Work Futures Daily | Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

| More Stakewashing | The Overqualified Trap | Work Stress | Go Ahead And Quit | Hippocrates | Charisma |

source: Patrick Tomasso

Beacon NY 2019–08–21 | The stakewashing in the press these days is wearing me down. I am feeling decidedly left of socialist, as a result.


Tom Wilson, in Save Capitalism by Paying People More, appears to be embracing an agenda of corporate generosity, saying that companies should create more high-paying jobs. But this is just more stakewashing, since he doesn’t actually commit to raising wages. If you don’t know Wilson is the chairman, chief executive, and president of the Allstate Corporation and chairman of the executive committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce, which makes him pretty much the archangel of capitalism in the US, today. But in this piece, he wags his finger at corporate boards who aren’t focused on paying workers more, sort of:

American businesses prosper by asking tough questions, creating specific goals and executing plans. This must now be applied to creating higher-paying jobs.

But the other end of that equation would be closing the gap in executive compensation, where CEOs are making 200X what the rank and file are paid. Wilson has nothing to say about that.

But I love the anecdote about automation he shares:

I heard a story about Walter Reuther, the legendary union leader, walking through a Ford Motor plant in Cleveland that was becoming mechanized. A Ford official pointed to some new machines and asked him, “How are you going to collect union dues from these guys?” Reuther thought for a moment and responded, “How are you going to get them to buy Fords?”

I doubt that Wilson realizes that he sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit about the cluelessness of corporate leaders, Consider this snippet:

According to a 2018 Gallup poll, less than half of young Americans today support capitalism. This reflects the fact that business is not fully meeting society’s expectations: serving customers, making a profit, creating jobs and improving communities. Businesses are serving customers well and making good profits. But there is not enough focus on creating jobs that provide a living wage.

D’uh. How about making a stronger statement? Half of young people have wised up to the fact that capitalism is a con game, rigged to create capital out of appropriating materials from the commons — oil, minerals, water, the highways, the education of workers — and siphoning off the value created by people’s underpaid work, all applied to creating more capital for the shareholders.

Capitalism ‘works’, since the capital amassed leads to power that can be applied to controlling political parties, social movements, and politicians, and getting your screed published on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times. The threat of automation is just an additional wrinkle, another way for capitalism to extract value magically from the realm of our everyday lives into the machinery of extraction.

Yes, they will automate the factories so there will be zero workers, if they can, and only later will they ask ‘who will buy the cars?’.


The ‘Overqualified’ Trap Can Hit You at Any Time | Sue Shellenbarger looks into a strange status: being considered overqualified.

Few obstacles are more perplexing for job seekers than being told you’re overqualified. The problem can crop up anytime, even early in applicants’ careers, and often when they least expect it. Trying to overcome hirers’ misgivings can feel like shadowboxing with a ghost. New research lends insight into some of the quirky and often counterintuitive reasons managers decide somebody is just too good for the job — reasons applicants can sometimes overcome with forethought and skillful communication.


Dr. [Oliver] Hahl and several colleagues tested hiring managers’ willingness to make an offer to two candidates for a corporate finance job. Both had elite-college degrees and worked at comparable employers. One candidate had a stellar record, heading a 10-person team financing $1.5 billion transactions. The other led a much smaller team doing deals one-tenth the size.

The managers were more likely to make an offer to the candidate with the less impressive record, according to a study published in March and co-led by Dr. Hahl, Roman Galperin, an associate professor of management at Johns Hopkins University, and Adina Sterling, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. The managers assumed the candidate with the stellar résumé wouldn’t be as committed to the company or stick with the job as long as the other applicant, the researchers found.

How to break the trap?

* Explain up front why you’re applying for a position that seems beneath you.

* Research the job in depth so you can describe how it matches your experience.

* Be consistent in explaining your reasons for applying throughout all interviews for the job.

* Show openness and flexibility by talking about things you want to learn.

* Line up references who will vouch for your commitment.

* Network with contacts who also know insiders at the target company.


This is how your bad boss is affecting your health | Stephanie Vozza looks into work stress:

If you haven’t had a vacation yet this year, get one on the books right now. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that skipping vacations is directly related to your health. “One of the most startling findings from the study was that participants who took less than three weeks of annual vacation had a 37% higher risk of dying than those who took more than three weeks,” says [Andrea] Goeglein [Author of Don’t Die With Vacation Time On The Books].


Only 23% of people who quit their jobs regret it.

Quote of the Day

Ars longa, vita brevis.

| Hippocrates (Art is long, life is short.)


What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too |Bryan Clark wants us to break through our social anxieties and connect. Basically, you need to learn how to be a good storyteller, and then a little more:

Charismatic people are well liked not just because they can tell a good story, but also because of how they make others feel. Aside from being humorous and engaging, charismatic people are able to block out distractions, leaving those who interact with them feeling as if time had stopped and they were all that mattered. They make people feel better about themselves, which leads them to return for future interactions, or to extend existing ones, if only to savor such moments.