Through my 5-year work experience in the corporate world, I’ve had realizations on how things are and how I should move forward toward the goal of maximizing my efforts, time and money as I continue to be a provider for my family. I have listed them down and continually revisit them whenever I lose focus on what I am doing or supposed to be doing. These are important key points based on myself and my life which guide me in making decisions and choices every day.
The first one is life as an employee. In Filipino culture, we are told by our parents to study hard, get good grades, graduate from at least, a 4-year degree or get a master’s degree (when able)all for the sake of landing a great job in a good company. As I’ve realized, life in a corporation is never stable when we are considering the long term. You may be well-compensated for your work but there is always the risk of getting cut either due to bad performance, misconduct, a simple miss or even during an unpredicted recession. Planning years ahead isn’t practical when you’re working as an employee because you’ll never know what your fate in that company will be. There is also the salary, no matter how hard you work in a company, within your 8-hour work day, you’ll always get the same amount of pay (with the exception of sales companies, obviously) month in and month out. Yes, you eventually get promoted but still, the amount that you’ll only be getting monthly is the one which is written in your contract. Another thing is regardless of what line of business you’re in, whether it’s with sales or operations, it is extremely rare that you get to acquire your company after your years and years of service with it. You may be granted stock shares or even a position in the directors’ circle but still, the company will not be yours to own. Being a member of the Directors’ Board doesn’t excuse you from getting cut. Retirement is the last phase in the life of being an employee. People from the corporate world retire in between the age of 60-65. At this stage, they have already spent at least a good 30-40 years of their lives working extra hard with companies to provide for their family, send their children to college, and basically pay for the same process to be repeated over again. After they retire as employees, they may receive maybe 5, make it 10, million pesos as their retirement fund in exchange for their years of service (note: this amount isn’t standard for all retirees. More often, this amount is lesser, much lesser that the retirees often go to re-calculate everything and hog on their employers just for them to give them the right amount). To think of it, healthy retirees, who had great lifestyles and are without vices, will live another 20 years. Do you think 10 million will last throughout those 20 years? I’d say “no”. More often than not, people who receive that amount of money when they retire aren’t even able leave money to their relatives to pay for their burial expenses when they die. It is sad but this is happening.
The second point is the value of money. As I’ve said previously, most people of age retire from work with funds given to them by their companies only. Again, that usually only gets them through a few years and then they start to depend on their children to care for them. Some of them do have their life savings, yes. However, they usually save in banks or keep the cash hidden somewhere safe. The problem with both these situations is that money depreciates over the years. Your 1000 pesos from the last 10 years will not be able to get you as much now. The value of money is lost when it is kept in places all of us know; which are usually the only places we’re made aware of. There are other places to invest/save our money: stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc. Unfortunately, we were not informed about the gains and benefits we can get from these. Thankfully, we are encouraged by those who are already investing in these. Our response and our choice, on the other hand has often been negative. Our responses are anywhere between “I do not have the extra money to invest”, “I have no time to learn about that investment”, “it’s too risky and difficult”, “maybe next time” or “I’d rather be happy than be rich”. I always say that you never have “extra” money, NEVER. You’ll always have something to spend it on. After the days have gone by post pay day, you’re already out of cash waiting for the next pay day to come; and then the cycle repeats. My solution to that is when you get your salary, set your investment money aside. If your pay is 10000 pesos and you’re looking to invest 3000 pesos, let’s say, in the stock market, set the 3000 pesos aside as soon as you get your 10000. Consider your pay to be just 7000 pesos. If you do this, your investment is accounted for every pay day. You will never have to miss your scheduled investment. Additionally, by simply doing this, your budget will improve. You’ll automatically cut your expenses down by 30%, guaranteed. The beauty of this, especially with the stock market, is that there are proven long term investment programs online that stockbrokers offer with very low risks and which only ask that you be consistent with your chosen program. Have your money work for you. Start early and invest now.
The last point I’m going to cover for this article is the value of time. You need time for family, time for your friends and ultimately, time for yourself. How can you claim this if an hour of your day goes by just preparing for work; or just by going through traffic? Imagine this: an hour to prepare for work plus an hour in traffic on the way to the office; then another hour to go home. That’s 3 hours a day wasted! Add another 8 hours of sleep (if you’re really getting that much) and an additional 8 for hours spent in the office. That’s 19 hours a day just for 4 things. You’ll only be left with 5 hours for your day. How about the chores, running errands, spending time with family or friends or even overtime or take home work? There goes another 24 hours! You become productive in the office, yes, but for what, a fixed salary? A promotion that will give you more work and require that you spend more hours in the office? What I’m trying to point out is that there are other ways to earn much more than spending 8 hours in the office doing repetitive and routine work. Spend 8 hours in your own business or doing something you love most and become an expert with it, and start marketing yourself. There are businesses that are easy and affordable to start. Open your mind and start searching for them.
These are just 3 points that I consider major in an employee’s life. I want people to see these points and be encouraged to go out of their office buildings and think and do something different. Let’s not be slaves to the corporate world and think of our lives not as employees but as independent business men. Let’s evaluate our perspective with regard to how we spend and keep our money and make sure that we use the precious time given to us to be as productive as we can be.