I have mentioned that if a person wants to reduce debt that they have two options. They can either increase income or decrease expenses. Today, frustration leads me to talk about income. How can we generate income. In reality, the more money you have the more opportunities you will have to generate income. For some, that is not an option, so they begin selling possessions to make ends meet. In my younger years, I sold TV’s, stereos, automobiles, and tools. Anything that had any value was a potential target for sale or pawn.
Finally, a third, more common approach to acquiring income is to gain employment. This has been my approach for nearly 40 years. It has been the method which has kept a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and luxuries that many people take for granted. It has helped me get out of debt and helped me build a comfortable nest egg. It has also led to some extremely pain filled nights with a sore back, total fatigue from working overtime, and some stressful nights wondering if the economy would make me redundant in a job that was no longer necessary.
Through it all, it was the job, that gave me a purpose. It gave me self-worth and self-respect. My dreams and my goals were place entirely in my own hands. I wasn’t reliant on any government benefit program to help. Just my own sweat and tears to make my visions come true.
The frustration I mentioned earlier is by seeing people whine and moan about money they need but won’t go the extra mile to make it happen. The extra mile being a good reliable employee. Recently, I witnessed a young married man, the father of three young children, lose his job because he didn’t want to do his job. He liked the money but to do the job he was hired for never happened. Though he charged a company for a full days wages, he often started late and left two hours early. He’d talk on his phone, non-stop, constantly buying or selling things. He reminded me so much of George Costanza on Seinfeld. Mister import/export man! Always talking about how much money he wanted to make. Yet, he devoted no time to the one thing that was a guaranteed source of income – his job.
Let’s face it. In today’s world, with Covid-19 forcing lockdowns and furloughs, no job is safe. No job is guaranteed. So if you have one or get one, then you need to treat it with respect because they are hard to keep and even harder to find. Within three months this young man went from being enthused to having an opportunity to not caring about his responsibilities. Towards the end, the job he was enlisted to do was not done at all. When he was finally let go, he was shocked it happened. Vowing to hire an attorney and file a grievance over wrongful termination, he still won’t acknowledge that he lost this job because of his own actions.
Another person I know has had more jobs in the five years I’ve known him than I have had in my lifetime. Everything he does he goes full throttle into it. His recent “job” was being a labourer dealing with medical testing kits. He purchased a lunch box, thermos, and made sandwiches for the whole week. He had to wear special clothing and a mask, which turned out to be a problem for him. He said that after three hours he had to resign from the post. He made it sound like it was a very high class job that he was an indispensable part of. The reality was that after three hours he quit. He found it hard to remove the special clothing to use the washroom and he struggled to breath while wearing a mask. I can’t think of anyone that finds it comfortable to wear a mask. I’ve been doing it for over a year and my glasses still steam up and there are times I can’t breathe getting to the point of being nauseous. Yet, I keep trying. I have to do it. I want a job. I need a job and to do that in today’s world that means taking extra steps to insure my health and the health of others.
I have told my children that anytime they start a new job, they need to stay with it for at least three months. After that time, you’ll begin to learn ways to do the job more efficiently and what once seemed like an impossible task, after three months, becomes routine and no extra special effort is needed. After that time, wait until your one year anniversary to suggest any changes that may make a job easier. There is a reason why a job is done a certain way, even after three months, you may not understand why, so just do it their way and learn. Also long term employees, who are now co-workers, don’t like newcomers who know it all.
When I look back at my working career, I shake my head because I can’t believe how much of a dumbass I was. I made many simple jobs difficult. It took awhile but I always got to a point where I was doing the work, in a way ruling the work, instead of the work ruling me.
In today’s world, it is a special art to become a good employee and a good co-worker. A good employee shows up for work on time all the time. In fact, they are usually early which leads to being a good co-worker.
I work at a job that I can’t leave until my relief takes over. One gentleman shows up a half hour early, which lets me unwind and relax to the end of my shift because I know he is ready to take over. Another person who reliefs me may show up 10 seconds early but usually it’s five to ten minutes late. He’s a nice enough person but not a good co-worker. At times, I relieve both of these people, which one do you think I show up early for? Ironically, which one do you think gets upset when I show up five minutes late?
We need income to stay out of debt. The best way to obtain income is having a job. Not all jobs are created equal, but our attitude towards a job is strictly on us. With a right attitude a job is more than just earning money. It is about self-respect, self-worth, a means to stay out of debt, and an ability to meet people who under any other circumstance would never be part of your life.