Arguably, the hottest topic of conversation in America today, if not the world, is the presidency of Donald Trump and his domestic and international policies. People are divided over the many related issues and are so hotly debating them that I can virtually feel people tensing as they read this. Let’s everyone take a deep breath, exhale the tension and relax! This is a Trump-neutral article about the one thing we all agree on: jobs. We all want jobs, need jobs, never have enough jobs and want more jobs.
But what abut professional roles? Trump seems concentrated mostly on manufacturing jobs. Although I’m not in the manufacturing industry and I am not a factory worker, I’m not mad at that. I’m not a Trump supporter but I am a people supporter. I watched a gentleman on television who lives in a rural area say when money is tight he hunts so his family can eat. I can feel only empathy and support for those who have seen their middle class existence dry up and blow away, never to return AND are hunting for food for their families — in America!
People who live in or near major cities as I do, and do not have rural areas nearby, may not understand that in rural areas the entire local economy may rest upon a single employer. The next potential employer may be a couple hundred miles away. If you are a family affected in this way, moving may not be an option. Moving takes money. If you don’t have any money because your source of income was lost, you can’t move. Here we have the vicious economic cycle. While I know it is debated whether Trump has actually saved any jobs, I focus on the people affected. If Trump has saved just one job, then I am happy for the person who has it.
Having said that, let’s consider professionals. I don’t know if Trump can, will or is even trying to save professional jobs, but it may not matter. I’m sure all Americans, including me, will be happy to keep more jobs in this country. However, I’m more concerned with what may happen as a result of jobs staying in America, what may happen to us and how we can prepare ourselves.
Companies are in business to make profits. There may be some social conscience but the bottom line is the main thing. Employers often lament the cost of labor because it is their largest expense. They will always look to cut costs as a way to increase profits. Trump may offer tax incentives to stay in America, but will that work for us workers – professionals or otherwise? I’m sure every employer will determine the opportunity cost of keeping jobs in America. Will tax incentives yield as much cost savings as outsourced jobs? If it doesn’t, and maybe even if it does, companies will make up the difference by paying lower salaries and raising the prices of goods and services. Imported goods may find a tariff attached in the near future. That cost will be passed along to consumers. Governments get most of their revenue from taxes. When companies pay fewer taxes, it is entirely conceivable that individuals end up paying more in income and other types of taxes. All this adds up to us paying more for the same products and services, while having less money with which to pay. One need not be an economist to see this is not a good thing!
So what can we do? We can prepare. Take stock of your career and be honest with yourself. Do you need to update your skills? Are your skills in demand? Browse the job boards and see what’s hot and what’s not. While you are employed is a great time to pursue a new skill because you are not under financial or time pressure. If you have experience in something, find out if there are any certificates available for it. Certificates are a great way to prove your knowledge, show you have initiative and show you are progressing professionally. Is there a career or business you always wanted to try? Maybe it’s time to dust off that dream and work on it. I recently met someone who had just built her business to the point that she could leave her day job to work in the business full time. If you have always dreamed of being your own boss, maybe the time is now to start. If you are mindful to ensure your competitive advantage in the marketplace, it may not matter if Trump saves professional jobs — you will always be in demand.
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