Note: Before I jump into this heavy topic first let me say happy belated New Year to you all. I hope that you had a great holiday season. Also, please excuse my absence. I started many awesome projects that I will be sharing with you soon at GuideWAH.
What Lessons Can We Take Away From The Government Shutdown
First, let me say that the following article will not have anything to do with politics. However, there are lessons that we can all take away from the government shutdown that can impact our future. So let's jump in!
The government shutdown served as an eye opener for many people in our country and those watching around the world.
Here are essential notes about the shutdown:
So where does that leave almost a million workers without pay, families to feed, and bills to pay?
There is a perception that when you hold a government position, it is the ultimate job security. Government employees along with others have long believed in this false idea of job security for ages. However, if you know my background of working with job seekers since 2007, you would know I would tell you the opposite. A company that I served as a Career Expert said it best, "every job is temporary." Yes, there is no such thing as job security. This entire event along with the downturn in the economy in 2007 shatters the stereotype that a federal job or any job for that matter is secure. In this most recent event, unfortunately, it took the most recent government shutdown for employees to realize that they are not untouchable. However, it is not just government employees. Business owners that rely on government contracts felt the heat as well. Again, the big difference here is that contractors didn't receive back pay.
The shutdown served as a reality check as people had to sell their belongings, find alternative work after hours, and live in uncertainty for five weeks. Many maxed out credit cards, sought out loans, and asked family members for help. Others had to rely on voluntary assistance from churches, food pantries, and donations to make it through the horrific experience. Although the shutdown has come to an end and the workers received back pay, the impact of the loss that took place will not be forgotten. Credit scores, family heirlooms sold in desperate need, and loans from family or friends can't be resolved overnight; if ever.
Here is a truth bomb. No matter how well we do our job, things inevitably change. For example, there are industry shifts, culture shifts; organizations lose funding and companies lose customers. Things happen that we can't control. What we have today can be gone tomorrow. Forget the politics of the shutdown, or who is right or wrong, because this site is not the place for that. The fact is that when we work for someone else, our future outlook is in the hands of another person. Depending on one source of income is a tremendous risk. If we are fired or laid off, our income can disappear overnight.
If we work for someone else, we should always keep an open eye to the job market. We never know, if we aren't looking, when better opportunities exist. The best time to look for a job is when we are employed. When we aren't desperate, we can objectively evaluate an opportunity. We can weigh the pros and cons and make a thoughtful decision about how a new job might improve our professional and personal life. If we don't lose the position, we will already be in the game and won't have to start from scratch because we will know what is out there.
You should always have a side hustle going. Even if it is more of a hobby than a business, that's okay. If you lose your job, it's a lot easier to ramp up a small venture than it is to start something new. And even if you don't lose your job, your side hustle can help you develop skills, talents, and connections that can pay off. Sometimes a side hustle can turn into a real thriving business.
The biggest lesson learned from this experience that we as a nation had to witness, is that self-reliance is the most critical aspect of survival. To have security, one must have independence in the form of multiple streams of income. In the face of uncertainty, the best anecdote is being able to supply what we need for ourselves and our family. The cruel nature of such events happening in the future is enough to allow everyone to arm themselves with the necessary tools to survive. Don’t wait for the next shutdown or something similar to ruin your livelihood. My biggest advice is to act now and secure a future of self-reliance and independence.
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