“The wonderful experience I’ve come to realize in my thirty-sixth years of work is, that no matter where or how you acquired your knowledge and skills, there are patrons out there who need someone like you. Finding your niche is your job. Be observant and think about where your skills and knowledge might be needed”
Your eyes and ears need to be wide-open. Go about your daily business and be on the lookout for work that needs to be done. Work does not need to be work packaged as a job. Ask yourself, “Where are the jobs?” but “Who needs my experience and skills?”
You may have a knack for persuading people and have fun with the challenge of selling products, services or ideas. There are many organisations that need someone like you. Quite naturally, retailers need good sales representatives, but so do manufacturers, wholesalers, business services and charities.
If you know of organisations that could use some help promoting their products or services, let them know what you can do for them. The organisation may, or may not, have a current job opening. Who knows, you may inspire them to create a job for you. Many things could happen. You might get hired on contract or remembered when a job does come available. Whatever the case, give the organisation your résumé, or at least your contact information, so they can get in touch with you. This is another job hunting strategy.
Maybe you have done some volunteer work for a community organisation and would now be interested in getting paid for promoting that cause? There could be no such paid position now, but definitely a need for one. Possibly you could persuade the organisation to create one?
Put on your thinking cap when you are job hunting. Think about all of your experiences and what you have learned from them. You have probably had many experiences, and not just work-related experiences. A good example would be if you have helped organise a community event or a family reunion? These experiences would be some of the skills you learned how to:
- Resolve disputes
- Negotiate agreements
- Co-ordinate activities for several people
- Effectively manage your time
- Set out and stick to a budget
- Promote communication and co-operation
- Deal with stress effectively
Raising a child or losing a loved one are also learning experiences. Experiences allow you to learn things about yourself and have a much better understanding of what other people may be going through in the same situation, allowing you to express greater empathy. Get out there and use that understanding because it can be very important in a variety of work settings.
Many talented people never attempt putting themselves in the creative work arena. They assume that you need a particular credential such as a diploma or a training certificate to qualify for the type of work that interests them. The best advice is to talk to people already employed in your field of interest. Ask them about the knowledge and skills they need to do their work. What you may find out is you already have the equivalent combination of experience and education required. Or, you may find that there are a number of ways to obtain the education or training you need.
Venture wisely. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.