JOBS / I HATE DRIVING / But will do it for money $$

JOBS / I HATE DRIVING / During the summer I often take on extra recruiting projects because business sloooooooooows. My customers live on the federal budget. By July their gastank meters are running in the red and ‘E’ looms on the horizon.

It’s OK. It is summer. Anyway I have extra time and I do not mind at all being a recruiting mercenary. I know where the bodies are.

Making money I like. Driving to make money I hate. Most of the year I wake up, walk my dogs, drink too much coffee, answer email, do searches, write several articles for my eight or nine blogs, and people send me their resumes.

Sometimes my customers want me to come work in their office. An extra charge — but would be glad to discount my rate if they would just move their offices a tad closer … or maybe I should move closer. Anyway, spent three hours driving roundtrip today. Was a shock to my system. My idea of a long commute is maybe 10 minutes. Whine.

Am available to help with your recruiting challenge. Will drive for work and money … but I recruit for jobs in 28 countries daily and rarely leave home. Can do that for you too! (And it gives me more time to coach soccer).

Jobs / Coach gets a thank you note

One of my soccer players was recently rummaging through their old email.

He had kept an email that I had sent to him in 2009 just as he was graduating high school. Since then I have recently gotten both a personal and a written thank-you for my career advice … from back in what must seem the dark ages for a young person.

Our correspondence follows. I have substituted Soccer Player X for their real name and email address.


———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Work, Career Advice and All-Stars

look what I came across today…


———- Forwarded message ———-

From: William Golden <>
Date: Fri, May 22, 2009 at 11:25 PM
Subject: Work, Career Advice and All-Stars
To: Soccer Player X
Soccer Player X

Yes. Mark confirmed you as an All-Star.

And you should know that in my mind that you always on the A list. Not
only are you a favorite player but you’ve got great attitude … and
attitude counts in life.

A bit of career advice – study hard and work hard. Focus on your job.

My role in life is as a very senior recruiter for almost 600
organizations. I make lots of money giving advice.

Here’s a bit of free advice: things will get worse in the employment
world. Much, much worse. Unemployment will especially hit two
demographic groups: young folks like yourself and men under the age of
35. Lose a job and you may not get another for a long while.

I don’t see a rebound in jobs until 2014 or 2015. Things could get
somewhat better in 2012 or 2013 … but my advice is to think about
where you are going to be in 5 years.

Hopefully you are going to college. The next 4-5 years will be a great
time to have an alternative other than having to seek full-time

Here is what I want you to study: pick almost any subject you want BUT
seek out a B.S. degree over a B.A. degree. DO NOT WASTE your
electives: devote your elective credits to understanding business
processes, “enterprise” communications and networks (you don’t have to
become a geek), and statistics. Your future will depend upon being
competitive and surviving on statistical margins — and operations
like Bloom survive on thin margins (usually < 5%).

America WILL rebound with jobs about the time you graduate from a 4
year degree. But the way people earn money and work will be very
different in 5 years.

If you follow my advice you will be very employable at the right time
in your life. Synchronicity matters.

… And of course I look forward to seeing you on the field as an All-Star.

Best regards,


Armchair futurist on prudent men, lowering incomes, managing expenses and following the breadcrumbs

A Facebook pal posted this thought:

The prudent man does not lower his debt by lowering his income. Rather, he lowers his debt, first, and is then free to lower his income.

Being the armchair futurist that I am, my response:

I advise people to lower income expectations and expenses for several reasons.

The trend since the late 80s has generally been one of income stagflation. Most folks did not notice it because inflation was low, products became more plentiful and ever cheaper, plus more families moved to a two income model. We also supplemented our lifestyles with putting more expensive purchases on longer term buys and we maximized our equity. That does not change the fact that real income has been sliding for decades.

Since 1998 the labor market in the USA has consistently declined in the total percentage of folks with jobs and/or benefits. More people have become commoditized. Many workers bring little actual value to their employers that cannot be replaced within a very short time period.

