Train for a New Job or Business Free On Line
by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
I recently read an account of a young man in New York who learned to repair iPhones by watching YouTube videos. He has a thriving business and no worries about unemployment. His story is one of millions of enterprising folks who leave the insecurities of typical job-seekers behind by learning in-demand skills and either applying them to jobs that are more available than their old ones or starting their own micro-businesses.
Technical skills and trade skills are in high demand today. Even as so many jobs are not merely being lost by lay-off but are also being phased out completely and never coming back. Whether you are unemployed or simply in a job that you know is becoming extinct, you need to retrain. And you don't need to wait until you can afford to go to classes or pay high fees for online training.
You can develop your own self-training program with resources from local libraries, community and state college libraries (which are usually open to local residents, although only registered students can check out materials) and online freebies. If they are not enough, there are reasonably-priced monthly subscription plans for services like lynda.com.
It doesn't matter if we are in recessionary times or good times. Technological, scientific and procedural advances have been putting people out of jobs since the beginning of civilization. Not to mention that employers hire you to use you, not to care for you and make your dreams come true. It's up to you to constantly update skills and knowledge to make yourself marketable.
It is easy enough to find out what skills you currently have that apply to jobs you seek, and what skills you need to learn. Just type "in-demand skills" into your favorite search engine. I just did and got 48 million results. Of course, that's the most general search. You could try "in-demand IT skills," or "top skills for temporary workers." Once you find out what skills you need to hone and what skills you must develop, reading and watching video training will get you going on a new path.
But, you might find it an even better idea to start a micro business like the fellow I mentioned earlier. So what if your former employment is extinct. So what if no one will employ you. There are many products and services in demand for which you already have the know-how and many more for which you can quickly acquire the know-how. And if one micro business doesn't make enough money, establish an additional one or more. Lots of folks are doing it and it's working well. Combine approaches. Get temporary work to learn and upgrade skills while earning money. Have a micro business at the same time.
Here are a few ideas for micro businesses that you can start quickly:
You may have already thought of the quick to start basics like dog walking, pet sitting, window washing, yard maintenance, house cleaning, tutoring or handyperson services. But have you thought about simply organizing a business that offers such services by sending out others to do the actual work, while you take a commission for getting them the jobs?
Garage cleaning and junk removal. Not only can you make $$ for the clean up, but also you'll find that much of what folks just throw out isn't really junk. You can take many of the discards and start a "garage sale" side business, if it's allowed in your neighborhood. Or you can sell the stuff at flea markets. Or on ebay or other sites like ebay.
House sitting. Especially good is house sitting in a home that is for sale, wherein you keep the house looking clean and attractive to prospective buyers. You can either get paid for it or get to live in great places for extremely low rents while you earn a living doing something(s) else.
Childcare. There is an insatiable need for parents to find good daily care for their beloved little ones. Remember, though, there are often local legal regulations that you may need to obey. In many places, taking in just one child may not be regulated, but more than one or two usually requires a license. Check with your local government to make sure you can do this. Or do the child care in the parents' home. Babysitting seldom requires licensing -- nevertheless check this out as well.
Daycare for elderly or disabled people. Government regulation for this is quite variable. Again, if you do it in their own home, it may not be regulated. However, you must check and make sure that you comply with local laws. It can be quite rewarding as a work endeavor, both monetarily and morally.
Give lessons or run classes. At home you can give music, art or craft lessons. At community colleges and other learning centers, you can offer in-demand skills training. On the phone you can offer teleseminars. On line, you can develop webinars.
Editing student papers. Or even professional papers. If you have an academic specialty and good writing/editorial skills, you can help students polish their papers in your subject areas and you can help brilliant but writing-skills-deficient professionals communicate better.
Web design. If you've got the skills, help others start their own online businesses by developing their websites.
Think also about some of these, for which you may already have skills or can quickly acquire skills (I consider anything you can learn and develop within a year to be quick):
Photography -- especially selling to stock photo sites on line.
Sewing for fashion or for the home.
The list is endless. The opportunities abound. Don't wait for a new job to be created. Go out and develop your own. The knowledge and skills you need can be found by simple search engine searches. Far too many to list in an article. Do the research. Get the skills. Become a sought-after employee or a successful business person.
C.S. Clarke, Ph.D. is a psychologist/coach who publishes Superperformance.com: Human Performance and Achievement Resources, providing a wide range of content and tools for improving human performance and productivity. Dr. Clarke also publishes EverydayDelight.com, a website on positive psychology, positive thinking and everyday happiness. Superperformance ® is a trademark.