Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Collapse-Proof Jobs

Love the blog and I’ve bought the book. It’s great and I’m convinced that what happened to Argentina is happening to the USA. I’m a young man, looking for a collapse proof career. What happened in Argentina? Were the trades still protected, or do people do their own electrical work, for instance. What happened to doctors and dentists?
Anyway, love to hear back from you, but I understand how busy you must be.

Hi Will, sorry for the delay in replying.
In my book, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”, on page 191 the title reads “Recession-Proof Jobs”. There I describe some of the common jobs to be found after the economic collapse, things such as telemarketers, promoters and sellers in general, or work on the security field, mostly security guard jobs. These of course are far from ideal jobs but it’s the type of thing that shows up with the new idiosyncrasy of the country.  The natural reaction to a crumbled economy is jobs were employers look to sell more just like the obvious outcome of a growing crime problem is an emphasis on security related and crime prevention jobs.

Then there’s the jobs offered by the government. A country that reaches 25% unemployment soon does everything it can to improve such figures and one way of doing that is by creating jobs themselves. As wise or unwise as it may be to depend on such mechanisms so as to drop the unemployment figures, a job is a job, and if you work for the government you usually fare better than in the private sector during this sort of crisis.

The chapter right after “Recession-Proof Jobs” is one called “Making Money”, and there’s were I spend more time explaining the difference between working and making money, which as obvious as the difference should be in some cases that’s what people are really asking when inquiring about post-collapse jobs.

The most commonly found jobs after the collapse don’t pay well at all. To do well financially after this sort of event you have to understand the changes, the new niches the crisis created and capitalize on them. One of the advantages of the post collapse economy is precisely the amount of cheap labor that is the consequence of such high unemployment, therefore working for someone on a job you found on the paper will probably pay low wages.
The entrepreneur will see which institutions failed after the collapse, which needs aren’t being satisfied. From private security so as to compensate for poor police to understanding the new consumers created by the social pyramid shift, their budgets, needs and desires.

Being a plumber or electrician may not be the most profitable job after the collapse. Its true that people become more resourceful and try doing more things themselves to save money. Then again replacing a broken appliance isn’t nearly as affordable as it used to be, so if you a) offer a good repair service for a reasonable, affordable price b) Market and promote your business well, you may be on to something. You’d be surprised by how important marketing and advertising is after an economic collapse. The man that increases sells, he truly has a valuable skill in tough economic times. Doctors and dentists are historically high paying jobs but I know of both that are not doing well economically, while others make very good money. Knowing how to exploit the right angle is again important. What kind of patients to you go after as a dentist? You just get paid by the insurance companies and private health companies, or do you target for a wealthier type of customer that pays out of his own pocket as well? If you’re a heart transplant genius you don’t need much help in terms of making money, but the average doctor and dentist, again, he needs to sell and market his service just like anyone else during hard economic times.

Plastic surgeons for example, they make nice money, in fact, they make more than ever. In what mind does it make sense that people spend more money on breast implants AFTER an economic collapse than before? In no one’s , but it’s the complex reality of such a social change. As society in general becomes poorer, it also becomes… lets say it becomes more corny  and cheap in general. Advertising is reduced to practically naked women with enlarged breasts more than ever before, 90% of TV becomes reality-TV type, full of botox faced personalities that lost all human expression, with no other talent other than making a scene on TV.  Its not only the TV and media, SOCIETY itself becomes this way, and that’s how you explain what previously just didn’t make sense.

It is a pretty complex topic. My advice would be first of all doing and studying what you love. Maybe you don’t even have to go to college depending on what that is. The myth of needing a degree to make money is already dead. While in average a degree gets you 20% more money than not having it, that % is narrowing down each year. Its you and what passion you manage to exploit that makes the difference, what makes you money. Do what you love doing and find an angle to it that in some way satisfies a niche in the market. That would be my advice.
Take care and good luck!

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