How To Survive A Credit Crunch

“It happens to the best of us”...positive thinking a year on from becoming a victim of the dreaded Credit Crunch. I was made redundant on the final day of my Professional Exams. Luckily I still passed and am now a Chartered Architect. A Chartered Architect working as a Design Lecturer in India, ironic isn’t it. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my job but after working so hard for almost ten years, coming so close, bitterness is one of many emotions I have felt in the past year.

Panic is another, in a world where it felt like everyone around me was losing their job, I was panicking with them. I was slowly going insane Signing On, some days I didn’t want to go outside in case it cost me money. Many of my colleagues were beating off the competition for minimum wage jobs. Some had started their own business and had some projects but were struggling. Others decided to re-train but I had only just achieve my main career goal and wanted to find a way of using it. I was getting down and had to figure out a survival plan.

I managed to get a temporary contract at an Architect Practise and loved being back in the design world. It was inspiring and picked me up instantly. I started painting and drawing and in a couple of weeks I had quite a collection of work. I knew being an Artist would never make me much money but it was worth a try and so LAYOUTLINES was started. I decided to have a small exhibition of work and to my surprise I sold almost all of the work! This was a huge confidence boost but simply wouldn’t work long term. The job hunt was back on...

I would never have guessed it but my survival came in the form of India...noisy, smelly, dusty, cow ridden, colourful, spicy, so many things but it gave me hope. A whirlwind few weeks saw me being offered a job, getting a visa, renting my flat out and jetting off. I had a new job, a new career direction and a new challenge. I was to help set up a new campus for an International University where I would establish and head up the Interior Architecture Faculty.

I came here almost eight months ago and love it, most of the time! Accepting this survival has been trying but I have thrown myself into my new life; setting up the campus, working with the local and international staff, sourcing, outsourcing and passing on my knowledge to eager Indian Designers of the future.

The Credit Crunch will end at some point but for now I am making the most of a bad situation. I now live in India where I pass Slums in my Auto Rickshaw on the way into town and meet beggars at every junction living alongside pigs and cows. They don’t have much but they are content. There is always someone who is worse off, wherever you are in the world but you have to find the positive in it.