Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, James N. Jensen, PhD, University at Buffalo professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering, says that probably the biggest lesson learned from that disaster was that municipalities and citizens now take orders to evacuate much more seriously.
Does the thought of making small talk make you cringe? Does schmoozing make you feel like a schmuck? Devora Zack, author of “Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed and the Underconnected,” is just like you and has written today’s guest post on this very topic.
Zack, who’s the president of Only Connect Consulting and an expert in personality and the workplace, travels the nation, rubbing elbows with and making presentations to executives in private industry, the public sector and federal agencies; she’s also an introvert … so who better to write about introvert networking than a person who shatters the stereotype?
Introverts Can Sizzle on Networking Job Search
To network or not to network? That is the question.
What’s at stake? Whatever you most want to accomplish; no biggie.
What if you don’t like networking and have no interest? It drains you. It never works. You don’t have time. You don’t need to. It’s phony, self-serving, fake, inauthentic, superficial, conniving, manipulative and useless.
Hold it right there.
In my experience, people who claim to hate networking also believe they are not good at it. The reverse is true. People who hate networking fail at traditional networking by following advice never intended for them in the first place. You have the raw materials to be a stellar networker. You are just following the wrong rules. Standard networking advice fails you, so you assume you fail at networking. Plus you hate it. What is networking?
If the Emmy Awards are any indicator, high school staff, police investigators and business owners/executives lead the most interesting lives — or at the least the lives that make for good TV. Out of the 24 actors nominated for an Emmy award for lead actor or actress in a television series: Four of their characters work in public high schools, four work as investigators for a police department and four are business owners or executives.
But that’s not where the similarities stop.
Three of the characters who garnered Emmy noms for their respective actors work in health care, two are comedy writers, two are mid-level managers and two are lawyers — for a grand total of 20 out of 24 characters that share an occupation with at least one other Emmy-nominated character.
With all the different careers paths out there (the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 280 different occupations in its Occupation Outlook Handbook), that’s got to say something about our entertainment — or occupational — preferences.
Below, a list of Emmy-nominated characters that are also professional peers.
The high school staff:
- “Glee”’s Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester, Spanish teacher and glee club director, William McKinley High School
- “Breaking Bad”’s Bryan Cranston as Walter White, high school chemistry teacher
- “Friday Night Lights”’ Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor, coach, Dillon High School football team
- “Friday Night Lights”’ Connie Britton as Tami Taylor, guidance counselor, East Dillon High School
- “Monk”’s Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, police homicide consultant, San Francisco Police Department
- “Dexter”’s Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, blood spatter analyst, homicide unit, Miami metro police department
- “The Closer”’s Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Johnson, deputy chief, Major Crimes Division, LAPD
- “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”’s Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson, detective, Manhattan Special Victims Unit
The business execs:
- “30 Rock”’s Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, vice president of East Coast television and microwave programming, GE
- “Mad Men”’s Jon Hamm as Don Draper, partner, advertising firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Price
- “The New Adventures Of Old Christine”’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell, owner, women’s health club
- “Damages”’ Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, partner, Hewes and Associates LLP
The health-care workers:
- “House”’s Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, doctor and chief of diagnostic medicine, Princeton‑Plainsboro Teaching Hospital
- “Lost”’s Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard, doctor
- “Nurse Jackie”’s Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, nurse, All Saints’ Hospital
The comedy writers:
- “Curb Your Enthusiasm”’s Larry David as himself (a comedy writer)
- “30 Rock”’s Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, head writer, sketch comedy show
The mid-level managers:
- “The Office”’s Steve Carell as Michael Scott, regional manager, Dunder Mifflin Paper Company Inc. (A division of Sabre)
- “Parks And Recreation”’s Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, director of the Pawnee (Ind.) Department of Parks and Recreation
- “Damages”’ Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, lawyer(also partner), Hewes and Associates LLP
- “The Good Wife”’s Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, lawyer
- “The Big Bang Theory”’s Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, theoretical physicist
- “Glee”’s Lea Michele as Rachel Berry, student
- “United States Of Tara’’s Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, mural painter
- “Mad Men”’s January Jones as Betty Draper, housewife
Who will take home Sunday’s awards? Let us know your favorites in the comments section!
