What You Need to Know About Landing a New Job

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Nearly 75 percent of employers say their company is in a better position than a year ago–which means companies are hiring, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Employment Outlook Survey.

Thinking of looking for a new job? This year, 47 percent of companies planned on hiring contract or temporary employees, and 40 percent plan to hire full-time permanent employees. If you consider yourself tech savvy, then you’re in luck as technology is playing a key role in defining the most in-demand fields you should be considering. In fact, 55 percent of employers believe that, on average, 50 percent or more of all jobs include tech requirements.

Here’s what you need to know.

The most in-demand fields in 2019 are:

  • Skilled labor jobs: 25 percent
  • Data analysis jobs: 21 percent
  • Digital marketing jobs: 12 percent
  • Cyber security jobs: 11 percent
  • AI/Machine learning jobs: 10 percent
  • Healthcare jobs: 10 percent

Don’t consider yourself “tech savvy”? Don’t let that stop you from applying.

Although employment is rising around the country, 50 percent of HR managers still have a rough time finding qualified candidates for their open positions. Since extended job vacancies can cost an average of $260,000 annually, and 50 percent of employers report they have job vacancies open 12 weeks or longer, this offers a huge opportunity for job seekers as companies are desperate to fill positions.

This year, most employers plan to hire or train workers who may not have all the skills needed but do have potential, and some plan to train low-skill workers for higher-skill jobs. Sixty-three percent have hired someone without the required skills with plans to train them, and more than half have paid for an employee to get training or education to do just this. Employees cite success as well, with one in four saying they have been hired for a job they weren’t qualified for and receiving on-the-job training.

Once you’ve landed a job –- or if you’re angling for a promotion -– don’t let training slide. CareerBuilder’s report found that while 56 percent of employers say they offer outside training for their workers, 66 percent of employees don’t believe their company has any such opportunities. There’s a good chance your company has perks you might not be aware of, so ask!

Show off your “soft” skills.

While every job comes with specific responsibilities, it’s not just about checking the boxes in a job description. Ninety-two percent of employers say soft skills, including interpersonal skills, communication abilities and critical thinking, are important in determining whether they will hire candidates. Eighty percent also said that soft skills would be at least as important as hard skills when hiring candidates. The top skills that employers will be hiring for are the ability to be team-oriented (51 percent), attention to detail (49 percent), and customer service (46 percent).

Make sure your priorities are aligned with a company.

With so much potential for employees in the current job market, you have the opportunity to look beyond salary when it comes to finding the next step in your career. In fact, employees cite five factors that are more important than salary when considering a position: location (56 percent), affordable benefits plans (55 percent), job stability (55 percent), a good boss (48 percent) and a positive work culture (44 percent).

With these priorities, make sure your prospective employer has what you’re looking for when it comes to work life. While the first two are easier to answer right off the bat, use the interview process to investigate the others. In addition to interviewing with your potential managers, look for opportunities to speak with your potential peers to get a feel for the heart of the company.

That said, while employees are looking beyond just salary, the good news is that compensation is still on the rise! Twenty nine percent of employers expect the average increase for existing employees to be 5 percent or more this year.

Location, location, location.

Where you live has some impact on your job opportunities. The western and southern United States offer the most full-time employment opportunities with the West coming in at 44 percent, and the South a close second with 42 percent. The Northeast and Midwest round out the regions at 37 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

While the increase in remote workforces has helped extend job opportunities, major cities still drive a majority of job creation. Cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston and Dallas all fall within the hot hiring regions and have strong opportunities, especially in the most in-demand fields.

Source: careerbuilder.com

How to decide if your social circle needs an upgrade in 2020

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You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, motivational speaker John Rohn once said. If you’re not happy with your current situation at work, you may want to take a closer look at your inner circle.

“We have to be really good at [deciding] who we allow into our life,” says Ivan Misner, author of Who’s In Your Room: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life and founder of the global business network BNI. “Imagine your life is one room and the room had one door. The door could only let people enter, and once they’re in the room, they’re there forever.”

