If I Were Getting Ready To Make My Way In The World

Just awhile ago I was having lunch with a friend and her daughter,  and the challenge of what a young person might do was the topic of conversation. When I was getting out of college and graduate school, there were all kinds of employment opportunities. Today that isn’t the case. Looking back were I to be entering the market today, and looking through my present day lens now, I might think along these lines:

First of all I would create an intention of being self-sufficient. It might not mean that I want to work alone, but it is the idea that I could provide a service for which people would be willing to pay me. It is this very act that sets in place invisible forces that are working on my behalf.  I would try to do this while  in school, because the pressure is less and the positive feedback of any kind of success would create a state of well-being.  The most important element would  be my awareness of the fact that I am creating this intention and open to what comes to me.

Secondly, I would begin to observe the environment around me with another set of eyes. I would look to see what skills I have and what I could already do or might be able to learn relatively easily.  The idea is not that this will be a life career, but it that it will be a skill set or practice which I could count on when I needed it. I would look to see if there is something people need but is either not being done or done well.

Thirdly, think portability. This is a skill set I could take with me wherever I go.

And fourthly see if there is a hobby I might like to pursue that could have a financial reward attached to it.

Here are some examples of what I am talking about:

I once read about a banker who hated his job, but loved raising racing pigeons.  He bred these birds and sold them. One day he woke up and saw that he could make a living with this hobby.

My father went to an Ivy League school.  His best friend at the time was called into the Dean’s office and told by the Dean that he would have to divest himself of several of the enterprises he had created and give some of the other students a chance. He actually was earning more than the Dean.  What had he done? Among some of the endeavors was a laundry service for the dormitories and numerous concessions at the sporting events.  He had the ability to look around and see where there was  an opportunity and then act upon it.

The daughter of another friend of mine had flunked her senior year of high school and was literally unequipped to enter the job market when she did finally graduate. She volunteered to work at no pay for a veterinarian and learned how to groom animals. Now she has a highly successful portable grooming business going to clients’ homes and grooming their animals.

Another son of a friend of mine while in law school went to Thailand during the summer break and  trained in Thai Massage.  He gave several massages a week while in law school.

I rented my house out once to a young entrepreneur who had bought a translation service from a fellow he had met on the beach. In effect he was gluing together those who needed translations of business documents with those who could do it.

There are worldwide opportunities in teaching English as a second language. For example one might look at: http://esl.about.com/od/teachingenglish/u/teach.htm

A friend of mine, Winton Churchill, has a website called, “Barefoot Consultants.” While it is aimed at teaching baby boomers who are retiring ways they can live abroad to stretch their retirement dollars, some of the ideas and training programs  can certainly be utilized by the younger generations entering the work force. He particularly is fond of the website Elance, where services are exchanged worldwide.

While these are challenging times, there is always opportunity. If you have thoughts please share them.

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