Changing careersIf you're looking for work, don't be...

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

December 30, 1991

Changing careers

If you're looking for work, don't be embarrassed that your resume includes a number of different jobs. You're not alone. Corporate restructurings have forced thousands of Americans to change jobs again and again.

So don't lie on your resume. It will catch up with you at some point in your career, and you will regret it. The frequency of jobs you've had is understandable in today's economy -- in fact, it's projected that by 2000, the average employee will change careers two or three times and jobs as often as 10 times.

Elizabeth M. Carlson, director of human resources at the National Futures Association, a Chicago- based self-regulatory group for the futures industry, says she's not at all surprised to see frequent job changes these days on a job application or resume.

"In fact, if applicants haven't changed jobs, it makes you wonder if they're taking the initiative for their own careers," Ms. Carlson said.

Honesty tests

Nearly half the big retailers responding to a survey use pre-employment honesty tests to screen applicants in an effort to increase productivity, reduce theft and limit employee turnover.

Sixty-one percent of the 155 retail chains that responded to the survey by the Ernst & Young accounting firm and Chain Store Age Executive magazine said they reject applicants the honesty tests show to be high-risk.

The survey reported that shrinkage, which includes customer shoplifting, employee theft and other inventory losses, totaled an estimated $1.4 billion in 1990, up from $1.35 billion in 1989. Though the absolute dollars increased, shrinkage as a percentage of sales fell 3 percent, said Burnie Donoho, senior adviser to Ernst & Young's retail industry service practice and former president of Marshall Field & Co.

Vocational training

Ninety percent of all new jobs created in this decade will require technical education beyond high school, and the demand for skilled technicians has made employers aware they must have close ties with schools that offer technical training.

That's where Vocational Industrial Clubs of America comes in.

The organization, headquartered in Leesburg, Va., has 260,000 student members in high schools, vocational schools, trade schools and community colleges. Its 12,500 chapters are headed by volunteer teachers, and 200 corporations and labor organizations support it.

VICA operates on a $2.3 million annual budget, which covers a range of activities from professional seminars to international skills competitions.

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