40 years of faulty wiring

Ridiculous Retirement Advice

Although I’ve pretty much been doom and gloom about Canada’s ongoing recession, job losses, and the European euro crash, I found some interesting (and hilarious) non-investment retirement advice in MoneySense Guide to Retiring Wealthy that has lifted my spirits. I always wondered what happened to people who either couldn’t or wouldn’t invest a cent for their retirement.  I know people in the latter situation, if you can believe it. One family blows their money at the racetrack every week (how they can afford that while living on a government-funded seniors’ pension, God only knows).  The other is a young man who is more than capable of holding down a job, yet he works the welfare system and collects every month because he doesn’t like work.  No, seriously. There just seem to be people like that in the city, don’t there?  They learn barely legal loopholes and they live on us while we live on … us.  But I digress….

I am reading the updated 2012 edition of MoneySense and found, on p. 58, the most hilarious retirement advice ever.  Now the book states it can help you to retire wealthy, however it seems to have thrown in a codicil here for people who just want to retire, wealthy or not. It presents the no-frills retirement option:

  • rental property with utilities
  • no car – public transport only
  • no cable, internet, etc
  • 3 meals a day
  • no extras – even a bottle of booze every week
  • it didn’t mention food and clothing banks or soup
    kitchens…consider those your luxuries
  • it didn’t mention begging or busking …
    consider those your optional additional income

If you can live happily under these rigid conditions (and some people can) the total amount required to save for your retirement is:  zero.  Seriously.  Where does the money come from to finance the aforemementioned, you say? 3 very solid government systems:  OAS (Old Age Security), GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) and CPP (Canada Pension Plan).  It is not true that CPP and OAS are in danger of vanishing.  Poppycock.  Those rumours have been swirling around since the 1970s but the two systems are still paying out annually to ever senior in Canada.  watch the canada pension plan with malcolm hamilton

This provides a couple with a combined income of approximately $24,000.00 annually, every year.  I do not know what a single retiree is given but I do know  (and I quote) “you won’t have to live on cat food.” watch 88 year old stand up to harper government

While it’s reassuring to know that if, for some tragic reason, you wind up on skid row, that you will still be cared for financially, it just rips me that you can plan for a basic retirement by investing nothing. I cannot stop snickering over that one. Can you imagine watching a commercial like that? So for all of you very laissez-faire types who have been late to the investment party, or who may never make it, relax.  You live in Canada.  Let the elderly Americans eat cat food…or to COIN a phrase…let them eat cake. watch make your money worth more


July 7, 2012 Posted by | Finance, money, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yet Another Canadian Scandal Involving the Holocaust

I wonder why is it that many people worldwide think Canada is so Polly-Anna-ish with our ethics?  After slamming the immigration door on Jewish refugees during WWII, today a Canadian takes pride in reminding us of our hypocrisy some 6 decades later. Luba Kramrish of Toronto, Ontario has been charged with involvement in a plan to steal from a “Holocaust survivor’s fund.”  Kramrish falsified documents to “claim financial support ” from a German fund created “to compensate those who lived through the Holocaust.” Must be a pretty small fund. Kramrish’s bag of tricks involved the recruitment of Jewish people who hadn’t actually “survived the Holocaust” since they had never lived in an occupied area. Kramrish managed to obtain their funds for a small fee, of course. Last count Kramrish had conned the German fund 25 times. The frauds took place in the U.S. office that distributed the funds.  In the 1990s, an employee in the office realized many of the claims had discrepancies and an FBI investigation verified the $60 million dollar fraud. Read Holocaust Fraud Probe Leads to Charge Against Toronto Woman.

In Germany, restrictions on the fund have been tightened, unfortunately for true Holocaust survivors. They are all elderly people. The Holocaust was decades ago. Now these victims are expected to answer detailed questions about their lives during the war that they can barely remember.  The U.S. scandal has caused damage on so many levels. How proud Kramrish must be and what a notch in the belt for Canada’s reputation. Before you know it, people will be confusing us with Americans…then we’ll not only have to fight a terrible reputation, but we’ll have to be even more diligent at detecting Al Quedas at our airports. watch when canada said no: the abandoned jews of the ms st louis

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WalMart Involved in a Scandal? Really?

