Archive for February, 2009

How much industry experience do you really need?


BlogBreak contributor Gary Wheeler discusses the frustrations of employers telling job seekers that “industry experience” is required, even for entry-level jobs:

A friend of mine asked the manager of sandwich shop if he had any openings. The manager replied, “Do you have sandwich making experience?” He told the manager that he makes a great tuna salad sandwich! What in the world?!

What happened to bringing a different perspective to the company to broaden the company’s perspective? I know that there are a lot of people out of work, recruiters are getting bombarded and this is a way to weed out the masses but this is almost incestuous.

Is it that companies don’t have the leisure for people to get up to speed in their industry or that people will find it too difficult to learn their business or they are too lazy or it takes too much time to find out what the skills and talents that an individual may bring to the table that grew up in another industry? I tend to …

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Would you return part of a severance payment if your employer asked?


In California, a group of recently laid off Microsoft employees received a letter in the mail from their former employer, stating that due to an “inadvertent administrative error” there was an overpayment made in the employee’s severance check. Microsoft initially requested that the ex-employee’s return the overpayment amount to the company (they’ve since changed their mind). While it’s not clear if employees are bound by the law to return the overpayment, Microsoft does include some information about tax consequences relating to overpayments in the letter. You can see a partially scanned copy of the Microsoft letter on TechCrunch. (They are also reporting now that Microsoft has backed off their demand for return of the overpayment, and will allow employees who were overcompensated to keep the amount. Only about 25 were overpaid.)

So if you were laid off and received a severance package, and your former employer turned around claiming an overpayment error, would …

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What are the best part-time jobs?

part time jobs

Leita Cowart / AJC Special

Part-time jobs may be easier to find than full-time jobs in Atlanta right now. If you are a job seeker, check out this list of popular part-time jobs and then visit the ajcjobs part-time job resource page for part-time job listings in Atlanta and more tips and advice.

Did we miss a great part-time job on our list? Let us know, and tell us if part-time work is helping you maintain your budget.


  • Substitute teacher
  • Stadium/Venue workers
  • Pet sitters
  • Senior companions
  • Healthcare valet/parking attendants
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Hospitality/housekeeping



  • Tax season
  • IRS
  • Tax preparation companies

  • Spring cleaning:
  • House cleaning crews
  • Lawn care workers


  • Lifeguards
  • Summer camp staff
  • Amusement park staff
  • Summer resorts staff


  • Lawn care (leaf cleanup)
  • Gutter cleaning / winterizing home repair
  • Haunted house staff


  • Retail (holiday shopping)
  • Christmas tree farms
  • Shopping mall …

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Ready to join the troops?


A recent AJC story talked about how more Georgia residents are deciding to join the military since the civilian job market is so tough right now. As stated in the article, the military readily hires and rarely fires.

Atlanta-area military recruiters are already noticing an upswing of job seekers showing up at their recruitment offices. In addition to the job security, branches of the military offer various enlistment bonuses and tuition assistance.

Are you considering enlisting in the military? Do you think it’s a wise move or a sign of desperation from job seekers?

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Should unhealthy employees face health insurance hike?


Last year, we had a heated discussion about Alabama’s controversial move to charge its overweight state employees essentially a fat fee, an additional monetary amount added to the employee’s health insurance premiums. Now the issue has moved closer to home, with the City of Kennesaw proposing to increase the cost of medical insurance premiums if city employees defined as “high-risk” don’t participate in a wellness program.

That premium increase could ultimately double the amount city of Kennesaw employees currently pay. A wellness consultant would identify those as high-risk of health complications, including tobacco users and some overweight employees. Kennesaw dropped traditional health insurance coverage about four years ago and went with a self-funded model.

Kennesaw’s mayor says so far no employees have complained about the new proposal. Do you think employers should have the right to charge employees who they determine to be “unhealthy” more …

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What are the best jobs for passionate people?

mellow mushroom artist

Johnny Crawford /

Passionate, creative types often find the corporate world dull and stifling. But there are plenty of careers where passion for your craft will be rewarded, and sometimes handsomely. From professional athletes to actors, chefs and florists, there are a wide range of careers that require a special talent and passion for perfection.

What jobs do you think work out best for creative, passionate people? Can they be successful in an office environment?

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Worst jobs in America


I know, most people who find themselves unemployed right now would say that there is no job they wouldn’t accept right now, in order to get a paycheck. But let’s face it, there are some jobs out there that are dangerous, have high amounts of stress and don’t offer enough compensation in return. According to CareerCast, the Top 10 Worst Jobs in America are:

  • lumberjack
  • dairy farmer
  • taxi driver
  • seaman
  • emergency medical technician (EMT)
  • roofer
  • garbage collector
  • welder
  • roustabout
  • ironworker

While most people would agree that garbage collector isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, other careers like EMT’s may have many dedicated employees who love helping others in crisis situations, but it’s the overall stress and relatively low pay of the position that elevates it to a worst-job status.

So what do you think about the worst jobs in America list? Do you work currently or have you worked in the past in one of these professions? If you are unemployed now, is there any job …

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