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.

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

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

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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.

Messed up in a job interview? Here’s how to recover

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Your stomach drops to the floor. Your palms get sweaty. You begin to ramble incoherently, or worse, can’t come up with anything to say at all. Almost all of us know the feeling of making a big mistake during an interview.

Great. There goes that opportunity, you might think.

Don’t be tempted to wave the white flag of surrender just yet, though. Everyone stumbles in interviews once in a while—the trick is to handle it well, so that your interviewer is able to look past it.

Below, we’ve outlined four common examples of interview flubs and how to deal with them. Use these strategies, and you just might be able to win back your interviewer.

Scenario 1: You’re running late

It’s unavoidable—even the most punctual people are sometimes late. And unfortunately, it seems like obstacles always tend to pop up at the most inconvenient time, including a job interview. But while showing up late to an interview certainly isn’t a good look, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the running entirely.

The best thing you can do is be proactive and reach out ahead of time if you’re running behind.

“If you know within a reasonable amount of time that you’re going to be late, it’s a good idea to call the hiring manager that you’re meeting with to let them know,” says Chris Myers, CEO and president of staffing and recruiting company Professional Alternatives.

Once you arrive, acknowledge your tardiness and explain why you were late, while still taking full responsibility—you don’t want to sound like you’re just making up an excuse. Afterwards, make sure to reach out to your interviewers.

“Writing a personal note of apology after the interview, re-explaining the reason for your lateness and acknowledging that you really appreciate them still making the time to see you, should be well received,” says Sue Andrews, HR & business consultant at KIS Finance. “Good manners are important in business, and your apology will hopefully show that your lateness was out of character for you.”

Scenario 2: Your nerves get the best of you

Few things are more anxiety-inducing than an interview for a job you really want. As a result, it’s not uncommon for candidates to draw a blank when asked a question, struggle to properly articulate your answer, or fail to mention a critical detail. Drawing attention to yourself in this moment might be the last thing that you want to do, but it can actually benefit you.

“Ask for a time out and acknowledge to the recruiter that . . . you need a second to regroup. You can tell the recruiter that you are an introvert, and even if you did prepare and practice for the interview, you will need a moment to find your calm,” says HR consultant and career coach Irina Cozma. “The recruiter might [view] this as an authentic gesture, and most people will be supportive and encouraging in those moments.”

To avoid this hairy situation again, make sure to double down on preparing for your interview next time. Grab a friend or family member to ask you common interview questions so you can rehearse your answers out loud until you know them like the back of your hand.

Scenario 3: You didn’t do your homework

It’s true that an interview is just as much an opportunity for you to learn about the company as it is for them to learn about you—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some additional research beforehand.

“Although in interviews companies will often tell you about them and the role, they expect you to be prepared and if not, that could cause you to flub the interview. With so much public information available, people expect you to have done your research,” says Howard Prager, president of Advance Learning Group. “If you don’t find ways to include this, it can show that you didn’t take the job interview seriously.”

If your answers are too vague, or you trip up on a basic question like “What’s the name of our CEO,” try not to let it psyche you out too much. If you dwell on your mistakes, you’ll likely be thrown off your game and struggle throughout the rest of the interview. Instead, take a deep breath and focus on hitting the rest of the questions out of the park.

After the interview is over, try “researching the company online using sources such as Glassdoor, using LinkedIn to find contacts that know someone at the company, and reading about competitors,” Prager says. Once you do, you can drop that knowledge into your follow-up note.

“In your thank-you notes to everyone who interviewed you, be sure to list some reasons that you are drawn to his company and position,” Prager advises—the more specific, the better!

Scenario 4: You don’t have any questions for them

We’ll let you in on a little secret—when interviewers ask whether you have any questions for them, they’re not doing that just to be nice. They often use it as a test to see how interested you are in the opportunity, how much you know about the company, and how engaged you are in the interview process.

“Interviewers almost always will ask you what questions you have, and if you are only focused on preparing answers to other questions, you won’t be ready for this one,” Prager says.

