Independent Contractor Jobs Gravitating Into the Digital Marketplace!

Independent Contractors have always gravitated where the money is at, no matter what marketplace. In recent years, many independent contractors have expanded their product offering to the digital media space for many reasons. The digital space constantly changes and is where 97% of consumers search for products and services they need on a daily basis. Think of the last time, you relied on traditional media whether you grabbed a newspaper, yellow page directory or that direct mail piece shoved deep within the junk mail that overflows your mailbox leaving a trail of dampened paper on your porch.

Even though the digital market is the hottest land grab around town, without building valuable real estate on top of that property… it’s just a piece of land. In order to take advantage of the many forms of digital marketing out there today, you first need a solid foundation which always comes down to a website.

I have personally worked in the independent contractor (1099 world) for 6 years and the one thing that hasn’t changed from then to now is that all Independent Contractors work off of a commission. What determines their security is the product they sell, the processing of that specific product which determines how much time is committed to administrative work. As we all know to well, the more time that is consumed with processing of orders and jumping through hoops, the less time they have to make money. Finally, one of the most important factors an Independent Contractor must consider is the percentage of commission paid based off of the market price of the product they are selling.

Companies that turn to the Independent Sales Agent community must understand that they are a unique breed of people. They are “Independent” for a reason. They don’t like working for others and being told when to come to work, when to take a lunch and when they can clock out. They are paid to complete a job or assignment… nothing more and nothing less. As an Independent Contractor, go where the money is and make the most of it while it lasts. The biggest advantage of contracting in the digital market is that mobile phones and tablets are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

There are some digital companies out there paying their freelance sales agents 25% on the low end to as high as 50% on the high end. The oyster is yours so it’s time to make the money you deserve to make.

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Innovate the Steve Jobs Way

In the recent webinar, “Innovate the Steve Jobs Way: 7 Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success,” Carmine Gallo shared seven principles for innovation which he learned from studying Steve Jobs for many years. The webinar was a prelude to his book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success. I found it extremely useful to attend the webinar before reading the book and I combined what I learned in the webinar with what I learned from the book. I have also expanded what I wrote in a previous blog post. The book provides concrete examples of how Steve Jobs innovates and the author conducted several interviews with former Apple employees.

To support what he says in the book, Carmine Gallo also looked at what other innovators were successfully doing.  He defines innovation as, “A new way of doing things that result in positive change.” How can you innovate the way you do your job? What innovations are occurring in other industries that you can transfer to yours?

Carmine Gallo has identified seven principles to guide innovation based on what he has learned from studying Steve Jobs, the Co-founder and CEO of Apple. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs has 15 chapters, an introductory one and two chapters devoted to each principle. Though the book presents a lot of information on the way Steve Jobs approaches innovation, there are many examples of others who are innovating in similar ways and achieving success.

Principle One: Do What You Love

Passion is everything, and it keeps you going when you face inevitable setbacks. Be obsessed and improve the areas that you love. To achieve success, passion is not enough – follow your obsessions, tailor them to your skills, and focus on what you can make money from. What is your calling and your destiny? How can you change the world?

A simple formula is Success = Passion + Skills + Market Demand

Principle Two: Put a Dent in the Universe

Innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Have a vision, because innovation cannot occur without one. What’s the bigger picture and how can you share your vision with enthusiasts who will make your vision a reality. How is your product or service going to change the world? How can you leave the world a better place than you found it?  How can you make your customers’ lives better?

Margaret Mead’s quote, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” encapsulates this principle.

Principle Three: Kick Start Your Brain

Seek our new and novel experiences, and bombard your brain with them. Who is doing something remarkable that you can learn from? Steve Jobs studied the Four Seasons Hotel and Mercedes Benz because they are aces when it comes to remarkable customer experiences. Jobs introduced a Concierge Service in the Apple Store based on what he learned from observing the Four Seasons Hotel.

A critical part of this principle is to make connections among disparate things and force yourself outside of your physical and mental comfort zone. To live a vision requires creative thinking which requires immersion in novel experiences.

New experiences expand the way you think. Surround yourself with people from different cultures. Experiment, and try new things. What are two things that you can do differently to improve the way in which you deliver your product or service?

Principle Four: Sell Dreams Not Products

Understand your customers, and help them to fulfill their dreams. Get to know them better than they know themselves. How can you change your customers’ worlds? Create remarkable customer experiences and market that.

Your customers often do not know what they want, so be a linchpin as marketing guru Seth Godin says and anticipate what they need before they do. It’s a twist to the concept of build it and they will come, to build it and convince them that they should come.

Principle 5: Say No to 1,000 Things

Take the road less traveled. Remove distractions so you can focus on the core product. Eliminate distractions from the customer experience. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and go for simplicity. Steve Job told  Nike’s CEO Mark Parker, “Get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.” Go for simplicity and elegance.

Simplify and focus on your product and service offerings. What are you best at? What is one thing that you do extremely well? Focus on it and simplify.

