Could it be that the recession could force you to realize your dreams? We’ve heard this situation countless times—you went to school and then took the first job that offered a decent salary, in or nearby your desired area. Perhaps you stayed with your original company or maybe you made a few adjustments; in all, you most likely kept on track and reaped the benefits of your education. Then years later, after hard work and a fair display of loyalty, the country enters a recession and you get pink-slipped. Boy oh boy, it’s a story that’s unfolded countless times across the nation over the course of the past few months, and all signs point to even more layoffs. So what happens now? Perhaps it’s time for a total life reevaluation. Compare what you’ve been doing with what you’d most like to be doing and see how things align. If there’s a serious mismatch between wanting and doing, it may very well be time to make some life changes.
Countless times people end up doing work that isn’t exactly their calling in life and there are many reasons for this—everything from needing to pay off school to a wide variety of family issues. Such individuals learn to settle with their employment. Sometimes it takes something absolutely jarring to knock them off their throne of complacency. So you’ve tried life the traditional way, now perhaps you should try to realize your own American Dream. Is there something you wanted to study in school that you didn’t have the time or resources to study the first time around? It’s amazing the financial aid that is available to nontraditional students to finish or further your college education. So, what’s your dream?
The news stations are peppering scary stories about the economy with lighthearted tales about folks who were forced out of the office and their comfort zone only to go back to school to do what they’ve always dreamed of doing. A woman forced to work in a waffle restaurant realizes her calling as a pastry chef and enrolls in cooking school—things like that. The fired advertising exec who finally has time to put pen to paper and write that book. We love stories like this—so what’s your story?
There is nothing more disheartening than hearing a young college student mutter something like, “I don’t care what I do as long as it makes money.” Because in truth, you do care. Realizing and following your passion is imperative to happiness and even has positive health benefits (–hey never underestimate the power of fantastic mental health’s affect on your physical health) as well as improved interpersonal relationships and just a better sense of self satisfaction. So, how do you get the ball rolling?
If you’re reading this, you’ve obviously got access to a computer and that’s a fantastic place to start. Think of all the facets of what you most enjoy doing and Google the heck out of it until you can establish your path. For example if you love to play video games, how would you be at designing them? Or testing them? Or promoting them? Hey—how do you think those things turn out so amazing? Then you’ll want to see what resources are available around you for a related education so that you can set your dream in motion. A Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
We get comfortable spinning around in our normal circles. A shakeup like a layoff may be just what it takes for you to break out and finally live your dream. Give your life a performance review and figure out where you want to go. Whether it’s a different career or a career upgrade, perhaps in the end you’ll discover that the recession could be responsible for helping you to realize your dreams.