Two Girls For Every Boy/Six Seekers For Every Job

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A similar post to the one below was made on November 2, 2009, but in light of today’s headline in the USA Today (6.4 Job Seekers For Every Job), I’ll repeat it below (in a shortened fashion). It was a popular post.

Two Girls For Every Boy!

In 1963, the song Surf City was recorded by a young band named The Beach Boys. It was the number one song on Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 back then. Some ‘Over-50 Types’ definately remember the song on AM radio.

What a fun concept to think about especially for young men — a place where the girls may have worn an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, AND there were TWO girls for every one boy! The song has been played for decades at wedding dances and theme parties etc.

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. (This was repeated in the news on January 13, 2010). That isn’t 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.

If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, or you are out of work, that thought might be depressing. But 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 if you aren’t so lucky, what do you do?

If your line of work is clogged with too many competitors for too few jobs, you may need to reinvent yourself. The short version of how to do that is this:

» Take what you know better than anyone else, repackage it, remould 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 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?

Let’s hear from readers who have done this: Share your success stories and plug yourself here. Show the world how you reinvented yourself! Perhaps this blog can inspire you about how to catch that perfect career wave. Maybe comments by this blog’s readers will lead to Two Jobs for Every Boy (and Girl)!

Surf’s Up!

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

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Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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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”

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

 

The 50 Over 50 Project

As we reflect today about 9/11, we are all brought back to remembering just what we were doing at the moment of the attacks. And we also reflect on  the “Pre 9/11 USA” and the “Post 9/11 USA.” 

Before the attacks, the nation was winding down from a somewhat “happy place.” The economic climate was just starting to head downward. The  recent burst of the  “dot com bubble” was starting to be felt, but “The Roaring 90’s” were still a fresh, positive memory. There were cracks in the workplace wall, but the it was still standing.  

After 9/11 we were shocked, rattled, distrustful, and suspicious.  Employers  froze and began robust layoffs.  Innocence was also lost due to distrust of firms like Enron, WorldCom and others. The tragic events of the 9/11 directly affected millions of Americans who had no relationship to the dead (other than our shared citizenship).  The paradigm of job security and endless prosperity collapsed.    

But, America’s citizens are a resilient lot. And today isn’t only about looking back. As long as we never forget, I think it is OK to look ahead and learn from the past. 

Since this is an employment-related blog, I ask am asking you what  has changed for you or your vocation over the past 8 years?  How did this tradgey affect your career? What is different about your work, “Pre-verses-Post?”  Consider sharing your story…    

Never Forgetting,

AJC

PS: Check out Labor Day’s first post to this blog to learn about the mission of The 50 Over 50 Project.