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December 31, 2009

What Are Your 2010 Predictions for the Job Market?

Forecasters of every ilk have been consulting their tea leaves, crystal balls, magic mirrors and what have you to predict what's in store for the 2010 job market. Here's some of what I've uncovered:


More Companies Hiring, But More Job Seekers Applying


According to this article from CNBC.com, the new year will bring a decrease in the unemployment rate. While that is good news, the bad news is that after such a tough 2009, the competition for those open positions will be fierce.


Be Ready to Jump in Feet First


The Keppie Careers blog says that job seekers need to be ready to collaborate and be a part of the team if they want to successfully land a job in 2010. "What are employers looking for? Someone who can come in and FIT in. Someone willing to roll up their proverbial sleeves and get the work done," reads the blog post.


Gray Skies Are Going to Clear Up


The Economist provides forecasting for 15 different global industries. You can see the in-depth information here, but here is a breakdown:


Partly Cloudy

·         Automotive

·         Consumer goods

·         Financial services

·         Media

·         Travel and tourism



·         Energy

·         Entertainment

·         Food and farming

·         Healthcare

·         Information technology

·         Property and construction

·         Raw materials

·         Telecommunications


Partly Sunny

·         Defense



·         E-commerce


Here is Monster's roundup of hiring and salary forecasts for more than eight different industries. What are your predictions for the 2010 job market?

Posted by Norma on December 31, 2009 at 08:00 AM in Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 29, 2009

Ending 2009 'Up in the Air'

When I took some time off last week, I actually went to the movies. For full-time working parents, you know this is a luxury. And with all the critical acclaim, I felt I had to see Up in the Air.


Going in, I didn't really know what the film was about. Just that it came from the director of Juno, which I loved, and that it just might be the best movie of the year. I was surprised to find out that the story centers on people who travel the country laying people off -- for other companies.


Despite the focus on George Clooney's character, I couldn't let go of the vignettes of the people getting laid off. The dialogue around the "layoff as an opportunity" stuck with me too. In the real world, does that actually make people feel better? And I wondered: Any other year, any other time, would the movie hold the weight it does now? How much does the timeliness play into its acclaim? If it were to come out a year from now, would it just seem quirky?


And then I kept thinking about the film's title. It's a great way to sum up the end of 2009: We're not sure when the job market will get better or what is in store for 2010. Whether we've experienced layoffs ourselves or have someone close to us who has, we can only hope that the hardship of 2009 will make way for better things in the New Year. But until we see the concrete proof, we are up in the air.

Posted by Norma on December 29, 2009 at 09:24 AM in Current Events , Film , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 22, 2009

'Twas the Week Before Christmas at Work

In honor of those few staffing their offices this holiday season, this poem is for you:


'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the office
Not a creature was stirring, except for my mouse.
Surfing the Web for bargains with care,
In hopes that free shipping offers still would be there.

My coworkers are probably all snug in their beds,
It's 9 a.m. and they're still resting their heads.
While I am at work on a skeleton crew,
Covering for them and taking on their to-dos.

It's hard here at work without the usual clatter,
Where getting motivated can be what's the matter.
But without interruptions I get work done in a flash,
And then focus my energies on planning my bash.

The copies are done and the Post-Its in place,
Assuring I've completed the tasks -- gee I'm an ace!
But being alone here with my boss out of sight,
Maybe today will be an early good-night.


Here's is Clement C. Moore's original poem in its entirety.


Check out this article if you are holding down the fort and managing work while your coworkers are out.


Happy holidays!


Posted by Norma on December 22, 2009 at 07:45 AM in Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 17, 2009

The Lowdown on Coworker Gifts 2009: Hope Your Secret Santa Is a She


The Phoenix Business Journal reports on an OfficeTeam survey that found women are more likely to give out gifts in the workplace and that more workers are expecting to give than to receive gifts.


Here's how the data breaks down -- of those surveyed:


·         41% of men intend to give coworker gifts

·         58% of women intend to give coworker gifts

·         50% of workers age 18 to 34 plan to give gifts to their managers

·         62% of workers age 18 to 34 plan to give their coworkers gifts


So if you like presents -- and who doesn't? -- your best bet is to work with a woman between the ages of 18 and 34. Just hope that that gift isn't one of these odd items, featured in the Denver Business Journal's coverage of a survey from The Creative Group:


      A can of tuna

      A voodoo doll of the boss

      A fully stocked 125-pound aquarium

      Orange hair extensions.


