Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OK So You Have To Get Dressed!

When you reach a certain age, it is really difficult to find work in a regular "brick and mortar" environment. Many "senior citizens" either have retired or have health problems that make it very difficult to work in a regular, structured environment but they have the desire to either stay busy working part time or do so out of necessity to supplement their other income. There's nothing like being self employed no matter what your age is!

Lillian is lucky to have a green thumb and she earns extra money by starting seedlings which she sells at the local farmer's markets starting every spring up to early fall.  She has invested some money into grow lights, good growing medium and little pots.  Not only do her plants supply her with additional income, but she enjoys going to the market and visiting with people and sharing her knowledge of growing healthy vegetables and plants. You can also find local farmers there selling their produce.

You will find Jackie and Hank at the local craft shows. She makes jewelry, from bracelets to necklaces and earrings and he makes handcrafted cutting boards and old fashioned wooden toys.

Sue on the other hand, finds it very difficult to get around so through word of mouth she has built up a business right at her home. People bring her their clean laundry for her to iron and do hand mending. She is able to work at her own pace and take breaks whenever she gets too tired.

Cindy has a unique job. She started a personal shopper service. Some seniors at her church were homebound or didn't enjoy going shopping. She has some people that she does their grocery shopping for them every week. They give her the grocery list and the money and she does their shopping for them.  She charges for her time and the gas for her car.  She also has several customers that will call her and ask her to pick up their perscriptions for them.

There's an elderly man at one of the local senior apartment complexes that hires out his services as a dog walker.

There are some pretty creative seniors who also design websites, write for the internet, write and publish books that all work from home.

So you have to get dressed for most of these jobs, but while you are growing your seedlings for sale, creating your jewelry or woodworking projects, you can work in your jammies!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Changes Often Equal A New Life Style and Occupation

Did you ever stop to think that out of what you perceive as a disaster can actually be an opportunity and a blessing in disguise?

In my many years of working in a variety of careers I've meet many people who were stuck in a job that they didn't like.  They stayed for the security of the paycheck, because they had a family to support or they needed to have the insurance coverage that came with that position in order to care for a sick spouse or child who had long term illnesses that would make it difficult if not impossible to get insurance if they changed jobs.

Some were just treading water in their jobs, not really comfortable where they were at but too afraid to step out with a leap of faith and look at other opportunities.

Back in the early 1980's there was a major downturn in the economy. At the time I lived in Austin, Texas and I was working as a Personnel Officer for a temporary agency that placed people in jobs. Major companies were laying off people right and left, including Engineers and other Management officers. Construction companies had built subdivisions of homes in anticipation of a major company's plans to move there and then they halted the clearing of the land they had purchased and the building of the company. Car dealerships that sold large expensive cars were closing up and shuttering their dealerships.  Interest rates on homes skyrocketed to double digits and many of those new home contractors with those subdivisions of speculative homes were now broke and filing bankruptcy.

I had people coming in applying for temporary jobs that were high powered engineers with Master Degrees that couldn't even find a job flipping hamburgers at a fast food place.  It was bad! People were losing their homes and their jobs right and left. Some people had seen the warning signs of this collapse coming. They planned ahead and had put away a savings account for a rainy day. Others had purchased large RV's that they used for vacations but also had the foresight to know that this could become their homes if they should lose their property and they would still have a roof over their heads!

So when this economic downturn happened, many who lost their jobs and/or their homes, looked at this as an opportunity to make total career path changes. They realized that now was the time to follow their hearts and do what they wanted to do rather than continue down the road that they were on. At this point, many were forced to take that leap of faith whether they wanted to do so willingly or not!

Some took their unemployment benefits and tried to out wait the downturn. Others found positions in a totally new career and others found it necessary to pack up their families and move out of Austin to other cities in Texas to look for work, while others totally left the state looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

I have to say it was a time of much soul searching. People redefined their needs vs their wants. They reevaluated what was really important to them in their lives. I would venture that most of them if you asked them today, would tell you that they came out of the situation happier and more satisfied with their lives today than they were back then.

So even though things may look very bleak for you you right now, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. You do have choices and you have family and friends that can help you through these difficult times. If you are young, I would advise you to seek counsel from someone who's wisdom you trust, perhaps someone who is older who has already been through past difficult times. Ask for their opinions and their advice. Just knowing what they went through and how they handled it can give you the energy and courage to press forward.