15 Work Conversations That Could Cost You Your Job

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Professional Woman pictured holding her finger up doing the shhhh sign

In August 2019, Google issued a new set of community guidelines that banned political discussions at work.

The new policy states, “While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics. Avoid conversations that are disruptive to the workplace or otherwise violate Google’s workplace policies.”

Talking about politics isn’t the only conversation you should avoid at work. There are plenty of types of work conversations that could cost you your job, so you’ll want to learn how to avoid them if they come up.

Talking Openly About Wanting To Quit

Even if you’re among co-workers you trust, it’s a bad idea to talk openly about wanting to quit your job, said Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation.

“No matter how close you may be with your co-workers or even if you said it out of frustration, it’s best not to discuss something this sensitive in mixed company,” she said. “News of this nature travels quickly through an office grapevine. Before you know it, your manager might find out and will have questions for you.”

“The best approach is to avoid discussing this topic altogether with co-workers,” Case said. “It’s a personal matter that should be kept to yourself and a conversation to have with management when, and if, the time is suitable for it.”

Discussing Religion

In general, it’s best to avoid any topic that could make your colleagues uncomfortable and raise a flag with human resources. Because religion is such a sensitive topic, it’s one you should not discuss at work.

“You may need to talk to HR or a supervisor if you need accommodation for your religious beliefs, such as time off for religious holidays or a place to pray during the workday,” said Paula Brantner, an employment attorney and principal at PB Work Solutions. “But when it comes to your co-workers, no one wants to be proselytized to at work since you’re compelled to be there, and it’s harder to politely decline.”

“Although religious discrimination is illegal, you also need to be focused on your job while at work, so don’t spend time engaged in religious conversations,” she said. “And don’t engage in discrimination against or harass other workers in violation of federal, state, and/or local law because they don’t share the same beliefs or have individual characteristics that you don’t agree with.”

Discussing Your Home Life or Marital Issues

Leave any issues you have with your home life at home, said Baron Christopher Hanson, lead consultant and owner of RedBaronUSA.

“News about your home life or any litigious matters you or a spouse may be facing can spread … or reveal weaknesses that competitors and foes in any workplace may use against you,” he said.

Airing Out Workplace Secrets

“Any workplace secrets — marketing plans, financial strategies or legal disputes — that your company is dealing with should never be discussed in public where details may be overheard, recorded or distributed digitally in nanoseconds,” said Hanson.

“In today’s modern world, communication comes at us seemingly from every direction — other people, our computers and especially our smartphones. Private texts and conversations can be seen or heard over our shoulders like never before, even on the train home from work when you think no one is really listening or seeing what you type.”

Discussing Health Issues

As with your home life, discussions about your health don’t belong in the office. Talking openly about a medical issue should not cost you your job, but it can make co-workers feel uneasy.

Telling your co-workers that you had a routine dental appointment isn’t necessarily an issue. Still, you might want to hold off on discussing serious medical problems, Annette Harris, president and founder of personal branding agency ShowUp!, told HuffPost.

“Similar to marital problems, people often just don’t know how to react or respond in a work environment,” she said.

Gossiping About Other Co-Workers

You probably won’t like every person you work with, but you should definitely keep those thoughts to yourself, said business coach Stacy Caprio.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

9 Effective Ways to Assess Candidates’ Soft Skills

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Workplace culture

By Lisa Parker

Executive Chairman of Starbucks Howard Schultz once said, “Hiring people is an art, not a science. And resumes cannot tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” This astute observation by the American businessman sums up the importance of assessing a job seeker for their soft skills—not just what’s on paper.

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills, also known as “employability skills,” are defined by Business Dictionary as “a group of essential abilities that involve the development of a knowledge base, expertise level and mindset that is increasingly necessary for success in the modern workplace.”

For any new recruit to fit into your corporate culture and be productive, soft skills are prerequisite. While resumes may sound impressive, assessing a jobseeker for soft skills plays a key role in promoting effectiveness in a company’s hiring process.

But how do you assess something so intangible? Use the following nine factors to create questions that assess for the soft skills you need from future employees.

How to Assess a Candidate’s Soft Skills

  1. Professionalism

The first impression a jobseeker imparts speaks a lot about themselves. A jobseeker who walks in with a disheveled appearance and salty language, for example, may not take their role seriously enough. What’s more, they could make other employees and customers uncomfortable with their behavior.

  1. Body Language

Body language betrays a lot. Observing body language will enable you to learn a bit about a jobseeker’s interpersonal skills. Also, it can help inform whether the interviewee is lying or answering a question honestly. Jittery jobseekers are generally diffident about themselves and unsure whether they can meet your standards. They doubt their own abilities and may end up as underperformers.

