In the last week, two of my friends told me they are in peril of losing their jobs.
Both have advanced graduate degrees. One in psychology, the other in computer science.
Both have prestigious titles. One a university administrator, the other a special effects programmer in Hollywood.
They are smart, hard working and excellent at what they do.
And they could be unemployed in the next month.
When we went to graduate school in the 1990′s, we were guaranteed by our mentors that we would have ‘jobs for life.’
When you go to a top notch university and get an advanced degree, people want to hire you, or so the story went.
In the late 1990′s and early 2000′s our mentors were right about the fact that we were all in demand in our chosen fields at that time.
But then isn’t now.
The government is cutting funding to universities; Hollywood sends special effects programming overseas.
An education, letters after your name and high quality work are no longer a guarantee to a life long career.
So when your job disappears when you are 40-something and you have bills to pay and a family to support, what are your options?
You can’t apply for a similar job because that job doesn’t exist anymore. And it’s never coming back.
You need to make your income from the inside out.
You need to brand yourself as unique, talented and skilled.
You need to start your own business and create your career.
And you need to use your skills to support yourself, rather than someone else’s bottom line.
Smart people have engaged in the wrong conversation.
When I branched out into self-employment 8 years ago, my PhD colleagues thought I was nutty. ”You can have any job you want,” they said.
“But I don’t want a job. I want my freedom,” was my reply.
When I picked up coaching and teaching people about social media, my colleagues were even more perplexed, “This isn’t what you are trained to do. What you are teaching isn’t useful and goes against the tradition of your training.”
I replied, “You’re missing the point. This is where the world is moving. We need to keep moving, too. I see our jobs disappearing soon.”
And I was called a “fear-mongerer.” (really)
But rather than be afraid, I was excited to take my skills and mix and match them into a business that I adore. Daily.
And now I know I’ll never be laid off or without an income.
I taught myself how to fish. And it wasn’t easy or without pitfalls or pain. I was ostracized by my profession in many ways. But it was worth it. Because I didn’t see that I had any other choice.
And in the near future I see lots of very smart, highly educated people needing to learn how to turn their skills into profitable businesses because the jobs we were promised by the people who protest change and growth will be gone. Gone.
This could be a time of great fear and panic, or it could be a time of exciting innovation and growth.
The best part is, you get to choose how you respond to disappearing career promises and jobs.
Because the choice of having a “good job” doesn’t exist anymore.
What will you choose?
If you want to learn more about building your own real, true business that gives your the money and freedom you need (and no one can lay you off!), join me for my new Real True Business Video Series. Click here for more information.