In this ‘post-industrial’ age of service and consumption based economies in the western world, jobs are not what they used to be. The days of working for an employer for 25+ years, taking long service leave and retiring with a gold watch are relics of the past. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but I point out the key difference – most commentators will tell you that the key to success in the modern workplace is to abandon loyalty, stay ‘adaptable’ and ‘dynamic’, and deal with chopping and changing employers, and even careers. There is usually some mention of ‘Gen Y’ and how they have different values. What a load of poppyco*k. The real reason why young workers don’t have ‘loyalty’ (as though this is a measurable metric) is that the employment market with its needless credentialism (‘Masters preferred’ for your clerical job, anyone?), insecurity and low rates of pay do not offer a steady career path of meaningful, and dignified work.
Younger (and older) workers are told, in this cutthroat environment, to get an MBA (spend thousands and waste time), accept anything you can in between redundancies, and ‘network’ through LinkedIn or whatever other brown-nosing is popular. Unfortunately, none of these proscriptions will lead to the same level of remuneration or security enjoyed by older generations. Just ‘deal’ with it, we’re told.
The only true way to gain freedom from this job market, and just as importantly, insolvent governments that will be sure to want their ‘fair’ share (read: whatever they decide) of whatever you produce, is to create a business or source of income that is not exclusively geographically tied to your location. If you are able to exercise a level of control over your income, and can operate your business to serve your customers or clients from anywhere with an internet connection, then you are more free than any employee, as well as 99% of bricks-and-mortar business owners.
Much has been written on the subject, perhaps most famously in Tim Ferriss’ ‘4-Hour Work Week’, and the internet is awash with sham operators who offer their snake oil (affiliate marketing, SEO etc). There is no ‘instant success formula’, but there are some good resources for those starting out, including Tim’s book, The 4-hour Work Week (warning: this is more for inspiration than advice), Matt Forney’s Confessions of an Online Hustler, The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ De Marco and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.