Tag: Employment

The Power of Being Able to Do a Good Job at Tedious, Detail-Oriented Work

 

There is a growing body of research on the importance of determination, of grit, of stick-to-itiveness in kids becoming successful adults. In German, they call this staying-power quality “sitzfleisch.”  The etymology, according to the St. Louis Fed, alludes to the ability to stay seated for a long time in order to perfectly complete a task. And possessing a healthy portion of sitzfleisch can mean higher wages. From“What Sitzfleisch Has To Do with Wages” by economist David Wiczer:

How can we measure this advantage of persevering at a task, at staying seated until the task’s conclusion? It turns out that the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) includes a measure. The U.S. military designed this series of tests to help place new soldiers into jobs in the armed forces. Many of the tests cover straightforward topics such as “Word Knowledge.” However, one test stands out as peculiar: “Coding Speed.” Test-takers match words with numbers from a list in accordance with another separate key. This is a tedious exercise to do over and again, and returning and checking one’s answers is a true test of stamina.

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Generations ago, many women sought professional freedom equal to that of men. They didn’t seek to mandate that all women must work outside the home. They just wanted the option.  But then a strange thing happened. The market adjusted to this influx of female professionals by raising the average family’s cost of living. Preview Open

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Back to School

 

shutterstock_28662005How many people here have been to college more than once? By that, I mean that years passed between a first and second degree, perhaps even in unrelated fields. When did you go back? Why did you go back? How was it different the second time?

I didn’t make the most of my first college experience. Since I decided to focus my career on my writing skills, an English major seemed appropriate. One doesn’t need a degree to learn to write. But employers expect a degree. So there I was, grudgingly. That grudging attitude wasn’t helpful. Nor were the frivolous elective courses. And if any degree would do, I was stupid to pursue a degree in the Liberal Arts.

So now, a decade later, I’m looking into programming degree plans. Any advice? Is an Associate’s degree sufficient for many decent jobs? I’m considering an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) with advanced certificates in C++ and Visual Basic. Programming experience would be useful in many fields, both for corporate and entrepreneurial efforts. But I’m particularly interested in game design, of which I’m fairly familiar and have connections.

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To expand on a point by former Ricochet member R J Moeller over at Acculturated, it’s not just the NBA that needs more mentors. More than college, perhaps this is what young people need to advance in life.  A mentor is more than a teacher. A mentor is a sponsor. He not only instructs and […]

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I posted last week about automation, and how it won’t take everyone’s job away At least not quickly. But people still lose jobs to robots. More and more low-skill jobs are disappearing because they’re just cheaper to do with a robot. So what do you do if your job is getting replaced by a robot? […]

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Toyota Plant

The Robot Revolution Will Be Delayed

 

Every so often on Ricochet, I read another thread about automation, the decreasing demand for factory workers and what this bodes for the future.  Or about education and training our workforce for tomorrow.  Someone on these threads always asks the titular question, although I’ve never seen it put so indelicately:  “Your robot factory of the future will need scientists and engineers, but not guys turning wrenches on the assembly line.  What about the people who just aren’t that smart?  What will they do when their jobs get automated away?”

Well, I walk the concrete for a living and I’m writing this just after my night shift support tech job let out.  I’ve got a couple points to make, which the pundits don’t usually cover.

What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Employer’s Personal Beliefs?

 

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was allegedly recorded making racist comments to his girlfriend, asking her not to bring black men to games or post pictures of herself with black men (she had posted a picture of herself with Magic Johnson).

This is a like a much more extreme version of the Brandon Eich affair, where in this case the employer’s personal beliefs are universally viewed as reprehensible.