Well isn’t that news, and so unexpected too.  Wal-Mart, according to CEO Mike Duke‘s Statements of Ethics, “our customers trust us to be their advocate. Our suppliers trust us to be an equitable partner. And as Wal-Mart associates, we trust each other to uphold the highest standards of conduct every day.” Just don’t cross the Mexican border, Mike.

Hmm let’s see now. Insofar as Wal-Mart and scandal is concerned there have been a few in its history:

  1. sweatshops – when we discovered that was one reason Wal-Mart could keep lowering those prices that
    created a bit of an outcry, however it didn’t last too long…who doesn’t want low prices?
  2. Chinese pork labelling scandal – Tonnes of pork was deliberately mislabeled as “organic”.  Organic pigs.  Who
    knew?  Watch president of Wal-Mart China resigns after pork scandal
  3. Something about commie China and Wal-Mart – watch America can’t afford Wal Mart any longer. Good ol’
    WM keeps importing unsafe products from China rather than selling our domestic products here where the
    health and safety standards assure we won’t end up dying of asbestos poison when we eat a deli sandwich.
    Tsk, tsk, Samuel. watch the hidden costs of walmart
  4. Speaking of importing Chinese products (which have been made in Wal-Mart’s Chinese sweatshops), heaven
    forbid Wal-Mart employs American and Canadian workers to make products here at home, thus improving the social
    economy and guaranteeing jobs for thousands of people who have been out of work since the mortgage crisis in
    the US of A.  That would be too people-friendly and far too ethical.  (Mike Duke will forgive me). watch Wal-Mart smiley tv commercial
  5. On the other hand, Wal-Mart employees tend to go hungry on a Wal-Mart wage – watch 3 of 10 Wal-Mart Deception
    and Corruption Documentary 

Wal-Mart of course makes a mighty attempt at volleying back these accusations through their PR department.   David Tovar, VP of Corporate Communications, actually kept a straight face during this little blurb.  Well done, Dave. watch Wal-Mart statement on fcpa

Okay, so this one isn’t directly WM’s fault.  However it is entirely understandable if the “suspect” was in a grouchy mood about WM’s victimization of consumers. Perhaps he mistook the tot for a WM PR rep and he let the kid have it.  watch stranger slaps crying child at WM

I shall leave you with this catchy little jingle…..  I’ve always been a CCR fan, myself.

April 25, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, corrruption, money | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canadians’ Well-Being and Permanent Poverty – Living the Canadian Dream

Welfare: the right to well-being, security and safety, including fulfilling basic needs to ensure survival. This is the general idea behind the term but welfare carries with it a negative connotation:  those lucky enough not to need it imagine lazy folk who simply won’t work for a living, or who aren’t trying hard enough to find jobs.  Poppycock.  This may be true for a small percentage of Canadians and landed immigrants, but guaranteed this is not the norm: most people want to work; are skilled and educated enough to work; and do not want to live with the stigma of receiving welfare.

Racism being what it is in Canada, many Caucasians believe it is landed immigrants and minorities who are bleeding the welfare system dry through a lack of initiative and illegal manouevers.  Not so.  There are more Caucasian multi-generational Canadians receiving welfare (including those who are not in need of it) than there are minorities and LI’s. As subjective as my own experience is, the only people I know who rip the system are Caucasian Canadians whose family have lived in Canada for generations. In fact, many Canadians receiving welfare once belonged to the “middle class”, evicted from their homes after job loss during the start of the recession. Others do not receive welfare for more than one or two months to keep them afloat until (presumably) they find another job. watch judy graves on why welfare matters to everyone

