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So many help wanted signs. So little help.

Since last spring, every time I’ve driven by a state park there’s been a help wanted sign posted at the entrance. They need rangers. I don’t know what the job entails, but it amazes me in this environment that they can’t fill these positions.

A few Saturdays ago I tried to drop off a package at a private delivery company. The web site said they were open but the doors were locked. I later learned that several employees were no-shows.

I recently met a gentleman who ran a large food services operation. He told me he’s understaffed and that, even with good benefits, it’s very difficult to find dependable people who want to work every day.

In a fairly busy urban area not far away, a local service station/ convenience store closed down. It wasn’t because of a gasoline shortage or a shortage of merchandise on the shelves. It was simply because they couldn’t get enough employees to manage the store.

When I began my research on Michigan’s unemployment rate, I saw information that told Michigan’s unemployed they’d be receiving an extra $600 per week. It told them how to apply for it and when they could expect to receive it. And now, many are hoping that an additional $300 or $400 will soon on the way.  

I understand that we’re in the midst of a pandemic and there’s a lot of COVID-19 fear. But I keep wondering if too many people are simply getting taxpayer funded summer vacations.

As a youngster, my parents tried to instill a work ethic in my siblings and me.  We were encouraged to excel, whether it was school, sports or work. My wife and I did the same for our children and they, in turn, are instilling the same desire to excel in theirs. I don’t know if people are still being motivated to succeed these days, or if they’re content to just get by.

If you’re truly fearful of re-entering the workforce because of the pandemic, you don’t have to just bide your time and hope for checks from Uncle Sam. I encourage people to challenge themselves. There are many online educational opportunities available for improving your skill set.

Local community colleges and trade schools are actively seeking such people. And many employers out there are eager to help hard workers learn a skill set.

It may be difficult in this COVID-19 environment, but the world is full of employment opportunities that offer the potential for real growth. Yes, you may have to step outside your comfort zone. But if you work hard, exceed your new employer’s expectations by being dependable, striving to excel at every turn, and showing your desire to climb the corporate ladder, it’s a step worth taking.

Just like lazing in a hammock, it’s easy to get comfortable with financial safety nets. If you’ve ever been in a hammock, you know it can be somewhat difficult to get out of one. But with all the help wanted signs I’ve seen, it should be easy to get out of the ranks of the unemployed.

Long-term financial success has to come from within. To quote the great Albert Einstein, “A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it is built for.”

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E-mail your questions to kenmorris@lifetimeplanning.com 
Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.