A number of years ago I decided to try the “9-5” routine and stepped away from my self-employment world. I was in my mid 50’s at the time. I was excited about the position as I was convinced I was a match for the job. Sitting in the reception area, well groomed and looking very much the part for the job, a young woman walked over to the receptionist. She was directed my way and as she approached I saw the expression on her face change just a bit and as I stood to shake her hand she apologized and told me the position was filled. I had confirmed my appointment with her before I left my house just a short time prior to my appointment and the only category that “discrimination on sight” would apply was age.
Age Discrimination exists in the work place. According to AARP 44% of older job applicants are asked questions to reveal their age, such as date of high school graduation. We can fight it and hopefully one day it will change. People will realize the benefits of older experienced workers and see value in us. In the meantime, how do you pay the bills?
Hire yourself! Create a job that is a match for your skills!
You will need to be creative in ways you haven’t been in the past. Begin by looking at your skills and talents. What were the skills that you excelled on in your last job? Have you volunteered and managed projects for non profits? What are your hobbies? Look at those skills from the point of view of how they can be of value to someone else.
Often we take for granted our skills. What we think is an easy task can be an unmanageable one for someone else. I learned to sew as a teenager and continue to this day. I cannot tell you how often I am asked to perform small tasks for friends and family . Sewing skills is a lost art for younger folks. Hemming a pair of pants or altering clothing can be a great value to someone who has no idea how to thread a needle. I have been asked by woman to teach them how to use the sewing machine they inherited from their mom as they have no clue how to use it.
Here are a few ideas to help you figure out a way to begin making some money.
You can still continue to send out the resumes but this will keep your spirits alive, give you purpose and yes help pay those bills!
- Sewing: from sewing on buttons, hemming pants to bridal gowns,there is a need for this lost art.
- Culinary: The market is saturated with home delivery meals but that may not be for everyone. Local catering or simple meal preparation has its place in the market.
- Gardening: Not everyone knows how and when to plant those flowers and understand the care and upkeep. If gardening is your passion there are many folks who would love your expertise.
- Babysit/After school care: Many working families need help with the kids after school. Working parents often need someone to help with errands and household chores.
- Urber/Lyft drivers:
- Pet sitting
- Small bookkeeping at home
Are you good on the computer-offer to help those who aren’t. I would love to pay someone to come in once a week and work with my husband on the computer.
Once you have decided on the skill you will turn into a business, look for support. There are many local organizations designed to guide start ups.
A popular program is The SCORE Association, supported by Small Business Association., SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories.
SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. There are many ways you can connect with SCORE and get free business advice.
If you have been an employee most of your life you will most likely view entrepreneurial ship a risk. Yes it is, but actually being an employee is a risk as well.
Social media today makes it quite a bit easier and it is great deal less expensive to get the word out. Do not think however that just setting up a Facebook page or a web page is all that you will need to do. You will need to personally get out there and let everyone know about you and your new business. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and attend their events. Join as many social and business groups that time permits. Membership fees are usually minimal amounts.
Trust yourself and your skills and just do it!
Epilogue: I did eventually find a job but hated the politics of the company. I eagerly returned to my entrepreneurial work style.