Ideally, you would always have a few detailed questions on hand that show off your knowledge of the company and their industry, but sometimes life gets in the way. You might have been too busy or preoccupied to come up with questions beforehand, or it might have slipped your mind completely. In this case, there’s nothing wrong with asking a more generic question like “How would we work together?” or “What is it about this company that keeps you here?”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

25 Hot Jobs That Pay More Than $100,000 a Year

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Choosing a career can be an overwhelming decision thanks to the vast array of options available to you. So, aiming high and setting a six-figure salary goal could be a smart move — it narrows down your choices and might even help you secure a bright financial future.

To find jobs where you can earn more than $100,000 a year, GOBankingRates analyzed occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that paid a median salary between $100,000-$150,000 in 2018. In addition, the study found the employment growth outlook and the top-paying metropolitan areas for each job. If shooting for a six-figure salary right out of the gate seems too ambitious, GOBankingRates also compiled a separate section with occupations that have the potential to make over $100,000 annually — once you work your way to the top.

25. Aerospace Engineer

  • Salary: $117,100

Aerospace engineers earn a pretty penny by keeping their head in the clouds. These engineers design aircraft, missiles, satellites and spacecraft, and they often specialize in products such as commercial airplanes or remotely piloted rotorcraft. This occupation is expected to see a 6% growth in employment between 2016-26, which equates to a gain of 4,200 jobs. You can earn a mean salary of $136,720 per year if you manage to find work as an aerospace engineer in the metropolitan area encompassing Arlington, Virginia; Alexandria, Virginia; and Washington, D.C.

24. Postsecondary Economics Teacher

  • Salary: $117,180

Postsecondary economics teachers — aka professors or faculty members — teach economics courses at colleges and professional schools, in addition to conducting research in many cases. For the most lucrative positions, head to the metropolitan area centering on the cities of Bryan and College Station in Texas, where you can earn a mean wage of $176,330 per year. Overall employment for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by a whopping 197,800 jobs between 2016-26, which is an increase of 15%.

23. Computer Hardware Engineer

  • Salary: $117,840

As a computer hardware engineer, you’ll work on developing computer systems and components such as circuit boards, memory devices, networks, processors and routers. It may come as no surprise, but high-paying jobs in this field can be found in California, around San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara — the home of Silicon Valley. There, the annual mean wage is bumped up to $144,230. Overall, computer hardware engineers can expect to see employment growth of 5% between 2016-26, which equals an increase of 4,000 jobs.

22. Optometrist

  • Salary: $119,980

The optometry field is projected to see impressive employment growth of 18% — or 7,200 jobs — between 2016-26. Beyond prescribing glasses or contact lenses, these professionals diagnose and treat different eye conditions and diseases. In particular, optometrists working in the Hartford, East Hartford and West Hartford metropolitan area in Connecticut earn $203,390 per year, on average, which is significantly more than the mean optometrist salary in the U.S.

21. Air Traffic Controller

  • Salary: $120,830

Air traffic controllers perform a critical role in coordinating aircraft to maintain safe distances between them in the air and on the ground. These workers can rake in an annual mean wage of $151,960 if they find jobs around the Sacramento, Roseville and Arden-Arcade metropolitan area in California. Overall, this field will likely see employment growth of 3% between 2016-26, totaling 900 jobs.

20. Judge, Magistrate Judge or Magistrate

  • Salary: $121,130

Judges, magistrate judges and magistrates are taxed with many different duties in a court of law, such as sentencing a defendant in criminal cases or determining the liability of a defendant in civil cases. To become one, you’ll typically need to earn a law degree and gain work experience as a lawyer first. The Sacramento, Roseville and Arden-Arcade metropolitan area in California pays the highest average salary for these positions, at $198,490 per year. Overall, opportunities are projected to grow by 5% between 2016-26 — an increase of 2,200 jobs in this field.

19. Training and Development Manager

  • Salary: $121,730

Training and development managers coordinate programs that are designed to boost employee knowledge and skills at an organization. Employment is projected to grow by 10%, or 3,600 jobs, between 2016-26. The top-paying metropolitan area for this field is located around San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara in California — aka Silicon Valley. Training and development managers earn $165,370 per year, on average, in that region.

