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A career change that hits all the right notes

Career change hits all the right notes

Quitting a job to pursue a passion may be risky, but more workers are taking the leap, thanks to a growing economy and still-low interest rates.

The percentage of workers quitting their jobs hit a 17-year high last month, according to a report from the Labor Department.

One such American is Ryan Navey of Midland, North Carolina, who took the leap after 20 years working as a furniture maker by day and instrument repairman by night. He decided the time was right to open up a shop dedicated to making banjos.

"Confidence is the biggest part of anything in life… if you don't believe in it, nobody else will," Navey told WBTV in an interview.

Each banjo has a unique story. The wood is dried for 15 years and then carefully carved, milled and crafted by hand.

Navey's site advises customers to consider each banjo's unique sound, which is based on the type of wood used to craft its body.

Cherry and maple, for instance, "give a more focused sound" because of internal dampening, Navey writes. With walnut, "you hear more resonance." (If you'd like to hear the difference, there's a sample playlist on his webpage.)

The banjos take up to 40 hours to build. Premade versions are currently listed online with price tags ranging from $3,500 to $4,700. Custom orders are available, though you'll have to wait about a year to get your banjo.

As for his decision to pursue his passion, Navey says, "Life's short, you got make the most of it." 

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