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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cognitive Behaviour Theory: Resources Collection

Although I would want to verify the empirical justifications for using some of the resources offered nonetheless it's an interesting collection: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Self-Help Resources. In any case, until professional interventions for psychological and social problems are easily available to everyone, and affordable by all, it is important to be able to have recourse to other remedies.

Mentioned on the PsychSplash blog. (And incidentally .gg is the domain for the Bailiwick of Guernsey.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Demonstrating Use of a Search String

We might agree that this search string looks horrible.

apprentice electrician ontario intitle:employment OR intitle:career OR intitle:job

But if you embed it in a reference to the site 'Let me Google that for you,' in a link like this, not only does the resulting display in the browser make it obvious how the search string is to be used but it shows what the results are and the search string itself doesn't look quite so bad.

I'm indebted to economics Professor Chris Auld of the University of Victoria who mentioned this facility on a QuantEcon blog entry.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Search Facilities Tidied


I've moved the various specialised search facilities and search results together to be near the top of the right column. In particular, the list of jobs for career developers and people in similar occupations is now at the top of the display of these items. I hope this makes all of this clearer and more useful.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Warren Buffett: Human Abilities vs Outcomes



Warren Buffett might not be as successful as he should be. For anyone who does not recognise his name, he is only "the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011."1 This is a clip I excerpted from an interview of Buffett done by Charlie Rose a week or two ago.2


Now if I were to say that a nurse or a teacher might be more valuable to society than an amazing investor like Buffett it might sound like some form of left-wing lunacy or bitterness. But when he says it one must pay attention. Clearly Buffett is aware that there are many distinct abilities and that our society has no way of rewarding something like equivalent levels of performance using them. In a way, he may also be asserting that there are other ways of evaluating contributions beyond what 'society' wants or needs.

In any case, I am grateful to him for offering this opinion.


1See this wikipedia article for details.


2Moyea FLV Editor Lite worked well for this editing job.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Canada's Digital Media Industry

A Carlisle Institute tweet has drawn my attention to the Assessing Canada's Digital Landscape item on The Mark News. It makes worthwhile reading for anyone interested in digital industries in Canada.

The author of this article, Justin Kozuch, was the Lead Researcher on 49 Pixels, which is a 2011 study of Canada's digital media industry. (See the home page of that site for lots of other goodies.)

Some highlights of interest to career developers:
  • about 3/5 have at least one degree
  • about 1/3 are very satisfied with their jobs
  • about 1/8 make $80,000-100,000, 1/20 make more
  • only about 1/4 took refresher courses and workshops to stay up-to-date
If you've read Daniel Pink's Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and Kozuch's remarks about the need for innovations in the use of social media by business then, like me, you might wonder how many agencies are following Atlassian's lead in allowing their employees free time to follow their creative impulses.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trend?: Ideas from Nature

Is it possible that the number of people looking to nature for ideas about how to solve problems or to conduct our lives is growing?

Here, for example, Janine Benyus describes some ways that technologies derived from natural systems are being used. She also outlines plans to gather information that can be used to apply more of these discoveries.



In fact there is a steady interplay between observations of nature and attempts to use mathematical models to provide explanations. Some of us might think that our intestines are randomly coiled in our bellies. But not so! Recently investigators at Harvard University have shown what's behind the predictably loopy gut.

In this talk Michael Pawlyn is very upbeat about the many ways that we can solve today's engineering problems by mimicking nature's general strategies.




There is also an entire category of computer algorithms inspired (albeit sometimes loosely or obscurely) by nature. Clues to their origins are in names like 'simulated annealing' and 'genetic programming.' See the free book on this topic Clever Algorithms for treatments of lots of them.



Speaking of Chaos: Musicians

qikipedia is the pseudonym (I assume) of one of my favourite tweeple. This is just a tiny sample of his offerings.

In connection with the topic of chaos in careers notice what happened in the lives of three much-loved composers. We even lost one of them to the kitchen.

And I would say, if you want to promote career chaos as a career developer follow Goethe's advice! Make your own judgments about what clients should be and then treat them accordingly!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chaos Theory for Career Developers

That's a chaotic 'double pendulum' on the left. More about it momentarily.

Dr Jim Bright shows that chaos theory has some useful applications, and insights to offer, in our field in his talk, available at The Factory Podcast – The Chaos theory of Careers, probability and possibility thinking.

The diagram on the left shows the motion of a double pendulum along with the locus of points traced by the free end of the double pendulum. The motion is chaotic in that it is unpredictable. Just as careers are.

It is fairly easy to think of parallels. If a client's career followed this type of dynamic (heaven help anyone like this) then they would be constrained to a 'career' involving jobs clustered mainly around that dense semicircle of points with occasional forays toward the pivot point of the first pendulum. The chaos analogy is imperfect in at least one way because, for example, the double pendulum displays continuous motion but people take on a discrete number of jobs. That is, we don't 'glide' from one job to another.

