Friday, February 5, 2010

Change is Going to Happen . . .

Trent has a beautiful post today which discusses the fact that you can never know what's coming next. He writes:

Here’s the truth: an awful lot of lives go through the same progression as my own. Not in the sense of the specific things that change, but in that the specifics of their life change so drastically in even a few years. And we don’t see it coming, either . . .

You’ll lose a job. You’ll change careers. You’ll find a partner. You’ll have a child. You’ll move to another state. You’ll find a new passion. You’ll get sick. You’ll get well. People will leave your life. People will enter your life.

Things will change.

Things will change . . . he's right. As a personal finance guy, he recommends having a well-kept emergency fund (extra cash in the bank) so that you can keep life smooth when the inevitable unforeseen change occurs. It's great advice. A monetary safety net is invaluable.

I'd add another suggestion: build and hone a varied set of useful skills.

I have several friends who are never unemployed unless they choose to be - even in this economy. One person went from carpentry to lab work at a university . . . to volunteering at a clinic . . . back to lab research at a different university. Another went from robotics to programming . . . to real estate . . . to marketing and sales.

These two are endlessly curious. They are building skill sets that they might never use (I can tell you for certain that the lab worker/carpenter can also program in Java and he could pick up freelance copywriting in a couple of weeks if he chose to). These two will always find work because they can do many different things.

This world is changing. The flux may lead to the deaths of entire industries, possibly even yours.

Be prepared for these changes, both financially and mentally. They will be coming.