How to Stand Out on the Job

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diverse businesswoman

Workplaces can be extremely competitive! It can be tempting to rely on gimmicks like flashy clothes or jokes to stand out at work, but this can backfire if you’re looking for a promotion. If you want to get noticed by your superiors at work, the best way to stand out is to conform to your workplace, do quality work, and be a good colleague.

Why Work on Getting Noticed?

You might be the hardest worker in your organization, and the one everyone wants on their team—but, if you’re not in people’s thoughts, then you’ll be passed up for new projects, additional responsibilities, awards, and promotions.

That’s why you need to be visible at work!

Let’s look at some strategies that you can use to get noticed in the workplace.

Developing Specialist Skills

Do you consider yourself a “generalist,” someone who does many different things in different roles, or a “specialist,” someone who is an expert in one or two specific areas?

New businesses often hire generalists, because they can perform in so many different roles. As organizations grow, however, specialists are often hired to focus on key areas. This may leave the hard-working generalists feeling pushed aside and disempowered.

If you’re a generalist, think strategically about what types of skills your organization needs. Work on building these skills to become a specialist. The more knowledgeable and skillful you become in a particular area, the more likely you are to be noticed for your work.

Remember that organizations also tend to look for people with great “soft skills”—non-technical skills such as creative thinking, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, communication skills, flexibility, and coaching. These are often as important as professional expertise.

If you’re thinking about becoming a specialist in a certain area, don’t forget to consider these important soft skills. Helping your boss resolve a major conflict within your team will get you noticed just as much as delivering a great presentation or sales report.

Essentially, if you help people out when they need assistance, then people will help you out too.

And if you take the time to build and nurture relationships with the people around you, you’ll build a network of “allies” who can help you get assigned to interesting, significant, or eye-catching projects that might otherwise go to someone else. They may also recommend you to other departments, which can open up opportunities that might not have been available to you without their recommendations.

Build a network of alliances within your department, with other departments, and with the executive team or board. Try to get assigned to teams that involve a wide variety of people. This can help you build your reputation and make important friendships.

Also, build your network outside of office hours. Socializing with colleagues after work often makes everyone feel more relaxed and open to new friendships.

Tracking Your Accomplishments

When you’re working hard, it’s easy to forget all of your achievements over the last 6 to 12 months. This won’t help when it’s time for your performance review.

Keep track of all of your accomplishments within the organization. If clients or colleagues give you compliments, write them down. If the compliment came in an email, print it. If you exceeded last quarter’s sales goals, get the paperwork that proves it.

Put all of these great compliments and achievements in a file and bring the file to your performance review. This gives you hard evidence to prove to your boss what a great job you’re doing. Then, when it’s time to ask for a pay raise or promotion, it may be harder for your manager to say no.

Getting Out of the Shadows

Sometimes, whether intentionally or unintentionally, your manager or colleagues may present your ideas as their own.

However, if you want to get noticed, you must receive credit for your ideas.

If this happens to you, first find out if it’s also happening to anyone else. Often, a colleague or boss “borrows” ideas from several people, not just one. One way to discover this is by simply watching other people’s body language around this person.

If your colleague or manager is taking credit for only your work, but no one else’s, then document it every time it occurs. If practical, “watermark” your work whenever you can (this is a feature in some word processing software packages). If the person claims your ideas as their own in a meeting, gently but firmly correct the misstatement.

Taking on More Responsibilities

You can also get noticed by your manager and other executives by taking on more responsibilities whenever possible.

This doesn’t mean that you should overwork yourself! But if you see a new project or role that will help you expand your skills, take advantage of it. Do this, particularly if it’s one that has high visibility within the organization or has a significant impact on the bottom line.

This is particularly important with innovation and process improvement. Developing a reputation as an innovator or creative thinker can be valuable. If you believe that you have the ability to innovate and think of good ideas then try to get assigned to projects where these skills are valued.

Tip: While you’re doing this, make sure that you continue to do the core parts of your job well. If you fail to do this, you’ll get noticed—but for all the wrong reasons!

More Tips on Getting Noticed

Here are a few more ideas for getting the people you work with to notice you:

  • Make sure you’re visible. Spend a few minutes every day greeting and talking with your coworkers. A simple smile can help tremendously. Also, try to speak to colleagues face-to-face from time to time, instead of sending emails or instant messages.
  • Praise others. If you have a colleague who works as hard as you, then praise the person in front of your manager. Be specific, and sincere, about what the person is doing.
  • Stay updated on your industry. Read trade newsletters or other relevant materials that keep you up-to-date on trends and technology. You never know when this information will be valuable.
  • Find a mentor. Mentors can offer valuable advice and career coaching. The chances are that the mentor has been through the same situations that you’re experiencing and can help you navigate them successfully.
  • Get involved with your organization’s charity events. Volunteering for these activities—like running in a race or coaching a children’s team—can help you build your network within the organization.

