Category: Career


6 Practical Benefits of a Summer Job

August 18, 2019

Career

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Working during the summer can be very valuable experience for those looking to enter an area of the job market that is competitive. Beyond the normal college education, students will find the experience of a summer job to be a valuable quality when it comes to preparing a resume. Let’s take a look at a few of the main benefits of taking on a summer job:

Discover new skills

A summer job is a great way to keep learning with new skills and the ability to increase your confidence. Every part of the job can be used to gain new experience. Even the interview stage can have its practical benefits. If you are able to successfully complete a few job interviews, you will be less nervous when it comes to the real thing later in life. Also, it will take you outside your normal comfort zone and encourage you try new activities.

Work ethic

Taking on a summer job can be very useful for those looking to build a work ethic. This can have a very big impact on your character and likely to stay with you for life.

Meet people

When you are able to leave behind your natural environment and social groups, you will start to meet new people and gain friends. Additionally, this can be a great time to improve on your people skills and start to network with employers, managers and co-workers. It is a lot easier to network when able to impress people with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and a great work ethic. A summer job can easily become a long-term position if the employer is suitably impressed.

Communication skills

The time spent working can be used to polish and develop your in-person, electronic and written communication skills. Also, this can be a useful time to see how well you get on and interact with others.

Part-time roles

A summer job doesn’t need to take up all of your time. There are plenty of options to take on a part-time role that will still leave time to be with friends and travel. Even if you do work part-time, there should still be enough time to make a great impression and learn new skills.

Boost Your Resume

The ability to show past experience in a real-life work environment on your resume will show you are motivated, determined and responsible. The past experience from a summer job will be particularly helpful if it relates to the same industry you intend to work. Anything on your resume that shows past experience in a chosen field is likely to increase the likelihood of getting hired after finishing college.

Find a Lucrative Career in Data Science


Data science is giving too many opportunities today in the professional world. As the number of business concerns using data analytics is on the rise, so is the number of jobs in this field. Last year the analytics industry recruited more than 16,000 fresher candidates and this will increase in the upcoming years.

Data science deals with enormous amounts of raw data. Data scientists wrangle the given data and find meaningful insights from it. These insights are used for taking strategic decisions.

WHO ARE DATA SCIENTISTS?

Data scientists are those professionals who turn masses of unstructured data into analyzable results. They find patterns and trends which are hidden in them. They usually use various software specially organized for this task and find inferences which can be easily explained to people in the organization who does not belong to the IT realm.

They usually indulge in experimentation and research to find new technological solutions for the analytics process. They come up with various models and algorithms which in turn help business concerns to face the new daily challenges.

ROLE OF A DATA SCIENTIST

As a data scientist, one may have to take part in various activities that are involved in the entire procedure of data science. Just because data science has many areas to focus on like data collection, mining, cleaning, visualizing, interpreting thus one can say that data scientists too can have many roles like of data engineer, architect, programmer etc.

Some of the responsibilities of this profession are:

  • Ask questions related to the industry trend and conduct research.
  • Extract and obtain data from various sources like web, databases, media, cloud etc.
  • Clean the data from any kind of anomalies and gaps that may become a hindrance in analyzing.
  • Explore the data thoroughly to find all the hidden patterns and trends which can help to make the data more understandable.
  • Use various statistical tools and machine learning to prepare the data for analytical use in real-world problems.
  • Devise and design algorithms which will use the data patterns as their requisite.
  • Communicate and present the data inferences to the management which can help in taking a decision.

HOW TO BECOME A DATA SCIENTIST?

To become a data scientist one need to have mathematical, statistics, programming and communication skills. On top of that, a person should have the curiosity to ask market relevant questions and should have inquisitiveness to search and find data from all directions possible.

