The fact that millions of Americans are unemployed or underemployed is not news. Although we seem to be engaged in Einstein’s infamous trap of ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ Policy makers are debating how to entice businesses into hiring more people and the unemployed are angry and frustrated over the lack of available positions. Nearing record-breaking unemployment rates, perhaps it is time to consider a different route to finding meaningful, satisfying, and rewarding work in people’s lives.
As we’ve discussed here before, creating jobs won’t help our economy.
If you are looking for a job, or know someone who is, here are three steps to take now!
- Figure Out What You Have to Offer: What are your talents and strengths? What are your unique skills? What are you passionate about? Instead of searching for jobs, turn your attention to what you have to offer the marketplace – and don’t limit it to the ways in which you have traditionally earned income. EVERYONE has something important to offer the world. Unfortunately, too many people have come to believe that who they are and what they offer isn’t worth anything so that all they can do is “sell themselves” to an employer for eight hours a day and a paycheck. Except that model is obviously not working. To open up new possibilities, take stock of what makes you, you – and be ready to talk about it with everyone you meet.
- Start Offering It Everywhere and Anywhere You Can: One of the most insidious aspects of unemployment is stagnation, boredom, and depression. By figuring out what you are good at doing and what you are passionate about, you open up a whole new world of possibilities. Like working with numbers and love animals? Go volunteer at the local humane society, or offer to help at a veterinary clinic or do the bookkeeping for a pet service. By pursuing what you love, even as a volunteer, you start interacting with the people who are doing the work you want to do and putting yourself in a position to be noticed. Don’t hesitate because you may not have “worked” in an area you want to pursue – if you have relevant skills and a burning desire to be there people will notice. When you make a positive contribution, people will want you to stay and offer to pay you or find a position to meet your needs.
- Trust Yourself and Live the Leadership Choice: So many people don’t believe that they can do what they love and earn a living. What you have to offer the world is valuable and will be valued by others only after you value it in yourself. Most people “looking for jobs” aren’t excited about the work they are looking to do, they just want a paycheck. While money is important, it alone as a motivator for employment and success is rapidly declining. Living the Leadership Choice, means pursuing what you love and trusting that your talents and skills are worthy – not only of a paycheck but also of your time and attention in building a happy and successful life.
Everyone deserves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What has happened in the American economy is that we have allowed the pursuit of the almighty dollar to replace the importance of real contribution based on our passions and skills. If you want to find work, perhaps it is time to stop looking for a job and start living the life you have always wanted to.
There are some great sentiments here, Kathleen. Especially love number 2. I’ve seen this approach work for many, many people (including myself). Even if it doesn’t land you a job the first time, the act of simply putting yourself out there as a volunteer, and then subsequently meeting the right people and gaining relevant experience are all key factors in eventually getting the position you want. Not to mention they’re also huge confidence and resume boosters.
Thanks for you comments Jeff . . . each time I have moved onto new opportunities in my life it has come as the result of me putting myself “out there” in some way. For each each person that experience will be different and time and again, I have seen that once a person gets beyond the inertia feeling that they “can’t” do something they love, big changes begin to occur in his or her life.