Monday, December 31, 2012

The gurus speak

I often piggyback on Dale Dauten and J.T. O'Donnell about job hunting--which sort of reminds me that this site is getting repetitive--job hunting, house buying, house selling, govt jobs--I am looping.

Should I drop this--we seem to have no hope of anything getting better economy-wise. In fact, the contrary. What to do, what to do--any ideas?

Anyhow, for now, Dauten and O'Donnell say the old adage that you are stable if you stay in a job 20 years has been turned on its head--you need to say why you never left and much as why you did.

If you are competing with an inside candidate--that person may blow the interview. So do your best!

If invited to talk about your manager--make a list, then burn it!

If turned down, stay in touch.

And--if you haven't--get a professional email address. No words like "hot" or "vixen."

See? No fun!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Job hunting in a small town

Justin Thompson, CareerBuilder, says sometimes people get sick of the filthy, noisy big city or the "valleys" of technology and want to work in a small town, maybe a small college town.

Rural communities have fewer jobs and can require some finesse.

You need to go there, maybe drive to the company and meet face to face.

You might even try something folksy--like sending a hot pizza with your resume at lunch time. Gauche in the city might be lunch in a more practical, casual place.

Reach out to friends, relatives, anyone who knows anyone there.

My advice would be go--poke around--read newspaper ads there. Also check housing ads.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Solutions looking for problems


Sphero is a robotic ball! So cute! Me want. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkqQDLddsb8

Zeo manages your sleep--or tells you when it's bad or what's wrong with it. http://myzeo.com

Hue is a programmable lightbulb allowing you to choose your ambiance. http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2012/11/22/review-philips-hue-smart-led-light-bulbs/

Smart Pen is a digital pen--you write, it converts to computerese or phonese. http://www.irislink.com/c2-2193-189/IRISnotes-2--Digital-Pen-family.aspx?adwp=GGS-IN-US&gclid=CN_VtPOIu7QCFUxxQgodpkcARw#1

OK--a pen with Wifi?

I have lived too long.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What if you want to return?


Recently someone asked job guru Fred Bocker what to do. The job holder had been at odds with his boss and they clashed. He finally blew up and quit--walked out.

Later the boss was fired and the person wanted to return.

Bocker said maybe company policy would be against it. But not necessarily.

He advised trying to find someone high in human relations to help.

Be sure you have valid explanations for the clashes.

Maybe people who still work there could intervene for you.

Create a document filled with your accomplishments.

Worth a try if you really want it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Get a good seller's agent


Ellen James Martin, AZ Republic, Dec 23, 2012, says real estate is picking up and people should get a seller's agent to represent their homes

Good news--a lot of bad agents were washed out by the downturn.

Look for someone who wants your business, is motivated, can price your house to sell.

Interview agents--don't just pick a friend.

Avoid the idea of a high price to test the market, then slowly lowering it. This can cost you time.

Pick someone who can troubleshoot problems with buyers' finances.

And--find someone who can negotiate on your behalf.

Good luck!

Friday, December 21, 2012

States falling down on emergency preparedness


Hurricane Sandy, salmonella, terrorism--according to Janice Lloyd in USA TODAY, only five of the 50 states meet eight out of 10 measures leading to public health preparedness.

Can the states get kids out of a school during an emergency, are kids being vaccinated, can labs cope with incoming samples in an emergency--apparently not well.

People seem to think they want the feds to control everything--this is stuff the govt needs to do and they are not doing it.

Money, of course, is the problem. Twenty-nine states have cut public health.

After anthrax and Katrina, these slots were funded--now that is dwindling.

Gaining are West Nile, fungal meningitis, whooping cough, TB.

Maybe some politician could posture around about this!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do you love what you do?


Some days, I wonder if I do. All the ailments this year, the economy, humor comes hard at times. In the Oct 18,2012 WSJ, Rachel Emma Silverman write about what makes people happy at work.

The company has less than 100 people.  This makes people 25% happier.

If you supervise others, you are 27% more likely to be happy.

If you help others, are a caregiver--this will make you 75% more likely to be happy.