Principle Six: Create Insanely Great Experiences

Create emotional connections with your customers. What are five ways you can enrich the lives of your customers? What relationships are you forming with your customers? Look outside your industry for examples. Create memorable experiences so you have rabid fans. Before you innovate, hold your customer in your mind’s eye, and proceed from there.

Principle: Master the Message

Effectively communicate your vision. Innovate around the way you communicate the vision. What are master presenters and communicators doing? Emulate them. Be a great storyteller, and be consistent in your messaging.

I enjoyed reading The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success because I had to stop several times and think about what I was reading. The many examples demonstrated how others were using these seven principles with great success, and I understood how I could use them as well. I also learned about innovative products that others were delivering.

For instance, DNA 11 creates art with their customer’s DNA and became a multi-million dollar business in five years. The owners Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed didn’t conduct focus group interviews to decide if there was a need for their product, they created the product then created the demand for it. They also noticed that some of their customers were asking for art with their pets’ DNA, so they offered that to other customers who might not have thought of that.

What Carmine Gallo has shown in his book is that innovation does not necessarily mean crating something radically new. Sometimes it is simply doing something in an entirely new way. This is a practical book written in a clear manner. I recommend The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success.

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Government Jobs for Felons – Myths About Felony Jobs in Government

Government jobs for felons are an option and it may surprise you to know that being an ex-felon does not automatically disqualify you for federal employment. According to the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), there is no general prohibition against hiring felons. Just as with many other jobs out there, you just have to prove you are worthy of federal employment for felons.

Although there is no general ban on hiring felons, there are specific regulations that may apply depending on the type of job and the type of felony. To give an example, people who have been convicted of domestic violence crimes may be prohibited from “employment in any position requiring the individual: to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition.”

When you are applying for a job, the OPM will determine your eligibility on a case to case basis. The factors that are relevant to getting a government job are the:

• duties of the position you applied for

• nature of the felony

• how recent the crime

• evidence of rehabilitation

Employers, the OPM among them, believe that the best way to predict future job performance is to look at past work performance. Assuming that you are not barred by law from the particular job that you want, having a good resume with a solid work history is the key to getting a government job.

Don’t be afraid of getting rejected right away when you apply for a job and be honest about your record. The Office of Personal Management always does background checks so it is best to be upfront about your past. Try to emphasize your skills and strengths instead of your criminal history.

For many, federal jobs offer benefits and job security that are unrivaled by any other employer in the US. Federal employees enjoy the following:

• job security

• annual pay increase

• 10 paid holidays a year

• health insurance

• life insurance

• retirement benefits

• paid vacation & sick days

• family-friendly policies

Government jobs for felons are available. It may be tough to compete with applicants who have a clean record but tough is not the same as impossible. If there is a federal job opening that you think you are qualified to fill, go ahead and apply as soon as you can. You won’t lose anything but time and you might be able to land secure employment in government jobs for felons.

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You Can Easily Make Money Online With Online Writing Jobs

Yes, you can make money online easily when you opt for online writing jobs. If you are looking for such a job, things don’t become slow, difficult and expensive. Unlike conventional writing jobs, the online version allows you to work right from comfort of your home and get paid as well. Depending upon your choice, you can select a topic you are comfortable with. This job offers immense flexibility. For instance, you can choose your topic; decide on number of hours you wish to work, work from home or a café.

There are many writers who make money online working in different job profile. For instance, you can become an article writer write short news items, themes and topics. Then there are ghostwriters who are basically writers that have a specialization to write for another person portraying as if they are that person. Presently, the freelance writers are in great demand. The number of freelance writers available is increasing every second as it offers numerous benefits. For example, you can select the topic and when the work gets finished, you can start another writing assignment. Similarly, here you have the freedom of deciding from where to work, when to work and how long to work.

Of course, when it comes to freelancing job, you ought to focus on your freelancing skills. To begin with, you are expected to offer quality writing in order to meet all needs of the client. Ability to express your ideas in a concise, clear and correct manner can bring an instant fame as a perfect freelancer. The articles you write needs to generate substantial interest among the readers. If you are writing for online businesses, make sure the articles are SEO optimized. This is partly because these businesses use the articles to meet online business promotional needs. If optimized accurately, the websites end up receiving good number of viewers and top ranking in search engines.

These days, a lot of websites need fresh content at regular intervals. The content in question could be anything – blog post, article, guest post, forum posts, and more. This means there is no dearth of writing assignments. All that you need to do is to browse the internet to find the right work.

Fortunately, there are several websites that are of great help in finding online writing assignments. For instance, you can refer to websites like Freelancer, Upwork or PeoplePerHour to find one job of your liking. Thousands have already benefitted from these sites and you can benefit as well.

In case you are willing to spend a small sum of money, a website like Paid Online Writing Jobs can be of great help. Remember – the site offers you 24*7 customer support and maintains a huge database of available jobs. You just have to spend a little money. This way you can find all relevant information. You can also go through numerous customer testimonials furnished in the website.

