By the time you write an email like the one that recently appeared on Slate.com, it's too late.
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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey.
Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode sadly, unfortunately, though, not surprisingly, I have to talk about another cautionary tale. Back on May 24th of this year, I published a blog post titled a cautionary tale because I read an article in Business Insider. That was depressing, but not at all surprising to me. And it told the story of a worker who was laid off back in January, after working in a company for five years, this person had been through layoffs before had found work again quickly and thought that it wouldn't be so bad this time around, he would be able to find something else and he'd be considered a standout candidate. And then kaboom, surprise, here's a reality sandwich for you. That didn't happen. It's not a wonder, because we're still getting hot air hopium and Bs statistics 3.7% unemployment rate, all of these supposedly open legit jobs for every one unemployed person. People are doing great. The job market is still strong, the economy is still resilient, the Fed still has work to do. If you get laid off, if a company closes down, well, don't worry about it too much because robust job market. And then someone like me, who's been involved in the job market every day for well over a decade at this point, knows better. No, we don't have a robust job market. And unfortunately, as I warned you before, I was on the leading edge by the way of warning you about bogus jobs posted for optics only. I scooped that story a long time before anybody in the MSM was talking about it. People by the time that you're officially told, by the time that some politician idiot trots out and says, Okay, we're officially in trouble now. It's too late. It's too late by that point, ipso facto, if your goal is to prepare, so that you're ready ahead of a crisis. By the time somebody comes out with their trumpet or Burb, okay, we're in a crisis now, you're allowed to panic. By the time that happens, it's too late. By the very nature of the conundrum, it's too late to prepare ahead of time, when you're no longer ahead of time. And in that same vein, I saw a story on slate.com. And I thought, here we go, again, the things that are talked about in this article are all things that I have warned you about. I have been on the air, I have been on my blogs, and I have mourned the hell out of anybody that would listen. Any media outlet that was willing to stick a microphone under my snooker and let me talk I did. And I still do that. Anybody that's willing to listen to me out here in the wilderness saying hello, hello, hello. Hello, Joe, job market statistics are bullshit, bullshit bullshit. Anybody that's willing to do that? I'll talk about it. I have warned you and warned you. And now here we are. See, as I've said, I think we're in Act One of this horrible play. We're not even in act two or act three yet I don't think part of Act One sadly, unfortunately, is the beginning of the quote little people, those of us and the unwashed masses john and jane Q Public people in the working class and the working poor getting steamrolled and getting absolutely smacked upside the head with a wily coyote anvil, like from the cartoons that Oh, holy shit. In actuality, no, the economy is not resilient right now and know the job market is not blazing hot. Oh, and also know, the great resignation for white collar work is not happening anymore. If you think that you're going to hippity hop across the job market forever, and get more and more money each time. Guess what, you're wrong. People are suffering. And it drives me crazy because I'm like, I wish that I had been able to reach them. I wish that my broadcast had reached them. I wish that my blog posts had reached them and then sometimes I remember like, Wait a minute. There are people that will not listen. They will not prep, they will not think ahead. They will not wargame those strategies out worst case scenario, what do we do? They just won't do it. You know, this is not unlike people who think that if you believe in something called a conspiracy theory, then you also think the moon is made out of cheese or some other idiotic proposition that doesn't even make sense. I'm like, Oh, right. Okay. Sure. Sure. So just because in my mind, it seems pretty ludicrous to buy Arlen Specter's magic bullet theory. I'm so dumb. I think the moon is made of cheese. Okay, right. Well, who's zoom and who? Let's just leave it there. I could get off on that topic and go all day. It's like, Can you can you not pull your head out and girl, but do you have to be that high on either neocon or Neo lib hopium that you can't get past that. People out there high on something I'm telling you. Because there there are those individuals that you could warn them and warn them and warn them and they would not listen. And then when they do get smacked upside the head by that wily coyote anvil. They're like, Oh, damn, I didn't know this was going to happen. Really, what they're saying is, I didn't think this was going to happen to me. I thought it might happen to somebody else. But I had no idea it would happen to me. Y'all gotta get out of that mindset. So the article on slate.com We changed our lives because of remote jobs. Now it's all crumbling. The byline reads, I'm not trying to answer emails from a beach in Fiji. This was published on June 16, at 4:14pm. I feel like that's relevant. Because as I said before, I have warned you for quite some time. So here's the letter to this editor, commentator, advice giver person. And it reads. Last year, when my entire industry was waxing poetic about the benefits of remote work, my husband and I moved out of our major