Mike 4m 879
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There are always great opportunities in life and most often, you have to use your skills and talents to make money. If you love what you do and do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s so true. You just have to find what you love and figure out how to profit on it. There is money to be made everywhere you look. I see people struggling or people who went to college who graduate and end up with no job. I just want to shake them to realize that they go to college to learn about things they are interested in, but it is likely they won’t get a job doing what they studied unless they take more specialized courses. People just need to find that one niche they are good at and hold on to it and specialize in it and they will love what they do all their life – that is, if the job exists.
I had always been very technical and good with my hands. I was born a Mr. Fix It. I can look at something, play around with it, and eventually find the pieces to put it together, or take it apart, and put back new pieces to make it work. This has always been my thing, especially for computers, television sets, microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, and just about any kind of electronic there is. If it’s broken, there is a guarantee that I could probably fix it.
When I was younger a bit younger, many years ago, I remember a job I held in a New Jersey computer factory warehouse. The place would get in a lot of refurbished parts, broken parts, recycled parts, computer monitors, and just old computers and laptops. They would pay me and others to strip everything down, or fix them up, get everything working, and then they would turn around and resell them for profit. For several years, business was booming so much, I was actually making over $100,000 a year.
I guess that is in part, because they ended up giving me my own section of the warehouse and even had me hire people to work under me. Sometimes, I would get broken parts in that the warehouse saw no interest or value in. I would take them home or have a few guys find the missing pieces, we’d put them together, and sell them around town and to computer stores for profit. I had a cop working for me part time – he’d come in twice a week, strip down computers, rebuild them, and make a few hundred bucks that I’d throw his way under the table.
Those were good times and it was an amazing job. The company eventually went out of business because the majority of computers and electronics became so cheap that everyone began buying new. It was good while it lasted.
I’m still in the computer business working as a web designer and flash animator now, but I worked hard to learn everything I know and still began to be the best at what I do, always developing new skills, and selling myself to the lucky company that would hire me.
My advice to those seeking any job, especially in the computer field, and to those that have them: It’s a tough world out there with lots of competition, no job security, and no guarantee of anything. Someone will always settle for a lesser price than you will. You will never be paid what you are really worth, but negotiate your salary to be close to what you want. So when you are making money, don’t forget to put at least 10 to 20% of it away if you can. If you can even put 10% of your annual salary away in a 401k or an IRA, then go for it. Have fun, but save some too!
As much as you might think you can rely on Social Security when you retire, the truth is, it probably won’t give you much. Build up your own retirement account. Do not put all your faith in the government. I know there is no guarantee in life that you will live to retire, but that is why you get a beneficiary for which the money will go to them. Check out Charles Schwabb, Fidelity, or John Hancock. Speak with your employer about a 401k and then a representative for one of those companies or your employers’ 401k company. The money you put into it will mature as you do and most likely grow a fair amount. You won’t regret it.
I probably ended up spending more than I saved when I was younger, having fun, and not really having a whole lot of care. But life goes on and you do get older. Aging is inevitable. And you need money to live throughout your life. I still have some that I saved, but I wish I had saved more. I know that in this economy, I will never be making what I made 10 to 15 years ago. So appreciate the job you have, especially if it is paying you really well. There are not many more out there like it anymore.