Pay Levels for Some Risky Jobs

16456116With deference to the recently retired David Letterman, who doesn’t love a Top 10 list? Especially when the title is “The World’s 10 Most Extreme Jobs.”

This entry offers warning signs for each profession. With cave diver, for example, the cautions are: Drowning due to lack of oxygen; decompression sickness; breathing the wrong gas mixture; and improper training could be fatal.

The jobs, and salaries, associated with each:

  • Cave diver: $58,640
  • Crocodile physiologist: $62,500
  • Whitewater rafting guide: $6,675 per season
  • Skydiving instructor: $24,000
  • Mount Everest guides: $5,000 per season
  • Professional stuntman: $70,000
  • Storm chaser: $60,968
  • Venom milker: $30,000
  • Smoke jumpers: $33,000
  • Safari guide: $73,000

Check out the complete listing for descriptions and warnings.

Guides Provide Best Practices in Military Hiring

side profile of man saluting the American flag

With more than one million soldiers leaving the military in the next five years in addition to those currently looking for civilian jobs, veterans will continue to be a critical source of trained employees to fill the “skills gap.”

“To help employers improve their veteran hiring, we’ve compiled brief profiles of the techniques used by successful employers,” says Steve Nowlan, Center for America. “These free guides – one for small employers and one for large employers — will save recruiters and managers time and effort by clarifying what works and the mistakes to avoid.”

Download the Small Employer Edition (20 pages) or the Large Employer Edition (41 pages):

The Center for America coordinates the non-profit American Jobs for America’s Heroes military hiring campaign in which 1,600 employers nationally are participating.

Questions? Contact: Steve Nowlan, Center for America, at (201) 513-0379 or

New Site Improved to Feature Array of Job Opps

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and its Foundation hope the new version of the database will help alert Hoosiers to the array of job opportunities in demand in their region and statewide. – developed as resource to help employers, workers and prospective employees – debuted in late 2012 with job supply and demand data for occupations that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. Now, job postings for the bachelor degree level and higher are also featured on the web site.

What’s more, the data updates include postings and analysis for all jobs from January 2013 through June 2014. Other additions include a listing of experience required for each job posted and direct links to training providers.

The Indiana Chamber believes workforce, which is embedded in the Outstanding Talent driver of the organization’s Indiana Vision 2025 economic development action plan for the state, remains the biggest challenge to Indiana’s economic prosperity.

“There is a tremendous amount of education and workforce data available through various sources,” explains Amy Marsh, director of college and career readiness initiatives for the Indiana Chamber. “What does is aggregate that information, add in the job postings data and make it easy for job seekers and employers to learn what is taking place in their industry or region of the state.”

Marsh adds that two entries to the site – middle skills (jobs requiring certificates, certifications and associate’s degrees) and all jobs – allow users to search for the data that best meets their needs. In addition to the most in-demand jobs, available information includes average salaries, required skills, training needed and job status/earnings of recent graduates.

Some of the key trends emerging from the update:

  • High numbers of sales jobs (sales representatives, sales managers, retail sales, retail supervisors) available across industry sectors
  • Growing number of information technology positions (computer specialist, software development, software engineer, computer support, network administrator, network engineer) with low supplies of graduates in these fields. The job growth in this sector is especially strong in Central Indiana
  • Tractor-trailer truck driver remains the position with the most job postings – more than 30,000
  • Communications tops the baseline skills needs – listed in more than 168,000 job postings

“Another interesting development is that seven of the top 10 certifications needed by employees are in the health care industry,” Marsh says. “Separately, since higher skilled jobs were added into the database, physician makes the top 10 most in-demand list in several regions, including the Lafayette and Terre Haute areas. Also, treatment planning is new to the list of specialized skills that are sought.”

On the updated site, employers maintain the opportunity to easily download customized job descriptions. They can learn about regional and state occupational trends, wages being paid for similar positions, and the skills and credentials they should be requiring for their open positions. Career development professionals can take advantage of to better guide students on available career options and the training required for those positions.

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar: “The Indiana School Counseling Research Review released by the Indiana Chamber Foundation earlier this year clearly identified the need for more effective counseling. is one resource in that effort.

“The Indiana Vision 2025 plan has four drivers, but from day one we’ve identified Outstanding Talent as the most critical need. A tool like that helps match education and training with the skills required in the workplace is part of the solution.” is a product of the Indiana Chamber Foundation with support from the Joyce Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc.

Bedford’s Closing Victory of 2013

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first traveled to Bedford to do a round of interviews with local community, government and business leaders when the small city in south central Indiana was named the 2013 Indiana Chamber Community of the Year.

