Monday, February 28, 2011

Churn jobs to avoid ?

In different countries there are wildly different rates of churn in the job market: attrition, or put mathematically: Delta jobs created - jobs destroyed per year.

You do have to exclude that horrid London phenomenon of perpetual contracts from the uk market, and instead think about looking that gift horse of a job offer well and truly in the orthodontic fashion.

The key question is ' am I accepting a job which is purely project perishable'? Further, will the job be downsized soon regardless of your goal scoring?

I have had four jobs in fact which were invented if you like for me. Two were fortuitous project related. One was a 'minister without portfolio' while yet another was more or less an act of charity. Adding working to fill in or cover at friends companies and half my cv is littered with fairly perisable 'suck it and see' job scenarios.

Coupled to outright project work and companies going bust, then more than half of my time in the labour market has been spent in shakey positions or looking for work. I'm not abnormal for the uk at all, just a higher threshold for risk than most.

The one greatest weakness I have had is not recognising I am in a perishable or untenable job soon enough and doing something to G.T:F:O. to a job which is more permanent or is a hard lead to a stable career.

Another side to this I hear you say in retort, is that if I had really performed in the job I would have 'gotten on'. Become part of the family. You know yeah. My heart is just not IN working for a-holes. So this makes me doubly expendable.

I write this as a wry cautionary autotale because you have to be careful with employers in the recovery period we are perhaps entering. The permanent pick up jobs will be grabbed fast. So by all means take a temp or wing-and-a-prayer position, but from day minus one, look hard and actively market yourself for more permanent opportunities.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cilmate Changes ...Changes Things

The talk now is that of course, capital has been too conservative in its reaction to climate change.

I would add that as a former scientist myself, many of the climate researchers have been conservative in their claims when publishing to the scrutiny of peer review. However the hysteria built up by a minority did dammage the credibility of the whole conjecture that man is influencing climate radically. The upside for the researchers was more public attention and more funding. However, the actual conclusions drawn do not extrapolate to how frightening climate change could be. This is because scientists like capital are a little conservative and used to slow progress with sudden spurts from atypical genius's and outright flambouyant chancers like watson and crick.

What the extapolations talk about now is scenario building. We look at different projections and models for in particular how sea currents, dessertification and air masses will interact. So for example, the failure of the north atlantic artic- accelerator : as the ice receeds the convective-conveyor will cease to pull the gulf stream north of the grand banks and the whole of northern Europe will be flung into cold winters which are more akin to those for the 50' and higher latitudes.

One thing is clear: private industry will not pick up the bill for infrastructural renewal and will only become green if it pays and is legislative. It is the public purse which will have to carry the burdon and basically that means more tax revenue than current %/GDP while the adjustments to sea fronts, energy provision, water and sewerage and so on are implemented.

Having said that private industry will not pick up anything outside their own factory gates, they will have to adapt and new ventures- particularily in Low Cost Production Countries - will have to have wider risk predictions based on climate scenarios. Not least in this is civil unrest driven by connectivity, dissatisfaction and rising food prices.

One large area of the western economy as a whole which must be examined is agriculture. The north american policies and the EU CAP run the risk of picking up a huge bill from farmers who expect the state to tell them how to adapt and then pay for it. Climate change represents both a threat to agriculture but also a huge opportunity to liberalise the major systems to press farmers respond entrepreneurially to threats and positive fortuities.

Accelerated climate change, vis a vis let us not forget, emissions based global warming, is the single biggest challenge mankind has until the globe enters the next ice age, when nature will show her teeth in the issue of climate.