51 Alternatives to a Real Job: The Book

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A few years ago I met some professionals who were frustrated in their job search but had the skills that could command hundreds or thousands of dollars.  They were wallowing in a tough job search while they could have been consulting or using their skills and making much more per hour than an employer would have paid them.

It was then that the idea for this book was born.

This book helps you fight discrimination.  It helps you leave a horrible job search.  It helps you gain control of your income.

ps_book_51alternativesThis book is all about Career Management 3.0.  A recruiter told me that soon we will all be contractors.  The days of Full Time Employee will end.  Dan Pink and other career futurists have predicted this for years.  This is where Me, Inc. becomes your reality instead of just some cute jargon.

What does all this mean for YOU?  How can you prepare and position yourself?

More immediate, what can you do so that one person or one committee cannot take away 100% of your income ever again?

This book shares 51 alternatives to a real, traditional job.

“Some of you will never have a traditional job again.”  

I actually said those words during a presentation to unemployed professionals a few years ago.

We were talking about age discrimination.  It is ugly but it’s all over the place.  Recruiters do it, HR does it, hiring managers do it, business owners do it.

I believe there are all kinds of discrimination… age, weight, race, religion… we discriminate based on how many teeth the person has, how they laugh, how much hair they have, are their clothes wrinkled, do they stink.

YOU and I do it.

The saddest part is that each person will discriminate differently, so there is no formula for getting around it.  Sometimes you simply can’t win.

I worked for a guy who hated (which means he discriminated against) MBAs.  He had a good reason to discriminate but the bottom line was he made decisions based on whether you had an MBA or not.  This man, who owned a company that did over a hundred million dollars a year in revenue, said “MBA stands for More Bad Answers.”

So what?  If you aren’t going to get hired, what can you do?

I’ll tell you what I did.  In 2006, after I got laid off and went through a depressing, pathetic and fruitless job search, I started my own business.  I took control. I didn’t want to wait for the part time, temp HR person earning close to minimum wage screen through resumes and pass mine through. I didn’t want the overburdened recruiter who wasn’t really my friend or advocate to pay me lip service but not help me at all to be an important part of my job search.

I wanted to gain control over my own income.

I started JibberJobber.com.  I then wrote my first book (never planned to do that) and was sucked into the professional speaking world (never planned to do that).  That was the first step to creating informational products (never planned to have those).  I’ve since had other revenue streams including consulting, writing, and other ways to make money that I never thought I would do.

This journey has been empowering.  I have gotten job offers since I started JibberJobber, and if the right one comes along I will take it. So far nothing right has come along.

I have become empowered.

I do not fear that a committee will meet and decide whether I should be laid off or not.

I am empowered.

That is what this book is about.

It is not about my income streams, although you’ll see some of my story in the book.

I found other people who are making money and help tell their story.  They share tips, ideas and warnings.

This book is about INSPIRING you to think “I can become financially empowered.”

I don’t care if you are making $250,000 or $25,000 or you’ve never made $25,000 in your life.  If you want to gain control over your own career, your own income, your own future, you have to think about multiple income streams.

Even if you decide to have a job, recognize that can be one of many income streams.

This book is about that.  It’s about providing you hope, inspiration, examples, and a lot of actionable tips.

Here is the introduction:

