An Opportunity For Re-Invention? (plus Update)

Is that what our current economic crisis can present us with? An opportunity to re-invent ourselves??

Last Monday Night on the Frontline programme on RTE, the current unemployment crises facing new Irish Graduates was discussed at large. Much was made of the fact that we have recently qualified, or soon to be qualified, Engineers, Lawyers, Physio Therapists (and most likely Speech & Language and Occupational Therapists) etc by the dozens and no jobs for them. This country has invested a lot in their education and there is a need for their fact there's a dearth of Therapists needed to provide much needed interventions. Yet these highly qualified individuals have no hope of employment here and most will have to emigrate to find work.

Of course they laid the blame squarely on this ineffectual, but not completely incompetent, Government of ours. It's true, they've done NOTHING to secure or create jobs as they've concentrated solely on shoring up our Financial Institutions (already us Tax Payers are at a loss as Bank of Ireland shares fall) and reducing wages to the extent that people can't afford to spend....thereby losing more jobs in the retail sector. There's absolutely no stimulus package. Where are these young people emigrating too?? Apparently England, Canada, Australia and America in some cases.

How come they can get jobs in those countries?? Or is that a very naive question? Perhaps the forthcoming Olympics in the UK in 2012 is providing employment opportunities there? The big question of course is what are the UK and US  Governments doing that our Government isn't??

However, the onus isn't completely on the Government, or on our Tanaiste and not completely incompetent  Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan. We can't wait for them to get their act together and these things are cyclical. We need to use all available resources and they should listen to economists and business peoples' opinions.

These recent Graduates are mostly from a generation that has had everything handed to them, including a far better education than my generation and my parents generation received. Are they molly coddled?? Does their well-travelled status really mean simply that they're well-holidayed??

Bill Cullen,  he who  started his career as a 5-year-old street seller, was also on the Frontline programme and he put these very points to them. He challenged them to get out there and get experience, even if only on a voluntary basis, and said so what if you have to emigrate. Go get the experience abroad and bring it back here when you're done! Mary Coughlan is also relaxed about people emigrating and feels it's not a bad thing.  Hmmm......

While Bill may have been a bit naive when handling the debt problems people have these days (he may have gone out to work at a young age to contribute to the family funds but his parents wouldn't have had the crippling mortgage repayments some of  these people have) when he told one participant to renegotiate his €2000 a month debt. He did however have a point. Hey....I bet he's gone fishing in many a pond for the wishing money in his time!!

This programme and a previous conversation with The Cuz got me thinking. Can unemployment be an opportunity for re-invention? We both know someone who is using their forthcoming job loss as such an opportunity and I'm sure there are plenty others out there brave enough to give it a go.

These young people have fantastic opportunities to do the same in this internet driven era. They are way more internet savvy than most of us and with eBayfacebook and twitter there are loads of cheap (cost free even) ways to promote yourself.

A young entrepreneur Dylan Collins was also on the Frontline Programme. He's made a fortune from Games and now Gamestop has made a major investment in his internet games company, Jolt Online.

WiiBoy's ambition is to work in Gamestop

See.... our children's obsessions, currently their re-enforcers, can ultimately become their future career path ;-)

Did you that there's such a thing as a Games Fleadh here in Ireland? It's a Games & Console Programming Festival held annually. I am taking a note of this for future reference ;-)

Of course, way before this economic crises, some of us stay-at-home-mums (and dads) have learnt the art of re-invention. Over the years, some parents have racked their brains to think of ways to successfully merge earning a wage with raising a family and still be there for school pick-ups, extra-curricular activities and homework etc; etc. A very daunting task indeed.

I suppose the trick is to think of your skills and perhaps how your hobbies/interests can be harnessed to fill a gap in the market??

We just have to look at how Hammie has used her writing skills and networking ability. Also, at how she's used her knowledge and experiences to help create the new Grace Application for iPhone to help non-verbal Autistic children communicate effectively. Steve Troughton-Smith was the iPhone developer on board for this fantastic project.

Also Coolkid is using her skills and interests and has co-founded a new venture : Picture This which is opening soon.

Whilst not making money for herself , the wonderful Taz put her thinking cap on and used her networking skills to help raise money for the Irish Guide Dogs: Assistance Dogs Programme . She set up Puppy Power and to date there are enough contributions to sponsor 5 puppies for a year.

I take my hat off to you ladies!

Of course some of my friends are an old hat at this using-your-interests lark, and are a long time in business. Like my show pal with his children's parties which he runs over at Really Grand Events!!

 With my 5 year Career Break (plus one year Carers Leave) due to finish this November, I may have to do a bit of re-inventing myself too! That is, if I want to be available for WiiBoy after school (and I do) and want to avoid returning to my good Government job. Oh good God....the thoughts of it. Makes me ill to think about it!

I may get yet another hat out of my closet....... my thinking hat!

Not as fabulous as my other hats, I know, but this is a very scary task and I need all the help I can get!

Hopefully we can all learn to reinvent ourselves not just individually, but collectively as a nation.

What skills or resources are at our collective disposal to harness for use in the Global Market and here at home, I wonder??

