SOCIAL EROSION: COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS DECLINING

#SocialInstitutions #churches #CommunityServiceClubs
Some may not remember a few decades ago, when labor unions were not only strong, but one of the many fibers that brought communities together.
During that time, more people attended church, community service clubs such as the Lions or Rotary were flourishing, two-parent families were the norm etc.
Bob Davis and Gary Fields discussed this social erosion in a Sept. 16, 2016, article in The Wall Street Journal.
In those decades past, the union hall was the place to be in many blue-collar towns.
Today, as union membership is declining along with job security of any sort, we see the reaction of those affected by this decline. They are looking for someone, or something, to save them, and take the country back to that time.
Technology advances will not allow it.
But the question is not who will save those disaffected by technological change and lack of job security. The question becomes who, or what, folks can turn to who have had their lives changed forever, if not for better.
Some community institutions are still around, and not all have seen membership decline.
Technology has also given us social media, but social media, though a fine creation, is no substitute for in-person interaction.
As life changes, one must look at not only what is GOOD about his life, he must be open to find ways to combat the life changes the modern world has wrought.
If you had a good job that’s gone away, and have either had to take a job that is less rewarding or have not been able to find a suitable job at all, the answer is to look for ways other than a traditional W-2 job to make money. Easier said than done? Perhaps not. Message me to find out more.
Getting back to basics, one must check his bad attitude at the door, and not reclaim it as he exits.
There is so much good in the world today, and so many reasons to be thankful, to have faith, enthusiasm and optimism.
If you think you can find those things by reconnecting with some of the older institutions in your community, by all means, go for it.
If you think you can find those things by hanging around different people – you can still have your friends, even if they don’t inspire you – by all means look for those different people. There’s no telling to what, or to whom, they could introduce you.
Looking for that one person who is going to change the world by bringing things back to the way they were is a futile exercise. However, looking for that one person who is going to change YOUR life, who will make YOUR life better, can not only be productive, but also can be very fulfilling.
In short, being optimistic, enthusiastic, open and happy can not only bring you joy, it very well could bring you success. Plus, it’s certainly better to be happy, even if you have to work at being happy, than being miserable.
Go for happy.
Peter

DIGITAL EVIDENCE AND HIRING PRACTICES

#PredictiveAnalytics #SocialMedia #jobs
We all know the job-search routine: find a job you might want, send a resume, fill out an application, sit for an interview and, assuming you decide the job is for you, get hired.
But with the advent of social media, employers not only have ways to find out things about you, they can do social media profiles, so-called predictive analytics, on you to determine whether you have the characteristics they want.
Rodd Wagner, best-selling author and confidential adviser to senior business and government leaders, discussed this in a Jan. 21, 2016, column in USA Today. Wagner’s most recent book is titled, “Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People.”
Wagner’s book title is ominous, though most of us have probably had jobs in which the boss may not have looked at us as “people.” We were more like “assets,” or “human resources.”
Few people realize how much digital evidence they leave in their wake, Wagner writes. A person’s profile of the “Big Five” personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – can be discovered through a person’s Facebook posts and likes, and machine coding of what the person has written online, Wagner writes.
We’ve all heard creepy stories of prospective employers demanding to know one’s Facebook password, so he can delve more deeply into one’s personality. We’ve also heard stories of schoolteachers and other public figures being fired for posting a picture of himself or herself enjoying a harmless glass of wine.
Many of us don’t think that what we do online is in the public domain. We may think that only our “friends” see it. Now, Wagner asserts, an online profile of you can be created through patterns of activities on social media and elsewhere in the digital world.
Is this fair? Fairness doesn’t matter. Employers will do whatever is legal and possible to find out everything they can about you, especially if they are hiring you for a big-time or sensitive job.
Wagner writes that this process is messy. Poor decisions will be made because of that evidence. There will be abuses. There will be lawsuits, either because the computer picked someone else for a promotion, or, if predictive analysis proves far superior than human judgment, because a company relied solely on people rather than machines to make its decision.
Messiness also produces backlash, Wagner writes. There will be legislation and court rulings to redefine worker privacy and managerial discretion in the predictive analytics world. The goal is to ensure that science serves employees with a better job fit and opportunities, as much as it serves the business, Wagner writes.
The moral here is to be careful on social media. Watch out for political discussions, controversial posts etc. Read them if you must, but react to them publicly at your peril, if you ever intend to look for a job. “Like” a cute picture, but be wary of “liking” a controversial drawing or cartoon.
Most of all, take care in what you write. You can be yourself, and still be somewhat unassuming. Be careful in complaining about someone, or something. Make sure your posts are as positive as they can be.
Of course, if you’d like not to have to worry about predictive analytics, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll find a way to save money, make money and avoid confrontation with a prospective employer.
Your online activity can say lots about you, whether it’s correct or not. You may have a hard time correcting incorrect perceptions should you have to confront predictive analytics.
Peter

YOU’RE BEING TRACKED: HOW DO YOU LOOK

We are all being tracked.

Complete privacy is a thing of the past.

The best we can hope for is that we look good to the world.

Kate O’Neill, founder and principal of KO Insights, discussed this in a Dec. 21, 2014, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.

“We have the means to measure, by some proxy, how we live up to our intentions and how we impact others,” O’Neill writes. “The strategy we set today provides the framework for improvement tomorrow,” she says.

Our life trail will certainly show imperfections. It will show what we did right, what we did wrong. The question becomes: did we do better today than yesterday, and will we do even better tomorrow?

It’s one thing for a person to succeed. But did he help others succeed in the process, or did he succeed because he took advantage of others?

Sophisticated devices, social media and other modern conveniences leave us more exposed than ever. We leave trails of data everywhere. We use the Internet to find jobs or customers, who can learn so much about us in a very short time.

It’s all good, right? For those who wish to remain as private as possible, it’s not necessarily good. For those who wish to conceal some things about them, it’s not so good. But most of us want to be out there, for everyone to see. We want to be able to communicate with others easily, even if we can’t meet face to face.

Of course, personal contact and face-to-face meetings are far superior to other communication forms. After all, we can’t read people online. Personal interactions are much more fun than our impersonal ones.

So what do you look like to the world? What mark are you leaving for all to see? Are you helping others?

We must be careful as we look at others not to judge quickly. As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote recently, his high school friend in Oregon who died at 54 could look, at first glance, like a typical moocher. But Kristof, and those who knew him well, knew him as a hard worker, who just got down on his luck. Kristof called him a victim of economic inequality.

There are many ways those of us who might be down on our luck economically to recover, without asking for a handout. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Success could be there for the taking if you are sufficiently motivated.

Paul Anka’s lyric in “My Way,” made famous by Frank Sinatra, says, “The record shows, I took the blows, and did it my way.” If “your way,” is to help others, may you take the blows deftly, without injury. Success likely will grace you. If “your way” is to do all for yourself, and little for others, may the record show improvement today, and even more tomorrow.

Peter