40 years of faulty wiring

Why Stupidity Rules … Sometimes

Never thought I would be extolling the virtue of being stupid and I’m not convinced that I am.  This article however made me think that one through just a bit. I’m not sure that stupid is a kind or fair word but I suppose it made for a catchy title, a means to get people to read the damned thing (like mine). This article applies stupidity to career and somehow comes up with success. What? How many books are on the market that insist getting ahead means getting a formal education (especially a Bachelor of Business or even better, an MBA), working 50+ hours a week and always “thinking outside that box.”  You know, justifying why you should get a raise during your annual review (with documentation to prove it), offering your assistance to colleagues or even people outside your department; B_F__Skinner_at_Harvard_circa_1950and the classic, “don’t dress for the position you have, dress for the position you want.”  I suppose this works for people.  I work for a public institution so I wouldn’t know. My guess is many people do very well with this type of behaviour and many people don’t.  Many people have been laid off and they have worked for their organization for years.  Many people have been forcibly retired when they reach age 65 even though they are perfectly functional and do an exemplary job.  Think of the devastation and the slap in the face to a person’s loyalty. Hm. Perhaps there is something to this stupidity thing. (NOT this type of stupidity).

This article insists that moving up the ranks (if you must) more slowly than those on the fast track and enjoying each mundane job thrust upon you can actually bring about more job satisfaction than being an ambitious “go-getter.”  That’s because people with an average to somewhat above average intelligence don’t expect as much in the way of success at their jobs and so long as they’re employed and making a reasonable living, they’re happy, dadgummit.  Certainly that cannot be true of everyone. I mean, many people do not look forward to Mondays (goodbye blessed weekend). Work is a chore and a bore.  The routine gets old fast, no matter how “stupid” or how brilliant a person may be.  That’s true of everyone in my experience, “stupid” or not.

Along with the stupidity blog was an article entitled Is Too Much Ambition Making You Miserable?  This one examines that cliche about being on “the fast track” (to nowhere). This article states that ambition often comes at the expense of close relationships…. the pursuit of materialistic values liklonelye money, possessions, and social status–the fruits of career successes–leads to lower well-being and more distress in individuals. Hm. Maintaining balance in one’s life seems to be a possible solution to such havoc. Perhaps there is something to be said for all that.  I flatter myself that I am not stupid (naive perhaps, but not stupid).  I am a humble soul.  I make a good salary yet I am content to live in a small bachelor apartment and keep my expenses reasonably low. I don’t seem to have a materialistic bone in my body (except shoes of course…but at least I find them on sale). I have a responsible, white-collar job and I aim to move upward in my career. However, I am also happy to move at a reasonable pace. It’s the type of job where I need not just the qualification but the experience to take on a more responsible position.  Fine.  I’ll get there when I get there.  I suppose there are lots of people around like me.  Perhaps that’s why, in spite of earning 3 university degree to date, and having a higher goal in sight, I am not stressed and I am certainly not in a hurry.  Works for me (pun).

A blog that analyzes why happy people are happy listed (of course) some traits that we happy people seem to possess. Dumb little man (his label, not mine), states very definitely that not pursuing status, strip away expectations, and don’t fight your environment (no, not fighting to save the environment). I really liked the “strip away expectations“, referring to easing up on the goal-setting habits of successful, miserable people.  A decade or two ago, I remember reading some kind of book that stated it was important to list goals for the rest of the year, five years later, and 10 years later. It kept a person on track and determined a path.  I followed this idea religiously.  I constantly made this list, completely erasing it and starting over with something new upon a whim, depending on my burgeoning interests and whichever direction my life was headed. It didn’t work.

This isn’t to say that a lack of goals is a sensible move in your career and your life.  In fact, going to that extreme is “stupid” (for anyone). If you don’t know girl-screamingwhere you are going, what are you working for?  I would suggest that a general plan (not years from now and then 10 years from now), that isn’t written in stone and is flexible as necessary is a sensible compromise. I know which courses I am taking that lie ahead of me in order to carve out a career path but this doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind somewhere along the way and pursue something else.  I don’t think that’s uninspired or “stupid.”  I have, however, reached a point where I don’t let my life bounce me around like a raging current, slamming me up against boulders, and leaving me wondering what will happen next, the way I once did.  I have a career where I have established a firmer foothold than that, and that’s a good move. I think it’s flexible planning, patience, and a great way to be happy.

