In universities, they have this concept of tenure. Once a professor reaches tenure, it is only really under extenuating circumstances that they can lose their jobs.
However, it isn’t really proper job security. There could be a massive scandal and the university has to close down, or someone in the department could have it in for you.
Or at some point, society may realise that the majority of degrees are useless and will scrap the degree programs unless they are actually required for a job.
Professors are in this vulnerable position that they need the possibility of tenure. If you are a teaching professor or researcher, there aren’t many jobs outside of universities where you can work.
The same applies to other professions.
Take a train driver for example. It isn’t completely unfeasible to think we might have self-driving trains in the next 10 years. They are already trying to develop self-driving cars, and surely a train would be a lot simpler to automate.
What are train drivers going to do when we no longer require them? Driving a train is a very particular skill that can’t be easily transferred to other professions.
This is why many of these professions have unions associated with them. It is to stop the workers from getting exploited as they haven’t got any other options.
Software developers on the other hand aren’t protected by unions. It is not because we don’t get exploited (we do regularly) but it is because we have a transferable skill set.
Being able to code opens up doors for many careers and is even useful in non-software development careers such as technical writing or engineering management.
Even software developers are not immune to lay-offs as we have seen in the last year. Now is not a great time if you are looking for a job as a software developer.
At least having transferable skills makes it a lot easier to find another job, especially in a growing industry.
But what happens if you get sick or cannot work for an extended period?
While many try and seek job security, few actually question whether they actually want it.
I get easily bored. If I am doing the same thing for 6 months, then I am going to get itchy feet and will be looking around for another position.
If I said you could have a job for life, but it paid 50% less than what you get right now. Would you take it?
What if you could get paid double what you receive now, but didn’t need to work for it? Would you still do what you are doing now?
We don’t really want job security.
What we want is financial security. We want to do work that we love without worrying about money.
To gain financial security, you need to decouple your pay from your time. As long as you are getting paid for hours worked, you will never have financial security.
The main problem is you have to be willing to not get paid for a while first before you will start to see any results.
Many people give up long before they get to see the fruits of their labour. Like a tree, you need to plant it, water it, prune it and then after a few years you start to see fruit.
If you stop watering your tree after a couple of months, it will stop growing and die.
For example, I have been producing a video on YouTube every week for the last 5 months. I am still not at the point where I can earn anything from my channel.
I need another 26 subscribers and 2,294 watch hours before I will be monetised. It should happen at some point this year, though.
I have had a blog for 8 years now, but I have only been blogging regularly for the past 5 months. I am now at 11.5K page views per month, and I am earning a whopping $0.30 a day from my blog. It is growing though, and the more I write, the more visitors I get.
You just need to start. Spend some time in the evenings and weekends working for yourself and building up an asset that is going to earn you an income that is decoupled from your time.
📚 Book - The E-myth Revisited by Micahel E. Gerber. This book has been recommended so many times on Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel, I thought I would finally give it a read. To sum it up, the book suggests viewing your business as how you want to see it in the future and then working on systemising the whole process so that it can exist without you.
🎬 YouTube - 5 Types of Software Testing Every Developer Needs to Know!. Testing is often a neglected part of any application. I am always surprised when I hear companies don’t write any unit tests at all. In this video, I cover the 5 different types of test that every developer needs to know and understand. Don’t fancy watching, you can read the article instead.
📝 Article - 10 Best YouTube Channels for Software Developers. My aim for my YouTube channel and blog is to help other developers. This means sharing the work of other creators that I think will be useful to my audience. I know, I couldn’t resist adding my channel to the list as well 🤣.
I have been experimenting with YouTube shorts this week as well as cross-posting them to TikTok and Instagram. To make things easier for myself I have been using Descript to make shorts out of the long-form content that I have already recorded. It took around 20 to 30 minutes to create a short from one of my videos which isn’t too bad.
Being cut from my long-form videos these shorts aren’t exactly the type of short-form content that does well on TikTok (maybe I should do a virtual cat above my house) but I was surprised by how many views they managed to get. They didn’t go viral but over 900 views each is pretty good for me.
When you’re on to something great, it won’t feel like revolution. It’ll feel like uncommon sense.
From Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. Resurfaced with Readwise.
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