Friday, October 24, 2014

STEM industries still challenging for women

The old "women are bad at math" thing persists. Catalyst has issued a report titled High Potentials in Tech-Intensive Industries: The Gender Divide in Business Roles.

It shines a light on the male-dominated STEM companies.

Women are less likely to enter these and more likely to leave once they do.

Only 18% of women in the study opted for a business role in a STEM companu following their MBA--24% of men did.

Fifty-three percent of women started there, then left. Thirty-one percent of men did the same.

Women were more likely to start in entry-level jobs and be paid less.

Women also faced lack of role models and vague evaluation criteria. They were also less likely to have a female supervisor.

What can companies do about this?

--Start men and women are equal levels and pay.

--Evaluate the culture for hostility. Do events outside the office include women?

--Recruit senior males to sponsor up-and-coming women.

--Make standards clear.

--Provide a flexible work environment.

Come on, people--we can't dismiss half the workforce..that would be really stupid.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

House hunting tips for single people

Sometimes on shows like HGTV's House Hunters or Property Virgins, I see singles looking for a house.

I got my one and only house in my fifties--but I  understand that many young people are better money managers and think ahead.

Forbes Magazine's website had a story Oct 21, 2014, on tips for singles thinking of buying a home.

First, look at homes you can afford. Don't get in the traps that took down so many people earlier in this century. Employment can change. Health can change. Don't over-extend.

Be mindful of your safety. Even male singles are vulnerable in certain neighborhoods. Look for a low crime area--ask about crime. Is it well lit? Are there locks on the windows and doors? How about a security system?

How handy are you? Remember--there will be no nice super to fix things--it's on you. Personally I go nuts trying to keep the grass low enough to be ignored by the little "enforcement" trucks that sneak around trying to raise revenue by fining you for tall grass and weeds. Just the other day, the water heater caught on fire--the firemen drained it and a new one was a cool grand. Bam!

You can pay a yearly maintenance company a flat rate and then it's $45 or so a call for people to fix things--but they often find a way out of it or send pretty sloppy people.

Above all, this may be your home, but think of resale from the jump. Try for as many bedrooms as possible and affordable--you may close one off, but it will increase the resale value.

May I add some advice? I often see people on these shows glance in a bathroom and say, "This will have to go." Getting a room remodeled is a huge deal--getting things to "go" can be a nightmare. See if it's "liveable."

I smile when I hear that--these youngsters will soon see homeowning for what it is--part of life's rich tapestry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Take 5 minutes to improve your job search

Susan Ricker has some quick suggestions on CareerBuilder.

Replace our "Objective." Instead use a branded headline--Experienced project manager ready to produce results.

Connect with one person in your network you have not talked to in a month.

Check your social profiles and update.

Research your target industries or companies.

Remove dumb voicemail recordings.

Clean up your resume. Remove irrelevant jobs. The past ten years is enough.

Check with references before they are requested.

Keep good records of all letters, calls, email, and so on that you have sent.

Proof, proof backwards, have someone else proof.

Okay, this is more than five minutes--but that was a catchy headline, wasn't it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quick--we need a czar

This czar deal seems to be unique to government. When the 'crats can't get something going, they automatically reach for another body to be over the existing bodies.

According to Megan Garber, Govt Executive Magazine, the term is a Slavic translation of "Caesar." So it's a Russian Emperor.

It was first slapped on Americans during Wilson's time when Bernard Baruch was tapped to run the War Industries Board.  The real Czar (Russia) had recently been assassinated, so the term was available.

A Milk Czar was appointed in New York City, then Roosevelt went to town appointing czars right and left.

The press likes it--the word is short and fits in headlines.

So here we are--when in doubt, messed up, confused--get some Russian Emperor type to save the day.

Maybe czar really means scapegoat i n Russian--I am not sure. Also--didn't Caesar meet with a violent end?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Careers working with animals

"We should get a picture of her for the barn." 
 I am a huge fan of crusty Dr Jann Pol, a Michigan vet with a "reality" show on Nat Geo Wild. Dial up "The Incredible Dr. Pol." There is also a show on a vet who specializes in exotic animals; she operates on reptiles, birds, rats, you name it. And another starring a very can-do wildlife vet.

But being a vet is barely a start on the careers you could have working with animals. Check out The list is endless.

Some examples:

Agricultural economist
Animal Control officer
Animal nutritionist at a zoo
Certified canine massage therapist (there is also equine massage)
Dairy Farm owner
Horse show judge

You get the idea.

Some of these take quite a bit of advanced training--the site tells all.

From watching Dr. Pol, I now am mildly in love with cows--a crush, I guess you'd say. My daughter asked me, "Exactly how many farm animal pictures do we need in here?"

Can you have too many?

Friday, October 17, 2014

How to re-enter the workforce

Who knows why you took a break--children, elderly parent, burned out. When it comes time to try to get back to work, Robert Half, the workplace guru, has some ideas.

As usual--first step--activate your network--link up with anyone you know on social, also offline, family members, friends, and their friends. Even your old employer.

Practice explaining why you are coming back. What do you expect in a job?

If you volunteered while away, be sure to note that. Or start volunteering. The skills can be transferable. Organizing, working with spreadsheets, managing volunteers, and so on.

You might want to take classes--brush up on skills. Don't forget about those free university courses--MOOCs.

You might want to ease back in by temping or working part-time.

Sit down and think about the skills you've gained while out of the formal work world.

Give yourself time--be patient. Job hunting is hard enough when you segue from one job to the next. Recreating a new "work" you is even more challenging.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to screw up your first job hunt

The employment guru firm Robert Half has some "don'ts" for your first job hunt.

DON'T ignore your campus career centers and job fairs--harness your network and keep it current. Talk to neighbors, friends, parents' friends, anyone you can.

DON'T  get sloppy. Have someone look over your resume and cover letters. Read them out loud--a good way to catch glitches.

DON'T depend on canned or generic letters--the same for every job. If a listing is really cool, google the company, go to the website--hang your letter on a piece of news about the company.

DON'T let your online presence ruin things for you. Employers will search, count on it. Establish a great profile and pix on Linked In at minimum. Get a decent email address--not If you have a cutesy graphic or quote accompanying your name, lose it.

DON'T have dumb phone manners--companies may indeed call. Have a professional message on your phone. And answer calmly and maturely--not "City Morgue."

DON'T waltz  into an interview ready to wing it. Think up questions. Rehearse answers. Take a second to think before speaking.

Be confident--listen more than talk--ask questions. But above all, if you want the job,, don't be afraid to say so. Back when I hired people, so often I could not tell if the person even was thinking of wanting to work for me. They were neutral. And then so was I--and I moved on.