Source: mindtools.com

5 Better Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview Than “What’s a Typical Day Like?”

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interview

The interview questions you choose to ask at the end of of your meeting tell hiring managers almost as much about you as your answers to their questions.

Unfortunately, the same “good” questions have become more and more widely used, meaning interviewers are now used to being asked things like, “What would my first month on the job look like?” or “What makes someone in this role highly successful?”

Don’t get me wrong, those are great—but they don’t distinguish you from the other candidates.

That’s why I’ve come up with five thoughtful, interesting, and most importantly, new options to pose during your next interview. Not only will you get some good insights, but you’ll be more memorable as well.

1. Which Experience Prepared You the Most for This One, and Why?

What This Says About You: You’ll learn quickly. Rather than starting from scratch, you’ll be actively focusing on applying what you’ve learned in previous positions to your new role.

What This Tells You: From the hiring manager’s answer, you should get a better sense of the office environment and how your future team operates.

Let’s say she responds, “I spent three years working for a small startup—that experience has come in handy, because even though this company is much bigger, we’ve got that startup, ‘If you see it, fix it’ ethos.’”

Well, that very plainly tells you this company values autonomy, humility, and initiative.

2. What Makes This Office Special?

What This Says About You: You’re not just looking for any job. You care about finding the right fit.

What This Tells You: Whether or not this company would be good for you, day in and day out.

Maybe the hiring manager says, “We’re all huge sports fans. Each month, the entire company attends a local game.” If you’d rather clean your bathroom than sit through a single inning of a baseball game, this probably isn’t the company for you.

3. Why Are You Excited About Hiring a New Person in This Role?

What This Says About You: You care about your boss’ goals and how your work will drive the organization forward.

What This Tells You: Whether the hiring manager’s vision of the job aligns with yours, as well as what he or she prioritizes.

For example, you might be jazzed about this project analyst position because you want to identify and solve inefficiences. But the hiring manager says he’s looking forward to having someone be a liaison between multiple departments.

4. I Know One of Your Company Values Is [Value Here]. How Does That Manifest Itself in the Workplace?

What This Says About You: You want to work somewhere with integrity—and you understand the difference between intentions and actions. Also, you did your research!

What This Tells You: If the hiring manager can’t give you a good answer, that’s a clue the organization is, well, talking the talk without walking the walk.

Here’s what a good answer might look like:

“Yes, one of our core values is openness, and openness definitely influences much of how we do things. Every Friday, our entire team gets together for a town hall meeting where anyone can ask anything they’d like. I can’t remember a single time our CEOs have rejected a question. Also, we use Slack to communicate, and unless a conversation is clearly sensitive or confidential, it takes place in one of our public channels.”

5. What’s the Typical Leadership Style Here?

What This Says About You: You’re looking for a productive, mutually beneficial relationship between you and your supervisor.

What This Tells You: Whether or not your working style will mesh with your (maybe) boss’.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article

20 Companies That Champion LGBTQ Equality Hiring Now

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By: 

From marketing campaigns, core company values and public support of Equality, to hiring and health care benefits–corporate America can be a champion for LGBTQ equality when they demonstrate their true commitment. Whether that’s through public support, partnerships with LGBTQ organizations, policy support or a commitment to a safe and accepting workplace, it’s important to recognize what companies are truly advocating for LGBTQ rights, especially if you identify as LGBTQ and want to work for a company that is going to welcome and support you.

In 2018, there are multiple companies, big and small, that champion LGBTQ equality hiring – and these places are hiring now! So whether you are an LGBTQ-identifying candidate or an ally that wants to work for an inclusive company, both in and out of the workplace, then you’ll want to send your resume to the following businesses.

1. Uber

How they support LGBTQ Equality: With UberPride, the company is building a diverse and inclusive workplace specifically focused on making LGBTQ individuals feel welcomed. The company is actively promoting LGBTQ rights in cities they operate. The company has received a score of 100 for HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) over the past two years. Uber’s new Pride site states, “While everyone may look, think, and feel differently, Pride is a time when we’re all uniting for the same thing—equality. From the front seat to the back, inside the car and out, Uber stands with our global LGBTQ+ community on this journey, today and every day.”

