Daniel Pink's "Seven Dirty Words of the Free Agent Workforce"

from "The Free Agent Nation"


Don't empower people. You can't! Thank them for empowering you.


You can inspire people, challenge people and motivate people - but you can't retain people. They are not cattle.


Work is not a country club. You can't make anybody pay his or her dues.


One of the surest ways to crush the job satisfaction of creative and technical people is to promote them.


People work for the customer, for themselves, for their families. They don't work for you.


Treat people like adults rather than merely extending their curfew. Don't think flexibility. Think liberation.


Get rid of your HR Department. Create a Talent Center

Earl Nightingale's
The Strangest Secret

Lead the Field By Earl Nightingale

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How Big Is Your Why?

by Tom Staskiewicz

When people sign up for our newsletter we ask, how we can help? Recently one person told us that he needed help staying motivated.

Staying motivated is challenging!

I understand the dilemma. Staying motivated is a challenge. There are way too many distractions and trying to avoid them is a constant battle.

Do you have a why?

Much of being motivated requires you to have goals and critically important is the drive to achieve the goal. Many of us say we want this or that and sometimes we mistakenly think of these as goals, but they are not. These are simply fleeting and sometimes recurring thoughts, but thoughts none the less.

How big is your why?

You need to be serious about what you want and you must have a conviction about what you want. The more serious you are and the greater the conviction you have; the greater will be your motivation.

Your motivation can be encapsulated into a single question: how big is your why? How badly do you want to achieve your goal? What drives your desire and motivation?

A driving why example

There have been a couple of movies in the last few years starring Liam Niesen with the word "Taken" in the title. The premise of the first movie was his daughter and her friend were kidnapped. Liam Niesen's character was driven to find and save his daughter; his why was huge!

Liam Niesen's character was going to spend whatever he had to spend, do whatever he had to do, take whatever time it would take, risk whatever he had to risk and even kill whomever he had to kill; nothing was going to stop him from getting his daughter back!

Yes, this is an extreme example, but the point is how important is your goal and how badly do you want to achieve your goal? What are you willing to give or give up to achieve your goal? Will you do whatever it will take? Will you make whatever commitment is required? Will you follow through to completion? If your why is big enough; you will do these things without giving it a second thought. You will have the motivation you need to see it through.

What do you want?

Everyone wants something in life, typically it is some type of change: an improvement, a benefit, security or an opportunity. It may be better relationships with their spouse, children, significant other, parents, siblings or extended family. Maybe it's freedom, independence, excitement, challenge or success. Maybe they are looking for friends and friendship.

Whether the desire is for more income, fewer working hours, a vacation, better vacations, more time to exercise, play golf or tennis, or any of the other things mentioned above; you must have a driving desire.

These are the sources of motivation; the most difficult challenge becomes keeping these objectives in front of you and staying focused on your goals; yes you may even have multiple goals which can make it even more difficult.

We cannot motivate you; motivation comes from within

The first part of the answer is no one can motivate someone else. Now, a person can use threats in an attempt to motivate someone else, but threats only work for a while. No, true motivation comes from within and only from within!

We can help with focus

Even though we cannot motivate you, we can provide ideas on how you can keep yourself focused on the things to which you aspire.

There are many things, internal and external, to move you off course, to take away your focus. This is why it is so important you have and maintain focus.

If you have received this information from a friend visit our site and sign up for your own personal copy.

Does Your Fear Have a Name?

by Tom Staskiewicz

Named must your fear be before banish it you can

In one of the Star Wars movies Yoda says; "Named must your fear be before banish it you can."

Basically what Yoda is saying is if you are unwilling to face and acknowledge your fear; you will never be able to get over your fear.

We live in a time of great uncertainty and uncertainty causes or adds to our fears. Fears can be debilitating, they can stop us in our tracks.

The only way to prevent your fears from stopping you is to face those fears.

