CAUTION: Income Not Guaranteed!
Your Future Income Depends on Your Ability to Appear Employable
Eventually, I’ll do a post on the number of jobs I’ve had over the years. With a rough first count, I’d say I’ve had over 15 different jobs or sources of income, depending on how you categorize it, over the last 12 years. That’s more than a job change every single year. However, it’s very rare that I’ve been laid-off or quit a job outright without first having a better opportunity to transition into. I’ve always felt the need to never burn bridges and to always be thankful for the opportunity to learn, grow and experience different jobs. But there is one thing I learned during this time when I experienced a couple layoffs or unexpected job changes. It’s that your income is not guaranteed. This also means your job that you depend upon now could up and disappear in the morning. I’ve experienced it myself. Now, I’ve been a part of a lot of private companies and some start-ups that may depend on private funding or revenue but that doesn’t mean your public job will last forever either. Don’t let job loss take you by surprise. It’s definitely something to think about before you commit to that 5 year or 30 year loan right?
Hedging Your Risk
Every job you have gives you the opportunity to learn, build relationships and new skills that you’ll take with you no matter what happens. We may spend all of the money we make at each job without putting a significant amount of resources in saving or reducing expenses along the road but no one can take away what you’ve learned and experienced along the way. This is essentially the best way to hedge your risk in preventing the significant impact an unexpected job loss may have on your financial and family situation. By thinking ahead of time about the skills you have, the resources you’ve developed in relationships and knowledge, you can plan ahead for what your next steps would be if and when your current job ends. Every single day we have the ability to create value in ourselves through education and relationships. We build a figurative brick upon our mind each time we invest in ourselves. If we don’t, we tend to become stagnant and then the potential job loss is like jumping into a stagnant, mosquito ridden puddle. Except, that puddle is you. That’s right, you lose your job and then you’re mad that you’re ‘stinky and rancid’ self doesn’t know what to do because you haven’t spent the time to develop yourself, plan for the future or build your brand. If you did spend the time to develop yourself in the public light, you could be one Tweet away from a new job.
The Long Game
I just recently finished the book “Crush It” by Gary V. If you haven’t read this book, get on it. It’s a quick read and it’s entertaining. One of the biggest take aways from this book is that you are your own product. You will sell yourself at your current job, your next job, to your future spouse and to your kids. We sell ourselves every single day in so many ways that it’s really second nature to us. But since we may seldom change jobs, we don’t sell ourselves often enough to our next potential employer. That’s when we cram to prepare for an interview, pay someone to write our resume and hope for the best. But as you’ll read, that’s all going away. Gone are the days that you can just hand someone a nicely organized piece of paper and say ‘hire me.’ Instead, new employers are searching Google to learn more about you. They’re looking for your Facebook and Twitter posts. They’re seeing what pictures your posting and what your friends are like. They are viewing your character in a way that a resume will never display. At this point, isn’t it better for you to control and optimize those search results than to leave the results in the hands of Google? You better believe it is. So how do you do it?
“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”
You Are Your Own Brand
We can no longer get away with our private life being separate from our public appearance. You can run away from this, or use it to your vantage. Your next tweet will be visible forever.
Build Your Resume
As we’ve seen from the 2016 election, our popularity can be the product of what dirt can be dug up from our online history. Of course we won’t be under the same scrutiny as a presidential candidate but what’s important is that you control your destiny through being quick-to-think, slow to speak and by controlling your public display of information. You are building a brand by putting out Tweets, posting pictures to Facebook and sending images through Snapchat. That brand is out there for people to see, research and reference. That brand is where your future income may come from. As I mentioned, your income is not guaranteed but your brand can help ensure that your income stays somewhat consistent and that you are a valuable commodity in a constantly changing and struggling market. How are you moving your brand, aka yourself, into a better and more visible direction? Send me a message, I’d love to hear about it.
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