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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guess Who's Back?!!!!! (No, not Slim Shady... Marshall Mathers... aka Eminem).

... no, just your favorite neighborhood blogger: ajabatwork. I know, "It's been a long time... I never should've left you"....

Ok, I admit that after a long bout of waiting eagerly, then anxiously for more feedback from you, I decided to take a major hiatus (almost a year in fact) from this endeavor. I believed that dropping this blog would make me feel better, more industrious, etc., but it didn't; it actually had the opposite effect. I had been job-searching; writing a piece the (for free) and, studying real-state... (not a particularly ambitious occupation-load, I know, but it was something). Still, once I began to wallow in angst, and resentment about one of my major, old pet peeves: doing work for free... I froze up, and could do nothing. The good news is that something modestly useful has come from my dearth of productivity; it's a lesson... a morale, which I'll share to boost your day, your week, your life, and your job search.... Ready? Here it is... ... ... dunt, dunt, dunt, dunnnnnnnn...... (and please remember that you heard it here first): The More You Do, The More You Can Do; the less you do, the less you will be able to do. All right kiddies, on that note, I'm letting everyone out early today, so that we can all go out and be successful. But, I'll also leave you with a link to another blog, like this one, but with a more serious bent (the competition: MikeSRobinson, so to speak. Nooo... not reaeaealy.) When your done being serious over there, come back here, and for God sakes leave me a comment to let me know what you think (of his, or mine, or about the new tax bill, which is going to extend and expand the Bush-era tax cuts, and further extend unemployment). You know the drill; I don't care what you talk about, as long as you're saying it to me : ) I missed you all!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why You're Not Getting Hired

Did you happen to see this article, either on the Yahoo home page, or on CNN Money?

Despite millions of job seekers, many positions sit open, By Jessica Dickler, staff writer

   Does anyone else find this disturbing? I do. For years, I have tailored resumes to suit a myriad of employers/employment situations, to no avail. I'm beginning to realize something that perhaps many before me already knew. Specifically, recruiters and employers may think that they want good, honest, talented, capable, hard-working employees..., but what they actually seek, are rocket-scientists..., or damned liars.

When I look through the weekly ads that show up in my inbox, I scan over positions that either require many more years of experience than I possess, along with several very specific criteria, including a variety of unique certifications. Usually, I think to myself... is this just one of those jobs that they have to advertise to the public, when in fact they are really just going to hire some flunky friend/relative from within? Or, do they really think that they are going to find this super-person?

What I'm getting at is this: I think that companies and recruiters are going about the hiring process completely the wrong way(s). If they really want to fill positions they should be more flexible; they should either hire one of the millions of unemployed people out there who have years of experience, but who lack the education sought, and train them; or, hire one of the millions of college graduates, who have the desired education, but who lack the many years of experience required, and take a chance... and help them accrue experience.

It seems to me that the process is being made more complex than is necessary. Years ago employers didn't insist that you have dozens of certifications for software etcetera, in addition to having experience, and degrees.

Further, there were two things in particular that bugged me about that aforementioned article. The first was this statement:

'We've gotten close to 300 résumés for a service coordinator position. Out of that we brought in four people'...


... "Those that didn't make the cut included someone with previous experience as an office clerk and a job applicant with a bachelor's in mathematics, currently employed at a café." 

IF THIS GUY IS A MATH WIZ SHOULD THAT DISQUALIFY HIM? IF HE'S VERSATILE ENOUGH TO WORK AT A COFFEE SHOP, DON'T YOU THINK THAT HE PERHAPS COULD ADAPT TO THE UBER-GENERAL JOB OF COORDINATOR. I've been a coordinator, so I know this job very well. It is nothing but a glorified administrative assistant position. Give this guy the job already! And, 4 out of 300 is ridiculous! I could interview, select, hire, and train a high-school student, who has no college education or experience to dot that job, all in less than a week! What is HR doing out there, besides screwing up?

