Instead of streaming movies and shows on your smartphone over Wi-Fi, why not watch them over the same transmitters that send signals to your television? Mobile TV, which makes use of special add-ons for mobile devices, may be the next key development for broadcasters.
"A great example is the Today show," says Anne Schelle, partner at Acta Wireless who is leading the panel on mobile TV at the National Association of Broadcasters convention this week. "You know in the morning, you get up, and you want to walk right out the door and keep watching it, you can do that with this device."
What you see on the mobile screen would be the same image you’d see live on your TV, and in real time. That’s because mobile TV is driven by the powerful signal coming out the TV transmitter, not by Wi-Fi or cellphone services like 3G or LTE.
"This enables consumers to have unfettered access," says Shelle. "You don't have to have a data plan, you don't have the same buffering issues."
Fisher Communications has been testing mobile TV on some of their stations in Washington State and Minnesota. Randa Minkarah, senior vice president of revenue and business development at Fisher, says a customer could get an add-on device with a small antenna that plugs into a USB port on, say, an iPad.
"And then you are free to start watching television, the device will scan and pick up the channels available," Minkarah says. "And if you go to another market, you open it up and you scan and you pick up those channels."
Minkarah says her company's been gathering audience data. Ahead of her panel at the NAB convention tomorrow, she would only say that Fisher is "very excited" about the early returns.
In the daylight, Orange County’s fire rings aren’t much to look at. They’re small square pits that dot the sand for a few hundred yards.
“One of the great things about the fire pits is that it is one of the few places in Orange County where everyone can gather together, where there is no class, said OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano. “There’s no rich or poor. There’s no Mexicans or white folks or Asians. It’s whoever gets to the fire pits first.
But when the sun goes down, beachgoers are drawn to the bonfires like moths to a flame.
"We came out here to catch a few waves and then later tonight, [we're] probably gonna make some hotdogs over the fire pit, chill out," said 18-year-old Connor Renard who gathered with a dozen friends around an unlit fire ring.
The rings have drawn crowds for 60 years, but they are also drawing the ire of Newport Beach residents who say smoke from the open bonfires pollutes the air, leading to a host of health problems for those who live – and hang out – on the beach.
"[Newport residents] have respiratory problems from asthma, to, some people talk about cancer -- but it's difficult to pinpoint," says Dave Kiff, city manager of Newport Beach.
What began as a request by Newport Beach to have the city’s fire rings removed has erupted into a local firestorm pitting those who want the rings to go against those who say the health concerns are nothing more than an excuse invented by wealthy homeowners who want to keep the public off of public beaches.
“The fire pits are the latest salvo in a war pitting the rich against the rest of us,” says OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano. "It's the elite who live at these affluent communities. They don't want the hoi polloi to come down here."
Dave Kiff takes offense to that.
"They don't know what's in our hearts," he says.
But Arellano says that Newport Beach has come up with many reasons to ban the fire pits, including noisy teenagers and the risk that people might fall into the pits.
Setha Low, who teaches anthropology of the City University of New York, says that the rich and the rest often clash over public space. As the wealth gap grows, so will the problems.
"If this continues, because we have a greater difference between poor and rich, that means more and more people are being thrown off public spaces that are actually public," says Low.
California officials are also divided. The Newport City Council first proposed removing the pits to the California Coastal Commission, which denied the request, calling the fire rings an important, low-cost attraction for beachgoers.
But the South Coast Air Quality Management District, a regional body that monitors air pollution, disagrees. Officials there say that Newport Beach has a case and they’ve introduced a proposal to ban the fire rings not just in Newport, but in all of southern California.
And that is throwing a kink into Orange County’s laid back culture.
Connor Renard, who will soon graduate from high school and has plans to move to Arizona asks, “If you’re not gonna be at the beach, why ruin the fun of people who are at the beach?”
There are two words that sum up Wall street's mood for first quarter earnings: Cautiously optimistic.
"I think that's the right way to put it," says Alec Young, a global equity strategist with S & P Capital IQ. He forecasts 4 percent growth in profits overall in sectors like housing, telecom, and consumer staples.
But after a few years of strong profit growth, S&P 500 companies are making more sober predictions.
"84 companies have actually lowered their expectations for first quarter earnings," says Tim Ghriskey, who works with the investment management firm Solaris Group. He says we've seen a pattern appear over the last two years. A strong first quarter and a weak second.