April 22, 2013 Posted by | Career, Education, Human psychology, money | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Passing a Test is Failing

I’ve never had to worry about passing a drug test.  I’ve never taken a job, gone to work, driven a car, or sat around in rehab worrying about the illicit toxins in my system. I have consumed a legal drug, alcohol, a time or two (but not whilst drinking).  I happened upon an interesting site that gleefully offered not only information, but a number of synthetic products guaranteed to help those with a drug addiction to pass a drug test. The products help a drug user to fool the four main types of drug tests, being urine, hair follicle, blood and saliva. To wit there are shampoos to remove traces of drugs from your hair; bottles of “ultra-pureurine (I’m not kidding, although the synthetic stuff doesn’t smell like the real thing…gross); marijuana home test kits; marijuana detox kits; alcohol strip saliva tests; “ultra-pureblood kits; and products for random drug tests. It’s eerily similar to starting drugs in the first place:  whatever you need, they’ve got it.

This site is disturbing on two levels:

  1. Why are we helping drug addicts to pass drug tests?
  2. What do we gain and what do we lose when we keep drug addicts in positions of responsibility?

Some jobs that are particularly worrisome where drug users are concerned include: surgeons, forest workers, transport people, construction workers, people who have your life in their (shaky) hands. That’s scary stuff.

Consider the many other situations where drug addiction is truly frightening:

  1. a drug-addicted expectant mother
  2. a drug-addicted mother
  3. a drug-addicted father
  4. a drug-addicted transient
  5. a drug-addicted criminal

A transient or a foster-child teen may not be a danger to others, but the potential to become a criminal in order to maintain a drug supply is high (pun). And we don’t want even “harmless” people walking about high. They do stupid things like step in front of oncoming cars without looking. They start stupid fights with other high, transient people. Criminals and transients make a community less valued and less safe.  The majority of criminals and transients are drug users and always will be.

In case you are loathe to use a synthetic product to alter your drug tests, there is a 1999 Drug Detection Times chart published by the Nationa Institute on Drug Abuse  that provides information as to how various drugs stay in your system. The chart is well-intended: it isn’t intended to provide you with the knowledge to pass a drug test. It provides information as to how much time must pass after using before you can safely go to work, care for a child, walk down the street and chew gum at the same time.

Drug detection time in urine is expressed in upper and lower boundaries.  For instance, if you are an infrequent, small-dose user, the detection test places you in the lower boundaries.  For heavy, regular users, the upper boundaries are the results. Overweight people are more prone to getting caught as drugs linger longer in fatty tissue. Aging and chronically ill people are also likely to get a positive test result. Urine tests isolate four factors: pH levels, colour, creatin levels and temperature. Oddly, methods such as eating red meat, sex, taking vitamin B-12, increasing creatine levels, and mixing a detox drink, have been tried and proven successful in avoiding detection, but only in urine (again, not in everyone).

Having said that, everyone’s drug reaction is different. Some people may hold traces of marijuana for up to two months in their systems. Some may retain trace amounts of cocaine for weeks, others for hours.  It depends on your physical condition, age, usage, weight, and whether or not you eat regularly. Some people believe that drinking large amounts of water, or using a diuretic, will purge their system of drugs but this isn’t so. There are drug users who substitute their urine with another person’s, however this deception isn’t always accurate: temperature is critical.

The argument for using synthetic products and passing a drug test is feeble: the test only measures what you have previously done with drugs and not whether you are currently using. A peculiar sort of logic, but it manages to evade the law.

Bottom line: the best way to avoid failing a drug test, losing your job, your spouse, your child?  Don’t use.

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, corrruption, Crime and Punishment, Health and Wellness, Human psychology | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love Turned on a Light…and Nurtured a Life

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, John Lennon.  All of these remarkable people who have left their mark on the world and changed the way many of us view it, had one thing in common:  dyslexia. School was a nightmare for most of these men: students bullied them, teachers called them stupid, punishments were meted out for not understanding lessons. As children, a number of these boys even believed teachers and parents who told them they were stupid and wouldn’t succeed in life.  It wasn’t a pleasant educational journey.

