In 2009 I sat in a Toastmaster’s meeting in which we shared what we really, really wanted to do for a living. One woman said she dreamed of working with geriatrics, but felt that was impractical so she was struggling through to retirement from the postal service.
Isn’t that funny? I know many people who work in nursing homes because they feel they “have to,” but this woman felt it was out of her reach, likely because it was her dream. Her soul called her to it, but she ignored the call in favor of what she assumed was more security.
In 2008, when the economy took a nosedive, I felt that the Universe was attempting to reorganize herself. Millions of people lost their jobs, in part, because they were in the wrong jobs. They were doing the jobs because of the money, not because it was their path. Many of them actively hated their jobs, as sorry as they were to lose the illusion of the security of these same jobs. Their soul called for something else. The Universe was closing a door, so that they would find a more Soul Nurturing door.
Some people answered the call, others still cling to the closed door demanding that it reopen.
It’s 2013 and the dust has settled. The economy is stabilizing. What I find interesting is that there are still unemployed people who are struggling with their job loss of five years ago today. Others, however, realized that their jobs may never come back so they became entrepreneurs or switched professions. I know people who were in construction who now sell commercial trucks or design new plastics. I know others who went back to school to follow their dreams. Others who kept doing what they were doing for other people, whether writing or designing software, but now they do it as freelancers and contractors.
At some point we have to stop glamorizing the George W. Bush era as the set point for our economy. It was a false economy built on a house made of sand and a mortgage scheme. The pre-2008 economy is not something we should aim to “get back up to.” We have to build a new economy now. We must create a new, more stable “normal.”
Some keep looking for the same job they had in the same profession, at the same salary, pre-recession. While another group looked for opportunities where they could earn money and perhaps build something new as the dust settled. What they have built is gaining steam and they feel powerful, while the unemployed group is still powerless in the face of a depressing unemployment rate.
I am one of former. I started my own business, in the meantime I applied for jobs. Every attempt I have made to reenter the traditional, patriarchal workforce has met with a closed door. I can get the interview, I can even get to the final candidate list, but the door doesn’t open. This is mostly, I believe, because I do not really want a job. I like the idea of a regular paycheck, but when I see the cubes and the time clock in real life my Soul revolts. The fact is I love being an entrepreneur. I am on my Soul’s path and she’s not giving it up for nothing.
I met a man the other day who become unemployed when the economy crashed.
“I lost my job and I just couldn’t find another one,” he said. “So I started my own business.”
His windshield chip repair business isn’t what he was doing before; he was in marketing. He doesn’t bring in the same kind of income, but his business is growing and he has employees now. He has exerted power over his fate and walked forward.
My business, likewise, is not what it will be, but it is growing. Also, I am more prone to follow my Soul than I would be if I were working in a patriarchal environment that was in control of my hours and my creative energy. I am exerting power over my own fate and manifesting something that is authentically mine.
I think my friend the windshield repairman and I have more job security now than our unemployed friends who continue to apply for jobs, desperately seeking security. If I lose a client, I lose A client. I go out and get another one. He needs more cars to drive through, so he uses his marketing background to generate more business. The unemployed are at the mercy of external conditions.
If you’re still calling yourself “unemployed” and you haven’t asked your Soul what different path it would like to take, it’s time.
It’s 2013, it’s time to let 2008 go. It’s time to look for open doors. It’s time to open yourself up to different and new possibilities. Scary? Perhaps. Powerful? Most definitely.