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$1 Trillion

One Trillion Dollars, that’s a Billion-Billion Dollars in student loan debt…more than all credit card debt combined. That’s what’s owed by millennial-aged students and former students (1).

Millennial’s student debt owed averages $27,000 with many owing over a hundred grand. And while we’re at it, let’s let congress royally screw you by charging interest two to three times greater than it costs the government itself to borrow…They wouldn’t want to give you a break…unless it’s to break it off in you as well (2).

Student loan rates weren’t always this high, were they?

No.

In 2002, President Bush signed legislation that changed student loan rates from variable to a fixed rate as of July 1, 2006. Before the change, student loan rates changed on July 1 every year and were based on auction rates of Treasury Bills ending in May. Then they would add 0.25% to that rate. During the recession, T-Bill rates were as low as zero. So, under the old formula students could be paying a rate on their student loans of a whopping 0.25%(2). What are your student loan rates?

The progressive One Wisconsin Institute reported that graduates from 2011, have a student debt rate some 60% of their annual salary. They estimated that it will take some twenty-one years to pay off their average student loans (3).

So, a twenty-five-year-old graduate won’t get out from under his/her student debt burden until about age 45. And if you can’t find a job, the loans go into deferment which will do such a number on your credit rating that every other decision you might consider borrowing money for (like cars, a house, appliances, furniture…you know, the drivers of capitalist, consumption-based economy) will either be postponed or you will borrow at a much higher rate.

Welcome to middle age! By the way, now that you have finally paid off your student debt, why not take out some new loans to educate your own kids?

Holy Schmoley!

According to Adam Goldfein, the Millennial Generation is in for a rough road. He claims that the combination of high debt and low employment will have a long-lasting negative effect, and some may never recover from early job troubles. Goldfein quotes a study of young Danish workers who had been jobless for ten months. They were twice as likely to be unemployed fifteen years later and 14% earn less than their counterparts who were employed at the same time (4).

What with Baby Boomers needing to work longer and often having to accept offers at a rate sometimes 25% less than they made previously, increased downward pressure mounts for Millennials from every angle. If they get an offer over a more experienced Boomer or Gen-Xer, it is for a considerably less than earlier. Millennials could very well become America’s first generation that earned less than the previous one.

But Wait! There are positives in what has so far been a presentation of Pooh-pooh on a plate.

Although many Millennials have chosen soft areas of study that have led to no vacancy signs on the door, many of this generation are willing to return to school (I know, more debt) to focus on more technical areas where jobs are fairly plentiful. Millennials still have the time to make the career adjustments that Boomers and Gen-Xers cannot. You have few qualms about staying with your parents while pursuing these goals and you have (and seek) the flexibility that neither of the other groups has. In short, many of you can have a do-over. Wipe the slate clean, if necessary, to do what you want in life!

Here are some suggestions:

· Take an assessment to determine what your desires and aptitudes are

· Decide if you can make a living at it (Including starting your own business)

· Return to school is possible (and if necessary)

· Consider moving back home if necessary (and practical)

References:

(1) Time, May 14, 2009, Anne Fisher, When Gen-X Runs the Show

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898024_1898023_1898086,00.html

(2) Policy Mic, May 26, 1013, Hanna Johnson, Millennial Unemployment: 3 Ways Government is Screwing Young People Out of Jobs http://www.policymic.com/articles/44629/millennial-unemployment-3-ways-government-is-screwing-young-people-out-of-jobs

(3)The Huffington Post, April 21, 2013, Terry Savage, The Shame of Student Loans http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terry-savage/the-shame-of-student-loan_b_3127099.html

(4)Adam Goldfein, Millennial Generation is in for a Rough Roadhttp://adamgoldfein.com/millennial-generation-is-in-for-a-rough-road/

Story Time

Story Time

In almost all cases, answering questions in the form of stories (real-life examples) is superior to merely answering questions with short phrases. There’s a balancing act though, because most of us are poor storytellers.  It’s either Dragnet’s Sgt. Joe Friday, “Just the facts, ma’am,” or “First I slithered from the primordial ooze, grew legs and lungs then walked fully erect.” Yawn!

 

Don’t you love the snappy, one-line comebacks in comedies? Much time is spent in their creation, presentation and timing. Putting together good stories is an art that needs to be learned and then practiced towards perfection.

 

Fortunately, there are many typical (dumb) interview questions you can anticipate and prepare stories for well in advance. Some include:Read More

Video = Differentiation

If you’re comfortable in front of a camera (and can read a script) you might want to add a video of some sort to your Marketing Campaign in addition to a paper resume. If done right, you can present yourself to your audience for it to “see you” as more than just another piece of paper in the queue. You become human.

How do I make a video of myself?Read More

Job Search Bias: Baby Boomers & Older Gen-X

The previous decade has taken its toll on all of us, but maybe on no group more than Baby Boomers and upper half of the Gen-X generation. Although workers in their forties through their sixties tend to be the last to lose their jobs, they’re also the last to be rehired. When they are, they can expect to be paid considerably less than what they had been making previously (upwards of 23% less).

