If you're looking for a job, or trying to improve yours, don't neglect Christmas and New Year's weeks. Reasons: (1) Many companies restructure at year-end, opening up numerous job opportunities. (2) As recessions begin, aggressive firms replace several marginal people with one strong person -- and that could be you. (3) Contrary to public opinion, all bosses don't spend the next two weeks partying, so you'll find many executives in their offices. (That's why they're bosses.) Always go to the top, never wasting time with people who don't have power to hire you. And remember: top executives always look for good people. (4) Employers will admire your energy and conscientiousness if you look for a job while others bend the elbow.
Regarding the above, a Baltimore job counselor told me that many job-seekers are too embarrassed to ask friends, neighbors, local merchants, etc., for work, thereby missing fine opportunities. And outplacement specialist Robert Half advises, "When looking for a job, be pleasant. Most bosses prefer to hire employees they like, so be agreeable."
"Senior executives who lose their jobs should expect to spend an average of nine months finding a new position. Because of mergers, etc., a pool of executives pursues a shrinking number of positions. Searches for six-figure jobs take longer." (Thorndike, Deland, executive search firm)
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Every company experiences turnover in its sales force, but few businesses realize that they can keep their salespeople from playing musical chairs from employer to employer. Methods to prevent job-jumping: (1) Give adequate support, as simple as a car phone. (2) Explain verbally and in writing about salespeople's opportunities and responsibilities. (3) Offer training: salespeople with formal sales training rate their companies higher in virtually every aspect than do their untrained counterparts." (Inc. magazine, December)
MARYLAND MEMO: In Working Woman, January, this item: "In the l980s, every season had its skin-care stars, ranging from placenta-enriched moisturizers to liposome-laden cleansing creams. While science temporarily sent sales into the stratosphere, a number of products created decades before rode out the sci-tech storm with nary a molecule mentioned. Medicated Noxzema Skin Cream, in the little blue jar from Noxell, Cockeysville, Md., that has been popping out of beach bags and medicine chests for 77 years, also eschews chem-lab jargon. 'We're not trying to dazzle you with science. We're just promoting clean, healthy skin,' says J. T. Goodwin, Noxzema product manager."
STOCKING STUFFERS: "Peace in the Persian Gulf could break the recession's grip. Like a movie played in reverse, oil prices would swiftly fall, interest rates and inflation would drop, consumer confidence would rebound, spending would strengthen and business investment pick up." (Business Week, dated today)...A Corpus Christi, Texas, construction executive says, "I don't have time to read all the trade magazines that come in, but I don't let them pile up; my masons read the latest articles on bricklaying, carpenters bone up on new saws, etc., and productivity last year increased 220 percent." (Nation's Business, Dec.)
LOOKING AHEAD: Thursday's Ticker will carry stock market predictions made by local "experts" back on Jan. 11, from Dow Jones 3,540 (George Bunting, CEO, Noxell) to DJ 1,150 (Ray Jenkins, Evening Sun editorial page editor)