Skilled trade workers are happier. Fifty percent happier.

Not being in your forties. People in their forties are likelier to be grouchy.

A company called Delivering Happiness at Work did this study. Involved was Zappos chief Tony Hsieh.

Other surveys show if people are happy, productivity, sales and creativity are up.

Many other factors go into being happy--being proud of your employer, for one. Whether you feel you are learning.

I guess I must be pretty happy blogging--do you guys read this? Like it? Am I taking care of you?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Traits, not past performance


Employment gurus Dale Dauten and J.T. O'Donnell say interviewing and hiring may be getting a little more random and goofy as time in the downturn gives hirers more choices.

Some now look for traits instead of an exact match of past skills with needed skills.

Such things as character. Some interviewers ask about it--try to get a fix on how honest the person is.

Dale said he heard of people who preferred Mormons back from their Mission abroad.

Or people from certain schools.

Veterans.

Former athletes.

People recommended by friends.

This is all sort of a crapshoot. I mean--talent hunt!

I once hired someone who said she once had lunch with Mick Jagger--she stayed for a decade. I know--I have mentioned that before. I am looping.

I would say one trait I always liked was charm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

State schools skyrocketing in price


Who says going to an in-state college is such a bargain? According to a story by Scott Thurm in the WSJ, Dec 15, 2012, these universities can run well over $20K a year.

And that is not covering costs--the state govts must pitch in a ton! Yet, on average state portions are down over 20%. Medicaid, prisons and lower ed are gobbling up the funds.

This means state schools are trending toward being self-supporting, which means high tuition.

And--this means huge survey classes of 500 kids and possibly elimination of majors and cutting of quality.

Even the "diverse" students are not being offered as much money, either.

Soooo...have a nice Tues.

I think this comes back to deciding if college is really what you want and need to proceed in life. It is no longer a given.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Six mos to look for a job!

Hey, you graduate in June. Job hunting time. I mean, now.

Supposedly new grads will have a llittle easier time of it than in the last three years. Yay! But you have to apply yourself.

Twenty-one million people graduate from college each yr!

First stop is your school's career services dept. They have many services for you--including listings you won't find elsewhere. They can also check over your resume.

You need to know what's important to you--helping others, making money, both, teaching, what.

Work hard on questions you have for interviewers--one thing I used to ask was, "Do you like working here? How long have you been here?"

It might not be something you blurt out right at first, but you will know if you are even interested in the answer.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Want a Vatican job?


The Pope is now on Twitter! So I guess this thing is now infallible.

At least, I saw someone show him the ENTER key and he pressed it.

Facebook, I hear, is still the number one job connector—despite Linked In seeming to be more serious and job-oriented.

Still, you need to pay some attention to your online you. No pix of your er…endowments…No rants against bosses…

Be sure to mention your professional societies if you are a member of any.

Google yourself to see if you come off as a dope.

And if you use Twitter, don’t drunk-Tweet. The pope won’t.

What do you call a proclamation via Twitter—a Tweetclamation?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wresting your money's worth



The WSJ had a story by Ellen Byron (Dec 12, 2012) on how newly thrifty people are cutting, gouging, squeezing, and bludgeoning the last drop of face cream and shampoo out of bottles.

So don’t feel like a Scrooge. It’s the rage!

With plastic tubes you can cut off the end…or slit the whole thing.

With little jars, scrape your finger around the bottom inside.

Shake contents downward in bottles.

Add water.

Store bottles upside down.

What are you missing? Well, with a jar, as much as 10%. Toothpaste tube, 3-5%. Squeeze bottle, 2-6%. Shampoo—up to 10%! And those dip-tube pumps—a quarter!

I pull those tubes out and rub the stuff on me.

So there!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Maybe you need some "stretch goals"


What’s a stretch goal? A general goal leading to a larger goal. Examples (CareerBuilder): Expanding your knowledge, becoming more visible professionally, getting a promotion.

You may also want to establish relationships with those who can help you. We call those influencers. These people know industry personalities and trends. They have a “sense” of things.

And third, you may want to give some attention to repairing past relationships.

