The unemployment rate hangs steadily around 10 percent. There is commentary from several angles (economic, business, tax, political) and yet I’ve not heard anything about what can be done to change things or how people are managing to get by. Employers are strapped for cash, so they have to be extra careful to hire the right person or risk spending money training the wrong one. Some people fear taking a position “lower” than what they are qualified for and instead opt to remain on unemployment benefits for an extended period. It’s a complicated situation.
I faced job loss myself a year ago and decided (like many do when faced with the circumstances) to start my own business. (Note, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits if you are a business owner -at least in NY- unless you jump through several hoops.) Hmmm, a financial advisory business during the worst recession of our time. I figured people would be clamoring for my help but kept in mind the number of years it takes most businesses to be profitable.
What drove me to do this was a calling to do what only I can do in a way only I can do it. A belief that, if I did not do this work (fee-only financial planning, coaching and guidance based on each individual’s wonderful uniqueness) that somewhere, someone would be denied the help only I could provide and, to some extent, that seemed selfish.
Let me also say how blessed my family is that my husband has stable employment; I realize this option is not a practical one for many people.
It seems like there are so many people looking for work and yet so many people who are, indeed, hiring and are having such a hard time finding “the right person”. In this information age, why aren’t job seekers using social media to its fullest to find their perfect position? Ahhhh, probably because they may not know what that is.
Here is what I imagine: Job seeker Joe puts on his Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and My Space accounts that he is a free lance writer who specializes in writing copy for ethical companies that offer eco-friendly products and services, has a passion for micro-brews, once traveled to Peru with a girlfriend who was hot of the book “The Celestine Prophecy”, fixes cars, can make a mean pasta fagioli, failed geometry but excelled in computer programming, who has an uncanny ability to interpret dreams….do you see where I’m going here? Building your personal resume through more colorful means allows people to find you in more colorful ways. No one wants to be treated like a robot, and no one really wants to hire a robot because, at the end of the day, we humans are social creatures; we thrive on relationships and it’s impossible to build a relationship with a robot (see how well those automated phone system programs are doing?).
So, when someone is looking to hire someone to write copy for their new marketing campaign for their auto repair shop, they can look at Job Seeker Joe and recognize what it is about him that can benefit their company; he can write about something he knows a lot about: cars. Discover who you are, what your purpose is, what you are uniquely qualified to do and -moreover- enjoy doing. And then tell the world that this is your life’s work. Then you must market yourself to help your ideal employer FIND and CONNECT with you.