Blog Archive - October 2012
Big Think features a post by blogger (and University of Michigan professor) Jeff DeGraf on how to find a job. I like the advice DeGraf gives because it isn’t clichéd or easy. Following the professional service model, he tells job seekers to know their strengths and sell them the right way. My favorite bit of wisdom is “fish where others aren’t.” Too often job seekers look for the easy way to get hired or the big company where everyone wants to work.
DeGraf finds opportunity in strange places (depressed cities, near bankrupt companies), places most people won’t see as a good potential employer. However, what if the company or city turns around? You can find an opportunity others ignored. Such advice isn’t easy to follow because it requires thoughtful risk taking, a spirit DeGraf links to innovation. This short post should be read by everyone who wants to move past looking for work and build a career. It's advice is solid.
Over the last week, I've made three follow up calls that ended badly. In two cases, prospective clients had not set up their voice mail boxes. In the third, the mail box was filled.
What if I had been an employer looking to schedule an interview? How many interviews and job have been lost because of such mistakes?
Don't let such simple thing derail your job search.
Writing in Think Progress, Pat Garafalo reports that billionaire Sam Zell blamed growing poverty and income inequality on social programs that are “deincentivizing” the poor. Zell said that rather than blame the 1%, we should focus on programs that give people something for nothing.
Maybe Mr. Zell should look at bankruptcy laws that have let his Tribune Corporation get out of liabilities while paying bonuses to executives. The same laws are written to trap working people and the poor in debt to banks for credit card balances and student loans. Why is there one standard for billionaire-owned corporations and another for working people? Isn’t that welfare for the wealthy?
Working people and the middle class should stop buying Zell’s newspapers, listening to his radio stations, and watching his TV stations. He doesn’t deserve our support.
Walmart Protestors Meet Robocops
Abby Zimet of Common Dreams reports on a recent protest at a Walmart facility in Elwood, Illinois. 650 protesters were met by police dressed in riot gear. The police were working with a private security. 47 protesters were arrested for civil disobedience in protesting Walmart’s practice of paying “poverty wages.”
I take two things from this story:
- Why do these police officers need to be dressed like this? They look like Robocop, more machine than human. Is this body armor meant to protect the officer, or intimidate protesters? We live in a time when too many people automatically assume that anything the military or law enforcement does is right. Some day we might walk up to find that such thinking has cost us our freedom.
- What is the real cost of “poverty wages”? When large companies pay their workers badly, we taxpayers supplement the wages through food and housing subsidies. Our taxes pay for free school breakfasts and lunches. Certain politicians point at poorly paid workers and call them “takers” and “victims.” I would say the real “taker” is Walmart, a company that is using tax payer funded programs to feed and shelter its workers and their children.
We should never forget the great lesson of Watergate: “Follow the money.” It’s all going up.