As a partially deaf four-year old child, Edison came home from school with a note in his pocket from his teacher, “Your Tommy is too stupid to learn, get him out of school”. His mother read the note and answered, “My Tommy is not too stupid to learn, I will teach him myself”. Her belief in her son, and patience with his academic struggles probably accounts for the genius that was Thomas Edison. Edison eventually invented the light bulb, the phonograph, andthe motion picture camera. A man with only 3 months of formal schooling, Edison became the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications, including a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Perhaps he and Alexander Graham Bell should have teamed up. So much for Tommy’s public school teacher.  The teacher should have been taken out of school.

What was it in Edison’s history that led to his historical successes? Certainly, his genius although this cannot entirely account for Edison’s work. Edison himself stated“genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  I believe Edison’s inspiration was his mother: her love, support, and the tutoring of her son at home. Had she also believed her son was “stupid” there may never have been an electric light bulb, a phonograph, or motion picture films (or at least, not during Edison’s era). The wait might for electricity and many other of Edison’s inventions may have been much longer. The world would have been poorer without his genius.

Where the world is concerned, love turned on a light.

August 24, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Education, Human Biology, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Suicide and the Aging Superstar

You know what makes total sense to me?  Aging superstars, no longer relevant, who kill themselves.  Think about that gorgeous thought for a moment.  The media portrays these people as brilliantly accomplished people (which they usually are) who end their own livesneedlessly (probably true) and no one gets it (understandable).  However think about the perspective of the suicidal entertainer:

  1. their time has come and gone
  2. perhaps he or she is a joke from yesteryear
  3. the physical beauty if this performer is fast disappearing
  4. no one would line up to see that show anymore

Aging isn’t fun for anyone.  Most of us are vain.  We want to be young-looking forever.  Who wants crow’s feet and a saggy butt?  I don’t hear anyone jumping up and saying “pick me!”  Now add to that the faded experience of having been a glamorous, sought-after entertainer in one area of the industry or another, be it an actor, musician, model, what have you.  Those flaws are magnified.  Mirrors become torture devices more malicious than those of the Medieval Era.

And to t0p it all off, no one wants these people anymore, or at least not to the degree they were once desired and valued. Perhaps the spouse they married years ago, half their age, has been cheating on the ex-superstar, clearly only having married for the money and the lifestyle.  Humiliation cloaks the washed-up performer.  It’s probably an egocentric thing for many, but for others it’s just the understandable torment of no longer being relevant in the public eye.

Donny Osmond, who is neither aging visibly nor unwanted, gave an interview where he stated frankly that “to be famous and loved by millions of people one day then to wake up and find yourself a joke the next was a very traumatic experience.”  No doubt. It was his stunning performance in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat that revived what truly is a remarkable talent.

John Travolta candidly discussed his similar experience.  After his brilliant performances in Saturday Night Fever and Grease his stardom faded rapidly: disco was dead and along with it his career.  He appeared in a string of utterly banal and graceless films after this successful period in his life but his phone didn’t ring for decades after Grease.  Then his unexpected comeback in Pulp Fiction re-launched his career and a new star was re-born.  Travolta and Osmond were two of the lucky few.

Then there are those suicidal stars whose lives are so messed up post-fame that they are no more than walking tragedies waiting to happen: Cory Haim, Don Cornelius, Kenny McKinley, Dana Plato, Savannah, Jonathan Brandis, Andrew Koenig, Peg Entwistle, Ricky Schroder, Rob Pilatus are some pathetic examples.  Of course there is always more to a suicide than one aspect of a person’s life but doubtless the difficult transition from fame and wealth to obscurity and for some, poverty, is a proven formula for suicide.

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Battered Brides and the Making of a Trend

You wouldn’t happen to be a trend spotter would ya? No, no not a trainspotter. I don’t want emails from people telling me how bad their lives have gotten since they started banging smack.  A trend spotter – as in someone who is quick to spot a trend-in-the-making and grab it before anyone else does.  That person (if motivated) can make a few bills that way.  Not too shabby considering the financial spectre that looms over us this year.

Consider the headline about the employees who destroyed thousands of dollars in designer bridal gowns when the boutique franchise closed down.  People are outraged over that.  I mean, at least the boutique could have given the gowns to stores that would charge less so the commoners like you and me could snap one up?  But under their contract they can’t.  You can’t argue with legalities. And that’s that.

Personally I think the whole mess is rather brilliant.  Picture young women and goth chicks who really want to stand out when they get married (or who want an insane Halloween costume).  No fluff and ruffles for them.  They want to forego all that fruity tooty tradition and show up looking like a turbine just ran over them after they stepped out of the bridal shop.  Cool.  There could be a whole new trend of happenin’ brides looking like The Little Corpse Bride walking up the aisle (if only they were all marrying Johnny Depp).

