Unemployment Into Self-Employment

Despite recent reports that the unemployment rate in the United States is gradulally becoming slightly lower, there are still millions of people looking for work. With only a limited number of job openings, there are still not enough professional opportunities for everyone to be hired by an employer.

What is a person who is looking for work supposed to do?

There are a few choices:

  1. Throw in the towel and stop looking for work altogether.

  2. Find a low-level job that pays minimum wage.

  3. Become self-employed, be your own boss, and take charge of your professional future.

There may be options other than the three listed above, but out of these three – – which sounds like the best? Hopefully you think number three is a good idea!

People who lost their jobs during the “Great Recession” are not lazy. They are not individuals who want to sit on their couches all day while collecting unemployment insurance! The people that are out of work as a result of the downturn in the United States’ economy are smart, educated and able-bodied workers that simply don’t have jobs anymore. Because the competition for open positions is so stiff, many unemployed workers will remain unemployed until they make the decision to become self-employed.

Challenges Can Make a Person Stronger

When any type of disaster strikes a family, a community, or an entire nation, it often causes the best individual qualities of the group members to surface. For example, when the horror of September 11th occurred many people risked their own lives to save the lives of complete strangers. Their adrenaline took over and they had an unyielding desire to help other people who were in desperate situations. On an ordinary day, the people who risked their lives to help total strangers would have gone about their usual lives without notice of the very strangers they helped on that fateful day. But when a disaster struck, they grasped the situation and did anything and everything they could to also help others survive.

While the September 11th example is extreme, it is an illustration of the amazing capabilities of humans during times of crisis. When a person loses a job, it can also create a devastating situation. Job loss does not usually create a life-threatening condition, but it can cause a short period of shock and a feeling of despair.

Once the initial distress associated with losing a job has been accepted, a person must make important decisions on how to proceed. With an “I’m going to turn this horrible situation into a great professional stepping stone” attitude, a person can easily go from unemployed to self-employed.

How to Start Your Own Business

It is not difficult to start your own business. You simply need to be good at something that other people will pay you to do, or you need to be able to sell products that other people want to buy. Next, you must register your business within the state in which you live. Finally, you must find customers. It’s that easy!

Ok, maybe it’s not quite that easy, but it is do-able if you have the right attitude. Besides a good attitude, you will also need organizational skills, start-up money (if applicable), and the determination to succeed.

Small Business Administration

The United States’ Small Business Administration is a government-run organization that is dedicated to helping Americans succeed in their small business ventures. The SBA “has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses” since 1953. The organization has many local and regional offices that are happy to help individuals who want to move from an unemployed status to a self-employed status. Their website contains contact information and several free resources.

Websites and Books

There are many internet sites and books dedicated to providing encouragement, tips and advice to people wanting to become self-employed. Following are some of the best:


Books available on Amazon.com:

  • How to Become Successfully Self-Employed by Brian R. Smith

  • How to Profit as Young Entrepreneurs: 10 Global Trends on How to Become Self Employed by Brent Goodleaf

  • How to Become Financially Successful by Owning Your Own Business by Albert J. Lowry

  • Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works by Melinda F. Emerson


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Written by Melanie Fischer, Career & Job Expert who has been writing professionally for over 10 years.