Media spot light

Career change, ‘sickies’, office romance, workplace bullying and career breaks to make way for parenthood were amongst the employment topics pursued by media as the 2010 job year got going.

January 24 was tipped to be the biggest “sickie” day of the year causing a media stir across newspapers, radio and television.

“Absent management” specialist Direct Health Solutions told CareerOne that the media blitz predicting some 500,000 people would take off the day before Australia Day was really a “pre-emptive strike” to scare them into coming to work.’s Editor Kate Southam was even interviewed on the topic by the Nine Network’s Today show and ABC Radio amongst others.

DHS later declared their scare campaign a success with “sickies” down 18 per cent on the same time last year.

For anyone wondering if this is just an Aussie thing, national “sickie” day in England was February 1 according Brit media ranging from The Sun to the conservative Considering the size of the UK population the 350,000 employees taking the day off because of the cold weather seems less than the number here taking the day off due to the sunshine.

Meanwhile Women’s Health magazine wanted to talk to the CareerOne Editor about workplace bullying, Cleo magazine about taking career breaks to have children and Marie Claire on young women “rushing” through their careers.

The Marie Claire article – due out in April – is interesting. Their journalist was exploring the notion that its younger readers were moving jobs too fast and sabotaging their careers. Good timing as Kate had just hosted a Q&A session with senior men and women at News Limited and News Digital Media for staff on career topics including job jumping.

The panel advised staff that if they felt themselves getting restless they should be proactive in making their job more challenging or pursue training first rather than just change jobs.

With the Clarius Group sounding the alarm of an already growing skills shortage it is a good time for all employers to think about how they can highlight the benefits of making more of each job opportunity to staff. If you would like Kate to run a career development panel featuring your senior people for your own staff, contact your BDM.

While we are on the topic of Gen Y, MX newspaper also wanted Kate to provide its young readers with tips on how they can lift their game when job hunting – be on time, dress for the part, cover the tatts – you know the drill.

Finally, love was in the air and the airwaves when CareerOne released its PR campaign on workplace romance. After surveying nearly 1,000 people across the News network, CareerOne found 35 per cent had enjoyed a short term romance with a work mate, 31 per cent a long term relationship and 6 per cent had married someone they met at work.

Our survey results and office romance tips were reported in metro newspapers around Australia, dozens of websites including, Yahoo Seven and Nine National News on the web, two New Zealand newspapers, 19 regional newspapers and was interviewed on a string of radio stations around Australia – and all before Valentine’s Day.

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