Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dads who help around the house help daughters

According to Ann Lukits, WSJ, Aug 19, 2014, an article in the Aug Psychological Science says fathers who split the chores at home inspired their daughters to undertake less traditionally feminine occupations--instead wanting to become astronauts, police officers, and sports players.

The theory is that dads who pitch in at home give the girls hope that they can have time for more nontraditional jobs.

Researchers at the Univ of British Columbia in Vancouver, studied 172 boys and 154 girls. The division of labor in each household was self-reported.

The parents with less traditional roles fostered less traditional ambitions in the female kids. Their roles made no difference in the ambtions of male kids.

I remember my father not wanting me to be a doctor (a "hen" medic, he called it). So I became whatever this is...lobbyist, the reporter, then blogger, then screenwriter.

What IS this anyhow?

Never mind--personal problem.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What to say, what to say

 Sometimes interviewers throw curve balls such as what is your favorite tree--but usually there are some standards you need to expect.


Can you tell me a little about yourself? More than facts, the hirer is looking for conciseness, confidence, enthusiasm. Talk about your career path, not your personal life.

Why do you want to work for this company? It sounds like they want to hear what you want--but they want to hear what you bring to them. And why you are a good match. Talk about your admiration for the company and how well the posting fits your skills.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses. Don't brag. Also only mention weaknesses you have overcome.

Why are you leaving your current job? Do not bash! Keep your grievances to yourself. Say you've gone as far as you can in that company, want more of a challenge, something like that.

If you got fired, be honest--but say even though you were sorry to lose your job, it provided a chance to find something where you could contribute more.

Relax. Be yourself. And do not just pull out these scripted replies.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Burning Man more than some hippies

I watched a documentary called SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY. Find it on cable, if you're interested.

It was quite well done--reminded my of my feckless youth--a group I belonged to of larky designers who liked to dress in weird costumes and drink a lot.

The message was, though, that some of the Burning Man festival founders had been organizing this for almost 20 years. It was their passion, their life.

One guy said it was not his life--but you could tell it was. Another said he was quitting--you could tell he wouldn't.

Artists worked for months to raise money for weird assemblages, some of which would be burned up in the desert.

If you are a person with this kind of hook in you, I both envy and wonder about you. The crazy vehicles people brought, the fighting over tickets (too much success), the focused love and passion--it reminded me a little of indie filmmaking, which I also know a little about.

Not every job--every passion--every love--takes place in an office. Although--don't mistake it--Burning Man had offices year-round--it's a big deal.

Little Burning Man events have now sprinkled the globe. For a week, you can be whatever you want--if you can figure that out.

And you don't grow up first.

Friday, August 22, 2014

You said no to a vacation?

Fifteen percent of workers did not use a minute of their paid vacay last year.

This produces--they say--heart problems, bad morale, and reduced productivity.

Vacation resisters also make people feel guilty and just generally screw up the rightness of things.

Some places make vacations mandatory--even if you "staycate" at home. Others pay for tickets.

(Which ones--the tickets?)

Still, studies show 13% of managers are less likely to promote those who use all their time. Those who don't vacation as much also get bigger raises.

Some people feel vacations aren't worth it--expensive, you feel good for two weeks (or harried or the kids drive you nuts), then you're back.

How do you feel about this? I have not had a "vacation" in 20 years--this is my vacation. When I had a "real" job, I also hated to leave--things got screwed up, my staff took advantage and left early, they called me, etc.

I once heard banks made people take vacations--because if someone was embezzling, it would come out, they could not cover it up from afar.

Is that still true? Good story, anyhow.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jobs wiping out college kids

Adam Knowlden, assistant prof at University of Alabama's dept of health science, coauthored an article in Family and Community Health saying college students were exhausted.

Sixty percent of the college student population does not get enough sleep (that is 30% for the general population).

The cause: job stress and lack of time.

Naturally, there is a study. 188 Univ of Cincinnati students in 2012.

Students were more worried about inadequate sleep hurting them in the present than in their long-term health.

They cited having a sleep-conducive environment as important.

The researchers did cite "social lives" as an impediment to proper sleep.

But also volunteer work and employment.

I would say maybe "social lives" wins. But what do I know?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Shabby chic or just, you know...

Replace or cherish?
I never got "shabby chic." Distressed. Beat up. Funky.

Make no mistake--my taste is pretty boho--with a mid-century modern sensibility if not execution (can't afford).

Now, Urban Outfitters, along with its sisters Anthropologie and Free People, is experiencing share loss.

I remember some TV show about the buyer for Anthropologie--he roamed the world dickering over native crafts and French flea market finds in a snooty accent.

I don't like blue jeans with expensive pre-cut rips, either.

Things get shabby legitimately soon enough. It's a short trip from shabby to ratty.

Am I wrong? What do you think?

By the way, many of my readers are in France--do you do shabby? I have only been to Spain.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Deskilling--new one on me

I learned a new word! Deskilling. De-skilling. It means replacing employees with automation.


A CareerBuilder study showed that 31% of companies have deskilled workers.

But--the vast majority said this meant adding jobs, not taking them away.

Info technology firms are most like to deskill.

Overall, 31% companies plan to do this...

Customer service...35%
Accounting/finance 32%

The jobs added are usually higher paying. But--interestingly--35% of those who deskilled added back jobs because the technology failed.