Resolve to Boost Your Career
Surveys show that weight loss and general fitness rank as the most common New Year’s resolutions, but career-oriented goals – whether finding a new job or improving one’s position – may have a deeper impact on day-to-day happiness. So says John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. "The key to succeeding in your resolution, whether it is related to career, health or personal finance, is to set specific objectives and reasonable deadlines for achieving them," he declares. "Instead of making it your goal to find a new job, focus on the smaller steps needed to get that job. For instance, resolve to join a professional association or find other ways to meet ten new people in your field." Challenger suggests other career-related resolutions: Start a MySpace page – More companies are searching the Internet for more information about candidates, so create a professional-looking page that tells them you are exceptional. With more than 67 million members, MySpace is also a valuable networking tool. Meet your boss’s boss – At the next company event, go out of your way to meet those at least two rungs higher on the corporate ladder. They are the ones who can advance your career. Remove/cover tattoos – While body art is becoming more common and more accepted in some offices, many still find it unprofessional. Get involved with a community service group – This is a great way to build your network as well as hone your professional skills. Join a company committee – Whether it is a team developing new workplace policies or simply planning the holiday party, volunteering can help build relationships with people you might otherwise never meet.
November Hiring Widespread
Employers added 15,900 new positions to payrolls throughout California in November. Hiring was across the board, with nine out of 11 industry sectors adding jobs. Information employment led the way with 3600 new jobs, followed by trade, transit and utilities (+3500), professional business services (+3100), education and health services (+2700), construction (+2300), government (+900), manufacturing (+700), financial (+500), and mining (+200). The two sectors that lost jobs were other services (-900), and leisure and hospitality (-700). California’s rate of unemployment nudged upward in November to 4.6 percent. Nationally, the jobless rate also rose slightly to 4.5 percent.
On the Job Front
STATEWIDE – Effective Jan 1, California’s 1.4 million minimum-wage workers begin earning $7.50 an hour, a 75-cent increase. The rate goes to $8 an hour in one year.
EMERYVILLE – An Alameda Superior Court Judge granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Woodfin Suite Hotel from firing 24 housekeepers because of discrepancies in their Social Security files. The ruling requires the workers be paid until a Jan 23 hearing.
LOS GATOS – Nurses at Community Hospital of Los Gatos have voted to join the California Nurses Association in hopes of winning better pay. They were granted a 5-percent pay hike in October, but RNs complain they are still 11 to 13 percent behind other area hospitals.
VACAVILLE – The State Compensation Insurance Fund has started work on a 32-acre campus south of Genentech’s plant. When the five, two-story buildings are complete, the SF-based State Fund will employ about 1200 people. Three of the buildings are expected to open in 2008. Total project completion is set for 2011.