And the times, they are a’changin

Change we can count on – but that doesn’t mean opportunities are decreasing.  True, not all change is progress, but all progress does require change.  Embrace the change by positioning yourself for new options. I recently worked with a young lady who had lost her job, making in the mid 70s.  Panicked and convinced she could never find another job in that income range, she had decided she would have to start her own business.  However, after identifying her unique “areas of competence” I advised against that and encouraged her to do a creative job search.  In a short period … Read More

Don’t forget how to fish

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  How do you best help someone who is struggling?  If third-world natives are living in poverty, should we send them money?  Or could we teach them how to plant crops or provide a goat that will nourish their family and allow them to sell the excess milk?  If an unmarried woman has a child, should we reward her for having additional children in the way of living quarters and medical care, or … Read More

The Sufferings of Layoff Survivors

Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you survived the most recent round of layoffs?  CNN reports that there seems to be much more focus on the people getting laid off than on the “survivors”, as we call them.  Marc Detampel, senior manager with Arthur Anderson, says “For those being laid off, there are severance plans, outplacement, counseling, communication, and talk about a ‘soft landing.’  But for the rest of the corporate population, the survivors, there’s almost a philosophy that says, ‘Hey, they’ll be happy just because they still have the job.” Now The Families and Work Institute reports … Read More

Latest job stats and some great news

In Friday’s news the Bureau of Labor Statistics says U.S. employers added just 142,000 jobs in August, snapping a six-month streak of hiring above 200,000 and posting the smallest gain in eight months. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. “But the rate dropped because more people without jobs stopped looking for one and were no longer counted as unemployed.”  (That’s from CBS News – and always appalls me because a lot of those people who ‘stopped looking for a job’ got excited and started their own ventures.  But to the government … Read More

100 Percent Chance of Goodness!

We hear so many negative percentages these days – unemployment is at 8.5%, there’s a 30% chance of rain, 50% of the NFL teams that play every Sunday lose, 77% of girls think they’re ugly, 22% of Americans believe the world will end in their lifetime – 10% think it will happen on December 21st of this year.  Young people ages 15-24 represent 30% of the vehicle accidents.   10% of people who get hit by lightning die. Don’t those percentages just make you happy and ready to enjoy the day?  Of course not.   Most percentages are intended to draw attention … Read More

Still Not Working

Steve lost his job with a major auto manufacturing corporation four years ago.  After a brief job search he settled into eking out a meager subsistence by living on his wife’s paycheck and drawing a little out of the equity of his house each month.  He surfs the net, meets his friends for lunch, and reads his favorite novels. It appears that millions of men like Steve – although in the prime of their lives, between 30 and 55 – have dropped out of traditional work.  Many of them know they could get jobs, but they turn down jobs that … Read More

Unemployed Need Not Apply

Okay, here’s a phenomenon we’re seeing that is probably going to outrage some of you and confirm that “life is not fair” to others.  Job listings spotted on Monster, Careerbuilder and other websites flatly state any applicant should be currently employed.  There are job ads being posted that specifically say, “No unemployed will be considered.” Let’s just cut to the chase and list some reasons why: Employed workers are perceived as more skilled and valued Hiring a top performer is seen as a way of accessing a competitor’s strategies Employers still may assume jobless workers were laid off for performance … Read More

Good times are here again

While unemployment is still at 9.4% the layoffs are declining.  And now that the holidays are past and we are well into the New Year, those who have jobs are feeling more secure.  The “virtuous cycle” has begun:  more spending, rising company profits, increased hiring, more spending, etc. Workers who survived the job cuts of the past three years have begun to conclude: “If they haven’t fired me by now, they’re not going to,” said Michael Koskuba, portfolio manager with Victory Capital Management. But I wouldn’t get too complacent in this market.  Even if you have a job you are … Read More

Do you really want that Free Lunch?

Years ago, in Monterey, California, a crisis arose.  Monterey had become a paradise for pelicans.  After cleaning their fish, the local fishermen would throw all the excess waste to the pelicans.  The birds soon became fat and lazy.  Baby pelicans grew up dependent on the handouts, not knowing how to catch their next meal. Eventually, a new market was found that could use the waste products commercially.  The pelicans no longer had a free meal.  Yet, the pelicans made no effort to fish for themselves.  Generations had been trained to just wait and wait they did for the free handouts … Read More