18 Jul Bonus Episode: I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know About the Job Market
In this bonus episode, I will answer some viewer mail about the job market and why I say if you wait to be “officially” told, it’s too late.
✔️ During the TP shortage of 2020, how did people behave? Did they form an orderly line and wait patiently or did they flip out?
✔️ During The Great Recession, we saw not only high unemployment but high long-term unemployment.
✔️ What skills do you have? What would your first phone call be if you experienced a job loss? Do you have a game plan put together?
Links I mention in this episode:
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. I wanted to hop on and record a bonus episode to answer a bit of viewer mail. I will read that now. My name is Danny and I live in Kansas. Yes, you can say that on the air. A friend of mine started sharing your Saturday broadcasts with me and I have found them helpful. I’ve shared them with my wife, and she has also enjoyed them. I’m going to break in long enough to say thank you very much. I really appreciate you telling me that. And I’m also very grateful that you have found these episodes to be helpful. I will continue to read. I do have a question. You’ve said several times that by the time some official report is made, saying unemployment is high, it’s too late. Or by the time the general public realizes what is happening, it’s too late. I would like to know more about what you mean, I would consider myself to be a member of the general public. I have been at the same job for several years, and I like it. But I know that no company is perfect. And I don’t control what the owners decide to do or how they manage the books. If the company closed down tomorrow, I’m not sure how I would handle a job search or interviewing. I’m rusty on all that. And I know I am. I guess I don’t know what I don’t know. What do you think? So Danny, thank you so much for taking the time to write in. I’m going to have to do my standard boilerplate. Before I get into this. I am not offering advice of any kind. I have no way of knowing the individual circumstances of every person listening to this broadcast today. This is not advice of any kind. I’m not an economist and attorney, and all seeing Oracle, this is not advice of any kind. It is simply me giving you my opinion for your entertainment only. And that’s it. I will try to tackle this in two different parts. First, I’ll start off with the initial question of what do I mean when I say that, by the time some official report is made saying unemployment is high? Or by the time the general public realizes there’s been some change in the labor market? You’ve waited too late? What do I mean by all that? So I want you to think back to what the situation was like in your local grocery store, supermarket supercenter, whatever. Back during COVID. When there was the toilet paper shortage? How did people behave? How did they handle that? In your area? Did everybody form a nice single file line and act very mannerly and polite about it? Or did they start to act like Lord of the Flies over toilet paper? How do people behave at Black Friday sales, if there’s some hot ticket items, some toy that every kid in America thinks they have to have or some giant big screen TV that’s going to be on sale for like 100 bucks for four hours only or whatever, whatever arbitrary, capitalistic fighting conditions that people put in the store? How do people behave then? Do they? Do they form the single file line and act very manually? And wait their turn ever so patient? Or do they turn into Lord of the Flies? I’ve talked before about how historically speaking, unemployment can be very fast to shoot up and very slow to abate. Which means by the time the general public is clued in holy poop, unemployment is high. There are layoffs, people are losing their jobs left and right. It’s really too late to start, in my opinion, it’s really too late at that point in time to start making your provisions. It’s wise and savvy, in my opinion, to plan ahead and to think about what you would do. Now I’m not suggesting that everybody needs to have their finger on the pulse of the job market 24/7. For me, the job market is an important Bellwether, because I’ve been in it every day of my life for over a decade now. And I can read it pretty well. I kind of know the signs and signals, let’s say of when the job market is about to take a poop. And I know what signs and signals worry me and which ones don’t. I feel that I’m pretty good at being able to identify whether we’re about to have a blip or kind of a, you know, a little bit of a hiccup a little bit of a contraction, but probably no big deal versus when we’re about to see the market take a poopoo and that people probably need to be thinking ahead. On Investopedia. They have a summary of the global financial crisis, aka the great recession. And I’ll read a little of that for you now. The economic damage and human suffering were immense. Unemployment reached 10%. About 3.8 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosures. The 2007 2008 financial crisis was a global event not one restricted to the US. Ireland’s vibrant economy fell off of a cliff. Greece defaulted on its international debts. Portugal and Spain suffered from extreme levels of unemployment, every nation’s experience was different and complex and quote, any of that sounding familiar. Any of that sounding like maybe there