Add a pair of black Doc Martens to the mix and you have an unforgettable bride for once….unlike all the others who basically look-alike with the same ruffles and frills and $25,000 price tag on the wedding.  Seriously….does anyone remember a wedding years later?  Besides the odds are good it won’t work out so why not do the smart thing?  Save your money, get into a tattered, psychedelic bridal gown, forgo the insane wedding reception costs in favour of Wonderland and have some originality for once.

You know what’s great about trend spotting and trend setting?  It helps your career.  It makes people sit up and take notice of you.  It keeps life interesting.  It’s fun. It’s a break from the same old as they call it.  We could use more people like that.

It’s good to stay on top of trending when you’re keeping (or starting) your job in 2012. A few I’ve looked up are head shots; personal publishing via blogs; and personal logos among others read Career Management – Personal Branding |Trends for 2012 (part 1)

In other words, be a trend setter would ya?

January 8, 2012 Posted by | Career, Pop Culture | , , , | Leave a comment

The Eurozone Crisis and Your Job

The labour market is a good place to start when you are job seeking or hoping to keep your job during the recession.  In fact it’s a good place to start, recession or not.  Before you enroll in a college or university program, knowing which jobs are becoming redundant and which are gaining momentum in the work force is crucial.  For people who already have a job it is critical to evaluate if:

  1.  you are in a position that can easily be absorbed by other employees should you get laid off
  2. your position or industry is anticipating growth for 2012 and beyond
  3. your formal education is necessary to fill this role
  4. there is upward mobility
  5. you can expect a reasonable salary increase with the cost of living
  6. you can expect a lowered or frozen salary after the eurozone crisis hits North America
  7. you will be forced to work part time hours
  8. you will need to enroll in further schooling or training to keep your job
  9. you will have a significant increase in work demands and hours
  10. you will have to job share to stay employed
  11. your job skills are flexible so you can find work in a different company or industry
  12. your job or your industry will be made redundant due to upgraded technology or other reasons  Read 10 middle-class jobs that will vanish by 2018

In case you haven’t had a look lately at the labour market watch the to 10 worst jobs in 2012 and the top 10 career choices in 2011  (haven’t changed since 2009)

If you live in Canada check out the Working in Canada site.

If these jobs look demanding in terms of education and experience that’s because they are. However they apply to most major cities and industries in North America so it’s likely they are among the most difficult to attain.  There are good jobs with reasonable stability and room for growth that are not as educationally demanding (with some exceptions). However most require some sort of post-secondary education and certainly computer savvy in more software programs than past years including:

  1. Executive Assistant/Secretary/Receptionist
  2. Nurse
  3. Hospitality Industry
  4. Customer service reps
  5. Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
  6. Truck drivers
  7. Hair Stylists and Barbers
  8. Machinists, Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  9. Mechanical Engineering Technologist and Technicians
  10. Graphic Designers and Illustrators

A few tips to find a new job…maybe:

  1. Interview with a successful social media job seeker – from career enlightenment
  2. Having said that read 7 Facebook Mistakes that Can Kill Your Career  and watch How to get a job using social media
  3. http://gethiredbootcamp.com/ – this site requires a fee
  4. Video Job seeking Tips – free
  5. Join Linkedin, create a profile that lets companies know you are job seeking and start connecting with people
  6. Try using resunate – free service where you can check your resume against jobs you are applying for
  7. Use  Wordle – finds the most significant words in a job advertisement so you can match your resume to it
  8. Try careershift – charges a fee but there is a free trial period – software that helps you locate any job at any site
  9. See a recruiter or a career counsellor – these people can tell right away what type of job you would be a good fit for – if you have a career in mind all the better.  They will tell you if they want a resume…assuming you are new and freshly out of school you won’t have a lot of jobs to list so emphasize your transferable skills and any volunteer experiences you have. Virtual career counsellors are just as good as going to an office, btw.
  10. Be your own career counsellor – this is very simplistic but its a start. When you find a job that sounds good to you research how it rates in the labour market.  While you’re at it if you know anyone in a job you are interested in, ask if they’ll do lunch with you and grill them about their job – the ups and downs; the hours; etc.  Ask if you can spend a half a day with them at work.  And read this article while you’re following that plan. Or even if you’re not.
  11. Read this blog How to find the Hidden Job Market…that’s probably your best bet to get a job…aside from opening your own business.
  12. Do search classified ads online (and in the papers, I guess) but spend more time using the internet to find your new job. Read 10 big differences between the job search of yesterday and today.
  13. Watch Did you know? Find your true calling.

