If your current skill doesn’t pay your bills, perhaps you should re-tool – and fast at that. The pursuit of knowledge and the skills that come with it must be done strategically. We must put the society we live in into serious consideration before we embark on this journey otherwise make urgent adjustments if we have gone astray. We can’t isolate our skills from the need of the society we live in. Well, actually, we can, but to our peril.

Training and education are brothers, not just friends. But it is becoming increasingly disturbing that while the former is often taken to mean the real thing; the latter seem to promote the idea of needless paperwork. Perhaps they should reunite (Part 2: Rich degrees, poor skills).

Save the gloom, skills tell the differences in income. The skilled man will always earn more than his lower-skilled friend, the field notwithstanding. However, not all skills pay equally (Part 4: Of skills).

At the degree level for instance, doctors earn more than veterinarians, even though veterinarians argue that they do the same volume of work. Across the board, Engineers earn more than Sociologists and for good reasons. Even though it would cost about thirty times more in tuition to study banking and finance in most private universities than it would in federal universities, their graduates hardly have a comparative pay advantage in the job market, terribly reducing their returns on investments.

So you can see clearly that the same effort and money can be used to yield more returns if careful attention is paid from the onset.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, that you have the right skills, and paid well for it. Where do you go from there? Is that enough to keep you above? Hardly; you need the most important management tool of the skilled worker – managing income.

It has been said that those who can’t manage money in the morning often come to grief in the evening and we are also constantly reminded that a fool and his money are soon parted. The skills to get the job done will bring in the money, but the skill to manage the money will keep you going: stronger, happier and wealthier. That is the way of the wise.

As you will find in this book, all of these calls for a dis-affectionate self-assessment, knowing where you are on the skill scale and your true worth, equating it with your financial need and making adjustments as needed because at the end, it is about the man in the mirror. (Part three: Look in the Mirror).

Skills that pay the Bills provides you with a guideline and structure on which you can build your educational and career journey