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Jobs After Retirement – A Specific Guide to the Best Retirement Jobs

Are you retiring, already retired or hoping to retire soon? Are you worried that the moment you retire, you will be bored or run out of money or both? This article looks at the employment opportunities for retired people and picks up the best retirement jobs.

DO YOU REALLY WANT A RETIREMENT CAREER?

Firstly, take a moment to consider why you are looking for a job after retirement. Do you really want to need to work after retiring? Perhaps it is the pressures and expectations of our modern society to be rich and always busy rather than a genuine desire for retirement income or a way to occupy your day.

Recent research has shown that three-quarters of German adults find it difficult to switch off and do nothing. They have even coined a term for it: ‘freizeitstresse’ or ‘free time stress’. This is guilt or stress when we are doing nothing with our free time. We might be stressed that we are ‘only’ reading a book, sitting out in the garden, having a nap or watching TV.

Even retirees are thought to suffer from this free time stress. They feel a subconscious social pressure to be active and ‘do stuff’. Is this the reason you are looking for retirement work? Do not rush headlong into the first retirement career you are offered. Consider the underlying motivations for your desire to work. You can keep busy and live a fulfilled life without taking on a job, or you can do absolutely nothing! It is your life and you have earned the right to do what you like with it.

Perhaps you want to supplement your retirement income. You are worried that it will run out. This is a perfectly valid concern. Many people head into retirement without enough funds. Analyze your financial situation with an adviser or check with one of the many retirement calculators online to see if you have enough money to sustain the lifestyle you have chosen in your later years.

Also be wary of jumping into work as a status symbol. Having a job often defines who we are, and thus our self-worth. People love boasting about how busy they are, how they haven’t slept for days in order to meet this or that deadline. It is a curse of modern society that we consider overwork and high work stress to be a badge of honor. Are you looking for a retirement career simply to avoid sitting at a dinner party and hearing those words “so what do you do?”

Now you have considered the reasons for working again, let us list out the best retirement careers out there.

WORK AT HOME

Finding a work-at-home occupation is probably of the most popular retiree jobs. Working from the comfort of your own home, without having to commute to the office each day, wear a suit, or deal with the same old office politics, gossip and plain pointless conversations; there are certainly many advantages to working from home.

Companies are seeking ways to reduce their overheads. With this come opportunities for part-time, stay-at-home work.

Some of the most popular jobs you can do at your kitchen table include writing, proofreading, editing and researching. If we just look at the category of writing, there is a unbelievable variety of related jobs such as ghost-writing, resume writing, technical writing, blogging, travel writing. I have even seen jobs advertised for people to simply cut and paste internet research findings into a word document.

You can find many opportunities like this at freelance websites such as elance.com, odesk.com and freelancer.com.

Other work-at-home jobs include data entry, crossword creation, recipe testing and writing, graphics design and computer programming. My friend’s retired mom is a medical coder. Her local hospital even supplied her with a computer to work with and an allowance for her broadband internet connection.

Admittedly, she was a trained medical coder at the same hospital for many years before retiring, but it is possible to receive online training and certification for this.

GARDENING

Some view gardening as hard work, while others see it as a glorious chance to work in the great outdoors and be one again with nature.

In modern families, often both parents work, so they have less time to maintain a garden. Isn’t it one of life’s ironies that people work so hard today to be able to afford a large house with a pretty garden and then don’t have time to enjoy either of them! Their loss – your gain. They are more likely to employ a part-time gardener to mow lawns, trim hedges, weed and water plants.

Gardening is physical work but there are so many useful gardening tools and gadgets for almost every task. This includes knee rests, light weight tools and longer handles so you can avoid back strain.

There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support that gardening improves your mental state and can even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

MYSTERY SHOPPER

How can you satisfy your shopping urges without having to spend any money? Even better, get paid to shop or eat out! A mystery shopper goes into a fast food restaurant or a store and pretends to order or buy something just as a regular customer. Meanwhile, without the staff noticing, they are quietly noting all the small details of their experience and service: the time it takes to order and receive the food, the cleanliness of the toilet, the response to queries or complaints, the appearance and attitude of the workers.

This is life of the mystery shopper and for many retirees, this is the dream career. In 2004, in the US alone, they estimate that a whopping $645 million dollars were paid out to mystery shoppers. You might be in a fast food restaurant in the morning, buying electronics in the afternoon and enjoying a swanky top class restaurant in the evening; all on someone else’s money!

I was once paid for spending a night in one of the world’s finest hotels. A third-party security company had hired me and dozens of others to secretly test the emergency fire procedure. We spent a very comfortable evening enjoying the hotel’s delights including an evening meal, swimming pool, spa and gym. At around 10am the next morning the fire alarm sounded. We were guided by the staff to the nearest emergency exit and simply had to complete a 45 minute interview about our experience. The easiest supplementary income I have ever earned.

