Workers on the front lines: why lousy pay is not why people quit jobs

If you thought lousy pay was the main reason people left their jobs, think again. With Australia’s unemployment rate hovering at historic lows, “lack of challenge” is now the top reason for seeking new work, according to the Victoria-based Macro Recruitment. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Jobs giant: how Matt Barrie built a global freelancing empire

Matt Barrie, 37, is chief executive of a giant outsourcing marketplace connecting 3 million professionals from around the globe. Last year, the website racked up $US35 million in turnover. The site ranks in the world’s top 250. debuted in January 2009 when Barrie bought a Swedish marketplace with 500,000 users ranked the 5000th biggest website in the world. Tweaking the business model, Barrie used the cash flow to buy several regional marketplaces dotted around the globe.

Now Barrie, who is based in Sydney, says is a household name in the developing world. For example, he says in Bangladesh, is the 21st biggest website, outranking, Amazon, Apple and

The top jobs are website design, search engine optimisation, graphic design and copywriting. While the United States posts the most jobs, India does the most freelancing, according to Barrie.

Here, Barrie, who won last year’s Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award, talks about how he achieved international success. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Nose jobs: work incorporating a sense of smell

The average office’s strip-lit sterility can drive you crazy. Imagine, however, if you could swap death-warmed-up corporate drudgery for sensuality. Imagine if you could work amid a swirl of intoxicating aromas.

It happens. Prepare to meet some Aussies who live that dream, professionally operating in the exhilarating realm of scent. None of the case studies makes big bucks from working with the sense locked into that seat of emotion, the brain’s limbic system.

Many scarcely make a living. Still, all exult in their fragrant field, whatever dynamics nudged them into it. Memorably, in one case the spark was a bad smell in a tight space. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

How McJobs pay off

The flip side of ‘McJobs’ is the skills learnt from low-wage, high-stress work. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Enter the dragon: great Hong Kong jobs boom

Hong Kong-based expats were once branded FILTH (Failed in London Try Hong Kong). No longer. The former British colony with the money bag-shaped harbour is now widely reported to be awash with opportunity.

According to recruitment company Hudson, 69 per cent of Hong Kong employers plan to “increase headcount”. That is the highest figure since Hudson began conducting quarterly surveys of Hong Kong hiring managers in 1998.

The managing director of Michael Page Hong Kong and southern China, Anthony Thompson, says Hong Kong now offers “enormous opportunity” — much more than London. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Positively awful: the cult of demotivation

Are you “passionate” about your job? The steamy adjective popular in job ads and press releases suggests workplaces should be filled with people who drip fervour. Does that sound like your office?

If you and your colleagues loathe the work you do, you are far from alone, according to actor Drew Carey, who said: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody – and they meet at the bar.”

The tone of Carey’s remark is echoed by countless classic Homer Simpson lines and Dilbert comic strips where the boss talks about “redefining success as the slowing of failure”. The theme also plays out in a ragtag army of slacker-style “demotivation” websites that skewer rictus-faced corporate positivity liable to spark resentment in the face of downsizing, outsourcing and infighting. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Ban the buzzwords

So you sent your masterpiece of a CV to that firm you wanted to impress and never heard back? What a surprise.

Studies have shown that the average employer spends just 20 seconds or less skimming through each CV received. Because of the volume of CVs received, there is no time to be nice.

The employer may just wearily hit the delete key, causing the document to evaporate – just like the applicant’s dreams.

Instead of dud credentials, the reason for an application being rejected may be insincerity. The average CV is infested with cliches that make the author sound like a used-car dealer. Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald…