WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A CAREER?
It will come as no surprise to anyone that the world of work has changed over the past two decades. Gone are the days when it was usual to retire from a job 40 or more years after starting it. These days, by the time most of us reach our early forties (and sometimes sooner), we've had at least two career changes, maybe more.
Why Most Jobs Are Not Secure
Why the change in workplace culture? One major reason is economics. Most businesses operate on the premise of supply and demand. Whether they manufacture a product or offer a service, businesses won't make money without an audience of consumers ready to shell out hard cash for what they're selling.
But even a gaggle of buyers won't guarantee long-term success. Public tastes are notoriously fickle. So is the consumer's purse. What may seem like a good buy or a must-have product today can be relegated to the delete bin by tomorrow, often making an entire workforce obsolete in the process.
Social pressures also play a role in job stability. A flood of women in the workplace, an aging population that, whether by choice or necessity, continues to work, and young people with higher levels of education than ever before, all contribute to making the workplace more diverse, and also more crowded and competitive.
For many of us, starting a home-based business can mean the difference between working and not working, between having some control over our career path and being at the mercy of a volatile job market, and between having a job we enjoy and one that does little to fulfill us.
And while it may seem like a huge leap to go from being an employee to being self-employed, the rewards are well worth it, if you take the time to decide what you want to do, set some goals, come up with a business plan, learn about low-cost advertising and promotion, and follow municipal, state and federal regulations.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Let's start at the very beginning -- making the decision to go out on your own. Whether you have a clear vision of what you want to do or have no idea where to begin, you'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble later if you take the time to do some preliminary research. Start with asking yourself some basic questions.
Some experts recommend writing down your answers, making lists, or keeping a journal. Although it's a good exercise and fun to look back at as you progress, if you're like me, your mind is constantly mulling all these issues over. I do, however, recommend keeping a notebook close at hand to jot down ideas that can so easily be forgotten if they're not captured the moment they occur to you.
Bear in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. Every business, no matter how large or small, started with a vision and a dream. The more honest you are with yourself at the outset, the better chance you have of making your dream come to fruition without a lot of wasted time, energy and money.
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Related Information: Should You Turn Your Hobby Into a Business?
by Lex Thomas
FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).
FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.