Monthly Archives: June 2009

This Year, Is Higher Education Worth the Cost?

Summer may be at its peak, but just around the corner, another school year waits. Not just for children to return to class from summer vacation, but for a growing number of people in America, from the unemployed to those with newly minted degrees. 

This year, a rising number of unemployed Americans are returning to school to improve their knowledge and skills in an increasingly tough job market. In fact, many community colleges reporting their largest enrollment spikes ever attribute the increase to the need to meet the demands of a highly competitive job market.

To cope with the monetary strain of higher education, many high school graduates are simply opting for a low tuition option such as in-state or community colleges, rather than ivy league, gold sticker institutions.

Many new college grads, who faced a dreary job outlook upon their recent graduation, are opting to go straight into grad school, fearing uncertain immediate employment future. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that 26% of new grads planned to go on to graduate school, up from 24% in 2008 and 20% in 2007.

So, with all this emphasis on going back to school, we want to know what you think. Is it worth it to get a college or graduate degree in this recession? Let us know by voting in our poll below.

Are you struggling with the decision of whether or not to enroll in higher education? Looking to increase your skills, or hoping a degree will help you earn a higher paycheck? Share your thoughts on higher education in our comments section.

Second Jobs are Still Hot this Summer, New Poll Shows

At the beginning of this month, we asked workers if they were looking for a second job as the summer’s seasonal employment opportunities started to open up.

Of almost 1,600 respondents, 56% reported that they are indeed looking for a second job this summer – because they need the extra cash – up from 41% who reported looking for a second job to generate more income when we asked the question last November.

As economists continue to predict that the recession is nearing its end, these results reflect that financially, workers are still feeling the financial strain of the economy.

This poll also offers an interesting insight on the current unemployment situation. In this month’s poll, 24% of respondents said they are unemployed and looking for a position, down from 27% in the November poll.

When asked, “Are you looking for a second job?” 1,595 readers responded, and 56.7% said they were looking for a second job to generate more income, 9.1% said they wanted a second job to get their foot in the door at a new company, 6% said they don’t have time to work a second job, 3.5% said they didn’t need a second job because their finances were okay, and 24% said they are unemployed and currently looking for a position.

Have you found a second job this summer? Is it worth the stress of managing a hectic schedule? Share your thoughts and comments on working a second job in the comments section.

Bad Boss of the Week: Arrested Development’s Gob Bluth

Gob (pronounced “Job”) Bluth’s colossal incompetence and complete lack of qualification and experience make him this week’s Movin’ On Up Bad Boss of the Week. Gob is a deficient magician who is briefly appointed – by his mother – to be president of the family business, The Bluth Company, on the sitcom Arrested Development.

Hopefully, you’ve never had a boss so incompetent, inept, and unfocused that they’ve managed to make their office into a pool room, turn their desk into a massage table, and cost the company $45,000 in damages – all within their first three hours on the job. But, if you’ve ever had a boss who left you wondering what dark magic they used to get where they are, here are five tips to help you manage the situation and successfully work with a truly bad boss. 

1. Manage up
2. Don’t undermine their authority
3. Support the strengths they have
4. Focus on doing your best job
5. Take responsibility for the things you can

Have you worked with an incompetent boss like Gob? How did you work through the situation?

Share your bad boss stories at For more information about 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best and the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week, click here.

Struggling to Find Inspiration to Make it Through Your Workday? 4 Places to Look

If you find yourself in the same work environment day after day, year after year, you might start to feel drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may even become apathetic, causing your creativity to drop. Then, your work might begin to suffer. Suddenly, just getting through the workday can be challenging. If you’re one of many workers struggling to find motivation to get through your workday, discover your inspiration and revive your passion through one of these four avenues.


Sometimes, simply changing your environment can give you a new perspective on your job. If you’re able to take your work with you, ask your supervisor if you can work outside for a short time, work in a different area of the building, or possibly even work from home for a day. Work not portable? Use your lunch break to get outside, take a walk, and enjoy the different scenery.


Do you know someone who always makes you laugh, makes you feel better about your situation, or shares words of encouragement? Check in with those friends, family members, and co-workers when you need a pick-me-up during the workday. Consider writing down some of their encouraging words on note cards and posting them in your workspace to view throughout the day. Want to hear someone else’s view on the world? Talk to a child you know. They’ll be sure to make you laugh and appreciate the smaller things in life.