Throughout the 1990s we talked about doing more with less. We could and sometimes did. But there was little incentive to accelerate the process because profits were good and disruption to organizations usually caused a short-term drop in profits within 2-4 years after these morale busting changes.

The great crash of 2008 changed that. We were no longer worried about chaos from change. Change visited us quarter after quarter.

Organizational change now represented survival and hope for making up for the lost $$$ of 2008-early 2010. The Top 1% did lose big. But that change investment paid off, which is why income and investments of the Top 1% (and Top 10%) increased their take by almost 19% over the last 24 months.

In the end we have learned that we can do more with less … FAR LESS … the recent return of one of the largest textile plants in North Carolina did so by cutting their workforce from 2000 to just 140, without any cut in production quality or quantity. Quality actually increased.

We live in a commoditized society where few can justify some inherent $$ value if and when we find a way to do more for less … or even the same.

For the future, we need to be talking about much more than just doing yesterday better.

Sometimes we need rethink the meaning of what it all means. The answers are not going to come from the left or the right, or even from the squeemish middle hoping to eek out some kind of good deal. Times have changed. We need to jettison some of our pride and doctrines and admit that we need new answers — answers which may violate our own dear cherished principles which are often broken and fail to deliver on answers for the future.

JOBS / MANUFACTURING / FUTURE – Manufacturing coming home but jobs are not

JOBS / MANUFACTURING / FUTURE  U.S. Textile Plants Return. Sales up 37% since 2012 … $22.7B in sales… Jobs are not returning. Factories are being highly automated. Before exporting jobs, one North Carolina factory had 2,000+ workers and now can do the same level of production with just 140.

The good news is that rapid changes in technology will create an ever greater flood of ‘Made in America’ products available at reasonable or just below premium cost.

The bad news is that not many Americans will be involved in actually making anything that is ‘Made in America’.

Read More: NY Times story on Textile Manufacuring | Impact of Technology on Manufacturing and Jobs (PDF Report)

I am not arguing that we should fight automation. It is a good thing on the whole: providing quality products at reasonable cost.

My concern is that we talk about jobs, jobs, jobs and yet seem to have overlooked that the world has changed. The overwhelming majority of the unemployed, or underemployed, are not in that status because they want to be. We cannot on the one hand tell people to ‘go get a job’ and then take away food asssistance when there are few jobs to be gotten. That is an outdated strategy that may have worked when we were an agrarian society … but as you have probably heard: times have changed.

We need to move to a conversation about what the future looks like, and what the future means for the average American.

JOBS / Disconnected from America?

JOBS / Disconnected from America?

… Bill Golden says that it feels great living in the metro Washington DC area. The seven counties of northern Virginia and most of southern Maryland are truly the land of plenty. What few issues we have must sound like whining to the rest of America.

What happens if we were to wake up and ‘being smart’ were no longer enough? Metro Washington DC is made up primarily of knowledge capital workers. For various reasons there is a huge concentrated demand for these folks … living at the center of the empire as they do.

But what if anything were to disrupt the need for that knowledge? Are these Knowledge Workers smart enough to have a Plan B or C?

Chances are that this region of the USA could find itself in some turmoil over the next few years.

Washington Post headline on February 12th, 2013: One in 7 Washington households in the top 5 percent

VIEW interactive map of where wealth exists in the USA:

The future … tomorrow … not the day after

Life is good on most days. Seems though that change is constant.

Change doesn’t bother me. I expect change. I expect lots of change. I expect change at speeds that may seem to overwhelm and to even create obsolescence of products, skills and organization.

We may not be able to stop change but we can channel its energy.

The video below is by Microsoft and presents a vision of information interaction within the near future – less than five years from now. Most of the concepts envisioned already exist so … prepare for change.

Thanks to Shane Brooks for bringing this video to my attention.