Overcoming Job Title Identity Theft

March 9, 2010

Do You Feel Erased?
By Janet Walgren

One of the challenges unemployed workers are facing in today’s job market is trying to find a new work identity after their old identity was erased. In my former position as Student Success Manager for EWI, I spent four years helping seasoned professionals and novices alike identify, utilize and monetize their transferable skills to create new careers as entrepreneurs.

In this capacity, I was able to help hundreds of people stay positive in the face of adversity, create new dreams and gain the courage to fulfill their dreams. I was also able to help entrepreneurs identify their needs and suggest resources to help them meet their business challenges.

I believe the current economy presents an unprecedented opportunity for both employers and prospective employees alike because of the incredible pool of talented candidates that was unavailable for employers to choose from in older more stable economies. Non-traditional crossover candidates bring with them a wealth of training and a diversity of experiences that can enrich and rejuvenate a stale corporate environment while fulfilling staffing needs.

A title isn’t who you are. A title doesn’t even necessarily tell what you did. You are a valuable person regardless of the titles others might bestow on you or take from you. If you have been downsized and feel like your identity has been erased, make a list of your skills, talents and experiences. Then, as you read job announcements, ask yourself, “How can my skill set fit in with [this] employer’s needs?”

You don’t have to be desperate and settle for a bad employer or a bad job. Remember, you were looking for a job when you found your last one so, don’t forget to make it a two way interview.

It’s not what you have been but what you are becoming that determines your future.


Unclogging the Real Estate Market

June 28, 2009

By Janet Walgren

I’m sorry that I’ve neglected this blog for quite some time now. My daughter and I have been trying to find the perfect house to buy. With all the houses on the market, you’d think that would be a simple task. We are pre-approved for more than an adequate amount of money. We have our down payment. Our credit scores are terrific. We are motivated to buy… so what is the problem? Answer… the listing agent, the seller or the seller’s bank!

It is time for folks to get a reality check.

Imagine you own a 1996 Geo Metro with 250,000 miles on it. You are ready to get a new car. The used car lot says, “We’ll list it for $125,000″ and you say”_______???” If you said, “Great!!!,” you need a reality check. It doesn’t matter what “equity” some fool told you that you had accumulated over time. Truth is, the car is old. It is worn out. It needs rehabbed, renovated, restored and the cost of the rehab is more than the car is worth.

If you start shopping for a $125,000 replacement car, you need a mental evaluation.

If no one buys your car… what do you expect? Even if you were fool enough to pay more, or expect more, than the car was worth, do you expect the world is full of greater fools?

On the flip side:

The world is full of bargain hunters. Listing agents know this. Now, imagine the above Geo Metro was advertised for $50 dollars. You were looking at a similar car. It was clean, had less mileage and was still a bargain for $1000. You are one of two bidders and you are in the top position. You decide to relinquish your position and take the $50 dollar car so you can save for a new car. But, when you go to pay for the car, the dealer says, “I’m sorry, the bank wants $2,500 for the car.”

About that time you want to scream. You decide that the dealer is involved in fraudulent advertising and you call the Better Business Bureau. Apply this scenario to the short sale housing market.

Don’t you think a seller and the seller’s bank should be required to list the actual price they are willing to take for the property. Some potential buyers wait for up to 9 months only to find out that the bank holding the note said no. In the meantime, other honest sellers are waiting to sell their homes and end up in foreclosure because a potential buyer was sidelined.

I think it should be illegal to post a bogus asking price and that anyone doing so should be charged with fraud. I also think banks refusing to sell properties that have legitimate offers should be barred from bidding for the property when it goes to auction and barred from getting deficiency judgments on the foreclosed owner.


Earmarks – Who are the fools who elected these guys anyway?… Sadly, it is us!

March 20, 2009

Congressional earmarks are a way for congress to usurp the power of the states to self-direct. One of the most effective ways Americans have to restore some integrity to congress is to eliminate earmark spending.

