Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hot Jobs and Job Ruts

I came across a great quote from Casey Stengel to begin this Tidbit Tuesday: "They say you can't do it, but sometimes it doesn't always work."

Here are some items I also thought might be of interest:

* Turn your head and cough: Sixteen of the 30 jobs with the fastest growth are health related, reports the U.S. Department of Labor, while six are computer related.

Most of the remaining fast-growth occupations are in environmental services and education. The fastest-growing major occupational group—professional and related occupations—is made up mostly of occupations that generally require postsecondary education or training. Examples of these are physician assistants, network systems and data communication analysts, computer software engineers, database administrators, physical therapists, preschool and postsecondary teachers, and environmental engineers.

* Social work recall: Working with older adults has been a low priority for social work students, faculty, practitioners and employers, and has created an impending shortage of gerontological social work services, says The National Association of Social Workers - Illinois Chapter.

The chapter now offers retired social workers everything from computer skills updates, interviewing and personal marketing advice, as well as ongoing training on various aspects of working with older adults. A press release states that some return to work for financial reasons, while others are seeking personal and professional stimulation they found lacking in retirement.

* Enron, the sequel: Six years after high-profile corporate scandals rocked American business, there has been little if any meaningful reduction in the enterprise-wide risk of unethical behavior at U.S. companies, according to the Ethics Resource Center's 2007 National Business Ethics Survey®.

Interviews with almost 2,000 employees at U.S. public and private companies of all sizes for the survey show "disturbing shares of workers witnessing ethical misconduct at work - and tending not to report what they see. Conflicts of interest, abusive behavior and lying pose the most severe ethics risks to companies today."

* Smell the love: If you've ever wondered why you like some people at work, and not others, it may be your nose knows the answer. New research from Northwestern University suggests that humans -- like dogs -- pick up infinitesimal scents that affect whether or not they like somebody.

The study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that subliminal sensory information -- whether from scents, vision or hearing -- affects perception.

* Stuck in a rut: Fast Company recently asked Timothy Butler, a Harvard Business School professor and author, how you get "unstuck" at work if you have a mortgage and can't just go off and live in a cabin and find yourself.

Butler's answer: "I'm initially quite suspicious of the person who leaves it all and goes off to a cabin. That sounds more like a geographical cure rather than really looking at the issue itself. Often, negotiating impasse does not mean changing a job or what would be seen as a dramatic change. It does mean recognizing there's something missing and deliberately going about trying to collect information about it. The outcome may be as undramatic as a conversation with your boss about something you'd really like to be doing more or something you'd like to be doing less."



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