Your Next Gig will not be Your Last
You heard me right when I say your next gig or job will not be the last. It will likely be temporary; to assist you to get your bearings and get you back on your feet.
I have had this discussion with several individuals in the Career Pivot Online Community in the last several weeks. They are over 50, and sometimes over 60, have been unemployed for over 6 months, and are still looking for that ideal job. They are starting to show what I refer to as unemployment fatigue.
The stress of being unemployed at this time of life is starting to get to them. This shows up in speech patterns, weight gain, sleep problems, and other signs of stress. They need to go back to work to re-establish patterns and give them a sense of self-worth.
This is especially prevalent among individuals who come from industries that are in a downward spiral or being affected by creative destruction. I explain to them that their next gig or job will be suboptimal. They just need to go back to work.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review. Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms “physiological”, “safety”, “belonging and love”, “esteem”, “self-actualization”, and “self-transcendence” to describe the pattern through which human motivations generally move. The goal of Maslow’s Theory is to attain the sixth level or stage: self-actualization needs.
When you are unemployed without the financial assets that allow you to live without employment income, i.e. you are able to retire or you have enough FU money to do what you want, then you need a job to meet the bottom 2 levels of the pyramid. You need an income to feel secure, put food on the table and have a roof over your head.
If someone offers you a job in your area of expertise, you will take it. It may not be exactly what you want, but you will take it.
I know, I know, many of you will push back and say, “But what if the right job shows up a couple of weeks or months in the future? You will have blown it!”
You will take the job, but you will not stop your job search.
Hey, what about loyalty to your employer?
Will your employer be loyal to you? NOPE!
Why should you be loyal to them?
Next Gig Example #1
Larry is a project manager, over 65 and has been unemployed for 18 months. He has managed many large complex technology projects throughout his career. The major employers who he has worked for over the years have abandoned the city where he lives. There is little work for him and he needs to reinvent himself if he wants to continue to work.
Out of the blue, a contract project managers job was presented to him in a related industry but it was in manufacturing and not development. It was for half the money he made previously.
Should he take it? The answer he got from just about everyone was not just yes but H*LL YES!
Larry needed to go back to work. Get up every day, put on work clothes, and re-establish patterns. Going back to work is a great time to re-establish patterns in our life. Almost immediately, I saw changes in Larry that he did not see. He was clearer in his communications, walked with a little more life in his step and just appeared happier.
This was just his next gig and not the last gig.
He will be a much better candidate and hopefully land the job he wants after he has been on the job for a few months. This is an intermediate position and not the final position.
Next Gig Example #2
Sarah had been unemployed for 18 months and was reinventing herself as a business analyst by attaining a BA certificate from the local community college.
She was courting a variety of staffing agencies looking for a contract business analysis position and she got a call from one of the agencies that had a temp position for a spreadsheet jockey. The local hospital chain had been acquired and they were moving the entire accounting function to another city. A large consulting firm was brought in to manage the project and they need someone with good MS Excell skills to grind through data. It was a grunt job from Sarah’s perspective.
Sarah took the job with my encouragement. Like with Larry, she put on her work clothes every day, went to work, worked with smart people and started to rebuild her self-esteem.
This was just her next gig. It was 5 months before she was offered a full-time contract business analyst position with a large technology company. I do not believe she would have gotten the job if she had not been working at the “grunt spreadsheet jockey” job. Her attitude improved, she presented herself with confidence, her basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs were being met.
Your Next Gig Will not be the Last
Sometimes when you have been unemployed for an extended period of time, you need to take what is available to rebuild your self-confidence. This makes you a better candidate.
I know, I know you do not want to take a step back but sometimes you need to ‘suck it up’ and take what is available.
The key message is: do not stop looking as it is not your last gig!Marc Miller
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