The president and founder of a former employer – and my supervisor at the time – shared a philosophy that still guides me today. He observed that “opportunity” does not ride down Main Street on a white horse for all to see. More often, it rears its “ugly” head during difficult times, disguised as a business problem or marketing challenge.

Marketing professionals know the key forces in the macro environment that can negatively affect a well-thought out marketing plan. We cannot control changes in the economic, cultural, technological or political environment. We can only react, by revising objectives, re-evaluating strategies, and adjusting the marketing mix, in an effort to transform a problem into an opportunity.  The impact of the recent global recession has forced most of us to look for lemonade recipes to utilize many lemons.

Experience has taught me to handle life’s lemons with the same positive attitude espoused by my former boss. Searching for a new job is a challenge that opens up many new opportunities.

During a job interview with Milwaukee Public Television, I was asked why I was interested in a position with a non-commercial broadcaster whose mission was primarily public service. The question was not unexpected, since my most recent experience has been with a B-to-B manufacturer of hydraulic pumps. My response was that I looked on this temporary setback as an opportunity to do something new – to find a job that may directly enhance the quality of life in southeastern Wisconsin.

There is nothing wrong with marketing durable goods. I have immensely enjoyed my work for many years. But perhaps in this new phase of my life, I can give back to the community in which I grew up and raised my family.

So while I continue to search for that job that exactly matches my B-to-B skill set and experience, I am receptive to the many organizations that could also use my creativity and energy to more directly benefit the community.

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