18. Personal Financial Advisor

  • Salary: $121,770

Are you passionate about money and making an impact? Personal financial advisors help people manage their finances by providing advice on matters such as college savings, estate planning, investments, mortgages, retirement and taxes. These savvy individuals can earn an average salary of $215,840 per year if they choose to work in the Gainsville, Georgia, metropolitan area. Overall, employment for personal financial advisors is expected to grow by 15%, or 40,400 jobs, between 2016-26.

17. Postsecondary Health Specialties Teacher

  • Salary: $122,320

These professors or faculty members teach courses in health specialty fields such as dentistry, pharmacy, public health, therapy, veterinary science and more. The Jackson, Mississippi, metropolitan area offers the most competitive pay for postsecondary health specialties teachers, at $191,070 per year. In general, postsecondary teachers can expect to see employment grow by 197,800 jobs — or 15% — between 2016-26.

16. Pharmacist

  • Salary: $123,670

The pharmacist at your local CVS is in charge of dispensing prescription medications to patients and educating them on the safe usage of their prescribed drugs. Some of the highest-paid pharmacists can be found in the Tyler, Texas, metropolitan area earning $174,870 per year, on average. Employment for pharmacists is projected to increase by 6% — or 17,400 jobs — between 2016-26.

15. Computer and Information Research Scientist

  • Salary: $123,850

If you’re leaning toward a career in computer and information science, you’re in luck — it’s one of the fastest-growing industries on GOBankingRates’ list. The annual mean wage for these positions in the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California is $167,990. With employment projected to shoot upward by 19%, or 5,400 jobs, between 2016-26, there’s a good chance that your master’s degree will pay for itself in record time.

14. Physicist

  • Salary: $125,280

Fascination with the physical world can pay off in a big way for physicists, who earn an average salary of $169,550 per year in the Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Niagara Falls metropolitan area in New York. Job growth is solid as well, with a change of 14% — or 2,800 jobs — expected through 2026. As a physicist, you’ll conduct research, develop theories based on experiments and observation and come up with ways to apply physical laws and theories.

13. Purchasing Manager

  • Salary: $125,630

Purchasing managers oversee buyers and purchasing agents who negotiate contracts, evaluate suppliers and more in order to acquire products and services for other organizations to resell. Managers typically handle more complex tasks, so you’ll need a few years of experience in procurement to become one. Aim for purchasing manager jobs in the Morgantown, West Virginia, metropolitan area if you want to earn the annual average wage of $174,470.

12. Human Resources Manager

  • Salary: $126,700

If you love working with people, a job as a human resources manager might be right for you — once you ascend the ranks in the field. These professionals serve as the bridge between management and employees at an organization, and they coordinate the company’s staff and human resources activities. For the highest-paying jobs, head to the Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk metropolitan area in Connecticut, where the mean wage for human resources managers is $182,230 per year.

11. Postsecondary Law Teacher

  • Salary: $130,710

These professors and faculty members teach courses in law at colleges and professional schools, sometimes in conjunction with conducting research. The most in-demand jobs for this field can be found around the metropolitan area of Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Bloomington, Wisconsin. There, postsecondary law teachers earn a mean wage of $161,380 per year. Overall, employment for postsecondary teachers is projected to grow by 15% between 2016-26 — an increase of 197,800 jobs.

10. Public Relations and Fundraising Manager

  • Salary: $131,570

After accumulating years of work experience, you can aim for a position as a public relations and fundraising manager. These professionals create materials to enhance the public image of their employer, and they also direct campaigns to raise donations for their organization. Employment in the field is projected to grow by 10% or 7,700 jobs. The best opportunities are located in the metropolitan area encompassing Arlington, Virginia; Alexandria, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. — the annual mean wage for public relations and fundraising managers in this region is $181,100.

9. Compensation and Benefits Manager

  • Salary: $132,860

Compensation and benefits managers determine competitive wage rates, devise an organization’s benefits and pay structure, ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and manage benefits vendors, among other responsibilities. Hartford, West Hartford and East Hartford in Connecticut make up the highest-paying metropolitan area for this field, with an annual mean salary of $178,860. Employment for compensation and benefits managers is expected to grow by 5% through 2026 — an increase of 800 jobs.

