You just don’t understand

For a while now, several self-employed friends of mine have been struggling to secure enough work to make a living. Since that “while” began, I have passionately campaigned that they need their own websites, their own blogs and a thorough understanding of who their audiences are and what they want to buy (as opposed to just selling what they think people need). I have been blunt in delivering the view that these friends are talented, intelligent people who should be blogging to deliver visible evidence that they have unique knowledge.

As these friends become more lost and isolated, with mounting debts it becomes more frustrating on both sides. For me, because I wish they would focus and stop getting distracted and for them, because I am someone in employment who couldn’t possibly understand what they’re going through.

I believe that digital planning can save virtually any business. I was chatting to Chris and Fraser yesterday (CTO & lead dev @Blonde) that the thing about the Internet… the World Wide Web NOW is that you can JUST DO IT. At the age of 32, I grew up waiting for permission to do things and Web 2./3./? is about getting on with it, getting the fuck out there, making mistakes (some public) and just trying stuff.

Since I have still yet to activate my interest in jewellery (as the Etsy empire grows) – I admit I’m a hypocrite. With my job as a digital media planner, it is this easy to pontificate on what businesses should be doing. But actually…. blogging and Tweeting aren’t natural behaviours to me; I didn’t grow up with computers; I got my first mobile phone at 21…. maybe? It took four attempts at Twitter to get into a comfortable place and by that time there were hundreds of RachelLanes there… I’m not any different to any of those “old” people who believe that life is about face-to-face communication and real world communication.

I understand it must be difficult to get work, but just because I have a job doesn’t make me the enemy. It was tough after graduation, I worked for peanuts, went through a number of very unhappy roles before landing as planner and discovering a role that I love. Some of it was luck, some of it was risk, some of it was perseverance.

I am sorry that times are tough, but I do not believe it’s impossible to find work. If you’re smart, opportunistic and happy to apply initiative, you will move forward, because in spite of the masses looking for work….. there just aren’t that many smart and opportunistic people. There aren’t that many people who work really hard. What looks like competition in a harsh economic climate, might not be that significant. The hardest point is staying focused and maintaining self-belief when the media positions us as powerless.