As I travel the country and speak to professionals in transition, usually GenX and Baby Boomers, I see a similar look in people’s eyes.
It is one of confusion and discouragement.
I know people are wondering something like this:
I have 10 years left to work… what will I do? Will I enjoy it? Can I contribute to society? Will I get the respect in my new job that I had before in my last job (which I had for a LONG TIME)?
It. Sucks. I know it does. (See my post titled I Lost More Than My Job 2 Years Ago)
Here I am, getting ready to celebrate FIVE YEARS since I got laid off.
There have been ups and downs. Most of the downs were before I figured out JibberJobber, which became my “next gig.”
Much of the rest of the time has been “ups.” (there were plenty of “downs” while figuring out how to run my own business… don’t get me wrong!)
Here are a few of my ups:
- JibberJobber has become, in a sense, the 800lb guerrilla in its space. We are the market leader, well-branded, well-recognized. That gives me something big to be proud of!
- I wrote a book which became the best seller for my publisher. How freaking cool is that? Some people in the space require their clients to read it and it has been called “the bible on LinkedIn.” How freaking awesome is that?
- I wrote another book, making me a “multi-book author.” Amazing. I never thought this would have been the case.
- I became a professional speaker (reluctantly). I didn’t think I had time to be a speaker, getting on the road, etc. But I did, and it’s been quite rewarding in many ways. Me? Getting paid to speak on a stage? What a dream!
- I work with people I like on projects I believe in. If I’m uncomfortable with something/someone I can simply move on. I wasn’t able to do that in any of my old jobs!
- I have a new flexibility in my schedule that allows me to do more stuff with my family. I work A LOT! Too much, probably. I work way more than if I had a “job.” But I also have flexibility to do what I want with my schedule and can take breaks during the day or multi-day breaks. Since I work in my basement my family can see me whenever they need to and I regularly have someone hanging out in my office chatting.
As I look out at the audiences I believe that many of them can find happiness in something… even if it is completely different. Maybe you consult one hour a day at $250/hour… could that take the place of having a traditional job?
Can you EVER be happy again?
Yes, you can. The path, though, might be different that what you have thought.