Recently, I saw an article in The Straits Times which reported the increasing trend of local PMETs being laid off in Singapore. It brought home the hard reality that professionals and skilled workers are no longer safe from being made redundant in their jobs. From the perspective of a wealth builder, it also reinforced the belief that in order to sustain in this dynamic economy, it is very important to build a solid personal finance foundation and master niche skill sets.
I always encourage young people who just entered the workforce to build up their own emergency funds as soon as possible. Life is always unpredictable. You never know when you will lose your job or encounter personal crisis. Having an emergency fund can help to provide short term security against market uncertainties. It allows you and your family to carry on life as per normal whilst you embark on the recovery journey. Without this sum of money as interim support, you have no choice but to borrow from friends and relatives. Personally, I don’t like to, and have yet, to borrow from my friends and relatives.
Of course, having this emergency fund is only one of the key elements of the personal finance framework. It would not help to enhance your wealth nor elevate you to another wealth level. Put it this way, it is just another money “shield” or protection. To build wealth and be rich and successful in life, you must develop niche skill sets. To know what are your niche skills, what you need to do is think about what you can deliver on your own. For example, developing a high traffic blog on your own without taking the help of others is definitely a type of niche skill. If you keep honing your skills, over time, people will be willing to pay a premium for your skill. It could be to help them promote their businesses in your blog. Who knows? In fact, a number of vendors had paid me to advertise their services in my blog, SG Wealth Builder. So never underestimate what you can achieve.
I see many Singaporeans taking their jobs for granted and getting more complacent. A lot of them complained about their work in their blogs. They don’t appreciate the importance of being gainfully employed until the prospect of being retrenched looms near. Some Singaporeans also thought that retrenchments only happened in SMEs and that working in MNCs are safe. This is a myth which I need to debunk because I have worked in a US MNC company that carried out retrenchment exercises before. Believe me, it was not a nice feeling seeing your colleagues being asked to leave.
In short, always strive to expand your skill sets in your job journey. You will find that the competencies you mastered will put you in good stead in your career. In addition, having good money control will help to alleviate the stress in the unfortunate event of being retrenched. Hope the above aid in your wealth building journey.