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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Reworking the World of Work"

TVO's "The Agenda with Steve Paikin" is offering the panel discussion video, "Reworking the World of Work" here. Definitely worth watching!

My thanks to Susan Buckingham of NWELRC.

Google Alerts: Another Way to Stay Informed

Yesterday the Ontario Government announced grants for hiring interns. Did you know about that? I heard about it from one of my Google Alerts. I also heard about the job in Manitoba that I posted yesterday, a vacancy that had not appeared in any of my other sources.


Google Alerts are dead easy to set up, and you can get the alerts that it creates in either email or RSS feed form.

Log in to Google before or after you go to

Because I have a Google email address Google it into the 'Deliver to' box for me. It's possible that you will need to do this yourself, if you want email alerts. Otherwise, use the triangle to the right to select a feed.

If you select email alerts then you might prefer to receive them all at once, 'Once a day.' However, that's your choice; you can click on the triangle to receive alerts as they occur. You can choose to receive results from all sources, the web, news, blogs and so on, in other words 'Everything', or just from some of these using another triangle to expose the appropriate list.

The stuff that goes in 'Search query' seems to be what goes into any Google query. In the following view you can see that I query for "employment counselling" (with the quotation marks) because I want to see all new occurrences of items with these words together in this order (and not just anywhere in the items).

As I keyed in the search string Google displayed some typical results for me in the right-hand column. Satisfied with those I clicked on 'Create Alert' to receive the following display. Actually it's part of the full list of my Google Alerts. 

I notice that, if you have created RSS feeds and change your mind you can have email alerts instead.

One more item for the toolbox.

BBC CV (Résumé) Quiz

OK, it's somewhat slanted towards the UK and Europe. Fun anyway.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Job: Career Development Specialist, Manitoba

"Career Trek’s vision is straightforward: help build a Manitoba where everyone can realize their full educational and career potential. We are a not‐for‐profit organization that helps young people –those who would most benefit from our programming – to discover post‐secondary education."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Proposal: Offer of a Listing of 'Free' Events

Lots of 'free' events of interest to career and employment developers take place across Canada almost every day. Unfortunately few of us learn about them in time to benefit from attending them.

What I propose to do, on a trial basis, is to accept your information about them and to use that information to create a public, sortable web page. If this project attracts too little attention—or too much for me to handle!—I will probably be forced to cancel it. However, I will try to give it a fair trial.

For each event I would like to have:

  • a descriptive title
  • a date in yyyy-mm-dd form
  • time interval in HH.MM-HH.MM (24-hour format)
  • venue name, if available, eg, Central Library
  • a brief description of the event
  • intended audience
  • Google map URL?
Use your own discretion about what stuff you actually need to tell me, eh.

An event will be considered 'free' if it is either totally free or if it involves only a nominal fee. I don't want to include commercial events, and this is not a competitor for the Contact Point events listing.

I would like to see more local events get the attendance they deserve. Beyond that, if you are creating new groups sessions or other work and need an audience then this might be a way of gathering one.

I'll start publishing when I get some events, if I get some events.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Contrary Advice About Salary Negotiation

The conventional wisdom I have heard is that job applicants should offer a range of salaries that they would accept when asked during the initial stages of negotiations. For example, an applicant might say that she would accept a salary in the range of $45 to 55,000. Part of the theory behind this is that if you give just a single number then that will be taken to be the minimum you will accept. If it is low then you might be stuck with it; if too high then you might put off the employer.

Now there is some evidence that applicants would be better off suggesting fairly high figures initially, providing that they do it in a way that does not put off the employer. See Extreme numbers influence initial salary offers.

This advice could have some interesting consequences. Some people shy away from applying for jobs for which no information is supplied about salary. This could actually be to the advantage of the applicant, however. In the absence of any declaration on the part of the employer when the compensation bargaining stage arrives the applicant could suggest a high anchor figure to open negotiation.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TQ: Possible Jobs Future

Trainability Quotient is the ability of a system or machine—or person or group—to train itself, not merely to accept training passively. An example is Google which can learn your patterns of interest and use them to improve the search results it offers. As software systems for machine learning and artificial intelligence improve and are more widely adopted, and as they begin to include the ability to process speech and other modalities more effectively, we will can expect to see more such systems in popular use.

However, there are other ways of viewing this direction of development.

I notice that few people make effective use of Google, for example. It's, therefore, very possible that people who specialise in using trainable systems such as this will prosper. In a similar way, people and organisations who are adept at making themselves trainable, especially when they can leverage trainable systems, could well see numerous opportunities. And finally people who are actually skilled at marshalling others in novel ways, in groups to solve unusual problems could become much more valuable.

We live in a time of rapid change.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Possible New World Jobs Recession

Read the full article for what the ILO and the OECD have to say: ILO: World economy on verge of new jobs recession. Much would appear to depend on political leadership.

For a little more about Canada see 'What is the economic outlook for OECD countries?: An interim assessment.' Although Canada is not expected to undergo negative growth in upcoming quarters, like Germany or Italy, growth here will not be stellar either. It's also important to mention, as does the report, that there is considerable uncertainty in these predictions.