If you’re anything like me, I grew up with the perspective that if you wanted to earn money you went out and got a job. You earned a fair wage and you got some benefits along the way. It wasn’t a big deal – from the pre-teen years you went out and did newspaper routes, mowed lawns and sometimes got summer work on a farm. In the teen years, there was the boardwalk or arcades to work at and if you were lucky you could get some work at the local race track, taking care of the horses & stables. Those were good wages for the times, it was physical work a lot of it. But it was something that also kept you in good shape too.
Working for yourself wasn’t something I’d grown up with too much. It was something you did to earn a little extra. Like Avon, Fuller Brush or SMC – they weren’t things you did full time, at least not that I knew about. They weren’t “jobs” – it was part time work to get a little extra. Kind of like doing dog walking or babysitting for some extra cash for the weekend. The attitude then was casual and relaxed. It wasn’t high tech or computer powered, you went door to door, had house parties or went to a flea market on the weekend to do your “moonlighting” when you weren’t at your main job. Some people even took catalogs and such to work to get orders from co-workers, bosses weren’t too harsh about it, since it wasn’t something that got in the way of normal work.
Later when I was older, I met more people that had tried to run their own businesses. Some failed. Some didn’t. It was all in how the person ran their business and if they enjoyed what they were doing. Some were landscapers, some sold the produce from their gardens. Some were writers, musicians or artists. Some kept bees and sold honey, others made soap or crafts to sell at fairs.
I’d always known of them, I’d just not been really aware of them as part of a working class. My perspective had to change to include them as workers, even if they weren’t working for someone else. It was strange to me, but it was also very interesting and the possibilities and potential was there to learn about.
So I gave it a try, only to find it wasn’t much different from the things I did as a teenager. Mowing lawns, playing in a band for a party and singing, taking photos and selling them to the newspaper or magazines. By doing deliveries and errands for people on my moped, plus all the other things I’d done to earn money, was actually working for myself. Here I thought that all this self employed stuff was new and yet it wasn’t. I’d been doing it for a large part of growing up, yet it was just structured a bit differently than how I’d done it as a kid. As an adult I found out that there were a whole lot more rules about working for yourself. But there were also some benefits too when it came down to tax brakes and stuff like that. So it was doing something old and familiar in a whole new way. I liked it!
Now today, in this post-economic melt down time, people are floundering about because their whole working life has come tumbling down. The security that was once there and expected was just an illusion mostly. Those days of guaranteed pensions and silver pocket watches were gone, even in my early days as an adult. The whole work force was focused on production, but slowly I saw something gaining more attention – services. They’d always been there, with waitresses, housekeeping, nurses, repairmen and mail carriers. But there was a shift as technology became more and more available. More people were needed to service computers, security systems and all the new electronics that were coming out. Production was pushing services up with the new products that were coming out. And today, those days of production and products has taken a huge hit in the industry. Many things that used to be made are not being made at the level they used to be. Things have changed.
With many many production jobs being sent to foreign lands, mostly because the units can be assembled there, where the labor costs are cheaper, then sent back to be put together here. This eliminates a large chunk of factory workers, assemblers that normally would have work here. There are also people that worked in different industries that collapsed under the economic collapse. Those jobs don’t look like they are coming back very quickly, if at all. But one area that is still surging is the service area. More and more people are finding work in areas that were not the focus of the workforce. Teachers, nurses, therapists, waitress/waiter, housekeeping and cleaning services, all are seeing surges in employment. Repair services are spiking, especially those that have to do with computer technology and security. The shift is now off of production and onto services. Services can’t be sent overseas, at least not many of them. Calling centers are one that’s been outsourced for a long time. But many of the services needed have to be done by people locally and often in person, so they can’t be outsourced to another country.
So what does that mean for the post melt down employment situation? It means that people need to readjust their perspectives. They can’t count on the old days model of working for someone else and working in a production job. They could still find these things, but it is much harder now to follow the old ways of doing things. Many have skills that they don’t even realize they have, they can start up a business of their own. They could have a service or make a very special product that people want or need. There is a high demand for “made in the USA” products, many could cash in on that trend. Plus looking to get into the servicing work force is possible because there are many high end jobs that can’t get filled because there are not many people that are skilled in that area. So a little schooling could pull in a 5-6 figure income if you get the right training in one of the high end service areas.
