ENK LIFE      Erasmus and Kinkajou What you need to know about LIFE -
What they don't teach you at school.






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Work and Careers in the New Era

If you want to earn a high salary in life, aim for a career where people can afford to pay you. We talk about career choices.

Erasmus Erasmus : As a general rule, if you want to earn a high salary in life, get a job where people can afford to pay you.

If you are a government employee, you are likely to find your benefits rising and falling depending on the result of the most current election. Government jobs tend to be safer and long-term, but in the  new era even this is changing.

Many teachers, who in Australia are state government employees, are employed on annual contracts. Yes. Almost every contract is renewed every year. But this simple definition as a contract worker, not as a long-term employee, means that borrowing money from a bank becomes suddenly very difficult. Teachers may have difficulty even borrowing money for a car, much less for a house.

Banks are much more likely to borrow money to someone who has a "long-term" job because this person is seen as less of a financial risk than contract workers. Since the average house loan can take 20 to 30 years to pay off, being unable to borrow money is tantamount to never being able to own your own house.

Goo the Numbat Goo : So, even a well paid and stable job, working for the government as a teacher, can have a serious financial down side that will change every aspect of your entire life. Never being able to own your own home could be at stake. It suggests that in considering a career, you need to look at your employer. A bad employer is probably not worth working for.


Kinkajou Kinkajou : Most kids, who leave school, look for a job. However, someone forgot to tell most of these kids that as a result of finishing their education, they may be effectively unemployable. In this era, as soon as you finish work you need to start learning the skills that will enable you to get a job somewhere. In short you must undertake training before you can be employable.

School provides you with an education, but not necessarily a path to any sort of employment at all anymore. 40 to 50 years ago, kids could leave school and get a job in many different industries immediately. It was not important to have training. Most training was given on the job and in the process of employment.

CareersCareer Choices


Erasmus Erasmus : People stayed in the same job for much of their working life. People learned and developed their job through much of their working life. As a result of working in the same job for over 20 years, most people would gain the experience that allowed them to run the business in which they are working. Consequently, after being the same job for 20 years, most people become middle managers of the enterprise they working in. 40 to 50 years ago, even the kid who worked in the bottleshop would likely become the manager of the bottleshop after working there for 20 years.

Erasmus Erasmus :  In the world of the past, the government had a large role in defining the workplace. In Australia the government subsidised university and college training, so was able to dictate the number of training places that it would fund.

Consequently, specific numbers of doctors, lawyers, dentists, pharmacists, engineers and teachers would all be trained every year based on projected needs. So once a young person was selected for a training "position" for one of these professions, they were approximately 90 to 95% guaranteed to pass their selected course and to have a job waiting for them at the end of the course.

In the current world order (in Australia anyway), the government has abandoned this role. It no longer chooses to bankroll training positions. It has allowed the cost of training to become completely controlled by the universities and colleges providing the training.

Unfortunately, universities and colleges look at higher-level training as a method of earning income. The more students they enroll , the more fees they can charge them, the more money they earn. So, they no longer care about whether their trainees have any possibility of obtaining a job at the end of their course. Nowadays, it is par for the course to train say one thousand lawyers when there are only about 100 vacancies being created for students each year in the profession. Where do the other 900 students go?

Kinkajou Kinkajou : Not our problem says the universities and colleges. The education you have spent a fortune obtaining will be good for your "future" though they say. It teaches you a way of thinking that will be useful to you for your entire life.

Goo the Numbat Goo : You may as well give everyone medical training. It teaches you a way of thinking and gives you knowledge that will be useful to you for your entire life, that could in fact save your life.

Thew problems with this argument is the world is a big place, knowledge is large and life is short. There are fees for higher education as well - all not tax deductible. Therefore, being sensible suggests that you do only the training and work that is useful and relevant to you and your future life. You cannot do and learn everything.

Careers and Curriculum
Erasmus Erasmus : In Australia, the government still underwrites approximately 20% of the training places to some extent and allows approximately 5% of many courses to be accessed on merit, rather than by payment plans.

Kinkajou Kinkajou : The government loans scheme becomes the effective funder of training. The only problem being if you can't get a job at the end of your course - you now have a debt for life that you may have some difficulty repaying.

So the selection of students to become employees occurs at the end of the course. A student having invested a number of years in doing a course has no guarantee of being employed or being employable at the end of the course. They risk  spending thousands of dollars undertaking a course,  all at the discretion of the student alone. So students need to consider very carefully where their training dollars are taking them.

This means that the chokepoint for becoming employable is at the end of your training course, not at the start of your training course. If you fail to get a training job at the end of your course, you have wasted your education time and dollars.

Erasmus Erasmus : If you are seriously considering your career choices, you need to be fairly honest about your capabilities.

