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.

FotografieLink (CC0), Pixabay

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; it pretty much has already. I don’t like that, but that’s just the way it is.

Also, everyone isn’t suited to work even the menial, low paying jobs, or jobs that aren’t so menial, but don’t carry a lot of status. Seeing what’s happening to food producers across the country who are having problems finding people to help them with their fruits and vegetables is proof of this.

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 McDonald’s. You do a lot of standing on a job like that, and my back would only last a few days; I’m a bit too old for that. Cleaning and maintenance; forget it. Some people might have the skills, and might actually enjoy it, but not everyone does.

What’s left? In the book The Millionaire Maker by Loral Langemeier, who shows up on a lot of TV shows and was part of The Secret, she talked about the need for people to take serious stock of their financial condition by figuring out how to generate more income. What she 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. These days many younger people call it “the hustle”.

Self employment has always been a big thing; few people ever make it to the top earnings by consistently working for others. 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. She also told some amazing stories.

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 business, hired other people and paid them a portion to do some tutoring all over the city. There was another story of a lady who designed websites because she’d learned those 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.

There are many projects people have need for that they’re not qualified to do. Some of them are small while other projects are for large corporations.

As it regards small projects or potential employees, some of those people go looking for help in their local small sales newspapers or on sites like Craigslist. You can put an ad on either of these, offering services that someone might be able to use. Back in 2002, I put an ad in our local weekly sales newspaper that ran 4 weeks as someone who could help people set up budgets; it wasn’t overly lucrative but I got a few clients here and there, one of whom I still have after all these years.

As it regards big corporations, what I’ve found is that many organizations spend most of their money on people who can work their business but don’t think about other things their business might need until a problem surfaces. If you can figure out a way to keep your name or business in the back of their mind it could prove to be lucrative. Something like that worked for me in 2005 when I was contacted to do a 6-week project for a local health center after being gone 10 years because the CEO heard I was independent and needed my services.

The truth is that many unemployed people in this country should take the time while sitting on unemployment to not only be looking for another job, but trying to find out what they have inside themselves that not only might be able to bring in some money but could turn it into a career.

Here in the Syracuse area, we have an organization (I’m on the board) 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.

The thing is that most cities or areas have similar groups like ours and often the first one or two meetings are free, or charge a small fee. It gives you a chance to not only test the organization but to see if what other consultant’s tell you about what they do is something you might be interested in trying for yourself. It’s also an opportunity to network with people who might know someone else who might be able to help you figure things out.

It’s up to you to think about your own self and whatever skills you might possess. You lose nothing by thinking about it, and you probably lose nothing if you choose to give it a try (minimal costs might be marketing, buying a domain and building a website, etc).

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 you eventually decide to keep working a regular job.

Give working for yourself a chance; what can it hurt?

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