I may remember incorrectly, but if memory serves, in Camelot Merlin tells the future King Arthur to consider his kingdom from the perspective of animals. What does the lion see as he roams the jungle? And what does the eagle see as it soars in the sky? Think like the eagle, Merlin advises.
Good advice! For job hunters as well. And also for individuals who don’t want to have to go through a job hunt during the next recession!
The United States may be the most powerful country on the planet, but it only represents five percent of the world economy. Not very impressive, is it? Well, that’s not fair. Depending on your definition, there are something like 223 countries. So the fact that one country accounts for a twentieth of all economic activity is certainly nothing to sneeze at. But that does not mean that one should ignore the other 95%.
Companies that have the best chance to withstand turbulent economic times are those that spread themselves out. I said “out,” not “thin.” Expansion for the sake of expansion is a prescription for doom! Just as financial advisers preach diversification of one’s financial portfolio, I would advice job seekers to look for companies that have a global presence. When the economy is shaky in one country, stability in another can help offset corporate problems.
The irony is that we have outsourcing to thank for our ability to benefit from globalization. Here’s something very few people seem to know: Outsourcing is good! Inc. Magazine reported in its April 2006 issue that for 2003 134,000 jobs were outsourced, while 5.4 million jobs were insourced. In other words, for every American who lost a job which went to a citizen of a foreign country, 40 Americans received work in the US from foreign employers. Lose one job, get 40 jobs, net 39 jobs. Not bad!
Of course, from the perspective of the individual losing a job, it’s a catastrophe. It’s also an opportunity – although it won’t be looked at that way.
But let’s continue. These statistics were from 2003. I’m still trying to find more recent statistics. My failure, according to a friend who is an economics professor in Boston, may be because of a lack of a definition. It’s not clear what “outsource” really means. No matter. According to this month’s issue of Fast Company, quoting the McKinsey Global Institute, for every one dollar outsourced just to India, the US gets back $1.14. Outsourcing is good! So look at things from the perspective of the eagle… but don’t forget the lion.
The largest purchaser of goods and services in the world is the US Government. Federal jobs are, however, in jeopardy every two years or so. But what is not in jeopardy is the fact that the Federal Government will always need to purchase good and services from vendors. So from the lion’s perspective, the largest prey worth hunting in the US jungle is Washington. Job seekers should therefore consider companies that sell to the government. Government contracts can last for years before they are up for renewal and automatic renewals are common. Government contracting is lucrative. Look for government contractors. They benefit from a high degree of stability.
And, in case someone is going to write to complain, I have nothing against fish, dolphins or any of their fellow sea-creatures. It’s just that the view of the lion, and that of the eagle, are better!