The quarter-life crisis is new to todayís generations and has to do with the freedom we have. If you are 25 and working in real estate, there is nothing to say you canít quit and move on to something you may enjoy more. Years ago a person would be learning a trade or working their way up the corporate ladder at that age and really stuck in the career they had chosen.

Now many things go into this feeling, a wish to have done something different, a feeling that if you donít do something soon it may be too late, feeling trapped by work, family, and bills, and unemployment all can add to a feeling of helplessness.

The fire service is seeing a huge increase of people testing who are coming from another field. I have talked to a large number of people coming into the fire service from many different careers, real estate and mortgage financing were first, I think because of the economy. Then teachers, people working in the trades, farmers, ranchers, high tech workers all seem to have found the fire service. As the economy has softened, many more people are coming to a decision to go for their dream job.

I talk to a lot of people who always wanted to pursue a job in the fire service, but stuff happened, college, work, bills, and family, all delayed them. I talked to one guy who said, ďI was 30 and realized I was going to waiting tables for the rest of my life if I didnít do somethingĒ.

These people are very marketable and hirable. You see many posts here from people wanting to know how they can stand out in an interview. Coming from another field, and knowing how to showcase it properly, really makes these people standout.

As an example I have seen over 20 people go from teaching to firefighting over the last year, right from the classroom to the drill tower. If you think about it there is a lot of things a teacher does that apply to the fire service, they work with a diverse group of kids as well as parents, they have a higher degree of education, and are used to working with the public.

The biggest problem I see with this group is they donít realize how desirable they are to a fire department and also arenít always able to describe their past jobs in a way that connects the two.

There will always be the people testing that have always known what they wanted to do. The people that have taken all of the classes, gotten the training and are looking for a career job in the fire service. But we are seeing a huge group of these people that have been doing other things with their lives and now have decided to change careers. They are no only testing but are a large percentage of the people getting hired.