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Is it a job or a career opportunity? | Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Last week, President Obama announced plans to make changes to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. The President reportedly wants to mandate that businesses provide overtime pay for those who work at jobs in mid-level management and professional levels. Currently, businesses are prohibited from denying overtime to salaried workers making less than $455 per week. The change that the President is proposing would increase that salary threshold to a level between $550 to $970 per week.

The business world is a very competitive place and there is no better place to fine tune your skills for this competition than what was once called the School of Hard Knocks. The first and most important asset one must develop if they want to excel in this or any competitive venture is a strong work ethic. It is the first critical skill each person must possess if they intend to compete and succeed in our world. It’s your own personal motivation that sets the tone. It’s not about your boss or the government — it’s about you.

Possessing that strong work ethic will determine your intent; are you looking for a job or are you looking for a career opportunity? There are many people who just want a job. They want to show up, put in their hours and get the heck out as soon as the clock strikes. In my opinion, those folks should be hourly employees and should receive overtime benefits when allowed to work over 40 hours. Someone who wants an opportunity to invest themselves in a career isn’t interest in watching the clock. They are looking well beyond the immediate future to years down the road and fully intend to make the most of the opportunities afforded them.

Name one athlete or true professional who would not work whatever hours it took and pay whatever price to not only perfect their talents but also to showcase their skills. Practice makes perfect and the positions the President wants to “fix” will only hinder the motivation of individual looking to make a name and move up. At the same time it will stifle the economy of Main Street businesses by removing the ambition and can-do spirit this nation was built upon.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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