Jack changes his methods of job hunting
Jack was getting very sick and tired of the job application rut. It wasn't achieving enough, fast enough. He was trying, very hard, and was quite literally doing nothing but looking for work, almost every waking moment.
The problem, of course, was being an accountant, as well as the recession. Accountancy is one of the most popular careers, and there were so many applicants for every job that the competition was making things very difficult. At the unemployment office, he was horrified to find himself meeting other accountants almost every time he went there.
He tried going for bookkeeping jobs, and found the same problem, a bit worse, if anything. Eventually, he'd had more than enough.
He developed a strategy. He went looking for work, still, but this time working for himself. He offered local businesses help with their accountancy, and any other related work that needed doing.
He wasn't sure what to charge them for this work, and didn't want to charge his way out of any possible business, so he left it open to the local businesses to tell him what they thought it was worth. Some didn't quite understand that concept, until he said that he knew they were working on budgets, and if they named a price, they would be staying within their budgets.
He didn't have much success, although he found that the shopkeepers seemed interested in the idea, if non-committal about anything definite.
He also built up a network of business contacts in the process. This was a lot of local people whom he knew by sight, but hadn't done business with before. That network approach turned out to be a good idea in the short term. One of the business owners he met did know another local business in need of help. This business was desperate for an accountant to clean up a messy situation caused by the liquidation of a supplier.
There were plenty of local accountancy businesses, but none of them wanted to touch this particular job. Liquidation is tricky, and needs expertise. Jack was an expert, having been thrown in to a variety of liquidation matters early in his career. With that experience, every time the subject of liquidation came up, it was Jack's problem. Fortunately, this job was relatively simple, and easy to handle, and he was surprised by the payout.
Jack later discovered that retailers are much more money conscious than most normal human beings, and they were costing him into their books while they were talking to him. The liquidation story went around the local Chamber of Commerce, and they seemed to realize all at the same time that they had a person who would tackle unusual situations.
Jack didn't achieve self-employment with this approach. The local work was still too scarce for regular jobs, but the income situation improved dramatically. He could afford to buy some nice things for his family, and his feeling of achievement was a very nice change after months of the abyss of unemployment. Bills became far less threatening.
That much needed success gave Jack an idea, which he followed up with his job network employment counselor, about any small business schemes for the unemployed that the agency could find. According to his counselor, there was such a scheme, but she wasn't sure if Jack qualified for it. There were a series of requirements for applicants.
Again, the ghostly chill of bureaucracy looked like it might be a problem, but his counselor didn't give up easily. It seemed, she discovered, that if the job network agency recommended an applicant, that was enough. Jack was enrolled in the scheme, with a Business Certificate attached, and financial support for a period of time. This support was a government subsidy, not unemployment benefits.
Jack was on his way back up. The Business Certificate was a definite plus. Like most people in the workforce, he'd become specialized, and he was a bit overdue for a refresher, so this was very useful, in any sense, for employment.
Jack cynically made a joke against himself: He'd been so busy loathing the system, that he'd forgotten to see what it could do for him.
Job hunters note: These schemes do exist, it's usually a matter of finding them, and getting yourself involved. There is always, in any organization dealing with unemployment, someone who will know about these possibilities. Make a point of asking about them, and see what's available. It is a way out.