Career Management Monday, December 1, 2008

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Let me tell you: it was wonderful being off the grid for a four-day Thanksgiving weekend!

But, back to work and having a ton to get done over the next several days. The long weekend served up some good as well as sobering news for knowledge workers:

Chicago plant workers stunned by bonus

In a story that only reads true for CEO’s and other management executives, the family owners of a ball bearings company gave year-end bonus checks to all of their workers based on the sale of the company and years of service.

A total of $6.6 million is being shared by just 230 employees of Waukegan-based Peer Bearing Co., with facilities in England and the United States. Amounts varied and were based on years of service.

“They treated us like extended family,” said Maria Dima, who works at Peer Bearing along with her husband, Valentin, and received a somewhat smaller check than he did. “We won the lottery.”

It is recognition that while it takes a great management team to be successful in business, it also takes workers who carry out the company mission to their customers through their work. Something that needs to happen more in today’s world.

Under pressure from banking industry, US government eased lending rules

The administration’s blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.

Many of the banks that fought to undermine the proposals by some regulators are now either out of business or accepting billions in federal aid to recover from a mortgage crisis they insisted would never come. Many executives remain in high-paying jobs, even after their assurances were proved false.

The amount of pain we will suffer for this lack of regulation and oversight will be with us, I predict, through 2010 ā€“ and longer for consumers balance sheets to get better. Avoidable. Naturally.

We are officially in a recession

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in December, 2007. Didn’t you already know?

DOW closes down 679 points

Wiping out most of last week’s gains and gets us back to the stock market level in September of 2002. Makes you want to party all over again, doesn’t it? How’s your portfolio?

The view from here: it will take through 2009 to get back to some level of confidence in the numbers we are seeing and the recognition that the worst is finally over. Hang on to your cubicles!

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