For the past 35 years the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has campaigned for the month of October to be proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This year’s theme for one project is “Living Into Our Values and Cultivating Joy.”

Roger Nagel

I do not pretend to be an expert on the prevention of domestic violence, however, it is written that financial abuse drives a large percentage of household unrest.

If you grew up in a family of modest means, with weekly arguments over who spent what and why, then you know this truth. Prolonged financial challenges build stress, unhappiness and regret. Add alcohol and drugs, and the arguments could turn violent.

Last October, I wrote about teaching young people about earning and managing money and the year before I wrote about families achieving financial freedom. Both articles spoke to values. Both implied a path to a better, joyful household.

I like this year’s theme.

This month I want to focus on opportunities for improvement.

Experts around the country ask: Where have all the workers gone? Our inflation-fueled economy has created a labor shortage unlike any in the past 45 years. Compensation and benefits are increasing.  Employers are hiring.

Here’s some good news. Opportunities to bring home a little joy have never been better.

So, where have all the worker’s gone?

My premise is they all have good jobs and are secure, contented and unwilling to risk that benefit by making a change. The prevailing notion is often, fearfully, that the last one hired is the first to go in an economic downturn. Maybe so.

How can you create your own opportunity in such a time as this? Seek advancement.

You can start with your own initiative to help your employer beyond the common parameters of your current job. Just ask what the best way to help may be. Offer your ideas, humbly.

Invest in learning your job better. Do not limit your investment of your own time and money for improvement to just the technical skills of your job, think bigger. You may have been a technician, but, can you learn to sell?

Ask yourself, then ask your boss, how you can help make things better for everyone. Encouraging and motivating your co-workers can go a long way to demonstrating your desire to improve your organization.

All organizations need leaders who can help other employees accomplish more with less. That’s the definition of improving efficiency. That is an invaluable skill.

Is it time to consider new processes? Protocols? Training for your peers? Invest in technology? Do your research and make your suggestions with an open mind, eager to listen to the pros and cons of changes.

Does your employer offer incentives for additional education and training? What must you do to earn a promotion? Take on new responsibilities? Work a different schedule? Lead a new project?

Afraid? Nervous? Anxious?

Take the initiative and wait for a pleasant surprise.

(Roger Nagel, CPA/PFS, CMA, CGMA, is the managing director of Nagel CPAs, LLC – Accountants and Advisors, serving the middle Rio Grande Valley and beyond. Learn more at