February 28, 2003
Off duty, out of work
email@example.com">Jason Butler at 1:28 PM -
Svetlana posted this over on the HR Blog, but I think it's of interest to job-seekers too. It's an article from HR Magazine about how employers should handle firing employers because of objectionable off-duty conduct.
By all accounts, Peter Oiler was a competent truck driver with a 20-year record of exemplary service at Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. He showed up on time, performed his duties well and caused no problems while on the job. But it was his off-the-job behavior - cross dressing - that ultimately got him fired in January 2000. The 47-year-old resident of Avondale, La., likes to wear women’s clothing, accessories, makeup, wigs and fake breasts. He usually adopts the persona of "Donna" at home but sometimes goes out with his wife and friends to restaurants, the shopping mall and church. Upon learning of his non-mainstream activities, Winn-Dixie terminated Oiler.
IANAL, but it boils down to this: if you are "employment at will," which the vast majority of workers are, then your employer can dismiss you for any reason or for *no* reason. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers you no protection if you are dismissed for things you do outside of work.
It's counter-intuitive for most people, and it seems unfair, but you may wish to think it over before sharing your weekend interests with your boss, (or writing what you really think in your personal blog, for that matter...).
The economy's growing, but jobs are lagging
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 9:37 AM -
New economic data.
The biggest factor holding back the economy's recovery is the reluctance of businesses to make big commitments in hiring and in capital spending, due in part to uneasiness about war and generally to an uncertain business environment.
February 27, 2003
email@example.com">Douglas Eisenhart at 2:30 PM -
From this week's industry channel updates: Education - Gov. Romney's making waves by proposing a UMass re-org that calls, among other things, for the elimination of President Bulger's position. More Education news. Finance - Fidelity reported a 39% plunge in profits for 2002 as the stock market continued its downward slide for the third straight year. More Finance news. Healthcare - Romney's making more waves by proposing a streamlining plan for the state's health and human services agencies as well as proposing a phased elimination of the state's residential mental health facilities. More Healthcare news. Retail - Stop & Shop parent, the Dutch Ahold, is in trouble, with potential repercussions for local stores. More Retail news. Tech - Terra Lycos posts a massive $2 bil. loss and acquisitive Divine seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. More Tech news.
Jobs in your town
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 10:14 AM -
To make it easier for you to find jobs near where you live, we've added a couple of new sections to the site, organizing all our job listings geographically.
Check out all the BostonWorks jobs listings in my hometown of Holliston, near my apartment in Cambridge, and in all the towns in eastern and central Massachusetts.
Check out the top employers on the North Shore, on the South Shore, and everywhere in between
Check out who's hiring along 495, along the Mass Pike and along the other major commuting routes.
This is a new feature, and we will be tweaking it over the next few weeks. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Free agent nation
email@example.com">Douglas Eisenhart at 9:48 AM -
With the downturn in the economy and the loss of thousands of full-time positions over the last couple of years, many are working in a contract or short-term capacity, reflecting the title of Dan Pink's recent book Free Agent Nation. This is true at all levels, from entry level on up to senior management, where such titles as "Acting CFO" are more and more common. Some numbers:
As many as 35 million American workers are estimated to be free agents untethered to a large organization. The category includes free-lancers, contract workers, temp workers and self-employed soloists. That's up 25% from 1998, when the company [Kelly Services Inc.] started tracking such workers. Kelly, for one, says it currently places as many as 175,000 free agents into short-term positions annually.
While the trend is clear, there are both pros and cons to being an independent contractor, considered in this Career Journal article
February 26, 2003
More PayCheck Tribute
firstname.lastname@example.org">Douglas Eisenhart at 12:52 PM -
Two more entries in the Johnny PayCheck songs-for-workers tribute:Grateful Dead, Workingman's Dead (album)Rolling Stones, "Salt of the Earth," from Beggar's Banquet
"Say a prayer for the hardworking people
Say a prayer for the salt of the earth"
email@example.com">Jason Butler at 11:21 AM -
The Times writes this morning about a Dutch company's accounting scandals which have left employees owing the company millions.
Ahold, the global grocery company, created a program that encouraged workers in the Netherlands not only to buy stock but allowed them to borrow money to do so. Some 3,500 workers at Ahold and its Dutch subsidiaries, including the supermarket chain Albert Heijn, took out company loans in the last decade to buy shares of a fund that invested in Ahold stock, debt and other obligations. Since the company disclosed accounting problems on Monday, the company's stock and bonds have plunged in value.
Those borrowers now have fund holdings worth far less than the amounts they owe in most cases. On paper, the employees now owe the company millions of dollars.
Watch out for scams
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 11:17 AM -
The Sun-Sentinel has an excellent overview of some of the scams currently targeting job-seekers.
Ignore unsolicited e-mails for Internet job search consulting services, as well as ads that pretend to be recruiting for high-end jobs paying $75,000 to $750,000 in a gaggle of career fields. These come-ons promise the moon, deliver hot air and leave victims much poorer.
Predatory career marketing sharks -- the scourge of honest career coaches and consultants -- reel in the downtrodden jobless by claiming insider hiring contacts and offering worthless guarantees.
