Whether you’ve already got a dream Job or your own home-based dream business in mind, or you’re just trying to figure out what kinds of jobs you can do that incorporate your passion, it’s vital to get out in your community to research it. Here are five things you can do.
One – The Yellow Pages
Despite the advent of the internet for advertising and information, the Yellow Pages are still an absolute must for many local businesses. Those ads aren’t cheap, and you’ll notice some businesses buy them year after year. I’ve had small business owners tell me NOT buying the ad one year cut their walk-in business in half. That said, the yellow pages can be a great resource. Most of them have a cross-reference index, so if you are interested in counseling, you can look at the index to see the various sections a “counselor” might be listed. Want to work with animals? Check out the cross-reference by type of animals – there’s a lot beyond grooming and vets. The purpose is two-fold. You’ll find out what businesses already exist in your town. And, you might get ideas for your area of interest by looking at other areas.
Two – The Magazine Rack at a Big Book Store
Have you ever really examined the magazine racks at one of the big box bookstores? It’s amazing how many different specialty magazines exist. With advertising in tough times right now, many of the weaker ones are folding. So, if a magazine is still being published, they’ve got enough advertisers to keep it open. See what kind of magazines might exist in your area of interest. If the magazine rack is just too big and overwhelming, you can review the Writer’s Market publications, which list most titles and their content.
Three – Local Clubs and Associations
It varies by community, but the Library or the Chamber of Commerce usually maintain a list of active clubs, organizations, and associations with contact people, focus, etc. Look over the list and see if there is a group in any way related to your passion or area of interest. Consider joining, or contact the organizer to learn more about it.
Four – Community College Non-Credit Continuing Education
If you have a local college, see if they offfer non-credit continuing education courses. These are classes for anything from digital photography, to italian cooking, to yoga. They usually meet for one long day, or several times over a few weeks and are strictly for people to learn about something that interests them. See if there are any classes about your area. If not, why not approach the school about teaching one next semester?
Five – Never Miss a Bulletin Board
As you are going about your day, make it a point to notice bulletin boards. They’re everywhere! Coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, community centers, libraries, club houses, and even gyms. These days many businesses have a bulletin board where customers or members can post business cards, flyers, or other requests. Check out your local ones and see what’s happening.
The point of all of these is to get you out in your local community talking about your interest and finding out if there are other people interested in it, doing it, or seeking it. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be.