All Articles Tagged "career advancement"
Just fed up with your job. Well, it might be time to make a change. According to Huffington Post financial columnist James Altucher, Managing Director of Formula Capital, the are “10 Reasons To Quit Your Job This Year.” We take a look at a few of them.
Is your job obsolete? It might be time to move on and find a new field or learn a new skill. “Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now,” notes Altucher.
You just aren’t appreciated by the corporate higher ups. You are loyal to the company, do your best to promote yourself and the firm but it is not appreciated. Your branching out is seen as an affront rather than an asset.
Money really won’t buy you happiness. Just because you make a lot of money, it doesn’t mean the job is for you. “In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want — freedom from financial worry,” writes Altucher. “Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.”
Not finding that your job fulfills your needs? Then it might be time to find one that does. Altucher advises to ask yourself: “Are your physical needs, your emotional needs, your mental needs, and your spiritual needs being satisfied?”
Your retirement plan won’t give you enough to, well, retire. With 401(K)s, according to Altucher, no matter how much you set aside due to inflation you will have to sacrifice many luxuries in your retirement age. “The only retirement plan is to Choose Yourself. To start a business or a platform or a lifestyle where you can put big chunks of money away,” he advises.
In other words, if you can find a reason why a job isn’t for you that speaks to your financial or emotional well-being, it’s time to start making moves.
The “lean in” discussion has gone into overdrive. Among the countless debates about whether “leaning in” is a good thing is whether or not it can apply to African-American women (our take) and other female sub-groups. A new study actually says “leaning in” isn’t always the answer for female executives with children.
Research released this month on women in “men’s jobs” in the journal Gender & Society found that “leaning in” is not the same for everyone. And that working overtime to compete with the big boys just doesn’t cut it for every woman.
According to a press release, it confirms that “overwork,” which is defined as working more than 50 hours per week, has become the norm for many Americans, but it has different affects on men and women.
“Over the past thirty years, hours at work—especially in higher income jobs—have increased, and over one-third of men and nearly one-fifth of women in professions work more than a 50-hour week,” found Gender & Society. The report theorized that overwork contributes to the “stalled gender revolution,” resulting in a lack of equality in the workplace. This goes contrary to the “lean in” campaign that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has launched, which is focused on the idea that hard-working women will get equal pay and opportunities.
In “Overwork and the Persistence of Gender Segregation in Occupations,” Indiana University sociologist Youngjoo Cha writes that overwork affects men and women differently—especially in fields where there are a lot more men than women to begin with.
According to Dr. Cha, working mothers were 52 percent more likely than other women to leave their jobs if they were working a 50-hour week or more, but only in occupations dominated by men. But Dr. Cha did find that higher education levels make it more likely that women will stay in their jobs. However, they won’t stick around long enough to overcome the discouraging effects of being an overworked mother.
On the other hand, men (fathers or not) and women without children were not more likely to leave their jobs in overworked fields.
The workload hits mothers because, notes Dr. Cha, women continue to have a larger share of the caregiving responsibilities. “Overwork disadvantages women with children in particular. In overworking workplaces, you have to be there or be on call all the time. That expectation can be met by people who have few care giving or community responsibilities and who are not primary caregivers at home,” said Dr. Cha in the report.
Male-dominated professions are more likely to maintain inflexible expectations of overwork, found Dr. Cha. “In my study, not all women with children leave the labor force. When they work long hours, it is the combination of being a mother, working long hours, and being in a male dominated profession that is discouraging,” says Dr. Cha.
As a college student or recent college graduate, the best you can expect from an internship is a decent boss and no more than two coffee runs per day; basic tasks that seem to revolve around the copy machine come with the territory. You spend most of your time just hoping to get one good assignment that will lead to a solid recommendation and a trip out of the internship world. But the world of internships is quickly changing. More and more, older (read 30 and over) men and women are applying for and receiving internships. Although some are saying this as the ultimate downgrade, those folks are wrong.
Interning in your thirties and forties is an incredibly smart career move. As a more seasoned employee you’ll be an asset to the company. Here are five pros of being an older intern, as well as a few tips to make your internship work for you, not the other way around.
1. You’re More Experienced
This isn’t your first time around. You know what to expect in an office setting and can avoid making some of the classic intern mistakes. (Can anyone say flip flops at work?) Your general know-how and inside knowledge of workplace culture will easily make you a go-to in the office.
