Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Unemployment

My Quora Answer: Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics…? by Lynn Patra

In my previous post, I mentioned preferring to live and work at my current location (Redding, California) and being turned off at the prospect of living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The reason for my preference is, having already sampled life in more metropolitan, urban regions of California firsthand (through work and school), I am sick and tired of the lack of self control, the deafening, pushy political activism, and the presumption that many have, while trying to force others (uninvited) to talk about politics, that everyone else shares the same opinions and values that you do.

As I state in my Quora answer below, this type of behavior, exemplified by denizens of those regions, extends to the online world, including sites where people are supposed to behave more professionally, like LinkedIn. So, in a way, there’s no getting away from the verbal diarrhea. However, I don’t want this to become a part of the work culture I join. The original Quora question I’m answering here is “Do you believe an American’s life has become too overwhelmed by politics, and therefore, they have a more divided country than when culture was more of a focus or even more mundane aspects of life?Read more of this post

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Back home after the Carr Fire

Well, I am home and, as it turned out, our home is fine. As I indicated in my previous post, I very much want to be a part of the Redding, California community and contribute to disaster relief and resettlement efforts. Having said that, I’ve been engaged in volunteer work.

I’m not sure how negatively a disaster of this scale will impact employment prospects here, however I’m still very much interested in finding employment in the Redding, California area (so that I can stay here). Yet, I know this sounds crazy to some people but no, I don’t want to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area… and I can’t seem to say that often enough for all the incredulous people out there but I really don’t. My next post will make it more apparent why.

Here, I’ll leave my readers with images I’ve taken after the Carr Fire hit my area, along with a synopsis of the damage sustained, quoting from my Quora blog entry: Read more of this post

Worked Over: Online Job Seekers Prey for Scammers [Infographic]

Last week I discovered an enthralling, viral post about an amazingly elaborate scam titled, “I Got Scammed By A Silicon Valley Startup.” To those who haven’t read it yet, it’s worth the estimated 23 minute read (and there’s a happy ending to this as well). Penny Kim’s story made me realize that I’ve yet to feature the topic of online job scams here. This infographic sums up relatively recent (2011-2013) job scam facts and figures. Although I regard the purported unemployment rate with skepticism because I don’t know if unemployed people who’ve given up looking for a job are accounted for (or even how they can be accounted for), the rest of the infographic illustrates the gist of job scams well. Precautionary recommendations follow too! Read more of this post

Play Your Cards Right to Secure Your Dream Job [INFOGRAPHIC]

Here’s an engaging infographic, provided by Giraffe CVs, which conveys essential strategies to take as you organize your curriculum vitae. I believe that the points outlined here are also applicable to résumé writing. Enjoy! Read more of this post

Cultivating an Anti-Victim Mentality in Times of Adversity

Anxiety and fear experienced after a layoff or during a period of unemployment can lead to a couple of different outcomes when it comes to finding work. Negative emotional states serve a purpose as they compel people to take action in order to alleviate themselves of discomfort. Some are successful in achieving their goal of landing another job. For others however, that very anxiety sabotages efforts to do so. 

In contrast, those who are naturally less anxious exhibit stoicism in the face of a layoff or unemployment period. Stoicism can lead to different outcomes as well. One outcome is that, since you don’t feel like anything is terribly wrong, you’re able to go on and enjoy your life during the “down” times. However, at some point, someone close to you will say, “Why aren’t you panicking and stressing out?! What’s wrong with you?!” and then you realize so much time flew by as you didn’t experience a lot of internal pressure to do anything about your circumstances. On the other hand, it is an advantage to come across as someone who is confident when you finally decide to do something about your circumstances. Read more of this post

How to Write a LinkedIn Headline That Attracts Recruiters

Want to know what you can do to attract recruiters through LinkedIn? Here are some excellent tips on developing your LinkedIn headline from Donna Schilder at Purdue CCO Blog. There’s much to learn there, so check it out!

Unemployed United: Creating real opportunities for the unemployed

Unemployed United

(Clicking on this image will take you to the Unemployed United website.)

One of the most gratifying experiences of Internet surfing is stumbling upon other people’s great ideas, and I find that there are quite a few great ideas out there that deserve a lot more attention! In this post I’d like to draw your attention to one such idea that developed into a start-up company called Unemployed United. They won’t simply be providing another platform with smart features to search for work on. In what other ways do they aim to help, you ask?

Unemployed United’s stated mission is to assist those unemployed in the USA, UK, and Ireland to find or create jobs, and this is to be achieved “either by means of initial business investment or extra training to improve their chances of becoming employed. €10,000 per month will go to our unemployed members and we intend to increase this amount as the popularity of the website increases.” I must say that I quite like that intent to help give people a nudge in the direction out of unemployment they wish to take. Read more of this post

The Robot Economy’s Less Obvious Dangers

Excellent points and questions raised by Jane Watson with regard to growing job insecurity and what may come out of this wave of creative destruction. I especially appreciated the section on humankind’s resiliency and how difficult it is to foresee what kind of work we’d create for ourselves. Terrific analysis!

Talent Vanguard

We live in an age of job insecurity. If it wasn’t enough to be worried about being ‘restructured’ or outsourced, the recent surge in press about the robot workforce of the future gives us another reason to toss and turn at night.

“You’d better be nice to the robots”

The chatter about how many of us will be replaced by robots in the coming years has reached fever pitch of late. Some of it is rehashed fear-mongering (“Just look at what happened to the travel agents!”), but others raise provocative points about what the future of work will look like. Recent studies and analyses indicate that automation has the potential to make 45% – 70% of today’s jobs obsolete in the coming decades, and that a key competency for the employee of the future may be the ability to work alongside collaborative robots.

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Coping with Job Loss and Uncertain Times

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: ht...

English: Job loss chart from BLS data here: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&output_view=net_1mth. Prelim data for Dec 2009 and Jan 2010. Made with OpenOffice.org Calc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a previous post, I mentioned the possibility of a future in which a greater proportion of the population work as free agents (such as described by Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation). Although this is an ideal that I would embrace for myself, the picture isn’t all rosy as this also means fewer secure employment opportunities being available for those who want them. The days of having a secure job at the same organization for one’s entire work-life have declined indeed, however it’s become apparent that not everyone has made the adjustment in mindset. Furthermore, there are many who are ill-prepared for, and/or don’t welcome, the difficulties associated with more autonomy and taking a more entrepreneurial approach with their careers.

Apparently, there appears to be room for debate about automation being the cause behind the decline of jobs (see Robert D. Atkinson’s post – an explanation which, I’ll admit, is new to me). In addressing a transition to a more entrepreneurial way of life however, I agree with many of the recommendations proposed by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of Race Against the Machine. In this book, they listed changes to policies and societal infrastructures to support people as conditions necessitate a greater need to be one’s own boss – subject matter that I’ll cover in a future post.

For now however, I’d like to share some tips, videos, and articles that may prove helpful in putting you in the mind-frame to think about important steps to be taken if you happen to be dealing with job loss under these current conditions. Read more of this post

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