What employees say: “I love being able to work around truly passionate people who are ready to change the world.” –

2. Baker McKenzie

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Does pro bono work and pushes for LGBTI inclusion, diversity and anti-discrimination policies. “Everyone should feel comfortable in the workplace, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression,” says Baker McKenzie. “We are committed to creating and maintaining an open and supportive working environment. This includes equal opportunity for advancement and development within the firm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the equal provision of benefits to same and opposite sex partners or spouses.”

What employees say: “The reputation as the “friendly” law firm is justly deserved, vast majority of staff are incredibly warm and open-minded people.”  – Current Employee

3. Google

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Various partnerships with LGBTI organizations that protect workers against employment discrimination and the company often promotes inclusion in marketing campaigns. “The Gayglers is comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies,” says the Google Diversity site. “The group not only leads the way in celebrating Pride around the world, but also informs programs and policies, so that Google remains a workplace that works for everyone.”

What employees say: “High pay, liberal culture, smart coworkers.” – Current Employee

4. IBM

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Contributes to a variety of LGBTI organizations and established an equal pay and equal opportunity act well before the Civil Rights Act. “We were among the first companies to include sexual orientation as part of our Equal Opportunity policy, and we extended domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees in the U.S. almost 20 years ago,” Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre told Glassdoor last year. “And our progress has not stopped. We now offer a variety of benefits in 53 countries to same-gender domestic partners or spouses. This year alone we announced the launch of same-gender partner benefits in 11 countries.”

What employees say: “The working culture and environment is good here.” – Former Employee

5. IKEA Group

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Developed fully inclusive work environments and known for having more than half its workforce made of minorities and 47% of its employees are women. Each company location has its own diversity and inclusion ambassador. On May 17th, IKEA Group celebrated IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia And Transphobia) to stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. In 2018, IKEA’s focus is on transgender inclusion.

What employees say: “friendly, casual atmosphere, great benefits, competitive pay compared to other area employers, company seems to actually care about its employees.” – Current Employee

6. Microsoft

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Consistently earns a perfect rating with HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and constantly advocates for marginalized groups. “GLEAM is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) employee resource group at Microsoft. GLEAM members interact through programs such as: Ignite talks, lunches, cross-corporate LGBT+ networking, sporting events, cultural activities, discussions with community leaders about gender and sexuality, volunteering, and fundraising for local LGBT+ organizations.” In fact, in 1993, Microsoft was one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

What employees say: “Amazing Company 10/10 would recommend.” – Current Employee

7. PayPal

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Refused to expand following the North Carolina passage of House Bill2 and consistently promotes and advocates for equality rights and inclusion. “PayPal’s LGBTQ network, PayPal Pride, celebrates and furthers our commitment to inclusion and diversity and support for our LGBTQ employees and allies. We host 16 chapters across six countries. In 2017, for the sixth consecutive year, PayPal earned a perfect rating of 100 percent from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, making it one of HRC’s “Best Places to Work” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.”

What employees say: “I loved almost everyone I worked with at PayPal. I was able to maintain a healthy work/life balance. The benefits were great too!” – Former Employee

8. Simmons & Simmons LLP

How they support LGBTQ Equality: “The Simmons & Simmons lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network was set up in 2006. The network is open to all Simmons & Simmons partners and employees and has the overarching aim of providing support to members of the LGBT community and providing the firm with practical assistance in addressing LGBT issues,” saystheir site. “LGBT network members play active roles in the InterLaw Diversity Forum for LGBT networks, an inter-organizational forum for the LGBT networks in law firms and all personnel (lawyers and non-lawyers) in the legal sector, including in-house counsel.”

What employees say: “Good work-life balance and supportive, friendly environment.” –  Former Employee

9. Coca-Cola

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Partnered with the Human Rights Campaign and has a perfect score with CEI. Was among the first to support the new U.N. standards for LGBTI rights. “With an active LGBTQA Business Resource Group (BRG) in operation for almost 15 years, Coca-Cola has been on the forefront of ensuring equality for its LGBTQ associates. In 2011, the company began offering transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage and in 2015 it began assisting with the costs of taxes imposed on eligible U.S. employees whose same-sex spouse or partner was enrolled in health benefits and who lived in states that did not recognize same-sex marriage.”

What employees say: “The Coca-Cola Co offers good opportunities for career growth and good employee benefits. The environment is also very attractive.” – Former Employee

10. Gap Inc.

How they support LGBTQ Equality: Active support of LGBT rights and partners with organizations such as GLAAD for campaigns. “As a company with a nearly 50-year history of promoting equality for all, Gap Inc. kicked off Pride Monthwith opportunities for employees and customers to celebrate through Pride parades, colorful window displays and special product from the brands.”

