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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Two Jobs

Job Developer- Intake Counsellor

Advocacy Officer

See here. Thanks to Patricia Martin of Career Essentials for passing these on.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Jobs List for Career Developers: Maintenance

A jobs list for career developers and related occupations is available here. I update it on a daily basis. It gleans postings from Contact Point, Charity Village, the Job Bank, Career Professionals,, Job Skills and At Work.

I just noticed and corrected a couple of bugs in the listing. The URLs for Job Bank and Contact Point jobs were incorrect.

For full details about how the listing is constructed see an earlier blog posting.

As always, if you know of any other web sources please let us all know. If you want to tell us about them after you get a job yourself using a new suggestion that's ok too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting a Client to Think More Kindly of Herself

One of Barking Up the Wrong Tree's blog items made me dig and find a more comprehensive article by McGonigal in Psychology Today: Change Your Posture.

The long and the short of it? If you want your clients to think better of themselves when creating job applications, résumés and other such items then suggest that they sit up straight.

What I Want Every Career Explorer to Understand

BrainBlog sent me to read The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is (Part 1) in the NYT this morning. Great article. Our biggest blind spots are all our “unknown unknowns”—the unknowns that we have no awareness of.

For a career explorer these are all of the occupations that she might consider but cannot ‘see’.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Less Excuse for Procrastination

One of my favourite excuses for procrastination has long been that I was allowing time for my unconscious mind to find a solution to the current problem for me, without the need for me to put any conscious effort in. Of course while this unconscious activity was taking place I could be pursuing some other goal with enormous vigour. (And sometimes I didn’t pursue anything at all.)

The problem with this approach apparently is that unconsciously derived solutions remain unavailable to the conscious mind. That is to say, they remain unconscious. If you find the solution when you are conscious it’s not because you found it before during an unconscious period. The whole solution process was more or less conscious. If you follow this line of thought.

Anyway, for this and six darn interesting ideas about releasing your creativity, most of them less painful to learn about than this one, see the PsyBlog entry “Get Creative: 7 More Psychological Techniques”.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Little More About the Gender Pay Gap

Part way through the 18 June edition of the MoreOrLess podcast.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Unemployment: Life Satisfaction Dips More for the Conscientious

Conscientiousness is one of the so-called 'Big Five' Personality Traits. This trait is usually measured using paper-and-pencil style instruments. When it is these are typical conscientious items, drawn from the Wikipedia article:

  • I am always prepared.
  • I am exacting in my work.
  • I follow a schedule.
  • I get chores done right away.
  • I like order.
  • I pay attention to details.
  • I leave my belongings around. (reversed)
  • I make a mess of things. (reversed)
  • I often forget to put things back in their proper place. (reversed)
  • I shirk my duties. (reversed)

I have no idea what it might be like to be conscientious myself.

However, a soon to be published article indicates that conscientiousness works against people if they become unemployed. As career developers we might therefore think to pay them some special attention. Here are some more details.

In "ScienceDirect - Journal of Research in Personality : The dark side of conscientiousness: Conscientious people experience greater drops in life satisfaction following unemployment" Boyce et al write (in the abstract): "Conscientious individuals tend to achieve more and have higher well-being. This has led to a view that conscientiousness is always positive for well-being. We hypothesize that conscientiousness could be detrimental to well-being when failure is experienced, such as when individuals become unemployed. In a 4-year longitudinal study of 9570 individuals interviewed yearly we show that the drop in an individual’s life satisfaction following unemployment is significantly moderated by their conscientiousness. After 3 years of unemployment individuals high in conscientiousness (i.e. one standard deviation above the mean) experience a 120% higher decrease in life satisfaction than those at low levels. Thus the positive relationship typically seen between conscientiousness and well-being is reversed: conscientiousness is therefore not always good for well-being." [bold print mine]

For a fuller discussion of this paper, see Pychyl's "The dark side of conscientiousness: Life satisfaction in the face of unemployment" in Psychology Today, which I came upon by following his (very interesting) blog.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What Your Business Should Do

I think I've mentioned this graphic before somewhere. It's brilliant advice for people trying to decide on careers, succinctly expressed.

I've just encountered something new but similar, this time for those thinking about starting or extending businesses. Although not quite as good as advice, IMO, it does capture the idea that there's no point in trying to build a business that isn't based on some kind of customer need.

"... blonde women receive large wage premiums."

I've drawn that statement from the abstract of a paper published in March by Australian economist David W. Johnston. The paper itself is behind a payment barrier. I read a report about it at Do Employers Prefer Blondes?.

Apparently they do, to the tune of the equivalent of one additional year of education.

Is there any need to repeat? Jobs are about marketing, not objectivity.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thinking of Studying Philosophy?

If you are thinking of studying philosophy then you might be interested in the excellent collection of interviews with prominent philosophers available at Philosophy Bites. Each interview lasts about a quarter of an hour. They vary widely in difficulty.

