It’s time to get out of bed for less than $100,000.00
I’ve met a number of people recently who have told me about losing the jobs they thought they’d have for life; jobs they believed were ‘guaranteed’ because of the number of years they had loyally given to their employer. They were, so they thought, in positions that were safe and secure because of their devotion to the company.
But, as we’ve all witnessed, there’s no such thing of being ‘guaranteed’ of anything in today’s uncertain and tear-down world of employment, particularly in mining.
Companies simply can’t afford to employ people forever. In fact, that’s why we’re in a ‘contract’ world right now where, like it or not, the days of being a full-time, ‘corporate guy’ are becoming extinct.
We’re in an “as needed” work environment where jobs will only last until the work is done. The days of keeping people on the payroll until new work comes along are gone.
And, from an employer’s perspective, it makes sense because it costs a small fortune in benefits alone to keep people on staff, not to mention the salaries some people are demanding these days.
When I started working, my gauge for success in the workplace (based on my dad’s WWII philosophy) was to earn at least $1,000.00 a year for each year of my life. So, at 21 when I started working full time, my goal was to earn $21,000.00 a year (by the way, I fell short of that mark by about 10 grand) and so on, and so on, until I retired at 65 and was earning $65,000.00 a year..
Fortunately, my personal gauge for success was achieved and exceeded in most years, but by today’s standards, I hear some people say they wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $100,000.00 a year.
Good for them, but I’m afraid that unless they lower their standards (or are still working when they’re 100 years old, based on my gauge for success), then the world is going to be filled with a bunch of “Rip Van Winkles” because they’ll never get out of bed..
The fact is, the high-paying jobs just aren’t out there anymore, and as those high earners who have recently lost their jobs are finding out, ‘contract’ jobs rarely pay six figures, and they don’t pay benefits either.
Mining, like all other professions, is just a business. Sure it has characteristics that are unique and somewhat exciting, but the bottom line is just that; a bottom line that must be filled with black numbers in order to survive.
Even the seemingly ‘bullet-proof’ giants in the industry like Barrick, Vale SA, Freeport- McMoRan Inc., and Anglo America PLC , are in the process of trying to unload many of their mines to help pay down their staggering debts.
In fact, it’s a fire sale that’s burning up far more than property titles as companies continue to pull out all stops to bolster their financial positions.
And, like I said earlier, it’s unfortunate that a lot of employee positions are also going up in flames as desperation continues to grow and businesses struggle to survive.
These are desperate and certainly depressing times to say the least, and I think it’s only going to get worse, especially for those now-unemployed ‘corporate guys’ with six-figure expectations who won’t get out of bed for less.