A friend I know employed a young man to do some garden work for him. One day he asked the young man what he would like to do in the future. The young man replied that he would like to be an airline pilot. Not wanting to deter the young fellow from his dreams, my friend said nothing.

However quite a few thoughts passed through his head.
The young man had poor memory, poor task sequencing ability and often did some quite unusual unwise things in his work. He required constant supervision to keep him one step away from disaster. My friend imagined the young fellow thinking an airline pilot walked to the plane, jumped in the seat, turned the key and then started flying.

Erasmus Erasmus :Flying a plane is a highly technical job. The world demands extensive education and expertise from its pilots. When things begin to go wrong, the pilot needs to understand the aircraft, the likely faults, the checklists of tests and procedures to clarify the source of the fault, and the remedies for the fault that has developed. Some pilots go above and beyond the call of duty - being one with their plane to the extent that they perform feats of aviation that computer-based simulators believe are impossible. (The pilot who landed his plane in the River of an American city and saved all the lives of the people on his plane is one such person - performing an impossible task - but actually
doing it).

My friend's employee would be unlikely to achieve even the most basic of the learning tasks required to achieve being granted "pilot" status. It is the choice a 5-year-old boy makes - "I'm going to be an astronaut". A choice made without any consideration for realities and practicalities. A dream.

Kinkajou Kinkajou : If you are going to be choosing your career, you will be choosing how to spend training dollars - which you will need to pay back. You need to make a practical choice of career
for which you can achieve the entry criteria,
for which you have a capacity to achieve the learning tasks within the training course and having a likelihood of graduating at an employable level of competence.

Erasmus Erasmus : The young man's mother had pushed her other son to do a number of training programs in "Workplace Health and Safety". By virtue of having received a number of paper qualifications, he was offered a job in a mining company as a WHS officer $150,000 per year. My friend thought this young man also required close supervision to prevent disasters developing as he worked. He shook his head when I told him about the job that had been offered to his ex- employee. My friend thought that young man needs to be watched very closely for his own safety, and he sure as hell would not entrust him with the safety of others.

Kinkajou Kinkajou : The example shows the value of the right training and the right qualifications in the right place. And quite possibly the young man would do very well in his new job if his training imprinted itself and created a working schema for dealing with his work role.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Many jobs require basic training only, used repeatedly and requiring often little understanding or imagination. A clever choice of career can still make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, in effect in real life.

Erasmus Erasmus :
The most likely place to obtain a job, is in the big employing sectors in the community. These are:

*    Service Industry. Service industry comprises over 70% of the GDP. ...
*    Tourism. Australia is one of the most desirable travel destinations because of its beautiful natural
landscape, coastal areas, red deserts, and rainforests. ...
*    Healthcare. ...
*    Media and Entertainment. ...
*    Finance. ...
*    Mining. ...
*    Manufacturing Industry. ...
*    Agriculture.

Work Life Balance The Work Life Balance:
work is a means to travel the path of life.

Industry sector of employment
Australia - Employed persons (Usual residence)




Industry sector



Greater Capital Cities %



Greater Capital Cities %

2011 to 2016

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
























Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
















Wholesale trade








Retail Trade








Accommodation and Food Services








Transport, Postal and Warehousing








Information Media and Telecommunications








Financial and Insurance Services








Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services








Professional, Scientific and Technical Services








Administrative and Support Services








Public Administration and Safety








Education and Training








Health Care and Social Assistance








Arts and Recreation Services








Other Services








Inadequately described or not stated








Total employed persons aged 15+









Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016.

Goo the Numbat Goo : The above list is important as it summarises all the places where someone could go to work.
Think about your path in life.
Think about intangibles like contract work that may not let you borrow money because your employment is not "stable" enough.
Think about what sort of employer you have.
Think what other skills can be grown at work or what may need to be built by formal external education.
Think about growth prospects at work.
Think about where you go and what you do if the people you work with may take a dislike to you. Small work sectors give few options to go and work elsewhere- in effect few options to escape the antipathy of others.

Kinkajou Kinkajou : My List of Careers:

Aged and nursing care: all require a number of different formal qualifications. It is possible to start working in the sector without a qualification and to work towards a qualification - at the most basic level - an AIN: Assistant in Nursing.

Childcare: All staff are steered towards a formal qualification eventually. But it is possible to begin working in this sector without a formal qualification.

Reception: across many industries e.g. medical e.g. legal e.g. business e.g. real estate management.

Real estate: This includes many people involved in reception, management rights, and sales

Building: In my list, this includes people doing minor maintenance and repairs, as well as formal building.

Accounting: employs a large number of people in bookkeeping, business support, and actual formal accountancy services.

