It was July 2011. I was a little more than a year out of college and struggling to find full-time employment.
I had an English degree, but had a hard time finding a productive use for it. Yes, I was a freelance community reporter in my native New Jersey at the time. But, with schools out for the summer, and with the bulk of my reporting taking place in small towns, there wasn’t much to report.
I felt stuck. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I also knew that I wasn’t the only one in this situation. Many of my friends were recent college grads themselves and were having similar problems finding a meaningful career for a worthwhile salary.
With these lingering effects of the recession on my mind as I was driving one afternoon.
I thought, “If only there was a solution to solve this problem.”
Something clicked. It registered in my mind, all in that moment, that I had an English degree, excellent command of the written language, and had updated my own resume enough recently to have developed a solid format.
“I should be that solution!”
I had never thought of myself as an entrepreneur before that very moment – although, I admit in hindsight that my adventurous spirit and lack of desire for the status quo had suggested that it was always bubbling beneath the surface. Nonetheless, it was at this moment that I had my first ever business idea: I would provide resumes and cover letters to friends, family, and anyone else who would give it a shot. I would call this venture GTL Professional Services, before simplifying the name a bit, to GTL Career Services. (One guess as to where it went from there… 😊)
After a little while, I got really good at writing resumes, to the point where just about everyone I had helped wound up at least landing an interview for a job they desired. I’ve kept the skills fresh over the years and, even as I broke away from the original GTL Career Services to focus on building other endeavors – hello, LVU – anytime someone has asked me for a refresher on their resume, I’ve done it. It’s been a reliable source of supplemental income from time to time, and it feels great to help someone make an improvement in his or her life, at the end of the day.
All of this has happened because I first recognized a need, and then did something to address it.
I tell this story because you might feel as lost as I did in July 2011. You might have a versatile skillset, but just haven’t discovered a way to put it all together and use it to help yourself and those around you.
My suggestion? Look around. Take stock of who and what is around you. Find a need, and use your creativity, passions, and abilities to address it. You’ll learn much in the process – about yourself, others, business, and life itself – but rest assured that your drive and commitment to getting better will determine just how far you can take it.
Take a step back from your problems, see the world around you, and you may find that a new sense of purpose is right under your nose. Good luck!
P.S.: Resumes are still part of what we do. If someone you know needs theirs touched up – or just wants to start from scratch – we’re here for you. Reach out today!