It was Friday morning, 9am. Another seemingly quiet day at Company A. Then the memo went out."It is with great excitement that we announce the merging of Company A and Company B. We expect this union to strengthen our position within the industry and create a plethora of new opportunities for all levels of staff."The blood rushed from Mike's face as he finished reading. He was thinking about the house he just bought, the flailing economy, and the baby on the way. Losing his job was NOT an option.Jenny stopped by Mike's cube. "Did you get the memo," she asked. "Pretty cool stuff, eh?"Mike was dumbfounded. "Yeah, 'cool stuff' if you can get by on $405 a week. We're probably all gonna lose our jobs.""Chill out man. First, I highly doubt they'll touch us, we're the higher grossing division. Second, they might ask you to head up the entire division! Maybe more responsibility and a larger staff will lead to a bigger paycheck.""But what if they tap my counterpart at Company B to run the show? … [Read more...] about One Memo. Two Reactions. Who Are You?
CNN Money has released September 2008 unemployment rates ranked from best to worst by state. South Dakota takes the winning rate with only 3.2%, while the union's smallest state, Rhode Island, shamefully reports an 8.8% unemployment rate. Coincidentally, the state I am trying to move back to almost doubles the unemployment rate than the one I currently live in (OH vs. VA). Someone put the Buckeye State on an economic fitness plan!But what does this really mean? First, unemployment rates are clearly an indication of how local businesses are fairing. Second, the higher the unemployment rate, the higher your competition most likely is. Thus, you will have to try harder to land a new job or simply keep the one you have.The job market is tough right now, no matter which state you are hunting in. Here are a few tips to help you along the way. * Make a weekly resume submission goal. To figure this out, calculate how many you were previously submitted in a week’s time, and then DOUBLE … [Read more...] about Is Your State an Unemployment Loser?
It's often said that competition brings the best out in people. This might be true in a boxing match, on a football field, or during a Monopoly throwdown, but what does a head-to-head battle yield in the workplace?Let's look at each of the four parties involved:YOU * Pressure can lead to stress. Just the right amount can be a beautiful thing (i.e., the butterflies in your stomach when you first kissed the girl/guy). But when your competitor turns up the heat and forces you to engage when you're not interested, the stress can become too much. And stress is good friends with anger, which can lead to... * Misdirected energy. Now, instead of concentrating on work and how you can improve things, you are getting lost in "the game"-how you can best the enemy or take a competitor down. You start to make strategic moves as an individual. Before you know it, it's evident to all that you are "not a team player." However... * Being pushed to perform can help your personal development, making you … [Read more...] about Is Workplace Competition Good for You?
When the idea of holding the first annual Jobacle Resume Writing Challenge popped into my head, it appeared to be a no-lose exercise. I would get to give readers a better understanding of how the resume writing process works, and in the process, get my resume revamped - 12 times over!Over the coming weeks I plan to share what I learned, and along the way, show you the resumes that our participants have produced. I think you'll like what you see. Some writers impressed me, others validated my fears.The first lesson I would like to share...When searching for a resume writer, have an understanding of how involved you want to be in the process and how much time you have to commit.This became abundantly clear to me as I logged hours upon hours of time talking and e-mailing with different resume writers. Does time spent yield a better final product? I'll leave that for you to decide, but it should be a consideration when you begin your search for a … [Read more...] about Resume Writing Challenge: Lesson 1
As Americans sat in front of their TVs last week watching President Bush talk about our dwindling economy and job market, many have wondered, “is there any good news?” While large businesses have lost more than 170,000 jobs over the last six months, small businesses are seeing their employment sector grow. Over 200,000 small business jobs have been created in that time. New data shows a continuation of this trend. Today, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) released the September ADP National Employment Report® and ADP Small Business Report® which showed small business employment - defined as businesses with fewer than 50 workers – added 28,000 jobs during September. See below for a break-down of the small business data by sector:• Total small business employment: +28,000 • Goods-producing sector: -16,000 small business jobs• Service-providing sector: +44,000 small business jobsIf charts and graphs are … [Read more...] about Job News Isn’t ALL Bad