The second set of statements that bugged me follow:
 "Willoughby recently instituted a hiring incentive program to encourage existing employees to refer viable candidates. Those responsible for bringing in new hires are eligible to receive $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the position. She has also added in a signing bonus for the new employees.";
'Eighty percent of jobs are being obtained on personal referrals so candidates that are spending the bulk of their time sending their resume out blindly are not being the most fruitful," said Carolyn Thompson, president of CMCS, a boutique staffing firm near Washington, D.C.' 
So, what they're saying is, we are willing to give money away to people who are already employed, so that they can recommend their friends, and family members for jobs, instead of taking a chance hiring a non-connected person, who lacks one or two of our oddball criteria, even if that means that most of our jobs will go unfilled, while millions of people remain unemployed. What a waste of $$. Furthermore, I just have to wonder if this minute pool of cohorts could possibly match all of those same criteria for employment, more readily than millions of other applicants. Me don' t'ink so! (Sorry, every once in a while, I get in the mood to don an accent.) Forgiveness p'reas!

Anywho, am I wrong? If so, let me know. Otherwise, I'll just keep babbling on, foaming at the mouth, rolling my eyes, crossing my arms, shaking my head (You get the picture.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

RE: The Scholastic Scribe Award

The "Original" Superior Scribbler!YOU LIKE ME YOU REALLY REALLY LIKE ME!!!" 
(Or, something like that.)

So, today Blogger_babe32 informed me that A Jab at Work – Your One Stop Job Shop had been selected as one of five blogs to receive the, "Superior Scribbler Award". While I was excited at first, I later thought, "Nooooo!!!! Does this mean that I can't quit blogging?  'cause I had one foot out of the door." 

Now, however, I'm wondering if this award is kismet : in this case, a sign that I should dwell a little longer in blogatory. So, as per the rules of decorum/acceptance of the award I am hereby awarding the Scholastic Scribe to five (of the many) blogs that I follow, and admire.

So, here goes:

& the awards go to… … …

  1. WAITING FOR TO GO No explanation here, JUST TRUST ME;
  2. REAL LIFE IN A MINUTE An all together cool site, with fun, pithy commentary;
  3. reCareered As might be expected, I have to recommend some job related sites;
  4. The Baltimore Blog Spot – B’More Jobs (More work for the weary.); and, last but certainly not least...
  5. Meet Verizon HR (Ok, so this is really a corporate blog, but what can I say; I applaud the effort to get the word out about employment opps there. After all, this world economic crisis isn’t going to go away on its own!!!)

If you like, pass the torch, and grant the award to your favorite blogs by following the guidelines suggested at Bb32's blog: Of Life and Layoffs, or at the blog of origination for the Superior Scribbler Award: Scholastic Scribe.

"Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
Now that we've Dispatched with the Formalities, cue the drumroll, please. The First 5 Recipients of The Scholastic Scribe's Superior Scribbler Award are:" ... 
On an all together different note:

More work-related blogginess shall resume asaIgetmybuttingear : )

Saturday, November 7, 2009

For Anyone Who's Interested, I saw this cool job on Yahoo Jobs Today

Account Executive, Brand: Ketchum Public Relations

This opportunity showed up in my Yahoo Inbox today. I'm not qualified for it; but I thought that perhaps one of you out there might be. It's in Chicago, IL.

Bon Chance!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Is It OK to Leave Negative Feedback During an Exit Interview? Read My Answer to Leny E on Y! Answers. What do you think?

Here's Leny's Question:

“[I]s it ok to tell the "ugly truth" [about] how you[r] manager treated you during employment on the exit interview? I felt that [I] didn't [get] treated fairly during my employment. [So, during the exit interview, I gave a written description of everything that happened to me; HR made a copy of my statement and has asked my manager for an explanation, regarding what I described. I think that, perhaps it was not wise to write negative things, but I'm just being honest]. Just wanna know about your opinion guys! Thanks”
ajabatwork's Answer:

I understand the desire to explain yourself, and the situation that you faced, particularly if it was an unfair one. However, employers frequently use any negative information that you supply to them, against you. At this point, you're probably thinking, "What can they do to me if I don't even work there any more?" The answer is, "Perhaps nothing." However, if you ever have to list that company on your resume, and then, your new potential employers call the old firm on the phone, in order to verify employment... the Human Resources representative may indicate dissatisfaction with you by taking a very cold, or lukewarm tone, when confirming your dates of employment etc.

On the other hand, if you complain about your boss during your exit interview, your employer may start monitoring his/her performance more closely. If that boss was really bad, you might even get your job back (unlikely), or more likely... you might save some other employee the frustration of having to experience what you did.

Either way, what's done is done. Good luck!!!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Would You Work at Starbucks?

