Something to consider: Get a better job

Ron Finke
Your money
Ron Finke

Even before there was a virus named COVID-19 there was an explosion in the number of jobs that were being advertised in the U.S. The so-called animal spirits for economic growth were alive and well. Now that many Americans for various reasons seem to have left the workforce, the number of unfilled positions has skyrocketed.

I think of this in connection with my almost 40 years of interviewing people regarding finances. It is always sad to hear from some that they have been in a job for several decades and say they have hated every minute. Why do people stay in jobs they hate? Perhaps a psychologist can write about that. Perhaps some people will never be happy about anything in life.

But today I want to encourage you and those you know to consider making a search to improve your situation. Some of us are more risk averse and some more willing to risk. I know that the devil you know may be better than the one you do not. But if ever there was a time, I believe this is it. There is great opportunity with turmoil, and we have plenty of turmoil now in the labor market.

Where should you begin? When I was young and still practicing law, I read or heard that you should think about what subject or industry you would want to pursue even if you did not need the money. For me, it was finance and investing. What do you do naturally or gravitate toward? No, we really do not need thousands of new video game coding engineers!

Ask other people close to you what they see as potential new fields for you. Oftentimes others may know us better than we do. We require prospective associates to take a profile found at www.kolbe.com. The Kolbe A Index measures your instincts and methods you naturally use to approach problem solving and life in general. We are much more than our personality, intelligence or social style.

The pay potential is important but it should not be highest priority. Check out https://stats.bls.gov and scroll down a bit to Career Information. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is quite helpful with information on which careers are in decline, growing as fast as average with others, and which are growing in demand at a faster pace. Having said this, if you really want to be a gas plant operator (which is in decline), then perhaps you should pursue that anyway.

By the way, you will not need a doctorate for most of the fastest-growing occupations. Wood pattern makers, requiring only a diploma or GED, with moderate term on the job training are making between $60,000 and $80,000, and jobs are growing much faster than average.

Again, my point today is to give you or someone you love a nudge toward your own best and highest use in life. We are much more than what we do. We are human beings, not human doings. If you do what you like to do, you will be just living as you should be, not working as drudgery. Get after it!

(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The advice is general in nature and not intended for specific situations.)

Ron Finke is president of Stewardship Capital in Independence. He is a registered investment adviser. Reach him at rcfinke@stewcap.com.