Jobs Here? Jobs There? Jobs Anywhere?

Have we recovered and put more people to work or are millions UNderemployed and struggling?

What is YOUR take? What is YOUR opinion beyond the conservative and liberal pundits?

Are YOU better off than you were 4 (or 8) years ago?

Everyone keeps talking about regaining manufacturing jobs to the US of A. There was a guy on “Shark Tank” TV show (ABC television) last night that insisted that he make his pop-up pickup truck rack in North Carolina. He wanted to help the local economy.

One of the multi-millionaire Sharks told the inventor that he had to do what is “good for the business.” That meant the inventor needed to manufacture his item more cheaply offshore so he’d then be able to build his business, employing many people to do sales, distribution and other company support functions here.

The Sharks suggested the man would build a bigger business that way. He could employ more people, espeically since they thought his invention was not profitable if made here.

The inventor refused and the wealthy Sharks all passed on his opportunity, even though they agreed with the inventor’s principals. Was the invetor wrong?

Part two of the ‘return manufacturing to the US discussion: I want factory jobs to return more than anyone, BUT, look at any video of the inside of a factory these days. What do you see? ROBOTS. Yes people have to design, build and maintain those robots but there are hundreds (thousands?) of automated processes going on in America’s factories. NO robot I know of earns union scale on the plant floor. Even when manufacturing stays or returns to the USA, it is DIFFERENT.

What say you?

America’s Job Coach

Excerpt

robot photo

Manufacturing Today?

Duh! You REALLY Don’t Know What You Want?

At a recent job fair in Omaha, Nebraska America’s Job Coach was amazed at the number of people who DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!!

America’s Job Coach asked over 100 people there the question of “What kind of work are you looking for?” At least 50% said “I don’t know,” or “Oh, I can do a lot of things…”

WRONG!! If you are on a job hunt and expect an EMPLOYER to decide for you what you want to do with your life or what you should do for your work life, you most likely will have to KEEP looking for work.

Employers are looking for two things: 1.) People who can do a very specific task for them in an efficient, helpful, professional and educated way, or, 2) People who are “raw talent” who are incredibly moldable and who have such great attitudes the potential employer will just have to hire them if they are adding entry-level or general talent.

Which one are you?

“As a Customer Service Rep for your firm, I can retain and expand your customer base due to my strong people skills and business savvy.”

Most would agree that that kind of pitch will get you hired faster than, “Well, I can do a lot of things;” or, “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

Reminds me of the concept of a TwitterVator Speech which you can learn about at this link: here on YouTube.

Check it out and PLEASE have an answer for the question of ‘What do YOU want to do “out there?”

America’s Job Coach
Author: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010

“I’m a Goof-Up…Hire Me!”

Will you work again after your layoff? Did you put in a lengthy, and maybe even a well-paid career and then get laid off before discovering that it is HARD to find something close to your old level? And did this happen when your are supposed to be at your earnings peak? According a September New York Times story, 2.2 million of the 15 million unemployed are over 55 years old !

So what to do? Will the economy be able to absorb those 2.2 million “mature” workers?

A blog commenter recently told me employers usually look at younger employees as “cheaper.” And, on paper they are, but we concurred that the EXPERIENCE “older” workers bring is invaluable and diminishes the perceived savings younger workers offer.

Why? Because of the MISTAKES you have made along the way. Employers should hire you because you have goofed up. You have (I hope) learned how to NOT to make those mistakes again. A younger person has to LEARN those things yet–on his/her employer’s dime.

You’ve been through the probation period and as they say, are “closer to money,” instead of costing employers money.

So, turn all the dumb things you have done over 20 or 30 years of working into an ASSET. Share with an employer how you are immediately productive and know where all the bodies are buried (good Halloween metaphor). Why should they invest in a slowly developing “project” (inexperienced person) when you are available to AVOID all those costly mistakes right now?

Use this philosophy when you feel potential employers think younger people are more hip with the latest technology (they usually are) and more flexible (they often are–learn from them!).

