Yesterday I posted some out-of-the-mainstream ideas for turning around Spain. Today I’ve got some advice for what to do when you are young and unemployed. This is not a issue exclusive to Spain, though Greece and Spain both have over half of their 25 year olds and under unemployed; a calamitous effect on both the young people involved, their families, and their country. It’s not their fault; our generation have failed them. So what to do? When I was 16 I was expelled from school, with no job, and no prospects to speak of. So I have some personal identification with the struggles of the young and out of work. Here’s what I would be doing.
- Be prepared for opportunity when it does come around. Don’t waste this time idling about; become obsessive about mastering skills: the art of negotiation, a new language, cooking, outdoor survival, lateral thinking. The internet is your free friend so use it.
- Polish your elevator pitch, study and practice verbal communication and body language techniques, have a good looking resumé, offer surprising skills and a 100% can-do attitude. Be a radical optimist.
- Be physically fit. Train and work out. Keep up appearances. It helps you stay positive and keeps you sharp and presentable.
- Be inventive, have ideas, learn about ideas and creativity and how to apply them in business.
- Emigrate. You have to think about this possibility. At some point you need to go where the work is. I moved to Geneva, Casablanca and Nicosia and have been on the go around the world ever since.
- Stay optimistic, the world moves in cycles. Iceland’s recovery is an object lesson in how countries can come back from the abyss (radical honesty is a good starter in this regard). Reportedly, Greece is sitting on trillions of dollars of oil, gas and gold deposits in, under, and around Greece – and though this may not save them from short term austerity, it is an object lesson is being prepared and staying open to possibility and opportunity.
- Remember that a lot of entrepreneurs start with an idea and created a business when they were unemployed.
- Fail fast; Learn fast; Fix fast.