What Happened to the American Dream?

Guest Post by Peter Weddle

The recent Time Magazine cover story focuses on the American Dream. What is it and what is happening to it in the post recession economy? This guest post by Peter Weddle explores that idea further.Image

Politicians and pundits alike have been debating just when the “recovery” will finally pick up steam. They all have different theories, and they’re all wrong.

Recovery suggests that we will, at some point, return to an economy similar to the one we had before the Great Recession. We won’t. Why? Because of something I call the Economic Singularity.

The term “singularity” was coined by a science fiction writer and academic, Vernor Vinge. He created it to designate that point in time when machines would become smarter than humans. So, what’s the Economic Singularity? It’s the point in time when the employees in companies outside the U.S. become smarter than American workers.

According to Vinge, we haven’t yet reached the singularity. We have, however, passed the Economic Singularity.

By every measure, workers in China, India, Korea, Germany and elsewhere have more up-to-date skills and more current knowledge than many of us do. As a result, American companies are no longer competing organizations with cheaper labor. They’re competing against those with more capable labor.

That reality has opened a new era in the American workplace. As I explain in my just published book, A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, this emerging epoch is often described as an Information Age. It’s not. Information is worthless unless it’s put to work effectively. So, what is actually occurring is the dawning of the Informed Age.

The more capable each of us is in using the latest information creatively and productively on-the-job, the more valued we will be by our employers and the more secure our future will be in the global economy.

When you are informed, you excel at your work. And, excellence is the new definition of “qualified” in the American workplace. Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to hang onto the one you currently have, it’s no longer enough to be able to do the work; now, you have to excel at it.

This redefinition of workplace qualifications and a host of other changes represent a societal shift that is every bit as profound and permanent as the transition our nation made from an agrarian to an industrial society in the late 19th century. It is frightening, disruptive and unforgiving.

As with that earlier shift, however, this new era also holds great promise and possibilities. It holds more opportunity than has ever existed in the land which invented it. For the U.S., therefore, there won’t be a recovery, but there will be lots and lots of discovery. And, discovery is the energy source of the American Dream.

To read an excerpt from Peter Weddle’s new book, A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, please visit www.AMultitudeofHope.com. The book is available at Amazon.com and in bookstores nationwide.

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Job Search Advice for the College Grad

  1. Take advantage of your college’s career center while enrolled.  They can help counsel you on choosing a career, job searching tips, matching with recruiters in your field, and more.
  2. Consult with advisors and professors within the college or school of your major.  Many of them come from working in the field and can provide advice on the types of jobs you should search and apply to as well as ways to help get your foot in the door.
  3. Tap into your alumni network.  Many colleges have specific networks set up to help current students connect with alumni already working in the field students are interested in, and they can be an invaluable tool for landing your first job.
  4. Don’t discredit internship opportunities.  If you are looking for your first job out of college, you may still be able to take advantage of post-grad internship opportunities, some of which are paid, to help launch you career into the field of your choice.  Many companies also hire interns as full time employees after a successful time in the internship role.
  5. Consider your non-traditional work experience. Many positions, even at the entry-level, give preference to candidates with experience.  Though you may be completely new to the job market, that doesn’t mean you haven’t gained applicable experience you could apply to a role.  Consider how your participation in volunteer work, extracurricular activities such as sports or clubs, hobbies, or class projects have prepared you with experience for the job opportunities you’re applying to.

Job.com Pavilion is in its Third Season!

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Job.com is back in action for its third season as the official sponsors of a local concert pavilion in our hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The Job.com Pavilion will host many great performers, such as Lynyrd Skynrd, Willie Nelson, Bruce Hornsby, Darius Rucker and the Wailers. 

As the naming sponsors, Job.com has a lot planned for this summer’s concert series.  In addition to giving away free tickets to upcoming shows via prize patrol or our new prize wheel, Job.com will be collecting donations to support local Special Olympics programs and athletes. At various shows, we will give away free t-shirts and other prizes to promote Job.com in the community and continue our mission to put Virginia back to work.

 Additionally, we will be raising awareness for open positions within our company and using our sponsorship to get the word out about what Job.com contributes to our community.

For the full schedule, visit celebratevirginialive.com and check out our press release here