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Employment

Summer 2017

AI

One of the most memorable moments of Matthew Taylor’s life so far would look to most people like just a jumble of numbers, brackets, and punctuation strung together with random words on a computer screen.

IF ((dist(K1,T1)<=4) AND
(Min(dist(K3,T1), dist(K3,T2))>=12.8) AND
(ang(K3,K1,T1)>=36))
THEN Pass to K3

And so on. Line after line of computer code flowing like a digital river of expanding possibilities.

Although sophisticated and wonderfully complex, it wasn’t so much the code itself that made this such a pivotal moment.

It was what came next.

Taylor, a graduate student in Texas at the time, … » More …

Spring 2003

Is the sky still blue in Emerald City?

Now that the economy has stalled, are the Seattle unemployed here to stay, or are they packing the U-Haul?

When I moved to Washington’s west side, I pursued a different career and landscape. When I was laid off last year, I decided to stay put rather than move where the job market held more promise. I thought I was following my heart, but according to Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2002), I was following a trend.

Florida, a Carnegie-Mellon economics professor, theorizes that those in “creative” occupations “drive” the economy, i.e., corporate profits and economic growth … » More …

Winter 2004

No longer a pipe dream

Dave Van Curen graduated from Kelso High School and followed his father to Longview Fibre Co. in 1965.

“In Kelso, during that time, everybody’s father worked in a mill,” says Van Curen, who spent most of his years at the paper plant as a pipe fitter. “When you grow up in a community where everybody works in a mill, you don’t become aware of the other possibilities.”

Now, at an age when many coworkers are gliding toward retirement, he is keenly aware of other possibilities. This year, he earned his bachelor’s degree in public affairs at Washington State University Vancouver, quit his job before earning … » More …

Spring 2008

Closing minds: How layoffs can be bad for business

One of the best ways to kill a worker’s creativity is to tell him his job is on the line.

Tahira Probst, an associate professor of psychology at Washington State University Vancouver, has explored that notion through a combination of laboratory experiments and field studies at businesses and schools in western Washington. She was able to prove that workers who believed their jobs were in jeopardy lacked cognitive flexibility.

Her study on job loss was published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology in 2007.

Workers whose jobs are in danger are less healthy and happy. That’s been common knowledge for years, says Probst. … » More …

Fall 2004

Is Self-Employment for You?

Anyone can start a business, but only a few can sustain one. That’s the premise of Paul. E. Casey’s new book, Is Self-Employment for You?

Casey Communications Inc., the company he founded in Seattle in 1988, is still going strong. He attributes his success in selling and placing broadcast and print advertising to hard work, continuous “cold calls,” and “street smarts.” In his book, he shares some of the mistakes those in business for themselves make, and discusses how those pitfalls can be avoided.

It’s not the business plan that dictates whether you will be successful, but rather your experience—particularly life experiences, Casey contends. Some … » More …

Spring 2002

Finding what's right for you

OK, so you’re looking for work, and you’re getting good, bad, and ugly job offers. How do you determine which one to choose?

It’s no secret. The economy is drooping like a vase-full of two-week-old flowers. Here in the Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times and Seattle-Post-Intelligencer recently reported a 56-percent decline in overall employment advertising, while ads for high-tech workers are down as much as 80 percent. Boeing is whittling away 30,000 jobs, while other manufacturing sectors are also downsizing. Economists predict things won’t swing upwards until well into this year.

If you find yourself dialing the unemployment claim line every week—or if you’re thinking … » More …