Apart from all this, a data scientist must have skills relevant in using tools and techniques of analytics. Some of them are:

  • Mathematics- linear algebra and calculus.
  • Statistics- statistical models, probability and hypothesis techniques.
  • Database management- SQL and NoSQL
  • Data mining and cleaning
  • Data visualization tools- ggplot, d3.js etc
  • Reporting techniques
  • Python, R, SAS and their libraries.
  • Java, C/C++
  • Hadoop, Apache Spark, and Flink
  • Industry knowledge
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical problem solving and decision making

Need for data scientists is in many sectors like telecommunications, E-commerce, finance and banking, agriculture, research and development, insurance, retail, manufacturing and many more.

What To Do When You Are Not Getting Results From Your Job Search

August 18, 2019

Career

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Finding a job in the highly competitive engineering, environmental, and construction industries can be a difficult and tiring process. It is easy to become frustrated with your job search, especially if you are not getting the results you want.

If you are having difficulty finding the right job, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate your approach. To further your career and land your dream job, follow these simple steps.

Take a Short Break From Searching

This does not mean you should give up completely and get a job flipping burgers. Sometimes, however, it is best to take a short break from what you are doing, especially if you are having a hard time with it. Take a deep breath and do something to take your mind off the issue at hand.

Frustration from job searching can lead to burning bridges you need to keep. Try to keep a positive attitude throughout the process. This way, you can avoid doing something you will later regret.

Address Your Obstacles

Think about what is preventing you from finding a job. Roadblocks do happen. However, it is your job to find a way around obstacles instead of being stuck behind them.

Obstacles often involve job requirements. Evaluate yourself as a whole to see if you are a good fit for the job at hand. You can do this by making a list of the qualifications and skills that you have and the ones that you need. Compare the lists and see where you can improve. This can help make you the best candidate for the job and improve your career path forward.

Make a Plan

Once you determine what is tripping you up, you can make a plan for overcoming it. A setback is not the time to give up but rather the time to regroup and get organized. Determine your overall career goals and, more specifically, your job search goals. Your goal could be to improve a trade skill or computer knowledge, or something as simple as applying to two new jobs. Include goals for networking (for more information, keep reading), developing your skills, and updating your resume and cover letter. Then, set deadlines for when you want to accomplish your goals. Each week you will move closer and closer to finding your dream job.

Be sure to stay committed to your plan. Consider hanging it up in a central location or always leaving it open on your computer. This will ensure that your career development is always on the forefront of your mind. Doing this will also make it easier to track your progress and keep you motivated while you are achieving your goals.

Use Your Network

Never underestimate the power of a strong professional network. According to a recent survey, up to 85% of all jobs are filled by networking. This is truly a powerful tool that is often overlooked by job seekers. If you are growing tired of submitting application after application to online ad listings, it might be time to switch up your approach.

Call upon your existing network and try to make a few new contacts too. Reach out to old bosses and coworkers to see if they know about any job opportunities. Join a professional organization like the American Institute of Constructors or the National Society of Professional Engineer and make new business contacts. You can also take advantage of online networking opportunities like LinkedIn.

Redo Your Resume

If you’re having a hard time getting a job, it may not be your networking skills or qualifications at all. It may simply just be your resume. It is important to tailor your resume to the position you are looking for. Write down a list of relevant keywords to include in your resume. For example, if you are looking for a position as a project manager, use keywords like “leadership,” “experienced,” and “safety compliant.” Scan the job listing for the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. This way, you can determine what skills and traits they value the most.

Work With a Recruiter

If you are feeling totally discouraged from your job search, it might be time to contact a qualified recruiter. A professional can provide a fresh perspective and use their network of contacts to get you moving in the right direction. Try to find a recruiter who specializes in the construction, engineering or environmental industries.

Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

August 18, 2019

Career

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The degree to which robots will take our jobs will largely depend on whether robots can effectively substitute or augment our work.

There are various scenarios at play here that will determine whether robots will take over our jobs:

1. We allow robots to voluntarily substitute our jobs because we are no longer prepared to do the work ourselves. In fact, we are happy for robots to take over our jobs. Examples include military service, car production and manufacturing, space exploration, underwater exploration, duct cleaning, crime fighting, fixing oil spills, investigating hazardous environments, and commercialized agriculture.

