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On Management: Jobs

A lot is being said about jobs these days, ranging from "How do I keep mine?" to "How do I get one?"

"The Snowball" refers to a book by that title about Warren Buffett. The snowball represents the little bit he started with that slowly became one of the world's largest fortunes.

Not many jobs will come out of complaining about the government, banks or companies. Actually, companies that have jobs are looking for people who have a positive attitude, people who know there are problems but choose to attack them from an optimistic angle that brings along a team of people. More about this later.

First I'd like to complain a little about government, banks and companies.

Government cannot create any jobs except government jobs. I wrote this late last year during the presidential campaign, and I was told by at least half of the people who wrote in that I was crazy. A typical negative comment went something like, "What a stupid statement! Of course a government can create jobs." Others told me I was a poor writer who didn't understand how the world worked. And some much worse.

But the facts are that the government can only create jobs by making life easier for businesses. It can give tax credits (as it does for green industries like wind turbines), it can subsidize a market like it has for new home buyers, or it can incentivize businesses by easing the tax load. These things give more profit to businesses so they can invest in themselves.

Government can't even give you a government job without taking money from the rest of us (taxes).

How about this to get some hearts racing.... Every drop of money the government spends comes from profit. Business profit, capital gains profit, savings account profit, etc. The government taxes business, people (paid through profit), sales (no profit, no pay, no sales), real estate, etc. Without profit or loans or gifts from other countries, any country is out of business. Right now our country's income is basically from taxes on our business profit and loans from China.

One good suggestion is that we should cut spending. An annoying thing about government is that the last thing it thinks about cutting is its own size. There are lots of examples, but how about the increasing cost of college, a ticket on the light rail and the fact that your house is worth less than last year but your real estate taxes have gone up substantially.

The bottom line is that government should ease the tax burden, particularly on small business so it can prosper and provide more people with jobs.

Banks have not yet begun to be part of the solution by helping small and medium businesses survive the crisis by loaning money to those that deserve loans. We will not have a recovery until this happens.

Companies need to bet on the future. Hire somebody! As a work force we are tighter than in a long time. Production per employee is higher than in 20 years. Hire at least one person. At least a part-time person if you can. There are some 13 million businesses in the U.S. We could put quite a dent in the unemployment numbers and start something of an avalanche if everyone who could hired another person. Bet on the future of your company and the country.

But back to the original question: How to get a job now? My plan would include:

• Be positive. There are so many people whining right now that when companies start hiring they are really going to go for someone who is positive and really going after it.
• Be interested. Ask a million questions of everyone you meet. Tell them who you are and what you do.
• Be active. Don't stay home. Get out among the people. Go to service clubs. Go to meetings. Treat every situation like someone present has a job that would fit you just fine and look for that person.
• Learn something new. If you have extra time, take a class.
• Get help from some experts on finding a job.

Good luck!

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Pat Wiesner

Pat Wiesner is the retired CEO of WiesnerMedia, publisher of ColoradoBiz. He still leads sales training for the company. E-mail him at pwiesner@cobizmag.com.

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