Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's your major? Employers may not care

Writing on, Kate Silver says a prominent management training guru says your college major does not count as much as what you hope to do--and have done along the way.

She offers positions to liberal arts majors, even communications majors (sarc).

Then she trains them--she runs a training program.

She looks for "soft" skills--customer service experience, management, leadership, multitasking, thinking.

Thinking? That costs more!

You don't need a major that leads directly to a career.

Still, some employers like to see technical and "subject" skills. I am not asking a gender studies major about that weird mole.

Showing you combine the two--in an internship--is a good marketing move.

My degrees is in Asian Affairs. Interesting, but I never really used it per se. Wait--I did write a long story on travel to China for the TWA magazine.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I am late because...uh uh....

What are you looking at? Get to work!
CareerBuilder lists some reasons employees have used for being tardy.

Ooops--can't use these now! Got ya!

Thirty-five percent of employers in one survey have fired people for being late.

Traffic is a biggie. Nearly a quarter of employees get held up by it each month. Fifteen percent once a week.

Okay, the excuses...

A zebra was running down the highway. (True, it turned out.)

Woke up on the lawn a few doors down.

Cat got stuck in the toilet.

Could not eat breakfast because there was no milk, had to get some.

Superglue in the eye instead of contact lotion (good grief, who hasn't done that?)

Thought Halloween was a holiday.

Hole in the roof--wet alarm clock--did not go off.

Forgot the company's new address.

Scared by a nightmare.

That last sort of happened to me. I was reading a Stephen King book, I called in sick to finish it, then was too scared to stay home. When I got to work, my assistants said, "But we thought you were sick..."

"Miracle,"  I muttered.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pity the poor college student

Melissa Korn, WSJ, Sept 4, 2014, writes about some sociologists who studied college students and how they are doing.

Their 2011 book is called Academically Adrift.

Ew, that doesn't sound good.

They looked at 1,600 students during college and 1,000 after for two years.

Of the students ho did not go into grad school, only slightly more than 1/4th made $40,000 or more two years after graduating. Three-fourths still relied somewhat on Mom and Dad.

The two say colleges give kids an unrealistic view of what it takes to achieve their goals.

They think it does pay to go to college, but people should ask whether the particular college is a value for the time and money.

Too much emphasis is put on the social side. Many students surveyed did not develop critical thinking skills--or the ability to write.

Yet, they do not consider this a lost generation. Of course, the richer kids can spend their twenties "finding themselves." The poorer can't, leading to a wider wage gap.

Colleges, they say, need to teach kids how to think--how to question--how to rethink in a different context. And of course--teach subject matter. Remember that? Chemistry, physics, educational theory, that stuff?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Seniors--money-making opportunities

No, I do not mean scams against seniors, though plenty of low-lifes think they are dandy marks.

I mean businesses you can get into to serve and help seniors. (I hate the word senior, do you?)

We have plenty around--8,000 Boomers a day hit 65.

How about the Merry Maid business?

Or caring for the aging? My mother was in two private care homes in AZ--accredited by the State--residents lived with the family--ate with the family--and were watched over constantly. Someone held my mother's arm every time she stood up. For this, they got north of $3000 a month.

There are also franchises devoted to older citizens. In a May 2014 report, the Franchise Business Review says the initial investment to open a care franchise is $101,000--with an income of $95,000ish.

Boomers themselves tend to open these.

Another winner can be handyman services.

Like any business, you need to do a lot of research--but the customers are there.

My only half-facetious idea is Valet Cat--cute guys in shorts who bring heavy kitty litter to your car. Now THERE is a business.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Companies playing down their green message

Amy Westervelt, WSJ, Aug 25, 2014, says the lust for enviro-friendly products is less than it was.

In fact, the green message can stir up hostility.

Instead of their sustainable ingredients (plants--you can grow more), they play up the performance of the product (softer skin etc).

Souring on this aspect came with the economic downturn, apparently.

Many people feel guilty for not pursuing these products the more they learn about them.

Such companies are now concentrating on how their manufacturing cuts waste or even using humor.

People feel less guilty if you aren't so darn serious about your superiority.

I am that way--I rebel against dopey oils from Lower Slobovia and super butters and so on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Good news for the flesh-blessed

Could be even Lane Bryant, long notorious for dowdy maternity-like tops with rickrack, is branching out into "cute" and chic.

Designer Sophie Theallet not only designs for the bony set, but also is doing some "plus" for Lane Bryant.

According to a story in the WSJ by Christina Binkley Sept 10, 2014, this has led her to an appreciation of the larger, curvier palette--and she is making larger sizes for her own line.

At first, she said, she was shy about casting larger models for lingerie. But these models, all soft and feminine, want the work and aren't shy.

So, yay, Sophie!

By the way, I don't get the X thing. 2X, 3X--what is this--times? Like "two times Courtney Cox"?

Also, doesn't X mean "sexy"? Of course it does.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to talk your way out of being fired

Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, Sept 10, 2014, writes about a top exec who was almost fired and how he dodged the bullet.

He said the magic words are "I can change."

But--before you say that--you have to completely encompass and acknowledge the feedback--even think up more. "Oh, I see I didn't do X, but I also think I didn't do ABC."

This guy also cried--bringing in human emotion. He says it showed how much he cared about the job.

He basically said give me 90 days. I can change. If I haven't--I will fire myself.

Then he tried to figure what his successor would do and he did it.

Sounds easy, huh?

I dunno on the crying.