Q. I've been looking for a job in my field for a year now, and my money is running out. I'm trying to think creatively about ways to make money. Any ideas?
A. Yes, consider self-employment. If no one is hiring you yet, using the skills you possess to make money isn't cheating. Self-employment lets you stay current in your field, cover current expenses, network, fill the gap on your resume, and may even introduce you to someone who needs an employee.
You don't need to decide right now that you want to stay self-employed forever. What you know for sure is you need to buy groceries, and that can be enough to get your own business launched.
Start by listing on paper the skills you currently possess. Write down everything you know to do: computer skills, baking, carpentry, yard maintenance, managing people etc. Don't skip over skills just because you didn't use them in your last job. Anything you know how to do that other people don't know is a potential source of income.
There was a recent story in the news about a woman that was paying her mortgage by baking "mortgage apple cakes." Desperation was what motivated her to consider innovative ways to keep her house. Her story received national attention and a huge backlog of orders because many Americans can relate to her situation.
One comfort we can all take during these tough economic times is that Americans have always been known for their ingenuity, creativity and novel problem solving. Right now, many of us are being required to think outside the box to make money. Many of the old rules of employment are breaking down and the new rules are not yet invented.
In the meantime, you don't have to bake "mortgage cakes," but any knowledge, skill, product or service you can make up can be your lifeboat during this jobless recovery. Keep in mind the "jobless" problem is formal job openings; it doesn't mean you can't find people who will pay you to do something they don't want to or can't.
Also notice that the woman baking mortgage cakes had chosen an income stream over her pride. The more impressive our last job title, the more embarrassed we may feel to cook gourmet dinners for workaholic neighbors, or teach people computer skills, or help organize garages.
Once you've identified skills people need that you have consider how you can let your customers know about your business. Good ways to be exposed to potential customers include: speaking for free to any group, writing short advice articles for any publication, or teaching a class at your local community college.
Self-employment offers you the short-term benefit of taking the power to make money back into your own hands. In the short run, it beats sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. In the long run, you may have so much fun making your own money that you will never work for anyone else again!
The last word(s)
Q. I have a coworker who doesn't respect me. He raises his voice, rolls his eyes and constantly finds fault with my work. I'm tired of feeling disrespected. Is there a way to stop feeling so inferior around him?
A. Yes, realize that self-esteem is a dictatorship, not a democracy, and ignore him when he acts badly.
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