Saturday, November 29, 2003

A Job-Hunting Success Story

This person's story indicates that you can get a job, even in a tough market, because people are still retiring, quitting, and getting fired from their jobs. Also, new jobs are being created.

By the way, I'm interested in hearing your job-hunting success stories! What advice can you offer, based on your success, to others? Please share your thoughts! Contact me at danimal0416 at yahoo dot com, with the subject heading of Job Hunting Success Story, or something similar.


Friday, November 28, 2003

How to Negotiate Freelance Writing Rates

You’ve taken the plunge: You’ve quit your nine-to-five job to become a freelance writer. But the joys of being your own boss soon give way to the sober realization that you’ll have to negotiate your salary on a regular basis. Do you know the best ways to maximize your earnings? The tips in this article could help.

Yahoo! News - Many Retailers Hiring More Holiday Help

Some of them even plan to keep the help around.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Nine Things You Should Never Say In An Interview

Avoid the interview pitfalls as part of a strategy that sells your strengths and assets. Read the article.

Monday, November 24, 2003

So, How's Business?

Business at the hotel is very slow right now, and that means that I'm not working. I stopped by the Spaghetti Warehouse to see if they are hiring (they're not), and I spoke to one of the regular customers at the Dublin Irish Pub, who said that the line for bartending there is pretty long. I think I want to find a place that's closer to home yet, so that I wouldn't have to drive. I could take the bus or even walk.

Friday, November 21, 2003

The things people come up with...

I've heard it said that for a joke to be funny, there must be an element of truth to it. IreneQ's humorous post speaks truth as it relates to her profession:

Sometimes I wish I had a more ordinary job. You know, something like being a doctor or an accountant or a computer programmer. You say, "I'm a doctor," and that's more or less the end of that line of conversation. But just try to say, "I'm a journalist," and see what happens! read more...

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Greater Dayton IT Alliance Survey Question

I subscribe to a weekly email from these folks. Today's email had this survey question:

Would you advise an American teenager to study computer science at college?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Job Strain, Insecurity Hurt Health

Via WebMD:

Researchers say [that a new study by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at The Australian National University is] one of the first studies to look at the impact of the fear of job loss on health and the findings suggest that job insecurity can have potent health effects, both alone and in combination with other types of job stress.
In February I mentioned another article from WebMD suggesting that Depression could cost you your job if you don't seek help for it.

Take care of yourselves.

Two Years and Going

Mike recently noticed that it's been two years since he'd been laid off. It prompted a career move that's done him well.

Worst Jobs You've Ever Had

I suppose that it's not uncommon for anyone to take a job that, for whatever reason, becomes like a "thorn in the flesh." Sometimes these jobs are necessary just to make ends meet; one might even call them "survival jobs."

These jobs are are the ones that, long after leaving them, we often reflect on them and say, "That was one of the worst jobs I've ever had."

Rasmus recently started a new job, and he's mentioned that the work schedule is placing a heavy burden on his ability to stay up with his ability to succeed at school:

I have a simple job: Wipe that desk, vacuum this floor, clean this bathroom. Anyone can do it and the pay is fair. But six hours five days a week is affecting my schoolwork. I'm not home 'til midnight, and though I'm extremely tired, I still need an hour or so to settle down. At school, I'm so tired, I can hardly finish a sentence, much less listen to what anyone else have to say, and doing projects is out of the question. It's not working.
His experience reminded me of a job I had as a security guard while in college. I initially took the job because I would have time to sit and do homework. But I soon realized that it would be an extreme test of endurance and stamina.

After a full day of school on Friday, which began at 7 AM, I went to a part-time job at a hardware store from 5 PM to 9 PM. Immediately after that, I went to my security post, and I worked from 11 PM to 11 AM on Saturday

By the time I returned home, I'd been awake for almost 29 hours straight. All I could do was sleep until I had to wake up to go back to the 11 PM to 11 AM thing from Saturday night to Sunday morning.

I had a different post that I would go to from about 11:30 PM Sunday night through 8:30 AM Monday.

