Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Sunday, November 30, 2008

TappedIn : Not Only for Teachers

Although tappedin was designed primarily for teachers there’s some worthwhile stuff for anyone who facillitates groups and even for those of us whose principal focus is on employment and career development. For example, on the 18th of December I see a session about ePortfolios.

Membership is free. Note the RSS feed available at the bottom of each calendar page.

PS : Very friendly and helpful. It's late Sunday afternoon and somebody calling themself “BjB” is there to guide me around the site. Thank you!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

You Might Find Meaning in Your Current Job

Although I have not taken the time to unearth any statistics about it a lot of people are unhappy in their jobs. One strategy that these unhappy people often adopt is to seek a change of occupation. Magnusson (1992) advises career developers to discuss any change with clients but clearly this kind of change could carry some important implications. When I first read Peavy's (1997) ideas about reframing and reconstructing a client's perceptions about their place in the world by exploring new or altered meanings I rather wondered whether I could meet the challenge of learning yet another body of abstruse theory. I was enormously relieved when I started reading examples of counselling outcomes in which worthwhile results were achieved that did not require pages of explanation.

Constructivism as it applies to careers has to do with supporting clients in finding ways of making what they do, or might do, meaningful within frames of reference that they create for themselves. Not everyone will need to find a different job or a different occupation. Most of us could benefit from seeing some aspect of our lives in some more constructive way.

That's why I was so interested to read "Revisit the Joys of Your Job" today. I have not read any of the original accounts--and I have suppressed any questions I might have about a possible Hawthorne effect for the time being. It just looks like a very interesting approach.

K Magnusson (1992) Career Counselling Techniques, Life-Role Development Group, Edmonton.
RV Peavy (1997) SocioDynamic Counselling : A Constructivist Perspective, Trafford.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Writing a Thank-you is Good for You

When you have attended an interview with a potential employer you should send the interviewers a thank-you, right? This is supposed to make you stand out as a candidate but I imagine that everybody on the planet knows about doing this by now so surely it can't be that effective any more, can it?

But how about this? According to Steven Toepfer of Kent State University showing gratitude is actually good for you—see Want to be Happier? Be More Grateful. As the man says, to be of benefit to you your letter will:
  • “be positively expressive”
  • show “some insight and reflection”
  • be “nontrivial” and,
  • contain a “high level of appreciation or gratitude.”
You can get ready to make your letter “nontrivial” during the interview itself when you are inevitably trying to gain insights about the employer and their needs. Soon after the interview you will begin the process of reflecting on your observations. And when you write your thank-you some of these initial insights and reflections can be included for bonus points with the employer.

Meanwhile, your efforts expended toward writing a worthwhile thank-you will help you build upon your own resources of well-being for further career exploration, as Toepfer points out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Job Ad Counts for October 2008

This table summarises advertisements that appeared on the Job Bank in October for Brantford and area, Hamilton and area and Niagara and area.

There were, for instance, 160 ads of one kind or another for ‘Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks’, as usual the group in greatest demand. A little down the list, there were 55 for ‘Light Duty Cleaners.’

160 advertisements
6421 Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks

85 advertisements
9619 Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities

62 advertisements
6453 Food and Beverage Servers

58 advertisements
1453 Customer Service, Information and Related Clerks

56 advertisements
6641 Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations

55 advertisements
6661 Light Duty Cleaners

52 advertisements
6242 Cooks

49 advertisements
7265 Welders and Related Machine Operators

46 advertisements
7452 Material Handlers

34 advertisements for each of the following :
6651 Security Guards and Related Occupations
7611 Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers

31 advertisements for each of the following :
1414 Receptionists and Switchboard Operators
7411 Truck Drivers
7414 Delivery and Courier Service Drivers

30 advertisements
6471 Visiting Homemakers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations

29 advertisements
6411 Sales Representatives - Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)

27 advertisements
6221 Technical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade

26 advertisements for each of the following :
6663 Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
7311 Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics (Except Textile)

25 advertisements
6435 Hotel Front Desk Clerks

23 advertisements
1411 General Office Clerks

21 advertisements for each of the following :
6433 Airline Sales and Service Agents
7231 Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors

20 advertisements for each of the following :
1431 Accounting and Related Clerks
1433 Customer Service Representatives - Financial Services
3152 Registered Nurses

18 advertisements
6662 Specialized Cleaners

17 advertisements for each of the following :
1221 Administrative Officers
1471 Shippers and Receivers

16 advertisements for each of the following :
4212 Community and Social Service Workers
6231 Insurance Agents and Brokers
8612 Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Labourers