After publishing my last post, "Volunteering During a Downturn - Can You Do It?" a friend of mine, who reads this blog, asked what I thought of working at a place like Starbucks during this recession. He asked me if I thought that the Starbucks question was a blogworthy topic... and I thanked my lucky stars that someone is actually out there reading this stuff, and promptly answered, "Yes!"

Obviously, if you are a teen-ager, recent high-school grad, or undergraduate college student working at "the buckets", as I like to call it, is fine. However, such entry-level, minimum-wage, and certain service jobs, or so-called, "dead-end-jobs" seem undesirable to many adults. After all, working as a peer with people who are 5, 10, 20 or more years younger that oneself can seem degrading, and to some, doing so in a public, customer-facing situation would mean hazarding a reputational risk (either real or imagined).

For my part, I worked at a coffee house, years ago, when I was an undergraduate, but that is a story for my "Jobs" blog. However, I'm about 5 posts from addressing it there.

Anywho, I have no qualms about taking a paying job in any field that doesn't make me feel badly about myself. However, a job about which I am comfortable, may not work well for someone else. I have not been employed for A VERY LONG TIME NOW (see my archived posts), so I'm probably a lot less picky than people who think that this recession happened when the stock market crashed last October.

So, when my real job ended many moons ago, I applied to literally thousands of places paying equal to, significantly less than, and a good deal greater than what I had been earning. However, after getting interviews at only a couple of dozen places, I was offered only 2 jobs that each paid 10/hr, (during two different junctures) and guess what... I TOOK THEM. The first was in telemarketing, and surprisingly, it was not easy to get that job. I applied, didn't hear from anyone for about three weeks, and then called the contact person when I saw the same job advertised again, where I'd discovered it originally. I believe that I had not been called initially because HR thought that someone with my academic background, and experience would not really want to work there. Boy were they wrong!

I'd work at any place that would help me to pay my bills. ... Okay; that's not exactly true. To be completely honest, and I don't expect that I'll hurt any feelings when I say this, I draw the line at anything that pays below $7.50/hr. (After all, the current minimum wage is $7.25) And, I'll be out of there as soon as something better comes along, because of a not so little concept called, "Opportunity Cost". So, turnover is a real concern for employers, considering hiring someone who has ever made significantly more than what the current job is paying. Also, I am one of those people who will cross the street, or will get off of a bus if someone sneezes without covering his/her mouth; so, I'm not interested in sanitation, maintenance, or hospital work. Call me crazy, but I HATE GERMS!

But Starbucks? I would work there in a heartbeat! I should be working there right now. I love that place. I love all such places. They've got ambiance, and honestly... what more can you ask for in a workplace (besides good pay, nice co-workers, and a friendly boss?)

Finally, regardless of the attributes of my resume, I took the second of the earlier-mentioned $10/hr jobs. I graded tests. That type of job was fine for me. I.e., I didn't feel ashamed to work there simply because it paid the same as jobs that I'd had in high school. However, it was depressing to see so many teachers, engineers, former government administrators, and otherwise well-educated, articulate people all crammed into one giant room, like lambs being led to a slaughter. I mean, everyone looked so defeated, as if this was not how they had imagined the culmination of their years of hard work and dedication to intellectual pursuits. No longer admirable citizens in their chosen professions, sacrificing pay for respect, they were low-paid, relatively low-status workers, who had to take tests continuously, just to keep their assignments, and maintain the right to grade the tests of people who hadn't yet graduated from high-school. Furthermore, most of us had our broken-down cars parked in the lot, where we could go to take our 1/2 hour breaks, before dashing back, to clock-in to our non-assigned computers, post rushed pee. (Pardon my potty-mouth ; )  Worse, there were always at least two people whose cars had died, and who needed to get a jump from someone else whose battery could barely stand it. Further, many of the people there were holding that job along with 1 or 2 others in order to make ends meet, and it was wearing them down. Long story short, their dissatisfaction was contagious, and it weighed on me.

By contrast, the atmosphere at that place seems so different than that of Starbucks, or Caribou Coffee (for those of you who live in the Midwest/USA). Generally speaking, coffee houses seem more upbeat than a lot of white-collar jobs that pay a tad bit more. I think it's because taking a job at a Starbucks seems like something that you might do on a lark, for fun, or just to interact with people in a cool environment. Whereas working at some other places seems like settling into a life of mediocrity and failure. Still both types of jobs seem like they should be viewed as temporary for anyone who is ambitious. After all, who wants to be the creepy old, can-only-afford-to-be-junk-food-fed, misshapen, oddball in the corner, who all of the young, and upwardly mobile kids have to vouch for when customers report, "There's a strange person, whose been sitting in that corner for about a 1/2 hour."?

