Itís a tough world out there right now. The economy is getting tighter, and itís likely that you or someone you know has been affected by the downward spiral of the housing and job market. Of course, even with times much leaner than before, we are lucky to be young enough to be in a position to learn from this rather than trying to survive it the way other generations are. Some of the lessons Iíve learned already include:
Have Many Skills
Itís been said that our generation will be changing jobs and careers at least eight or nine times during our lives. Listening to those whoíve lost their jobs recently on the news, it seems that having more than one set of skills is the best way to be prepared. If youíve only learned one skill and youíve done it for thirty years, youíll be a bit out of luck if that skill isnít very necessary any more. It would be better to always be learning something new or trying new things just to be sure you can find a new career if the one you have goes away.
Donít Get Too Comfortable
There always seem to be ups and downs, but I think this up lasted so long people forgot there had to be a down, too. Perhaps if they had been looking for signs of things slacking off, it wouldnít have hurt so much when they did. I donít think we need to live in an anxious state always waiting for disaster to strike, but staying on top of the news and such certainly canít hurt.
Save, Save, Save
Iím not in a position to save very much yet, but Iím doing my best to start putting away 10% of what I make for the future. How many people who are facing layoffs didnít bother to save while they were making money? That money would have come in handy now. I think we are at the right age to start saving. If we make it a habit now, it will stay a habit forever, just like brushing your teeth. (Just be sure to save in a bank thatís backed by the government.)
Iím not sure if education plays much of a factor in whoís getting laid off these deals, but Iíd be willing to bet the ones that know how to play the game and keep their jobs didnít get there by not paying attention in class. Knowledge is power, and I plan to get as much as possible. Maybe Iíll even get enough knowledge to start my own business and not have to worry about the people above me running my company into the ground.
I think that itís important to buy things you want or need if you have the funds to do so, but buying things on a whim might not make the best sense. Consider what youíre buying carefully so you donít waste your money. Nothing hurts more than waste during hard times.