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What is Your Extra?

By Karlaew1 @simplelivingfam

On January 24th, Thomas Friedman wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Average Is Over“.

What is your Extra?
Friedman writes that the reason we have such high unemployent and dropping middle-class incomes isn’t just because of the Great Recession, but also because of advances in globalization and the information revolution. Both are replacing labor with machines or foreign workers.

“In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over.” He contines “Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra – their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment.”

Average Joe is a term typically used to describe your average person. According to the 2003 census, the average American made roughly $32,000 per year, does not have a college degree, has been, is, or will be married as well as divorced at least once in his or her lifetime, lives in his or her own home in a suburban setting, and holds a white-collar office job. 

New technology has been eliminating jobs forever and always will, but lately there’s been an acceleration. Automation isn’t just affecting manufacturing, but will change how we deal with our banks, insurance companies, stores and health care providers.

In the future, the best jobs will require workers to have more and better education to make themselves above average. Friedman says we need to act now to make sure that every American has access to post-high school education.

What do you think – Is average over? What makes you stand out?

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