Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working Women They're Adapting to Changes on Job, Author Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working Women They're Adapting to Changes on Job, Author Says

Article excerpt

Cyclical careers, company downsizing, the rise of the entrepreneur - these are some of the changes in the American workplace of the '90s.

In general, women are better prepared to adapt to these sometimes unsettling changes, says Shena Crane, a career counselor and author of a book about getting a job.

Crane will speak at the convention of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs Inc., which begins here Friday.

The federation has returned to St. Louis to celebrate its founding here 75 years ago.

Crane, 45, noticed in mid-1990 that the job market was changing, especially in the way people had to look for a job and how they needed to think about their careers.

What started as a 12-page pamphlet for Crane's clients ended up as a book: "What Do I Do Now? Making Sense of Today's Changing Workplace."

By now, the job market changes are a familiar litany:

"Downsizing" has entered the vocabulary. The nation's largest 500 corporations have laid off one in four employees since 1990.

Fewer employers rely on want ads or recruiters to fill openings when they do occur. They count on networking and applicants willing to seek them out.

Smaller companies are generating more new jobs than large ones.

Those who bounce back most quickly from losing a job are workers who set themselves up as independent contractors, consultants or small-business operators.

"If there's a silver lining to this, it's that women are starting businesses at twice the rate as men," Crane said. "They are more comfortable in an entrepreneurial role. They're not as afraid to admit what they don't know. They'll say, `OK, I don't know how to do this. I'll read a book or talk to someone,' whereas men are more likely to let their lack of knowledge or experience block them from trying."

The payoff to the nation's economy is that women-owned companies now employ more people than the Fortune 500 companies. …

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