May 2009 11
Sorry, Lance Armstrong, but your “Livestrong” bracelets are yesterday’s news.
These yellow and pink silicone bands – much like the bright yellow ones Lance Armstrong made fashionable wore to raise awareness for cancer (and which inspired countless other variations) – were created by Barbara Bourn and Stephanie Aucoin, the folks behind LaidOffNeedaJob.com, which also gives job-seeking tips and economic news updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Do you count yourself as a survivor? No, I’m not talking about your obsession with the Beyoncé video (and you should probably keep that to yourself), but about company layoffs. As a leader, if you are a survivor of a layoff, you have a unique perspective on its effects on the employees who remain — after the employee boxes have been packed up, goodbyes have been exchanged (if that’s even an option) and the dust has settled.
Experiencing a little withdrawal now that season eight of “American Idol” has ended? Not that tweeting @RyanSeacrest every half hour isn’t a constructive use of your time…but might I suggest channeling some of that lingering “Idol” fan energy into something a wee bit more productive?
Say, uncovering the hidden employee management lessons Paula, Simon, Randy and Kara unknowingly provided us all season?
CareerBuilder released its annual vacation survey yesterday, which revealed that, sadly, over a third of American workers don’t plan to take a vacation this year – naming lack of funds and feelings of guilt and anxiety as the reasons for staying home.
(On the upside, they’re sparing themselves the possible disappointment of making it all the way to Wally World only to find that it’s closed….Right?)
According to the survey of more than 4,400 workers:
35 percent say they haven’t gone on or aren’t planning on taking a vacation in 2009.
And You Thought Accidentally Hitting “Reply All” Was Your Biggest Worry … Why a Company E-Mail Policy May Be In Order
Does your company have a standardized e-mail policy? If you have to stop and think about it, then it’s probably safe to assume that, if there is one, it’s not strictly enforced. And that could be a problem – especially if your company has had layoffs recently, which can open the door to wrongful termination lawsuits from ex-employees.
That’s the reality an HR professional who wrote into this recent “Ask Annie” column is facing: The company where the manager works is being sued by an ex-employee, whose lawyers are demanding that management turn over its e-mails as part of the discovery investigation, which “has got the whole place in an uproar.”
That’s not hard to understand – after all, would you want strangers going through all of your emails?
Summer jobs can't all be all Summer Rental-esque boat-racing, resort dancing/noboby-puts-Baby-in-the-cornering, and running off to space camp (don't we wish), but job seekers have had their share of jobs at which they've had the time of their life unusual jobs. And as tradition would have it, summer jobs, a crucial source of income for many, is thriving. This year, however, summer-job seekers are facing a more challenging market, according to CareerBuilder's Annual Summer Job Forecast.
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, similar to last year's Summer Job Forecast findings, but as unemployment is high and more people are clamoring for the same number of summer jobs, the competition for summer jobs will be stiffer than in years past.
"Summer job seekers face a bigger challenge this year than in years past, as the market is flooded with candidates looking for both full and part-time positions," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "The good news is that many traditional summer jobs are still available, but in this environment, it is essential that job seekers differentiate themselves and demonstrate how their skills can have a positive impact on a business in a short amount of time."
You think it's likely that you'll fall in love with your lifeguarding job (or, alternately, one of your fellow lifeguards)? Good news: The survey, conducted from February 20 to March 11, 2009 among more than 2,500 employers, found that many who do land summer jobs may have a chance to turn their seasonal roles into year-round stints. More than half (56 percent) of companies reported that they would consider summer recruits for permanent placement within their organizations.
When it comes to summer paychecks, nearly eight in ten (77 percent) of hiring managers will offer the same pay to seasonal workers this year as they did last year, while 9 percent will offer more and 9 percent will offer less.
How much more -- and how much less -- will summer workers get paid?
- Forty-two percent of companies plan to pay $10 or more per hour
- Thirty percent anticipate paying between $8 and $10 per hour
- Ten percent expect to pay less than $7 per hour
- Six percent plan to pay $20 or more per hour
Where are the jobs?
Comparing the industries surveyed, hospitality and retail have plans to bring the most summer workers on board, at 38 percent and 34 percent respectively. Across all industries, the most popular summer positions being offered include:
- Office support -- 26 percent
- Customer service -- 18 percent
- Research -- 12 percent
- Landscape/maintenance -- 11 percent
- Restaurant/food service -- 11 percent
- Sales -- 10 percent
- Construction/painting -- 8 percent
Workers' most unusual summer gigs:
When asked about the most unusual or memorable summer jobs they've ever held, workers shared the following responses:
- Bungee-jumping tower assistant
- Commercial bee herder
- Scouted garage sales for items to resell on eBay
- Murder Mystery dinner actor
- Cleaned gum off of school desks
- Gun fighter at a theme park
- Popsicle maker
- Picked up road kill
- Painted silo tops hanging from a crane
- Waterslide repairman
Let's just hope the "road kill picker-upper" and "Murder Mystery dinner" aren't connected in any way. Yikes.
Yep, it's that time of year again: College Graduation. Parties, celebrations, awards, a sense of accomplishment -- and, oh, figuring out a place to live! Many college graduates-to-be are considering relocation to new cities to find a fresh start, a fresh career, and a fresh place to mount their shiny new college diploma. Only this time, the game is a bit different, as more competition for jobs is coupled with an economy in the midst of a recession -- and the stress of stretching those entry-level-job dollars is often immense. The cost of living is high, and upcoming grads need as many resources as they can get to help them decide where their dollars will be best spent in their initial months out of the dorms.
With this in mind, Apartments.com and CBcampus have provided results for the second annual Top Ten Best Cities for Recent College Graduates.
"Given the current economy, new grads looking to relocate are becoming increasingly concerned with the cost of living as they are faced with more competition for jobs than seen in previous years," said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager at Apartments.com.
The results were based on three criteria:
- Number of entry-level job openings
- Cost of rent
- Population of young adults
As it's important for job seekers to understand their best living options, it is also important for employers to know where their city stacks up in the job atmosphere -- and be aware of their competition in attracting top job seekers not only to their city, but to their company as well.
So... did your city make the list?
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