you will start somewhere

Della worked as a maid for ten years and knew every technique and trick to cleaning homes. She had a minimal education and had dropped out of school before graduation. She made a good hourly rate in her day job, but she just was not getting her income up where she could start saving for a down payment on a house.

One of Della’s friends did hotel maid cleaning and called Della one afternoon when another employee called in sick. Della filled in and made $50, which she stuffed into a jar to start saving. The word spread that Della could fill in when a call-out happened as long as she had an hour or two of notice.

Some weeks for Della were straight forty hours and then another twenty in under-the-table work. Her savings started to grow. But she was working too many hours and was getting close to exhaustion.

In Della’s neighborhood there lived several families with people who needed jobs but couldn’t find any because they had no experience. Over coffee one afternoon, Della’s lightbulb gleamed brightly, and she started digging through her junk mail box. Based on those flyers, letters, and brochures, she easily put together a four-hour course to train people to clean houses.

The first class was ten people who were just looking for another hourly job to make a few bucks. Della whipped up three handouts, two checklists, and three quick, five-minute videos on house cleaning. She even created a certificate of completion to give out when attendees completed the afternoon course. The price for the course? $25.

The following day Della’s phone rang off the hook when word about her course spread like wildfire. Could she put on a course Sunday night so they could go get jobs on Monday morning? It was Della’s day off, and at first she balked at working that day. The longer she thought about it, the more empathy she had for the people desperate to find jobs. At 6:30 p.m. that night, twenty-two people crowded into her garage, and every one of them walked out with a certificate at 11:00 p.m.

Then, an interesting incident happened.  One of the attendees had applied at a nationwide chain with a local franchisee. The manager called to Della to find out if Della could come in and do a training onsite, as he wanted to grow his own team of cleaners. Della nearly fainted, and the thought of the work overwhelmed her. Stunned disbelief.

It took a few minutes to negotiate a training price, and the following Friday, Della showed up and ran everyone through the training. Della emptied out her little glass jar,  opened up a credit union account, and got serious about saving for her house.

You can do this, too. Inside you is a talent and a skill you don’t give value to. You’ve done dirty and difficult tasks in the past and were thankful when they were completed.

Examine what you know how to do. Explore your knowledge, even if it is something that you don’t particularly enjoy. There is value in it, and you can get value out of it.

It might be difficult to think about making this change or adjustment. You have to try. You want to look back and tell yourself that you tried. It won’t matter to you any longer about what they think. It will only matter what you think and know.

You just want to make some money with what you know

Now you get to ask yourself a bunch of questions that only you can answer.

What skills do you have? What are you interested in doing for a job? What are my work ethics and values?  Can I mentally and emotionally cope with having a job?  You may need to find an employment counselor and confide your answers in order to get direction.

If you are a student with no work experience, you should be taking classes that will support the work you want to do. Choir, film studies, and ceramics will not support a entry level job in law enforcement. Oriental massage,  agriculture, and food service courses will not support an entry level job into accounting. You must tackle those courses and classes that”fit” into your self-assessment.

If you spent every summer laying sod, trimming trees and bushes, and mowing lawns, that is where your experience is. You can make a good career out of professional landscaping, as long as you don’t mind working through all four seasons.

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