Even though the news media likes to say that the economy is improving, millions of Americans are still feeling the pinch because of job losses or smaller paychecks due to a cutback in hours. Coupled with higher grocery and utility costs, this reduction in income leaves many people feeling insecure about their family's economic future.
Although delivering pizzas at night or flipping burgers may help to solve the immediate need for some extra money, this type of work does little to bolster permanent financial security. If you are dealing with a reduction in your income or fear that one is coming and would like to take steps to become more financially secure, here are some options to consider.
Make Yourself More Valuable to Employers
If your hours have been cut or your job no longer seems to offer potential for both growth as an employee and future pay increases, the problem may be related to the value your employer believes you add to the company. This is especially true in constantly evolving industries such as technology and healthcare. To combat this, consider updating your skills or education. Some companies may even be willing to reimburse you for all or part of your educational costs in return for agreeing to stay with them for a set period of time.
If your company does not assist with the cost of continued education, you may still be able to continue your education by utilizing one of the many free classes offered online. Many respected schools now offer a wide variety of courses that you can audit without cost. Even though these classes typically do not count toward degrees, the knowledge available can be a big plus, especially in fields like technology and finance.
Branch Out With a Side Business
If you have lost your job or realize that you have no real future in the one you currently have, starting your own small business venture may be a good option to consider. Begin by determining what interests and skills you possess and then look for ways to apply them to a small business venture. Here are three examples:
- If you have writing and photography skills, perhaps you could build a successful business by creating marketing pieces for local businesses, such as real estate companies.
- If you have a creative flair, perhaps you could produce handmade items, like candles, soaps and jewelry and market them both locally and online.
- If you have an interest in clothing or fashion, perhaps you could purchase gently used clothing or children's items and market them both locally and online.
Use Temporary Jobs as a Catalyst
Even if you are currently unemployed and have no way to continue your education or start a small business venture, there are still many options that can help you grow both your skillset and your income potential. Consider making a list of all your current skills and then using it to sign up for a wide variety of positions offered through a local temporary employment agency or place like Montu Staffing Solutions. Not only will you be getting solid experience in a wide range of jobs, you will be offering area employers the opportunity to see what you can offer to their organization that may lead to a permanent position.
Expand Life Skills to Become More Employable
Look at the skills you currently possess and decide how you can add value to them. For instance, most of us know how to drive. If you enjoy driving and have a relatively good driving record, consider obtaining a commercial license. CDL jobs can range from driving a small delivery van around town to driving an eighteen-wheeler across the continent. While inexpensive, the licensing process can vary from state to state, but generally requires both a written and driving test.