It’s a scary metaphor, but it’s true, says Misner. “Think about a person you let into your life and then had to let out because they were toxic, difficult, or angry,” he says. “If you can remember the emotions and what they did, they’re still in your head. If they’re in your head, they’re still in your room.”

For this reason, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people from the start—or they’ll be in your “room” for the rest of your life.

“When you realize that this happens, you can get better at screening out people before they get in and dealing with the ones you already let in,” says Misner.

Letting people in

Opening the door to the right people means getting clear with your values. “If you don’t know your values, you don’t know where to start,” says Misner.

Start with deal breakers—behaviors that you hate, such as dishonesty or drama. Look for people who demonstrate these behaviors, and don’t let them into your social circle.

“Pretend your mind has a doorman or bouncer,” says Misner. “Train your doorman—your subconscious and conscious mind—to identify people with these behaviors. By understanding your deal breakers, you’ll be better able to start understanding your values.”

A common mistake people make when letting others in is weighing too quickly “what’s in it for me” and disregarding the things that go against their values. When we make decisions based on short-sighted gains, we also choose values that don’t resonate with who we are.

“In physics, resonance is a powerful thing,” says Misner. “It’s a phenomenon that occurs when an extra force drives something to oscillate at a specific frequency.”

To understand how it works, imagine two pianos sitting side by side in a room. “If you hit the middle C key on one piano while someone presses the sustain pedal on the other one, the middle C of the other one will vibrate on that second piano, without [it] being touched,” says Misner. “That’s resonance. People are like that.”

When you make a decision based on what you think we can get instead of your values, you invite values that don’t align with yours to resonate in your life.

“Be mindful about creating relationships with resonance and get your values down,” says Misner. “Companies often recognize the importance of knowing your values, but people don’t always think about them. Values should be at the foundation of everything you do. Otherwise, you’ll create the wrong room.”

Dealing with people you’ve already let in

If you have people in your circle that are creating a bad environment, decide if they have to be there or if you can exit the relationship. If they must be there, it’s time to draw a line in sand.

“Evaluating your social circle means recognizing that someone may be in your life but their baggage needs to stay out,” says Misner. “Draw a line in the sand by saying that you’re not letting their behavior continue around you.”

For example, if you have a coworker who demonstrates toxic behavior such as frequent gossiping or complaining, establish boundaries. Say, “Starting now, if you start talking badly, I will walk away. I respect you and will talk to you again, but only if you can have a mature adult conversation.” Then follow through. It may take a while for the person to understand the new boundaries and rules, but once you draw the line in the sand, you can eliminate the toxicity from your circle.

“Stand firm,” says Misner. “Part of that is learning how to say ‘no.’

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

What kind of questions should you ask at the end of a job interview?

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It’s a scenario many of us have found ourselves in. You’re nearing the end of a job interview and finally, you can begin to relax a little. Despite the nerves, you’ve come across well and answered all the questions confidently – and with a little bit of luck, you may just be offered the position.

Before you can run out of the room, however, the interviewer wants to know if you have any questions for them.

It might be tempting to say no, so you can leave as quickly as possible – but asking questions can be of huge benefit when it comes to interviewing for a job.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that interviews should always be considered a two-way street. Yes, the recruiter is interested in finding out if your skills and abilities are suited to the role in question. But a job interview is also a chance for you to work out if this is the right job for you – and if you are going to fit in well at the company.

“As candidates, we can often get caught up in the whole process, particularly as we try to remember the answers we’ve prepared but it’s equally as important to take time towards the end of the interview to ask your own questions,” says Row Davies, HR business manager at the recruitment firm Macildowie.

While you’re preparing for your interview and imagining the kind of questions you might be asked, it’s also useful to think about any queries you might have too. However, don’t ask an interviewer anything you can find out easily yourself, either online or on the company’s social media channels.

“It’s crucial for you to assess whether the company is the right fit for you, as just like any relationship, both need to benefit and feel comfortable with the partnership,” Davies says.

