If you have decided to start reading this article, please do me a favor and note the date. I’m writing this in 2014. Can I safely assume it is 2014 where you are living as well?
This question may seem a little strange to you, but in now almost 14 years of working with foreigners who want help with a way to legitimately support themselves in the Philippines, so they can come here and live happily,I have found that a HUGE percentage of the folks I talk to are somehow in a “time warp” or living somewhere where the calendar is still stuck back in the last millennium.
Let me tell you about a few examples I have been contacted about and what I suggest. None of these examples might actually fit you personally, but perhaps they will give you some ideas that can help you somehow “time travel” from wherever the heck you are “stuck” into the present.
Dilemma One: Finding a Job When You’re Over 55
Let’s say there is a fellow named Joe. Joe is a degreed engineer. In fact he holds two different masters degrees in the engineering field and has held down engineering jobs for over 35 years. He was planning on retiring from his very nicely paid job come about 2014 or 2015 and moving to the Philippines to live on his (expected) generous pension.
Well, last year Joe’s company lost a big contract, they are now in bankruptcy court and one of the ways they chose to help cut essences was to give Joe and many of his workmates their “walking papers”.
Wow. 55+ years old, no job and now, quite likely, no pension at all or a greatly reduced pension … pennies on the dollar. Here’s kind of a synopsis/composite of the fictional person I am calling Joe and some of the things he told me:
- At my age, who is going to hire me? I have applied for over a thousand jobs in the last two years and once they review my employment history, it stops there.
- Now at age 55 I am having a hard time getting an interview.
- I have well over 25 years experience and probably forgot more than most college graduates will ever know. I have a hard time even getting an interview. I find my age (58) to be the biggest problem.
- I have worked all my life since the age of 15. I served my country during the Vietnam War, earned my Bachelor’s Degree and two Master’s degrees and I can’t find work now.
Just recently I received a message from Joe that sent a chill up and down my spine, he signed off with this line:
“It becomes more and more obvious that death is the only way out of unemployment.”
My goodness, Joe, that’s scary as hell. You don’t need a suicide prevention hot line, you need a dose of reality.
Joe, You Don’t NEED to be Employed! You Have Value Far, Far Beyond Whatever Job Someone May Offer You!
The experiences Joe detailed above are all too real and all too true in 2014. People are going to take one look at Joes education and employment history and be, at the least, intimidated.
I mean, seriously, if you were a 40-something mid-level exec and had Joe’s resume land on your desk, would you jump at the chance to hire him?
Laws or no laws regarding age discrimination (remember I’m very close to turning 69 myself), I wouldn’t touch Joe with a ten foot pole for a corporate job at a level below mine.
I’d have to be crazy.
- Either his performance is going to so far exceed my won that I’m going to wind up losing my job to him,
- Or, (very likely),Joe will be one of my most troublesome, least productive employees, because every time I give an instruction I am going to have to listen to a mini-dissertation about “How e did it back in the Apollo Space Program days.
Sorry. Been there, done that, ain’t gonna happen.
Take a look again at Joe’s first bullet point:
….. I have applied for over a thousand jobs in the last two years and once they review my employment history, it stops there. …..
An engineer should be familiar with a famous quote that has long been attributed to Albert Einstein:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
Enough already. Start doing something that works Joe.
You have a lifetime of knowledge locked up in that brain of yours and you are desperately trying to get people who are way below your level of expertise to be able to recognize it.
One Possible Solution (not even Internet-based):
Read the article I published a few days ago about a legitimate, legal business for sale here in the Philippines. It’s netting about $7,000 USD a month without even any effort to improve it or make it grow. If this particular one isn’t up to your standards, keep looking, there are others for sure.
- No resumes
- No interviews and best of all,
- No “begging”.
This model can be repeated over and over by anyone who understands business, hiring, supervision, corporate requirements, etc. Many Americans will literally “fly off the handle” when someone mentions outsourcing jobs overseas.
