Watercooler: Friend turned boss, food facts, major search

Friend Turned Boss: You have lunch together every day, grab an occasional drink after work and have gotten each other through work-related crises. So wouldn’t it be strange if your office buddy became your new boss?

It’s more likely to happen in the current economic environment as hiring freezes force companies to promote from within, said Stephen Viscusi, a New York-based author and career consultant. Meanwhile, employees are more willing to accept a new title even if it means doing two jobs for the price of one.

Becoming your friend’s subordinate may not be easy, but chances are he or she will be counting on your loyalty, Viscusi said. Still, the dynamic of your friendship at work will inevitably change.

Viscusi gives these rules for dealing with a friend you are now reporting to:

■ Remember, this is now your boss, and he has his own job on the line. Don’t flaunt your friendship or ask for special favors.

■ Congratulate him or her first, then ask what you can do to make the job easier and transition faster.

■ Let your friend, now your superior, take the lead on what his priorities are: your friendship, or the role of being boss.

■ Hand over a copy of your resume. This would, of course, apply if the person is not your friend. But, often we are at a company for a long time, and even friends may not remember our experience. Having an up-to-date resume at all times helps people understand how you have grown.

n If you notice a change in your friendship and still need and like your job, accept the change. New friends are far easier to come by today than new jobs.

Nutrition Facts: When dining out, 65 percent of Americans say they prefer to see nutritional information on a restaurant menu rather than calories alone, according to a recent survey.

Nearly 40 percent said they’d like to see a Nutrition Facts panel, while 27 percent preferred an at-a-glance program with credits or a ratings system, according to the random telephone survey conducted by Kelton Research.

“Cities across the country are considering the public health impact of menu labeling, but our research shows that Americans are looking for more than just calorie-counts,” said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Co., which makes nutrition navigation systems and commissioned the poll.

The survey of 1,000 adults using random digital dialing was conducted between June 23 and June 30. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus

3.1 percentage points.

Major Search: It’s just the beginning of the school year, but many students may likely fret over their college-to-career transition and question the validity of some academic paths. The key is to choose an academic major connected to stable jobs, or those considered necessary despite fluctuations in the economic climate, says one occupational expert and author.

“Jobs with a high average of annual openings or percent growth can be easier to obtain, particularly when you first enter the job market after completing your degree,” said Laurence Shatkin, author of the recently published book “50 Best College Majors for a Secure Future.”

Shatkin suggests some majors and programs that could create opportunities to move from one employer to another with relative ease:

■ Nursing or registered nurse training. Average annual openings of related jobs: 233,499.

■ Graduate study for college teaching. Average annual openings of related jobs: 129,040.

■ Secondary education. Average annual openings of related jobs: 127,178.

■ Business education. Average annual openings of related jobs: 93,166.

■ Early childhood education. Average annual openings of related jobs: 88,989.

■ Physical education. Average annual openings of related jobs: 73,179.

■ Family and consumer sciences. Average annual openings of related jobs: 59,961.

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