Watercooler

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

CORPORATE DROP-OUTS: Women who jettison the corporate rat race in search of more family time have company men may be following their lead.

In a survey last month of 101 senior human resources executives, several said they've detected an increase in the number of men leaving their positions so they can improve the balance between their jobs and their personal lives.

Such defections have spurred many of the new corporate work/life balance programs since the early 1990s, said Bernadette Kenny, executive vice president of Lee Hecht Harrison, a New Jersey-based career management service.

''Retention concerns have led many in Corporate America to accept greater responsibility for employee well-being. But there's often more lip service than muscle given to balance programs,'' she said.

About 75 percent of the executives said their companies have work/life balance programs, but 38 percent of those said it's frowned upon to use them, and 16 percent said employees fear they'll be penalized for using them.

CAN I E-MAIL YOU?: Your resume looks fantastic. Concise, tidy, easy-to-read and wow, you are one qualified person!

But is your e-mail address on it? It should be, especially considering that most recruiters don't care where your house or apartment is, yet nearly everyone includes that information. Additionally, if you're unemployed, your life may be in flux and you may move frequently. E-mail can be your consistent contact.

But a recent review of more than 150,000 resumes found that more than a quarter of applicants do not put an e-mail contact on their resume.

''If I look at 200 resumes a day, which is very likely, those missing e-mail address are going to be ignored,'' said Greg Henderson, a recruiter from Portland, Ore. ''E-mail exchange helps to sort out the 'might be qualified' from the 'is not qualified.'''

Moreover, when you do include an address, be sure to check that the account is indeed active. Recruiters report that many of their mails go unanswered.

The review was conducted by ResumeDoctor.com, a Vermont-based consulting firm.

GEN X INVESTS: Generation Xers are turning cautious in their investing habits and many are reducing their involvement, according to a survey.

The stock markets' long bearishness made insurance products the most popular investment in the survey, with three-fourths of people saying they had bought one, up from 62 percent last year. Mutual funds, by comparison, were purchased by 71 percent of those polled, down from 85 percent the previous year.

Nearly a third of those polled, 31 percent, described themselves as conservative in their investments, an increase from 22 percent in 2002.

In other findings, more than half of the Gen Xers, 58 percent, said they don't feel as if they have adequate funds to invest, up from 45 percent in 2002. And 29 percent believed they are too inexperienced to make good investment decisions, up from 23 percent last year.

The annual survey is conducted by New York Life Investment Management LLC, based in Parsippany, N.J. The 2003 edition involved 515 adults ages 22 to 36, with investable assets of $50,000 or more.



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