metropolitan area to be closer to his parents in a rural area of another state. I'm going to stop right there. So last year, when this person's I don't think they ever make it clear what industry they're in. But last year, when the entire industry that this person is in, was hopped up on the benefits of remote work, the husband and the person moved out of a major metropolitan area to be closer to family in a rural area of another state. That exact scenario, something that I've warned you about, what if you move away from the nearest branch or away from the one office and they say, come on back, or it's your job, your F, you're going to have to find something else. Bottom line. Home prices in our city had risen so we could make considerable profit off our starter house, but could no longer afford the next step family home in the area. A lot of people have fallen into that bucket. That's one of the reasons why we didn't sell during the FOMO in the yellow of 2021. I wanted to believe me, I wanted to put a stiff price on my home and move up, be able to expand be able to rescue and rehabilitate more animals. But I couldn't afford what was out there. There was nothing that I really felt good about, that I felt excited about. It was like, how many poopy places are we going to look at before we realize this is a waste of time. So I get it, I get the position that this person is talking about. We were undergoing IVF. And we wanted to be closer to grandparents and be able to afford a bigger house for the children. We put most of our profit from the sale of our last house into the downpayment of the new one. But with our jobs at the time, we were still able to budget out a plan to have all our credit card debt paid off, another round of IVF scheduled the first one failed and still have funds to pay for certification coursework that would help me advance my career and obtained a new job by the end of 2022. I'm gonna button again and say the end of 2022. Before that, I had already seen signs of the job market being in bad shape. I O head had already warned you that the great resignation for white collar work was done so. So one of the things that I want to say is if somebody was still laboring under the impression that the job market was in a good space at the end of 2022. That's just not true. I'm not saying that it's their fault. To be clear, they were probably reading mainstream media headlines and believing the shit about cut how low did it get 3.2 or 3.4% supposedly unemployment rate to open jobs for every one unemployed person. If someone's unemployed right now it's because they're lazy and they don't want to work. Memoral Mitch McConnell, the turtle, people are still living off of 2020 stimulus checks and grandma's basement and I'm like, well, then they have a real talent.
They're able to turn water into wine and multiply the loaves and fishes like Jesus, because I don't know how on earth. In the face of all this inflation, someone could take a stimulus check from 2020 and still be living on and all this time later. So unfortunately, no, at the end of 2022, it was too late to be thinking about the job market still being in good shape, and the great resignation is still going on. I'm sorry, I'm just telling you the truth as I see it. A month after we set that budget, my spouse was laid off, everything went on hold until he obtained a new job, which is on site in our new area, and does not pay as well as his last one did. Another point to ponder if you moved away to an area with a lower cost of living, those areas will also pay less than the jobs that are in higher cost of living areas. So if you were getting of let's say a big city salary working remotely, and you moved out to the boondocks thinking we're going to have it made in the shade. How's that looking? How's that shaping up? If you don't hold it, you don't own it. If you're not the CEO, the owner of that company, you don't you don't own it. If you are a worker bee and not the owner, you don't own it, and you don't get to make the decision about who gets laid off and who doesn't. Who remote who is working remotely and who is coming on back to the office, you simply do not make that decision. Once he was employed again, we tried to revisit the budget to see what could be salvaged. But shortly after that, I was informed that my contract would not be renewed due to a workload reduction. Yep. So now I'm job hunting in 2023. And my industry is singing a different tune about remote work. Hmm. Warren Jett. Just because the company told you you would be remote forever, or we love remote work, we're remote friendly, we have a flexible schedule. We value the fact that employees have a personal life and we want you to have that personal life doesn't make it true. You see, they can give you whatever hot air and propaganda they want to get you in the door. And they don't have to abide by that. And if you've signed some kind of contract saying, This is my remote work position, they can just eliminate you or make the environment so inhospitable. You quit on your own. There are all kinds of loopholes. I'm not telling you it's right or that I agree with it. One of the reasons why I'm on the air trying to expose all this is because I don't agree with it. I don't even know how many times now I've warned you we live in crony capitalism. Corporate America doesn't surprise the state. The state doesn't surprise corporate America. They collude together, they work together. There are all kinds of little demonic loopholes that they can use. If they want you gone, they will figure out a way to do it. Bottom line so now I'm job hunting and 2023 in my industry is singing a different tune about remote work at worst companies are asking for on site employment for work that I know from experience absolutely does not need to be done on site, highway don't