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What do you do if your dream job goes bust?

Be realistic about your options
Be realistic about your options

Let's say you've spent an inordinate amount of time pursuing your dream, whatever it may be. You've passed countless hours in a classroom or online; researching and acquiring the requisite knowledge to attain your goal. You've performed your due diligence and are aware of the pitfalls or gains associated with your venture. You know what you have to do and how to do it.

So, what happens when your dream job or business doesn't come to fruition? I recently spoke with a client who had her dreams shattered in the face of an unpleasant reality. She wanted to open a retail business which entailed high overhead costs and intensive labor. Ironically, she would have qualified for the quarter of a million dollar plus loan required to open her shop, but upon performing her due diligence and running the numbers through a business plan, she came to the sad realization that it simply wasn't feasible to risk an enormous cash outlay on a business statistically destined to fail.

She was bereft. She lived, ate and slept this dream for months, if not years. She pictured herself in her store, interacting with customers and assisting them with their purchases. She strongly believed she could make it work, regardless of the cost or hours involved.

Here's the thing, folks. Sometimes, you can buck the odds and make it happen and sometimes you can't. There is no doubt that a positive, "can do" attitude often makes the difference between success and failure but you have to be realistic and assess the odds, as well.

If the return doesn't correlate to the amount of effort required; if you can't break even within a reasonable amount of time; if all of your research indicates that it simply isn't going to work no matter how many different ways you look at it; perhaps the time has come to bid goodbye to your dream and start anew.

Now, I am not one to discourage anyone from following his/her heartfelt aspirations, wishes or desires, unless it is hurtful to you or someone else. However, sometimes holding on to an unrealistic vision can be harmful if it keeps you from moving forward in a more realistic manner or venue.

With the jobless rate rising into double digits, many individuals have decided to embark on an entrepreneurial path. Beware the lure of the small business siren's song and here's why: the truth is, roughly 80% of all startup business fail within the first five years. Although there's data out there that may dispute that fact like the SBA citing a 56% failure rate (nevertheless confirming that more startups fail than succeed); that data is usually supplied by those that have a vested interest in business startups.

Additionally, a 2004 report from the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy states that 580,900 small businesses opened the previous year, and 576,200 closed. Two-thirds of these new companies survived at least two years, while 44% survived at least four years. But, here is another interesting stat from the SBA. 53% of the small businesses analyzed were home-based, which means smaller overhead, minimal cash outlay and a greater potential for success.

That being said, according to the website, which is a site devoted to courting businesses to the state and offering business resource information, Georgia ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for Entrepreneurship and Best Workforce and ranks No. 3 in cost of living, transportation and infrastructure network.

Basically, this means if you're determined to follow your dreams, whether they are of an entrepreneurial bent or climbing the corporate ladder, you're in the right place.

My advice? Make sure the rose colored glasses are off and you'll be just fine.

For additional assistance with your job search, please visit Meral's website here.



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