In the workforce of today and tomorrow, the necessity of “business travel” is becoming more and more apparent. Globalization has shown us that it is often more profitable, multi-cultural, and interesting to do business with foreign companies. With these changes have come different challenges for the normal worker. This article explores the pros and cons of such a change. Home Life Pro - You get to travel the world, see many different places, experience new cultures, have sex with hundreds of cheap prostitutes, and meet a whole array of interesting people.Con - You miss your girlfriend/boyfriend (if you have one), you miss your wife/husband/family a lot (if you have any). If you have neither, then you’re one lucky son of a bitch, because under this heading there are no cons. But please, wear a condom/ femidom when amalgamating with the local brazzers. Office Life Pro - I don’t know about you, but personally speaking, it’s great to get away from the normal hustle and … [Read more...] about The Pros and Cons of Work Travel
Are you reading this at work? Then it’s probably counting towards the estimated 1/3 of the day that 32% of workers admit to wasting. A new study by Hirescores.com calls it ‘surprising’ that 96% of British workers admitted avoiding work by doing non-essential tasks like desk tidying and tea-making. But attempting to spend all day, every day, fully focused on the job at hand is pretty unrealistic. So what are people doing that ‘wastes’ time, and is it really a surprise? – Maybe you don’t actually have enough work. If you’re not being challenged, do something about it, or get out of there before you get burnt out. – 23.4% of Salary.com’s 2005 survey respondents said they wasted time because they felt underpaid. Time wasting is taking time, which equals money. It might give you a certain satisfaction, but slacking will never get you that raise! – Idly surfing the web was the biggest distraction for 44.7% of people. Access is restricted for many employees, but that often creates resentment, … [Read more...] about Quick, Look Busy…Or Else
For the second consecutive season, the New York Mets have failed in the clutch, coughing up an opportunity to advance to the playoffs. This has led sports pundits and media talking heads to speculate on personnel changes, even a full-blown team overhaul. As sports fans are already aware, this is highly unlikely because (a) players are bound by contracts, (b) good talent is hard to find, and (c) the Mets will fill the stadium next year regardless of who is on the team.Good leaders never point fingers (at least publicly), but they are able to identify the problem and repair it. Only fools make the same mistake over and over again. And unfortunately for the Mets and their ownership, they are repeat offenders. Sure, several changes were made: a new mid-season manager, rookie call-ups, and the signing of an absolute stud of a pitcher in Johan Santana. And yes, they were plagued by injuries (but what team isn't?). The bottom line is that the core of the team is the same and so is the … [Read more...] about Lessons From the Mets' Historic Collapse…Again
While a Great Depression is unlikely, it looks like it will be quite some time before the U.S. economy smiles upon us again.Since you don't have much control over your company's financial situation, you need to make sure you are ready if the sh*t hits the fan. Here are seven tips for increasing your marketability in a shaky economy, compliments from LiveMocha.1. Optimize technology. The more you know about technology, the better. Be familiar not only with the basics (MS office suite, email, SMS and IM), but also the newest types of business presentation software, interactive meeting software, social networks, and more. Advancements in technology are happening all around us, so there's no doubt they are touching your business or field too. If there's a new development that will revolutionize your industry, find out how you can get training online, through a professional development service, or at a local community college.2. Learn a foreign language. With increased globalization, … [Read more...] about 7 Ways to Increase Your Marketability
It's a two-word lesson reinforced over 143 pages: No Complaining. With millions of people struggling for ways to introduce positive life into their work experience, "The No Complaining Rule," by bestselling author Jon Gordon, joins the ever-growing self-help career aisle at your local bookstore. You might not uncover anything groundbreaking, but this easily digestible book goes down smoothly. In fact, over the course of several lunch hours, you can easily ingest the antidote for negativity. Spawned from a policy imposed by a heathcare staffing company, the book centers around Hope, an HR VP at the fictional EZ-Tech. Mired in a personal and professional slump, Hope is challenged by the company's CEO to help turnaround employee morale and breathe some fresh air into the corporate culture. Can she do it? Of course she can! What would a book on positive attitude be without a happy ending? Each day, irrespective of what's thrown in front of us, we will have a choice; to go positive or to … [Read more...] about Impose 'The No Complaining Rule' Today