Formally, being unemployed refers to a situation when one does not have a job.
In reality, not having a job, is not the key.
Being unemployed actually refers to a situation when one’s needs are not fulfilled.
In the movie ‘Cinderella Man’, boxing champion James Braddock was asked about why he fought, he responded ‘for milk’. During the great depression, James wanted to feed his children and hence, he used boxing, which is what he was able to do at that time. Nevertheless, James worked temporary jobs as well, and bartered, and moved houses, and did many other things ‘for milk’.
So, if one goes beyond the definition of unemployment, and thinks about their needs, the question to be answered becomes more simple, what is it that I need now?
Implementing the skills one has, learning a new skill, entering the workforce after graduation, serving the poor, ‘changing the world’, sharing their knowledge, and like James Braddock, feed their children, each one of us has a need to be fulfilled.
So instead of seeking ‘a job’, think of your need and think of all the possible ways that this need could be fulfilled.
- To implement skills, this can be done through a full-time job, but it can also be done through contracting, or through volunteering.
- To learn a new skill, this can be done online, through volunteering, through an internship, and of course, through a full-time job.
- To enter the workforce after graduation, especially if you luckily don’t have to worry about rent and other expenses yet, a full-time job is good, but so is volunteering, work training programs, contracting and networking.
- To serve the poor, one can volunteer at a local non-profit, become a personal assistant to a philanthropist, or themselves go to the poor and see how they can help.
- To ‘change the world’, think of what you can do to make something better, improve a product, improve a service, do it for free or even do it for a small fee.
- To share one’s knowledge, one can become a mentor, blog, write a book, write for a local paper, or even speak at conferences.
- To feed one’s children, one can sell an asset, can take on temporary jobs, become a contractor, ask others if they need any help whatsoever.
I am not saying this is all easy, and especially when it comes to one’s family, but I have found that it is better to take action than to get stuck in the vicious circle of unemployment doing the same thing, over and over again with no result.
Instead, let us set small goals, think of our needs, and think of all the ways that can help us meet those needs, assessing each option in terms of ease and accessibility to who may help us … and the money, will come.
The time to move is right here, right now.
A year from now you will wish you had started today. -Karen Lamb
Image courtesy Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net