There is a mountain of possibilities out there for people that are unemployed. But to see those possibilities, you have to change your perspective, your way of seeing things. It isn’t always easy to see things another way, especially if you’d done things the same way for a long time. To look for work in a different field can sometimes be difficult, it’s not in the comfort zone of most people to do it. But those that have done it have found that they are more fulfilled and feel reinvented in their lives.
All it takes is a new way of looking at things. Especially older people are finding that changing how they look at things and finding new things that they enjoy can really boost their health and outlook on the world around them. It’s like a second chance to do something really creative, something they enjoy and what gives them pleasure and offers some financial assistance too as a bonus.
So if you are one of those that can’t find work and are worried that time is against you. Try to take an honest look at yourself. Is there something that you can do really good? Do you make something, create something that people like and you like to make? Are you good at listening, are you good with people, animals or are you fond of making things for others? Do you have a hobby that you love? Can you teach others how to do it? Can you give tips or hints, are you able to share your knowledge? Are you patient or restless? Are you the kind that loves the outdoors or are you a desk jockey? Can you use a computer well and are you good at talking on the phone? Do you like taking walks or bike ride? Are you a social person or someone that prefers their own company?
These are the kinds of questions and tons more that you need to ask yourself to discover the jewels of ability, talent, skill and knowledge locked inside.
Don’t wait for that opportunity to come and open the door, go out and chase it down! Go find what your need at the library or online to fill in the blanks that you need to actually follow that dream. Those that are patient achieve much, but those that are willing to go work at it, fight for it and make their dreams into reality are the ones that will succeed above all others. Because they are willing to put in that work, the sweat and tears of making something real and making it now. Words are great tools that can offer much, but action is needed to get those words down into a format that can help others jump start their own dreams. It’s action, plain and simple that will get those that are not working, to earning some money.
So get up and get ready, take those first few steps to start on the path to freedom. Freedom from all the things that immoblize you. Fear can only keep you if you let it freeze you up. Don’t know what to do? Go out and collect cans! Go out and clean up the neighborhood. Do something positive and physical and get the blood flowing to the most powerful tool you have – your brain! With your mind focused on doing something, anything – it can start clearing away the negative cob webs that are clouding your thinking. Clean your house – clean out your garage, attic or basement. Get rid of all that stuff you’ve accumulated and never really used. Find it and use it already. If not, get rid of the clutter and free up the room! In doing so you will free up a whole lot more and maybe come up with some inspiration. A yard sale could bring in money and maybe make some new contacts.
There is possiblities all around, open yourself through action to some of them. Keep your mind open and take on the world with renewed vision. Anything is better than letting the stream of life just push you around as you float along. Grab an oar and start steering yourself and your life where YOU want to go instead. Opportunity isn’t going to come knocking, don’t waste time waiting for it. Go out there and find it. Who knows, you might be walking along and see something or hear something that makes some idea come to you that you would have never thought of sitting at home. Or you could meet someone out there who can make you smile and brighten your day.
Of course you may get those negative types too. But just smile and pass on by, not only do you not need to let them rain on your parade, you can really mess them up by not taking the bait they offer and just pass it by. You don’t need that sort of negativity in your life and you can choose not to let it in. Focus on what you need to do, what you want to do and how you can get there from where you are. Take on the challenge and make a change in how you see things, do things and put a possitive spin on it. Life can be faced with a frown and a sigh… Or you can face it with a smile and a laugh, taking the high positive road…even if the world around you is a dark and dreary place. Look for that special something – a spider web glistening with rain drops, a single small flower growing in the shadow of a pile of metal trash. If these small things can survive and make it – how much more can you do in life yourself…
Believe in yourself and welcome the changes, see things in a different way, it can show you a whole new world – it’s waiting for you. What are you waiting for – go for it!