But, it was immediately evident to me why the city won the designation, along with a host of other accolades and awards throughout the past year – including being named a Stellar Community by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which brought over $19 million in state and local investment to the community.

These people truly care for their hometown and for each other. And they make smart decisions through well-thought out partnerships that benefit the entire community today, while thinking ahead to the future and preparing the next generation to do the same. Read more about what they’re doing in the November/December edition of BizVoice®.

So it comes as no surprise that to cap off 2013, General Motors recently announced an additional investment into Bedford – $29.2 million for GM Powertrain Bedford, which includes $22.6 million to produce components for a new 10-speed transmission, as well as $6.6 million for an existing 6-speed transmission.

A press release notes that the total investment in five manufacturing sites in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana by GM comes to $1.3 billion overall, which will help create or retain 1,000 jobs.

It’s good news for Bedford and good news for the auto manufacturing industry.

Here’s a final toast to you, the community of Bedford, for one truly amazing year!

Study Cites ‘Trap’ in Corner Office Experience

A pair of European researchers have some very interesting soon-to-be-published findings on CEOs and the value of prior experience. Interesting, because contrary to popular belief and custom, they believe prior experience may not be a good thing.

Not sure I agree with the “CEO experience trap,” but check out their reasoning.

Companies are more likely to hire prior CEOs because they are increasingly unwilling to take the risk of hiring executives with no previous job-specific experience. But according to a new study by Burak Koyuncu of NEOMA Business School and Monika Hamori of IE Business School, prior CEOs performed worse than their peers without such experience.

In their paper “Experience matters? The Impact of Prior CEO Experience on Firm Performance” – forthcoming in Human Resource Management journal – Koyuncu and Hamori collected data on the career histories of the CEOs of S&P 500 corporations who occupied the CEO post from 2005. Tracking their performances for up to three years after their appointment, the researchers found that 19.6% had at least one prior CEO job and that those who transitioned directly from a prior to a new CEO job showed 48% lower three-year average post-succession returns on assets. In contrast, CEOs who spent time working in a different position between CEO jobs showed no significant difference in performance than CEOs without prior experience.

“Our research suggests that the job-specific experience these CEOs gained in their prior CEO job interferes with their performance in their new job,” said Koyuncu. “Their job-specific experience may slow down learning because some knowledge and techniques need to be “unlearned” before learning in the new context can take place.”

Also, as prior CEOs rely on experience from past events, they are more likely to follow decision-making shortcuts which may cause them to give the same answer to a different problem. “Prior CEOs may be too embedded in the norms, culture and routines of one organization and thus may underperform in another because they have developed fixed assumptions about how tasks should be done,” said Koyuncu.

In order to avoid such an “experience trap”, the authors recommend that hiring companies put CEOs with prior experience in an interim position for at least a year before they take on the full CEO role.

“In general, companies that hire CEOs with prior CEO experience need to provide ample support to their transition and integration – the greater the opportunity for acculturation, the greater the chance the company can avoid falling into the CEO experience trap,” said Koyuncu.

On the Job Hunt? Remember These Few Interview Dos and Don’ts

Twice now I’ve had the pleasure of venturing back to my alma mater (Franklin College) and helping the journalism department with some student mock job interviews. In the interviews, I am the employer and the student is testing out his or her interviewing skills, with the ultimate goal of helping the students build confidence in those skills.

I came across this infographic on Ragan Communications and found it pertinent to that experience and to anyone currently searching for a job. If you’re getting ready to interview or if you’ve had no luck in landing new employment, read on for some helpful guidelines that might just tip the scales in your favor next time.

Make sure you’ve done your research. Of 2,000 employers surveyed, 47% said the No. 1 mistake job seekers make during interviews is having no knowledge about the company.

Another one to be aware of (but this should come as no surprise): 65% of employers say clothing influences the decision between two candidates. But don’t think being overly fashionable or trendy will land you the job: 70% of employers claim they don’t want applicants who dress that way. Aiming for modest and professional is probably your best bet. And don’t go too heavy on the perfume or cologne. Your interviewer can’t focus properly on your responses if there’s a giant pink cloud of perfume surrounding you.

When I work with college students, most have some serious handshake work to do – and 26% of employers also see a weak handshake as tanking your probability of landing the job. Other physical actions that aren’t great: failure to make eye contact, not smiling, hunching over, keeping your arms crossed over your chest, making too many hand gestures, or just simple fidgeting.

