How to dress for every stage of your career

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By Lydia Dishman

There are a lot of unspoken rules in the workplace, and one of them is often how to dress. Today, fewer than half of American workplaces have an office dress code, according to a recent survey by Simply Hired. But even among companies that have published guidelines regarding apparel and accessories, the parameters can be rather opaque.

For instance, in a memo to staff about its new, more relaxed dress code, Goldman Sachs stated: “Goldman Sachs has a broad and diverse client base around the world, and we want all of our clients to feel comfortable with and confident in our team, so please dress in a manner that is consistent with your clients’ expectations.” Leaving employees to use their best judgment is the reason many offices allow a vast array of clothing choices, from jeans and sneakers to suits and heels.

What we wear to work does make a difference, even in an era of anything goes. In a recent study by Robert Half, the majority of professionals (86%) and managers (80%) surveyed said clothing choices affect someone’s chances of being promoted. And 44% of senior managers said they’ve had to talk to an employee about their inappropriate attire, while a third (32%) have sent staff home based on what they were wearing.

Throw in the fact that most people will cycle through several different careers during their working life, and the daily conundrum of what to wear becomes far more fraught than ever.

Luckily there are experts to guide us through best practices for how to dress at every stage of our careers. Here’s what they told us:

Entry-level to early career

When you are starting out, making the right impression is crucial. However, Alexandra Howell, assistant professor of fashion merchandising and design at Meredith College, says the old adage “Dress for the job you want” is kind of outdated in 2019.

Howell notes that if you’ve been hired, you’ve already spent time in the office and know at least a little bit about the company culture, which includes some expectations regarding what’s appropriate to wear to work there.

“Whether they require streetwear, business casual, or even formal,” says Howell, “I recommend dressing up or more formally when you first start out.” You have to keep this within reason, she cautions. If, for example, during your interview, your manager was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie, “it may be overkill to show up in a full suit [regardless of your gender], but at the same time simply replicating what your boss was wearing can seem like an overstep.” That’s why Howell advises sporting business casual. She says fitted dress pants and a button-down shirt with loafers for men and a pixie pant with a comfortable blouse or sweater and flats for women are generally safe bets. “As you become more comfortable and familiar with the culture of the company, you can reassess your wardrobe,” she says.

Dana Goren of Hibob also notes that it’s important to remember that as the youngest or newest employee, you are beginning to establish yourself and must show that you are prepared for whatever tasks you are given. “Even if you are productive and a high achiever, looking disheveled or inappropriate can undermine your credibility and cause others to doubt your abilities,” says Goren. Not only do others size you up in seven seconds or less, but research suggests that someone can determine whether or not they think another person is trustworthy within one-tenth of a second, she says.

That’s why she says, “If you work directly with clients, take care that you’re dressing in a way that’s appropriate to meet with them, as their office dress code may differ from yours.”

If you’re still struggling to figure out what’s appropriate, Scott Young, managing director of client delivery at CultureIQ, suggests simply asking the recruiter or HR leader. “You can certainly deviate in a dress code-free office,” he says, “but you want your new colleagues to focus on your performance, not your appearance.” Young says it’s perfectly appropriate to be more formally dressed than everyone else—at least to start. “Most people will accept that you are still in the post-interview process and want to put your best foot forward,” he says. “But being underdressed may signal that you don’t care about the job.”

Moving up the ranks

Yes, your dress code should change if you get promoted, says Laura Handrick, a career and workplace analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, “but only slightly—in subtle ways.” Handrick says clothing choices help establish authority over your former peers. For example, if your team members wear vintage band T-shirts, she suggests wearing a polo shirt instead.

“Senior leadership is watching,” she says. “They’re assessing your ability to contribute at higher levels, and likely with more clients, vendors, executives, and investors.” So, if you continue to dress like your staff, you’re essentially telling your leadership team that you align better with workers than leaders, says Handrick.

Keren Kozar, who oversees human resources and hiring at January Digital, takes the opposite approach. She believes that if you’ve been dressing for the job you want the whole time you were an individual contributor, you may not need to change much. However, “if the transition requires newly added face time with clients,” she says, “make certain to dress for the client environment. If this means keeping a blazer or change of shoes at the office for client-facing meetings, do so.”

