If you’ve been paying any sort of attention to the news this year, you’ll know that the job market is not only bad, but HISTORICALLY bad. Young people are getting slammed the worst, with ages 18-24 being hit with unemployment rates twice as bad as any other group (18%+, versus 9%+ for everyone else). These issues are not limited to the US. Unemployment is also affecting a great many around the world, as witnessed by the high unemployment and restlessness in the Middle East, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Australia, et all. The unemployment crisis has gone viral, and in the world we live right now, “young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed.”
Gone are the days that upon graduating from college, an entry-level position in your chosen field was practically guaranteed. Making a slow climb above the corporate ladder was not easy, but the carrot at the top of the ladder was always there. Not anymore.
Those already employed are sitting on a knife’s edge, overworked, with the threat of layoffs hanging constantly over their heads. Even the venerable government jobs, once thought to be the boring, safe choice, are no longer safe, as local and and even federal governments are threatening to impose massive budget cuts and layoff workers by the thousands to avoid bankruptcy.
It is time to, if you haven’t already done so, to start shifting your thinking, to become more agile, and prepare to adapt to changing circumstances around the world. Being that employment and a career is no longer a guaranteed path, and governments’ safety nets frayed to the point of bursting, it is time to act before the net rips from underneath you.
Due to current circumstances, even where you’re living right now, places may become filled with people left scavenging for increasingly diminishing resources and job opportunities. Becoming adaptable and preparing for a lifestyle that is location independent affords you the best opportunity to seek where life is better, and opportunities more abundant.
There is nothing wrong with seeking new horizons when the local conditions are not suitable for you and your family. The US was built on the fact the many immigrants decided to look for new opportunities and a better life outside their homeland. They came, worked hard, and contributed to making the US the great country of their time.
Immigration shifts still go on today in other parts of the world and it’s a fact of life. All species migrate at some point when the conditions for their survival are not suitable anymore where they live. In fact, living abroad for a time should be required for everyone, if only for the richness of perspective that one gains when seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Even the US is a large enough country where moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, or vice versa, requires a major attitude change and a readjustment of perspective. As Susanna, from Futureexpats.com points out, living overseas is not unpatriotic.
But before external conditions, whether economic or social, force you to seek new pastures, one needs to be ready to adapt to the change. Becoming location independent is more than just developing a business that allows you to operate from almost anywhere you choose to live in the world. It’s not about living life on the run, from one airport to the next. In fact, you may only move only once and find that you have found the place where you want to spend the rest of your life in. It’s about creating the freedom of choice for yourself.
Being location independent is about developing the mindset, necessary skills, and remaking yourself as a free individual who is adaptable to a variety of circumstances. What does it take to be location independent, other than an open mind and a desire to work hard to achieve it? Read on…
Practice the art of being a minimalist: Let go of the trappings of life that tie you to a dead-end job that only supports the appearance of a financially successful lifestyle. Being permanently indebted it’s not a sustainable lifestyle and will be jarring should you be affected by a massive income loss. Learn to tune out the assault on your senses put out by the advertising industry. Jenny from ExConsumer.com has a great article on learning to deprogram from advertisement-driven consumption.
Develop your entrepreneurial spirit: Strive hard to follow things that you are passionate about by establishing a business that provides fulfills you internally as a person and those around you. Aspire to make the lives of those around you better by what you do for a living. Provide a service or product, with the best of your abilities, that enriches people’s lives. I guarantee that it will change yours, more than any soul-sucking job ever could.
Be fearless: It’s a big world out there, but it’s not the scary place some make it out to be. Explore, learn, and grow as a person. And don’t be afraid to go where opportunities take you, wherever they may be. Just be open to trying something different and slightly stretching your comfort boundaries.
And one last piece of advice. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
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