When looking for mystery shopper opportunities you can do an online search but research each opportunity thoroughly as there are internet scams. Also, there is no guarantee you will be accepted first time round or by the first company to which you apply, so be patient and persistent.

NEW RETIREMENT CAREER

It is said that 80% of people finish up in the wrong job. So looking at a new career in your retirement is an opportunity to try something completely new. Po Bronson says his popular book “What Should I Do With My Life” says many retirees draw inspiration from his stories in order to find meaningful work for their retirement years.

These are just a few of the opportunities available to you to add to your retirement income. I hope you have enjoyed this brief guide to the best retirement jobs. All the best wishes for your new career!

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Offshore Jobs – What Does It Mean To You And Why Should You Care?

What are offshore jobs? What do people mean when they talk about offshore jobs? Well, different people mean different thing when they use this phrase. At its broadest meaning, offshore jobs means any job which is not on the mainland of wherever you are staying. It could mean a job on an offshore oil rig or it could mean a job on some island belonging to another country. For someone residing in the US, a job in the Cayman Islands or Singapore would be offshore, and so would a job on an oil rig just off the coast of one of the Gulf states.

Why should it matter? For two reasons, really. The first is taxation. There are certain laws in the US meant to encourage citizens to take on hardship or risky postings out of the border. If your lawyer and accountant agree that your job falls under this category, you may be able to get a pretty hefty tax deduction. At one point of time, you could deduct up to $80,000 per annum. If you were a roustabout working on a deep sea oil rig and earning $80,000 per year, this meant you didn’t need to pay any income taxes at all. Obviously, you’ll need to check with your lawyer and accountant and get them to do the appropriate paperwork.

The second important reason is that an offshore job typically pays better than its equivalent onshore job. You’ll get paid more as a driller on a deep sea oil rig than a driller on an onshore oil rig. Same with the support jobs like electricians and mechanics. The offshore pay is much better, especially nowadays when the entire oil industry is facing a severe shortage of warm bodies to crew their new oil rigs.

So why do oil companies pay more for offshore work? From the economics point of view, it is a simple matter of demand and supply. Right now, oil prices are high and getting higher. Most of the oil is under the ocean, so oil companies are desperately building offshore oil rigs and deep sea oil rigs. While robots work okay in the limited confines of a factory, oil rigs still can’t be automated. They still need human crew to operate them. Hence the great demand for workers. Unfortunately for the oil companies, the people who have the qualities needed to work on an offshore oil rig are pretty scarce. You need to have a combination of guts, brains and physical strength. Not many people have all three. So we have high demand and low supply, which results in sky-high pay. Someone who is basically a laborer can earn more than the director of a small company.

Apart from that, an offshore oil rig is considered a hard and potentially dangerous posting. You need to keep this in mind while the dollar signs are dancing in front of your eyes. While modern rigs are undoubtedly safer than the oil rigs 50 years ago, you should remember that working in the middle of the ocean can get quite exciting when there is a major storm going on around you… Or an earthquake, or a tsunami (if you are just off the coast).

Now you should have a better idea of what people mean when they talk about offshore jobs and why it should matter to you.

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Welding Jobs: Why Welding Sucks (And What You Can Do About It)

If you can weld now or want to weld, is that a big deal? Yes and no.

Welding can be a very difficult skill to acquire and take years – or an afternoon (or a few days) at home. The question is, are you making any stinking money at it? Yes, you love to weld (I do to). Why are some welders rolling in money and others are so broke it isn’t funny? Get answers, NOW.

Let’s see, anyone can pop into Home Depot and buy a little Lincoln flux core welder and learn to weld in an afternoon or a day or two? Yes.

The welder I’m referring to is about the size of carry-on luggage and plugs into any 120 volt socket. Follow the instruction booklet (always reading the safety portion and applying all of it – please) and that person can be running a decent bead on the flat, just like that. Really – in a few hours of paying attention you can be running decent beads with good penetration.

The REAL question is, can you take that skill and make money?

Think about it – you can read this article, hop in the car, buy the welder, plug it in and weld for a few hours and have a “skill” at some level. What does that make you? It makes you a person with a very limited skill, but a skill none-the-less.

When I was 13 I welded up the exhaust on one of my many cars (I flipped cars for profit from age 11 to 22). Welding came in handy on older cars from the early 60s and even the early 50s because they were “heavy metal.” I wasn’t a great welder at that point, but being able to weld could make the difference – it allowed me to do repairs and “add value” to a car. Instead of flipping burgers at Mickey Ds, I was able to always have plenty of money.

Later, at age 19 and just out high school, I built gates – nice gates which look great today, 40 years later. I was self-educated in welding and I highly recommend it (welding self education and self education for almost any skill).

So why is the title of this article: “Welding Sucks?” Well, for most welders, it sucks. It is not fun when you get stuck with a limited skill in a factory not making enough money and acting like a robot all day long.

