After being unemployed for an extended period of time (more than 5 months), you may begin to wonder where the jobs are located.
It is true that today's economy has shed thousands of jobs not yet recovered, and your regular career field may not have any openings.
So what can you do?
Some might recommend re-training, but that costs money-something the unemployed do not have in excess. Some might suggest a student loan. But remember, a loan is a loan and, if you are already in debt, you probably do not want to add to it. Plus, it is good to note that student loans cannot be discharged should you declare bankruptcy.
This leaves an interesting alternative: discovering how you can use skills from your previous job in an entirely different field. Think creatively, be flexible and understand that while you may not end up doing what you choose, you can earn money doing something you know. This is the "key" to flexible job hunting.
For instance, if you used to work as an Administrative Assistant, you might be able to enter the field of Word Processing or Data Entry with little to no adjustment.
Are you an upper management expert in your field? Perhaps you can share your knowledge and experience by teaching classes at a community center or church.
A skilled construction worker would be welcomed at most home improvement stores where customers are often seeking advice along with their lumber and saws.
Do you have an artistic background in music, drama, painting, dance, etc? You might find yourself teaching in a private school. (Check the laws in your state, but most private schools do not require a teaching certification to teach the arts to their students.) Once again, you might also find a community center or church looking for someone with your talents.
Now, let's step out of the box even further.
What about starting your own business? It doesn't always take as much money as it does initiative and creative thinking.
If you live near a senior community, why not offer to go grocery shopping and run errands for those who are homebound or without transportation? You'll need to factor in the cost of gas and the wear and tear on your vehicle, but ultimately you will feel the gratitude of your customers as well as make a little money. Who knows, with enough customers, this could be the start of your own business!
Babysitting, house-sitting, dog-sitting, dog walking, making jewelry... these are all options you might want to consider, especially since you can use the internet to market your goods and/or services at little to no cost. Running errands for busy single working mothers... the list can go on and on. Simply take into account all your talents, skills, experience, and education, and think of how it could be used in a different job arena in your locale. Just remember to check if any licensing is necessary for what you plan to do.
You probably won't make as much money as you used to make in your chosen field, but you will bring in some money.
Who knows, you may find a new career you love so much that you never go back to your old career. It happens more than you might imagine. In fact, this could be your opportunity to find your true calling! So, put on your thinking cap, and happy "flexible job hunting!"
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