Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Need a Job? Think Outside the Box and Get Yourself Hired!

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - I Heart Job Offers Resume T-shirt by BlackBirdTees A

I seem to be hearing a lot of conversations lately about person X being out of a job for an unbearably long period of time.  The fact that people are losing jobs is not what surprises me, it is that so often the story describes how long a person continues to look for the same type of position they lost.  For example, person X lost their job 16 months ago and is facing foreclosure on their home and can barely make ends meet.  They were highly educated and responsible.  So responsible, in fact, that they had prepared with the recommended cash cushion and paid their living expenses and mortgage for over a year without a job (not the typical scenario but I did hear this exact scenario a few days ago) ... Don't get me wrong, times are tough.  Jobs are scarce for certain industries and very few of us know people who have not been effected by the current economic downturn.

Here is where my mind goes when I hear these stories:  I've been a stay at home mom for almost 10 years, my bachelor and masters degrees are both in Violin Performance and Pedagogy (that's teaching for those of you saying "peda-what"?).  Last year when my daughter started preschool, I decided that I was ready to get my noggin movin' again.  I ventured into the world of social media and started a blog.  BanteringBlonde was born!  Just 10 months later I've not only become a social media freak, been to a ton of conferences, contributed to other sites, started my own blogtalkradio show, become a Tweetaholic, built MomActive (which will relaunch any day now as a full scale E-zine with community live stream video meeting room, forums, and a MomTV show), but on top of all of this "fun" stuff, I've launched a successful consulting business and now advise others on social media marketing strategies.  And I charge for it!!!  Right place, right time - when everything is new there are no experts and opportunities are abundant.  I'm learning new things every day... How cool is that?

When I hear that someone has lost their job and is having a hard time finding a job, I feel for them and wish them well.  When I hear that they've been out of work for six months, I start to wonder what other options they might open themselves up to.  OK, when we get to 12-16 months, I'm thinking -- if little old me with a music degree can build a business for myself in an entirely unrelated business, surely, this person can open their mind to all of the opportunities there are outside of their current profession.  [In fairness, I should mention that I did have two years of experience in tech marketing and sales prior to leaving the work force to become a stay at home mom... out of the workforce for almost 10 years.  I was also very successful in marketing myself and building a large and active teaching studio prior to retiring my fiddle.]  Maybe I'm a cold hearted bitch but I believe that we must continuously recreate ourselves to fit the opportunities that are created during times like these.  It may not be on the internet and I'm sure it isn't easy - in fact, I haven't slept much this year and I'm not making a ton of cash.  I'm sure there are hurdles to get over.  I KNOW there are hurdles to get over, but we push through it and in the end we come out stronger and more valuable to our families, communities, and the businesses that rely on us.  Why let a year go by before changing your attack plan?

If you or someone you know is out of work and the chances are slim for finding work in the same area, why not get creative?  Take an inventory of your skills and then look to the industries that are thriving during this recession. The Associated Press reports that the following industry sectors will be hiring through 2020:  Healthcare, medical equipment repair and maintenance companies, biotechnology and bioinformatics organizations.  Keep in mind that our current government is creating demand and resources for the creation of environmentally friendly or "green" jobs/companies, and that security of our infrastructure and country as a whole is a major focus right now.  Growth from all of these factors will create jobs for people with skills that transfer across industries.  Individuals looking to break into a new industry might benefit from attending a conference, class or other informational session in one of these industries.

Think outside the box.  (My next post for taking inventory of your skills is already percolating....) Do YOU have any tips to share?  Leave your comments, I love the dialogue and if I'm completely off base you can tell me that too! 


4 Responses to "Need a Job? Think Outside the Box and Get Yourself Hired!"
  1. AdriansCrazyLife said...
    November 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    I agree completely. If I were out of a job, I don't think I'd even try to get into the traditional market. It's just too tough right now. But if you get inventive and use your skills, there are lots of opportunities you can make for yourself. I never understand why people don't realize that.

    If nothing else, I would be doing some massive volunteer work. It would lift your spirits and you never know when you might run into someone who could help you. I just feel that if you put good into the world, good comes back to you.

  2. daddybookins said...
    November 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Dang if I were out of a job for that period of time I'd be pimping myself!!

    Seriously, even 6 months out (which by the way down at our Union Hall we have a 9 month wait to take a call) I would be trying just about anything....Starbucks, Burger Joints, wait tables, I don't care...swallow your pride, especially since your family depends on it.

    Just my own two cents....

    Peas Out!
    ~daddy b

  3. septembermom said...
    November 19, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    A very interesting post. I agree that we need to get creative to find work these days. My husband (IT manager) was laid off and out of work for 2 years. We tried to think of as many out of the box options as we could. His personality and experience sometimes were not a benefit for trying to branch out into something new. It was very, very, very tough. Employers don't necessarily give people options or chances. I think there is an element of luck and self-branding in job searching. My husband is not the self-branding type. He just works super hard and what he likes to do in technology. His personality doesn't fit the sales mold and employers wouldn't see him in that way. They were probably right. I'm glad that he did finally find something (much lower pay). It was an exhausting and disheartening job search. I hope we don't have to go through that any time soon, but who knows these days?

  4. Christie O. said...
    November 19, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    I've had three friends lose jobs within the the past year and within MONTHS, when staring down the face of a looming mortgage payment, they've each figured out a way to branch out and start their own successful businesses. I have seen some of the biggest successes come out of those rock bottom moments of job loss, and you're right, it takes some getting creative and it also takes some courage! so many people think they can't do it, but they CAN!! amazing job you've done getting back into the swing of things, good for you! i'm just now starting to get back in myself after staying home for almost 4 years and that's what i'm doing too, gettin a little creative! i will very likely not return to my old gig (newsroom), and instead, branch out on my own.


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