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Some New Job Ideas

The following is not about new ideas for those who simply want to work in another field, although it may help in that as well. This page is about changing our ideas about the meaning of having a job. An article in Time Magazine (March of 2009) suggested that as a culture we're over our constant concern with real estate value and stock market investments, thanks to the current economic crisis.

People no longer see their rising 401K value as a ticket to early retirement, nor do they get to tap into their home equity (which has largely vanished) as a way to live beyond what their employment income. The article claimed that we are beginning to give the same attention and nurturing to our employment possibilities as we used to to those previous sources of wealth or temporary income.

The piece was titled "Why Your Job is Your Most Valuable Asset," which was a bit misleading. What was really pointed to as the valuable asset was not a person's job, but the skills that make us able to get jobs. Certainly that makes more sense. It got me thinking...

Are workers going to begin to invest in and develop job skills the way they carefully invest in their IRAs?. Could we start hearing about "mental equity," something we have in the form of experience and training and knowledge tat makes us employable? Perhaps enrollment in non-credit job-skill classes will rise as workers try to bolster their qualifications for one or more types of employment?

It's possible. My guess is that the future will be one with fewer and fewer jobs as more and more people begin to work in their own businesses or as independent contractors. Of course, there will be jobs, and some people will always prefer the simplicity of working for others over self-employment. What new job ideas can they put into action to make themselves more able to find and keep employment?

It may help to specialize. Enough years doing computer programming, tax preparation or machine designing certainly gives you an edge on the competition for those jobs. Perhaps you could be the only one in town who specializes in preparing tax returns for companies that are based locally but incorporated in other nations.

But what if they actually simplify the tax code someday, putting half of the tax preparers in the country out of work? For that matter, computers might start programming themselves. Whole industries have been known to die, and change is a constant. Who knows how many young men started careers as a wagon wheel makers in 1905, just as cars started to become common.

One job idea that solves this problem to some extent comes from a newspaper article I saw. It was about a young man who was trying to work at 52 jobs in 52 weeks as he crossed the country. Maybe when young people are fresh out of high school or college they should work a few months at several different jobs, just to have the experience and skills for whatever the future holds.

If you wanted to be more systematic about this, you might choose a couple jobs that are likely to be recession-proof, like being a cook or bar tender. Then you could work at several that are in growing fields, like retirement home administration or medical positions. A variety of job skills and experiences should help you find work in almost any kind of economy.

But your resume alone doesn't always get you a job, so you might want to develop the skills of getting hired as well. Suppose you obtained and quit seven or eight jobs in a span of a couple months early in your working life? Do that and use the good advice in some of the books out there, and you might be much more prepared to quickly get a new job if you should ever lose your existing one.

More Job Ideas

- Be in business in any case - the business of selling your labor. Consider how to make your customers happier and more likely to keep using what you provide for them.

- Some jobs are meant to provide income, some are meant to train you for a related business, and some are actually what you want to do in life. Then there are jobs meant to build a resume, and sometimes even jobs that are only about getting to know people who can help you. Consider what kind of job you are looking for, or what elements each one has. Plan your employment strategically.

- For some people more meaningful employment might come from green jobs (that link goes to a section on which has many pages of green job and business information).

- You can buy the benefits that come with jobs. Figure out the true costs of getting whatever benefits an employer provides. Why accept a job that pays $12,000 less than another just because the one has health insurance and vacation pay, if you can buy these yourself for $6,000. Take the time and thought to compare all your options.

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Job Ideas