Teaching And Education: primary school, secondary school, college and university, trade qualifications and a large number of specific "certificate" courses.

Transport: trucks, planes, taxis and Uber

Agriculture: includes workers of the land (owners), harvesting workers, process workers and maintenance people.  Process workers also exist" processing food or produce.

Factories: a dying sector in Australia. We still process a lot of chooks each week though. (One Ingham's site in Brisbane processes over one million chickens a week. One site of many).

Erasmus Erasmus : Obviously Australians love their chickens. The issue is will you enjoy working with chickens though?


Kinkajou Kinkajou :


Sales or Retail: this includes staff at restaurants, fashion outlets and any of the shops you might see while walking down the street or in the shopping centre. It also includes produce stores, transport agencies, and supply / logistics jobs.


Erasmus Erasmus : The aim of these lists is to give you some idea of where perhaps you could be steering yourself.


The important thing to remember is that it is best to always seek a piece of paper - a qualification no matter what sector you are working in. Some sectors allow you to start working and thence to obtain your qualification. Other sectors or jobs require you to obtain your qualification first.

A qualification (piece of paper) is critical because it gives you a number of benefits. You are likely to be one of 5 people applying for a job not one of 50. It documents that you are likely to know how to do the job and not need to be trained to do the job.(to some extent anyway). (Again putting you on the short list for employment selection).

It will usually give you at least one dollar per hour extra in terms of wages.

It may give you the possibility of part-time work. This is critical especially for women who need to juggle work and their family roles. Or if perhaps you are just getting older or sicker.


Goo the Numbat Goo : Getting a job "stakes" you for life. It gives you the basic source of money and skills to enable you to obtain work and to be paid for that work throughout your life. It exposes you to other people and skills and gives you the opportunity to perhaps develop other relevant skills for your job and for your life.

Erasmus Erasmus : When you choose a job, it is important to realise that there may be an ancillary cost to the job which is not always evident. Many people fight to become selected for jobs in the Armed Forces. However these jobs do not just get you to work for 40 hours a week. They chew up large chunks of time- in excess of often 60 hours per week. They preclude you from doing many other courses of training and from having spare time to direct towards the development of many other potential sources of income.

Careers and Money Chasing money at work
and in your career.

So there is an ancillary cost in working in this industry in terms of losing free time which you could direct to other income earning avenues.

Another ancillary cost to be considered is the effect of this job on your partner. One friend I know was a corporal in the Australian Army. He was posted to Townsville from Brisbane. Unfortunately this meant that his wife needed to go with him. (Or perhaps not). In choosing to follow him, she gave up her job working as the main admin assistant (PA) for the executive officer of one of the larger companies in Australia. She lost her $80,000 a year job to follow her husband in his $30,000 a year job to a place where she may not be able to even get a job.

The Army tends to like to post you to different locations around Australia so that you do not become attached to a place. Shitty subsidised accommodation is the usual reward for this. The police force certainly likes to transfer you to remote parts of the state. Teaching is a profession at the State government's whim in terms of where you may find
yourself posted.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : So you should always think of the ancillary cost of your professional choice. Think of having to uproot your life - perhaps repeatedly, and the cost of moving. Not every employer will help you with this.

Many people also earn money by essentially developing a 2nd job. This can be formal employment or can be working for yourself. For example in purchasing a house, being able to do much of the renovation repairs yourself means you can buy a house cheaply, improve it cheaply and are then able to rent it at an increased fee. You have also increased your capital by owning an appreciating asset - and your improvements may also enhance your capacity to sell at a much higher price than that for which you purchased the house.

Erasmus Erasmus : Many people are quite lazy in terms of undertaking home improvements or repairs. I recently saw a friend buy a house incredibly cheaply, simply because the leaking gutter around the house made it look like a disaster. Replacing the gutter, painting the landings and putting in some extra screws as well as adding a fence around the property, has made it a much more salable property. The value may be unrealised, but likely you have certainly earned yourself a lot. And most of the value by simply cleaning up and replacing a dirty and leaking gutter.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Because the increase in wealth is unrealised, you don't get taxed on it as you would an increase in income. In effect, you bypass the government grabbing your wealth, letting your "assets" work for you.

If you are able to undertake work such as home improvements or repairs in addition to the requirements of your primary job, you may have to consider-eventually if it worthwhile doing the primary job.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : How should we employ people?

Erasmus Erasmus : I think the long term goal for society should be the positioning of clever people in all roles of life, doing a range of things. Unfortunately the amount of remuneration on offer will always limit people's choices to more lucrative paths in life. Your task in life is to choose the most lucrative path you can, within your capabilities and taking into account your interests and capabilities.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Any other employment hints?

