/blog > archive > May 2012

crazy-idea-small

Laurie Ruettimann, of Cynical Girl fame, is not impressed with how recruiters are using LinkedIn: What bothers me most is that recruiters are using LinkedIn much like they used Monster and Career Builder back in the 90s. They are targeting people in existing roles instead of looking for undiscovered talent (or people with jagged resumes) who could do the job — and exceed our expectations — with a little bit of training and development. She correctly points out a few lines later that very few people go out looking for a job because they want to be hired into the exact position they already have. Sometimes they want the same thing in a better location, or for better money, or without that jerk of a boss, but much more often job seekers are looking for all that plus a next step. Surveys have shown that a sense of direction is…

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news_dirty_jobs

In Anna Karenina Tolstoy famously wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” I think there may be a corollary here with jobs — all good jobs are essentially alike; but every bad job is sucky in its own way. If we get into the details, there are thousands upon thousands of reasons that an employment situation might be less than satisfactory. But all of these sum up to four root causes of job suckage. If your job sucks, at least one of the following statements is true: 1. The job objectively sucks. There are some jobs that just about anybody would agree are hard, dirty, dangerous, back-breaking, mind-numbing, soul-sucking, thankless, hopeless, dead-end, etc. As Mike Rowe consistently reminds us, there are some people who don’t mind these jobs (or at least who don’t mind some of them), and a few who seem…

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facebook_logo

Alexander Haislip writing at TechCrunch says that Silicon Valley Can Do Better Than Facebook. He makes some interesting points, including an analysis of who is enriched by TV advertising vs. Facebook advertising — leading to the perhaps unexpected conclusion that we should all be watching more TV and spending less time on Facebook! He also compares how much time is spent generating content on Facebook versus Wikipedia, crunches that against a hypothetical Wikipedia valuation of $7 billion, and concludes that Facebook users could be generating content worth more than  $6 billion every day if they would just stop “liking” Starbucks and get serious. But so what? Even if they could generate that kind of value, why should they? With both Wikipedia and Facebook, the same principle applies where the monetary value of the content generated by the user base is concerned: they never see a penny of it. Wikipedia users…

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ObamaThompson

So if you’re a powerful individual who holds a major position of responsibility, what does it say about you if publicly available biographical information, information that you have at least ostensibly endorsed, contains factual errors? As we noted last week, in the case of Scott Thompson, it apparently says that you are unfit to hold that position of authority and you have got to go. Thompson’s fake credential was a computer science degree he never earned. Let’s compare and contrast that situation with recent revelations that a booklet published by Barack Obama’s literary agent in 1991 stated that he was born in Kenya. (Please note that we are taking that statement at face value for what it is — false. That the president was born in Hawaii has been established to the satisfaction of / was never really doubted by serious, intelligent people. If you’re interested in speculating that President…

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policeofficers

Very interesting development: US Department of Justice says citizens have a broad right to record police officers on duty The US Department of Justice sent a strongly worded letter to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) on Monday, reprimanding it for insufficiently supporting the right of citizens to record video of officers on duty — a move that suggests the federal government is becoming increasingly concerned over related civil rights abuses. The DOJ is not satisfied with the BPD’s response to a settlement for a case involving the unlawful harassment and detention of a man named Christopher Sharp — just one of many similar incidents across the US involving police officers encroaching on the right of citizens to record their public duties. This should never have even been a news story, because the arrests that led to the DOJ having to make this announcement should never have happened. Under the first…

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bathroom-scale

Okay, maybe it is for a few highly specialized positions — motivational speakers and the like — but it is not a general-interest item to mention on a resume the way you would your last job or your degree in accounting. This is true even if you have a big gap on your resume and the weight loss would be a good way to fill it. Why not? Three quick reasons: 1. It’s not relevant. (Therefore, rather than hiding the gap, it will only make it more apparent.) 2. It creates, by implication, a world in which one can be refused a job because of a lack of weight loss. 3. It might not make the impression you’re hoping for, anyway. Imagine if the hiring manager is having trouble losing weight… Sure, it’s an impressive accomplishment. It might belong on a life chart, but let’s keep it off the resume….

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crazy_0

Life After College presents the perfect advice to ponder as the weekend nears: Why Successful People Are Crazy — And You Should Be Too. As the article sagely points out, “anyone can be crazy.” So true! As a bonus, there’s a list of the five best times to be crazy. Of course, we should be very clear. When we talk about being crazy, we mean this kind: Definitely not this kind:Read More…

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A real one can set you back quite a bit, depending on your choice of school. But a fake one is apparently far more expensive. According to some analysis, a single fake college degree might be enough to bring down a billion-dollar web empire. Now granted, for this to happen all the pieces have to be in place. It can’t be just any fake college degree, but rather one belonging to the CEO of the company. And it can’t be just any billion-dollar web empire; it has to be one that has been taking it on the chin for a long time, and that really can’t afford any more direct blows. Even so, it seems unlikely that Yahoo is actually going away; but there can be no question that the Scott Thompson resume debacle has made the company’s troubles quite a bit worse. The short version, for those just joining:…

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Suzanne-Lucas-GUIDE_555243c

Our friend Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, has kicked up quite a storm with her recent piece citing research that questions the effectiveness of diversity training. Maybe it’s the provocative title: Why you should stop attending diversity training. Or maybe it’s the tagline from the Peter Bergman article from Psychology Today that Suzanne quotes: “Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it.” Or maybe the suggestions she makes for alternatives to diversity training are rubbing people the wrong way. She thinks that everyone should be treated “nicely and fairly” and that individuals in the workplace should not “look to be offended.” Don’t believe that anyone would actually take offense at those suggestions? Read the comments on Suzanne’s piece. Apparently, the objectives of diversity training are so noble that the actual results delivered don’t matter. To question diversity training is to be opposed to diversity itself, even though both Bergman…

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superman_wonder_woman_batman_by_sporedesigns

Kevin Kruse has a new blog over at Forbes, Superhuman Capital, dedicated to revealing the secrets of “corporate superheroes:” They’re rare, but I’ve seen them. I’ve worked with teams of them. They  use discretionary effort in pursuit of their organization’s goals. You’ve seen them too. It’s that one team member you have that you wish you had 10 more just like her. It’s that person who resigned from the company you work for and you thought, “Oh man, now what are we going to do.” Kruse states his preference for the non-super-powered variety of superhero, which is the popular position nowadays. In social settings, one of my favorite icebreaker questions is to ask people who they like better, Superman or Batman?* Batman wins hands down, almost every time. A few guys like the Man of Tomorrow better, but the girls almost all go for the Dark Knight. Although I ask…

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