"In terms of first quarter earnings, optimistic. In terms of second quarter earnings, more cautious."
Cautiously optimistic -- at least until companies feel the effects of the sequester budget cuts.
Immigration is expected to be front and center when Congress returns from its spring break this week. A bill could be introduced in the Senate any day now. One of the hallmarks of the plan is a deal to bring in more low-skilled guest workers, but thre are sticking points.
The biggest one centers around how many visas we need for low-skilled guest workers -- immigrants who work in restaurants or construction. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor leaders hammered out an agreement on that question, capping visas for construction workers at 15,000.
Jeff Shoaf of the Associated General Contractors of America says that’s not nearly enough.
“15,000 equates to about 0.25 percent of total construction employment today," he explains. "That seems like an extremely small number to be your cap.”
Shoaf wants more construction worker visas, a higher cap. He’s going to lobby hard for it.
Tom Snyder will be on the other side of the debate. Synder, the point person for the AFL-CIO on immigration, wants to limit construction worker visas to be sure Americans get the first crack at new jobs that open up.
“We want to be sure there’s true labor market shortages before you admit new workers in," he says.
Especially, Snyder says, when the unemployment rate for construction workers right now is double the national average.
A robo-grader may be coming to a school near you.
EdX, the nonprofit collaboration between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is about to launch a new free Internet service that uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays without any input from teachers.
But Dr. Joshua Kim, an administrator in learning and technology at Dartmouth College, says the new technology isn't meant to replace teacher feedback -- it's meant to get more students writing.
"The choice is between doing something like this and not doing any writing and only doing multiple choice," Kim said. "So if a technology like this can introduce writing into large classes where the writing was not going on because the classes were too big, I think that's a great technology."
He added, "Maybe this technology is sort of a gateway drug for getting people writing and they'll end up in the small seminars that we all believe are what education should be about."
One criticism of some examination methods is that teachers "teach to the test" so students get high scores. With the EdX essay grader, will students learn to write to the robot?
Professor Kim says that's not likely. "I think that any technology can be misused and I think we're starting to see this with these massively open online courses where people are thinking, well this is a substitute for what goes on in higher education." But Kim says, "It's only a tool, its a way to engage our students, to get them to think and participate and to build. Sure, it could be misused but I'm not so worried about that."
Dominance displays, posturing, submissive behavior -- sound like anything you've seen at the office? Psychologist Meredith Fuller specializes in a certain subset of these behaviors -- usually exhibited by women -- behaviors we all know rather well. Cattiness. Dismissive, snide remarks. Cliques and talking behind people's backs. Most of us associate this kind of stuff with high school, but it doesn't end there. It can make your life miserable at work. Fuller's written a new book about this with the eye-catching title of "Working with Bitches."
Fuller says she chose to use the word "bitch" in her book title for two reasons. First, everybody knows what you mean when you say 'I work with a bitch.' And second, the "new bitch" is fun and can be a positive thing. She says there's nothing wrong with a woman who is assertive and tough in the workplace, but she wrote her book for more polite, concerned, earnest women who need a way to deal with the sort of behaviors that are more manipulative and cunning.
Fuller identifies eight different types of so-called office mean girls at work (find out about the different types of bitches and what you can do about them by clicking on the photo above). She says low self-esteem is the reason some women engage in these devious behaviors.
"For a lot of us, we've got fears, anxieties, depressions, worries and we mask that. So a lot of the bitchy behavior is because [bitches] don't know how to feel good enough and so they're relying on these covert behaviors. But there's always something they want. For example, that micro-managing boss who's always saying this isn't good enough, do it again, slashing with a red pen -- often it's their anxiety and they feel they're going to mess up. They look at you and if you're not very neat, that just screams terror for them that something will go wrong. And they're worried that they're not in control. The more they feel in control, the less they have to hassle you," says Fuller. "So give them those updates before they ask, make your desk look neat every time they go back. That helps bring down their anxiety. It's working at what is driving their behavior underneath what they're showing you and try and resolve that for them so they don't need to have that unconscious nastiness triggered."
Men also exhibit alienating behaviors -- like lying, narcissism or exclusion. But they are much more overt than women. To some men, engaging in manipulative behavior can almost seem like a game.
"We all engage in behavior to get a need met, but often what you notice is that it's more subtle with women. It's harder to read them," says Fuller. "Women are more selective and are more able to play it so subtly with several mutterings and nonverbal behavior that a lot of the men don't necessarily engage in. It's more like it is what it is with a lot of men."
