According to Paul Krugman in the New York Times, the “forecasting consensus” is that while a stock market recovery may be started, unemployment in the US will remain high for at least two more years. It’s what they call a jobless recovery, which is good if you’re one of the people left with capital but pretty awful if you aren’t. It also means that the changes in the economic landscape haven’t ended.
I’m going to talk about this more in this week’s newsletter, but I’ll touch on it here: sometimes you have to get out of where you are. You have to move.
Sometimes that is moving from your current employer. Lots of very talented people who are not tied to the automobile industry in America are finding somewhere else to work, those who haven’t been fired. It’s not that there will be no automobile industry here in America — my own Subaru is made a couple of hours away — but that you can’t predict in any way what the landscape will look like.
Sometimes it’s moving to a different career. I lived through a cycle of this in the early 1980s when I was going to secondary school in a depressed area south of Detroit. Auto workers were trying to find new places to work, new ways to work. New ways to be. Sometimes you have to leave something that seems valuable in order to move forward.
Let me appropriate Marshall’s title here: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. If by there we mean “someplace that isn’t sliding backward”.
Leaving is hard, though. I’ll put this into clearer terms in this week’s newsletter, and let me say it a bit here. You will tend to value something that has already cost you something, being captive to the sunk costs. Even when it makes no rational sense.
You need to pop out of the pain that you feel and think rationally. One way is to imagine what you would tell someone in not-quite-exactly-your-situation. Someone similar to you but not you. What would you say?
Maybe you would say “What’s keeping you here?”