Online job sites may block older workers

Older Americans struggling to overcome age discrimination while looking for work face a new enemy: their computers.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently opened a probe into allegations that ageism is built right into the online software tools that millions of Americans use to job hunt.

Separate research published recently by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank found that in a widespread test using fabricated resumes, fictional older workers were 30 percent less likely to be contacted after applying for jobs. Fictional older women had it even worse, being 47 percent less likely to get a “callback.”

Several forces are conspiring to ensure that many Americans have to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65. People are living longer, their retirement savings are inadequate, and Social Security reforms are almost certainly going to require it. The San Francisco Fed says that the share of the older-65 working population is projected to rise sharply — from about 19 percent now to 29 percent in the year 2060.

Online job-hunting tools should be making things easier for older employment seekers, and it can. Indeed.com, which claims to list 16 million jobs worldwide, currently lists 158,000 openings under its “Part Time Jobs, Senior Citizen Jobs” category. Monster.com, which claims 5 million listings, has a special home page for “Careers at 50+.”

In other ways, however, online job sites can cut older workers out. Age bias is built right into their software, according to Madigan. Job seekers who try to build a profile or resume can find that it’s impossible to complete some forms because drop-down menus needed to complete tasks don’t go back far enough to let older applicants fill them out. For example, one site’s menu options for “years attended college” stops abruptly at 1956. That could prevent someone in their late 70s from filling out the form.

Madigan’s office said it found one example that only accommodated those who had attended school after 1980, “barring anyone who is older than 52.” Other sites used dates ranging from 1950 to 1970 as cutoffs, her office said.

“Today’s workforce includes many people working in their 70s and 80s,” Madigan said. “Barring older people from commonly used job search sites because of their age is discriminatory and negatively impacts our economy.”

The Illinois’ Civil Rights Bureau has opened a probe into potential violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Madigan’s office has sent inquiry letters to six top jobs sites: Beyond.com, CareerBuilder, Indeed Inc., Ladders Inc., Monster Worldwide Inc. and Vault.

CareerBuilder called the issue a mistake.

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“CareerBuilder is committed to helping workers of all ages find job opportunities, and is fixing this unfortunate oversight,” spokesman Michael Erwin said in an email.

Beyond.com said it hadn’t heard from Madigan’s office, and added that it works to prevent age discrimination on the site.

“Discrimination has no part in the hiring process and that’s why we take such care to help job seekers and hiring managers carefully consider all information they put forth during the job search process to avoid any conscious or unconscious bias,” the company said in a statement.

Indeed.com also said it had not heard from the attorney general’s office, and denied its site had an issue.

“On Indeed, anyone can upload a resume with any dates, and users can create a resume with drop down dates that go back to 1900,” spokesman Alex Ortolani said.

Monster, Vault and Ladders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Experts say it’s best to leave age off your resume. Online resume-building tools that force applicants to enter years for degree programs or work experience have a way of forcing the issue, however. And there’s fresh evidence why such revelations are a bad idea.

In the San Francisco Fed’s experiment to see if it could find statistical evidence of age discrimination, researchers created fictitious resumes for young (ages 29–31), middle age (49–51), and older (64–66) job applicants. Then those resumes were submitted to 13,000 positions in 12 cities across 11 states, totaling more than 40,000 applicants.

Age was not listed, but was clearly implied by the inclusion of high school graduation years.

Across several categories of jobs — sales, administrators, even janitors — there was evidence of age bias, the researchers found. For example: Among men seeking sales jobs, callbacks fell to 14.70 percent from 20.89 percent — a drop of about one-third — as applicants age rose from middle age to older.

The study unearthed an even stronger pattern of discrimination against older women, suggesting that group faces a double-whammy of age and gender discrimination when trying to remain in the workforce. Older female applicants for administrative jobs had a 47 percent lower callback rate than young female applicants. In sales jobs, older women were 36 percent less likely to get a call.

The study notes that any “supply-side” reforms designed to nudge Americans to work longer — namely delaying Social Security benefits — won’t work if older workers are systematically shut out of job openings.

“Current policies to combat age discrimination, which rely in large part on private litigation for enforcement, may be ineffective at reducing or eliminating age discrimination in hiring,” the report concludes.

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Recruitment for Field Ecology Governor’s School underway

Recruitment activities are underway for the 2017 Field Ecology Summer Regional Governor’s School to be held from June 12 through July 7 at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge. Applications and information have been sent to all participating school divisions.