What can you do to make welding fun again?

When you first started welding, it was fun. You didn’t need to make money at it right away. AND everyone around you told you there would be a “good job” waiting for you when you got good at welding – so you kept at it.

Maybe you went through one or two years of welding education – and then the truth hit you like a brick wall. You found out that no one wanted to pay you big money for welding…

What is the secret?

What is the well guarded secret no one seems to tell welders? It is marketing. If you can MARKET your skill – no matter what that skill is – if your skill is welding or washing windows, if you can MARKET that skill, you will make all the money you and your family need. If you can’t, you won’t. That is when welding is NOT fun – when you can’t make good money at it.

What can you do about it?

Step # 1:

Stop thinking “Job.” J-O-B stands for “Just Over Broke.” If you want to live your life that way, get a job or keep the one you have.

What is the difference between a window washer working for someone else and window washer making great money for 28 years?

I met Suzy the other day. Suzy lives in a waterfront home with a dock. Suzy has a new GMC 4 door truck (very nice). Suzy no longer bothers to advertise her business. Suzy has been cleaning windows as an independent window cleaner for 28 years. She doesn’t need to advertise.

Why am I telling you about a window cleaner?

Suzy became an INDEPENDENT window cleaner 28 years ago. She employs 3 window cleaners and pays each of them $10 an hour. Suzy collects $20 an hour for every hour her window cleaners work. Suzy also runs a fourth truck herself. Add it up – Suzy makes $30 an hour from her workers and she makes another $20 an hour for the hours she works. Suzy makes $100,000 a year washing windows. This is called “Capitalism.”

Why do you need to be a Capitalist?

We live in a capitalist society. This means that if you weld now for $10 an hour, you can weld as an independent welder for $30 an hour (or more) simply by being “in business” instead of being a “a working drone” for someone else. Is that hard to believe? Believe it – it is simply TRUE!

$30 an hour is cheap for a welder.

I am telling you – you can make $30 an hour next week with minimum welding skills, if you understand and apply basic marketing skills.

What about immigrants? Meet Tom:

Tom (not his Viet Namese name) is one of the nicest people I have even encountered. Tom is 60. In 1980 Tom was one of 25 people crowded on a small fishing boat pulling away from Communist Viet Nam and headed for Hong Kong – escaping at the risk of his life – to a new life of freedom.

The captain of the boat put a gun by the compass. It screwed up the compass. They were lost at sea. They ran out of gas. They ran out of food. The seas grew wild. Tom was pretty sure they were all going to die.

They saw a ship in the distance. They waved their coats. They were given food and gas told which way to go to reach Hong Kong. Tom made it to the U.S. Tom was totally and completely broke – and he spoke no English.

Working an assortment of jobs 15 hours a day, Tom saved money. He met Lany and they saved. They opened a nail salon and then another. Today, Tom and Lany are comfortable in America. Their home is nearly paid for and they have a large retirement. Why? Tom and Lany worked hard – and understood marketing. And yes, they had a skill – they started by becoming licensed to do nails. Can you see – “doing nails” was only part of their of their success – actually the small part.

What has this got to do with welding?

Everything! However, welding has so many advantages over window cleaning and doing nails! You can start right now and be an entry level welder, working for yourself a week from now, if that is what you want. Unlike window cleaning and nails, you can advance your welding skills as you go – teaching yourself from home – until your welding skills are worth (are you sitting down) $100 an hour.

Don’t run over to Home Depot and buy a welder (yet).

If you buy the right welder used and do the right things with marketing, you can be in business and working all you want in 2 to 3 weeks. How? It requires mastering a few marketing basics – and hard work – but if a Viet Nam boat person who could not speak English can do it, you can too.

Conclusion:

You success has nothing to do with money or the economy. It has to do with you believing in you. From there, you only need to pay attention to what really matters.

What should you do next?

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Baby Boomers Over Age of 50 Pushed Out of Jobs

New data released last month was disturbing for the 85% of baby boomers still working. Many don’t have enough saved for retirement or simply aren’t ready to leave the working world behind. Some say they plan to continue working into their 70’s and even 80s, according to a 2017 report, America’s Aging Workforce.

Unfortunately, new analysis by ProPublica and the Urban Institute published last month shows that the decision may not be up to them. Dismally, more than half of employees over the age of 50 are being pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire. Most suffer financially and only one in 10 of these workers ever earns as much as they did before their employment setbacks.

Apparently, 50 is the new 65.

The analysis was based on data from the Health and Retirement Study that began tracking 20,000 people in 1992, from the time the participants turned 50 through the rest of their lives. The study focused on workers who entered their 50s with stable, full-time jobs, and who have been with the same employer for at least five years.

The results are sobering. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 40 million Americans age 50 and older who are working. That means, according to this study, that as many as 22 million of these people have or will suffer a layoff, forced retirement, or other involuntary job separation. Of these, only a little over 2 million have recovered financially – or ever will.

