Those that don’t know me very well would tell you that I’m obsessive about thinking up ways of making money and the sad thing is I would probably have to agree with them.
When I was younger the reason for wanting to make lots of money I admit was misplaced. I didn’t have many friends and I believe that I wanted to show people that I could make something of myself and this in turn would mean that I would be respected and liked by my peers, I could also buy whatever I wanted when I wanted and didn’t’ have to answer to anyone.
Through the years my wish to make more money hasn’t wavered but the reason for wanting more money certainly has.
Now when I think of what it means have money it’s not about being able to buy material possessions to impress people that I don’t particularly care about or don’t care anyway, it’s now about being able to do the things that make life more enjoyable and free, we have only one life after all. It’s about being able to spend time with my wife and being able to experience and do those things that I probably wouldn’t be able to do without being financially free and having to play my part in the 9 to 5 rat race.
Is investment in further education the key to financial freedom?
I would like to say it is but to be honest I have absolutely no idea. In 2015 I completed a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Management, this is the equivalent to two years at university, in the hope that this would improve my chances in the job market, this was done part time whilst working and helping to organise a wedding. I could top this up to become a fully-fledged degree, but the cost simply isn’t something that I can justify.
I’m a strong believer that we are hard wired to be constantly seeking knowledge the trouble is I’m rubbish at exams. I can good at retaining information but transferring this knowledge in an exam setting is something that I’ve always been rubbish at and employers will always want someone that is able to show that they have the necessary qualifications and certifications.
The internet has made it easier for people to invest time into the acquisition of knowledge and somewhat cheaper that attending a bricks and mortar institution but as many young people have found out after graduation there is always no guarantee that a degree is going to open doors in to a job that you are going to love for life.
Will I ever find the right job for me?
I was recently contacted by a recruitment company asking whether I had considered a change in career (I always am). They had my cv so had an idea as to my experience. I went through a process where I initially spoke to the area manager, carried out an assessment, spoke to an internal recruiter, carried out a sales role play, carried out another assessment and had an interview. Throughout the interview process I felt like the whole process was just going through the motions.
First off the interviewer seemed surprised that I was there and I was expecting to have an interview with two people and there was only one and not once did I get any feedback on the assessment nor did we really discuss my CV and experience in great detail. I didn’t get the job and the reason for this apparently was that the last assessment highlighted a reluctance to sell, if they knew this why the hell did I give up half a day’s leave to attend an interview.
I have to say that this got my goat up a little, as I’d been through a sales role play and managed to secure an interview for both fictional candidates and not once had we discussed my sales experience in the “interview”. This was also company that prided itself on its training. I’m a strong believer that if things are meant to be everything will turn out right in the end. So this obviously wasn’t’ right for me.
I would consider myself to be good at my job but it’s certainly not something that I can see myself doing long term, especially considering that there are no routes to progress and what I get paid certainly doesn’t coincide with my responsibilities or what I want from my life.
One day I worked out that I was probably making less than £10 a day more than those that I managed. Some would say that that isn’t bad but bearing in mind that I manage staff, provide legal advice to senior staff, attend court on behalf of the employer, deal with accounts that are deemed un-collectable and provide management reporting you might see why I am frustrated.
Here’s the catch 22, whilst I know I could probably do some of the jobs that that my current employer sometimes advertise, like many employers they seek experience teamed together with certifications, how are you supposed to get on if even your current employer isn’t willing to take a punt and give and you the opportunity to prove yourself.
Am I getting to old to be considered as a viable candidate for jobs?
I’m 38 this year and sometimes wonder whether I’m considered too old to by some employers, especially when considering a change of career. A number of questions raise their ugly little head when thinking about my future and the job application process.
Some of this include 1) will an employer think that I’ve been in my current role too long and as a result worry that I might not be able to be trained and 2) given the choice would an employer rather employ someone fresh out of university.
Maybe these are just doubts that everyone has but they certainly on conducive to getting what you want in life. A positive mindset is always going to help.
Is self employment and investment the way forward for me then?
I gave self employment a go a few years back and as you might have already guessed it wasn’t a successful venture.
Failure certainly hasn’t dampened my appetite for wanting to succeed whether that be in business or as an employee if necessary, all I need is that one idea. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a million pound idea, just one keeps my focus and one that I know I won’t lose interest in if the going gets tough, because things definitely will, just ask anyone that has been a success.
The great thing about 21st century business is that the internet has made it all the more possible to start a business part-time and there have many a blogger/part time business owner that has started part time that has turned into a full time concern so opportunities do exist.
I’m also very lucky as I have a small amount of savings so I also need to consider whether I can put this money to work for me through investments.
Investing is something that I want to look at seriously in the not too distant future so The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns is certainly a book on my reading list.
So where do I hope to be in the next five years?
I would like to think that if I hadn’t found a job that I’m good at and enjoy, at the very least I would have started a business that makes a tidy income this wouldn’t necessarily have to be full time, the internet has made it a lot easier to make a part time income whilst still working a full time job.
I would have also liked to have learnt a bit about investing and have my own portfolio that was making me a tidy return in the long term. Though I think Warren Buffet might not be quaking in his boots just yet