|Smart Career Choices|
The practical need for a new career is an increasing reality for many individuals through no fault of their own. The old career planning methods have not worked for some time, but it frequently takes a severe event to bring the true colors to the forefront of the picture.
For example, banking and real estate were both engaged in excesses that were problematic for a number of years. But most individuals chose to overlook these financial problems as long as they were making money or at least not damaged by the risks and illegal acts. Eventually the banks went too far and caused the house of cards to collapse.
What Could Go Wrong?
As it turns out, the chaos caused by banking institutions has effectively destroyed or severely damaged many careers as a direct result. That is certainly a major reason for thousands of individuals to be examining their career options at this point.
But perhaps more importantly, the banking crisis also helped many of us to see how ineffective some career choices have been. In a booming economy, even ineffective career paths can still work out to everyone's satisfaction.
But what happens when something goes wrong?
Something has indeed gone very wrong with employment, education, politics, and the economy. In a human version of "The Perfect Storm," we are now faced with all kinds of unexpected happenings.
- How many thought General Motors would go bankrupt?
- Did anyone really expect Merrill Lynch to fail and fall into the hands of Bank of America?
- Who thought that our biggest banks would be making payday loans at annualized interest rates of 300 percent and higher?
- What were the odds of our biggest banks laying off and firing over 50,000 employees while still paying their CEOs salaries in excess of $10 million?
- Is anyone surprised that almost 20 percent of homeowners in the United States are still "underwater" with their mortgage (owes the mortgage company more than their house is worth), while in some states the number is as high as 30 percent to 40 percent?
Do You Have a Plan B and Plan C for Your Career?
One of the career choices that has stalled out and fallen to earth for many individuals involves an expensive college education that literally results in student loan debt bigger than the cost of some houses. Six-figure student loans are increasingly common. As someone who acquired both an undergraduate and graduate degree without accumulating any debt whatsoever, it is impossible for me to imagine how differently my life would have been with a huge debt burden at the very start of my business career.
It is always worthwhile to re-examine the wisdom of spending the amount of money now required for a college degree. Except for those specialties such as medical ones which require that a specific educational path be followed, the time is right to find another path.
Small business careers are clearly not the only alternative available for those who want to consider any and all practical alternatives to an ultra-expensive university sabbatical. But it is a practical career path that I can speak authoritatively about in terms of how to do it effectively and efficiently.
For example, I can train most individuals (in the United States and Canada) in a period typically ranging from three to nine months (depending on both personal schedules and backgrounds) to become a small business finance consultant. The cost for the specialized and individualized career training program to do this usually ranges from $2500 to $5500.
You can do the math:
- $5500 or less versus a potential six-figure student loan.
- Earning income within a few months versus four years from now.
- Working in a field that is diverse and flexible enough to provide a permanent Plan B.
- Positions work very well either part-time or as second jobs.
Perhaps my proposed Plan B should be your Plan A?