Monday, April 19, 2010

Cough, Sneeze, No Voice.... but I can still work!

I have no idea what it is that is going around, but whatever it is I got it!  It all started out as what I thought were allergies with a stuffed up nose, scratchy throat and coughing. Then it progressed down into my chest, wheeze, wheeze as I breathed in and out. Then the other morning I woke up and guess what?  Opened my mouth to speak and all that came out were little squeaks of what should have been my voice! Gargling and hot tea with honey didn't help one bit.

If I had a conventional job, I would have been calling in sick but since I work from home and have a few options open to me, I was still able to work. Now granted I wasn't able to get on the phone and speak with customers but I could sit here and do transcriptions till my heart was content. If I needed to get up and go get an aspirin for my fever, needed to stop and cough my head off, there was no one to be the wiser.  I could work a couple hours and then take a break and come back later.  It is so nice to be an independent contractor!

Now I do have to tell you that I don't make as much doing transcriptions as I do when I am speaking with customers and filling their orders. But by the same token, I am still able to work and not have a total loss of income like I would if I worked outside my home.

So many times when we are sick and work in a conventional work environment, we are really forced to go back to work before we are fully recovered and it isn't unusual to relapse in a week or so. We worry about infecting our coworkers but we also worry about losing our jobs if we stay out longer than management thinks we should.

Thankfully I am on the mend and hope to be back up to full speed here by the end of this coming week!No Limits: How I escaped the clutches of Corporate America to live the Self-employed life of my dreams

Thursday, April 15, 2010

High Expectations and Tight Job Markets

As our unemployment figures continue to soar and not many people able to find work, getting discouraged in this job market is hard to overcome. I can tell you all kinds of things about keeping a positive attitude but it has to come from down deep within yourself. 

A lot of people who are unemployed seem to think that they are going to be able to find a position at the same salary as the job that they left or even more than what they left at. With such a large pool of people to choose from, unless you are in a very specific highly skilled and highly needed area of expertise, don't count on it!  I hate to throw a wet blanket on your expectations but it is true. 

I can't begin to tell you how many people I've heard from who have been told "you are over qualified" for this position.  That is true, you may be overqualified, now you have to convince them that you are willing to accept less pay and that you will be staying around even after the economy does turn around. I have heard of people negotiating a hiring contract, where they agree to stay a certain number of years and accept a specified increase of salary per year during that time.

Even stay at home positions are becoming few and far between as people are looking into this venue to bring in income as they continue to search for a "brick and mortar" position. Since many work at home positions are Independent Contractor status, they find that they can have great flexibility with their hours, working around interview times and continue to earn money. 

In all my working years (I have worked since I was 13) I have never seen as many people searching for work at one time. In October 2009 average unemployment surged to 10.2%, the highest it had been in 26 years!  You have to go back to the Great Depression in the year 1933 when the unemployment rate was 24.5% and that depression was also world wide just as our current situation is.

Who knows what the answer is going to be to reverse our current worldwide situation as well as what we are facing locally in the United States. I certainly don't have the answers, I'm riding this one out just like everyone else!

I am presently reading this book, Rich Dad Poor Dad Prophecy and finding it very enlightening. You might want to pick up a copy, it is fascinating reading.