When I graduated from college, the US was in a recession. No one could even get interviewed for a job. When you were interviewed, you sat next to a guy who had ten or fifteen years of experience. No one could get work.
Most of us went back to working at our pre-college or 'just-until-I-graduate' jobs.
What did I do? I got a job working half time in an AIDS/Hepatitis lab. They were willing to take me on because I was willing to work 40 hours for 20 hours of pay. I supplemented my income by cocktail waitressing at night. It wasn't fun or easy. Frankly, it sucked.
Within three months, they hired me full time.
This experience is a landmark in my life. It taught me to be resourceful, scour the landscape for opportunity and whenever possible work for myself.
A lot of people in my age bracket learned the same lesson. We've been laid off over and over again. D. was laid off from his first job before he even started. He now holds the household record of four lay offs to my three.
We've seen our 'retirement' accounts tank so many times it's hard to even muster a 'shoot' about it. I don't know anyone my age who plans on ever retiring. I don't.
This article, Back to the Garage, speaks to the opportunity available in this type of economy. Lots of fabulous companies started in the garages and basements of their innovators. (Can you say Jobs? Gates? Wozniak?)
Before you shake your head and say, 'That works for you because you're (special, rich, stupid, lucky, or whatever)', stop and think for a moment.
If you never retire, you better like what you do. What would you like to do for a living?
And what would it take to do it?
The limits don't apply any more. Now is a perfect time to start a small company, go back to school, learn a trade, focus on your art, or whatever it is that drives you.
Just go for it!