2. You’re More Confident
This pro builds off of the previous one. Younger interns are generally afraid of making mistakes or being too assertive. Wisdom comes with years, and so does confidence. You don’t have time for games you know exactly what you want. Your confidence allows others to have confidence in you. Have an honest conversation with your supervisor and tell them want you’re looking to get out of this internship. They’ll respect your confidence and will keep you in mind for key projects that could help you get to that next step.
3. Internships Are Flexible
Internships tend to be more flexible. You can set your own hours and generally work at your own pace. Unfortunately, internships also tend to be unpaid so if that’s the case make sure you have your priorities straight. When you’re in the office give 100% but you can’t be in the office 100% of the time for little to no pay. If you are making the choice to do an unpaid internship pursue grants and other forms of funding. There are a lot of organizations out there that will pay for your living expenses while you work an unpaid internship provided that you write a good proposal.
4. Great For A New Career & Re-entering The Workforce After A Hiatus
If you’re starting a new career, an internship is a great way to get a feel for the work culture and type of work you’ll be doing. Internships, or this case, “returnships,” are also great for those returning to the workforce. If you choose to leave the workforce to raise your children, I would absolutely recommend pursuing a part-time internship just to stay in the loop.
5. Your Life/Career Experience Makes You More Valuable.
The final reason why older interns tend to be better interns is because they just know more. Previous work and life experience make older interns more versatile and useful. For those switching careers, your past skills are your biggest strength. No matter what the switch is. I recently met a woman that was switching from elementary education to accounting. Her experiences as an elementary school teacher, though not immediately obvious, were vital for her new career. She was incredibly vigilant, organized, and creative (you have to be when you’re responsible for 30 some-odd kids.) All of these skills made her wonderful accountant and miles ahead of the younger interns.
Don’t be ashamed to take what you may at first view as a step back to an internship. Yes, the money is not as good but the experience is invaluable. As long as you know you’re strengths, verbalize them, and don’t get stuck behind the copy machine, your internship experience will catapult you to your next big career at any age.
When it comes to your career, what are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish? One goal that should be at the top of your list is to get better and better at what you do. After all, it would be kinda odd to want to be at the same place you are at in the next 10 to 20 years without growth or advancing your skill set.
In life, you always want to set the standard and strive for excellence. We only have one life to live so it’s important we make the most of it and work to be the best we can be. Maximize your potential in what you do to inspire others to achieve success. Should you need a push to get you started, here are some ideas you should consider.
Everyone is talking about Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” movement, but there are some people who aren’t leaning into anything.
The entertainment media has been abuzz with the rumor that Janet Jackson was quitting show business to devote her time to being a wife to her new hubby, billionaire Wissam Al Mana. (The two apparently married last year in a very private ceremony. So private, her family wasn’t invited.) Al Mana is a Qatar native who works in his family’s Middle-East-based Al Mana Retail Group. Janet Jackson is, of course, Janet Jackson. Although this may seem like a throwback to another generation, there still are many women who put their careers on hold or leave them behind in favor being a housewife and/or the primary caregiver for the children. Here are a few modern examples from New York magazine.
According to a partnered survey co-sponsored by ForbesWoman and TheBump.com released a few months ago, a growing number of women see staying home to raise children (while a partner provides financial support) to be something they strive to achieve. According to our survey, 84 percent of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to, reports Forbes.
“I have never regretted or even questioned the decision my husband and I made that I would be the primary caretaker for my children and he would be the primary financial supporter. When we met we were both doing the same job and I retreated to a lesser role in my professional career,” says Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams, founder and owner of TTW Counseling Services, which specializes in behavioral therapy, academic advisement, and life coaching. “I do not regret this decision because I had three mixed-race children in an affluent private school of non-whites and it was good to be present to help my children navigate this challenging environment and also be able be very visible at the school and involved in school events.“
Williams says she believes it is nearly impossible for women to give equally to a career and a happy home — that one will receive less attention. “I consider myself a mother and career woman, but I believe some women do not accept the reality that you cannot do both equally successfully while your children are of a certain age,” explains Williams.
Women need to prioritize, she says. “If you must absolutely be the major bread-winner, then hire the absolute best child care assistant possible,” notes Williams. “If you are making the money, then you can afford to spend on responsible, reliable nannies.”
If you are juggling office and home, try to come up with creative solutions and compromises, advises Williams. “If you are a business owner, make allowances for child care on site,” she suggests. “When my children were young, I had a huge private office that was set up with games, blankets, TV and Barney tapes. The nanny accompanied my children to my office and during lunch I would go to the park across the street and spend precious time with them.”
Everyone is looking for a little career advancement. Most of that depends on doing good, quality work. But there are other things you can do to get noticed, express your interest in different professional avenues, and otherwise set yourself up for a raise or promotion.
