Job Security... Is this a perception, or does it really exist? As I get older, I have come to realize that im not so sure that I buy into this anymore. Like most people my age and older, I was taught that it was best to stay with one company, be loyal, work hard and move up the corporate latter; In turn I would have a less stressful retirement and be taken care of in my elder years.
This now seems to be a dated concept. This may have been the case back in our parents generations, however that concept may not be a reality any longer. It is hard to get out of that mindset though. I have always held jobs for 5 years or longer until a better opportunity came along that would better myself and or skills. In 2007 I started working for the State Government and was able to promote 3 times in 4 years. I saw myself staying with the Division for my 30 years, gaining my pension and 401k and being able to retire when I was 52 "IF" I could afford too.
Well I have now been with the State for 7 years, approaching 8. About 2 years ago I read a book about real estate investing that changed the entire way I thought about money and investing. It was not a get rich quick or pyramid scheme, but rather a simple process of buying and holding income properties and investing in small business. I was really interested in the concept because it would show how you could accomplish these things even if you didn't have the privilege of having a large amount of capital. With that being said, I decided to jump right in and take action. My brother had a small landscaping company that he had been running for a season. I decided that I would approach him about this and see if we could become partners and I would help him get some new equipment and streamline our business through my marketing and business skills.
We did really well. We were paying all of our employees and cash flowing. The only issue was... I still had my 40hr a week job with an added 10hr a week commute on top of that. I would also put in a 10hr day with my company to help keep labor down and to be able to have an active hand in the business, which I felt was important. Well now I was working and commuting a total of 60hrs a week. I was young, so I figured that I could handle it just fine.
I got the business bug and in the back of my mind and was thinking about leaving the State to work full time with my company. I figured that I may not make as much money at the start, But if I had more time to spend with my company.. I would be able to streamline it faster and it would be more efficient. I was really nervous to quit my job as I had good medical benefits and decent pay. The other issue was that my landscaping company did not work during the winter and I could not afford to be out of work.. So I thought.. Well... I have a secure job.. I better not leave it, I need to just stick it out. When my business takes off THEN I will quit. So that is what I did.
That next year my Wife and I decided that it was time to purchase our first rental property. Of course I came into the same issue of not having capitol and found that if we were to buy a duplex, We could live in half of it, while renting out the other side. This would make it so we were not throwing away our money in rent and we would be able to start saving money. So now I was Co-Owner of a landscaping company, had a rental property, was a landlord and STILL had my 40hr a week day job.
For the first few years this worked out great.. Then I started to burn out. I had been working these 60/75 hour weeks for 2 years now. I was starting to resent my brother which was my partner, and really for a reason that was my own fault. It was not his fault that I had a fulltime job on top of our business endeavor. To make a long story short.. We sold our successful landscaping business because we were not seeing eye to eye and because I just didn't have to time to give to that venture fully.. I just couldn't part ways with my "Stable, Secure" job.. I literally gave up my passion for business to work at a job that was fulfilling, but did not make me happy or allow me to use the skill sets that I felt were my strong points. I thought that I had a career.. But the more that I thought about it.. the more that I started to realize that I still had a job.. I was getting closer to turning 30.. and I was in need of a career.
I had already gone the school route.. and it was just not for me. I graduated and didn't even end up doing what I went to school for. The more I thought about entrepreneurship and real estate as a whole.. The more that I felt like that was something I enjoyed and had passion about. I was never a big reader.. But found myself spending hours reading about real estate, investing and small business. I knew that was something that I needed to do. So I started looking at getting my real estate license. I started talking to my agent to ask her how she liked it. She had no complaints.. She LOVED being a REALTOR.
There was just one thing that keep holding me back... Real Estate is commission based.. I have never worked on commission before and the thought of it terrified me. I didn't want to become a burden to anyone and I for sure didn't want to have to start all over at another job if it didn't work out. I had Job Security and a Stable Job right?
Is there a such thing as Job Security or a Stable Job? Each year my benefits were getting cut, yes everyone's were, however that was the main justification that I had for staying.. "The benefits are nice, so I will take my average pay" I would keep telling myself. One day I came to work at my "stable job" and I had an epiphany.. I started thinking about all my passions, goals and dreams that I was missing out on because of my job security. I kept seeing all these young people grabbing what they loved and making money and a living off of it. I started thinking "At the rate my benefits are being cut.. will I even have a pension after 30 years?". If that is the main reason that I'm staying.. Wouldn't it make more sense to be a trailblazer and make sure that I take care of my own retirement through long term income property holds?
The moral of this story is that everyone defines job security in their own way. As I get older.. I have realized that to me.. it doesn't exist. I feel like you should be living each day like its your last, and working wherever you passion is. If you do that.. all your goals and dreams will just fall into place. You will be much more happier and in turn, I'm sure you will be much more financially free.
I'm not saying to go out and quit your job. But don't let false pretenses control your destiny. Everyone has goals and aspirations. Don't let ANYTHING take that away from you.
I'm happy to say that I will finally be pursuing my real estate career this summer and yes.. im still a little nervous that im leaving my comfortable job. But in the end I feel that I will hit the ground running and never look back.
Tell me.. Do you believe in Job Security? Have you ever quit that comfort job to pursue your passions? If so what are some of the roadblocks you've encountered? Was the grass greener on the other side? Any regrets?
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