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    Health Careers

    August 20, 1999

    Several comprehensive sites for Jobseekers who are looking for Jobs in the health field are relatively easy to find.  As with a lot of sites on the web, merger mania has swallowed up a large number of sites- some of these sites are now a part of a larger umbrella employment site.  Some of the better sites are:





    HealthOpps is run by one of the pioneers of the employment sites, Career Mosaic.  It offers a Job Search engine that can be focused on Job Title or Location.  The geographic locator can look for available Jobs within a fifty-mile radius of a target city.  They offer a free resume posting service for Jobhunters, and have a few articles of interest to health career minded folks.

    Medzilla, despite the bizarre name, is an excellent source for Jobhunters in the Health Care arena.  A scrolling number at the top of the page lets you know how many Jobs are listed on the site each day.  There is a clear line separating the section for recruiters from the one for Jobhunters, and you can post and edit your resume online.  You can research companies that have logos on the site, and scan a series of articles about what's new in the medical field.  Especially useful is the salary survey so you can make sure that you are getting paid (or offered) a fair wage.

    Medsearch is's entry in this field.  As usual, the leading name in the online employment industry has a very thorough site that offers a cornucopia to Jobhunters.  In addition to creating and storing your resume, Medsearch has ongoing discussions about healthcare topics and Job Q & A sessions for interested parties.  Career advice, Health Care links to other more detailed sites, and training/education are also accessible.  A special section lets you research your target companies as well.

    HealthCareerWeb offers a Jobmatch feature that emails you when an opening comes up in your field.  It also has links to a huge number of health career resources.  You can create and save your resume to their site, and (like most sites) they have articles that give you free advice on how to create a winning resume and get it noticed by the right employer.

    -Mark Poppen

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    Aging Opportunities

    August 19, 1999

    Every day another 10,000 baby boomers celebrate (or hide the fact!) that they are turning fifty years old.

    This steady demographic wave of soon-to-be senior citizens will continue to dominate the US economic landscape for years to come, and some of the ramifications point to serious problems, and thus, opportunities. One prevalent fear that runs throughout age brackets is that Social Security funding will be insufficient to withstand the onslaught of an increasingly older population. Another concern is "Who's going to take care of all those elderly people?"

    Projected requirements to serve the needs of the graying of America are staggering. Everything from Doctors, Nurses (RN, LPN, CNA, etc), Hospital staff, Nursing Home workers, at-home nursing services, and the list goes on. One of the primary growth industries in the next twenty-five years will be dealing with the death of our parent's generation.

    If you are interested in health care, there are a number of websites devoted to these issues. Call24 Online lists Jobs in the industry, and has useful links to licensing boards and professional associations. The National Network for HealthCare Professionals recruits for almost all kinds of work in Health Care, and shows lists of current searches (plus accepts resumes). Allied Health Opportunities includes Job listings from a large variety of medical fields throughout the US, and also lists the participating institutions.

    Health Care is an extremely broad topic. There are openings in seemingly unrelated fields that serve the Health Care Industry, like Telecommunications, Accounting, Management, and Administration. The Global Health Network is an alliance of experts in health and communications, and it lists available positions from not only the US, but worldwide. Health Careers Online has specialty subtopics for Jobhunters looking for administrative and management opportunities, and Jobspan is a service used by HR departments to screen & recruit Health Care professionals searching for executive/management positions.

    These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jobsites related to Health Care. Resources on Mental Health issues are available at Mental Health Net, and try RehabJobs for positions and information on Jobs that have a therapy component to them. For any field you are investigating to find work that is mostly part- or flextime, go to Interim Services.

    Even if Health Care doesn't appeal to you, the Aging of America is a force to be reckoned with. If you like working for yourself, this group will be buying services at levels heretofore unimaginable. Put yourself in your parent's place (and their contemporaries). What are their concerns, fears? And what aspirations do they have before they die? Maintaining their health and quality of life is an easy answer. What are some of the less obvious answers?

    That's where the real opportunities are.

    -Mark Poppen

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    Quick Tips

    August 18, 1999

    Information overload is over us, under us, and all around us.  Just finding your desk some days is half the battle, and scraps of paper and VIP notes are constantly in danger of fluttering away if someone opens a window at the wrong time of day.  "Organized!" you scream, "I've got to get myself Organized!"


    Easier said than done, obviously.


    Here are a few words from the wise (not mine, thank you very much):


    • Divide large projects into smaller ones.  (A variation on 'Divide and Conquer').
    • Use your time in line (or traveling) to get work done, rather than getting angry about the delay.
    • Your Computer crashes when you ask it do multitask - so do people.  Take one thing at a time.
    • Consider: Does this project have to be done perfectly, or is it 'good enough for government work?'
    • Prioritize projects - what really really needs to get done so you boss doesn't chew you out?
    • Touch paper only once. Throw it out, file it into an easily findable drawer, or answer it.
    • Start the day by calmly making a list of short-term & long-term tasks; check them off when done.
    • End the day by figuring out what didn't get done & move it to tomorrow's 'first things to do' list.
    • Set a time for return calls, emails, and 'interrupter' activities.  Your productive time is valuable.
    • Practice saying 'No'.  Just because someone asks nicely doesn't mean you have to commit to do it.


