This is a quick post today. Not because the wisdom is lesser but the information is fairly straight forward. For the last 50 years’ western society has created a narrative that to be successful professionally you must engage in the most expensive route to get there. That means college, and for millions that means student loan debt. A space once dominated by men, now more women are in college than ever before, and racking up massive debt as a result.
We now have more female doctors, pilots, engineers on and on and that’s great. For men? Trades are still wide open. Less and less people go into trades now than in the past. Females? Even less they have been marketed for the need for education for their success. Of course a woman can put an addition on a house just as well as a man can with equal training and experience but you don’t see high school guidance counselors telling them that do you?
As a man, learn a trade. Sure a lot of it is blue collar work but all these in debt college educated professionals are going to be busy working 60 hours a week to pay back their 100K of student loans. They don’t have time to rake the leaves, repair a deck, install cabinets. You’ll make a boat load of cash, have minimal expense to enter the profession and should you desire in the future you can go to college then, and pay cash for it.
Being a better man means looking at life in the short, mid and long term. College is a great option and I would never tell anyone not to go. I went and have made a great living as a result but there are other paths out there. Always gather as much info as you can, never rely on one source of info for your decision making. Last, but not least…. Look around, who is in demand? Plumbers or Doctors? Lots of doctors out there, have you ever met or seen a plumber?
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This blog doesn’t give medical advice as a normal practice. In terms of covid, the vaccine, etc., my best advice to my readers is to visit your primary care doctor and ask their recommendation. I am vaccinated so is everyone in my family, by choice, not by mandate.
So for my foreign readers a quick background. In the U.S. congress (state and federal) passes bills that once signed by the executive (state or federal) become law. The executive branch, in this case the president of the united states can issue what is called an “executive order”. Every modern President does this, it’s not exclusive to democrats or republicans. This practice falls under our constitution, article 2 which essentially empowers the executive branch to enforce laws.
So here we are in 2022. The last high profile order was the OSHA mandate that required employers of over 100 people to require that their employees be vaccinated or submit to regular testing. This was challenged in court and the supreme court upheld the challenge. Meaning the order is now non enforceable. There are a lot of nuances here I am not going to cover but that is the gist of it.
So now what? As a U.S. worker what do you do if your employer still mandates a vaccine? Really there isn’t much you can do. You can get it, or you can be terminated. Most employment in the U.S. is “at will” employment, meaning either party can terminate the relationship at any time. However, there is one caveat that has to be noted in the current economic climate. The U.S. job market is red hot, essentially there are not enough workers to cover all the jobs available.
Sure the high paying high profile jobs may not be in abundance but in this scenario job openings filter upward. Meaning a supervisor is going to have to fill in for workers if they don’t have enough, managers of those supervisors have to fill in for the supervisors if the supervisors are filling in for the workers, I think you get the point. So as a worker in the U.S. you are in a leverage position at this point in time. Any employer who places a mandate on you runs the risk of losing you as an employee.
So what do you do? Below are 5 things you should do now as a worker in the U.S. to maximize your labor return in the current job market.
Get vaccinated: Being vaccinated makes you a more desirable candidate for a job right now. Companies don’t want to navigate this mine field. This is an asset, and you should be vocal about the fact you have this asset.
Update your resume: Do it now.
See what’s out there: Even if the vaccine mandate issue isn’t a big deal to you, there are a lot of opportunities out there. Now is the time to explore the job market it is a sellers’ market, and you are selling your labor. You might make up to 20% more just by flipping jobs.
Sit down with your current company: Now is a great time to bring up your future with your company. What you want to do where you hope to be. Again remember they need you, this is your chance to make progress toward a professional goal. This labor dynamic will not last forever.
Diversify your skill set: There are so many side hustles now, so many opportunities to pick up work on the side. Companies are desperate for help, diversifying your skill set and learning new industries makes your personal brand more valuable in the future.
Some may say this is taking advantage of the current situation with a pandemic. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it isn’t, I would be lying to you. I look at this as an opportunity. Let me put it this way. In life there are often people who are given a situation and will complain about it hoping someone will change it for them to make it more favorable. There are others who look at the same situation and figure out how they can best survive and excel.
Be the later in the context of your career. Believe me, if the situation was different and there were more people looking for a job then open positions these companies would squeeze you for as much as they could. The window on this reality is closing, Covid is almost played out. Carpe diem.
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