A few tips to keep your job…maybe:

  1. Consider leaving even if you don’t have to – sounds crazy in a recession and if you like what you’re doing for the most part and believe you are getting paid what you deserve then stay there.  But if that isn’t the case then job hop to your heart’s content.
  2. Open your own virtual company if you lose your job…sometimes when you forced into entrepreneurship it works out well…maybe better than if you didn’t have to be your own boss. Read Consider a Virtual Company to Get a Flexible Work Life  If you do lose your job read the above list for people looking for a job. If you’re going to go entrepreneurial you’d best be a trend spotter – or better still making trends.
  3. Assume that anything and everything you write online – whether its email or facebook – can be accessed by your employer…type as if your boss was standing over your shoulder reading your posts/emails.  Watch 7 facebook mistakes that can kill your career.
  4. Don’t fret over rumours about downsizing….document a list of accomplishments you have made for the company…then write out directions you’d like to take to bring even more advantages to the company. Then make an appointment to see your boss and make you plan known to him/her without discussing your concerns about losing your job….it’s not about you remember – it’s all about who and what is best for the company.
  5. Or perhaps a few tips to stay employed whether its in your current job or not3 tips: How to find a new job while still working
  6. While you’re considering leaving your job read this: Video: Facebook and Bain & Company Employees Explain Why Their Companies Are Best Places to Work
  7. Check your attitude at the door.  Watch How to keep your job and NOT get fired.
  8. Be aware of your true calling – in case it’s already what you are doing.
  9. This article wraps up in a few paragraphs pretty much everything I said above:  7 Tips for managing a career switch.
  10. Start reading career blogs like Vault’s Career Blogs, Brazen Careerist, CareerRocketeer, and some other blogs my blog is linked up to…there are tons more out there….They won’t necessarily get you a job but they might get you motivated and inspire you with an idea you come up with that gets you a job.

And for both people who are searching for a new job or are in-between jobs try not to get discouraged….competition is tough but you are worth hiring.  Tell yourself that every day.  When you come up with a way to make yourself stand out (and that doesn’t have to be anything out in the twilight zone either), that’s when you will land a job.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Career | , , , , | Leave a comment

Senior Citizens as Entrepreneurs

Sounds like an odd concept but I would argue that point. If you’ve been laid off due to ageism in the workplace there is another route you can take: become an entrepreneur. Actually GenX’s who are mid-50’s and older are often ageism targets, not just seniors. Outrageous. watch ageism commercial. 

There is an alternative to working for someone else and waiting for the ageism axe to fall: work for yourself. No point in whining about the unfairness of it all. You’ve held various positions over the years (average career change numbers around 7). You may have been in a number of positions such as human resources, accountant, bookkeeper, secretary, management, nursing, truck driving, sales, teaching, etc. You’ve worked from entry level possibly to management. Read my blog Advice for Women Entrepreneurs (or Wannabes). Use the skills you acquired in these jobs and apply them to an entrepreneurial venture. Free e-book “Who moved my cheese?”  Meantime if you live in Canada check this site:  Targeted Initiative for Older Workers  It provides employment assistance services and employability improvement activities, such as skills upgrading and work experience, to assist unemployed workers aged 50 to 64 with their return to work.

TURN A HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS

  1. Research the Market – if there is competition that’s good: it means there is a market.
  2. Research start-up costs. Watch Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System
  3. Build a website.
  4. Blog your business.
  5. Advertise – classifieds, posters on telephone poles, facebook, twitter, etc. Watch How to create a twitter list
  6. Have business cards with you.
  7. Network
  8. Join a trade organization.
  9. Display your product/service at trade shows and market places.

SOME ENTREPRENEURIAL OPTIONS
Here are a few to get you started.

CONSULTANT
Teaching, sales, human resources, health care, consultant, software designer, counsellor, child care, interior design, image consultant.

TRAINER/TEACHER/TUTOR
Work as a motivational speaker to promote the power of positive thinking at corporations. Use your image consultant skills.

PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKER
Get certified or apply the skills you learned as a homemaker or a nurse to work with the elderly or with disabled people.

