A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control. – Robert Foster Bennett
Each man is a master of his own destiny, even when times of trouble dawns on him. The global economy and financial meltdown may have caused businesses to slow down or even wind down, resulting in job losses. But, do not sit yourself in a corner and wallow in self pity. It is in fact, the best time for you to straighten yourself out and start rethinking of your priorities in life. This is important as you steer yourself forward.
The Economic Cycle and You
Most of us know that the economic activities work in a cyclical manner. As with any typical cycle, the current down phase that we are experiencing now will not be indefinite. At the trough of this, what we will witness are businesses restructuring and consumers clearing off the debts that they have previously accumulated. After going through a consolidation period, consumers will start to regain their confidence and start spending again, signalling the beginning of recovery. While we may not know when the trend of activities will turn upwards, there are certainly golden opportunities waiting for us to discover even in a so-called slumping market. What is required of us now is simply the correct mind-set and wisdom to bring changes to our lives for the better.
Under current conditions, one of the areas in which opportunities present itself is human capital. Here we explore how you can add value to your human capital.
Creating value for your human capital
Most of us tend to neglect our needs for training and skill upgrades. Other than the on-the-job training which we have to do, like it or not, we tend to pay no attention to the proper training that we need to continuously develop ourselves.
As you engage in the day-to-day routine jobs, you find yourself so accustomed to it that little effort is required in getting the job done. After a while, you’re like a robot and you become resistant to change. Plus, you are so competent in one particular job that make you too complacent. That is the danger of getting too comfortable with your current position. What happen if all of a sudden, you are being thrown out of your comfort zone? Will you feel at loss and not knowing what to do next? In fact, a lot of us may even develop a fear for learning new skills and knowledge. We fear that we may actually have to use those new set of skills and knowledge that we acquire.
Rise from Retrenchment
Retrenchment comes with an absolute negative connotation to many. However, look at it from a positive angle and you will discover that retrenchment is a temporary break that can work in your favour. Use the time you have to upgrade your skill-set or get a new qualification that you may have been thinking of for a long time but never had the chance to pursue. This will be an emotionally fulfilling experience for you. At the same time, this is also the opportunity for you to rethink on whether you want to change to another line of job or be enterprising and establish yourself as a businessman, which may be a better prospect.
Use human capital to increase financial capital
While we always talk about investing in our financial capital, we tend to neglect another important aspect of our capital, which is our human capital. Our human capital is basically our lifetime earning capacity. During our younger years, we rely heavily on our human capital to generate financial capital for our future consumption. As we age, our human capital will show signs of slowing down, making way for our financial capital to expand until such a time when we fully rely on our financial capital. This is when we reach our retirement phase.
As such, we must maximize our return in human capital when we still have the chance to do so. This is also one of the important aspects of the latest stimulus package, where Malaysians are encouraged to continue pursuing education or undergo retraining in various. In fact, lately many corporations and government related companies offered training schemes and scholarships to eligible Malaysians.
Get ready for recovery
With your newly acquired skills and knowledge, which will definitely add colour to your resume, you will definitely become more competitive and flexible in the job market. Never limit or confine yourself to being a master at only one particular trade, be a Jack of all trades, and a master of many as opposed to none! This will be your stepping stone to move to the next level once the market is ready for another up-take.
Some people will take this opportunity to set up the groundwork for starting their own businesses. While some may think that it is too risky to start a business during a downturn, if you are able to identify a blue ocean, don’t stop yourself; it can be a good time to start up a business as you will have a lower start-up cost by taking advantage of the low financing cost and incentives provided by the government to new entrepreneurs. In addition, you stand to find equipments or furniture and fixture at a good bargain.
This is where the ever famous saying ‘where there is a crisis, there is an opportunity’, proves to hold true again. A lot of times, it is just a matter of how we phrase the situation that we are in, be it a problem or a challenge. Lets not turn the situation into a problem, as all we land ourselves with is having to think of how to solve the problem. Instead, think of it as a challenge, and in the process of overcoming it, you will discover the opportunities that lie within.