Vanguard Money Digest

August 29, 2020

Protecting your income in uncertain job market


By Grace Agada

The future of work is not job security, the future of work is financial security – the ability to earn income regardless of salary.

Work, as we know it today, will be different post-COVID-19. There will be downsizing, salary slashes, layoffs, and so on. The truth is the insecurity in the job market has tripled. If you are still holding on to your job, congratulations, but not for too long.

While we pray that nothing bad happens to your job, we cannot rule out the possibility of it happening someday. You cannot rule it out, your employers cannot rule it out and even the government cannot rule it out. The only one with the power to give you some sort of temporary job security are consumers.

When consumers patronize the company you work for, your company makes money and they are able to keep your job intact. But when consumers are scared to spend and they hoard money, as is the case with the lockdown, organizations suffer and so does your job.

Secondly, crises like COVID-19 shine a bright light on inefficiencies within organizations. Employers are beginning to realize that they do not need so many employees to survive.

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They are also shifting from the traditional workforce model to the digital independent and remote workforce model, and this is exposing certain gaps in job roles and individuals. Thus, the only way to protect yourself before the job hammer hits you is to secure the one thing that makes a job important to you in the first place. This is your income.

So, how then can you protect your income?

To protect your income you must do three things. First, you must change how you save. Second, you must earn more income within your current organization. Thirdly, you must create your own financial security outside the corporate world.

First, Save the Big Portion Way

The first thing you must do is increase your savings. There are only two kinds of savings in the world. The first is called the ‘leftover savings’ and the second is called the ‘big portion savings’.

Leftover savings is any kind of savings that teaches you to save what you have. Save 5% of your income, okay try and raise it to 10%, or maybe just peg it at 20% and so on. Leftover savings is governed by a leftover mind-set and it is based on the concept of just setting something aside for yourself each month. While this is a good place to start, it won’t create solid financial security for you. The big portion savings, in contrast, is based on the concept of helping you create solid financial security within the limited time you have.

Unfortunately, you have two limited periods on your hands. The first is that you have only 30years of corporate time to work with. That if you keep your job for 30 years, want to wait till retirement or are just starting out.

Secondly, life itself is short. When you have limited time on your hands, the only type of savings that can protect you for real is the big portion savings. Remember you are saving an income to depend on when your salary ends. So if you save only 10% or 20% of your income it means that your current lifestyle will crash from 100% to 10% or 20% when salary ends. If that’s not what you want, save big portion.

Second, Earn More Income in your Current Organisation.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to depend on the regular annual salary increases to boost your income or focus on investing your spare time on a low-income side hustle. The reason for this is simple: you spend over 70% of your time at work. This means that you can only invest a small fraction of your time in a side hustle. If it is not a high-income side hustle, it won’t help you much.

The best thing to do is to focus on your organization where you spend the most time. Your organization has pressing problems they are willing to pay someone to solve. This means that if you can solve even one of the burning problems for your organization, you can achieve either of three things.

First, you can get a high financial windfall and dramatically change your life. Second, you can get awards and recognition that will boost your employability. And third, you can be permanently promoted to a higher level of income.

Focusing on the organization where you spend the most of your time to earn more income is the fastest way to dramatically increase your income.

Third, Create your Own Financial Security.

Funding your life from a fragile source of income like salary is choosing to suffer financial stress for the rest of your life. Your goal, as a smart employee, is to create a life that thrives outside the corporate world. Your life should not end or the quality of your life should not degrade when corporate life ends.

In contrast, you should create a life outside the corporate world that is bigger and better and the only way to achieve that is to create a secure source of income that can help you do two things: at the minimum, pay your bills and at the advanced level, maintain your lifestyle.

Creating this kind of income is only possible when you combine a big portion savings attitude with a lifetime income investment vehicle. A lifetime income investment vehicle is any investment vehicle that can produce regular income like your monthly salary, protect your invested capital, and lasts throughout life.

This is the only kind of investment that can liberate you from financial bondage and from the chains of the corporate world.

There is no job security anywhere. The only security you can have is the financial security you create for yourself today. The best you can do now is to start building independence that will carry you for the rest of your life. It is better to have a permanent income than a temporary prestigious job life.