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Stories by Michael Kinsman

Struggling with Insurance Costs, More Companies Offer Employees Incentives to Get Healthy

If you had an essential bill that more than doubled in cost since 2001, you probably wouldn’t want to pay it. Now you know how employers feel about the cost of health insurance for their ...

Seven Habits of the Spectacularly Unsuccessful

Sometimes life’s lessons can spring from the most unlikely places. In a book entitled “Why Smart Executives Fail,” Dartmouth College business professor Sydney Finkelstein researched 50 major corporate failures in an attempt to find common ...

It’s Time to Rewrite Your Interview Script

The latest buzz on the street is that the job market is about to open up. Businesses seem more optimistic about potential growth than at any point during the past four years, and the San ...

It’s Hard To Focus on Your Job When You’re Afraid of Losing It

One of the least discussed workplace stresses during the economic downturn of the last four years has been the financial fallout on workers everywhere. Once jobs started being lopped from payrolls throughout the country, people ...

Generation Y, Take a Bow

Younger Workers Score Well in Drive, Teamwork, and Innovation.

Whether it’s a conscious decision or simple dependence on our own experiences, each of us probably has been guilty of generational discrimination in the workplace at one time or another. The people who sacrificed through ...

Tim Tebow: Ideal Employee

One of the great stories over the past few months has been the unpredictable success of Tim Tebow, quarterback for the NFL’s Denver Broncos. Tebow was a great collegiate player who won two national championships ...

What’s Your American Dream?

The American Dream — at least what it seems to have become over the past three or four decades — is getting a bit of an overhaul. In times of great prosperity, the American Dream ...

Does it Still Pay to Have a College Degree?

Remember when people told you that if you went to college you would earn $1 million more over your working life than if you didn’t? I’m not sure anyone really believed that, but if they ...

500,000 Holiday Jobs

Are there better times ahead for jobseekers? Well, as much as Americans would like to think that jobs will magically appear as the economy gains steam, it simply isn’t that easy anymore. But, it also ...

It Isn’t All About Pay

What employers should know about their employees.

Employers are often clueless as to why people stay in their jobs. For some reason, companies often believe that it’s the pay and the benefits spelled out in the employee handbook that keep people from ...

The Chinese Dragon Weakens

There was a time in the 1950s that manufacturing was the kingpin of the U.S. economy. At the time, the U.S. produced more than 40 percent of everything manufactured around the world. More importantly, the ...

Civility Costs Nothing. Incivility Costs Billions

You might go to work everyday and barely notice that things have changed. Maybe it’s the employee in the staff meeting who insists on texting a friend rather than listening to what is being discussed. ...

Survival in the Modern Workplace

Our work world is far different from what it used to be. The workplace is always changing and adapting to our societal needs, but there has been an especially dramatic transformation over the past decade. ...

More than Half of Small Business Employees are Unhappy

What Businesses Can Do to Fix the Problem

For about two decades, economists have been holding up roadmaps directing workers toward small businesses. They argued that small business was the place of innovation, where American dreams of prosperity and upward mobility still were ...

You Don’t Have All the Answers, Mr. Manager

The latest victim of the stormy U.S. economy seems to be the management that runs our companies. Maritz Research of St. Louis reports that its latest employee poll found 25 percent of workers have less ...

The Problem of Overqualified Workers

Everyone knows that it is an employer’s market today. High unemployment continues, and the people who hire workers have never had such abundant choices. Downsizings and business failures of the past three or four years ...

Eighty Is the New 65

You’ve probably heard the same thing in recent years that I have from beleaguered workers in their 50s and 60s: “If I can just make it to 65, I’ll be OK.” For more than half ...

Bad Communication Equals Failure

Is there any employee who hasn’t witnessed his or her employer about to make a big mistake before it is made? Probably not. Companies make mistakes because they rush a product to market, fail to ...

You’ve Got Your First Job! Now What?

Every year about now, hundreds of thousands of young people get their first jobs. It’s a great and exciting achievement. But it also comes with a dose of reality: What do you do once you’ve ...

The Case for Internship

The experience of finding that first job — even if it’s a short-term, part-time summer job — can be daunting. Teenagers often find themselves in a strange world. They are expected to figure out what ...

New Endangered Species — The Happy, Loyal Employee

Do Employers Care?

You might have heard the old saying that “employees are our greatest asset.” Surely that was true, somewhere at some point in time. For some companies, that saying might even apply today. But if it ...

Overqualified? Is that Like Being Too Smart?

There are few more frustrating experiences than to go looking for a job and find that you are “overqualified.” That’s a strange phrase. It’s like being “too smart.” Can you really be “too smart?” But ...

San Diego Used to Be Nearly Recession-Proof. What Happened?

