This morning’s news brief on msn.com included the following snippet:
Our income has fallen since the new millennium began and it isn’t expected to catch up until 2021, according to a Wall Street Journal survey of economists’ forecasts.
And in bad news for students, not even a college degree is going to help much, some of the 50 economists surveyed believe that only people with advanced degrees will see any meaningful increase in their standard of living. The current generation of college graduates will only see a higher standard of living if “they get graduate degrees and are willing to give up a lot of free time,” Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial told the Wall Street Journal.
Our economy is stagnant in most circles at best. Anyone currently looking for work may think that is a severe understatement. Business cycles are struggling to gain traction, largely in part to the lack of clarity in the market as to what additional impasses are awaiting us out of Washington. Uncertainty causes inaction, especially in business leaders attempting to chart a course through difficult waters.
However here is my reaction to the Wall Street Journal survey. If we are waiting for some economic surge to help us keep pace or better yet achieve our goals and dreams, our travels will be on a slippery slope. The best way to combat financial challenges lie in the answers to the following questions:
- What new knowledge or skill am I attempting to gain? If what I know or am capable of doing becomes stagnant, so will my income and value to an employer.
- How much time do I spend reading for mental stimulation verses escape? Do I share equal time with news, business, or self-improvement articles as I do with the latest gossip on Demi, Justin or Brad and Angelina?
- Have I searched for a new project at work? One that my boss didn’t assign? The message to my employer should always be “I want to contribute more, not simply ask for more.”
- Who have I spent time with in management levels above me that are not direct reports? The network of people in my company that I build will open the door to resources capable of increasing my productivity and visibility.
We move forward or backward depending on the energy we exert, not the pressure that we face.
Life is a fight for territory. If you stop fighting for what you want, what you don’t want will take over!
What questions might you ask yourself in order to combat financial challenges?