Monday, April 13, 2009

Fighting tough times

I just saw yet another article recommending that people use the current economic crisis as a time to reevaluate their life and, for those who loose their jobs to ask “What would your life look like if money was not an issue?”. The suggestion is that since you’re out of work anyway, try to turn the lemon into lemonade. Always a good idea, but what do you do if the answer is “My life would look exactly like it did before I lost my job!”

Simply telling workers to use the forced time off for self examination and to find a new direction is useless. Real advice would give them some way to evaluate their personal capabilities and interests, advice on matching their personal capabilities and interests with a new career field, directions on how to learn new skills and how to pay for the classes and living expenses while taking the classes, and instructions on how to connect with an employer to put those new skills to work.

Don’t bother claiming that it’s the individuals job to figure out the answer to those questions, you’re the one who decided to set yourself up as the “expert” by giving advice in the first place. Unless and until you can answer those questions, your not only not helping, you are diverting attention from the real problems and solutions.

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