Personally, I always appreciate the gifts from coworkers that I can use at work, like cool pushpins, desk toys or the book on office yoga I once received. So before shopping the canned food aisles for coworker gift ideas, check out these coworker gift-giving dos and don'ts.


Posted by Norma on December 17, 2009 at 09:41 AM in Current Events , The Daily Grind | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

December 15, 2009

Best of the Best Work-Related Lists of 2009

Before we collectively bid farewell to this economically tumultuous year, let's reflect on some of the good aspects of 2009. Like these "best of" lists that impact the working world.


Fortune's Best 100 Companies to Work For


The big news on the list this year was that Google lost its spot at number 1, replaced by NetApp. Here are the list's top 5 best companies to work for:


1.    NetApp

2.    Edward Jones

3.    Boston Consulting

4.    Google

5.    Wegmans


Best Jobs in America


This is Money and Payscale.com's list of the top jobs in America based on pay and projected job growth over the next 10 years. Sadly for me, none of the top 50 careers have to do with blogging or Web content, but I still love what I do…. Here are the top 5:


1.    Systems engineer

2.    Physician assistant

3.    College professor

4.    Nurse practitioner

5.    Information technology project manager


Best Places to Launch a Career


BusinessWeek's list looks at the best employers for entry-level workers, based on surveys of career services directors, employers and undergrads. Once again, here is the top 5:


1.    Deloitte

2.    Ernst & Young

3.    PricewaterhouseCoopers

4.    KPMG

5.    US State Department


The Best Places for Businesses and Careers


This list comes from Forbes and examines the cost of doing business, cost of living, crime rates, projected income, job growth and more. (They also have a list of the best small places for businesses and careers if you're not looking to live in a bigger metropolitan area.)


1.    Raleigh, North Carolina

2.    Fort Collins, Colorado

3.    Durham, North Carolina

4.    Fayetteville, Arizona

5.    Lincoln, Nebraska


25 Best Places to Retire


And if you've had enough of the working life -- and more importantly, have the luxury not to work, Money magazine offers you this list, too. The top 5:


1.    Port Charlotte, Florida

2.    Palm Springs, California

3.    Traverse City, Michigan

4.    Pinehurst, North Carolina

5.    Surprise, Arizona


Working Mother's 100 Best Companies


Working Mother chooses its list of best companies based on employers' family-friendliness. Each company offers its own brand of perks and flexibilities and the magazine does not rank them, so take a look at the list in its entirety as well as the Hall of Fame. It just didn't seem right to single out a few.


Do you have any best of lists of your own this year? Go ahead and share them on our blog.



Posted by Norma on December 15, 2009 at 10:53 AM in Current Events , Job Search , Women at Work | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 10, 2009

These Days, There's Much Ado About Jobs Creation

Last week, President Obama held a Jobs and Economic Growth Forum and this week he's laid out his proposal for spurring jobs creation, which is desperately needed despite the drop in jobless rates announced last Friday.


Obama outlined the plans in a speech he gave at The Brookings Institute on Tuesday. "Our work is far from done," said the President, referring to the initial stimulus plan." For even though we've reduced the deluge of job losses to a relative trickle, we are not yet creating jobs at a pace to help all those families who've been swept up in the flood. There are more than 7 million fewer Americans with jobs today than when this recession began. That's a staggering figure, and one that reflects not only the depths of the hole from which we must ascend, but also a continuing human tragedy." 


The new jobs creation plan includes:


·         incentives for small businesses (such as eliminating capital gains taxes on new investments, an employment tax cut to encourage hiring and eliminating fees on loans from the Small Business Administration);

·         up to an additional $50 billion to support "shovel-ready" construction projects;

·         incentives for homeowners who make energy-efficient improvements.


The President went on to say: "Of course, there's only so much government can do. Job creation will ultimately depend on the real job creators: Businesses across America."


Additionally, Obama is calling on you. According to The White House Blog, "…the White House is inviting citizens, community leaders, and local officials to hold their own Community Jobs Forums." You are encouraged to sign up to host a jobs discussion in your community. The White House will send you questions and the other materials you need for the event as well as instructions for sharing back ideas.


In the meantime, tell us what you think the government and businesses should be doing to help with jobs creation right here on Monster's blog.


