how to survive and thrive in turbulent times

Take a good look around.

The world is undergoing incredible change.

And not all for the better. Sadly, unemployment is a real killer.

My family and I met a nice lady just the other day who had graduated with a master’s from a local university mastering in English.

I asked her what the job market was like for a woman in her position.

“Not good,” she said, “I’m working as a cashier at a supermarket.”

What’s ironic about this is I have a client who I met last year and although she’s only 17, she has exactly the same job.

That’s an investment of upward of $60,000 to end up with a job that requires no degree whatsoever.

I wish I could say this was the exception to the rule, but more and more people today are finding themselves out of work.

And it seems to be the case everywhere.

Young people, educated people, experienced people are all running into the same problem – there just aren’t enough jobs.

More and more jobs are getting sent overseas to places such as China and India.

Good news for those countries but for places like Japan and the US, it’s a nightmare.

As such, today I thought I’d talk about how people can prepare for, and deal with situations like these because let’s face it, these things happen.

Economies go up…and then they go down.

People like to think that booms in stock markets or housing will never burst…but history has taught us otherwise.

That’s just the nature of how things work.

In university, most students do what’s necessary.

A few excel, some do well, most get by (that was me btw), and a few miss the mark.

But that’s no longer enough. Competition is high, so you have to set yourself apart in every which way you can.

One simple way to do that is the unpaid internship route.

As a business owner I can tell you firsthand that nothing gets my attention faster than hearing someone will work for free. So many people just want to know how much they’ll get paid.

While money is most certainly appreciated in return for hard work, there are a few things even more valuable than money especially when you are starting out.

  • Training
  • Contacts
  • Knowledge

The key is finding someone who will help you grow as an individual and not simply take advantage of you.

But that’s not hard in this day and age. We’ve got tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook which will allow you to get the message out quickly that you’re looking to improve yourself in the field of your choice and see if anyone bites.

Maybe a friend of a friend. Or a contact you made a few months back will be able to point you in the right direction.

And trust me, training and knowing the right people are often times many times more valuable than the money you’ll earn at a job.

Another thing people can do, and you’ve heard me say this before, is study.

Your classmates or colleagues are studying what’s required, but there’s no rule that prevents you from setting yourself apart from your competition by picking up a few new skills.

There’s that place with lots of books…what’s it called, again…right, the library. Many of seem to have forgotten just how powerful books can be, what with all the technology we have around, but you could pick up any number of skills; marketing, sales, communication, negotiation or more in-depth knowledge of your field.

Back in the 60s my mother told me that jobs were everywhere. Quit and you’d find a better one the next week.

Going to college used to ensure that a job would better much be waiting for us upon graduation.

There used to be a time when you got life-time employment.

Those days are here and gone.

Today it’s a whole new ball game. It’s hard to get a job and if you’re lucky enough to get one, it’s either perform or you’re out.

It all comes back to one thing – us.

How much do we really want it? For years, I wondered about my life. Did I want to become a pilot? Should I become a businessman? I honestly had no idea.

But 5 years ago, my vision became clearer and clearer. And since that time I’ve put my heart and soul into achieving that vision.

I’m part-way there. This year I’m implementing phase 2 and with any luck the next 3 years will determine the rest of my life.

I trust you’re working on your dreams, too.

It doesn’t take much, but it does take hard work.

Get started today and blow your competition away tomorrow.

Adrian Shepherd

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