Around 5 years ago, right as the Great Recession was picking up steam and the markets and world economy were in a tailspin, I was unemployed, sitting alone in the basement of my house, and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do next in my career.
I was scared.
I was embarrassed.
I was ashamed.
I was alone.
I was lost.
I was depressed.
I had no idea how to get out of the funk that I was in.
Ironically, I didn’t take the advice you so often get when you’re in a situation like that. I wasn’t “pounding the pavement” looking for my next opportunity. I wasn’t going to “get back out there” and get a job just to have a job. I wasn’t going out and meeting people every day. I didn’t make it my job to find a job. I wasn’t scouring the job boards every day. I wasn’t going on informational interviews.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself “Mic, why weren’t you doing any of those things? What were you doing? How did you survive?”
The answer isn’t easy, but I want to share it with you in case you’ve been in that situation, find yourself in that situation in the future, or know someone who may be there right now. But before I do, let me preface this with a couple of very important points:
1. All of those things I mentioned above are often good and necessary things to do when you’re looking to make a career change.
2. Everyone has financial challenges and realities they have to figure out during the career change process.
So why wasn’t I doing all of those things? Because I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living and I felt that I was starting to lose myself because of the career choices I’d made.
You see, throughout my career, I worked for big companies, small companies, in a home office, and in cubicle farms. I made good money, had good benefits, and so much more. I had been in customer service roles, inside sales roles, worked in communications, and eventually worked as a recruiter for several years.
But I wasn’t happy.