Barista (Whispering): "Oh. Ugh. No. He (She) works here. This is just his (her) lunch break."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Volunteering During a Downturn - Can You Do It?

Recently, Sam Baker, a PBS/NPR radio host, and Debbie Kratcky of Workforce Solutions in Dallas discussed how job applicants can patch-up holes in their resumes by volunteering. I've always thought that this was an interesting idea... as an idea, but I wonder if it really works for anyone.

Now I have a big admission to make, and you probably won't like it: I am not a big fan of volunteering! There. I've said it! If at this point, you're beginning to squint, scowl, furrow your brow, or otherwise disfigure your face due to utter disapproval of these sentiments... that's ok; I can take it. Let me explain my trepidation. I think that it is a beautiful, and wonderful thing for people to volunteer to help others, for example, at soup kitchens, or out on the street... "in the field" helping the homeless, or the poor. However, my dislike for most volunteering comes from my background as a member of the solidly lower-middle class... the, "working poor". Long story short, companies that "hire" volunteers get free labor, essentially killing paying jobs, all the while blatantly, brutally, and hypocritically extolling the virtues of capitalism.

I've considered this issue from many angles, so I know that some of you are thinking... "... but a lot of non-profits, for example, can't afford to pay all of their workers... they wouldn't survive if they didn't have volunteers!" However, I am, as usual, incredulous. "Non-profit" does not mean, "altruistic", "saintly", "perfect" or non-money-making. So-called non-profits have profits that they typically are required to reinvest into their businesses. Many of these companies pay top-level executives high salaries, while inviting students, recent grads, single mothers, and men with families to donate their labor for free, as volunteers. However, without changing the total amount of income designated for human resources, non-profits can reapportion salaries so that everyone gets something. After all, why should some executive at a non-profit make $100K, while some volunteer/intern makes 0? Succinctly put, they should allocate their budgets differently!

More disgusting to me, is when wealthy debutants volunteer to work just to have something to do, i.e., because they are bored, even when they could care less about the cause, or the mission of the organization to which they apply. Their wealth insulates them from being responsible for their performance, and often, they are appreciated simply for attending, even if they arrive late, and even if their work product is wanting/mediocre.

However, what I'm really addressing here today, is the question that follows:

Is it feasible for adults--who are NOT independently wealthy, or benefactors of a trust fund, but, who instead... like most people have bills/families--to volunteer to do work, when they need the $$, and when so many people are jobless? In my humble, perhaps selfish, opinion it's a bit obscene to think so. It seems to me that even in soup kitchens, instead of asking people to volunteer, non-profits/public agencies should just hire some of the homeless people who come there! I mean, they could use the money right?

More germane to the, "how to fill gaps in your resume" issue is the conundrum that people are being encouraged to offer their services to for-profit companies, not to gain a foothold in the door, or necessarily to gain experience... but, primarily, to have something that they may reference as time-spent-wisely, when talking to hiring reps. The requirement to demonstrate that one hasn't rotted, while unemployed, even if one has to spend hours a day giving away one's valuable labor, seems a bit like hazing: "Hey! Are ya unemployed/broke? I've got an idea! (Sinister grin.) Why don't you give away your services for free! Maybe something will come of it. (Haahahahahahah!!!)." Further, volunteering to get references is not a sure thing; if it doesn't work out, having done so would seem to evidence that the applicant had used his/her time inefficiently, and that he/she has poor business sense.

Why so cynical? As usual, whenever you find an angry person, you will find a hurt one. I'm bitter about the volunteer thing for personal reasons. In particular, there are two reasons:

1) When I graduated from my non-profit graduate management program, I applied to agencies that advertised paying jobs, but who then pulled a bait and switch. Specifically, I'd get to the interview and they'd say some variation of, "Wow, you have a really impressive resume! ... We'd really like to hire you, but you don't have any experience in this field, so... we thought perhaps you might be interested in volunteering." Well, if I wanted to volunteer, I wouldn't have borrowed a fortunes-worth of student loans to get through grad-school! I could have volunteered with no experience coming out of high-school. (This, of course, is what I was thinking, not what I said, as I smiled graciously, and politely declined.)

