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From school leaving to job hunting

By Finbar Garcia


So, you graduated with many passes, top achiever in your class or even those subjects that you loved. Where do you go from here?

For some persons, the journey continues to Advanced Level or university, but many will be facing the world of work, as financial conditions at home dictate that an income or another income needs to be coming into the home as a means of ‘survival’. Where does this leave you?

For many, this first job means a lot as younger family members will continue to need financial support. While this is good, as it will foster that love for family, you will also need to focus on yourself.

Job hunting is not an easy thing to deal with as you may not land that ideal job straight out of school, and changing jobs will happen, so, you need to have a plan.

Planning comprises two critical parts, firstly the job and income based on your qualifications and secondly, budgeting that income. These two components require commitment and consistency.

Let’s look at some simple job-hunting points first.

Plan your job search: Know your career goals beforehand and create an action plan and your resume. Update your profile on those social media platforms, even create another email address, just for business and professional messages.

Resume and Cover letter: Seek assistance in creating these, as they will stand out to the hiring managers or interviewers. Make sure both are concise and easy to read.

Social media visibility: Recruiters search for candidates online before narrowing the ones they call for interviews. Having a good online presence can improve your chances.

Research companies: This will give you an edge if the interviewer asks you about the company you are applying to. It will also assist in making that decision if this is the company you want to work for.

References: Companies often ask for at least three references. Be prepared, have these at hand, chat with those persons whose names you want to use, have them prepare letters to support the person you are.

Interviews: Due to the onset of Zoom and other platforms to communicate, expect some interviewers to have an initial Zoom/video call. This is to observe you and your environment, your body language and other details that are not present at a physical meeting and it allows them to shortlist the applicants.

Now that you have secured that job, the excitement of that first salary and the million and one things that you want to buy is so amazing yet unreal. Set up a system that can assist you in not spending wildly on things that you don’t need. You don’t want to fall into that routine of living ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’.

Money is one of those things that being an adult you don’t want to think about too much; it can be stressful, overwhelming, and intimidating at times.

So here are some tips to get you on the right track.

  • Prepare a budget: Write your income then list your expenses. These can be your tithes, travel expenses, home contributions, personal care products and other living expenses etc.
  • Savings and emergency fund: Make this part of your expenses, as it will allow you to avoid or curtail any debt as you enjoy your income. Saving for the special item will create a level of discipline within your budget, because its either debt servicing or savings accumulation.
  • Live comfortably but not above your means: While working hard for your money you should enjoy life, but don’t stretch yourself and your pennies that it becomes exhausted.
  • Expense practicing: What this means is that, if you are considering going into a long-term expense, start setting aside that ‘expense’ money at least three months before. This will allow you to get into the habit of balancing your expense part of your budget. If things get difficult before you start that planned expense, then delay it for some time in the future. Don’t add any additional stress. Remember you may be on a fixed income job or even a contract.
  • Employee benefits: Once you have these in place as part of your employment terms and conditions, it’s a good starting point in establishing other lines of investments. Always remember this: you go to school for about 17 years. You work for about 40 years. Then you retire for another 20 years or longer. So having the right type of investments during your working years is important to your survival and comfort in your retirement years. Some of these investments during your working years should be:
    • Home Ownership
    • Life and Critical Illness Insurance
    • Retirement Savings
    • Other cash or cash equivalent savings instruments like mutual funds
    • Where possible a Credit Union Investment.

Based on the employee benefits that you have, you may be able to add to it, but be forever mindful that if you change jobs for a better one, you may not be able to carry some of these benefits with you and starting again at an older age may put you at a little disadvantage.

In life, you will have to borrow from your bankers to acquire some of these investment assets, but always keep top of mind: you can borrow and pay interest OR save and earn interest, so, be prudent with your long-term investments.

Until next time…Forgive always. Be kind. Be honest. Be happy. Do good and Give your best….– Unknown.


Call me for more information on planning your financial future. Send your questions to myfinancialadvisor2020@gmail.com or call 620-1185.