Basically what is happening currently is:

  • Congress taxes Americans at a much higher rate than is necessary
  • Congress gives some of our tax dollars back to the states
  • Congress tells the states how to spend the money
  • Political action groups and lobbyist (pay, donate, gift…) congressional representatives then demand federal tax money is spent on their special projects

Don’t you think it would be better if we got to keep more of our hard earned money? And, if we need something at a state level, don’t you think you could better decide how to provide for it on a local level?

Earmarks provide a way for special groups to get the EAR of the (often corrupt) officials who write our government’s checks.

It is amazing to me that congress can be so specific in telling a state how to spend tax dollars, or a public school what to teach but, they can’t be specific in telling private corporations (especially Wall Street and international banks) how to spend hundreds of billions of our tax dollars.

Who are the fools who elected these guys anyway?… Sadly, it is us!


False Advertising? Fraud? or Bidding UP!

March 17, 2009

Have you ever noticed that the only ones who get away with committing fraud are the banks and real estate agents?

If a house is in foreclosure and is owned by the bank, don’t you think you ought to be able to buy it if you offer $10,000 ABOVE the listing price?

NO! They sit on your offer, let it expire, then wait for the next party to offer more than your offer that they didn’t respond to.

Putting a price on a house that’s on the MLS isn’t like a starting bid on eBay folks.


On Record???

March 17, 2009

Why does Congress have to ask who received the bail out money they spent? It gives a whole new meaning to “BLANK CHECK.”  And we wonder why they can’t balance the budget…

9/11… 9/16. Can we just skip September this year?


House Hunting – The tale of Peter, Sam and Paul

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Heather and I went house hunting yesterday. Jeesh! What a joke. We found a house of interest but, when we toured it, we found an incredible mess. The house was a bank owned foreclosure, better known as an REO. The furnace, the entire kitchen, and parts of the bathroom were missing as well as some floor covering and most light fixtures. The walls were a mess and the water had been shut off. TOXIC antifreeze had been poured in the pipes and toilet to keep the water in them from freezing. Animals had pooped in the basement – yucky! The bank was asking $150,000. That’s $20,000 below market for a rehab that would cost a minimum of $40,000 in repairs to bring it up to market value. Like I said, jeesh, what a joke!

Perhaps this was an isolated incident. We can only hope… or can we?

We had asked our realtor to show us another REO house but he had already checked it out and said it was as bad as the first one we toured.

A contractor friend of ours just finished building a home located across the street from another REO (the original contractor who was building the sub-division went bankrupt). Anyway, our friend noticed wet bricks on the front of the REO across the street and went over to investigate. The power had been shut off, but not the water. The frozen pipes had burst then thawed flooding the entire house (second floor included). The sheet-rock on the ceilings and some of the walls had collapsed, the walls were full of water and the basement had several inches of water flooding it. In other words, this brand new $200,000 house was a total loss because the bank was too cheap to pay the electric bill.

It is obvious that, in these three cases, the banks manage REO property about as well as they manage money. It probably doesn’t matter to them because they have insurance. And, if the insurance doesn’t pony up the dough… there’s always dear ole Uncle Sam who seems more than willing to rob Peter (another name for taxpayers) to pay Paul (the banker).


The American Busybody

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Have you ever wondered what is really wrong with America? Well I think I have the answer. It’s the American busybody. We call what they have say NEWS! We buy their newspapers, books and magazines. We listen to them on the radio and watch them on television. We absorb their propaganda in the movies. We elect them to Congress. And, we spend most of our spare-time everyday discussing the disgusting diet of misinformation they put before us.

We are like the proverbial kid holding a basket of valuables full of – time, money, talent, skills, morals… and did I mention liberty? Oh yeah, I almost forgot… That’s probably because most of it is missing. Anyway, the American busybodies approach us kids and say, “LOOK OVER THERE!!!” And, when we look, they steal something of value out of our basket and replace it with junk.

Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be informed. We should be very informed. The problem is that the American Busybody keeps us so occupied with getting informed about disgusting, trivial, irrelevant things that we forget to pay attention to the really important things. And, that’s the way the American Busybodies want it.

I wonder, when will we get it? When will we grow up and take charge of our information input, our destiny? And, when and if we do finally get it, will there still be some liberty, some freedom, something… anything worth keeping left in our baskets?