2) I had tried the volunteer thing, and it didn't work out well for me. During the last semester of my graduate program, I caved to the pressure that one must volunteer in order to get experience for work, post-graduation. I commuted to a part-time temp job in the morning, for pay, but I still was broke. In the early evening, I commuted from one state to another to attend classes; I took a bus and two connecting Amtrak trains, on an six-hour round-trip commute (+2hrs for my class). Upon my return, I commuted to my volunteer gig, which was directly related to my major. I loved it. I did great work for them, and they loved me/my work. However, I ran out of money. I actually could not afford to go there any longer. I simply ran out of cash for car fare! When I told them, they couldn't believe it; they begged me to stay, because it was "a really crucial time", and supposedly they, really needed me. What they failed to realize was that this was not a choice on my part. I really didn't have the money! My books alone had swallowed up all of my cash. I was going to have to borrow $$ just to get to classes. I did so. I finished classes, and ultimately, I've always wondered, "Why didn't they just offer me a stipend... or car-fare... or something?" Apparently, making oneself indispensable does not assure that one is not disposable.

Finally, consider the fact that we have hundreds of thousands of illiterate children and adults in this country. Most people can teach reading, because they teach their own children at home. However, millions of people are unemployed, while, most formalized jobs to tutor English are volunteer, "opportunities". Why are all of these teachable people illiterate, while all of these other people are unemployed?

What do you think?

Before you answer, I should mention what I think is the appropriate way to fill gaps in ones resume: Gain expertise in the field in which you would like to be employed, and if possible get certifications to document your progress; get a paid internship in your desired field; or work with a temp agency to find temporary work in your field... until a "head hunter" can find "permanent" work for you. (If there is such a thing.)

Now, what say you about the whole volunteer to fill in your resume solution?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Help Wanted!!!... In Montana???

Ok. I admit that, at least for now... I'm not going to do this story justice, because I just found it on the BBC, and I'm about to go to sleep. However, I couldn't go another day without giving you some job news.

Long story short, oil has been struck in Montana in more ways than one, and apparently, there are more than just rigging jobs available. So, if you have a desire to work in "Big Country", follow this link:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Please Take a Quick Survey Reviewing My Blog: A Jab at Work. Thanks everyone!

Hi everyone. If you frequent the Google Cafe, you may have seen my post a few weeks ago seeking input about this blog:A Jab at Work. After a lot of hand-wringing, soul-searching, and ego-nurturing I've made some adjustments. If you follow this blog closely, you'll notice that there was a rough ride of a weekend, when I sampled new templates/colors, and added and deleted content with what may have seemed like reckless abandon. (Perhaps you don't follow that closely & noticed nothing : )

Either way, it will be clear to many of you that the template and the colors ultimately remained pretty close to what they had been. However, make no mistake, revolutionary changes have occurred, and despite the fact that I am still struggling with some Google Chrome video and template limitations/technical difficulties, I am eager to get some feedback on the site as it exists today.

So, if you have a few minutes, please read over a few of the posts and leave a comment, or click a reaction, so that I can gauge your impressions of the articles/content. Then, if you have an additional moment, please scroll down to the bottom of the site and take a quick opinion survey about the blog as a whole.

Thanks everyone. Your input is much appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Answer to TropicsMan

So, I've taken to spreading A Jab at Work bloginess to Yahoo Question submitters. I figured the info/advice could go twice as far by sharing it with A Jab at Work visitors & followers. Below, you will find my reply to TropicsMan's question: "How do I apply for a job with the travel channel like Samantha Brown's job? I'm soon to be retired and will have time to travel constantly. How do I get a job like that with the travel channel?"
(Yahoo Questions & Answers)

A Jab at Work said: used to study Radio Television & Film. At that time, students were told that they could not expect to get a job in television very readily, and that usually someone has to "croak" before someone else gets hired. Jobs in entertainment and in many fields are typically acquired via connections. Keeping that information in mind, the best way to get a job like Samantha Brown's is to do all of the following:

1) Observe her style, and that of others who have similarly successful programs. Combine all of their best qualities, then add something unique and interesting of your own, to differentiate your presentation. Then perfect it.
2) Write/create 1-3 sample shows, featuring you as the host, on site in some interesting places (even if they are local). Utilize your newly perfected presentation skills to make your sample show/travel piece, and the place that you're describing irresistable. Have friends and family critique your presentation, and make adjustments as necessary, to perfect it.
3) Get (Hire for a small fee) a graduate film student/videographer at a local college to video-tape your performance. (Ask him/her if you can see his/her work 1st; the video should not look gritty, grayed out, or shaky; it should be well-lit, but not over-exposed. In other words, the video should be clear.).
4) Create a blog or website, and post similarly perfected videos, and related stories on your site; and, post them on YouTube, in order to get a major following. Networks/Cable companies care about viewers, who will watch their commercials. If you have a large following... you will have a SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER CHANCE of SUCCEEDING.
5) Finally, make several copies of your final products, and send a copy along with a well-written, mistake-free resume, and cover-letter describing your talent, interest in this field, and availability to the Travel Channel, and to all other similar channels; and to casting agents, who cast talent for such shows. Also, look on these channels' websites, to get the name/title of the proper contact/submission/HR person. (Make sure that only positive comments show up on your blog/website, and then... make sure to mention your site and its popularity/number of "hits/clicks" on your resume or cover letter (only if your site is in fact popular)).
6) Also, check out the Ross Reports (for talent/casting agents) & BackStage magazine online for similar jobs, and for advice cracking into this field:

Goood Luck!
Anyone else have a question about Jobs/Careers/Work?
Please feel free to ask your question in the comment section of any post on my blog:
 : )


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Looking for "The Work Buzz" or "The Island Caretaker"?

If you've followed A Jab at Work, and are wondering what happened to "The Work Buzz" or "The Island Caretaker" RSS Feeds... I have moved them over to my other blog: "Jobs". Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You Really Want to take A Jab at Work? CHECK THIS OUT!

Check out Job Vent. This site is pretty darn cool. You can go there and post praise or complaints about any job that you've held. This is what I've tried to encourage people to do here, but thus-far I've had no takers.

The differences between Job Vent, and A Jab at Work are myriad. However, here are just two: 1) I don't encourage you to name company names. (They do.); and, 2) They have an AWESOME database format. This allows people to track all of the comments that were ever made about places that they have worked, or places where they are considering working.

Job Vent is a great tool, because it puts individuals and employers on a slightly more equal footing. Usually, employers enjoy automatic credibility, while applicants/employees do not. When you seek a job, you're asked for references, but employers may regularly fail on a variety of levels (fairness to employees, conducting business legally &/or professionally etc.), yet they need not produce employee reviews or face continued rejection. They're in the drivers' seats.

One downside to Job Vent is that some of the people commenting there have poor grammar, and do not edit their posts. This carelessness diminishes the integrity of their comments, which may in fact be legitimate.

Still, others' comments are well written. Furthermore, comments regarding the same employers are typically consistent, suggesting that those posts are somewhat reliable.

So, if you get a sec... take a look, but add comments at your own risk. Employers scan such sites, and in this, the information age access to your opinions is available at a price, or will be in the future. (By the way, did you hear the news about Google, and Yahoo passwords being made available on the Internet today???)

Blog Update!

So, I recently noticed more posts in the Google Cafe, regarding my question, "Does My Blog Suck?" After reading the new comments, I realized that I should probably only make a few changes to this particular blog (.... since I really like it, and changing it dramatically turns it into something completely different from what I intended.). Therefore, instead of gutting this blog, which I love, I am offering a different, related site for those who prefer a more traditional, linear experience.

My goal in creating A Jab at Work was to create a really unique, fun, and interactive space, where you can do a lot of things at once, while you conduct your job search. (See the description/intro to this blog, at the very top.)

To those who really don't understand how to navigate this page... let me explain how I intend for it to work.

1) The left column has new posts. (About anything work-related.)
2) The right column has a variety of things that you can always expect to find here.
(Job links; Related RSS Feeds; Opinion Polls; and, Products for sale etc.)

Finally, there is no need to view the entire site at once. The idea is to provide a space that one can scan to find something that one likes, each time.

To those who still absolutely hate this format, please visit my other blog:
Jobs . It's much more basic.

