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  Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 6:00 AM ET

The most overrated jobs of 2013

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These jobs? Totally overrated!

Image source: Cavan Images | Iconica | Getty Images

TV and film characters like Don Draper from "Mad Men" and Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street" may have you thinking that their professions are enviably glitzy, but the truth is, they're not all that glamorous.

Job site CareerCast is out with its annual lists of the most overrated and most underrated jobs and with apologies to Messrs. Draper and Gekko, they're both overrated.

"It's all about perception. It's the perception that it's a great job," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. "Every one of these overrated jobs, people think of as, 'I've got huge autonomy. I'm in control of my day and I manage everything the way I want to manage it,'" Lee said.

"The reality is that either due to a poor hiring outlook, falling salary, rising stress or a number of other criteria, it's not as great as it appears," he said.

Stress, in particular, is among the biggest factors that land a job on the overrated list. You may think being a CEO is a glamorous world of corner offices and private jets, but in fact, it's a lot of stress. It's overrated.

Lee said these lists are among the most subjective that CareerCast puts together, compared to some of their other lists like the best and worst jobs. Still, the economy has played a huge role in jobs on both the overrated and underrated lists.

When it comes to the impact of the economy on overrated jobs, perhaps some of them lost perks like expensive client lunches, experienced a shift in the type of work they were getting, or have not yet seen their hiring outlook bounce back even though the economy is improving.

To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, hiring in those jobs are expected to increase by about 12 percent during this decade. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the occupations on the list than in at least the last five years.

Click ahead to check out the 12 most overrated jobs of 2013.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013

»Read more
  Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 6:00 AM ET

Most underrated jobs of 2013

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These jobs get no respect!

Image Source: Andrew Rich | Vetta | Getty Images

You probably never heard a mother brag, "My son, the biologist!" but maybe she should.

Job site CareerCast is out with its annual list of the most overrated and most underrated jobs for 2013, and as it turns out, biologist is one of the most underrated.

"These are jobs that most people look at and think 'eh,' when in fact they typically have a strong hiring outlook, rising salary, a fair amount of autonomy and the people who have them tend to really like them," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.

Think: That guy with the pocket protector and calculator. You weren't nearly as dazzled by him as the stockbroker in the pin-striped suit. But he is totally in demand. Boom! Underrated.

This list is, for sure, more subjective than, for example, CareerCast's best and worst jobs. But the economic recovery has provided some objective criteria for the list, Lee said.

"As the economy slowly improves, that changes how various jobs end up getting ranked—their hiring outlook improves more than another and it might move up the list, or the average salary increased," Lee said.

The housing recovery has played a part for several jobs that have seen their hiring outlook improve as the housing market improves.

And, of course, there's that little factor called supply and demand—if there aren't a lot of applicants for a particular job, the salary goes up. Or, if you're starting to see a lot of turnover on your staff, which does happen as the economy and job market improve, what's the first thing bosses try to do to keep talented employees? Raise their salary. Combine that with a job that a lot of people say "eh" about and you've got one of the most underrated jobs.

To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, the hiring outlook for most jobs is about 12 percent, meaning hiring is expected to increase by that much through 2020. For some of these underrated jobs, it's as high as 30 or 40 percent. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the jobs on the list than they've seen in at least the last five years.

Click ahead to check out the 12 most underrated jobs for 2013.



By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013

»Read more
  Friday, 16 Aug 2013 | 7:00 AM ET

These kids today — It's all about 'ME ME ME!'

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Image Source | Zero Creatives | Getty Images

These kids today with their twits and their tweets, their ninth-place ribbons and their gimme gimme gimme! Lazy! Selfish! Back in my day …

Pinning the "me, me, me" label on Gen Y, millennials, or whatever you want to call them, has become so ubiquitous, Time magazine actually blasted it across their cover a few months ago: "The ME ME ME Generation."

But guess what? Twentysomethings aren't apologizing. They say it's a good thing.



»Read more
  Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 | 9:59 AM ET

Housing recovery radar: The next 18 hot spots

Posted By: Cindy Perman
German | E+ | Getty Images

The housing recovery is starting to heat up—so much so in some areas, the "b" word—bubble—is starting to pop up.

"Nationwide, the housing market is not in a bubble. But there are probably some markets that are at risk for getting into bubble territory if they continue at the pace that they're going," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

In a recent report from Realtor.com, the towns seeing the hottest recoveries, based on factors such as inventory, median list price, days on the market and search activity, were primarily on the West Coast, with six of the top 10 in California. Six months ago, eight of the top 10 were in Florida. So, is the recovery, like the settlement of the U.S., moving east to west?

»Read more
  Sunday, 11 Aug 2013 | 3:00 PM ET

Mom, my teacher is a zombie!

