Better or Worse Off?
According to the US National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of US recessions) the recession, as experienced in that country, began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, thus extending over 19 months.
For most of my readership, the great recession did not end in June of 2009, and for some, it has not yet ended.
To determine whether we are better or worse off, we will focus on 4 key areas:
- Physical Health
- Career Status
- Happiness Level
I want to describe my own journey during this period and then ask you to take a survey. We will report the survey results in 2-3 weeks.
I was hired by a growing startup in December 2007. I left my non-profit position just a couple months earlier in October and planned to take a few months off before looking for a new position. My time off did not last long. Instead, I landed at LifeSize Communications as the training manager. My job was to build a training and certification program on a shoestring budget for a booming startup.
Well, we grew from $15M in revenue in 2007 to over $100M in 2008. Then, the effects of the great recession hit. I watched my IRA crumble, but I was smart…and did nothing. My retirement accounts have recovered.
In 2009, we downsized into a condo and in 2010 we sold our house of 28 years.
In January of 2011, I stopped working for LifeSize Communications. I was broken both physically and emotionally…but more on that later.
Are we better or worse off financially since the end of the great recession?
I would have to say we are about the same. We are certainly not worse off. Career Pivot only partially pays the bills, but it is on plan.
Above, I stated that I quit my job in January 2011. I was exhausted and completely stressed out. My blood pressure was over the top.
LifeSize was acquired in December 2009 by Logitech. At that point it got ugly. Previously, I wrote, When Your Ethical Boundaries are Crossed about the time in 2010 when I was put in a highly unethical position. Give it a read—it was one factor to my becoming stressed out.
Since I left, I have focused on reclaiming my health. My blood pressure is close to normal, my body weight is normal, and I am fairly fit for a guy over 60 years of age.
Am I better or worse off in my physical health since the end of the great recession?
I have to say my physical health is much better since the end of the great recession.
My career has pivoted once again. I left high-tech in 2004 to teach high school math in an inner city high school. When I found it difficult to teach and stay healthy, I did a year long stint in the non-profit world. I relapsed and went back into technology in 2007.
I launched the Career Pivot brand in February 2012 and have never looked back. It was my first entrepreneurial effort outside of technology (I have worked for two successful tech startups).
Am I better or worse off in my career status since the end of the great recession?
My career status is…very different. I will never go back to work for the man.
I definitely believe I am better off now.
The end 2009 and all of 2010 were some of the worst years of my career.
I was scared to leave my job because the economy was so shaky. I was not happy.
Am I better or worse off in my happiness level since the end of the great recession?
This is an easy one.
I am MUCH HAPPIER! My stress level is way down. My only problem is that I work for the worst boss ever… ME!
Take Our Survey
What about you? Are you better or worse off since the end of the great recession?
The survey is now closed. Check out the results here.
Check out past Career Pivot survey results here.Marc Miller
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