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How to Find A Job in Any Economy

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.– Bruce Lee

Do you know that you are the CEO of your own destiny? Self-confidence and self-esteem are two biggest assets, and dependable mind-set is the biggest liability in your balance sheet.

The success or failure of your life depends less on the the prestige of your degree and more on how deft you are in making bold decisions.

America offers opportunities to all of us who believe in the free market system. Those who recognize that their skills are as good as what free market considers worthy are bound to earn lot more than those who have bias towards their own abilities without any regards to the free market system.

Today I met with a friend who owns his consulting company specialized in eCommerce and web development. We discussed about possibility to collaborate on social media marketing for my hotel app that I have launched recently.

My friend has left his well-paying IT job two years ago to launch his online consulting business. His business has flourished in this economy. His consulting firm now has several offshore development locations with over 50 IT professionals working on various projects. Needless to say, I was impressed with his self-confidence and plethora of business ideas to take his company to the next level.

While I was driving back home, I tuned into a weekend radio show. A caller called in to discuss unemployment and his frustration for lack of work.  I was empathetic for his situation until he voiced his opinion vociferously about why this nation owed him an opportunity.

Caller: I have been unemployed for over 18 months now, and I have lost hope to find a job.

Host:  I’m sorry to hear that.

Caller:  I am really mad at this President and his policies. I have a degree from a well-known university. And I have several years of experience in construction management. I am not going to accept a retail job.

Host:  Excuse me? Why can’t you work in any industry that gives you an opportunity?

Caller: I used to make lots of money. I can’t work for less.  Our free market system is not working.

Needless to say, I was stunned — in utter disbelief —  that this gentleman harbored a completely different philosophy about how free market system works.  The notion that America owes him a job just because he used to work for an industry that has seen worst years in history is an anecdotal evidence that he is clueless about who is responsible for his situation.

In the free market system, market decides the worth of your talent. It doesn’t matter how nice your diploma looks on the wall, or how much you made in the past. Free market system works on the simple principle of supply and demand.

You can be the best mind in a mediocre field with less commercial potential like history or sociology. You will not only make less than the mediocre person working in a hot career field like Medicine or IT, but you will also find it harder to find a job in a tough economy. 

Love what you do

It’s always good to do what you love, but it’s wise to love what you do. Most of us dream to have a job that we love, and — to an extent — it’s nice to have such a goal, but to find a job — especially in tough economy — it’s smarter to find a field that offers abundance of opportunities and room for your career growth to make a great deal of money.

I’d rather find a field that has huge demand for skilled workers so that, by working hard and excelling in that field, I can not only increase odds of finding a job, but also commending a six figure salary.

It’s more like an arranged marriage. Instead of falling in love first, you learn to fall in love with the work that offers job opportunities around the globe.

I am a Mechanical engineer. I loved manufacturing. For years — after completing master’s degree — I worked for fortune companies, and made decent six figure salary. But, manufacturing jobs were increasingly outsourced in mid 90’s, so I swiftly moved into IT. I am now making six figure in IT. I just read that a company in New Jersey can’t find skilled machinists as manufacturing sector is doing so well lately in America.

If I were that caller who complained and blamed everyone but himself for his misery, I’d have called that company tomorrow and offered to work at whatever salary just to learn to become a machinist. Or I’d have searched for the field that has enormous potential like Physician Assistant, and enrolled in the cheapest college to become one.

As an immigrant, I know that America offers the best hope to millions around the globe who dream to come to America just for the sake of an opportunity.

I’m ceaselessly amazed at those who have victimized their lives in the midst of plethora of opportunities to grab. Instead, they are finding all the reasons for not finding a job. Do you agree?


Opportunities multiply as they are seized. — Sun Tzu


(Photo courtesy: selfconfidencebuildingquotes)

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Comments (44)

You’re a wise man, Shilpan, and offer a perspective from which we natural born Americans can richly benefit, if we listen. I fear many natural born Americans take so much for granted and expect a great job and high pay almost as a birthright. A ‘reality check’ may be long overdue.

Thank you Kurt. I appreciate your kind words. I’ve lived through many challenges, and I know that if you can’t make a good living in America, your odds are much worst in a third world country.

Whew! If only everybody understood this! You get paid what you are worth and your pay is a reflection of the value you bring to the company.

Just like market prices, wages are determined by supply and demand.

If you want to make more money, learn to be the best you can be at what you do. If you can supply something better than anybody else there is high demand for that and you’ll get compensated accordingly.

Shilpan…the unfortunate part is many of us don’t want to work that hard and put in the effort it takes. We’d prefer to hold out our hands and have life handed to us.

I believe people that come to the US from a foreign country look at this place as a land of opportunity (which it is), whereas people born here expect to have/be given certain things while carrying around a sense of entitlement and feeling like we’re owed something (as the caller stated).

It’s sad.

Amen! great minds think alike Jason. Well said my friend. Our worth is based on the value we create for others. My father gave me advice that’s so dear to my heart ever since I started working as an engineer. He said, “Son, ask for one dollar when you create two dollar worth of value for your employer.”

Again, well said Shilpan.

I am also endlessly amazed at the parade of people who have had good, high paying jobs for years and yet seem to have nothing put aside for hard times.

nothing to see them thru the transitions

During the course of our working lives, some 50 or 60 years we should expect to hit rough patches along the way. we should expect to be fired, or just to want to walk away from bad situations.


Well said Jim. It’s wise to squirrel away 2-5% of your salary to “Life is full of surprises” fund to deal with the bumps on the journey along the way.

well, I’ve always targeted 50%. I guess I expected more bumps than you. :)

I wasn’t disappointed.

You are a wise man Jim. My other safety net is having my own business, so if I lose one stream of revenue, I know that I won’t have to worry about money.


