The big “R” word has come out and everyone is talking about the global recession. From holiday shopping on a budget to job finding, the media (blogs, radio, news, etc.) sources are all abuzz with strategies for getting through tough economic times.
Today, on NPR, the focus was recession-proof jobs . And while we are all being affected in different ways, the optimist deep down in me looks at current times as an opportunity.
I came across this article  on CNN.com that I think nails some of the best parts of being out of work for any period of time. I love the idea of making the most out of being unemployed. Most of us complain when we are in our job that we don’t have time to do other things. When we are out of work, while we may need to look for work, what are you doing the rest of the day? Exploring a new skill (clicking the remote while standing on your head doesn’t count), pursuing a passion with more focus, or starting your own gig can lead to fun and possibly revenue as you trek through the job search journey.
My husband took a two-month sabbatical from work about six months after we got married. At first, he was totally lost. Then he picked up one of our recipe books and started making artisan breads. This lead to classes at the culinary academy, more cookbooks, and a refining of skills and recipes beyond just breads. He still has his traditional 9 to 5 job, but he has found another passion that he may not have discovered had he not had those two months without obligation to a full time career.
One of the guests on NPR started freelance work during the 2002 downturn and parlayed that into her own company. Others have taken a class or job outside their traditional skill set and discovered a new career. Some go back to school, and if you have that luxury, what an opportunity. Since I run a company, I won’t be doing any of these things at the moment, but I have spent most of my career trying out things, exploring and making the most of flexible work situations. If you do go after that passion, make sure you read the tips in the CNN article . They are both practical and inspirational. All the best to each of you in finding your dreams and expanding you skill set even in tough times.
By MF Chapman