2. Robots can be more efficient and effective than humans in doing manual, repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks. As such, we are involuntarily substituted by robots even when we are still able to work in our jobs. Examples include truck driving, parcel delivery, inventory stocking, and floor cleaning.

3. Robots can be deployed in industries where there are acute labor shortages. There’s no choice but for robots to perform jobs that we don’t have enough qualified people to do the work. This problem will grow exponentially when larger numbers of Baby Boomers retire over the next decade or two. Robots will fill jobs that this generation is abandoning.

4. Robots are deployed in industries where labor cost pressures will dictate the decision to automate. If labor becomes too expensive, then organizations will have no choice but to use lower-cost robots to substitute human labor.

5. We co-develop robots with developers that will augment our work and free us up to do higher value work. This includes decision-making, conceptualizing and analyzing. Instead, robots will co-exist with us in workplaces and transform our jobs into new ones.

6. Robots will not take over our jobs because we cannot teach or program machines effectively to analyze or conceptualize things, be creative and innovative, and be interactive with humans naturally. These are human tasks that cannot be done by robots, yet. Robots cannot look you in the eye, consider peoples’ feelings, moods and behaviors, feel emotional, empathy and sympathy, make a person feel taken care of or loved, establish trust and respect, be an independent critical thinker, and make sense of complicated concepts and the complicated world we live in.

7. We can learn and acquire new skills and change our jobs well before robots take over our jobs. By anticipating these changes and future-proofing our jobs early, we can be future-ready ourselves when robots do eventually come and appear at our door-step. What’s important is to have the skills that can fill an employment vacancy and remain employable.

Let’s stop and think about this for a minute.

Millennials and Gen Z’ers are already changing the job market. They are more motivated by purpose than a paycheck.

Businesses can’t simply throw money at them particularly if they are trying to control costs and maintain profitability levels. It’s no surprise that industries like hospitality, retail and consumer-products are now facing a significant strain in recruiting.

To solve this problem, many countries like the U.S. and Japan are turning to robots to fill many jobs when labor supply falls short. It’s a matter of supply and demand of labor.

Simply put, robots will perform many jobs that people don’t want to do for various reasons. There’s no choice but to rely on robots to replace our jobs.

We voluntary allow robots to replace our jobs.

I can relate to this with my own children. Asking them to clean or mop the floor, or just sweeping the garden can end up in the war of words and regrets later on.

I wish I had a domestic robot to do all these chores!

Let’s take some industry examples.

There’s a growing shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. The trucking industry needs to find and hire over 900,000 new drivers to meet increasing demand. It’s a goal that seems increasingly unachievable given how younger workers are approaching their careers.

That’s why technology companies like Uber are heavily investing in self-driving vehicles. This is critical when there’s a pressing need to transport almost 50 million tons of freight trucked across the country each year.

With the current job climate, robots don’t represent a replacement risk for workers. Drivers will work alongside robots until all human drivers are replaced someday by driverless trucks.

Robots are becoming absolutely critical for solving labor shortages in some industries.

In the restaurant industry, robots are taking over less-desirable tasks like washing dishes and cleaning floors. This has paved the way for employees to develop more technical skills around robot maintenance and fleet management – the high-level stuff.

Robots are, therefore, transforming lower level jobs to higher level jobs.

While old jobs are lost, new jobs are also created.

The net effect of job losses and job creation will depend on where you live, which country and industry you currently work in, your occupation, your level of skills and experience, and your employer’s capability and capacity to automate using robots.

In construction, another industry facing a significant labor shortage, robots are filling the gap in roles like welding. Not coincidentally, construction companies are recruiting for new types of job positions that specifically oversee cutting edge hardware.

U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs employed over 600 stock traders at its peak. Thanks to machine-learning algorithms capable of making complex trades, these 600 traders have been reduced to just two. Instead, about one-third of its workforce is now employed as computer engineers.

