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February 19, 1999

You've graduated from College with a degree in Accounting and Finance. Now what?

There are a number of sites dedicated to helping business majors and accounting professionals further their careers. Some of the better ones are listed below.

Try Career Mosaic's site for professional (and budding) Accountants. There are thousands of Jobs listed and free places to post your resume. It also has a listing of Professional Associations to help expand your networking. Included are scholarships and tips for passing certification exams.

NationJob Financial Network has positions listed by category, and can be searched by location, keyword, or type of position. There are thousands of openings listed on this page, everything from Analysts, Tellers, and Senior Accountants to Insurance Specialists, Workman's Compensation, Auditors, and Lending Assistants.

National Banking Network is an association of recruiting firms with Job listings. Included are Jobs in Banking, Finance, and Credit. NBN has a wealth of information, including hotlinks to Interviewing tips, relocation assistance, etc. There are hotlinks to several hundred areas of interest to Accounting-oriented Jobhunters.

Interested in EDP (Electronic Data Processing) work? Hypermart, a consortium of businesses in Accounting related fields, lists companies looking for EDP accounting staff. Robert Half also specializes in recruiting workers in Finance, Accounting, Treasury, and Information Systems. They have a free 1999 salary survey that is accessible from their website as well.

One of the best sites related to these industries is Rutgers Accounting Web. This award-winning site includes links for Taxation, Professional Associations, Auditing, and Finance. It also has a separate section devoted to the 'Big Six' accounting firms and their Job Listings, in addition to CPA Professional Associations, Industry Journals, the "Internet's largest listing of Accounting firms, and contact information for Accounting Faculty members

For Brokerage Jobs, check out specific company websites like Solomon Smith Barney. They have a number of Job Listings for Marketing, Sales, Finance, Accounting, Banking, and other Information Technology positions.

These sites are just the starting place to land the Job you want in this field. Often the best method is to use these sites to find out about open positions, and build a relationship with someone at your target firm. While you may not have the experience they're looking for, if they get a feel for your readiness to adapt to the corporate subculture, the hiring manager may be willing to hire, train, and give you the experience you need.

-Mark Poppen

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February 18, 1999

Life isn't over at age forty, though that's the message a lot of Jobhunters who were born before 1960 seem to get. Fortune magazine ran a recent cover story called 'finished at forty', and it reflects a view not uncommon to executives. The Fortune magazine article unveils a survey of nearly 800 CEO's, and they were asked to label the age when worker's productivity peaked.

Their answer? The average response was 43 years old.

Just as discrimination can be a subtle distaste for those that are somewhat different, age discrimination is based on stereotypes that ferment in a steamy broth of cliches and prejudice. Older workers bring a mixed bag of abilities to the labor pool. They tend to have more experience, better work habits, and greater company loyalty. Some may have trouble learning new technologies, may not want to work overtime, are less interested in 'putting in time' for career advancement, and lack initiative and drive.

The same is true for younger workers, minorities, and women. You are an individual and should not be pigeonholed into a group whose sole connection is age, or color, or gender, etc.

If you are reentering the Job market after some time off, it is imperative that you focus the Hiring Manager's lens so that they see you first and foremost as an individual capable of producing the desired Job result immediately, and not as a member of some stereotypical group. Your focus should be on what you can do for This company Today, not what you did for That company Yesterday.

The average duration of unemployment now is 13 weeks, though this number is from the Department of Labor and sounds suspiciously like the amount of time when benefits run out. Since the Labor Dept makes a habit of not counting out of work people as unemployed, their numbers should always be viewed as a guesstimate that paints a rosier picture of the Job market than really exists. Executives can expect to be out of work for six months up to a year or more. Media hype about 'the best Job market ever' can further erode a Jobhunter's confidence and spirit.

"Research has found that for the baby boomer generation, a support group such as a job club is the single most significant aide in speeding the process from unemployment to employment. Doing job hunting alone is difficult and for many, a frustrating, lonely and slow process," is the advice fromForty Plus, which was established over sixty years ago during the Depression. They have chapters throughout the US. AARP also has information and services worth checking out.