care. On average, they are now talking about hybrid work as the best of both worlds, which is fine, except that I now live three hours from any of the offices, they want me to attend three days a week, highway don't care. They don't care if you moved away. They don't care if you wanted to be closer to family, they don't care if you wanted to try to cut your living expenses down by going off to the boonies. They don't care, you know what the CEO of that company is going to look at at her situation or his situation and say, that's your problem, pal. I didn't tell you to move. I didn't encourage you to do that. This is called a your problem. That's how they think this this again, goes back to the the Milton Friedman type of ethic that corporations do not have any kind of responsibility to society or to their workers. They answer to the shareholders, the investors and that's it. Their responsibility is to turn a profit for those investors and shareholders period. That's it. That's the only risk, quote responsibility that they have. So the CEO of this company is not going to go oh, well, that's really tough. I'm sorry to hear that. I guess I'll roll back the entire RTO initiative. Not gonna happen. I am applying to the jobs that still offer remote but so is everyone else on the job market, it seems. And my lack of those certifications is I think contributing to the fact that I'm not getting much response on my applications. I will but in okay as someone who's a staffing and recruiting subject matter expert, sometimes I think in our own mind, we can overvalue credentials, we can overvalue certifications, I really think not knowing the entire situation, in fairness to the argument, I'm just sitting here opining for your entertainment only. i If I were a betting woman, I would be willing to bet this is less about certifications and more about location. It's more about control obedience and compliance. Because this person is admitting I am applying to remote jobs. But so is everyone else. Yes. You better know that I'm gonna do about that to the jobs that are out there that will continue to be remote only the competition for those jobs will be fierce. They are going to have picking choice of who they want to hire. I've had to recruit for roles that are in person. And I've had to recruit for roles that are 100% remote. And there's a vast difference in the applicants that you get, you can post a remote only job and be hammered with applicants. And I'm talking about within a 10 minute time span. From the time that it goes live on indeed or LinkedIn, you will be peppered with applicants. And they're not wackadoodle way off base. They're good applicants that make sense for the job. There's so much competition out there for what's left in the way of remote work. So I'm I'm skeptical that it's only a certification issue. I think this is more about this person would increase their odds of being able to get hired if they would look at in person roles. In terms of competing for the remote only roles. Perhaps those certifications would help not knowing what industry this person is in not knowing what certs there's talking about specifically, it's hard for me to say. But when we boil it all down, I think a lot of it is about the location, wanting remote only, and having to swim with the sharks in order to get it. And I hate to sound so dour and bleak. But more than likely this person is going to wind up having to go back to an in person job, whatever they can find in their area. Because some money is better than no money. A stack of ones is better than a stack of nuns, to sad. But hey, I want you I have told you and told you and told you that this was going to happen. I am able to travel monthly but that doesn't seem to move the needle. They don't care that the job's not posted travel once a month the job is posted, be here three or four days out of the week and then get your one or two days as puppy treat to work at home periodically to if you can't do that don't apply. There are companies talking about doing the four day work week. And then all four of those days being in person no more remote, no more hybrid. It's, here's your puppy tree. We're going to work Monday through Thursday, and you're gonna get a three day weekend every single weekend. And the price you pay for that is your ass is in the cube far, Monday through Thursday period. So that's another possibility here. I have warned you a multitude of times and in my opinion hybrid is but a stepping stone to full RTO and would be easy to do that with a four day workweek because it would appear to be a concession. It would appear to be a conciliatory gesture from corporate America down to the peons. Don't believe me just watch. Even if we wanted to move which we don't, we couldn't unless my spouse obtains a different job. I am seriously debating trying long distance with my spouse while I work elsewhere for a year. But the fact that I'm having to even consider that just makes me exhausted and angry. I'm not trying to answer emails from a beach in Fiji or work two full time jobs at once or whatever horror story these companies seem to have bought into. I'm just trying to have a decent career and a family and it seems like now I'm monumentally screwed on both fronts. Do you have any suggestions for me? Sign stuck in the sticks. Well, I mean, unfortunately, I'm gonna read the advice column this advice. But yeah, this person is monumentally screwed. They are. They are. And I know that sounds dour. I know that as podcasters we're supposed to get on the air and do the toxic optimism toxic positivity, toxic gratitude, but I am not going to pee in your Cheerios. I'm not going to do that I'm not going to pee pee on your leg and tell you it's raining. Or pee pee in your Cheerios. I'm telling you, it's farm fresh milk. I'm not going to do that.