At the individual level, robots will take our jobs if we have not adequately future-proofed ourselves and proactively planned for the inevitable presence of robots in the workplace.

Here’s the problem.

We have embraced technology in our lives that we are so thirsty for more. That same thirst for technology will also impact our job security. It’s a two-edged sword that we need to manage.

It is a fact that there is high employment in some industries and there will be high unemployment in other industries.

Our thirst for technology has effectively “re-balancing” or transformed jobs across many organizations, occupations, industries, and countries.

The ease by which labor can freely move across country borders and organizational boundaries can mitigate the impact of job losses if we are prepared to move and stay elsewhere or do different things.

Using the example given above, rather than looking for welders or people with welding skills, construction companies are now looking for people with technical skills and experience to operate high-tech cutting-edge hardware for automated welding.

There will be complexity involved in operating these cutting-edge machines. There will be higher level training needed to up-skill operators to competently operate such machines.

It’s assumed that people with welding skills are now expected to be retrained and to acquire new competencies about automated welding machines if they still want to remain in their occupation.

These welders must be mentally and intellectually capable to absorb new high tech learning. If they cannot “take in” new information and knowledge, then robots will certainly replace their jobs and they will be out of work.

In this scenario, the speed by which career welders have to acquire new skills can be very fast. If they cannot up-skill within a short period of time, then their jobs will definitely be lost to robots or to other people who can acquire new skills faster than them.

The rate of absorption of new skills and knowledge is therefore critical to protect our jobs from robots.

The bottom line is that complacency will kill jobs.

A head-in-the-sand mentality will not help any worker who is faced with the prospect of robots taking over their jobs.

It’s not a question of if, but when.

It’s inevitable; robots are coming for our jobs!

Be prepared for it.

8 Employment Ideas for Seniors


Former Employer

If you loved your job before retirement, it is best to contact your former employer and request them to hire you as a part-time employee or a consultant. Since employers hate losing skilled and experienced employees, there’s a strong possibility that they will re-hire you. This will enable you to renew contact with all your old colleagues and coworkers.

Retailing

Many seniors start their own small-scale retain business. If you have an attic full of books, have collected antiques over the years or any other saleable item that is cramping up space, you can set up a small retail store and consider selling these items. With the advent of e-commerce, you need not open a store either. Simply put up the items on eBay or Craigslist and watch your business grow. Social media marketing is also an important and budget tool.

Consultancy

Retired seniors with specialized experience and/or advanced degrees often become consultants. This allows them to share valuable knowledge and experience with others and work at their own convenience. There are many companies that actively seek retired finance professionals, lawyers and computer programmers to act as consultants for short-term projects.

Temp

Temporary jobs provide an opportunity for you to work at your own leisure. These may include general office jobs, such as customer services, order processing and bookkeeping. Typical assignment duration can range from one day to a few weeks. Look for the local job postings in your area that seek temporary employees and apply at your earliest.

Home-Based

Some small businesses seek professionals who can work from home. These include accountancy outsourcing firms, bookkeepers and content writers (freelancers). If you have experience in any of these fields, you can work from home for any of these businesses. All you’ll need is a laptop and a high speed internet.

Part-Time

If you’re looking for a low-stress job that carries a light responsibility and allows you to stay active, then a part-time job is just what you need. Several retail positions, sales-oriented jobs, children services and teaching assistant jobs need part-time employees, irrespective of their age and gender.

Community

Many senior retirees are looking for jobs that allow them to give something back to their community. These jobs tend to pay very little and are often seeking unpaid volunteers. There are several animal shelters, religious organizations and Peace Corps that accept older individuals, in a good health, to work for them. Peace Corps also allows a legally married senior couple to work and serve together.

Coach

This is a viable option if you’ve had a career in sports or served as a corporate trainer. After retirement, you can serve as a coach for your local team or conduct seminars and workshops on motivation and leadership.

