You've heard of athletes getting signing bonuses when they sign with their new teams. How about blue collar workers? It's starting to happen across the country and may even be happening right here in New Jersey. The BNSF railroad is offering signing bonuses of up to $25,000 for hourly workers including electricians, boilermakers, and pipe fitters.  With the national employment rate falling to a 17 year low of 4.1 percent, businesses have got to do what they've got to do to attract and keep good people. Some are installing creature comforts in the workplace and others are offering cold, hard cash.

As the economy grows, more people are spending money and more businesses need to hire good people to stay competitive. The reason the star athlete gets the big money is because the team owner is making even more by having him. Same in business - the company who hires the best workers in their field will always do better than the one that tries to do it on the cheap-to-get buy. They're the ones who will point to the successful company and say, "of course they can pay big money, look at how much they're making," without considering that spending the money on good workers could be why they're making money in the first place.

One of the easiest examples of this is the minimum wage worker. I've owned a couple of businesses in New Jersey where we could literally only afford to pay minimum wage, but when we found someone who was doing a great job that we couldn't afford to lose, we'd find a way to get them more because by losing them, we would take a loss both in the time it would take to constantly train people and in the sub-par performance of the new person.

So as this trend progresses, think of how to become the best at whatever it is that you're doing or want to do. You could profit in the short term with a signing bonus as well as the long term with a great career.

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