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Single, unemployed and broke


Hello, my name is Daniel.

I am 28 years old, single, unemployed and broke. I have lots of business ideas, but no capital. So my question is this; what can a young man like me do to have financial freedom and peace of mind?


Dear Daniel,


Thank you for your letter.

I understand how difficult things must be for you, but while we might not be able to control being unemployed, we must make every effort to control how we react to it. Here are some ideas to keep you busy, focused and productive:

Keep a schedule
When you are unemployed, it is so easy to sit idly, and do nothing. Start your day early, and be deliberate about planning each day; it will give you a sense of purpose and help you stay productive and focused.

Perfect your CV
There is nothing more exasperating for a prospective employer than reading a CV full of grammatical and typographical errors. Update your CV and proofread it carefully; there are many good online samples and tips to guide you. Be honest, and do not pretend to be what you are not.

Stay connected
This is not the time to withdraw. Your network including your immediate family, relatives, friends, former employers, and business contacts matter now more than ever. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job.

Improve your skills
Enrolling in a class is a good way to keep yourself “sharp” while you continue your job search. Are there some important skills that you need in order to improve your prospects? Do you have the skills to get to where you want to be? Equip yourself with skill sets for your next job. Remember the training must be relevant.

What are you doing about your ideas?
You say you have lots of business ideas. What have you done with them? Narrow them down. Do your research; you need a business plan to be able to determine if an idea has any prospects at all. We all have some special talent or skill that we are very good at. What are yours? Are you leveraging on them? Can you turn them into opportunities?

Look after yourself
It is easy to fall into depression and desperation when you feel there is no hope and the future looks bleak. Exercise can help you stay positive, motivated and determined; this makes you far more attractive to employers. Make the most of this time to improve your health and fitness and stay focused and ready for the next opportunity.

Because you are broke, it may seem absurd to suggest that you volunteer; but this is an excellent way to use this extra time. Volunteering gives you a chance to learn new skills, expand your network, gain experience and prove yourself. If you are good at your job, you may be offered a more permanent role.

Be prepared
It is embarrassing to attend an interview without knowing anything about the company you are invited to. Do your research. Look for problems to solve. What value can you add? Prepare questions that you wish to ask. There are literally thousands of people looking for work. What makes you unique?


Remain positive

Yes – you have already sent your CV to dozens of companies and interviewed with a few, some may not even acknowledge your CV; it’s nothing personal. Dust off the disappointments quickly and focus on the next opportunity. If you are down and dejected, it shows and can make you unattractive. You need to be upbeat, enthusiastic and positive.

Be flexible
Don’t be too fixated on getting your dream job. Be prepared to accept a role that may not necessarily meet your expectations when you consider your qualifications, or your experience. Part time, contract and temporary work are all great ways of getting you into the industries or areas you want to be in as well as giving you much needed income.

Don’t give up
While unemployment is one of the most challenging of life events, it gives you time to improve yourself as you prepare for the next opportunity. Give it your best shot. You have a choice; to wallow in self-pity over the predicament you find yourself in, or to stay focused on the goal and to continue to be the best that you can be.

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