In 2018, standing in a line at Centrelink applying for Jobseeker freaked me out. Recently, the thought of the end of Jobkeeper coming to end freaked me out. Hell, even employment freaks me out some days.
Why? I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt!
When you’re over 50 or you're a carer and looking for a job, the hoops you need to jump through are many. I’ve not done Job Keeper but that’s because it wasn’t invented back then.
In mid-2020 I finally managed to remove my backside from the clutches of Centrelink and Job Active.
Don’t get me wrong, Centrelink and my Disability Employment provider were great. They were there for me when I needed them.
The idea of a return to work after a break is enticing and kinda fun when you think about it. It’s the stuff you’ve got to do if you’re over 50 and haven’t been able to work for a variety of reasons that’s tough.
Job seeking over 50 brings with it a sense of shame, failure and seemingly endless head trash… It kidnaps hope and joy and holds them hostage like a silent assassin that only you can hear.
In my situation, I was also a carer and was unable to work due to a series of significant life events that shook me to my core. Somewhere between 2015 — 2018 I pretty much lost my nerve, my fun, my joy and what felt like — my mind.
By the time I stopped working, I was over 50 (I was 52 but who's counting?)
It's hard to imagine this happening when you’ve put all of your intellectual, emotional, and physical energy into a career — and then nothing to show for it at the end of the day. You're left with a former title and a few keepsakes like those packets of expired Coolmints you pilfered from all those pointless staff meetings.
When you're living off a very low wage or Centrelink benefits, you don't own your lifestyle — it's like you’re renting it. Throw in a pandemic and we’re talking about powerlessness as well. Powerlessness and pandemics suck. You didn’t cause it. You can’t control it. And you definitely can’t cure it.
So what can you do about this, at times, hopeless situation?
If a J.O.B. is off the table, you could try the other option: Plan B — start your own business.
Except here, a “business” doesn't just refer to a transient and highly dependent (read: needy) means of generating revenue like driving an Uber. It refers to a business that, if left to its own devices, can run itself. It won’t happen overnight but one day your business can run without you even being there.
This isn't a novel concept.
It's something that's often discussed around dinner tables the world over. What isn't often discussed, however, is why this idea is so incredibly important. The mental, physical and spiritual benefits of creating something for yourself. Side note: I’m not going all woo-woo on you by mentioning spiritual… I mean your spirit, the you that’s dying to do something meaningful.
Starting your own business can mean lots of things to lots of people.
Here are just a few:
- You can create your own freedom.
- You'd like a life where you’re doing things you like.
- You no longer have to live by someone else's deadlines or rules.
- Your friends and family will be proud of you.
- Your self-esteem will go through the roof. (promise)
- Your income is no longer related to the number of hours you work — your income is now related to putting effort into something you love and you create.
At Online Business Lift-off our speciality is helping carers and people who are unable to work in a traditional job, start a business.
We can take you from idea (or even no idea) to creating your online business from home and attracting your first prospects. We do this through coaching, training, 1-on-1 support, teaching everything from writing to marketing and creating a website. We do this alongside our community of like-minded people who are all creating their entrepreneurial dreams come true.
Back to Job Seeker and Carers for a moment… did you know that there are resources available to you to get training and support?
If you’re a Job Seeker — talk to your Job Active provider and send them here. When you’ve been on Job Seeker for a long time (6 — 12+ months) there’s support to get retrained. Not everyone tells you about it, you might have to ask. Support is definitely there. I should know, I received it and it changed my life.
If you’re a Carer — talk to Carers Gateway and ask them about training and creating something that fits in with your requirements and your own ideas and needs. They’re there to help and they want to be of service to you.
Think of it this way, the business you start and own is an asset — your asset.
You'll need help. Help is what makes the world go 'round.
Help is crucial. So is Meaning (with a capital “m”).
You've got to be meticulous when it comes to your business decisions. Which are the ones that will propel you forward? And which are the ones that will hold you back?
We’d love to help in any way we can.
One of the biggest mental shifts that we see (apart from the entire community overcoming tech phobia!) in our community of rockstars is that people stop thinking about how to make money, and they all start thinking about how to make MEANING.
We all want to do something we love. But successful businesses aren't about us… They're about what we can do for other people. What meaning can you bring to their lives?
We teach that too!
Creating a business for yourself means you’re making a life — one where you can have your cake and eat it too, you can sing and dance in the rain, and you can stop to smell the roses anytime you like.
Those precious moments are no longer metaphors.
…They're how you live each day.