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Entrepreneurism is the choice for some job seekers in the recession




As we head to the fourth quarter of the calendar, job seekers are hoping employers will loosen the reins on hiring again.  Recently, a few job seeking candidates I know have found positions, but have longer commutes.  A few relocated to take new jobs.  Some have returned to college this fall or enrolled in short-term training to update and expand their skills.  For all, it was an endless summer of searching, creating opportunities, networking and evaluating options. 


Along the way, some job seekers decided to explore entrepreneurship.  They asked themselves the what if questions.  What if I change career direction?  What if I take a risk to find out?


Brian Carr had a career as an industrial engineer with a corporation in the Fox Valley until the recession.  After 6 months of job seeking, he decided to advance his diving skills by becoming a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor.  Now, in Florida he goes to the ocean rather than a factory.  He advises others to “follow your dreams/passions.  Don’t wait.  Time moves so fast.”  As he advances his diving skills, he still has concerns around the pay, the opportunity and wondering if he waited too long.  Regrets?  None, so far.  Acting on a dream seemed better than contemplating the dream. 


Jerry Smith of Appleton has created two companies, J Smith Business Consulting, LLC and Mediation Horizon, LLC.  After a lengthy career in operation and management of convenience stores and hotels, Smith found himself looking for work at age 54.  “I decided that I could keep spinning my wheels or have control over my destiny.  That is when I turned to Right Management and the Small Business Association to start developing my own business,” states Smith.


Smith has built on his skills by specializing as The “Profit Rainmaker” for convenience stores, hotels and business plus focusing on mediation for employer/employee, business, small claims, debts, property disputes and contracts.  Each morning starts with a business meeting as he “looks in the bathroom mirror.”  This is the real deal.  Smith is enjoying the challenge and the freedom of developing his business niche.  If a great opportunity knocked on his door, he would certainly be open to the conversation.  In the meantime, he stays on top of his stock portfolio on a daily basis, not taking anything for granted.  


With 16 years as a detail drafter creating 3D models in CAD, Judy Ruenzel-Harris of Manitowoc County decided to revisit her art studio, Windy Hill, after losing her position with an area manufacturer.  Her college majors included biology, art and French.  She was advised to go into teaching.  Later, she returned to technical college for training in mechanical drafting & design with technical illustration.  That educational investment has been her mainstay.  On weekends, Harris would sketch, write or ride horses.  Her creativity and love for nature and animals were longing to be expressed.


There is a book, Do What You Love, The Money will Follow by Marsha Sinetar.  For many, making a living with this philosophy has been an economic challenge.  Now, Harris is ready to “go for it” and along the way, she is rediscovering herself by observing, reflecting, sketching and journaling.  Is it too late?  What if she doesn’t try?  Harris is willing to find out.  Remember, Grandma Moses did not start painting until her mid 70’s!



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