(So, what changes did I make to ajabatwork?)
1) I removed the ads that appear between posts.
2) I removed some of the ads in the right hand column.
3) I've moderated the size of the posts, so that they are not too long and not too short.
4) I've changed all of the html addresses to titled links.
5) I've changed the color
6) I've adjusted several template and style elements.

Thanks for the input everyone. I hope that the new site is a good alternative option for those of you who offered constructive criticism.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Changes to this blog.

Ok. So, yesterday, I went to the Google Cafe, and in a desperate attempt to gain sympathy, beguile the cafe-sitters, and get more followers, I posed the question, "Does My Blog Suck: Few followers, few comments : ("...

To my surprise, at first... I received NO REPLIES. By contrast, he posts before and after mine had several replies (and that was after about fifteen minutes of monitoring).

At the time, I took in a deep breathe, exhaled, rolled my eyes... and then thought, "Well, maybe it does suck!" Maybe my question sucked.

Anywho, after I had completely forgotten that I'd asked, I started getting replies in my gmail account. (I was hoping that they would leave comments on my blog... but I think that they were trying to spare me the embarrassment.)

I received exactly three replies. I gathered from the replies that, in general... they liked the idea of my site... but they kind of hated the following elements.

1) The template.

2) The "busy" [ness] of the site.

3) The colors of the site.

4) The fact that I display links, as links, and not just as linked names/headers.

5) The shortness of some of my posts that do not display much more than a link and brief commentary.

So, unless I hear from current followers that they JUST LOVE the current set-up of the site, I will be spending the next couple of days, revamping, and cleaning house... just a little bit... because, ultimately I have to like it too : )

See ya next time, after the face-lift.
(Thanks again to the three of you in the cafe, who didn't leave me hangin'.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"The Weekly Gripe"; I Aspire to This:

The Weekly Gripe (uk)

Something akin to the above format is what I would like to accomplish with
A Jab at Work

I want to create a more interactive space for commentary about employment. If you know of a gadget/widget/webform/application that I can use to accomodate this function, please email me, or post a comment below.

Even code that I could enter in my HTML editor (with directions of course) in order to create an instant messaging feature might be nice, and would be much appreciated. Thanks all!

More information about Virual Opportunities

Today, on my almost daily web-trek to find helpful, and interesting work-related content for you to peruse, I found this little gem (from The Work at Home

 "Become a Highly Successful, Sought After [Virtual Assistant]" by Diana Ennen.

(Guys, don't be intimidated by the fact that the aforementioned site specifies "woman".)

There is a lot of information there that is valuable to anyone who wants to work from home, or start his/her own business. I was particularly excited to see the Virtual Assistant reference, because it seems like I keep bumping into that everywhere. Remember, "Homeless but not Hopeless" who I blogged about a few weeks ago? Remember, that she was offered that virtual internship? Then there was my post just yesterday about virtual internships becoming more popular. Well, in case you were wondering... I didn't do a web search for virtual internship(s); virtual job(s); virtual career(s); or virtual assistant(s), although maybe now I will. This stuff just keeps popping up! Anywho, it seems like a really great opportunity for any blogger.

I'm also adding's RSS feeds to others that I have displayed in the right-hand column of this blog.

These should all update automatically/periodically; so, check back frequently to see what's new. I try to keep track of the feeds to make sure that they're up-to-date. However, occasionally, the content originator takes a hiatus, and I don't realize right away. Further, if you're looking for something that was posted in the right-hand column of this blog earlier, and you don't see it there presently, I may have deleted it because it was not updated for a while, or I may have moved it down to the bottom of the site, to make room for fresh content.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today's News Pick:

I loved this article. It's just so darned current! Can say, "Zeitgeist", you know: the spirit of the times? Virtual Internships and all legitimate online work from home engagements are the result of the cost-cutting global environment, in which we now live.

Soon, with more companies needing to reduce overhead, and other labor-related expenses, employment candidates who are willing and able to work remotely (and responsibly) will be in high demand. The virtual internship is a great way to acclimate oneself to these burgeoning opportunities, in new economy.

So get your bunny slippers, high-powered laptops, and professional attitudes ready!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: A 6-Step Guide to Networking for First Year MBA Students

If you've read my blog from beginning to end you know of my love/hate relationship with networking; its downright schizophrenic. One minute, I'm bemoaning the seeming cronyism of it all; and the next minute, I'm telling you how to do it! Well, get ready to hop back on the roller coaster ride, 'cause. "[]Here [I] go again!" (Reagan, Ronald)... (for the record, I won't be quoting him a whole heck of a lot... so, enjoy it while you can Reaganites).