Yeah, this, in my opinion, yes, this person is monumentally screwed. By the time you write a letter like this, to an advice columnist, in the mainstream media, it's too damn late. It's too late. The dye has been cast, the Rubicon has been crossed, what is this person going to really do, they're either going to have to go back and do in person work or try to hold out as long as possible for something remote. And they may have to do something long distance in order for this person to work a job. That pays enough money for them to get by. At some point, they may move out of whatever rural area that they moved into, just in order to have a better shot at more money. And they will probably have to get into an apartment or a rental house in order to do that, because the housing market has not yet I hate to say crashed because that's really gonna sound sour. But the prices have not gone down enough. In enough locations, there's room left for things to fall. As I've also pointed out before, foreclosures don't happen overnight. It's not like your first missed payment or your first late payment, the bank files for foreclosure on you. It takes some time. And it sounds like these people don't have a lot of time to make this decision. So they can't wait a year or two for somebody to fall into debt and get foreclosed upon so they can scoop up the house. They're going to wind up probably in an apartment or a rental house, they may wind up having to do a long distance relationship. The man who just found a job in person working may have to try to find another job. I mean, that this this to me sounds like a giant hot mess. And I am sorry for the people I am. I imagined that they listen to a bunch of hot air hopium and bullshit and now they're paying the price for that. It may be too late for people in that situation. But I hope and pray if you're listening today. It's not too late for you. I hope you have been with me from early on. I hope you've been with me at least since the first Saturday broadcast. And you're aware that the economy is not in great shape. The job market is not in great shape. And it's better to be safe than sorry. I hope so. By the time that you become this sort of cautionary tale, it's too late. So here is the advice columnists advice to the person. Deer stuck in the sticks. Unfortunately, things haven't been working out the way you hoped. Well, there's a mouthful. Unemployment rates are rising. It's an awful situation to find yourself in. I don't wish it upon anyone. You're competing with people who have lost their jobs during recent layoffs. 1000s of tech jobs have been cut this year alone, and those who want to find their own remote gig as well. Right. So on the one hand, you're still being told that we have this elusive 3.7% unemployment rate. The job market is still resilient. It's still robust in spite of these layoffs. But then here we have an advice column is saying you're competing with people who have lost their jobs and 1000s of tech jobs have been cut this year alone. Plus you're competing with people that want to remote gig. I hate to say it again, but I feel like I've got to I feel like I have got to continue driving this straight pin with a sledge hammer. By the time you are officially told your ft. Your ft. I am going I am going to because I care about you. I want you to do well in life. I am going to Gordon Gekko in the second Wall Street your ass right here. And now. You're effed. You don't know it but you are bottom line. Bottom line, if you keep listening to that crap, in my opinion, you are screwed. For now I would hold off on considering a long distance job for a year, it doesn't make sense to add another set of living expenses to an already strained budget, only to be able to skim 1000 Here and there. If you're considering taking on another set of costs, consider taking a pay cut if you have to. While continuing your job search it might level out to the same amount of money and you can have dinner in person and not over FaceTime. If you think not having a specific certification is part of what's keeping you from securing a job. Look to see if you can find an online program. And if money is the issue, remember that there are plenty of certifications you can now earn for free. Not only can you find find free certifications through platforms like Google and LinkedIn, although as a recruiter, I'm not really sure how much a LinkedIn certification would be worth. I suspect not even the paper it's printed on the hey, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong but you can also find free courses from universities like Harvard or Stanford. If you can't find one that works. See if there is a way you can put a few $100 toward the certificate you need. Meanwhile, it's like, aren't they saying they're pinched for money? Where's the few $100 going to come from? I just, you gotta love the advice that you get from the mainstream. Next, find someone who can provide constructive feedback on your resume. Sometimes we need a fresh set of eyes that can point things out we missed like additional experiences you may have forgotten to add. Other people can also point out if your resume is disorganized and suggest ways to fix it. While LinkedIn is a great way to find job openings. What is this is a sponsored by LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is a great way to find job openings, be sure to have remote job boards on your radar to remote dot code. We work remotely flex jobs, and working nomads are all job boards that focus on remote jobs. Yeah, and I bet they are not even half as busy as they used to be. I bet they don't have anywhere near the job postings that they had in 2020 or 2021. Overall, set a deadline for reassessing your situation, then in the meantime, give yourself grace and patience. It's hard out there for a lot of people in the current job market. Hopefully, you'll have some luck. So okay. So that's what you get. I don't