Stable Paycheck

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
FAlley's picture
FAlley
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2010
Posts: 90
Stable Paycheck

Losing your job is the closest thing to TEOTWAWKI that we are likely to see for the time being. Entire industries are changing, and if you're not planning you might find yourself turning from homeowner to underwater. That said, what are your thoughts on kinds of jobs and skill that give a steady, strong paycheck, both now and in the event of an economic collapse?

I am not a Rawlesian. I do not advocate 'running for the hills' when the world sucks more than usual. I think that no matter what, the world will go on and we'll have to get along with it. That is my philosophy.

So, my thoughts on safe job types.

- Just about anything related to HEALTH CARE. "There will always be sick people."

- Anything that supports the development and infrastructure of RENEWABLE ENERGY, not because it is a fad, but because for so many reasons society is going to have to change to it.

- SOCIAL NETWORKING has exploded, and has nowhere to go but up. Businesses are only beginning to learn how to really make money off this boom.

- America has more guns that any other developed country. I have a hard time seeing this changing; I cannot envision a time when guns would be seriously legislated against, and Americans would be revolted by it. Therefore, I'll say that GUNS are a great store of wealth, and any business that works in their sale will boom in hard times, not bust.

The above is an elementary primer; I'd really like to hear people in the Real World say what kinds of jobs that have the most faith in keeping, even through hard times.

~Tin Man

2donks's picture
2donks
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 13 2009
Posts: 1
Post Peak-Oil Farmers

 

I think people that understand how to grow food and raise meat animals without cheap oil will be in demand.  The profession doesn't pay great right now, but seems like a growth industry.

-2donks

Jager06's picture
Jager06
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 2 2009
Posts: 395
Entrepreuners...

Tin Man,

I have several businesses, one is rental properties, which I do not see continuing to do well in the near to mid term unless the properties are debt free, or the interest on the mortgages is fixed and you have substantial reserves or access to stable commodities to cover a depreciated mortgage cost. For example, having a $200K mortgage on a property that produces $2500 a month, with a $200 a month operating cost, while holding silver in a ratio of 1 oz of silver for every $250 in debt. If we go into hyperinflation, you can pay off your rental property for the cost of acquiring the silver at the pre-inflationary, nominally depressed price.

One area where I am seeing opportunities for growth is in our retail shipping business. We handle outsourced business services, provide commercial bulk mail rates to small groups and provide retail access to multiple shipping companies. The growth opportunity here lies with Congress strangle hold on the US Postal Service. With Saturday delivery soon to be a thing of the past, and that concession not being able to help the long term viability of the Postal Service, there is going to be a local and regional service gap for retail and business shipping.

The opportunity is for local courier and package delivery services that are able to maintain price stability on their services by utilizing non-standard means of transportation. This needs some simplification compared to the current operational modes of home delivery, but I think we have that covered with our growth plan.

Sounds wierd doesn't it? In the midst of the downsizing of humanity, our company has developed a plan to grow our business based on the innefficiencies of the current paradigm and capitalizing on the coming crisis of the 3 "E"s.

My advice for college students right now? Quit. Run away and start your own company. Use the CC as a model to guide your business venture by developing your business concept as though the crash had already happened.

Localized organic food production, in my case commercial aquaponic interests, is another example of using the coming collapse of our just in time delivery system to provide a necessary localized commodity.

If you are serious, I would take a good hard look at the past and see what life was like in 1911, not 2011. What industries and production was widespread? What are the necessities of human life that these industries provided? How is the modern system fulfilling these necessities? What modern technology can do the same thing as the 100 year old technology to produce a product that does not require a multi continent supply or distribution chain? What are the local environmental resources that you have available to use in your production? How can you tap into the local market for these resources? Can you replicate this productivity in other locations, thus avoiding the supply and distribution chain issues?

Remember to take into consideration the 3 "E"s. What is your energy source for production and distribution? What environmental resources are available locally to provide your raw materials?

If you can, find a mentor. Someone who does not care one bit for your success or failure. Someone who will give you solid advice without emotional attachments.

Best wishes,

Jager06

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Youth

If you are in college right now, I would not suggest quitting right now. That would be one possibility on the table, but I don't think it's as simple as that.

Yes, we may be transitioning towards a far different future that people could imagine just 5 years ago. Peak oil, peak resources, economic stagnation, oppressive debt at a national, state, local, and private level, overdevelopment, economic overshoot - all this points to inevitable decline.

However, that doesn't mean it will necessarily be instant. This is the time of living with one foot in each of two different worlds, in transition, and therefore your planning has to take that into account.

First, I would definitely NOT major in liberal arts or the social sciences. You need practical and technical skills useful and profitable both today and 20 years from now. (Personally, I double-majored in college because I realized my social science-related major wouldn't put food on the table. This was evident to me 10 years ago and is a no-brainer nowadays. You can learn history from books and art by doing, anyways.)

For example, if you want to study engineering, make sure you also get hands-on experience in the basics of machining, fabrication, metallurgy or building a home. Maybe you can learn to be a gunsmith or armourer. If you want to study medicine, make sure you learn EMT/paramedic and low-tech skills. If you're studying farming, I'd suggest interning at Polyface with Joel Salatin, etc. or experimenting with permaculture gardening in a back yard (visit the Archdruid Report for some suggestions).

Second, I would assess the cost of your college education, the debt level you currently have, and the anticipated debt level you will have by the time you graduate. Will what you are studying be worth it?

Your biggest advantage is your youth. Those of us already tied with golden handcuffs to our 9-5 jobs, with kids to take care of (I have baby twin boys, for example) have very little time for other pursuits. Learn now. Learn as much as you can.