Unfortunately, this problem could be worse than we think. Jeffrey Wenger, a senior labor economist with the RAND Corp., claims some older people are likely laid off, but cover it up by saying they retired. “There’s so much social stigma around being separated from work,” he says, “even people who are fired or let go will say they retired to save face.”

As a result, the steady earnings that many boomers count on in their 50s, 60s, and beyond to build up their retirement savings and ensure financial security often disappears.

“This isn’t how most people think they’re going to finish out their work lives,” said Richard Johnson, an Urban Institute economist and veteran scholar of the older labor force who worked on the analysis. “For the majority of older Americans, working after 50 is considerably riskier and more turbulent than we previously thought.”

What can older workers do?

You may be thinking, wait a minute. Isn’t it illegal under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act for employers to treat older workers differently than younger ones? Yes, but employers can be sneaky about the way they fire older employees, Often phrases like “layoff” and “job elimination” are used as an excuse for age discrimination. No matter. You may have legal recourse and an age discrimination claim if:

– you experience a layoff and notice that less-qualified, younger employees at the

same level are not being laid off.

– your company claims to be eliminating a job, but simply changes the title and puts

someone younger in the same position.

– you’re being targeted for poor performance while younger employees doing the

same things aren’t suffering any consequences.

In addition, there are some steps you can take to prevent being laid off. Although there are no guarantees, experts recommend the following strategies to enhance job security:

* A common myth concerning older workers is that people over 50 are rigid. You can prove this disparaging idea wrong by remaining flexible, resilient, and adaptable.

* Understand your company’s objectives and your boss’s priorities, and then align your work performance with them. In other words, find ways to make your boss’s job easier and make yourself indispensable.

* Do not contribute to the false belief that all old people are cranky and difficult. Be friendly, cooperative, and helpful. Makes sure management likes you and be the kind of person others enjoy working with and hanging around.

* Brag a little. Ensure that your boss knows about any improvements you’ve implemented, challenges you’ve overcome, and projects and goals you’ve completely successfully.

* Be careful not to give the impression that you lack initiative and are simply coasting along until retirement, which can make you vulnerable during a layoff. Make a point of continuously updating your skills and expanding your knowledge. Read journals, take courses, attend conferences, or attain additional certifications in your field.

Finally, while it’s important for everyone to have emergency savings, if you’re 50 or older, it’s even more critical to have a strong financial safety net. Have enough savings on hand to ride out a potentially lengthy period of unemployment.

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Offshore Oil Rig Jobs

While many of the offshore oil rig jobs are physical in nature, many of the rig companies go out of their way to make sure your time spent onboard is an enjoyable one. For instance employees may find themselves living in accommodation wings that meet 4 or 5 star hotel standards – despite the fact that you a living in the middle of the ocean. While you are on board the company will usually meet all food, board and laundry expenses, along with travel and transfer costs.

There are a large number of offshore oil rig jobs that are available. The range of employment opportunities include:

Driller, Derrickman, Shakerhand or Mudman, Toolpusher, Floormen or Roughnecks, Motorman, Assistant Driller, Crane Operator, Roustabouts, Cleaner/Painter, Storekeeper, Mechanic/Electrician, Sub Sea Engineer, Rig Mechanic, Rig Electrician, Rig Welder, Barge Engineer, Ballast Controlman or Watchstander, Captain and Chief Engineer, Rig Medic and Safety Man.

Most offshore oil rig jobs call for a 14/21 day rotation that means you work for 14 days and have 21 off. This equates to you having approximately 3/5 of the year off on holiday.

In the offshore oil rig industry, there are opportunities for drilling employment and travel to countries such as: Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, the United States, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Norway, China, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Typically salaries for roustabouts and roughnecks (drill deck workers) are approximately US $300 per day. Annual salaries work out to be approximately US $47,000.

More specialized jobs such as that of Driller is likely to make around $56,000 per annum, which Toolpushers, Drill Leaders and Supervisors are likely to earn around the US $75,000 – $100,000 mark per year.

Entry level positions typically make between US $50,000 – US $80,000 per annum. Trades, technical and professional positions will likely earn between US $70,000 – US $220,000 per annum.

Life Offshore

– You will be issued with safety boots hard hat safety glasses and coveralls.

– Keep a good attitude and be focused on why you wanted to work offshore.

– There are smoking rooms at various places on a rig where safety matches will be supplied.

– For meals you take off your work gear and eat in the galley.

– You may have to work a night shift or two as an oil rig is a 24 hour operation.

– Don’t upset the radio operator, medic or chef. Helicopters, medical attention and food are most important.

Aboard an oil rig every piece of lifting equipment has a color code on it – this is an indication that it was tested as safe to use on the last lifting equipment check. Only items with the current color code on them should be used.

When working in the petroleum industry, don’t bring alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons (of any description) including knives, flammable items, lighters and matches (safety matches will be provided in the smokers room) when working on energy jobs.