Part of the issue with some women in the workplace is they have a desire to be liked whereas men are more likely to want to be feared at work.
"We've got mixed motivations [at work] and I think that's what we pick up. What we've noticed is that historically women have felt they need to be more sly, surreptitious, cunning, manipulative and that's what they've been rewarded for," says Fuller. "What I really like, a lot of the young people we're getting through -- the more Gen Y's -- they're actually saying, 'Oh blow all of this. Let me be who I am and part of me is a range of behaviors.' And that also allows men to have their range of behaviors."
Fuller says she's starting to see a massive paradigm shift where a lot of the old, rigid structures are beginning to be broken down. But we're still in a period where bitchy behavior is something some workers have to cope with.
Amid the not-so-good news coming from the jobs report out today, there was a theoretical ray of sunshine: there has been a small drop in the unemployment rate.
However, the rate came down for all the wrong reasons — not because more people are getting hired, but because fewer people are actively looking for jobs. In fact, according to today’s numbers, labor force participation is lower than it was even during the Great Recession.
"Missing workers" is what labor economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute, calls this phenomenon.
“The group of workers who are not in the labor force but who would be in if job prospects were strong,” she explains.
She calculates that number at around four million people right now. That’s more than the population of Oregon.
Some of these workers decided to leave the workforce to, say, raise a child, and would be ready to come back if they were more confident they could actually get a job.
Then there are those who lost their job and, after trying for months, have just stopped looking.
That’s what happened to Ross Anderson, a 58-year-old from Minnesota who had a career in the manufacturing industry. A few years ago, he applied for five different jobs that he eventually found out were the same job, posted by different recruiters. It was a rollercoaster.
“I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’” he says. “I've already been down this road and it hasn't lead to anything.”
Fearing his frustration was coming out in job interviews and hurting his prospects, Anderson took a break, and stopped applying for jobs altogether for four months. He relied on his wife to support the family.
It didn’t feel good.
“I'm the kind of person that needs to work. We find a lot of personal identity through work and without it we really get kind of lost,” Anderson remembers.
That response isn't uncommon, said Laura Labovich, president of The Career Strategy Group.
"People who have been out of the work force for so long, often have this crisis of confidence,” Labovich says. "They believe it’s because of their value that they’re not employed."
For those moments of discouragement, Labovich has a few recommendations. One, don’t wait for job openings. Instead, try to tap in to what she calls "the hidden job market." She estimates that 85 percent of positions are never posted.
“They’re sourced through referrals, or through someone that comes through the door and has talked to a president or a VP and said ‘I can do something to help you,’" she said. "They talk over drinks and the position never gets posted and that person gets hired.”
Meanwhile, she says, competition gets that much stiffer for the 15 percent of job openings that still are actually posted, because most job searchers are applying for them.
Dreaded as the word is, networking is an undeniably important tactic when a job search doesn't seem to be going anywhere, says Labovich. "Just to start meeting people and make it not about a job but about making connections, making friends, and cultivating the relationships you have."
Finally, in the midst of the frustration of unemployment, don’t forget to do things you love. It’ll make you feel better, and might help catapult you in to a job.
Rather than feeding the doubts that a long job search can bring on, hobbies build confidence, “using the part of your brain that is actually doing what you love to do,” says Lubovich. “Whereas we don't love to job search.”
As for Ross Anderson, eventually he did find another job, through word of mouth. But he lost that one a few weeks ago, when the company downsized. This time, he's determined not to get discouraged during the job hunt. To stay busy and attract future employers, he just started a blog about his field.
“Right now I’m still trying very hard to get that next job.”
He has a job interview next Monday.
Ross Anderson, good luck!
Corporate heads rolled this week. Among the punishments? Lululemon's chief product officer is leaving after that yoga pants debacle (they turned out to be see-through and had to be pulled from the shelves); Hewlett-Packard's chairman resigned after a botched acquisition, and Chevron docked executive pay over industrial accidents. But none was as extreme as JCPenney. The board of the struggling retailer cut CEO Ron Johnson’s pay by more than 96 percent.
JCPenney hired Johnson away from Apple in 2011 to turn the retailer around. Hopes were high and so was pay. JCPenney offered Johnson a compensation package that topped $53 million -- most of that was in stock.
This year wasn’t so good. "They didn’t give him a bonus, they didn’t give him any equity awards,” says Aaron Boyd, director of research at Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. “All he really had was the salary."
