Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fashionable? a la mode? Stylish? Um ...


Trendy! That's the word I'm looking for.

As career developers we are supposed to have good strong noses for trends. The essential idea is obviously to enable us to discuss our clients’ futures with them.

But some of us need a jump start to see trends, and I am one of those. Fortunately I’ve just found a good place to watch for advice. It’s trendwatching.com. Monthly and annual briefings are free (they will even send you email alerts or you can get the RSS feed) and you can review previous briefings.

Clearly something that you can share with clients themselves. Darned interesting!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Report : "The meaning of work generates stress or well-being"

"MONTREAL, Oct. 29, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Meaningful work has vitamin effects on the worker's mental health and encourages his commitment towards an organization, while work without it promotes the onset of symptoms of stress, and even distress. This is one of the findings of a study funded by the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) on the meaning of work, mental health and organizational commitment, whose results have just been published in English. ..."

The results presented in this report are interesting enough in themselves, and the introduction makes superb reading.

See PsycPORT.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ideas for Entrepreneurial People


OK, so you have a client who knows she's entrepreneurial, and she has verified for herself that she has the necessary attributes. What she really needs now is a bunch of business ideas to think about.

Well, here's one source. I just wish I had some that are Canadian. You wouldn't happen to know of any, would you?

Another source (added 20 November): Seth Godin, "How to make money using the Internet"

Yup, Details Seem to Sell

As career developers we have a sense that details presented in resumes and other marketing materials will help to "sell" clients—especially details given in numerical terms. We ask clients to estimate monetary savings, percentage failure rate reductions, and so on. Empirical evidence of the value of this practice doesn't seem to be exactly abundant but I've just run across some and thought I'd mention it to you.

One of the blogs I read almost every day is "Mind Hacks." Here's a quote from today's.

"Ars Technica has a fantastic article on a recent study that found that numerical specifications in adverts have a huge effect on our choices, even when they're meaningless.

The numbers can be ratings, technical details, supposed representations of quality - it doesn't seem to matter. In general, bigger is better and the study found that we tend to be swayed by the numbers even when it directly contradicts our experience.

The first test involved megapixels. The authors took a single image, and used Photoshop to create a sharper version, and one with more vivid colors; they told the students that the two versions came from different cameras. When told nothing about the cameras, about 25 percent of the students chose the one that had made the sharper image. But providing a specification reversed that. When told that the other model captured more pixels using a figure based on the diagonal of the sensor, more than half now picked it. When it comes to specs, bigger is better, too, even if the underlying property is the same. Given the value in terms of the total number of pixels captured, the preference for the supposedly high-resolution camera shot up to 75 percent."

So, what does this mean to a job seeker? Clearly, it is simply that facts are extremely influential inasmuch as they can, under some conditions, overcome another person's perception of reality.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Go ahead and network : people willing to help

Some clients ask whether those they telephone for information interviews will be willing to give up the time. Yet any of us who have done this kind of research on behalf of others or ourselves know that most people are quite willing. Here is an account of some academic research indicating that people greatly underestimate the degree to which others are willing to help.


Ask For Help: Why People Are Twice as Likely to Assist as You Think

Monday, October 13, 2008

If you run out of the test room crying ...


... then you've undoubtedly failed. You're obviously a hopelessly unstable neurotic and this new test will show you up anyway. Relax, it's ok to give up.

Quite a lot of career developers use the Myers-Briggs or True Colors or Personality Dimensions in their work and we must all wonder about tests involving self reporting, right? How much confidence should we place in these tests' results?

I've seen a couple of other on-line reports of a new test based on the Big-Five Factors that cannot be faked but here is the first one that provides some insight into how Hirsh and Paterson do it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

David Foote on National & International Trends

All of us who took Rob Straby's course about Trends as part of the CDP programme at Conestoga College will have read Foote's Boom, Bust and Echo. Here's an interesting video CBC interview featuring Foote.

(My thanks are due to a friend for drawing my attention to this.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Job Ad Counts for September 2008

This table summarises advertisements that appeared on the Job Bank in September for Brantford and area, Hamilton and area and Niagara and area.

There were, for instance, 207 ads of one kind or another for ‘Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks’, as usual the group in greatest demand. Well down the list, there were 7 for ‘Production Clerks’.

More detailed reports indicating, say, summaries of compensation levels offered or of education levels demanded, are obviously possible. Let me know what you would find useful!


