Finding a Job/Career Fit for the Future

How can we best match people with jobs/careers that benefit both employer and employee? How about a game to match/connect people with the best job?

With the job market changing people aren’t sure what jobs are even available now, what skills are needed, or where to look for living wage work. Students, laid off workers, management, and people starting or re-entering the job force are frustrated, confused, and feel beaten down.

Companies/employers seek quality, diverse, happy employees with a variety of skill sets. They want to get the right employee fit the first time, saving time, energy, and money.

I recently put some thought into workable and doable solutions for homelessness. Now here’s my ideas to better address matching people and jobs/careers:

  1. (YouTube) series highlighting new and established quality jobs available right now
  2. (Online) job matching game

The YouTube Job Series/Channel would feature new and established jobs that are available right now. Each job/segment would highlight job responsibilities, company benefits, what the company/job is looking for socially/motivationally in an employee, what training is provided, the future the company offers to employees, and how/where to apply for the job. This series could be used not only by individuals doing job searches at home, but also by human resource departments, public relations teams, schools, re-training centers, prisons, and more. Being that it is public and on YouTube it can be accessed by those searching at home, in libraries, and can be shared on social networks. Workers could better self-select jobs they will personally enjoy, and feel confident applying for jobs and industries they – after watching the video(s) – now better understand. Employers who create videos of each type of job can easily share job openings, giving an easy and shareable way to attract the right person for their job. In one step the un/under-employed job seekers stress level is eased…and employers have better access to a quality job force of interested and qualified people. I would love to help craft the over-all template/questions/content that can be replicated by organizations big and small (possibly using iphones and desktop publishing to make it cost effective). Completed videos and job opening information could be emailed to the channel for upload and inclusion to their jobs database.

The Online Job Matching Game could be similar to current facebook games (i.e. the Disney Princess match ups), but instead of only focusing on job history and education, the jobs game could also have questions that help focus your social/psychographic interests. Let’s say you are an extrovert – you may thrive as a cashier or in direct sales because you get to talk to different people all day long. If you are an introvert you might thrive stocking shelves or working in close-knit small teams. The game could help suggest options where you would socially and emotionally thrive, and then match you with videos that show what a person does on the job(s) suggested, the personality traits that work well with this job, the benefits and training offered, etc. So the online jobs game would be something that would help match you up with videos from the YouTube jobs series so you could see how your current and past skills could cross over into other new jobs. If you could save and add new skills to this same online game, you could re-play it and get even more options for jobs in the future…plus it would sure be nice to only have ONE resume/portfolio/game to fill out, and let the algorithms figure out what information is needed to apply to each job.

By Barb Hughes

Homeless Housing Of The Future

I’ve never been homeless. I think it would be important to ask homeless people what THEY want before we start building things or spending more money, or sending them off to prison somewhere.

The reason I say that, is I know one woman – who HAS a job and a cat – who was priced out of her apartment and she was living in a tent in a friends’ backyard over the winter. What she needed was an apartment in Portland that didn’t raise the rent above the salary she could afford and that allowed pets. So the person I knew who was homeless didn’t need a lot of fussing…she just needed a wage and housing that matched…which had matched no problem until the landlords decided to up their pricing to compete with the fancy new buildings being built.

Currently she’s living in an art studio downtown. I wonder with all the air bnb people, if there could be a similar website that could match up compatible people to rent rooms in homes? Again, the homeless person I know is a normal person, with a job, a pet, who actively volunteers her time in the community, etc. who could be your neighbor. How many homeless are like this? Why don’t we find out by asking them, and letting them help create a solution for them that matches, say, elderly people with cats and young people with cats, where not only they pay rent, but they can help around the house? Building community, instead of creating an ‘us/them’ paradigm of ‘look at those homeless people – can’t we just sweep them, blow them up, or cart them off so we don’t have to look at them?’

