Where did internships come from?

Forbes.com has a historically interesting article on the “Evolution of Interns” which traces the history of internships and related types of work, and why they’ve become so important.  The full article is here, and here is an excerpt:

Almost everyone seems to agree that an internship is a valuable part of career development. But if you were in college before the 1980s, chances are you never did anything called interning. So where did the experience come from, and how did it become such a seeming necessity for today’s future job-seekers? Continue reading “Where did internships come from?”

Alternatives to Traditional Offices

I awoke in the middle of the night last night with a thought- people’s workspaces are designed to keep them chained to their desk.  (work must be subconciously bugging my brain if I wake up with deep thoughts about being chained to a desk…)

Look at your desk.  You’ve got your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  Then you’ve got your cell phone, within arms-length of the computer.  The trash can (and hopefully recycling bin) are also within reach.  If you’ve got a calendar on the wall, it’s probably just a couple inches away.  You almost never have to leave your desk during the day.  And in an environment like that, it’s easy to get lazy, physically AND mentally.  Creativity, innovation, and development can all slow down when there’s no need for you to turn more than a few inches in either direction for a full 8 hours every day.  And forget motivation.  Motivation is draining away.

Why not change the way we work by literally changing the way we work?  I thought I’d experiment with this. 

I put my trash and recycling bins directly behind me across the office.  Now I have to not only turn completely away from the computer to throw something out, I have to either throw it for real (which is just plain fun) or get up and bring it to the can.  Either way, I’m moving more than I was before.  AND I’m allowing myself to stop focusing on my computer for a few seconds, which almost always distracts me into doing something else.  And anything that gets a tech-obsessed person like myself away from the computer is a good thing.

I do resume reviews on top of my bookshelf.  No, I’m not perched up there, but I am standing completely and resting my arms on top of it.  It’s the perfect height to stand and correct resumes, again, getting me out of my chair and moving around.  And, again, it focuses my attention away from the computer and more towards my immediate environment.

I take a few minutes every day to sit in the chairs on the other side of my desk, where my students sit when they come in for advising.  I see how other people see my office.

I took down my lousy, uncreative bulletin board and created an inspiration board in it’s place.  This idea came straight from Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind.  I’ve already chronicled my love for the inspiration board here.

What ways can you see yourself reorganizing your workspace to change your behavior, your motivation, your creativity, and your development?

ps- here is a version of my dream office.  pps- it’s in my home.  Some day!

FedEx Offers FREE Resume Printing!! March 10th Only

FedEx Office (used to be FedEx Kinkos) will offer free printing for people’s resumes on Tuesday, March 1oth.  Free and timely?  Now that’s handi.  Here are the details:

“The company invites customers to take advantage of this one-day event by visiting any of its 1,600+ FedEx Office Print and Ship Centers in the United States during regular business hours.  This offer is good for 25 black-and-white resume copies per customer and is only valid for orders placed and picked up in-store.  The copies will be printed single-sided on resume-quality paper.”

While it’s only 25 copies, it’s still a very nice gesture on their part, considering that if all 11.6 million unemployed Americans (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) took advantage of their deal, that would amount to 275 million free copies!  Press Release here.

Handi website- TinyURL

Alright, as you might have been able to tell, handiwork has taken a backseat to some of my other projects at the moment. (http://job.ology.com  and http://thedizzles.wordpress.com) but I think I’m ready to jump back into it! (As I write this, I picture myself posting this with every good intention to post something again soon, only to return 30 days later…).

Anyway, I discovered something that is probably old news for other bloggers out there, but might come in handi for some of you. It’s called http://tinyurl.com. If you need a web address (url) shortened for any reason, this is the place to do it! It’s free and easy and useful, several things that make it handi in my book.

Why would you need to shorten a URL? Here are a few reasons to get you started:

If you’re on Twitter (like I am finally!! www.twitter.com/briewr) you have a very finite number of characters you can use to post a message. If you want to alert someone to a website, long URLs can waste your characters. TinyURL shortens any website into, quite literally, a tiny URL.

If you want to send an online article around to friends or coworkers, and you want to make sure that they are able to paste the whole, unbroken URL into their web browswer to read it, TinyURL helps you to create as short a URL as possible, making it less likely that your link won’t work.

If your business has a website that other people need to use often, but the URL is too long to remember, TinyURL can make it short and memorable for you. An example: The college where I work has a job search website for students/alums. The original web address is ridiculously long and difficult to remember. If I want students to remember the website off the top of their heads, I’ll create a TinyURL for them.

Easy Way to Give, Even While You’re at Work

Do you have as much stuff lying around your house, taking up space and going unused, as I do?  If so, there’s a really easy way to give it to others who will certainly find more ways to put it to use than you are.  And you don’t even have to miss a day of work or a moment of your weekend to do so.  Here’s how.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Association will pick up resaleable clothing and household items, from your doorstep, even if no one is home.  They then find ways to turn your donation into cash, and put that towards their good works.

Find out more information here. We’re scheduling a pick up for this week!

This works for so many reasons.  It motivates you to declutter your home, provides an easy way to give back (especially during the holiday season, but anytime of year also), and allows you to go about your busy schedule without interruption, and do good at the same time.  Handi, practical, useful, and clever all rolled into one.

Twice in One Week, I hear “I’m not worried.” It makes me worry.

Twice this week I have heard the following: “I need some job search help, but I’m not worried about my resume, it’s more about finding openings.”  And still, even though I was assured that their resumes were solid, I decided to take a look.  OMG my friends.  OMG.

If you think your resume isn’t an issue, think again.  Both of these people had well-formatted resume, but the content was abismal.  Listing the names of managers with each job, reasons for dismissal or for leaving the position, out of order dates, and barely a real description of their accomplishments to be found.  OR way way too much information thrown on the page, with little direction for an employer to follow.  Either way, there was much to be worried about.  I thought about how many positions they’d already applied to, thinking their resume was top notch.  I didn’t want to burst their bubble, but saying nothing would have been a dereliction of duty (sorry, that’s a tad on the dramatic side). 

Moral of this resume blunder story:  If you think your resume isn’t the reason you aren’t getting interviews, think again.  Worrying about your resume might be an extreme reaction, but you ought to be concerned about your resume and always looking to improve it.  Rather than holding it back from professional opinions, thrust it with abandon into the faces of anyone who’s willing to have a look-see.