Ask Dr. Bleedingheart


Dear Dr. Bleedingheart,

I’ve been thinking about quitting my job as a software engineer and going to work in a nursery or a greenhouse.  I wouldn’t even mind working for a landscaper, taking care of people’s yards.  I’m tired of sitting in an office all day, and the money just doesn’t mean much anymore.  When I was in college, I lived on a tenth of what I make now, and I was happier, too.  My friends all think I’m crazy.  What do you think?

Burned Out

Dear Burned Out,

Your heart’s in the right place, and believe me, we’ve all been there.  But those low-paying, back-breaking gardening jobs with no benefits have some drawbacks, namely that they are low-paying, back-breaking jobs with no benefits.  Have you considered asking for a sabbatical and perhaps using the time off to enroll in a Master Gardener program ?  You might be in a better position to decide if you want a career in the field–and I do mean literally, in the field–if you’ve tried it out for a few months.  Or perhaps you could work part-time for a while until you’re sure you can live without the cushy paycheck. 

Then again, life is short.  Why not take some risks while you’re young?  Follow your bliss, and you’ll be an inspiration to cubicle dwellers everywhere.  Good luck, and write when you get work.