Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Just gimme a faster horse

June 23, 2010

As thinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs we hear a lot of clichés.  “Find a need and fill it.”  “The customer is always right.”  “Winners never quit; quitters never win.”  And so on.  But as entrepreneurs we recognize that common clichés are often not true at all – as with those just mentioned.

If you wait for your customers to tell you what they want, you’re going to be too late.  You’ll go the way of universities that “teach” business practices that have already been used for 5 years by the brightest and best in real business.

What did customers in Henry Ford’s day want – not the Model T; they wanted faster horses.  Giving customers what they want will force you to be playing catch-up with competitors.  Steve Jobs doesn’t give customers what they want – he creates innovative and unheard of products and then wows people into wanting them.

If you provide the service your employer wants you will get a paycheck and two days off a week (feed the nice horsey).  What would happen if you provided an idea or service that would transform your company?

Cool, Unusual and Seasonal Jobs

December 8, 2009

We are entering the busiest selling season of the year.  Don’t sit on your backside, waiting for the perfect career position.  You can jump into an opportunity to get you moving, continue your networking, and create some immediate income.  Here are just a few of hundreds of interesting things available right now:

Manage a Hickory Farms mall kiosk.  Fun surroundings, reasonable pay and 40% off all merchandise.  “We are looking for area supervisors, store managers, and sales associates for the upcoming holiday season.” Hickory Farms

Want to work where people play?  As the ski season ramps up, ski areas have trails snow-filled and groomed, and resorts are busy hiring staff in a variety of capacities. Spending a season or so on the slopes is often an excellent way to fill time between graduating from college and that first “real” job. It can be a mind-clearing sabbatical from the corporate world, or even a way of life when coupled with seasonal summer employment.  Ski to Work

Temporary postal service carrier. No experience necessary. Requires a valid driver’s license. Job to begin in late November or early December and work until late December. Flexible schedule, but must work eight hours a day, five days a week, or more. Must be able to lift up to 70 pounds. Pays $15.62 per hour.  Bring the Mail

UPS – several years ago, my oldest son, Kevin, spent a couple of interesting months in the Christmas season delivering packages for UPS on a mountain bicycle pulling a small trailer.  Great for the quads, meeting people and getting a paycheck! What can Brown do for you? 

A seasonal job is like an audition.  It’s an opportunity for you to show your skills.  And you can bypass other candidates by offering to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends.  The more available you are, the better your chances of getting hired.  Michael’s Stores, the retailer of arts and crafts supplies expects to hire about 10,000 seasonal workers this year, up from 7,300 last year.  And about 10% of those will be recruited into permanent staff positions.  

Want to be a pyrotechnician, get a Scuba diving job or drive an RV cross country?  There are plenty of creative opportunities out there – just be creative in looking at places like these:  

Don’t wait until January to look for a job.  If you jump into the market now you will have fewer competitors and you may have a chance to demonstrate your abilities – and work right into a permanent position.

Sell or Starve

February 16, 2009

To get a job, you have to sell yourself.  To start a business or run it successfully, you have to sell a product or service – every day.  Gone are the days of “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”  If you are going to be successful in any way you have to learn to sell, and do it well.

Here are statements I’m hearing from people who have not learned how to sell:

  • “I’ve applied for lots of jobs but no one’s hiring.”
  • “Everywhere I go they tell me I’m over-qualified.”
  • “I’ve got to just stay on unemployment since the economy is so bad.”
  • “No one can afford to engage a career coach right now.”
  • “I’m not expecting any new customers for my landscape business as long as we’re in this recession.”
  • “I’d love to start a business but I don’t have any money.”
  • “I’ve been rejected by 10 publishers – I guess I’m not an author after all.” 
  • “I started a church but it turns out we were in a poor location.”

The cover story in the current issue of Success magazine profiles George Foreman. (Big Business with Big George) Of course we all know George because of his boxing success – or do we?  No, there are lots of boxers, but we know George because he learned how to sell.  He says his athletic ability was less a factor in his success than his selling skills. “If you learn to sell, it’s worth more than a degree,” he says.” It’s worth more than the heavyweight championship of the world. It’s even more important than having a million dollars in the bank. Learn to sell and you’ll never starve.”

