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Quitting in the Recession

By DEAN PRAETORIUS


Back away from the keyboard, pack up your desk and go tell the boss you won't be in again -- ever. Sounds crazy but, even in today's economy, some people are willing to say goodbye to their bosses and quit their jobs, whether it's to help a colleague or satisfy an urge.

Take Tara Dairman and Andy Cahill of Weehawken, N.J., both 29, for instance. They want to travel the world for the next 18 months. "It just made sense to travel and see how things will end up," Dairman said.

So they left their jobs and, with a bit of savings, hope to stay on the road one way or another. Dairman was the Web editor for a small publisher while Cahill worked in finance, where layoffs were imminent.

Cahill isn't the only one who is heading off an expected layoff.

Newfound stress in the office is causing many people to consider alternatives to their old way of life, experts say. "A lot of people are saying, 'I don't want to sit here waiting for the shoe to drop,'" said career expert Liz Ryan, who has her own Web site.


    
Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.
The New Norm...
Editor  plus50women                                                    

                                                                     
Every where you turn, you hear the phase "the new norm".  It's a statement used to describe our current economic and financial crisis.  The new norm.  Really, what does that phrase mean?

Are we supposed to accept that our lives financially, emotionally (and physically for some) have been deposed of like month old garbage?  That the hardships facing us today will be the same hardships facing us 10 years from now?  I'm not sure how to respond to the casual death declaration of our previous existence.  The new norm is anything but normal.

Are we angry?  You bet.  Americans are furious that financial institutions were able torpedo our economy with unsavory loan practices and then receive tax payers money to save themselves.  By now everyone has faced the 30% interest rate banks levy on credit cards.  What you might not know is that when you sign up for a "hardship" program with your credit card company, the bank isn't backing that program.  Uncle Sam is. Once again, tax payers are footing the bill for the financial industry's greed. 

So what do we do?  At 50 plus it's hard to start over.  It takes 7-10 years to rebuild your credit and remove negative information from your credit report.  Do you pay the 30% interest to keep your credit or walk away from the debt and suffer the negative credit rating?  It's hard to know what course of action to take.  Either way you loose.  There is no win with the new norm. 

If you are young, you have time to rebuild your credit, your savings and plan for retirement.  At 50 and older, you're pretty much toast.  All you can hope for is winning the lottery or inheriting a sizeable fortune from a family member.  Or accepting the reality of working the rest of your life so that you have a decent income to live on.

These are challenging times at best.  Do we admit defeat and pitch our tents in the wildnerness and call it good?  Or do we dig in and find alternative ways to create a comfortable lifestyle for ourselves?  And if we do dig in, what do we do?  Getting hired after 50 isn't easy.  There just aren't jobs available.  Companies that are hiring overlook the most qualified person for the job, because that person is over 50.

In this world there are leaders and then there are followers, that's a fact of life.  For leaders finding new ways to earn an income will come easier then for those who are more comfortable working 9-5 jobs.  What we need to do is to ask ourselves what are strong points are.  What do we excel at. Be it a hobby or a technical skill we have learned through employment.  Exam your personal qualifications, your strong points, your interests and evaluate your assets. 

The Internet provides an equal playing field for both large and small companies.  Online, your web site becomes your calling card.  A small company can compete toe to toe with a large company if you have a well designed store.  Small companies can achieve high rankings on the Internet by correctly marketing their web site with SEO's (Search Engine Optimization).  Web site companies offer easy templates to design your web site.  The big question is.... what do you sell?

Importing products is easier then ever, which many people don't realize.  Overseas companies are eager to forge alliances with US companies.   It's actually quite easy to import products, with many foreign companies willing to drop ship products directly to the customer.  There are options available to you, you just have to find the strength within yourself to set sail in a new direction.

We are creatures of habit.  There is comfort and security in our daily routines.  When that routine is uprooted due to job loss, home foreclosure, financial loss ... it's devastating.  When the economy was healthy, we felt we were in control of our destiny, mapping out our lives with great precision.  We made plans for our retirements with high expectations of what life would be like in our golden years.  The new norm has altered those plans, to where most our plans are now unrecognizable.

Still there is hope.  You can go back to school and learn a new trade.  You can start your own company (either online or a brick or mortar store) and rebuild your dreams. You can even choose to live in a foreign country where the US dollar goes 2-3 times further.  Many
Americans have moved abroad and are living comfortable, happy lives on half the money it would take to enjoy that same standard of living in the US.

There are options available to all of us.  The new norm may have altered our dreams, but it doesn't have to destroy them.  We can rebound, start again and succeed.  First we have to accept our lives have changed.  There is nothing we can do about that fact.  But what we can do is adopt a positive attitude, as difficult as that may be.  Ourself worth should not be based upon what kind of car we drive, our job title or the house we live in.  Ourself worth should be about who we are as an individual.  It's about the personal choices we make each day.  That is what defines who we are in the new norm.   



                   National Business Furniture, Inc