Many people who receive welfare are known as the “working poor“.  They  have jobs but through no fault of their own, are employed part-time, or they work for the paltry minimum wage of $10.25 an hour: hardly a financial means for raising a family. In fact since Harper’s House of Horrors came to be, social assistance is nearly non-existent.  Why, you ask?  Duh.  You voted for him and then you wonder why so many hard-working Canadians ...  oh never mind.  I’ll just get all in a tizzy.  What was I saying? Oh yes. Harper’s agenda is not for individual citizens, such as you (who voted for him) and me (who did not).  It is for large, multi-national corporations, the recipients of his glorious tax breaks and other financial incentives to keep them afloat during the recent recession. Well there’s always May 2012 for you to get it right (although you probably won’t).  Enough blasting my faithful blog followers of precisely one (hi Damien).  Watch income inequality and child poverty in Canada

To receive welfare in Ontario you must earn or live on $800.00 a month or less.  The website doesn’t tell you that of course but if you want to test my theory give your local welfare office a call and inform the clerk that you currently receive $850.00 or $900.00 per month to live on. She will interrupt you to tell you that if you live on more than $800.00 a month you are ineligible to receive financial assistance. If you live on $810.00 or more you are out of luck.  In the event you do live on $800.00 a month or less you are entitled to …  not much.  You might get $200.00 or slightly more a month but you won’t be laughing all the way to the bank. Poor no more – there is a way out

Along with receiving absolute minimal financial assistance for the working poor, anything these people have in the way of financial assets has to be depleted before qualifying for welfare:  RRSPs, homes, cars.  It may seem as though this is reasonable: if you can afford a house, you can afford to live without assistance.  But is it reasonable to tell people to spend their RRSPs in order to receive social assistance?  What happens when it is time to retire?  They must continue to ask for more assistance and never get off the treadmill.  How about a car?  If a person needs a car to get to work where they make that $10.25 an hour, how will they be able to hold a job after selling their cars? Ditto houses.  Rentals are not cheaper than ownership depending on where a person lives. Like it or not, everyone needs shelter. watch homeless middle class

The Canadian welfare system is not designed with dignity in mind. Nor is it designed to truly assist anyone.  If assistance comes with the price tag of losing one’s retirement security, transportation and shelter in a safe, secure part of town, I’m betting many people would hedge their bets on going hungry and losing sleep at night over their bills, if they’re lucky to avoid eviction.  In Canada, it’s a better guarantee for one’s well-being.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Finance, money, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Get Out of Debt – Forget About It …. It Won’t Happen

Read this:


Now take every piece of advice in that article and flush it down the section of your brain reserved for intellectual sewage. Canadians and Americans will NEVER be debt free and the reason is so simplistic (and nauseating) that it could be tattooed on your forehead every time you look in the mirror:

  1. The Middle Class – rapidly deteriorating due to credit card debt, variable mortgages, and the Republican Party of Canada and the U.S.A.
  2. Your neighbours, friends, acquaintances, and strangers on the street.

What’s that?  The Republic Party of Canada you say?  Harper and (formerly) Bush were political bedfellows.  It’s all about the almighty American and regressing Canadian dollar and always will be.  I am well aware that Obama is one of my own, a Democrat, however it isn’t enough: Bush and Harper relations secured doctrines protecting Republican interests that even the good man Obama cannot undo. What does this mean to you, oh Canadians who were so happy to vote Harper in again even after the scandals that rocked his feeble-minded Harper House of Horrors 2 years ago?

  1. Corporate tax breaks means higher taxes for the little guy, in other words we of the disappearing Middle Class.  Who do you think is picking up the slack?  No you’re not aware of any additional taxes levied against your income in the previous 5 years.  You do if you’re a senior living on a fix income fund: you know, that retirement fund that Harper promised during his first ever campaign that his party would not tax then within the first year of his reign of terror he taxed it?  Maybe you aren’t a senior. So what? No wo/man is an island.  Taxation for seniors who cannot afford a tax levy means seeking other means to increase one’s livelihood: what other choice do these fine people have but to apply for welfare so they can enjoy a nourishing can of cold beans now and then? Whose paying the additional (if utterly meagre) financial assistance for these people (and rightly so, you’re the ones who voted for Big Brother, ye of the Ministry of Non-Truth).