This book took me a couple of years to write.  The book itself should have been a two-week project but I sat on it for a long time.  I did not feel right about certain things and when I decided to add quotes from people who are making money with these Alternatives it became a much bigger project.  As I have come back to the manuscript time and again I tweaked the concept and I feel this is much closer to what I wanted to put in your hands.I know some of these Alternatives are not things you would actually ever do.  Some of them are too dirty, too hard, too simple, will take too long before you see a return, won’t provide the income you want, or will take you too far outside your comfort zone.  This book does not present an exhaustive list of 51 things you should do. I wrote this book to inspire you. Hopefully reading this book, and the stories and testimonials and examples will inspire you to act on your own ideas. I want you to be inspired enough where you say “Yes, I can do this! And the time is now!”You can choose from many of these Alternatives and make enough money to pay your bills.  Some Alternatives can be scaled to make millions of dollars while others are so labor or time intense they don’t scale easily.  I am a firm believer in having “multiple streams of income.”  Businesses do this.  Successful and financially sound people do this.  It might make more sense for you to work on three or four Alternatives than to focus on one.  Maybe one of your revenue streams is your “day job.” That is fine!  But don’t put yourself in the position where you have only one revenue stream, which is what most people with a job do.  Diversify your income so that if something happens to one revenue stream you have others in place, and you don’t lose 100% of your income.Starting and running a business is HARD.  I remember the few days I spent filling out paperwork for my state business license and business checking account.  It was a royal pain.  I hate paperwork and stupid bureaucratic forms, and I remember wondering why anyone would go into business for themselves if it took so much work to get through the dreary administrative stuff.  But that was the easy part of my business.  I’ve had highs and lows and stretched myself in many ways.  Finding money to keep the business alive before revenue came in was a challenge.  Getting customers and keeping up with market changes and technology was a challenge.  I’m in my eighth year of business and there are still challenges I work through.  But I know there would be challenges if I had a day job as my only income. The dark cloud over everyone with a day job today is the ever-present threat of layoffs.  I’ve obviously chosen the path of an entrepreneur, and continue to stay away from what was once the stable, acceptable, and safe choice.As you read this book I want you to be inspired to start something right now.  This isn’t just a fun book with a list of 51 things to read about, and then put the book on the bookshelf.  Let the ideas in this book  inspire you to act.  Even if your first venture doesn’t make money, or grow very large, you won’t have failed.  What you learn with your first venture will make you stronger for your second and third ventures.  The skills you acquire along the way, and the wisdom you gain as a business owner, will help you make better decisions and be more prepared for the next thing.

As with all of my projects I’m nervous that I haven’t delivered enough.  However insufficient the actual Alternatives might be for you, if you are open to becoming more self-empowered you will draw what you need from the pages here and act.  Instead of spending two more years refining, polishing and perfecting this book, I hope you get what you need out of this edition.

37 thoughts on “51 Alternatives to a Real Job: The Book

  1. I love your ideaand I too believe in multiple streams of income. The problem is when you are working a full time job it is hard to find time to create other multiple streams of income. That requires time, resources, money, and energy. Many times when you come home you just want to rest and watch TV.

    How does one get ones self motivated, energized, and ready to tackle other multiple sources of income? I have been in Toastmasters for over 20 years and have never done professional speaking. And I would love to write books as well. Did you have a mentor or life coach help you take the big plunge into these other income areas?

    Does your family and church life suffer when you are engaged in all of these other multiple income fields? How do you manage your time and avoid spreading yourself so thin?

    • Hi Dave Schory,

      He who sits on couch and watches TV after work is not destined for more than wage slavery.

      Get rid of your TV.

      Buy a package of legal pads, and a box of pencils and a sharpener.

      Read Jason’s book. Write accordingly on yellow pads.

      Trust your intuition. Take action.

      Fail. Fail some more. If you are not failing, you must still be sitting on your couch watching TV, so read this from the top again. Learn from your failures. Improve. One step at a time. That is progress.

      Celebrate your progress as you achieve each step. Keep making progress.

      A sincere thought

  2. Hi!

    Without knowing too much of your books content (although I like the main idea) I feel that no 1 & 2 are really 1980′s, but number three made me stop and think – and that’s what you want: Get people’s attention to find out more about the job. There might be some symbolism too, f.i. the person (you/the reader) and the relation to the mastodont/organization (elephant), maybe even other things can be read out of the picture too.

    Good luck, Jan

  3. Amazing. Exactly where I’d like to go: diversified income. And diversified activity, so I keep learning and don’t get bored. Thanks man! Can’t wait.

  4. love the first cover
    not the second – don’t like browns/beige or any shade thereof
    and why the elephant??? I’m missing something love to know the answer to that one!

    Please can you let me know once you have a copy available as I’d love to buy it :)

    kind regards
    Linda Jay

  5. Jason -

    Congratulations on getting this out there. I love what you have written here, it’s so empowering. I like your writing style to: as always, it’s accessible and has a you-can-do-it -too quality. Good luck on the promotion and let me know how I can help.


  6. I’m looking forward to your new book. I really enjoyed meeting you 4 years ago & it reminded me to stay inspired. Unfortunately I got sick & lost a fair amount of momentum, but I’m getting progressively better & am hoping I can help you make your new book a success. I’m also hoping that it will be another addition to my “success library”. I’ve been really making good use of my Nook & hoping that I can pre-order your book in that format.

    Thanks again,
    Jonathan Bosch

  7. Are you local to the SF Bay Area and/or do you visit here? I think you would be a great speaker at one of the NorCal BMA events; please let me know if you are interested.



  8. Jason has been talking about multiple revenue streams since I met him online in 2006. We have become business associates and friends. He is right on target here and I follow his methodology and model as well.

