Friend and freelance writer Les O’Dell shares this diary entry from the 11th session of Financial Peace University, a 13-week course from national talk-show host Dave Ramsey.
This lesson of Financial Peace University was somewhat different than all of the rest. So far in the course we’ve talked about reducing debt, making better buying decisions and saving money – all things that deal with the “outgo.” This time, we learned about the income side of the equation.
As Dave Ramsey tells many of the callers to his radio show, “When you’ve got a big hole, it helps to have a really large shovel,” meaning that while income alone does not solve all financial problems, it certainly can help.
Finding the Right Job
During the video segment of the lesson, Ramsey explained how important is it to not only find a job, but how vital it is to always be preparing for the next job. He pointed out that the rate of change in the world today is blinding and that it takes effort to keep up. As a part of that ongoing evolution, he said that, unlike in previous generations, jobs (or even careers) very rarely last for a lifetime. In fact, the average job tenure today is just 2.1 years.
Match Your Personality
Ramsey discussed the dangers of choosing a career path just for the potential of making large sums of money. He shared the stories of high-income earners who were so miserable that they (at worst) attempted suicide or (more frequently) finally became happy after a drastic career change.
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He said the key is finding work that fits your own personality, regardless of income. Understanding personal strengths, passions, weaknesses and differences can lead to work that is rewarding, both in terms of emotional well being and finances. He added that it’s impossible to outgrow your personality and that there is a myth that people should strive to be well rounded. Instead, he urged, do not be come average at everything; become excellent at a few things. That way, you’ll be indispensable.
Discovering Your Personality
Ramsey asked every student to make a note in their Financial Peace University workbook, to ensure we had this sentence down:
“How can you know where you ought to be and what you ought to be doing if you don’t know who you are?”
With that, he entered into a time of explaining four personality types: Dominant, Influencing, Stable, and Compliant. He explained how each type of person fits into certain behaviors and how understanding ourselves and others can influence our relationships and influence the way we handle our finances.
Finding the Jobs
He concluded the evening’s lesson with a discussion of finding the right jobs, including how (and where) to look, how to communicate with potential employers and what to do in interview situations.
Finally, he shared how jobs (including second and part-time ones) can impact all of the Baby Steps. He reminded students that raising income in the long term is a career track issue; raising it short term means a part-time job. Regardless, he said to have a detailed plan, be willing to sacrifice and don’t give up, then financial peace can be achieved.
Les O’Dell is a freelance writer living in Carbondale, IL. His work can be seen in a number of newspapers, magazines, publications, and websites. He is co-author of the popular “He Said, She Said” newspaper column. He can be found on the web at www.lesodell.net. Les is not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial.