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January 31, 2011

Love Around the Water Cooler

Workplace romances -- they happen in every industry and at every pay grade. And that makes sense: after all, coworkers are the people we share challenging experiences with, the people we share goals and aspirations with, the people we form private jokes with.... And we're with them for eight hours a day -- or more!

We asked our site visitors whether they'd ever dated someone at work, and 47% said yes.

But although workplace romances are inevitable, they are also, for many folks, regrettable: Among those who had dated someone at work, significantly more than half said that  workplace dating was a bad idea. Here's the breakdown:

Have you ever dated anyone in your workplace?  

* Yes, and I don't see anything wrong with it.  21%
* Yes, but I think it's a bad idea.  26%
* No, but I don't see anything wrong with it.  16%
* No, and I think it's a bad idea.  37%

Interestingly, people who had not dated someone at work were even likelier to think it was a bad idea -- perhaps because of the examples set by lovebird colleagues.

We also asked people how their water-cooler romances had turned out. Here's what they said:

Has a workplace romance or flirtation ever ended up hurting your career? 

* A lot: It caused long-term damage.  17%
* A little: It caused some short-term problems.  15%
* Not at all: Everything turned out fine.  21%
* I've never had a workplace romance or flirtation.  47%

And we heard some individual horror stories from respondents: for instance, "Mary Anne," whose affair with a colleague turned sour after he was promoted and began treating her worse than other employees (in order to avoid seeming to play favorites). She had to leave the company and the relationship. Then there was "Tony," who was appointed CEO of an overseas company by his girlfriend -- but when the relationship expired, so did his job (and his visa).

Nonetheless, the heart, as they say, wants what it wants. We also measured the current temperature at offices across the country. We asked:

At your current or most recent workplace, is there someone you have a secret crush on?

* Yes (and I'll never tell).  19%
* Yes (and I hope it isn't a secret for long).  8%
* No (and there's just no one "crushable" there).  28%
* No (and I am strictly business at work).  45% 

Are you one of these enamored workers? Psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, the author of "Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage," warns, "A lot of these relationships do work, and it's actually a good way to meet someone -- it's just that the consequences of a poor choice are so big." Tessina offers these tips for people embarking on an office romance:

  • DON'T get involved with a married coworker, no matter how much you like each other.
  • DO keep your in-office behavior businesslike -- coworkers shouldn't be able to tell that you're dating.
  • DON'T share information with your coworkers about your dating situation. You'll become the subject of office gossip.
  • DO understand that, if the relationship has problems, you may wind up having to change jobs.
  • DON'T suddenly start dressing provocatively at work; it will alert your coworkers that something's going on.
  • DO remember your emails, phone calls, and so on are not private. If you must talk to your in-office inamorata or inamorato, use your cell phone in a private space, where you can't be overheard, or talk in code.
  • DON'T allow yourself to be used by someone else in the office to get influence or information, and don't cuddle up to your boss in hopes of a promotion or raise.


How do you feel about office romance? Share your comments below.

Posted by Charles Purdy on January 31, 2011 at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

January 21, 2011

The Monster 5 for Friday--Careers Edition--January 21

Here at Monster.com, we love social media: Twitter, Facebook, mobile apps--we think they're all important tools for the modern job seeker. We're deeply invested in these spaces while we continue to innovate with our core job-search and candidate-search products.

So we're always a bit perplexed when someone says something like "Social media spells the end of job boards." I mean, Facebook hasn't put an end to social gatherings. Twitter hasn't put an end to face-to-face conversations. And YouTube hasn't put an end to Hollywood. Rather, social media (used appropriately) has enhanced all these areas of our lives--making our social gatherings easier to plan, giving our conversations richer context, and expanding and informing our entertainment choices. Smart companies (like Monster) capitalize on new technology.

Social media won't kill job boards. Social media makes good job boards better. The modern job seeker should be using Twitter to connect with people and research companies (and to get job-search advice from @MonsterCareers, of course). In addition, he or she should definitely have a resume posted on Monster.com. Anyone who says something like "Skip Monster" is advising that you skip the foremost source of job postings by employers in 19 of the top 20 industries and in 45 of the largest 50 cities, as compared with any leading career website.

The fact is, to our customers (including a very healthy majority of Fortune 500 companies), our semantic-search technology means we are a primary source of relevant job candidates. We've developed several blockbuster products that are taking Monster and our customers far beyond what some people might think of as the traditional "job board." And what benefits our customers benefits the job seekers who use our site.

But enough about us! Here are five of our favorite career-advice stories from this week:

5. As we all know, getting a job is hard--but keeping a job means you have to keep striving to improve yourself. Here are some tips from Dr. Woody, in "How to Be a Better Employee in 2011."