…But YOU can learn the tech stuff AND go on to help your employer navigate through the graveyard of this economy toward a less terrifying bottom line!!

How do you share this new asset with the world? Through your TwitterVator Speech of course. Your TwitterVator Speech is your elevator speech and your USP put into 140 CHARACTERS or less. It is a tool explained in my book, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010.” Have one and show employers that you too are “hip.” You don’t even to have to use www.twitter.com to have a TwitterVator Speech, but don’t tell anyone that!

I’m in a Trick or Treat mood…I’ll give away 5 treats this week…the first 5 people who contact me via this blog or through my website, www.americasjobcoach.com will get a free TwitterVator Speech from me. Send me a note and you’ll be on your way to a free, cool, hip, and importantly, HELPFUL TwitterVator speech!!

And remember to keep goofing up a little…that means that you are still learning and still trying!

Paul David Madsen
America’s Job CoachAuthor: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010 — Rebuilding Your Career or Business With Social Media’s Help

Will You Ever Work Again?

Just read an article about “older” workers (45 and older) who fear that after they have been laid off they’ll never work again. Frightening !

They put in lengthy, sometimes well-paid careers and after they have been cast aside during a layoff or downsizing, they can’t find anything close to what they had. And this happens during the years when they are supposed to be at their earnings peak. According to this New York Times story 2.2 million of the 15 million unemployed are over 55 years old.

So what to do? Will the economy be able to absorb 15 million people who are now out of work? Or even 1/2 of that amount?

What will you do if it can’t?

I’d love to hear your comments here: Share with the readers how people you know (or you yourself) have reinvented themselves (yourself).

Do you know of a corporate accountant who now runs an antique shop? How about a purchasing director who now is a locksmith. Are they “making it?” Tell us your story and inspire others!

Paul David Madsen
America’s Job CoachAuthor: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010 — Rebuilding Your Career or Business With Social Media’s Help

Will 2010 Lead to 2020 Vision or 2020 Hindsight?

We just saw the end of a year and the end of a decade. A very turbulent decade. No rehash needed because you have seen all the life changing events in the media lately. Ten years is a big chunk of time in anyone’s life.

So if you agree that this hunk of time is noteworthy, shouldn’t it be marked with big ideas and big goals? What will your life be like in 2020? Will you have 2020 vision or will you coast through another ten years and only THEN have 2020 hindsight? That date is only ten years away. Just think how fast the last ten years came and went. 9/11 seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? A little strategic thinking may really get you postured well occupationally for the future.

What if YOU had known ten years ago that 350 to 400 million people globally would be putting vast details about their work history and/or personal traits, families and friends on social networking websites? Would that have been good to know? Could that have affected your job or your industry? What if you could have, ten years ago, guessed right about some trends in banking or other industries?

I am not directing us all to become wise sages here who can predict the future and then profit from that. What I am suggesting is that you, at the start of an exciting new decade which is going to be RIFE with change, give some thought to the world of work, invention, trends, entrepreneurship, etc. Where will the new decade take you?

How will the marriage of technology and health care, the emerging world of finance, the ongoing “green” parade, or the globalization of most anything affect your occupation? Remember, today radiologists in India can read the scans made of your hip which the lesser educated US-based technologist just took of you in the local MRI room. If those kinds of changes are occuring in the medical world, how will things change in your world?

The movie “Up In the Air” is a new release staring George Clooney. His character travels constantly to companies which are downsizing or laying off their employees. He is the hatchet man who breaks the bad news. One of his stock lines during the terminations is that this action will now allow the people who are cut to go on and finally pursue their dreams.  He implies to his public that he is almost helping them by “liberating” them.  This blog will discuss more about Clooney’s movie later, but hold Clooney’s thought in mind: Is your life standing in the way of your dreams? Can your 2020 Vision or Hindsight apply to YOUR decade ahead? 

What do you think? Add a comment about where you think everything will head and how that could affect your career. Will globalization make your job obsolete? Or, will offshoring have proved ineffective in your industry so your skills are back in demand?

