Strategy & Marketing

Looking for a Job? What If You Created The Job?

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?

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  1. I created my first job in the 90’s, when it didn’t exist. I went the CEO and proposed it – and he went for it. Boom. Now I’m the CEO of a company and I look for this quality in our applicants. P.S. – many applicants can’t send us a cover letter and resume without typos, so let’s get that fixed too while we’re at it.

  2. Find the needs around you that you can uniquely fill. I’ve been self employed for 30 plus years now. It’s not for everyone, it takes faith and perseverance to make it through the lean times, but for those who take this path and succeed, it’s well worth the journey.

  3. So true, Phil.

    I started freelancing many years ago – yes there are dry times and seasons of stress – but it is far better than working for most companies.

    There are so many opportunities today. Phil said it well, look for the holes, look for roles that other people are not filling and be the solution.

  4. Totally agree, Phil. When I got bumped out of my Communication &
    Media Officer job 3.5 years ago at a local government agency as our California county’s revenues tanked, I made the immediate decision to go out on my own. It was the best thing I ever did. I now
    do social media workshops for communicators, produce web videos for agencies,
    associations, and private companies, and do crisis & emergency
    communications training all over the country. My colleagues at other agencies and people I
    met at conferences hired me initially, then it just kept expanding, and to this day I barely have to
    market. Though I do have to buy my own unsubsidized health insurance (which
    has skyrocketed under Obama…how about $1,100 a month for a Kaiser individual plan with a $7,000
    deductible!), my income soared and I love that I have no restrictions on
    how much I can make or what I can accomplish. And there are so many additional ways to market your expertise on line, something I am working on so I don’t always have to trade the finite amount of my available hours for income. I would never go back to my old job, as much as I
    loved it, and I get a lot more reward from helping so many people become better communicators for their organizations!

  5. Being your own boss is amazing and rewarding. Go for it – you won’t ever look back. Never stop growing, improving and learning. The world keeps changing – so must you! Heck, I started out editing on 3/4″ tape with no timecode, I remember staring at the big “Quad” 2″ machines as they grumbled along recording video in the early days. I’ve survived every editing platform transition and I plan to keep going. I just moved from FCP to Premiere Pro and I’ll change again if the need arises. Fear nothing. believe in your abilities and stay on your knees.

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