  1. Problem-Solving Skills

Regardless of the nature of your business, problem-solving skills are essential for every employee. Candidates who cannot troubleshoot are unable to provide customer care, address issues faced by business associates or assist colleagues and seniors in the event of any internal problems. Include a couple of questions about how the jobseeker would solve a problem. The answer may not be the most thorough, given time constraints of an interview, but it will help you assess this vital skill.

  1. Awareness About Major Issues

Your future employee need not be an encyclopedia. Yet, it is vital they know about major issues affecting the world, country and local economy. Knowledge about these issues and opinions suggest that the jobseeker is alert and responsive. It also indicates adaptability to adverse situations, since such candidates will usually possess abilities to respond effectively. Issues and opinions can reflect traits, such as positivity, skepticism and negative thoughts. Admittedly, these thoughts may vary according to the issue. A candidate may be positive about something or negative about another. Yet, such awareness would also help you judge the overall traits since every flipside also has positives.

  1. Memberships of Clubs/Organizations

Memberships of clubs and organizations are a clear indicator of a candidate’s social and collaborative skills. Such employees generally tend to become great team players. Additionally, it also indicates the candidate spends time on constructive activities, such as sports, hobbies or even politics.

  1. Psychometric Tests

An increasing number of employers worldwide now utilize psychometric tests to gauge a candidate’s behavior and mental aptitude for a job. They enable you to assess the cognitive capabilities of a jobseeker required for any post in an organization. Additionally, psychometric tests help a company to assess an applicant’s analytical and pedagogic skills essential for any role. They are particularly useful in finding hidden traits of a job seeker that are often missed during an interview. However, there are debates worldwide over the effectiveness of these tests to assess soft skills and hidden talents as well as negative traits of an individual. Some psychologists and HR experts vouch for their reliability, while others claim the results provide inconclusive results that can mar career prospects of good candidates—so if you choose to use them, do so cautiously.

  1. Company Knowledge

Quizzing a candidate over knowledge about your company as well as past employers, if any, is another effective way to assess their soft skills. Answers indicate an interest in the profession and industry. They will also show whether an interviewee is well prepared and is serious about the job or is eyeing the vacancy merely as another employment option. Sometimes, the answer can also reveal traits, such as willingness to adapt to a new work environment and spirit of collaboration to ensure personal success as well as that of your organization.

  1. Composure Under Stress

The ability to work under stress is critical for many positions, especially when hiring for more senior roles. One good way to evaluate this skill is by asking a candidate to tell you about a stressful period at work and how they responded. You can also simply evaluate their behavior during the interview. Fumbling to respond or getting frustrated indicate the person may have a hard time working under stress or pressure.

  1. Ability to Work with Diverse Groups

Companies, just like the country in general, have become increasingly diverse in recent years. Walk into any major employer and you’ll find people of all different backgrounds, educations, beliefs collaborating and thriving together. So if an employee has a hard time working with anybody who thinks or acts differently than them, it can be hard for them to succeed. Ask candidates how they have collaborated with people who have had very different perspectives than them. If their answer suggests that they steamrolled others’ ideas or refused to listen to them, they probably won’t perform well in a diverse team.

Modern workplaces demand that all employees possess soft skills. Indeed, soft skills can be more difficult to acquire than professional degrees and experience. Without them, any hard skills are far less valuable. So when screening candidates, don’t just try to uncover how well they know a particular software program or platform—get to the heart of how they interact with others.

Lisa Parker is a Freelance writer. Her passion is to write blogs on entrepreneurship, business trends, business management, and business leadership, lifestyle, relationship, career and education. And many more.

Source: glassdoor.com

Applying for entry-level jobs? Do these things to write your cover letter

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woman sitting at desk writing on her keyboard

Landing a job is a challenge for many professionals. Landing a job without any experience can be an even bigger challenge. For a job seeker without any experience, it’s discouraging when you’ve applied for dozens (or hundreds) of jobs and received zero responses from employers.

Although you might feel like giving up on your job search, it’s important to persevere and continue writing cover letters that will make you stand out to employers.

Here are some tips for writing a cover letter when you have little or no experience:

First paragraph: Clearly introduce yourself

The first paragraph is your opportunity to make a strong first impression on the employer. This section should explain who you are, the position you’re interested in, and how you discovered the opportunity.

The introduction is also a great opportunity to mention any connections you have with the organization. For example, if you know a previous intern or alumni who worked for the organization, be sure to mention their name in your introduction.

“My name is Sarah and I’m a recent graduate from Purdue University. I graduated in December with a B.A. in communications and a minor in marketing. An alumni forwarded me a job posting about your Associate Marketer position at ABC Media Group. I’m highly interested in this opportunity because I’d make a great fit for your agency.”

