Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 4, 2012

Bad economy or inability to overcome adversity?

— “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at making anything else.”

— Benjamin Franklin

I have a young friend who has been looking hard for a job for several months. As time has gone on, he started looking at jobs far beneath his education and experience.

He is back for a second interview at a fast-food restaurant. I didn’t realize the economy

has reached a point where fast-food restaurants had gotten selective. I’m sure my friend will make it as he keeps trying and trying.

I have another young friend who is supposedly looking for work. His career path is currently based on mooching off his mother.

Unless someone knocks on his door and makes an offer, he is not going to get off the couch and find one.

Unemployment for young people is running about twice the national average. The bad economy affects people with a lack of experience more than others, but there are some professions for which supply far outweighs demand.

I wonder if young people understand how to deal with adversity.

I was unemployed 30 years ago. The economy was nearly as bad as it is now. I left graduate school at Vanderbilt to work for a candidate for Congress. He unexpectedly lost. Instead of a comfy job on Capitol Hill, I was thrown out on the streets.

I found a job on the cleanup crew at the Kentucky Horse Park.

It was the defining moment of my life.

When you are cleaning up after horses, it makes you consider different career options.

I realized that I never wanted to depend on someone else to hand me a job or control my future.

Thus, I wound up in the financial business. I worked 90 hours a week, mastered a distinctive niche and celebrate my 30th anniversary next month.

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