“Not only does the process allow you to show your enthusiasm for the company, asking questions also gives you the opportunity to check your goals and values are aligned with the business. You don’t want to be a year or more down the line and find that the company is heading in a direction that you don’t want to or perhaps can’t follow.”

So what kind of questions should you be asking as an interview candidate?

Davies believes there are three key questions that should be on every job applicant’s list.

“The first, is asking the interviewer ‘is there anything regarding my experience you would like me to expand upon?’. Not only does this show that you are engaged, it also provides you with the opportunity to further emphasise your strengths and how you believe these will be an asset to the company’s objectives,” she says.

The second is about learning and development – and specifically, whether the company is actively investing in their employees. After all, you want to know that you’re going to move forward in a job.

“Ask, ‘how do you support the professional development of your employees?’. Answers to this question will give you an insight into how the business will support you as you progress up the career ladder,” Davies says.

“It also shows the interviewer you have aspirations and a drive to succeed in the organization.”

Finally, it’s a good idea to find out more about the company’s environment and whether they look after their employees.

“I would encourage any of my candidates to ask the interviewer, ‘what do you like most about working for the company?’ This is great for building a personal connection with the interviewer, giving them the opportunity to share their personal views and the passion they have for the company,” Davies says.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

Are Your Communication Skills Up to Par?

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Whether employers are hiring someone to make sandwiches, sell shoes, run science experiments, or repair plumbing—communication skills are always on the “must-have” list.

But what exactly do employers mean by “communication skills,” and how can you tell if you have them?

Here are some high-impact communication skills to check yourself on or work to develop, whether you’re looking for work or already have a job.

Face-to-face still matters

Although workplace communications are often online, well-rounded communicators need to be effective in face-to-face conversation, e-mail, on the phone, and—if used by the employer—text.

Communication needs vary by position, but most jobs require some face-time interaction with managers, coworkers, or customers, and employers appreciate an employee’s ability to bring their A game in person.

How well do you connect in face-to-face interactions? Some scenarios include:

Do you greet coworkers and welcome customers?

Extend a handshake at interviews and when meeting clients?

Participate and stay engaged when your team is gathered for meetings or events?

Are your non-verbals showing interest and engagement? Consider these points: Make eye contact, nod or smile when you agree, and use open body language; avoid crossing your arms and turning away from the other person.

Be intentional in your communication

When you start your communication from a purpose of understanding and how the other person might receive it, your communication will be clearer and more effective. When you analyze your job, or the job you’d like to get, consider these points: Who needs to understand what you have to communicate?

Possible targets for your communication might include: your manager, coworkers, the public, customers, students, patients, or others involved in the work you do.

What purpose does your communication serve? For example, do you want:

Customers to buy your product?

Patients to understand their medication?

The public to attend an event?

Your manager to know you’ve accomplished your goals? Once you know your intention, think about what kind of message your audience would respond to. Examples could include: Posting flyers in a neighborhood where your target customers live, writing a fact-filled report that shows how your work performance met job goals, creating a video that patients can re-watch, showing how to use medical equipment rather than to trying to explain complicated instructions repeatedly, texting reminders to students to register for classes.

Treating others professionally = good teamwork

Employers want their work teams to succeed, which typically means that team members get along, participate fully, and resolve conflicts when they do come up. The employer benefits and generally everyone on the team has a better experience. If you make assumptions about a team member, and they’re not the most positive, ask for clarification and clear the air after a misunderstanding to help build trust and keep the team functioning.

Do you let your team know when you need something or don’t understand something? Ask managers for feedback so you know what they need? Share information that would help others on the team?

Respect shows up in what you do and what you say. Do you speak positively about others on the team? Are good manners a priority with customers and coworkers? Do you make room for other people’s ideas?

In your team interactions, do you contribute to finding solutions? A team works better when members look for areas of agreement, and let unimportant differences go so the team can move forward together.

If you’ve decided your communication skills need some work, it’s never too late to brush up.