Patricia Brown, chair of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising, believes it’s always good to keep reevaluating what you wear to work. “If suits are appropriate in your work environment, then maybe a newer suit or two would be warranted,” she says. Or you could add a jacket, topper, or, in some cases, a refined cardigan to elevate an existing outfit. “A ‘third piece’ or jacket adds polish, a little bit of perceived authority, and often that extra element of style,” she says. Bonus: They double as extra warmth when summer air-conditioning turns your office into a meat locker.

Second or third act

Really, the advice for first-time job seekers still applies no matter your age or career stage, says Young of CultureIQ. More than half of U.S. employees say they feel comfortable wearing jeans in the workplace, and over one-third say the same thing for sneakers, according to the same SimplyHired survey. “That is something to keep in mind if you are an older worker coming from a more rigid, formal, hierarchical workplace into what is likely to be a less formal one,” says Young. While erring on the side of formality may work to start, Young says it could be a signal to coworkers that you are seeking a more hierarchical structure, which runs against the one encouraged in your new workplace.

Mary Lou Andre, a coach, speaker, and corporate image consultant, believes that this is an ideal time to properly reassess your closet. “Schedule an appointment to retire the accumulated clothes and accessories that have the potential to dismiss your relevance as a key contributor to your evolving industry and company,” says Andre. Next, she suggests upping your game by updating your look with clothes and accessories that are age-appropriate, yet communicate a sophisticated and modern approach to dress. “This doesn’t mean changing who you are and what you stand for,” Andre says. “Rather, it means paying attention to workplace trends and following suit in a way that gives you clout with a multigenerational workforce.”

Brown recommends giving thought to what is flattering for your age and body type and what makes you feel confident. “Your clothing should accentuate your feeling good about your ability to do the job,” she says, adding, “You should dress to feel polished, and to earn respect, even if you are learning a new role.”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

First-time leaders need to stick to these 4 truths to succeed

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Congratulations! You have just been promoted to a leadership role in your company. You have aspired to be a manager and leader throughout your career, and you have finally achieved it. Now, here’s the bad news.

Research conducted by CEB shows that 60% of all new managers fail within the first 24 months of their new position. And the main reason they fail is that they were not trained properly on how to manage other people and be an effective leader in the first place. You don’t want to add yourself to that statistic, do you?

As a first-time manager, your job is to focus on building trust, engagement, and culture within your team of direct reports. Effective management is about a lot of other things, too, but at the end of the day, culture and the way people work with each other on your watch is what has to come first. The people you work with have to trust you and believe in the culture you are building before they can believe in and ultimately execute the strategy you are giving them.

In my own career, the people I looked up to the most or learned the most from were individuals who cultivated that sense of trust. They engaged with me, and other team members, on a personal level. They welcomed a direct connection. And they took it upon themselves to get to know me and see me as more than just someone they were managing.

This past year, I took on a new role within SAP as head of Partner and Small and Mid-Size Business (SMB) Marketing. I am responsible for a team of 100 people across four or five levels within the organization, spread across four continents.

After reflecting on what I appreciated most about my own managers, I wanted my new team to know I was always available for a one-on-one chat, whether the conversation was work-related or not. My belief, and what I have learned from my managers before me, is that in order to build trust if someone on your team needs to talk, that relationship needs to be a priority.

Once you have trust as your foundation, you can begin helping your team adopt these four things necessary for them to be successful.

Show (don’t just “tell”) people how to have an urgency for change

Companies that succeeded in the past oftentimes struggle to find their next big leap forward.

I have been at SAP for 14 years, and I have witnessed moments (just like any other company) where new strategies and changes are adopted immediately and effectively and other moments where new strategies and changes are forgotten and tossed by the wayside. When changes don’t get implemented, it is not necessarily because they are more difficult to execute. It is often because the environment, the team, is not prepared in order to internalize that change.

In a metaphor, “change” is sort of like planting a tree.

First, you have to prepare the ground (your team’s culture), so that it has the best chance of growing and flourishing the way you would like it. Second, you have to show people how and why the changes you are proposing matter. People need to see and understand for themselves the long-term impact—not just be given a task with minimal visibility of the larger strategy. And third, you as the manager need to make each and every person involved see how they fit into the bigger picture. Human beings need to know why their part matters, and how their individual efforts impact the efforts of the group.

What tends to happen instead is new leaders take a seed, throw it onto rocky ground, and say, “Here’s our new strategy.” They offer minimal explanation into how or why it matters. They don’t help people see how their individual efforts matter. And then they get frustrated when nobody feels a sense of urgency to implement the changes into their daily responsibilities.

You have to put people first, always

The only asset we truly have is our people. Our people are who keep the company moving forward, our people are who keep our customers and partners engaged, and our people are who collectively create the entire energy and culture of the organization. This means it’s my job, and the job of all the other managers, to ensure our people feel happy, motivated, and like they’re making an impact. It’s our job to make sure they don’t feel like they are being lost in the shuffle of the company’s fast-moving environment.

Celebrate as a team. If one person or a small group of people accomplishes something, allow everyone to be part of that milestone. This will make the success more meaningful for those involved and stand as motivation for everyone else.

Support the efforts that don’t succeed. When team members go outside the scope of what is “normal,” try their hand at something new, and fail, their courage to be wrong is the quality that should be highlighted—not the failure itself. It’s the Thomas Edison principle. Your team might fail nine times out of ten, but that 10th time, you all may invent the light bulb together.

Hold people accountable by acknowledging their intentions. At the end of the day, people are human beings. Sometimes, we’re wrong. The manager’s job then is to create a space where being wrong is okay—but to also hold people accountable to ensure the idea was given its best effort.

Create a culture of openness and sharing

Oftentimes, the best ideas will come from your team—not you.

As a manager, you have to be the one to set the bar higher for your team. I’m not just talking about the goals team members set for themselves, but how they go about achieving them in the first place. Effective leadership is not just about “knowing the answer” but being able to facilitate conversations in a way that allows the best ideas and “answers” to unfold on their own. Every project and initiative your team takes on, ask yourself, “Have I raised the bar enough? Did we go beyond what was expected, and do something we can be proud of?” The more your team can lift itself because of the culture you have built and the expectations you have set, the less you will have to continually do it for them.

Unfortunately, a lot of first-time managers (and even seasoned managers) don’t allow their teams to achieve their full potential, because they get wrapped up in their egos.

They feel like unless they are the ones to come up with the idea, they aren’t going to have a job anymore. Or, they need to feel like they’re running the show and being seen as the leader, instead of taking a step back and letting the best idea (from whomever) emerge on its own. They say they want to collaborate but, in reality, they want to be the center of attention. As a result, the team reciprocates and feels like their efforts don’t really matter. They learn to just sit back and accept things as they are, instead of helping push the bar higher and uphold the team’s standard for excellence.

As a manager, your number one job is not to be the smartest person in the room. Your job is to essentially organize the room, and make sure the right people are working on the right things, together. From there, your job becomes about having an open mind, listening, and deciding who needs who else in order to be most successful.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

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 more.

What Are the Highest-Paying Jobs?

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collage image of a doctor and patient, dentist and patient and a professional woman with a lab coat on

Let’s be honest—who doesn’t want to earn more money? While salary is far from the only thing that matters when considering a career path, it is definitely an important factor.

Figuring out what a job pays will help you, in part, decide whether or not a field is right for you.

Recently, the Economic Research team at Glassdoor sifted through the millions of data points on our site to identify which jobs pay top dollar.

See below for a preview of the top 15 highest-paying positions.