Recruiters looking for readily identifiable skills and experience via keywords in online resumes are drawn toward experienced workers. The trick is convincing them your best years are ahead, not behind. Some of the usual places to look for Jobs still apply:

America's Job Bank

Career Mosaic

Monster Board

4 Work

Hot Jobs


Older workers (or experienced workers!) need to use their additional perspective to recall previous times of unemployment, and remember the Joy of getting that new Job. More Jobs will cross your path, and one of them might just change your life in a really beneficial way.

-Mark Poppen

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Work Or Play

February 17, 1999

Some cultures do not have linguistic distinctions between the symbols for work and play. Not any culture that we're familiar with, unfortunately. It is perfectly clear to most Westerners which activities are work, and which are play. "Get back to work!" or "Stop horsing around!" are not uncommon refrains in most work environments today. If you have trouble seeing the difference between work and play you are either in a very fortunate Job, or your Boss is going to fire you when they find out.

If you like Sports and Recreation, consider the Online Sports Career Center. Job listings vary from Internships to full time positions in Marketing, Finance, Sales, and Management. Nearly five million people work in sports related industries, and these industries account for over $100 Billion in revenue annually in the US alone. Included in these figures are sports equipment manufacturers; Sportlink is a good starting point to investigate careers in this facet of the Sports Industry. Sporting Goods manufacturers are looking for Mechanics, Engineers, Sales Associates, Marketing Staff, etc.

Interested in seasonal work at National Parks, Resorts, Summer Camps, or other recreationally oriented Jobs? Try Cool Works, which has a huge database of these types of Jobs (they claim to have over 70,000 positions listed). The kinds of Jobs listed ranges from Ski Instructor to Food and Beverage Manager, Camp Counselor to Ticket Taker at an amusement park. There are lots of Jobs that offer full time employment, and some of the offerings are at a decent salary in middle to upper management.

There are restrictions on some of the openings, however. Despite the adventurous nature of some of the Jobs at Cool Works, I noticed quite a few of them required pre-employment drug screening and background checks. And some of the fine print "No visible body piercing, this includes tongue piercing, with the exception of earrings (one per ear for female employees, none for male employees) are allowed" gives me the impression that some places would Not be tons of fun to work at.

Generally these Jobs are great if you want to something different, or just do Something. I worked for several years at a golf resort, and the free golf, two meals a day, and staff camaraderie was a real blast. The pay, however, sucked. If you pursue any of these kinds of 'fun jobs', consider the whole package and the cost of housing. If Employers are promising to improve your 'quality of life' at work, talk to former Employees to get the nitty-gritty about what the Job/Fun is really like.

-Mark Poppen

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Q & A

February 16, 1999

It can be frustrating doing Internet searches. How do you know when to stop looking for something? It may be in the next place you look, or in the next Search Engine you were going to try. Search Engines don't have it easy either. They are dealing with an increasing wide range of Internet Searching abilities as novices flock to the web for fun and profit. At the same time that they try to satisfy your search requirements as a job hunter, they are trying to serve the average Internet customer.

What is an 'average' searcher doing? Metaspy allows you to watch searches taking place, and it gives you a general idea of the average state of Internet floundering that's going on. If you have a little bit of the voyeur in you, it can be an interesting place to watch others surf the net.

If you're looking for outplacing services, one area of interest should be Yahoo!. Their directory of Companies is a good research starting point. Dejanews has an excellent assortment of Job listings culled from newsgroups. The database is searchable by keywords, though it suffers from the typical problem with Internet job postings: namely, ninety percent of the Jobs listed require either technical skills or 5-10 years experience in a technical field.

Don't have any hard-core technical or programming skills, but you do know how to find people on the Internet that have those skills? There are some Jobs in the recruiting field as either a recruiting professional or Internet researcher. While the former Job requires sales ability (you'll need to sell techies or other 'most wanted' professionals on why the position you're recruiting them for is better than the Job they're currently in), the straight researching function demands only that you find contact information for these highly sought after personnel.

Do you use Alta Vista frequently? Their help page has some very useful tips on how to make your searches return better results. I especially like the URL: search feature at the bottom of the chart, it "Finds pages with a specific word or phrase in the URL". Many new companies are creating url's that reflect what their business is about and this is an easy way to find them.

-Mark Poppen

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