VIRTUAL SECRETARY
Work online for an executive: contact clients, take messages, book appointments, order office supplies, etc. Watch Virtual Mom Assistant Make Money At Home  Here is a virtual site: Virtual Secretary, Virtual Assistant 

NETWORK MARKETING  Watch Entrepreneur or Pyramid Scheme
Also known as direct sales, many people believe it is a pyramid scheme. You can create your own legitimate NM business by attending online or in-person NM conferences offered through companies that are registered with the Better Business Bureau. Watch Its a Pyramid Scheme

WEBSITE DESIGN
Make professional websites for companies and entrepreneurs such as yourself.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST
You might end up on a company’s payroll again if you are a crackerjack on the internet. Since you work virtually your age doesn’t matter.

PET CARE
Operate a pet care/grooming business. If you have the skills become a breeder but learn the difference in a kennel and a puppy mill!

CHILD CARE CENTRE
Run a day care centre in your home. You will need to have your home pass inspection when you register it as a business. Word of mouth helps to generate clients for a CCC.

REALTOR
If you enjoy the real estate market and have the confidence, go for it. You need to purchase a license and you will work for an established realty company.

AUDITOR
Yep you can freelance as an auditor. You may wish to start off with small companies and work your way up.

RECRUITER/INTERVIEWER
If you have a great sales background work for temporary placement agencies. They need recruiters to find online resumes that match the jobs they offer and recruit people away from other agencies.

ESTHETICIAN/HAIR STYLIST
Freelance in the beauty industry. Work fashion shows. Work at photography studios where executives get business photographs taken. Work for special events such as weddings.watch how to become an entrepreneur

Read Six Style Tips for Interview Success As an entrepreneur you need to put your best foot forward when meeting potential new clients. You want the job and you need to impress your potential client. Freelance doesn’t mean slob. Watch Office Attire: the do not wear list. Be careful when chatting with clients:

  1. Don’t drink alcohol – not even one glass of wine: your negotiation skills are liable to slip.  What Not to say about a wrongful termination. 
  2. Don’t tell your clients what you have charged other people. Different jobs require different payment.
  3. Don’t undersell yourself.  Check the market to see on average how much other people are paid for the same work.

If you’re uncertain about freelancing and contracting try using Elance.com. Take a job of some sort. That is your first experience as a freelance worker. See? easy! Check my blogs Yes looks do matter…Some people even build a career on it and How to Start Your Own Business in One Day

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Career | , , , , | Leave a comment

Grow Up, Grunge Down … Make Up Your Mind

Ever noticed how career advice changes over the course of a person’s career?  It’s an interesting timeline but it’s easy to understand how confusing it can be to navigate the waters of career success.  Consider the challenges that face GenY’s today when are starting out after college.  They make a lot of mistakes when they start out (who doesn’t)? of the fresh, inexperienced sort that are almost enviable to those in their golden years on their way out but mistakes they are nonetheless.

Grow Up

  1. They enter a company wanting to know what it can do for them rather than the other way around
  2. They have to learn how to work as a team because they didn’t learn it in post-secondary school
  3. Their over-eagerness translates into “I want to be CEO by tomorrow
  4. College grads face the worst unemployment rate now in 20 years  Interview tips – Facebook and your job search

College grads think the world owes them something for slaving away at school since they were 5 and paying big bucks for a university degree. They’ve worked hard as students but that’s hardly earning your stripes. They are the ones who have some proving to do, not the other way around.  Watch College grads entering work force with few prospects

They scarcely worked as a team in college, in fact in high school either. We teach social skills and group work like crazy in elementary school and by senior year high school most kids struggle to get along with classmates and succeed best on their own.  Graduated and unemployed Grads are lucky if they get interviews, let alone jobs. The recession has hit so hard that 4 years later we still haven’t dug our way out of that hole. That means few companies are hiring and especially those with little or no experience. How to find a job during a recession.  It’s just as important to know how to land a job….resumes alone won’t do it. Graduates to join the unemployed.

When New Kid on the Block finishes a project at work and received some lovely accolades at a meeting s/he is waiting for that bonus or even overnight raise and are shocked when there is none. One or two projects and you’ve reached the Promised Land? Don’t think so. There are people who work for years until they move into seriously senior positions and have proven their worth many times over.