Second paragraph: Talk about your relevant skills and accomplishments

This section is the biggest challenge for job seekers with little or no experience. It’s also the section where many job seekers make mistakes because they don’t know how to highlight their relevant skills and classroom experience.

As you explain why you’re qualified for the position, it’s important to connect the dots with the employer. For instance, if you didn’t have a marketing internship but you’ve gained a lot of marketing experience through a part-time job in student services, you could highlight the communications skills and experience you gained through that position.

For example:

“I realize you’re looking for a candidate with strong written and oral communications skills, as well as experience with event planning and strategy development. As an office assistant in Purdue’s Office of Student Life, I was responsible for planning and promoting campus movie nights for students. This project required me to promote the event on social media, send email blasts to students and design flyers to post around campus.”

Third paragraph: Highlight your best qualities and explain why you’re a good fit

Most employers want to hire candidates who are creative team players with strong time-management skills. Although you consider yourself a great fit for the position, you need to use examples that illustrate why you’re a good fit for the job. The reality is, simply stating that you have excellent time-management skills and a knack for leadership won’t land you a job.

When talking about your qualities, it’s important to talk about real-life examples. The key point to remember here is to make sure your examples are succinct and visual.

For example:

“During my final semester at Purdue, I led a group of three students to create a marketing campaign for an animal shelter in Indianapolis. I was responsible for leading brainstorming sessions, communicating with our client and editing the final version of the campaign. Through this project, I learned how to collaborate with others and work effectively in a team in order to accomplish a common goal.”

Fourth paragraph: Conclude with a call to action

The final paragraph is the section that will seal the deal for a job interview. You want to leave a lasting impression on the reader, so make sure your conclusion is confident and upbeat and encourages the hiring manager to get in touch with you.

For example:

“With the combination of my marketing experience and leadership skills, I’m confident I’d make a great fit for this position. Thank you for taking the time to review my application and consider me as a candidate. I will follow up next Wednesday to schedule a time to talk with you more about this position. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Looking to switch careers? Learn these job skills right now

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woman looking confident in her choice of careers

Tech and big data skills are increasingly sought after careers in the workplace—and they could be a boon for you if you’re trying to hop industries or quickly climb the ranks.

Executives struggle to find employees skilled in business as well as data and technology, so all you need to do is learn the skills required for each field and send out those job applications.

Online learning platform Udemy for Business released the top courses in which companies enroll their employees, which is shorthand for the must-have skills in each field:

Finance

  1. Excel
  2. SQL
  3. Financial analysis
  4. Tableau
  5. Leadership
  6. Accounting

Marketing

  1. Digital marketing
  2. Python
  3. Web development
  4. SQL
  5. Google ads
  6. Excel

Software

  1. Python
  2. React
  3. Docker
  4. Java
  5. JavaScript
  6. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification

Sales

  1. Sales skills
  2. Excel
  3. Leadership
  4. Web development
  5. Public speaking
  6. Communication

The good news: All of these courses are readily available online, and in many cases, companies will pay for the training.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

17 College Majors That Report Higher Underemployment

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diverse college students

According to a recently released survey from salary, jobs and career database, PayScale, holders of these bachelors degrees said they felt they were unemployed.

To complete its study, PayScale collected data from 962,956 workers.

Physical Education Teaching

% Underemployed: 56.4%

Human Services

% Underemployed: 55.6%

Illustration

% Underemployed: 54.7%

Criminal Justice

% Underemployed: 53.0%

Project Management

% Underemployed: 52.8%

Radio/Television & Film Production

% Underemployed: 52.6%

Studio Art

% Underemployed: 52.0%

Health Care Administration

% Underemployed: 51.8%

Education

% Underemployed: 51.8%

Human Development & Family Studies

% Underemployed: 51.5%

Creative Writing

% Underemployed: 51.1%

Animal Science

% Underemployed: 51.1%

Exercise Science

% Underemployed: 51.0%

Health Sciences

% Underemployed: 50.9%

Paralegal Studies

% Underemployed: 50.9%

Theatre

% Underemployed: 50.8%

Art History

% Underemployed: 50.7%

Continue on to Forbes for the complete slideshow.

3 Changes to The Job Search – Not Counting Technology

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Woman behind desk interviewing candidate

By Randy Wooden

Technology has changed our lives in many ways, including how we conduct a job search. I have witnessed a number of recruiting and job coaching changes in my 30+ year career. Most – but not all – involve the use of technology. Here are a few non-technology changes.