know if you remember Chris Farley as Matt Foley, but that no nickel will get you a hot cup of jack squat. Again, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. I'm just sitting here giving you my opinion, not fact. And in my opinion, that's not going to really get somebody very far in a job loss crisis situation. Ultimately, I think one of the best tools that you can have in your arsenal is to have your plan in place before. Don't try to open the parachute after you've already fallen off the cliff. For God's sakes, one of the top suggestions that I offer is, do you know the first five phone calls that you would make after a job loss. Or if it's a situation where you've been told, come on back, or it's your job, and you're going to lose your job by default, not by your choice, but by the fact that you don't even live anywhere near a corporate office anymore? Who are the first five people that you would call in that scenario, I'm not talking about your spouse, or your best friend I'm talking about after you have called those people to vent and to tell them the bad news, who are five people that are likely to help you plan something new. Because if your game plan is just all post and pray, I'll post my resume on indeed and hope it works out, I'll apply for everything just like everybody else does. Or I'll call up some recruiter at a staffing agency that I treated like dogshit, back during the Great resignation, and hope they'll find me something. In my opinion, that's a lousy plan. Lousy, you need those people in your network, they know you, they trust you. You can trust them to speak highly of you and your work ethic. Do not wait until you've been laid off to call them and say hey, oh, buddy, old pal, we helped me find something, you need to have that relationship established. And you need to be a good steward. Quid pro quo, Clarice. In the same way that you expect them to help you, you need to be willing to help them if they call you and say alright, I'm going to be the one that needs help this time. Are you willing to help them? You need to have that community of people ready to go. And you need to already have them told in the event that I call you and say the shits hit the fan, I need to find another job quickly. That's what it is. I hope I never have to make that call to you. But if I do, it's urgent. And likewise, if you need to make that call to me one day, I will treat it with the same sense of urgency. I will help you. I will do my utmost. If you don't at least have that in place. If you don't have your RTO survival plan in place if you have moved way off or you're believing somebody in the company. Oh, well, Bob and accounting said we're going to be remote only forever. So don't worry about it and then you don't worry about it. That's on you. That's on you. I have said on the Saturday broadcasts. This is the year of raw authenticity. This is the year of brutal honesty. The time for willful ignorance is over. It is over if you are continuing to bury your head in the sand if you are continuing to listen to mainstream media nonsense. Shame on you. Point blank. I'm going there. I am taking it there. Shame on you. Shame on you for listening to that. If you're listening to the hot air and hope you Jim crowd and these so called remote work experts that are telling you whatever it is they think you want to hear sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. And I want to get likes, comments and shares and be self aggrandizing shame on you.
It is way the hell past the point where you need it to be strategic about who you're listening to. and for what reason, if you are still tuning into that crap for any reason other than to laugh at it, you got problems. I'm gonna say it again. By the time that you are writing an email like that to an advice columnist, we moved off, we're in dire straits. What can I do by the time that happens? You've waited too late. You're going to have to make some very brutal and unlikable choices to get through that crisis. I wish that I could I don’t know, pump you up. Make you happy. Leave you on a high note. I'm not going to do that. I'm not I'm not going to do that. Do you have your RTO Survival Plan roughed out? We there's already been articles talking about how many employers are calling people back with a deadline of September. Don't forget Oh, Jamie Dimon. Mr. Wall Street big shot was talking about in the fall of last year. He wanted fall of 2022 to look like fall of 2019. He wanted butts back in seats and corporate real estate homing like it was pre pandemic. I think he's probably going to get his wish. It's just going to be the fall of this year and not the fall of last year. If you're still in law land, you're still in denial. You don't think that Wall Street and Capitol Hill and corporate America collude together? You don't think that on mass corporate America could tell people come back or it's your job. I don't know what to tell you anymore. If you are prepared, if you're listening to this broadcast, because you feel like this represents truth to you. I would suggest figuring out how you're going to handle the people in your life who didn't prepare. If Uncle Billy and Aunt Sally show up on the doorstep, and they're like, Well, we're unemployed, we've got no place to go and no food. We didn't prepare. We ignored everything that you said to us. And now we want to hand out how are you planning to handle that? Because when times get tough, and you are also squeezed, you may not have anything to offer those people. This is going to be a sad economic downturn, and it is going to steamroll some people. It's not right, it's not good. But man, this is what the hyperlinks do, and they do it and they do it and they do it and then they expect all of us to be surprised by that. Stay safe, stay sane. Get your mind right, do what you can. And I will see you in the next episode.
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