When you are stopped in your tracks; when you cannot move forward; when you are panicked; ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What am I afraid of;
  2. Why am I letting this stop me;
  3. What is the worst that can happen;
  4. What is the best that can happen;
  5. What are the chances of either one happening;
  6. What would be the result;
  7. Is it a permanent result;
  8. Could I recover; and
  9. What would I do next?

What am I afraid of:

I once heard Zig Ziglar give the definition of Fear; it was;

Zig's point was we let many things, based upon no rational reasoning, stand in the way of doing those things we know we need to do to succeed. We are so afraid of failing or in many cases even succeeding we allow the fear to cripple us.

Additionally Zig was pointing out we allow things which are out of our control to dictate our actions or inactions. Why do we choose to subordinate our goals and desires an irrational feeling or fear?

What is the worst that could happen?

This is a crucial question you must answer; what is the worst thing that could happen? Could you end up broke, dead, without a car or something else you consider valuable, homeless or without family? Yes, these are all valuable and important but it screams even more about how important it is you answer the questions! You need to know the problem: the fear!

You can not take action to face your fear until you acknowledge your fear and give your fear a name.

How Is Your Attitude?

by Tom Staskiewicz

Is Your Mind Working for You or Against You?

Your mind can be your biggest ally or your greatest enemy and it is up to you! Your mind focuses on what you are thinking; your mind's goal is to make those thoughts your reality!

I'm sure you are already thinking that this is going to be one of those think positive articles and here it comes again. To some extent it's true, but not totally.

Think What You Want,
but Don't Be Disappointed by Your Results

I say you are free to choose how you want to think and what you want to think. It really is your choice and one only you can make.

After you do those things ask yourself how is it working for you? How is it working for your family?

Just don't blame someone else for your choices, because that is just what they are Your Choices! They aren't choice made by others, they are not choices made on your behalf; they are yours and yours alone.

Are You Working for or Against You

The next question is whether you are doing yourself any favors. Speaking from experience I know countless times where I haven't done myself any favors.

I have made choices taking me in the opposite direction from what I intended. I have "shot myself down in interviews" where my inability to leave baggage and bitterness behind came through loud and clear to the hiring manager and I didn't get the job.

I always found a reason to justify my actions or feelings, but was this doing myself a favor? No! In fact it brought me a lot of heartache and trouble.

Your Attitude Is Your Choice;
Your Results Reflect Your Attitude

You can have whatever attitude you want, but be careful because it may bring results you do not want

Is What You Are Doing RIGHT NOW;
the Best Use of Your Time?

If you ask yourself that question frequently during the day and answer honestly you will become more productive.

Most people get wrapped up in a routine and do not realize how much activity they undertake that is simply not productive. Read more ...

The "New Workforce"

Today's workforce is changing in two ways:

  1. More part-time jobs; and
  2. Greater use of contract, temporary, and seasonal employees.

We call these changes the "New Workforce".

Employees will no longer be tied to a single organization. Today's employees will be "free agents". They will work for many different organizations, each time negotiating for a salary commensurate with the skills and accomplishments they bring to the organization. Read more...

Careers Go Up and Down; Are You Prepared

Over time careers change, they go up and they go down; your job is to be prepared. You cannot let these changes get you down or affect you mentally long-term, because allowing either of these emotions to take control will impede your ability to rebound and move forward.

Recently Unemployed? Things You Must Do Now!

Our hopes and prayers are for a better economy, but the reality is there are still "pink" slips being issued and families in trouble. If you are recently unemployed have you taken the necessary steps sign up for your benefits? This article outlines some of the things you can do to help yourself and your family.

Two Ways Businesses Can Afford to Pay Higher Wages

There is a mistaken belief that businesses can simply choose to pay higher wages to their employees. The reality it there are only two ways for employers to pay higher wages:

  1. Raise prices to their customers; or
  2. Increase productivity so the business receives more output (money) for each unit of input (in this case hours).

National and World Events Impacting
Employment and Jobs

The "To Your Career Success" Perspective

July Jobs Report Shows Decrease of 137,000
Full-Time Jobs in June
but Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 7.6%

Friday, July 5th the US Department of Labor released the unemployment numbers for June. Employment increased not only by the 195,000 reported for June but there were corrections for both April and May of a combined increase of 70,000 more than previously reported, but still unemployment remains stuck at 7.6%!