1 Physician
Median Base Salary: $193,415
Number of open jobs: 40,000+

2 Pharmacy Manager
Median Base Salary: $144,768
Number of open jobs: 4,200+

3 Dentist
Median Base Salary: $142,478
Number of open jobs: 11,600+

4 Pharmacist
Median Base Salary: $126,438
Number of open jobs: 7,967

5 Enterprise Architect
Median Base Salary: $122,585
Number of open jobs: 16,900+

6 Corporate Counsel
Median Base Salary: $117,588
Number of open jobs: 4,900+

7 Software Engineering Manager
Median Base Salary: $114,163
Number of open jobs: 21,500+

8 Physician Assistant
Median Base Salary: $113,855
Number of open jobs: 41,800+

9 Corporate Controller
Median Base Salary: $113,368
Number of open jobs: 7,400+

10 Software Development Manager
Median Base Salary: $109,809
Number of open jobs: 50,100+

11 Nurse Practitioner
Median Base Salary: $109,481
Number of open jobs: 19,500+

12 Applications Development Manager
Median Base Salary: $107,735
Number of open jobs: 32,100+

13 Solutions Architect
Median Base Salary: $106,436
Number of open jobs: $59,500

14 Data Architect
Median Base Salary: $104,840
Number of open jobs: 21,700+

15 Plant Manager
Median Base Salary: $104,817
Number of open jobs: 6,500+

Methodology
Glassdoor’s 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in America report identifies the jobs with the highest annual median base salary, using a proprietary statistical algorithm to estimate annual median base pay, which controls for factors such as location and seniority. Job titles must receive at least 100 salary reports shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (7/01/18–6/30/19).

The number of job openings per job title represents active job listings on Glassdoor as of 8/26/19. This report takes into account job title normalization that groups similar job titles. C-suite level jobs were excluded from this report.

This is the most essential trait you need to land any job

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Hiring manager interviewing potential candidate for a job

There’s no denying the value of having relevant experience and a winning personality when you’re looking to land a new job. However, a recent study conducted by TopResume confirms there is another quality that employers find even more attractive when making hiring decisions.

When asked “Which of the following is most important in a candidate?” nearly half of the recruiters and hiring managers cited potential as the number-one factor, beating out experience (37%), personality (16%), and education (2%).

But what, exactly, is potential, and how can you demonstrate this trait to prospective employers during your job hunt? While there are various definitions floating to describe a “high potential” (HiPo) employee, it ultimately boils down to two qualities: problem-solving skills and a willingness to learn.

SOLVE PROBLEMS CREATIVELY
Managers are always looking for people who will bring solutions, rather than problems, to their departments. These are the types of hires who will provide the most value to the company, no matter if the position is in customer service, public relations, or engineering. Employers across all fields want to find workers who will face challenges head-on and seek creative solutions, rather than avoiding the situation or ignoring it entirely.

DESIRE TO LEARN AND GROW
Thanks to the fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid pace of change, expertise has a shorter shelf life than ever before. In fact, according to Dawn Graham, PhD, author of the book Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success, most of us will be forced to become career switchers at some point in the future because of these constant changes. No wonder employers are interested in candidates who have the willingness and ability to grow and adapt to new circumstances and challenges in the workplace. The best employees are lifelong learners, people who actively seek out new experiences, knowledge, and feedback to increase their skills and add value to their organizations.

THREE WAYS TO DEMONSTRATE POTENTIAL
Our research confirmed that most employers evaluate these qualities in a candidate based on what they find on a person’s résumé and during the interview process. Here’s how you can show hiring managers you’ve got the potential they’re seeking in their next top hire.

PREPARE PROOF POINTS
Anyone can declare a knack for tackling problems or a love of learning on their job application or during an interview. However, if you want to convince recruiters you possess these desirable skills, you need to offer proof.

Start by brainstorming a list of examples in your career when you demonstrated creativity in order to solve a problem, learn a skill, or meet a goal that benefited the company. For example, perhaps you gave yourself a crash course in blockchain technology to prepare a pitch for a potential client that your team successfully landed. Or maybe you delved into YouTube videos or took the initiative to complete an online course to quickly learn a new skill that was required to successfully complete a work assignment.

Spend time fleshing out the stories that best illustrate your skills. Then, determine which of these stories can be woven into your résumé or your interview responses.

MAKE SURE YOUR RÉSUMÉ LEADS WITH RESULTS
Review your list and flag the stories that resulted in an achievement or a contribution that benefited your employer, such as lower costs, safer operations, greater profits, happier customers, etc. These will be the most appropriate examples to incorporate into your résumé.

Use the bullet points under your résumé’s Work History section to highlight these successes. Where possible, begin each bullet point with the result of your efforts and then describe the actions you took to achieve such a result. This is known as the “result by action” format. The “action” part of this bullet point is your opportunity to specifically demonstrate how you leveraged a specific skill to provide value to your former employers.

In the cases where you completed training programs, courses, or certifications to expand or deepen your skill set, be sure to include these professional-development activities in your résumé’s Education and Professional Development sections.