Jobs Plunge – Opportunities Soar!

March 7, 2008

USA Today reports today that employers cut jobs for a second month in February while the unemployment rate fell as more people quit looking for work in the weakening job market, the government said Friday in a report that led to further calls of a 2008 recession

Yes, lots of ironies here.  Jobs lost yet hourly wages are up and unemployment is down.  There is no way the government has of tracking those people who have “quit looking for work.” 

I talk to them every day and they are not all discouraged and sitting on the curb – many of them have discovered new and innovative ways to create income and have joined the growing ranks in non-traditional work.  They got tired of expecting any “security” as employees and have moved into successful income generation and increased “security” as consultants, independent contractors, contingency workers, temps, electronic immigrants and entrepreneurs.  They also fall under the radar for U. S. Labor Bureau statistics and thus are categorized as “unemployed and discouraged.” 

No – don’t worry about us.  We are out here enjoying the new opportunities.  Keep your measly paychecks and shaky pensions.  We are the new workers – and firmly in control of our time freedom and unlimited income potential.  Thanks for the shove!

The Sky is Falling — Isn’t It?

February 5, 2008

The headlines screamed this week – Jobs Cutbacks, Jobs Lost, Job LossesThe Labor Department has reported that total job numbers were down by 17,000 in January, the first monthly decline since August 2003. 

Remember the wonderful children’s fable The Sky is Falling?  This is an old tale about a chicken who believes the sky is falling.  The phrase “the sky is falling” has become a popular cliché indicating a hysterical belief that disaster is crashing down on us. 

In the original story Chicken Little is eating lunch one day when an acorn falls on her head.  She mistakenly assumes the sky is falling, rushes off to tell the King, and along the way meets a lot of other animals who join in with her belief and the accompanying fear.

What this week’s headlines fail to announce with as much fanfare is that the unemployment rate actually FELL from 5.0 percent to 4.9 percent.  AND – average hourly earnings ROSE to $17.75 in January – up 0.2 percent from December.  How can the job loss be such a catastrophe if unemployment dropped and earnings rose?  What the government figures can’t see are the thousands of people who are exiting traditional jobs in companies with 50 or more employees (the basis for the statistics) and finding meaningful, fulfilling work in the No More Mondays fashion.  The exploding number of consultants, independent contractors, temps, electronic immigrants, entrepreneurs and eBay merchants are below the radar of traditional “job” tracking. 

Sometimes I think the news media should just be called Chicken Little.  How about Chicken Nightly Nonsense (CNN) All Boloney Chicken (ABC) and Nothin But Chicken (NBC).  Incidentally, although I am not a man to wish anyone harm, in the fable the FOX ending up eating all the doomsayers. 

I’m Leaving — and feeling guilty

January 30, 2008

Each week I create a new online radio podcast — answering a few of the many questions we receive. Here are some of this week’s questions you can hear discussed on the 48 Days Radio Show.

1. My husband started two businesses, for which I am bookkeeper by default. I detest it, it isn’t me.

2. My gift is gab. I’d like to become a professional speaker, but is talent enough? How do I turn talking about nothing into a living?

3. I am currently in a job and soon to graduate from the local community college. I am feeling guilty and not sure how to let my boss know. Do I wait until I have a job or let him know I am looking?

4. Hi Dan, I was brought up hearing that if you make your hobby your fulltime job you would get tired of it and wouldn’t enjoy your hobby anymore.

5. Recently, I opened up a tackle shop on the internet called fishingtrail.com. Can you give some advice on how I can advertise it on a limited budget?

6. Dan, I am carefully planning a way to generate my own income. I want my wife to be involved as much as I in the decision making. yet, she is so scared of risk, she would rather live paycheck to paycheck with me working for an employer with ‘benefits’ than to invest time developing a long term plan with risk involved.

Get Paid to Leave Your Job?

