When financial opportunities come in your way, you can’t really complain about your lack of money if you turn them down.
Ah, time for another rant.
One of the hardest things for me to see is people I know bemoaning the fact that they don’t have any opportunities. This is because most people I know have plenty of opportunities. And some of them choose not to take advantage of the very real opportunities that come in their way.
Recently, I was tempted to say the following to someone I know:
I’m sorry. The reason that you are having trouble finding a job is not due to so-called “reverse racism” or Affirmative Action. You are not being passed over because you are a white male. You are being passed over because you have no marketable skills and no education or experience.
This individual has had plenty of opportunities. He can choose to get vocational training at a reasonable cost in order to develop a marketable skill. It’s also possible for him to go to a reasonably priced school in his town of residence to get an education. There are two vocational institutions and one four-year university right where he lives. He could get certified in something, or complete a degree. If he didn’t quit by not showing up one day for work, he could have recommendations from former employers.
He could be investing in himself, but he’s not. And, it’s not like he grew up without knowledge of his options. It’s not as if he grew up in poverty, with little idea of what was even possible for him. No, he grew up in a suburban middle class home. He has always known exactly the range of opportunities open to him, and has the means to pursue them.
On top of that, the temp agency he is signed up with offer him work and he turned it down. Instead of working for a day and a half, he decided to stay home and play video games because he wasn’t in a “working mindset.”
Then he had the temerity to come over and complain that he had no money, the rent was due, and it was just so hard to get paid because he’s totally the victim here.
Are You Turning Down Financial Opportunities?
Take a look at your finances. Are you turning down opportunities to earn more money? I’m not talking about sticking to your rates, or refusing to work for less than you are legitimately worth. I am talking about walking away from opportunities that you could grasp, but that you don’t. This is not the same thing as not having the opportunities in the first place.
I know there are people out there who don’t have the same opportunities. And I know that some of them don’t even realize what’s available. I have a hard time getting upset at those types of situations. But man, oh man. It’s hard to not be mad at someone who has been spoon-fed opportunities and does the equivalent of spitting the food out.
The other reality is that sometimes you take whatever is available at the time. I started my online freelance career writing keyword articles for ridiculously low sums. Because I needed the money. I took what I could get, while actively trying to improve myself and looking for better opportunities. This individual complains that he has no job and no money and then turns down perfectly good work. When I was his age, I was making a dollar more than minimum wage with a four-year degree, happy to have a steady job.
He’s got no skills or education, and he’s turning his nose up at work that pays three dollars more than minimum wage. So that he can play the latest version of Halo.
I guess what really burns me is that, after refusing to make himself ready to grasp opportunities, and instead of making his own opportunities, he’s complaining that he is the victim, and has no opportunity at all. He’s looking for a magic solution to his financial woes, and rejects opportunities that could help him through a little hard work. Hell, he could work smarter if he got a little training and developed some skill others were willing to pay for.
Create Your Own Financial Opportunities
Of course, not all of us get financial opportunities dumped on us. The best opportunities only come every once in a while. And sometimes you have to make your own opportunities. This aforementioned individual did finally land a long-term temporary job that will get him through the next six or seven months, but after that he’ll be right back where he started.
He’s not doing anything to improve himself in terms of skills, education, or experience. He’s not even really learning about how money works. He’s not doing anything to prepare himself to take advantage of the next opportunity, or even to make his own opportunities later.
There are things we all can do to make our own financial opportunities. Whether it’s starting your own business, getting a certification in a particular skill, going to school to gain an education in a particular area, or even just learning more about how money works so that you can pay down debt and invest your money wisely, it’s possible to make your own financial opportunities.
And prepare yourself to take advantage of the financial opportunities that do come your way.