Best Part Time Business Ideas for Students

August 18, 2019

Career

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For some part-time job, you don’t have to wait until you have a degree. The best key and strategy for finding a part-time job for a busy college student is to look for those positions that have high-quality positions, flexible schedule and have a trustworthy source.
In home based jobs, there are certain scam websites too which attract you by offering a lot of income but are just fraud. So, as a student, while searching for a job, you need to be aware of these scams.

To perform a part-time job while studying is a daunting task. You have to balance your studies, classes, home works, and a job at the same time.

Here are some best part-time business ideas listed down that can help students in finding a good job:

1. Freelance Content Writer
If someone possesses excellent writing and editing skills, working on various freelancing websites and editing content for websites are the best business ideas for college students. You will be responsible for creating content in one or more subject areas depending upon the nature of the job. Many of the freelancer writers are earning handsome income today from this part-time job.

2. Online Tutor
Serving as an online tutor is the best job for you if you have teaching skills. This is the age of technology. Most of these jobs are work from home and have a flexible schedule. If you have a wealth of knowledge on some subject, you can help students in mastering their tough classes while earning some extra money for you. Teaching others not only benefit them but also increase your knowledge in that particular subject.

3. Social Media Assistant
Social media assistant and social media coordinator are the best part-time business ideas for graduates. Many graduates, often, seek for social media assistant job in order to earn a bulk of the money from the part-time job. The job of social media assistant is to manage social media channels and also to assist companies with content writing, marketing or other services which help their business overall.

4. Online Researcher
Many business professionals hire online researchers for a part-time job. These online researchers research questions were given to them so that the company can deliver client some high-quality answers and personable explanations. For this job, some research expertise and basic knowledge of business are required. If you hold such capabilities, this job is for you.

Which Is Worse: A Bad Job or No Job?

August 18, 2019

Career

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You might think there’s nothing worse than being unemployed. Not only do you feel like you’re not contributing and using your talents, you’re also not making any money, which is stressful and even frightening as the bills pile up around you. Your self-esteem might start to drop when you can’t find work, and you get anxious as that gap in your resume widens. How are you going to explain that when you finally get an interview? At some point during unemployment, you think, “I’ll take any job right now. Even a bad one.”

Not so fast.

In 2011, CNN reported on in a study, which indicated a surprising trend:

“‘Moving from unemployment to a poor-quality job offered no mental health benefit, and in fact was more detrimental to mental health than remaining unemployed,’ says the lead author of the study, Peter Butterworth, Ph.D.”

Bad jobs in the construction, engineering, or environmental industries can share some of the following characteristics:

  • An unsafe working environment.
  • A manager or supervisor who is indecisive, manipulative, unavailable, or bad at communicating. This article notes that people who make bad bosses in the construction industry play favorites and don’t offer employees a path toward professional development and career advancement.
  • Low pay.
  • Monotonous, unchallenging tasks.
  • A heavy workload.
  • Lack of clear expectations for the job.
  • Lack of job security or not enough hours of work.

While everyone has a different level of tolerance for workplace politics and job demands, these characteristics, alone or in combination, can leave an employee stressed, disheartened, anxious, and frustrated. At the end of a long day of being micromanaged, overworked, or underappreciated, employees in bad jobs go home tired, unhappy, and unfulfilled. This mental drain can start to impact their personal lives, as well.

While unemployment carries its fair share of stress, we point out a distinct opportunity that a bad job rarely offers:

“Unemployment is stressful, but it still leaves room for possibilities. When you’re unemployed, you focus all of your efforts on finding a fulfilling position. Yet, when you’re working a dead-end job, you’re so depleted at the end of the day it’s difficult to begin thinking about the future… “

With unemployment, you have time and energy to devote to perfecting your skills and finding a good job, a job where you feel challenged, where your work is appreciated, and where you can move forward in your career.

