Financial Literacy for Job Seekers
Dear job seeker,
As you prepare for the world of work, you most likely are aware that there are certain skills you need to acquire, to put you in the best position, and so you have perfected your CV writing skills, you’ve perfected your answer to the “tell me about yourself” question, you’ve memorized the entire 100 tips needed to answer interview questions perfectly, your soft skills game is as strong as ever, yet the job is still not coming. You’re lacking a skill: Financial Literacy.
Financial Literacy is simply the ability to read and understand not just numbers, but what the numbers are telling you. Employers these days look out for people that are skilled in cutting irrelevant expenses and increasing company’s revenue. Nobody wants to employ a spendthrift, the way you handle your finances and resources would reflect in, and affect the way you handle company’s finances and resources. You don’t necessarily have to be in the sales or marketing department to understand how this works; the 21st-century employee is expected to know something about everything. A financially literate job seeker understands how to minimize company’s costs while maximizing its returns.
Also, a financially literate job seeker knows not to work solely to earn, but to work, to learn. Yes, financial stability is one of the most important reasons individuals seek job opportunities, but while going into the world of work, it is important to seek work for what you will learn, more than what you will earn. Know the skills you want to acquire before choosing a specific job so you don’t get trapped in the Rat race, working all your life for money instead of money working for you. So while looking for that “perfect job”, or looking to switch professions, the pay shouldn’t be the deciding factor, instead look out for job satisfaction, does it align with your life and career path? You’re considering a career in Business Development, yet you’re signing a deal with a football club in Qatar all because of the great pay. How? “Don’t work solely for money, work to learn”.
During the job search process, you should not sit around being idle, here are some helpful tips to create income for job seekers and recent graduates:
- Tutor nursery and primary school kids for a fee, offer to work in your parent’s office/business/shop/school and get paid, be an apprentice, learn a vocation or skill, e.g. fashion designing, repairing of gadgets, etc. be a fitness instructor to old people and retirees in your community.
- Content creation: Open a blog and talk about something you care about; this works in two ways: You get visibility, making it easier for recruiters and potential employers to find you online. You also make money on your blog from Google, through adverts (Look up: AdSense). Creating content for other blogs and getting paid is also a very viable option.
- Freelancing: There are a couple of freelance websites where you signup and offer your skills to clients all over the world for a fee. Skills like Graphic designing, content writing, editing, web development, and social media marketing are in high demand.
- Develop a healthy saving habit, pay yourself first, start your investment journey, acquire assets, research on investment opportunities for low-income earners. You don’t need to have money to make money. Now is a perfect time to start.
- Lastly, don’t forget to invest in yourself, as you are your greatest asset. Investing in yourself can lead to a large increase in your future earning potential, read that book on your desired career path, do a skills audit and brush up on the skills you’re lacking, update your LinkedIn profile, volunteer at relevant events where you can network with professionals, take online courses to further your knowledge, sites like Coursera and Slatecube are very helpful. Greatness is yours, if only you ACT!
BIO: Chidinma Okoli is an aspiring investment banker, she is very passionate about the need for financial literacy among millennials, especially African millennial. She loves to be called “the financial literacy advocate”. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and beating you at a very exciting game of scrabble. Instagram: @financial_literacy_advocate Facebook: fb.me/financiallyliterateafrica