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Overwhelmed and Overworked: The Myth of American Productivity
Employment finally seemed back on track during the first few months of 2004. Politicians crowed that "Our tax cuts are working." Then, without warning, job growth slowed to a crawl, resulting in a deficit of more than 2 million jobs from that confidently predicted only a year ago. To counteract that dismal performance, public emphasis turned to another indicator, productivity. The reported increases in American productivity are quite genuine. Individual worker output collectively rose, from 2000 to 2003, by a full 12 percent. Definitely a bonus for Wall Street - but what about Main Street?
As the meticulous research of the Economic Policy Institute shows (Snapshot, 09/08/04), real family income fell, over the same period, by 3 percent. Contrast this with the economic period of 1947 - 1973 when productivity and real family income moved in tandem, both doubling over those years.
What does this suggest?
Americans are working harder and longer for less family income. As companies downsize or fail to replace workers who leave or retire, fewer staff are left to handle the workload. In fear of losing their own jobs, they respond by accepting new duties and new responsibilities and the added work time that accompanies them. In a world where employees are tethered to their workplaces virtually around the clock, by laptops, cell phones, and blackberries, the traditional balance of home and work has crumbled.
There is a tendency to believe that such pressures are only operative for the ambitious, career-obsessed, "Apprentice"-like, ladder climbers. In fact, the sixty-hour-plus workweek affects a substantial portion of all salaried workers, even down to front line supervisory staff.
The American worker, surveys clearly show, is becoming overwhelmed, over-tired, and fed up. Access rates for outpatient mental health services rise steadily each year. Family disruptions include increased estrangement, divorce, emotional child neglect, and domestic violence. Health problems multiply, fueled by fatigue, stress, and a lack of time for self-care. In the vaunted new technical world, where leisure time was to be expanded to historic proportions, we are working longer, harder, and more diligently than ever.
Where can we look for answers?
We can look at ourselves, identify our priorities, and learn to spend our time on what is important to us and let the rest go. More critically, we can speak up to make sure that social legislation and the tax code create similar priorities: to reward those companies who staff adequately and flexibly and provide benefits and resources to their employees. At the same time, we need to negatively impact companies who pursue such activities as job outsourcing, retiering of job titles to avoid overtime costs, dependence on temporary (usually none-benefited) labor, and the quiet acceptance of third world manufacturing of their products under sordid conditions, the use of child labor, and payment of slave wages.
CEO salaries are running more than 130 times the median worker salary. Viewing the ethical and procedural problems of major corporate figures, now mired in the legal system, Americans must start to ask whether equality and opportunity for all is still a viable creed.
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a respected Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and emotionally supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.virginiabola.com
Ive Got the Big Bad B Word on My Job!
That "B" word---B O R E D O M.
Tackling Your Unemployment Creatively
Are you unemployed or been laid off? You are not alone if that is any comfort to you. Worldwide millions of people are in the same predicament as you are. Unemployment and lay offs are stark realities of the downsizing, reengineering, restructuring, and automation in a sluggish global economy where corporations are trying every trick in the book to reduce costs, increase productivity and keep the organization lean, mean and profitable. Every one of us has gone through the phase of being unemployed once or more in our careers.
Have Some PASTA with Your Interview
When cyclists prepare for a big race, they always make sure they load up on the carbs. It is not uncommon to have a pasta feed the night before an important event so that the athletes can store up some of the carbohydrates they will be burning up the next day. The same goes for preparing for an interview. A candidate for a job, preparing for that all-important interview, needs to take in some PASTA. However, it isn't the same kind of pasta, but it is something that will energize, fortify and maximize a person's chances in having a successful interview.
Common Résumé Mistakes
Using a general résumé.
How To Write A Resume, Avoid These Resume Mistakes
HOW TO WRITE A RESUME-MISTAKE #1
Manage Your Boss - And Get Ahead!
It's clear there are a number of common issues faced by business people across totally unrelated industries and environments. This series was created to provide some perspective and guidance to executives as they negotiate their way up the corporate ladder.
Ten Things About Your Career Development
There are some tactics you can action whatever you wish for from your career. Whatever you might think right now, you have all the tools you need for a career which give you joy and fulfilment. You might not think that possible, or that it will leave you cash poor. But that's not usually the case. Your life can change within your control.
What Do Accountants And Doctors Have In Common?
Freshly qualified accounting graduates when asked by the interviewer "Are there any questions you want to ask?" usually respond with "What are my duties and responsibilities"
References: Choose Wisely
Sophisticated job seekers know and understand that sometime during the interview and hiring process you will be asked to supply references. With this in mind, here are five concepts to focus on in developing your reference list.
Resume Outline - Add Structure & Flow to Your Resume
Building your resume, based on a resume outline will give it structure and flow... it provides an outline of all the things you should include in your resume.
What You Need To Know Before Committing To Vocational Retraining
You've thought a lot about the kind of work you want to do. The duties, the pay, the hours, the environment ? everything sounds right. According to the newspaper ads, there is a big demand out there. You find a program that sounds really good. You are all ready to sign on the dotted line.
Write And Get Hired
Want to get hired faster than up to 97% of other job seekers?
Have You Given Up On Yourself?
Have you given up on yourself? Have you decided to take the easy road and coast for the rest of your life? Have you come to the decision that you have done all you could possibly be expected to do in your life now it is someone else's turn? As you get older you may not be able to run as fast, swim as far, hit the ball as hard or even concentrate as long as you used to but is that the reason to give up? Surely your aim should be to be the best you can at whatever age you are.
4 Tips for Making Successful Job Offers
The interviews are completed, the paperwork is all filled out for Human Resources, and you have decided that this is the right candidate for the job. Now comes the formal job offer. Here are four tips to increase the success rate of your job offers:
What is a Career Anyway?
A career is the sum total of all of your work-related contributions to society in a lifetime. This includes time and effort spent to provide goods, services, or benefit to others. A career includes paid, un-paid, volunteer, part-time, and full-time positions. Your career includes many life roles you may not think of: student, homemaker, babysitter, office worker, doctor, lawyer, etc. A career encompasses all the roles you play and duties you perform. You may have many jobs or positions that make up your career, but you only have one overall career. There are various career options in the modern world of work: Self-Employed, Organization Employed, or Project-Employed.
How Much Can You Earn Working As A Proofreader?
Thinking of a career as a proofreader? Then you will most likely want to know about salaries. Are you hoping to hear that you will make thousands and thousands of dollars a month in this field? It is very possible that you will barely make a few hundred when you are first starting out. There is no guarantee of a paycheck in this field. If you do not provide quality work, you probably will not have many clients returning for repeat work. Proofreading as a career is hard, but when you get in the door, you may do fairly well. Proof reader salaries are not glamorous, but they can be fairly good.
17 Surefire Ways to Annoy Potential Employers
Despite the President's encouraging words, the job market is still in sorry shape. There are more job seekers than job openings, so do NOT make things harder on yourself by doing any of the things on this list! Never, ever do these!
Using Recruiters: How To Get A Step Ahead Of The Crowd
When there is an opening to fill, a company has four basic approaches at their disposal:
The #1 Job Search Mistake To Avoid: Not Preparing Your Mind!
Mental preparation is probably your most important task as you proceed in your job search. This not only needs to be worked on right from the start, but also on an ongoing basis.
Whats Stopping You from Getting Your Next, Good Job?
This question comes up often when I'm working with someone to help them move forward in finding their next job.
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