1 Whether due to downsizing or a worker’s desire for a new challenge, today’s workplace sees more turnover than ever before. All this change means it is important to keep your resume up to date and be a lifelong learner to remain competitive with constantly improving and expanding skills. Take a class. Earn a certification. Do what you can to best position yourself with market-relevant skills expected by today’s employers.

2 While networking has always been part of the search process, I would argue it is more important than ever. The days of walking into a company, shaking hands with the hiring manager and having an unscheduled conversation are largely over. Technology makes it easier to locate and apply for work, and human resource departments are overwhelmed with applicants. Some companies have responded by building digital barriers to protect their time. You may be qualified for the position, but, if you are one of 300 applicants, personal referrals can improve your chances the employer will choose to speak with you rather than other candidates.

3 Employer expectations and what you can do to meet them have shifted. I am seeing companies place more emphasis on soft skills and cultural fit than ever before. For many jobs, you will be required to take an assessment or two. You may have the skills and experience to perform the work, but if your personality does not mesh with that employer’s desired target, you may not get the job.

Employers expect candidates to be prepared; technology allows easy access to information about the company. Online resources help answer interview questions. Doing your homework – being prepared – is more significant than ever.

Technology is a tool. Use it and know you need more than a search and a few clicks to get the job. Good luck!

Randy Wooden, director, professional center at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. He is the author of the “Job & Career Advice” blogs.

Source: Goodwill

These are the top 4 ways to get to the C-suite

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woman shaking mans hand in a room withdiverse co-workers

If your goal is to climb the career ladder of success all the way to the top, chances are your path may not be direct. But it can also be hard to predict. “When you’re in the middle of an organization or even a few levels away, knowing what it takes to get into the C-suite becomes a bit of a black box,” says Cassandra Frangos, former head of the global executive talent practice at Cisco and author of Crack the C-Suite Code: How Successful Leaders Make it to the Top. “Some think that it’s a straight line, and others think it’s a matter of luck or even politics—and at times it can be.”

However, having played a role in many C-suite successions, Frangos found that there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach. “All organizations are different, and every executive brings unique strengths,” she says. “It’s often a portfolio of experiences that you need to have as well as a lot of skill in terms of navigating different career paths.”

Frangos is the co-instructor of a new course at MIT Sloan School of Management’s Executive Education Program called “Charting Your Path to the C-Suite.” In it, she shares the four most common paths you can follow to reach the C-suite.

The tenured executive

The tenured path is where executives stay at company they love and find a great culture fit, says Frangos. This is also the most predictable and common path, with the majority of CEOs and other C-suite leaders promoted from within, including 69% of Fortune 100 CFOs, according to a study from CFO Journal.

This path also requires the most patience. While Frangos says internal hires that rise to the C-suite were identified as high performers within their first year, she also says they often spend more time in roles than those who take other paths. “Know how long you’ll be in line, and decide how long you’re willing to wait,” she advises.

For example, if you’re second in line, and the current CEO is young, well-liked, and only in the job for two years, it could take a while for you to be promoted. On the other hand, if your boss has been there for a decade and mentioned that they’d like to retire or do something new in the next couple of years, your time might be coming soon.

“You can’t control someone else’s succession,” says Frangos. “If you are a C-suite hopeful and there’s no spot opening up in your timeframe, it may be a signal to look elsewhere.”

The free agent

Free agents C-suite members reach a certain point at a company and then jump to another to continue their climb. They’re often recruited because the company is looking for an outsider’s perspective and ideas. “This path seems to be picking up steam, as 22% of CEOs between 2012 and 2015 were appointed from outside organizations,” says Frangos.

To be a free agent, you’ll need to demonstrate a flawless track record and reputation, says Frangos. “Also, [you’ll need to] develop your leadership brand in a more deliberate way compared with internal peers,” she says.

The leapfrog leader

Leapfrog Leaders pass over their peers as well as superiors, jumping several steps ahead based on their vision and potential. Frangos says this was the case when Chuck Robbins was appointed CEO of Cisco in 2015. Formerly the head of sales, Robbins jumped two spots ahead to take the top spot.

To be a leapfrog leader, you need to able to confront industry disruption and present yourself as a strong champion for change in the organization, says Frangos. This can be the most difficult path to execute because it’s not one you can plan for; you need to prepare for opportunities and be ready to seize them if and when they arise.

The founder

Perhaps the fastest track to the C-suite is to create your own. Founders start their own companies because they have an idea and a passion—not simply a desire to be a CEO.

With this type of career path, you have more control over the timing of your entrance to the C-suite. However, it requires different skills sets. You need to be entrepreneurial and have a willingness to take risk. You also must be willing to take on a wider range of responsibilities during your startup mode, as founders wear many hats.

