My Next Job

Creating a Job Where None Exist

Every morning, the news shows come forth with more information regarding the job market. The words "unemployed" and "jobs created" move the stock market higher or lower and th e attitude of the viewers change accordingly. Depending on where you are in the story makes a big difference in how you are listening for the information as well. I see four groups receiving the information - those who have a job, those who want a job, those who create jobs and those who live off all the others. Let's break all these down a bit further.

Those who currently have a job. In this group there are those who have their dream job; they do what they like doing and are compensated adequately that they would never think of leaving and "hope" it never leaves them (Porpoise). Then there are those who have a job, they feel they aren't quite at the level they should be and are working to move up the ladder either in that company (bluefish); or another group - by changing companies (mullet). We can't forget those who are complacent, see their job as what they have to do, keep their head down and hope they get to stay there until they retire without making a "splash." (coral) There are also those job holders that are nearing the end of their employment - either planned or not - and face the challenges of change just down the road (carp). Then there are those who want to completely get away from what they are doing and do something completely different - while they can. (walking catfish) There are always those who slash through the ranks, are entitled or feel as though they are and tear away at all the structure to get their own goals achieved regardless of others. (sharks). The first time I wrote this I left out the most obvious, the suckers.

If you are currently employed, identifying yourself as one of the above or some hybrid between two or three of them is the first step in considering where your next move is to either create or improve your future. If you are not currently employed but considering what to do - try to honestly evaluate yourself as to where you were among those when you were employed.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you to decide what field of endeavor you should consider for creating your own future. If you were a porpoise, for example, and the rug was pulled out from under you - regardless of the circumstance - how will you ever get back into that position? Let's explore that thought.

As a porpoise, you loved your job and what you did. Money wasn't an issue with you or your company. You were compensated enough that you didn't think of asking for more - and your company felt like you were worth the value they were paying you so they liked having your there. The perfect balance of employee contribution and return on investment for the company - regardless of the size of the company. The reason behind this job loss may fall into a number of categories such as the loss of a major contract, major change in the economy, an environmental event (act of God), or in the case of family owned and other small businesses aw well as major corporations, change at the top. You may note that in these situations, even the porpoise has no effect on the change - it just happens and the whole world changes around them. It is how the porpoise responds to that change that determines the final outcome.

A porpoise can be an executive with a large corporation who's job title designates their area of responsibility and also limits their exposure to other areas of the company. They could also be someone in a small company that wears many hats but totally enjoys being involved in every aspect of building or growing a business along with customer - and vendor - interaction. It is the fact that they have found Nirvana for themselves - at least for a while - that makes them a porpoise. How did they find it or did it find them? It happens both ways of course. Now, how will they find it again?

Evaluating everything about the prior situation in a non-emotional way is the first step. Why did the job go away? It is hard to complain that the building shouldn't have been built on the edge of the ocean with that perfect Eastern view of sunrises for the morning coffee - just before the tsunami wiped everything out, but maybe that can be part of the discussion. In other words, the company didn't fail due to competition or bad business practices; it failed because of an act of nature wiped it away.

This situation should be the easiest to reconstruct. The need for the job performed didn't go away, presumably, because the office did. So now solid research into how the job was constructed in the first place must be performed. Are the customers - internally or externally - still there? Where will they need to go for fulfillment due to this change? How possible is it to create a temporary connection to the customers providing the previously offered skill set while digging into finding an answer long term? How many people were involved and can you enlist any of them to work on the same endeavor to create the new organization. Are there legal aspects including non-disclosure and non-competes that may hamper your development? If so, is the old company in any position to either enforce these or possibly release you from them? Who is going to lead the team to get this done? What is the vision of the finished organization? How is it going to be funded? Are there resources available to bring forward to the benefit of the customers and the newly formed group? Where can you find the other expertise needed to answer questions from suppliers, bankers, investors, other workers and customers?

No one likes to answer all these questions. Few like to write them down and fewer still like to try to find the information to punch into the calculations that make the final opportunity financially viable. The answer is, of course, a business plan. Who in the world, with or without an M.B.A., can truly figure out what I need in a business plan? Honestly, it isn't that hard. Let's explore that a little too.

In a business plan, the porpoise can work either from the top or from the bottom line to figure out what they need to know. Simple as this:

Table from basement                no charge
Glass Pitcher from kitchen         no charge
Cooler with ice cubes from freezer no charge
25 lemons from store               $10.00
5 pounds sugar from store          $ 3.00
50 paper cups                      $ 3.00
poster board from store            $ 1.00
chair from basement                no charge
Permission (business license)      no charge
Total Outlay                       $17.00
Sales (50 cups of lemonade @ $1.00)$50.00
Gross profit                       $33.00
Taxes                              $16.50
Net Profit                         $16.50

So here we have put together the assets needed to run this business. The table, chair, and cooler are our fixed assets. Our legal requirements - permits, licenses - are covered. Our employee is ourself. Our purchased goods from vendors - lemons, sugar, cups all are in the cost of goods sold. Our advertising is on the poster board. And of course our government get's its share - taxes are paid. Working through the most complicated business plan in the world is no different. If you found that the lemons were going to be $30 instead of $10, the net may only be $6.50 and the decision to go or not go may be completely different.

So when the porpoise sets down with two of his closest associates from the old business and they decide they are going to look into reorganizing or creating their own opportunity knowing what they know - this is the path they would be taking. We will explore this path on the next hub. Until then,

The Inventurist


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