2.   To continue to quote John Donne: we are all a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  You and everyone around you are
part of an intrinsic network, a human internet if you will.  Let’s say you somehow bail yourself out of all consumer debt and are now
living a puritanical lifestyle, strictly on cash and good intentions. Your neighbours and strangers are still up to their eyeballs in debt.
Their debt is your debt. Their debt continues to enable the mechanics of the recession, thereby increasing inflation rates.  Their debt
means your job is on the line due to lay-offs as much as theirs.  Their debt is your debt.  The bell tolls for thee as much as anyone else,

You were forewarned in so many media by so many financial experts, financial writers, and humble bloggers such as myself.  So many people warned you to be careful about what you vote for, in the event you might get it. You are getting it now (although I won’t say where).

Sieg Heil, Republicans.

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Finance, money, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Say You Want a Revolution?

I can’t help but be somewhat cynical about the purported 370,000 jobs that may open up in Canada at some point this year.  Not that I wish to see the glass as half empty but sometimes it is. And in the case of Harper’s House of Horrors promising new jobs in 2012 I would suggest the glass is completely empty.

I wouldn’t fall hook, line and sinker for that news flash until I am signing my new job contract on the dotted line. Consider for instance:

  1. Industrial Revolution – Watch turning points in history – industrial revolution What a golden era in North American history! Major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. Almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and population reached unprecedented, sustained growth. Childhood was invented for the middle and upper classes.  Education, although not mandatory in the 17th and 18th centuries, was accessible. Watch top 50 inventions of all time
    Reality:  Unbelievable amounts of pollution began spewing into our atmosphere for the first time in history.  The low-class got many jobs in the manufacturing, mining, and transportation industries without the right to unions or minimum wage pay.  They worked up to 14 hours per day but were usually paid for less.  There were no child labour laws, keeping the child mortality rate as high as it was pre-revolution. Children were not paid as much as adults even though their productivity was comparable. Childhood didn’t exist for the poor. The poor lived in cramped, squalid houses on the streets whereas the middle to upper classes lived far more comfortably. The shabby homes shared toilet facilities with open sewers, and families were at risk of developing pathologies associated with persistent dampness. Disease was spread through a contaminated water supply. Watch the children who built Victorian Britain Part I
  2. IT Revolution -Watch the information revolution then and now scudda-hoo!  scudda hay!  The fastest growing industry in history began in the early 20th century and suddenly exploded in the 1990s, still progressing in leaps and bounds.  The success of the IT industry is unprecedented.  Communication worldwide is as quick and effortless as clicking a button on a computer or iPhone.  Cell phones and Blackberries carry software applications including the internet, Microsoft software package, games and much more. Losing information in the mail is a thing of the past. Access to information for schools, hospitals, laboratories, corporations etc is abundant and easy. Read Bill Gates’s dream: A computer in every home. 
    Reality:  Watch internet for rural areas Lesser developed countries, as well as minorities in developed countries, have not even come close to reaping the benefits of the internet: the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow. Domestically there is a two-tier computer system in providing high-speed internet services to rural and urban communities, known as the “digital divide”.   Watch The digital divide.  This is crucial since those without  high-speed internet services could be cut off from affordable information about education and healthcare. African-Americans and Hispanics are less than half as likely as Caucasians to explore the internet from home, work or school, meaning minority groups are at a disadvantage in competing for entry-level jobs. Donna L. Hoffman, a professor at Vanderbilt University says, “The big question is why African-Americans are not adopting this technology, it’s not just price, because they are buying cable and satellite systems in large numbers. So we have to look deeper … I think there is still a question of ‘What’s in it for me?’” Read computers for Jamaica
  3. Global Work Force – Watch Sikorsky to cut global workforce by 3 percent. Immigration Canada opened its doors for hundreds of thousands of professional and skilled workers. Many prospered and helped to improve Canada’s overall economy and employment rate. Families helped provide the country with a more regulated number of young workers as Canada’s baby boomers moved closer to retirement. Canadian families were having fewer children (from 2.5% to 1.3%) and foreign families helped to maintain the 1.3% stat and prevent it from falling any further. Watch Canada immigration – fast track immigration for skilled workers
    Reality: Watch course 3 – cheap labour will cost you more Many skilled, foreign workers were hired by companies for much lower wages than Canadian workers, costing Canadians countless jobs.  Skilled workers had to be re-trained in order to comply with Canada’s safety regulations and this took considerable time and cost. Welfare increased in order to provide new immigrant families with a source of income, as did subsidized housing; this in turn increased Canadian taxes. Many landed immigrants with criminal backgrounds were admitted into Canada via arranged marriages. Marriages occurred as a means to bring over relatives rather than functioning as legitimate marriages. Outsourcing usually meant sweatshops and “slave” labour: some workers received only 68 cents an hour from American and Canadian employers. In some cases this meant the quality of products was noticeably reduced.  watch more American workers outsourcing own jobs overseas