What employees say: “Gap has treated me better than any previous jobs.” – Current Employee

Read the complete list of companies and more at Glassdoor.

What the Number of Years You’ve Spent at a Company Says About You, According to a Recruiter

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Resume

Here’s some insider info: One thing recruiters go back and forth on all the time is what the number of years you’ve spent at a company says about you professionally.

And while I can’t speak for all hiring managers, I can tell you all the questions I used to ask myself when reviewing dates listed on a resume, why they made me hesitate, and how you can address any issues right off the bat in your cover letter.

6 Months (or Less): Was This His Choice or His Employer’s Choice?

A common rule of thumb is that you should stay with a company for at least a year, even if you’re not totally pumped about your job. The reality is that, for a number of reasons, some people just don’t end up doing that. Sometimes that means people were part of a big layoff, they discovered the job wasn’t what they expected, or they got an amazing offer that they couldn’t turn down.

How to Address It

There is one surefire way of answering questions about the shorter stops on your resume. And that’s to be as honest as possible on your cover letter, even if you were let go. However, don’t harp on the fact that you were only there for a few months. Instead, use this space to highlight what you were able to accomplish in that short amount of time.

Exactly 1 Year: Why Has This Person Bounced Around So Many Times?

Going back to that common “one-year” rule of thumb, some candidates I reviewed really took that to heart. And by that, I mean their resumes were littered with jobs they spent exactly a year doing. While it was up to me to look past this if it was clear someone might be a good fit for a job I was hiring for, it was absolutely something I’d think about. Is he or she actually interested in working for our company, or just a job-hopper looking to continue his or her climb up the ladder?

How to Address It

Here’s the thing—it’s great to be motivated to keep moving up. But if you have a number of one-year stints on your resume, take some time to think about your career story before you apply. Your cover letter is the first (and only, in some cases) chance you’ll get to tell the hiring manager that you don’t consider his company just another step along the way. Emphasize why all of those experiences have led you to apply for this job.

1-3 Years: Has This Person Been Promoted?

This is a really solid amount of time to spend with one company. However, one thing I always looked for was upward mobility, at least in the amount of responsibilities a candidate with this much tenure at a company was given. While that didn’t necessarily mean I was only looking at people whose titles changed over their time with the company, I wasn’t exactly excited about someone who made it clear he or she was comfortable doing the same type and amount of work for three years in a row.

How to Address It

Odds are that even if you didn’t get an official promotion, you were given additional responsibilities over time. So, use your cover letter to walk recruiters through these additions. Titles rarely tell the full story, and most people understand that. Take this opportunity to make that clear—rather than breezing past it in hopes the person won’t notice.

Author-Richard Moy

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article and also check out amazing companies hiring now!

The Career Path I Didn’t Consider (But Should Have)

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Start-up company employees

I graduated from college in 1993 and got a job at Fidelity Investments as a customer service representative. It was a prestigious company in Boston, and after majoring in English, I was delighted to have an opportunity to be trained in something in the financial services industry. It seemed practical and, at such a big and eminent organization, opportunities to climb the corporate ladder seemed limitless.

It didn’t take me long before I realized that, no matter how limitless the opportunities seemed, moving up the corporate ladder would be slow and require navigating tons of bureaucracy. I also didn’t like working odd-hour shifts, having my bathroom breaks monitored, or having to explain to crackpots why their mutual fund account went down that day.

I knew I was unhappy, but I had no idea what else was out there in the world for someone without much work experience.

One of my biggest regrets from my 20s is that I didn’t know how to explore career options. And more specifically, I did not understand the concept of startups or equity. I thought working was about working for salary. But if you go to work for a startup, especially early on, you’ll get something else: stock (or “equity”) in the company. And if the startup you work for succeeds, the stock you get could end up being worth significantly more than your salary.

As a new grad in Boston in the 90s, I had no concept of this. But an ambitious person graduating from college today should think about it. There are a lot more startups today, and you can in effect become an early investor in one by going to work for it.

Startups are companies that are designed to grow fast, usually because of technology. They usually represent new ideas that never existed before or that are a drastic improvement over what was previously available. Startups typically begin with just a few people and grow rapidly once the company figures out its product and secures funding.

Yes, startups are very risky, and they often fail. But when they don’t fail, their stock can become quite valuable.

I wish I’d taken a job as an early employee at a startup and gotten some equity when I graduated from college. I didn’t have tons of experience but, boy, did I work hard and care about the work I did. Startups often have more flexibility on hiring people without credentials. They don’t have corporate ladders, just stuff that needs to get done. You can often join doing one thing, learn on the job quickly, and work on something more important very soon, if you are effective enough.