Kick out your ideas here…Maybe as a group this career advice forum can come up with the next FaceBook, twitter.com or something similar… THAT would show some 2020 Vision!

Think big…think bold!

America’s Job Coach
Author: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010

“SHE-Shoring” During This “HE-cession”

“HE-cession” means that during this recession, the unemployment rate for men is 10.7 %, but the unemployment rate for women is “just” 8.1%. This term was coined, I believe, by David Zincenko of Mens’s Health in a USA Today op ed piece. Let me know if I am wrong.

So, are employers “SHE-shoring?” America’s Job Coach invented this term while reading about the He-cession. We’ve heard for years how women are paid less than men for similar work. Some studies say up to 30% less! I am not a statistics guru, but I think we can all agree that in too many cases, women earn less than their male peers for similar work.

Now add to the mix that fact that this recession has been slightly “less cruel” to women. Fewer women than men have lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics (8.1% verses 10.7%). My question: Why?

SHE-shoring is “Offshoring Gone Female.” Offshoring, in case you have been under a rock for a dozen years, is where a company ships chunks of its work off US shores to countries like India, China, Mexico, Ireland, and a host of other places. Employers “offshore” tasks to locations to try to save labor costs. And firms often layoff US staff after completing the offshoring.

Computer work, customer support work, manufacturing etc. are often functions which see work offshored but all professions are being touched by this trend. Even some USA fast food restaurants will use an offshored person to take your order over the drive through window. That person then sends your order over the Internet to the locals who cook and wrap your triple cheeseburger.

So can I blame that China-based fellow for the lack of honey mustard in my chicken nuggets bag? I suppose it was the local guy who stiffed me on the dip though. But hey, they are communicating across the globe so it is no wonder my sauce is missing sometimes! As Thomas L. Friedman has aptly pointed out, The World Is Flat.

So, most major companies have embraced some level of Off-Shoring to save labor costs. Do they therefore, have a grand design or plan to lay off women less often than men? If a Fortune 1000 company sends work overseas to save money, doesn’t it make sense that they also would lay off their most expensive people first? Does this explain the He-cession? If a gender pay gap exists inside a company, does ACME layoff Harry or Harriet? Is Joe sent packing before Joan?

Who knows what goes on in executive minds when they are deciding what staffers to cut. Now however, statistics imply that men are harder targets for the layoff axe than are their wives, sisters, moms and daughters.

Who cares? You should. This blog exists to help people get on their feet during a career transition. Part of that is knowing the look of your playing field. If you are a male looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-Shoring. If you are a female looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-shoring. It is critical to know your competition when job hunting.

I heard a story about a guy who was prepared to answer the salary negotiation question with, “I’ll take $100 a year less than my closest competitor for this job.” The tale is likely anecdotal, but you get the idea about being aware of your compeition…He-cession, SHE-shoring, and all.

Kindly share your SHE-Shoring or He-cession story or comments with this job coaching community!

America’s Job Coach
Author, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010”

Will Santa Bring New Jobs?

According to this, Santa or the Easter Bunny may be bringing us some new employment opportunities!  Check out what the Jacksonville Business Journal has to say!

 

Economists predict first-quarter hiring – Jacksonville Business Journal:.

Are They Beating A Path to Your Door?

America’s Job Coach spent Saturday, November 14 at the Nebraska Book Festival in Lincoln, NE at the Nebraska State Historical Society. I was there to network and promote “Laid Off and Loving It For 2010.” There were approximately 40 vendors present who set up tables to “hawk” their books or book-related services. Public foot traffic was good and the event had good guests, award winners, and presenters. On hand was Ted Kooser, National Poet laureate and Harley Jane Kozak, Hollywood actress and successful novelist/mystery writer. Harley presented a great writing workshop.

I hear you asking “How does that apply to me and my quest for a job upgrade?” Here is the answer:

P and N which means: PROMOTION and NICHE.