Poet

Jager06's picture
Jager06
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 2 2009
Posts: 395
Ooops...

Okay, I will agree with Poet when it comes to practical engineering skills. That I would stay for.

A conversation heard in the future.....

"What? You used to be a lawyer/ investment banker/ CPA / IRS agent, political science professor/ human sexuality professor? (etc, choose one please) " ........................BANG....................

Later, at the County Seat....

"Yes sir I am here to collect the bounty....."

Have a great week,

Jager06

maceves's picture
maceves
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
jobs that will get cut

I tell my students to be practical and not aim at a career that has anything to do with the luxury market .  

Jobs that will be in----

doctor, nurse, hospial attendants, pharmacists

supply of gas and basic commodities, groceries, necessities

farming (but it still might not pay well),  agricultural education, sustainable agriculture

machine repair: small electrics, bicycles, appliances

military

education, but not  to special entitlement groups

lawyers in the private sector

Jobs that will be phased out---

park rangers, support to park systems and museums

scientific research (no grants)

federal, state, and local office jobs

restaurant jobs will be reduced

sales, especially in non-essesntials

social workers, support to the disabled, couselors, salaried social services

 

I might be wrong, of course, but that is my guess.

FAlley's picture
FAlley
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2010
Posts: 90
Wow! Great ideas! I'll be

Wow! Great ideas!

I'll be majoring in Business Management, as I see that as a broad field with many possibiliites. I can use it to get into whatever form of business I think most suitable when the time comes.

HOWEVER, I'm really not asking this thread to be about my own personal situation. I was figuring on a more general conversation on types of careers that will be stable both now, and after SHTF, for anyone who might wish to consider them.

Organic farming was actually just on CNN as a growing field for the future! I don't know much about the difference between 'organic' and 'normal' farming, but it was great to see a mainstream media outlet echo the same things I hear on forums like this.

And yes Jager06, any kind of transportation infrastructure set up to run after peak-oil is going to be a winner.

Poet, can you tell me any more about Polyface?

Happy Hunting!
~Tin Man

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
nuc plants

We are going to have to build a large number of nuclear plants.  There isn't going to be any choice.  Nuclear Engineering will be a very good field to be in.

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
PolyFace Farms
Tin Man wrote:

Poet, can you tell me any more about Polyface?

Organic sometimes isn't far removed from fossil fuel intensive. Sometimes moreso than conventional. To get organic manure, it may need to be trucked in from a thousand miles further away than a more local source. Joel Salatin believes in being a localvore, growing locally and sustainably.

PolyFace Farms' Principles (includes link to videos)
http://www.polyfacefarms.com/principles.aspx

His best part is about being a "grass farmer" and how he puts cows in a pasture followed by chickens to root and forage afterwards, etc.

PolyFace Farms
http://www.polyfacefarms.com/

Personally, I think aside from learning a few principles about running a business (i.e. minoring in business: especially basic accounting, cost accounting, inventory, supply chain logistics, and how to read financial statements) there really are a lot of people with business degrees out there...

Poet

 

soulsurfersteph's picture
soulsurfersteph
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 16 2010
Posts: 204
wait and see

When I graduated college in 1992 there was no world wide web.

Three years later I was teaching people how to use it.

It was a gig I had no college training for. I in fact have a degree in English and Music. I've made my money off the Internet in one form or another ever since.

We have no idea what the careers of the future might be. Just be flexible and ready and willing to learn - quickly!

PS I also teach yoga. I'm thinking people may still want some yoga when things get bad. :-)

 

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 25 2008
Posts: 144
As a recent college grad who

As a recent college grad who made the unfortunate choice to major in English and Anthropology, I can say this thread is near (but not so dear) to my heart. As the son of a man who works for a beer company, I can add that alcoholic beverages tend to be a safe industry in good times and, especially, bad.

I do have to echo some of the sentiments already expressed, that there certainly are a heck of a lot of business majors out there, and that knowing how to work with the newest PC technology could be a great way to go. That is the only well-paying, semi-satisfying work I have been able to find since I graduated two years ago - building, upgrading, networking, and fixing PCs for households and small businesses. What was my hobby during high school and college has become my only real potential route to a decent career, it seems; my actual, formal college education may as well have never happened. Too bad I still have tens of thousands of debt leftover from the "great experience."

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Be Flexible And Practical
kevinoman0221 wrote:

As a recent college grad who made the unfortunate choice to major in English and Anthropology, I can say this thread is near (but not so dear) to my heart. As the son of a man who works for a beer company, I can add that alcoholic beverages tend to be a safe industry in good times and, especially, bad.

I do have to echo some of the sentiments already expressed, that there certainly are a heck of a lot of business majors out there, and that knowing how to work with the newest PC technology could be a great way to go. That is the only well-paying, semi-satisfying work I have been able to find since I graduated two years ago - building, upgrading, networking, and fixing PCs for households and small businesses. What was my hobby during high school and college has become my only real potential route to a decent career, it seems; my actual, formal college education may as well have never happened. Too bad I still have tens of thousands of debt leftover from the "great experience."

Yes, English and Anthropology degrees are over-abundant in the job marketplace. Anthropology was a very popular major in the 1990s, after Psychology was a very popular major in the 1980s. I remember around the time I was still in college, I heard a statistic, that there were 400 applicants for every job requiring a Master's in English, and 3 jobs begging for every graduate with a Ph.D. in Accounting. Just something to think about.

I truly think that young people have to be practical and flexible. They need practical, in-demand skills under their belt. And having a part-time job in a career-related field while still in college - even if just an internship - is a valuable thing to put on one's résumé.

I am glad you found something you can work in and find fulfillment in.

Poet

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments