A surprising number of newly retired people I see in my office are stressed over what they’re going to do with themselves. Some tell me that they’re not qualified for the jobs they want, and others aren’t interested in the jobs for which they’re qualified. Add that to the unique economy of a seasonal resort, and you end up with lots of restless, dissatisfied people.
In this age of smartphones, Facebook, chat rooms, Tweets, blogs, texts, email, corporate websites, LinkedIn, etc., there are better ways to look for a job than trudging from one storefront to another; becoming increasingly disheveled as the day wears on. It amazes me how many older people don’t consider the influence of the Internet and the power of something as basic as an Internet search.
An effective job hunt ends up boiling down to five basic strategies; each contributing to the ultimate goal.
- Continue the search. Assume you can and will find an interesting job. If unemployment is at, say, 10%, then remember that 90% ARE employed. In spite of all the negativity spewing out of your TV, people are still spending money, new businesses are still opening, and profit is still a reality.
- Be positive. And stay positive! Even if the economy gets worse, new opportunities will open in some areas. Vocational-technical education is a prime example: People who lose or quit their jobs sometimes want to learn new skills. Hair continues to grow and must be cut. Air conditioning systems must be fixed. Just about everybody has a car that will need repair. Computer skills are still in demand. I have a friend who owned and operated a vo-tech school who constantly marveled how his enrollments soared every time “the economy” took a downturn. For better or for worse, the government makes tax money available for just this sort of education. Opportunity exists during good times and bad.
- Don’t think in terms of age. As you get older, you might have less physical ability but more mental ability. This increased mental ability stems from the wisdom that comes from more years on this earth. If you’ve been reading, thinking and learning throughout your life, continuing to do so will not be a challenge.
- Dissatisfaction is in your head, not in reality. “I feel like there’s no job match for me. Therefore there isn’t one.” Wrong! The futility may seem real, but it’s only a feeling. Granted, you can’t pretend to know things you don’t know, but you do have the power to take action and find out about those things. We never outgrow the ability to learn. Our minds just need to be open. For those who get frustrated and stop looking, all possibilities instantly disappear.
- Don’t fall for false alternatives. Years ago, a man told me he really wanted to become a presidential press secretary. And if that didn’t happen, he would have to end up as a greeter for Walmart. After I picked myself up off the floor, I realized this guy genuinely believed that there was simply nothing in between. In reality, there’s everything in between. All he had to do was to take off his blinders.
Beware the foolish false alternatives! When a person rejects the very good in favor of nothing less than perfect, he or she could be left with something worse than even the most menial job: The futility of having given up. Don’t let that happen.
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