Finding the Recession’s Silver Lining

This entry was posted Thursday, 30 April, 2009 at 1:15 am

My path to starting Meerkat Communications began a while ago, with the realisation that I wasn’t happy in my position at the time as a Communication Instructor. I was hankering after my first love, writing, and felt that this wasn’t fair to my 2nd love, teaching. I mean I didn’t want to be a two-timer! I did a lot of thinking and did the decent thing – I let my 2nd love down gently and resigned (from my steady income and the good on paper job, you know, the one you can take home to your parents).

I did a lot of thinking, minor panicking,  and research, and then WHAM – The Recession hit. Circumstances meant I couldn’t find a job, which got me thinking. Why not create my own? And it seems I’m not the only one – recent stats say that jobs have increased in BC over the last few months because of a leap in the number of new companies formed (unfortunately I can’t find the article dealing with this). Somehow knowing that I am not alone makes me feel a lot better…

 In 2005, BC Government stats showed that 98% of businesses in the Province are small business, and these SBs account for over a quarter of the provincial GDP. So what could have been a total crisis actually lead to me figuring out the right path for me – something which would not have happened if I had got a job right after resigning. Strange how the universe works, isn’t it?

In the wake of the recession, many people are being forced to reassess their lives – unfortunately without the luxury of choosing to leave their jobs. There is, however, hope. Sometime these things can be a blessing in disguise because they force us to rethink the path we are on and force us to make a much needed change – for the better. Of course it is terrifying, unsettling, sometimes downright crap, but I firmly believe there is always a way to make things work. This can be a lonely path, but it is also infintely rewarding.

I want to share a valuable resource that I discovered on my journey.  The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry offers an insightful and practical approach to career changes. She has some fabulous quotes – so many favourites but here are two:

“Sensitivity to something combines the potential for a sublime experience with the agony of confrontation with the ordinary” (Eikleberry, p.32)

and a quote from Barbara Sher:

“Above all, don’t improve yourself. Improve the world, so that your characteristics stop being problems.”

I enjoyed the fact that this is a book that provides practical solutions and self-assessment tools, and presents creative fields as a viable option. She writes frankly and encouragingly, and it inspired me to write a book review for Suite101 – feel free to read my review and make comments – and ultimately to becoming my own boss. Obviously the book caters to a particular personality type, but many of her insights are broadly applicable. There are also plenty of other resources out there – websites, books, groups, and plenty of people who have been in the same position and can say, without having to lie to make you feel better – IT WILL ALL BE OKAY.

Geraldine