 

Grunge Down

GenX’s too have challenges of their own. They cast wary looks at GenYs and fear for their jobs. Their challenges include:

  1. Ageism  
  2. Keeping abreast of computer skills and other trends
  3. Having reached their peak aka their usefulness to the company

GenXs wake up one day and realize they have gone as far as they are going to go in their careers. If that isn’t where they pictured themselves one day, that’s quite disillusioning. And they’ve hit their salary peak.

Work has become mostly routine unless they are able to transfer between departments. The smart ones do. They want to keep learning and make themselves more valuable to their company. Many don’t. Usually when a recession hits the latter are the first to go but not always. Sometimes everyone gets axed because that’s the economy and starting over is much more difficult for a GenX than a GenY. Causes of economic recession

GenX’s have mortgages, spouses and kids. They have huge financial committments and it’s easy to lose sleep worrying over meeting those committments when the company tightens it’s belt. GenX’s worry about being made redundant and unless they can continually prove their worth it happens fairly easily.  GenX’s cost more money to a corporation than a GenY. GenYs work for lower pay and know as much or more as a GenX about computers and business trends. how to keep your job in a recession

Read my blog Crazy career killers. Kiss-asses often keep their jobs longer than hard workers and that sucks. It isn’t fair when the genuine article has put in more hours and has been responsible for more company success than “yes” men or women. But there are CEOs who love to have their ego stroked and their are false flatterers who know this and never miss an opportunity to work it.  trailer yes man

Two extremes, one career. If you’re lucky you have a job you like so that in the end all the stress has been worth it. If you hate your job all the stressors and the disappointments are two valid reasons to find a new one. That’s good advice whether you’re starting out or heading toward the last lap. how to know when to quit your job

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Career | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Didn’t I Get the Job?

Times are tight, no doubt about it and the employment horizon is still pretty grim. I still can’t believe the number of blogs and articles I’m reading that practically beg candidates to arrive at an interview acting like a human, prepared to knowledgably discuss the company and the position in question, with an additional copy of a resume.  Jobs are out there but it is taking a lot of effort to fill them. I decided to demonstrate this scenario with my own hypothetical interview for an executive position at a mid-sized corporation located in the city.

ARRIVAL TIME FOR INTERVIEW:  20 minutes late

DRESS CODE:  Stained blouse and skirt with threads hanging off of hem; run in pantyhose or hell with it no pantyhose at all

HYGIENE:  No time for a shower today…running late. Just finished a coffee and accidentally spilled some on my blouse (hence the stain). Wolfed down a garlic and egg breakfast before the interview.  Still have pieces of bacon stuck in my teeth. How to groom yourself for a job interview

HAIR/MAKEUP:  Hungover this morning so wore an extra pound of foundation to hide it; hair was unmanageable so slicked it back into a ponytail but the front pieces keep falling out into my face.

RESUME:  What’s a resume?

INTERVIEW – ARRIVAL

I arrived at the interview a few minutes late.  Big deal. Everyone runs a little behind now and then don’t they?  When I informed the receptionist I was here she told me the HR lady was busy with another candidate and would be with me shortly.  I waited and waited.  “Shortly” translated into 20 minutes!  I rolled my eyes at the receptionist and snapped “don’t your people honour their appointments?” She appeared not to hear me and kept typing. No wonder she earns minimum wage. Interview Tips: What would you do to gain respect as a new employee?

Finally the receptionist sent me to the interview room. There was a whole panel of 2 people waiting. I was hardly expecting an inquisition. They could at least have told me what to expect….as if I would ask over the phone.  Can’t look too eager.  I sat down before being invited and stared expectantly at both women. I mean, get on with it you know? The first one looked me up and down like she’d never seen a female candidate before.  I suppose they’re looking for a man.  Figures.  The second one piped up and started firing questions at me.  Not even a polite “how’s the weather” or any of that bull. Where are people’s manners nowadays?  Interview Tips: Tell me about yourself

They both asked me ridiculous questions about the company like I was supposed to know the answers. I mean it’s their company. Don’t they know their own product and its capita per year?? Why should I know it? I’m not the CEO. How to prepare for a job interview. They then asked me the most unbelievably stupid questions I’ve ever heard.  One of them actually said “what is your greatest strength?”  Why would she want to know that?  I’m not Mother Theresa. The other one asked me the opposite.  Should have known.  I could hardly keep my temper in check. Interview Tips: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Then came the ultimate in stupidity: “if you were an animal what would you be?”  I had nothing. I mean, if I was an animal would I be here?  I’d be swinging from a vine in the jungle and shitting down a tree trunk all day, a lot preferable to sitting here with these two stooges. How to answer rude quetsions. My cell phone rang and I interrupted the interview to answer it. Good thing I did. It was another HR person from a different company setting up an interview with me. Interview Tips: Share a Conflict Resolution BAD answer

