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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

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1. When an entire department is on vacation or during the major holiday season

If the salaried employees can’t be bothered to be there, why should the temp? Once, I was supposed to cover for two admins that were on vacation during Christmas. The agency asked me to work the day before Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

Ok, that’s fine. But get this: the entire department was gone as well. Actually, not the entire department, just the director of operations, the office manager, all support staff for both floors, the managing directors and the consultants – not to mention, the lights were on weekend timers.

Needless to say, even if I could find another soul in that place (and I did) – none of them could give me work to do. There was nothing I could do. But, the guilt goes away fast. You get some cash in your pocket, at the expense of a disorganized manager.

2. To help someone else with work they were hired to do in the first place

If you need to hire a temp so that someone can catch up on their job tasks – something is seriously wrong. Most likely, this person has too heavy of a workload. Or, they’re an incompetent employee. Or (scarily) both. Either way, it costs businesses money. Hiring a temp to help someone do work that only one person was hired (and needs) to do is a sad case of mismanagement and wasted company funds.

Years ago, the office manager at a company I worked for hired a temp to cover the phones while the receptionist sat in a cube. The receptionist supposedly used this time to catch up on her administrative duties. On the surface, it just seems odd. If you probe even deeper, it just gets stupid. If you are going to outsource someone else’s (current) job, wouldn’t it make more sense to have them perform the “cheaper” portion of it?

You probably wonder what that means.

In reality, it costs more to have a temp answer phones (per hour on average) than it does to have them do data entry at a desk (especially when it takes the same amount of time to train). Also, you’re aren’t doing your business any favors when you pull maneuvers like that in the name of “efficiency.”

3. You are overwhelmed with “outstanding projects”

Outstanding projects are business wild cards. You have the idea that the work should’ve been done. But, it wasn’t. Now, it’s collecting dust. And perhaps, we (the business) should pay attention to it now (for whatever reason).

The projects become outstanding because they fall out everyone’s primary job description. You know how it goes, “I don’t do that, Pete does that!” “Well, I used to do that, but my boss says it’s not my job,” blah blah blah. You know the drill.

As a manager, you can stick it to some hapless soul and make it part of their job description. Nevertheless, it sounds like you may need to create a new job position within your company. For the sake of employee morale and efficiency, hiring a temp to take over tasks that are too time consuming for one person to do is the best use of time and money for any company.

4. When someone quits unexpectedly or you haven’t hired anyone yet for a job vacancy

This is a perfect opportunity for managers to evaluate if the position needs to be filled, eliminated or rewritten. Some companies take the cheap (and most inefficient) route. Managers lodge additional job duties onto other employees to pick up slack. Unfortunately, business suffers in the long run when employees have to deal with handling two jobs instead of one (in the long term). 

Not only will you have cranky employees (who question your management skills), but you will have to deal with confused clients and a medley of whining complaints thinly disguised as “concerns.”

After a few weeks, if you don’t expect to promote or hire anyone soon, it’s your best bet to have a temp come in.

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gift1Bad News: Massive Layoffs have pushed Unemployment to 6.7%
Good News: 93.3 % of us still have jobs

Are you helping anybody else find one?

The news of additional job layoffs is especially disheartening around the holidays.

Spread some goodwill by keeping on the lookout for jobs in your industry or company and connecting them to others in need of employment.

When we work to help others, we inevitably help ourselves. This is no time to be selfish, hunker down and hope to ride out the storm unscathed.

Link others with opportunities so you strengthen your connection to the investment pool of goodwill. In doing so, you’ll discover the ROI will be tenfold.

And besides, at this time of year – the best gift is the one that keeps on giving.

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mbaWith the economic downturn slashing away at jobs and businesses alike – some people have thought it best to hide out in graduate school.

And unfortunately, with college education becoming increasingly expensive, graduate school for many is becoming more of a distant dream than reality.

Despite popular opinion, I don’t understand getting an MBA, especially now.

Has anyone thought about learning business the old-fashioned way? Like through working, entrepreneurship and keeping their learning curve high?

So, B-schools put you in touch with lots of contacts,” official” classroom training and you even get a nifty degree with at least $50,000 worth of debt (if you aren’t so lucky to have your employer pay for it). But what’s stopping you from getting that in the real working world (without the debt)?

Experience is the best teacher. And sure, I may not be saying anything new, but the MBA is no longer an “it” degree. It’s becoming marginalized.

Just like no one really needs a degree in creative writing to become a writer (or blogger for that matter) – you don’t need a degree to justify or validate your talents and skills.

I hope more employers will see it that way in the future.

But in the meantime, I wish all the luck in the world to all the newly minted finance and banking MBAs entering the sour job market – they’ll need all the help they can get.

And this isn’t to say that I won’t (in the future, maybe) pursue a graduate degree – but for right now, I don’t know what that could possibly be since I don’t think there is a graduate school for bloggers who want to change the world.

With the exception of pursuing a career in which you must be licensed – what’s the point of getting a degree beyond your BA?

What’s the best way to distinguish yourself amongst the sea of indistinguishable degrees?

Experience and a high learning curve differentiates you from the rest of the pack for starters. It’s fine if you have an MBA – but if you nothing in to which to give it context (or experience in which to layer it with) – it just looks like an extra set of letters on your resume.

People miss the point of understanding why business school is only 2 years and working is for the rest of your life.

No matter how much you sit in the classroom and learn, you still have to get out there and work.

The working world is lot more interesting, flexible and teeming with boundless opportunities because you are in the fray. Plus, there’s not as much homework.

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 I’ll never understand what goes on in the heads of job description writers. I once saw a job posting that said:

Seeking quick learner who is detail-oriented and can work under constant pressure in a fast paced environment. Must be highly analytical, possess extreme attention to accuracy and has the ability to get work done earlier than expected.

Huh?

Honestly, I just don’t understand what hiring managers want from workers these days. It’s bad enough that the job market is being flooded everyday with highly capable and talented individuals who find themselves forced (by circumstances) to take jobs in which they may be slightly (or not so slightly) over qualifed for. To top it all off, we’ve got HR personnel, managers and recruiters putting together job descriptions that sound…well, a tad crazy.

The words quick learner and detail-oriented should never be in the same sentence. Quick learners (who do things quickly, in this case) aren’t detail oriented. Being a quick learner is not about being detail oriented – such folks are are all about the BIG picture. They have to mentally aggregate things into fast, simple steps in order to be quick.

Details, details, details!

Details, details, details!

 
Being into the details requires taking time to scrutinize, analyze and pay attention. Such individuals take their work very, very seriously and demand that they slowly and methodically calculate each piece of (ir)relevant information.
 
No one can (or should) do that in a rapid fashion. 
 
You can’t get the same results when you are trying to “quickly” get something done – especially in your fast-paced environments (isn’t that everyone’s workplace environment, nowadays?). This is why people like lawyers and accountants are detail oriented – they have the time (and are getting paid the money) to be crazy about the details.

But let’s think about people who are not so detail-oriented. What are they like? Perhaps, they are the type of individuals who miss a few buttons on their shirts, wear mismatched socks or don’t beat themselves up because they put Ms. instead of Mr. on a letter of correspondence.

Granted, we’ve probably made all those “mistakes” before, but it doesn’t make us fashionably challenged slobs who don’t know how to compose business letters. Hiring managers need to decide if they want someone who is detailed enough to not make dumb mistakes and gets work done on time or a person who categorically nit picks every tiny piece of minutia, inevitably clogging up workplace efficiency (but by, golly – they’re detailed-oriented!).

Be careful what you ask for – you just might get it.

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