Archives for labor day

A Day in the Life of You, Average 2019 American Worker / By Karen Huller / Labor Day 2019

 

This morning, after a long weekend,

You fight traffic

Dodging rushing drivers

To not get docked or dinged

For being late or seeming like

You can’t be reliable.

 

Another disgruntled shooter

Showed up at work this weekend.

You wonder about the people

You were relieved to see go.

Are they really gone?

Not from your mind.

 

Living paycheck to paycheck,

Hoping no emergencies occur.

Ignoring the pain, but

Is it a serious symptom?

How long do you have?

You know you don’t know.

 

Your boss believes you’ll rest

At home, on the weekends.

Though you get emails and texts

While you shuffle kids around,

Tending to their needs,

Warding off tantrums (sometimes),

And solving household mysteries.

 

30 minutes on hold with

insurance companies.

Sorting mail, doing laundry,

Scrubbing toilets, washing cars,

Mowing lawns, grocery shopping.

Other to-dos that don’t.

 

Not even sleep is restful.

Vacations are never long enough.

You rush to tie loose ends.

You return to catch-up work.

Lunches are rushed.

Even windows stay shut.

 

Dinging notifications,

Relentless robocallers,

Merciless collectors,

Technical difficulties,

Imaginary or possible conflicts

Disrupt peace and creativity.

 

You feel pressure to perform,

To keep up, stay skilled.

More money would help,

But more effort seems impossible.

Your plate overflows.

You don’t feel like enough.

 

When can you reflect, dream,

Make plans for the future?

How can you innovate,

Keep up, let alone get ahead?

What more could you be?

How long can this go on?

 

If you stay, are you a fool?

If you go, will it be worse?

Can you pull it off?

Will you have regrets?

Change isn’t worth the trouble.

 

And we wonder…

Why mental health declines,

Why chronic diseases flourish,

Why engagement is elusive,

Why drugs seduce,

Why suicides and shootings abound.

 

This model’s not sustainable.

Your wellbeing is critical.

The future needs you.

Your loved ones need you.

Companies need consciousness.

You need to demand it.

 

I’ve heard you.

I’ve been there.

I’m reaching out my hand.

A better tomorrow awaits,

Though I am not waiting.

I am FIGHTING!

 

Science is in our favor.

Stress can be managed.

Health can be restored.

Consumers have power to

Protect people and the planet.

Your talent is power – USE IT!

Working Class Hero – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

John Lennon Signature Box contains 9 Albums, all the singles, a disc of rarities & a book from Yoko, Julian & Sean. Available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/JLbox & iTunes http://bit.ly/JLboxi Video from Lennon Legend DVD: http://bit.ly/lenleg JL Videos on iTunes: http://apple.co/2hIilCu Notes from Lennon Legend DVD: A new video, directed by Simon Hilton, filmed in Liverpool.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Is There Still a Social Division of Labor?

Construction Workers by Adam Cohn of Flickr

Construction Workers by Adam Cohn of Flickr

 

True story: last week a guy named Pat walks into Wawa to buy a cup of coffee and stands behind two men wearing suits. The two men were discussing why people wearing fluorescent vests should have their own line.

Looking down at his own florescent vest, Pat inferred that these men were insinuating that blue-collar workers should be treated differently. He asked these two gentlemen if they built the house they live in, if they manicure their own yard, and if they repair their own car.

I don’t know if Pat’s interpretation of the conversation was accurate, but his sense of separation from these two men is real.

I was watching Harley and the Davidsons on Labor Day evening and became attached to the story of the Davidson son, Arthur. He had grown up, but had not started a career like his older brothers and his father begged Author to do something respectable. By respectable, he meant taking on a skilled trade or anything at which he had to physically work hard. Meanwhile, Author was hustling to get a new venture off the ground. It was so interesting to see how entrepreneurship was perceived as not real work, and business men were known for shiftiness. They were also not trusted or respected because they did not physically create anything with their own hands.

Of course a lot has changed in America since the turn of the last century, or so we’d like to think. Certainly a divide still exists, but is it smaller or bigger, and has it flipped upside down or is it just as equal on both sides?

There is a lot of talk about the talent gap, and there are many efforts nationwide to insure that America breeds a skilled domestic workforce to fill that gap. But while people are talking about STEM careers and making it possible for more people to go to college, a very necessary population of skilled laborers is shrinking.

I certainly understand the inclination of many parents to want their child to go to college. I also understand that jobs requiring physical labor may not last as long as a desk job.

My brother, a mechanic turned educator, cannot make a career underneath the hood anymore because of a bad back. My husband has had his fair share of back issues, too. While he has a college degree, a second job as a coach, and he enjoys his work as a certified gas fireplace installer, we both have to face the fact that coaching will eventually be his main gig. Coaching is his true passion and his gift, but it does not pay as well, so we have to plan accordingly now. Really, a back injury could happen any moment.

I had one client who was an accountant and when he was laid off he went back to the job that gave him a lot of pleasure, detailing cars. It was a very cathartic change, but one he could not sustain as he aged. He had enjoyed being an accountant, but he became very disenchanted with corporate careers for a while. When he decided to return to accounting, you can imagine he faced some challenges.

