Getting my dream job after years of unemployment changed my mindset completely

1 October 30, 2018 By Dang

10 years ago today, I lost my job. I was a statistic amongst many in 2008. I remember driving home from my meeting and crying my eyes out. I called my Dad and shared the news. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent or my newly leased car payment.

I was the first of my friends to lose my job during the recession. I was embarrassed, even though it wasn’t my fault.  During the first couple months, I was completely lost. I couldn’t find a job, but I refused to spend my days sitting at home on the couch watching tv or sleeping late.

I was on unemployment, so I didn’t have much money at all. I walked to the bookstore every day. I would visit Borders or Barnes and Noble or sometimes both. I would pick up a book that I wanted to read and I would literally read ALL day. I would take a break for lunch and cross the street to the other bookstore. I didn’t finish a book in a day but sometimes I was close. I would make notes on what page I finished on and picked up the next day. I would read anything and everything. I even considered going back to grad school.

ALSO READ: To Anyone Who Struggles With “Letting Go”

10 years ago today, I lost my job. I was a statistic amongst many in 2008. I remember driving home from my meeting and crying my eyes out. I called my Dad and shared the news. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent or my newly leased car payment.

I was the first of my friends to lose my job during the recession. I was embarrassed, even though it wasn’t my fault.  During the first couple months, I was completely lost. I couldn’t find a job, but I refused to spend my days sitting at home on the couch watching tv or sleeping late.

I was on unemployment, so I didn’t have much money at all. I walked to the bookstore every day. I would visit Borders or Barnes and Noble or sometimes both. I would pick up a book that I wanted to read and I would literally read ALL day. I would take a break for lunch and cross the street to the other bookstore. I didn’t finish a book in a day but sometimes I was close. I would make notes on what page I finished on and picked up the next day. I would read anything and everything. I even considered going back to grad school.

One of my friends asked me if I could do anything for a job what would it be. The answer was simple, “I wanted to travel the world taking photographs and find a way to get paid for it.” This was way before e-commerce took off. I had no idea how I was going to make this happen. I truly believe in putting what you want in the universe.

By 2011, I was completely on my own as a Travel Photographer. It was one of the scariest parts leaving behind stable income from being a Nanny to relying fully on my photography. For anyone who has taken the scary leap, it somehow finds a way of working out.

Since my first solo trip to Paris in 2010, I have been fortunate to have had a lot of Paris adventures I had no idea that this would turn into a full time business and Paris would be the main focus. It was never the plan. I actually thought if anything, I was going to move back to Italy after my semester abroad.

Earlier, I mentioned that you have to put what you want out in the universe. In the very beginning when I was walking to the bookstore every day, I stopped by the store Papyrus that was close by. I decided that I wanted to sell one of my photographs in the store. I had no idea how I was going to do it but I simply asked. I made it a goal. A few years later, I received an email from Papyrus asking to license one of my images.

In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to sell my work at Barnes and Noble (3 projects) You should see my face when I see my work out in the wild, I can’t help but hide the biggest smile. I am so proud.

When people ask me about what I do for a living, it always sparks a conversation. I couldn’t find a job back in 2008, so I created one. I found a way to travel the world, take pictures, and make a living.

There is a lot of the story that fills in from my first solo trip to Paris up until now. It hasn’t always been easy and it hasn’t been a smooth ride. There have been a lot of roadblocks along the way and my business is constantly changing and evolving. If I had the chance to do it all over again with all the struggles, I would say yes! Owning a business isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of dedication, late nights, and early mornings. I am a self-taught photographer, blogger, and now social media consultant.

I lost my job in my twenties when my friends were still single and going out on the weekends. I had to make a lot of sacrifices with money and time to get to where I am. It has been 2 years discovery and 8 years as a solo entrepreneur.

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