8. Advertising and Promotions Manager

  • Salary: $133,090

Creative types who don’t quite fit the mold for public relations and fundraising might want to consider advertising and promotions instead. Employment in both fields is projected to grow by 10% between 2016-26, but there will be a greater number of positions available for advertising and promotions managers — 23,800 additional jobs — and it pays more. Advertising and promotions managers in Silicon Valley sit within comfortable reach of $200,000, as the mean wage for this field in the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California is $197,130 per year.

7. Natural Sciences Manager

  • Salary: $139,680

Natural sciences managers can find work in the government and a variety of industries, such as manufacturing and consulting. However, hot jobs in this field are generally located in the Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk metropolitan area in Connecticut, where the annual mean wage for natural sciences managers is a whopping $240,800 — over $100,000 more than the U.S. average. Overall, employment in the field is expected to grow by 10% between 2016-26, which is an uptick of 5,600 jobs.

6. Sales Manager

  • Salary: $140,320

Sales managers direct the sales teams at organizations, which includes setting goals, analyzing data and establishing training programs for sales representatives. Overall employment in the field is projected to increase by 28,900 jobs — a growth of 7%. For high-paying sales manager positions, check out the metropolitan area encompassing New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Jersey City, New Jersey. There, the average salary for these professionals is $195,680 per year.

5. Lawyer

  • Salary: $144,230

Lawyers are well-known for their lucrative paychecks, but becoming one isn’t easy — it requires years of law school and passing your state’s written bar examination. However, you’ll be handsomely rewarded in your career, especially if you work in Silicon Valley. Lawyers in the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California earn an annual mean wage of $207,950. Better yet, overall employment is expected to grow by 8% through 2026 — an increase of 65,000 jobs for lawyers.

4. Financial Manager

  • Salary: $146,830

Financial managers are tasked with the financial well-being of an organization, and their responsibilities include directing investment activities, producing financial reports and developing long-term strategies to meet the goals of their employers. The job outlook for financial managers is overwhelmingly positive: Employment is projected to grow by a staggering 19% between 2016-26, which means an increase of 108,600 jobs. The highest-paid financial managers can be found earning an annual mean wage of $208,670 in the metropolitan area encompassing New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Jersey City, New Jersey.

3. Marketing Manager

  • Salary: $147,240

Marketing managers assess the market demand for services and products from an organization and its competitors. They also identify potential customers and develop pricing strategies to maximize their employer’s profits. These professionals are especially well off in Silicon Valley; marketing managers working in the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara metropolitan area in California earn an annual mean wage of $197,130. Overall, employment is projected to grow by 10% through 2026, which equates to an increase of 23,800 jobs.

2. Podiatrist

  • Salary: $148,220

To diagnose and treat complications with the human foot, you’ll need to earn a doctorate in podiatric medicine, complete a three-year residency program and become licensed. However, investing in your education will certainly pay dividends in your career — especially if you work in the Charlotte, Concord and Gastonia metropolitan area in North Carolina. Podiatrists in that region take home a staggering $256,950 per year, which is over $100,000 more than the U.S. average. Overall, these doctors can expect an increase of 1,100 positions in their field between 2016-26 — a growth rate of 10%.

1. Architectural and Engineering Manager

  • Salary: $148,970

Taking the top spot on GOBankingRates’ list, architectural and engineering managers offer the highest mean pay compared to all the other occupations in this ranking. These professionals are in charge of activities such as proposing budgets, supervising staff, leading projects and reviewing for quality, among other responsibilities, in architectural and engineering companies. Overall, employment in this field is projected to grow by 6% through 2026 — an increase of 9,900 jobs. Generally, the highest-paid architectural and engineering managers can be found earning $199,650 per year, on average, in Silicon Valley.

These Jobs Pay $100K — If You Can Make It to the Top

 

It’s not easy to land a six-figure salary without extensive education or significant experience in the workplace. While the jobs in the following section didn’t make the cut in terms of average pay, there’s potential for you to earn $100,000 or more if you choose the right employer, work in certain geographical areas or gain a specialization, among other options. Making the right moves in your career — and working hard, of course — could make it possible for you to become one of the top 10% of earners in your field.

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioner

  • Salary: $73,960

This category includes healthcare providers other than physicians and surgeons, such as acupuncturists, naturopaths and orthoptists, who diagnose and treat vision disorders. The bottom 10% of practitioners earn a mean wage of just $40,910, but at the 75th percentile, earnings jump to $109,610, and the top 10% earn $141,330.

In addition to excellent pay, these jobs are plentiful, and they’re increasing at a faster than usual rate. Most opportunities are government positions, but other healthcare practitioners, hospitals and doctors’ offices also employ significant numbers and pay salaries in the upper range. Practitioners working in psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals have the highest mean earnings — $119,880.

Power Plant Operator, Distributor and Dispatcher

  • Salary: $83,020

The expected job growth for power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers is stagnant at -1%, but this job category made the list because it’s the only high-income one surveyed that doesn’t require postsecondary education. The primary academic requirement is a high school education, and you can qualify for one of these positions after an extended period of on-the-job training.

The 90th percentile of workers holding these positions earn a mean wage of $111,250. Most distributors and dispatchers work at electric power or gas distribution facilities, but other potential employers include paper and pulp mills.

Continue on to Yahoo Finance to read the complete article.

5 essential questions to ask before you accept any job offer

LinkedIn
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You polished your résumé, dazzled them in interviews, and landed the job you’ve been chasing. You’ve finally received that coveted offer letter. But don’t get too excited yet.

“It’s sad to say that there are so many things you need to be aware of and careful of in something that should be very exciting for you,” says Kylie Cimmino, a consultant with HR consulting firm Red Clover HR.

“But it’s about making sure that you’re covering yourself and you’re prepared for all of the minutiae that is included in that offer.”

So, before you answer your would-be employer with a resounding “Yes!” ask these five questions first:

Is this really the right position for you?

Paraphrasing actor Sally Fields’s iconic Oscar speech, it’s not uncommon to get caught up in the feeling of “They like me! They really like me!” and not think through whether this is truly the best job or offer for you. “Sometimes a job offer doesn’t fit, even though you applied for the role hoping it would. Take a moment and determine if this is really the job you are looking for,” says Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources for Indeed.com.

Think about the role and how it fits into your career plans. And, if you haven’t already, look into the company and its culture to see if this is a place where you really want to work. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and others have reviews by employees that give a glimpse into the strengths and weaknesses of the company. Use your personal and professional networks to get a sense of what it’s really like to work for the company. If you don’t know anyone personally, it’s likely you’re just a contact or two away from someone who can give you more insight, Wolfe says.

Are there contingencies or conditions?

Some offers are contingent on a variety of factors, including background or drug tests, reference checks, or willingness to sign a noncompete or other agreement. Review these contingencies carefully and consider whether any of them may surface issues from your past or may not be something to which you’re willing to agree, says Colleen Drennen Pfaller, founder of HR consulting firm A Slice of HR.

Sometimes, the contingencies are assumed and may not be in the offer letter, she says. “[If] it’s spelled out, great. But if it’s not, you want to follow up and ask,” she says. Certainly, have that conversation before you give notice at your current employer. For example, if there is a signing bonus, do you need to remain at the job a certain period of time to keep it or do you need to pay it back? These are all factors that you should understand before accepting the job offer.

If you suspect that something like a background check will reveal a potential issue, it may be a good idea to broach the topic first, or at least have an explanation ready if it comes up, Cimmino adds. For example, if you take a prescription medication that may show up in a drug test, be prepared to address the issue, she says.

Is everything you want in the offer?

Read the offer carefully to ensure that anything you negotiated is in it, Wolfe says. Or, if there are additional concessions or add-ons—for example, additional paid time off, moving allowance, subsidized parking, etc.—that you’re seeking, set up a time to talk with your prospective employer. “Negotiating terms of the offer is a standard practice. You want to ensure that everything you were promised or expected is in that letter before signing on the dotted line,” he adds. Once you’ve accepted the offer, it can be difficult to go back and claim that you’re due something that was previously discussed, but not formalized in the offer.