That salary is $1.5 million (plus some perks, of course). That’s still real money, but as large as Johnson’s salary sounds, the pay cut sends a strong message, says Ralph Ward, publisher of trade publication Boardroom Insider. But why didn't the board just fire Johnson?
"That would put the board in a position of, ‘Okay, what’s our fallback plan?’ I suspect they don’t have one," Ward says.
Or the board is willing to give Johnson one more chance, says Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.
"Obviously they believe that there’s merit in the individual and they didn’t think it was time to cut the line," he says.
Elson says the pay cut sends a “we’re not messing around” message to shareholders, but he also sees it as a vote of confidence in Johnson. The board wiped out Johnson’s bonus, but it did raise his base salary.
Cutting pay packages for underperforming CEOs is a growing trend, says Equilar’s Boyd. "Companies are much more sensitive to investor sentiment regarding pay," he notes. "We’re starting to see pay reflect how the companies are performing."
JC Penney declined to comment, saying the company would let its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosing lower 2012 compensation for Johnson and senior executive "speak for itself."
Because of all the tens of millions of dollars worth of stock he stands to own, Johnson could still make a fortune if he puts JCPenney back on track. "We’ll have to see how it pans out," University of Delaware’s Elson says. "The bigger issue will be next year, do things turn around?
There is precedent for C-suite survival. An Australian bank CEO had his pay cut by 99 percent in 2009. Four years later, he’s still the boss.
It feels like banks have been pushing us away for a while now. Bank in your living room! There’s no need to bank at the bank!
But now, Bank of America wants to get close, really close. Customers want options, says Bank of America’s Aditya Bhasin. “We’re in a human era where their expectations of the brands that are important to them are that they are meeting their needs and doing it in a way that is eye-to-eye, and human, and connected and humble.”
Wait, humble? Bank?
Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says a focus on connection and being a good-guy bank, makes sense. “The real key to profitability in banking is for each customer they have, is to get more of their money, a higher share of wallet,” she says. In order for our bank to do that, we need to like it, “you have to feel comfortable with the bank,” says Kahn, “you have to want to have repeat business with the bank.”
As part of the brand overhaul, the bank is launching ATM’s with tellers available to video chat. It’s also going to encourage customers to set up one-on-one conversations about personal finance goals.
There will be talking.
Which could be good for the Bank of American balance sheet. “What I think these banks have found is that by introducing people to new services, and trying to sell them through the internet, or messages on their mobile devices, have not been particularly effective,” says Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research.
Much better to have a real person make the pitch, while they’re making nice.
After a strong February, March's unemployment report reveals that the sequester may be taking its toll on the economy.
Only 88,000 jobs were added, which was lower than analysts expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent from 7.7, a continuing trend over the past several months that indicates that older workers are leaving the workforce, and others may be giving up.
"Certainly, there's a lot of discouragement out there," said The New York Times' Catherine Rampell. "But many workers don't really have the luxury of just giving up because they don't have any other source of income."
"So there are a lot of people who certainly get discouraged, who feel like their prospects are nil or close to it, but they have to keep pounding the pavement because their unemployment checks ran out. They don't have any other source of income."
The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy says it might be little early to blame the disappointing numbers entirely on the sequester.
"It's really a bit of a mystery here how we can have so many months of relatively strong job growth and then just suddenly snap back," he said. "It partly seems like a cruel joke to see this year after year after year in the labor market, but there's something fundamental going on that is certainly affecting it."
Listen to the full audio above for the full analysis.
Looking for something to read this weekend? Check out #longreads suggestions from the Wrappers.
Catherine Rampell suggests:
- The New York Times' look at how computers could soon take over grading student essays (more on that later on tonight's Marketplace, too).
- An Australian comic translates Roald Dahl’s heroine Matilda for a Broadway musical.
- A new study shows that food deserts — areas with limited access to healthy food — may not have an effect on people's health or obesity.
Sudeep Reddy picks:
- The deadly flu spreading through China resembles the plot from the movie "Contagion," writes Laurie Garrett, who was a consultant to the film. (The Chinese government disclosed more cases since her piece ran earlier in the week.)
- Another former head of state builds a second act: Britain’s Tony Blair and his growing international empire.
- Alyson Shontell's piece on a failed startup and the founder who was driven to suicide.
