Saturday, June 13, 2009

Career advice to young people

By now we are all familiar with the global economic crisis, which has been caused by the recent financial meltdown in all the developed countries. The belief that globalization will lead to freeing up market forces to do its magic on improving the welfare of everyone has proved to be wishful thinking. In a recession GNP contracts, resulting in fewer jobs for job seekers. If prolonged, it could lead to (gulp!) double digit unemployment in the developed countries.

I believe the employment market is slowly becoming less favorable for salaried workers that are not unionized. Everyone who does not enjoy union protection (e.g. pharmacists in Australia) will find himself at the mercy of his employer. Only the minimum wage law can provide a bit of protection for some workers, but professionals who earn above a certain level of income are not. The cut off level is not high by any means, which is why a unionized blue collar worker can earn as much or more money than a non-unionized white-collared professional.

My advice to young people making career choices now is this: unless you are striking out on your own, choose a job that has union protection or a strong trades guild. In the current economic situation there are more workers than jobs. Hence your employer can afford to be choosy, work you hard, and pay you little. That's how a free market works. A union or a trades guild provides income protection. I am not a pro-union person, nor am I for exploitative employer. I am merely stating a fact that if I were to make a career choice today, I would go for one that is represented by a union or has a good trades guild.

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