While I learned a lot about myself during this time, I'd still have to say that it was one of the worst jobs I've ever had.

>> What about you? What are some of the worst jobs you've ever had? (No company names, please.) You can leave your comments here or send me an email at danimal0416 at yahoo dot com. I will assume that your comments are worthy of posting here unless you specify otherwise.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Online Career Information Center

I recently received the following email:


We have new job openings in the Dayton area and we are writing to ask for your permission to send you these job leads.

If you would like to grant us your permission, please click on the following link, or copy/paste the link into your web browser to complete the authorization form.

<--link not included here on purpose-->

We are looking forward to working with you and building a good, long term relationship.


E-online Career Info Services


You are receiving this invitation because you were in response to our employment ads posted in a newspaper or on the Internet, or your were referred this item by a friend.

If you are no longer available, please kindly ignore this email, or reply to this email with Subject: NotAvailable.

We will not contact you again.
My first thought was to ask, "Is this a real thing or is it just spam?" I decided to head over to the main domain in the URL, and it *appears* to be legitimate. I have no real need for the services they provide -- mainly job search information and *supposedly* job leads in my area. I'm not signing up for it. At least not now. Head over if you wish:
Online Career Information Center

Friday, November 14, 2003

Seasonal Employment, Part 1

We've been slowly unpacking the rest of our stuff. I say 'we', but I really mean my wife Jennie. One of the items she found is fond reminder of a job I had at Christmastime while in college.

A clipping from the December 24, 1993 front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer contains a photo of me. The caption under the photo reads as follows:

Dan Johnson, Jr., a senior at the University of Cincinnati, helps Logan Abner, 2, put money into the [Salvation Army] kettle at the Madeira Kroger store Thursday. Johnson plays the saxophone to lure donations.
The photo was taken by Glenn Hartong, and it shows me bundled up, wearing a Santa cap, with my alto saxophone hanging from my neck, helping Logan put his coins into the kettle.

I remember that job fondly. I needed it to have money for rent and stuff. The folks at the Madeira Kroger warmly welcomed my music. Every so often, as I would get cold, I'd go inside for a break. The crew of cashiers would ask me to play "O Holy Night" for them. I did, and everyone applauded. I was grateful to be able to cheer them up.

I also recall being encouraged by one of my friends' mom. I actually knew her because she took a class with me in college. She lived in Madeira, and once, on her way out of the store, she handed me a cookie and cup of hot chocolate. How very thoughtful!

I read in this past Sunday's classifieds that the Salvation Army is looking for talented musicians to man their kettles again this year. It something to consider.

crossposted to Journey Inside My Mind

Thursday, November 13, 2003 is one of the top Internet Job Boards devoted exclusively to nursing professionals. The goal is simple: "to help bring nurses and healthcare employers together."

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Veterans Job Information Fair

I found a flier with this information as I was leaving work, and I knew it deserved to be included here. - Dan

DoD Civilians, Spouses, and Family Members are also welcome

This Thursday, 13 November 2003, from 10 AM to 2 PM

Hope Hotel
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
For additional information, please call Sabine Benson at 937.656.0940 or Dave Thomas at 937.656.0939

Sponsored By:

Clark County Veteran's Office
Greene County Veteran's Office
Montgomery County Veteran's Office
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Veterans Readjustment Counseling Center
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Change One Thing...

Mike over at _monk recently reflected on his career change. At first he thought his time in his earlier career was a waste, but then he concludes:

then i realized, without the background in business i wouldn't be who i am. i prob would not appreciate what a great job teaching is and would prob not be as effective of a teacher (to the degree i am effective). as anyone who has ever wrote a computer program or read about chaos theory (or seen a bad sci-fi movie) knows changing one small thing in a complex system (such as life) often has wide reaching and unexpected consequences...
Amen to that.

Things 'They' Don't Tell You About Unemployment

Carla from Across the Pond shares her and her husband's experiences with being unemployed in the UK. She also points to OddTodd's "Laid Off: Help Wanted" cartoon.

