Why the “lame duck” Congress needs to act on the “fiscal cliff”

I am tired of hearing about the “fiscal cliff” – let’s spend less time talking and more time doing. Everyone needs to get off his or her high horse and come to an agreement. Compromise means that not everyone is going to get everything that he wants. Realize this. Understand it. Accept it. You don’t have to like it. It isn’t actually about you and your next election. It is about what needs to be done for the betterment of our country. Sometimes we all have to give up a little something so we can get to where we need to be.

The “lame duck congress” is not an excuse for inaction. Every time I hear someone in the media say something along the lines of “nothing will be accomplished until January” or “the lame duck congress may just come up with a temporary solution” I get so frustrated. Nowhere, anywhere, else would this be acceptable. Certainly not in business. Or in one’s personal life. I cannot say, “Well, I guess I will wait until I get a promotion (or bonus, etc.) before I’ll tackle that big project.” I wouldn’t be around long enough to ever do the project. The same should be true for Congress. Their terms are not over yet. If you cannot finish one term by actually doing your job, you should not be hired for the next.

The world will not end if an agreement on the budget is not reached. The county will, however, likely be in a worse condition. While politicians would likely fault the other party, they would only truly have themselves to blame.

Lame Duck Congress

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What We Really Think About Jobs, The Economy, And Politics

To those who care about the United States,

Much has been said lately about how college students and recent graduates won’t stand for Obama to be reelected because the economy has not improved and job prospects are bleak. Instead of finding our dream jobs, we are moving back into our parents’ homes. While some of that may be true, here is another truth: we are smarter than you think – and we realize that Obama is not solely responsible for the economy.

I am employed and I am enjoying my job. Is it my dream job? Maybe, maybe not: but it is certainly putting me on the right path, whatever that is. Many of my friends who graduated in the past two years are employed across the country in just about every industry. And many other friends are still looking for jobs. Some had jobs, but left to look for other work or get another degree – because we aren’t here to settle.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but we don’t want just any old job. We want to be happy and feel like we are contributing something to society. Many of us are willing to remain unemployed longer if it gives us the chance to end up where we want to be. Sure it sucks, and we wish the economy was better, but we also know that we have a lot to offer and we know that our turn will come.

Conversation about the economy has been hijacked to become a referendum on President Obama. Some say that Obama must not be reelected so anything he tries to do must be stopped. Therefore, any efforts Obama attempts to improve the economy are doomed to failure, or at least limited success. It is Congress and the states that prevent improvements to the economy when they refuse to participate in Obama’s plans if said plans could help Obama in the election. This isn’t solely Obama’s fault. It is those who refuse to work together. And this is not a pro-Democrat or anti-Republican analysis. It is the facts. Research them. We did and we will continue to do so.

Our generation is not content to sit back and be told what to think and who to blame. We have too much information at our fingertips. We will use it. And we want to pursue more and more opportunities. We believe in our future and in the future of the United States of America. What we do not believe in is the partisan attacks that prevent useful governance and which prevent our country from actually solving its problems. We demand that politicians work together, compromise, and understand that they are here to do something. Represent us – the future. We have voted and we will vote for or against you because this is how the economy affects us.

Sincerely,

College students and recent graduates

Recommendations for Job Seekers and Recruiters

As I mentioned when I wrote about the job offer I accepted, I have some thoughts on the recruiting/hiring process that I want to share.  I certainly am not a licensed expert, but these are recommendations based on multiple articles I’ve read and my personal experiences.

For Job Seekers

  • Make a list.  Keep track of what you applied for, you status for the position(s), and when you applied.  Keep each record up to date.
  • Do your research.  Know about where you are applying.  Be sure you can explain why you are applying there and for the specific position.
  • Send a thank you note.
  • Follow-up.  Maybe follow-up again.  But don’t be pushy and be sure to feel out the customs of the company and the recruiter.  This is especially applicable for smaller companies.
  • Network, network, network.  Meet people.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  Use your connections, your friends’ connections, etc.  This is incredibly important.
  • Use LinkedIn.
  • Know your resume.
  • Everyone exaggerates.  Make sure you know your limits.  Don’t lie.

For Recruiters/Hiring Managers

  • Treat people like people.  I know you have choices in who you hire, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be kind in your communication or your demeanor.
  • Send rejection or position closure emails.  As much as it sucks not to get a job, it sucks even more to be left in the dark.  Most recruitment software allows you to do this with the click of a button.  Please click that button.
  • Let interviewees know a timeline of when they can expect to hear back about next steps/an offer.  Stick to that timeline.  If you can’t, let the person know.
  • Give feedback.  Building a relationship with an unsuccessful candidate now can create a successful candidate later.

Basically, all of this can be summed up as follows: utilize common courtesy.  Keep people in the loop, follow-up – communicate.  It will make the whole process the stressful and more manageable.

This whole process is like a game.  Games are made to be won.  You just have to find the right way to the end of the board.  Everyone is looking for a best mutual fit.  Prove that you are.