Source: CareerOneStop

I have two liberal arts degrees. Here’s how I got a job in tech

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Every software engineer can name college dropouts who went on to do incredible things in the tech world: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey. These individuals have become emblematic of the idea that a degree doesn’t define you, and they’re often touted by aspiring tech dudes as their inspiration for diving into the fray.

The problem is the obvious lack of diversity on that list.

Growing up in the Bay Area, I found that there were far fewer high-profile examples of women who had diverged from their academic path to find success in tech. I was only a year and a half away from earning two liberal arts degrees, in economics and psychology, at Barnard College of Columbia University when I took the introductory computer science course that ultimately altered my career path.

This course sparked my curiosity in computer science and led me to explore a subject I’d never previously been encouraged to pursue. While it was too late to change majors, I’d finally found a technically complex, creative, and mentally stimulating job–in an entirely different industry than the ones for which I was trained. Despite having no clear path forward, I decided to pursue my new passion. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.

Today, I’m a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and I love the work I do every day. Getting here wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. If you find yourself in a similar position and want to take the plunge into tech without a computer science-related degree, this is how I did it.

TAKE A CODING BOOT CAMP
After discovering my passion for coding during an introductory class, I knew it was too late to pivot my collegiate efforts away from my dual major in economics and psychology. Instead, I applied to an immersive summer boot camp at Fullstack Academy of Code, which helped me develop the necessary skills to become a full-stack software engineer outside of my university’s academic term.

These boot-camp-style programs are incredibly useful for honing functional skills, building a portfolio, and connecting with other aspiring tech professionals. During my time at Fullstack Academy, I got tons of hands-on experience building apps and writing code. Rolling up my sleeves and diving into this work further solidified my interest in pursuing software engineering as my full-time career.

There are countless options out there for these types of programs. Some traditional universities such as the University of California at Berkeley offer coding boot camps both in-person and online, and there are plenty of other options that are suitable for a range of budgets.

DO YOUR RESEARCH
As soon as I set my mind on software engineering as a career, I began using platforms such as Handshake to research what recruiters were looking for in an entry-level software engineer. Because Handshake is specifically designed for college students and new grads, the listings on the platform helped keep me informed about which desirable skills and characteristics would make me a competitive candidate when I was applying for a first job. I used these learnings to tailor my résumé and help it stand out from the crowd.

SEEK OUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE
During my senior year at Barnard, I participated in JPMorgan Chase’s Code for Good Hackathon event. This 24-hour hackathon presented an opportunity to use my new skills for a worthy cause: developing innovative technology for deserving nonprofit organizations.

The team-based format of the event also allowed me to work alongside technology experts, as well as college students who studied computer science. These professional connections are extremely valuable when one is navigating the hiring process; in my case, they led to my being invited to join JPMorgan Chase’s full-time Software Engineer Program after graduation.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR “UNRELATED” SKILLS
Though applying for software engineering jobs with a non-CS-related degree on your résumé can be difficult in some ways, it’s actually an asset in others. Due to my diverse choice in majors, my studies outside the realm of tech helped me develop a well-rounded skill set. In addition to hard skills such as the ability to code in JavaScript and Python, I was also able to tout some of the soft skills that go hand in hand with my liberal arts degrees, most notably, communication and interpersonal skills.

STUDY
I’m not going to lie—applying for software engineering roles without a related degree certainly isn’t easy. I spent countless hours sitting in the library studying for technical interviews by teaching myself advanced CS concepts from a textbook. Although I enjoy coding, practicing for hours on end every day for months can be tiring, to say the least. But persistence and commitment to continuous learning is the key to reaching your goals, so don’t give up.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Use these words if you want to advance in your career, win praise, and get noticed

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You know how men dominate science, with more professorships, higher salaries, more research grants, and more citations? A BMJ study of 6.2 million science articles between 2002 and 2017 shows that male authors tout their work much more than female authors—and that their studies are then cited more frequently, particularly in prestigious journals. Though you could swallow this as yet more downer gender-inequity news, it’s also confirmation that self-praise leads to career advancement. And you can do it too!

