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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Globe & Mail Videos

Mike Moffatt, of the Richard Ivey School of Business, draws attention to the videos on economic topics available on the Globe & Mail website, in Video Series on Generation Y and Employment (on the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative blog).

In one item in this series Philip Oreopoulos of the University of Toronto explains why millennials with advanced education face more difficulty gaining suitable employment. Perhaps more importantly he emphasises why such people need to avoid giving up in their job searches.

To find others by this author or in this series Google for and substitute your own search terms for <search terms> in this query inurl:leading-thinkers <search terms>

Friday, July 29, 2011

Listening Skills: A TED Talk

Although this talk emphasises the importance of listening, perhaps its importance has to do with its relationship to mindfulness in general. Hence, it could very well be useful to career developers introducing mindfulness through the back door, if you will, as well as basic listening skills.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interim Versions of Jobs List: Job Bank Only

Click here. The date and time at which the Job Bank was scanned is indicated at the bottom of the page (note: GMT, five hours ahead of us here).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Most Employers Hate Creativity

It's unusual to encounter an employer that values creativity in its employees. Obviously most seek to discourage it. Fortunately, now someone has prepared a list of some remedies that will be helpful for all of those employers in this category: 6 Ways to Kill Creativity.

I can remember seeing some of these techniques in use by employers during my days as a software developer but definitely not all. I would therefore suggest that almost any employer has something to learn.

Let me know how it goes!

Describing a Business, II

Although the number of one-person businesses in Canada has dropped the unemployment rate has not, so it's still worth considering trying to make a living in this way. As mentioned before, however, unless you're a natural business person (or perhaps even if you are) it might be worth making a disciplined analysis of how your business will work before you embark on it.

Business Model Generation looks like a great way of doing this. It's available in many public libraries and on all the usual websites at a reasonable price.

BMD describes a 9-piece way of modelling business models. (Yes, awkward sentence.) Then it goes on to show you how the model can be used to explore Google, the FREE business model and some other 'patterns' that have succeeded. By the end of the book you will have learned how to deal with the various phases involved in producing a business model including imagining, critiquing, evaluating and so on.

Worth a look.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Martin Seligman: Write 3 Good Things Every Day

Dr Martin Seligman may be the leading proponent of positive psychology. His advice is to take a few minutes near the end of each day to write a list of the three positive things that have happened to you that day. There's experimental evidence to show that this one practice alone will permanently enhance your mood.

For a longer exploration of his ideas and how he would like to see societies evolve here's a good talk he gave at the RSA.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jobs List for CDPs and Related Personnel

As some of you may have noticed my little system is not working these days. I've decided that this would be a good time, especially as it's summer when there might be less hiring activity, to move it to I will try to keep you up-to-date.

If you find it useful, and if there are features that would make it more valuable, then this would be a good time to tell me. Of course I can't promise to incorporate all or any requested changes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Achieving Goals

Many of the activities involved in career development, perhaps all of them, involve achieving goals. Finding a job obviously involves setting goals but the conscious selection of an occupation will require each of us to see some research and deliberation through to completion, which clearly involves setting and meeting goals.

11 Goal Hacks: How to Achieve Anything summarises ways of thinking and personal disciplines from psychological research that seem to work well. Although I can't claim to be applying all of them myself they appear sound to me. Hack number 10 is an ancient business rule that I was taught long ago in a consultancy. I seem to unearth number 8 and 9 for myself every few weeks.

Numbers 1 to 6 look most valuable to me at the present time and I'm going to post them up here in my office.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Are You Warm or Competent?

According to "The Psyche on Automatic" in the Harvard Magazine Dr Amy Cuddy of the Harvard Business School believes that the two critical variables that account for 80% of our evaluations of others are warmth and competence. Inevitably our evaluations shape our behaviours toward and with respect to people.

Cold, incompetent people may not register as human beings to others. And in general warmth and competence are not considered compatible traits. In fact, this latter aspect of the human psyche makes me question whether people who project warmth as part of their occupational persona might have more difficulty establishing that they are competent. For example, many career developers.

In any case the ideas mentioned in the article appear to have many implications both for career developers and for our clients. Do have a look.

Once again I'm indebted to Barking up the wrong tree for making me aware of a useful item.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gotta Read Statistics Canada Reports Carefully

This graph is from StatsCan's Labour Force Survey (LMS) for yesterday. (No, I don't read these every day.)

It appears that, even by this crude measure, we are still quite a distance from those happy and enchanted days of 2008 when unemployment was only about 6%.

It's natural to wonder when we might return to those halcyon days, isn't it?

Let's just assume that life will hold no further unwelcome economic disturbances over the next few years, and no unexpected gifts either. Then by drawing one line representing the apparent rate at which the unemployment rate is declining and one representing the rate for the early part of 2008 it is quite easy to see that we can expect a return to that rate sometime in the first half of 2014.

A mere three years away.

As career developers we are also inquisitive about which parts of the labour market seem most active or which people are most likely to be obtaining jobs.

The LMS opens with the statement: "Employment rose for the third consecutive month, up 28,000 in June. " Later, under the heading "Employment growth primarily among core-aged women," it says, "Employment rose by 28,000 among core-aged women (25 to 54 years)." It would appear that, in aggregate terms all of the rise in employment can be ascribed to 'core-aged women.' Not just 'primarily' core-aged women.

What kinds of jobs are these?