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Creating Sustainable Jobs

OPB | Feb. 8, 2011 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:52 p.m.

What’s behind a company’s decision to hire a new employee? The simple answer may be: when you have enough money and you think you can afford it. But what makes you think that? What actually makes a company, in this economy, hire someone? Do they run numbers or just go on gut? Is it part of a five-year plan they refuse to veer away from? Or is it the last minute decision that they won’t be able to operate tomorrow if they don’t have someone new today? How do these decisions differ for big companies and for start-ups?

Then, once the company has made the initial decison, how do they decide whether it should be a long term employee with full benefits or a contract employee they won’t really need to commit to?

And what about from the employee’s perspective? Recruiter Nancy King said this to me today:

I don’t know if anyone can say there is a sustainable job. Sustainable careers is where it is at — how you as an individual focus on your career. You can’t count on one company. You constantly have to be learning new things. That is more important than counting on any one company or any one job.

From your experience what makes a job — or a career — sustainable?

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