The burning question is why doesn't the unemployment rate drop with all of these new jobs being created. To answer the question you must dig deeper into the Department of Labor numbers.

The number of unemployed remained at 11.8 million

The first consideration is the fact the number of unemployed remained unchanged at 11.8 million. How can we add 265,000 (combining the June numbers with the April and May adjustments), have the number of unemployed remain constant and not have a change in the unemployment rate? It makes no sense!

Part-time and temp employment rose by 332,000;
Full-time employment drops by 137,000!

Included in the Labor Department July report, but unmentioned is the 322,000 part-time jobs created in June. We need to clarify: the jobs report does not differentiate between part-time, full-time or even temporary employment. Therefore in June 195,000 jobs of all types and durations were added; if 322,000 part-time and 10,000 are temporary jobs it means we LOST 137,000 full-time jobs in June.

To explain this further many employers cut back the hours for their part-time employees and even reduced the hours for some full-time employees to a part-time status in preparation for the Affordable Care Act. The employers then had to cover the time for these reductions in hours by hiring more part-time help however many of those newly created part-time jobs went to people who were already working part-time, but now needed to add another part-time job because their hours had been cut to less than 30 per week.

Obama Delays Implementation
of Main Provisions of Affordable Care Act

Dateline Washington D.C. - July 2nd

President Obama announced today he will postpone the mandatory requirement for health insurance until January 1, 2015 delaying the implementation one year.

What does this mean for employment?

To the best of our knowledge this means the following:

This may not be all of the impact, but these are the major pieces we have seen to this point.

Are You Really an Independent Contractor

Self-employed according to the IRS

Many self-proclaimed, self-employed workers do not meet the IRS test. If you are an employer or self-employed, you must understand the IRS rules or you are at risk for unexpected taxes and penalties.

You are not independent if...
the employer controls the what and how of a project

As employers attempt to skirt the Affordable Care Act (ACA) they are looking to various types of employment arrangements including temporary employees and independent contractors.

As a temporary employee through a temp agency, the employer has no worries, because the agency will deal with the ACA rules and obligations. The problems for employers arise when they hire directly; at that point they must be careful so they do not run into problems with the IRS.

From the perspective of the IRS

According to the IRS you are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.

People such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, contractors, subcontractors, public stenographers, or auctioneers who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. However, whether these people are independent contractors or employees depends on the facts in each case.

Are you really independent?

The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax.

June Labor Report

Last Friday the US Department of Labor released the employment figures for May. Overall 175,000 non-farm jobs were created. At the same time the unemployment rate rose .1 percent to 7.6%. Most likely this can be explained because April and May are the graduation months for college; May and June are the graduation months for high school - so chances are we may see a similarity in numbers.

Digging Deeper

Digging into the numbers you find 57,00 of the jobs created were professional and business and of those 26,000 are with temporary employment agencies. 6,000 were in computer related industries and 5,000 architectural and engineering.

Leisure, hospitality, restaurants and drinking establishments (as defined by the department of labor) had a job increase of 38,000 and retail expanded by 28,000. It is great to see the expansion but these are typically part-time positions and we have seen an increase in part-time hiring as businesses reduce the hours for current part-time employees to less than 30 hours per week in order to avoid the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Health care jobs increased by 11,000 more than offsetting the loss of 6,000 jobs in hospitals. Health care, outside of the hospitals, is typically lower paying and frequently part-time work.

The unemployment rate is constantly questioned as to its validity and rightfully so. There are many who are not included in the numbers so what can we believe?

Trends to Watch

However, there are other numbers captured by the labor department which can shed, what I believe to be a better, light on what is truly happening. These numbers are the average hours worked per week and the average overtime hours worked per week.

