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Archive for January 7th, 2009

Job Strategies in 2009 in Challenging Times

The economic outlook for 2009 looks grim. Pick up any newspaper, watch the evening news or scan the Web and the stories are the same….more layoffs, store closings, and mortgage woes. According to the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy will get worse this year and unemployment is expected to rise into 2010. So how do you jumpstart your career when everything around you is turning south? Here’s a game plan:
1. Figure out who is hiring. One place to start your search is with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. www.bls.gov. Despite the economic downturn, these industries are still adding jobs:
–Education
–Professional and business services
–Information
–Leisure and hospitality
–Health care
–Mining/Oil and gas extraction
–Government

2. What do you like to do? Take stock of your interests and determine what you are really good at. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself so you can begin to map out a strategy. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If after 25 years in law enforcement, you are stumped when it comes to identifying a new career path, check out the self-assessment quizzes at www.careerpath.com.

3. Volunteer. You can’t spend all your available time looking for a job. My boss recommends dividing your days into thirds. Devote a third of your time to the job search, another third networking and maintaining your contacts, and the rest of the time volunteering for an organization or cause you are passionate about. Volunteering will help keep your attitude up and will expand your network of contacts. It will also improve your story when you are asked during a job interview, “What have you been doing since you left the government?”

4. Tailor your resume to the job. Position descriptions posted on company websites or job boards are a window into what organizations are really looking for in an employee. Read those postings carefully and edit your resume to reflect the matching skills. Microsoft gets thousands of resumes a day. One way to pare down the stack is to toss the resumes that don’t match the job description. Make a recruiter’s job easier by shaping the content of your resume to the roles you are applying for.

5. Be flexible. In a downturn market with more people looking for work, job seekers do not have as much leverage with companies. Keep your mind open to new industries, new locations, and a different title. If you are changing careers, you may have to take a step back in pay or perks to move forward. Keep your eye on the big picture and BE FLEXIBLE.


CNN Video of Secret Service’s New Prez Hybrid Limo

Embedded video from CNN Video

Feds Inquiring About Gov. Richardson’s Ex-Chief of Staff

This has the makings of a full-fledged scandal with plenty political repercussions.

By Martin Z. Braun and William Selway
Bloomberg

Federal prosecutors are asking if New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s former chief of staff told a state agency to hire a bond adviser that donated $100,000 to Richardson’s political committees, people familiar with the matter said.
A witness who testified before a federal grand jury in Albuquerque last month said he was asked if David Contarino, the former chief of staff, ordered New Mexico Finance Authority officials to hire Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc. Another person familiar with the investigation said Contarino, 47, is a subject of the inquiry and that prosecutors are looking at whether he solicited contributions from firms that worked on finance authority bond deals.
Contarino “is a very effective political professional,” said Edward Romero, a former U.S. ambassador to Spain and the national finance chairman for Richardson’s 2008 presidential campaign. “He’s a hard worker.” Romero said he would be surprised if Contarino did anything improper.
For Full Story

Secret Service to Unveil Hybrid Limo for Obama

Good to see there’s some sense of energy conservation going on.

By Mike M. Ahlers and Eric Marrapodi
CNN
WASHINGTON
— As a candidate, Barack Obama promoted hybrid cars.
As president, he’ll be handed the keys to one. Sort of.
Shortly after taking the oath of office, Obama will climb into the Mother of All Hybrids — part car, part truck and, from the looks of it, part tank.
In keeping with recent tradition, the Secret Service will place a brand-new presidential limousine into service January 20 to drive the new president on the 2-mile jaunt down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade.
Already, spy photos of the limo — with patches of gray primer — have leaked out. And already, the reviews:
“Ugly as sin,” says one car enthusiast on an auto Web site. “Can’t we make a hotter ride for our pres?”
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Obama Likely to Address U.S. Atty. Posts Individually

The last thing the Obama administration wants to do is repeat how the Bush folks handled U.S. Attorney hirings and firings.

Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
WASHINGTON –In a meeting last month with Barack Obama’s transition staff, representatives of the nation’s top prosecutors caught a glimpse of the president-elect’s thinking on the politically fraught issue of what to do with the the current 93 U.S. Attorneys.
“[The president-elect] is going to be smart and be cautious. My gut feeling is it won’t be like it was in 1993,” said U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton of Texas’ Western District, a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys. On Dec. 11, Sutton and 15 other members of the committee met with Obama’s DOJ transition chief, David Ogden, and his staff at the Justice Department to advise them on law enforcement issues and to point out areas the committee believes require special attention.
At the meeting, Ogden briefly discussed the U.S. Attorney issue, though he said he had had no role in deciding who stays and who goes, according to one committee member. Ogden, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, is reportedly the leading candidate for the Justice Department’s No. 2 spot.
Sutton declined to characterize Ogden’s comments but said he left the meeting with the impression that the president-elect will address the U.S. Attorneys individually.
For Full Story

Blue Uniforms for TSA officers Getting Under Their Skin

Some of these folks look irritated enough just doing their job. Do they need this?

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The new blue uniforms issued to Transportation Security Administration officers at hundreds of airports nationwide may have a snazzy look, but they have become a major irritant for some of those employees.
The new uniforms are causing rashes and other irritations among transportation security officers who screen passengers at airports, according to the union representing the workers.
“We’re hearing from hundreds of TSOs that this is an issue,” said Emily Ryan, a spokeswoman for the American Federation of Government Employees. Most of the complaints have been for skin rashes, but they have also included runny or bloody noses, lightheadeness, red eyes, and swollen and cracked lips, union officials say.
For Full Story

ABC’s ‘Homeland Security USA’ Show a Bomb

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — I just finished watching the first episode of ABC’s “Homeland Security USA” and I can honestly say the best thing about it was the Domino’s Pizza commercial about its new baked submarine sandwiches.
Simply put: ABC deserves a D.
The show falls flat.  Sure there’s some drugs seized and some illegal immigrants busted. But there’s just not that much to it.
At one point, cameras roll and  border agents at the San Ysidro checkpoint at the California -Mexico border draw guns on a car. They think they may have an armed and dangerous man. A woman gets out the car, kneels on the ground, puts her hands behind her head. Her husband eventually gets out of the car. She tells the officers they always mistake her husband for someone else. Guess what. She’s right. They’re wrong. Ooops.
Then there’s “Nora” the belly dancer from Switzerland who gets interrogated at LAX airport. She’s come to America to belly dance at local restaurants. But she doesn’t have working papers. Officers interrogate her.  What are your intentions? Do you realize you don’t have working papers? And oh yes: Would you like a cheeseburger or would you prefer a cup of noodles?
The show is between 8 and 9 p.m. every Tuesday. So are some much better shows: “House” and “The Daily Show” and “The Stephen Colbert Show”. And oh yes, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, which I hate to say, at least at this point, may be a more befitting name for this ABC show.
And now about those baked submarine sandwiches….
Read  Review by Tom Shales of the Washington Post

TSA and Jet Blue Pay $240,000 To Man Who Was Prevented From Boarding Because He Wouldn’t Cover Up Arabic on T-shirt

The questionable judgment of TSA and the airlines is costing money.

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union said Monday JetBlue Airways Corp. and the Transportation Security Administration paid $240,000 to a man who claimed he was discriminated against based on his ethnicity and Arabic writing on his T-shirt.
Raed Jarrar alleged that the TSA and JetBlue officials prevented him from boarding a flight out of New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in August 2006 until he agreed to cover his shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic. Jarrar also claimed JetBlue eventually allowed him on the flight, but then made him sit at the back of the plane.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Jarrar’s behalf in August 2007.
A JetBlue spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment on the settlement.
TSA and JetBlue agreed to settle the case for $240,000 late last month and delivered the settlement to Jarrar on Friday, the ACLU said.
For Full Story