Financial Independence – Retool Yourself

We are in the information age!

Are you stuck in the industrial age model?

To remain relevant as an employee, an entrepreneur or leader in your craft, you must retool yourself to keep up with trends, even those that you did not choose.

Bishop T.D Jakes, in (Soar) book interview with Pastor Steve Furtick says, “What we need depends on where we are in the history of mankind. The topography has changed in terms of how we make a living – from agricultural phase to industrial age to the information age that we’re currently in right now. 

People have had to retool themselves in order to keep up with trends they didn’t choose. The older generation sent their kids to school because they trained them to think a job and they said if you go to school and get a good education, you will come out and get a great job. That was true when the older generation was coming up but that’s not true today.

Today you can go to school, get a great education and come out with a good bill and end up working in a pizza place. The question then becomes how do we manage, with our education and our disappointments, living in our mother’s house and sleeping on the couch?

We have to retool ourselves so that we can be functional in the 21st century. 

We have smart, bright, gifted and talented people who can’t find an opportunity. Everyone is crying about the lack of opportunity, and we’re looking to the state house to solve the problem and the reality is, that’s not going to happen. We need solutions. So rather than to go get a job, I thought it was important to talk about being a job – hiring yourself around the opportunities that exists to create your own reality, your own business, your own company – to be the CEO of you. 

A little Background History?

According to Wikipedia, the Industrial Age is a period of history that encompasses the changes in economic and social organization that began around 1760 in Great Britain and later in other countries, characterized chiefly by the replacement of hand tools with power-driven machines such as the power loom and the steam engine, and by the concentration of industry in large establishments.

It is commonly believed that the Industrial Age was supplanted by the Information Age in the late 20th century. It is, however, debatable whether civilization has left the Industrial Age already or is still in it and in the process of reaching the Information Age. Whichever side you look at it, we are in or are entering the information age. 

The Information Age (also known as the Computer AgeDigital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical period that began in the mid-20th century, characterized by a rapid epochal shift from the traditional industry established by the Industrial Revolution to an economy primarily based upon information technology 

The onset of the Information Age can be associated with the development of transistor technology particularly the MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor), which became the fundamental building block of digital electronics and revolutionized modern technology.

Jobs and income distribution In the Information Age

The Information Age has affected the workforce in several ways, such as compelling workers to compete in a global job market. One of the most evident concerns is the replacement of human labour by computers that can do their jobs faster and more effectively, thus creating a situation in which individuals who perform tasks that can easily be automated are forced to find employment where their labour is not as disposable.

The individuals who lose their jobs may be pressed to move up into joining "mind workers" (e.g. engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, scientists, executives, journalists, consultants), who are able to compete successfully in the world market and receive (relatively) high wages.

Along with automation, jobs traditionally associated with the middle class (e.g. assembly line, data processing, management, and supervision) have also begun to disappear as result of outsourcing. Unable to compete with those in developing countries, production and service workers in (developed) societies either lose their jobs through outsourcing, accept wage cuts, or settle for low-skill, low-wage service jobs. 

In the past, the economic fate of individuals would be tied to that of their nation's. For example, workers in the United States were once well paid in comparison to those in other countries. With the advent of the Information Age and improvements in communication, this is no longer the case, as workers must now compete in a global job market, whereby wages are less dependent on the success or failure of individual economies.

In effectuating a globalized workforce, the internet has just as well allowed for increased opportunity in developing countries, making it possible for workers in such places to provide in-person services, therefore competing directly with their counterparts in other nations.

This competitive advantage translates into increased opportunities and higher wages

How to retool YOURSELF

Though there was job loss in the industrial sector it was partially offset by the rapid growth of jobs in information technology. Industry has become more information-intensive while less labour- and capital-intensive.

As demonstrated by some of the digital platform giants, it now seems possible for people with limited capital to succeed on a large scale.

  1. Have your identity in Christ and in the purpose God created you for. Before you came to being, there was a specific path God predestined for you. Spend time with God so you can discover the gifts and talents He already deposited in you. 
  2. Once you know yourself, look around to identify the needs you can be a solution to. People are looking for solutions and will only pay for solutions. What can you offer the world? Don't just think of what you did in college, think of what passions drive you. 
  3. Start small, do not despise the days of little beginnings. If you are in formal employment, nothing stops you from starting a side hustle unless your contract specifically forbids it or there will be a conflict of interest. Remember to be faithful - do not run your side hustle during your employment hours or using your employers resources. 
  4. Take your solution to the digital space. Long gone are the days where your products and services would be limited to a geographical location. Reach beyond you. People have set up cereals shops on brick and mortar but sell online to far away places. 
  5. Learn a new skill. If you are employed, go beyond your job description in your day job. You should build yourself to a level where you are irreplaceable by the organization you work for. Develop an innovative mindset that embraces creativity and out-of-the-box approaches to solving problems. You will be the last to be let go!
  6. Attend online webinars and topical conferences to build yourself, your skill and network as you learn and keep up with the developments in your industry. 
  7. Do not spend all your time getting academic papers without experience. Make sure you are always practicing what you are learning - employers and customers will not be impressed by your credentials and resumes if you cannot deliver. A man/woman with experience is never at the mercy of a man/woman with theory.
  8. You cannot shy away from learning technology. While you are not necessarily required to learn how to code and program (unless that's your industry), basic use of the internet is unavoidable. A good place to start is Google Digital Skills for Africa where you can learn the basics of the business whether for your workplace or for your startup / side hustle.    

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