According to a National Survey taken in the summer of 2011, one out of three Americans would be facing the grim reality of being homeless if they were to loose their job today. I have no question that these numbers have gone up since last year. Do you have a job where you are feeling like you are walking on egg shells every day and are one day away from being terminated? Do you feel like you have to suck up to your higher up just to keep your foot in the door? More importantly, do you feel like you would be able to pay your rent or mortgage should you lose your job in the near future. Chances are if you are like most Americans you are living paycheck to paycheck and have little to no money in savings leaving you vulnerable to becoming one statistic that is a hard one to swallow.
I used to work at a place where everyone felt like their job was on the line on a daily basis and just showing up left a bad taste in my mouth. I have talked to several people recently and discovered that it is getting harder and harder to keep a job these days and it is only getting worse! The even more devastating statistic is that most people are living paycheck to paycheck. The hard truth is that many people in today's economy are just one paycheck away from being homeless.
What happened to the days where you could start from the bottom and work your way to the top? It used to be the norm to stay at one company for your entire career and you would be able to retire comfortably with benefits and a pension. Now it seems like there are more mergers and job layoffs then we can count and companies are hiring more people to do triple the work load for less pay. Bonuses are almost unheard of anymore and health insurance is diminishing by the day.
Without access to services and health insurance, workers are left trying to fend for themselves when it comes to paying for medical treatment. Even worse are the ones who have had to have treatment without insurance and are now bogged down with thousands of dollars in debt on top of trying to survive with increasing costs and less pay. Job loyalty is a thing of the past and everyone, regardless of time put in and skill level are finding out that they are replaceable. How is that for an optimistic outlook for the future of America?
So what can we do in order to survive in such a volatile environment? I think that the most important thing is to come together as a community and a family and work together when and where you can. We need to stop pointing fingers and passing judgement. Frankly, this everyone out for themselves mentality is going to lead to a lot of hardships and more and more people will be one step closer to losing everything that they have. Seems extreme but it's what is happening across the nation and it is not getting better anytime soon. If you don't believe me check out the US Department of Labor website and see for yourself.
A little side note for those of you who are reading this thinking "well I work hard for my money so why should I help or be concerned about other people." The answer is because you may be next. No matter how cush you may feel right now and how secure your job may appear, don't be naive and believe that it is going to last forever. The reality is that EVERYONE is replaceable... including you. So yeah maybe today you have a job that pays the bills but tomorrow is a whole different story. You may not be so fortunate and end up being part of the 1/3 facing homelessness. Nobody thinks that it will happen to them until it does and they are left in disbelief and scrambling to figure things out.
Another thing that we can do is pay attention to what is going on in the world. Watch the news and stay up to date on what is happening locally, nationally and globally. Become involved and make a difference and most importantly VOTE! Stay up to date on local measures that both directly affect you and your family and also measures that indirectly affect you. If you don't vote, your voice isn't heard and every little bit counts.
Don't let your livelihood and survival be left to chance and even worse, other people's decisions and ideas about how you should be living. If you leave it up to them your circumstances could become much more disastrous than you could have ever imagined. Turn off your blinders and see what is happening to your friends and neighbors and fight back. Your livelihood depends on it.
Start your own business and work for yourself. According to Forbes, ecommerce is booming, with record online sales in 2011. With this bright economic outlook, you should think about starting an online business. When you are your own boss you make or break your own success and you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. The best part too is that you don't have to worry about the looming ax hanging over your head ready to cut you loose. Learn a new skill and continue to educate yourself about what is working in the business world and how you can become or continue to be a valuable asset.
The world is becoming a tougher place to survive and we need to do everything in our power to prepare and avoid the possibility of being one paycheck away from being homeless. Make a difference, help each other out and stay up to date on what is happening around you. Follow voting measures and elect people who actually care about your well being and will work to improve the economy. Find alternative ways to earn an income. If possible work for yourself to avoid being laid off or replaced by someone who is going to be paid less money to do more work. These are all things that we can start doing immediately and will make a difference in the world around us. We need to plan for tomorrow so we can live today.
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