I'm a very fortunate guy. After yesterday's article, a friend I greatly respect emailed me and took me to task for conveying a hopeless situation to readers of the article. That certainly was not the intention. She ended her note to me with the admonition "They need hope, help and encouragement." This is a very fair statement and I am taking it to heart. As I have stated before, my goal is to motivate individuals to take charge to not only find work, but to find work they love. The truth is, even though we do get a lot of doom and gloom from the media, there is hope for job seekers, and they should be optimistic.
I did give examples of how others have thought outside the box to create ideas that have revolutionized the world. Google and Facebook are the obvious examples. Additionally, I mentioned how enterprising entrepreneurs developed businesses that allow them to meet their desire to generate income, but to also take charge of their lives and spend more time with their families. An example that comes to mind is Eric Martinson in Texas. Eric is starting his own business to pick up people's dog poop. Laugh at your own peril. If you have an idea that people will pay money for, fulfill it!
Social entrepreneurship is also a growing trend. Why shouldn't it be? We love to talk about corporations responsibility to their communities, but this ultimately comes down to individuals, doesn't it? So, many individuals are looking for work that allows them to contribute to social causes that mean a lot to them. One of my favorite examples of this is Keza, an organization run by Jared Miller. Jared is the son of my friend Dan Miller, an author I refer to constantly. Dan's materials are the basis of how I coach my clients.
Jared developed Keza to develop African fashion businesses and work to elevate social responsibility standards of the international fashion industry. As a result, Jared's company has provided numerous African women an escape from poverty, donor dependency, and in some cases, sex abuse and prostitution. Jared is having a significant and positive effect on women's lives. You might not want to go to Rwanda like Jared. You don't have to. What about doing something that helps your community?
Saddleback Leather is another example of an entrepreneurial success story. Dave Munson started with an idea of wanting the best leather bag he could find. Dave worked as a volunteer English teacher in Mexico and now runs a company making the best quality leather bags in the world. When he started, it was Dave and his dog Blue. Now, after working with business and career coach Chuck Bowen, Dave's company has grown by leaps and bounds, and he is living his dream. Dave also donates portions of every sale as well to charity.
If you work for a company and enjoy it, keep at it and make yourself indispensable. If you have lost your job or will soon, find what you love and make a plan to pursue this. Take classes or hire a coach, but make a plan. You can't do anything without a written plan. If you are in a job you hate, find what you love to do, and make a plan. While I have lampooned government over the last several articles, hope and optimism remain because America still provides the opportunity for you to pursue your dreams.