"How is Your Job Security?" asks a recent quiz in The Wall Street Journal, also reprinted in National Business Employment Weekly (Oct. 28). Some excerpts from the answers:
"You're most vulnerable in financial service industries, such as banking, brokerage and insurance companies. Other industries prone to cutbacks are utilities, local phone companies, consumer-goods makers (still takeover candidates), defense contractors and retailers."
"Big companies cut back more than small ones, and the bigger the company, the more likely it is to be cutting. Nearly one-third of companies with annual sales of $500 million plan to reduce staffs; fewer than 10 percent of firms with under $10 million in sales reported such plans."
"If your company has pared staff before, watch out. You're not safe just because the firm has already cut. If you think you're safe because your company has already used the hatchet, think again."
Excerpts in brief: "Highest executives are most vulnerable in a firm that's being bought out; don't be reassured by a friendly takeover team. Watch what they do, not what they say." . . . "The fewer people you have reporting to you, the worse off you are." . . . "Your survival chances are better if you have regular contact with customers." . . . "Men over 40, women over 30 are most vulnerable." . . . "You're best off if you're willing to take new jobs or willing to move to new places."
LOCAL CEO CORNER (cont'd): When I asked Howard Maleson, president, Maleson Advertising, Owings Mills, for his success principles, he responded, "We take a conservative approach, not leaping into campaigns until we're totally prepared; we're moderate risk-takers, not overextended. We know where we're going. When we marketed Steger's eggs, for example, we created an egg that became a widely-asked-for product. We had a specific goal and knew how to get there."
BALTIMORE BITS: A Baltimore brokerage chief said, at a Saturday luncheon, "The Dow Jones average could go as low as 1,800; we have monstrous problems out there, even after the Iraq crisis ends." . . . A local banker told me over the weekend, "If I'm in doubt about making a loan, I don't make it." . . . S&P Outlook, Oct. 24, suggests USF&G stock as a "tax sale candidate." (Ticker note: If you wish to be "in" USF&G for the long pull, you may "double up" now, sell your "high-cost" shares in 31 days and still take the tax loss.)
IDEA BANK: "To determine whether prospective employees can maintain their energy levels all day, a Watertown, Mass., tire sales firm conducts three interviews with each -- on three different days -- one in evening, one at midday, a third in the morning. 'I only hire people who are good with customers all day long,' says the boss." (Inc., November)
AUTUMN LEAVES: Between now and Dec. 1, see your accountant or tax person for year-end business and personal tax-saving moves . . . "Good work is often wasted for lack of a little more." (Charles Schwab) . . . I bought a sport coat I didn't need last week when a salesman phoned to say he'd just received my favorite Glen Plaid pattern; why don't more sales people call? . . . "Republican economic policies of the 1980s will cause severe economic problems in the 1990s." (Larry King, WBAL Radio) . . . In a United Group Services study of small businesses, men worked an average of 56.3 hours, women 48.9 hours . . . A working-class restaurant in Hampden serves coffee 5 to 1 over decaf; the exact reverse is true in a fashionable Reisterstown Road restaurant . . . "Don't agree to give a speech if you'll be too busy when it's time to give it." (Goodrich & Sherwood, consultants) . . . "Avoid jargon on your resume; personnel office staffers may not have in-depth knowledge of technical language used in their company departments." (Knock Dead by Martin Yate, $6.95) . . . "Some non-profit groups offer volunteer vacation programs they claim are tax-deductible; the IRS may not agree." (Travel Smart)