Wow … is it late night on Wednesday already … almost let this slip by! I need to get that “set Gordon up to post his own stuff” project moved up the time triage list. Anyway, it is Wednesday (I just got done coding an “image map” for a client's site that had close to 150 clickable zones on it, so I was a bit disconnected), which means time to post up Gordon's latest's piece.
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Yes, it’s Gordon Dymowski again with another guest post for the Job Stalker.
Admittedly, this has been a really busy week so far - I’m adjusting to my new part time freelance position (bad news - it’s only a six month contract which ends in March; good news - it’s mostly evenings and weekends on a flexible schedule, and I work remote); have had some success with one consulting client, have successfully rescheduled a social media training for October 26th (which you’re all more than welcome to attend), and have received word on a possible new freelance client.
And part of me wonders if I haven’t stumbled out of the job search...and stumbled into becoming one of the most highly used French words: becoming an entrepreneur.
I have to admit, it’s not something that I considered, nor have I really thought of myself as one. Oh, sure, I may have used it in relation to myself in the past, but only because I thought the word translated into “unemployed”. But make no mistake - I may not be working a traditional 9 to 5 job (but who does?), but I’m still working.
In fact, now that I’m starting a part time/remote position, all of those time management tips I wrote about awhile ago? I’m using them more often and relying on them more frequently than ever. It’s often difficult to balance the needs of freelance clients (including gaining new income) with the challenge of maintaining regular job search activities (resumes, networking, etc). Now that I’m one of those “over 40 job seekers” that Brendan wrote about on Wednesday, this becomes even more critical - balancing my needs for income and work with the need to have a more “stable” life.
Of course, I’m sure many of my colleagues will be thinking to themselves, “Gordon, why don’t you start your own business? You’ve got the knack for it...” And of course, my mind then goes to an image of myself sitting back and somehow raking in money. Of thinking that for only an hour or two a day, I can work towards leading “the good life.” That if I only work hard now, I could take it easy later on. Much like the gentleman who put ads in newspapers, I could have pursued entrepreneurship as a way to a much happier, more secure life...
...and then I realize that, as a job seeker, I already am an entrepreneur. I’m taking an extensive risk in marketing my primary product: my professional experience. In networking, researching, and doing freelance work, I’m continuing to “build my brand”, as the marketers would say. (And for the record, using the word “brand” in this context makes me feel extremely uncomfortable). I’m taking continued risks for rewards that might come...the only difference is that, in being an entrepreneur, I’m taking a greater risk for some aspects myself (like, for example, purchasing health insurance) than I would with a formal employer.
Unfortunately, much conversation around job seeking (from my perspective) doesn’t reinforce this belief, which may often lead to early discouragement and disillusionment. We all know the person who seems to be an “open networker” during the search, but then closes off access when finally hired. As job seekers, we need to maintain that constant activity once we are hired - not just to stay employed, but ultimately, because staying an “entrepreneur” allows us to grow, maintain our professional skills, and prepare ourselves for the next professional challenge.
At this point, I’m not sure about starting my own business...but something tells me that I have alreadystarted. And maybe that’s the difference.
Please feel free to leave a comment in the space below - would love to hear from you. I’m also willing to connect via LinkedIn, and you can get links to my other online activity via gordondymowski.com
As always, thanks for reading!
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