A sober home is exactly what it sounds like. It's a place people can go when they first come out of rehab. Somewhere to live, drug- and alcohol-free. Residents take drug tests, attend 12-step meetings and have curfews to keep them on the straight and narrow.
Realtor Brian Wall says sober homes have become a lucrative business for him. A single sale can net him up to $40,000. He says the perfect sober house has lots of bedrooms, and is far away from nosy neighbors. That's because these homes can turn into overcrowded boarding houses that no one wants to live next to.
Like a rundown house I visited in the San Fernando Valley. More than 20 men live in the home, and they share just one bathroom with no door. The owner of the property refused to do an interview, but one of the residents reluctantly showed me around.
Tenants say even the garage was being used as a bedroom. There were bunkbeds to sleep a dozen men but there was no heat, running water or electricity. When I went to see for myself, the house manager demanded I leave.
Despite the appalling conditions, a bed here still costs as much as $500. When the house is full, the owner can net over $10,000 a month. Realtor Brian Wall says this kind of money is attracting people to the sober home business.
"If I'm not doing it to make money, then why am I doing it?" Wall says. "If I'm doing it for passion, that's great, but that doesn't help me open up 10 houses."
But Jeff Christensen says the idea of sober homes is supposed to be about helping addicts get back on their feet.
Christensen, director of the Sober Living Network, says, "If you want to call this a business, that's great. We don't. We call it service to these people. If we get back to the fundamentals of what this about, it’s a matter of life and death for the people who live there."
Christensen says the problem is anyone can open up a sober home. And it's almost impossible to shut the bad ones down. That's because addicts are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"These bad landlords are clever," Christensen says. "They're going, 'Hey, if I say I'm a sober living, I can hide behind federal protections.'"
So how do you help recovering addicts when so many people are just trying to make a buck off them? Christensen says one solution is self-regulation. That’s what his nonprofit organization’s all about -- getting sober home owners to agree to follow certain rules.
"We do inspections, we go out and we take a look at their management practices, require them to be trained," Christensen says.
One of the sober home owners who took that training was Cristofer Justin. He owns and manages six sober homes near San Diego.
"There's such a demand and there's such a need," Justin says. "It's a great opportunity to be of service."
Justin finds recovering addicts at local churches, probation and parole offices, and through ads on Craigslist. Tenants pay him up to $500 for a single bed. But unlike some sober home owners, Justin actually offers services like drug testing and counseling.
"You have to be extra attentive to make sure that they don’t have opportunities to fall back on old habits and old attitudes," Justin says.
But soon these sober homes, good or bad, may disappear. At least in Los Angeles. The city council is trying to pass an ordinance to shut them all down. Sober living advocates say it could leave thousands of recovering addicts with nowhere to go.
This story was made possible by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.
Tech companies get a lot of attention for their food perks. Google is famous for offering free breakfast, lunch and dinner to employees. There are cafes sprinkled all over the campus. One of their chefs even cooked for the Grateful Dead! Tech gurus have found that free food and breaking bread together is the easiest way to build worker morale, but judging by the countless blogs dedicated to slamming office kitchens -- most companies still don't seem to get it. Sadly, the office kitchen is often a place that's rarely cleaned, frequently looted, and almost always a bit depressing. And the Marketplace kitchen? It's as bad as they come (hover over the picture of our kitchen above to see what it says about us). So what do the dirty dishes and moldy leftovers say about us and our workplace culture? Ben Dattner has put some thought to this. He's an organizational psychologist, and author of "The Blame Game: How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure."
If behaviors in the kitchen are symbolic of how an employer works, well, there are a whole lot of dirty employees out there. Too many office kitchens are abandoned, desolate, and full of science experiments in the refrigerator. Dattner says a dirty kitchen means workers don't care about their workplace enough to invest in it.
"Former Secretary of the Treasury, Larry Summers, in talking about ownership said: 'In the history of the world, nobody has washed a rented car.' If people are not washing the kitchen in the workplace, it means that they see themselves more as renters than as owners. It means that they feel transitory, that they're passing through. They don't have a real psychological contract with the company, space, workplace. That's a problem," says Dattner.
Perhaps nowhere is the problem more evident than the refrigerator. In some workplaces, food theft is a major problem. Some employees go so far as labeling food warning colleagues not to eat anything within. Dattner says both stealers and protectors of food resort to extreme measures. They put up warning notes and there even are products on the market like bags laced with fake mold so would-be stealers are dissuaded from eating someone else's lunch. In an ideal space, Dattner says there should be enough people in and around the space that people wouldn't even be tempted to steal.
