Friday, April 17, 2009

What I’ve learned from this recession…

There is something about difficult times that makes people realize what’s really, truly important in their lives. A good kick in the behind is always good, if it makes you think differently and steers you in new and exciting directions. Or so I think.

After talking to a friend and with a newly found enthusiasm about the unknown, here’s a list of what I’ve learned or was reminded about from this recession, that I hope will stick with me (or that I can least archive in my “thought to self” mental file) moving forward:

1. “Saving for a rainy day” is more than just 5 words thrown together. Having grown up in a capitalist world, and having had my fare share of “oops”, and “shoot!” financial moments, I’ve learned that “Saving for a rainy day” means more than just a cushion for those “just in case” circumstances one might run across. To me, “saving for a rainy day” now means peace of mind, financial security and stability. Probably peace of mind more than anything else J.

2. No matter how settled you are in your job, network, network, network!!!! Most of you out there who received that horrendous pink piece of paper probably learned this the hard way, had you not been networking before you lost your job. Some people hate it, but this recession has proven the value of Marketing Yourself 101. Here’s a good Wiki about the subject matter: http://www.wikihow.com/Network

3.Find a support system. Having friends and family know where you stand and not being afraid to ask for help (still learning!), it’s part of building a support system to help you get through tough, unpredictable times. No one will know you need help if you don’t speak up. Nor can they help if they don’t know what to help you with. Everyone needs a hand every once in a while. Go ahead, ask for help!

4.Volunteer. Now, more than ever before, I’ve seen the value that comes from investing some of one’s “spare” time to benefit others. Not only does volunteering provide a sense of well being, but it also provides a platform, outside of work, to do some of the things that one might not get to do between 8 and 5. (At least in my case, and hopefully not for too long). It also provides the opportunity to meet new people, do something good for others and work with likeminded people towards a common goal. Check out http://www.idealist.org/ and learn more!

5.Do what you like, like what you do. Not new, huh? Though, on my way to working towards one specific goal, I lost touch with many sides of me that make who I am, and “who I want to be when I grow up”. This recession taught me that, no matter how hard one might be working towards one goal, nor how much one might really, really want something, losing touch of one’s core is not what setting goals is about. It’s about finding a balance to do what you like, like what you do, and still enjoy life J.

I think the “things I’ve learned from this recession” might warrant a Part II, but for now I’ll leave you with this quote from Grandma Moses:

"Life is what you make of it, always has, always will"

Peace!

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