    Remember, you are only human, not some kind of automated work machine.  You were not made to plug in, drink five cups of coffee, and work like some kind of whirling dervish for ten hours.  The average workweek may have expanded to almost fifty hours, but Employers are crazy if they think they are going to double worker productivity every year.


    Also, know your limitations.  You should pay attention when your stress level is shooting through the roof, and take steps to ease back a little.  No one else can see inside your head and figure out that you're about to blow up, taking no prisoners.  Knowing your limitations and acting accordingly is different from arguing for your limitations. 


    Richard Bach aptly noted in his classic book Illusions "If you argue for your limitations long enough, they are yours for life."  Knowing your limitations doesn't imply that you should shy away from testing your abilities and making a concerted effort to grow and learn new things.

    -Mark Poppen

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    August 17, 1999

    We get a lot of emails here every week from Jobhunters.  Occasionally there are success stories; with new Employees thanking us for whatever bit of advice or help that may have assisted them in landing their new Job.


    More often, though, the notes are describing something that is going wrong in their Jobsearch.  It is hard to miss the frustration expressed by unsuccessful Jobhunters - it really is hard to keep your spirits up when you think you've finally hooked a good looking Job, only to find out it too has slipped away.  And quite a few of these letters have one common denominator - the candidate feels (or has been told that) they are overqualified for the target position.


    How could anyone possibly be 'overqualified' for a position?  Is there a problem with someone doing the Job better than anyone expected them to?  Of course not.  Overqualified, at least to the Hiring Manager, means something altogether different.  It is used as a red herring to cover up their real fears, the unspoken ones you must uncover and respond to if you want to be offered the Job.


    Employers generally have one (or more) of the following concerns about workers that they classify as 'overqualified':


    You'll be harder to get rid of if things don't work out because of discrimination issues.  If push comes to shove and the boss wants to fire you rather than your inexperienced coworker, they could be on shaky ground with the NLRB by retaining the lesser skilled (but more easily bossed?) employee.


    You're more likely to jump to another better paying Job when the offer comes.  Employers don't want to have to go through the laborious process of hiring for this position anytime soon, and skilled & experienced Employees sure look like headhunter bait from the Employer's perspective.


    You're going to cost them more, either in initial pay, raises, or sick leave.  Employers hate to spend money, especially on Employee pay - it seems to be a universal trait.


    You'll quickly get bored with the Job, and act like the work is beneath your talents.  Not only does this make it hard to motivate you, it might impact other workers as well.


    Answering these fears takes a steady hand and a calm rational mind.  You are more valuable because of the money you'll save them by using your cost-cutting experience (give examples).  You won't jump to another firm because you take pride in commitment to your Employers (see work history).  You are dependable, work hard and well, and are willing to get the task done as a team member no matter what the assignment is (resume, references, work history).


    Overqualified workers are probably the best bet the Hiring Manager could make - it just takes some convincing to get them to put their money where your mouth is.

    -Mark Poppen

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    August 16, 1999

    If you are going to quit, should you give notice to your Employer?


    Employers are under no obligation to give you any notice when they fire you or lay you off, unless you have a written agreement with them as part of your labor contract.  Some Companies offer severance packages, or will give you some notice that a layoff is in the works.  Generally it is considered unprofessional to quit without giving written notice to your Employer - usually two weeks notice.  But you should make your determination based on several factors:


    • How does your Company handle the situation when they let Employees go?
    • Is this Job important to your resume, career, references, etc?
    • If you give notice, are you likely to be laid off later the same day?
    • Will your leaving immediately negatively impact on coworkers you care about?
    • Does your Company have any written policies governing notice, quitting, termination, etc?
    • Did your present Company pressure you into quitting your last Job and starting right away?
    • Are you leaving to work for your Company's competitor?


    Think about getting a handle on the answers (your best guess) to these questions before giving notice, or deciding whether to just up and quit.  While getting out asap often feels like the only answer, it is not always the best solution to a Job that sucks.  The worker's daydream of telling the boss off is better left in fantasyland.  Many Industries are small enough that word of mouth about 'bad Employees' gets around fairly quickly.


     The good feeling that you get from telling your boss off in no uncertain terms and leaving them with your unfinished workload will be short-lived.  The bad feeling you get watching your minimal reserve of funds dwindle away while desperately trying to land your next Job tends to last much longer.


    There are too many other Jobs out there that suck just as bad in their own way.  The way to avoid trading one lousy Job for another is through thorough research, good planning, and making the effort to contact people you don't know yet and sharing your enthusiasm for your target profession.  If you can rise above lousy Jobs and incompetent management by exhibiting professionalism, then doing what is right in the workplace will become second nature to you - and will be evident to others in your ever-growing network.

    -Mark Poppen

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