HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WORK?

#work #careers #retirement4
Chances are, if you ask someone on his death bed what he wished he had done more of, he wouldn’t say “work.”
But Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and best-selling author of “Take the Stairs,” says, “work is integral, work is freedom, work is joy.”
If one asks his elders about work, he would hear things like, “I worked hard all my life.” Or, “you don’t get anywhere in this world without hard work.”
For many of us, if we look today at what we do for work, we can’t wait to be financially able to quit working, relax and do other things that we don’t consider work.
But Vaden, who discussed this in a Nov. 16, 2014, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, says the idea of “retirement,” and “leisure,” are changing.
We can see that in today’s world, without looking very far.
The idea of working at a job for 30 or 40 years, then suddenly “retiring” to do “nothing,” are pretty much gone. Today, many people are being “retired” before they want to be.
Staying at one job, or one company, for even 10 years is difficult because companies reorganize often, and bad managers are career killers.
We all would love to have jobs we enjoy, but we all know someone has to do the job no one wants to do.
If you happen to find a job you love, you are blessed. If that job lasts you most, or all, of your career, you are unusual.
Retirement planners tend to look not only at financial issues, but also whether a person is ready to retire. If you had all the money in the world, what would YOU do in retirement? As tempting as relaxation is, it will get old. When it does, boredom is not a pleasant condition.
Vaden quotes Timothy Keller, author of “Every Good Endeavor,” who quotes the Bible: “The book of Genesis leaves us with a striking truth – work is paradise.”
For many, work is paradise only if you don’t have work, and you need work. But, on the other hand, to paraphrase Vaden, whom do you know who hasn’t worked, or doesn’t work, who is worth looking up to?
Our work is part of who we are. It can also consume us. Yet, for most, work has a purpose in life, but it is NOT our whole life. Those who see work for what it is, and use it to make a good life, are perhaps the happiest of us.
The lesson here is to use your work to make you better person. If you are young, prepare for the day when your job disappears. You will probably never know when that day will be.
One way to prepare for a job to go away is to have a Plan B. There are many such Plan Bs out there. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You can work at Plan B when you are not working at your job. If you work at it correctly, you can eventually fire your awful boss.
Vaden asks, “why do we subscribe to this myth that our lives would be much better if we had less work?”
The answer to that is different for everyone. But, when you arrive on your death bed, try to have as few regrets as possible. We should all work at minimizing our regrets.
Peter

CHANGE ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU WANT

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Today, more than ever, change is constant.
Sometimes we see it coming. Often, we don’t. Regardless, we wonder what we could have done about it, presuming the change isn’t good.
Some things are beyond one’s control. Some things are totally within one’s control.
If change is beyond one’s control, how one responds to it is totally within one’s control.
One certainly can’t control the weather, and, as this is written, weather is severe in some parts of the United States. We can control how we prepare for and respond to severe weather.
Have you been through some change lately? If so, how are you dealing with it? Are you trying to reconstruct the past, or are you figuring out your place in the future?
Are you expecting change? What are you expecting? How do you feel about it? Is it going to help or hurt you? Most importantly, what are you doing now to prepare a response?
Are you expecting no change at all for the foreseeable future? Don’t be blindsided. Change IS coming. You may not know what the change will be. Therefore, you have to think of the worst change that could befall you, and prepare your response. What if you lose that job you think you are so secure in? What if your spouse walks out on you? What if there is an unexpected death close to you? What if YOU die?
All of these things will require a response. The good news: you can prepare a response in all these scenarios. At the time of the change, emotions will run high. That’s no time to think about how to respond. We don’t want things like these to happen, but they could – and they might. There are many prudent actions to take BEFORE they happen. Have a plan. Write it down. Have appropriate financial safeguards in place. Have appropriate insurance – yes, that goes for health insurance, even if you are young. Insurance is an investment, even if you don’t use it right away. Penalties are throwing money away.
Remember, in regard to your job, company ownership can change. You can get a really bad manager. Companies also reorganize a lot more frequently than in the past, because of changes in the marketplace, technology etc. Even if you have a great job, and are good at it, any one or more of the above changes could kill your career. How do you prepare to unexpectedly leave your job?
You can be a good saver. That certainly will help. You can be a very careful spender. Remember that money you don’t spend stays with you. However, remember the difference between being “cheap” and being frugal. (See health insurance vs. penalty above).
There are ways outside of a job to generate income. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It may be something you’d never thought of, but getting into it while you have an income – and before you really need it – could pay handsome dividends if the worst happens. Heck, it could pay big dividends even if the worst doesn’t happen.
Harkening back to Gandhi, you may not like the world as it is. You may love the world as it is, but don’t expect it to stay that way. If it does, that’s your good fortune, since you can’t control “the world.” In either situation, there are things you can do to make the world a better place, and secure your place in the future.
Don’t let circumstances beat you. Prepare for the worst and expect the best. You will be so much better for it.
Peter

NO ONE HAS TO BE A VICTIM

Upward mobility in America is a myth.
People can’t get ahead because the “system” is keeping them down.
Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a syndicated newspaper columnist, shoots holes in those “facts,” in a March 2013 column. Despite those conclusions from academic studies, Sowell says that if you look at individuals, there are clear models of upward mobility in America today.
He cites Asian immigrants, who came to the U.S. with little money, little, if any, command of English, but who have persevered and succeeded. Their children often do very well in school.
Success does not have to be for the privileged, or highly educated, few. There are many ways out there to be successful, regardless of background, birth or circumstance. To take advantage of those many opportunities, one has to, first, look for them. Once he has found one that suits him, he has to be determined to work at it. Once he’s done that, he has to help others do the same.
One of the reasons for Asian immigrants’ success is that they initially get help from those who came before them. Their grit and determination is a shining example to follow.
Admittedly, some folks who have done just about everything right can encounter curve balls that throw off their meticulous life plans. People can lose jobs. People can be shown the door by their employers, and have their careers cut short, because they reach a certain age. People can get ill, and see everything they’d worked for eaten up with medical bills, many of which could be outrageously high.
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
And, everyone is different. Some people willingly take charge of their lives. Some have trouble doing that. But, the ability to move up the economic ladder is still very much present. It just may not exist in certain areas anymore, because of technology and productivity increases.
Perhaps that good-paying job you had has gone away, and is not coming back. That doesn’t mean the system is keeping people down. It means that individuals have to look elsewhere for opportunity.
It is easy to get frustrated looking for opportunity, and fall into a funk. Then, you start to believe mobility is a myth and the system is against you. Those folks would be advised to know that circumstances may not be their fault, but how you react to them is clearly under their control.
Opportunities of the past may have passed. One might think of a generation or two ago, when a person got hired by an employer, with good pay and benefits, and that person could stay for life if he wanted to. There are few of those opportunities left. Today’s employment situation is very fluid, and probably will become more so with time. One has to look at a job as temporary, with limited duration, and spend some time outside of work looking for those golden opportunities.
Then, if confronted with one such opportunity, one has to have the courage to go for it, knowing that there will be people around to help them, when they are unsure of themselves.
Take care with whom you trust. There will be people who will see THEIR opportunity in YOU, and show you little or no appreciation for it. If you are in such a situation, look at it as a way to support yourself until your own plan, takes shape.
To look at one golden opportunity, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. The value will be obvious. The opportunity will be strictly up to you.
Don’t let yourself be a victim. Don’t become a statistic that will help justify the conclusion that mobility is a myth, and the system keeps people down. There is a whole contingent of people who don’t believe that for a minute. You’d be taking a step toward your own success if you hung among them.
Peter