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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preparing for Opportunity 2

Making money is easy; keeping it is the trick!

During the time I was earning my retirement I had many opportunities to supervise staff, at my best (most) I was responsible for 42 professional staff.  I never socialized with my staff (ever).  It was a tough decision to make, but on the long run it was the best thing I ever did.  Perhaps you’ve heard people say that “it’s lonely at the top?” that is what’s meant.  You never know when you may have to enforce company policy, and then you come off as being two-faced.  You can’t party with staff Friday and Saturday night and lay down the law on Monday morning.

I had one particular staff person that I enjoyed working with.  He was a very good worker, but a hard living kind of person.  He took financial chances that I would never consider taking. Totally opposite of me and maybe that’s what I liked about him.  One day he got caught breaking company policy, and as his supervisor I had to write him up.  He became very upset, and started lashing out at me the only way he knew how.  He told me that I had sold my soul to the company store.  I had a difficult time containing my impulse to laugh in front of him.  Instead I asked him; do you even know what that means?  His response was, “that you are a company man and cater to the company’s whim.”  I responded that I was performing my duty as his supervisor and that there was no question that he had violated company policy.

I took the opportunity to correct him on his effort to put me down.  I explained that he was the one that owed his soul to the “Company Store.”  I told him that he owned a race car, a speed boat, his and hers Harley Davidsons (for him and his wife), a motorhome, a speed boat, a 30 foot fifth wheel RV, and a new Camaro.  He had previously complained that he was barely making it from pay check to paycheck.  I further explained that he owed so much that he couldn’t afford to miss work without pay.  When you are so indebted, you can’t afford to lose your or your wife’s job.  He understood and thanked me for being a nice guy, and not being angry at him.  I kind of envied him because he had all the toys that I didn’t dare spend my money on.

How’s your tab at the “Company Store?”  The only way that you will be ready when opportunity calls is not to owe your soul to the company store. Wait you say! There is no company store in my life! Now for the Aha moment: but there is!  The Company Store of today is; Department store credit cards, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Auto Finance Companies, Mortgage, lease or rent, Payday Loans, on and on. If you carry too much debt you may get stuck at your dead end job, which you hate because it doesn't fulfill you and it doesn't offer opportunity for growth. Unless you meet all qualifications, you sometimes have to start at entry level or somewhere in-between. Having too many bills might keep you from making a move to a new and better opportunity.

Changing jobs because you need more income and the new job pays more is not a good enough reason to switch jobs. Due diligence is always called for when considering something as important as a new job. First thing you need to verify is that there is a career ladder for you. Talk to people that work at the new job and see what they have to say about the working conditions.  Sometimes when you don’t like your job, changing your perspective or attitude is the answer and not just a new job.  One definite smart idea is to make sure you have another job before your quit the one you have.  In today’s economy, finding a job while unemployed is not in your favor, and unless you are a top notch performer at your place of employment, don’t bluff about having a better offer.  If you are not well thought off the boss may give you a box so you can clear your desk.

I have been offered opportunities to re-enter the industry that I retired from at wages higher than the one I retired from.  I’ve actually looked into it 2 times, and once offered the position backed away every time, my reasons are simple:

  • I am fortunate to have reached a comfortable and generous retirement
  • I want to practice what I preach; unnecessary stress will eventually kill you
  • Like the MasterCard commercial says; spending time with my grandchildren is priceless!
  • I don’t want to come across as being greedy
  • I want to enjoy the only boss I have, but love; my wife!

The best is yet to come….

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