What is the timing?

In addition, be sure you understand details that will affect your transition from job to job, including timing, Cimmino says. If you’re not starting your new job for a few weeks or if there will be a gap between when you leave your old job and start the new one, think about how you will bridge any health insurance or payroll gap. Be sure you understand when you are eligible for benefits such as health insurance, 401(k), and time off at the new company.

What impact will this job have on my family?

If your new role will require changes in your lifestyle, salary, hours, or other factors that may affect your family members, include them in the discussion too. For example, if you’re taking a pay cut or if the job requires more travel or a move, such changes will affect your spouse and children. It’s a good idea to be sure everyone’s on board, Wolfe says.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

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

2 ways to learn the unspoken rules at a company before accepting a job

LinkedIn
three professional people seated on a gold round work couch with one man shaking interviewers hand after job interview

These are the questions to ask if you want to find out if the company shows its respect for employees’ time, environment, thoughts, contributions, and effort.

When you’re interviewing for a new job, you probably want to know what it’s really like to work there. But most interview advice misses the mark when it comes to culture. How do you figure out the unspoken rules about company culture and communication before you take the job?

Unfortunately, you can’t simply ask directly. Companies often give lip service to values such as openness, honesty, integrity, and work-life balance, so it’s rare that your interviewer will come right out and contradict those.

A company’s culture is determined by what the organization actually respects, which can often vary from theory to practice. We’re all prone to self-deception.

To see the culture clearly, you’ll need to look past the words and focus on actions that show its respect for employees’ time, environment, thoughts, contributions, and effort.

Conduct a visual interview

When visiting a company, before you get to the actual talking part, do a visual interview. In 2019, the employee experience is a good indicator of how a company feels about its employees’ well-being.

When you visit the office, notice what are people wearing. Is the dress code t-shirt and shorts? Button-down and jeans? Are flip-flops optional? The spectrum of office formality to casualness provides your first clue as to how a company treats itself.

Take into account how much space, light, and quiet is each employee provided. If you find it crushing to work in a status-driven hierarchical environment where the corner office is the grand prize, pay attention accordingly. Or if the tumult of an open-floor plan feels like chaos instead of a productive workspace to you, choose wisely.

When they ask if you’d like a coffee or water, take them up on it, and get it yourself. This gives you an opportunity to visit the cafe or pantry. Notice whether it’s large and well-stocked, with a wide variety available or messy and tiny. Are they scrimping on supplies and offerings? Or is it a Google-esque cornucopia of snacks, drinks, and menu options? Great generals quip that “an army marches on its stomach.” Does your future employer agree?

Similarly, I’ve heard that a trip to the bathroom is the most revealing way to find out how a company feels about its employees. Because the bathroom is invisible to the outside world but something employees use every day, investments here show a conscious effort to improve the daily routine.

If the bathrooms are dingy, dimly lit, depressing dungeons that have not been painted since the 1970s, how discretionary is employee happiness to this company when nature calls? A clean, well-stocked, and well-maintained lavatory says the organization cares.

These visual cues give a glimpse into a company’s culture as it is actually practiced. You can’t read too much into them, of course, but they provide clues.

Ask these four crucial questions

Meeting practices, office communications, and the sanctity of days off are the biggest tip-offs to a company’s hidden culture. So after your visual interviews, ask questions face to face with your interviewers to reveal what the company values in these areas.

Some companies prefer inclusion and consensus while others value efficiency and rapid decision-making. You might ask, “Are meetings inclusive, with a dozen people or more, or limited to five or six decision-makers?” Big meetings mean no hurt feelings but no speed either. Smaller, sparser meetings mean streamlined agendas, but you might not always be included.

Asking them to discuss a time when negative employee feedback on a decision caused it to change at the company can be eye-opening. Some companies are hierarchical and simply don’t work that way, while others are immensely receptive to employee feedback. Neither’s right, but one may be more right for you.