The Field Ecology Summer Regional Governor’s School was founded in 1985 by Dr. Steve Adams who was a professor of biology at DSLCC. It is designed to inspire a respect for the natural environment, and aims to awaken an awareness of, and interest in, native plant and animal life as a rich and varied natural resource. The instructional staff emphasizes the interrelationships between organisms and their environment and the role and impact of humans on these ecosystems.

Two sessions are offered: The first session, June 12 through June 22, is focused on a long-term salamander study in the Laurel Fork area of Highland County, VA, while the second session, June 26 through July 7, focuses on forest ecology.

Any current eighth or ninth grade student is eligible to attend if (1) they are academically gifted and/or show potential for excelling in biology; (2) their overall achievement in school work is acceptable; (3) they have been a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia for at least one year and live in Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Highland, or Rockbridge Counties, or the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington; and (4) they are nominated by their schools or school divisions. Tenth-grade students who meet the above requirements and have previously attended one of the two sessions are also welcome to apply. All students, including private school and home-schooled students, may be nominated by their superintendent, administrator of gifted programs, principal, counselor, or science teacher on the basis of academic potential, positive attitude, good citizenship and maturity of judgment.

Participants selected for the program are responsible for their own transportation arrangements to and from DSLCC each day. There is no cost for students enrolled in public schools; those in private schools and those who are home-schooled pay $100 per session, which is the program cost portion paid by the public schools.

Applications are available in each school’s guidance department, or on the Governor’s School web site,www.fieldecology.org. The deadline for the submission of completed applications to the student’s school is April 3.

 

 

Worker Safety Is an Entrepreneurial Imperative

I recently discussed the difference between supporting safety philosophically and operationally. One reader posed the question, “how do you get leadership to move from philosophical support to actual support?”

It’s a good question, and like most good questions doesn’t have any simple answer, at least not ethical ones.

In many cases, we’re to blame for people supporting safety philosophically but balking at taking any action that would expose the hypocrisy endemic to valuing something in the abstract but not really caring enough to DO something of substance about it. Most of us, if we are honest, are hypocrites about some things. For example, I care about the homeless but you don’t see me building bunk beds in my basement. I have volunteered to feed the homeless, but doing something once a year is hardly doing making a difference except for making me feel better.

Most MBA programs don’t cover the basics of safety and what little many executives know about safety was taught to them by one of us. I’ve met heads of lettuce with more going on intellectually than some of the puffed up, self-important safety “professionals” who corrupt entire generations of leaders with the heretical beliefs about safety. If we are going to change the values of leadership it will be an uphill battle.

The best way to get buy-in is for the leader to have a significant emotional event. This is safety-speak for something that happens to a person that really shakes them up. One colleague and friend of mine tells of the 23-year old who died when he first became a safety professional. He told me in all earnestness how profoundly it changed him and how he doesn’t think he could do what he does without having had that experience.

No one who has had someone die on our watch, suffered the loss of a loved one or been injured themselves doubts the power of a significant emotional event. The problem is these experiences are tough to transfer. We can watch a video and be touched by the story of a man who was horribly burned and almost died but no matter how much we sympathize, it’s not our significant emotional event. Our sympathy will fade.

Years ago I was driving through Tennessee to Kentucky when I witnessed the aftermath of a fatal traffic accident. A pedestrian tried crossing the a freeway at rush hour and was struck by a speeding car.  As I crept through the traffic I saw the corpse covered with a sheet. Its foot was exposed, bone white, cold and dead. I didn’t know the man and yet I still can see that foot, and remember the look on the trooper’s face. I can remember the time of day, how the rain looked on the bridge; the most minute details. I can tell you all about that brief last moment of a stranger’s life but I doubt10 years from now you will remember much about it.

Maya Angelu once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Alas, the most persuasive among us can never convey how it feels to spend the day watching his father die of mesothelioma, watching him fade in and out of conscious and wondering if his father knows he’s there. So those who try to create these kinds of emotional responses artificially are either very skilled (and I know a handful who are) or mush-headed simpletons who have an exaggerated sense of their own talents.

So how do you convince someone who SAYS they value something to put the company’s money where its proverbial mouth is? The not so satisfying answer is sometimes we can’t. The good news is we don’t always have to. We may not be able to convince someone that safety is the right thing to do because people may die and we want to avoid adding to the net sum total of human misery in the world. We can often get people to support safety by closely linking it to making more profits for example (if that is important to them, which it might surprise you to learn how many executives really don’t care about profits, at least not the relatively small amount likely to be brought into the coffers by savings realized from safety.

Maybe the solution is to reeducate the leaders, but if that’s your solution remember you have to get them to unlearn what others have taught them, and let’s face it we don’t exactly stand on the shoulders of giants.

Source Worker Safety Is an Entrepreneurial Imperative

Five Questions You Absolutely, Positively Must Ask On A Job Interview

The new millennium workplace is drastically different from the old-millennium one. There are scams and sketchy situations everywhere, and job-seekers have to be wary.

You cannot assume that because somebody posts a job ad, therefore the company is healthy, solid or above-board (or even real).

You cannot enter an organization’s recruiting process believing that if you can only get the job offer, everything will work out fine.

Too many job-seekers have experienced the crushing feeling of taking a job only to find out that you’ve made a terrible mistake.

It is much harder to get out of a bad job than to get into the job, because to get out you have to do three challenging things:

  1. Conduct a stealth job search outside your working hours
  2. Do this while working in an unpleasant and taxing work environment every day
    1. Keep your mojo and your energy up until you get a new job — without settling for a job that’s worse than the one you have!

    You have to vet an employer as carefully as they vet you. Don’t put so much focus on getting the job that you forget to make your own evaluation of the people you are meeting!

    Don’t get stuck in the wrong job because you were afraid to ask questions that would help you evaluate the culture of a company you are thinking about joining.

    Asking the five questions listed below will tell you a lot about your interviewer and the organization that employs them

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    Five Questions You Absolutely, Positively Must Ask At A Job Interview

    • Can you please tell me a story about the culture here?
    • How will the person in this position help the department and the company reach their goals?
    • What’s the best thing about working here?
    • What was it about my resume that interested you?
    • What is the set of things your new hire will accomplish in the first ninety or 180 days that will make you very happy you hired them?

    Let’s walk through these questions one by one.

    The first reason you will ask to hear a story about the culture rather than ask the question “What is the culture like?” is that it’s hard to talk about culture.

    “What is the culture like?” is not a good question because most people will give you a generic answer like “It’s a great culture,” and that will not help you.

    The second reason to ask for a culture story is that it makes the interviewer stop and think.

    If you meet three or four different interviewers during your hiring process and they all tell you the same culture story, that’s a bad sign! Healthy organizations create new culture stories every day.

    Some interviewers might even be put out when you ask them to tell you a culture story. That’s a bad sign, too!

    Any sign that the interviewer finds you presumptuous for asking perfectly reasonable questions about the job and the organization is a good reason to re-consider the opportunity.

    If you think that you don’t have the luxury of evaluating your possible next employer because you are a lowly job-seeker, then your mojo fuel tank is depleted or empty!

    In that case, re-filling your mojo tank is just as important a goal for you as pursuing your job search. Here are some ways to do it.

    The second question is designed to understand how your job fits into the  larger picture. Save this question for your own department manager, rather than an HR interviewer or anyone else.

    The question “How will your new hire help you hit your goals?” once again requires your hiring manager to stop and think. Some people cannot do that.  If your hiring manager is miffed at the question, run away!

    “What’s the best thing about working here?” is a penetrating question that will give you huge insights into the organization if you ask it of every interviewer you meet.

    Sadly,  sometimes the best thing about working for an organization is their dental plan or their location rather than the elements that will end up mattering most: the work, the mission, the people, the opportunity to learn and grow, and of course the trust level in the workplace.

    “What made you decide to interview me?” is a great question because it forces your interviewer to relate your resume to the job they are trying to fill.

    If they aren’t sure or they say “It wasn’t my decision whom to interview,” you know you are dealing with boxed-in and fearful people.

    Who cares whether it was your decision? If you’re involved in a hiring process, you should be able to look at a resume and explain why that resume is a good fit for a job in the company.

    It takes a confident person to compliment another person, and although “Why did you decide to interview me?”  is a businesslike and appropriate question, it also somewhat forces the interview to compliment you.

    If someone is really mired in fear, they will not be happy at all to compliment you! The reluctance you hear in their voice and see on their face to stoop to acknowledge you, a lowly job-seeker, is a bad sign.

    The final question in our list forces your hiring manager to stop and think a third time.

    Even more than the information you gain by asking the question “What are the hot-button items your new hire will take care of in their first 90 or 10 days?” you will benefit by forcing your manager to stop and ponder the question.

    By forcing your manager to identify their wish list, you will instantly become more memorable to your hiring manager — who may meet six to fifteen other job applicants besides you.

    When your hiring manager answers the wish-list question, it will probably be the first time they’ve considered that highly relevant topic.

    By pairing yourself with the answer to the question — the list of hot items and big problems you are being hired to address — you will insert a picture in your manager’s mind. It will be a picture of yourself doing the job.

    You will inspire your manager to start watching a movie in their brain — a movie about you crushing it in your new job. When that happens, your interview has been a major success. That movie, in fact, is what the interview is all about!

 

Why no job is safe from the rise of the robots

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Hollywood got it wrong. The highly intelligent machines that will be unleashed in the near future won’t be coming for our lives. They’ll be coming for our jobs.

Being rendered obsolete by technology has been a concern among the flesh-and-blood set for hundreds of years — cars put many in the horse industry out of work, for example — but the speed and types of recent advances are about to give the issue an exceptional urgency.

Previously, it was repetitive blue-collar jobs that were at risk, such as those in manufacturing. In the near future, however, the leaps in artificial intelligence will soon make it possible for machines to do all sorts of jobs, including those that require thinking skills we once believed beyond the reach of machines.

Elements of this brave new world are laid out in “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Noah Harari, an Oxford-educated historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“I think we should be worried, and worried now,” Harari tells The Post. “Just 20 percent unemployment can cause political and social upheaval.”

In recent centuries, we have managed to rein in three huge obstacles that have stymied progress for centuries: famine, war and plague. But in the upcoming decades, one of the crucial questions will be what we humans will do for a living, as artificial intelligence speeds towards levels once reserved for science fiction.

A 2013 study by Oxford economists Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne concluded (using a sophisticated algorithm, of course) that some 47 percent of US jobs were at high risk from automation in the next 20 years. The economists posited that it was a near certainty that human telemarketers, insurance underwriters, security guards and other fields would vanish. Even sports referees could be headed for the historical dust bin.

Another research report issued in 2015 by McKinsey Global Institute, a business think tank, found that 95 percent of jobs should be safe until 2020, but after that, technology will change the landscape rapidly, with many employees’ duties moving to automation. The study found that 45 percent of work activities could be automated, including 20 percent of the responsibilities handled by the world’s obscenely compensated CEOs, such as analyzing operations data.

It might be a few years yet before your company is run by a machine, but the transition in other lower-paying fields is right around the corner.

One of the most vulnerable jobs is truck driver. The estimated 1 million American long-haul truckers will soon be replaced by self-driving vehicles that never need to sleep or stop to wolf down a greasy burger. Last year, Uber bought a self-driving startup called Otto. A few months later, one of its trucks made the first driverless delivery, shuttling 50,000 cans of beer 120 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.

The outlook is equally as bleak for the 8 million Americans working as salespeople or cashiers. Last year, Amazon opened an 1,800-square-foot store in Seattle with no cashiers or lines. Customers can simply grab the items they want off the shelf and walk out. Sensors track their purchases and charge the customers via their Amazon accounts after they leave the store.

Considering a career in the military? Human soldiers will likely be replaced by deadly robots and drones.

“Human soldiers murder, rape and pillage, and even when they try to behave themselves, they all too often kill civilians by mistake,” Harari writes.

The robotic killing machines could be programmed with “ethical algorithms” that will force them to strictly conform to the rules of the battlefield. And if they’re captured, they can’t be tortured, held hostage or coerced to reveal any of their nation’s secrets.

Government bureaucrats could also be endangered. A recent report from Reform, a right-leaning think tank, suggested that about 90 percent of British civil servants have jobs so pointless, they could be replaced by a machine. Transitioning to robots could save the government $8 billion per year.

Even a high-paying career such as medical doctor, previously considered safe from cold, faceless automation, is in jeopardy. A recent experiment found that a computer algorithm correctly diagnosed 90 percent of lung-cancer cases presented to it, outperforming a human physician by 40 percent.

“It won’t be all doctors,” Harari says. “If you research cures for cancer, you’re safe, but if you’re a general practitioner [who diagnoses diseases], this is something that AI will do much better than most human doctors. The GP is going to be extinct.”

ALGORITHMS capable of instantaneously sifting millions of legal precedents could someday replace lawyers. And it’s conceivable that a machine could one day scan brains, serving as an infallible lie detector. Criminals will be easily proven guilty, helping to render not only lawyers obsolete, but also judges and detectives.

Schools and teachers may also go the way of the dodo. Children will receive their lessons from sophisticated AI, possibly contained within a smartphone. Gone will be the days of 30 kids sitting in a room being tutored by various teachers specializing in different subjects.

