By David Pego

When you think about it, almost any major decision in your life is also a career-affecting decision.

Certainly, changing the place where you live will affect your current job, whether it is in driving a few more miles to work each day or having to look for a new job in your new city.

With that in mind, it is very wise to think a long time about each major move you are considering in your life. Sometimes I do that. Sometimes things feel so very right and very natural, that I don’t bother. And often, my life is better off because of it. I’m sure that this is one of those times.

I recently made a major decision in my life, and it certain affects my work. I fell in love with a longtime friend who for years has let me cry on her shoulder when I needed solace and told me wonderful jokes to brighten my spirit when she knew I needed a lift.

If you come to this Web site occasionally or frequently, you probably know her, if you read the fine print. Her name was Jennifer Hicks. Now, it is Jennifer Hicks, also known as Jennifer Gale Pego.

We got married on June 16 and I’ve been wearing a big smile ever since. She is the most wonderful, intelligent and sensitive woman I have ever known, and it delights me that she has chosen me.

But, back to career stuff. There’s actually a lesson to be learned here, I think.

You may not have to get married to someone new and please don’t fall in love with anyone else if you already are married. But do think about ways that you can find that same wonderful feeling of newness and hope.

Can you get away from your current job and city for awhile, and take the family on a short but wonderful vacation? Camping? Bunkering down in a Motel 6? Trading houses with a longtime friend for a week?

And when you are away, be sure to spend just a couple of hours alone, writing down privately in a notebook goals you want to accomplish in your job and life. Then number them, with the first being the easiest one. Change your life. It doesn’t take a new marriage to do that, but I can’t begin to describe what finding Jennifer has meant to me.

As some of you know, I believe in identifying people who need a hand, then giving without expectation of return. I just ask them to pass the help along to someone else someday. And bless Jennifer’s heart. She not only understands, but for months, we have talked over these gifts with each other.

I’ve been married before, but nothing was like this. My heart races when I wake up and see the first smile of the day on her face. My heart races when I tell her I have a new idea and she listens and nods thoughtfully.

She is my new – and forever – partner in every way.

And by the way, we care about all of you here at IMDiversity. We only hope this site can help you find a bit more happiness in your life, too. For if you are happy, career change and career excitement seem to accompany naturally.

With love,
David Pego

Contributing editor and director of writer development David Pego is a Saginaw Chippewa tribal member. He was the first native journalist to be named a McCormick Tribune Fellow.  David was a delegate to the historic White House Conference on Indian Education and was the 2000 winner of the Innovators In Education Award. He also serves as National Chair for the new Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society national writing competition for young students. is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.