Whatever path you take

Anyone headed to the C-suite should have a willingness to reinvent themselves, as well as the confidence to state their ambition, no matter which path they eventually take. The landscape of the C-suite is changing in terms of its dynamics and the way to think about leading, says Frangos.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Answers To 7 Cliché Interview Questions

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Man shaking woman's hand after a job interview

By Heather Huhman

Throughout your career, you will participate in many, many job interviews. In all of these interviews, you will hear a few questions time and time again: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire you? Even though these questions are incredibly cliché, there’s a reason so many interviewers rely on them.

Your answers to the cliché questions say a lot about you. They can make or break your chance at landing the job.

It’s essential to prepare original answers for the cliché questions you know you’ll hear at your next job interview.

The strongest answers are unique and will give you a leg up in the competition.

Here are seven of the most cliché interview questions and how to answer them with originality:

 

  1. Tell me about yourself.

Employers will often begin the interview with this one. Because it’s so vague, this answer needs to be prepared ahead of time. You can answer using your elevator speech. Talk briefly about three areas of your career: job history, most impressive accomplishments, and relevant goals. Your interviewer already has your resume, so rather than memorizing your background, you need to expand on what makes you different and emphasize your passion. Keep it concise.

  1. Why do you want to work here?

This question will show hiring managers if you’ve done your research before the interview. You should enter the interview knowing background information about the company, recent news surrounding the company and industry, and specific details about the position. Understand the company culture and mission. Use what you learn to highlight the detailed reasons you want the job and why your background makes you a perfect fit for the company.

  1. What are your biggest strengths?

Your strengths and weaknesses tend to be paired together by interviewers, so have answers for both. When it comes to your strengths, you need to tailor your answers to the job description. In addition to a laundry list of responsibilities, job descriptions will often list soft skills required for the role. If you have these qualities, list them as your greatest strengths in the interview. It’s not enough, however, to say your biggest strength is your ability to communicate. You need to show them why by telling a story that showcases a time when you used your skills to accomplish a goal.

  1. What is your biggest weakness?

On the flip side come your weaknesses. This one is tough because it’s easy to give a cliché answer. Avoid giving a strength disguised as a weakness like, “I’m a perfectionist.” Interviewers know this is a cop-out. Instead, choose a real weakness, and put a positive spin on it. Talk about the fact that you realize it’s a problem, and discuss the ways you’re working to improve. For example, “I tend to rush through tasks because I want to get them done quickly, but I am learning to step back and put a bit more emphasis on quality than speed. I’ve started to become both efficient and effective.”

  1. Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?

Your answer to this question should demonstrate your desire to commit to the job and grow within the company. Talk about how you want to learn everything you can and expand your skills to benefit the company. Mention your desire to move up in the company over time. Explain you want this job to be the start of a long career with the company.

  1. How do you handle conflict?

When interviewers ask this (or similar questions about teamwork, leadership, etc.), they are looking for you to describe specific examples of your experience. Describe a time when you faced conflict in the workplace. Explain the situation, how you handled it, and the results. Don’t forget to tell the story from start to finish to show how you accomplished your goal.

  1. Why should we hire you?

This question might be one of the last things you’re asked in an interview. Like #1, it’s pretty vague, so have an answer prepared. Talk about your best skills and accomplishments that show why you, and you alone, are the perfect person for the position. Use specific details from the job description, and emphasize why you are capable of doing them best. If you’re not asked this question, you might be asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?” Use the same principles to answer this question. End your interview by proving why you’re the only person for the job.

Even though all of these questions are cliché, you can use them to shine in your interview. The fact that they’re so cliché is an opportunity. Expect to be asked these questions and answer them with stories tailored to make you the best candidate.

Source: Glassdoor

2020 Hot Jobs

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African American woman working on her laptop

Looking for the next big thing? Here are some of the hottest jobs for 2020.

Application Software Developers

Annual Wage: $103,620

Entry-level education: bachelor’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 24 percent (much faster than average)

Application software developers develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device.

Biomedical Engineers

Annual wage: $88,550

Entry-level education: bachelor’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 7 percent (as fast as average)

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

Carpenters

Annual wage: $46,590

Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 8 percent (as fast as average)

Carpenters construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures made from wood and other materials.

Genetic Counselors

Annual wage: $80,370

Entry-level education: master’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 29 percent (much faster than average)

Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They provide information and support to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.

Home Health Aides

Annual wage: $24,200

Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 41 percent (much faster than average)

Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

Nurse Practitioners

Annual wage: $113,930

Entry-level education: master’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 31 percent (much faster than average)

Nurse practitioners coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

Solar Energy Technicians

Annual wage: $42,680

Entry-level education: high school diploma or equivalent

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 105 percent (much faster than average)

Solar energy technicians or Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, also known as PV installers, assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.