“Companies are working on an AI teacher that is adapted to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual child,” Harari says. “Most schools will disappear. It will be much more similar to medieval apprenticeship. You’ll get instruction on everything from a single source.”

Even art, once the exclusive product of humans plumbing their souls, is being encroached upon by machines. David Cope, a University of California at Santa Cruz musicology professor, created a computer program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence designed to write chorales in the style of Bach. The tunes were played for an enthusiastic music-festival audience, but when the source of the composition was revealed, some of that enthusiasm turned to anger and disbelief.

Cope later created another program capable of composing poetry. The algorithm contributed to a 2011 collection called “Comes the Fiery Night: 2,000 Haikus Written by Man and Machine.” (The book does not reveal who wrote what.)

Robotic arms work on the body shells of cars as they pass along a section of automated production line.
Robotic arms work on the body shells of cars as they pass along a section of automated production line.

This disruption in the workforce will likely come with challenges and dangers yet unseen in human history, not the least of which is the creation of a massive new strata of society Harari terms the “useless class.” These will be those citizens “devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society.”

During the Industrial Revolution, farmers rendered obsolete could make the transition to unskilled factory jobs reasonably easily. In the future, it’s fairly unlikely the unemployed taxi driver is going to suddenly become a skilled software engineer.

FIGURING out how to support the millions of out-of-work people could be one of the biggest economic challenges of the next century. Bill Gates has suggested taxing robotic workers just like humans. Tesla founder Elon Musk and others have advocated for a universal basic income — having the government hand over a certain sum each year to every citizen in order to keep the populace afloat.

A thornier issue the unemployed masses will face is a philosophical one.

“The harder challenge is how do people then have meaning, because a lot of people derive their meaning from their employment,” Musk said at the World Government Summit. “If you are not needed, if there is not a need for your labor, what’s the meaning?”

Harari predicts the “useless class” will occupy their days by immersing themselves in virtual-reality games. The chronically unemployed, Harari predicts, could also turn to drug use to pass the time — though one wonders if, in the future with so many potentially dependent on chemical substances, less harmful drugs will be developed and legalized.

Meanwhile, the money that used to flow to workers will increasingly end up in the hands of the “tiny elite that owns the powerful algorithms,” Harari predicts, creating unprecedented social inequality.

There may even come a day when the algorithms themselves own much of the world’s wealth. (A health-related program is likely to be the most valuable.) It’s one small leap from today’s reality, in which much of the planet is already owned by non-human entities: namely nations and corporations.

NOT every worker will be tossed out on their behinds, of course. Some fields are unlikely to be automated. Archeologists, for example, will continue to find work, because the job requires sophisticated pattern recognition that would be challenging to program in a machine, and the industry’s profits are so small that someone is unlikely to make the investment in an automized replacement.

Philosophers may also experience a windfall, as the new machine age will present unique problems that require human adjudication. “You’ll have to have practical answers to these kinds of philosophical questions,” Harari says.

Regardless of one’s chosen career path, we’re all going to have to be more flexible in the future. It used to be that humans spent the first part of our lives learning a skill that we then utilized in a career until we retired. That pattern will soon be upended, and workers will be forced to reinvent themselves multiple times, as technology continues to advance.

3 Steps to Cracking the Hidden Job Market

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Jobseekers will often ask me how to get their hat in the ring for certain positions. Maybe you’ve just learned of a role that was filled that you didn’t even know was open. It’s the kind of company you’d love to work for, a position you’re qualified to fill, and you’re confident that had you been given the chance, you would have been a serious contender. It is a frustrating feeling, especially in a job market in which the commonly quoted statistic tells us 70-80% jobs are not even published. So, how do you become a candidate?

Here at Chaloner, we took a look at the last ten candidates we’ve each spoken with. We wanted to study the means by which people come to us so we could give you a more accurate picture of who is getting “in the ring,” so to speak. Throwing your hat in the ring is an old phrase from the early nineteenth century when boxing events were so crowded and loud that the only way to enter the contest became to, quite literally, toss your hat into the ring. The owner of the hat would be invited to challenge the boxer; it was no use to shout or try to push through the crowd, and that doesn’t yield results in this age either. Here are three ways to toss your hat in today’s market.

