Men at Work

Feb 22, 2009 by Lisa Newton

These days, with the economy in the dumper, finding work has become a challenge. No one is hiring, people are being laid off, and companies are closing their doors.

For people who’ve been laid off, the coming months—and indeed the future–without a job, or finding work different than what you “used to do and earn’ can definitely cause stress; but it might also be a chance to take your career in a different direction or maybe You are the President of Your Career.

I find it interesting that there are so many wide and various careers out there, and especially here, in Los Angeles, people find the most unique ways of making a living:

The gold gentleman in the picture above is pretending to be a statue. This is his job, and after watching him for a while, he does it quite well. Indeed, a friend that was with me on this particular day actually thought that this man was actually a “statue.”

The little girl dressed in pink, was extremely curious about him, and was diligently trying to understand the reality of the situation. By the way—to make the situation a little more “futuristic,” the dog isn’t real. A few minutes after the girl and her mother left, the golden man scared a group of onlookers by jumping out at them with well-rehearsed lines such as “Where’s my Money Man!” Of course all was in good fun and it certainly put a smile on my face. While I don’t know how much money this man makes, he seems to love what he does and is very good at it.

The art of graffiti is becoming more and more popular, and mainstream. I’ve visited the Venice Graffiti Walls before, but this time, I came on a weekend and was fortunate enough to talk to both of these gentlemen for a few minutes. Creating graffiti is their full time job. They are hired on a project by project basis.

Graffiti art isn’t as easy as just spray painting a wall, and doesn’t come cheap. Based on what these guys told me, paint is priced from the low of $2.00 per can for an inexpensive domestic brand to upwards of $10.00 for a European import. The main difference being in the quality of the paint, plus the way the spray nozzle tip works. For very detailed work, a nozzle with a very small hole is needed.

The part of the wall being worked on here will take several hours to complete, use many cans of paint, and when done, may only be up for a minimum of a day, or depending on the size and degree and kind of the art, the work can take days, or even weeks.

They were very excited because not only are they hired to paint murals, they also have an ongoing art exhibit of their art on canvas—which is typical of acrylic paints and the stretching of the canvas.

Another unconventional yet pecuniary beneficial way these gentlemen found a way to survive and prosper during these tough times.

This is also a great time to go back to school to advance your training, retrain for a new career, or obtain an advanced degree to compete in the 21st century marketplace. Or perhaps you want to work and do both. Nonetheless, education is the new commodity for our country’s competitiveness and advantage, and what can beat the bucolic feeling and surroundings of our colleges and universities?

To be sure—despite the scare tactics employed by many; and the bad news pouring out of the media, there are jobs a plenty and by exploring, and getting to know your area’s businesses, organization’s people and decision makers, the sky is still the limit.

Los Angeles, and Southern California, has one of the most diverse, best, and comprehensive universities, city colleges, technical, and other resources for education, job training, and internships, among other opportunities. All it takes is some “elbow grease” to put your feet to the pavement, and pedal to the medal by staying active, interested, and motivated to turn things around for yourself if you happen to have been affected by the economic turn-around.

By Travelin’ Local and staying committed, there really is no place like home.

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11 Responses to “Men at Work”

  1. Lance says:

    Hi Lisa,

    It just goes to show you, that with a little creativity, there is work out there! And I love the examples you’ve included – they are non-traditional and unique. Just like each one of use is unique!

    Oh, and the idea of the gold man jumping out and scaring people – awesome!!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day


  2. Nicole says:

    That’s quite a few of great examples!
    One really has to be innovative these days!


  3. Tess The Bold Life says:

    What a refreshing post! I grew up working on a farm and selling at the Farmers Market in MI. I was thinking of your earlier post on the Farmer’s Market and one can either set up a booth or go from booth to booth asking farmer’s if they need a helping hand. They could even show up early to help unload trucks and stay late to help pack up. The more people you make friends with your chances of finding work increases.
    Again the sky is the limit.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..5 Great Reasons To Be Bold & Go Out On A Limb


  4. LisaNewton says:

    @Lance I’m not sure the gold man is a job everyone can do, but wouldn’t it be great to have at least one gold man per city, creating smiles where ever he goes?

    @Nicole Yupp, innovation can be the mother of invention…….:)


  5. Mark Salinas says:

    You certainly have a way to catch it! I love it! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Jannie Funster says:

    This whole post rememnded me of the wonderful spirit of the guy in “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Did you see it? WHAT A GREAT MOVIE!! Talk about not giving up.

    I guess there could be a bit of a catch-22 with going back to school for some poeple, as how to afford the tuition etc, and be out of income while studying. And not all may be able to get loans.


    If I find myself down and out I could totally become a Golden Statue! Might be exactly up my alley. Actually, my skin tone does not look good in gold, so I’d be silver.

    Jannie Funster’s last blog post..Trout-fishing hip waders!


  7. LisaNewton says:

    @Tess Thanks for the suggestion. I may try that…………………:)

    @Mark Thank you!

    @Jannie Yes, I loved “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and you’re right, it’s a testiment to not giving up. I know going back to school can be expensive, but even being self-taught can do a mind and body good…………….:)


  8. Lisa's Chaos says:

    That guy probably needs to jump out and scare people occasionally to wake his limbs back up!

    The job situation is not good for many. My dad was let go, the company he worked for is going under, but my dad is 67 so it’s very hard to get hired, yet their house is not yet paid for so retiring is not a choice.

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..World’s Biggest Grandfather Clock and Morel Mushroom


  9. LisaNewton says:

    @Lisa I know how this goes. A friend of mine, who is 62 is also having a very hard time finding a job. Who wants to hire an older person, even though they have so much experience. It’s very difficult.


  10. Robin says:

    Hi there Lisa – these are great examples of how people can support themselves – or better. We have people doing the statue act here, and graffiti artists, as well. I like to think that many of us will be having careers that haven’t been invented yet! Cheers – Robin

    Robin’s last blog post..The Fountain Of Youth Gets An Update!


  11. LisaNewton says:

    @Robin I totally agree. The best is yet to come, and I can hardly wait to find out what types of careers people come up with…………………:)


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