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I Like This – August 30, 2010

August 30th, 2010 Comments off

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You can, and should, do more than have an on-the-job meltdown

August 27th, 2010 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoThe last few weeks provided yet another instance of an on-the-job meltdown as a JetBlue flight attendant finally reached the breaking point of their customer service career. The only amazing thing about this, though, is that is doesn’t happen with more frequency. Job stress, economic pressures and career stagnation all contribute to worker meltdowns and yet very little is ever done to remedy the underlying problems. While on-the-job meltdowns aren’t the most productive way of dealing with the issues, it is inevitable when management offers so few productive ways of addressing problems.

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Cathartic, but doesn’t lead to change

An on-the-job meltdown can certainly be cathartic for both those who undergo it and also those who read about it. It is a rare person who hasn’t wanted to tell a boss to “take this job and shove it” at some point in their career. That said, its ability to effect true change in the work world is limited, if non-existent. We may have a good laugh for a few days, but the fact is, the underlying causes of the meltdown remain and, in some cases, get even worse. On top of that, these meltdowns usually are career-ending for the person involved. No matter how much stress they have been put under, no matter how difficult the job, no matter how annoying or threatening the customer, they are expected to soldier on through it all, stoically bearing every trial. One slip and you are gone.

I would caution anyone who is on the very edge of an on-the-job meltdown to do themselves a favor and get out of the situation now! We may experience financial and other life pressures to continue in our jobs despite harsh realities, but an on-the-job meltdown is a drastic choice to make. There are always alternatives and these alternatives are far less damaging than the consequences of an on-the-job meltdown. For your own self-preservation, seek out these alternatives before it is too late and you hurt yourself or someone else.

No other options

The reason that on-the-job meltdowns occur, though, is directly related to the fact that there are no socially acceptable ways to fight back against horrible workplace environments. Employment today, and always, has been a place of “love it or leave it.” Employees have no voice to change their environment. The only power they have is to abandon one job for another, one company for another, with no guarantee that the new company or the new position will be any better. Even worse, it also means that the bad environment never changes. Companies never improve because someone left the company. They simply mark that employee off as a bad egg, a crybaby, a loser and continue on as they always have. Then they treat their new hire in exactly the same way, placing exactly the same stress upon them. In this way, we develop companies where employees are merely surviving the environment. All the best employees have already left for greener pastures.

Until we have some method of giving employees the work environment they deserve and need to succeed, the risk of very public on-the-job meltdowns will always be with us. Companies must stand up and support their employees when they are faced with hostile customers, dangerous work environments and sexual harassment. Companies cannot ignore the reality of what is happening in the office, in the store and on the shop floor. To do so almost guarantees that they will face an embarrassing and financially damaging on-the-job meltdown.

It isn’t as if companies can’t easily see the problems. In fact, they often have to go long ways to ignore the obvious abuses. It is more a factor of caring what is happening. The first thoughts that run through most companies collective minds is how to keep profits rolling in, not whether their workforce is happy. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between the two. Solicit feedback from your employees, support them when there is an issue and do everything you can to help prevent them coming to an on-the-job-meltdown moment. Don’t try to hide your issues or pretend they don’t exist. Face them head-on yourself or some other person, some other event will force you to face them. Everyone wins in this scenario. Employees are happier, the company prospers and meltdowns are kept to a minimum.

I call on all companies to develop some sort of support system for their employees that let them have some effect, some control over their work environment before it is too late. If not, the best thing that will happen is some of your best potential employees with leave and you will be faced with a destructive and constant turnover. The worst that can happen, of course, is to have one of your employees suffer an on-the-job meltdown that consumes them and shows your company in a very bad, very public way. There are no winners when this happens. Everyone loses. Game over.



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Video: Panel: Traditional Media Career Paths and How They Are Changing from CareerCampLA

August 26th, 2010 Comments off

Tracy Pattin, Michael Lawshe, Liam Johnson and Jenny Bellington present a panel discussion on “Traditional Media Career Paths and How They Are Changing” at CareerCampLA 2010.

Video: Career Compass: Finding Your Career North with Douglas E. Welch

August 16th, 2010 Comments off

Douglas E. Welch presents “Career Compass: Finding Your Career North” at CareerCampSCV on July 10th, 2010.

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I Like This – August 16, 2010

August 16th, 2010 Comments off
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Video: 10 Things to Do While You’re Looking with Jennifer Oliver O’Connell

August 11th, 2010 Comments off

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell of Tuesdays with Transitioners, and co-chair of CareerCampLA 2010, presents 10 Things to do while you’re looking at CareerCampLA 2010

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The Kitten, The Boy and Taking a Break

August 6th, 2010 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoAs we all know, it’s a crazy world out there. On most days, we run from home to school to work to home to bed in what seems like an endless cycle. We might read lots about needing to balance our work and ‘real’ life, but never seem to get anywhere near it. In some cases, we burn ourselves up searching for the next big score, the next big promotion, the next big stack of money. While I am not saying that work, money and fulfillment aren’t important, it is just as important to remember to decompress — to slow down and engage in our present lives. There are times, in the madness of our lives, when we get clear signs it is time to stop and settle, but too often we choose to ignore them.

