In my last post on jobs, I said I was going to talk about something in the next post; this is that post.

Let’s face this fact; there are a lot of jobs that have been eliminated that just aren’t coming back. Nope, nada; it ain’t happening. Let’s face another fact; manufacturing in America is dwindling, and there’s not going to be a renaissance for that either. We can’t compete in this global marketplace with the rates that countries such as India and China are willing to accept. That, and not having to deal with unions, is going to kill large manufacturing in America. I don’t like that, but that’s just the way it’s going to go.

Also, not everyone is suited to work even the menial, low paying jobs, or jobs that aren’t so menial, but don’t carry a lot of status. I think of myself as someone who physically couldn’t handle stocking shelves on a long term basis, or even working 7 to 8 hours five days a week at McDonalds. You do a lot of standing on a job like that, and my back would only last a few days. Cleaning and maintenance; forget it. Some people might have the skills, but not everyone does.

What’s left then? In the book The Millionaire Maker by Loral Lengemeier, who shows up on Dr. Phil and some of the morning shows often enough.

She helps people set budgets that they can live on, but she also gets real with people because many of them don’t have sufficient money to pay all of their bills. She may work with them to understand that they may have to sell their homes, their fancy cars, and live a simpler life. However, as it pertains to this post, what she also recommends is that everyone look deep within themselves and figure out what skills they have to work for themselves and bring extra money into the household.

This isn’t a new concept. America was pretty much built by people who had more than one skill, and whether or not they had an actual job to go to they could and would do other things to make money. Self employment has always been a big thing in this world; few people ever make it into the top earnings by consistently working for others. Anyway, in her book, she talks about people who hadn’t thought about skills they had, that either came as a result of the jobs they did, or as the result of hobbies they had.

One man in the book was a teacher, and she helped him to realize that he could do tutoring after school to make some extra money. Instead, it turned out to be so popular that he gave up teaching, turned it into a full time job, and hired other people and paid them a portion to do some tutoring.

There was also the story of a lady who could design websites, because she’d learned some skills at her job, and she was able to turn that into a nice part time job, and also, later on, turned it into her new profession.

The thing is that there are many projects that people have that they’re not qualified to do. Some of those people go looking for someone to help them in their local small sales newspapers (in my area we call it the Pennysaver, but I’m sure it’s called something different in other cities). Some people realize that they can also put an ad in one of these newspapers, offering services that someone might be able to use. Back in 2002, I put an ad in the Pennysaver that ran 4 weeks as someone who could help people set up budgets.

The truth is that many unemployed people in this country need to take the time while sitting on unemployment and not only be looking for another job, but try to see what they have inside them that may be able to bring in some money. Here in the Syracuse area, we have an organization, on whose board I sit on, called the Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York. Our use of the word “consultant” basically means anyone who works as an independent and offers services more than products as the base of their business. We’re not an employment agency, and we’re not a tip club. What we are is an organization that, if you’re looking to learn skills to help you work independently, or are looking for a group where many people before you may have gone through what you’re going through now, support and education. We’re an independent group, but we’re somewhat affiliated with our local Chamber of Commerce.

The thing is that most cities might have something like that, and often the first one or two meetings are free, or charge a small fee. It gives you a chance to test it out to see if it’s something for you, and at the very least it’s an opportunity to network with some people who might know someone else who might be able to help you in some fashion. That’s really the most important thing of organizations like PCA, as we call ourselves.

It’s up to you to think about your own self and your skills, things you’re strong at. Maybe you need to talk to someone to help you explore the thought; I don’t know. I will say this, though, as we’re close to leaving the month of May behind. Anything you do that’s a positive step forward only brings positive things into your life. Even if they don’t work out exactly as planned, you’ll have gained valuable information on yourself, and who knows, you might even succeed. You owe it to yourself to think of ways to be more independent, even if your real goal is to find a job.

America is changing again; change with it, and you may be pleasantly surprised at what comes from it.

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