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    Posted October 6, 2012 by
    Murdock, Minnesota
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The new American job: Part time?

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    Making your own way


    Oct. 6, 2012
    By Jannet Walsh
    Murdock Minnesota




    Making your own way is the only way in a challenging economy.


    Earlier this year I started by own photography and media business, Jannet Walsh Media, taking on freelance work, such as photography, video and writing as it comes my way. Creating my own job was a natural progression after hearing I was over qualified and under qualified.


    When there are few jobs in a challenging and rural economy, living in Murdock with a population of Murdock is 278, and the nearest big city of Minneapolis is almost a three hour car ride away, creating a job was in order. My freelance work can continue if I find full-time employment, with no lost efforts. If my future employer does not allow freelancing, I’d be happy to adjust, as I would be fully employed.


    Last week I started to explore ways to monetize my blog, http://jannetwalsh.com, with advertisements on the sidebar and at the end of blog posts. It’s a new venture for me, and will have to see if profits develop.


    Although the nation’s unemployment rates recently dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, the lowest in three years, the unemployment rate is not clear. It could be said the unemployment picture is using the out of focus filter to deliver the unemployment facts. A major reason for the drop in unemployment rate can include people searching for work have just given up looking for work, lowering the unemployment rate, shrinking the number of people in the workforce.


    My work plan
    For myself, I think learning, networking and self improvement are all very important for displaced workers, like myself, trying to discover a new way to earn a living, while adjusting to the current job market or the lack of jobs in the market.


    Adjust thinking for survival
    The old career path is dead, so get over it.  The thinking you will have a job or career for life, like my father worked for a railroad company his entire career, only the name of the company changed. Contract workers or independent worker, such as freelancers, are more common in today’s work place. The term Protean Career, coined by Douglas Hall, is the idea of multiple flows of incomes or even several jobs, preparing for market changes, learning and training for future job markets and making changes rapidly to keep money flowing into your bank account, might define a more realistic career landscape needed for survivial.


    Learning never stops. Here are a few things I have done in 2012 to keep my skills current:


    *Completed Certified Life and Career Coach training
    I hope to use this training in future job opportunities, such as writing, and everyday life and work.

    *Participated in Poynter.org online learning
    Social media is here to stay, and it’s always good to learn new tips and tricks.

    *Brushing up on web design at http://www.lynda.com
    Online training can be done at home or anywhere. This will shows future employers my skills are current, and most importantly, I’m motivated to learn what is needed to get the job done.


    I have joined the local chamber of commerce in Benson, Minn. and Willmar, Minn., to learn more about fellow business owners and make connections. I joined the chamber in Willmar before I even started a business as it was a great way to network.


    Self Improvement
    Besides learning new technology, trying to stay connected with family and friends, exercising and eating a healthy diet are all important ways to keep my personal fuel tank on full in order to keep going when the world is not turning in my favor.  I’ve had multiple job rejections and more setback than I care to recall, all in one day. Having a routine keeps me going during the roughest days, or at least easier to recover.


    Trying to structure each day, meaning having a plan for learning, networking and self improvement is not only necessary, but required for survival.


    About Jannet Walsh
    Jannet Walsh, an iReporter since 2010.  She loves to test the latest iPhone apps, blog about her Irish roots and watch the local farm crops grow in Minnesota.


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