Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Still time to find the perfect holiday job

The good thing about most holiday jobs is that you can't get stuck there--it's temporary.

Matthew Tarpey of CareerBuilder says you may already have one--the "holidays" now seem to start after Halloween, have you noticed?

Since this is often temporary, you can shoot for a job that fulfills your needs. The hours may be crucial to fit in with your other activities. The benefits and culture may be less crucial. You may pick something close to home, for example, and ignore other possible negatives.

Still, you may be hoping this seasonal job morphs into something more permanent. Almost 60% of employers say they may keep seasonal people on... In that case, look at all aspects. Don't be afraid to ask--could this become permanent?

A lot of seasonal jobs are in retail--don't worry if that is not your strong suit (say folding sweaters). There are many aspects to retail--customer service, clerical, management, shipping...Keep your ears open.

The one job that is strictly seasonal? Santa!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

You, you first

Nine to five expired with the constant presence of phones and email...but when is it OK to actually leave work?

Kit Watchot, in Career Contessa, takes on this thorny subject.

Nearly two-thirds of companies have people who stay and stay, for fear of letting down bosses or the team or hurting their own chances of advancement.

If you are in the "zone" on a project, OK. But is this every day?

It's OK to "pack up your books," as we used to say in grade school, if leaving does not mean missing a deadline, the coworkers have left, or a person you are collaborating with has called it day.

Before going...

--Answer emails with questions, so no one is left hanging.

--Check your to-do list--be sure nothing is missed.

--Say good-bye so no one is looking for you.

Still not sure? Ask the boss (if he or she is still there)--"OK if I get going?"

The way we did it in the old days was when the boss left, we did. It worked fine.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tidbit for the T-Day conversation

We all know about the Pilgrims, the Indians, the cold, the sharing and the thanks giving in 1621.

But this was NOT the first Thanksgiving, say archeologists at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The first one was 50 years earlier near the Matanza River in St. Augustine, Florida.

That was when the Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Avilas (left) and 800 soldiers, sailors, and settlers joined local tribes for a feast that followed the Mass of Thanksgiving.

They ate salted pork, red wine from Spain, and yucca from the Caribbean. Also on the table--garbanzo beans, hardtack, and olives.

Menendez left Spain with eight ships and arrived with four. He was thankful to have made it.

By the time the Pilgrims rustled up their vittles, the people who settled America's first colony in Florida probably had children and grandchildren living there.

The Florida settlement was also more of a melting pot than the more British-oriented ones we usually hear about.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Looking forward to political talk at T-Day din?

A new study finds that more than half of all "children" in the US either "don't get" or reject their parents' political party affiliations.

Time was, sociologists thought like parent like kid. The idea was that parents imposed their values--including political leanings.

The study, which appears in the December American Sociological Review, relies on data from two family-based surveys. You can get the details from the longer version in the Review.

In the two surveys, which looked at mother-child and father-child, more than 50% of children misperceived or rejected the parent's affiliation.

This held through the child's life--adolescence, young adulthood and adulthood.

A lot of discussion of politics in the home made it less likely that the kids not understand their parents' stands, but did not make it less likely that the child would reject those stands.

The conventional wisdom, the researchers said, may need to be updated. Children are not carbon copies of their parents--more's the pity.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Incubator in St Louis whips up food businesses

St Louis University has an industrial kitchen in the basement.
It has been used to teach nutrition and dietetics students the skills to operate restaurants and catering businesses. (It also prepared breakfasts and lunches for six nearby elementary schools.)

Recently the university upgraded it with new fridges and freezer and two blast chillers.

Now a dozen small food businesses rent space there. The university is making no dough on it, but it is self-supporting.

The faculty and grad students consult with the companies. One is Jessie-Pearle's Poundcakes Etc.  She has baked for 55 years but now can produce more cakes. All the tools are there, Jessie says.

Another student turned his master's thesis on how to bring locally produced tofu to St Louis into a business, MOFU Tofu. He uses non-GMO soybeans.

The caramel apple business called Rebel Roots prepares 80 apples a week for sale at farmers' markets. She uses her grandma's recipes for pretzel bit, marshmallow and peppercorn apples, among others.t

A women's shelter partially supports itself baking chicken pot pies at the kitchen. Homeless men also make Fresh Start Dog Food--which also sells cat treats.

For other campus kitchens, check out:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Veterans are great employees

Next post--on your team.
Veterans know how to work on a team, they have integrity, can perform under pressure, solve problems on the fly, adapt quickly, persevere, communicate, and master technology.

But nearly a third of veterans in a CareerBuilder survey, say they are underemployed, up 23% from last year.


Still, 38% of employers surveyed say they are stepping up their efforts to recruit vets. That's up 5% from a year ago.

What professions are hiring vets the most?

--Customer service (38% of employers cited)
--Sales (31%)
--Production (29%)
--Distribution and logistics (22%)
--Accounting (22%)
--Marketing (20%)
--Human resources (19%)

If you are a vet interviewing for jobs...

Be yourself. Eighty percent of vets say this on their resumes, but 58% think this is not a plus. Emphasize the qualities above.

Despite some skepticism on the past of vets, nearly half of employers say given two equally qualified applicants, they would hire the vet.

Only half?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hackable toys--a dark threat?

Hello yourself, Babs.What are you up to?
Caitlin Fairchild, Nextgov, says even children's playthings would be the playthings of the hackers.

"Hello" Barbie, for example, has a speaker, mic, and WiFi chip connected to servers--the better to converse with kids. She "remembers" info from previous chats--such as the child's favorite color.

Just call her Siri, says the CEO of the company, ToyTalk, Mattell partnered with to create this little companion.

He swears Babs is operated by robots, but Germany gave her a Big Brother Award for privacy violations. The NSA is also skeptical of the tiny bombshell.

Barbie is not alone--"My Friend Cayla" also communicates to kids and is not password-protected. And Cognitoy's dinosaur doll is powered by IBM's Watson.

Dinosaur doll? that Teddy Bear looking a little crafty?