Check Out Amazing Startups Hiring Now!

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article

4 on-campus jobs that can set you up for success after graduation

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Lab assistant positions offer students interested in the sciences unparalleled professional experience, not to mention high wages. PayScale estimates that college laboratory assistants make around $14.62 an hour on average.

But Lakhani says that working as a lab assistant is worth more than just a paycheck. “If I’m interested in medicine, for instance, it would be a great idea for me to land a place, paid or unpaid, in a professor’s lab,” he says.

Working in a lab can expose students to a wide range of scientific processes and teach them the importance of diligence and attention to detail. More importantly, working as a lab assistant can help students network with professors which can lead to research opportunities. Getting research published alongside a widely respected professor is one of the best things that students in sciences can achieve during their academic careers.

Radio DJ

Its not easy to launch a career in music but if you have your mind made up, then you are going to have to work hard. One of the easiest ways for students to get experience in the music industry is to get involved with their college radio station.

Most college stations have opportunities for first year students to work behind the scenes in operational roles with pathways to more front-facing positions like DJing.

The key to excelling in this position is to take advantage of every chance you get. Your first solo show may be at an awkward time or you may be assigned a genre that isn’t your favorite, but by embracing every opportunity that is thrown your way, you can turn an on-campus job at the college radio station into some serious professional preparation.

Newspaper ad sales

Another way to think about what on-campus job is best for you is to think about what types of skills you want to master. If you are interested in fields like sales or marketing, the school newspaper may offer the perfect job for you.

This job often includes reaching out to local businesses to sell ad space and working with operational teams to create and adjust strategy. Working in ad sales for the newspaper can be an amazing opportunity to get your hands dirty and make real sales. It also can give students the chance to oversee team goals and budgets.

Potential employers want to hear concrete examples of when you have performed a function that is part of a role so if you want to work in sales, you are going to need examples of when you have made sales. The newspaper will give you plenty of opportunities to do just that.

Continue on to read the complete article at cnbc.com

10 Reasons to work for the government

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Government Jobs

Now is a good time to work for the United States federal government and USA Jobs, the primary portal for federal job seekers, has launched a streamlined application service for college students and recent graduates called Pathways to better assist them with finding government work.

One might wonder why there is so much interest in government jobs in particular and below you will find 10 good reasons why.

  • 1. Make a difference
    The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
  • 2. Great benefits/competitive pay
    Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
  • 3. The government is hiring
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment increase of ten percent through 2018 in federal employment.
  • 4. Location, location, location
    Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. Eighty-four percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington, D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
  • 5. Jobs for every major
    Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
  • 6. Opportunities for advancement and professional development
    Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
  • 7. Interesting and challenging work
    Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues, such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
  • 8. Work-life balance
    Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commute. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.

Continue on to read the complete article at ourpublicservice.org/issues/federal-hiring

Tech Has A Huge Diversity Problem. This Woman Is Determined To Fix It.

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Valeisha Butterfield-Jones is a political advisor-turned-tech exec, with a goal to change Google.

“I want to create something that will outlive me,” says Google’s Valeisha Butterfield-Jones. “I want to leave behind a legacy. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I want to build something that can empower a community, and I know it’s going to be centered around women.”

If Butterfield-Jones makes fulfilling sky-high ambitions sound deceptively easy, perhaps it’s because of the heights she has already achieved. A former senior-level Obama campaign consultant, she was hired by Google in 2016 for a newly created position: Global Head of Women and Black Community Engagement.

It’s well-known that tech has a gender and a racial diversity problem. As of 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available, Google’s workforce was only 2% black and 31% female. Butterfield-Jones has been tasked with helping the company better reflect the diverse world it works in. “It’s trying to disrupt the status quo,” she says, with a smile that belies her determination.

Butterfield-Jones grew up in small-town North Carolina. Her parents are both prominent politicians: her father, G.K. Butterfield, is a member of congress, and up until recently was the head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Her mother, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, is a North Carolina state legislator. When Butterfield-Jones was in high school, her father was a judge. “I remember going to public school and seeing some of my friends actually have to go in front of my dad in court,” she says. “It was just this serious, I would say, awakening for me. I realized that if you don’t have the right people in leadership positions, then sometimes the right thing doesn’t always happen.”

When it comes to increasing diversity in tech, Butterfield-Jones thinks the greatest challenge is “decoding what the real barriers to entry are, for people of color and for women.” To that end, as one of her first projects at Google, she organized an event called Decoding Race, which took place at nine of the company’s offices around the world. Van Jones spoke with Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond, and over 15,000 employees took part in facilitated discussions about race, gender, access, and equality. She has also founded a program that connects talented students at historically black colleges and universities with Google internships.