Change, even on a revolutionary scale, can be a good thing. But with great change comes great responsibility, and many corporations and individuals fall far short of that ideal when it comes to cost-saving labour and increased communication. Then again, so do certain “conservative” governments as of late.

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Finance, money, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

The Eurozone Crisis and Your Job

The labour market is a good place to start when you are job seeking or hoping to keep your job during the recession.  In fact it’s a good place to start, recession or not.  Before you enroll in a college or university program, knowing which jobs are becoming redundant and which are gaining momentum in the work force is crucial.  For people who already have a job it is critical to evaluate if:

  1.  you are in a position that can easily be absorbed by other employees should you get laid off
  2. your position or industry is anticipating growth for 2012 and beyond
  3. your formal education is necessary to fill this role
  4. there is upward mobility
  5. you can expect a reasonable salary increase with the cost of living
  6. you can expect a lowered or frozen salary after the eurozone crisis hits North America
  7. you will be forced to work part time hours
  8. you will need to enroll in further schooling or training to keep your job
  9. you will have a significant increase in work demands and hours
  10. you will have to job share to stay employed
  11. your job skills are flexible so you can find work in a different company or industry
  12. your job or your industry will be made redundant due to upgraded technology or other reasons  Read 10 middle-class jobs that will vanish by 2018

In case you haven’t had a look lately at the labour market watch the to 10 worst jobs in 2012 and the top 10 career choices in 2011  (haven’t changed since 2009)

If you live in Canada check out the Working in Canada site.

If these jobs look demanding in terms of education and experience that’s because they are. However they apply to most major cities and industries in North America so it’s likely they are among the most difficult to attain.  There are good jobs with reasonable stability and room for growth that are not as educationally demanding (with some exceptions). However most require some sort of post-secondary education and certainly computer savvy in more software programs than past years including:

  1. Executive Assistant/Secretary/Receptionist
  2. Nurse
  3. Hospitality Industry
  4. Customer service reps
  5. Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
  6. Truck drivers
  7. Hair Stylists and Barbers
  8. Machinists, Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  9. Mechanical Engineering Technologist and Technicians
  10. Graphic Designers and Illustrators

A few tips to find a new job…maybe:

  1. Interview with a successful social media job seeker – from career enlightenment
  2. Having said that read 7 Facebook Mistakes that Can Kill Your Career  and watch How to get a job using social media
  3. http://gethiredbootcamp.com/ – this site requires a fee
  4. Video Job seeking Tips – free
  5. Join Linkedin, create a profile that lets companies know you are job seeking and start connecting with people
  6. Try using resunate – free service where you can check your resume against jobs you are applying for
  7. Use  Wordle – finds the most significant words in a job advertisement so you can match your resume to it
  8. Try careershift – charges a fee but there is a free trial period – software that helps you locate any job at any site
  9. See a recruiter or a career counsellor – these people can tell right away what type of job you would be a good fit for – if you have a career in mind all the better.  They will tell you if they want a resume…assuming you are new and freshly out of school you won’t have a lot of jobs to list so emphasize your transferable skills and any volunteer experiences you have. Virtual career counsellors are just as good as going to an office, btw.
  10. Be your own career counsellor – this is very simplistic but its a start. When you find a job that sounds good to you research how it rates in the labour market.  While you’re at it if you know anyone in a job you are interested in, ask if they’ll do lunch with you and grill them about their job – the ups and downs; the hours; etc.  Ask if you can spend a half a day with them at work.  And read this article while you’re following that plan. Or even if you’re not.
  11. Read this blog How to find the Hidden Job Market…that’s probably your best bet to get a job…aside from opening your own business.
  12. Do search classified ads online (and in the papers, I guess) but spend more time using the internet to find your new job. Read 10 big differences between the job search of yesterday and today.
  13. Watch Did you know? Find your true calling.

A few tips to keep your job…maybe:

  1. Consider leaving even if you don’t have to – sounds crazy in a recession and if you like what you’re doing for the most part and believe you are getting paid what you deserve then stay there.  But if that isn’t the case then job hop to your heart’s content.
  2. Open your own virtual company if you lose your job…sometimes when you forced into entrepreneurship it works out well…maybe better than if you didn’t have to be your own boss. Read Consider a Virtual Company to Get a Flexible Work Life  If you do lose your job read the above list for people looking for a job. If you’re going to go entrepreneurial you’d best be a trend spotter – or better still making trends.
  3. Assume that anything and everything you write online – whether its email or facebook – can be accessed by your employer…type as if your boss was standing over your shoulder reading your posts/emails.  Watch 7 facebook mistakes that can kill your career.
  4. Don’t fret over rumours about downsizing….document a list of accomplishments you have made for the company…then write out directions you’d like to take to bring even more advantages to the company. Then make an appointment to see your boss and make you plan known to him/her without discussing your concerns about losing your job….it’s not about you remember – it’s all about who and what is best for the company.
  5. Or perhaps a few tips to stay employed whether its in your current job or not3 tips: How to find a new job while still working
  6. While you’re considering leaving your job read this: Video: Facebook and Bain & Company Employees Explain Why Their Companies Are Best Places to Work
  7. Check your attitude at the door.  Watch How to keep your job and NOT get fired.
  8. Be aware of your true calling – in case it’s already what you are doing.
  9. This article wraps up in a few paragraphs pretty much everything I said above:  7 Tips for managing a career switch.
  10. Start reading career blogs like Vault’s Career Blogs, Brazen Careerist, CareerRocketeer, and some other blogs my blog is linked up to…there are tons more out there….They won’t necessarily get you a job but they might get you motivated and inspire you with an idea you come up with that gets you a job.

And for both people who are searching for a new job or are in-between jobs try not to get discouraged….competition is tough but you are worth hiring.  Tell yourself that every day.  When you come up with a way to make yourself stand out (and that doesn’t have to be anything out in the twilight zone either), that’s when you will land a job.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Career | , , , , | Leave a comment

Runaways and Homelessness

The number of runaways has been growing since 1994. The majority of missing children are runaways–in 2002, of the 66,532 children reported missing, 52,390 were runaways. That doesn’t include young people whose parents or guardians did not file a missing children’s report. There are a plethora of reasons why families don’t report their teenagers as missing:

  1. can’t handle teens’ behaviour
  2. pressure from spouse
  3. don’t want police bringing child home
  4. lack of finances to feed and clothe the child
  5. apathy; neglect
  6. other issues

