Are you one of the millions looking for a decent steady job that doesn’t leave you wondering if you are going to get by next month? It’s ok to admit. So many people will comment about how they are/were in a similar situation. It’s nothing new. As a matter of fact, I remember in 2007, sitting at my job wondering where all of our customers went and hoping I wouldn’t be told to go home early from lack of business.
Begs the question why people still blame President Obama, but that’s another story.
Almost a decade ago, we began to see the effect of what happens when a country steps forward with its shoelaces tied together. We didn’t know it then, but you know the saying, ‘hindsight is always 20/20.’
So here we are today, early 2015, trying to get back what we had 15 years ago: Lowest bad things combined with highest good things. Some seem to be doing well in this struggling economy, others just can’t figure out why they are stuck in such a career devastation. I know I asked that question every day for 2 years straight. It made me really start to think about how I am going to get through this mess. That’s when I began to realize a few specific things were effecting many advancements and some people may not realize it is. While we all have a separate journey to walk, there are a few things in the working world I urge us to accept.
Before I start, I feel I must begin this with a disclaimer stating that this article is not meant to say that what needs to be done is easy and should be able to be done immediately. It is only something to think about the next time you cry because your account went back into the negatives for the third time this month. I also must point out that I am not a rich and successful woman who is telling you what she did to be able to get out of life’s crippling cycle. I’m just here, broke as most of you, telling you what I have concluded over the years of observing.
That Career You Developed For All Those Years May No Longer Be Relevant
Says the writer with a BS in Journalism. You would think that with all the available options to spread the news, I’d be partying with Ariana Huffington. Unfortunately, many Journalists have moved away from pursuing that road and have used their writing and other skills developed in different areas. It was time to accept that we needed to adjust our career direction. The good news is so many companies need different types of writers, so opportunities to use my skills are endless…not that I always have a job.
Some industries may not be that lucky. Take the auto industry. In the beginning, it provided jobs for thousands of workers. Every day, their factory employees left work knowing they would be able to come back the next day. As time went on, we advanced and so did the way we accomplished things, taking away jobs from factories workers and giving them to the machine developers, maintainers, and supervisors. Very unfortunate for all those hard working people who lost their jobs, but at some point they had to accept the fact that they can no longer depend on jobs in their specific career and adjust accordingly. Same thing has been happening over the last decade. Situations like this will be hard, however, it is necessary to accept.
You May Have to Work A Lot Harder Than Some People
While interacting with the general people in your life, you might see a pattern arising. Though you may have to work two jobs in order to pursue your career, other colleagues in the same field may not have to work at all. Take for instance my excursion in the Journalism world. There I was, going to school, interning at various organizations, and working my steady job to pay for it all. There was a point towards the end of my college career that I was confident I could be successful writing for any publication that accept me as an employee. Unfortunately, instead of landing my dream job, I got to read headlines that a high-end prostitute who revealed her expensive relationship with a New York governor had her own column with one of the major newspapers. I don’t care how you spin that, it wasn’t fair. But there was nothing I could do about it. So I had to accept it and move on. You will come across that at least once in your career.
Your Area of Residence Sucks
I confess. I abandoned my home state for greener pastures and you know what? They were a lot greener. Some places are just doing well. Some other places may have better job opportunities for your career path. It all depends on what you are looking for. Me, I hated working retail as it was 10+ years when I decided to flee and find a job close to what I wanted. It was so expensive to live comfortably and even though my checks seemed sufficient to someone looking in, if you combined all the debt I was in and the price to live where I was, I was lucky I wasn’t homeless.
My fiancé was also having a hard time finding even slightly steady work. We found out many companies were moving out of state to be able to afford their lease payments. We realized that moving was the most logical decision to break the unhappy career cycle we were sucked into. And we did! We’re not rich, but I can tell you we have had to turn down job opportunities due to the fact that we were already working.
It’s so easy to hold onto a dream hoping that tomorrow things will go back the way it was. I’m sure it is was hard for residents of Detroit to accept the fact that Ford Motor and Motown was the success of their area and years after their end, Detroit has minimal opportunity for accomplishment. One of the most successful areas is now begging for water. Don’t let the area around you determine your career path. There is so much more to the world.
More Work for Less Pay (So it Seems)
This is something I just recently accepted. I have to do a lot more to maintain a steady income. I was angry for years about that. I went to college, gained a massive amount of experience and yet I still have to juggle a multitude of projects in order to maintain income, especially since this economy while still on a significant rise, is extremely volatile and at some point, change is bound to happen. I feel I have to take any opportunity I can to supplement my income.
Here’s why I am no longer mad.
While my experience is extensive and the work is hard, it can be done with so much more efficiency than 30 years ago, giving me more time to accomplish different things. This reason alone should justify why something that paid high decades ago, may not pay the same today. Once I realized that was the reason why I was having to write 2 articles a day for 2 different websites while working at my contract job to maintain a living, it was easier to accept. To put it in perspective, if I had to type this on a typewriter, it would take much more than 2 hours to write this if you account for the fact I’ve had to hit the backspace key about 250 times already (no exaggeration).
I also have the option to do some of my work dirty, in my pajamas, or completely naked. You’d never know.
You May Not Climb the Corporate Ladder at the Same Job You Started Your Ascent.
The likelihood of you staying with a company for 30 years sucking up to one or 2 bosses while golfing at your favorite club is slim. If you haven’t noticed, people are bouncing around all over the place jumping at different opportunities. You will have to sell your experience to a vast amount of people. Bottom line, being a lap dog will get old fast. You may actually have to work harder than you expected to get a career advancement. Even if it’s to another job.
The reality is you may spend a lot of your working career floating around and you may like it if you tried. With all the new businesses and innovative ways we are inventing to do different things why get stuck at the same job in the same industry do the same thing maybe at a higher level? If you want to a successful work life, accept the fact that you may have to meet new people and adjust to new office protocols multiple times during your career.
Here’s the kicker with this. With Affordable Care Act and the ability to invest in your retirement yourself, you no longer have to depend on the longevity of your job placement to live a comfortable post-career life. Acceptance is the first part of you getting there.