If working aboard an offshore rig, remove batteries from electrical equipment before checking in you luggage. If you are to be transported by helicopter your mobile phone may be taken from you before you board the helicopter.

A number of people working aboard oil rigs work are in support roles such as catering crew and doctors, etc. The following is an outline of what may be expected for doctors or medics. Because of the physical size of rigs, many of these types of roles are sole charged and one must be able to make do with the facilities and resources at end. In the case of doctors or medics based aboard oil rigs, it may be necessary to treat patients suffering from a huge variety of ailments and illnesses. Issues can arise as a lot of the workers aboard oil rig installations may speak foreign languages, so it is critical for the medical personnel to be able to quickly and effectively diagnose the problem. Generally medical staff will work one of two shifts, either day or night. Their role can often also include checking and maintaining stocks of emergency supplies, testing and verifying drinking water supplies are clean, as well as inspecting both raw and cooked foods from the kitchen. They are also often responsible for conducting weekly first aid seminars for all workers aboard the oil rig.

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Fear Is Okay, Complacency Kills Jobs

The collision of demographic changes, the rapid spread of automation and rising income inequality will have the potential to trigger an unparalleled major economic and employment disruption far greater than we have ever experienced. Understanding and planning for these inevitable disruptions will be vital when future-proofing jobs.

In fact, there’s a total of 62 challenges workers are facing in their workplaces.

People don’t plan to fail. They just fail to plan and future proof themselves for the inevitable.

While fear is a normal human emotion and may paralyze us from taking action, it’s complacency that will ultimately kill them and their jobs.

We, therefore, have to constantly pay attention to what’s going on around us. We have to be vigilant, flexible and adapting to landscapes that are constantly changing and shifting.

Fear mongering sells

Every day, we read about robots taking over our jobs.

“Will robots take my job?”

“The robots are coming for your jobs.”

“Robots will steal your job.”

“Robots are the ultimate job stealers.”

We also come across findings from Gallop which found that in the U.S.:

  1. 58% say new technology is the greater threat to jobs.

  2. 23% worry that they may lose their jobs to technology.

  3. 76% say artificial intelligence will change the way people work and live.

  4. 73% say artificial intelligence adoption will result in net job loss.

Just like there is no one property market in any one country, there’s also not one single conclusion that we can derive from the threat of automation, technology, and artificial intelligence.

It should be noted that predictions of widespread job destruction could be overstated by many especially when we take demographics, economics, income inequality and job creation into account.

There are limiting factors to automation

Let’s be clear.

Each country, each geographical location, and each job market and industry is very different. Demographics are different. Economic growth is different. Organizations are very different.

To say that robots will be taking over our jobs is not that true, yet.

(For the purposes of this article, I have used the term “automation” to include robotics, artificial intelligence, and all things technology.)

There is a cost involved in deploying technologies. Organizations need to be able to quantify and justify the benefits over the cost of investing in any technological solutions. While it is easy to say that automation will take over our jobs, the cost of doing so may be too prohibitive for some organizations.

Depending on the country and geographical location, organizations may not be able to justify the huge monetary investment in technologies, yet. ‘Cheap’ labor may be in abundance. Access to capital and technology may be difficult. Access to people skills to deploy and maintain new technologies may not be present.

McKinsey has said that automation will not happen overnight. For them, there are five key factors that will influence the pace and extent of its adoption:

  1. The technology must be feasible and it is invented, integrated and adapted into solutions that can automate specific activities.

  2. The cost of developing and deploying solutions must not be prohibitive.

  3. Labor market dynamics including the supply and demand and the costs of human labor can present an alternative to automation.

  4. Whether these new technologies have tangible economic benefits that could be translated into higher throughput, increased quality, and labor cost savings.

  5. Whether the technology has regulatory and social acceptance that makes business sense.

McKinsey also noted that while the impact of automation might be slower at the macro level within entire sectors or economies, they could be faster at a micro level.

This is where an individual worker’s activities could be automated quickly. Or organizations may use automation to overcome possible disruption caused by their competitors.

In short, there are certain limiting factors that may prevent automation from being deployed in mass and ultimately take over our jobs.

Job losses due to automation are inevitable

Whether we like it or not, we know that automation is here to stay. It’s inevitable. It’s a question of degree or level of impact.

How automation impact each one of us will depend on our unique circumstances in the country we live in and how well prepared are we.

Humans have embraced automation since creation. We have been transformed by automation; from agriculture to an industrial age, from industrial to information age, and from information to services.

In fact, we cannot get enough of the latest gadgets, latest iPhone, latest TVs, etc. We constantly fill our lives with the latest technologies.

With Apple’s Home pod, Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) and Google’s Home, voice technology is only going to grow. Kids today can simply command Alexa or Apple’s Siri to answer various questions.

It’s no surprise that we will always be embracing technological advances and inviting them into our lives.

So, what’s different in our work lives?