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
Source: Chris Irvin
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Good afternoon, class. My name is Carl and I'll be your teacher today. Oh, by the way— I'm a zombie.

Eeeeeeeeeek!

From the TV show "Walking Dead" to the movie "World War Z," zombies are hot.

(Well, technically, they're cold. But they're burning up the charts!)

»Read more
  Friday, 9 Aug 2013 | 7:22 AM ET

Arggggh! Companies with the hardest job interviews

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Darren Robb | Taxi | Getty Images

It's your worst nightmare: You're on a job interview, they ask you a question and you don't know the answer. Your heart races. Beads of sweat begin to form. C'mon, don't blow it — THINK!

Fun as it is to just show up and panic, it's better to be prepared for the worst. Well, job site Glassdoor.com is out with their annual list of the Top 25 most difficult companies to interview with.

It's like having an older brother who gives you pointers on what to expect from Miss Renkins' calculus exam.


»Read more
  Wednesday, 7 Aug 2013 | 10:22 AM ET

The new housing hot spot is ... what?

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These real estate markets are heating up

Paul J. Richards | AFP | Getty Images

Signs of the housing-market recovery are everywhere, from galloping mortgage rates to rising home prices and all those "under contract" signs popping up around the neighborhood.

Nationwide, homes typically sold in 83 days in the second quarter, 14 percent faster than a year earlier, according to Realtor.com. At the same time, the median list price rose 5.4 percent, to $196,000, and the number of homes on the market dropped by more than 10 percent.

Even some states hit hardest by the recession, including Michigan, California and Nevada, are starting to see their housing markets rev back up.

"Detroit has made remarkable progress in the last year, shrinking its inventory of unsold homes by more than 26 percent and becoming one of the most balanced markets in the nation," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, the parent of Realtor.com. "We'll be watching the inventory levels in the months ahead, but if this past quarter is any indication, Detroit won't be giving up without a fight."

Realtor.com is out with its list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013. Several metrics are used to develop the list, including inventory, median list price, days on the market, and weighted search and listing activity on Realtor.com.

Do you think Detroit made the list? Did it top the list? Click ahead for the full list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 7 August 2013

Follow Cindy on Twitter @ponyblog.

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  Monday, 5 Aug 2013 | 10:05 AM ET

Trying to create a 'Sharknado' with ... T-shirts?

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Source: Syfy Network

The Holy Grail for Internet advertising is the viral video. And while many an executive has uttered the words "we think this thing can go viral"—few actually know how to tweak Web weather patterns to create a "Sharknado."

(Read more: Sharknado! Syfy's latest flick is causing a frenzy)

Well, the guy who rose to online stardom during the recession by starting a business as a professional T-shirt wearer thinks he knows. It's something he calls "an Internet advertising flash mob."

The idea is that, instead of just one guy wearing a company's shirt and generating buzz about the brand on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites, you get 500 or more people putting on a shirt and hitting the social media circuit—multiplying the buzz.

»Read more
  Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 | 4:18 PM ET

An 18-Hole Mini-Golf Course in the Office? Yep

Posted By: Cindy Perman

Some people take the team on a retreat to mini-golf or some other fun activity but if you're LinkedIn, you build the mini-golf course IN the office.

The professional-networking site started a fun contest to boost employee morale: A cube off! (It's kind of like a dance off, only with less dancing and more decorating your cube.)

More than 200 teams from around the world competed, transforming not just their cubicles but entire sections or floors. The results involved everything from Pokemon to pirates (yar!), palm trees and a hammock, a playground complete with swing set and an 18-hole mini-golf course. Employees voted on which ones they liked best and 11 awards were given out, including "Funniest," "Best Decade," "Out of This World" and "Most Transformed."


»Read more
  Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 | 2:35 PM ET

US vs. Canadian Bankers: The Ultimate Smackdown

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Canada Eh!
Getty Images
Canada Eh!

Fewer sporting rivalries are more riveting than when the U.S. takes on Canada in hockey. Pit the two nations against each other when it comes to making money and —

OH, IT'S ON!

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" did a piece last night on U.S. financial reform and it turned into a super smackdown … the ultimate clash of titans … U.S. vs. Canadian bankers!


»Read more

About Pony In Here Somewhere

  • The news can get a little heavy sometimes, with debt crises, vicious markets and crappy earnings reports. So, we dispatched our crack reporter, Cindy Perman, to find some levity amid all this seriousness. Why a Pony? To be clear, there were no ponies harmed in the making of this blog. The blog’s name, “There Must Be a Pony In Here Somewhere,” comes from an old joke, a favorite of Ronald Reagan’s, that essentially means, with a pile of you-know-what this big, there MUST be a pony — a bright side — in here somewhere!

Contact Pony In Here Somewhere

 

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

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