January 24, 2008

In this morning’s news Ford has announced they will offer buyouts and early retirement packages to 54,000 workers.  Obviously they are attempting to cut more jobs and replace those highly paid workers with those making about half the pay.

So the question is:  Are there any losers in this deal or can everybody win?  One of the stories I tell in No More Mondays is about a gentleman who said he hated his job for 17 years, and then was offered a $140,000 buyout.  And he was having a major struggle in making his decision.  My response was essentially – YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!”  How often do you get the opportunity to be paid $140,000 to leave a job you hate?  Take the money and run.  Surely you can figure out something to go TO with that kind of start-up capital. 

There are too many options for fulfilling, meaningful and profitable work all around us to settle for anything less.  If you “fired yourself” today, would you choose to apply for the same job you have now?  How much of a buyout would it take for you to walk away from your current job?

Work Hard (for yourself) and Get Rich

January 13, 2008

My friend Dave Ramsey sent me an article this morning.   He has already reviewed No More Mondays and knows my message about recognizing new work models.  In this article, J. Paul Getty responds to the question:  “How does one go about making a million dollars?”  He says that unless you happen to locate a sunken treasure galleon or break the bank at Monte Carlo, there is really ony one way to do it.  “By going into business for yourself.”  He goes on to encourage readers to “never mind the bogey of ‘unsettled work conditions’ as is often cited as a major factor preventing businessmen from achieving success.”  He says don’t worry about the “population explosion” or “widespread unemployment” in the trend toward automation.  Getty concludes that those fears are groundless and “the future is bright for those who are confident, imaginative, and energetic.”

Sounds like he’s reading today’s newspaper.  Actually this article was written in September of 1961 — that’s more than 46 years ago.  The same reasons are given today by people explaining why they’re trapped in jobs they hate.  Guess what — if you want more success, don’t wait for circumstances to change — just change yourself and get started.

 *************************************************************************

Here’s a J. Paul Getty quotation that will make you scratch your head:

Going to work for a large company is like getting on a train. Are you going sixty miles an hour or is the train going sixty miles an hour and you’re just sitting still?

You’re not smart enough for this…..?

November 14, 2007

In doing research on current job trends this week I came across this notice to job-seekers from probably the best-known outplacement firm in the country.   

”In order to enter one of our outplacement programs, we require sponsorship by an employee’s company. The reason we cannot accept people without corporate sponsorship is that we cannot overcome the awkward ethical/functional dilemma inherent in working with an ‘unsponsored’ individual. Good outplacement requires the freedom to counsel the client even when their wants conflict with their needs. In a ‘retail’ relationship, both parties are either consciously or subconsciously prone to define the client as a customer and therefore the ultimate arbiter of what is right or wrong tactically.”

It appears pretty obvious that they don’t expect you as a job-seeker to be qualified to be in the driver’s seat for any of the process of getting a new job.  So please allow me to interpret their message for you. 

To start with, you certainly can’t afford the $4000-$6000 we are going to charge your company to hold your hand in this process.  Secondly, you really aren’t smart enough to know what’s best for you.  And thirdly we are really good at simply duplicating the miserable life you had previously and don’t want to be bothered by taking the time to hear about your personal dreams and passions at this stage of your life.  We don’t have the experience or the inclination to help you create your own unique and perhaps non-traditional work path.  Don’t bore us with terms like personal fulfillment, finding your mission in life, or having work you love.  We’re pros at putting your behind in the next cubicle in this non-ending series of boring chapters in your life.

I certainly hope this approach would make you run the other way.  You most assuredly should be in the driver’s seat for any transition in your own job/life.  No one knows as much or cares as much as you.  Yes, you may be able to benefit from a coach but you don’t want an organization to take over and treat you like a robot.  85% of the process of finding proper direction and fulfilling God’s purpose comes from looking inward – only 15% from looking at work history and credentials.  Only you are qualified to see these subtle patterns that embrace your passions, your relationships, and the things that give you a sense of joy and meaning.  Don’t allow circumstances or a prescribed “outplacement” plan make decisions that you deserve to make.  Some fancy organization may be able to squeeze you into a “job” but they aren’t likely to help you create the “life” you want.


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