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Archive for the ‘Careers related Matters’ Category

I realize that there are tons of jobs available with top notched companies.  I am going to land a job at one of the top notched companies no more small potato for me.  The efforts required to land a top notched position is actually the same as landing a position in a smaller firm. It’s a matter whether those new created jobs are what one considers “good” jobs – high pay with excellent perks and aggressive upward mobility.  If you go to Fortune 100 lists half of the company that are successful are now hiring and some are even expanding their human resources by 40%.  Research this gives you a totally different perspective than merely listening to all the grim talk of some people.   Seriously, now it’s a good time to get something good going.  I am going to keep this mentality to sustain success.  I rather to “positive” and “cheerful” and “happy” than being “right”  It’s like going into a completely full parking lot, I do not need a lot of empty spaces to show for and there is no need to convince anyone that is tons of open spots, all I need is that “one” spot for the car I am driving to park and that spot better be outside the shop with a cover.  That’s what I am aiming for.

I heard how sad someone sounded on the phone. I just want that person to know that being ultra positive and bright with glitters in the eye, will steer you into the right direction and I truly believe that everything, is going to be better, if at this moment, one would just maintain the positivity regardless the circumstances, only then would great things come forward to you.  Never ever convince yourself unworthiness.  Look up and don’t pay attention to anything that is not matching to your high objectives and expectations in life.

Powerful people take more risks
Five studies find a link between power and dangerous behavior

By 20 September 2006

Powerful people view life through rose-colored glasses, with their more
optimistic outlook ultimately leading them to engage in riskier behavior.

So says Cameron Anderson, an associate professor at the Haas School of Business. Anderson and his co-author, Adam Galinsky of Northwestern University, in an article published in the July/August issue of the European Journal of Social Psychology demonstrate how a sense of power leads individuals to risk-seeking behavior.

The article, “Power, Optimism, and Risk-Taking,” is based on five separate
studies the researchers conducted. Although the studies involved
students, Anderson and Galinsky’s findings apply more broadly to a
range of powerful individuals, from heads of state to CEOs to prominent
community leaders.

In the business world, the authors note, risky behavior can be beneficial, helping individuals maintain or even increase their power. By engaging in risky behavior, the powerful may take advantage of high-upside opportunities that others avoid, the authors write.

But the business world also is littered with examples of powerful executives taking risks that ultimately hurt them, whether it’s the latest scandal over backdating stock options or an unsuccessful merger or acquisition.

Anderson notes, for instance, that when he and Galinsky began their research, former President Clinton was embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “It’s a good example of someone who was feeling so powerful that he was totally blind to the possibility that he was going to get caught,” says
Anderson.

A member of the Haas Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations Group, Anderson advises that business leaders
should be aware of this bias toward riskier behavior and protect
against it by more carefully weighing the risks and benefits of their
actions and decisions.

Experts have speculated that one’s prior success or sense of power can lead to disastrous mistakes, but until now there’s been little research that establishes such a link, Anderson notes.

In fact, some psychologists have argued the opposite, suggesting that low-power people, with less to lose by risky behavior, are willing to do anything to get out of their disadvantaged situation. Conversely, those in power might act more conservatively because they have more to lose, some have argued.

However, Anderson and Galinsky’s cumulative results from five experiments contradicted that theory and instead found a link between power and risky behavior:

Study
1 asked participants to estimate the likelihood that positive and
negative events would happen in their own life. Individuals with a
higher sense of power were more optimistic regarding personally
relevant future events, such as enjoying their post-graduation job and
avoiding gum disease, and even events outside their control, such as
avoiding airplane turbulence.

Study 2 tested whether powerful
individuals view the outside world as less dangerous and threatening.
Participants with a high-power mindset gave more optimistic estimates
of dangers in the world, such as floods, fires, and heart disease, than
those with a low-power mindset.

