Planning Your own Lifetime Jobs Program
Consumer Advocate Offers Advice on How to Take Control of the New Workplace Realities of Today’s Economy
Washington, DC, September 9, 2011 – Finding ways to create jobs is the first order of business for government at all levels these days. But even as our elected officials debate ways to move the economy forward, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, says everyone should be looking inward at their own ability to change their employment future.
“Each of us, employed, under-employed, or out of work, needs our own lifetime job program,” says Blayney. “Given the pace of technological change plus our longer lives, the reality is that we will have not one, but several, careers in our lifetime. Flexibility and versatility are necessary attributes for job success, as is the realization that to remain competitive we have to be ‘looking for work’ for the rest of our productive lives.”
Even while government continues to find ways to stimulate job growth, Blayney has some tips everyone can use to take control of their futures in this current job market:
- Diversify: Diversification is an important strategy for an investment portfolio and the same principle holds true for a portfolio of “human capital.” This capital consists of experience, skills, education, training, and professional networks, all of which are important investments to make to produce wages. Developing more than one skill, speaking more than one language or having had a variety of workplace responsibilities can substantially reduce the risk of being unemployable.
- Shift your thinking: We usually think that financial security depends on earnings. While this is certainly true, it also works the other way around: our jobs depend, in turn, on our financial situation. Many employers, for example, will not hire workers who do not have good credit. Without an adequate emergency fund, those out of work or stuck in low-paying work may be unable to fund relocation or retraining to get the right job.
- Be less dependent: We need to have less dependence on our employers to provide for our financial needs. Jobs are being crowded out by the obligations of employers to provide comprehensive benefits to their workers. Like it or not, employees will need to do more to take financial care of themselves, saving more on their own, and downsizing their housing and budgets, to be able to “afford” what the workplace is paying.
- Think like an entrepreneur: We need to revive our American traits of resourcefulness and ingenuity, and focus on new ideas for products and services, rather than trying to revive old ones. We can look for jobs, but better still would be making one up. What can we do well that is needed by other people? Yes, starting a new business is risky, but current low interest rates make this much more financially viable.
With an uncertain economy and more debate ahead on how to create jobs ahead, Blayney encourages everyone to take these decisive steps now to improve their personal job outlook.
“When it comes to employment, each of us must become the boss of our own productivity,” Blayney says. “We simply cannot wait for jobs and the resulting financial security, to come to us – we have to make our own opportunities. It’s time to get Americans to work.”
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