“I’m proud to work for a company that really wants to get it right and figure it out,” Butterfield-Jones says. She thinks tech’s diversity problem is a legacy of the conditions under which the industry’s leading companies were founded. “I really don’t believe that as an industry, it’s coming from a place of hate at all,” she says. “I really don’t. I think these companies were just set up by friends of friends of friends, who hired their friends. They scaled and grew so fast that now we’re trying to fix a problem that started at the core of the foundation.”

Continue onto Harper’s Bazaar to read the complete article.

Have a Job Offer? Consider these 5 things before saying yes

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Happy coworkers

Corporate culture may be the key to happiness at work. You can have an exceptional job offer, but if the culture is not a match, it could be problematic.

You deal with a lot—coworkers, the boss, and office politics. If you can’t succeed in a certain culture, you can’t succeed in the job.

Why Corporate Culture Matters

It is too simplistic to think that corporate culture is solely about mission and values. It manifests itself in other avenues, such as working overtime, availability of flextime and telecommuting, how people interact with each other, the dress code, benefits, professional development opportunities, how performance is evaluated, leadership style, and the decision-making process. In essence, everything is culture-driven.

When you have a pending job offer, primary consideration may be compensation, benefits, and perhaps the commute. Those are all significant factors, but when you are thinking about making a move, dig a little deeper.

Key Considerations Before Accepting the Job

1.  How did you feel when during the interview?

It is normal not to feel completely at ease, but you should have some sense of feeling comfortable. During the interview, be a consummate observer—from the time you walk in until the time you leave.

Pay attention to the way you were greeted and how were you treated during the entire process. Were all communications professional, timely, and respectful?

If you hear a common theme in the questions the interviewer asks, that is a clue about what he or she will expect from you. For example: “Tell me about a time when your workload was particularly heavy. What steps did you take? “How do you establish priorities to never miss a deadline?”

Also observe how people interact with each other in the office—were they friendly or did you detect friction? Pay attention to how they act when their boss is around.

2. Can you thrive with the office vibe?

Is it a suit-and-tie culture when you are a business-casual person who loves jeans on Fridays? Is it the ever-popular open office space? I’m the quintessential introvert, and I know that an open office space would severely limit my performance. It is simply not how I work best. If that defines you as well, see if you can tour the office before you make a final decision. The physical space, noise level, and interactions with staff will all play a crucial part. There’s most likely not going to be a perfect environment, and all jobs will include some sort of give and take. The bottom line is to know your deal breakers so that your performance and satisfaction are not inhibited.

3.  Is the company on firm financial footing?

Due diligence is the name of the game. If the company is public, you may be able to gather information on their financial stability from public filings and reports. If you are thinking about working for a government contractor, it is OK to ask about the length of the contract. If the contract is nearing an end, will they be able to place you elsewhere? You can also uncover information from a simple Google search and checking their social media mentions. You’ll be able to get a sense of whether there might be trouble ahead. Try to ascertain whether they have been adding jobs consistently or if hiring has been shrinking.

4.  Will you be better off after taking this job?

Here is a million-dollar question: If you had to find a new job in the following year, will this job help you with your professional development? Before you start any job search, you should have a strategy. Accepting a new role should be a stepping stone that inches you closer to your career goals. By the same token, if you stay with this organization can you see a path of career development? Avoid exchanging one dead-end job for another one.

5.  Can you respect and like the person to whom you will report?

Studies have shown that a significant number of people leave a position because of their boss. Having a great manager can make or break your work experience. When you’re in an interview, it is a two-way conversation. You owe it to yourself to ask questions. Find out how success will be determined. Learn as much as you can about your manager’s expectations beyond the job duties, as well as his or her leadership style. This will give you an indication of whether you’ll be working for a leader who is reasonable or one that will make you unhappy.

Author
Jan Johnston Osburn
news.clearancejobs.com

How Deja Baker overcame long odds and finally landed her dream job

LinkedIn

Her title may be unremarkable—software engineer at a Chicago trading firm—but the journey she took to land it is a triumph that doesn’t fit neatly on a resume.

The phone call that ended the military career of Midshipman Deja Baker came on a rainy morning in Hawaii in late May 2017. Having recently completed her third year at the U.S. Naval Academy, Baker was on leave, one week into a month of R&R—hiking, beachcombing, and Netflix-bingeing at her fiancé’s apartment in Oahu. The voice on the phone was her company officer’s. He told her she was to return to Annapolis immediately and pack up her things. Her time at the academy was over.

“It put me in panic mode,” she says.

