Seeking Alternative Ways Of Making A Living In The Downturn How You Can Distinguish Between Worthwhile Openings And Worthless Offerings

Posted on August 22, 2010
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The existing global recession brings to mind the situation in the period 1980-85, when there were equally high levels of redundancies as at the current time. In the early 80s recession the UK experienced a marked downturn in our industrial base, so that a huge swathe of older industrial jobs departed or were in short supply. It is instructive to notice the parallels between the early 80s, and today, looking at the varieties of bogus vacancies that I saw on offer, and are popping up again now, many them being commission only sales jobs, that no one would have any interest in, if jobs were not so hard to find.

However, there are also differences between the early eighties and now, due to the existence of Internet business and a wide range of legitimate online jobs available at the current time, that did not exist a quarter of a century ago. While the possibility for people to work from home is not new, the Internet significantly increases the possibilities for setting up your own home office.

I do not doubt that there are lucrative jobs in sales and marketing, but it is crucial to distinguish good from bad jobs, and avoid jobs promoting a questionable product. In 1984 I attended an interview with an employer promoting a new commercial directory. I was supposed to visit companies getting them to buy an entry in this. I concluded that the directory itself had little chance of coming into being, and declined the position. In fact, the directory never saw the light of day.

In another example I applied for a vacancy marketing investment products, and was invited to attend an interview at a hotel. It is not unusual for companies to hire hotel rooms to conduct interviews. Unfortunately, when I got there, I discovered this outfit in fact used the hotel as an office. Before they agreed to hire me, I was expected to to sell five of their plans, to friends and relatives. To put it another way, they were not interested in me, but in my contacts. It goes without saying that I gave that one a miss.

In addition I did various so-called jobs trying to sell things at the door. A lot of people find door-to-door salesmen to be a pest, and I found it a deeply discouraging experience. People will think of a variety of disagreeable ways of informing you they do not buy at the door. Subsequently I had a job in telesales, which had the benefit that it enabled me to work from home, however this just as bad. People find it a lot easier to put the phone down on a salesman than to shut a door against them.

The door-to-door jobs are less common these days as a lot of neighbourhoods have been designated as ‘no cold calling’ zones, and most of the telephone selling jobs have been outsourced to India. Nevertheless, recently I went for a vacancy in market research, which I thought would be better as it did not involve sales. Unfortunately, I found that very few people were willing to take part in the survey, and some simply put down the phone right away. I gave that up after 24 hours.

So, with employment opportunities in critically short supply, are there any worthwhile alternatives? After I tried out a lot of dead-ends I then considered Internet business opportunities. You will find some advertised on various online jobs sites, but in addition there are websites specialising in the area of Internet business itself. Such jobs enable people to work from home, so there is no need to move to another part of the country. Many such jobs might involve a small investment, but I can speak from my own experience that online jobs are infinitely preferable to trying to sell something on the doorstep or phone. After entering this area a while ago, I haven’t personally looked back.

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