Accidental Careers

So you're well into your career, driving down the road you've always dreamed you'd be traveling, when you hit the mother of all potholes -- a layoff or company merger, a personal commitment that drains your time and energy, or perhaps a career detour that's not on your roadmap.

For some, such career glitches lead to a fulfilling accidental career they would never have considered.

For Carmin Coutee, president of Magnolia Custom Homes in Wheaton, Ill., becoming a home developer was never an aspiration. "I knew that I wanted to own my own business in the long run," she says, but was faced with one of those unforeseen glitches in her business career when her husband accepted a new job in Chicago.