Although advertisements may not mention degree qualifications in philosophy specifically some employers have the sense to realise that these graduates may have good open minds, and analytical and expressive skills.

Monday, June 14, 2010

85% of Jobs Found by Networking!

Let's think about this oft-quoted claim. Here's a parallel parable.

An old man walking his dog along a country road happens to meet a group of 20 young cyclists. During a brief conversation they say that they all plan to meet later for burgers.

About six months later the old man happens to recognise one of them. Out of curiosity he asks if the members of the group really did meet and if they all travelled by bicycle. The young person laughs and tells him yes, they did meet, and yes, most of them arrived by bicycle because they were all too young to drive cars. However, two of them had walked and one had managed to get a lift with a parent.

The old man notes that 85% of the young folks had made the journey for hamburgers by bicycle.
When employment advisors poll their former clients about how those clients found their jobs they often find that some 70 to 85% of them used some form of 'networking'. This is usually taken as evidence for the value of networking as a job finding 'technique'.

But if our clients lack other ways of travelling from joblessness to employment is it any surprise that 'networking' should be their preferred means of transportation?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free Online Seminar: Using RSS Feeds

This is your invitation to participate in the free, on-line seminar that Carole Cotton and Bill Bell will be conducting during the evening of 23 June.

"Really Simple Strategies to Help You and Your Clients Stay Updated Online"

Bill's presentation will focus on the nuts and bolts of using RSS feeds for getting continually updated lists of jobs for clients, and of keeping up to date in our field. He will emphasise how this approach has improved 'cognitive fluency' over using web sites alone, or email updates, in that it makes for neater, clearer, more concise reports and, hence, much less confusion and mental clutter.

This session is intended to be an introductory, step-by-step guide to get you started with the essentials, followed by a Q & A time. Using the gotomeeting facillities we will be able to display Bill's computer screen to participants so that all of you will be able to see the steps required to make use of feeds.

We very much look forward to 'seeing' you there!

  1. Reserve your Webinar seat now at

    Title: Bill Bell
    Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
    Time: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT

    After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

    System Requirements:

    PC-based attendees - Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000
    Macintosh®-based attendees - Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer
  2. Please tell Bill or Carole what browsers you and your clients use (i.e., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or ?). We will arrange to send you an a "Attendee Quick Reference Guide" to read.
  3. Obtain a Google account (if you do not already have one).

Carole Cotton, B.A., M.Ed.
Carole Cotton Consulting, Inc.
Trainer to Exceptional Career Professionals
Ecoaching tools & Career Portfolios

Bill Bell, B.Sc., M.Sc., C.D.P.
wbell 'at'
Skype ID - wbell539
Gtalk ID - Bell.W.D 'at'
LinkedIn -

Friday, June 11, 2010

Branding Unmoored

Before you spend any more time building or protecting your brand—more or less like some latter-day Don Draper (of Mad Men)—remember that this is 2010. Listen to this talk, The Future of Brand Management by Professor Michael Beverland of the University of Bath. Now, although this talk is about working with brands for mass markets there’s a tonne of both evidence and ideas here that you should consider when you think about your own personal branding.

Not hard to listen to either.

UBath podcast series

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Complete Lists of Transferrable Skills

It is not easy to remember your transferrable skills. Maybe not even under intense, unremitting interrogation by a skilled career developer. But you can usually recall who you've worked for and what you did for them. You can also remember what your hobbies and extracurriculars are. Here's how you can work backwards to your transferrable skills in a systematic way from these items.

Go to O*NET Online page, once for each job, and use the "Occupation Quick Search". Yes, I know it's American but it provides an excellent collection of information for each occupation. For hobbies and other activities just pick an occupation or occupations that are similar. Not only will you get transferrable skills. You will also get hints about alternative occupations that you, or your client, might consider that involve similar skills or knowledge.

Again, since this is systematic you are less likely to leave good stuff out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Charitable Networking

If you have goods, time or money to give or if your organisation needs goods, volunteers or money then you might want to know about DeliverGood.

It's an organisation and eponymous website intended to help introduce those who have with those that need.

Go take a look so that you know what's possible.

I learned about this on the Imagine Canada LinkedIn group.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are Employment Counsellors Bound to Have Low Status?

Read Vaughn at Mind Hacks about Disease Rankings first, eh.

He says, “It’s interesting that doctors who specialise in working with people who have the least status in society (children, the ‘mad’, the ‘old’) also have the least status in medicine.”

By some kind of analogy does it seem so unlikely that those of us who work primarily with the less advantaged people of society—even when this disadvantage is temporary as it is for unemployment—should accordingly be accorded lower status? Alack, and alas, it could be true.

Perhaps this also goes toward explaining why much less emphasis is placed on dealing with the enormous human costs of adverse emotional and mental health in our society too.