OUT of work? There certainly is nothing pleasant about being unemployed, is there? Especially is this so if you must feed, clothe and house a family. For these and many other reasons, you need an income—and most likely a good job.
If you are now unemployed, do not despair. Others have been in similar circumstances and have solved their problems.
Take an optimistic view. Think searchingly, be observant and use your imagination. Perhaps you cannot find regular employment in your former field of endeavor. But have you considered making a job for yourself? Instead of looking for a job in an office or a factory or a store, might you be able to line up your own work?
What Can I Do?
That is a good question, and only you can answer it. You know what you have done in the past. Things learned in school may be useful. Perhaps you can make use of knowledge or skills acquired years ago. You might even do well at work that you have never tried before.
Work that you might do could range from picking up garbage to grooming dogs. You may need to readjust your thinking somewhat to collect garbage. But, then, someone has to do this work. And nobody wants to live—or can survive in good health—amid mounds of refuse. Maybe you and an associate have the means to provide this service, possibly in the suburbs or in rural villages. Others have done such work with profit.
Now, take the job of dog grooming just mentioned. Most people who have pets want them to have a good appearance. Possibly someone doing such grooming in your locality has more than enough business and would be happy to teach you and then use your assistance.
Would a Small Business Be Right for You?
You must answer that, but there are possibilities aplenty. For example, as long as there are factories, restaurants, schools, places of public assembly and the like, there is a great need for fire protection. So, what about selling and servicing fire extinguishers? An elderly man in New York State finds this very satisfactory on a part-time basis. This essential service also has provided work for other men of his acquaintance.
For that matter, there are ventures that can provide work and a livelihood for the whole family. After moving from a large city to a smaller town, one family opened a Chinese “restaurant” in the same building that they occupy as a home. But theirs is a somewhat novel arrangement. Why? Because their establishment has no dining room with tables, waiter service, and so forth. Instead, theirs is a “take-out” Chinese food service. They do the cooking, but their customers (and there are an ample number) do the eating at home. The arrangement really is advantageous, for this family thus makes a living and yet has considerable time for other things.
Plying Old Skills and Acquiring New Ones
When unemployed, you may need to think about your old skills in trying to make a job for yourself. Thus, one young man did well in giving piano lessons on a part-time basis. Personal friends helped him to contact students. Also, referrals and a good reputation as a teacher led to more work than he needed. He went to individual homes to teach, and he emphasizes that to succeed one must be a good teacher and should know the instrument well.
For some twelve years, a certain young man worked as an auto mechanic. Upon moving to another community, he found that jobs of this kind did not produce much of an income. Yet, he still is an excellent mechanic and uses this skill at times to supplement his other income.
Gardening and lawn maintenance may be new to you. Nevertheless, you may be able to acquire the knowledge and ability to do this work. Perhaps you can join someone so employed who has more work than he can handle. In time, you may be able to launch out on your own and even extend your service to actual landscaping. Even if you stuck to such things as cutting grass and trimming hedges, you might find quite a demand for your services.
Related to gardening is sod work. One young man shared with others in growing Kentucky bluegrass, then removing the grass roots and earth to a thickness of one-half inch. They sold this sod by the yard in rolled sections six feet long by one and a half feet wide. One drawback: Only by the third year did they develop really good sod. But some planning and foresight can pay off in sod-growing.
Some industrious workers have used their abilities to make jobs for themselves in the home-improvement field. For example, one group of young men worked together at carpentry, skirting house trailers, installing cabinets, coating roofs and doing general home-improvement work. Another young man recalls simply going to doors and asking people if they had any work around the home (painting, roofing, yard work, etc.). Estimating the cost and giving the householder a price led to jobs of various kinds.
Janitorial work provides yet another possible source of income. Sometimes this can involve the cleaning of offices at night, when they are closed for business. This kind of work gives individuals considerable free time.
Something for the Ladies
What about doing domestic work, whether you are a man or a woman? Perhaps someone already so employed can pass on information about households desiring dependable workers to do the weekly cleaning. One woman who has done this kind of work for years in a wealthy suburban area arranges for her own jobs. She does not work a full eight-hour day when cleaning a house. Rather, she works at her own pace—quite fast—for an agreed sum. ‘Why stay all day, if unnecessary?’ she reasons.
Women may be able to do various types of work at home. For example, they might take in washing and ironing, do mending or make clothing alterations. Especially in a rural area might a woman—or family members in general, for that matter—raise rabbits, chinchillas or chickens. The production and sale of eggs may be worth while. Baby-sitting and child tutoring are other avenues of self-employment you may want to think about. Then, too, there may be somewhat novel opportunities to make a little money. For instance, one resourceful woman has been making plant terrariums. She may buy some of the glassware needed for these, but large bottles that might otherwise be discarded can serve her purposes well.
A woman might consider typing writers’ manuscripts and addressing envelopes at home. But remember that when doing such work you are responsible for the material given to you to type. So, be sure to exercise care. In one disaster, a dog chewed up the only existing copy of a manuscript from page 100 to the very end of a new book. Who would want to be in the shoes of that author, or that typist?
Be Resourceful, but Cautious
You need to be both resourceful and cautious when trying to make a job for yourself. First, a word about resourcefulness. An unemployed person needs to think about what he or she can do. Be assured that the field is broad. Besides some jobs already mentioned, Cleaning rugs, barbering, distributing cosmetics, tuning pianos, removing unwanted trees, nursing and welding.
But there is a need for caution too. For one thing, you could find that work done at home takes more time and effort than you expected.
While it may be profitable, or even essential, to make a job for yourself, do not rush into any enterprise. You might ask yourself:
- What service can I provide that others will desire?
- If I will be working at home, is my house a suitable place for what I have in mind?
- Are there zoning ordinances that would prohibit this business enterprise?
- If I plan to make something, is there likely to be a demand for the article?
- How might this work affect my family life and the tranquillity of the home?
Whatever you decide to do, it is good to realize that it takes initiative to get work for yourself. Of course, you do not have to become the inventor of a new gadget that everyone will want to have. Making the most of employment opportunities may be the principal requisite. But if you can think of something that most people need but few have in your locality, so much the better. Then you may be well on the road to making a job for yourself.
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