Of all days within my recent memory, today is more than a day of inauguration; today is the first day of a promised economic Spring where fields of flowers will cover the landscape far and near. No doubt the world will be watching as our president-elect becomes sworn in…a glorious day indeed. Not to be caught up in the hyperbole of the moment, what does all this mean for the career-minded professional trying to get and remain ahead? We’ve heard the speeches and the promises; they sound, well, promising but how did we get into this mess anyway and will an economic stimulus package get us out of this funk today, tomorrow, or next decade?
I’ll leave the economic jargon, claims of greed, and wide mood swings for the final round and will concentrate on what I’ve come to hear in the past few months. My neighbors are excited; both are retired and feel confident they will be able to rebound from personal loses encountered from the stock market. Heck, they also carry the notion benefits will increase, mortgage payment will decrease, their undereducated and unemployed son will find a high-paying job by the end of February, and their daughter will once again be able to go to college (with the government paying most the way). I’m not sure how this is going to happen but I’ve listened to the rhetoric and witnessed the parades celebrating our sudden (okay, by tomorrow afternoon) economic turnaround.
In my opinion, economic relief without career guidance on a global scale leads to chaos. I don’t have an issue with chaos theory (I am an avid supporter) but throwing money into a system ill-prepared to handle employment issues is not a feasible remedy. Is the United States prepared to go career-global? Are our colleges and universities training student’s international perspectives? Cultural sensitivities? Cultural semantics? Being an instructor and a dean at a small college, I refuse to answer the above questions as many will not like the answer.
Political promises aside, government and the new administration must accept and resolve our educational complacency by supporting institutions of higher learning. Only an aggressive approach and infusion of capital will create a long-term resolution to our recession, both economic and intellectual.
Will our new government address the issues of career management on a grand scale or will educational budget freezes ruin progressive thinking? With so much money being thrown in all directions without accountability, I wish I could be more optimistic.
President Obama, give our children and young adults the opportunity to better themselves and, in return, improve the United States standing in the world. Now is the time to invest in our future, not by supporting greedy corporate leaders, but by supporting academic institutions and the working class of America. Will supporting these causes be an overnight solution? Of course not. Career management policy and implementation is a long-lasting solution where benefits are built upon a solid foundation. America is put together upon intellectual freedom—strapping students and those wishing to promote themselves is not an option we can afford.
The talk, rhetoric, and promises are fine for yesterday and today. In a time where optimism is required, the marketing strategies from President Obama’s campaign was not only perfect, it was our light in a storm. But time for talk and promises are over and career management must be on the forefront of government investment.
Can we? Depends….