When in doubt, go with the word “novel,” which male scientists are quite fond of, using it nearly three times more often than their other favorite words, “unique,” “promising,” and “favorable.” Note that these words express positivity, newness, and specialness, but are not over-the-top direct praise: Words such as “phenomenal,” “groundbreaking,” “spectacular,” and “astonishing” were rarely used, indicating that overflaunting is not necessary.

Women overuse the word “supportive,” as in my research is supportive of prior findings, which is the equivalent of wrapping one’s career in a wet blanket. The researchers write that “the data suggest that women and men use positive words in a similar fashion, but that women use them less often.”

So there you have it. Your mouth’s new favorite words for your work are:

novel
unique
promising
favorable
robust
excellent
prominent
encouraging
remarkable
innovative

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Job seekers: These are the 10 best companies to work for in 2020, and they’re not who you think

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Employees have spoken (or written reviews, as it were) and have played a part in determining the best large companies to work for in the coming year. Glassdoor’s annual exhaustive analysis revealed some surprises at the top of the ranks this time around.

Among the 10 best, the top four all scored a 4.6 out of 5 rating, while the remaining six were also tied at the same score.

Technology firms dominated the list of 50 best with a total of 31 companies represented. Some of the other industries included healthcare (9 companies), retail (8 companies), manufacturing (8 companies), real estate (6 companies), consulting (5 companies), and travel and tourism (5 companies).

  1. HubSpot (4.6 rating)
  2. Bain & Company (4.6 rating)
  3. DocuSign (4.6 rating)
  4. In-N-Out Burger (4.6 rating)
  5. Sammons Financial Group (4.5 rating)
  6. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (4.5 rating)
  7. Intuitive Surgical (4.5 rating)
  8. Ultimate Software (4.5 rating)
  9. VIPKid (4.5 rating)
  10. Southwest Airlines (4.5 rating)

Common themes among employees’ reviews of their employers included an emphasis on company culture, challenging work, and collaborative environments. HubSpot, for example, got high marks for inclusiveness and “autonomy to innovate, to create and shape your role while ensuring you create a schedule and work-life fit that works best for you,” according to one reviewer. Fair practices, transparency, and opportunity to advance were other important factors that employees at Docusign (No. 3) cited in their reviews.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Take Your Career to New Heights

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Aerospace Engineer working at his desk

Is your new job in aerospace engineering? Aerospace engineers apply their creativity and logic to creating and testing civil and military aircrafts, space crafts, satellites, and other weapons systems. They must consider numerous factors in their designs, including fuel efficiency, flight safety, speed and weight, environmental impact, and budget. Many aerospace engineers specialize in a particular aerospace field, such as aerodynamics, avionics, systems integration or propulsion.

What Can You Expect?

As an aerospace engineer, you are responsible for a range of tasks related to the design, development, and testing of new and existing aircraft and aerospace products. While activities vary depending on an aerospace engineer’s area of expertise, some common duties include:

  • Applying science and technology principles to create new components and support equipment
  • Evaluating aerospace project proposals to determine whether they are practical
  • Researching and developing design specifications
  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create project plans
  • Establishing design procedures, quality standards, sustainment after delivery processes, and completion dates
  • Overseeing the assembly of airframes and installation of engines and other components
  • Problem-solving to find solutions for issues during project design, development, and testing phases
  • Inspecting completed projects to ensure they adhere to quality standards
  • Inspecting damaged and malfunctioning projects to identify how to fix them
  • Participating in flight-test programs to measure take-off distances, maneuverability, rate of climb, stall speeds, and landing capacities
  • Devising strategies to improve the performance or safety credentials of aircraft systems
  • Inspecting aircraft regularly, performing maintenance tasks and repairing detected faults
  • Investigating aircraft accidents to determine why they occurred

What Qualifications are Required?

Education—Aerospace engineers require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some degree fields commonly associated with qualified candidates include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Computer science
  • Software engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Physics or applied physics

These courses of study should be recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

After four years working as an aerospace engineer, motivated individuals may decide to get a Professional Engineering license. To gain licensure, candidates must also obtain passing grades on the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams. Once licensed, an aerospace engineer can manage other engineers and sign off on projects.

