What to do when you're on the 'Scrap-heap'
By Mike Warren
Hi, What DO you do when you're on the scrap-heap?
I suppose some people will stop reading this article at this point!
Maybe because they're in full-time employment or they've enough money not to have to worry about doing anything!
If you aren't one of those people, you must be thinking "Here comes one of those money-making scams", am I right? No, I just want to tell you a little about myself and what I did when I was on the scrap-heap.
Having reached the age of 59, I was made redundant from my job as a sales administrator – HELP! The first thing you think at this point is, 'I'll never get another job at my age, and you may well be right. In my case I spent a full year sending out résumés and scouring the ad's looking for the kind of work that I had been doing most recently. I thought at the time that it would be better to try for something I was used to doing rather than do something that I had done years ago but, forgotten most of.
NO CHANCE!! As soon as they see your age on your résumé, they don't read any further – it's true! I got plenty of replies, but no offers.
Time to go into self-pity and depression mode, which is a normal reaction. You need to eat, you need to pay the bills, so you get depressed and it's a downward spiral. I've lost jobs in the past and it never bothered me, but I was a lot younger then and when you're young(er), you think you're indestructible – yes?
First you need money (if you got a payout for long service you're better off than most). I got hardly anything because I had only worked for the company for 2 ˝ years – hence the depression. So you go to the social, and when, if you get through the inquisition, you get some money – wheee!!!. I could just about afford to feed my 4 ferrets on it - time to get tough!
I had run my own business ten years earlier, only a small business, but I learned quite a lot; things like, sales, marketing and cash flow. They were hard lessons to learn in some cases, but the kind of things once learned, never forgotten. So, determined to climb off the scrap-heap, I set the old brain-box working and started to go through my talents, oh yes, I still have some of those. Of all the jobs I had done in the past, just what had I learned from each and most importantly, what was I good at? Here's the trick; make a list of all the jobs or work-experience that you've done so far in your life, write against each job the things that you were good at, include also any hobbies or pastimes that interest you, and at the end of it you should have a list of all of the skills you now possess. See, you didn't know you were so skilled – and this is what annoys me about employers these days – they just don't appreciate what skills us 'scrap-heapers' have!
If you've made the list as I suggested and you don't have many skills at the end, you haven't been as thorough as you should have! Now, list your skills in order of merit, start with the things you can do very well, and then on down the list until you get to the bottom of where your skills are less developed. You can now see a pattern emerging. Next, think of how you can apply those skills and make them work for you. You may be good with a computer, so you could get work using those computer skills working from home. You may have experience teaching, so you could write articles about your subject and submit them to magazines, newspapers or any number of internet forums. You might even think that your articles are good enough to be used as teaching aids.
The internet is a vast source of information, you can research your chosen subject and brush up on your knowledge and add to your skills this way. There are lots of courses at local colleges available free for the unemployed, if you lack business skills check out the courses they offer and sign up for them – you have time on your hands so why not make use of it.
When you feel confident enough to become a 'self-employed' home worker, check out the jobs ad's for home workers on the internet or in your local newspaper. Be careful though; never pay out money up front for becoming a home worker unless you are sure it's genuine.
In my case, I put all my skills together which included; photography, writing skills, some website-building skills and marketing experience and built my own website which advertises property for sale and rental and I'm just at the stage of becoming self-employed once more. You can take a look at my site if you like, I'd never done anything like this before, but with a little thought and planning, anyone can get off the 'scrap-heap' and regain their independence once more.
Ok, so no one wanted to know you when you sent out all those résumés' know what I say? Tough! that's 'Their Loss'!!
Mike Warren (http://www.ivyleafproperties.com)
Ps, If you have any comments or similar experiences, I would love to hear them – good luck.
About the Author
They say that you're on the 'Scrap-heap' at 35 these days - what about losing your job at 59? Here's what I did to climb off the scrap-heap.
If you would like to see my site please visit: http://www.ivyleafproperties.com
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