Sunday, 4 November 2012

The real consequences about not having a job

If you are a 20 something you are probably having a hard time finding a job. If you are a 30 something and have lost your job you are probably having a hard time finding a job. Bottom line: it's really hard to find a job especially if you turned 18 before 2008. Life is harder, jobs are harder to find and it doesn't seem to be getting better. But what are the real consequences about not having a job.

Disclaimer: I know how hard it is to find a job and I sympathize with everybody who wants to work and cannot find work.

If you do not have a job in your field you are potentially missing out on 2 things.
  1. Money
  2. Experience
The average college graduate makes 40k a year. That's 110 dollars a day or 770 a week. You can make this amount in another job such as a retail manager but I suspect if you went to school you don't want a retail management job. Perhaps you want to make more money. Well the more money you don't make you lose out on.

The second thing you are missing out on is experience. It's roughly 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week or 2000 hours a year (50 weeks a year). On top of this you are missing out meeting successful people in the field. 

These are two big items you are missing out on if you have a job. It gets compounded if you are in debt. So essentially you are losing 8 hours of experience, 110 dollars of income and most importantly the chance to be around competitive successful people. 

You really have to treat this as a loss. I sure did. 

Now what do you do about this. Well most people just go to school but you if you go to school you are losing more money and you are for sure not getting any experience. If you haven't noticed school is all about attending lectures and not gaining experience (for the most part). As I have said before, in a CS degree you do not make any products you just sit in class and do assignments.

The average cost of education in the states is 20k a year plus expenses so let's just say that every year you are in school you are losing out on 60k a year + 2000 hours of experience. School would be better if you could get real world experience instead of lectures. If I were in the position of employment I would almost pay 20k to go and get real world experience.

Another option is to start is to start your own business. This way you do get real world experience and you have the possibility of making money. It may not happen right away but if you work a 40 hour work week, you release good products and you learn from your mistakes you will not only get the experience but the money as well. 

But there is one big problem with this route and that is you cannot get credit for your work as an entrepreneur. This will change eventually and the sooner the better. So if we mix all of these elements together...
  • Super ambitious person
  • Intelligent and adaptable
  • Has a college degree
  • Cannot find a job
  • Starts own business to make up the financial and experience loss
... all of these elements equal something but currently equal nothing. Public perception on this issue needs to change. In fact in 1st year college this should be presented on day one: be prepared to be an entrepreneur because most of you won't be able to find jobs. 

And really the true litmus test to see if somebody want a career is that they will work on their craft in their spare time. If you don't want to spend your spare time working at your career then perhaps it isn't the career for you. 

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