It was welcome news that employers added 290,000 jobs to payrolls in April. Yet, at the same time, more than 800,000 out-of-work Americans jumped back into job search mode, which caused the unemployment rate to inch closer to 10 percent. That means even more competition for people like Randy.
This morning on ABC's Good Morning America I reported on the new trend of gigonomics, a term coined by Tina Brown to reflect the growing number of people taking on multiple jobs-known as gigs, to create the career that works for them.
And that's exactly what Randy is doing.
Sure, he'd prefer one steady, stable position working for one dynamic employer. Many people who find themselves out of work want the same. But after pounding the pavement and discovering that's just not happening, isn't it better to take small projects and short-term assignments as you can find them?
My segment featured a Spokane, Washington mom who juggles four gigs: she works for Senior Helpers as a caregiver, popping in four to six times a day at the home of a 91-year-old man, preparing meals, taking him to appointments and assuring he's ok; she spends three hours a day as an administrative assistant; she sells on eBay; and she assists with her husband's computer parts company. Her husband not only runs that online company in the evenings, but his days are filled selling women's shoe at a popular retailer, managing a pro gold shop, and performing handyman work for local residents.
While that pace may sound dizzying to outsider, to this family-and thousands like them-it's organized chaos. They're highly organized and disciplined and it works.
Start where Randy did: with a thorough skills assessment. Write down everything you know how to do, even if you've never been paid to do it. (For example, Randy has a temporary Census job now, which has no connection to his camera work, but it's something he's perfectly capable of doing.) Then plug in those words to the big job boards using phrases like short term, part time, freelance and project assignment. Let your network know that you're available for such work. It takes time and commitment to build, but if you can handle the crazy schedule, it often moves faster than finding fulltime work.
Given age bias and the limited number of staff jobs for cameramen, Randy has all but given his quest for one perfect job. He's settled-happily-on searching for that slew of small jobs. And for now, for him, the juggle works.