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Your job (03/10/2004)
By Al Thomas


     
There are so many kinds of work that needs to be done and you are doing one of those jobs right now - unless you are one of those two and a half million that have been laid off during the past 3 years. The press continues to blame China and India for stealing away all these forms of employment, but they don't have it right.

Many of the unemployed have been sent to train for new jobs and, unfortunately, the government in its infinite wisdom is training folks for high tech computer related work - the kind that is being outsourced to foreign lands.

Have all those jobs gone to foreign countries? No. Many of them have been replaced by more efficient machinery or faster computers. They will not come back because they didn't go anywhere. They disappeared. You might want to take a close look at your own work. Can it be sent over the border to be done by someone earning one fifth of what you are being paid? Will improvements in technology someday replace you? The Wall Street analysts thought they were indispensable, but it seems that there are thousands of graduate degree stock analysts in India who are performing the same service for one fourth of the cost.

Suppose your job disappeared. What would you do? It is always smart to have a backup plan. Many people are going into business for themselves, but you better have a good size nest egg as it usually takes 18 months to break even and 85% of new businesses fail within 5 years.

If you plan ahead maybe you won't be out of work for very long and miss those paychecks. As "iffy" as our economy is today it would be wise not to wait until the axe falls.

One of the greatest sure things is the health field. With the boomers starting to retire in a few years a job in the health field should be relatively secure. These can't be shipped overseas. How about something related to the funeral business? You will want to think about any business where the work cannot be outsourced. Starting a business now that may take several years to start bringing in a profit in 5 years might be a solution. Is there a position that you have always wanted, but requires taking state or federal exams? Start now to study for and take those tests.

If you are required to start over you must be willing to work for less pay until you work your way up the ladder in the new profession. Don't wait until you are collecting unemployment benefits to start. Some people would rather sit at home than flip hamburgers at minimum wage. Can you stomach that?

Every day with the increasing advances in technology your job becomes riskier. Don't wait for the pink slip to start thinking about how you are going to pay the mortgage next month. Your job is any job you enjoy and at which you earn a decent living. Don't count on having it tomorrow; it may disappear.

Anticipation and planning are the watchwords so you will always be working and enjoying life. 

 

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