That spring, a mysterious bruise on her leg had prompted Baker to visit the doctor, a decision that tipped one unlucky domino after the next: The doctor ordered blood tests; the results were alarming, and he hospitalized her; after a five-day stay, she received a diagnosis of a rare blood condition she chooses not to reveal. Simply put, her blood didn’t clot right. The U.S. Navy insists that its officers bleed properly. So, even though she had already served a tour in Japan as an enlisted sailor, had completed advanced training in cryptologic intelligence, was one year from completing a computer science degree, and was aiming to work in the information warfare command far removed from battle, she was out. She had no job prospects, no cash, and as soon as she packed up her things back on the mainland, no home.

“For the next 24 hours, I just bawled,” she says.

By the next morning, however, Baker had regrouped. Having persuaded her company officer to let her finish the remaining three weeks of her leave, she spent that time researching coding boot camps she could apply to.

Recruiters and industrial psychologists stress the importance of attributes such as resilience and determination (a recent survey by LinkedIn identified four soft skills most coveted by companies—leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management), and employers are devising new methods to assess these kinds of intangible qualities, but the relentless drive Baker possesses can be hard to spot on a résumé. She doesn’t present as tough. She’s soft-spoken and doesn’t like talking about herself. She dresses in startup-employee casual—cropped jeans, Toms shoes, and hoodie. At 27, she still gets carded whenever she orders a beer. Baker’s most valuable talents, the formidable inner strength and insatiable curiosity she’s exhibited since she was a child, are traits that might only emerge over the course of the kind of probing face-to-face interview with a perceptive manager that seems to happen less and less often in this era of job application portals and chatbots. Does an algorithm yet exist that will discern the extent of Deja Baker’s tenacity?

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

7 Things to Know if You’re Applying to a ‘Reach’ Position

LinkedIn
Professional Black Man Standing Outside the Office

You spot your dream job, but it’s a reach — a reach beyond the next step in your career. It’s two steps or three steps or 10 steps removed from what your next job should be — and so, you stop just short of applying. But you should apply anyway. Why?

As career coach Hallie Crawford says, “Reaching is a way to grow as a professional and achieve new career goals”. Before you submit your and cover letter, however, there are at least seven things you should know about applying to a “reach” position. These insider tips and tricks will help you stand out from the crowd and score your dream job.

1. You’ll have to battle hiring managers’ assumptions.

It’s all but a fact: “Hiring managers will make assumptions based on your resume and cover letter,” warns millennial career expert Jill Jacinto. So, “It is your job to connect the dots for them before they place your resume in the no pile.” How can you do that? It’s easy, Jacinto promises. “Give them a clear understanding of not only why you are applying for this role but how your current skill set is a complement to the work that you will be doing,” she says.

2. Transferable skills will help you stand out in the right way.

You may not meet all the requirements of your dream job. But rather than focusing on what you’re missing, highlight the skills you have that will help you succeed in any position — and you’ll catch a recruiter’s attention in the best way, says Crawford. “Maybe you don’t have a specific qualification, but you’ve already been using the skills the qualification demands in another way,” she says. “Make those your star stories to show you’re up for the challenge.”

3. Hiring managers want people open to learning new skills.

You may believe it or not, but a willingness to learn what you don’t already know can be just as valuable as already having the knowledge when it comes to applying to a reach position. “Employers know that it will be almost impossible to find someone who can tick off all the boxes on their checklist,” Jacinto explains. “Instead, hiring managers are looking for people who are open to learning new skills.” In your application, “…highlighting the fact that you have been trained in other roles, have used new technology, or gone back to school to excel in a certain area helps show that you would be a good fit,” Jacinto says.

4. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know.

Before you apply to a position that’s a couple of steps above your current pay grade, consider setting up an informational interview with someone who already has your dream job. “Find out what else is needed to be successful at that position besides the qualifications you are lacking, such as soft skills,” instructs Crawford, who adds that, “This will help you feel more confident in an interview [as well as help you] to showcase what you do bring to the table.”

5. You can’t avoid the fact this is a reach for you.

As much as you might like to do so, it’s not prudent to sweep the fact you’re “reaching” for this position under the rug. So, “Don’t hope that the hiring manager doesn’t notice that you don’t meet all of the qualifications, especially if they were listed in the job description,” says Crawford. Instead, be proactive and “bring up the fact you are aware that you don’t meet all of the qualifications on paper, but also that you are ready and able to take on the position.”

