It wasn’t supposed to be like this…


Today, with unemployment stuck at 9.1% and the President speaking to Congress about the latest job creation plan, my father emailed me a group of pictures from 1935 – 1939; The Great Depression.

There is plenty to be down about today. As if being unemployed in the Great Recession were not bad enough…

The worst wildfires in the history of Texas are raging near Bastrop, TX, just 30 miles east of Austin (my home town).

View of Bastrop fires from Austin, TX

View of Bastrop fires from my sister's house (in Bastrop)

It was announced today that Texas experienced the hottest summer on record for any place in the USA, replacing the summer of 1934 in Oklahoma. Places like Arizona, which get hotter during the day, cool off at night. Temperatures stayed in the 80s all night long this summer in Dallas.

In addition to the record heat, we are also in the middle of the worst drought in Texas history. Water restrictions are in place.

I attended a lecture today where I saw a list of jobs on the “endangered list.” Over the next five years sales, travel agents, teachers, law clerks, proof readers…will all see a net loss in jobs. Near the bottom of the list (i.e. the “bad” end of the list) were marketers, with a projected decline of 32.7%. One third of all marketing jobs are going away over the next 5 years. These are being replaced with “crowdsourcing” where projects are posted to web sites and people around the world compete for the work. Need a logo? Post the request to Logo Tournament. Need a web page or collateral? Post the request to 99Designs. Talented people from Brazil, Romania, Vietnam, etc. submit  bids and you select the one you like the best. So much for middle aged marketers …like  me.

I could go on, but as I sit in a comfortable chair, in an air conditioned public library, with clean clothes, enough to eat, bills paid and a car to drive home (with all the windows, A/C, radio/CD player and a half tank of gas) I think it is better to reflect on what my parents endured during the Great Depression. These images tell the story.

Now, having seen where we were in 1939, keep in mind that more millionaires were made, coming out of the Great Depression, than at any other time in our country’s history. Look for the opportunities. They will be there.

You may need help in finding them, getting started, or achieving “lift velocity.” I find LinkedIn to be useful. There are scores of groups for start-ups, entrepreneurs, protean corporations, consultants, local business networking, etc. Join a bunch of those, read the articles, follow the discussions and ask questions.  Determine which ones do not work for you, drop them and add some more.

Keep in mind, very little will just come to you. You will have to go out and find it. Become active in a few groups on LinkedIn so when you ask a question, you are not a stranger. People help people they know….so become known on your LinkedIn college alumni group(s) and other groups you find interesting or helpful.

Stick with it. As in fishing, you are going to bait several hooks, lose the bait a few times, get a few strikes that don’t take and sit there with your line dead in the water. You will need to change your location, time of day, bait, etc before you catch anything. Stick with it.

And if nothing works, seek help. There are coaches out there that might do you some good, but my best advice is to find two or three other entrepreneurs and form an accountability group. This will be a group that can give you advice, tell you what worked for them and hold your feet to the fire until you do what you said you would do.

I know. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You should have never had to face a lay off or an impossible job market or that cyber blackhole where resumes disappear. You should have a new job by now. Hiring managers should understand that you can do the job even if your experience is a couple of years old. Your “safe job” should have never moved overseas or fallen victim to crowdsourcing. No, and hard working families should have never faced the Dust Bowl, lived in cardboard shacks, tents and Model Ts and endured 10 years of a crushing financial depression followed by a horrifying world war. But they did….and you are. Now it is time to do something about it.

If you are considering doing a start-up, let me suggest a piece I did on why start-ups fail: Overcoming the “Field of Dreams” Approach.

Good luck and Godspeed.

 James Snider
Business Development Director
817 203 4944
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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. http://TFXNonStickUSA.com View all posts by jamessnider

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