15 advertisements for each of the following :
7263 Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters
9617 Labourers in Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing

14 advertisements for each of the following :
4131 College and Other Vocational Instructors
4167 Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants
6623 Other Elemental Sales Occupations

13 advertisements for each of the following :
4214 Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
6233 Retail and Wholesale Buyers
6611 Cashiers

12 advertisements for each of the following :
7242 Industrial Electricians
8431 General Farm Workers

11 advertisements for each of the following :
3233 Licensed Practical Nurses
4216 Other Instructors
6465 Other Protective Service Occupations
6622 Grocery Clerks and Store Shelf Stockers
7321 Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers

10 advertisements for each of the following :
1231 Bookkeepers
6451 Maîtres d'hôtel and Hosts/Hostesses
7271 Carpenters
7441 Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers
8432 Nursery and Greenhouse Workers

9 advertisements for each of the following :
2253 Drafting Technologists and Technicians
9495 Plastic Products Assemblers, Finishers and Inspectors

8 advertisements for each of the following :
1435 Collectors
2131 Civil Engineers
3414 Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services
6241 Chefs
7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics

7 advertisements for each of the following :
1226 Conference and Event Planners
1441 Administrative Clerks
1475 Dispatchers and Radio Operators
2234 Construction Estimators
4141 Secondary School Teachers
5254 Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
6452 Bartenders
6482 Estheticians, Electrologists and Related Occupations
7219 Contractors and Supervisors, Other Construction Trades, Installers, Repairers and Servicers
7282 Concrete Finishers
7313 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
7322 Motor Vehicle Body Repairers
9213 Supervisors, Food, Beverage and Tobacco Processing
9511 Machining Tool Operators
9514 Metalworking Machine Operators
9612 Labourers in Metal Fabrication

6 advertisements for each of the following :
1114 Other Financial Officers
1215 Supervisors, Recording, Distributing and Scheduling Occupations
1474 Purchasing and Inventory Clerks
2133 Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2242 Electronic Service Technicians (Household and Business Equipment)
5124 Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications
6215 Cleaning Supervisors
7421 Heavy Equipment Operators (Except Crane)
9611 Labourers in Mineral and Metal Processing

5 advertisements for each of the following :
1472 Storekeepers and Parts Clerks
1473 Production Clerks
6683 Other Elemental Service Occupations
7251 Plumbers
7351 Stationary Engineers and Auxiliary Equipment Operators
7412 Bus Drivers, Subway Operators and Other Transit Operators
9422 Plastics Processing Machine Operators

4 advertisements for each of the following :
1225 Purchasing Agents and Officers
1461 Mail, Postal and Related Clerks
2141 Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers
2211 Chemical Technologists and Technicians
2225 Landscape and Horticulture Technicians and Specialists
4153 Family, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors
5221 Photographers
5241 Graphic Designers and Illustrators
6211 Retail Trade Supervisors
6212 Food Service Supervisors
6252 Bakers
7241 Electricians (Except Industrial and Power System)
7253 Gas Fitters
7443 Automotive Mechanical Installers and Servicers
7621 Public Works and Maintenance Labourers
7622 Railway and Motor Transport Labourers
9461 Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing
9482 Motor Vehicle Assemblers, Inspectors and Testers
9492 Furniture and Fixture Assemblers and Inspectors
9613 Labourers in Chemical Products Processing and Utilities

3 advertisements for each of the following :
1111 Financial Auditors and Accountants
1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
1223 Personnel and Recruitment Officers
1241 Secretaries (Except Legal and Medical)
1422 Data Entry Clerks
2132 Mechanical Engineers
2161 Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries
2174 Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
2232 Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2252 Industrial Designers
3235 Other Technical Occupations in Therapy and Assessment
3411 Dental Assistants
3413 Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
4112 Lawyers and Quebec Notaries
4152 Social Workers
4213 Employment Counsellors
6621 Service Station Attendants
6671 Operators and Attendants in Amusement, Recreation and Sport
7261 Sheet Metal Workers
7294 Painters and Decorators
8256 Supervisors, Landscape and Horticulture
9411 Machine Operators, Mineral and Metal Processing
9421 Chemical Plant Machine Operators
9451 Sewing Machine Operators
9483 Electronics Assemblers, Fabricators, Inspectors and Testers

