Employment has always been a necessity for most of us to survive. In Milwaukee, over the past ten years our unemployment rate has dropped drastically. In 2009, our unemployment rate was over 12% while today we are at 2.8%, according to Fox6now. That’s just shy of a 10% difference.
This means that many people have now gained employment. More jobs have been created and more opportunities have presented themselves. More income opportunities reduces the level of crime and it’s safe to say, we are slowly but surely bridging the gap.
These numbers are indeed something to be excited about simply because it means that, as a community, we are moving. But as I think of the many families that are currently dealing with depression and the lack of finances I begin to wonder, “But are we happy? Do we work solely for the check or are we setting ourselves up for a greater future?” I invite you to ponder with me for a second.
By definition a job is a paid position of regular employment. This simply means that where we work is our job. I remember my first job. I worked in a fast food restaurant because that’s who hired me at 16. I didn’t feel I had many choices. I just knew I needed to get working. While in fact we do need money to survive, how do we choose a career? Or better yet, how do we know the difference?
A career, by definition, is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. This means there’s typically a greater goal in mind—a purpose. With a career it’s more than just about the money. A career is something you look at for your life from a long term perspective.
For instance, you may have dreams of becoming a loan officer. If you don’t have the experience necessary, you have to start somewhere. Now, of course you have the option to work a job in retail or maybe a local grocery store, but why not instead find something in the banking industry—even if it’s starting out as a teller?
When I decided that I wanted to become a local speaker, I began to look for opportunities to speak, host, and even write poetry. Since many of my skills are in communication and writing, I began to look for part time writing gigs that would accommodate my school schedule, yet put me in a place where I could exercise my voice.
Now, aside from writing, I currently work for an organization that helps people to achieve their goals as it relates to employment. To me, it’s the perfect job for my career path. When I go to work, I love it because I’m doing the exact thing that I desire to do.
I want to challenge you to create a plan for your life. Take them time to think about your goals. What’s your dream job? Do you currently possess the skills it takes to take your dream on full fledged? If not where can you start? Where are some places you would like to work? What role do you want to play? Do you need licensing, a degree, or certification? If so, what’s been holding you back?
You only have one life to live and you deserve to live abundantly. But patience is key. Know where you’re going and create a plan to get there. Write it down and execute. You deserve to be happy, on the job.