Got MBA to Hammer Nails

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Joshua Waldman

I recently had an interesting conversation with a small business owner, who I met via LinkedIn. I had put out some feelers to see if laid-off people would be willing to share their stories with me.

Will Martin wrote me back with his story. It is a story of finding your dream and of turning a bad situation into a good one. And I’d like to share it with you.

Started Out On A Fast-track

Will was an architect for a company that was getting ready to grow. The owners were grooming him to take a management position, and perhaps even one day, take over.

So despite the intensity of their current school construction project, Will put himself through an MBA program at night.

Then Walls Caved In…Right After Paid Big Money For An MBA

Shortly after finishing the degree, the construction project ended with a financial hit to the firm. His career prospects soon evaporated and Will was left jobless and over-qualified for most openings in the market. Though he was consequently employed at various firms over the next few years, his ideas for growth and innovation were squandered and his clear leadership ability, left untapped.

One company refused to listen to his ideas about building a website. Another turned down millions of dollars worth of contracts he had uncovered during a business development campaign. He was baffled.

Now He Swings A Hammer With A Smile!

When I called Will, he had just put down his hammer. He is now running his own construction firm, from head to foot. He gets the contracts, then he builds them. I could hear the smile in his voice.

What struck me most about his story was the fact that getting laid off had been a real blessing for him. It took him a month to get a website, where at his past company, it had taken 5 years. He is going after business he enjoys, at his past company, most of his contracts were overlooked.

And the most amazing thing he shared with me was even though he struggles to find business every month, and they have to cut costs like crazy, he is happier than ever.

Can You Relate?

If you were laid off, what has that experience taught you about yourself? What hidden talent or aspirations were suddenly revealed when you went to bed knowing you didn’t have a job anymore?

If you live in Washington State and have some construction or renovation work, look up Will Martin. He’ll greet you with a smile.

Joshua Waldman is a Social Media Career Consultant, lecturer and blogger for He has an MBA from Boston University and over 4 years experience working with Project Managers and Engineers in IT. He can be emailed at