Volume 117: The Only Certainty in Life is Change

It has been a while since my last article, and I would like to apologize to my dozens of loyal readers. The last 6 months have been full of evolution, transition, and growth at Oberg and Associates, LLC. This evolution started with me making a decision to clearly identify what I wanted my life to look like moving forward. This decision, at its’ core, was about change.

As a short review, I have been recruiting for the Corrugated Industry for 36 years. When I first started, I worked with companies like Gaylord Container, Willamette, Inland Paperboard and Packaging, Stone Container, Union Camp, and others. And after 10 years of recruiting for someone else, I opened up the doors of Oberg and Associates in 1996. I’ve been fortunate to employ a lot of great people, learned a lot, and had my fair share of success. Last year, I knew I needed my company to change.

I determined what I wanted my life to look like and made changes in my company to support that life. These changes have not only benefited me, but they have provided career growth and income opportunities to my employees. Everyone at O and A is leaning into the change, to the benefit of all.

The change that Oberg and Associates, LLC has gone through is not the topic of this article. I bring it up to highlight the reality – change is inevitable. Fortunately for me, I have been able to initiate this change, rather than the alternative, which is reacting to change. Trust me when I say, I have done my fair share of reacting to change.

The corrugated landscape is going through massive change these days as well. And while the shortage of supervisory and leadership talent has existed for many years now, the biggest change that we hear about is the lack of hourly labor. So many of our clients struggle to hire and retain, an adequate workforce. This evolution in the labor market only took two years to occur. Sadly, I don’t anticipate that this shortage in the motivated hourly workforce will ease up any time soon.

Furthermore, while the corrugated market is operating at near peak capacity, uncertainty regarding the economy will provide more possibilities for change. Interest rates are climbing, and a recession may be looming in the near future. We have a war in Europe, massive political polarization, and are at the (hopeful) tail end of a pandemic, which may flare back up. Just a bit of change, right – ha!

How can anyone get comfortable with all of this? If you figure that out, please let me know!

In my opinion, often the best defense is a good offense. Said another way, if you are able to identify the future you want, initiate the changes in your life or business that will give you a greater degree of control rather than simply reacting when change occurs.

One of the best quotes that my father, Howard (the last Viking) taught me is “Man plans, and God laughs”. As my life now spans 6 decades, this quote seems more and more accurate. Life happens. Sometimes it happens the way we want it to happen, and sometimes, like a donkey in a hailstorm, you just have to endure it. But, to the degree, you make a decision, chart a direction, and the desired outcome, you can initiate changes to give you a greater likelihood of that outcome.

Life is short. Live it fully and stay strong!

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