Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Create Your Own Job

I did a brave thing. I walked into a bakery, ordered an oatmeal raisin scone, and then asked about job opportunities that are listed on the bakery's website. When the cashier said he'd ask the manager, I put a crisp dollar in his tip jar. I waited patiently, browsing the café to see if I felt a connection to the place.

A few minutes later I believe it was the manager who looked around the corner to see who was interested in a baking job. I hoped I looked professional enough—more professional and responsible than their ordinary applicants. Surely I'd capture his attention and he'd be eager to discuss my interest in the position.

Or not. When the cashier returned he told me to fill out an application, online.


I decided in that moment that I'm not going to be at the mercy of a manager. I walked out knowing that I wasn't going to fill out an application and thinking, "I'll create my own job." I ate the scone, only to be provoked that my job inquiry cost me more calories than I want to know.

This brings me to the question: "Is it possible to create your own job in retirement?"

Answer: "Yes, if you can capture the essence of what you want in a job." This is where you have to get really clear about why you want a job.

My interest in baking isn't because I love getting up at 4:30 a.m. and working with people half my age who really want to be actors instead of bakers.  I want to bake because I love being part of a team, working in a creative environment, and having a place to go—on my schedule. Once I got clear about what I wanted in a job, I looked for other ways to create this environment.

I noticed that the café at my church sells donuts on Sunday mornings. The donuts are beautifully displayed in a pedestal cake stand but I've never seen anyone order a donut. What if I offered to bake nutritious cookies and bars to sell in the café? What if I asked if there are a few other people who are interested in joining me one or two mornings a week to bake?

Now I'm getting to the essence of why I'm interested in working in a bakery—and I don't have to get a manager to believe I'm the most qualified applicant for the position. Nor am I insulted by earning minimum wage. Instead I'm working for the love of it, something money can never buy.

If you're looking for the perfect job in retirement, this exercise will help you get to the essence of your job search.

Write in detail about the type of work that interests you. Be very specific. Describe the environment, what you're wearing, who you're working with, how you feel in the position, and who you get to be in this role.

Once you know what you want, brainstorm possible ways to capture the essence of this job. Be creative. Ask friends for ideas. Then act. Life rewards action. Even the slightest act, such as sending an email, will put the idea into motion. Then go shopping for the clothes you'll need for this new job!

Copyright 2016 Patrice Jenkins All Rights Reserved.

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