With 15 million unemployed and an estimated 10 million more to follow by the end of this year, job competition is rough. To put it mild. And it’s not just those of us who aren’t working that are job hunting, businesses are reporting that staff morale is at an all time low, workers are extremely unhappy, so the employed are job-hunting too. And, here’s the real kicker, there are less jobs available than ever before.
At first, many corporations tried, (bless them) to reduce staff hours per week, then days per week, then weeks per month. Wages fell, salaries fell, then staff reductions began. For many businesses the projected financial “upswing” didn’t come, recovery was impossible, bankruptcy inevitable and many an organization closed. The other problem is that some of those won’t be reopening. Ever. And the ones that do may not resume business-as-usual, so don’t anticipate those jobs will reappear. It seems gloomy. Well, that’s the sad truth.
So what are we to do?
Here’s my take.
1. Keep hunting, the season is still open.
But don’t wait for the deer to fall out the sky. Do the usual, check the newspapers, the websites etc. Look for one full-time or many part-time jobs. But keep looking. And also do the unusual. Stalk if required. (Yes, I said it). Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘phone-a-friend’ lifeline. It doesn’t even have to be a friend, so what if you don’t remember his last name, he came to your Christmas party, call him. Network. Truthfully I didn’t do much of this at first, so if you don’t feel up to mingling I understand. But I got over it and you will too. Let’s suck it up and get to it. See you at the next shindig!
2. Put your hobbies to work.
We’re all good at something. Stop scratching your head and give yourself a break, it’s true. Whatever that is find a way to put it to use. It may be a little odd or end but all those odds and ends add up pretty quickly and still pay a bill or two. I do manicures and pedicures. (Yes, that’s a blatant ad. It’s my blog. Call me!) If you bake well ask permission and set up a table outside your church. If you bake poorly Betty Crocker can help. Can you sew, paint, teach, play an instrument, walk a dog? Even a karaoke competition is fair game right now. Find it, use it.
3. Become your own employer.
Seems almost obvious, but for a lot of us, this is really hard to do. Many companies are looking for part-time consultants instead of full-time staff. If you have the experience to do this, have a go at it. Bear in mind however, that this may take start-up funds. So that part-time job or those cake sale funds will come in handy.
4. Take time for you.
Extended unemployment is one of the hardest things some of us will face. Losing your job will affect your finances, but also your confidence, energy, faith, peace, sleep, appetite and your joy. It’s not a happy time but it’s down time you can turn into up time. Remember the things while you were slaving away at work you said you’d like to do? Have an impromptu picnic in the park, take a swim at the beach in the afternoon, read an old classic you liked at school, sleep? Take time to do it and really enjoy it. The ones who are working wish they could do it and don’t have the time. Hey, just because they can pay bills, doesn’t mean they should have all the fun. Keep living.
And just for the record, while I used hunting as an analogy I don’t endorse it. Live and let live. (Bambi ain’t do you nothing.)