All Articles Tagged "employment"
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to get a new job? The job market right now is highly competitive so any little help you can get is necessary to land a new position.
According to Forbes, “The most in-demand jobs for the new year might be rooted in the booming computer industry, but it’s not only technical and programming chops that prospective hires should be showcasing.”
1) Critical Thinking: It is important to be able to use logic and reasoning to find solutions to problems at work or to tackle challenging projects.
2) Complex Problem Solving: This is different from critical thinking in that it involves “identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions,” explains Forbes. This is the ability to take action after the “critical thinking” process.
3) Judgment and Decision-Making: This is the ability to weigh the pros and cons of a situation and then making the appropriate decision.
4) Active Listening: Many people have trouble with this skill. Instead of hearing only what you want to hear, listen closely to what someone is saying. According to the magazine, this is “[g]iving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting.”
5) Computers and Electronics: Do you possess the knowledge of “circuit boards, processors, electronic equipment and computer hardware including applications and programs.” This one is a unique skill, but if you have an interest in it, it could pay off.
Other key skills that are in demand, include operations and systems analysis, computer programming, and sales and marketing.
With just over 5.4 million people receiving some type of unemployment benefit the week ended December 1, according to the Washington Post, many of them will be looking for a job in the coming weeks. Extras skills will help you stand out from the crowd — and it may mean going back to school to get them.
Looking for a job like the 12.1 million other Americans who are unemployed? Using data from job search engine Simply Hired, Forbes has compiled a list of the companies that are currently hiring the most. So dust off that resume and go for it. Here are the top five places, ranked by the most job openings.
1) AT&T: 35,479 job openings. The telecommunications giant is looking to fill retail positions, sales spots, and management jobs, among others.
2) Family Dollar Stores: 23,769 listings. The price-point retail chain is looking for store managers, customer service representatives, human resources coordinators, and more.
3) Toys “R” Us: 17,073 new slots. Like the other retailers, Toys “R” Us is bringing on thousands of part-time seasonal workers right now.
4) Kindred Healthcare: 14,233 job openings. All are full-time positions.
5) Best Buy: 13,979 postings. About half of these openings are for part-time, seasonal, contract or temporary positions.
Dreams of retiring early are becoming nightmares. According to a new study, Americans feel they won’t be able to retire—at all. “Thirty percent of middle-class Americans, or nearly one in three, say they plan to work until their 80s because they can’t afford to retire earlier,” reports The Huffington Post. This means people are planning to work their entire lives—as the average American dies at age 78, according to the World Bank.
Harris Interactive on behalf of Wells Fargo surveyed 1,000 Americans about their retirement goals. The middle class is basically disappearing, say some experts, leaving little room for people to save for retirement. “The U.S.’ real median household income, at just $50,054, is roughly at the same level where it was in 1989. While worker productivity has risen 69 percent since 1979, median hourly compensation rose just 6.5 percent during the same time period, according to the Economic Policy Institute,” write HuffPo.
Americans seem to feel they won’t have enough to retire on. And this may be true. Americans need about $1 million in retirement savings to maintain a decent standard of living in retirement, according to Kiplinger.
And even if workers do retire from one job, most say they plan on getting another. “Thirty-nine percent of middle-class Americans said in the Wells Fargo survey that they plan to work in retirement out of financial necessity, according to the survey,” states the article.
There are ways, however, to try to save for retirement even if you have a low income, according to US News & World Report:
- Set up a direct deposit. Have a portion of each paycheck automatically deposited into a 401(k), IRA, savings, or investment account.
- Redirect your tax refund and tax break. If you don’t need your tax refund for immediate expenses or debts, consider saving a portion of it for retirement.
- Take advantage of tax breaks. Saving in a retirement account has the added bonus of reducing your current or future taxes.
- Don’t spend your savings early. Once you begin to build a nest egg, try not to spend any of it before retirement.
What’s your Klout score? If you don’t know, you should, because potential employers are following the scores for job candidates.
For those who haven’t event checked their score yet, you should. Klout is a “company that provides social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across his or her social network.” Your score can range between 1 and 100 and is based on various factors such as how many Twitter followers you have, how many retweets you receive, the number of “likes” on your Facebook status updates and recommendations on LinkedIn, among other things.
