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Career 180s

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by Frank Reddy

We start out as children with this image of ourselves as adults with dream jobs. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” invokes a host of possibilities, a Choose Your Own Adventure sort of game where the answer is as simple (and exciting) as selecting a shiny, new toy.

But we mature. We age, seeing matters in a more realistic light. Our career outlook remains a vast multiple-choice of opportunity, but we alter our dreams by “being realistic.” And, in the end, what we truly wanted to be when we grew up becomes that ubiquitous euphemism—a pipe dream—that we push away as we turn to face life as adults, grounded in practicality. But not everybody plays by the rules. And, it’s never too late to make a 180-degree career change.

 

Jesse Hachat

Porter in the Court!
Jesse Hachat: From Lawyer to Beer Aficionado
Jesse Hachat was a lawyer. He made good money. At first, he really enjoyed it. For 10 years, the Snellville native had a general practice, focusing on probate law, wills, collections and bankruptcies. He provided for his family, and everything was running smoothly.

Then, around 2008 the economy tanked. Money didn’t come as easily, and he started doing some outside-the-box thinking. Oftentimes, over a tall glass of artisan ale. Jesse—a beer aficionado—began to dream.

More time passed, and as serendipity would have it, he lost interest in his full-time law practice at the same time he discovered “this whole growler idea.”

Commonly sold at breweries and pubs, growlers are reusable glass jugs for transporting draft beer. Think of it as beer-to-go, a whole half gallon of your favorite brew to take home and enjoy.

Discovering the growler was Jesse’s “aha” moment. He soon opened the aptly named Exhibit (A)le in downtown Lawrenceville.

The business has done well. “It’s done better than I expected,” he says. “I just figured if I brought something to the table that I enjoyed, something I thought was cool, then people would see that passion and it would work. And it worked.”

 

“I just figured if I brought something to the table that I enjoyed, something I thought was cool, then people would see that passion and it would work. And it worked.”

 

Jason Wisdom

Reading Writing & Metal
Jason Wisdom: From Rock Star to Bible Teacher
When he first started teaching high schoolers at Bethlehem Christian Academy, Jason Wisdom thought he could bury the past. He figured nobody needed to know.

Then, one of his students did what was inevitable.

“He googled my name, and the first thing that came up was a picture of me with a bass guitar and fire shooting out of my mouth.”

As former lead singer of Christian metal band Becoming the Archetype, Jason toured the world. From 2004 to 2011, the group put out four full-length albums. The Dacula resident spent 10 years playing Christian music until one fateful day.

“I found out I was going to be a father,” Jason says. The realization soon set in that “this whole traveling around the world to play music thing” wasn’t going to work if he was going to help raise a child.

He went to college, got a degree and took a job at Bethlehem Christian Academy, where he has remained for five years. It’s a career he says he never could have imagined himself in, until he realized how much he enjoyed it.

“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I do miss playing music, but I love being an educator, and I love being home with my family. I’ve developed tremendously as a person.”

 

“He googled my name, and the first thing that came up was a picture of me with a bass guitar and fire shooting out of my mouth.”

 

Lynne Mundy

A Passion for Produce
Lynne Mundy: From Phlebotomist to Produce Peddler
Off Bogan Road in Buford, inside a white building with hand-painted pictures of grinning, toothy tomatoes, pumpkins and boiled peanuts; beneath the buzz of fluorescent lights; between mounds of striped, green watermelon husks; amidmountains of sweet-smelling peaches and juicy tomatoes; underneath orderly rows of jams, jellies, hot sauce and pickled sundries you’ll find a blonde-haired woman in blue jeans. As she weighs bags of fruit and works the register, she offers every patron her gratitude. That’s because 30 years ago Lynne Mundy made a career switch that changed everything.

A former healthcare professional, Lynne was a phlebotomist by trade. She worked at an area hospital, drawing blood for testing or donations. It was good, steady work, but she soon found her passion in produce.

“I just really enjoy it,” says Lynne, who owns the Produce Patch in Buford with her two sons. “We’ve got great customers. A lot of regulars who come in here and visit with us.”

Without hesitation, she’ll tell you it’s one of the best decisions she ever made. “I think that if you have a dream, you should go after it. Follow it. Work hard. If you do it right, it will pay off big time.”

 

“I think that if you have a dream, you should go after it. Follow it. Work hard. If you do it right, it will pay off big time.”