4. Self-promotion is an important part of the modern job search--Chris Perry of Career Rocketeer has some tips, in "Make Employers Come to You."

3. If you're switching careers or industries, you need to be able to pinpoint and describe not-so-apparent relevant experience. Find out how, in "Six Interview Tips for Career Changers."

2. Technology has changed the way we format our resumes. Find out how, in "Resumes for a Digital Age."

1. Ready for a chuckle (albeit, perhaps, a rueful one)? Check out "The 25 Weirdest Interview Questions of 2010."

(How has social media affected your job search? Let us know in the Comments section.)


Posted by Charles Purdy on January 21, 2011 at 05:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

January 14, 2011

The Monster 5 for Friday--Careers Edition--January 14

This Friday, many Americans are preparing for a three-day weekend: Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

King once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" It is in this spirit that many people honor King by spending the day helping others--as part of the MLK Day of Service.

Volunteering and otherwise getting involved in your community are of course good, noble things to do. But that doesn't mean philanthropy is totally selfless. If you're looking for a job, looking to improve your career prospects, or just looking to expand your network, philanthropic activities can be extremely helpful. You may even learn a valuable new skill or two, and you can even leverage your volunteering experiences on your resume.

 However you spend the coming weekend, we hope you enjoy it--and we invite you to take a moment to review five of our favorite career-advice articles from this week:

5. As the economy slowly begins to show real signs of improvement, many people are recommitting to the search for a job--and perhaps wondering how to address new, long resume gaps. Get advice here: "5 Workarounds for a Spotty Work History."

4. Have you ever heard the saying "A resume is worth a thousand words"? Actually, a typical resume has closer to 400 or 500 words, so each word counts! Don't waste any of your words on terms that turn off hiring managers. Read "Words to Avoid in a Resume Format."

3. If you start a new job but wait until your official three-month review for feedback on your performance, you may be waiting to long. Check out "Get Feedback on How You're Performing at a New Job."

2. Looking for a job? You've got to market yourself as a great brand. Here are tips: "Be a Brand in 2011."

1. And once you get that interview, how do you make the sale? Get tips, in "How to Convince a Hiring Manager to Hire You."

Do you have a question about your job search, or an idea for an article you'd like to see on Monster.com? Leave a comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted by Charles Purdy on January 14, 2011 at 04:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

January 13, 2011

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated ...

... But of course, we'd like to win, too.

About.com is conducting its 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, and nominations are now open. Check it out, and please nominate Monster.com as your favorite Job Board, Job Search Engine, and Career Resource Website. This award means a lot to us! Cast your vote today!


Posted by Charles Purdy on January 13, 2011 at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 10, 2011

11 Smart Career Tips for 2011

 Kathryn Ullrich is a Silicon Valley-based executive search consultant and the author of the award-winning book "Getting to the Top: Strategies for Career Success." She also leads Alumni Career Services at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

In the spirit of starting the new year off right, we asked her for 11 tips that job seekers should keep in mind--here's what she advises:

1. Look out for "number one." Take responsibility for your own career development. Many large organizations have scaled back on training and development--a common outcome of the economic downturn--and small companies can rarely provide significant support. Simply put, your career rests in one set of hands: yours.

2. Be strategic. Have a long-term career strategy or, at the very least, a sense for where you’re headed. Ask yourself, “What do I really want to do?” or “Where do I see myself in five to ten years?” Seek people in similar roles and ask for their advice.

(For tips on long-term career planning, read "Is Your Career in Danger? Take the Test."

3. Work in step with your company’s goals. Connect the dots from your role to your company’s vision and key objectives. How does your work align with the organization’s goals? What can you do to maximize your contributions?

4. Be customer-centric. Whether your customers are internal or external, know their wants and needs, and be fervent about meeting them. Bring the voice of the customer into your day-to-day work and let it enhance your decisions and deliverables.

5. Collaborate. Working with and through others is requisite to innovating, creating, and producing business results. Adopt a mindset for teaming and collaborating, and put it into daily practice.  

6. Hone your communication skills. Communication skills can make or break careers. Pick one area that needs your attention--considering skills such as listening, presenting, influencing, persuading, or distilling a message--and commit to improvement. Take a class, practice with a trusted friend or colleague, or join a group such as Toastmasters.

(Read "6 Soft Skills Everyone Needs" for more tips.) 

7. Cross over functionally. Many successful executives have risen through the ranks by taking cross-functional roles, such as moving from finance to sales or from marketing to IT. Follow their lead, and you can grow your skills, your network, and your political capital.

