LOUISE FAIRSAVE: Earning a living
In more current times, there is great difficulty in predicting a career path.
No longer can young people look forward to getting a job as a matter of course once they have graduated from school or university.
Even when that first position is secured, it is likely that there may be job loss, or other job changes during the work career.
Careers, the mainstays of life for most people, are typically the underlying definition of the life you can afford. Your work income normally funds your lifestyle. Yet, the best laid career plans may just fall apart.
Instead of consolidated experience in a particular career path, people may be forced to discover and develop innate skills and their broader knowledge in order to distinguish themselves in the work market.
To the extent that there is difficulty in finding a job or there is unemployment over an extended period, there will be a financial crisis that may even extend beyond one’s home. For example, unemployed younger adults may be forced to give up their rented apartments and move back home. This then becomes a multigenerational financial problem as elderly retired parents may have to sell property or realise assets in order to extend financial support.
Even at the end of a relatively successful career, one may be forced to delay planned retirement in order to augment the gap created by a year, or two, or more, of unemployment or underemployment. Given financial losses like the CLICO debacle and the declining investment returns over the recent years, some people who have even had full working careers have been led to reconsider retiring at the normal age.
So, if you’re looking for “a job”, be more open to the changes in the job market. Go the extra step to keep careful track of your achievements, including those from volunteer and community activities. Your resume must be updated with not only your academic and professional qualifications, but also with any commendation or certification that attests to your leadership or other skills and interests.
It is important to let your network of contacts know of your development in other areas as it happens. You are more likely to find work if you are open not only to finding the typical appointment but to opportunities to earn income from using your knowledge, experience, talent or skills in helpful and productive ways.
During periods of unemployment, it is therefore important to network continually especially in areas of your other interests. Even while holding a job, networking that involves exploring interests in areas outside of work can provide a useful safety measure. This is the age to exploit other knowledge and skills in earning a living.
For example, are you good at writing clearly or dramatically? Do you like cooking or baking? What about sewing or handicraft? Do you enjoy do-it-yourself repairs and renovations around the home? Maybe flower gardening is your secret love. Do you have an exceptional voice and clear diction? Can you give lessons to individuals or groups in one of your areas of interest? Do you enjoy planning and executing events? Do you like meeting and hosting people?
The question is: what product or service are you good at providing that could possibly be leveraged into an income earner?
Louise Fairsave is a personal financial management advisor, providing practical advice on money and estate matters. Her advice is general in nature; readers should seek advice about their specific circumstances.