And what's this Government going to do to help us achieve our re-incarnations??

Resign, perhaps??

xx Jazzy


Ray Darcy had some young unemployed people on his radio show this morning over at Today FM
I only heard some of it but he had 2 Graduates; a girl who had 2 Degrees in Engineering (I think) and Biology and had been studying for 8 years, and an Architect. Neither can get a job in this country and at least one of them has "worked for free" as Bill Cullen suggests. Soul destroying to think that you've invested your time in studying for a career that there are now no longer prospects in. You would have to wonder at the choice of courses some people choose though. The Biology Graduate would most likely have to emigrate anyway.

There was also a Cabinet maker on who cannot now continue the Apprenticeship he's half way through.

In all these cases it seemed that they were following their dream and this was what they've always wanted to do. The idea of re-training is not what they want to consider. Can't blame them as they've just come out of a long study period.

Still, they may need to get re-inventing....or adapting slightly perhaps?

The Cabinet Maker had some good ideas. See, the Government needs to engage with these people and hear what they have to say as they may have some feasible ideas that THEY can adopt! The Cabinet Maker, when in employment, had invested in a shed and some tools. Now, if he'd any sense, he'd be down in that shed practising his learned skills to date ....maybe even getting a  little business going ;) While he's waiting to get what he wants. Well, it look would good an a CV.

While we may worry about the Teenagers currently going through the Education system maybe we shouldn't. Quite possibly they're in the best place, potential future 3rd level fees aside that is. 

Educating themselves for when this thing turns around. 

Just pick the right courses. 

Think ahead. 

Be inventive.
xx Jazzy

Sunday Sojourn in Dublin City.....

Wiiboy and I had our annual get together with my Cuz and her almost-10-year-old boy J, my Godson, last Sunday in town. It was our..... ahem.... annual CHRISTMAS get together! We were a tad tardy this year in organising this reunion, as a badly timed Birthday party for WiiBoy (work day), a late night trip to the Hospital and a pesky Panto conspired to delay this much anticipated annual event!

We try to get together a couple of times a year but as we live on opposite sides of Dublin Bay (Rush and Shankill) it can be difficult to arrange.

Sometimes I think .... wouldn't it be great if there was a ferry operating from Rush (they have a harbour) and Bray?? It could stop in Dun Laoghaire and the Docks (City centre....kind of!) and Howth on the way. Now there's a start-up idea in these jobless times, even if it is born out of frustration at traffic and problematic Public Transport. Perhaps that's just me being fanciful though!

Luckily we have the usually dependable Dart (train) service here in Shankill so I NEVER drive into town. Wouldn't dream of it. Of course the once in a blue moon trip I do make on the Dart usually involves some cock-up! This Sunday, as we traveled (laden down with Christmas parcels) the Dart, due to engineering works, was only operating for 5 stops, then a shuttle bus to re-connect with the Dart for a further 3 stops....Planes, Trains and Automobiles!! We decided to get the Bus the whole way home and let me tell ya..... the seating and suspension on Public Transport vehicles does NOTHING to assist a coccyx that is trying very hard to reunite!! Have to say though, the Public Transport personnel I met that day get a major thumbs up from me. Professional and helpful.

So, the Cuz, J, WiiBoy and I finally met up in the Temple Bar area of Dublin and had lunch in the Hard Rock Cafe. It was lovely but quite expensive. No family or lunch deals of any kind whilst  Thunder Road Cafe across the road had "Kids eat free" deals and I know TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut have good deals too. I know where we won't be going next time! Although the staff were nice, and so was the Pinot Grigio!

The boys had a chance to catch up, as did we, although initially WiiBoy was more interested in his Nintendo. You see J isn't as interested and Wiiboy has to be more considerate of his friend's interests too;)) But they found a mutual interest....having a look around the memorabilia shop! Oh, they were giggling, messing and taking photos of silly stuff on their phones! We were beginning to get The Look so we decided that a walk up Grafton Street on this cold, but lovely sunny Sunday was just the ticket.

So, off we trotted up Grafton street to see some street performers, we hoped. There were only two unfortunately, a band called Mutefish  who's music is described as a celtic rock blend (they're very good) and a guy blowing enormous bubbles. Which WiiBoy insisted on bursting! I had just convinced him not to (we wanted to see how long they'd last) when other children came along and did exactly the same!

At the top of Grafton Street is an old Dublin Landmark..... St Stephens' Green. A 27 acre green park with ducks, swans, a fountain, a bandstand and a playground right in the heart of the city center.   This park was enclosed in 1664 and laid out in it's present form in 1880.

I don't think there's a family in Dublin who hasn't spent some family time in this park, steeped with history! The Cuz and I were brought by our respective parents when we were young. Well, it's free and money wasn't plentiful then. Just like now. We have some family photos somewhere and The Cuz distinctly remembers photos taken of her family at one of the many monuments in the park.

I believe this was WiiBoy's first trip to the park. The first thing you see when you walk in is the duck pond and when younger, WiiBoy had a natural inbuilt impulsiveness to run towards and immerse himself in ANY body of water, ANYWHERE in his peripheral vision!!