8. Expand your experience. Volunteer for special projects or assignments that are outside your everyday role. Discuss your goals with your boss, an HR representative, or a senior leader, and ask for help in finding opportunities to broaden your experience base.

9. Find a guide. Mentors can serve as influential role models and provide important guidance for your career. Reach out to a potential mentor within your company or industry, and see if he or she would be open to mentoring you for a specific purpose and timeframe.

10. Network--now. The best time to increase your network is today. Starting now, get involved in groups such as professional associations, charitable organizations, or even sports leagues. Step into leadership roles, and make your expertise known.

(Get more networking tips in "How to Turn a Stranger into a Networking Contact.")

11. Specialize. Today, companies look for specialists, not generalists. Develop a personal brand, distinguish your skills and strengths, and determine how to best market yourself.

(For more job-hunting tips, visit Monster.com's Advice section, and follow MonsterCareers on Twitter.







Posted by Charles Purdy on January 10, 2011 at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

January 07, 2011

The Monster 5 for Friday--Careers Edition--January 7

One of this week's top stories in the world of work was definitely a feel-good way to start the year: it was the story of Ted Williams, a homeless man in Ohio who, when a video interview showcasing his vocal talents went viral, landed a plum job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers (among other employers) and instant Internet celebrity.

That was a great story to start the year with, and today's unemployment numbers were another reason to smile--the unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent. Things are moving in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go

All in all, workers are feeling optimistic about 2011, according to numerous Monster+HotJobs polls, and that makes us smile. 

And now here are some of our favorite career-advice articles from this week, just in case you missed them:

5. A new year is a great time for fresh starts. Check out the tips in "A Fresh Start for Your Career."

4. Two top career counselors offer career-switching advice for people at different stages in life, and at different stages in a career, in "Choose Your New Career." 

3. Looking for a change in your day-to-day routine, but don't want to leave the company you're working at now? Check out the tips in "8 Steps to Changing Jobs with a Current Employer."

2. If you're currently unemployed but are resolving to find a job this year, read "New Year's Resolutions for the Jobless."

1. Are you thinking about pulling a Ted Williams and adding a video to your job-search arsenal? Check out Career Rocketeer's great collection of tips on incorporating visuals into a job search.

Do you have a question about your job search, or an idea for an article you'd like to see on Monster.com? Leave a comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted by Charles Purdy on January 7, 2011 at 08:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

January 06, 2011

Looking for a Job While You're Employed

I've been calling 2011 "The Year of the Job," after some recent polls uncovered information about people's outlook on the coming year. More people are feeling hopeful about their employment situation, and more people are recommitting to their careers. And a whopping 84 percent of people who are currently employed say they are interested in pursuing opportunities with a new employer (according to a Manpower survey).

In 2011, it seems, fewer people will be willing to settle for jobs in which they aren't challenged, aren't satisfied, or aren't well compensated.

Along with a great panel of experts, I'll be discussing this trend on this weekend's edition of CNN's "Your Bottom Line." Check it out, and check out the slide show below for a few tips on looking for work while employed:

Posted by Charles Purdy on January 6, 2011 at 08:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 03, 2011

2011: The Year of the Job

In recent weeks, we've been asking job seekers about their plans for 2011--and they're telling us that the coming year is all about a new focus on work.

We asked, "Will your job or career be more or less of a priority in 2011 than in 2010?" And 61% said work would be more of a priority (9% said it would be less, 14% said they expected no change, and 16% weren't sure yet).

As many experts are predicting a rise in hiring over the next 12 months (at least a slight one), even people who already have jobs are thinking of looking for work in 2011.

We asked, "What's at the top of your career wish list for 2011?" And 66% wished for a new job with a new employer (15% were hoping for a raise or promotion at their current employer, 17% were hoping to become self-employed, and only 2% were happy with the status quo).

The good news is, job seekers are mostly hopeful about their prospects. We asked, "Do you think 2011 will bring improvements to your job or employment situation?" And 42% said they expected conditions to improve (33% expected conditions to worsen, and 25% expected things to stay about the same). 

Of course, a career or job search doesn't improve on its own, and our poll respondents seem to recognize that. We asked, "Are you making New Year's resolutions related to your career or job search?" And 78% said they'd made work-related resolutions.

Are you looking for ideas on taking your career to the next level in 2011? Check out the articles below for tips. And use the Comments section to let us know what your career- or job-related plans for 2011 are, or find us on Twitter: @HotJobs_editor and @MonsterCareers.

Read "5 New Year's Career Resolutions for 2011."

Read "11 Things You Should Resolve Not to Do at Work in 2011." 

Read "New Year's Resolutions for Jobless."

Read "A Fresh Start for Your Career."


Posted by Charles Purdy on January 3, 2011 at 07:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)