The Record Jobs Section 06-25-17

Place an ad Phone: 1-888-460-5322 Email: SUNDAY, JUNE 25, 2017 • SECTION J P CAREER COACH Thoughts on 14, 20 and 70 years By ELI AMDUR SPECIAL TO NORTH JERSEY JOBS T oday, dear readers and friends, marks the comple- tion of 14 years of writing to and for you. This year has, as all years past, made this endeavor an increasingly richer experience for me. I’m grateful: to you for your continued encour- agement in thousands of emails and calls; and to the editorial and classified staffs at this paper for their continued support and acceptance. To them I owe much; as they’ve given me free reign to write what- ever and however I please – as long as it’s in your best interest. Having that trust and confidence is fortifying, to say the least, and also reminds me that I owe you much as well, and that it’s my responsibility to remember that as I write each week. Gratitude and responsibility aside, there are other values embedded in and to be extracted from all this – if we give them sufficient thought – and I’ve traditionally used this last Sunday in June to give them reflection and expression. So I’ll do that again, this year with an unusually aligned perspective. You see, within the last month I reached three milestones: as of today I’ve been writing this column for 14 years (never missed a Sunday); last month my career coaching practice reached its 20-year mark; and two weeks ago I became a septuagenarian. Yup, 70! (If you’re into numerology and the frequency of certain numbers in literature and history, even biblical, those are three interesting numbers to arise concurrently. Another conversation.) Anyway, we humans naturally think in terms of numbers and time frames: anniversaries, orbits of the moon, planting cycles, decades, centuries – so marking his- tory is one of the things we do. Problem is that obsessively ritualizing and routinizing these moments often works against our understanding them. Also, we’re good at seeing small things. Big pictures and pat- terns, though, are harder to recognize. All the more reason to reflect. And so it is this year, more than any other in recent memory, because the big picture right now is that we’re suddenly living in unusually uncertain times. Almost instantly, our job market and overall economy have changed dramatically, and whether or not this turns out to be for the good remains to be seen. But change – or, in this case, disruption – causes uncertainty, and in times of uncertainty, the only thing about which we can be certain is ourselves. Let’s look at three red flags. U.S. foreign trade was $3.7 trillion last year, two-thirds of it with our four largest partners: EU $700 billion, China $580 bil- lion, Canada $540 billion, and Mexico $525 billion. Trade deficits aside, the portentous issue is that these four trading partners are more than a little peeved with us right now and are overtly courting other trading partners. How will declining exports affect our job growth situation? Regarding job growth, there’s an alarming development. From 2011 to 2016, we experienced not only the longest sus- tained job growth in history, but also the most consistent. During those 72 months, which averaged a healthy 201,000 new jobs, only seven months added more than 200,000 and only eight added fewer than 100,000. The rest weighed in between 101,000 and 299,000, with 40 at 200,000 or more. A beautiful graph line. There was a certainty. So what happened? The last three months (50, 174, 138), although not yet a trend, are not a good sign either. I’m hear- ing the uncertainty in job seekers’ voices. They’re not wrong. Perhaps even more telling, while polls report CEOs expressing optimism, there was 40 percent less merger and acquisi- tion activity in Q1 2017 than in Q1 2015. What CEOs do is more telling than what they say. Keep an eye on that. More developments are unfolding, but I can — and should — talk only about the ones affecting the job market. And while I’m not ready to proclaim the sky is falling, I know what I’m seeing and what I’m hearing. You don’t do what I’ve done for 14, 20, and 70 years and not see it. At least, one would hope. It’s imperative to batten down the hatches, secure our current employment, increase our skill sets, and keep current with the blazing technologies that are changing everything. We must and can be certain of one thing — ourselves. And while you’re thinking this over, let me thank you for the privilege, the pleas- ure, and the honor of having done this for you for another year – and hope we’ll all be here next year so I can thank you again. Career Coach Eli Amdur can be reached at eli.amdur@amdurcoaching .com. Please note his website, www. amdurcoaching. com. Please “like” him at AmdurCoaching and follow him on Twitter (Eli Amdur). ADVERTISEMENT EDUCATION Eastwick College offers easier path to nursing career By focusing on hands-on training and cutting out irrelevant coursework, LPN students can graduate in just 12 months I t’s an appealing career for many, with high demand, strong salary potential, and the opportunity to help others. However, for those that are interest- ed in starting a career as a nurse, the path can also seem daunting: high tuition costs and years of schooling can make it seem out of reach. As a result, despite increasing opportunities in the field, hospitals and medical facilities continue to report there aren’t enough qualified applicants for their nursing positions. 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