Finally after all that redundant torture they asked me if I had any questions.  Duh.  The first thing I wanted to know was how much does this crummy job pay anyway. The second thing I wanted to know was how much vacation time do I get since at my last job I only got two weeks for the whole year.  I also asked who I would be working directly for because if he was anything like my last boss, who was a power-tripping loser,  I’d just leave right now. I also wanted to know if they validate parking and if how long my lunch break would be since I have to go home and walk my schnouzer mid-day every day or he poops all over the rug. Interview Tips: Describe going above and beyond at work: BAD answer

Finally the inquisition was over. They passed me a piece of literature about their company like it was the Holy Grail or something but I forgot it when I left. No biggee I’m sure. Anyhow brochures aren’t green friendly. Use the internet. As soon as I got out of there I went straight to Starbucks for another coffee. Now I know what pure hell feels like. As soon as I got home I went onto Facebook and ranted about my interview with dumb and dumber.  I then blogged about the idiocy of interviews and that they should all be illegal. How to prepare for a job interview: After the interview is over. One week later when I hadn’t heard from them I called up one of the two militant interviewers and asked them if I was hired. She said no and I asked her why not? She said company policy was not to explain these details to their candidates since they have so many of them. I asked so many of what, candidates or policies, and hung up.  I’m telling you there are no jobs out there. Interview Tips: What is your greatest achievement? BAD answer

June 22, 2011 Posted by | Career | , , , | Leave a comment

Abusing Children to Get that 15 Minutes of Shame … er, Fame

The sickest 21st reality TV trend is those horrid kids’ beauty pageants. The happy kids scare me: they’re learning  their self-worth is a face of makeup and big hair. The unhappy children hurt me: they don’t want to be there.

    1. Toddlers and Tiaras – I can’t watch this nightmare. Now and then the camera bounces off an extremely obese mother who is up dancing around with her daughter so she won’t forget her moves. God help me.   Watch Toddlers and Tiaras … Karmen’s Mom
    2. Little Miss Perfect – Inside Child Beauty Pageants – Listen to a pageant mother tell her daughter that her smile looks “constipated”. Little Miss Perfect – Inside Child Beauty Pageants  
    3. Child Pageants – Tyra Part I A mother on the program insists her 5-year-old daughter has made the decision herself to be in pageants. A child on the show removes her “flipper” – fake teeth.
    4. Latest Little Miss Perfect Transformation. Drop-kick me Lord.

No one is calling these misguided mothers Nazis (except me). But look at the motives of Joseph and Magda Goebbels when exploiting their 6 beautiful children 34 times in several propagandist movies of the “German Model Family“.Their motives aren`t that different from modern pageant mothers. Goebbels was Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1939 – 1945.  At the end of the war, the Goebbels killed their children then committed suicide. Watch How Joseph and Magda Goebbels Exploited their Children for Nazi Propaganda

Jonbenet Ramsey. There were 2 reasons why the story dominated headlines as widely as it did:  (1) she was found in the basement of her own home  (2) she was a child beauty pageant queen. Do I believe the Ramsey’s murdered their child? No I don’t. Do I believe the Ramsey’s are responsible for the murder? Yes I do. Putting Jonbenet on display undoubtedly contributed to this child’s murder. Watch Jonbenet Investigation Part I

Child Actors. Very few make the transition from child stars to healthy adults. Read my blogs Leif Garrett teen heart-throb and gigolo; Anissa Jones – short-lived career and short-lived life , Dana Plato – Kimberly and her diff“rent lives . Other stories include Rusty Hamer who died at forty-two of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Jonathan Bandis – committed suicide since he was depressed about his career, which declined in recent years.  There`s similar stories in the blog 6 of the most epic child actor failures. If that isn`t proof enough that we`ve lost our perspective on childhood, watch video pageant mother ìnjects 8 year old with botox.

Oh, the shame, er fame, of those 15 minutes.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Career, Celebrity Chic, Human psychology, Pop Culture | , , , , , | Leave a comment