It’s hard: be wise!

The start of a new year is usually welcomed by huge celebrations across the world. The more traditionalists find solace by attending midnight Mass religious services. Regardless of the option chosen, the hard fact remains that people wherever they are, must face up to the many challenges that confront them at the personal or domestic level, and at the workplace.

They are also required to respond to the societal challenges that are imposed upon them, over which they have absolutely no control. Such would apply to the rising cost of living. With no signs of the economic recession coming to an end anytime soon, it is clear that employees as well as their employers will have some difficult decisions to make.

Based on the economic outlook, there is a looming threat that more layoffs are imminent. This must be a source of worry to most employees. This will cause many to virtually live every day on the knife edge, as they go to work daily under a cloud of uncertainty.

In such circumstances, many will be unable to effectively plan their lives. As a consequence, many dreams and aspirations will undoubtedly fall by the wayside. In the wake of the extended economic crisis, there are no easy solutions that are likely to present themselves, as individuals are called upon to make decisions in the best interest of themselves and their families.

Already some are pressed into finding a full time and part time job. Maybe this is having its toll on many, as they struggle to complete a 16-hour work day as well as to cope with family life. The result is that there is likely to be low productivity at possibly one or both ends of the scale. Burn out and/or stress will certainly be manifested both physically and psychologically. Those who are unable to manage the demands of two jobs, might find themselves spending their hard earned money on medical bills.

It is to be acknowledged that the pressures of this life are severe, but the working poor must realise that economic circumstances require that some personal adjustments are required. Those of us who in 2012 continued to enjoy life to the max as if there was no economic recession, ought to start giving serious consideration of how best to manage our scarce financial resources.

Granted that no one should tell another how to spend his/her hard earned dollar, it would be welcomed if every employee, working man and women, would take the time out at least to listen. The emphasis now should be on prudent spending.

The United States Surgeon General once warned that cigarette smoking is dangerous. In extending this warning to the management of personal finances, it is advisable that going into unnecessary debt and borrowing of loans for non-productive purposes is definitely not the way to go. If there is any truth to the stories that many of our young workers are taking out small loans in order to outfit themselves to attend the many highly promoted social functions and entertainment promotions, then it goes without saying that the society has a problem to remedy. Young workers must be educated to look beyond short term goals and expectations, especially where these are directed at quelling personal desires, which are best captured as wants rather than needs.

It would appear that 2013 could prove to be more stressful than 2012. Notwithstanding what appears to be, it is up to every working man and women to exercise the necessary discipline that can help him/her if not to be overrun by the stresses and strains that might emerge. Since it has been recognised that planning is essential, it is recommended that this should be the first order of business for every worker at the start of this New Year.

* Dennis De Peiza is a Labour Management Consultant with Regional Management Services Inc.

Visit our Website: www.regionalmanagementservicesinc

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