I posted some comments to her post and recommended that she have her husband check out Dick Bolles' Job Hunter's Bible. It's the online companion to his book What Color Is Your Parachute? 2007: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers (What Color Is Your Parachute), which is republished every year. There is a wealth of advice on how to conduct an effective job search, including the Fairy Godmother Reports: a comparison of what you hope to find and what you actually get; how effective it all is; and some words to remember.

For example, there's the Fairy Godmother Report on Job-Listing Sites.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The Career News website boasts itself as "The Latest News, Tips, and Tools for Your Career."

Effective Communication is Key to Effective Job Performance

So, if you're in the hunt for a job, or if you're just wanting to become better at the job you have, then head over to this Chicago Tribune article, provided via Yahoo! HotJobs. Among other things, it involves

  • body language
  • listening
  • vocabulary
  • organizational culture, and
  • workplace diversity

The State of Geek: Part 1 -- Temp Job, No Health

This informative, insightful article from Shelley Powers at Burningbird examines how things are in the job market for IT workers now and in the future. She basically says it's going to hell in a handbasket.

I also found the accompanying comments well worth the read, too. Especially Phil Wolff's (He writes for emblog and a klog apart.).

Here are a couple more links to Phil Wolff:

Monday, November 03, 2003

Some Quotations To Start Off The Week

  • "Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down." - Kobi Yamada
  • "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" -- Dr. Robert Schuller
  • "We possess such immense resources of power that pessimism is a laughable absurdity." -- Colin Wilson
  • "We must travel in the direction of our fear." -- John Berryman
Quotations via QuotesBlog

Interview Tricks Are No Treat

This past Saturday I mentioned that employers are using psychological testing in the interviewing process. Basically, I think it's best to do your best and be honest during them, since it's really hard to prepare for them.

Not quite the case for the typical interviewing questions, however. I had mentioned the "What is your biggest weakness?" one. Then today I spotting this MSN Careers article with some advice on how to prepare for this and other tough interviewing questions: Interview Tricks Are No Treat

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Yet More Unemployment Claims Weirdness

Okay, here's what you do. Head over to the original post and read it. Then start to wade through the comments. But be careful, since some folks have inadvertently posted their comments more than once.

Personally, I haven't taken the time to try to understand what the current unemployment statistics mean for job seekers.

The Justice Dept's Attorney Workforce Diversity Study—Uncensored

The Memory Hole has posted a copy of the Justice Department's Attorney Workforce Diversity Study (6MB). I haven't read it myself (6MB is a lot for a dialup connection!).

Please send me any comments you have after reading the study or about the study.

Found via BlogDex.

Psychological Tests Becoming Big at Work

A recent study states that one in three employers is using these tests in the hiring process. ABCNews has the details... And here's a quote from the article:

Long popular in Europe, the tests are now becoming more common among U.S. and multi-national firms keen on determining what kind of workers their employees are, how well they'll get a long with others and whether or not they're suited for a particular job.
Some other headings in the article include
  • Top to the Bottom Testing, which talks about how these tests are being administered for CEO candidates as well as sales associates for a retail chain;
  • Seeking the Emotionally Intelligent, which describes how tests are being done to assess a candidates disposition and how he or she may work with others;
  • The Writing's on the Application, which shares how some companies are using handwriting analysis to "help weed out applicants who might be untrustworthy, or to hire people who have qualities like integrity or reliability."
For the job seeker this presents some challenges. When I went through job outplacement, I was taught how to answer interviewing questions in a way that would project a positive impression of myself to the interviewer. For example, one of the common questions was about my biggest weakness. The way to answer this question is to talk about a weakness and turn it into a potential strength.

I would think that the best strategy for these psychological tests is to be completely honest in answering the questions. Trying to answer a question based on what you think the employer wants to hear may not be in your best interest. In addition, it's difficult to discern how a potential employer will use the results of such tests. They may perceive answers to questions differently from how you do, for example.

Just be honest and do your best.