“Mom, Help me Find a Job!
Moms believe their children can accomplish anything, it’s part of the mommy code of life. We’re about to celebrate and honour mothers…in less than two weeks.
It’s also the time of year when students are trying to find summer employment, and high school seniors are desperately ducking the question of “What are you doing in September?”
Moms may be even looking for more income opportunities as the cash flow crunch hits harder on many frost-bitten farms this year.
Finding a job, landing a workplace opportunity, is about “choice not chance.” That was the 2005 theme for the National 4-H Careers Conference held last month in Winnipeg.
Grab a pencil, and write down some of these tips for career development:
- Buy a copy of What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 Edition by Richard Bolles. This is the classic tool for helping you chart your path, and understand the basics of aligning the way you are wired to the work that will suit you! Many people have benefited from Bolles’ common sense approach to testing things out.
- Check out www.youthpath.ca. This is the website that the 4-Her’s learned more about. It’s a government site with lots of helpful information including financing and budgeting.
- Don’t give in to what Cheryl Richardson calls “Future Shock”. Knowing where you will be in September may be overwhelming. Work at your plan in small steps, and keep collecting information and talking to people. Moms suffer future shock when they fret about their children’s futures. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you will know the blessings of casting all your cares on Him!
- Make yourself business cards. Networking is the key to mining your contacts for new opportunities. Many jobs are filled by word of mouth, and being at the right place at the right time. This is what is known as the hidden market. Build up your optimism and resilience by making lots of connections, and remember to say thank-you to people for sharing their time and expertise with you!
- Ask clearly for what you need. If you need a certain wage, don’t beat around the bush about it. Remember also, the non-taxable benefits that you might have working for a farmer. You might get fuel for your vehicle, meals, a place to board your horse, beef for the freezer, and many other benefits. Dick Wittman has produced a great compensation worksheet for farm labour. Email Wittman at email@example.com and ask about his guidebook Building Effective Farm Management Systems. “If you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll simply have to take what you get,”says author Beverly Kaye (Love it don’t leave it…26 ways to get what you want at work.)
- Know what your definition of success is. Money doesn’t buy happiness, although someone also said “let me be the first to test that theory out!” You might view your summer job or work as a stepping stone for experience and experimentation. Seventy percent of adult learning happens by doing.
- Activate your thinking to possibility thinking. Give yourself an “A” and read the Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rozamund Stone Zander. You have a choice to control what you can control and apply for scholarships, leadership training, and volunteer in your community.
- Focus on what is truly important…finding meaningful work. Get rid of time-wasters that are distracting you from the most important task. Saskatchewan farmer Murray Friend said “Hard times make people re-think what they’re doing and find a better way.” Find some time and space to do some reflective thinking about your needs and desires.
- Bust away all the excuses. If you are feeling overwhelmed, start organizing with a binder, a pencil and small steps. Create a story board for your life, and map out your thoughts on paper.
- Confined to the country ? Copy success. Read about what other rural entrepreneurs are doing. Borrow books from inter-library loan. Attend a tele-conference or webinar on the internet. Contact www.farmcentre.com for webinar listings about farm management.
- Get smart with your finances. Are you frugal? Do you know what your money style is? Read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. Assess your real living costs, do some financial updating.
Moms tend to be the CEO’s of their family, the chief emotional officer. Everyone breaths a sigh of relief when that first great job offer becomes a reality. We all need to work at seeing job changes as an opportunity and not a threat. So join the 4-Her’s and learn to do by doing. Get to work on finding gainful employment that suits the way you are wired.
And remember to thank your Mom for always believing that you could do it !
Elaine Froese speaks to farm audiences about human resource issues.