One of the most frustrating phases of unemployment these days is waiting for the economy to show signs of recovery from a recession. It’s annoying because no individual or business really can do much about ...

Worthless Benefits

If you don't understand them, you may as well not have them.

When jobs are tight &mdash as they have been around here for the past three years &mdash people typically concentrate on just finding a job that pays well. Yet, as the economy inches toward a ...

Retirement is Not What it Used to Be

Retirement used to be such a simple concept. It required that you work steadily for 40 or 45 years and then you retired at the age of 65. The U.S. economy would reward you for ...

Can California Learn Anything from Minnesota?

When it comes to creating jobs, you betcha

The simplest and most effective solution to California’s economic slump is to create more jobs. When people have jobs, they spend more money on goods and services and they pay more in taxes. Jobs are ...

San Diego Companies Make Fortune Magazine's List of Best Companies to Work For

Everyone who goes to work each day wants to believe that their employer is one of the best. But there are only so many companies that make the grade as the best companies to work ...

The Great Gender Divide

Is there a Two-Tiered System When in Comes to Women in the Workplace?

For all the credit we give our society for being sensitive to gender issues in our businesses, we can always count on some bad news when we get to the top of the corporate ladder. ...

Adopt a Post-Recession Attitude Before the Recession Ends

The Real Risk of Overload....

Everybody knows this is not a fun time to go looking for a job. But the truth is, it may be a lot better than most people think. After more than a year and half ...

Jobs Are the Missing Component

The job market was never expected to be as weak as it is today. At least, not by the federal government. The routine employment dips that have become part of the natural evolution of the ...

Social Media in the Workplace

Can you police yourself?

A major frustration with social media is also one of its best attributes: it follows you everywhere. And, that means EVERYWHERE. Technology has made us better connected than ever before, and offers us the opportunity ...

Stress in the Workplace Has Reached New Heights

Several weeks ago, CareerBuilder.com reported that an estimated 30 percent of American workers had played hooky from their jobs at least of American workers had played hooky from their jobs at least once in the ...

Too Much Information

The Real Risk of Overload

Bless all this technology we have in our workplaces today … and pass the aspirin. It seems the Great Information Age – which allows information to be transferred from one person to the next with ...

A Fit and Healthy Employee is a Productive Employee

Employers Eye Ways to Make Their Workers Healthier.

Remember all that employer-speak about making companies leaner and more efficient? Well, it’s about to happen. And not in the traditional way of eliminating layers of middle management and laying off unproductive workers. A new ...

Longer Hours. Lower Pay. More Responsibilities.

It all adds up to more stress.

Two years ago a friend confided that she was concerned after two of the four other workers in her department were laid off. She – the department manager – and the two remaining workers had ...

Be Absolutely Sure What Your References Will Say About You

What You Don’t know Can Hurt You

Maybe the trickiest part of the job-search process is finding appropriate references. You’ve probably heard the saying “you should never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.” When it comes to job references, ...

Employers and Employees Are Paying More for Benefits

Whose Responsibility Is Your Health?

Two years ago I was late on a credit card bill and my interest rate jumped immediately from 13.4 percent to 28.4 percent. I was upset, but I had made a mistake and clearly the ...

Are All Degrees Created Equal?

Employers View Online and On-Campus Degrees Differently

Many people with college degrees would willingly trade their diplomas for ones bearing the names Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia University. There is no question of the sex appeal of a big-name university when you go ...

When the Price to Work is Too High

Early this year, a Gallup poll revealed that 70 percent of workers think they currently hold their “ideal” job. That doesn’t feel right. From the simple observation of my own community of friends, I’ve found ...

The Free Coffee Principle

Happy Employees are Productive Employees

Bob Nelson knows that when it comes to motivating workers, you can never think too small. A handwritten thank you note from the boss, a hallway conversation followed up with a gift certificate for lunch, ...

A Boss Shouldnt Have to Go Undercover to Know How His Employees Are Doing

One of this year’s popular reality TV shows was Undercover Boss, which gave executives the chance to sneak into their own workplaces to see what was going on with the rank and file. Executives of ...

They Take Away Unemployment Benefits Now!

Prospects for San Diego job seekers looked bleak in May 2008. The economy was struggling, the county reported that 83,400 people couldn’t find jobs, with an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. At the time, a ...

Hiring a Boss Can Be Tricky

Remember: You're Interviewing Them While They're Interviewing You

Hiring a boss can be one of the trickiest tasks you’ll ever have as an employee. Yes, you read that right. You may be the one looking for a job, but you can also be ...

College Is Not About Making More Money...But It Helps

As far back as I can remember, my parents expected me to go to college and get a degree before I thought about working. It was a given. To them – adults with only high ...