Workplace Rights

Weekly (2/8/10)

Topic of the Week  Old Dogs & New Tricks - How to get a job you love

Getting a job today:

Sunk costs.
Transferable skills.
U Turn.

Your Rant: How do you really get a job today?


911 Repair,

With a jobless recovery taking hold, the job situation won't get better nearly soon enough for most of us. Which reminds me of Stump. Not the base of a tree, but the 10-year old Sussex Spaniel that came out of retirement to win the Westminster Dog Show.

This 70-year old dog, in human years, ran circles around all the other whippersnappers. This week's job survival strategies are built around the word "S.T.U.M.P." a series of tips to give your job hunt more bark and bite. For more, check out the free resources at

Sunk costs. This is my favorite lesson from my MBA days. Say you've invested $3 million in a new building. It's 75% complete. The sunk cost approach says that you need to forget about the money you've sunk in and just ask, "Is this the best place to put our money now?" I believe job seekers need to adopt a similar thought process and forget about lost jobs and 401(K)s. Beating ourselves up over past mistakes is a luxury no one can afford.

Transferable skills. This is the classic career counselor phrase, which skills of yours easily transfer into a new job, company or profession? Most of us look far too narrowly at our skills, we often can do many more jobs than we realize. Think I'm being too optimistic? The Dictionary of Occupational Titles lists over 28,000 jobs. I'm willing to bet there are more jobs that have your name on it than you realize.

U Turn. Most job hunters are focused on what lies ahead in terms of employment. But I think that it is necessary to also look back. Find the people who know what you can do, who you've done favors for and who have escaped to new industries. These are the people you need to be contacting for advice, support and counsel. Take a U turn to get ahead.

Mission. Call me naive, but I believe that a job can provide a sense of purpose in our lives, especially now. And since we're all going to have to work longer now that much of our savings have "Madoff," it only makes sense to pursue a job that can be part of your life's mission. Sometimes this means a job that matches your values, interests or is something you've always dreamed about. You'll also work harder for a job that you really care about.

Plucky. Plucky? The definition of plucky is "courage or spirit in trying circumstances." Would you want to hire someone who looks defeated? Of course not. Even if you have to trick yourself into it, you need to pump more courage and spirit in your job hunt. Remember that many have had great success after failure, including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling and Kurt Warner.

Every dog does have his day, and you can too. Use these tips and your potential will be unleashed at work.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Also check out his newly revised best-seller "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

Thought of the Week

"Weird is the new normal"

–Andy Terentjev

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    Outta here… 20% of workers plan to switch careers/fields in next 2 years

    • Pursue a more interesting line of work, 67%
    • Higher pay, 54%
    • More career advancement, 41%
    • Increased stability, 36%


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