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You’ve heard Dave say it many times: When you need money, the best place to go is to work!
But what if you’re one of the roughly 5 million workers in America classified as long-term unemployed? What if you’re one of the millions of people forced to downsize their careers thanks to a lingering recession and a weak economy?
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We have some good news and some bad news.
Bad news first: You might have to suck it up and take a job that’s not what you hoped for. If you’re fresh out of college and looking for that $75k payday with full benefits and six weeks of vacation time, you’re probably going to start at the bottom (and you should definitely learn to budget accordingly). If you’re a skilled worker—someone used to calling the shots and sitting at the top of the heap—you might have to temporarily set aside your nights and weekends to deliver pizzas.
And now for the good news: There are plenty of jobs available . . . if you’re flexible and creative. Don’t believe us? Just head down to your local pizza joint and ask if they’re hiring drivers, or check out holiday employment at the big box stores. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even look at positions in oil fields, for camp counselors, teaching English abroad or a hundred other off-the-beaten-path opportunities. Yes, for a lot of people those jobs are less than ideal, but remember, this is a temporary situation. Use these less-than-ideal jobs to get your feet back underneath you, then attack your career search from a place of strength rather than a place of fear.
Finally, here’s some even better news: There’s never been a better time to take charge of your finances by creating your own work. Like Dave says, there are always lawns to mow and dogs to walk. And if you have a skill set you’ve developed over years of experience in your industry, this might be the push you need to become your own boss. Just reflect on this fact: More than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list were started during a recession. Who knows? Your big idea could very well become the newest company to make Fortune Magazine’s list!
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So this Labor Day, as we’re grilling our hot dogs and drinking our cold drinks with our friends and family, let’s be thankful for the freedom to pursue work that matters. No one’s guaranteed their dream job, but we all have the opportunity to work, earn an income, provide for our families, and be a blessing to our communities.
Happy Labor Day, America!