Today, I’m working with a small group of university-age Cambodians to develop a couple of practical resources. Primarily, I’m helping them put together a good-looking resume…then I’m going to help them port that over to a LinkedIn page.

Too many folks around the world lack both…and it’s not because they don’t have experiences to fill them. It’s because they’ve never needed to.

Perhaps you’re the same way. Do you have a resume/CV or a LinkedIn page?

In New Zealand — and most other developed nations — people have had successful careers without ever putting together a resume. Their reputation has preceded them.

Certainly, that’s been the case for my father and grandfather…

But in today’s digital age, job-seekers need a calling card that concisely conveys their value. Some businesses like to see their resumes. Others take a glance at their LinkedIn.

Who am I? And what have I done?

The Cambodians that I’m working with today are some of the most forward-thinking, ambitious folks from their villages. They appreciate the value of education and the importance of adding ‘tools to their tool belts’.

So they’re here at this vocational school in Battambang, Cambodia to learn one of two skills: to become a HVAC technician or to learn the art of pastry-making.

Now, you might think those are pretty random. I did. But consider their job market…

It’s a country that exists on low-skilled jobs, like sewing at garment shops or farming rice paddies.

Learning a trade that bumps you up from low-skilled to semi-skilled or even skilled labour is a game changer. It’s likely that this education will make a crucial shift in their children and grandchildren’s lives.

They’re taking the leap that could upgrade them to the middle class.

I admire their efforts…and I’m concerned that too few in today’s developed markets have the same ambition.

Younger folks today rarely consider adding ‘tools to their tool belts’.

They think that slapping the name of their private school or university degree on a CV is enough. Many often think that they deserve not only a middle-class career…but that they also deserve an upgrade.

For example, from middle class to upper middle class.

I know a lot of my peers from university were disappointed when they graduated and didn’t get a six-digit salary right off the bat. Maybe they found themselves brewing coffee instead…

It’s because they failed to take deliberate action…and instead expected success to be handed to them.

These Cambodians that I’m working with today are the exception. They’re taking life by the horns and wrangling it to their benefit…and to the benefit of the generations that follow. [openx slug=inpost]


A fatal mistake

Perhaps you might think that you’re past this point in life…

That your career is over…

And that you’re ready to put things on autopilot…

But I think that would be a fatal mistake.

Because now’s the most important time to manage the wealth you’ve built up. Take it by the horns, if you will.

Is it sitting idly in a bank account somewhere?

Or is it vulnerable in property?

Maybe you haven’t tweaked your portfolio strategy in decades…

All these actions are the same as the millennial generation expecting prosperity to be handed to them.

And I worry that too many older Kiwis are going to be in for a shock when it comes time to rely on their wealth.

They might find that a comfortable retirement won’t be plopped in their lap as they expected…

Instead, they could find themselves reliant on their children’s charity…or unable to afford the necessities.

Now, I realise I’m likely preaching to the choir here. As a reader of Money Morning New Zealand, you already appreciate the uncertainties of the world of money…and you want to better understand how it works.

You’re already far more aware than most of your neighbours and colleagues…who are vulnerable to what Donald Rumsfield called ‘unknown unknowns’ — or threats that they don’t even know are there.

You’ve considered the tools in your tool belt, and you’ve made an effort to add new ones.

Some are experienced investors, even in the niche market of NZ small-caps. Others are brand-new to the art…having never purchased a stock before.

But all are seeking to add a skill to their repertoire — learning how to invest in these stocks…and sometimes using my recommendations to get good at it.

They’re taking life by the horns.

Now, maybe this tool isn’t relevant to you…and that’s fine.

I could learn basket-weaving, and that probably wouldn’t make me any better off…so it wouldn’t be prudent to learn that skill.

But as long as you have wealth of some sort…or are falling short of your financial goals…I believe it’s a good idea to keep learning about this world of money. I’d like to think we do a good job here at Money Morning…but there are a few other perspectives in NZ that you could check out too. NBR and Interest come to mind…

Keep adding new tools to your tool belt.


Taylor Kee
Editor, Money Morning New Zealand