"I graduated college at the height of the recession and couldn't find anything other than part-time, hourly restaurant work. So, I rode out the worst of the recession for two years, living paycheck to paycheck, but rising within the corporate restaurant organization I worked at until I was a manager. All the while, in my mind, this was just supposed to be a temporary gig until I could get an office job in what I got a degree in.
One day, I was approached about becoming the regional manager. That's when I had to decide: was I going to make this job a career, or was I going to follow my passion and try to get back into the field I loved? I took a chance and quit my job, and I enrolled in a master's program that put me into a crazy amount of debt — all with no guarantee that I'd be able to get a better-paying, more secure job in the creative field during the recession. It took another several years of struggling to find full-time employment in the creative field after I got my master's degree, but I finally landed myself a job that I love. My mom recently asked me if my path was worth the struggle, and I said yes, without hesitation. It was all worth it!" —Kristen B.