These scores may seem arbitrary, but employers are taking them into consideration when interviewing candidates. According to The Root, “San Francisco-based company Salesforce.com recently came under scrutiny for a job listing that required, among other things, a minimum Klout score of 35.” According to TechCrunch, Klout is reaching out to employers encouraging them to use Klout as a consideration when hiring.
To get your Klout score, you have to register and create a profile with Klout.com. The site even gives tips on how to boost your score.
Whether you’re popular in your virtual life seems to be an odd way to determine your capability of doing a job, and some have taken issue with just how scientific Klout’s measurements are. But this may be the wave of the future in this age of social media.
USA Today has examined employment data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, finding that workers are getting more benefits these days, but less cold, hard cash in their paychecks.
Figures from the BEA show that worker benefits accounted for 19.7 percent of compensation last year, up from 16.6 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in the 1960s. Between 2007 and 2011, income from benefits went up $1,302 per full-time worker (about 10.8 percent). But income from actual cash only went up $777, or 1.4 percent for that same period.
“In 2011, average compensation was $67,744 per full-time worker — $54,413 in wages and $13,331 in benefits, BEA data show. Benefits have grown at 2.5 times the rate of wages in the past decade,” the paper says.
The three most popular benefits are health insurance, retirement benefits and employer contributions. All of these things are great, but it doesn’t buy groceries, pay for child care, or put gas in the tank, everyday expenses that weigh heavily on the average person. To employers, who are being pressed for taxes on wages, these benefits are an alternative, but still cost money. So the two sides are a bit at odds. But workers will start to see those medical benefits on their tax forms, so they’ll have a clearer understanding of what they’re earning.
The latest weekly unemployment figures show that the number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits went up by 46,000 from the week before to about 388,000. That outcome marks a sudden spike from the past couple of weeks; the previous figures reached 4 1/2-year lows. The unemployment rate fell below eight percent (7.8 percent) for the first time since 2009. (President Obama was sure to mention that last night at the Al Smith dinner.)
Experts blame the shift on the ebb and flow of seasonal changes and a new quarter. They prefer to look at four-week numbers rather than weekly figures.
If you are looking into college soon or are planning your children’s college education, the decision of what to major in is a significant one. In today’s economy, deciding on a major could ultimately lead you to a high-paying career or lead to a profession that’s struggling.
According to a May interview between Payscale’s lead economist Katie Bardaro and Forbes, unless a candidate has attended a top-notch school, today’s employers are more concerned with relevant coursework and a potential employee’s major.
While you are preparing your research into colleges and universities, getting your SAT test scores together, or mapping out your child’s educational future, make sure you take a look at some of the most popular college majors and how they could benefit you or your child after graduation.
In a rather fortunate and risky series of events I found myself in New York City this fall (I live in Atlanta) working with the publication of my dreams! The magazine is very much respected in the hip-hop community and is even coming up on its 20th anniversary. It wasn’t easy getting to this point, but I’m more than happy to be here.
Indeed, finding your calling can be something that you’ve wanted for years or something that takes years when it comes to finding your niche. Too many people settle for what they can get to pay the bills, not because they can’t get the internship or job they want, but because they really don’t know what they want to be doing with themselves. They don’t know what direction they want to go in, and they have yet to figure out their calling–but it’s never too late!
I used to tell my sisters that my love for journalism came from when I was a kid reading hip-hop magazines and watching the news every day with our grandmother, but they could never figure out what their calling was. Sure, it can get you discouraged and even a little depressed, but you can also discover yourself and see a whole new “You” in the process. Here are some ways to find your calling.
A new online survey of more than 21,000 people found that 75 percent of working-age Americans are looking for a way to get out of their jobs.
The hiring software company Jobvite conducted the 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey, which found that 69 percent of respondents said that they were either “actively seeking” a new job or “open to” a new job. Last year, 61 percent said so.
Despite these new job dreams, more then 60 percent of respondents said they felt finding a job had become “somewhat harder” or “much harder.” Meaning they have less confidence in the job market—and they have reason to be less hopeful. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy has added approximately 146,000 jobs a month in 2012, as opposed to 153,000 a month in 2011,” reports The Huffington Post. However, the long-term trend is turning positive, with the last two jobs reports showing unemployment declines.