1. Be proactive

It’s true that many available jobs are not advertised, but some are. Chaloner Vice President, Kassie Wilner, found that three of the last ten people she spoke with had applied for the position themselves. When you do reach out, be relevant and to the point. Don’t commandeer the recruiter’s inbox or voice mail until they invite you for a chat. A cover note should not reiterate your resume but contain a few typo-free sentences that grab our attention. Recruiter Rebecca Porter suggests, “Make sure your resume includes specific details about your areas of focus. For example, if your background is in Tech PR, mention the areas you have had experience in (i.e. enterprise software, security, mobile, etc.) or if your background is in Consumer, mention some of the brands you have worked on, as that will help you stand out in a recruiter’s memory for future searches.”

Kassie remembers a success story from a proactive candidate a few years ago: “We get a variety of applicants from Indeed, but one day the perfect candidate for a very specific search came in. I screened her, submitted her, and she was ultimately hired!” Large job posting sites attract massive quantities of applications, but it is still worth submitting your materials for the right role. It is easy to lose sight of the encouraging truth that recruiters and hiring managers want the next resume they look at to be the perfect one for the position! So, don’t let being one of the masses deter you from putting yourself forward. Just remember that you should be going down other avenues as well.

2. Cultivate a compelling online presence

Half of the most recent people Kassie and I spoke with were individuals who we had reached out to directly, likely because we found them on LinkedIn or elsewhere online where we learned enough to know they have relevant experience. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a clear, robust and professional LinkedIn profile. It is also good to be a part of the conversation and demonstrate a passion for and awareness of your field. Whether it’s a professional blog or simply an active and relevant twitter account, linking to these may pique a recruiter’s interest.

3. Stand out where you are now

Many wonderful clients and candidates have been recommended to us by other candidates. In fact, the most impressive of the last ten candidates I reviewed was a referral from an extremely trusted source. Research shows that 44% of new hires are employee referrals. This should not be a discouraging statistic, but one that causes us to continue to network and work diligently from wherever we are now. With every new person you meet, get to know and impress, you gain another set of eyes looking out for you. You now have access to their own broad, carefully cultivated network and any opportunities therein. If you continue to do whatever work is before you with excellence, express your goals and seek to connect people within your network, you will be the kind of person people love to recommend.

When I think of doing all that that you can from where you are, I’m reminded of Joel Mandina, who we interviewed recently. Joel was left without a job after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans where he worked. He wrote a letter to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and sent it to the Chapter Presidents in all the major cities. “I explained my plight, the circumstances in the city and in the industry and then I simply asked for help. The response was overwhelming … I ended up traveling and giving speeches, getting interviewed, being offered jobs and freelance work, etc. It changed my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am now without the simple and traditional act of writing that letter combined with the kindness of strangers.” This networking brought him to our attention and we referred him to his next role. Joel used traditional PR methods to sort of “crisis communicate” himself, a great example of going above and beyond to get in the game.

It’s true you won’t get into the ring every time. But you’ve got to do more than call out your name to stand a chance. (This doesn’t mean you need to start sending hats to us at Chaloner. But you get the idea!)

Australian workers want exciting jobs that will challenge them

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ARE your workmates so bored they look like they could fall asleep at their desks at any minute?

It might sound funny but workers are no longer content to just sit down and take long, monotonous days — they are voting no to tedious jobs with their feet.

The quest for more challenging work is the number one reason Australians will leave their current job, according to recruiting agency Hays.

“People managers take the time to make sure they recruit the right person, but often spend very little time on their retention,” Hays managing director Australia and New Zealand, Nick Deligiannis says.

“People want to be challenged, they want new and exciting work and they want their career to move forward.”

Australian workers want to be challenged and often leave if they find their work boring.

In Hay’s latest poll, more than 60 per cent of the 1516 people surveyed said the top reason they look for another job is for more challenging or exciting work.

This was followed closely by a lack of career development (60 per cent).

Other reasons cited included lack of recognition or reward (43 per cent), feeling that the current job is routine and stagnating existing skills (41 per cent).

Mr Deligiannis says employees expected to be involved in projects that developed their skills.

“Rapid technological change and the digitalisation of the workforce will make upskilling staff even more important to keep up with the rapid rate of change,” he says.

“This includes artificial intelligence and robotics, which are expected to take over the routine and repetitive functions of some jobs, leaving staff free to focus on higher-level duties.”

Smart Pills, Robots to Take Over Workplace in 2017

Mr Deligiannis says more employers needed to link staff career development with new and challenging tasks.

About 11 per cent of Australian companies do not do this, another 11 per cent only do so for their top performers and the final 10 per cent only do so for future leaders.