Is the Job Market Slow? Where are all the Jobs?
I have been living happily for too long and my happiness is about to come to an end. I am looking for a new job. A good, contracting job, 40 hours/week, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.
But wait, why would I do that? Why do I need a job? Because, my bills are getting bigger than my bank balance and I need to find a job to keep the cash flow positive. But wait, where are the jobs? I have been actively looking, searching, applying, emailing and calling but I don’t see “open jobs” or “now hiring” signs.
This must not be right! I thought so too.
Or, may be I am not looking for anything less than $100,000/year. Well, I may even take $80,000 deal. But first of all, it must exist. And, I am not talking about manufacturing jobs. I am talking about engineering jobs and IT jobs.
Where are all the jobs? The news, media and government statistics tell me that the unemployment rate is at 5%. Bullshit. The market is good and banks are looking to increase interest rates? Another BS.
Seriously? Do you see people around you increasing their expenditure? Do you see people buying a bigger house or renting an expensive apartment? Do you people around you in your neighborhood leasing fancy cars? I don’t.
I think, most people are thankful that they have a job or some sort of income. Those who don’t have a stable monthly income, ask them? What are they going through? What do they feel?
Is it election? Is it automation, outsourcing, or just that most jobs are becoming either cheap or highly technical?
If you can program DeepMind or for some A.I projects, may be you will have a job! But, if you are just an engineer (even a computer engineer), perhaps, you should learn new skills. Jobs are not increasing. Salaries are not increasing. Rent is. Expenses are.
What will I do? Well, I want to find out what others do in my situation?
What about higher degrees and getting licenses and new certifications? More BS.
There is no proven correlation of getting a higher degree and receiving a $2000/month raise in salary, for example. Or, $1000. I am fine with $1000. But, the problem is it’s not even a guarantee that you will find a job to begin with.
What if you already have a job? There is no guarantee that your new degree or certification will land you a promotion or a raise. What is guaranteed that, next year, your rent or overall expenses will be higher!
So what can I do? What am I doing? What is my point that I am trying to make here?
I think, we are moving towards a high unemployment and under-employment society in the US. And, this a problem. This is going to be a big problem in the coming decades (or may be years).
As more and more jobs gets absorbed by Artificial Intelligence programs and automation, more and more people will lose their jobs and their monthly, stable income. That is going to be a disaster.
Think about driver less cars for example. What would happen once, cars can drive itself. Think about the public bus drivers, train drivers, cab drivers, and so on? Think about the customer service jobs! What happens when more and more calls are programmed and routed to a computer? How many hundreds of thousands of people will become jobless? (If they haven’t already in banking, finance, government).
What can you do?
You can do what I am doing. Become a freelancer. Start today. If you are reading this blog post on your laptop, start now. You have got a personal computer and internet. You are good to go.
Write down your skills and areas that interests you. Then look for opportunities on how you can market your skills or learn a new skill (for free, online).
If you are already working, think about a small side business or a second job. Think about Plan B. Even if your job is very stable and you see no sign of layoffs, think about raise? Are you guaranteed a raise by your employer? May be not? Do you think the cost of living is increasing every year? Do you think, it’s a good idea to atleast earn more so that you can invest more and let the compound do the magic.
My solution for myself is: I want to earn more so that I can invest more. The more I invest, the more interest I am going to make on my capital and the more money I will have when I need it. The compounding will do the job for me. But, my job is to make my capital and monthly investment as large as I can.
Yes, I know, I am not desperate for a job right now. But I can be. May be tomorrow. May be next year. Why should I wait for next year. Why not plan today for the next year.
Why not save more today.
I am going to continue to apply for new jobs. May be I will find something that interests me. May be I will take this job and start working a new 9 to 5. I see no harm (because I do see, the coming gloom of unemployment and mass under-employment).