Meet a few people who have greeted challenging circumstances as opportunities for a new kind of success.
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He had spent 17 years as an executive whose advice was sought by company leaders. Now, for the first time since he was 13, Zoeckler was unemployed. “Do I continue to find an IT job, struggling to make a living in a field that’s become a commodity-based service?” he says. “Or do I look at this time as a gift, to broaden my horizons outside of the box I’d been limiting myself to?”
Zoeckler began poring through online publications and scanned the classifieds. In an economy that had gone topsy-turvy, there they were: dozens of healthcare jobs listed every day. At the same time, Zoeckler joined the YMCA and began talking with trainers, many of whom were pursuing dual careers in massage therapy. Due in large part to their influence, he made the commitment, three slim months after being laid off, to pursue a position as a fitness trainer and massage therapist. Within the next year, after he receives certification in both, Zoeckler would like to open a personal fitness studio in Wilmington.
While crossing the bridge to his next career, Zoeckler’s life is very different than it once was. He lives on his savings. He has given up many of the luxuries a six-figure salary can bring. The flip side, he says, is that he spends more time with his two sons, and the four days a week he now spends in the classroom has revealed to Zoeckler a side of himself that he did not use much of in the corporate world. “I had trained myself in business to act with a certain detached decorum around others,” he says. “I’m finding that I’m becoming more caring about people’s needs and less caring about budgets and schedules.”
As the massage therapy class inches toward noon, Bowering points to a spot on the skeleton’s shoulder and asks the class to identify what tissue of the human body occupies the area. Zoeckler answers correctly. “It’s the supraspinatus facia.”
“Were I allowed to think about a new career when I was in IT, I probably wouldn’t have done anything,” Zoeckler says. “But time is a gift, and what it’s teaching me is that I have the will and the ability to put my hands on someone and through learned techniques, give that person permanent benefits.”
Page 3: Fresh Starts, continues...