Over the next couple of blog posts, I’ll discuss how several authors and booksellers at the festival have had good success selling their books. Their sales did not come from events like the festival alone. Few had customers beating a path to their table (door).

Yet, many of the exhibitors present told me how they have had reasonable success selling their books. Why? How did the booksellers there sell thousands of books over the years? A quick glance at their topics answers the question:

It is their NICHES. Their lovely books were on topics of interest to MAYBE 1% of the book-reading population. BUT, and this is a big “but,” that 1% was / is loyal, devoted, passionate, and are HAPPY to spend $19.95 or $29.95 or whatever on a book that applies to THEM.

I’ll discuss specific examples in the next couple of posts, but in the meantime I challenge you to translate nichemanship into your professional goals and lives:

What skills, knowledge, experience, training, background, activities, passions, volunteer projects, unique family situations, workplace histories do YOU possess that can be “exploited” to a job market niche out there, or into a small business endeavor?

For example, were you part of a growth industry in the past but that industry isn’t as hot now? Well, how can you package that experience into something that a present day, fast-growth employer will appreciate? Even though your experience may have been in a different industry, your skills CAN translate into helping a new company in a different industry because you have “been there, done that.” Who else may need those skills?

As always, kindly send your comments of examples of your successes or failures along this line to this blog. I’d love to hear how tight, niche marketing helped or hurt YOU. And the gentle readers of this blog stand ready to offer helpful advice as always. Which niche will you own?

Next posts: specific examples of personal niche marketing!

Two Girls For Every Boy!

In 1963, the song Surf City was recorded by a young, feel-good band named The Beach Boys.  It was the number one song on Billboard  Magazine‘s Top 100 (according to www.Wikipedia.com).  Some people who are ‘Over-50 Types’ might even remember when the song hit gold. 

What a fun concept for millions (of especially young men) to think about — a place where the girls may have worn an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, AND there were also two girls for every one boy!  Wow!  

First Wave Boomers were not alone in their indoctrination to this song however. It went on to be enjoyed by millions more who were born later and grew up hearing it at wedding dances and theme parties for decades to come. Throngs (not thongs!) of youth heard it for dozens of years and it became a part of culture.

Fast forward 45 years or so. Instead of ‘Two Girls for Every Boy,‘ now we have “Six Seekers For Every Job.”

A recent editorial by Paul Krugman of The New York Times included the statistic that we are now seeing six job seekers pursuing every one available job.  That doesn’t sound near as much fun as Two Girls for Every Boy. This level of competition for work looks like it is going to be with us awhile. It may become part of our culture…

If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, or you are out of work, that culture thought might be depressing.  Don’t let it bring you down!  Three out of five 50-something laid off people I know have recently found jobs! Collectively, they were competing against hundreds of other job seekers. But, they managed to land something despite the long odds.   

But the numbers are still the numbers. We are probably stuck in a “hot mess” with regard to optimal employment for at least the forseeable future. So what do you do?

A short answer is similar to what you may have heard already. If your line of work is clogged with too many competitors for too few jobs, you may need to reinvent yourself. This topic is addressed in many, many good books out there so I won’t go into detail. The short version is this:

  • Take what you know better than anyone else, repackage it, remold it, add a new, big dash of passion to it,  get someone smarter than you to review your efforts, and give it a whirl. 
  • Maybe you now can become a consultant to your former industry, or to a niche you have followed for a long time? Maybe you can boldly approach your former employer with a new “value-add” proposition or TwitterVator Speech? Maybe the time is finally getting close where you can turn your hobby into a small business?

I won’t expand much here, but instead invite readers to comment. Free job coaching by this blog’s participants may be helpful if you are struggling with how to reinvent yourself. But you have to be willing to ask for the help…

Let this group help to conquer your career crisis as you work to catch that perfect career wave and land your surfboard on an ideal beach of a job! 

Maybe comments by this blog’s readers will lead to Two Jobs for Every Boy (and Girl)!

Surf’s Up!

America’s Job Coach