Ever heard this one? “Life takes us on a journey of failures before we find true success”
Like most cute sayings it is not helpful. I am tired of failing. I just want a second job, any job. I WANT MORE WORK! I want to earn enough to pay off my debts. I want a career that is rewarding and resonates with my passions. I made a lot of bad financial choices in my younger years that are negatively impacting my life today. I suppose the silver lining here is that I can be an example of what NOT to do with your one and precious life.
I went to Art School! DON’T go to Art School unless you have a full scholarship. Any art degree is useless! Sadly these days most other college degrees are NOT worth the debt either. Go to community college, vocational school, or take free online courses. If you are smart you won’t take out student loans. If you insist on going into debt for school choose something practical like business or nutrition. Be involved in some academic or business club so you can gain experience while you have the time. Don’t just go to class to get by, use this time wisely to network, find an internship, learn extra skills not taught in class, and ask for help. Your professors and counselors will not ask if you need help. You have to be fierce and ask them for assistance.
I maxed out a credit card! DON’T use a credit card for clothes, eating out, or fun activities. Cards are good for medical emergencies, if you need to rent a car, or if you ever plan on getting a loan for a home or business. If you have poor credit you will not be able to rent an apartment. So if you get a card only use it once every few months and only on things you need like toiletries and food. No cash advances unless it is an emergency! You will also get calls and letters from collectors. Some are nice, but many are downright scary! Every dollar you spend has to be paid back! It’s not free or magic money. You might even go to jail.
I couldn’t stay at one job! So you are the creative type and you have big dreams that have nothing to do with your “day” job? Or are you just flat out LAZY? Well forget all that. You need money to pay rent, buy food, and pay that student loan even though I just told you not to get one. I have worked so many jobs I don’t even bother listing all those on my resume. I would work a job until I was bored and then I would quit. So now I have a crappy resume. If your job is boring ask your supervisor for more work. How about working 2 part time jobs that are different so you don’t get bored? If you really dislike your job find a new job before you quit.
I thought happy endings were guaranteed! This world owes you nada, nothing, zilch, zero! I never tried hard enough, never did enough research before starting a project or business. I spent my youth watching TV and reading books about happy endings. There is a lot of work behind the scenes that we don’t see, but that’s not good entertainment so we don’t see it. I thought the right choice would be obvious and life would shine a rainbow at the best opportunities. Hahahahahaaha! Oh that is too funny! Life will use you as a punching bag and throw your lifeless, bloody, mangled body on the ground. There is no easy way. I repeat: THERE IS NO EASY WAY! Work smart and work hard or be a failure.
I spent all my money! SAVE MONEY! Put away 10% or 25% of each paycheck in a savings account. Calculate how much money you have with this in mind before you go out for fun Friday nights. If you don’t have the cash, don’t spend it. Find free or cheaper activities. One day you could be stuck with a part time job that doesn’t pay you enough to pay the bills and your bank account is frozen by the IRS, or you get taken to court by a collection agency(thankfully this hasn’t happened to me yet). Do you want to stand on a street corner begging for change?
Unfortunately I learned this all the hard way. I had big dreams and made bad choices (It didn’t help that I was debilitatingly depressed for 17 years). Now I am paying the price of failure. In our current economic depression employers have hundreds of choices to hire for EACH job! Why would they hire you? If you have a resume with lots of jobs that don’t have anything in common, or periods of unemployment, they won’t take a second look at your resume. Now I spend my free days applying for jobs, hoping that one day my writing career will create a livable income, and wishing I could do it all over again.
If you follow this advice you probably won’t end up giving away most of your belongings, sleeping on friends couches(or if you’re lucky in your car. I wish I had a car to sleep in!), working part time, spending your days applying for jobs that you NEVER hear back from, constantly trying and failing, and wondering if life will ever get better. Good luck!
Author Bio: Leah Oviedo lives in San Diego, California. She is learning to fix her mistakes by turning her skill at writing and love of teaching self defense into financially secure endeavors. Her books are available to read and buy at Bookemon.com and Amazon.com.