24 November 2008

Green Cheese in the Economic Downturn

Green collar jobs are promised and that means relief for unemployed Americans, with the usual delays between intention and implementation. For a short and informal analysis of the green (eco-friendly) aspects of the bailout, see Jon Pophma's Green Pork: The Kind We Like (from October 2008). Obama has indicated a commitment to job creation that goes beyond what campaigns thought would be needed just a few months ago—and with emphasis on green.

Who can go after those jobs? The folks who will be available a year or two from now, of course. But an important consideration will be the willingness of the unemployed to join those industries, giving up strong affinity with the industries they have left. Most baby boomers have formed an identity with career or company, and that's what makes lay-offs so traumatic and re-employment sometimes delayed. It's too easy to say, "If they want a job, they'll adjust."

I like Spencer Johnson's explanation of change models. His 1998 book Who Moved My Cheese? was popular for years (and is still available) and doesn't dismiss out of hand the difficulty some people have accepting change. The book's characters (mice) respond to change (cheese that has been moved by forces beyond mouse control) in ways that are suspiciously human (ranging from denial to resistance to acceptance).

For the unemployed who can overcome resistance to changing industries, there may be a green Christmas...in a year or two.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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