Have you opened a business or started a new career?

Robin Crawford took a risk after getting laid off from Corporate America one too many times.

Since 2009, she’s worked to carve a space for herself in the crowded field of pet care as owner of Dogma Dog Care in Smyrna, AJC reporter Rosalind Bentley writes.

Crawford, 50, got laid off from her job of 21 years at IBM as an executive in training and development in 2001, Bentley reports. In the following years she was laid off twice more, from senior management positions at WellPoint Health Networks and Coca-Cola.

In a down economy, when it seems you’ve done everything right and you still can’t catch a break, you might have to gamble if you want to work, Bentley writes. That’s what Crawford did.

Have you gambled by starting a business recently? What happened?

Or have you gambled by pushing your career in a completely new direction?

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

12 comments Add your comment


November 10th, 2010
8:10 am

Day Trader, only count on my self now.


November 10th, 2010
8:40 am

I knew at a very early age I didn’t want to deal with the red tape and personnel problems involved in running a business, but I admire anyone that does. After 21 years with IBM, Ms. Crawford could probably have set back and enjoyed her leisure, so you have to admire her courage and ambition.


November 10th, 2010
8:47 am

I was laid off almost a year ago. I have not found work in my field, so I started taking temp jobs. I suppliment that by selling items on ebay. I am making much less money and I no longer have medical insurance, but I no longer have the fear of facing rejection in the workplace. It’s tough sometimes but I now feel more in control of my life.

Pam Mertes

November 10th, 2010
9:15 am

Successful realtor for 15 years. Now partnered with the top two dermatogolists with fastest growing direct marketing company in U.S. . Now I recruite top people to grow with me. No more worries about being fired or laid off.

Richard Thompson

November 10th, 2010
9:42 am

28 years in business all large metro Atlanta employers. Laid off in 2002. Used my MBA background in math ,finance, marketing ,accounting to do healthcare consulting/ started a business in Fall 2002 with my wife direct selling of fashion jewelry and custom home decorating with silk florals for seasonal holiday decorating. We have done work in Tn/Ga and Al .

One big project was Athens Tour of Homes/ redid a house including antebellum decorations. Did one of the Hilton hotels in Birmingham for full Christmas decor.

I have also earned certification for Middle School Math and tutor students. First book published in 2007 “The Terror Trail” about ghosts in Central Ga and next book “Jitterbuggers Teen club:Communities and Teens in Action” outlines steps communities can do to empower teens based on Jitterbuggers Teen Club which I founded and ran from 1999-2001 in Peachtree City Ga.

Busy ? yes Happy yes Corporate America was the stepping stone I needed to provide a good life and now we are moving on .!! I doubt would consider any corporate job inless involved creativity and personal direction without mindless and selfish management.


November 10th, 2010
9:48 am

Went from Corporate IT consulting to buying/running a plumbing/HVAC residential business. Making less money but don’t travel weekly and am home to meet kids off the bus now.

Business Startup reality

November 10th, 2010
9:50 am

Here’s a great video of the obstacles governments all over this country have set up to make starting a business near impossible. Certainly glad to see that this opportunity worked out for her and the dogs certainly look happy, but the reality is that government is no friend to business and truly only looks upon business as a source of their revenue, not a mechanism for creating employment for others. In these tough times, we all need to take a hard look at government to see how they are making things worse rather than better. Enjoy:


Dust to Dust

November 10th, 2010
10:27 am

So Pam, nice to see you are in the wonderful world of multi level marketing. Where can I sign up?


November 10th, 2010
10:51 am

I was pushed out of a 23 year IT career just over a year ago. They sent me away with a year’s pay and insurance. I have since started working in residential real estate. Market is tough but I am making some money while setting my business model and systems in place for when the market turns around a bit. I love every minute of being out and about and not stuck behind a desk. I do miss the folks I worked with for 20+ years.

New Days Ahead

November 10th, 2010
12:01 pm

Looks like I’m not alone! After 25 years with the same corporation, my position was eliminated in the summer of 2009. Since then, almost 1/3 of the jobe there have been eliminated. Alot of talented and knowledgible people are now pounding the pavement. The industry I was in is still reeling in, as sales volume is back to early 1990s numbers. Jobs aren’t plentiful, so I ventured out on my own with a service business within the same industry. It’s been relatively slow, but somehow the bills get met monthly. It’s refreshing to be out of the stagnant corporate environment where the name of the game is self-preservation. My hat has always been off to the small business owner, as they are the ones that are truly responsible for their lives, and have the backbone to make real decisions. I rode the corporate tide long enough, as I was over the complacency and politics displayed on a daily basis at all levels of the organization. So yes, I wasn’t too sad to leave. It was the push I needed and wanted (truth be told). Now, everyday is a new challenge, but we’ll get through this and will grow. My biggest concern is seeing what government at all levels is going to do to allow these new small businesses to exist and thrive. We all know that ALL politicians are in bed with big corporations. I’m looking for the guy that has plans for the small business owner, which is where this economic recovery will come from. Hopefully we’ll see changes to address those needs.


November 10th, 2010
1:03 pm

It’s a whole new ballgame when you start your own business, that’s for sure! I was an executive assistant for more than 25 years at a few Atlanta corporations. When I was laid off last September, I decided enough was enough and launched my own service business. It’s been slow, yes, and I’ve had to learn to put myself out there and network more, but ahhhh … how much lower my blood pressure is now that I’m not dealing with Atlanta traffic every day.

I congratulate Robin on doing something for herself and being successful. More power to her! It’s often risky, but at least she’ll know she gave it a shot.

Pam Mertes

November 10th, 2010
3:17 pm

Thank you so much for your interest. For anyone interested in signing up, my website is pmasales.com.