Watch more teenage runaways

Teenage Canadians flee home for lots of reasons. Some have been abused, while others don’t fit in at school, are LGBT, or they don’t fit in with their home towns.  Toronto has created a 12-member police squad to deal with runaways: arresting, charging and moving them to other areas. Many teens have mental health issues or borderline IQs. Street kids also are drawn into the sex trade, working as prostitutes or strippers. The teenage sex trade is rampant across Canada. watch notebook: runaways

Facts about Teenage Runaways:


  1. Most missing children are repeat runaways
  2. Most teens run away to escape intolerable conditions at home.
  3. Runaways feel neglected and have psychological problems.
  4. Teens will return home to see if difficult issues have changed and and if not,  they leave again.
  5. Teen runaways are more likely to get arrested than other teens. watch teenage runaways in the UK

Prospects for homeless teens are very poor.  Many do not get off the streets and become homeless adults, living a life of crime and poverty. Some die in their teens or 20’s. Most are unable to leave prostitution and become addicted to drugs.  Many teens become single mothers and are incapable of caring for their children. They face constant threat of violence/rape.

Ways we can help:

  1. donate money and clothing to street outreach programs
  2. donate food to food banks
  3. volunteer in youth hostels and soup kitchens
  4. hold Canadian government accountable for change in child abuse and homelessness laws
  5. ensure runaway programs are funded and supported
  6. work in the mental health field specializing in youth treatment programs
  7. report suspected or known child abuse

watch homelessness –  a short film

June 4, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Reflections | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Advice Most Career Advice Blogs Overlook

Politics. In a word, the political and economic culture in which businesses and agencies are run has a significant amount to do with failure or success in a career.  Consider Canada’s current political climate. The Harper House of Horrors, although an international disgrace and hostile towards social programs including education, welfare and the medical community, is ideal if you are a brand new MBA looking to break in that Michel Pinaud suit on Bay Street. You, MBAer, probably think the Terrific Tories are just what the doctor ordered (pun) in terms of you securing and moving ahead in your career. There may not be anything inherently wrong with your career choice or in your professional ethics. It’s just that Canada’s current cutthroat PM is your best friend.  Watch where have all the workers gone
article: How to Keep Your Job

Now let’s imagine that Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party oust Harper and take over Parliament. If you were hired during Harper’s regime you could very well find yourself in trouble…a lot of trouble. You just know that Ignatieff is going to start slashing corporate spending, taxing big business through the nose, and basically turning the tables back in the opposite direction. What does that mean for you? Well, MBAer, you’d better get your Visual CV updated (see my blog The Visual CV) and consider working for a non-profit organization (oh stop that, you). Or you may have felt the wrath of Almighty Harper during his reign of terror and lost your job because of his interests in business. Your company might very well have started laying off employees and you just know that the most recent and junior are the first sacrifical lambs.
video: Keep Jobs in Canada

They didn’t teach you that in business school did they? Career bloggers don’t usually refer to current government when blogging for job seekers. They speak to people who have  jobs and thus their advice exists within a corporate microcosm rather than the macrocosmthat is the rest of Canada. Don’t fret. They mean well. Of course jobs can be lost and corporate takeovers can happen in any government, but it wouldn’t hurt to observe your industry trends and employment opportunities, and keep a close eye on Ottawa.
video: Staying Employed in Challenging Times

Now offering advice to career movers and shakers on a grander scale, that is in reference to the national political body, takes a more objective stance than simply blogging about how to work your way around office politics (there’s that microcosm again), promotions and venemous coworkers. Career advice bloggers would do well to keep that one in mind. It’s helpful to people to offer advice such as “How to Know You Are On Your Way Out” (Christiane Ouimet pictured left, for instance) based on office politics, but more so when that advice is offered within a government perspective. That way at the very least your boss can look you straight in the eye and say “it’s not you, it’s me,” like you told your last lover and, like when you told your last lover, somehow maintain a straight face.
video: Making the Cuty … How to Stay Employed

Welcome to politics, MBAer.

April 22, 2011 Posted by | Career, Politics | , | 2 Comments