Catch up with former colleagues. Smooth rough patches if this is possible.

Time can be a great neutralizer.

Think about it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling old? You ain't heard anything!


Ninety-two percent of kids under age 2 have some internet presence. Parents pick Twitter handles while the baby is in utero—and there is an app to let the baby kick his or her approval from a list of names.

Sooo…it should not be too much of a stretch for you, presumably a grownup, to completely revamp your future plans.

Come on, be a sport.

First, forget being an accountant or doctor, you need to be a homeland security specialist or a cybersecurity cop.

How about nanotechnology—this means creating tools you can only see with a microscope.

Public health is big—couple of weird cases in some ER could mean a pandemic coming. Learn how to tell!

And—the environment is huge. It kind of touches all of us.

If I were that baby, I would stay in utero.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Duh, yo


In a recent national test, eighth-graders scored 265 out of 500 on vocabulary. Fourth graders were even worse.

These kids did not know the word permeate or puzzled.

Created, spread, underestimated—nope.

Solution—more reading! More writing! Let’s get with it.

This country is so dumb now it makes my teeth grow hair.

An adult I know lamented that her adult kid did not know the word bilious. She told her mother—“No one says that.”

I am feeling bilious right now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hey, we oldies are not so bad


You aren’t hiring your Dad. Older workers are professionals—they come to work on time, are organized, and put in their hours and then some.

They are made that way.

Older people are not necessarily out of touch—they may not code or even want to code, but they can think, market, schmooze with customers and do lots of useful things you may not want to.

Older workers probably don’t even expect a leadership position—they have seen it all and may not want the pressure.

AND—older workers are probably NOT going to retire any minute leaving you in a lurch. Retiring, as such, is becoming more and more problematical every day.

So, make room for experienced workers—they often know a lot of great jokes, for one thing. Or bring cookies to the office.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Clean the way men do


Of course—they did a study—women and men do chores differently.

Men—chores? DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Kidding.

Anyhow, men tend to spritz on moisture or soap—no heavy sloshing buckets.

They store supplies in the room where they are used.

They set a timer for 15 minutes per room—and race the clock,

Declutter first.

Don’t overdo it. As one guy said, if someone wants to eat off the floor, that is their problem.

I call that nasty neat. Don’t be nasty neat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Be your own boss--and a smart one

Anita Bruzzese, Gannett, says it’s never too late to start a business.

One guy opened a barbershop. He ignore the naysayers, noting that as you grow older, you get clearer about what you want.

People want to help you succeed, he says.

This guy tries to make the shop new and fun.

He listens to his younger staff.

For more inspiration and practical help, go to the Center for Productive Longevity. www.ctrpl.org/

The barbershop guy has a website of manly things—such as how to shake hands convincingly—and, of course, how to make a haircut appt online.

This has worked so well a new branch may be opening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Young ones getting the mentoring

Employment guru Eugenia Mena fielded a question about a worker who felt the younger, newer people always got the assignments dealing with the public and the extra mentoring.

What should the older workers do?

Mena said it was natural to bring newer hires along. These people are viewed as fresh minds.

Maybe—she said—they are also less resistant to new ideas?

But you are never too old to be mentored. After all, it’s the older people thinking up those new ideas.

Still, she said, letting the older people work on behind the scenes showed trust.

I would come our somewhere in the middle. Those younger people might eat your lunch. Keep your ear to the ground—new product or division coming? Get up to speed. Maybe some fresh ideas of your own.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Walk the walk?

Walk, you slackers! Or maybe a nice Big Wheel?

Less than a quarter of people in the US walk or bike to get where they are going.

Those who do, though, have lower body mass indexes (are not as fat) and smaller waists. Also lower—their odds of high blood pressure.

This is from a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Pardon me, but haven’t people been saying this for years? Should we do it just to shut them up?

Cities have put in walking and bike paths, rental bikes, free bikes, insurance payments for compliance, everything they can think of.

At least consider it?

This is called “active transportation,” by the way. We used to call it walking to work and I used to do it in 3-inch heels. Those days are gone.