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Guest Post: “Bank Statements” – PLAYOFFS & LAYOFFS

Check out this special guest post from my father (and now fellow blogger) Phil Bank. Enjoy and share!

Most sports fans are familiar with the immortal words of former Colts coach Jim Mora – “Playoffs?  Don’t talk to me about playoffs.”

Sorry Coach, but let’s talk about playoffs, specifically the Major League Baseball playoffs, the Oktoberfest of sports.  After Wednesday night, one of the most exciting and memorable sports nights in recent history, this year’s playoff contestants are settled. They include New York, Detroit, Tampa, Texas, Milwaukee, Arizona, St. Louis and Philadelphia. In a league of 30 teams, 8 qualify and one will emerge as the 2011 World Series Champion.  You didn’t want to finish ninth (sorry Red Sox Nation- maybe next year.)

What’s not settled is the job market.  In places like New York, Detroit, Texas (despite the stylings of Rick Perry) and all across America, layoffs continue to plague the workforce and the economy. The list of well known institutions  affected include Bank of America, the United States Postal Service, Goldman Sachs, Cisco, Lockheed and Borders to name a few. While much of the root cause for staff reductions and layoffs are beyond the individuals’ control, how do you avoid “finishing ninth?”

There’s an old joke which asks how fast you have to run to avoid getting mauled by grizzly bear. The punch line is that you don’t need to outrun the bear-you only need to outrun the guy next to you…a sad truth but not unlike today’s job market.

Scholars (people smarter than me) are referring to today’s climate as being afflicted by the “economics of superstars.” Technology and global competition rewards highly skilled, well educated and well connected/networked individuals at the expense of others. Data from the U.S Department of Labor indicates that there are as many as four candidates for every one job and in some places, the competition is even greater.

If you are concerned about your employment status, here are a few simple tips (of course, in the form of sports metaphors) that might help.

  1. Show up at the “ballpark” early and stick around for extra practice
  2. Bring a positive attitude (be a good locker room guy or gal)
  3. Show some hustle (be focused and productive –earn your place in the lineup)
  4. Focus on individual and group performance (be a good teammate)

Hopefully, if you apply these tips, you’ll succeed in making your playoffs, winning your championship, or at least “outrunning the person next to you.”


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