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Education has become something of a go-to during the Great Recession. Millions of workers have lost their jobs since the end of 2007, and suddenly the job market was filled with education, experienced workers who were usually sought after. Skilled professionals with a decade or more of experience found themselves competing against younger, less experienced professionals who had a better grasp of new and emerging technology and trends. Heading back to the classroom quickly became an attractive – and in some cases necessary – step toward finding a job.
In a recent New York Times article, Steven Greenhouse takes a look at professionals returning to school and their reasons. As you might expect, many workers want to refresh their skills and catch up on the changes that occurred since they graduated. For the unemployed, closing a gap in skill levels is their best chance to get their résumés on the top of the stack. For employed workers, it’s a way to advance in the company and stay ahead of job seekers applying for jobs.
“Some people have worked at a prosperous company for five years and are eager to move up, or are unemployed and eager to reinvent themselves. Still others are in an industry where successive waves of downsizing have made job security seem shaky. And more of them are concluding that if there is an answer to their problems, it’s more education.”
Returning to school is not as simple as deciding to get any degree or take a few courses and see the job offers and higher salaries pour in. Continuing education students can earn a degree, earn a certification or take only the classes that interest them. The important thing, as Greenhouse notes, is to know what you want and to find and program that gives you the proper guidance. Not every industry is the same, much less every employer. A second master’s degree won’t give every person a boost, and in the end you could end up losing plenty of time and money.
“Any good continuing education program, [dean of the University of Minnesota’s college of continuing education Mary Nichols] said, takes an individualized approach to its students. ‘We’re not in the business of steering people toward things,” she said. “We’re in the business of helping people capitalize on their strengths and put together ways to build on their interests and passions.’
“Cathy A. Sandeen, dean of continuing education at U.C.L.A., suggested, ‘Look at trends in your field. Look at your current skills and what do you need to augment your skills to make you more relevant and more attractive in your field.’”
Greenhouse, Nichols and Sandeen make a good point that many job seekers forget. Education is a serious commitment, and unless you have plenty of time and money at your disposal, returning to school comes with tradeoffs. The time you’ll spending going to class (online or on site), studying and researching means less time with your significant other, family or DVR.
And you’ll need to pay for this schooling, which might be a difficult feat if you’re unemployed. If you are employed, perhaps your employer has a continuing education benefit that covers some or all of the cost. Either way, crunch the numbers, consult the financial aid department and look for grants and scholarships. Education is an investment, yes, but you want to be certain you’ll recover the cost of that investment.
For one of the interviewees in Greenhouse’s article, the cost was less damaging than not returning to school.
“Mr. Torres, who had been laid off from his job as a senior database marketing analyst at Scholastic, said that before taking the course, he had been getting many job interviews.
“’They kept asking me whether I had any Web analysis experience, any experience in search engine marketing, search engine optimization or mobile marketing,’ he said. ‘I had to say no, and that hurt my chances.’”
Fortunately, the time and effort paid off with a new job.
Judging from your responses to a recent post asking what reasons you’ve heard for not getting a job, education is a common response. Have you returned to school, taken online courses, earned a certification or mulled over any other education options recently? Let us know what you’ve done and what worked (and didn’t work) for you.
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Some of the nation's most historic buildings and monuments may be better protected from decay in future, following a development by engineers. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have devised a method of forecasting damage caused by the weather to stone buildings – including statues, monuments and other historic sites, as well as modern masonry buildings.
We wanted to let you know that we have modified the comments section so that you can now reply to a specific comment. You will then see a particular conversation in a threaded format. Hopefully this makes it easier for everyone to read and discuss posts.