February 25, 2003
Mo' Work songs...
email@example.com">Dean Wong at 11:13 AM -
Chris Johnson, BostonWorks sales guru, came up with these additions: Loverboy, Everybody's Working For The Weekend Tina Turner, Private DancerThe BoDeans, Good WorkJonathon Richman, Government CenterThe Offspring, Why Don't You Get a Job?"Jimmy Reed, Big Boss ManHerb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, The Work SongThey Might Be Giants, Minimum WageWillie Nile, Hard Times in AmericaJohnny Kemp, Just Got PaidKool Moe Dee, I Go to WorkUnknown artist, I've Been Workin on The Rail RoadWalt Disney, Whistle While You WorkTennessee Ernie Ford, Sixteen TonsJohn Lennon, Working Class HeroJames Taylor, Millworker
Personally, I'd throw in Todd Rundgren, Bang on the Drum All Day
, which a former co-worker of mine used to hum or sing all day long, much to my dismay...
Songs About Work
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 7:18 AM -
Jason's "Johnny Paycheck Memorial Best Songs At Least Somewhat About Work" list. In no particular order:
What'd I miss
- Anything by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger or Billy Bragg
- Beck, Soul Suckin' Jerk
- Bob Dylan, Maggie's Farm
- Bruce Springsteen, Highway Patrolman (of course, there are 50 other songs you could pick for Springsteen)
- The Clash, Koka Kola
- Traditional, Muleskinner Blues (although I'm partial to the Cramps version)
- Dire Straits, Money for Nothing
- Eddie Cochran, Summertime Blues (although I prefer the Joan Jett version)
- Elvis Costello, Welcome to the Working Week
- Grateful Dead, Casey Jones
- Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon, Hamlet Chicken Plant Disaster
- Joe Walsh, Life's Been Good
- Johnny Paycheck, Take this Job and Shove It
- Lee Dorsey, Working in the Coalmine
- Roger Miller, King of the Road
- The Police, Synchronicity II
- Silhouettes, Get a Job
- The Smiths, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
- Uncle Tupelo, Graveyard Shift (and pretty much all of No Depression, for that matter.)
- Vogues, Five O'Clock World
- Warren Zevon, Mr. Bad Example
February 24, 2003
Job of the week?
email@example.com">Jimmy Guterman at 10:30 PM -
You never know when you might find the weirdest job.
I'd like to follow up on Doug's posting below and out myself as a Johnny Paycheck fan. A fan of his music, that is. Read the Globe obit Doug cites and it's pretty clear you wouldn't want to invite the guy over the house for dinner.
HR must look out for workplace bullies
firstname.lastname@example.org">Richard Cook at 5:58 PM -
Bullies don't exist solely on the playground. They might just be your co-worker or boss...
Employment lawyer David Bickford highlighted the issue in the wake of a case involving TV production company, Twenty Twenty, who successfully defended itself against a wrongful dismissal claim by a director, Paul Woolwich.The judge accepted Woolwich was a systematic bully and that his removal was as a direct result of a number of incidents which left one employee unable to sleep at night.
"Take This Job and Shove It"
email@example.com">Douglas Eisenhart at 5:24 PM -
Along with "Get a Job", these may be the most well-known work-related lyrics of all time. But the man who penned this immortal line, country singer-songwriter Johnny PayCheck, has played his last. He died last week at the age of 64:
''My music's always been about life. And situations. Situation comedies, situation life,'' he said in 1997.
Several country artists said Mr. PayCheck will be missed. ''He spoke to the blue-collar American public,'' Terri Clark said. ''He was a lifeline for real people who worked real jobs and who had to deal with life's hardships.''
White-collar unemployed struggle with new lifestyles
firstname.lastname@example.org">Douglas Eisenhart at 11:09 AM -
From NPR's Morning Edition, a report on the toll the prolonged economic downturn is taking on the white collar workforce:
The economy has lost more than two million jobs since last March, with more than 1.5 million workers jobless for at least six months. Many of the unemployed are white-collar professionals, who are now struggling to meet their expenses.Hear the story.
Pavement pounding, resume writing, and insecurity
email@example.com">Douglas Eisenhart at 10:43 AM -
From this Sunday's Globe: Just in time for the College Career Jam tomorrow, some help for soon-to-be college grads pounding the pavement in a very tough market: find out why the interview is such an important part of the process, and what you can do about it. Many with experience are looking for work, too - any work, including interim. The Job Doc provides some resume tips.And if job security is on your mind, you're not alone, a new survey finds.
Let us know whether you're feeling more or less secure in your work in our weekly poll
"CLM" = Career-Limiting Move
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 10:28 AM -
Boston Common tells the story of the lawyer who complained about her interviewing experience a little too loudly.
If you are applying for a position at a new firm, and you think the interviewing partner is blowing you off or not taking you seriously, do NOT loudly complain about this on your cellphone in the Norwood McDonald's.
You'll have to read the piece to see how it all turns out, but I'll say this: you have to love the smell of karma in the morning.
Non-profit board work
email@example.com">Jason Butler at 10:20 AM -
CareerJournal talks about the job-search benefits of volunteering your time and your expertise by serving on the boards of non-profits.
Serving on a nonprofit board offers several advantages for executives. It can help them to keep their skills sharp and spirits up and to develop new contacts and job leads.
"There are a lot of senior executives who are what I call 'atrophied thoroughbreds,' '' says Ms. Mahoney. "They may be brilliant in their own framework. But getting out of their hierarchical world may be a real growth experience."
A possible war can leave big shoes to fill
firstname.lastname@example.org">Jason Butler at 10:17 AM -
The New York Times reports on what happens to companies when their people go to war.
For corporate America, economic uncertainty and market turmoil have not been the only tolls of the war threat. With more than 150,000 reservists and members of the National Guard already called up, and tens of thousands more expected to be, many small companies, as well as departments of big corporations, are staring at the prospect of a talent drain.