Statisticians

Annual wage: $87,780

Entry-level education: master’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 33 percent (much faster than average)

Statisticians analyze data and apply statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

Physical Therapist Assistants

Annual wage: $58,040

Entry-level education: associate’s degree

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 30 percent (much faster than average)

Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain.

Wind Turbine Technicians

Annual wage: $54,370

Entry-level education: postsecondary nondegree award

Job outlook from 2016–2026: 96 percent (much faster than average)

Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.

Source: bls.gov

6 things to consider when choosing a job interview outfit

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Women job interview

While it may seem like the interview suit is a thing of the past, a fair number of hiring managers may disagree.

In a new Accountemps survey of senior managers, the overwhelming majority (94%) said what you wear to a job interview matters. But managers were split on how to get the attire right. More than one-third said candidates should always wear formal suits, while an almost equal number said it all depends on the position or department at the company.

Figuring out just how formally to dress can be tricky, because industries and companies vary wildly when it comes to what people wear to work, says Michael Steinitz, senior executive director for professional staffing services at Robert Half and the global executive director of Accountemps. If you show up completely out of step with company norms, you could risk leaving the impression that you’re not a cultural fit.

“Depending on that dress code, we still recommend, and what hiring managers tend to say is, you don’t necessarily have to be a 100% match, but maybe one step above,” he says.

Determining what “one step above” might mean is another challenge, though. And even that might not be right for very conservative industries. So, before you attempt to plan your dress for a successful interview, keep these six tips in mind:

1. GET MORE INFORMATION
Today, you have more options than ever to do some sleuthing beforehand, says image consultant Sylvie di Giusto, author of The Image of Leadership. If you’re working with a recruiter, ask that person for some insight about what to wear. Look into industry norms; dressing for a job as a financial analyst will likely be different than dressing for a job as a retail buyer or creative director.

Geography may also play a role in what you wear. The Accountemps survey found that, in New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C., more than half of hiring managers (54%) want to see you in a suit when you show up for an interview. The size of the company may matter, too: 40% of managers at companies with more than 250 employees prefer suited candidates, while just 31% of managers at organizations with 20 to 99 employees expect to see you dress formally for an interview.

Get some insight by checking out the company website and social media accounts. Consult websites and social media accounts of industry events that company employees have attended to get a sense of what people wear in different environments. You have various avenues available to gather information, di Giusto says. Use them.

2. DRESS “ASPIRATIONALLY”
You want the people interviewing you to see you as capable of doing the job for which you’re being hired and then some. “Your appearance is your logo,” says Sheila A. Anderson, founder of Image Power Play, an image branding agency, and author of I.C.U.: The Comprehensive Guide to Breathing Life Back Into Your Personal Brand. “Your clothing is the first filter. It gives clues to what you believe in. Think of the clothes you wear in terms of visual data. They help others makes sense of who you are and what you stand for.”

So, think about the requirements of the job you’re seeking, and dress to be appropriate for the most professional circumstances you’ll face. For example, will you be going on sales calls to new clients? Show up as you would for such meetings. You want the hiring manager to feel comfortable that you’ll represent the company well, Anderson says.

3. CHOOSE CLOTHES THAT FIT
It may be tempting to reach for the old standby outfit, but if it’s too big or small, that may be a mistake. The importance of wearing clothes that fit you can’t be overstated, Anderson says. If your clothes are too big or long, they may look sloppy. If they’re too tight, they may be unflattering and make you uncomfortable, which can be distracting and have a negative effect on interview performance or body language.

4. MIND THE DETAILS
Regardless of how formally you dress, details matter, Anderson says. Clothes should be neat and pressed. Avoid scuffed shoes, pilled sweaters, or clothes with other signs of wear and tear.

And, while some suggest wearing a memorable statement piece, di Giusto advises caution here: “On the one hand, I say yes, you can show your personality.” That may mean a great silk pocket square in a suit, a pop of color on your socks, or a great piece of jewelry to show your creativity and style. But, if the piece is too over the top, it could backfire. Opt for tasteful instead of attention-getting.

5. REFLECT YOUR STYLE
This generally isn’t the time to test out a whole new look or a style that isn’t comfortable for you, Anderson says. Buying a very on-trend outfit that isn’t really representative of who you are could leave your interviewer with the wrong impression. “Stand out for who you are not with what you are wearing. You want the interviewer to focus on you and not be distracted by what you have on,” she says. At the same time, update your look to reflect trends. Choose cuts of clothing and shoes that reflect a modern style.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Meet NBMBAA’s New President & CEO: Kay Wallace

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Kay Wallace of the National Black MBA Association stands with a dress suit on in front of a NBMBAA logo filled canvas for picture taking

Kay Wallace lives by the quote, “Results. Period.” The new president and CEO of the National Black MBA Association—which just held its 41st Annual Conference and Exposition in Houston, Texas—is all about achieving results.