PREPARE FOR BEHAVIORAL-BASED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Employers often ask candidates to describe how they behaved during a particular situation in the past in order to gauge how they might perform in a similar situation in the future. The sample behavioral interview questions below are designed to help interviewers assess your ability and willingness to adapt, to think creatively, to solve problems, and to take initiative—in other words, your potential.

Describe a time where you had to solve a difficult problem. How did you handle it?
-Tell me about the first job you ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
-Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from an awkward situation.
-Tell me about a situation in which you recognized a potential problem as an opportunity. What did you do? What was the outcome?

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

How To Ace Your Annual Review

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The holidays are great, but there’s one last bit of stress remaining—the annual review. While it’s a relatively strong job market, there are plenty of things that companies are concerned about. Corporate executives are worried about the ramifications of tariffs and trade wars with China, nonstop political bickering and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential elections.

There are concerns that the stock market is due for a sell-off or correction and a recession is long overdue. As an employee, you’re afraid of all of the new trends of nearshoring and offshoring jobs to lower-cost places, the cost-cutting of people with the nexus of being over 40 years of age and earning a nice income and the push for technology to take over the jobs of workers.

With these real fears in mind, you’re forced to face your boss at the end of the year to have the annual review and discuss dollars and cents.

There are many employees who are in the right job in the right sector and feel really good about this time of year. They know that they have killed it at work and exceeded all expectations. Their skills are highly sought after and it would be easy to find another job with a competitor for more money. These types of employees hold all of the best cards in their hands.

You believe that you have worked hard, did a great job and deserve a raise and bonus. It sounds simple in your head. When it’s time to actually sit across the desk from your boss, it’s not so easy. It’s an uncomfortable conversation filled with potential landmines.

Let’s start with what you should never do in your annual review. Oftentimes, employees believe that they must get a promotion, raise and large bonus for just showing up. Their attitude and demeanor are turn-offs to the manager.

Here’s what you shouldn’t say:

  • “If I don’t get the money I have asked for, I’m quitting!”
  • “Jane earns a base salary of $123,612. I’m so much better than Jane, so I should get a raise to $150,000.”
  • “I have bills, tuition payments and car payments!”
  • “I’ve been here for over 15 years!”
  • “I’ve Googled how much people with my job title earn, so you should pay me what Google says they earn too.”
  • “I’m the only one who really works around here!”
  • “I do your job for you!”
  • “I don’t care if the company is not doing well, It’s not my fault.”
  • “Well, if you don’t pay me more, I won’t work as hard.”

Here’s what you should do instead. You want to enter the manager’s office armed with indisputable data, facts and information that highlight everything you’ve accomplished over the last year. Explain what was expected of you and validate how you have met and exceeded those expectations. You need to cite your achievements, including how you have helped your boss succeed, and made sizable contributions to the company.

The key is to start working on the annual review at the beginning of the year. On a daily basis, ensure that your boss and other important decision makers recognize your Herculean efforts and accomplishments. Be careful, as you don’t want to come across too obvious about it. Otherwise, they’ll think you are just trying to curry favor and gaming the system.

Your pitch is based upon tangible results. You are not asking for any favors nor are you petulantly demanding something you don’t deserve. You are politely, but firmly, presenting your case in a calm and deliberate manner that sets forth all of the reasons and rationale as to why the company should want to pay you more money.

Try to sound confident, upbeat and enthusiastic. If you drone on with just data points, you will lose your audience. You want your boss to view you as a superstar performer who is excited to come into the office everyday and shine.

The goal is to have your manager recognize that you are a valuable and irreplaceable asset to her and the organization. She’ll understand that it’s necessary to offer you more money, a larger bonus and promotion. If she doesn’t, your manager knows that there is a risk that you’ll leave to join a competitor or lose your enthusiasm and not perform as well in the future.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

An immigration question for Alexa? This teen Latina coder created a Skill for it

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Suguey Carmona is seated at desk,smiling while working on laptop

By Gwen Aviles

Alexa, am I allowed to get a driver’s license? Alexa, how long does it take to get a visa? These are the kinds of questions immigrants are now able to ask the virtual Amazon assistant in Spanish and English, thanks to “Immigration Bonds,” an Alexa Skill created by a 14-year-old Latina high school student at KIPP Brave High School in Austin, Texas.