Average hours worked per week

I find this number interesting because it is the average for all jobs part-time and full-time. If the number is trending down there can be two reasons: 1) the economy is slowing and there are more people working fewer hours or 2) there is an increase in people working part-time. With the latest report the number is staying relatively stable.

Average overtime hours

This is another interesting number because increases in overtime have traditionally indicated a building economy and employers went to more overtime in lieu of hiring until they were confident the economy was truly growing. Once assured the economy was growing, businesses would hire more workers which would then reduce the overtime hours. Average hours worked would drop because of the decrease in overtime and average overtime hours would drop as well, however total hours worked would remain the same or even increase.

The trend I believe we are going to see will be a decrease in the average hours worked as part-time employees have their hours reduced to less than 30 and I also believe we will see an increase in average overtime hours as employers choose to pay for more premium hours worked versus the increased costs of health insurance coverage for more employees. Stay tuned...

The Affordable Care Act Is
Changing the Employment Landscape

by Tom Staskiewicz

The new workforce!

In the late 1990s and early 2000s several books hit the market...

All of these books predicted changes in the way people and organizations work. From the predictions of increasing numbers of employees working from home, home-based businesses, "Free Agents" and increasing numbers of temporary or contract employees; the workplace was going to change!

If you are paying any attention at all to employment you can see these changes occurring. Recently changes have started becoming even more obvious as employers prepare for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I have to say I have been amazed at the number of fast food businesses, retailers and others that rely on part-time workers advertising for help. In fact one local restaurant chain is having a Hiring Event where several of their locations will be interviewing prospective employees.

I will continue discussing the changing landscape and the New Workforce this week. As an increasing number of employers report in we are seeing more unintended results coming from the ACA. I am certain members of Congress never anticipated the impact ACA is having on both part and full-time jobs!

Today people are looking for second and even third part-time jobs as they attempt to meet their individual and family financial needs. 25 paid hours per week is not going to be sufficient for gas station attendants, retail and restaurant workers and other people filling minimum wage or low-paying jobs to meet their obligations.

One of the sad realities of this dilemma is many part-time jobs run on scheduled hours with a majority of those hours being evening, holiday and weekend. For the families with small children this is one more challenge as day, evening and and weekend care becomes a need: times when most child-care services are unavailable.

The New Standard for Part-Time Jobs

by Tom Staskiewicz

30 to 40 hours per week is a thing of the past

Many people have depended upon part time jobs as supplemental income for the family and, in some cases, even primary income. Effective January 1, 2014 or before this will become more difficult.

President Obama's landmark legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requires employers either provide health care for employees working over 30 hours per week or pay a fine. However, if the employee works less than 30 hours, there is no requirement for health care benefits nor is there a fine for the employer.

What I am seeing

As I talk to employers I am seeing the changes starting. The employers I am talking with are hiring more part-time employees to bring the maximum working hours for each part-time worker under 30 and frequently under 25. The sad part is these are retail, food service, hospitality, nursing homes and other typically lower-paying positions and this creates additional financial pressure on the family.

The people and families most affected are exactly the people the ACA was designed to help, but instead of helping it is making things worse. Now not only do they not have insurance; they also have a reduction in income.

Multiple part-time jobs will be the new normal

As families have their pay reduced because of a reduction in hours; the individuals working the part-time jobs will be forced to look for a second or even third part-time job to meet their financial needs.

May's job report for April

In the May Household Survey (discussed in one of the articles below) April had a surge in new part-time jobs of 441,000. The Labor Department reported job growth at 165,000. When you combine the two reports it means many full-time jobs were converted to new part-time jobs reflecting an actual loss in full-time jobs.

This job erosion is a problem for the American family; part-time jobs are just not designed to support a family!

You are reading it here first; but what I see as a consequence will be pushes within the State Legislatures and within the US Congress for increases in the minimum wage to compensate for the lost wages. More bad policy, but bad policy begets more bad policy.

Internet Sales Tax

by Tom Staskiewicz

I was reading some articles written by Dr. Peter Morici as he discussed the recent Senate passed bill which would tax Internet sales for all retailers doing over $1 million dollars annually. The Internet retailers would be required to pay taxes to all taxing authorities, not just states. That means taxes paid to cities, counties, and other local jurisdictions.