Whether your favorite type of art comes in the form of photography, paintings, music, poetry, or novels, surrounding yourself with the art of your choice can provide new inspiration to help you reach your goals at work and at home. Not sure where to look? Hang a print of some art that brings you joy. Inspiration is sure to follow when you are surrounded by things you love.


Sometimes, inspiration comes from dreaming of what may come. So, don’t be afraid to dream big and look toward the future to find your inspiration. Whether you’re motivated by striving for the VP’s chair or simply want to earn a raise to buy the car you’ve been eyeing, dreaming can supply the power you need to make it through the workday.

You’ve probably experienced at least a day here or there when you’ve struggled to stay on task at work, making your day seem endless. But, if you concentrate on what brings you motivation, you’ll soon be right back where you need to be – inspired to get the job done and done well.

Bad Boss of the Week: The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly

With a penchant for manipulation, a demand for the impossible and a sub-zero demeanor that would cause anyone to shudder, The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly is the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week.

Well done, Miranda! Your self-serving ambition and lack of respect for your employees and human beings in general make you a nightmare of a boss and our Bad Boss of the Week.

If you’ve had a bad boss like Miranda, who not only expected but demanded the impossible from you, like a flight home in the middle of a hurricane or a pre-release copy of the latest J.K. Rowling novel, follow these tips to help you succeed in you career without having to acquire super-human powers:

1. Manage Expectations
2. Recognize What You Can and Can Not Control
3. Anticipate Needs
4. Offer Alternative Solutions
5. Communicate Your Successes

Employers often set standards high to inspire and motivate employees to be their very best, but if you feel defeated by your boss’s unattainable demands, practice the above tips for achievable solutions that will help you succeed no matter what.
Share your bad boss stories at For more information about 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best and the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week, click here.

Watch more The Devil Wears Prada videos on AOL Video

5 Tips to Build an Effective Relationship with Your Boss

Let’s face it, not everyone likes their boss. However, in order to be successful in your career, it’s essential that you try to build an effective working relationship with your supervisor. If you’re having trouble connecting with your boss, try these five tips.

1. Communicate. An effective relationship starts with effective communication. Talk to your boss and let them know your career goals, strengths, and motivators. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your tasks, and let your supervisor know when you need their feedback on projects.

2. Build Trust. Positive relationships are built on trust. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Keep your boss informed on your projects and never cover up mistakes or errors. Be honest and dependable. Let your boss know they can count on you.

3. Keep a Positive Attitude. A bad attitude can ruin anyone’s career faster than having a lack of experience. So, it’s important to always smile and maintain a can-do attitude, even when you don’t want to. Avoid people who may cause you to become negative, and instead, focus on how you can become a positive influence.

4. Listen. If you take the time to truly listen to what your boss is saying – without rolling your eyes – you might just learn something you didn’t know before. Face it, your boss got to their position for a reason, so listen to them so you can learn what you need to know to improve your career.

5. Offer Help. Bosses love an employee who offers to help on projects that aren’t their own. If you have time to take on additional work, let your boss know you can help them on that task they’ve wanted to get off the ground for months. Increase your value and show your boss that you’re a team player by offering a helping hand.

No matter if your boss is the world’s best or the world’s worst boss, ultimately, your career success is up to you. So, start by embracing the responsibility to take steps to get along with your boss to achieve your professional goals.

Do you have stories of how you’ve turned a negative situation with your boss into a positive one? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

Or, have you ever had a boss so bad no amount of trying has helped? If so, we want to know. Submit your story now!

Bad Bosses: Have You Worked for One?

Most of us have had a bad boss – or two – in our work history. From the irrational to the absolutely, even clinically, insane, bad bosses and their impressions leave catastrophes in their wake. But, if you think that the icy, fear-inducing Miranda Priestly or the awkwardly dense Michael Scott couldn’t hold a candle to a chart-topping bad boss you’ve had, now’s your chance to share your story.

Express Employment Professionals is working with best-selling author Jim Stovall to gather stories for his next book, titled 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best. To share your story, visit Your identity, the employer’s identity, and the company’s name will be altered to maintain your confidentiality. If your story is selected to be among the 100 Worst Bosses stories featured, you will receive an autographed, pre-release copy of the book.

Need some bad boss inspiration to help jog your buried memories of an awful boss? Visit the Movin’ on Up blog every Friday in June and July for our highlighted Hollywood bad boss of the week. Check out this week’s bad boss highlight: The ever ridiculous Michael Scott character, on NBC’s The Office, unnecessarily worries his employees when he prematurely spills the beans about their branch office closing before corporate makes a final decision.