Yes, some people might need more helps than others, but at least one leg of the situation is individuals and families that have jobs, have a community around them, but for whatever reason (raised housing costs without a raise from their employer? Unexpected medical bills? A new baby? A death of the main breadwinner? Investments disappearing that they were living off of? Job loss? Parents getting new jobs across the country but the high school teen wanting to finish out his/her senior year etc.) the money they have doesn’t match the housing they are in. Sometimes this is only temporary. To keep a person/family in their familiar neighborhood while they get the money matched up to their living situation seems like it would be easier to get a footing back up with minimum displacement.  And how can we make this a mutual helping, instead of shaming?  How can it be cost effective, where the person looking for a home, and the person who has space, can mutually help each other?

Another affordable housing idea that might work as a collaboration between businesses, government, and renters, is to work out a collaboration where the working tenant pays no more than 25% of their gross monthly salary towards their rent, with the stipulation that they also contribute a talent or skill that benefits the other renters.  Examples could include an accountant could lead a monthly money management seminar to interested tenants (and guests?), a grocery worker could bring leftover packaged or nearly expired food to share with tenants,  a young mother could hold a monthly clothing and toy exchange amongst tenants.  This gifting of abundance from tenants would create added community benefit, helping to mutually uplift all tenants not only financially but emotionally, and helping to lessen dependence on overworked government social services.  As tenants get pay raises or move to higher wage jobs, their percentage paid towards rent would raise as well.  As tenants make new like-minded friends and as their pay raises, they may decide to move out of this housing and into other non-subsidized housing, thus freeing up the space for new tenants.  This would help retain quality employees for low-wage area businesses, and the businesses could write off the percentage of rent not covered by their employee paycheck as a tax write-off/employee benefit.  The city could contribute by allowing already built apartment complexes in various neighborhoods close to the businesses to be utilized for this venture.  This way no new buildings need to be planned and built, saving time and money.

One of the things my friend told me was she was thinking of fixing up a truck and living out of that, so at least she’d have a safe mobile place for her cat and herself, where all her stuff was safe and she could lock it etc. The living small movement is afoot, partly because some people are tired of owning too much stuff, but partly because people can’t afford to store stuff/move stuff and because housing prices are so high. So maybe another option would be affordable trailer parks where people can live within their means, leave when they want to and take all their stuff with them if they get a new job or new opportunity? Just trying to brainstorm options where people feel they have a bit more control then being forced/herded like cattle by people/government officials who haven’t even talked to them.

People support that which they help to create. Homeless people should be part of the leadership team in planning local homeless housing options, job training options, new innovations etc.  I would think that if I were homeless, I’d have to know /learn all kinds of survival hacks (necessity is the mother of invention).  We should be utilizing the brainpower of those who know what it’s like to be homeless, in helping to create the most cost effective, mutually helpful for society, community building affordable living situations.  And who knows?  The businesses who partner with experienced homeless people might create a whole new world of marketable invention$.

By Barb Hughes

Pop Up Tent With Solar Power

Great camping idea:  pop-up tents that are easy to use, lightweight, have solar panels to charge phones and provide LED lighting at night.

Call 911, text for help, with the touch of a button

I just discovered this safety jewelry that sets off a loud alarm, texts friends/family/contacts of your location, and dials 911 all at the touch of a button.  It’s called Roar Jewelry. Part of the purchase price goes to educating children in empathy, so that the rape and violence culture cycle ends.

Practical Solutions To End Rape Culture

Upon thinking about the Brock Turner case and how to deal with the underlying rape culture, I’ve come up with some practical solutions.

1. A rape kit needs to be a part of everybody’s first aid kit, right alongside bandaids and aspirin *. Since 1 in 5 women experience rape (I’m not sure what the numbers are for men), this is such a common occurance we all need to be prepared because it will inevitably happen to us or someone we know as things currently stand.

2. All children need to be educated about consent, starting from an early age. (No, you can’t play with Trisha’s doll unless Trisha says you can. No you can’t touch Ben’s private parts – those don’t belong to you, etc.)

3. All teenagers through adults need to be clearly taught what consent and respect for others means, and the legal consequences of not respecting others boundaries. (I think overall social and kindness practices used to be taught in class as ‘citizenship’ or ‘social studies’ or something like that? But this would add the meaning of consent to the mix as well.)