 

In her The Guardian article, Katie Allen wrote, ”Older workers are worst hit when it comes to long-term unemployment, and experts warn it is a trend that will cost the economy.”[1] In addition, ageism against older workers is not only rampant, it’s blatant. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael E. Kanell quoted the Vice President for an Atlanta area technology consulting company as saying, “We’re hiring lots of young, vibrant, hungry, capable analysts.”[2]

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Is an Email Signature Important?

Email Signature

What’s at the bottom of emails you send? Nothing, right?

 

What do you think will happen if you send me an email asking for an introduction to someone, but that target person can’t easily respond to you?

 

Nothin!

 

Right.  (Please click on the picture above to read the entire article)Read More

Are “the Trades” a better option for you or your children?

Trade Ya!

My father, God rest his soul, had two PhDs, but didn’t know the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer. Most of us are not do-it-your-selfers!

 

It’s been drilled into our heads for decades that the only way to get ahead is to get a bachelor’s degree; then it was, you gotta have a Master’s if you want to separate yourself from the crowd. What with the skyrocketing cost of college, these long-held truths are finally being questioned.

 

According to CollegeData, the 2016-2017 average cost of an in-state college education is about $25,000 per year and the annual outlay for a moderately priced private institution is a cool fifty grand.[1] Oops, we forgot a few minor expenses like room and board, fees and services, transportation, books, and supplies (not to mention beer and pizza). Talk about sticker shock! (Click on picture above to read entire article)Read More

Why am I not getting found?

You’re perfect for the job. Hell, the job description might as well have your name on it! But you don’t even get a call. Why?

Algebra

Do you recall as a high school freshman math student saying, “I’ll never use this stuff ever again in my entire life.”? Yeah, me too. Boy, were we ever wrong! Mathematics is being used behind the scenes to find you as a candidate. More likely, it’s keeping you from getting found. Let me explain.

Remember algebra’s order of operations (that braces, brackets, and parenthesis thing)? It was invented by an English mathematician named George Boole. He lived only into his 49th year, and I bet his students hated him as much as we did. I can’t confirm it, but it’s my belief that he died at such a young age because he also accidently invented “texting” because his students took their math textbooks and texted him … to death. (Don’t worry, I get groans every time I tell that story.) Click on the picture above to read the entire articleRead More

Job Hopping: Positive or Negative?

There’s an image that has come to be associated with millennials – that they are changing jobs every couple of years. This is said to look bad on a resume. It portrays a prospective employee as someone who can’t hold down a job or is unable to get along with colleagues; worst still, lacks loyalty and commitment.

However, that stigma is changing, especially as millennials constantly rise in their workplaces and, in the process, learn and advance their careers. In fact, it has been seen that those who stay with the same company for several years tend to see lower pay growth than others who don’t. If we are to go by a Forbes report, staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more – an estimate that they claim is conservative. (Click on picture above to read the rest of the article)Read More

Get HIRED!

There are many “Paths to Employment.” How many of these tools are you taking advantage of and which are you not using?

Thinking about shutting down your search for the holidays?

 Is Job Hunting During the Holidays a Waste of Time?
In a word, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Many, if not most, job seekers take the end of the year “off” from their job hunting. There are a lot more fun things to do than job hunt, and it just “feels like” no one is hiring over the holidays. So, why not relax, and then hit the ground running on January 1 or 2 or whenever the bowl games are over?
Two Excellent Reasons NOT to Stop Job Hunting at Year End! There are many reasons not to stop your job hunt during the last months and weeks of the year! But these two definitely stand out:   (Click on picture above to read the rest of the article)
1. Employers ARE hiring at year’s end. And, not just for “holiday jobs.” Usually, more people are hired in November and December than are hired in January. Here’s the most recent data for the USA from the U.S. Department of Labor’s JOLTS reports:
4,529,000 hires – November, 2013
4,578,000 hires – December, 2013
4,535,000 hires – January, 2014
Notice that January hires were only 6,000 greater than November hires, and more than 40,000 less than December hires! Isn’t that interesting! Regardless of the time of the year, employers have work that needs to be done. Certainly, in the USA, many employers, particularly in retail, need more people during the holidays, but that spike is usually covered by hiring in September and October.
In addition:
Many employers want to be “ramped up” for the new year, with the staffing levels at 100%. In many organizations, budget dollars that aren’t used before the end of the fiscal year (often December 31) are not available for the new fiscal year. So, they want to fill those jobs before the budgets evaporate. The year-end holiday period is the calm before the storm that is the January job market.
2. You have LESS competition at year’s end! Because so many job seekers slack off during the end of the year, for the holidays or just because they have more to do in their personal lives, fewer job seekers go after every job. Which means less competition for most jobs. And that should translate into less competition for you and the jobs you want, even in normally highly competitive fields. So, don’t wait for the January tsunami of job seekers to hit the job market. Continue your job search now!
By Susan P. Joyce Jan 06, 2015

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