NEINSTEIN: You there! Hello! After years of development and multiple breakthroughs in the fields of career sciences and particle physics, I present to you… THE INCOME FORECASTER! … What do you think?
JEN: It's, ah, very shiny…
NEINSTEIN: I have found that income is influenced by four interconnected factors: Career! Education! Skills! And Economic Trends! The Income Forecaster puts you into the equation, pulling data from millions of hypothetical scenarios and generating your resulting salary prediction.
JEN: How does it work?
NEINSTEIN: Like this!
NEINSTEIN: The machine has been successfully calibrated to the individual! Now, pull that first lever. It's ali-i-i-i-ive! Sorry, I get excited.
JEN: Oh heck, no… Much better.
NEINSTEIN: Your income is heavily influenced by what you actually want to do for work, and that, in turn, can influence your education.
NEINSTEIN: There are many different ways to train for a career, from formal education to learning on the job.
JEN: Hey, the job just changed again!
NEINSTEIN: Ya! Education increases your access to opportunities within your career field. That's 'goot'!
JEN: Ya, but that degree sounds really expensive and time-consuming. That's not so…ahh 'goot'.
NEINSTEIN: It is an investment. You decide whether it is worthwhile or not. As you can see, your education can have an effect on your income.
JEN: I see your point. Let's keep this income train rolling!
NEINSTEIN: Your income potential is also linked to your skills. These include your personal interests, natural talents, unique experiences and acquired skills.
JEN: Last one! Huh? Robot pharmacists? Worldwide avocado shortage? Self-driving bicycles? What is all this?
NEINSTEIN: The world is always changing, and these changes affect the economy and therefore the job market. Industries rise and fall with new technologies, natural resource constraints, and local and global policies. Think about it: there are successful careers today that did not exist 10 or 20 years ago!
JEN: That's pretty crazy when you think about it… Woah woah woah! My income! What's happening??
NEINSTEIN: Ah, right here. It appears that 20 years from now, virtual reality has replaced most household pets, so business is bad.
JEN: No, no, no, no…
NEINSTEIN: But look! A little adjustment here and there… and you're back on track!
JEN: Why not just crank everything up to the maximum and create the perfect career of all time?
NEINSTEIN: No, no, nooooo!
JEN: Huh. Turns out there is no perfect career. I guess your income really is just a balance of your career, your education, your skills and trends in the economy! Just like you said.
NEINSTEIN: My life's work… ruined!
JEN: Oh, don't take it so hard. Maybe this career path just isn't for you. Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhhh.
JEN: So do you have any swag at this booth? You know, like a tote bag or an extra-large T-shirt or something? No? OK.