Words to the Wise

February 16, 2022

Repurposing the Resume: A Business Plan for Self-Sufficiency – February 16, 2022

“It’s nothing personal. It’s just a business decision.”

Whether you’ve been on the receiving end of words like those or only live in fear of them (as nearly half of all Americans reported in a nationwide poll conducted only a couple of years ago), they’re unsettling to say the least. The loss of a job may not be the end of the world, but it can make you feel like less of a person.

There’s also the very real concern over economic insecurity.

Hardly an irrational one, especially given recent reports that 61 percent of the U.S. population now lives paycheck-to-paycheck. The truth is, most all of us are in business for ourselves, even if we depend on others for a place of employment. But, as the pandemic showed, that dependance can be misplaced. Loyalty went largely unrewarded. Many of those who were let go are now reluctant to return to their previous roles. The shortfall continues to impact employers in nearly every sector.

The situation isn’t much better for those with annual household incomes of more than $100,000. Of that number, nearly 40 percent of high-wage earners say they live paycheck-to-paycheck. All of which is fueling a movement that’s been called “The Great Resignation,” a trend that has taught workers that no employer actually “gives” you money. Rather, salary is largely based on a calculation—a margin—that unsurprisingly falls in a much lesser or greater degree in favor of the ones doing the calculating.

So, by virtue of being fed-up with the system, more than four million Americans quit their jobs last summer alone, e.g., starting their own businesses, pursuing freelance or contract assignments, and “gig” work whenever and wherever they could get it. That changed the dynamic from the ground-up, and dovetails with the realization among many employees of not being beholden to any particular employer.

“It’s nothing personal boss, but I’ve made myself a better offer.”

Not bad work if you can get it, and here at Resume Professors, we believe most can get it if they try. It starts with putting the right plan in place—a plan that starts with repurposing the resume as a business plan—a personal statement of your distinct promise of value, competency, mission and vision, confidence, and earning power in one living, breathing document.

In essence, adopting the idea of becoming a “business of one,” earning and keeping the margin that previously went in the pockets of the employer. Even if you choose to rejoin a formal workplace, the mindset still applies, providing for easier recovery should the market go south or greater resilience should your priorities change.

“A 10 percent pay cut in exchange for a remote work option? A win-win on paper and in practice.”

Once you find out for yourself that you are actually working for yourself, the resume takes on another dimension in terms of defining who you are and what you do. Analysts say the job market should remain super-hot well into 2022, so this looks like a good year to go all-in.

Be proud of what you have made and make it your own.

Your self-sufficiency in 2022 and beyond depends on it.

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