Does the shaky economy have you wishing you had picked a different, more stable career? To help you make your decision, financial columnist Michelle Singletary recommends picking up a copy of "150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs" by Sue Pines and Stephanie Koutek and Laurence Shatkin. "Some occupations and industries can withstand business downturns better than others," Singletary says. "During a recession, people may curtail their shopping or hold onto their cars for a few more years, but the sick still need medical attention."
Vidal and Vicki Herrera operate a small business in East Los Angeles that is recession-proof because there is no end to their clientele. The Herreras provide private autopsies. The growth of managed health care plans has resulted in a decrease in autopsies performed at hospitals, prompting enough demand for privately provided services that the Herreras have been able to launch four franchises.
Innovation sets a company apart from its competitors, and HR can help create an environment that's ripe for it. If you craft job descriptions carefully, create a variety of people networks and offer training geared toward innovative thinking and processes, your corporate competitiveness will benefit. Similarly, an HR department that focuses on developing the company's leaders is bound to improve the business. The trick is to make sure that "depth, adaptiveness and engagement" are built into leaders' experiences by offering education, mentoring and exposure to opportunities.
The big accounting firms have taken work flexibility to the extreme, in part due to a need to recruit and retain more women who needed flex schedules, but also because of the requirements of Gen Y workers and new regulations. After just a few years, accountants can often work when, where and how they want, and this piece outlines how the top seven audit firms make that happen. Flex years, career customization, lengthy sabbaticals and reduced workloads are all discussed.
If you find yourself face-to-face with a boss who is years younger than you, here are some tips to create a healthy relationship. Try to learn from the younger boss and pick up new skills. Don't act like his or her mom or dad, and don't try to be something you're not. Most importantly, try not to be jealous and don't try to compete.