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July 7, 2008
Musical Chairs Has Begun: Best of Luck

This is a short story, easy to read, not the easiest subject. Take it to heart.

Oh my, it’s happening already. Service people in service businesses are looking for new jobs in a time of economic weakness. Smells a lot like the spirit of 2000. It’s a dangerous proposition, too, filled with greed and disaster looming. I remember it well…

A thousand years ago, in 1999, there were zillions of young people running around looking for jobs even though they had a good one waiting for them. It was so much fun to look and change and jump; to job-hop at will. Everyone had a lot of bravado—employers to. Difference was: employers knew they would keep their jobs!

Suddenly came April 2000—namely the 16th or the day the musical market died. In the next few months a ton of hoppers were seen over to The Gap or lining the unemployment room. It was an eerie time when people would call back their employer and say oops I did it again—namely “Can I have it back, please!” It’s when a lot of the gumption-oriented said silently: “What the heck did I do now?”

Most never returned to the business they came from (and none got their old job back for even a split-second of freelance).

If you leave a position where you’re relatively comfortable and learning a bit, and go to another where you’re getting some more money and maybe a boss who pats you on the back with a beer, you end up on the lowest rungs when it comes to “financially beneficial” (quotes funny) layoffs. No matter how much they wooed you, it was for something that company thought was going to happen—not something promised!

Sorry to be dour, which is not my wont, but we just slammed into the second half of what Murdoch’s WSJ called “a wild year so far,” and let me warn you to be happy with what you have—just like I am. Because, and now I sound like my Mother for the first time, you might look back and wonder if the grass was really just as green on the side you left.

Ah yes. Green! The color of the year—and our many moneyed blessings. Count yours.

For more fun times get 2011: Trendspotting: Yeahwhatever.com. Share your stories here.

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Richard Laermer is CEO of New York's RLM pr, representing, among others, e-Miles, Epic Advertising, Yodlee, Revolution Money, Group Commerce, Smith & Nephew, and HotChalk. He was host of TLC's cult program Taking Care of Business and speaks on trends and marketing for corporate groups. You can read Laermer on The Huffington Post and on the mischievous but all-too-necessary Bad Pitch Blog. For more like this, follow him on @laermer.

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