Erasmus Erasmus : There are a few really basic ones. If you are going for a job interview, being clean matters. Wear appropriate clothes and clean clothes. Brush your teeth so your breath does not smell. Have an appearance which fits within normal social expectations. For example if you have flames tattooed on your face and horn lumps embedded within your skull, your career choices are likely to suffer.

In short, you need to be seen as a desirable employee and as an asset to the situation where you are working. You need to be accepted by the people with whom you are working. You need to be reasonably social with these people. You need to get on with these people. You need to be able to achieve your tasks reliably. You need to know to seek assistance when you are working on tasks that are beyond your level of skill, training or competence. To do this you need to "fit in" to the social milieu at work.

Do some reading to gain some knowledge and experience of the area in which you are seeking employment. Magazines if available are wonderful. They will often bring you to familiarity with the cutting edge of a pool of knowledge.

Erasmus Erasmus : I had another girl complained to me once about not getting a job. She became quite angry because she thought she was a reasonable possible employee. I talked to her about her answers to some of her questions from her employment interview. She was asked if she had any "paid" experience working with trucks. She said no. I told her that was the wrong answer. I told her that the right answer to the sort of questions is to tell the person asking the question what you want them to hear about yourself.

In fact the answer to every question that the potential employer may ask was "to tell the person asking the question what you want them to hear about yourself ".

She actually had a lot of experience driving trucks - in fact many different trucks. This work was pseudo-paid by the family company, so it should not really be counted as "no paid work". But you need to get the impression of experience to your new potential employer.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Impressions are everything. Make your choices carefully. We have just tried to give you some criteria for choosing potential careers.

Kinkajou Kinkajou : And the last thing to consider, in choosing a career, is to consider leaving your place of employment / your current career.

Erasmus Erasmus : Yes. Many of us do not look too far into the future of a job, especially when we start a new job. Inevitably being human, we all eventually think life could be so much better if we had chosen a different career.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : I went to a school reunion and mentioned that I did not really like medicine and would perhaps have liked to do something like web page design. The friend I was talking to was actually doing this as his career. He said "You’ve got to be kidding. You do the work. People don’t want to pay you or delay paying you as much as possible. Sitting there behind a computer screen doing many of the tasks is very mundane, even boring. You really don’t want to be doing web design as a career."

Then he said something very insightful. He said, perhaps thinking about what we might like to be doing, is actually asking the wrong question. He said, best to consider, “If you had your life all over again, how would you have done it differently?" I considered for a while and thought- Yes. I actually don’t mind medicine as a career. But there are decisions I could have made, which would have taken me down a very different path in life.

Erasmus Erasmus : One of my friends who was an Accountant, was having a life crisis at 60 years of age. He thought he did not want to be working in an office. He thought he would like to go back to nature and work with real people in the real environment. He was planning to sell his business and make the change.

I argued him out of this big decision. I said – you’ve worked long and hard in life. Take a year off. Get someone else to do the work, even if it costs you a bit of money. Take the year off to do some of the things you would like to do - like you said - getting down and dirty with nature.

He came back after a month and said “Never Again! “He said those people living with nature in the commune are disgusting. They don’t wash. They smell. They have some very objectionable habits. And they never have enough money or resources to do anything. I’m used to wanting something and then just buying it straight away – because I can. I have the money and resources to back my decisions. These people largely do not.
He was very glad he had not sold or given away his accounting practice.

Goo the Numbat Goo : The moral of the story. Don’t make irreversible decisions without careful and long consideration. Don’t make irreversible decision if you do not need to. Always have a backup plan: sort of like a BATNA: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Don’t burn your bridges behind you.

Erasmus Erasmus : Not burning your bridges is important.

One acquaintance worked at a bank and finally got a new job. He had always been in direct low-grade conflict / disagreement with his line manager. Everyone expected him on leaving, to give his manager a piece of his mind. “F” you, Get stuffed. Good riddance.

He did not. He went to his manager and told him he was leaving. He said, he realised that they had often not seen eye to eye and that they had often not agreed on many things. However, he did appreciate seeing a different perspective on a solution to the problem and he did appreciate the other person, what he did and his role at work. They shook hands and my acquaintance left that work place.

Over the next two decades, whenever my acquaintance needed a loan through that bank, his old manager always approved it quickly.No questions asked. The two people respected each other.

Two decades down the track the manager also left work and my acquaintance gave him some temporary work to tide his old manager over , and he needed the help in his business anyway.

Goo the Numbat Goo : The moral of the story. Always leave a workplace on good terms. Hatred and angst are never worthwhile. You do not realise where life may take you, and it is often best to maintain as many friends and as many favourable relationships with other people as possible. Don’t burn your bridges behind you.

Many times, in life, your enemies can become your best friends, if you haven’t burnt your bridges behind you.