2 advertisements for each of the following :
1112 Financial and Investment Analysts
1211 Supervisors, General Office and Administrative Support Clerks
1212 Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks
1242 Legal Secretaries
1244 Court Recorders and Medical Transcriptionists
1424 Telephone Operators
1432 Payroll Clerks
1454 Survey Interviewers and Statistical Clerks
2171 Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
2233 Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians
2243 Industrial Instrument Technicians and Mechanics
2262 Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory Officers
2281 Computer Network Technicians
2282 User Support Technicians
3222 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
4142 Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers
4211 Paralegal and Related Occupations
6216 Other Service Supervisors
6251 Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers - Retail and Wholesale
6271 Hairstylists and Barbers
6474 Babysitters, Nannies and Parents' Helpers
6483 Pet Groomers and Animal Care Workers
6682 Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations
7211 Supervisors, Machinists and Related Occupations
7212 Contractors and Supervisors, Electrical Trades and Telecommunications Occupations
7222 Supervisors, Motor Transport and Other Ground Transit Operators
7272 Cabinetmakers
7281 Bricklayers
7283 Tilesetters
7291 Roofers and Shinglers
7295 Floor Covering Installers
7342 Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers and Milliners
8253 Farm Supervisors and Specialized Livestock Workers
9222 Supervisors, Electronics Manufacturing
9415 Inspectors and Testers, Mineral and Metal Processing
9493 Other Wood Products Assemblers and Inspectors
9496 Painters and Coaters - Industrial
9615 Labourers in Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacturing

1 advertisement for each of the following :
1121 Specialists in Human Resources
1222 Executive Assistants
1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners
1236 Customs, Ship and Other Brokers
1423 Desktop Publishing Operators and Related Occupations
1434 Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Clerks
1442 Personnel Clerks
1463 Couriers, Messengers and Door-to-Door Distributors
2123 Agricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists
2142 Metallurgical and Materials Engineers
2173 Software Engineers and Designers
2175 Web Designers and Developers
2221 Biological Technologists and Technicians
2231 Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2241 Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
2261 Nondestructive Testers and Inspectors
3111 Specialist Physicians
3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians
3131 Pharmacists
3142 Physiotherapists
3143 Occupational Therapists
3213 Veterinary and Animal Health Technologists and Technicians
3219 Other Medical Technologists and Technicians (Except Dental Health)
4161 Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers
4163 Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants
4215 Instructors and Teachers of Persons with Disabilities
5113 Archivists
5122 Editors
5134 Dancers
5211 Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants
5223 Graphic Arts Technicians
5243 Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers
5244 Artisans and Craftspersons
6672 Other Attendants in Accommodation and Travel
7214 Contractors and Supervisors, Metal Forming, Shaping and Erecting Trades
7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades
7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades
7217 Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy Construction Equipment Crews
7246 Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers
7247 Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians
7264 Ironworkers
7334 Motorcycle and Other Related Mechanics
7335 Other Small Engine and Equipment Mechanics
7371 Crane Operators
7413 Taxi and Limousine Drivers and Chauffeurs
7422 Public Works Maintenance Equipment Operators
7433 Deck Crew, Water Transport
7434 Engine Room Crew, Water Transport
7437 Air Transport Ramp Attendants
7612 Other Trades Helpers and Labourers
8254 Nursery and Greenhouse Operators and Managers
8255 Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance Contractors and Managers
8421 Chain Saw and Skidder Operators
9414 Concrete, Clay and Stone Forming Operators
9424 Water and Waste Plant Operators
9452 Fabric, Fur and Leather Cutters
9471 Printing Machine Operators
9473 Binding and Finishing Machine Operators
9485 Assemblers, Fabricators and Inspectors, Industrial Electrical Motors and Transformers
9486 Mechanical Assemblers and Inspectors
9491 Boat Assemblers and Inspectors
9616 Labourers in Textile Processing

Getting Enough Stuff to Read

Although vast quantities of advice about résumés, preparing for interviews, searching for jobs and so on are available to job seekers on the ‘net or in public libraries little is easily available to career developers. Much of the literature that would be valuable to us is present only in university libraries or upon payment at the sites of periodicals publishers. When I finally became sufficiently frustrated at being unable to read some of Savickas’ work a couple of days ago I decided to see what might be done. Here’s an initial result, the Google Scholar immediately available highlighter.

It's a Greasemonkey script for the Mozilla Firefox browser that highlights items in a Google Scholar search result that should be available immediately at no charge. Just click and read. Clearly you can’t expect to read all of Savickas’ work with it. However, you might expect to find enough to form a useful impression of what he has said.

Here’s a sample portion of Google Scholar results:

Items that are immediately available are in 150% font. In this case they are both from ERIC. The script also notices when PDF, DOC, HTML or similar files are made available.

Incidentally, my thanks are due to Patti Stirling of the Hamilton employment community for introducing me to Firefox in the first place a few years ago. (I'm a stick in the mud.)