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Did You Know?

Facts and figures from the working world

News You Can Use

Doesn't Anyone Want to Be a CFO Anymore? (CNN)

Chief financial officers have always been "next in line" for the coveted CEO spot. Last year, however, more than 12 CFOs at Fortune 50 companies left their jobs. What gives? The cumbersome and controversial 2002 Sarbanes–Oxley legislation—and the tedious paperwork that ensues—has largely turned CFOs from strategic thinkers to "high-profile bookkeepers" exit strategists.

Major Employers Go Electronic with Health Records (WSJ)

Managing medical information and delivering it to patients, families, insurers, hospitals, pharmacies, and health-care providers involves reams of paperwork and an often slow trek across separate networks. The nonprofit Omnimedix Institute has developed a more efficient, Web-based solution—Dossia—by which employees can manage their health records and securely share information with those who need it. Expected to launch by mid-2007, the system will host the personal health records of millions of employees, dependents, and retirees. Funding for Dossia was provided by five of the biggest American employers: Applied Materials, BP, Intel, Pitney Bowes, and Wal-Mart.

High Style Goes High Tech (BusinessWeek)

Coolmax and Gore-Tex aren't just for workouts. High-performance features that repel rain, wick up perspiration, shun stains, and ward off wrinkles are increasingly being woven into workplace attire and scooped up by consumers: 58% of men and a third of women have bought in. Have an important business meeting, long flight, or mid-afternoon interview scheduled? Skip the bleach pen and travel iron; try Brooks Brothers' greaseproof ties and creaseproof suites. Next up? Teflon trousers.


Two of the least glamorous (think corns and colonoscopies) but most lucrative specialties in medicine are podiatry and gastroenterology. According to, foot doctors and GI specialists pull down a cool $125,663 and $269,500 a year, respectively.

The cities where employees earn the most are (in order) San Francisco, Salinas, Boston, Hartford, New York, Anchorage, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Providence, Sacramento, and Seattle.


According to the latest workplace fatality figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous work in the U.S. is commercial fishing.

A 2006 Church of England report warns of a new work-related malady among priests—"irritable clergy syndrome"—which it says stems from "having to be nice all the time, even when confronted with extremes of nastiness" from parishioners.


The FBI warns of an identity-theft scam in which you might be called by someone posing as an "official" regarding jury duty and asked for your Social Security number or other personal information. Do not give this information over the phone, warns the FBI, adding that court officials will never attempt to verify your Social Security number over the phone or via e-mail.

Job seekers, beware! A number of sophisticated phishing scams have recently targeted thousands of online job seekers. One such scam sends out legitimate-looking e-mails advertising positions such as "reporter," "IT assistant," and "quality control administrator" on employment sites such as Monster, HotJobs, and CareerBuilder. The offers are bogus and are meant to entice job seekers to share personal financial information. Companies to watch for include USA Voice, Internet Solutions, and Instant Human Resources.

The IRS reports an increase in identity theft e-mail scams from a fictitious "IRS Antifraud Commission." Messages appear to come from the IRS and claim that recipients are owed federal refunds or that thieves have attempted to use their credit cards. Recipients are then directed to links asking for personal financial information, including PIN numbers. To date, more than 8,000 bogus e-mails have been reported to the IRS. To report a suspected scam or learn more, visit


A November 2006 Working Mother survey found that one in three working moms has sent a sick child to school or daycare because of pressure to go to work; the majority, 70%, reported feeling guilty about their decision.

A study by Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership finds that raising a family at home can enhance a person's managerial skills at work. Published in the Journal of Applied Psychology in January 2007, these findings contradict the conventional wisdom that parents are likely to be less dependable and more distracted at work.


Novations Group's Internet survey of 2,046 human resources executives found that three out of four planned to maintain or increase their spending on employee diversity and inclusion training in 2007. Previously, employers focused their diversity efforts on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce within the U.S., in compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity laws. That has changed. The driving force behind much of today’s diversity training is globalization, or the hiring of overseas workers.

Prejudice is not always black and white. Project Implicit, a joint research initiative, reveals that job seekers and employers alike have "implicit biases"—preferences toward people of a certain age, race, or gender, or body type that we are not aware of but that can manifest themselves in the job interview (how close we sit, how long we hold a handshake or maintain eye contact) and in the workplace (who is promoted, how employees’ performance is evaluated). The good news? Unconscious prejudices can be modified by experience. Read more at Project Implicit.

Wearing "white noise" earphones and rerouting phone calls to a voicemail (and responding at set times each day) are two ways employees with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can manage workplace distractibility.


Think the front desk is there only to let hiring managers know you've arrived? Think again. Hiring managers often ask receptionists, secretaries, and administrative assistants to observe job candidates' waiting room conduct—so abstain from conduct, comments, and conversations you would avoid in the interview itself. Fill your waiting time wisely, as by reading company literature or other materials displayed in the lobby. Treat your arrival as an important part of the interview process—and the staff member who greets you as a potential decision-maker…and a prospective colleague.

Have you been asked to interview over the phone? Smile when you speak! Smiling changes your voice, making you sound friendly and enthusiastic. It also helps you relax.


A Consumer Board study released in 2005 showed that only about half of Americans are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 60% a decade earlier.


According to a 2006 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 73% of commuters (more than 94 million employees) work in their home county.

More than 34 million employees work outside the county where they live, up from 20 million in 1980 and fewer than 10 million in 1960.