The cost to the small business and the paperwork headaches will put many of these businesses out of business. The loss of these small businesses will only make things worse for the employment picture nationwide.

Washington continues the relentless attack on American business; what are you doing to protect your interests?

Digging Deeper into the May Job's Report

by Tom Staskiewicz

Although the hype continues over the reported 165,000 increase in payroll jobs (jobs reported by employers as additions to their payroll), there is an underlying story not being reported; a story having ominous consequences.

Full-time employment drops by 148,000 in April

According to the Household Survey total employment actually increased by 293,000 with part-time employment in April growing by 441,000 jobs. To get the true employment picture we need to dig deeper and combine the Labor Department and the Household Survey reports. For part-time jobs to increase by 441,000 and total employment increase by only 293,000 something else had to come into play and this is the ominous part. For these numbers to work means there was a drop in full-time employment of 148,000. Source Forbes Magazine - Ominous Signal of Recession

Our perspective is the pressure being placed on employers is being felt by employees and their families. We are hearing increasingly from employers who are enforcing rules pertaining to hours worked more strictly.

Full-time positions being re-evaluated

Full-time positions are being re-evaluated as to whether they require 40 hours per week. If the position can be scaled back to part-time (less than 30 hours) employers are making this move to avoid the cost and penalties of the Affordable Care Act.

Families must be prepared for major lifestyle changes

If employers do indeed change the work landscape using more part-time and temporary employees family incomes will suffer! There is no other option. Families must prepare for this eventuality by having other income options or lifestyle options.

May Jobs Report: April Better than Expected

The new jobs report was released this morning, May 3rd at 8:30 ET. the rumors that it was going to be disappointing are reportedly unfounded as the the private sector added 165,000 new jobs. The report also announced a revision to the reported numbers over the past three months saying there were 114,000 more new jobs created over this period than previously reported.

The unemployment rate remained at 7.5% showing no improvement for the past three months. With the apparently good news of 279,000 new jobs, why is the unemployment rate not moving? One can only guess at the answer.

165,000 new jobs is a good sign because the economy has to be creating at the rate of 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with the population growth.

However, for most jobs it remains 5 job seekers for every job posted. It's definitely not encouraging, but it still says the job is there for those who persevere.

Perseverance or focus is where most job seekers fail. They are too general in what they tell people they want for a job making it difficult for those who see opportunities to connect the dots. Long ago the great Zig Ziglar said it best, "Are you a wandering generality or a meaningful specific?" Employers today are looking for the meaningful specific; the individual who can come in and produce immediately. Only meaningful specifics can do that!

Dateline Washington, DC...

More from the US Department of Labor

In March, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 803,000 discouraged workers in March, little changed from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.6% from 7.7%, 1/2 Million Workers Stop Looking and Washington Cheers

US creates 88,000 new jobs in March far less than the WORST estimates by economists, but never fear the unemployment rate dropped as well because 500,000 or 1/2 Million additional people STOPPED LOOKING!

The Obama Administration continues to tell the American people the plans are working! How is 1/2 million fewer people giving up on their search for a job considered a program that is working?

The US Department of Labor Mass Layoff Announcements and "GREEN JOB" Reports End with the March Report!

Employers in February took 1,422 mass layoff actions involving 135,468 employees. Mass layoffs are where an employer lays off 50 or more employees in a single action.

Interestingly as a result of the sequestration cuts the Obama Administration has ordered that the statistics captured pertaining to mass layoffs will no long be tallied as well as the statistics related to the growth of "GREEN JOBS"!

Sequestration Cuts Still to Come

We have heard all this rhetoric about the cuts resulting from sequestration, the problem is, according to Washington, they still have not hit us. Therefore, the lack of new jobs is not because of sequestration, the drop in unemployment is not because of sequestration; we are still waiting for the employment hit resulting from sequestration. Stay tuned as Washington tries to figure it out!