This is a tough subject. It’s one that drives so much of our lives because we all gotta make a living. Yet, it’s so hard to navigate the job market.
Should you start your own business? Doing what? Should you work for someone else? Doing what? I feel stuck in my current job, how do I change it? I feel stuck in my current no job situation, how do I change it?
Find your passion and be prepared to start your own business doing what you love!
The point here is not that you will start your own business or anything like that, but being prepared to start your own business opens up so many more opportunities for you. Whether you do or not is up to you, but don't limit yourself. If the opportunity for you to work for yourself presents itself, be prepared. You should always be prepared to work for yourself. If you don't prepare, the door may never open or if it does, you won't notice it. This means researching your chosen field, learning how to do market research, and learning the steps to legally starting your business, etc.
1. By being prepared to start your own business, you’re likely to be motivated to learn as much as you can about your craft. You’ll likely want to perfect your craft and be ready to move forward. This leads to number 2.
2. By perfecting your craft or trade, you’ll be more lucrative to employers. You see what matter in the real world are skills, not degrees. Yes, a degree is important, but skills are more important. An unskilled individual who has a degree can only work for others. A skilled person with or without a degree can work for himself or others.
3. By preparing to start your own business, you make it easier to do so if you decide to go that route. You do all your research, examine potential competitors, review business models, marketing plans, etc. If you don’t start a business, it gives you an understanding of what your employer is thinking as she runs her business, making you more valuable to the company.
4. Also, worst case; let’s say you can’t find a job, so you start your own business doing what you love. If you succeed, great, but what if you fail? As long as you don’t go into too much debt doing so, at worst, you would have gained valuable experience and resume credentials for a potential employer.
Tips for starting a small business.
1. Just remember, invest wisely if starting a business. If you’ve never done so, don’t over leverage yourself where you can’t comeback financially if you fail. Have a safety net and cushion just in case. If you can start by keeping it online only instead of renting a building, this may be a better option.
2. Take your time. Don’t rush.
3. Research your industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out an excellent Occupational Outlook Handbook that gives you valuable information on your industry and field in the United States. It tells you expected growth areas, strengths, and weakness so you can identify areas of opportunity. It can be found here: www.bls.gov/ooh
4. Consider the legalities. Research copyrights, trademarks, licensing, and all the legalities of owning a business. Consider the type of business you want, limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, partnership, etc. For most small businesses, LLC is the best route.
5. Consider your business model, your product, price, how to promote, and location. Also, think about your target market and customers. Design a business plan, revisit it, and constantly adjust as necessary.
Tips for landing a job.
1. Tailor your resume to the company you are applying to. Find out what is important to that company by researching their website and any info you can find. Adjust you resume to highlight those attributes you have that can benefit your target company.
2. Make sure your resume tells a story. What that means is your resume has to make sense. If you have three jobs on your resume and they are all in three different fields, it will not make sense to an employer who doesn’t know you. It’s okay to have diverse experience on your resume, but make it tell a story. For example, working at a restaurant while in college, then going into banking after graduating with a psychology degree, then going into truck driving, then applying to become a teacher will not make much sense to a potential employer. However, if you can find a common thread in your experiences, then you can tell a story. So, highlight in your resume and interview how each experience relates to the career you are now applying for.
3. Feel free to leave some experiences off your resume if it does not match your story. It’s ok to leave off that you also earned an associates degree in pottery if it is not relate to the job you’re applying for. You don’t need everything you have ever done on your resume. Remember, customize it for the job and company you’re applying for.
4. The inescapable reality is people want to hire people who are like them. An interviewer will want to relate to you on some level. Yes, they want you to be qualified, but often they want you to be relatable to them. So, if you come from a vastly different background and culture than your potential employer then it will be more difficult to land the job. It’s just human nature, regardless of race, we would rather hire and be around people we like, who we understand, and who are like us. So, know this going in and adjust your strategy as necessary.
5. Regardless of who your interviewer is, try to relate to him/her. Be a real person, not just an applicant. Ask them questions about their day, joke about the coffee, the weather. If you can make your interviewer laugh, that is even better. Of course, know the business going in. Know as much as you can about the company and the job.
6. Bring a pen and something to take notes with.
7. Understand what a behavioral interview is. The theory behind behavioral interviews is that the best indicator of an applicant’s future performance is his/her past performance. So, the interviewer may ask you questions about situations from your past and how you performed. Prior to the interview, make up sample questions and stories to tell. Write your responses down and memorize the story. When answering, remember S.T.A.R. – Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Tell your interviewer the situation, what your task or problem was, the action you took, and the result of that action.
Hope this helps. Remember, it's only useful if applied. Think on these things and find your own path. Seek knowledge. Never lose faith in yourself and your ability. Best wishes.