• ROCK N ROLL PALEONTOLOGIST

    April 30, 2008 by

    When my niece was four-years old, she said, “I want to be a Paleontologist when I grow up.”
    Thirteen years later, she’s playing bass guitar, learning Japanese and will probably be pursuing an Art Major. It’s not surprising considering her family’s history of career changes. There’s no lineage of an occupation that’s lasted generations other than a ‘struggling artist’. Artists always find themselves at odds with money and work. Some wind up on a stagnated path of a job, mimicking their talent. Others may find themselves far from home base, eventually making a career change to get back on track.
    If pursuing a career in the arts could only be as evident as studying Business or Communications. Artists wouldn’t have to hear the old clich√©, “you should have something to fall back on”, as if that would come to fruition. Not to prove them right, but why is it so hard to find a steady paying gig as an artist? Is it really egotistical or selfish for an artist to be non-conformist? I thought it was just the mindset of an artist? For example, if I were to have a bullet point list of how an artist could make money, the first thing an artist would do is, ignore it.
    Eventually, after heartache, wisdom with age and debt to match, the artist will find an outlet to their talent. Maybe the well wishers are right. You should have something to fall back on. Among the re-directed artists, Art and Music Therapy offer importance and a respectable income. Both target different groups for therapy. Art Therapy is psychotherapeutic and psychological. Patients can range from children to adults dealing with trauma. Music therapy deals with motor skills and expressive therapy and is given for occupational or arthritic conditions. Certifications and degrees are required and varied. Detailed information can be found at the American Art Therapy Association and the American Music Therapy Association websites.
    Now I’m sure there are artists who are saying, “I’m an artist because I want to avoid people, not help them”, to which I may suggest an alternative career in writing. I’ll admit, a high paying job as a writer usually requires a Bachelor’s degree in English. But there’s plenty of fun stuff that can be found in freelance work. Paying jobs can be found in Web site content writing or freelance articles submitted to magazines and newsletters in circulation in print or on the web. The important thing to remember is that all a good writer needs is material and practice. Life as an artist surely covers that.
    Artists definitely have their work cut out for them. After all, who can forecast the dollar value of music, art or dance like they can for computers, communications or commodities? It’s all about demand. So, as long as there is a brain that needs help and others that feed on information, you can be assured you have something to fall back on.

  • Worst Interview Ever

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    We’ve received some rather interesting new additions to our Worst Interview Ever list. Here are the three most recent entries. The full list can be found here.

    • A candidate requested water during an interview. The interviewer discovered that he was out of cups and excused himself to get some more. While the interviewer was gone, the candidate showed that he was a self-starter by fishing through the interviewer’s garbage can and finding a cup on his own. The interviewer returned to find the candidate happily sipping out of a up with a giant lipstick smear across it.
    • An HR manager informed a candidate that he had to take a drug test. She handed him a cup and pointed him toward the bathroom. The candidate returned a few minutes later with a cup full of poop. Flustered, the manager gave him another cup and instructed him to pee into it. The candidate indicated that he understood and went back to the bathroom. A few minutes later he returned and handed the manager a second cup of poop. Despite his efforts, he didn’t get the job.
    • An HR manager interviewed the niece of a VP as a favor. She was instructed to “just interview her and see if we can stick her somewhere.” The candidate showed up dressed inappropriately and spent the entire interview cleaning out her purse, barely acknowledging the interviewer’s existence. When the interview finally concluded, the manager stood to shake the candidate’s hand. The candidate responded by shoving all the trash she had cleaned out of her purse into the manager’s open hand, asking, “Would you mind throwing this away for me?” Despite the HR manager’s less-than-glowing review, the candidate was awarded a position in Marketing.

    Mark TothArticle by Mark Toth, Chief Legal Officer of Manpower’s North American operations, and courtesy of Manpower Employment Blawg. Mark also serve as Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President of Franchise Relations and serve on our Global Leadership Team, North American Lead Team, Executive Diversity Steering Committee and Sarbanes-Oxley Steering Committee.

  • Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conference Spring 2008 – Free!

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    It’s been a year since Paul DeBettignies a/k/a the Minnesota Headhunter, Josh Kahn of Accenture at Best Buy, and I got together at Chipotle for some burritos and to plot strategy for how to increase the number of active recruiting bloggers in Minnesota. One thing led to another, which is often the case when you get three guys together over exceptionally good food, and the end result was the Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conferences.
    Josh has been instrumental in getting the group access to the Best Buy world headquarters facilities. They have superb meeting rooms and the price is certainly right. Their in-house catering service also bends over backwards to make it as easy as possible to host an event in their building.
    Joining the group later was Nicole St. Martin, who we affectionately refer to as Paul’s wingman. She’s the one who makes these volunteer-driven events happen so professionally that I have to believe that most attendees think that Tinkerbell must be involved as everything just magically works perfectly. She’s an incredible asset to the recruiting world generally and the human resource search engine optimization community
    specifically.
    But it is Paul DeBettignies who is the driving force. He is the visionary and the face of the organization. My involvement has been negligible after that initial burrito fest. His involvement has been almost like a full-time job. His energy, enthusiasm, sense of humor, and wisdom are infectious. People just love to be around him. He must do incredible work helping his employer clients find outstanding I.T. candidates.
    If you’ve never attended a Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conference, you have another chance. Here are the details:

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  • Cultural Issues In The Workplace

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    Three cultural issues that exist in the workplace can be music, religion, and ethics. Each of these issues can have a major effect on the workplace environment and the production of the workflow. Music may increase or slowdown the workflow of many companies. Most warehouse jobs allow employees to listen to music during work hours. Most people say that they work much better when they have music playing in the background while they do their work. If this is the case, then employees should be allowed to play their favorite types of music while they work so they are in a more relaxed working environment. This can often lead to horseplay and laziness.
    I believe if the workplace environment is too relaxed, the employees tend to get too lazy. Some people look at the situation as a benefit in creating a more relaxed working environment, but others may take advantage of the situation causing the production of the workflow to suffer. The type of music playing in the background may cause a major conflict in the workplace environment as everybody has their own favorite genre of music that they enjoy listening to. If the Hispanic people turn up the radio and listen to Spanish music, then that may offend a person that only listens to Hip-Hop music. In a situation like this, the people would have to come to an agreement and select a mutual radio station everybody can agree on or lose the privilege of having music in the workplace.
    Another issue that effects the workplace environment is religion. Some people practice their religion very heavily, while others don t practice it at all. People that are heavy into religion shouldn t be preaching their religion and their beliefs to everybody they come across, especially in the workplace. This is very offensive to people that don t practice religion or to people that practice another form of religion. When someone in the workplace preaches his her religion to you, it creates a very uncomfortable situation. It is often hard to be rude to the person because they are preaching the word of their God. When you try to be polite to the person, they may constantly talk to you about their religion day after day. I feel that religion shouldn t be expressed so freely in the workplace. It can create lots of tension to many people in the workplace.
    Article by Nick Roy and courtesy of Workplace Management Strategies blog.

  • Do you like watching TV?

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    Yesterday, Sodexo launched a new Web TV site called Abetterday.tv to help raise the visibility of our brand. Think of it as Sodexo’s own Web TV series. Abetterday.tv stars Sodexo employees from all around the world in a series of video shorts helping make every day better for our clients and customers. Visitors to the site will experience the latest web technology, WEB TV in format Web 2.0, with ultra-fast delivery, sharp image quality, video-sharing and more.
    The web site showcases a new video each day for 100 days. Viewers will be entertained and informed by behind the scenes peeks at Sodexo operations across the globe such as spa therapy in Sweden, classroom design and maintenance in Florida, global cuisine preparation in Bangkok.and many other stories. These are examples of services provided by Sodexo’s 350,000-person global workforce, who represent 1,300 professions as distinct as engineers, chefs, maintenance workers, cashiers, dietitians and managers.
    The abetterday.tv campaign is part of Sodexo’s plan, announced in January, to make the Sodexo brand a reference among clients and consumers by increasing its visibility related to “quality of life” services.
    So take a break from your day and check it out now.
    By the way… did you know Sodexo is one of the world’s leading employers – ranked number 22 in the world and number 17 in the United States?
    Courtesy of Sodexo Careers Blog Making every day a better day.

  • Use keywords that demonstrate your value

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    Reprinted courtesy of TheCareerNews.com
    AUSTIN, TX — The problem with many resumes is that they read like biographies. Many companies don’t really care about your life story. Employers want to know if hiring you will be valuable to them. That’s where keywords come in. “Keywords are words that show one can produce results.”

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  • The Offsite – A Book Review

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    “The offsite” is s self-proclaimed fable of the Leadership Challenge (By Kouzes and Posner), an engrossing “fable” offering an insight into the thoughts and actions of a few industry individuals struggling with the mindful implementation of the leadership principles and how they perceive the leadership values in today’s corporate world.
    The stage is set at a company offsite meeting in Arizona with seminars and presentations lined up by executive coaches discussing and interacting with those present on the five practices that form the heart of The Leadership Challenge:
    -Model the Way
    -Inspire a Shared Vision
    -Challenge the Process
    -Enable Others to Act
    -Encourage the Heart
    The key thought the author Robert H. Thompson shares with the readers is that leadership is not about position. It’s a personal choice that created a new way of being. The potential resides at our core, only revealed by a spark of passion.
    What is unique about this book is that instead of discussing the theoretical aspects of leadership, it takes you through a learning process through examples, stories and objective behavioral analysis.
    The characters in the book struggle with real life problems, work-life balance, clashing egos, and relationships at work and of course the struggle in being efficient leaders at their workplace. A point well emphasized in this book is on the difference between management and leadership; “Management is usually defined in terms of getting stuff done; process, structure, control and planning. Leadership, meanwhile, is usually defined as inspiring, encouraging, challenging, and growing people.”
    The book presents us with some great learning by example of how human relations and people skills form the basis of a good leader. Though, it would have been great to see some technical and industry based examples on the application of the five practices at work, the whole book focuses more on how entwined and complex we are when it comes to managing and leading people. But again, and as always, human relations often are the most complex to manage – be it at work or in our personal lives, so perhaps maintaining the focus on people management and rising above one’s ego is a good idea to hone those skills which many managers lack.
    The Leadership Challenge needs no workbook or supplement, and definitely it is not those “must-read” books once you have completely imbibed the message from the “leadership bible” by Kouzes and Posner; but for sure Robert H. Thompson provides us with an interesting reading of an offsite meeting which is very aptly quoted by the author as “that sometimes-agonizing vacation … the company offsite.” The characters in the book can be easily visualized and very much present in a corporate environment. The struggles to be a good leader with effective peoples skills is relevant to today’s upper management and learning by business illustrations and stories is the new trend that will be quite prominent in this century.
    Also the brevity of a message and having a clear focus are essential to catch the readers attention, both of these goals are well accomplished by this book.
    Article by Shweta L. Khare, founder and president of Careerbright and Speakbright and courtesy of Careerbright blogspot

  • Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Write Your Own Resume

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    I’m sometimes asked if people should write their own resumes. After all, who knows more about the job seeker’s accomplishments than the job seeker himself? So I’ve compiled this list of the top ten reasons why you shouldn’t write your own resume:
    Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Write Your Own Resume
    10. Last time you wrote your resume, it was confused with your six-year-old’s homework assignment.
    9. Your self-composed resume left you amongst the long-term unemployed.
    8. You struggle with how to word your Objective section and keep coming back to the old standby, “Seeking a challenging position with a growth-oriented company.”
    7. The latest version of your resume leads with your 1972 babysitting gig.
    6. You’re using an IBM Selectric to format your resume’s layout.
    5. You think keywords have something to do with the Dewey Decimal System.
    4. Your son’s resume is more impressive than yours, and he has never held a job.
    3. You’re trying to sum up a long-term career history on a one-page resume.
    2. You were always the first to be eliminated in spelling bees, but there’s always spellcheck, write?
    And the #1 reason why you shouldn’t write your own resume…
    1. Hiring managers have an uncontrollable bout of the giggles when reading your resume.
    Best wishes.
    By Kim Isaacs and courtesy of ResumePower blog.

  • What Job Seekers Want From Job Boards

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    There are approximately 50,000 job boards in the United States and about the same elsewhere in the world. Many are essentially cookie cutter boards with little to no traffic and little to no unique job posting or article content. But all serve employers and job seekers and to survive and thrive all must therefore listen to those visitors to understand what features, functionality and services they like best on today’s job boards.
    Fortunately, the industry has the International Association of Employment Web Sites to help us out with keeping up-to-date on issues like this. The executive director, Peter Weddle, conducted a survey between April, 2007 and April, 2008 and generated over 15,700 responses. The results were:

    • 19.4% The caliber of the job postings on a site;
    • 19.1% The number of job postings on a site;
    • 16.7% Ease of access to employment opportunities on the site;
    • 16.2% The job search tools and information provided on a site;
    • 16.1% The fact that access to employment opportunities is free; and
    • 12.5% The ability to network with others on the site.

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  • Office Gossip: As Certain As Death and Taxes

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    This is a guest post by Lauren Kleinman.
    Just as Benjamin Franklin convinced us that nothing in the world was certain but death and taxes, nothing in the office is as certain as boredom and consequently, gossip.
    Gossip is an inevitable and unavoidable pettiness in the workplace. No matter your stance on it, it will always prevail and it will always be there. Just as we manage daily our grasp on death and taxes, we must manage and deal with office gossip. Here are some tips on coping:
    1. NEVER be the person spreading the gossip. Unless you want the nickname Chatty Cathy, and then by all means, go for it.
    2. When it eventually comes your way, remember that office gossip is similar to the game telephone you played as a kid. It certainly isn’t the same information it was when it started.
    3. When the information comes your way, play ambivalent. I don’t care if you just found out that your boss is sleeping with the CEO of your company and it finally explains how the idiot has kept his job, act as if you don’t care. This will eventually dissuade the gossip queen or king from coming back to you with more dirty office secrets.
    4. Finally, admit to yourself that while you know that gossip is unproductive and unfair to the person it targets, it does spice up the workplace. AH HA, so you admit that you are part of the problem!
    The truth is that gossip will always be a part of the workplace, but as a love-hate relationship. We love it when it doesn’t include us but it entertains us, and we hate it when it affects us. By keeping these tips in mind, it can help you deal with this certainty of gossip in the workplace, but above all, create more understanding when it does occur.
    Real lives hang in the balance. A co-worker’s messy divorce or financial woes are no laughing matter. Before sharing something you’ve heard, pretend it is you in the situation. Because as immune as you might feel, tomorrow’s water-cooler gossip session could easily be about you.
    Article posted by Andrew G.R. and courtesy of jobacle.com – your cure for carbon copy career advice!