In the previous format, all comments were posted one after the other, with no indent, so that you weren’t always sure what a reader was replying to. Now, to reply to a specific comment, you just hit the reply button next to it and enter your message. It will appear nested beneath the original comment.
If you want to leave a general comment not directed at a specific commenter, then you can simply enter your text in the reply box at the bottom of the page as always.
So now that commenting on posts (whether you love them or hate them) is easier, get to it! Use that Reply button. We love to hear from you.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, incidences of workplace fatalities were 17 percent fewer in 2009 than in 2008. The 4,340 fatal workplace injuries reported for ’09 is the lowest number on record since the BLS started keeping track in 1992.
While a large part of that has to do with the fact that there were fewer jobs in general, the BLS reported that injuries per 100,000 workers declined from 3.7 in 2008, to 3.3 in 2009. Bloomberg also reported that, according to the National Council of Compensation Insurance, workplace injuries have been on the decline for 10 years, reflecting an overall trend toward safer workplaces.
Transportation accidents, which account for almost two-fifths of all fatal workplace injuries also declined by 21 percent in 2009; though an overall loss of jobs in the construction industry plays a large part in the decline of these injuries.
As a response to the BLS numbers, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a statement: “A single worker hurt or killed on the job is one too many. While a decrease in the number of fatal work injuries is encouraging, we cannot and will not relent from our continued strong enforcement of workplace safety laws. As the economy regains strength and more people re-enter the workforce, the Department of Labor will remain vigilant to ensure America’s workers are kept safe while they earn a paycheck.”
We agree that even one accident is too many, so here are a few tips for staying safe on the job.
1. Pay attention to overtime hours - Staying late is bad for your health in more ways than one. One recent study reported that employees who work more than 10 hours per day and 60 percent more likely to develop heart disease. A long day also makes your commute more hazardous. You’re more likely to get in an accident when you’re tired — in fact, research has shown that drowsy drivers are seven times more likely to crash.
2. Talk to your boss if your job is taking a physical toll on you - Jobs that are physically demanding may start to wear on workers after a while — especially those that involve repetitive motion, awkward body positioning or heavy lifting. Companies are required by law to provide workers with a safe work environment, and your boss can help you figure out a safer or more comfortable situation.
3. The same goes for workplace injuries - If you are injured on the job, speak up. Your company will either have to provide you with time off to recuperate, or with a new set of job duties that will not exacerbate the injury.
4. Take breaks -If your job is physically demanding or requires you to operate heavy machinery, working while tired can also pose safety risks. Like driving while tired, doing physically demanding work, like construction, maintenance or manufacturing, can be seriously dangerous to tired workers. Take short, frequent breaks to keep your attention levels high and your drowsiness levels low.
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College dorms aren’t just about having a place to sleep and study; they allow students to easily form friendships. Similarly, recreational sports leagues are partially about the love of the game and partially about meeting new people. People who move to a new city are encouraged to join these leagues for a reason: to make friends.
Workplaces can serve a similar purpose. While you might not be looking for a job just to make friends, you might form new relationships as a result of spending 40 hours of your week at work. Some workers are finding out that these friendships continue past the day they submit their resignation letters and into the days of collecting Social Security.
According to a new study by Dutch researchers, employees who retired within the last 10 years are more like to stay connected or form new workplace connections than retirees in the 1990s. Although we acknowledge most of our readers live in the U.S., the study’s findings make us wonder if our workers are all that different from the Dutch.
From the study:
“We found that those who retired more recently were more likely to maintain at least one personal tie after retirement than those who retired earlier. In other words we discovered that a particular relationship at work was so important that they decided to continue the relationship,” Cozijnsen says in a statement. “The notion that people lose their work-related ties after retirement, because they no longer see one another at work, needs to be reconsidered, in terms of well-being and the aging process.”
Workplaces are the new what?
The news blurb discussing the study refers to “the workplace as the ‘new neighborhood.’” Declaring an old thing a new thing is always risky because not everyone agrees. Are blogs really the new newspaper? Is 40 really the new 30? That’s for you to decide, but apparently workplaces are where many people create lasting friendships.