Posted by Norma on December 10, 2009 at 12:46 PM in Current Events , Job Search | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 09, 2009

Holiday Season = Job Search Season

Bringing the hiring side's perspective to the Monster Blog, today's guest post comes from Matt Charney, a seasoned corporate recruiter. Matt has recently joined Monster as a social media engagement manager.


One winter, while recruiting for a Fortune 50 company, my staffing team received an internal communiqué telling us how to stay busy during the holidays. The top recommendation: Get ahead of next year's work by reaching out to prospective candidates now.


The message is essentially the same for job seekers: Don't take a holiday from your job search; keep at it. In today's fiercely competitive job market, the holiday season presents an ideal opportunity to demonstrate your drive and ingenuity.


With budgets and headcount approved, hiring managers and recruiters are gearing up for the deluge of jobs and candidates that typically comes immediately after the New Year. This is not to say there’s no hiring during the month of December; conversely, many firms and recruiters are racing the clock to fill all open positions by the end of the year.


To get a head start on new openings, be vigilant and don't succumb to perceived holiday lulls. In addition to searching for jobs, you can make the best use of your time by laying the groundwork with these activities:


Engage Your Network


What better excuse to reconnect with a past colleague or potential employer than to send

a “Season's Greetings” email or card? It can set the groundwork for deeper conversations in the coming year.


Reopen Closed Doors


Chances are you’ve had conversations with potential employers regarding opportunities that didn’t materialize. Send an email reminding your contacts of the position you interviewed for, who you met with and any feedback you received. (Recruiters are more likely to respond to direct emails than follow-up phone calls.) In many cases, recruiters won’t follow up with strong candidates, assuming they’re off the market. If you’re still looking, interested and proactive, let them know.


Research Potential Employers and Reach Out


Identify and research a few firms you think would be a good fit for you. Target broadly -- that Fortune 500 conglomerate, for instance, might not be as good a match as that unknown local start-up. Impress hiring managers by doing your homework. Read up on the company’s SEC filings, 3rd-party news stories or customer reviews to understand the firms' financials, industry and structure.


Expand Your Options


Take a step back and assess your skills and interests. Beyond what you have already done and what you could do, what do you want to do?


Many experienced candidates feel that with a proven track record and focus, this question is best consigned to entry-level job seekers or those exploring career changes. From the hiring perspective, anyone looking for a new opportunity is making a career change. 


Take Some Time for Yourself


Looking for a new job can be draining; in fact, it may be the hardest job you’ll ever have. While it’s unwise to stop searching for a job during the holidays, it’s just as important to take some time off. With the work you’ve put into your job search, you deserve it.


Take advantage of holiday downtime by exploring Monster's 12 Days of Job Search on Facebook. From December 7th to the 22nd, we'll feature daily articles, tips and advice on keeping your job search active now and into 2010.

Posted by Norma on December 9, 2009 at 10:10 AM in Job Search | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

December 03, 2009

'Tis the Season for Office Holiday Parties…or 'Tis It?

Chances are this economically tumultuous year will end with a muted holiday celebration -- at least at work. According to a survey by Challenger, Gray and Christmas, 62% of companies are planning holiday parties this year (down from 77% in 2008 and 90% in 2007). And those companies that are planning office holiday parties are likely not living as large as they have in years past. Lunches are replacing dinners, potlucks and catered in-office events are replacing hotel bashes.


On a positive note, gatherings focused on charity and community giving are gaining in popularity and participation. For example, according to this Houston Chronicle article, the local KPMG office is getting employees together to sew and stuff teddy bears to be distributed with books to disadvantaged children. It's a different type of holiday cheer that for many feels better considering the current state of affairs.


If your company is having a holiday event, you need to be prepared. Appropriate office party etiquette can help you make a great impression, just as one false move could tarnish your reputation, or worse, your career. Remember: Even though it's a labeled a party, it's really a business event. You need to:


·         Have fun, but in moderation.

·         Dress appropriately for the occasion.

·         Find out if it is a "plus one" event.

·         Talk to people outside your immediate work team (this is a great opportunity for professional networking).

·         Thank the party coordinators.


So how is your company celebrating the holidays this year? Do you agree with the plans?


Get more office holiday party tips from these articles:

·         "Office Holiday Party Etiquette"

·         "Navigate Company Events"

·         "Etiquette Tips for the Office Holiday Party and Coworker Gifts"




Posted by Norma on December 3, 2009 at 09:51 AM in Current Events , Networking , The Daily Grind | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)