Anywho, at: Markwinburn's you can find all kinds of really cool posts, but to get to the one that I'm touting today, go to Markwinburn's "A 6-step-guide to Networking for First Year MBAs" . This is a great article, whether you are an MBA candidate; undergraduate; graduate student in a different field; or, even someone who is out of work, just looking for a way back in. Although I hate to admit it... you just have to do this crap... I ... I mean stuff.

When I was in school, there were all sorts of networking events, and I NEVER WENT TO THEM! I hated the fact that all of my school-mates were millionaires' kids, so I didn't want to spend a whole lot of time kissing up to them, or listening to their small-talk.

I also despised the fact that even our professors kissed up to them. (I'm gonna cross my fingers that I haven't told you this story already and press on...)

In the Fall of ... Jiminy Cricket!... I don't know how long ago now... I registered for an International Business course in my program. As usual, for small-sized courses, the first class started with the professor asking everyone to introduce themselves. These thirty-somethings each relayed stories like, "Hi. My name is Joe Millionaire, and I'm the Senior Director at XYZ Very Important Co. I'm here to hone my management & policy skills, and gain a greater expertise in my field... blah, blah, blah... etc., and on and on.... Meanwhile, as a twenty something recent graduate all I could say was something like, "Hi. I'm Jane Low-Life, and I just graduated from a really good college in which you wouldn't be caught dead. I've worked a lot of places, but sorry none of them were consulates, and sorry, I don't have a summer home in Greece, or Nice, or the United Arab Emirates... but don't let that weird you out too much." (O.K., I didn't say anything like that, but that's what I was thinking, in addition to, "Why do you have the job that you have with no graduate education in management? I just saw that job listed, and it specifically stated that you had to have a graduate degree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" *

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What the ???

"Mission Accomplished: 50 Jobs in 50 States" Tom Abate, San Francisco Chronicle
Who has the time or $$ to travel to 50 different states to secure short-term employment? Anecdotally, this is an interesting story. However, although I can relate to the first part of Mr. Seddiqui's experience, wherein he explains having trouble finding work after graduation, the last part, where he describes traversing the nation to locate work (and gain a myriad of experiences) seems, well... more like, "Mission Impossible". I'm not exactly incredulous; I guess, I'm just not as ambitious or flexible as Mr. Seddiqui. Perhaps I'm logistically challenged!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Jab At Work Poetry (Poetry about Work)

“Work” by AJA-B, 08/30/09

The life I live is full of Joy,
But fool of sadness have I been,
If rumblings uttered prove us coy,
Then, truth be told both where, and when,
Was once a pair that teetered then,
O’er brinks or hills,
That they could scarce,
Find liquid, bars of salt, but bills,
And toil, though notice paid none dare’st,
To sweat, and pack, and tape, and wrap,
To call, and quest, rebuffed for cost,
To drive five states, and back, for gas
Traverse, from here to there to drink,
While aching back, and sweat-soaked shirt,
Proved naught the laborers’ worth, but stink,
And why should hecklers, wreckers blurt,
And hurl insults until they hurt,
While hypocrites sit conditioned in,
Till out a pair sent all they’d earned,
To others seeking extra, win,
‘gainst those that taught themselves, and learned,
Volumes, nearly choked and burned,
As plumes of hate, and stacks of smoke,
Sparked flames, which brinksmanship, did stoke,
Hellacious fires that GOD awoke,
& Smote the devils’ flames whose’ fire,
Could not the heights of clouds aspire,
& Up the pair in now a shell,
found seeds to plant that vines did swell,
Fat, filling, fruit and tasty cheer,
Revealing teeth, “from ear to ear,”
Now brimming, happily forgiving, hope,
Refilling cranial stores to find,
Surviving, counts for little more than sustaining life, and wasting time.

Digressing now though more is there,
I advise you work, but ne’er care,
Hard work, and success are not the same,
But without the first you’ll reap the blame,
For being weak, and seeming lame,
To end I wish you all the best,
Catharsis exhausts, I needs must rest,
Good luck, “You’re hired” I hope you’ll find,
To ease your cares, and soothe your mind.

© 2009 AJA-B

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