We outline a few tactics and strategies in the following pages, and we’d love to hear any success stories you have. The comments section is open.
But let’s start with the very basics: You must first enjoy the profession you’re in. You have to find value in your work, like doing the tasks that the job calls for, and aspire to reach the top. If you’re not feeling your job or the industry, there’s no amount of strategizing that’s going to make things better.
Madeleine Albright once said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” While I certainly wouldn’t assume that “special place” is reserved for just women, in general I don’t understand people who don’t help other people.
You know the type. They’ve reached a certain place of success in their career and instead of being forthcoming with well-meaning advice and support for others trying to reach that same success, they’re nasty to the people who would dare ask them for a helping hand. If you’re this type, I’d like to present a modified Golden Rule:
Do unto others as others have done unto you (and, please, don’t pretend no one has ever helped you).
In the history of “The Struggle Bus” there have been many passengers. The great thing about life, however, is that you never know what a day may bring. One day, you’re still in the struggle, working hard to get your foot in the door, trying to make ends meet, hoping someone will return your call and then one day, something pans out and “voila!” you’re off the bus. So-called regular Joes hit it big in their own personal lottery of life every day by securing their dream job, getting that byline in a national magazine, finally being promoted or some other career success they’ve worked hard to achieve.
However, what too often goes unmentioned in the oft-repeated story of their success is the fact that while they were still in the struggle, someone helped them along the way. Maybe this person was available for advice, or passed along their name for a job opportunity, or took a chance on them and gave them a position. One of my favorite stories about this is Harrison Ford’. When he was a struggling actor, he became a self-taught carpenter to pay the bills. At 29, he got a supporting role in George Lucas’ American Graffiti. How did he get the part? He was hired to build cabinets in George’s house. Later, at the age of 35, he became a bonafide star after playing Hans Solo in Star Wars, created by that same George Lucas.
There are all sorts of instances when a person was lent a helping hand, but unfortunately, it seems that people who once took someone else’s hand up conveniently forget about that and now refuse to reach a hand down.
Not only do they refuse to reach out a hand, they go on extended rants via social media about the fact that someone had the nerve to approach them for advice. We get it. Twitter is not the best way to contact someone. However, in this day and age, it’s definitely legitimate. And if you’re a power user (aka someone who spends all day tweeting), then why act genuinely surprised that someone would actually notice your presence and thus attempt to contact you that way? Sure, you can choose not to have certain conversations in 140-characters or less, but to be upset that someone who obviously admires your success tries to talk to you via Twitter when you’re Tweeting all day anyway is just bizarre. The same goes for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, FourSquare, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and whatever other social media outlet we’re all using these days. When someone contacts you via social media, that’s called being resourceful – especially when your email address is inexplicably secret like you’re the President of the United States (as though an email from a young lady wanting advice is worse than the umpteenth email from Shoedazzle asking you to “view your showroom” currently filling your inbox).
Do people come incorrect? Absolutely. But maybe some should remember their own struggles, look past the method and respond to the message. Instead of, in true “I walked three miles to school barefoot in two feet of snow” fashion, saying that when they were coming up, they would have never Facebook messaged someone about something professional. Honestly, “So what?” Things are different now, and social media places opportunities within arm’s length that were once unheard of. Social media has revolutionized everything — including the job search.
Truthfully, I don’t think it’s about the method of contact anyway. Some people genuinely do not have any interest in helping anyone but themselves. Unfortunately, what these people fail to realize is that assisting others in their success can further their own.
Oprah Winfrey is a great example of this truth. Since Oprah left the talk show business, many have said Ellen is her replacement. I disagree. Sure, Ellen is fun and her talk show is informative. But what made Oprah “Oprah” was not just the fact that she could talk to people, but Oprah launched careers. Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, Rachael Ray, Carol’s Daughters, Tyler Perry, countless authors and more received some assistance from Oprah to get to where they are today. While there will be other talk show hosts, for now, no one has helped others’ careers the way Oprah has and Oprah is famous for that and continues to wield considerable influence today.
Also a good argument for not being rude to other people who you apparently view as “less than” you? Fortunes can change in an instant. You never know who will be sitting across the hiring desk from you…or your child. What a shame for those who have forgotten the struggle to be rudely reminded by being unceremoniously thrust back into it.
I’d like to think that the people I’ve witnessed being epic jerks to others who look to them for help were just having a bad day. I’d like to think that’s not truly how they would treat someone who is in the place they were in not too long ago. I may be thinking too highly of some though and maybe there really are women who make a habit of not helping other women. I wouldn’t go as far as Ms. Albright and say they’re going to hell, but I will say I hope I am never that woman.