Study 3 extended the previous two
studies by testing whether power influences individuals’ actual
preference for risk (versus just testing their perceptions of risk).
Participants’ sense of power was subconsciously primed and then
participants were asked to choose from various solutions for a large
car manufacturer that must close plants and lay off employees.
High-power participants were more likely to choose a riskier option
than neutral and low-power individuals.

Study 4 created a
vignette more relevant to student participants. Participants were
manipulated to feel a sense of power and then asked about the
likelihood they would engage in sexual intercourse without a condom.
Individuals in a high-power mindset saw less danger in engaging in
unprotected sex and were more willing to engage in this risky behavior.

Study
5 tested the link between power and risk-taking in actual face-to-face
interactions, with one student playing a job candidate and the other a
job recruiter in a negotiation exercise. The more powerful participants
perceived themselves to be in the negotiation, the more risks they were
willing to take by divulging information.

Study 5 demonstrated
the applicability of this research to negotiations. “It cuts both
ways,” Anderson says. “Feeling less powerful can actually be
detrimental because you’re less likely to divulge some of your
information that you need to in order to create a win-win situation. At
the same time, people who go into the negotiation with a huge advantage
over their opponent might throw everything onto the table, feel like
there’s no harm in doing so, and get taken to the cleaners.”

America’s younger workers losing ground on income

In the race to get ahead economically, America’s young workers are falling behind.

A new survey shows that between 2001 and 2004, median incomes fell for householders under 45, even as they rose for older ones.

Income
fell 8%, adjusted for inflation, for those under 35 and 9% for those
aged 35 to 44. The numbers add new weight to longstanding concerns
about whether younger generations of Americans will achieve living
standards that are better — or at least equal to — those of their
parents.

"It’s
a scary question," says Carrie Brown, who runs the Blue Frog Bakery in
Boston. She says that for now, at least, she’s not keeping pace. And if
she and her husband have children, she says she’s not sure if her
children will enjoy the same lifestyle she did while growing up.

Her
concern is shared by many Americans who follow the baby-boom
generation. One often-voiced worry is about generational fairness in
tax burdens, given the prospect of a soaring federal tab in coming
decades for Medicare and Social Security as the number of elderly
Americans rises.

But today, even long before
any such fiscal shock arrives, younger workers are already feeling
squeezed by other trends. An increasingly competitive global economy,
the rising cost of higher education and health care, and changing
patterns of family life are among the factors that have combined to
make the career environment tougher, economists say.

"There’s
no guarantee" that US living standards will continue to rise, says
Laurence Kotlikoff, a Boston University specialist in generational
economics.

For now, the prospect of a
generation underperforming their parents may be more of a fear than a
reality. By many measures, America continues to grow more prosperous
with each passing decade.

A long-term trend
of falling interest rates since the 1980s, for example, means that even
after the recent runup in home prices, houses are generally more
affordable today than they were 20 years ago. And homes today contain
gadgets — from a child’s video-game system to an adult’s pocket e-mail
device — that didn’t exist a generation ago.

At the same time, however, evidence of economic challenges also abounds.

Over
the past decade, the volume of federal student loans tripled, reaching
$85 billion in new loans last year, according to a new book by Anya
Kamenetz, "Generation Debt." Nearly a quarter of college students are
using credit cards to pay some of their tuition costs, she writes.

Also,
the median income for men under age 44 was significantly lower in 1997
than in 1970, after adjusting for inflation, according to a long-term
analysis by the Census Bureau in the late 1990s. For those over 45,
incomes barely held their own during that period.

The
entry of women into the workforce in those decades has helped push
median family incomes up over time. But even when men and women are
included together, younger workers (age 25-34) are earning well below
what they did in 1970. And at all ages, evidence suggests that families
are putting in more hours of work to make their household incomes rise.

But
even with extra time at work, median family income has barely budged
since 1995 for householders below 45, up about 5% after inflation
through 2004.

Those aged 45 to 54 did better,
with family incomes rising 23% during that period, according to the
numbers released last week from the Federal Reserve Board.