Nevertheless, the Jobvite survey found that people are persistently seeking new jobs — often turning to social media to do so. “It found that 88 percent maintain at least one online profile, and that when it’s time to change jobs, many use their social networking accounts to hunt for a new position,” HuffPo adds. More than half (52 percent) used Facebook to job hunt, 38 percent turned to LinkedIn and another 34 percent used Twitter to look for a new job.
Employers too are using social media to not only find new workers but to research potential employees. “In a separate 2012 Jobvite survey of recruiters, 78 percent said they would react negatively to content about illegal drug use, 66 percent felt the same way about profanity, and 54 percent would frown on sexual content” the article reports.
Five years ago, I was jet-setting across the country for work, making good money – no, make that great money. The creative, free spirit that I am was trapped in a hectic world of IT infrastructure, diagrams, wires and data. Work definitely paid the bills, but it didn’t allow me to tap into the well of creativity that existed within me. I was miserable.
The lure of a steady paycheck kept me away from what I really wanted to do. I had toyed with the idea of going back to school to earn a writing degree, but I lacked the courage to make the leap. Every time I thought about applying to a program or attending an open house for grad school, work crept up and grabbed my attention. I was consumed by the trappings of a busy corporate life. I lost myself to a corporate brand, an identity I didn’t believe in.
Then one day, opportunity knocked in the form of a layoff. It didn’t come as a total surprise. I never felt comfortable in the job. I just couldn’t get with the culture of nepotism and sleeping your way to the top. When my boss called me into the conference room to tell me I was being laid off, I wasn’t shocked or upset. I saved my tears for the trip to the parking lot, but then that didn’t last long. Panic set instead.
It took a few days for me to realize that I could use the time I now had to go back to school and pursue my dream. Sure, I was unemployed and facing the possibility of racking up student loan debt, but I looked beyond that. Losing my job afforded me something that I did not have before: time.
Fast-forward three years. I had survived a second layoff, this time at a struggling media production company. I tried my hand at temp work and later, contracting. I had a horrible two-hour commute each way between Baltimore and Virginia. Then a job opportunity opened up down the street from my home. The pay was about a third less than what I was used to making, but it was better than the paltry unemployment check I was getting.
Soon, I found myself in a place where the work was unfulfilling. Some days I had to work on inane tasks doled out by tyrannical bosses. (“Go count the boxes of light bulbs in the supply closet.”) Other days, I’d wander through the office trying to find work.
I had to evaluate the types of jobs I was drawn to. They barely lined up with my skill set, and in no way stirred up any passion. I was drowning in a world of data, rote processes, technical details and useless reports. There was no room for me to design, to create or write. I dreaded getting up and going to work in the morning. I made a decision that the madness had to stop.
When I decided to look for another job this time, instead of applying for everything, I looked for jobs that matched my skills, experience and interests. It had to be fulfilling and it had to have room for growth.
I recently left my job and started a new position with a new organization that has potential. I now have a chance to put my skills, experience, education and interests to use in a challenging position that I actually enjoy. While a job might fill your bank account up and pay your bills, you have to do what you need to to ensure that you’re actually happy. Whether that means going back to school or hustling for something else, something better, it’s essential. While the layoffs I experienced could have been some of the most devastating of experiences, they wound up being blessings through the lessons I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve been given to actually figure out what it is I want to do. Because even though this new job is not my dream job just yet, it certainly is closer to where I want to be.
Probably the toughest part of getting a new job is the interview process. It’s not only what you say during the interview but how you end the interview that can determine if your land the job or not.
According to CBS Money Watch, there are several questions you should ask as the interview wraps up. “Toward the end of a job interview, there’s always a moment when you’re asked if you have any questions. It’s tricky. You don’t want to sound too pugnacious (will they think I’m too aggressive?), but neither do you want to pass on the opportunity (will they think I don’t have a mind of my own?),” reports CBS Market Watch.
The questions you should ask:
1. Why did you want to interview me? Learning specifically what is in your resume that attracted a company’s interest gives you a sense of how the organization, and other potential employers, view your talents.
2. Why is this job important to the business as a whole? This should give you a sense both of the company strategy (if there is one) and of where this job sits in the pecking order.
3. How would you describe the best people you have in this company? This is a covert way of determining company values.
4. Are there any internal candidates for this job? If there are, and you get the job, watch out! If there aren’t, why not? Professional development may not be what this company is best at.
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