Insight News

Oct 07th


Where have you been? Look to pastimes for better career planning

Hella Buchheim is a story-teller.  She has landed a vocation that meets anyone’s criteria for a great job:  she sets her own hours, works with fabulous characters and makes a little money.  If she had health insurance, it would be perfect.  On her website, Hella writes, “Most writers lament the road not taken. It brings us into a loop of should-as, could-as, would-as. But I want to celebrate the road taken.”  Watching Hella write her own story and considering that all of us have loops of shoulda-coulda’s, I got to thinking that a really great career is the one that capitalizes on the road taken.  Every connection, every hobby, everything we do to relax comes out of choices we make on our own behalf:  The road taken.

Social Security hearings backlog falls to lowest level since 2005

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, last week announced that the number of disability hearings pending stands at 697,437 cases -- the lowest level since June 2005 and down more than 71,000 cases since December 2008, when the trend of month-by-month reductions began.  In addition, the average processing time for hearing decisions has decreased to 442 days, down from a high of 514 days at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2008.

US Treasurer Geithner visits Standard Heating & Air Conditioning

US Treasurer Geithner visits Standard Heating & Air ConditioningEarly on the morning of January 28th, Standard Heating & Air Conditioning officials were alerted to the likelihood that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would visit later that day. With quick preparation, members of this family-owned Twin Cities business rolled out the welcome mat to give Geithner a tour of their new facility, a chance to meet with employees, and to see first hand what has made this small business a big success for 80 years. The new facility is located just off Plymouth and Washington Avenues North (130 Plymouth Avenue North).

Up in the Air: Every job is a jumping off point to something else

A manager at a middle-sized but high-profile organization in the Twin Cities is never bothered when great employers move on.   “This is not a place people stay,” she said.  “It’s more a place you leap off from.”  This is a positive attitude, and also generous, considering the time she invests in training new employees on the same positions every year or two.   Maybe the reality is that, if you’re good, most companies, most jobs, are simply a jumping off point; maybe people who are good are constantly assessing their next giant leaps.

Approachability, Compassion, Composure: Key leadership skills everyone can work on

Studies bear out what HR managers have always known:  some people are natural leaders.  Extensive research from Korn/Ferry Institute reveals 67 different competencies which true leaders carry in common.  Were they born with it?  Was Joe Mauer born AL MVP?  Whether it’s leading a team on the field or in the office, competencies develop over time, through learning and experience.  If you decide you want to improve a leadership competency, you probably can.  First, recognize something you need to work on; then, make the effort. 

Your Legal Rights: Beware of Employment Scams

Your Legal Rights: Beware of Employment ScamsIn the troubled economy, thousands of Minnesotans are without work. The State faces some of the worst unemployment figures in decades. Other people report that their hours have been cut back, or they have received cuts in pay or benefits that have made it even harder to pay for the rising costs of health care, housing, and other living expenses. People who are out of work or looking for supplemental income are sometimes targeted by unscrupulous employment agencies or other job scams. Some job hunters report that these scams have cost them thousands of dollars that they could not afford. Don’t let this happen to you!

American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center awarded $5 million grant from the US Department of Labor to assist unemployed and dislocated workers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor last week announced more than $225 million in health care and high growth training grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The grants will allow community colleges, community-based organizations, state workforce agencies and other public entities to deliver training that leads to employment in a range of health care fields and other growing industries.  With today’s announcement, organizations in all 50 states have received a share of nearly $750 million in competitive grant funding made available through the Department of Labor.
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