Even better.

Great post, Shilpan. The caller in your example clearly didn’t get the full picture of the American free enterprise system. Unfortunately, his entitlement mentality is widespread among many native-born Americans.

In the U.S., the main message that we receive as children is to get an education, and then get a good job. While this was an acceptable attitude in the past, it just doesn’t work in today’s marketplace.

The idea behind getting an education is not to simply get a job, The idea is to make yourself as competitive through your training and skills. You have to know how to sell yourself and to keep upgrading your skills so that you can compete in a very demanding marketplace. Unfortunately, too many people remain at the same level, and refuse to grow.

Anthony, I always cherish your wisdom sir. I love this quote of yours, ” You have to know how to sell yourself and to keep upgrading your skills so that you can compete in a very demanding marketplace.” Thank you!

“It’s always good to do what you love, but it’s wise to love what you do.” That’s so smart. Lots of young people I know expect to have the job of their dreams and would not settle for “less.” I think some of them need a more realistic point of view.

Emma, thank you for the kind words. Ironically, I worked as a machinist in 1992 right after receiving my master’s degree in Mechanical engineering. In six months, I was the lead engineer. We have to accept whatever opportunity that comes along to pull ourselves out of the current of tough economic situation.

Nice write up. Loved the piece with the radio show. Which perfectly reminds me Mark Twain’s “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

Alik, Mark Twain is my favorite author. I love his wit and wisdom. Sadly, we don’t have another Mark Twain to bring sanity in today’s world. I wrote an article that may interest you about 3 topics that we avoid talking about.


Oh, man! I love that Mark Twain quote. This is the first time that I’ve ever heard it.

The free market helps us all coordinate with each other and helps to inform us where we should integrate ourselves in society. Prices largely begin with what people want, so if you’re making money and doing it through voluntary means, then you’re on the right track to helping people fulfill those desires. That is the great thing about beneficial competition.


Shilpan you say it so eloquently. Your posts are so thought provoking. I am still in deep thought and I do not have really anything to add. I see it all to often now that people think that the world owes them something. It is alot more of the younger generation that I am noticing it with. Unfortunately many professions a bachelors degree is a norm and I see kids coming out of college having false pretenses thinking they are going to jump into a 70k job a year. They dont get that then they are down and think that they dont have to work hard for the 30k they are getting because they have a bachelors. America didnt get built in a day…it took a long time to build and same goes with working..you have to start sometimes at the bottom before you can be rewarded with the fruits of our labor.

Amen! Christopher, there is an expectation syndrome in our culture these days. Free market system cares less about your bias towards your degree; it cares for those who wanted to create 2 cents worth of wealth for one cent worth of wages. Sky is the limit once you get that wisdom in your head.

Well written, as always, Mr. Shilpan.

The job market will always be in flux.. And you have to tune your skills to the market that is available. For example.. there is a reason that the IT market in America is flooded with people of Indian descent.. they have focused on training in modern technologies and tend to make sure that their skill-set matches what is in demand..

You’ve nicely summarized gist of the article Jefferson! Opportunities don’t wait for those who are ill prepared.

This is simultaneously insightful and saddening. Yes, there are so many opportunities that we take for granted. That’s why it is so important to recognize mental barriers. That’s also the reason why I have increasingly been emphasizing personal development in addition to personal finances. They go together, whether we acknowledge that fact or not. Interesting post. Thanks!!!!

I also believe that those who focus on personal development can also improve their finances because personal development and personal finances are two sides of the coin. Well said.

I completely agree with you. It reminds me of Robert Kiyosaki in Rich Dad Poor Dad advising people to work for skills, not money. Just because you can’t go back to a job with the same pay, you can acquire new skills and work your back up.

So true Katie. If you are unemployed, search for a field that is in demand. Get minimum qualifications and be willing for work for less initially to learn the ropes. You can’t go wrong with that strategy.

Anyone under 70 years of age in this country has never even sniffed what hard times are all about. This is the reason for the entitlement feeling in this country. You hit it right on the head Shilpan. Even if there is 20% unemployment that means 80% of the people are still working. There are always opportunities, you just have to want to find it.

That’s very positive thinking, SRT. I wish that everyone who is unemployed can view glass half-full. I believe with conviction that in America, there is no dearth of opportunities.

This is true. I experienced it first hand with my BF when he could not find a job for 1.5 years after he had graduated college. The false hope that we all received when we were young was instilled in us and I’m afraid people EXPECT to get a job in the field that were studying. I remember when I graduated with my B.S. in business, I thought okay cool.. I’ll get to work at a job I like right away, right? Wrong. I applied to many receptionist positions even though I knew I was much more qualified than that, and even after I had already worked for 3 years part-time as a file clerk/assistant at a law firm. We all have to start at the bottom somewhere, so if you can’t find a job in the industry you want, look for unpaid internships or opportunities in a different industry. You never know where it will take you.

I’ll be including this post in my weekly fave reads on Sunday :)

I’m glad that you are so matured at such a young age. We as human beings are no different than an enterprise or a business selling a service or product. We have to provide value to others in order to earn more.

Excellend post! I am always amazed to hear people talk about America owing them a job. I see this a lot with factory-type workers where the people expect to continue to make +$25 for doing a job that is now being done for far less in Mexico or somewhere global. Unfortunately for them supply and demand is alive and well in the jobs industry.

Well said MMD. There are too many who think that America owe them a job.

I always wondered, even before the recession, why people who got laid off from their jobs as engineers couldn’t just suck it up and become secretaries or store managers until something more up their alley came along. At least it would be putting food on the table, right? Entitlement and pride…smh…

Leave ego in your closet when you step out to get real work. :)

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