    This book will help you find the additional financial income available to you on your terms. I highly recommend getting this book.

    Jim Browning
    Chief Profit Generator, Author, Coach, Mentor and LinkedIn & Social Media Expert.

  9. Jason,

    Totally agree with you on this. Author and economist Jeremy Rifkin wrote a book entitled “The End of Work” back in the mid nineties and his prediction was “jobs as we know them are going away. He said there will be plenty of work but this thing called a job is going to disappear”. Jobseekers and employees need to wake up to the new normal. Some things are not going back to the way they use to be. I look forward to your book and some of the ideas. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  10. I am looking forward to your book we try to help people become independent through their own business. It is better to start while you are working and then if that day comes you have a head start.

    Dreaming requires action, you have to do something even though it may be going to sleep. Taking the dream to the next step requires action learn, do, do again and again. The end result is the American Dream but you have to do something.

    Heck, even being an “entitlement” person requires filling out waiting in government offices, endless forms, complaining, watching day time TV and then more complaining. At least the dreaming requirement goes away.

  11. I can’t wait for you new book, Jason. You provide innovative, practical, authentic, and actionable tips, tools and techniques. I live this ‘portfolio career’ life and it’s fabulous! I’d follow you to Career 3.0 anyday! Be well, my smart friend, Anne Pryor

  12. Jason – as a recruiter and career coach, I see this as one of the few sustainable options for those of us who are past 40. Personally, I don’t ever want to rely on just one company again; a growing number of companies don’t want to sign up for “careers” anymore. Seems like a “win-win” to me.

  13. I am pleased know that you are making efforts for enlighting your views/experiences in the frame of a nice book about earning method and also arranging free webnars. I wish all the best for its success and pray to the almighty to pour good views throgh your hand in the preparation…..

  14. Congratulations, Jason, on publishing your book! “If Jason did it, it’s excellent”, is what I’m telling people as I encourage them to buy it. Can’t wait to receive my copy!

  15. Jason,

    Congrats on this book… timely and an important read for those making the tough transition from “how it was” to the “new normal.” Taking the step takes “action,” but once you do, it can find its own inertia with self empowerment giving it constant juice to grow. What’s more, creating multiple revenue streams brings variety to life which make it more rich. Carry on!

  16. Jason –

    Awesome article…..exactly where I’d like to go: diversified income and diversified activity, so I keep learning and don’t get bored.
    Congratulations on getting this out there. I love what you have written here, it’s so empowering. I like your writing style too: as always, it’s accessible and has a you-can-do-it -too quality. Good luck on the promotion and let me know how I can help.


  17. Thanks Jason, excited to share 51 Alternatives to a Real Job: The Book with my colleagues at the career center in Tennessee ! We need more valuable resources to help our job seekers ! Go Jason GO !!

  18. Jason, I am very interested in reading the book and I thank you for getting this message across. I wish you much success in carrying your message!

  19. Do you have plans to publish to Kindle? I find myself almost exclusively using Kindle these days for all non-fiction. Just too darned handy to annotate, etc… and to carry a library around in my tote.

  20. Jason, How exciting for you and the rest of us. The book sounds excellent! I agree that there are so many alternative careers. I love my “Portfolio Career” and am looking forward to reading your book! Way to go!

  21. Way-ta-go, Jason. As you may recall, we had a phone discussion with you about the then, upcoming, book ( couple of years ago) – and now it’s here!

    You didn’t refer to a Book Tour. Won’t you be thinking about such a thing? Since JSSA is just beginning to get its “Entrepreneurial Center” off the ground, we would salivate(!) at the possibility of having you come here to ‘pitch your wares’ to our clients.

    I just finished arranging, and ultimately managing, 2 events: “Passion to Profit” I and “Passion to Profit” II. Both were well-received and really fun, besides. We had great keynote speakers and compelling, well-spoken panelists for both events. Would you consider marketing your book in the DC area and including us as part of your tour?

    If not in person, would you consider sending me a complimentary copy of the book, so I can ‘push’ it for you on my end? I’d love to help you ‘get it out there’!

    BTW: Did you finish – or are you still working on – the web-based, career coaching training program … delivered in short term bits? As I recall, you planned to sell these pieces on a subscription basis.

    Hope all else is good at your end. :)

  22. I love that you interviewed real people for each category, Jason. This makes it much more realistic, way beyond just a “maybe” list. Thanks for all this work that will definitely help clients who need ideas.

  23. @Rhoda – I would load the free Kindle App on your iPad and then purchase it from there. Did you know you could get the Kindle App for free on your iPad?

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