Black EOE Journal attended the action-packed conference in September and had the pleasure of speaking with Wallace about her goals as new president of NBMBAA.

Tell us about your background and how you became the new president of NBMBAA.
I have a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. My experience is in strategy and operations. I was the deputy chief operating officer of the Atlanta Olympic Games, and worked for Coca-Cola in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. I’ve worked for McKinsey & Company and Dow Chemical, have had experiences inside and outside of the U.S., and have worked for nonprofit startups, which is all part of my background before coming to National Black MBA.

What are your goals for NBMBAA, now that you’re the new president?
Meeting the needs of our 16,000 members is [goal] number one. That we’re providing products, services and programs that are relevant to them. We are always engaging in conversations with them, about what they need and what will be of value to them. Number two—the organization is going into our 50th anniversary next year, and we want to make sure that not only do we celebrate where we’ve been, but we also take that same celebration to where we’re going. That is part of my vision for the organization— to be clear about what we’re going to do to make sure there are more black people in corporate America, that there are more entrepreneurs and that we are also building and retaining wealth within black families. Education, development and wealth generation—those are three parts of our mission that we’ve been focusing on in the last 50 years and will continue to do so.

Why do you think it’s important for students to join NBMBAA?
Fifty years ago, this organization was created out of a need. That need still exists today because in a lot of places in corporate America, there’s still very few of us, meaning black people. Students should look into joining this organization because it is made up of people who have been where you’re going. Some of them are still there, so they can provide the same things to you. Students can network with people who know and understand what they may experience. Then bring together those experiences for professional development. You can do it at your chapter and then nationally when we come together for Conference, where you are going to meet thousands of people like yourself—that is very powerful.

What advice would you give to a student looking for their next job or career at the expo?
The first question I would have to ask is, “What is your vision? What do you want?” Because what has to be talked about is within the context of what their desires are. Once I understand that, I’ll be looking at the 170 companies on the career floor that can provide opportunities to meet their needs. Sometimes we find that students will be thinking about their major, but not all the companies they can work for are based on their degree. They may have their sights set on a particular industry, like a marketing company. A student may say, “I’m in marketing, I want to work for Coca-Cola, or I want to work for Pepsi.” But when you broaden their vision to understand that there’s marketing in everything, all of a sudden, companies out of the 170 that they weren’t considering, they [now] realize they can interview there. I would then ask them, “Is there an entrepreneurial opportunity for you here? If your vision is to own your own company, then think about what’s the best company to work for, that will allow you to learn while you’re there so you’re able to start your own without starting from scratch.”

To learn about the National Black MBA Association, visit nbmbaa.org

The Key Job Search Skill You Never Knew You Needed

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Professional Black Man Standing Outside the Office

As a job seeker, you need to develop an important set of new skills. Job search requires self-promotion! You must learn how to think like a marketer and learn the basics of selling!

Why? Because you are selling… you.

By Hannah Morgan

It is going to take a lot more to separate yourself from the other candidates looking for the same job you are. And because hiring managers need to be able to justify every expense and see a return on their investment.

Hiring a new employee is one of the greater risks employers take. Make it easy for your future hiring manager. Explain how they will benefit financially from hiring you.

Self-promotion skills pros have mastered: People with a background in sales understand basic sales principles and know how to build a sales funnel. They understand lead generation. Job seekers are sales professionals and should understand what the job duties are in their new role. Self-promotion is merely applying those principles to one’s self.

The responsibilities of a sales professional closely mirror those of a job seeker:

  • Develop new and manage existing relationships
  • Perform prospecting on the phone and in person
  • Strategically manage online and offline brand promotion
  • Increase contact volume and enhance awareness in the community
  • Plan and implement a marketing strategy/campaign
  • Write strong technical and marketing materials
  • Monitor activities and performance

Identify leads. Just as sales professionals must identify the companies who need their product or service, you must identify companies who could use your services.

Sales professionals develop a large pipeline of potential customers, not just those who have an immediate need. Their prospective customer is anyone who could potentially use their product. The million-dollar question is: How?

They find new ways to identify customers. One way is by identifying similar products they may use. In your case, look at companies who already employ people who do what you do. Search LinkedIn for job titles and see which companies have your job. Or you could look at what companies are doing. Are they growing? Did they win a new contract? You can identify companies that will for the problem your services solve.

