Discover Your Workplace Values


by Rachel Vilsack

One of the best additions I made to my workspace this year is a list of my 10 guiding values. I have them posted on my cubicle wall, next to my computer. I read through them every day. They are a reminder, about what is important in my life and how I want to work. When the day comes that I no longer have an opportunity to grow, a sense of service, or passion for what I do (my top three values) then I’ll know that I’m no longer happy at my job.

 

Continue reading

Skill Enhancement through Volunteering


by Rachel Vilsack

Are there skills you would like to develop on your resume? Think about volunteering!  In 2011, 38 percent of Minnesota residents volunteered in 2011. Minnesota ranked 4th among all states in volunteer rates, according to a new report from the Corporation for National & Community Service. That’s 1.58 million volunteers giving nearly 172 million hours of service to religious, civic, health, and educational organizations across the state.

 

Continue reading

Build a Career Portfolio


by Rachel Vilsack

I once applied to a job that required a writing sample. The employer wanted to be sure that I had strong writing skills, since the job included authoring technical reports and articles for both professional and general audiences.  I remember submitting my writing portfolio, which showed the range of writing experience I had.  (And I got the job!) A professional portfolio can be very helpful in demonstrating your skills and talents to prospective employers.  Is a portfolio right for you?

 

Continue reading

Working Part-Time for Economic Reasons


by Amanda Rohrer

Anecdote and evidence don’t always seem to agree when it comes to the unemployment rate and the economy. Although Minnesota’s unemployment rate has been declining consistently for the past two years, most people still have stories about friends, family, and neighbors who just can’t get a break. All the published unemployment rate tells us is the percentage of the adult population actively seeking employment. There are two major areas it’s not designed to cover. First, it doesn’t count potential workers who aren’t active in their job search efforts. Second, it doesn’t count people who are working, but could be working more or in more demanding or better paid jobs — the underemployed.

 

Continue reading

How Does Minnesota Unemployment Compare?


by Rachel Vilsack

Every month, the updated unemployment rate gives us a snapshot of how the Minnesota and regional labor markets are changing. This information is essential for tracking trends and comparing labor market conditions across the nation. However, we often want to know how certain populations within our state are faring. Instead of monthly statistics, we need to rely on annual estimates to assess differences in unemployment rates by gender, educational attainment, race, ethnicity, and more. With the release of the Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment report in September, we finally get a look at how Minnesota compares in 2011.

 

Continue reading

Twin Cities Employment Projections to 2020


by Rachel Vilsack

The Twin Cities economy is projected to grow by 12 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to new data from the state’s Labor Market Information Office. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 202,060 new jobs across the region’s industry sectors, with even more jobs available as people retire or otherwise leave their professions.
Continue reading