Only 44% of American adults have a good job

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Our government say the unemployment rate is only 5.6%, but it’s a “big lie” according to Joe Clifton, CEO of Gallup.
Gallup is a measurement and polling company, so if anyone knows how to manipulate numbers, they would.

We’ve talked about the slave economy, where people have micro-jobs, but are still indentured servants.
Is this the world of tubes in the back of your neck, while we sleep in pink slime pods?

No, it’s just one where the idea of a “job” has shifted from being loyal to one company for 20+ years to doing small tasks in a crowd-sourced environment.
It means that your reputation based on task completion is more important than what a piece of paper says.

Your rating on eBay, Uber, LinkedIn, or whatever is far more compelling than what you say about yourself.
Your business’ rating on Yelp, Glassdoor, and Facebook is far more believable than your own review of your services or products.

Corporate brochures give way to personal branding, where your personal reputation bubbles up to your company’s brand value.

So in most cases, the idea of having a job is now synonymous with who you are and what you stand for.
At least if you have a job that you like.

Back to the 44% figure in our title and the 5.6% unemployment figure.
The 44% is for people who are consistently working 30 hours a week.
Several problems with that:

They could be making minimum wage– so while technically employed, it might not be a “good job”.

1) Some people aren’t hourly. For example, I’m not. Sometimes I work a few hours in a week and sometimes 100 hours. I definitely don’t have a steady job, nor is my value determined by how many hours I put into my work.  If you’re in a factory or place where you wear a name tag, sure. But if you’re an entrepreneur and builder of things, you’re not being paid by the hour. It’s results, baby!

2) If you’re doing something that involves expertise, then you should be spending at least 20% of your time learning, if not more. Should these count as hours? Hard to say, but I spend a few hours a day reading and improving my skills– not just to forestall obsolescence, but because I love what I’m doing.

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3) This is assuming someone else is employing you as a cog in their machine. It not only doesn’t include entrepreneurship, but discourages it.

The United States should redefine employment as people making an earnest living doing what they love while covering their basic financial needs.
Hard to measure, but certainly more accurate than being able to count as employed a person who “worked” one hour last week.

Instead of polling people on how many hours they got paid for by someone else, why not ask them if they’re doing what they love, with people they love, and making ends meet?

I believe these are the 3 criteria of job alignment, but most people get only one of them.
Maybe a job that pays well, but you hate what you’re doing and have jerk co-workers and bosses.
Or you love the job, but it doesn’t pay.
Or you’re working with friends, but suffering in some awful place.

Personal branding, which is what we are helping students do, is the intersection of these three.

If you connect someone’s passion with a commercial interest (a client who will pay), you’ve got the love and financial part.
If you have a program that brings people together into teams, then they can work with like-minded people.

LinkedIn meets a dating site or Uber for marketing, we like to say.

What do you think?

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One thought on “Only 44% of American adults have a good job

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