I’m looking at these two different career paths, skilled labor versus corporate. I have noticed that both attract a fair amount of talent, passion, and sense of contribution while at the same time there are drawbacks, concerns, and career mine fields that need strategic navigation. I would like to believe that in the 100 years since Harley-Davidson’s creation the divide between business professionals and working class citizens has diminished. However, there is obviously still a fair amount of misunderstanding, distrust, and even resentment on both sides.

Though the Labor Day holiday was founded to celebrate the effort of unionized labor, it has evolved to celebrate the “contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” I don’t find anything exclusive about that statement.

Not only do we need more youth to pursue careers in skilled labor, but we need to accommodate more flexibility in shifting careers. More importantly, we need to show skilled labors acceptance and appreciation because without them, we would not have roads or houses. Some of us would not be able to find our keys or be in compliance with home owners association standards.

Without business people, contractors could not finance materials they need to build homes, your local landscaping company would not know how to advertise, make revenue, or hire people. Furthermore, that grant would never have funded that new highway.

 

I think Pat summed it up perfectly:

“I don’t care what you do for a living, your title, how much money you make, as long as you’re happy doing what you do is what matters. You shouldn’t look at other people and put them down because of what they do for a living.”

 

My Labor Day of Labor – I’ve Come Clean

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

No, I didn’t have another baby. I spent my holiday fighting dust balls and licking paper cuts.

After 3 years of compiling papers and collecting nonsense in my office, I “clean sweeped” (I know it’s swept, but it doesn’t sound right in this context.) There were literally 60 lbs. of paper and other junk purged from my house. I have two big boxes of great fall clothes to sell on e-bay, donate or turn into crafts. I know where everything is in my office. What is most important is most prevalent and within easy reach.

The adjustment to working from home with my babies, who are now grown up enough to know when the house is messy, happened very slowly.  While I expanded my roles as primary caretaker and entrepreneur, some of my other priorities and values were placed aside. I justified that it was what I had to do because of the choice I made to stay home and work, but in the meantime, crap accumulated and inhibited my growth. That’s where I was; I had no more room to grow because I had no room in my home and most sacred space.  The choice I made was no longer empowering; it was an abyss. While I continued to learn more and teach clients about efficiency, time management, resource management, etc., I was ignoring fundamental best practices of success – simplicity of organization and accessibility of information.

Especially because I do so much on my computer, where it seems everything is at my fingertips, these fundamentals were easy to ignore for so long. Until, enter financial advisor and partner Brian Brogan.

He asked, “Where is the space dedicated to managing the lifeblood of my family and business?”

“Oh, here and over there and I can even work outside…”

“STOP!,” he pleaded. “What are you saying about your priorities if you have no place dedicated to managing the very thing that allows your family to function?”

While he has been here at our house, he never new we had an office because the door stayed shut when there were visitors. We even kept the vent closed so as to not heat or air condition it. It was, essentially, a junk room.

After reading some of The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, by Allyson Lewis, I had started to make a little progress on my office. I sorted unopened envelopes one day. Then another day I opened them. Then another day I took out any files older than 2009 to make room for the newer files. Then, I left the office alone for a week. I avoided it. What happened?

If my house were a factory, I think they would call it a bottleneck.

I needed to renew my car registration, but I couldn’t find the form. I had to make a return, but I couldn’t find a receipt. The CPRW (Certified Professional Résumé Writer) certification exams that I am supposed to grad within 2 weeks piled up for a month. ssential functions took 10 times longer than they should have. I was wasting time looking for things, feeling like a hot mess, and my temper and patience were getting short. Friday I had a gentleman tell me that I wasn’t able to listen to him. I didn’t even realize it, but I kept interrupting him. Instead of listening compassionately first, then advising appropriately, I was defensive and curt. This was impacting more than just tasks – my credibility with peers, my authority with my kids and my ability to effectively coach were hampered.

Enough – I had to do the work. The clutter had to be confronted, and so did my feelings about the clutter. With the exception of a break to have tea with my husband, make princess hats with my daughters, and hit up a local playground where we could all get a workout in, I pounded away – from breakfast to 2 or 3 in the morning. I finished at 4:30 Tuesday morning. The process, while tiring, was cathartic. What Brian said was reverberating in my brain and I thought very consciously about where I placed things based on how important I wanted them to be. Even choosing what size folder to attribute to a project made me process what amount of time I was committing to dedicate to that project.

Once it was done, I didn’t care anymore that I didn’t get to go the shore or the Poconos or that I didn’t see any concerts or even go out to eat. I had forgotten how much I value organization. For a while, I had been wishing I could just hire someone to find a place for everything, but I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

Now that I am in my office, and I can work in my office and find things in my office (and elsewhere,) I am able to think. I feel lighter and can breathe easier. Brian says that I have now made room for the harvest. Those books that I read, while portraying the importance of organization to taking action also echoed his sentiments: If you want something to show up, you have to make room for it. Now that I know I have room for growth and expansion, I have more confidence making strategic plans for my business. I want to spend time here. I want to show it off. Here. Have a look:

One thought leader I follow, I can’t remember which or perhaps it is all of them, says that people take action when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Why is that? Why did I have to let it get to that point? Even though the disorganization was certainly having an impact on my family and me, I waited until other people were being impacted by my disorganized house before I resolved to get it cleaned up for good. I resolve now to be proactive in keeping order in my house, in my office and in my mind.

 

Have you ever been sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you waiting until to feel this way to take action?