I was listening to one of those financial talk shows on the car radio and a caller wanted career advice. His stock options have tanked and he's getting calls from headhunters trying to get him to jump ship and take a new job with a company offering a surefire stock-option, get-rich scheme.
The caller likes his company but he'd also like to turn a fast buck. He's torn between a job he likes and the promise of riches.
Does he wait it out until his company's stock turns up or move on now? Turns out many of his colleagues have received similar calls from headhunters hired by the competition to sniff out vulnerable prey. The talk show host didn't do much to solve the caller's dilemma.
When I was a lad, I never knew anyone who made $10,000. The fathers in the neighborhood had a trade or owned a saloon or were streetcar conductors, policemen, politicians, firemen, clerks, accountants or factory workers. The mothers who worked were telephone operators, teachers, or worked in the bakery or in a factory.
Many businesses required employees to work a half-day on Saturday, but just having a job in those Depression years was worth whatever it took to keep it. You put in your 40 or 50 years and retired or died in the job. And no one ever came after you with a stock-option package or with any other get-rich deal. But most of those wonderful men and women managed to help put their kids through college and now their grandchildren or great-grandchildren live in a get-rich-now world.
My mother was a fourth-grade teacher and if someone had ever offered her a get-rich opportunity, she would have turned it down; the kids meant too much to her. My dad was a politician and managed to survive the Depression with a series of appointed city jobs. Offer him a get-rich package and he too would have turned it down, but for a different reason. The political machine had been good to him and earned his loyalty. Being a good soldier meant something to him.
What a difference a generation or two makes.
For career and financial advice that won't resolve anything, contact Frank at (firstname.lastname@example.org).