Sunday, March 23, 2008

Using a Lull in One’s Career to Explore New Possibilities

I’ve just been in contact with a 30-year-old man laid off a month ago when an aspiring web company threw in the towel. I don’t know the particulars of his story – his ultimate goals, where he wants to go from here – yet I’ve been giving some thought to what opportunities there might be at this time in life for him.

(I do know that he started out in life as a musician, and that there are often not numerous steady paying career jobs for musicians.)

Let’s take this young man’s case as an example. We’ll call him George. And right now George is looking for a full-time job.

Yet as he has flexible hours at this point, is there some place at which he could volunteer for a few hours a week? Some place that might connect him to a job in computer programming or a job connected to music or even a third area that he’s always wanted to try out?

Although he’s worried about finding a job to pay the rent, etc., could he look at this momentary hitch in his career as an opportunity to test drive another possibility along with meeting new people? People to whom he can tell he’s looking for a job. (Always tell people that you’re looking for a job; do not assume that people will figure this out on their own.)

There’s even the possibility, for example, of George taking a job at Starbucks. He doesn’t necessarily have to put this job on his resume once he gets a new position. But in the meantime he can reduce his worries about paying the rent and get out among new people. He might even get an idea for a job from a casual remark made by a customer.

Let’s hope George takes this unexpected break in his career to explore new possibilities while looking for a steady paying career job.

Any wisdom you have for George in this situation?

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