Constable: Crowdfunding one way to start a job, but whom you know still counts
For most suburbanites, the era of graduating from college, sifting through job offers and choosing the company that will employ you until you retire is a laughable concept. Today's labor force often requires more creative thinking. That's why former Hawthorn Woods resident David Dryden and his business partner, William Kramer, turned to GoFundMe.
"I think that's the barrier for anybody starting a business," says Dryden, who turns 29 on Friday. "We didn't have a whole lot of capital."
While he says most of the money came from their savings, their GoFundMe page, which has raised $2,680, "jump-started" their business, Your Choice, which works with Medicaid and existing programs by recruiting suitable foster homes or "host homes" in the community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dryden, who hopes growth will enable them to convert the business to a nonprofit, says new donations will allow them to serve more clients and recruit more host homes.
Other business fundraising on sites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter span a spectrum that includes pitches for a comic book store, a yarn shop, a small dairy farm, a bookstore, a media company, a filmmaker, a bee farmer, a flower-delivery service, a therapeutic robot business, a political poll app, a doctor, and a vegan van food-delivery service.
Even with such innovative tools for jobseekers, the most reliable way to find a job is through old-fashioned referrals, says Lenny Harris, director of CareerPlace, a nonprofit agency in Palatine that helps people find new careers. "Somebody knows somebody who would be a good fit," Harris says.
Forty-five percent of people find new jobs through referrals from employees, concludes the 2017 Source of Hire report from Silk Road, a Chicago-based talent-managment company.
Dryden and Kramer worked together and built a good professional relationship before branching out on their own. Dryden, a 2014 University of Minnesota Duluth graduate with a bachelor's of applied science in psychology, worked as a behavioral interventionist for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Then he moved into case management and eventually became a licensed investigator of abuse and neglect among caregivers of disabled adults.
"It was rewarding, but we weren't working directly with individuals diagnosed with disabilities," Dryden says. So he and Kramer moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., and launched their business -- and fundraising campaign -- in April.
"We got an anonymous donation for $1,000. Obviously people saw our mission and want to help out," Dryden says. "I've always had a soft spot for people less fortunate. In kindergarten, I wished for all the homeless people to have something to eat."
Good deeds can make for good business, Harris says. One way to improve a resume and make job connections is through volunteering.
"When we get young folks, if they're motivated in their job search, they land pretty quickly," Harris says. But jobseekers still must put in the work, and not procrastinate.
"September and October is the time," Harris says. "That's when college seniors need to be focused on their next career."