Author: Carol Vanecko

Tattoos and Job Search

In today’s precarious and difficult employment world one needs to be very flexible and willing to give up over-the-top apparel, hair cuts, facial hair and TATTOOS.  Over-the-top clothes and shoes might be suitable in some boutique stores and the same might be said for haircuts and highlights (as long as they aren’t neon-coloured).  Facial hair on men is o.k too as long as it is well-groomed.  However, tattoos are really taboo.  A survey of employers revealed that many employers of small and medium-sized firms do not want to see tattoos of any kind on their employees.  In fact, any applicant with a visible tattoo would be automatically eliminated as a future employee.  In fact, a U.S. Prison Warden advises inmates soon to be paroled into their community to remove any visible tattoo before applying for a job.  If this is the case for parolees, imagine how it is for other plain Canadian or American folk.  Personally, I am of the generation that has always regarded tattoos as defacement and unnecessary torture.  Maybe a case can be made for certain indigenous civilizations like the Maori but again that would engender surprise and perhaps antipathy among customers.  I remember my first reaction upon meeting a lovely Maori lady.  So, some job seekers who have always prided themselves on expressing their individuality visibly, may have a difficult choice or two to make. Comments...

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Calligraphy & You – Focus on Your Handwriting

Basically, calligraphy means beautiful penmanship or handwriting in general. In my last blog, “Turn Hobbies Into Jobs”, I said that I would talk about the need for, and history of, writing. From the beginning of time, people have tried to record what matters in their lives. Cavemen painted pictorial images on the walls of their cave homes as a legacy for their descendants. About 3,500 B.C., the Egyptians created hieroglyphics. Symbols were carved inside tombs or painted on papyrus paper. Fast forward to 3,100 B.C., the Sumerians of Mesopotamia developed pictograms, some of which have evolved into the common symbols that we use today, such as @, #, $, %, & and +. The Assyrians and Babylonians adapted them for their own use. Around 1,200 B.C, the Phoenicians, whose lands & maritime trading routes followed the coast of modern Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, developed symbols or letters, forming the basis of the Hebrew alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet spread to North Africa and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks and Etruscans. (Incidentally, you have a just received a free, very-condensed history of the evolution of writing lesson that in detailed form would qualify you for a university degree). By 850 B.C., the Romans further adapted it for Latin. In the Middle Ages, calligraphy was used by Christian monks in European churches to “scribe” religious texts into decorative books....

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Turn Hobbies Into Jobs

O.K., you have done all that you can possibly do to move your work status from unemployed or temporary worker status. You have followed so-called expert advice but change has not happened. Unfortunately, the labour market is not good at the moment and conditions are not likely to improve for some time. That is the grim reality and there is no point in thinking that something is wrong with you, your qualifications or your job search strategies. So, do all you can and try something else. Ask yourself if one of your hobbies, present or old, could transition into paid work. Doing something you love makes time pass quickly and brings you a sense of self-satisfaction and renewal. If you don’t have a hobby perhaps there is something you would like to learn. You know, what you always said you’d like to do if you had the time. The news media frequently report that Canadian educators and employers say that legible, cursive handwriting has almost disappeared. Young people grow up not even knowing how to hold a pen correctly. Instead of angling their pens or pencils with their thumb and forefinger they use their thumb and clenched fist. This makes me shudder. As a former educator, I often encountered work that was illegible. Beware – some large companies have the means can analyze handwriting to determine the abilities of...

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Dare To Dream

Let me begin by asking you if you have ever wondered if you could remake your life to make it more perfect. You will probably nod your head and think about things that you regret doing or saying. More than likely you will recall instances of being tactless or insensitive to someone’s troubles or frailties because you just didn’t know better. Wisdom does come with age, unfortunately! I used to chide my mother for walking slowly not understanding that often people do walk slower as they age. I had a boss once who had ulcers that made him cranky sometimes until I served him his afternoon milk. That was long ago. He had a very important executive position that required him to drink quantities of alcohol during long business lunches. Now I understand the stress he was under to fulfil his hosting duties with clients. O.K. let us now dare to dream a new and more exciting career. What would be an ideal position for you at this stage of your life? The answer lies in what suits your particular personality and current lifestyle. Are you a person who loves to be crazy busy working for days on end and then having met your goal of income generation after being on a roll stop doing business and relax? More than likely you are the kind of person who will...

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Safety & You

This may seem like a departure for me from writing about “professional job designations” as the Job Savvy Blogger but it isn’t really. I have always regarded people who work for a salary as “professionals” – not just those with post-secondary training. This blog will talk about a dirty, un-appreciated job labelled among the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in Canada. Traditionally, it was probably filled by unskilled workers with not a lot of education but today it is well-compensated and protected by contracts. I am talking about Garbage, Recycling and Yard Waste Collectors. It takes more than brawn and a strong back to fill these important positions in our community. Rather than disrespect for these workers, let’s show them respect and appreciation for the work they do to keep our streets clean and neat. I have seen many people stuff their black plastic garbage bags full of objects that should be disposed of in other ways. Electrical wires, chemicals, paint cans, unwrapped broken glass, insulation, upholstered cushions from chairs and sofas, plastic foot stools. These are just a few examples. These bags are frequently overweight and necessitate the collector having to stop and attach a tag notifying the culprit of his or her misdemeanour. Overweight (23 kg. or 50lbs.) and hard to reach garbage and recycling containers can hurt collectors too. One bend the wrong way and picking...

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