A master’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field will give aerospace engineers an edge when applying for jobs. Some roles, including teaching aerospace engineering at the university level, require a graduate degree.

Experience—While an aerospace engineer’s education is important, most of these professionals feel they learn more through experience on the job. Internship programs are a component of many aerospace engineering degrees. These programs can help aspiring aerospace engineers gain experience before entering the workforce. Students who do not have access to these programs are advised to contact aerospace companies to gain vacation work before graduating. Once an aerospace engineer is established in the field, there are ample opportunities to continue working in related roles for many years to come.

Skills—Aerospace engineers call on a variety of skills to excel in their roles. These are just some of the talents and qualities that employers look for when hiring new aerospace engineers:

  • Technical knowledge – Aerospace engineers need to know about aerospace systems, manufacturing procedures, federal government standards, and more.
  • Creativity – Innovation is crucial to the aerospace industry and the work of aerospace engineers.
  • Analytical skills – These skills help aerospace engineers identify flawed or mediocre design elements and formulate alternative solutions.
  • Mathematics – Calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced mathematics principles help aerospace engineers assess, develop, and troubleshoot projects.
  • Critical thinking – These skills help aerospace engineers translate a brief or set of requirements into a tangible aerospace solution and determine why failed projects do not work.
  • Problem-solving skills – When aerospace engineers must reduce fuel consumption, improve safety credentials, and reduce production costs, these skills help them meet the demands.
  • Attention to detail – This helps aerospace engineers spot design flaws and complete work to the highest standard.
  • Written and oral communication skills – Aerospace engineers draw on these skills when collaborating with others and compiling project reports and documentation.
  • Organization and time management – Aerospace engineers rely on these skills to work productively and meet deadlines.
  • Leadership – Some aerospace engineers work in a supervisory role and rely on leadership skills to motivate and effectively manage their teams.
  • Flexibility – Aerospace engineers often need to cope with new demands and new problems as they present themselves.
  • Passion – A love of aircraft, aviation, and flight technology will help aerospace engineers excel.
  • Good character – This is necessary to receive the security clearance required to work on national defense projects.

Salary Expectations

How much do aerospace engineers make? According to PayScale, entry-level aerospace engineers make an average of $71K a year, well above the average for entry-level jobs around the nation. In fact, aerospace product and parts manufacturing are one of the highest-paying industries. Salaries rise sharply as aerospace engineers gain more experience. While the average national salary stands at around $78,500, the typical salary for aerospace engineers with 20 or more years of experience is $128K.

Projected Growth

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that aerospace engineer positions will fall by 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, amounting to a loss of 1,600 engineers within the nation during this period. The Bureau suggests there will be sustained demand in the field of aerospace research and development though, as aerospace firms look to reduce noise pollution and make their crafts more fuel efficient.

Career Trajectory

Entry-level aerospace engineers may progress to supervisory roles after earning their Professional Engineering license. While these roles are still technically aerospace engineering positions, these professionals may also be known as aviation and aerospace project engineers. As aerospace engineering is a challenging career, many people are happy to continue this work until they retire.

However, aerospace engineers eying career advancement may move into a design engineering manager role. This can result in a significant pay increase, with average salaries sitting at around $102K per year, according to PayScale.

Working as an aerospace engineer is rewarding for anyone passionate about aerospace, national defense, and cutting-edge technology. Start the search for your ideal aerospace engineer job today.

Source: CareerBuilder

Early Bird Gets the Worm

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early to work employee is smiling and conversing with other employees

Sunday nights can be scary before the work week begins, but Monday and Tuesday, especially in the morning, are when employees are most productive, suggests new research from staffing firm Accountemps. More than half of workers surveyed said their productivity peaks at the beginning of the week, with Monday (29 percent) edging out Tuesday (27 percent) by two points. After Hump Day (20 percent), worker productivity dips: 13 percent of employees do their best work on Thursdays, followed by 11 percent on Fridays.

