By Lisa Parker

The downside of buying something is that it immediately starts losing value. The moment you drive that new car off the lot it has lost some of its worth. Of course, the car and the dealership don’t care. You’ve paid your money in full and are completely committed to the purchase. You as a consumer care though. Because you paid your money up front, you’re largely stuck holding onto the purchase as it depreciates if you don’t want to take an immediate loss.

Consider what you would do if you were essentially renting something that had lost its value to you. Would you continue to rent it or would you turn it in and look for something more useful to you for that amount of money? Most would turn it in. And why not? Especially if it is possible to get something better for the same amount of money and not sustain too great a loss in doing so. It’s pretty handy to be a buyer without being completely committed to the product.

Job seekers would do well to realize when an employer hires them they have done so only committing some of the money up front. In short, it’s a rental situation. For example, the individual who hopes to work for 10 years at a company making $50,000 per year isn’t going to get a check for $500,000 on day one. As a rental, allowing your value to a company to slip could spell unemployment for you. Unlike most products, individuals have the ability to continually enhance and update what they have to offer a buyer. Do so before he questions your worth. Don’t give him time to wonder if a newer, more modern model might make more sense for the dollars spent on your salary.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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