#041 – Hey Teens, the Old Fogeys Want Your Low-Wage Summer Job; Plus: Becoming Mr. & Mrs. Roper

by Jay Carter on July 7, 2011

Want a Job? Become a Landlord – like us

After a month-long break from podcasting, I’m back along with my wife Michele to talk about what we’ve been up to.

You might say we now have something in common with Mr. and Mrs. Roper from the old Three’s Company sitcom:  We’re now landlords.

A recent Wall Street Journal report says becoming a landlord might be a smart move for retirees.  But we think it’s even smarter to do it in your 30s.

We also explore a disturbing trend this year for summer job-seeking teens:  The old fogeys are absorbing many of the low-wage summer jobs that would otherwise go to teenagers.

During the show, Michele and I look back on our own summer jobs back when we were teens during the late ’80s and early ’90s, back when jobs were much easier to come by.  Michele flipped burgers, and I was an awkward radio DJ.  Ah, the good old days….

We hear a recent CBS News report about a teen who’s trying to find a summer job to help pay for a community college education.

My question:  What’s the freaking point?  Why get a job, to pay for a diploma, that is supposed to help you get another job, when such jobs do not seem to be in abundance these days?  And why go to college if you don’t yet know what you want to do with the degree?  Michele and I both sound off on the issue.

Watch the recent CBS News story here about the dismal summer job market for teens:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff July 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Jay and Michelle – welcome back to the podcast. It sounds like your time away was well spent.

I listened to the news story a few times and I think I drew the same conclusions Jay talked about such as:
• It struck me as a forgone conclusion that young people would get a job to pay for school
• It also struck me as a forgone conclusion that young people are simply expecting to go on to higher education, implying there is a better job waiting down the road

I’m not sure the story was broad enough for me to draw more conclusions but it did get me to think beyond the story itself. I liked Jays point regarding the idea of having an end game in mind before going to school. What is the hurry to go to school if young people don’t know where they want to end up? I’m in my late 40’s now, and while going through the mid life crises in my early 40’s I read and article where the author was imparting wisdom from his experience of his own mid life crisis. He finally asked himself, “Who was that 17 year old idiot who decided I should do this for the rest of my life?” I don’t think the point was to dismiss the first 20 years of an adult education and career, rather I think it was meant to say it is OK to re-evaluate and make changes based on life experience and changing tastes. Who knows? It worked for me…

There aught to be more to life than going to school and getting a job… right? Well perhaps. It is possible for some people that it is simply not in their nature to be entrepreneurs. It’s not that people can’t do it, rather they really don’t want to. I read three books I would recommend to anyone, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad – a book on accounting and cash flow VS appreciation, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace – a book about living without debt, and Bill Wagner’s The Entrepreneur Next Door. Bill’s book takes a look at human personalities and he finds two major divisions in people – Generalists whose favorite question is “Why?” and are the group most likely to become entrepreneurs, and the specialists whose favorite question is “How?” and are the group least likely to become entrepreneurs.

I believe Jay may have the greatest impact talking to the generalists of the world. They are more likely to look into entrepreneurial adventures, in spite of school, after school, or before school, especially if the 17 year olds of the world understand there are other options available to them beyond, “go to school and get a job.” Michelle struck me as having an opinion that would speak more to the specialists of the world. There is good reason to get the basic classes everyone needs out of the way now, on your way to learning what kind of work and consequently school you will do in the future. I think generalists and specialists need each other. I also think specialists will become entrepreneurs if needed, or if they partner up with someone who is naturally inclined to go down the entrepreneur road. They will want to know HOW to get down the road more than simply seeing the vision of a generalist who is asking, “Well WHY cant we just do this?”

I see nothing wrong with going to school and I don’t believe for a second that Jay does either. I would plead with people to read Bill’s book. I believe it could help you understand yourself early in life and help you to expand your options in work, school, and entrepreneurship. Don’t wait until your 40 something to find yourself wondering who was that 17 year old who decided I should do this for the rest of my life?


Jay Carter July 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Good points Jeff. And I do love that last question — who was that 17 year old who decided I should do THIS for the rest of my life?


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