Although some people disagree, I feel the holiday season is a good time in which to look for a job, because:
* Many companies streamline operations at year's end, replacing inefficient people with good ones.
* Competition is low; few other people will look during holidays.
* Many bosses are free to see you; all executives don't party, travel, goof off, etc.
* Many bosses will admire your conscientiousness.
JOB HINTS: Don't send out a flock of resumes; try hard for personal interviews; look in your neighborhood first; tell friends and neighbors you're looking; talk only to people who have power to hire you; before interviews, learn all about the company. Important: Don't tell potential employers only what you've done; tell them also how well you did it. Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., has an excellent section on "how-to-get-a-job" books.
And for a free booklet I wrote called "How to Get a Job," send a business-sized, stamped, self-addressed envelope to me, c/o Ticker column, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, Balto., MD, 21278.
WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Learn to say no -- to your own need to achieve and to others' expectations. Failure to say no results in too many projects, too much to do. Overcommitment leads to stress and unhappiness, not a feeling of accomplishment." ("Guilt is the Teacher," by Joan Borysenko, $10.95).
TRAVEL TIPS: "When traveling, don't pay the 'rack rate,' the price listed in hotel brochures. Call hotels directly and ask for best possible rates---weekend package, seasonal special, senior discount, etc. Those are lower than rates quoted by many travel agents and 800-number operators. Also helpful: ask for corporate rate, often available to individual travelers, usually 10-l5% off rack rates." (Travel Smart)
MONEY SAVERS: "Save money buying a used car by hiring an independent appraiser to examine the car before you buy. Since appraisers are not affiliated with garages, they have no incentive to find anything wrong. But, by finding defects they can help you negotiate the price of repairs from the cost price." (Money) . . . "Amtrak is now using airline-style pricing tricks -- more reserved tickets, hiking prices on special demand weekends and more. Self defense: Call to find specific prices for the days you travel and plan ahead." (Wall St Journal). Amtrak number is 800-872-7245, or visit the helpful people at Penn Station.
HOLIDAY HASH: With the Dow Jones average opening today at 2,934.48, and the year's end six trading days away, closest in our 1991 "expert" forecasting contest is Joseph R. L. Sterne, Sun editorial page editor (2,921); tied for second are investment adviser Eddie Brown and McCormick & Co. CEO Charles (Buzz) McCormick (2,950). Our 1992 contest opens soon with expanded prizes; details in early January . . . Speaking of Wall Street, you have only six days left this year in which to offset capital gains with losses.
Latest Kiplinger Letter predicts a fast "Bush blitz" to show aggressive leadership . . . "Half the harm that's done in this world is due to people who want to feel important." (T.S. Eliot) . . . "When you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision." (Peter Drucker) . . . "74 percent of family businesses will give bonuses this year, 50 percent of non-family firms will." (Nation's Business, Dec.).