What do you think? Have you ever noticed people who “forget the struggle” and thus seem annoyed when others ask for help? Do you think people who have some semblance of success should even try to help others? Do you think it’s okay to reach out via social media to people you’d like to get to know professionally?
Tags:career advancement, helping other professionally, helping someone else's career, helping women in the workplace, looking for jobs on social media, professionally networking on Twitter, remember the struggle, special place in hell for women who don't help other women, why don't people help others
Workplace diversity programs are a great concept in theory. But too often, African-American women are left out of the mix when it comes to developing new corporate leadership. Look around and you will now see more and more women leading major companies — from Marissa Mayer at Yahoo! to HP’s Meg Whitman to Time Inc.’s Laura Lang — but strikingly absent are African Americans. Some black men have reached the top as well — Kenneth Chenault, who has been the CEO of AMEX (American Express) since 2001; Richard Parsons, a former chairman of Citigroup and the former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner; and Don Thompson, the new president and CEO of McDonald’s, among others. There is but one black woman who head a Fortune 500 company: Ursula Burns of Xerox.
“Most Fortune 100 companies have employee affinity groups to foster leadership development. Over the years, partly because of their high numbers, white women have tended to dominate the women’s groups, while men have tended to dominate the Latino, Asian, or African-American groups. Women of color have seldom been able to rise in either group,” says Susan E. Reed, author of the award-winning book, The Diversity Index: The Alarming Truth About Diversity in Corporate America…and What Can Be Done About It.
One reason black women are missing is that they aren’t in corporate settings as much, notes Reed. “Some studies have shown that college-educated African-American women tend to choose occupations that focus on communities, such as social work or governmental jobs instead of business,” she tells us. “Secondly, the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements raised consciousness about ‘people of color’ and ‘women.’ These categories were replicated in corporate affinity groups… For a Latina woman to fit into the boxes, she has to join two affinity groups at work, the women’s group and the Latino group. She has to put in twice the amount of time and feel like a minority in each setting.”
And the exclusion of African-American women, adds diversity and inclusion expert Lenora Billings-Harris, might just be an oversight. “I do believe that it is frequently unintentional that women of color are left out of that loop. Also, the leaders who on the surface want women of color [to be included] are not aware of the micro messages they send to women of color — that women of color are not leadership material or that they don’t ‘fit,’ which essentially translates that you are not quite enough like us,” she says. “The leaders, presumably male leaders and most presumably white male leaders need to be willing to lean into their discomfort around interacting with women of color and to interact without judgement. To listen more and to ask questions in order to develop real professional relationships with women of color not only in their corporations but outside as well. ” Billings-Harris also says black woman too must interact more and give feedback to their bosses about being excluded.
Changing the Workplace Culture
Even though the obstacles are there and the hurdles are hard to overcome, in order to make this change women of color have to be more persistent. “The first challenge is to stay in the corporate game. For at least the past 25 years, more African-American women have graduated with college degrees in business than African-American men have. But black men have developed their business majors into their careers more than black women have,” Reed notes. She suggests that African-American women create their own affinity groups. “You should consider what specific awareness, positive change or increased business that you all could bring to the company that is not being contributed through the existing groups. If the women long for greater accomplishments [and] recognition, ask each other what needs to get done in the form of acquiring skills, leadership experience or notifying management in order to get the promotions,” she offers.
Billings-Harris agrees the onus is not only on the company, but African-American women executives as well. “It is time for us to go beyond the numbers and counting heads but rather get to a point to where the heads count. So women of color can help in this regard by being courageous enough to speak up and have those conversations with the leaders throughout their organization,” she says in an interview. “My point is rather than being negatively critical, come to the table with suggestions and an open ear. If both sides are willing to listen and to teach each other how they can interact more effectively, then I think ultimately we all will win.”
It’s the one part of an interview we always forget to prepare for: “Do you have any questions for us?” We’ve prepared our answers to anything the interviewer might send our way. But then we choke, with nothing to ask in return, making it look as if we’ve done no research about the position, or even the company. Be prepared for that last crucial moment with these questions:
Things aren’t as they used to be in the work world. You aren’t instantly given a promotion simply because you stuck around for a certain number of years. Often, companies go ahead and hire someone from the outside, who is already prepared for the position ahead of yours. Or, they just aren’t paying attention and don’t realize how advancing anyone could benefit them. So you have to show them.