Once you have identified these targets, create a sales pitch for each individual company based on what they would gain by using your service.

Brand promotion. As you know, you have a personal brand or personal reputation. Self-promotion means strategically managing this and promoting it within the community. Salesmen go to trade shows, industry events, and local events. Likewise, you should seek opportunities to attend and perhaps even speak at events in your area of expertise. Get out of the house! And don’t forget to build a reputation online.

Strong communication skills. Every email, pitch, and proposal a salesperson sends and every conversation determines whether they will close the sale or not. Learn how to write and speak clearly and concisely. Write your message so that a prospective employer can see your value. In other words, explain the benefits of hiring you, not just your features (skills and abilities).

Have a strategy you can measure. A self-promotion strategy is more than applying to every job that looks interesting. Purposely focus on companies and people who you know could use your services. We call this target marketing and it happens in advance of a job posting. Are you measuring these activities?

  • How many people did you reach out to this week?
  • How many jobs did you apply to?
  • Did you have any interviews this week?
  • How many hours did it take you to do all this?

Have you ever seen a sales professional’s weekly progress report? These are the kinds of metrics they are asked to track. You should, too.

Thick skin. The one attribute salespeople have, which will serve you well, is the ability to deal with rejection. It is part of their job, and you will experience it, too.

Salespeople realize that not every opportunity becomes a sale. As a job seeker, not every lead or every interview will translate into a job offer. Be prepared for this. Learn how to cope with the fact you may never know the real reason you weren’t selected for a job.

Just keep moving forward, adapting your self-promotion strategies to favor those that are successful.

Source: Careersherpa.net

Make Your Resume Stand Out with This One Skill

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professional woman at work

Most applicants don’t know that businesses are looking to fill positions with individuals who are leaders—people who aren’t afraid to take charge, organize, and grow with the company.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that administrative assistant positions will grow at a slower-than-average rate of just 3 percent between the years 2014 and 2024. For a position whose prospects could stagnate over time, it’s more important than ever for applicants to set themselves apart, both in person and on their resumes. By including leadership skills and experience on your applications, you’ll indicate to employers that you’re someone who will exceed expectations and help their business thrive. Here are a few ways to demonstrate leadership on your resume and in your role.

Take initiative

The easiest way to demonstrate leadership as an administrative assistant is by showing initiative. For instance, if an old filing system isn’t the most productive method, don’t continue using it—take the initiative to create and implement your own improved version. Proposing solutions to your manager for problems they may not even be aware of is a great way to showcase your creative thinking, project management skills, and assertiveness; even if they don’t approve a project, they’ll remember the unprompted initiative you took when new problems arise.

Another example: if you’re put in charge of scheduling a meeting, take the initiative to see the smaller details through—finding space, ordering food, ensuring that all technology is working, etc. Think about how you can go above and beyond your standard duties to let employers know that you’re thoughtful and don’t always need to be told what to do; after all, the mark of a leader is leading!

Communicate

Good leaders are effective communicators. Since many of the tasks of administrative assistants involve working closely with other employees, having strong communication skills ensures that all interactions and transactions are clear. This includes having proper email etiquette—written communication is even more common than verbal for administrative assistants. Listen attentively, but don’t be afraid to ask clarification questions if something isn’t obvious; the last thing you want is to inadvertently cause trouble for your manager, team, or company. Effective communication across all methods can also help build an effective rapport between you and your supervisor, expediting tasks in the future.

Be adaptable

The best leaders don’t boss people around—they adapt to different people’s different personalities and working styles. As an administrative assistant, you’ll be interacting with a multitude of people on different teams, in different departments, and often at other companies, each with their own quirks. Good leaders are adaptable, and they’ll be able to recognize personality differences and work with them rather than against them, making sure everyone’s needs are met. Good communication skills (including being a good listener) are key to adaptability.

How to include leadership on your resume

When composing your administrative assistant application, you may not know how to convey leadership skills and experience, especially if you haven’t previously held a leadership position. As a workaround, think about times when you showed initiative, facilitated communication, or demonstrated adaptability, perhaps on previous projects or as part of other groups. What steps did you take to help a project come to fruition successfully? How did you mediate communication between two groups, or change tactics when it was clear one wasn’t working? Even in the absence of formal leadership positions, there are so many ways to show you’ve got what it takes to thrive as an administrative assistant.

Leadership is a multi-faceted skill comprised of a wide array of valuable personal qualities; putting them on your resume tells potential employers that you’ll be an asset to their company, and they’ll also help you advance into positions with more responsibility in the future.

Source: By CareerBuilder

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