The infographic also gives some handy lists to help with your interviewing, but here’s a quick one to keep handy:

  1. Learn about the organization.
  2. Have a specific job in mind.
  3. Review your qualifications for the job.
  4. Be ready to briefly describe your experience.

Good luck!

Program Matches Guard Members With Job Openings

There are various efforts taking place to connect military veterans — and the valuable skills they possess — with employers who are having difficulty finding the workers they need. One of those programs is focused on the National Guard, assisting active members, veterans and spouses.

American Jobs for America's Heroes (AJAH) has a mission of encouraging employers across the country to provide job postings. These will allow National Guard employment counselors to match openings with qualified candidates.

Of nearly 360,000 National Guard members (in all 50 states and four U.S. territories), about 20% are unemployed. Only one in four National Guard applicants are accepted. They train continuously in a variety of programs — demonstrating a readiness for learning, strong teamwork and reliability, and an understanding of how to perform in a disciplined organization.

There are no costs for employers or job seekers. Companies can receive assistance at no cost in screening candidates and understanding how military training experience relates to job requirements.

The web site has additional information and registration details. The Indiana Chamber is among many associations and companies (Phillips 66 is the lead national corporate sponsor) supporting this initiative.

People Speak Out on Keystone Pipeline

After four-plus years of debate and frustration, many are aware of the possibilities of the Keystone Pipeline. The administration has a second chance to approve this important project. If it listens to the people. The American Petroleum Institute reports:

The Keystone XL pipeline makes sense to the nation. Sixty-nine percent of American voters favor building the pipeline, while 83 percent believe it would strengthen our energy security and 92 percent agree jobs are important when considering the project, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll.

Strong majorities of voters in both political parties and among independents support building the pipeline, the poll also found. And the vast majority of voters polled understand the need to link up Canadian crude oil supplies with U.S. refineries and consider it important that most dollars spent on Canadian oil by America return to the U.S. when Canadians use them to buy American goods and services.

Reps. Bucshon, Carson to Host Transportation Jobs Fair in Indy

A nice opportunity here from two Indiana Congressmen. Rep. Larry Bucshon's office writes: As many of you know, in the 112th Congress we passed several bills that make it easier for Veterans to obtain a CDL and additional transportation related jobs. We’re hoping to have a large turnout from potential employers and those who are looking for a job in the transportation industry. Here are the details:

When: February 21, 2013, 2 – 6 p.m. EST
Where: Ivy Tech Corporate College Illinois Fall Creek Center – 2532 N. Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Hosted by: U.S. Congressman André Carson (IN-07) & U.S. Congressman Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
Please Note: There is no charge for participating in this event.
Employer Setup is noon – 2 p.m. the day of the event.

*Employers can register for the jobs fair by filling out the Job Fair Registration Form.

**For more information, please contact Erin Pugh at (812) 232-0523 or at

Economic Energy? Look to Local Leadership

I read a recent post from the CEO of Gallup, who provided a good reminder that, like politics, ultimate business success is often locally driven. Yes, policies from Washington and state capitals make a big difference — but so does leadership in communities and companies.

A few highlights from Jim Clifton:

Throughout this year’s long election season, I was often asked: “Who will be better for jobs and the economy, President Obama or Governor Romney?” My reply most surely disappointed partisans from both sides: The president of the United States doesn’t make as much difference in terms of creating economic energy as you’d think, according to Gallup data.

In fact, if the president mattered that much, why is it that cities and states have such extreme variation in their local GDP and job growth? Shouldn’t they all go up or down together with each president?

Instead, Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn., are booming, while Albany, N.Y., and Stockton, Calif., are failing. Texas is prospering while California is almost surely going broke. Austin’s jobless rate is around 5%, while the unemployment rate in Stockton is above 13%.

The difference, in my view, is that Austin has deeply caring, highly engaged business, political, and philanthropic leaders with principles, policies, beliefs, and values about human nature that work. They understand how to build a thriving, growing economy — one that welcomes business and entrepreneurship. Albany has the opposite, as I see it: Leaders with principles, policies, values, and beliefs that discourage business and entrepreneurship, if not outright scaring them away.

Cities across the country with great leadership are filled with booming startup companies, and those cities have thriving economies that create authentic, organically grown good jobs. These cities are saving America, while the others are letting the country down.

Great city leadership has never been so needed. Nationally, business startups are currently growing at under 400,000 annually. If this rate doesn’t double soon, in my view, absolutely nothing will fix our current nightmare of joblessness.

Of course good policy for small businesses is better than bad policy, but in my opinion, the estimated 10,000 business, political, and philanthropic leaders of all shapes and sizes who drive the performance of America’s top 100 cities are the most important people in our country right now.