It’s easy to sound insensitive when offering ideas to job seekers. But frankly, things are desperate out there and people need real help. Regardless of your politics, the Obama administration showed remarkably poor leadership when it came to reviving the economy or inspiring business leaders, and now as Obamacare struggles financially, it’s damage to our wallets and future employment is looking even more bleak. The Wall Street Journal reports that near the end of the last administration more than one in six men ages 25 to 54, prime working years, don’t have jobs—a total of 10.4 million. 40% of unemployed workers have been out of a job for 6 months or more. Millions have just given up and dropped out. The stats go on and on.
But as I talk to those who have been looking for a job, I see one thing that disturbs me – the assumption that people have to get a job from somebody else. Most people never think of the flip side – the idea that they could actually create the job they’re trying so hard to find.
It’s a bit like acting. No matter how professional they may be, actors don’t control their destiny, because they are at the mercy of casting directors and producers to pick them for a role. But the most enterprising actors aren’t content with that, and are generating their own films, TV programs, and theater projects.
The unemployed could learn from that. Stop assuming the only option is for someone else to offer you a job, and start looking around for needs that you can fill. I’ve been self-employed for more than two decades now, and I can tell you there are terrifying moments. But at the same time, I know my future is in my hands, not someone else’s.
Everyone is unique, and some jobs don’t work as well on a freelance or independent basis. But if you’re struggling to find work, at least consider the alternative. Shift your mindset. Take charge of your own destiny. Think of how you could actually stop looking for a job, and start creating one.
Anyone out there experienced what I’m talking about?