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Newsworthy Lessons about Work and Job Searching

With a career rooted in the newspaper industry and as a daily consumer of news (some say I consume more than my fair share), I sometimes tag every story as either "food for thought" or "food with little or no thought value." For instance, the rise in unemployment falls under "food for thought." The breakup of Bristol Palin and her boyfriend, the father of their infant son? Don't care, don't wanna care.

So, allow me to dispense some recent "food for thought" items from the world of work and the lessons you can learn from them:

ITEM 1: The bartender who worked at the Boston bar that served as the inspiration for the TV sitcom Cheers was laid off after serving drinks and friendly advice (and organizing many fund-raisers) for nearly 35 years.
   Lesson: No matter how indispensible you think you are, or how others perceive you to be, you can still lose your job unexpectedly.

ITEM 2: Companies field, on average, more than 75 resumes for each open position, according to CareerBuilder.com.
   Lesson: To get hired, you need to do everything you can to distinguish yourself and improve your odds of landing the job. And that starts with building a stellar resume.

ITEM 3: Survey finds employees spend nearly three hours a day worrying about job security.
   Lesson: If you're employed, maybe this describes you. But it doesn't help. Worry and fear not only drag down productivity, they could actually damage your job security (or prevent upward mobility) if you're too afraid to speak up about an idea, proposal, or strategic initiative out of fear of saying something that might get you fired. (That's why it's also important for a company that has conducted mass layoffs to foster a climate of openness with their remaining employees to help eliminate that fear and move the company forward.)

ITEM 4: Looking for work? The U.S. Census is hiring, and could keep you occupied well into 2010, when the economy, according to some experts, begins to turn around.
   Lesson: If you're out of work and facing a long layoff (e.g., months, maybe more than a year), consider taking a job that can at least keep you occupied and earning money before you look for something in your chosen field. (As for the Census, the government is looking to employ thousands to conduct its decennial population count.)

Has there been anything in the news recently that has offered you "food for thought" on the job search? Please share them below.

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