More trustworthy now, of course! Here's the two dudes....right before WiiBoy decided that terrorising the pigeons might be more fun (or "funner" as he himself would say!).......


He had great fun chasing them, until I explained they had tiny hearts and frighten easily. Sensing once more we were getting The Look (probably all in my head) we moved on.

WiiBoy saw the swans and sat calmly down at the waters edge to admire. J joined him and then the swan became curious.....


       and curioser still.........

Ahh....a hungry swan nibbling the bottom of his new runners!!

Knowing how frisky and dangerous Swans can get we found a piece of bread and threw it in......


So peace resumed...for a short time. The swan came back and began chewing at their feet again! Perhaps this was nature's revenge for terrorising the pigeons earlier! As we were definitely getting The Look from the swan we moved on yet again!!

 This time we visited the fountain. I LOVE this fountain and have fond memories of it. Particularly during a break in the Aer Lingus rehearsals of the John Player Tops, National Finals 1989. We were rehearsing in the nearby Gaiety Theatre so we dropped into St Stephens Green to kill some time. It was such fun, all 20/30 of us doing  Grand Jetes around the fountain, a la Fame which was very popular at the time!

Today though, WiiBoy had his own fun in mind and was getting more "active" by the minute! J of course, tagged along for the ride! While we were busy chatting we noticed WiiBoy's  jacket was off and J came over with his fleece sleeve saturated. We were definitely getting The Look from a couple with their young child. A boy. Give it a few years love and he'll be as bad, I felt like saying! After all, all boys are like this, aren't they? 

So, I guessed he was no longer able to contain himself and would end up in the fountain yet so decided it was time to leave the park! Called him over and asked what he was doing. He held out his hands and showed me......" Look mum, I got 26 cents and a 20 kroner coin"!!! (It was a small Polish coin)  Ha ha ha ha ...... they'd been fishing for the wishing money!! Can't go wrong there!

Hmmmm...Hyper child, OR an entrepreneur in the making???

So, we then departed and made our separate journeys home, with promises to meet again soon for J's birthday.

We met Mr Jazzy and WiiBoy had another fizzy drink....was fizzy drinks the cause of the exuberance today??  Possibly.

However, as he had quite a hyper day in school yesterday (and somewhat today also) I'm thinking I've got to get up to date on his MorEPA , as he hasn't been getting them regularly.

So, maybe Sunday's exuberance wasn't normal boys-will-be-boys stuff after all. I really didn't think it was.

Perhaps we have an exuberant child...... with a strong entrepreneurial streak ;)

Go WiiBoy!  xx Jazzy

Spreading The Sunshine.

I felt honoured and humbled this week to receive a blog award.....not once but twice. So I want to say a very big thank you to Jen from The King and I and I  and Jean from Planet Outreach for bestowing on me the salubrious Sunshine Award which takes pride of place on my blog's sidebar! Who needs The Brits when you have this Universal!!

Awards are a lovely way of honouring and acknowledging our fellow bloggers and hey....they make you feel good too! They're also a great decoration on our sidebars and rank up there along with comments and new followers. Did I mention another seven followers and I'll have fifty followers?? Not hinting or anything...just saying like!'s nice round figure, fifty, isn't it? the big 5 Oh!! Oh well.....sigh!

So, back to the more important job in hand ........  Spreading some Sunshine. It is with great pleasure that I share this award with:

WiiBoy over at Wiiboy Blades of Fire for being my ray of sunshine! Nepotism I know.... but he's the best!

Kathleen  at Autism Herd for telling her tales with such humour...particularly her last post!

Coolkid over at Maddies Ramblings (and The Fabulous Mr Luca) for sharing her stories with us and always commenting over here! I'll leave you to your own spot of nepotism Coolkid;))

Lora over at  My Beautiful Child Griffin and Autism  for her lovely blog and all the lovely facebook comments and wall posts! You spread your own brand of sunshine Lora!

Andra at The Perfect Storm...... for her honest Blog Posts and for all her comments here and on facebook! I'm hoping this award will spark another Bblog Post from her ;))

Looking For Bluesky for her varied're like me C, blogging about whatever takes your fancy! Here's a little sunshine to go with the blue sky I know you'll find.

3laine for her very informative posts and the very helpful comments she's left over here.

The fabulous, bi-lingual Nan P who keeps me regaled with stories about her gorgeous Little Prince Charming....and other stuff too!

To Jen and Jean....right back at ya! Always enjoy reading both your witty and humorous Blog Posts.

To Petunia for her wonderful and informative Blog Posts.

And last but not least to the Queen of all us bloggers ..... the wonderful, wise and witty Hammie over at Hammiesblog! I've no doubt you've been inundated with this award but here it is again from me!

I'd also like to acknowledge all the new bloggers in our little blogging community so I'm exceeding my quota and selecting Popsie over at Crazy World  to represent this group. Well done Popsie, I look forward to reading more from you!

Now.....go forth all you winners of this salubrious award and spread some sunshine of your own  ;))

xx Yours truly...the "Bolshie" and "Feisty" Jazzy!!

These two tags also bestowed on me this week! I'll wear both with pride ;)