Hidden Disability

August 18, 2019

Career

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The daily routine is consistent and predictable. After stopping for morning coffee and bagels, hoards of white collar professionals crowd downtown office buildings to start another day. The workers are undeniably “corporate” in mannerisms and their approach to the herculean task of representing the elite companies in the world. Among this group of employees are men and women on the autism spectrum. Some of them have been diagnosed with Aspergers, while others are simply considered high functioning autistics. This is the group that represents the seldom talked about and frequently neglected segment of autism. These professionals on the autism spectrum are very successful in many instances, as they occupy key positions in some of the world’s dominant companies.

Further, they are independent, driven, and highly respected in fields ranging from education and research to engineering and finance. From all appearances, they fit in perfectly with peers and have the same challenges as others in their chosen careers. In this scenario, appearances can be deceiving because lurking below the surface are myriad problems. Admittedly, we are referring to high performance professionals, yet their disabilities are largely invisible. Anxiety and depression are commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders, often requiring medical attention. Managing either of these conditions can be challenging, especially in high stress environments.

Conditions may go undetected for years as employees elect not to disclose medical issues for fear of reprisal or being perceived as the “weak link” among a competitive team. Moreover, there is internal pressure to maintain production to gain promotions and pay increases as the years go by. In addition, a number of professional employees on the autism spectrum experience some degree of sensory irregularities. This may range from regulating bodily temperature, adjusting to surrounding lights, handling noise levels, interpreting non-verbal communication signals, and adapting to routine management changes. Beyond the environmental issues that everyone is subjected to, many autistic adults experience physical and bodily functions unique to their own neurological makeup. For instance, there are extremely intelligent people who can only understand the written word if its read out loud. Others struggle with homonyms and how to use the right word in proper context; dear and deer is an excellent example of this type of problem. Each autistic person has his or her own communication challenges that manifests differently depending on how their brains are wired. None of these issues are visible, but they can create tremendous stress in the lives of those living with autism at all levels.

Beyond the communication nuances, there are many autistic adults involved in support groups for various concerns. For them, group participation is an important part of life as it provides an outlet to share with others with similar perspectives. Further, being active in a support group helps many adults on the spectrum remain grounded in situations that may otherwise become unmanageable. While some high functioning autistic adults are married or involved in committed relationships, others have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. This is a matter of personal choice, but some autistics have voiced concerns regarding the lack of intimacy in their lives. Having a social network extends to friendships and the companionship they provide during times of difficulty or uncertainty. Some of the well polished professionals occupying downtown offices each day lack the closeness of human relationships. To their credit, white collar professionals on the autism spectrum have developed incredible coping skills, in both the personal and career paths, which results in maximum levels of performance.

Are You Prepared For Government Jobs?

August 18, 2019

Career

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If you are preparing for government jobs, the foremost thing you should ask yourself is whether you are clear about your career choices. You should not be rigid about choosing any particular position, but be surely determined to choose a particular field of job. In the similar manner, it’s not just choosing to be in the government sector, but choosing a particular department is also important. So, before applying, you need to be sure whether you want to apply for civic volunteer jobs or SSC Group D jobs. Accordingly, you should prepare and apply.

Most of the government recruitment drives offer chances to the interested candidates to apply online. Important information regarding the URLs, dates, and educational qualification can be obtained from a reputed govt. job portal. But solving sample papers and learning to solve mathematical equations are not enough to get a job in the govt sector. You need to know how to prepare yourself for the best. Here is a list of pointers to help you prepare yourself for securing a position in the government sector:

Figure out the particular field

Yes, most importantly, you need to choose a particular field of job that you want to do. If you want to be a teacher in a govt school, do not sit for SSC group D jobs. Instead, you should give SSC TET jobs. If only you have a special interest in a particular field, you should follow vacancy information and dates for that particular field and apply accordingly. So, give yourself some time to think and prepare accordingly. This will also help you to get good scores in the exams.