could potentially be another global financial crisis brewing up right now. One of the things that Investopedia mentions is that Greece defaulted on its international debts. Btw, we’re seeing the same thing right with Sri Lanka and Russia, and there are other countries at risk of having a default with a debt crisis. So this is all food for thought. I am not on the airwaves today saying that I think we are going to have another great recession, it’s going to be as bad or worse, I have no way of knowing that. As I’ve said many times, I am not an economist, and I don’t sit on the W E. F, I don’t know what’s coming. Reading the tea leaves, I don’t personally feel that we’re in store for some economic boom, or that there’s going to be some amazing Hail Mary pass, that saves the world from another financial issue. I will just say a financial issue or an economic issue of some kind, I could be wrong, and I hope that I am. Now I also want to read from an article on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. During the 2007 2009 recession, these relationships changed dramatically, the ranks of the long term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or longer, more than quadrupled. In the two and a half years, starting in November of 2007. And quote, I was there and I remember it, I was not a kid, I hadn’t just graduated from college, I wasn’t kicking around in grandma’s basement, I was an adult with a mortgage and a car payment and all of that fun stuff. Having to try to keep food on the table and do whatever I could to make damn sure that I stayed employed no matter what. And I remember people walking in to the company that I was working at at the time, people walking in off the street dropping off resumes, or can I fill out an application and hearing the receptionist at the front desk say, well, we don’t have anything open right now. That’s okay, just keep me in mind keep me on file, I’m really desperate. People would be on TV crying about needing to go to the food bank couldn’t afford baby diapers or formula, it was not a great experience. Not at all. And so it wasn’t just that Unemployment spiked, it was that the amount of people who were long term unemployed that were going week after week after week after week after week without being able to find a job. That was also quite high as well. So again, I say this is not advice. What I would say personally, if it were me, if I were just sitting here, opining out loud to myself talking to the wall, I feel that it would be a really wise idea to know the health of the company that you’re in. I mean, as you mentioned, in your email, you don’t know what is going on with the ownership of the company and you don’t know how they’re handling their books. And that’s true. I think as much as possible, you have to have some general sense of the health of the company that you’re in, and the nature of the job that you have. Do you feel that you’re easily replaced? Are there 10 other people in the company doing exactly what you do? How intrical to the operation? Do you feel that you are? Unfortunately, that’s a question that a lot of people don’t want to contemplate? And here we are coming off the heels of the great resignation when it was very much not what it what can I contribute to the employer? What am I going to be able to do for this company? It was the opposite. It was what is this employer going to do for me? What is this company going to do for me? And I’m not out here bashing that. I have said many times that people need to try to get as much as possible out of the great resignation. And we were due, quite frankly, for the tables to turn because some of the hiring managers had gotten so arrogant. Yeah did basically grovel and beg to get a job. Some of them wanted to pay pennies on the dollar. They didn’t want to offer benefits that were worth a hoot. The tables needed to turn the hiring managers needed to understand you’re the job candidate. Now, you need to tell me what’s in it for me, not the other way around. But he boy, they needed a good dose of that they really did. Okay, now here we are, again, with the pendulum shifting to the other side of the platform. Over on my Patreon on June 12, I released a blog post titled gaming the system is not a recession survival plan. I want to read a little bit of that for you now. There isn’t loyalty between employer and employee anymore. And yes, you can be a good person at work and still get pink slipped first. I think what some of these commentators are missing is it’s about becoming indispensable. It’s not about being good. It’s Not about painting on a smile. And, oh, I’m always the first one in the door and I have a cheerful attitude. In a recession, deep market contraction, high unemployment rate, no one gives us about any of that. Nor should they, it becomes even more clamped down and the lid gets screwed on even tighter about money. People want to get up on their hind legs and talk about how terrible that is. But that’s the reality that you and I are living in. I’m not saying it’s right. And I’m not saying I agree with it. All I’m trying to do is pull the curtain back on corporate America and show you how the guts of it actually works. So to sum up, the first part of what I wanted to address, by the time John Q Public, and people just the random person out on the street who keeps reading these headlines like labor shortage, labor shortage, 3.6% unemployment rate, labor market is hot, doing great to