4. All teenagers and adults need to be taught that assault is assault, and consent is consent – that a person (in this case, the rapist) doesn’t get to decide that someone else ‘wanted’ it. He can only say that HE ‘wanted it’. And if the other person was asleep, or drunk, or said no, or was unable to respond, or was vulnerable (a child, special needs, an employee afraid of losing their job, physically ill, mentally ill, etc.) then they CAN’T legally give consent. Meaning, even if *you* were ‘just getting 20 minutes of action’ using the vagina etc. of another person, if that other person didn’t want your ‘action’, that is called rape and you will be prosecuted.

5. The legal system will clearly define the above (i.e. consent, assault, personal responsibility, personal autonomy) so that there is no doubt as to the meaning of consent, assault, and that personhood rights belong to each individual concerning his or her OWN body.

By Barb Hughes

PS. This discussion is personal for me as my daughter was raped and went through much the same things Brock Turner put his victim through – and many of you/your friends/family have experienced the same thing. Honest education, legal protections, and creative and proactive medicine can help.

*I just discovered this jewelry that is proactive to set off a loud alarm, text friends/family/contacts of your location, and dial 911 all at the touch of a button.  It’s called Roar Jewelry. Part of the purchase price also goes to educating children in empathy, so that the rape culture cycle ends.

Combination Bike-Stroller

Bike-Stroller: convenient for parent and child as a bike riding to and from, and as a stroller when you get to your location. Great exercise, and so practical!

Money and Fame

We’ve been conditioned to believe that ‘winner takes all’ and ‘if I have money/fame, THEN I’ll be secure, I’ll have friends/be popular, have meaning and feel accomplishment in my life’.

 

This video leaves with a question at the end.  I would add an additional question:

What do I have in abundance?

Often we don’t see our own abilities as worthwhile/abundant because they’re not reflected back as valued in society.  As we wrestle with personal values and the simple things that sustain us – quietly sharing the things we DO have in abundance – the result is joy.  Appreciating what we have begins by not judging ourselves that we aren’t rich/famous/thin/successful enough.  At first our personal abundance may look silly or useless, but sit with the tiny simplicity of it, and it may take on a life of its own, crafting a way to bring joy not just to us but to others.

Here’s an example of a simple abundance from my own life.

Our house breeds clothes.  When the kids were small  I set up a clothes and stuff swap for entertainment in our home.  We moved what we wanted to other rooms, and set up marked areas with signage so guests would know where to place their unwanted things for swapping.

It was hoot! Fun was had by all as friends and family brought over things they didn’t need and we socialized and swapped. The kids pretty much stayed in the toy room and found new toys to take home, the parents socialized and found things we needed, I was able to clear out clutter we didn’t need anymore and found things we could use.  I found a creative and socially fun use for my abundance.  It brought me joy.

My abundance (clothes and stuff that seems to breed in the attic) wasn’t money, or fame, or power.  It was ‘just’ clothes and stuff.  It was something simple. I started looking for ways to be creative with what I saw as my abundance.

To make a long story short, after years of experimenting I created Swap Positive– started with the simple abundance of extra clothes.

Sharing abundance gives joy.

What do you have extra in your life?  What do you have a lot of?  What is your abundance? Are you someone who can’t wipe the smile off your face?  Do you have way too many empty toilet paper tubes?  Do you get a thrill from constantly holding babies?  If you give away your extra, what kind of joy will you bring to yourself and to others? If you smile at people it could make a positive difference in their day.  Maybe a local preschool would love those toilet paper tubes for the ongoing projects they have, and appreciate your steady supply?  A hospital might need someone to hold premie newborns, or a church/school/clinic nursery might appreciate your skills so young mothers can get a short refreshing breather. What you see as ‘not really anything’, or maybe even feel guilty about, might be what you have in abundance.  Realizing and using your abundance creatively could make all the difference in how you see yourself and your place in this world.  Being rich, famous, and powerful doesn’t bring joy, but maybe having too many toilet paper tubes or egg cartons might be the beginning of a new chapter of joy and giving in your life?

Barb