Take care of yourself! Learn how to access your skills and build upon them.
Soap Box Rants/WEEKLY COLUMN to CopyLine Magazine
By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.
In the past year, Iâ€™ve met quite a few people sweating it out because they canâ€™t find a job. They cite various reasons for failing in their efforts to find a job such as â€œI canâ€™t find anything in my fieldâ€ to â€œThey only hire young people to work.â€ Yet, young people feel that a lot of jobs they would have been able to get are now being given to more displaced, experienced workers.
Questions have also arisen about the apparent lack of adherence to equal opportunity employment, and â€œwhat happened to affirmative action?â€ And at times some question why some seem to be struggling in their communities while other communities appear unaffected by the cruelness of the current economy. And itâ€™s apparent that the lack of spending in those communities most affected is affecting businesses everywhere. The malls that were once filled with people and noise now resemble quiet places one might go for a walk or sit and reflect on what they will do today or tomorrow.
So whatâ€™s a person to do? Well, you can start with feeding yourself or at least supplementing what you buy from the grocery store with your own-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, etc. If you donâ€™t have a yard, borrow one. Chicago is a forerunner in community food gardens. If you donâ€™t know how to grow or where you can grow food, start with a search engine. There is an overwhelming amount of information and organizations to get you started.
You can also ride a bike or take public transportation. This may not be easy for routes where there is no public transportation or is just too far to travel on a bike. But if you can bike, consider it is good for fitness tool for getting around. You donâ€™t have to add gas, pay a car note or auto insurance. This is another way to save money and the environment at the same time.
Communes, yes â€œcommunes!â€ You can find friends or family that share the same interests and help each other build something. Young people do it all the time. They seem to find a way to be happy while broke. Thatâ€™s because they share and look out for each other. They havenâ€™t accumulated a lot of things. If youâ€™ve ever been away for college or lived with a young family or roommates, you know what Iâ€™m talking about. If you have no money to contribute, then barter. Clean up the place, do some handy work and cook dinner. Donâ€™t take advantage or youâ€™ll just get lazy and end up going nowhere or doing anything! When you have material things holding you down, itâ€™s hard to focus and move on. It may be time to let some things go. The beauty of material things is that you can buy them again some other time. When youâ€™re ready, you will probably want new stuff anyway. It is trying to hold on to things that bring people misery. Sometimes, we have to start over again. Mobility makes it easier to do that. You can go live with a friend, associate or family member outside of town and test the prospects of living somewhere else. One town may be saturated with your skill set and another one may have a demand for those skills. Instead of focusing on an ending, focus on a beginning. Many have built their companies when the odds seemed stacked against them being employed by someone elseâ€™s company.
There are countless numbers of people who lost it all and got it back. Many have lost way more than some could imagine. The point is to access your skills and build upon them. Find groups of people that share your passion and interest. Who knows? You may find your next business partner or job by getting out. You certainly run the risk you wonâ€™t be found if youâ€™re just using the internet and staying in the house passing time waiting to hear something as a result of submitting a resume online. The phone may never ring. Instead, why not pass time building your own business. It doesnâ€™t have to be a multi-million-dollar business. It can be a business that brings in enough for you to take care of yourself comfortably. And if you do have an idea, take advantage of organizations like SCORE.
Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.