207 advertisements
6421 Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks

161 advertisements
9619 Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities

101 advertisements
6661 Light Duty Cleaners

92 advertisements
6453 Food and Beverage Servers

83 advertisements
6242 Cooks

72 advertisements
6641 Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations

69 advertisements
7411 Truck Drivers

58 advertisements
7452 Material Handlers

57 advertisements
1453 Customer Service, Information and Related Clerks

56 advertisements
7414 Delivery and Courier Service Drivers

55 advertisements
7611 Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers

53 advertisements
7265 Welders and Related Machine Operators

52 advertisements
6651 Security Guards and Related Occupations

49 advertisements
6411 Sales Representatives - Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)

46 advertisements
1411 General Office Clerks

42 advertisements
6663 Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents

39 advertisements for each of the following :
6471 Visiting Homemakers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations
8612 Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers

38 advertisements
6623 Other Elemental Sales Occupations

36 advertisements
1414 Receptionists and Switchboard Operators

30 advertisements
6435 Hotel Front Desk Clerks

29 advertisements
7231 Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors

28 advertisements for each of the following :
1471 Shippers and Receivers
4167 Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants

27 advertisements
8431 General Farm Workers

26 advertisements for each of the following :
7321 Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers
9617 Labourers in Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing

25 advertisements
7311 Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics (Except Textile)

24 advertisements for each of the following :
6221 Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade
6433 Airline Sales and Service Agents

22 advertisements for each of the following :
3152 Registered Nurses
7271 Carpenters

21 advertisements for each of the following :
2225 Landscape and Horticulture Technicians and Specialists
6622 Grocery Clerks and Store Shelf Stockers

19 advertisements for each of the following :
4131 College and Other Vocational Instructors
6611 Cashiers

18 advertisements for each of the following :
1231 Bookkeepers
6662 Specialized Cleaners

17 advertisements for each of the following :
1431 Accounting and Related Clerks
1435 Collectors
2131 Civil Engineers
3233 Licensed Practical Nurses

16 advertisements for each of the following :
1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
6465 Other Protective Service Occupations

14 advertisements
6231 Insurance Agents and Brokers

13 advertisements for each of the following :
1221 Administrative Officers
4212 Community and Social Service Workers
4214 Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
5254 Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
6452 Bartenders
6482 Estheticians, Electrologists and Related Occupations
7322 Motor Vehicle Body Repairers
7441 Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers

12 advertisements for each of the following :
1111 Financial Auditors and Accountants
1433 Customer Service Representatives - Financial Services
6252 Bakers
6451 Maîtres d'hôtel and Hosts/Hostesses
8432 Nursery and Greenhouse Workers

11 advertisements for each of the following :
6233 Retail and Wholesale Buyers
7251 Plumbers
7421 Heavy Equipment Operators (Except Crane)

10 advertisements for each of the following :
1441 Administrative Clerks
2133 Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2232 Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
3414 Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services
4142 Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers

9 advertisements for each of the following :
1422 Data Entry Clerks
1472 Storekeepers and Parts Clerks
2242 Electronic Service Technicians (Household and Business Equipment)
4141 Secondary School Teachers
6211 Retail Trade Supervisors
6241 Chefs
6683 Other Elemental Service Occupations
7242 Industrial Electricians
7291 Roofers and Shinglers
9422 Plastics Processing Machine Operators
9511 Machining Tool Operators
9514 Metalworking Machine Operators

8 advertisements for each of the following :
1215 Supervisors, Recording, Distributing and Scheduling Occupations
2132 Mechanical Engineers
2253 Drafting Technologists and Technicians
5124 Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications
6474 Babysitters, Nannies and Parents' Helpers
7282 Concrete Finishers
8256 Supervisors, Landscape and Horticulture
9495 Plastic Products Assemblers, Finishers and Inspectors
9613 Labourers in Chemical Products Processing and Utilities

7 advertisements for each of the following :
1211 Supervisors, General Office and Administrative Support Clerks
1454 Survey Interviewers and Statistical Clerks
1473 Production Clerks
1474 Purchasing and Inventory Clerks
2233 Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians
2282 User Support Technicians
5241 Graphic Designers and Illustrators
7334 Motorcycle and Other Related Mechanics
7621 Public Works and Maintenance Labourers
7622 Railway and Motor Transport Labourers
9483 Electronics Assemblers, Fabricators, Inspectors and Testers

6 advertisements for each of the following :
1475 Dispatchers and Radio Operators
2241 Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2261 Nondestructive Testers and Inspectors
3234 Ambulance Attendants and Other Paramedical Occupations
3235 Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
7219 Contractors and Supervisors, Other Construction Trades, Installers, Repairers and Servicers
7263 Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters
7313 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
9482 Motor Vehicle Assemblers, Inspectors and Testers
9493 Other Wood Products Assemblers and Inspectors