On the other side of the spectrum is the worker who brings in food to share with others. Dattner says that person might consider him or herself to be a den mother or father who brings everyone together. That can be a positive thing. But on the other hand, sometimes people who are under-performing think they can ingratiate themselves and justify their poor performance by being a good cook.
So what should organizations with food stealers and dirty kitchens do? If there are kitchen violators, organizations face the dilemma of whether to resort to guilt and conscience or shame.
"Some of those exhortational Post-it notes and letters and emails that people send out try to get towards guilt and shame as a motivator," says Dattner. "It's a dilemma, though, for anybody who's upset about what's going on in the kitchen. On one hand, you want to say 'everyone please clean up after yourself. ' On the other hand, if you send out exhortations like that, people might come to realize that the norm is to be irresponsible rather than the exception to the norm."
How nervous do you get during interviews? Have you lost a job because of your interviewing skills? Or gotten one because you nailed your future employer's questions? Mastering the art of the interview is important for everyone. Ramit Sethi, a personal finance adviser and author of the bestseller "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," says he can teach people how to interview better than 99 percent of people in the world -- because the bar isn't set very high. He says most people go into an interview and have already started off doing things wrong.
"The No. 1 mistake we make when go in for a job interview is believing that an interview is all about answering questions. It's about creating a narrative and communicating your key messages," says Sethi.
Sethi advises interviewees to know their three key talking points. Interviewees should answer questions they are asked, of course, but also be sure to communicate their key messages. Where do most people go wrong? He says 80 percent of a job candidate's work is done before even stepping foot into an interviewing room.
"The research that we do is what makes us the best at interviewing. For example, if you've done your homework you know what the key challenges of that company are. You also know what that role entails and who they work with. So you start using the words that the company uses and all of a sudden that interviewer, his or her eyes are going to light up. They're going to say, 'Wow this person came prepared.' That separates you from everyone else," says Sethi.
That enables an interviewee to start having a conversation as opposed to an interview. If you've been lucky enough to nail the interview and get a job offer, what about deciding upon a salary figure? Should you name an amount?
"It's not your job to name the salary. Let them name it first," says Sethi. "You can say, 'You know what, I'm sure that we can find a number that works for both of us. I'm very interested in the position. I would love to know how I can contribute to the organization.' Let them make the first move. So when you do, you will find that they will make you an offer and you will come back at them. You'll have your homework, you'll have a number in your head. But when you make the first offer -- I've seen this happen many, many times -- people chronically short themselves."
Sethi says you should also not reveal what you made at your last job. That's not their responsibility to know, he says.
"A top performer would not be super concerned with money up front because they know that they are great and they know that the money is going to come" says Sethi. "If they ask you in the middle of an interview, 'What were you paid or how much do you want to be paid,' you say, 'You know what, I'm sure we can figure out the money later, but right now I just want to figure out if this is a good fit for you and if this is a good fit for me.'"
Sethi says these days things like benefits are also negotiable. The key is getting the company to want you first. He advises job candidates to practice their negotiating skills before even sitting down for an interview. And once you've been hired, Sethi says you should pick a list of people that work at the company and have at least two lunches a week with them to build a network.
"No agenda. No items. Just say, 'I just started working here. I've heard great things about you. I'd love to know what you do and how you got to this position," he says.
For more advice on negotiating a raise, where to search for work, and how to find your dream job, click play on the audio player above.
Season 6 of AMC's "Mad Men" premieres this Sunday. Fans are no doubt eager to catch up with the exploits of Don, Peggy and Pete -- and businesses are eager to catch up with those fans.
John Stires' bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, usually serves wine and beer. But for weddings and special events they do have liquor. And this Sunday, they're serving cocktails.
"We only do it for special occasions and Sunday nights for Mad Men is going to be one of them," Stires says. The promotion helps draws customers on a typically slow night, and Sunday sales during the show's run often more than double.
"We know that people are going to come because they know that we're going to have our TV's on, set to 'Mad Men,' " he says.
Bars aren't the only businesses to piggyback on the popularity of "Mad Men." Banana Republic has a "Mad Men"-inspired clothing line, which helped boost its parent company's third quarter profits last year. But you don't see a clothing line inspired by "The Walking Dead." What is it about "Mad Men" that marketers love?