Well, why not be the one who outsources them instead of bitching about what is, after all, the realities of life today?
As I mentioned earlier, this business isn’t even computer or internet-based. If you can mange people and accomplish work you have contracted for,you can get by with nothing more than a telephone, email and a fax machine.
Another Easy To Understand Example:
A blogging colleague of mine, Pat Flynn, was a bright young architect, just out of grad school (with who knows how many thousands and thousands of student loans to pay back), when his brand new, top-tier architectural firm laid him off. Bang. Surprise. What to do now.
Well Pat wasn’t even thirty at the time the hammer dropped on him, so he could be forgiven if he had starred wearing out shoes and started “begging” for a job.
But Pat had something gong for him aside from his degree. He had taken an industry specific “green” exam called the “LEED Exam” and Pat’s classmates and friend often asked to borrow Pat’s well written notes to study from.
So Pat, hearing about this thing called the Internet, put up a very simple website and started selling these notes to people who wanted to sit for the exam.
Pat now makes a rather substantial six-figure income from another internet-based business which he runs, but this “Green Exam” site has been earning a steady $3,000 plus USD per month for 4 or 5 years now.
Maybe You Have No Technical Knowledge
You’d be surprised how many people I am in contact with who are in their ‘50’s or even ‘60’s, like our friend Joe, above, who say to me, essentially, “I don’t know anything”. In other words, they finished school, perhaps served time in the military, got a job, got married, bought a home, lived a life of some degree of success, and are now entering their “Golden Years” … and they know nothing?
Come on, folks, give yourself some credit, please?
This article is getting long already, so let’s look at a relatively simple example. It _IS_ Internet-based, but don’t let that throw you off, you can start something like this almost from free, turn-key programs. The money isn’t being made from computer or Internet skills, it’s being made by relating to and interfacing with people who have interest in a hobby. (and a hint to my Filipino readers, this site is 100% Filipino owned and operated).
Take a look at http://www.motorcyclephilippines.com/ . It’s kind of like a special-interest Facebook for motorcycle geeks, right. There’s no “rocket science” involved.
And, although the current owner is a very technically oriented guy, he doesn’t work on the site much at all. He has some other, much bigger properties that occupy him, and he hires out the running of this motorcycle site to a small team of Filipino enthusiasts.
I’m showing you this site because the story behind it is so interesting. The present owner operates a small hosting business, one of those sites where you can buy server space to start your own web site.
One of his clients, (a Norwegian fellow I believe), rented server space and started “Motor Cycles Philippines” some years ago … mainly because he was a foreigner living in the Philippines and he happened to love motorcycles.
After operating the site for some years, he had thousands and thousands of visitors per day but he wasn’t interested in making money from his hobby, so one day when his server subscription was due, he told the hosting service owner, “hey I’m tired of running this site, just take it down when the lease expires.”
After double checking to be sure the site founder really meant to give it up, my Filipino friend just transferred ownership to himself and started selling advertising (eyeballs viewing ads) and building out the site exactly as you might build out a real-world motorcycle shop or club.
The rest Is history. By independent valuation methods, I believe this site nets … profit that is … at least $200 USD per day. That’s around $70,000 USD per year, folks. Most foreigners (not to mention Filipinos I know) could do very nicely living here on $70k USD per year. I know I certainly could.
And what would you have to do to earn this? Well talk about motorcycles, argue about motorcycles,write about things to do with motorcycles … and send eyeballs to advertisers.
You still think you know nothing?
There Are Many, Many More Way To Share Your Knowledge. Consider Your Worth Before You Roll Over and Play Dead:
How many exams and special designations related to the engineering field do you suppose Joe knows about, and knows well. Instead of a “jobless” 60-year-old Joe could be making decent coin off his specialty knowledge and he could be doing it back in the USA, or here in the Philippines just as well.
Don’t sell yourself short, my friends, especially my older friends. You do NOT need a job to move to, live in , and be happy in the Philippines.