Posted: Friday, March 28, 2003

MIDDLE-AGED MOTIVATION: A new survey indicates the blahs over work affect middle-age workers' motivation more so than for younger and older employees.

Nearly a fifth of workers ages 45 to 54, or 19.2 percent, were more likely to classify themselves as unmotivated. Overall, 13.6 percent of employees said they weren't motivated by their jobs.

Still, 39 percent of workers said they were very motivated'' and 44 percent said they were somewhat motivated'' at work, according to a survey of 519 full-time employees conducted earlier this month. Fourteen percent said they were very or somewhat unmotivated.

Chief executivees ought to consider the advantages of helping key employees become more attuned to the organization, noted Chris Pierce-Cooke, an executive vice president at Philadelphia-based Right Management Consultants, which commissioned the survey.

If I was a CEO who knew that more than half of my work force was feeling somewhere between OK and lethargic, I'd be taking steps to help them feel more invested and motivated,'' he said.

LONGER JOBLESSNESS: Unemployed workers might want to think twice about depending on the Internet alone for a job search. Such hunting could prolong your unemployment.

Since March 2001, the start of the current recession, the average unemployment period has grown to more than 15 weeks. That's three weeks longer than it took job seekers to get a job during the previous downturn in 1990-91, according to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, conducted by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Too many people are dropping resumes at an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 online job sites, blanketing the land with resumes that will not generate a phone call for the job seeker, said John Challenger, the firm's chief executive.

It is a formula for long-drawn-out joblessness,'' he said.

The problem is that the Internet is a fine place to begin a job hunt, but a disaster when it's one's only avenue. Slogging through irrelevant resumes to fill a position makes employers take more time to find and hire candidates.

Challenger suggest job seekers look for names, addresses and phone numbers online, but not to entrust their resumes' future there.

LIBRARY DONATION: When an old accounting firm dies, where do the books go? (No, not in the shredder.)

As companies close or reduce their holdings of interesting but superfluous materials, they often donate them to The New York Public Library, which maintains a science, industry and business unit.

Last summer, Arthur Andersen LLP accounting firm was closing its New York library as the convicted company prepared to stop auditing public companies, and donated the tomes to the public library.

Some business donations can be quite valuable in information and monetary terms. Five years ago, the New York Stock Exchange donated statistical reports of transactions on the exchange from 1939 through 1978, and microfilm back editions of The New York Times. The materials were valued at $50,000.

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