open legit jobs. For every one unemployed person, there’s tons of jobs open, it’s just that nobody wants to work anymore. All these youngsters are laid up on the couch at home binge watching TV, they’re living off of a $1,200 STEMI that they got two years ago, the average person that’s just consuming that content, or just seeing these little headline byline snippets all the time, they are going to feel like they got slapped across the face. When when the truth comes out, when they find out who some of these numbers may have kind of sort of been concocted, some of them may have kind of sort of been played with and manipulated by the time that everything comes out in the wash. And it’s super clear that unemployment is higher than what we’ve been told, I believe, there will be some panic, I believe that people will be worried and I believe that people will be mad. This is just my opinion. And I could be wrong. But I’ve seen the way that people behave when they’re acting like Lord of the Flies in the supermarket, I myself would not want to be in the middle of job market turmoil like that, if I could possibly avoid it. As GI Joe always said, knowing is half the battle. So I think you’re already a cut above a random person out on the street. That’s like labor shortage, labor shortage. If you’re here, and you’re listening to this, if someone cared enough about you to share those Saturday broadcasts with you and say, Hey, you might want to take a listen to this. I feel like you’re already in better shape than somebody that just reads a headline snippet and goes on with their day. Now to the second part about how would I handle the job search and interviewing, I know that I’m rusty on all of that, again, I would say knowing is half the battle, at least you are aware, at least you have a sense of okay, I’ve been kind of cloistered away in this company, it’s been a while since I’ve had the interview, I’m not even really sure how I would tackle it. Again, I cannot give you or anybody else. Any kind of official advice, all I can do is offer my opinion for your entertainment only. So one possibility, you know, if it were me, if I were sitting here staring at the wall talking to myself devising a game plan for myself only, I think that I would say you know what self, it would probably be a good idea to get a game plan together to think about my network, who would be my first phone call? Who would be the first individual that I would reach out to if I got laid off? Or if I lost your job? Are there any companies that would be at the top of my list that I would want to contact? Do I have a good friend or a family member that could potentially hook me up with a job? What are my side hustle options? Is it possible that I could freelance even if I don’t want to become a professional freelancer and have to work 1099 and cover my own benefits and all of that? Could I freelance? Could I do some kind of 1099 independent contractor gig until could I do something of that flavor to help bridge the gap from one full time w two employment opportunity to another? And if so, what are some possibilities there? What might that look like? Do I have any skills that I haven’t developed? But I know that I could? Is there a product or a service that I could bring to market maybe I’ve kind of sat back on it? I haven’t pursued it very seriously. But I could potentially develop it into a side hustle. I would if it were me be saying self. I think it’s probably a good idea for you to get a handle on some potential side hustle or freelancing gigs. Maybe for different people that could be driving for a rideshare service, doing grocery delivery, doing pizza delivery, doing personal shopping, maybe it could be setting a shingle out on a freelancing website to do it work or creative work. Again, I don’t know everybody’s situation listening to this podcast episode today. But I don’t think it would hurt anybody to sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and just start free association writing. What are some skills that you have What are some talents that you have? What are some potential freelancing ideas, and it’s good in my opinion. And also based on my experience as a business owner, to have the time, and the flexibility to test and beta test everything, you may have a red hot idea, and you may take it to market and discover that nobody else on the planet thinks it’s a red hot idea. Or exactly the opposite. You may have something that you feel kind of lukewarm about, and you’re like, maybe I don’t know. And then the market just takes off like crazy for it. People can be unpredictable at times. But it’s better to have that knowledge in your arsenal when you don’t need it. In other words, do you want to wait until you’ve been laid off and you have $50 left to your name before you figure out that your red hot freelancing idea is not going to carry any water at all. If it were me, I would not want to wait until the last minute and then find out or figure out that holy poop. I’m up the creek without a paddle and this isn’t going to work for me the way that I thought it would. So again, that’s about all that I can say. Danny, thank you so much for writing in. I appreciate your friend who shared my podcast with you. I appreciate you sharing it with your wife and so on. Thank you again for writing in. I hope that you as well as everyone else listening out there. Stay safe. Stay well, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye for now.