5 advertisements for each of the following :
1114 Other Financial Officers
2211 Chemical Technologists and Technicians
2281 Computer Network Technicians
4216 Other Instructors
6271 Hairstylists and Barbers
7217 Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
7247 Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians
7253 Gas Fitters
7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
7412 Bus Drivers, Subway Operators and Other Transit Operators
9496 Painters and Coaters - Industrial
9611 Labourers in Mineral and Metal Processing
9612 Labourers in Metal Fabrication

4 advertisements for each of the following :
1223 Personnel and Recruitment Officers
1434 Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Clerks
1461 Mail, Postal and Related Clerks
2174 Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
2175 Web Designers and Developers
2251 Architectural Technologists and Technicians
3142 Physiotherapists
4213 Employment Counsellors
5232 Other Performers
6215 Cleaning Supervisors
7294 Painters and Decorators
7351 Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators
7443 Automotive Mechanical Installers and Servicers
9213 Supervisors, Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing
9421 Chemical Plant Machine Operators
9461 Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing

3 advertisements for each of the following :
1225 Purchasing Agents and Officers
1241 Secretaries (Except Legal and Medical)
1452 Correspondence, Publication and Related Clerks
2231 Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2234 Construction Estimators
2252 Industrial Designers
2263 Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety
3143 Occupational Therapists
4161 Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers
4164 Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers
5223 Graphic Arts Technicians
6621 Service Station Attendants
6671 Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport
6681 Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations
7214 Contractors and Supervisors, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades
7245 Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers
7272 Cabinetmakers
7281 Bricklayers
7342 Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers and Milliners
7437 Air Transport Ramp Attendants
8253 Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers
9411 Machine Operators, Mineral and Metal Processing
9412 Foundry Workers
9442 Weavers, Knitters and Other Fabric-Making Occupations
9451 Sewing Machine Operators

2 advertisements for each of the following :
1112 Financial and Investment Analysts
1212 Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks
1424 Telephone Operators
1442 Personnel Clerks
2142 Metallurgical and Materials Engineers
2154 Land Surveyors
2212 Geological and Mineral Technologists and Technicians
2264 Construction Inspectors
4121 University Professors
4153 Family, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors
4163 Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants
4166 Education Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers
5212 Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries
5244 Artisans and Craftspersons
6251 Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers - Retail and Wholesale
6431 Travel Counsellors
6472 Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
6672 Other Attendants in Accommodation and Travel
7211 Supervisors, Machinists and Related Occupations
7222 Supervisors, Motor Transport and Other Ground Transit Operators
7241 Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
7252 Steamfitters, Pipefitters and Sprinkler System Installers
7261 Sheet Metal Workers
7264 Ironworkers
7331 Oil and Solid Fuel Heating Mechanics
7371 Crane Operators
9484 Assemblers and Inspectors, Electrical Appliance, Apparatus and Equipment Manufacturing
9486 Mechanical Assemblers and Inspectors

1 advertisement for each of the following :
1121 Specialists in Human Resources
1242 Legal Secretaries
1243 Medical Secretaries
1244 Court Recorders and Medical Transcriptionists
1423 Desktop Publishing Operators and Related Occupations
1451 Library Clerks
1463 Couriers, Messengers and Door-to-Door Distributors
2147 Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)
2171 Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
2173 Software Engineers and Designers
2221 Biological Technologists and Technicians
2243 Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics
3144 Other Professional Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
3216 Medical Sonographers
3411 Dental Assistants
3413 Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
4211 Paralegal and Related Occupations
5122 Editors
5221 Photographers
5225 Audio and Video Recording Technicians
5242 Interior Designers
6212 Food Service Supervisors
6213 Executive Housekeepers
6441 Tour and Travel Guides
6443 Casino Occupations
6483 Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers
6682 Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
7246 Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers
7283 Tilesetters
7284 Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers and Lathers
7292 Glaziers
7295 Floor Covering Installers
7316 Machine Fitters
7335 Other Small Engine and Equipment Mechanics
7352 Power Systems and Power Station Operators
7422 Public Works Maintenance Equipment Operators
7445 Other Repairers and Servicers
8421 Chain Saw and Skidder Operators
8611 Harvesting Labourers
9212 Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and Chemical Processing and Utilities
9224 Supervisors, Furniture and Fixtures Manufacturing
9415 Inspectors and Testers, Mineral and Metal Processing
9423 Rubber Processing Machine Operators and Related Workers
9424 Water and Waste Plant Operators
9443 Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operators
9462 Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters, Poultry Preparers and Related Workers
9471 Printing Machine Operators
9481 Aircraft Assemblers and Aircraft Assembly Inspectors
9491 Boat Assemblers and Inspectors
9492 Furniture and Fixture Assemblers and Inspectors
9494 Furniture Finishers and Refinishers
9498 Other Assemblers and Inspectors
9615 Labourers in Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacturing