Looking for work? This strategy works every time

Strategies for Start Ups and Growing SMEs

Looking for work? This strategy works every time

JK Rowling quote

Unemployed? Struggling to prove you’ve got what it takes? This strategy is not for the faint hearted but if you’re serious about getting your career on track and seizing your next step towards your dream job then you can’t go wrong with this one…Start a micro business!

Sounds contrary to start a business in order to get a job, I know. But hear me out.

Running a business is not as difficult as you’d think. In fact, your business will only become as complicated as you make it. If you choose a simple, proven idea that you can set up on a shoestring budget, you can also keep the business pretty simple. So, anything that requires expensive Licences, years of training, or massive start up money is not on this list.

How on earth would starting a business get me a job?

Good question. For these many reasons….

It’s easier to find a job when you’re employed

For the same reason that we buy the products that everyone else is buying…it proves it’s worthy of being bought. Being engaged in current work tells a prospective Manager that you can work, and someone else was willing to give you work. The same applies to having a business with customers.

How can I get experience unless someone gives me some experience??!!

JK Rowling quoteI hear this one a lot and it’s a real contributor to many younger job seekers struggling to get desirable work. It’s always been this way in our modern world. Employers know the cost of time and money to have to train up a new employee who doesn’t have any experience. Many of those employers are even more reluctant after they’ve been through the mill of training up promising recruits only to have them leave them for a better job once they start to show a ‘return’ on the business’ investment in them.

There’s nothing stopping you from making your own work experience. Granted, there are certain jobs that legally or ethically require you to gain experience in a workplace – fair enough. But, if you know the basics, all you need to do is prove it. Starting a micro business that can use those skills is ideal for getting some runs on the board to be able to apply for employed work. For example, if you’ve just finished your Graphic Design course and no-one will hire you with no experience, why not look for a few clients to do some work for directly? This is cheap to set up and will give you some proven, live experience for your portfolio. Administration, no problem! Pick any simple business idea and practise those admin skills through the daily running of the business.

Showing initiative is still a skill of a top performer

There are many different kinds of workers, some look like they’re working hard, some do work very hard, and some go above and beyond to get results. These are usually the workers that show initiative; they see what needs to be done and get it done before they need to be asked to do it. They are usually the innovators in our businesses too so, as Managers, we love them! Having the initiative to start an enterprise rather than sitting around waiting for someone to eventually give you work is the ultimate display of initiative.

Skills, skills and more skills!

To run even a little business, you will use (or learn to use) a wide variety of skills including:

  • administration
  • coordination
  • communication (verbal and written)
  • planning
  • financial management
  • organisation and time management
  • sales

You don’t have to master any of these skills to start a business, but as a business owner you will naturally develop these skills as you go. Any of these skills are desirable for potential employers no matter what role you’re trying to win.

It’s not what you know but who you know

I hear this phrase thrown around as a negative concept all the time but the reality is that we like to work with people and organisations we KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. When running a micro business, you will need to get a little out of your comfort zone and talk to strangers in order to gain customers or get things done. This creates real connections with real people and will expand your circle of who you know. So, consider that even if you’re brilliant at what you do, it’s not worth much unless people know about you. This alone has seen many business owners drawn back into paid employment through ‘hard to refuse’ offers of work.

 

References please?

Engaging in any kind of work, even through a micro business, also gives others the opportunity to observe your quality of work. People who provide you with positive feedback should be noted and later asked if perhaps they might be willing to provide those comments to future clients (or employers). The better the relationship, the more willing they’ll be to do this. Try to always get something in writing where possible. A written document will long outlast the contact number and job changes from these people.

It’s the ultimate gap filler

If you’ve been out of work longer than 9 months then I know you’re probably feeling a little bit confused right now. Questioning why no one will pick you. Wondering if the length of time being unemployed is now becoming its own issue when you’re applying for work. The beauty of starting a micro business is it will put a band-aid over the time gap. Suddenly that 14 months out of work becomes a ‘Career break while planning a small business’. Getting a new business set up and running can take anything from a week to a year, so this time can be flexible on paper. Everybody is different and this can become a confidence boosting way to bridge the time if it’s concerning you.

Who knows…you may actually like it

Many people have an enterprising streak that never gets let loose. We worry too much about risks and steady income for bills and what people will think and we say ‘No, I don’t think it’s a good idea’. That’s just the fear talking.

If you’re unemployed, or simply like the idea of progressing your career through a micro business, then I promise you will find the time to make it work if you’re dedicated to the idea. You don’t have to be the next Gerry Harvey or Bill Gates, you just need to get it far enough to test your skills. But, you never know, you may actually love it and figure out a way to make it work well enough to cover your desired income…never to look at Seek again!

One thing’s for sure, you don’t need anyone’s permission to start your business. As long as it’s legal and ethical, you can do what you want, when you want, and charge a fair price for it…and keep 100% of the profits from it!


If you’re interested in knowing how to start a micro business, please contact us or sign up to our mailing list (below). We’ve nearly finished developing a free kit for getting started and we’d love to share it with you when it’s ready 🙂

Or, if you’re keen to get started now, give us a call and we’ll give you some free pointers.

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