You might also ask, “What is the rhythm to the work here? Is there a time of year when it’s all hands on deck and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year?” If your interviewer lets you know it’s all-nighters all year, that’s a different culture than a 9-5 office environment. You could continue with, “How about during the week or month? Is the work pretty evenly spread throughout the week or month or are there crunch days?” A performance-driven company will let you know it values outcomes over an easy schedule, and vice versa.

Company culture regarding emails and Slack are especially important in our always-online world. You might ask, “How do you handle the flood of emails and Slacks at your company? What works for you?” Some workplaces expect round-the-clock surveillance of your device and instant replies. Others are much more comfortable with “do not disturb” and waiting until the morning.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Need an Extra Push? Find Your Career Accountability

LinkedIn
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By Suzi Morales

There are times in your career that you need an extra push to achieve your goals. Seeking a promotion? Changing career fields? Coming back from a layoff? With so many options, it can be difficult to choose where to spend your time and money on career accountability.

Find a solution that fits your personality. Alice Chin is the co-founder and CEO of Your Other Half, which helps businesses with strategy and organizational needs. She’s led or participated in everything from membership-based networking organizations to private coaching. She recommends considering what works for your personality. For example, when you were in college, did you participate in study groups or thrive on holing up at the library by yourself? Look for accountability that fits your personality.

What do you need right now? “What kind of feedback do you need?” Chin asks next. Do you want to be surrounded by people in the same career stage you are in, or is it important to find a group or coach relating to a specific subject matter? Defining your current needs will help determine where you spend your time for accountability.

For example, Seema Shah, now the Director of Strategic Innovation at LaGuardia Community College in New York, joined a mastermind when she was about ten years into her career. She cited a shortage of career accountability opportunities for professionals of her level, compared with resources like The Muse for young professionals and corporate-sponsored leadership programs for executives. She joined the group to help with “challenges a degree wouldn’t solve” like “how do you manage different motivations.” The mastermind allowed her to have conversations with others facing similar mid-career challenges.

Be specific about your criteria. When you know your goals and what fits your personality, Chin suggests making a list of three to five criteria to filter any community you’re considering. For example, Chin, an experienced entrepreneur, says she might look for a group with no more than six women, meeting once a week, with additional one-to-one matching for added accountability, where each participant’s business makes at least a half million dollars. Evaluate all options for whether they meet your requirements. “If they don’t, then move on,” Chin says.

Common Types of Career Accountability

Once you’ve evaluated your needs and defined your parameters, consider some of the common types of accountability:

Individual Coaching. Christine Valenza Shin is the Senior Associate Director of Advising & Programs at Beyond Barnard, the career planning office of Barnard College. She describes individual coaching as “more holistic” than the advising offered by the general career advisors at a college or university. Individuals in mid- to upper management who are looking to advance might be “better served by someone who specializes in particular individuals.”

Group Coaching. Coached groups can also provide structure along with the fellowship of meeting regularly with others who have similar challenges to yours. Valenza Shin notes that people often have the “idea in their head that everyone else has it together.” Meeting with a group and realizing that they all have similar problems to yours can spur you on to make changes together. “It’s simple but so powerful knowing there’s a meeting coming up and you have to say something at that meeting,” Valenza Shin notes.

Accountability Partner. If you’re organized enough to structure the relationship for efficiency but want someone to check in with, an accountability partner might be the right fit. Chin says an accountability partner you can check in with every day—even with as little as a text—can be helpful early in your journey toward your goal.

Mastermind. Accountability and buy-in are the basic structures of a mastermind, according to Valenza Shin. The mastermind groups she organized at Barnard required an application process and a fee. “There is something about spending money that invests people in coming,” Valenza Shin says. The groups she organized also assigned roles to participants, like scheduling, checking in with other participants, and reporting on the group to the career planning office.

Re-Evaluate as Your Needs Evolve

Finally, Chin recommends continuously re-evaluating your needs. “What you’re looking for is really going to change.” Further, a hybrid approach can work if you are able to devote the time to different types of accountability at the same time. At the time she was involved in the mastermind, Shah also was earning her MBA. She says the structure of that program complemented the more informal, peer-oriented nature of the mastermind.

There is really no one right answer, so carefully consider not only your personality but also your goals as they evolve.