"It's very much transmitting an image or look that its very easy for brands to import themselves into," says Brent Vartan, who handles market strategy for advertising firm Deutsch. He says "Mad Men" taps into yearnings for glamour and a lifestyle of cocktail-swilling fun -- themes that appeal to sought-after younger consumers.
As Don Draper himself says, "Advertising's is based on one thing --- happiness."
Even as the U.S. economy is adding jobs, nearly five million people have been out of work for at least six months, and figures show their wait to return to the workforce is growing.
The Department of Labor is reporting the U.S. added 88,000 jobs last month, falling below analyst expectations. The unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 7.6 percent. The monthly jobs numbers give a snapshot of the economy and its recovery, which has a been a slow and bumpy one so far.
Larry Summers, who was Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama, discusses the state of the recovery and what's ahead for the economy.
The first contact most job seekers have with their potential employer is, of course, the resume. And that's where things can go wrong, right from the start. Veronica Wells experienced it first hand. A career counselor once told her that some places may be hesitant to hire her because she was involved in historically African-American professional organizations.
"It was shocking," says Wells. "When I went back and thought about it, I was kind of like this is not really what I'm about -- hiding such a big part of who I am. I thought, do I really want to work for a company who would not hire me based on race?"
Virginia Clarke, president and CEO of Talent Optimization Partners, is a career counselor who says she hears stories like Wells' pretty often. She thinks Wells made the right call. But these days, with so many workplaces now saying they are committed to diversity, wouldn't minority candidates want to feature their backgrounds?
"Diversity continues to be an issue. You can still question whether or not people are giving lip service, but at least many of the corporations -- large ones that I speak to -- they're trying to identify diverse candidates. That's part of the reason I encourage people to list it. It doesn't guarantee you anything, but it might get you a second look," says Clarke.
Clarke says companies that operate under Equal Employment Opportunity laws can't ask about a job candidate's background, but a potential worker can certainly offer. Then it becomes part of a job candidate's unspoken record. Companies that operate under EEOC laws have to be very careful about what they write down and put in front of a hiring manager, says Clarke. And it's not just race -- sexual orientation, religion, and gender can also be used to discriminate or fill quotas.
"Religion would probably be more of a sensitive issue. LGBT still, unfortunately, might be something that people downplay," says Clarke. "As a recruiter, I did work for some religious organizations and had to make sure that they understood that the candidates I was going to show them were going to be from a variety of religious backgrounds, so I was hoping they would be agnostic, so to speak."
Deciding whether to advertise one's background depends on a lot factors. How much does the job or type of company matter when deciding whether to advertise one's background? Clarke says it matters a lot. Some companies make judgments based on something as simple as someone's name.
"I've done exercises with recruitment teams that will say they are making a snap judgment based on the name, based on the resume and many, many other factors. In some ways there's even a class consideration -- if your name is pronounceable or if it's something that might be perceived as made up or if it's from a completely different language and culture," says Clarke.
While Clarke has never encountered Wells' issue, she does say that her race is apparent in her resume -- and she's proud to advertise it.
"It's part of who I am. It speaks to how I think. It speaks to what's important to me. There's some self-selection that goes on here. I want to be with an organization that is going to value all of me, including my ethnicity and race. I wouldn't want to work for an organization that wouldn't want me to bring my whole self to work," she says.
At Chester Zoo in the north of England a chimp hurls himself at the thick pane of glass. What's he trying to say? Biologist Patrick Van Veen runs a course for zoo attendees that explains the primate's actions.
The course aims to show how watching a chimp's behaviour can help you better understand your colleagues. Dutch company Ape Management is behind the idea and runs sessions in zoos across Europe. And for around $2,000, businesses can send a group of their workers to learn about their ape ancestors instincts -- and see how they mirror our own. For example, how we make friends with people or how we react when we're jealous or how we try to take charge of a group. Founder Van Veen was inspired to set up the business 10 years ago by his own boss.
"He was about two meters tall, he was huge, he had small glasses and when you entered his office he stared at you as though, 'What are you coming to bring to me?'" says Van Veen.
So what sort of behavior does Van Veen see in the primate world that applies in the business world?
"There is a lot of behavior, sometimes it's good to make people aware of the way they show dominant behaviour and how that reflects on the people in their group. It's also about grooming. We spend a lot of time chit-chatting and drinking coffee with each other and that's grooming behavior like primates do, that's building relationships," he says.
