By Lauren Harrison
When my youngest graduated high school I knew I would have more time on my hands. No more laundry for five, home cooked meals for all the kids, carpools, parent teacher meetings, soccer games, piano lessons, surfing lessons, and you know the rest. At first I was unsure as to what I was going to do with all of that free time. I am not one who likes to sit and watch TV or do housework. I prefer being active whether it’s playing tennis or exploring the world. So why not use my free time to make money doing something I love?
The first thing I started to do was to think about all the things that I am passionate about and enjoy doing. I am a very creative person and knew that I could be fulfilled by teaching Sunday School as I had done in the past. I heard that one of the Synagogues was looking for a Hebrew teacher. I didn’t waste any time, called immediately, had the interview, and landed the position. One of the things we tell our clients at the JCS Career Center is that when you see a job posted you should apply immediately. The job opportunities don’t stay around long, and you want your response to be one of the first so that you have the greatest chance of getting an interview.
Here’s another example of making money by doing something I love. Some time ago when I was living in Israel I found myself in a similar predicament with having extra time. I did not work the first year as I was getting my kids settled in the new country. I had some extra time while they were in school and while all my friends were meeting at coffee shops, exercising and shopping at the malls I had to find something that would feed my soul and satisfy my creativity. I decided to explore the country by driving my van to all the little moshavim and towns in the country. I was delighted to discover the uniqueness of my new home — restaurants in orange groves, stores located in private homes, artists with incredible talents and much more. Through exploration, I was able to take a phenomenal idea and create a business. People paid me to take them on customized day trips around Israel. Again, I was able to turn my free time into money.
I always emphasize to JCS clients who are seeking work to think about their passions and search for a career that includes or is connected to them. It’s helpful to make a list of the things you enjoy. For me, it’s exploring new places, caring for people, playing tennis, teaching, and fashion. When searching for part time work I always try and keep those things in mind. I have thought of taking job as a tennis instructor or an image consultant to fill some of the extra time I currently have.
You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and think out of the box. It’s not always easy to find work, but there’s no reason you can’t look for something you would enjoy. Here at the Career Center, I encourage the clients to keep pushing forward and never give up. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, I suggest volunteering while you wait. There are plenty of opportunities out there so continue to search until you find the right fit.
By Lauren Harrison, Account Representative, JCS Career Center
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.