Basic Sales Techniques

The résumé or CV and its accompanying cover letter are truthful documents that present facts that are the most relevant to the job for which one is applying. Since the cover letter might not get the reader's attention at all both documents must also be sales or marketing documents. It's therefore essential to know at least a little about what techniques have been proven to work.

This video provides a simple introduction to the topic.



How can we apply these principles?
  1. Reciprocation: In the context of job applications, I can't think of a way! (Can you?) However, in the context of job development one could offer a potential employer some small gift, such as a note pad imprinted with information about one's agency.
  2. Scarcity: Try to point up some way in which the applicant's qualifications are unusual. In this context it might be necessary to warn against the perils of suggesting to an employer that the client has already been offered employment elsewhere; many prospective employers have heard this too often already. Perhaps though it would sometimes be possible to turn so-called over-qualification into an asset using this approach.
  3. Authority: The application seems obvious. Can you think of a better way?
  4. Commitment: If the client has been networking and if they have succeeded in contacting the person responsible for hiring then during an information interview they could try to get some small commitment that that person would hire someone with qualifications similar to the client. As mentioned elsewhere on this blog this technique can also be used in interviews.
  5. Liking: This is a tough one in the context of résumés and cover letters. Few of us are universally liked or disliked. Still, a prickly résumé is probably going to put most people off. Job developers have to cultivate relationships with employers (somehow) so that they are in a position to present job candidates effectively.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Career Developers Have Disappeared

... at least they have according to StatsCan.

Statistics Canada has just published their National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011 (Preliminary release). We were NOC 4213. Now NOC 4213 has gone.

They refer to public consultations. I wonder who they asked?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Data Again: Career Opportunities

Read the McKinsey Global Institute's report, Big data: the next frontier ... .1 They predict a shortage of talent capable of digging out information from, and making effective use of the enormous quantities of, data being continuously stored. Not only that, according to O'Reilly Radar, few people have become fully aware of the benefits to be had from making use of this information.


1Mentioned on the O'Reilly Radar feed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jobs List for CDPs & Related Personnel: eluta Added

First, the jobs list is available here.

I could use your help to improve selection of jobs from eluta.ca. At the moment the software selects advertisements in which the following collections of words appear in the job titles:

career advisor
career consultant
career counsellor
career counselor
career coach
career development facillitator
career development facilitator
career group facillitator
career group facilitator
career resource centre coordinator
career resource center coordinator
case manager
employment
employment advisor
employment consultant
employment coordinator
employment counsellor
employment counselor
employment rehabilitation worker
employment services assessment officer
employment specialist
employment support
intake coordinator
job coach
job developer
job finding club coordinator
job skills counsellor
job skills counselor
language training instructor
outplacement
vocational program facillitator
vocational program facilitator
vocational rehabilitation consultant
vocational support worker

For instance, a job with the title 'job coach and developer' would be accepted because it includes both 'job coach' and 'job developer.'

What I need are other meaningful combinations of words that can appear in job titles.

Got any?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I'm Afraid Women Are Beginning To Take the Lead

For a totally objective viewpoint watch this video featuring Hanna Rosin.



Meanwhile I notice that a young woman, Rebecca Rickwood, has won a competition involving over 200,000 people, to claim a title as the world's best Microsoft Excel user.

Is there no end to this?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Job Listings for Career Developers: indeed.ca added

Now searches indeed.ca for occurrences of the following strings:

career consultant
career counsellor
career counselor
career coach
career development facillitator
career development facilitator
career group facillitator
career group facilitator
career resource centre coordinator
career resource center coordinator
case manager
employment consultant
employment counsellor
employment counselor
employment rehabilitation worker
employment services assessment officer
employment specialist
intake coordinator
job coach
job developer
job finding club coordinator
job skills counsellor
job skills counselor
language training instructor
outplacement consultant
vocational program facillitator
vocational program facilitator
vocational rehabilitation consultant
vocational support worker

The software now does a better job of checking multiple pages of jobs and you may notice that some optional spellings are included. Of course this makes for quite a few false hits. Here's the complete jobs list as it stands.

Good hunting!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Job Listings for Career Developers: New Version

It's still in development.

So far, the listing includes jobs drawn from the Job Bank, Contact Point and Charity Village. I hope it's easier to read and use.

Especially since it's under active development I really hope that you will inform me about any faults you notice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reminder: Finding Courses & Programmes

Someone on LinkedIn just asked for information about the availability of certain programmes of study at Canadian universities and colleges. It occurs to me to mention the Canadian Colleges & Universities Google custom search again.

You can use it to try to find academic programmes, specialists in various fields, and various other kinds of information.

As always I welcome feedback.