And
since the end of 2001, at the outset of the current economic expansion,
younger workers again have underperformed, with incomes generally
falling while their older counterparts have seen incomes rise.

That
all helps explain the subtitle of Ms. Kamenetz’s book: "Why now is a
terrible time to be young." The book is partly a manifesto on
generational politics, as she eyes the cost of baby boomers’ retirement
for her generation.

It’s unfair, some
economists say, to blame the baby boom generation, since the larger
issue is that health care costs keep rising and people keep living
longer in general. Rising health care costs are hitting younger workers
in another way, too. As benefit costs rise, employers often have less
left to boost wages.

Another factor behind the weak incomes for younger generations may be shifts in household composition.

The
past few decades have seen a rise of single-parent and non-family
households, which typically have lower incomes than married-couple
households.

Perhaps most significant, though,
is a labor market that has become tougher on workers, especially those
with lower skills. Global competition has compressed wage gains.

Thus,
despite a boom in worker productivity, "what the typical family or
typical worker has to show for it has been remarkably little," says
Dean Baker, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research
in Washington.

In his view, the biggest issue is the rising inequality of incomes during the past quarter century.

At
the Blue Frog Bakery, Ms. Brown sees that trend among her own peers.
"People are either doing phenomenally well or living paycheck to
paycheck," she says, as the smell of fresh croissants wafts through the
air.

Still, many economists say progress is possible.

"In
the long run I’m optimistic," says Michael Shields, an economist who
specializes in demographics at Central Michigan University in Mount
Pleasant.

What worries him most, he says, is
the long work hours for his children who are just out of college. "When
are they going to be able to take a break?" he asks. "I don’t see it."

Copyright 2006, The Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor

Get Ahead This Year With These Simple Steps





 

CareerJournal

02/21/2006

by Perri Capell


It may sound like a paradox, but you can focus too much time on your job at
the expense of your career. Chris Smith, a 47-year-old executive laid off in
October, says he did. The former general manager of CellStar Corp., a
Carrollton, Texas-based wireless-handset-and-accessories distributor, says he
should have spent more time meeting and talking with customers and vendors to
build a larger personal network. Now that he’s job hunting, he’s finding that
his greatest source of leads and opportunities comes from those contacts.

"When you’re buried in your current job, you say to yourself, ‘Gee, I have
too much work to do here to go on that next trip and see people,’ " he says.
"You must resist that temptation and get to know more and more of the key
people in your business and your industry and develop relationships that extend
beyond your current position."

In his next job, he plans to create a spreadsheet that tracks his monthly
efforts to stay in touch with key people in his network. "I want to make sure in
checking off the months that I made a contact with that person, whether over the
phone or a visit," Mr. Smith says.

A Career Check-up

It’s time to give yourself a career check-up and make sure you’re doing
enough to invest in your future. Ask yourself pointed questions about what you
did to enhance your worth or visibility last year.

  • How many new people did you meet, and how many of them became part of your
      network?
  • Did you join a new association or professional group?
  • Talk with a headhunter?

If you’re like most executives, it’s likely that you made few networking
contacts, didn’t join a professional group and didn’t become known to a
headhunter. Like Mr. Smith, you probably spent the months with your head down,
trying to please your employer.

But U.S. economic activity is picking up and a new year is starting, making
this a good time to recommit yourself to your career. "You need to get out of
the mindset of being in survival mode," says Russ Jones, a principal of First
Transitions, an Oak Brook, Ill., corporate-outplacement firm. "The economy is
going to be better, and people need to lift their heads up and think, ‘What can
I do for my career?’ "

To help with this process, we asked a panel of employers, recruiters,
counselors and human-resources professionals what executives could do to
revitalize their professional lives in the next 12 months. By applying their
tips, which follow, you’ll stand out more to your current employer or other
companies. This will make you a better candidate if you need to job hunt in the
months ahead.

1. Decide to feel differently about your job.

Executives typically set concrete behavioral or operational career goals,
such as gaining market share or meeting more clients, says Steven Berglas, a Los
Angeles-based clinical psychologist who counsels top managers. Very often, they
don’t achieve lasting goals or what would really help them — such as creating
rewarding relationships — because they keep approaching their objectives in the
same quantitative way, he says.

A more dynamic way of improving your work life would be to think in emotional
terms and deciding to feel differently about career goals, he says. For
instance, rather than saying you want to improve market share, you could aim to
feel differently about your customers. This might mean spending time with
and learning more about what they want and need. Instead of trying to acquire
more networking contacts, you might decide to feel more connected to the
ones you have. You then would approach your interactions differently and develop
more meaningful relationships, he says.

"Executives think in a linear, more-of-the-same mode instead of emotionally,"
says Dr. Berglas, author of "Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Overcome
Burnout" (Random House, 2001). "If they would focus on the feeling they want and
stick to it, they’ll change the tactics they use. This would be a total
reorientation for most executives."

To make this change, decide to stop doing more of what you’ve always done,
says Dr. Berglas. Next, ask others for feedback about why you might be stalled
or what you could improve. Explore whether you’re blaming others for problems in
your department instead of examining your managerial style. Try to control
others less, observe more and be more approachable, so staff and peers can offer
ideas. "Department staffers often tell me that they’d like to shift campaigns or
orientations, but their boss won’t let them," says Dr. Berglas. "If C-level
executives would focus on feeling things more, they’ll change the tactics they
use."

2. Be clear on where you want to be.

Visualize where you’d like to be in one, three and five years. This includes
the type of job you’d like, where it’s located, whom you want to work for and
with, and your pay expectations. This way, you’ll have a goal in mind and make
better choices, says Mark Edwards, chairman of Compensia, a San Jose, Calif.,
executive-compensation-consulting firm. "You have to know where you want to get
to have any real hope of getting there," he says.

Mr. Edwards, a poker player who was a World Poker Tour finalist, also
recommends that executives use successful poker strategies on their careers.
This includes having a Plan B, or what’s called an "out" when a player bluffs in
poker. For executives, this means having a backup plan in the event of a layoff
or events outside your control, he says.

"When I was working at a company before starting my own, I always knew where
I would go if things went sideways and I lost my job," he says. "I would go to
another consulting firm or start my own firm. It behooves a person to be in
touch with the market."

3. Do an outstanding job in your current position.

The best way to be visible and rise higher in your career is by being
passionate about your work and doing it exceptionally well. Executive recruiters
always are looking for talented up-and-comers to watch and typically hear about
them from friends and colleagues, says Peter Crist, founder and president of
Crist Associates, a Hinsdale, Ill., search firm.

"Other people will talk about you, but most executives forget that and don’t
focus on their efforts all the time," he says. "But being passionate and staying
focused is what distinguishes the people I find and follow during their
careers."

A friend of Mr. Crist’s recently recommended that he meet a rising young
executive now heading a business unit at General Electric Co. When Mr. Crist met
with her, he was impressed by her intelligence and leadership skills. The two
now communicate regularly about her career. "I’m watching this one," he says.
"She’s going to be a terrific player. I guarantee you that in 10 years, she’ll
be on the radar screen."

One way to determine if you’re doing a sufficiently good job is to review
your resume and ask what you did in the past 12 months that you can add to it,
says Liz Ryan, a former human-resources manager and founder of WorldWIT, an
online networking organization for professional women. "If you can’t add
anything to your resume or your marketability based on what you’ve done in the
past year, then you’re treading water," she says. "Something significant should
have happened."

4. Market yourself within your company.

If you’re doing an outstanding job and higher ups don’t seem to be noticing
you, perhaps you aren’t talking about yourself enough. Many executives stay mum
about their achievements so they won’t appear to be bragging, says Nanci
Raphael, an executive-development coach in Ambler, Pa.

