Ask the Pros by Angela Grace

What I wish someone had told me before I chose a job/career.

Have you ever wished that an older, wiser woman had put her arm around your shoulder and explained the ins and outs of employment?

With the shifting sand of employment from the pandemic, I’m writing an addendum to last months blog because I think it is so important that we support each other and younger women who are searching for employment.

If you have thoughts/counsel for those who could use encouragement or ideas on navigating new employment, please write in the comments.

Dear Person Thinking About Their Future Way To Make Money:

Most of us need to earn an income to pay for life’s essentials and/or life’s pleasures. The question is, how. Let us offer you a path to consider when answering the question of how you will make money for your future.

You should learn and  train for three different types of jobs: Fast Cash, Steady Career and Passion Work.  All three, together, are good ways to establish your best financial security.  Here’s how it works:

Fast Cash

There will probably be times in your life where you are “in-between”:        in-between jobs or semesters in school or moving to a new city. You are not yet established with a big income or full time education but still wanting some money, Fast Cash, to meet or supplement your immediate needs. 

So, learning a skill that is transferable to any city, any time, and pays a decent wage is a great idea. There are universal skills that, if you have them, you can usually get a job anywhere.  For example, learn to do various restaurant jobs, like being a waitress or bartender or cook or manager. A few weeks of training, learning the language, feeling the rhythm of the business and you have a transferable skill. It helps that restaurants have a high turn over, especially in college towns, so getting a job quickly, with good references, is usually possible.

Pick out a job suited to your interests that requires little formal training and get some experience. There are a lot of different Fast Cash jobs: cutting hair, bank teller, baby-sitter or nanny, farmhand, bus-chauffeur-delivery driver, landscaper, janitor, nursing assistant, solar kit installer, etc.  These are jobs that sometimes require little time to learn but still  earn a  certificate with a few months of practice. They are jobs that are easy to get quickly. 

Once you learn the rhythm of an environment, of an industry, you can pick the job you think works best for you,  Like, if you learn how to work in a big box store as cashier or loading dock worker and learn to use a fork lift, you can go to any box store and are more likely to get a job. One of the best industries to  learn your way around is a hospital because there are many different types of jobs and they can’t be outsourced to another country. 

Obtaining a Fast Cash skill may tide you over when you really need some income but, these are not high paying jobs. 

Steady Career

“In order to do good for the world, you must first do well for yourself”.  

The question becomes, what do you do for income to take care of yourself, for a life time. Typically, people train in college for a Steady Career, a solid, enjoyable, well paying career. Your chosen career is a long term, even lifetime endeavor. It is worth taking time to make a thoughtful initial decision and then actually immerse yourself into that career before you commit yourself. What we mean by immerse is to physically go to your chosen career setting: talk with people who have that career, get an internship, volunteer, ask to follow a professional for a day, go to conventions or meetings, or do whatever you can to really learn and understand what you will be getting into before you spend a dollar on education. 

Then, when you decide your chosen career, pick two different directions to go with it, working on both together at the same time. Let’s say you decide to become an attorney. Pick two different niches within the attorney world to master so that if one door closes, you have another option ready to go. For example; you can become a criminal defense attorney but also specialize in stocks and securities law; focus on business law but also specialize in cybersecurity and so forth. 

Passion Work

Sometimes though, having a practical, well paying Steady Career is not your passion. Your passion is doing what you absolutely love to do, can’t wait to do it and you think about it during those moments of rest in your mind. We strongly encourage you to follow your passion!  Learn, study, practice whatever you deeply desire, even if you don’t see right now, how to make money. Do it because it will give you great joy and fulfillment. 

As a practical aspect, learning and developing your passion, whatever it is, may become another avenue for future income.  Consider it a backup plan. We never know what the future will bring and there is always the possibility your ability to work in your Steady Career will end; Maybe by injury, illness or loss of employment. So, make the effort to formulate a plan to make money from your Passion Work.  You don’t have to put the pressure on yourself to implement your plan now, but you will feel a sense of relief just knowing you have backup plan. 

There you have it. What do you think? What additional wise counsel would you offer?

Angela Grace is a licensed therapist, Board Certified Life Coach and blogger.