Keep a positive attitude

You must have heard so many times that getting a job in the government sector is very difficult. However, if you keep a positive attitude and work hard towards achieving your goal, nothing is impossible. Yes, for getting a govt job, you may have to go through several tests and screenings. But do not lose hope. Be positive and enthusiastic. This will reflect in your efforts as well as in your body language as you appear before the employer during the interview session.

Using the right tools help

Use the right job searching tools and the right govt. job portal for searching vacancy information of your liking. There are a few good online portals where you can genuine and comprehensive information on the recruitment drives by the central or the state governments. You can thus apply on time and also submit appropriate documents. This will make it easier for you to apply for your dream job on time.

Prepare well and get ready

Prepare yourself for the best performance. Remember, clearing both the written examination as well as the interview is tough and requires a perpetual and deliberate effort. Enrol in an institute that offers training for getting government jobs. Experienced mentors will provide the best tips for cracking both the written exam as well as interview. Be patient and diligent in your approach. You may have to prepare for an exam for months or years before getting successful. It may not be possible to crack any exam at one go. You should not lose hope and try again after an unsuccessful attempt.

Improve your communication skills

Whether you are applying for SSC Group D jobs or for SSC TET jobs, you need to have good communication skills. This will help you to score high marks in the interview as well as in the written exam. You must know that candidates with good communication skills are always preferred by the employers. So, develop your communication skills along with practicing sample papers.

Weaponizing Employment Against the Poor

August 14, 2019

Career

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Albert Einstein elegantly once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. This adage comes to mind when we see that yet again work requirements are being used as a bludgeon to combat Americans who live in poverty and who are in need of safety-net programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), HUD housing assistance, and if President Trump has his way, even Medicaid.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has recommended work requirements for the most extensive welfare programs and the current administration has mandated that federal agencies alter their presumably lax welfare program standards. These moves are premised on the continuing notion that the poor are a drain on federal resources due to their laziness, recklessness, and lack of ambition. So here we go again, concluding that the poor are so, solely because of their own deficient behavior and must be made to work harder to receive assistance from this government.

It’s not that simple.

Is this work requirement approach fair in that recipients of aid (excluding children, elderly and disabled) should be made to show an attempt to earn their government supports, which allegedly incentives people to not be poor, or is this a kick to the poor and disenfranchised when they’re already down?

It’s worth examining a few of points about welfare work requirements:

1. According to the US Census Bureau the 2017 poverty rate was 12.3%, a 0.4% decrease from the year before. Since 2014 the poverty rate has fallen 2.5%. So if the current trend line is a declining poverty rate why is a harsh condition like work requirements for the poor necessary at this time?

2. This effort was last tried under Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich with their 1996 welfare reform legislation. We’ve had a couple decades to see how that has gone and studies like those from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and in the book Making Ends Meet (Edin and Lein) show that despite short term marginal improvements in employment they were not sustainable, mostly due to necessary and increased living expenses, absorbing any work generated financial gains.

3. Where are these jobs that the poor are supposed to get? If you’ve spent most of your life in poverty chances are quite low you can pick up a knowledge-economy job quickly. We’ve all heard how the traditional manual labor jobs are drying up, so what’s left? Lousy-waged part-time jobs with unpredictable and changeable hours is what’s left.

4. If the government feels the need to pick on somebody shouldn’t it be the employers of vast numbers of unskilled and low-skilled who pay their workers, including the working poor, insufficient wages that in turn need to be underwritten by the American tax payers?

Now one place where there could be political agreement is in the government providing subsidized high quality work training requirements targeted to actually helping the poor get the knowledge and skills needed for a globalized and digitized economy. Currently, training requirements can be in lieu of work requirements, but their effectiveness remains questionable.

The causes and cures for poverty are varied, complex, and far beyond the scope of this piece. But if we as a society are truly interested in ameliorating the condition of poverty (as we should be!) we need to be looking for demonstrably beneficial interventions that measurably make positive differences. Requiring the poor to get a low-end job that increases their child care and transportation costs just to prove they’re not milking the system or making them pay for a hand up from those of us with tax paying means is not a humane way to go about it.