"People aren’t stepping up to the plate and talking about what they’ve done,"
she says. "They tell me all the time they expect others to notice what they’ve
done, but you sometimes have to tell them."

It’s possible to get the word out about your accomplishments indirectly or
without seeming boastful, says Ms. Raphael. One way is to praise a subordinate
or your team in an e-mail memo to your boss copied to other managers or during a
conference call. Acknowledging their successes raises their visibility and puts
the spotlight on you as their manager.

"What happens is that you send the e-mail thanking your team for what it did,
and the people you send it to will send it on to others," she says. "Later on,
those people will come up to your team and say they heard about the results.
It’s a fabulous way of raising your profile, especially if you are uncomfortable
about doing it directly."

Ms. Raphael says she advised this approach for a new vice president of sales
at a large consumer-products company who was on the verge of being demoted. He
had developed a new sales territory that was about to generate millions in new
revenues but hadn’t publicized his achievements to anyone except his boss.
Managers higher up who hadn’t heard what he was doing began worrying he couldn’t
handle his responsibilities until he copied them on an e-mail note to his boss
about the new territory. "That changed their opinion of him, and he’s now
considered a key player," she says.

5. Redouble your efforts to develop relationships with new people.

This is just a fancy way of saying you need to network, but far too few
executives are taking the time to meet anyone new, says Mr. Jones. Make a
commitment to have one lunch and one dinner out monthly, either with a
professional organization or with new contacts. "That would give you 24 great
opportunities to network next year," he says, adding that most executives he
asks go to only three events annually.

Judith von Seldeneck, founder and chairman of Diversified Search Cos., a
Philadelphia recruiting firm, suggests being even more active. "I would do a
strategic networking call to a person I don’t know well at least once a week and
arrange to meet with them," she says.

When calling people, mention that you heard about their accomplishments and
would like to know more about them and their career, she says. "This would allow
you to meet 30 to 40 people a year, but you have to commit to it and make
yourself do it," she says.

The "Oh, s#&%!" moment
In every career, stuff happens. But if you keep your cool, you can turn a workplace disaster into an image-building triumph.
By Donna Rosato, MONEY Magazine staff writer

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) – You can be doing everything right at
work — showing up on time, being conscientious, minding your business
— when bam! Out of the blue, your chair collapses in the middle of an
interview. Or somebody sends you a confidential e-mail by mistake. Or
you accidentally squirt a huge blob of ketchup onto your boss’ shirt.

We spend nearly a third of our lives at work and more than half of our
waking hours each weekday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Something is bound to go wrong from time to time.

But whether you find yourself in a mildly embarrassing situation or
you’ve inadvertently made a career-threatening mistake, there’s usually
a way to recover with grace and tact — and with your job. Sometimes
you can even emerge looking better than ever.

Remember, your earning power is the single most valuable financial
asset you control over your lifetime, more than your house or your
investment portfolio. You can’t afford to let it be compromised by a
wayward blob of ketchup or a misfired e-mail.

So if you’ve ever wished you could bounce your personal nightmare
scenario off an etiquette expert or a high-level manager or an ethics
guru, now’s your chance. On the next few pages you’ll find creative,
foolproof solutions to everyday disasters. Let’s hope you never need
them.

Are bigger paychecks around the corner?
People on Main Street would cheer, but Wall Street and Fed are starting to worry about upward pressure on wages.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – All of a sudden one
of the bigger worries for investors is what average workers have long
been waiting for: bigger paychecks.

This week brought several reports suggesting that wage growth is finally ready to accelerate.

Of course, those same reports fanned worries on Wall Street about
rising labor costs that could dent corporate profits and lead to a
pickup in inflation.

The unemployment rate
fell to 4.7 percent Friday, the lowest level since July 2001, just
before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That reading helped send stock
futures down in pre-market trading.

The same report showed the
average hourly wage rose 7 cents in the month to $16.41, a 0.4 percent
increase that was slightly more than forecast by economists. During the
last 12 months, average wages are up 3.3 percent on a seasonally
adjusted basis, the biggest 12-month change in nearly three years.

