Did you know Small Businesses annually generate 60% to 80% of the nation’s new jobs? Defined by the Federal Government as independent businesses with fewer than 500 employees, they represent approximately 99.7% of all employer firms and pay 45% of the total U.S. private payroll.

It’s estimated that some 90% of employees dream of opening their own business. But it’s not for everyone.

I’ll never forget the client who’d lost his job and decided to pursue his life-long dream of owning a Marina – he’d found the “perfect location.” However, he had little boating or management experience. Later, when he’d learned the amount of time and money he’d need to invest, he announced “owning a Marina isn’t a dream, it’s a nightmare.”

The opposite was true for another client. A successful executive in the Pharmaceutical Industry for over 10 years, she had to travel extensively. Designing children’s outerwear was the only thing keeping her “sane” she said. “Maria” decided to take her savings and invest in her own clothing business. She went back to school and took AutoCAD along with other specialized training… A year later she opened her first store.

It’s not unusual to hear small business owners say they “need a job” to ride-out the current economic storm. Conversely, laid-off workers often say “I’m sick of working for someone else – I’m going to start my own business.” While I understand the sentiments, I know that almost certain failure will result unless a vigorous “career exploration” is undertaken.

In addition to the education and abilities their chosen professions require, potential Business Owners need a business plan, marketing expertise, and financial acumen to succeed. Successful Job Seekers must have up-to-date skills, a powerful résumé, and the ability to market themselves. Loving what you do is considered essential for career happiness –regardless of the Career Path you choose.

Interestingly, history shows that difficult economic times inspire, rather than defeat, American ingenuity. Pursuing your dreams is always the right thing to do – just first make sure you have the professional guidance, information, and tools you need so your dreams don’t turn into a nightmare.

Judy Gillespie, CPCC, CPRW, CEIP
Career Avenues by Judy
May 27, 2009

Author's Bio: 

Judy Gillespie, CPRW, CEIP, CPCC
Office: 321.953.8361
E-mail: judy@careeravenuesbyjudy.com

“My goal for each and every one of our clients is a Lifetime of Career Happiness.”

From Graduating Students to CEO’s and Entrepreneurs, Judy Gillespie, founder of “Career Avenues by Judy,” provides a complete range of writing and professional development services for clients in a multitude of industries and occupations. Her professional memberships include Career Directors International, National Association of Résumé Writers, and the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches.

Judy is a “Cover Letters For Dummies” contributing author and teaches a “Secrets To Marketing Yourself” class at Florida Institute of Technology’s Women’s Business Center. She’s appeared on “Good Morning America” and provided résumé critiques and career counseling at GMA’s “Great American Job Fair.” Judy has received several writing and coaching awards and recognitions.

One of just over 100 people nationwide who have earned PARW/CC’s Professional Career Coach (CPCC) credential, Judy also has the industry standard setting Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) and Employment Interview Professional (CEIP) national certifications. She’s a former Workshop Leader, Career Counselor, and Business Liaison for several federally funded workforce assistance programs on the East Coast and Assistant to the President of a Senior Executive search company.

In addition to being a Career Expert, Judy is a newspaper columnist, TV commentator, and professional speaker. She created, produced, and co-hosted “Beverly Life,” a television talk show. Prior to discovering the career she loves, Judy was a Corporate Human Resources Executive and a Small Business Manager in several industries. She has a degree in Business and is a Certified Paralegal, Notary Public, and Licensed Insurance Agent.

Strongly civic-minded, Judy is a member of “Florida Today’s” 2009 Citizens Advisory Panel. A former School Board member, “Dollars for Scholars” board member, and Family Services volunteer, she’s served in a number of leadership roles including initiating a Community Oriented Policing (C.O.P.) program, Taxpayer Association, and Scholarship Foundation. Judy’s a Certified Operation Lifesaver Presenter and an active Chamber of Commerce participant.