Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No job? Don't feel stuck, you have options!

What are we getting ourselves into? Whether you are a college graduate about to enter the workforce, looking to change careers, need a new job after a layoff, or already have a stable job, you are going to face hardships. Anyone who glides through the employment process without any struggles is either a liar or very lucky. For the rest of us, however, we need not be as pessimistic as we have been in the past. We are all quite aware of the high and rising unemployment rate and the factoids that are thrown at us daily only aid in the constant frustration and pessimism we have been facing. Instead, I would like to offer you some more optimistic options as to how you can make the best of this dreaded situation we have found ourselves in.


Thousands of citizens have found themselves out of the jobs and unsure of what to do next. Many of these people have taken the initiative to go back to school. Some are going back to finish degrees they never completed, some to get a degree they never pursued, and some are going back to attain an even higher degree to make themselves more competitive in the job market. One benefit of the poor job economy is that people are working to better themselves to become better employees. While the quantity of employees is not going to increase, the quality certainly will. One option that you may want to consider before looking for a job is to consider going back to school. It is a great transitionary move that allows time for the job market to hopefully improve while you work to make yourself a more desirable candidate for the job of your choice once your degree is completed.


Another opportunity that may arise for you is the ability to move into a career field that you actually have a passion for. In the past, you may have found yourself in a career that paid the bills but drove you crazy. Or perhaps you suffered from indifference. Instead of feeling forced to grab whatever job may come your way, you should consider this an ideal time to really figure out what you like and how you can make that your job. This is the time to find out how to make yourself happy with the new career you choose.

OPTION III: BE YOUR OWN BOSS (You wont lay yourself off)

Perhaps in the discovery of your self you may decide that owning your own business is what would make you the happiest. You want to be your own boss. Many employees are taking this route and are receiving nothing but negative feedback. It is true that it is difficult to launch and maintain a successful, independently owned business during the US’s economic struggle. And it is true that many small businesses have had to shut down. Yet, if small business owners can avoid the short term hurdles that seem to be plaguing many in the same situation, the long term benefits can be exponential, if you follow a five to ten year plan. You must be warned that starting your own business now is no simple task and should be not be a decision you make lightly. At the same time, however, do not be discouraged by all of the horror stories. If starting your own business interests you and you have an innovative idea, you should have the encouragement to pursue it.


For most of us, we need a solution to the problem of unemployment immediately. Not having an income in not an option. If you are one of these people, you should consider a temporary or part-time job that will finance you until you find a more permanent job. Many people in this position are taking jobs they are over qualified for like retail jobs, or doing some part-time teaching if they have their credentials. A warning for those who take this route: you may or almost certainly will have to downsize your budget and living situation during this period. You simply will not be making the sort of money you are used to and the lifestyle you have may be difficult to maintain. If you can make these temporary changes, you will find yourself with more time to find a more permanent job that really suits you and would make you happy. Making yourself available for offers to come to you is in a flexible timeframe is another ideal way to get your dream job. And a part-time or temporary job will provide you with the means to allow yourself the time to let that happen.


Finally, the most realistic stance on how to decide what job you want: you want the job that is available. Some people will just not be able to go through with the gamble of finding a job they like. It may not work out in the end or may not pay enough money. The unemployed realist will look at the economy and job market and ask him or herself “what job field is seeking employment that I can attain?” And when people ask themselves this question they are often led into the medical field to jobs that do not require medical school, such as nurses, pharmacists, and dental assistants. These positions pay well and are in high demand. If you do not want your new job to suit you, perhaps you will mold yourself to fit the job.

The easy part is done- you decided that you need to find a job. The more difficult decision is which route you are going to choose to get a job. Do not be fooled into thinking that you do not have choices when it comes to finding a job. Listed above are some of the options you have and that others have used to make the best out of the situation. There are no guarantees. No path promises you will get what you want in the end. No path is better than the other either. Try to figure out what you want and what you are willing to do to get there. This may be the most difficult part of the job seeking process. You must cater your decision to fit you, no one else. What works for one person may not work for you. Now, let the self reflection begin and you will be on your way to finding a new job!

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