Friday’s
report follows a number of other readings and surveys suggesting the
balance could be tipping to employees from employers.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department said wages and salaries jumped 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the biggest gain in its Employment Cost Index since 2002. And Thursday, a government report
showed a surprise drop in worker productivity, the first in five years.
Strong productivity growth in the 1990s through much of last year
helped keep labor costs in check.

Experts in the field say that
in many regions and across many occupations, serious labor shortages
are developing that are putting upward pressure on wages.

"We
conducted a survey of 600 hiring managers in January and found 70
percent said worker retention is a primary concern in 2006," said Steve
Pogorzelski, president at online job search firm Monster.com.

"The underlying reason for the concern is escalating wages, especially in occupations that have experienced strong demand."

Pogorzelski,
who saw his firm’s Monster Employment Index of online hiring activity
jump 4 percent in January, said a tight supply of job candidates is
spreading beyond some of the skilled occupations that have been hot for
more than a year, such as nursing and accounting.

"We’re also
seeing strong pressure in transportation and warehousing. Accommodation
and food services as well as office and administrative support are all
in high demand," he said.

Regionally, employers along the Gulf
Coast are having a particularly tough time finding the workers they
need in the wake of last year’s hurricanes.

Employers aren’t the only ones nervously watching the direction of paychecks.

"The
Fed has intimated that it is concerned about tightness in some labor
markets," said Jeoff Hall, managing economist at Thomson Financial.
"More than half of industries and occupationalcategories are reporting tightness.

"It’s going from pockets of labor resource constraints to something closer to a tight national labor market," he added.

Of
course, that’s good news for those hoping for fatter raises this year,
especially with energy prices rising and wage increases not keeping up with inflation across much of the country.

Other surveys show employees are already figuring out what the experts are seeing.

A survey by Salary.com released this week found that 65 percent of U.S. workers said they are considering looking for a job.

Bill
Coleman, vice president for compensation at Salary.com, said that the
job searching by current employees is forcing employers to be more
generous with raises.

"They know there is a larger trend than in
recent years for people to leave," Coleman said. "They realize that in
order to meet growth goals, they’ll have to pay the people they want to
keep as well as to hire the people they want to lure in."

Coleman said that someone switching jobs can look for a 10 percent increase as part of the move.

"Two
or three years ago, 5 percent would have been on the high end," Coleman
said. "There were a lot of people switching jobs for about the same pay
or even taking less money. That was a result of inflated salaries from
the late ’90s."

He added that even employees who find new hires
being paid more for comparable work will benefit as employers adjust
salary scales.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence survey
also found that those saying jobs are "plentiful" increased to 26.9
percent in January from 23.3 a month earlier, while those claiming jobs
are "hard to get" fell to 20.3 percent from 22.5 percent.

Experts
like Pogorzelski and Lauren Williams, managing partner of the executive
recruiting firm Princeton Search Group, say that it’s probably too soon
to expect big jumps in compensation across the board this year.

But many workers could find more receptive bosses when pay raises are discussed.

"There
have not been drastic jumps (in wages) like we saw in the late ’90s,
but certainly there’s a light at the end of the tunnel," Williams said.
"I think we’ll see that slow and steady continuous increase in wages in
the 4 to 8 percent range."

But without the large jumps in
productivity seen in the 1990s, employers are more likely to look to
pass along increased wage costs. And that could keep the Federal
Reserve raising rates longer than current forecasts in an effort to
slow the economy and keep inflation in check.

"The bond market has been hit hard the last few days on these concerns," Hall said.

That’s
why a very strong January jobs report could actually result in further
declines in the stock markets, especially if the wage component of the
report rises more than analysts are expecting.

________________

For more on the U.S. labor market and what it means for you, click here. Top of page

 
 
 
Find this article at:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/02/news/economy/jobs_wages/index.htm
 

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