Van Veen's original client base was from the insurance industry, where he started his career. It's now branched out into all sectors, with a client list including accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers and oil giant Shell. So what do the businesses who visit the zoo make of bringing biology to the boardroom?
Sandra Bruce works for British bank NatWest and says she learned a lot from the day.
"One of the things I took away was that when we see different behaviours, how we put those into categories instead of just watching the behaviour and understanding it," says Bruce. "It's about observing people more and not immediately putting them into certain cliques, but understanding the different behaviours and what that means. The organization is about people and they're the most important part and it's really understanding the people who work for you."
Bruce says the monkeys reminded her of some people in her organization, but won't reveal who.
The training's gone down well with the companies that have taken part, but is the science sound?
"We see things like dominance displays, we see posturing, we'll see submissive behaviour where animals move out the way of each other just in the same way as we'd try to avoid certain people sometimes," says Sonia Hill, a research officer at Chester Zoo specializing in animal behavior.
Now the company's hoping to expand its courses from Europe to the other side of the Atlantic and give more workers an opportunity to find out who's really King Kong in their office.
President Barack Obama is hunting big game. His budget proposal -- which will be formally unveiled next week -- is seeking a grand bargain of taxes on the rich and spending cuts. But perhaps the most controversial measure in his proposal is a move to slow payments to Social Security.
So, get ready to hear lots of talk about "chained CPI." That’s wonk talk for altering how inflation is measured when the federal government cuts checks for Social Security, or veteran benefits.
University of Pennsylvania Economist Olivia Mitchell says imagine you’re grocery shopping.
"If the price of a breakfast cereal went up, people might substitute the generic brand instead," he says, "and so the chained CPI takes into account that people do do those substitutions."
Bottom line: Moving to chained CPI would slow annual cost of living increases by a fraction. Over a decade, that would cut federal spending by $130 billion and generate roughly the same in tax increases.
Paul Van de Water, an economist with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says most taxpayers lose less than 1 percent of their after tax income in year 10 of chained CPI -- and the average person on social security would lose $350.
"For a lot of people it’s not going to make a noticeable difference," says Van de Water.
If that’s really the case, then chained CPI may become a political reality.
Weekends are when one usually relaxes, but you're probably working on your taxes. Hey, that rhymes, which reminds me: It's National Poetry Month. Next weekend on the show, we're paying homage to Tax Day with poems and prose submitted by our listeners. Some of you have already written in with your lyrical odes to filing.
Michael Panhorst in Auburn, Ala., sent in this short poem:
Stock your I. R. A.
Venida Corda in Van Nuys, Calif., writes:
As April approaches I suddenly see the prospect of money leaving me.
I saved all my receipts for taxes and such,
But I can tell I don't have enough.
With medical, work, and charity giving,
I should have spent more.
So tax man I prey please get out of my way for Aprils the month I most want to avoid.
Good-by to my wealth, I wont see you again, but what can I say but wait till next year.
John Baglio sent in this haiku via Twitter:
Where's my tax refund?/The feeling of found money/Sweet self-deception.
Even our own social media mascot, Piggy got in on the act:
Could do this myself
But tax forms make me nervous
So I pay for pro.
Think you can do better than these poets? Send us your poem about taxes... after you finish filing, of course. Or leave a comment with your poem.
Updated (11:30am EST): The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the economy added 88,000 jobs last month, falling below analyst expectations. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.
"There was a lot of volatility in certain areas like construction and the retail sector," says Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas. "[They] were very, very strong in February and then were very, very weak in March."
Chris Low, chief economist with FTN Financial, believes the sequester may have something to do with the slowdown in job growth.
"The jobless claims from two weeks ago rose more in Virginia than another other state -- the state most sensitive to the sequester," says Low, adding that private companies may be getting ready to pare back on hiring in the next few months.
Seth Harris, acting U.S. Secretary of Labor, agrees.
"The sequestration didn't help, when you are trying to get your car to go faster it doesn't make sense to step on the break," Harris says. "It is an indication of the economy as a whole needing the government to be a catalyst rather than a barrier."
Harris says raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, and increasing job training could be that catalyst.
March's report also revealed a continuing trend that troubles economists: a decrease in workforce participation -- the number of people working and looking for jobs. Though the unemployment rate fell, much of the decline came from workers leaving the labor force.
"As our labor force ages, older workers tend to participate in the work place less than do younger workers," Harris says. "But also, part of it is because the labor market is facing a lot of challenges and so some number of workers are giving up."