The job is dead; long live the parent company of one: you!
“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” Earl Nightingale
In light of recent economic changes-those occurring over the last couple decades-I’d like to modify “career” to careers or, better yet, to that of entrepreneur or company of one with subsidiaries-in this case the various careers or even businesses one may own (more on this detail in a moment) over time that change while you, the parent company, remain.
Why this definition? The following statement may lend a hand in gaining greater insight here.
“The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job. But today, U.S. workers are ‘less attractive’ than ever” Michael Snyder, Tech Ticker Yahoo! Finance.
Much advice coming out today is not to look for a job, but create on. And this is really good advice when getting one is becoming more and more challenging. Today, more than half of all college grads are either unemployed or under-employed. Does that mean that you’ve got a 50 / 50 chance of finding a job in your major? Well, if you follow the crowd. My suggestion, don’t.
What do you do? Get creative and innovate. Here’s what one recent grad did. She graduated and wanted to work in sales. Her focus was to work at Crest. Yes, the toothpaste company. She contacted the person in charge of hiring in the sales division, and she was told there were no jobs. But she didn’t let this stop her. It’s where she wanted to work, so she set out to get a job there. What did she do? She got creative.
She took her resume and brought it down to a t-shirt printing shop. She had the resume put on a t-shirt. She took it home, put it into a Crest toothpaste box and sent it to the person in charge of hiring for Crest. That person was so impressed, she created a job for this very innovated and problem solving individual.
All too often people take the passive or avoidance method to getting a job–more concerned about avoiding problems than taking them head on. This will not work to your advantage. But first, don’t just seek a job. Get a career. Those who are of the avoidance mentality let life act upon them instead of acting assertively or being pro-active and acting upon life. After all this is the American way.
Today nearly one in six people own a business in some capacity: part to full time. There are twenty-seven million businesses. Twenty-one million are owned by sole proprietors: one person. There are a LOT of problems to be solved, and that’s what entrepreneurs do. They come up with a product and / or service that solves some problem consumers encounter. Yet oddly enough, entrepreneurship is virtually ignored by secondary schools and colleges don’t do much better. But you might consider looking to be a problem-solving entrepreneur, for the job may just be on its last leg.
Yes, some say that the “job” as we’ve known it is dead. This is mostly due to multi-nationals maximizing profits by outsourcing or by getting desperate employees overseas to work ten to twelve hours a day for a few dollars while their American counterparts seek pay for the same job that can be ten times as much (plus benefits). But another, lesser issue is the economically turbulent times we live in. Some experts say Americans will have three to five, upwards of ten career changes over a working lifetime.
However, if these ‘career changers’ are not at least marketing themselves as an entrepreneur, meaning the focus being on building of proper skills, attitudes, and knowledge needed to survive in this new multiple-career environment, then they do themselves a disservice, at least in not building the proper mindset to not only survive but thrive. And the building of this “mindset” should lead eventually to learning how to be a business owner and investor. Certainly, not everyone can just jump into a business (there is time needed to build experience and expertise), but if one does not at least change her mindset regarding current conditions, it may be economic suicide.
To flesh out the picture more here, let’s take a look at some recent statistics:
61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
The average American is now retiring with $25,000.
Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to 400 to one.
As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
So what’s a poor, broke, homeless, out-of-work American supposed to do? Well, if you still believe in the job, consider the following:
“The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world” Michael Snyder, Tech Ticker Yahoo! Finance.
So what are you, the average Joe / Jane U.S. worker supposed to do?
1. Get a job
2. Wait for the government to fix things
3. Take things into your own hands and take advantage of the tax breaks of owning a business
More and more people are taking option three. Now, one in six Americans own a business in some capacity and are learning to invest. My wife and I have been aware of what’s going on economically for some time and over the last six years have moved toward business owning and investing, currently building three streams of income.
To have only one stream of income or “job” today is suicide. If that stream dries up in these economically chaotic times, then you’re sunk. However, if you’ve built up several, you have a much better chance of survival. So the old belief that one needs to get an education to obtain that single-stream-of-income “job security” has gone by the wayside.
Case in point, my father, an Ivy League educated mechanical engineer, did his thirty-five year stint, and when he was about to get his golden handshake, he almost lost his pension because of the cutbacks Pratt & Whitney was making–after the Cold War ended, defense contracts nearly disappeared. To save his retirement, he and a few of his engineer friends got a lawyer to get some of the money back, but today he works several part-time jobs to keep his head above water. His greatest concern now is that he may just outlive his retirement money.
On the other side of the mindset coin is a friend who nets half a million a year. He came here from Mexico just nine years ago and now owns real estate in several countries and several growing businesses, a quiet, unassuming, shy, humble man with only a high school education. The myth of an “education” or mere acquisition of knowledge obtained in a four-year institution being the end-all and cure-all is just that . . . a myth. And the practical knowledge NOT learned in school needed to survive in these economically unstable times is of great concern as well, and this goes much beyond merely increasing one’s financial IQ.
In summary, we are certainly in a sad state of affairs, but one must take matters into his own hands considering the facts placed before us.
“We’re in the greatest economic change in the history of the world. The rich will get richer and the middle and poor class will be . . . Boom! Gone” Robert Kiyosaki.
So what are you going to do? Your choice: option one, two, or three above? But to survive, you better make the appropriate choice . . . and soon.
Here’s to your success.
“The problem isn’t capitalism. The problem is laziness, people who expect something for nothing. The problem is greed, people who take more than they give. The problem is an educational system that thinks money is the root of all evil. It’s financial ignorance that has caused so much of the problem not capitalism” Robert Kiyosaki.