Nice ass(ets)

Yesterday I wrote about a little quandary some working professionals face: being stuck in a job that will limit their future career potential. Let’s face it, some skill sets just aren’t as desirable on the open market. So what’s a person to do, in such a situation? Well many of you, that commented yesterday, hit the nail on the head. You gotta diversify yourself and think outside the box.

Just as diversification is important in a retirement portfolio, so it is true in your personal life. I might be an investigator by trade, but that doesn’t mean I will be limited to investigatory type positions the rest of my life (at least I sure hope it doesn’t mean that).

Here are a few ways I plan to make myself more competative on future job applications…

1) Read. Easy enough right? I ain’t no financial guru, but the majority of the finance skillz I picked up, came from one place…books. I use to hate reading in college, probably because it was required, but now I can’t get enough. Books are like candy for the brain. Do I have any financial experience or degrees? No. But I do have a passion for money and at least the fundamentals down. I’m sure this would help me out in an interview for a business related position.

2) Do something. I was interested in personal finance, so instead of sit idly by, I decided to do something about it. Thus the birth of PDITF. Sure blogging may have helped my writing skills (or lack thereof) a little bit, but more importantly, it has spawned quite a few more talents. I know how to use photoshop and I’ve become somewhat proficient in CSS coding and other computer mumbo jumbo. My blog has turned in to a small business, one that makes me a couple thousand a year. Never did I think I would be a quasi- business owner.

3) Network. “It’s not what you know but who you know.” While that may be a frustrating quote it is DEFINITELY true. You have to surround yourself with people involved in the field you want to work in. If you want to be a writer, start hanging out at coffee shops. If you want to be a photographer, join a picture club. If you want to be a babysitter, start sitting on babies (wait…that’s not how it works). If you know people in your field of interest, maybe they can put in a good word for you with their hiring manager. Remember, your future employer is going to train you on how to do your job, you just have to prove to them your the best candidate to be trained.

4) Education. I put education last on purpose. Not because I think it is the least important (although I kinda do), but because I think people overemphasize the importance of further education and end up neglecting other aspects of their life. Sure, if you want to be a physician you better go to medical school, lawyers to law school, and truck drivers to…truck driving school? But a masters or Ph.D. does not guarantee employment, and if you think it does, you’re dumb. A few of yesterday’s commenters suggested taking courses at the local community college. GREAT IDEA! C.C.’s are generally pretty cheap and have a lot of flexibility in class schedule. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT quit your job to go back to school full time to get an M.B.A. only because you think it will ensure higher income.

So those are four ways to increase your desirability to future employers, regardless of your current position.

Can you think of other ways to stand out from the rest?

p.s. if you are reading this post via RSS or email, you should check out my actual website today, I posted up my Valentines banner (putting those photoshop skills to use)

p.p.s. I am super duper excited for tomorrow’s post. It’s a little experiment that I hope you all will consider participating in. I can’t give away too much, but I’ll give ya a hint… it’s a “secret”. 🙂

14 thoughts on “Nice ass(ets)

  1. In addition to #3, if you found a company that you might be interested in working for, apply for contracts. People are more likely to hire you on a temporary basis as a trial and see how you work out, as opposed to taking a chance on you with a full time position. – I started out on a contract in an field I have no background in, and by the time my contract was up, my bosses were trying to find a place to put me to keep my skills.

  2. Punch love in the face…that poor heart.

    Good post. I think networking usually ends up being the most important, as the saying goes, "it's not what you know, it's WHO you know." Very annoying quote, I agree. Volunteering too I would say in some professions, but that again is a part of networking.

  3. I'd add keeping track of what you do – both volunteer and at work. That lets you identify what skills you are using that might apply to another line of work. For example, investigating could involve analysis, communication skills, attention to detail, and customer service. Those are all skills that are applicable in completely different jobs.

  4. Hey Ninja,

    Do you have any good book recommendations? I'm looking for a good solid guide to managing money. Household budgeting is no problem, but when it comes to putting my money to work (investing, CD's, etc) I feel like a novice. Any suggestions?

    • Two Suggestions…

      Smart Couples Finish Rich… yes it is a book for married couples, but it goes in to an adequate level of investing and retirement planning without being to convoluted. I read it even though I wasn't married and I enjoyed the read.

      I Will Teach You To Be Rich… this one is all over the PF Blog world. Ramit touches on the beginnings of investing and even throws out some recommendations as well.

      Those are the two I would start with to wet your whistle, and then if you want to go deeper you can do so after getting the fundamentals down.

      I would also look at various personal finance blogs. If you just google a topic, like \”CD ladders blog\” then you will probably find quite a few posts about CD's and who they will and wont work for. Blogs are the best source of knowledge in my opinion.

      GOOD LUCK, and thanks for stopping by!

      Ninja
      Punch Debt In The Face
      Twitter: @punchdebt

      • Excellent, thanks Ninja. I am actually married (just over 1 year), so that's perfect. I spend quite a bit of time blog hopping, but I like having something solid to reference and make notes in.

        BTW, Married life is sweet when the two of you are on the same page financially. Best to you and Girl Ninja!

    • Two Suggestions…

      Smart Couples Finish Rich… yes it is a book for married couples, but it goes in to an adequate level of investing and retirement planning without being to convoluted. I read it even though I wasn't married and I enjoyed the read.

      I Will Teach You To Be Rich… this one is all over the PF Blog world. Ramit touches on the beginnings of investing and even throws out some recommendations as well.

      Those are the two I would start with to wet your whistle, and then if you want to go deeper you can do so after getting the fundamentals down.

      I would also look at various personal finance blogs. If you just google a topic, like "CD ladders blog" then you will probably find quite a few posts about CD's and who they will and wont work for. Blogs are the best source of knowledge in my opinion.

      GOOD LUCK, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. Yes, it's good to have an open mind and willingness to do whatever is offered or comes your way. If your boss ask of you to do a project, then go for it. It will open up new sets of skills. Also great to be a people person. Don't be shy and get to know as many coworkers as you can because they might come in handy when it comes to either references or a future work proposition bringing you into their workplace.

    I get along with everyone at work. Not only am I building relationships but also my personality in nature is friendly and talkative.

    http://moneyhoneysf.blogspot.com/

  6. You have a good point that having a higher education degree will not necessarily mean you will have a job. I also have a degree in Psychology and work in the ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) field with kids that are diagnosed with autism. Right now I'm pretty much maxed with a BA. I am taking classes for a BA level certification but to really start making money I need a MA. However that is me personally. I have a friend whos sister has a MBA but right now pretty much everyone has a post graduate degree so the market is flooded with overqualified individuals. Shes making about 30k right now and my friend has a retail job and probably makes double.

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