Don’t be surprised that automation will penetrate our work lives even more and will fully transform or recreate the work we do.

We know that there’s always the danger of automation on jobs.

Here’s the good news. History shows that new technologies have always increased the number of jobs.

And the bad news. Technology always hurts as recognizable jobs are destroyed and new ones are created. Some jobs are yet to be conceived. It’s a question of when not if.

McKinsey estimated that 375 million people globally will need to be retrained to learn entirely new occupations. It means that people in mid-careers with children, mortgages, families, and financial obligations, will need retraining.

This retraining is not going to be measured in years. It’s not going to be feasible for many of these people to go back to universities for two-year degrees.

The challenge is to retrain people in mid-careers on a large scale and help them learn new skills to match employable jobs in growing occupations in places where they live.

Opportunities are plentiful

As they say, with every danger, there will always be opportunities.

There are opportunities to future-proof ourselves now from the potential impact of automation. It does take several years for automation to fully replace our jobs, but it is the time now to take action and prepare ourselves for the inevitable technological disruptions and transformation that automation will bring into our workplaces.

We know that automation will ultimately replace our jobs. Paying attention to this trend will help us prepare ourselves to adapt and change for the future.

By taking proactive action now, we can future-proof ourselves, our jobs and our income sources from the likely negative effects of automation. We are able to overcome our fears and eliminate anxieties propagated by fear mongering.

Let’s stop worrying about the future and take action now.

Pay attention to what’s going on around us.

How do we future-proof jobs and prepare ourselves?

Just two words: “Interaction” and “technical”.

It boils down to focusing or equipping ourselves with higher human interaction and technical skills.

Let me elaborate.

There are two parts to any automation rollout.

Firstly, we have the hardware itself. We need the right engineering and design skills to develop, produce and deploy the hardware required for automation to take place.

Secondly, we need highly technical skills and subject matter expertise to research and program the “brains” behind the hardware to achieve the outcomes we want.

At its height back in 2000, Goldman Sachs employed 600 traders buying and selling stock on the orders of its clients. In 2017, there are just two equity traders left. Automated trading programs have substantially taken over the rest of the work supported by 200 computer engineers.

McDonald’s new tech initiatives are pushing employees to continuously perform more tasks without any change in pay. The push for more tech-infused ordering avenues like mobile apps, delivery, and self-order kiosks is making it harder for workers.

The company saw a 50% increase in revenue earned per employee. Numbers like that could make McDonald’s more likely to adopt more technological solutions, even if they take a bit of adjustment for the workers.

Without a doubt, computer programming will become a core skill requirement for many well-paying jobs. This will lead to further inequality in pay between the haves and the haves not.

Coding skills will be in demand across a broad range of careers. The ability not only to use but also to program software and develop applications is often required of business people who create websites, build products and technologies, and conduct research.

It’s only through the learning and application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that we will be enabled to effectively develop, program, and deploy machines.

STEM education should be the pre-requisite for future-proofing jobs.

When we rely on automation to help us work better and as we outsource our work to machines, we will free ourselves to do the work that requires higher level skills. It’s about moving from physical labor to brain power thinking, creativity and analysis. It’s about developing higher value skills relevant for automation and transformation.

When we rely on automation to replace labor, we need more human interaction in its place to bring about the required changes. Teamwork and collaboration of people across the world will become ever more important. We need to find the right global technical skills to help us solve problems and manage change.

We will rely on our human interaction skills to get things done, to collaborate on technical projects, to make decisions, and to find solutions to problems through crowd-sourcing methods.

This means that we require higher interaction skills for person-to-person, team-to-team communication. These high touch skills will become so important in the future.

In essence, the future of work is about human interaction and technical skills.

When we cannot add value to the design and implementation of machines or cannot harness the potential of people to perform at their peak alongside machines, then we should naturally worry about automation taking over our jobs.

When we know that the future of work is fundamentally about higher human interaction and technical skills, we should be focusing on gaining these skills now rather than waiting for things to happen.

Complacency will kill jobs

We have been graciously given the knowledge about what the future looks like on a silver platter.

“Will robots take my job?”

The answer depends.

When we are complacent and do not adapt ourselves to the inevitable changes impacting our jobs and environment, then robots will certainly take away our jobs and income.

When we fail to anticipate the future and minimize the effects of shocks and stresses of future events like automation on our jobs, incomes and income streams, we are really setting ourselves up for failure.

Complacency will kill our jobs and incomes.

Ask this question: Do we have the right human interaction and technical skills to survive the onslaught of automation on our jobs and to remain employable into the future?

The key to our survival in the future is constant retraining or reskilling. We cannot hold on to our past training and education to save us from losing our jobs to automation.

The reality is that the half-life of skills is about five years. This means that in five years’ time, half of our current skills will become obsolete. In ten years’ time, without any retraining, we will become totally obsolete.

Complacency will ultimately kill our existence. Don’t let it be you.

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