6. Some hiring managers don’t know what they want — until they meet you.

Don’t count yourself out just because you don’t meet all of the qualifications a job requires, encourages Jacinto. “Hiring managers often do not necessarily know 100% what they want in a candidate until the right one walks into the door,” she points out. So, “Use this as an opportunity to sell your background, skills, connections, enthusiasm, and references during your interview and within your cover letter.” And speaking of having references…

7. References really matter.

What you may lack in experience or previous job titles you can make up for with glowing references. “References are always important, but they’re especially important in this case,” says Crawford. “If a hiring manager is considering you despite your being underqualified, you want to make sure that your references will sing your praises.” Be sure to prepare a list in advance of your application, and don’t forget to reach out to each potential reference to make sure he or she is willing to provide a very positive review of your performance.

This article originally appeared on the Glassdoor.com

How Shavone Charles Created Her Dream Job In Tech

LinkedIn

Shavone Charles holds many titles. From being a musician and artist to her role as Head of Global Music and Youth Culture Communications at Instagram and recent founder of a passion project, Magic in Her Melanin, Charles is undoubtedly known to her peers and the surrounding tech and entertainment industries as being a renaissance woman and connoisseur of culture.

The term, “Do It For The Culture”, according to the Urban Dictionary, is a statement requesting that someone carry out a specific action for benefit of their shared culture. Charles is doing just that with not only her work in Silicon Valley but for black creatives globally. With her deep Trinidadian roots, Charles is passionate about maintaining her self-identity while creating an environment of inclusivity for women of color in tech.

Before she was trailblazing a new path for future generations, millennials and black women in tech, or creating her own job title at multi-billion dollar companies like Twitter and Instagram, she was a San Diego native and first-generation college graduate from UC Merced, just trying to figure it out. Upon graduating in 2012, Charles snagged several high-profile entertainment and communications based internships at Google, BET Networks, Capitol Hill and The Department of Justice. Her big break happened when she was the presented with the opportunity to create her own role and title at Twitter.

At Twitter, Shavone established her niche career focus on culture-focused communications and social marketing, business partnerships and data analysis with a close lens on music, online communities and youth culture. Upon joining the Twitter team, Shavone created her own role, as the first person to join her team and head up the company’s global music and culture communications, with a focus on data, often working on efforts tied music partnerships and high-priority product launches and acquisitions (including Vine and Periscope). During her time at Twitter, Shavone also remotely oversaw all of the company’s communications efforts for Brazil and Canada out of San Francisco and employed a number of successful global culture-driven communications programs tied to major entertainment and consumer moments in market (including Rock In Rio, Brazil’s Fashion Week, Juno Awards and more). She led content management and curation for the official @TwitterMusic account and helped grow it by over 5 million followers, as result of social campaigns with talent and highlighting the best uses of Twitter and Vine in music.

In addition to launching PR and social campaigns, Charles had the unique opportunity to create the first-ever employee resource group for African-American employees, aptly named Twitter BlackBirds. Her role at Twitter, catapulted her into a new realm of visibility and influence, leading her to head up communications and culture at Instagram. Charles has always been intrigued by the notion of connecting diverse groups of people through social media and cultivating an accepting community for people to have the choice to share commonalities.

Technology has allowed the culture to be seen on a global scale, with creatives now at the forefront of the movement and art form. It’s not a “niche” community anymore and people are using the internet to build a community around their interests,” which she said at Forbes I.D.E.A Summit.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

We’re Loving It: Meet The Youngest Black Woman To Own A McDonald’s Franchise

LinkedIn

Jade Colin is making waves in the restaurant franchise business as McDonald’s youngest black woman to own one of the popular fast food eateries.

No doubt an impressive feat, the New Orleans native has been preparing to run her own business for years. In 2010, her parents purchased their first McDonald’s. She began working in her family’s restaurants in 2012, after graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a bachelors in Business Management.

The next step in her journey towards owning her own was joining the Next Generation program. The program helps train children of McDonald’s franchise owners in hopes of one day running their parents’ investments, or franchising a new store themselves. Uniquely, a parent can’t simply pass their franchise down to their kids; they have to go through a process where they’re accepted to take it over, or, like Colin, start their own.

Colin excelled in the program, receiving the Outstanding Restaurant Manager of the Year Award for her region, as well as the Ray Kroc Award, which recognizes the top one percent of restaurant managers in the country.

In 2016, Colin opened her first McDonald’s location, marking her as McDonald’s youngest black franchise owner, at 26 years old.

Now 28, and still McDonald’s youngest black franchise owner, Colin is thinking long term when talking about being black and running your own business. Speaking to The Black Professional, the millennial franchisee said, “As an African American community, we need more men and women to know it’s not just about right now, but it’s about the generations to come.”

Continue onto Blavity to read the complete article.

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