Steak or Peanut Butter

Steak and Peanut Butter.jpeg

Ok, so yes this is not the best looking steak and peanut butter…


But that’s not the point here.


I was talking to a workman who has a seasonal business. 


“Business is doing well,” he said.


During the busy time…they can work 80 days straight without a break. 


And also work until midnight.


But the flip side is that for many months in the year, they have very little work at all.


It’s literally feast or famine. 


As we were talking about this, he says to me:

“We really have to make it during the busy season, because that determines whether we eat steak or peanut butter the rest of the year!”


It struck me how difficult this must be too depend on a few months for how you live all the year round. 


Sure, it must be nice to have a slower season and have some rest, relaxation, and maybe some fun. 


But if, G-d forbid, you’re not earning enough to support yourself for the duration of the year and you’re stuck eating peanut butter because you can’t even afford a steak anymore, then that must be pretty darn tough. 


Just something to think about and be grateful for if you can eat what you want and when you want to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That’s Not Window Dressing

That's Not Window Dressing

I remember as a child, the nursery rhyme that went something like–“How much is that doggie in the window? The one with the waggly tail.”

Now, it’s not dogs or even mannequins in storefront windows, but people–looking for work.

The job market and people’s self-esteem has gotten so miserably low that they are resorting to displaying their jobs skills or just sitting and looking pretty in storefront windows in an attempt to get attention and get offered a job–or as my mother-in-law says in this humorous way, spelling out each letter, a J-O-B.

In the picture at the top of this post, you can see one guy in the storefront window of the art studio bending wire–presumably for that long artistic piece behind him.

However, it’s not even just starving artists anymore taking this up as a marketing opportunity, as the Wall Street Journal (8 May 2013) reports–regular jobless folks in professions from lawyers, to tax experts, and even former CEOs are having to bare themselves in public displays to try and land a job offer.

Those who have been unemployed for months and years are becoming desperate for work as one unemployed political scientist states, “I’m willing to try anything.”

Despite it being so degrading that he “feels like a monkey…in a cage as people walk by and just stare at me.”

Assuredly, it is a sad commentary on society when people looking for jobs and to earn a basic income are treated literally like animals in cages to be examined, made fun of, or even marveled at in a strange sort of way.

Historically, in red light districts, scantily clad women have been exhibited behind glass enclosures to lure customers and money, but as most people would say “That’s the sex industry!”–however, what starts off as okay for the such social vices ends up by extension as the new normal for our educated, white collar workers.

Never-the-less, some employers are taking notice–they see these window displays of professionals, not as loafers or weirdoes, but as go-getters and even sometimes highly creative based on the sophistication of their window displays–with them in it.

In the picture, the guy in the window with his feet up, glasses off, and soda bottle on the floor behind him is making a marketing statement about himself, but I’m not sure I would hire someone based solely on the callouses, corns, and bunions on their feet. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Vizualize Yourself

Vizualize_me_-_andy

I tried out this new visual resume online called Vizualize Me.

 

It is currently in beta, but it connects up with LinkedIn and pulls your profile, work experience, education, skills, and recommendations right from there.

 

You can edit the data in Vizualize Me and even name you URL–I named mine Andy Blumenthal.

 

There are also multiple themes for showing your information–although, I liked the default one the best.

 

And you can edit colors, fonts, and backgrounds, but I didn’t go that far with it today.

 

The only problem with the program that I had with it was when I tried to refresh the visual resume after making some updates to LinkedIn, it got locked up.

 

While the program is still a little kludgy, I like the infographics used for this visual resume and I think it quickly and easily captures a person’s professional and educational background.

 

Hope you like it too!

New Beginnings

Next week I am excited to begin a new journey as a Division Chief at the U.S. Department of State.
I just wanted to take a minute to thank the ATF for the opportunity to serve there as the Chief Technology Officer these last few years.
There are no finer or more dedicated law enforcement agents than those that work for our federal government, and I am so proud that the ATF chose me to support their vital mission of protecting our country.
I also greatly appreciate the opportunity to have worked and learned with such talented and dedicated professionals in the Office of Science and Technology. 
Some people have asked me to comment on my tenure from the perspective of what’s going on in the news. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do that, but I do want to recognize and thank people for caring so passionately about our great country.
It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, learn, and contribute as well. 
I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity–ready, set, go!