Beyond Humiliated—but Stuck in Sameness


Rather than trying to force the sameness of the old work models, lead the way into the new ways of working and making income.

I saw a news item where this gentleman has been taking a 90-minute train ride into New York each day, where he walks the streets wearing this sandwich board sign. It reads, “Almost homeless; looking for employment. Very experienced operations and administration manager.”

He says he’s beyond the point of being humiliated—he just needs a job. He says, “When you’re out of work and you face having nothing—I mean, having no income—pride doesn’t mean anything. I have to take care of my family.”  His resume includes 36 years in the toy industry before being laid off in February of this year.

I know this is an all too common situation for lots of people right now. Hey, I’m an old farm kid. If the cow is old and has stopped giving milk, standing there begging for more milk is probably not a good solution. I’d be out looking for something new to quench my thirst.  Predictions are that we are rapidly reaching the time when only 50% of the American workforce will be “employees.” The rest will be contingency workers, independent contractors, temps, freelance workers, consultants, entrepreneurs, electronic immigrants—and lots of other interesting descriptions that are showing up every day. Rather than trying to force the sameness of the old work models, lead the way into the new ways of working and making income.

When my Dad was 88 years old after retiring as a farmer, he was driving his own van, hauling Amish people to places they wanted to go.  He charged $2.00 a mile and often drove 500 miles a day, providing them with a valuable service and enjoying the time spent visiting. We’ve got stories pouring in from people moving from construction to accounting, farrier to software developer, pastor to artist and much more.

If you are out of work—don’t wait on a paycheck. It may never come. What is it that you can do that fulfills a need someone else has?  How could you provide that in a way that does not depend on a “salary?”

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