Many professionals said they accomplish more work at the start of the day: 44 percent are most productive in the early morning and 31 percent in late morning, compared to 2 percent, who like to burn the midnight oil. It’s probably best to avoid scheduling meetings at noon: only 2 percent of workers surveyed said they get the most work done at lunchtime.

For peak productivity, where is as important as when to work, but employees are divided:

  • Those ages 55 and older have the strongest preference for working in an office, with nearly half (45 percent) reporting they work best in a private office with a closed door, according to the survey.
  • Meanwhile, working in an open office (38 percent) was the top response among 18- to 34-year-olds.
  • Telecommuting was a close second choice for younger workers, at 36 percent, compared to 26 percent of professionals ages 35-54 and 17 percent of employees 55 and up.

Employees were also asked about the single biggest distraction that impacts their productivity during the workday. Coworkers who are too chatty and social topped the list (32 percent), followed by office noise (22 percent), unnecessary conference calls and meetings (20 percent), cell phone use (15 percent), and unnecessary emails (11 percent).

Steinitz added that workers should hold themselves accountable for their own productivity and offered suggestions for minimizing disruptions: “Employees should focus on important assignments when they’re most alert and energized, and if necessary, consider posting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign at their desk or switching team chat status to ‘Busy.’ Finding ways to shut out distractions can help maximize productivity, no matter the day, time or place.”

Additional Findings

The survey revealed the following differences by market:

  • While workers, on average, ranked Monday as their most productive workday, Tuesday came in first across 13 markets and tied for the top spot in Denver and Houston.
  • Nashvillians are the most likely to have productive Fridays, at 21 percent.
  • In Miami (35 percent) and Chicago (26 percent), office noise is the top productivity disruptor.
  • Workers in San Francisco are almost equally distracted by their cell phones (25 percent) as they are by chatty colleagues (26 percent).
  • Los Angeles professionals report a near-even split for preferred workspaces: 24 percent for open office, 31 percent for private office, 22 percent for working from home and 22 percent for working from an offsite location.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in the United States.

Productivity at work can hinge on what you do off the job. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and get adequate sleep. Being out of balance in any of those three areas can throw off your ability to concentrate.

Boost Your Career Through Confidence

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By Dr. Travis Bradberry

True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. One thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else. Indeed, confident people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside. We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things. And, yet, we’re missing the best part. We don’t see the habits they develop to become so confident. It’s a labor of love that they pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of truly confident people remain constant. Their focused pursuit is driven by these habits that you can emulate and absorb:

They speak with certainty.
It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as, “Um,” “I’m not sure” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

They seek out small victories.
Confident people like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

They exercise.
A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

They don’t seek attention.
People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude. Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t pass judgment.
Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They get their happiness from within.
Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are. People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments.

They listen more than they speak.
People with confidence listen more than they speak because they don’t feel as though they have anything to prove. Confident people know that by actively listening and paying attention to others, they are much more likely to learn and grow. Instead of seeing interactions as opportunities to prove themselves to others, they focus on the interaction itself, because they know that this is a far more enjoyable and productive approach to people.

They take risks.
When confident people see an opportunity, they take it. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, they ask themselves, “What’s stopping me? Why can’t I do that?” and they go for it. Fear doesn’t hold them back because they know that if they never try, they will never succeed.

They aren’t afraid to be wrong.
Confident people aren’t afraid to be proven wrong. They like putting their opinions out there to see if they hold up because they learn a lot from the times they are wrong and other people learn from them when they’re right. Self-assured people know what they are capable of and don’t treat being wrong as a personal slight.

They celebrate other people’s successes.
Insecure people constantly doubt their relevance, and because of this, they try to steal the spotlight and criticize others to prove their worth. Confident people, on the other hand, aren’t worried about their relevance because they draw their self-worth from within. Instead of insecurely focusing inward, confident people focus outward, which allows them to see all the wonderful things that other people bring to the table. Praising people for their contributions is a natural result of this.

Building confidence is a journey, not a destination. To become more confident, you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.

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

LinkedIn
young woman typing a cover leter on her laptop

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.