In fact, Gallup research finds not only that many workers have workplace friendship, but that they also are more engaged employees. From their surveys:
Our research revealed that just 30 percent of employees have a best friend at work. Those who do are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work, have higher well being, and are less likely to get injured on the job. In sharp contrast, those without a best friend in the workplace have just a 1-in-12 chance of being engaged.
Having someone to pass the time with and who lifts your spirits can have a positive affect on your performance. Who knew?
One-third of your waking hours
If you crunch the numbers, maybe these findings shouldn’t be that surprising. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you work a standard 40-hour week with traditional office hours and get your recommended eight hours of sleep each night. (Obviously this assumption doesn’t work for everyone, but it makes the math simpler.) There are 168 hours in a week and you’re only awake for 112 of them. You’re at work for 40 of those hours, and the remaining 72 are spent traveling to and from work, doing chores and spending time with your loved ones. Roughly one-third of your waking hours are spent at work. Doesn’t forming some sort of meaningful bond make sense?
As Tom Rath and James K. Harter point out in their Gallup piece, even workers who aren’t surrounded by colleagues can make connections. You don’t have to work in a sea of cubicles or a bustling retail store to form bonds with your co-workers. E-mail, IMs and phone calls take the place of water-cooler talk for people who work at home or in remote offices. These communication tools also make it easy to stay in touch once you’ve moved on to another job and ultimately once you’ve retired.
Not everyone wants to have a close friend at work. Some workers are understandably opposed to mixing professional and personal relationships. Many businesses have strict policies against it.
As we continue to recover from massive layoffs and a rough economy, can you continue to form those bonds? Are those friendships the ones that make the hardships easier? Where do you fall on the issue: Do you make long-lasting friends at work (and beyond) or do you keep it strictly professional?
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We’ve talked a lot about the importance of putting forth a professional (or at least discreet) image on Facebook and how employers are paying attention to your online reputation. But, as it turns out, employers aren’t the only ones forming opinions based on social media profiles.
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, workers and job seekers are paying pretty close attention to the social media profiles of employers as well – and based on the survey results, it seems they have formed some fairly strong opinions about what they like — and don’t like — to see.
Among the information respondents said they’d most like to see on a company’s social media page:
- Job listings — 35 percent
- Q&A or fast facts about the organization — 26 percent
- Information about career paths within the organization — 23 percent
- Evidence that working at the company is fun — 16 percent
- Employee testimonials — 16 percent
- Pictures of company events — 12 percent
- Video of new products/services — 10 percent
- Company awards — 9 percent
- Research or studies that the company has conducted — 9 percent
- Videos of a day on the job — 8 percent
On the other hand, top social media turn-offs were:
- Company communication that reads like an ad — 38 percent
- Failure to reply to questions — 30 percent
- Failure to regularly post information — 22 percent
- Removing or filtering public comments — 22 percent
Regardless of whether or not employers have gotten the hang of it yet, they are catching on fast to the power of social media, be it through promoting their company on Twitter, or searching for potential employees on LinkedIn. Thirty-five percent of employers reported using some form of social media to promote their organization, while 21 percent said they use social media to recruit and research job candidates.
“As communication via social media becomes increasingly pervasive, organizations are harnessing these sites to help achieve a variety of business goals,” said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. “Social media allows organizations to communicate in ways that didn’t exist 10 years ago, promoting their services and brands while also supplementing their recruitment strategy.”
Yet employers still have a leg up on job seekers when it comes to managing their online reputation. Forty-three percent of employers reported that their social media outreach was handled by the marketing department, while 26 percent said it was handled by the public relations team.
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Last week we gave you a list of companies hiring in the Midwest and some jobs that were yours for the taking. Fret not, our northern friends, we’ve got a list of some Northeastern companies and jobs that need your talent and experience. Check out this list of available jobs in the Northeast:
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