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For example, as I type, our new kitten is draped across my lap, sleeping quietly despite the movement of my fingers. While I might be “working” I am also being given a clear indication that “this is where you need to be right now.” There are a hundred other things I could be doing, but the world, in the form of this small kitten, has given me clear notice that there are other things to consider, other “things to be done” and taking it slower is one of them. As is often the case, we only notice things in contrast and comparison. We haven’t had a kitten in a while and since our son is now 12 we had forgotten how little things can take over your lives sometimes. Kittens have 2 speeds, on and off, much like human babies, and it is good reminder to all of us that there are times to be on and off even as adults. Do you have any reminders in your life? Are you good about reminding yourself that “to everything there is a season.” Sometimes the most productive thing you can be doing is sitting in your garden with a cup of tea and a good book.

Even at 12-years-old my son can still provide me with these off and on moments, too. Late last night he re-immersed himself in building and programming his Lego NXT robot. He hadn’t spent much time with it lately, but something spurred him to dive in again. Of course, as is often the case, I was immersed in my own world. I was reading and replying to email, thinking about where and how to organize our next CareerCamp, and conversing with friends online. When he came to me with this robot, I could have put him off with my typical, “I’m sorry, but I am working now” excuse. As someone who works extensively at home, this is something that happens quite regularly. Instead, though, I saw this as a time to turn work “off” for a while. For the next hour or so he re-engineered the physical aspects of the robot while I helped him program the logic that allowed it to autonomously move around, reacting when it bumped into things.

Again, what a wonderful way for the universe to remind us of those times when we just need to stop and do something entirely different. It is in these moments that we often learn new things and re-visit important concepts we may have forgotten. It is in these moments that we break out of the haze of constant action and into the clear blue sky of new thoughts and new ideas.

Are you ignoring the clear signs from the universe when it is telling you try something different? Do you see the opportunities in a sleepy kitten or an inquisitive boy? Is your nose so far into the grindstone that you risk losing any view of the world around you? Be watchful for those moments when someone or something offers you an opportunity to stop — an opportunity to just sit and think or laugh or smile or nap or run or jump. I think you will find that these breaks could be some of the most significant “work” you do all day.



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Video: Music Business Careers with John Braheny

August 4th, 2010 Comments off

John Braheny, author of “The Craft and Business of Songwriting” presents Music Business Careers at CareerCampLA 2010.

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Job Offered: Payroll Tax Accountant

August 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ascent Media Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCMA). With more than 40 facilities worldwide, Ascent Media Group is a leading provider of fully integrated, end-to-end services for the global digital media supply chain. Guided by our entrepreneurial culture, we blend breakthrough creative with emerging technologies to deliver some of the most advanced and innovative media solutions to help film and television studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies make, manage, move and monetize their digital media.

We are seeking a Payroll Tax Accountant to join our team in Burbank, CA.

Job Summary:

Responsible for preparing, processing, and analyzing payroll tax data to ensure accurate and timely payroll tax deposits per Federal, State, and Local requirements. Position requires analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, an aptitude for numbers, multi-tasking abilities, and good attendance. The ideal candidate is a self-starter with initiative and a pro-active approach to tasks and responsibilities.

Job Duties:

* Responsible for all Company payroll tax activities, including compliance with knowledge of local, state, and federal regulations.

* Drive change in the Payroll tax function to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the Payroll tax function

* Maintain payroll-related accounts and the reconciliation and accuracy of one or more accounts within a complex accounting system.

* Prepare various accounting schedules, exhibits, and summaries, assists in determining the need for new payroll codes/accounts and/or revisions, research and advise payroll staff concerning the accounting treatment of complex transactions.

* Respond to questions and special requests from employees and regulatory agencies, in researching laws and regulations regarding taxes and payroll withholding procedures.

* Research and review legislative and policy changes that effect payrolls and computer programs, translating changes into clear, concise directives for management, systems personnel, and subsidiaries.

* Participate in payroll software design reviews and modifications to ensure statutory compliance and accuracy.

* Maintains current knowledge of all Payroll Tax laws and/or requirements affecting the company payroll taxes.

* Identify potential Payroll tax exposure and related financial risks, communicate these risks to Management, and direct the final disposition of related Payroll tax items

* Assist in tax audits. Serve as a liaison and company consultant to tax authorities to clarify statutory changes and to request additional information when that is needed.

* Independently work with the Payroll vendor’s tax filing service to ensure timeliness and accuracy of filings, as well as assist in issue resolution.

* Responsible for addressing tax issues associated with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, company name changes, FEIN changes, new state withholding, and unemployment applications

* Review various Payroll reports for accuracy, adjustments/corrections

Job Requirements:

* 4-6 years of related payroll tax experience on the federal, multi-state, and local level, interpreting statutory legislation and documentation.

* Solid understanding of the calculation and reporting of tax liabilities,

* Must be able to independently perform work related tasks and exercise professional discretion

* Bachelor’s degree preferred.

We offer competitive pay and benefits program, including: medical, dental & vision coverage, vacation & sick leave, 401(k), company health screenings and more. Local candidates only. No relocation assistance provided.

Ascent Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To apply, please forward your resume to pschumaker@ascentmedia.com with Payroll Tax Accountant in the subject line.

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News: Stone Brewing to Hold Career Open House – Escondido, CA

August 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Here might be an interesting career at one of the best known breweries in California. Hmmm, might be some interesting perks. (LAUGH) — Douglas

Stone Brewing to Hold Career Open House

Escondido, CA—Stone Brewing Co., the fastest growing craft brewery in America since its founding in 1996, has a reputation for bucking trends. Already known for its genre-bending beers, uncompromising business ethics, and zealous commitment to sustainability, Stone is now bucking the national trend of reducing production and scaling back employment. Due to continuously growing demand, Stone has 35 open positions, leading the company to hold a “Career Open House” in the hopes of filling some of its job openings with the very best, brightest, and talented San Diegans seeking gainful employment.

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