Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Career Advice for New Graduates in a Tough Market

The government-reported low unemployment rate paints a misleadingly upbeat picture. The job market looks far less rosy when you add two huge groups not counted in the “unemployment rate:” 

There’s the under-employed: People who wished they had a full-time professional-level job and are working part-time, for low-pay, on a job they could have done straight out of high school---Uber anyone? Then there are the millions who have given up looking for work. They, somehow, are not counted in the “unemployment rate.” The more accurate statistic is the underreported Labor Participation rate, which is within ½ of 1% of the lowest since early 1978.   A record 95 million Americans 18-64 are not in the labor force.

And with the U.S. having the highest percentage of college graduates in history, that degree is a mere hunting license for employment beyond a McJob.

The ideas I offer in my article today may help. They’re widely applicable, not aimed at stars.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

If You Didn't Have to Work, Would You? A short-short story.

The year is 2050 and 2017’s optimists were pretty much right. People only work if they elect to. That’s because technology has made everything so inexpensive that corporate taxes can afford to support everyone at a middle-class level.  Would you elect to work? Would most people?

I explore that in a short-short story that's my offering today.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Helping a Mean Child Become Kinder

If you’re fortunate enough to have a child who, from early on, is all about sharing and caring, wonderful. 

But what if your child tends to be mean: the kind of kid who’d pull a cat’s tail, root for the villain, make fun of a fat child, beat up a weakling, spread rumors about a popular person, or coax someone into getting high or into having sex when reluctant.

As my article today, I offer tips. They’re aimed at parents but much is applicable to relatives, teachers, and other influencers.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Girls Rule!" What your son is seeing about his sex.

I noticed a couple walking with a school-age boy and girl. The boy was wearing a non-descript shirt but the girl was wearing one that said, “Girls Rule!”

That motivated me to do some research on the extent of anti-male versus anti-female products. I summarize what I found in my article today.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ethical Dilemmas: Pros and cons of nine common conundrums.

One way to improve our ethics is to example arguments on both sides of common ethical dilemmas.

My article today offers nine.

Good Grandparent Moments

Many people love grandparenting. Others don't. Of course, some of that is that they're hardwired to be nurturing or otherwise are good at at.

But an under-considered factor is that happy grandparents stay conscious of grandparenthood's many rewarding moments. As my article today, I offer some examples in hopes they'll increase your enjoyment of grandparenthood.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Relaxed Job Interview

My clients have found these tips helpful in staying calm, well, calm enough in a job interview. I post all 12 tips as my article today.

Modern Fables: 60 Short-Short Stories Offering Life Lessons

In an attempt to avoid how-to articles' pontification and aridity, I've written over 100 short-short stories that offer life lessons. I've collected my 60 favorites in a book, which has just been published. It's called Modern Fables. HERE is its Amazon link.

One-Hit Wonder: A short-short story about a has-been

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story about a has-been. At the end, I ask some questions that may be helpful to anyone who feels their best days are behind them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


One of life’s bigger decisions is whether to retire. Of course, many factors should be considered. 

As my article today, I offer an an internal dialogue that may help you clarify

The Extra-Mile Inventory

Some people’s priority is balance: work moderately, play moderately. Other people, whether by choice or need, want to go the extra mile. But many of the latter don’t do so. They might not even know what that would entail.

For such people, as my article today, I offer a self-assessment questions may help.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Converting an Internship or Volunteer "Opportunity" into Paid Work

To avoid having to pay, give benefits and legal rights, many employers use interns and volunteers.

Equally sad for job seekers, too few of those no-pay "opportunities" get converted into paid work. Often, it's use up the free labor until they quit, whereupon the employer finds a new freebie. That’s particularly likely in sexy fields, for example, fashion, sports, entertainment, and the environment.

My article today offers ways to boost the chances of converting an internship or volunteer gig into paid work.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Enhance? A short-short story about genetically enhancing intelligence.

A May 22, 2017 New York Times headline reads: “In ‘Enormous Success,’ Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human Intelligence."
A week later, the Journal of Cellullar Bioechemistry chronicled the enormous progress and potential in gene editing.

Such research suggests that in a decade or two, parents may have the option of having their sperm and eggs genome-edited to ensure their child has high or at least normal intelligence.

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story that explores one possible implication.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Doggie Tips: How to Ensure Yours is a Joy

My wife and I have had a wonderful experience with my previous doggies Gherkin, Cookie and an even better one with my current doggie, Einstein.  

As my article today, I share tips on choosing, training, and living with doggie.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How a Career Counselor Would Look for a Job

Sometimes the advice we give isn't what we ourselves would do. For example, we might ask a client to do more than we ourselves would be willing to do.

So, for my article today, as a long-time career counselor,  I thought it might be helpful if I described what I'd actually do if I had to look for a job

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Future of the World: A Debate Between an Optimist and a Pessimist

Many of my clients, colleagues, friends, and I wonder about the future of the world. We do it just for the fun of conjecture or for a serious reason. For example, some people wonder if they want to bring a child into the world s/he’ll spend the next 100 years in.
So it might be instructive or at least interesting to explore possible futures. To that end, my article today offers  a debate between the optimist and pessimist within me.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

41 Useful Words and a Fun Way to Learn Them

In the 5th and final installment of a five-part series aimed at helping professionals improve their vocabulary, I offer 41 words that are more precise in their meaning than their more common synonym. And to encourage the reader to learn them, I offer one of the few tasks I remember doing in school that I liked: writing a story that used all the words. And lest I be guilty of asking my readers to do that which I wouldn't, I wrote such a story. That's my article today.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Questions and Answers for Older Employees

As my article today, I offer self-assessment questions for older workers to help them decide how ambitious they should be on the continuum from aiming higher to retiring. I then offer specifics for what one might do.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Unsung: A short-short story about our heroes

We idolize the wrong people. I explore that in a short-short story on

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The New Widow: A short-short story

When a couple of the same age marries, there often are problems because men age faster and die earlier than women. I explore that in my contribution today. It's a short-short story.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Five-Minute Career Advising

Of course, even a professional career counselor usually takes multiple sessions to provide adequate guidance. 

But counselors, social workers, teachers, parents and relatives often have the opportunity to provide a bit of career help.  My article today offers sample dialogues and a career-finding chart that can be used to provide a  first-step to people who don't know what career to pursue or how to land a job.

Should You Consider a Career in Sales?

As my article today, I ask six questions of people considering a sales career. The profession is underrated when done right but it's appropriate only for a special kind of person.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Ordinary Life: A short-short story

As my contribution today, I offer a short-short story called An Ordinary Life.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Come See My One-Man (plus my wife's scolding and firing me) Show TOMORROW- and it's Free!

Want to come see my one-man show Odd Man Out tomorrow (Saturday June 3)  at 10:30 AM at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library?  It's free.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saying What You Intend: 17 distinctions you should make.

This is the final installment in a four-part series designed to help professionals take their vocabulary to the highest level likely needed.
In it, I describe 17 examples of pairs or trios of words that are often thought to be interchangeable but aren't.