And if you wanted to become an entrepreneur while having a conventional 9-5 job, she would have been worried about you and said: "Don't quit your day job yet!"

Of course, I am mentioning these stereotypes to inject a little humor into the situation!

The concept of double majors in college is not new. Students can have a combination of majors such as biology/chemistry, physics/math, physics/chemistry, English/history, art/education, and the like. These arrangements have sometimes given the graduates more options on graduation, and possibly later for advancement.

This recent phenomenon has also been called doubling up on careers or portfolio careers. There are several cases on record where medical doctors have continued their medical practices but also made forays into the world of business such as marketing of medical devices or health care services.

Trying to split the available professional time fifty-fifty between two careers is easier said than done, but some hardy souls have done it. Sometimes the motivation for pursuing two simultaneous careers is genuine interest, at other times it is pure and simple financial security. If there is a recession and downturn in one of the career areas, perhaps the second career acts as a safety net. Another pink elephant in the room is health insurance which a company may not offer unless an employee works a conventional 35-40 hour work week, or in some liberal cases 20-30 hours per week.

Many surveys of the past two decades have shown that life/work balance has assumed greater importance than in the past, but in addition to that people are also seeking meaningful work which they can enjoy, and also have some say in it. Not so surprising, is it?
Pursuing two careers simultaneously does not appear to be a passing fad, but a reality to be reckoned with.
Added to this is the important fact that most organizations are looking for the best qualified person for a specific assignment, regardless whether she/he has been in a single-track career or not. Once the project or assignment is over, the company may have little hesitancy to lay that person off.

Modern day communication tools do not require a doubled-up career professional to be physically present in any particular place but just reachable.

A new trend has also been observed for the past five years with mid-career professionals who pursue MBAs with dual specializations. Boosting one's career in this way calls for a high focus, and lots of sacrifices in terms of huge investments of time and money. But many participants in such programs report big boosts to their careers.

Noteworthy examples are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's business school which offers a Master's of Business Administration combined with a Master's of Health Administration dual-degree program (MBA/MHA). A solid knowledge of both business principles and health care gives a leg-up to the graduate. Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and several others offer similar dual-degree programs.

Nonprofit organizations, investment banking, hospitals, and consulting firms are eager to employ dual-degree graduates. BusinessWeek interviewed several dual-degree individuals who said that they were extremely happy with their degrees as well as their jobs. Pursuing two careers simultaneously does not appear to be a passing fad, but a reality to be reckoned with.

Don Sutaria is Founder and President of CareerQuest (formerly New Life Career Counseling), located in New York and New Jersey. CareerQuest is also mentioned in "What Color is Your Parachute?" Sutaria is a consultant to individuals and various corporations, offering executive coaching and career management services. He has developed unique methods for capturing jobs in the new millennium. He appeared on a Phil Donahue TV special on unorthodox methods of job hunting. Known as "Career Doctor Don", he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Star-Ledger, The Union Leader, WorkingSmart, SmartMoney, Fortune, Money, and on WINS and WOR radio. He specializes in counseling of international professionals, Generation X (age 20-29), career changers, freelancers, consultants, mid-career executives and people over age 50. He really believes that your career is a pathway to your soul.

Mr. Sutaria has over forty years of diversified industrial and management experience, complemented by training in career development and hands-on experience in career advising. He is an international cross-cultural trainer. He has also served on committees of several organizations, and conducted courses, seminars and symposiums at Columbia University, New York University, Nyack College, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, Rutgers, and Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Association of Career Professionals International and the Career Counselors Consortium.

Don earned his MS degree in Management from Kansas State University, an IE (Professional) degree in International Management and Personnel Relations from Columbia University, and obtained New York University's postgraduate Certificate in Adult Career Planning and Development.

Don Sutaria is the author of 
Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career Is A Pathway To Your Soul!) due to be published in 2008.