Job-Seeking Data Differs by Age
DBM, a global human resources consulting firm, has released new research on how job-search experiences vary by age group. The data was drawn from its annual Worldwide Career Transition Study, a reflection of findings from a sample of over 13,000 individuals with whom DBM worked in 2002. “While we find that older workers typically face a longer road to secure traditional re-employment than their younger counterparts, the good news is that they have the experience, flexibility, confidence and willingness to switch industries, start a new business or become consultants,” said Kathi Vanyo of DBM. Respondents had a median age of 42 years and a reported tenure of seven years in their prior position. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed were male.
|Age 21-37 Years||Age 38-56 Years||Age 57+ Years|
|Average length of time to re-employment||3.0 months||4.0 months||4.4 months|
|Found new position at equal or higher salary||60%||42%||33%|
|Changed job function||39%||44%||57%|
|Started own business||7%||11%||16%|
|Became a consultant||5%||9%||19%|
In a new book called Leading Geeks, author Paul Glen reveals the three reasons why technology-oriented people (a.k.a. geeks) pose such a challenge for today’s managers and why leading them is different from leading others:
• Geeks are different from other employees. With a deeply emotional reverence for rationality, geeks often possess an obsession for knowledge, creativity and logic and an expectation of meritocracy in the workplace. Their direct and honest communication is often regarded as a lack of social skills, and their independence and rebelliousness is sometimes misread in the corporate world as disloyalty.
• The intricate, technological, knowledge work geeks do is different from other types of work.
• Using power doesn’t work with geeks. Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others, but geeks don’t deliver value through behavior. They deliver value mostly through thought rather than action, so their behavior has relatively little effect on their productivity.
Glen offers the following suggestions for motivating geeks:
*Give them some sense of the larger significance of their work. Without a sense of meaning, motivation suffers.
*Beexplicit about the role a new technology plays in a business. Otherwise, some will misunderstand the centrality of their work and others may develop delusions of grandeur.
*Define work as a project. Projects help turn work into a game with objectives that delineate both goals and success criteria.
* Encourage isolation from other segments of the staff.While geeks need free-flowing communication within their own workgroups, seclusion provides fertile soil for motivation, cohesion and concentration.
*Offer free food, but intermittently. “Never underestimate the power of free food. I can’t offer any rational explanation, but for geeks, even those making sizeable incomes, free food offers major support to motivation development, far more than an equivalent amount of cash,” said Glen.
America Gets a “D” in Financial Literacy
Americans aren’t flunking financial literacy, but they’re close. With a grade of 67, Americans get a “D” in their knowledge of important money matters, according to
Bankrate.com’s Financial Literacy benchmark study, released this spring. The national survey of 1,000 Americans revealed that, while most Americans know what to do, they
aren’t doing it.
- Roughly half the American public is concerned about lack of savings.
- Fifty-five percent worry they do not have enough money put away for an emergency.
About 33 percent of Americans are worried that: they will lose a job; their employer will decrease their benefits; their home will lose its value; they will not be able to pay their mortgage or rent.
- Older Americans tend to be smarter about money moves than younger Americans.
- Gender makes no difference: Women are no more or less financially literate than men.
- 66 percent of Americans know that keeping an emergency fund is very important.
- Despite this, only 40 percent are actually doing it.
How to Get Marketing Right
John R. Graham, president of Graham Communications, a marketing services and sales consulting firm, offers the following advice on marketing with the customers’ needs in mind:
The major problem with most marketing is that it’s all about the wrong people. The focus is on what we know best – our company, our products, our service – and somehow, we expect the customer to make the right connection and say, “Aha! That’s exactly what we need.” Self-absorption, says Graham, is perhaps the major impediment to effective marketing.
Are your marketing materials full of “us” instead of “them,” the customer? One recent letter contained the words “we’re excited” three times, as the writer described internal changes in the company. Who cares if they’re excited? Does it really make any difference to the customer? And does it not send a powerful message that the company’s primary concern is with itself?
No company is deliberately self-absorbed. It happens because we’re captured by the ideas, culture, opinions, perceptions and history that surround and encapsulate us. We are captured and don’t know it. Every type of business has its own language. Without even realizing it, we are always talking to ourselves. We get our business information from our peers. It’s normal – we talk to people like ourselves. Is it any wonder we have trouble telling the story so it makes sense to customers, prospects and anyone else?
Graham suggests those in charge of marketing make an effort to get input from customers, potential customers and the general public. Find out what they want and need, and then tell them how your company can fulfill it. By focusing on them instead of yourself, you will find success.
Face time isn’t always time well spent, according to a new nationwide survey. More than a quarter of workers polled said meetings are the biggest culprit when it comes to hours wasted on the job. Unnecessary interruptions ranked a close second. The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in skilled administrative professionals. It included responses from 613 men and women, all 18 years of age or older and employed.
Survey respondents were asked,
“Which one of the following would you say is the worst culprit in terms of wasting the most time?”
|Meetings that last too long||
|Socializing too much with colleagues||
|Disorganized work area||
|Don’t know/no answer||
“Lean staffing levels within many of today’s companies have placed increased pressure on employees to manage their time effectively,” said Liz Hughes, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Unproductive meetings and needless interruptions can cause workers to get behind or log more hours unnecessarily.” Hughes noted the following “red flags” that can indicate a mismanaged meeting:
No meeting leader. If no one is in charge of keeping the meeting on track, it could easily go into overtime.
- Lack of objective. The meeting should have a distinct purpose.
- Lengthy invite list. When the list of attendees is extensive, it’s often because the person holding the meeting doesn’t want to exclude anyone, not because each employee’s participation is necessary.
- It’s part of the routine. Regularly scheduled meetings can lose their value over time. Determine if any agenda items pertain to you before agreeing to attend.
Shopping for Information?
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers:
- There are 46,336 shopping centers in the United States. The vast majority (95 percent) are strip centers.
- Each month in 2002, 202 million adults visited shopping centers in the U.S.
- In 2002, shopping centers accounted for $1.23 trillion in sales, half of all non-automotive retail sales.
- Shopping centers employed over 10.7 million people in 2002.
- Shopping centers collected $53.1 billion in state sales taxes in 2002.
- Despite the economic downturn, there were 613 more shopping centers operating in the United States in 2002 than there were in 2001.
- California has the most shopping centers (6,152) and Wyoming has the fewest (55).
- Forty million people a year visit the largest mall in the U.S. – the Mall of America.
- Consumers spend approximately 76.4 minutes per mall visit, spend an average of $68.20 and go to 1.3 stores.
Nevada Manufacturing Beats the Odds
According to statistics provided by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Nevada manufacturing segment is outperforming other Western states. Nevada gained 1,400 manufacturing jobs between July 2000 and December 2002, which represented a gain of 3.1 percent in total manufacturing employment. As of December 2002, Nevada manufacturers employed 46,300 workers. During the same time period, other Western states fared much worse:
Percent of total manufacturing employment