Suguey Carmona first developed an interest in coding after taking a computer class in the sixth grade. She then joined Hello World, a K-12 computer science program based in Austin and San Francisco. She became exposed to different programming languages and discovered a way to meld her love of coding with an idea to help out immigrant families in her community.

“I chose to work on this technology because I see my own friends and family who have questions and who are struggling to make a living, and I thought maybe I should do something about it,” Carmona, whose family is from Mexico, told NBC News.

Language barriers and lack of access to information can be a major source of confusion for immigrants and can prevent them from accessing the services they need, according to numerous studies. Carmona’s technology addresses those challenges by providing a judgment-free zone to ask questions at people’s pace and in their own language.

After interviewing people about their most pressing immigration questions and conducting research on the logistics of obtaining paperwork, finding employment and navigating other areas of life as an immigrant, Carmona began working on the technology, which she named “Immigration Bonds.” And so began a months long process paved with coding challenges.

“I’d work on it for hours each day,” Carmona said. “I’d start a new paper and it would crash and break and I’d be like, ‘Oh, shoot. Now I have to start over again.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Exactly how to improve your LinkedIn profile to get more job offers

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Happy young latina woman working on her laptop at home

Not all roads lead to the perfect career. That’s why it’s called a career journey, with twists and turns and likely many lessons learned along the way. How you embraced the journey is what matters to potential employers: the skill sets you’ve developed, how you’ve navigated change and overcome challenges.

Your LinkedIn profile serves as a digital and visual representation of this journey and your unique personal brand. Capturing your professional experience in one place helps you best represent yourself and tell your story. Your LinkedIn profile can be your ticket to a variety of new opportunities like partnerships, jobs, volunteering, or new business.

It’s always a good time to think about how you can spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Here are a few suggestions to make it shine.

Tell the world who you are and where you want to go

It sounds simple, but start with your profile photo. Profiles with a photo get seen 21 times more often than those without. Your profile photo should be professional yet approachable, giving people a true sense of your personality. And, don’t forget to add a background cover photo that supports it and works with the story you are sharing about yourself.

Equally important is your summary. Your summary is the first section people visit to read about you when visiting your profile, and it’s worth taking a little extra time to capture your professional strengths and unique capabilities. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself though. Try to sum up your experience in about 40 words, and think about keywords relevant to future job opportunities to help you be found.

Recommendations from professors, alumni, managers, colleagues, and even direct reports help validate what you’re saying about yourself and helps people understand a little more about what you’re like to work with. Whether you’ve been working for a few days or a few decades, don’t be afraid to ask for one and perhaps offer one in exchange.

Finally, location, location, location. Adding your home-base city makes you up to 23 times more discoverable in searches, making it even easier for you to be connected to your next opportunity or to be found by an old friend or colleague.

Highlight your expertise

Keeping your experience up to date pays off. Not surprisingly, professionals who have their current position listed on their profile are discovered up to 16 times more in recruiter searches. And if you’re not in a current position, don’t worry. Consider instead adding something about the industry or job you’re pursuing, for example “seeking opportunities in accounting.”

Also, don’t overlook crafting summaries for each job you’ve had in your experience section. This gives your audience more insight into your skills and background. Write a crisp summary or two-to-three bulleted sentences that share your strengths and key achievements in that position.

Eighty-seven percent of recruiters agree the skills a candidate lists are crucial as they vet them. Skill Assessments allows you to represent your expertise and show your strengths. Our data shows that people who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments are up to 30% more likely to get hired.

Another way to demonstrate your expertise and build relationships with your connections is by sharing news, ideas, and perspectives to the feed and to help others stay informed. This is a great way to stay engaged with your network, for others to learn more about you, and an easy way to keep your profile up to date, as the posts you share can also be found in the activity section of your profile.

Tell the LinkedIn community what you need help with

Your profile is the perfect place to signal your needs to your professional community. Let people know what you want. Are you interested in a new job or volunteer opportunity? Need a recommendation on service providers? A service provider yourself, and want to grow your business? Signaling your intent through your profile will help you grow professionally.

If you’re looking for a new job opportunity, you can simply activate the Open to Job Opportunities feature when you update your profile. You can choose whether all LinkedIn members can see your status–or only recruiters searching to fill positions in which you may be interested. Plus, you can select the specific titles and job locations you’re targeting, allowing your profile page to work behind-the-scenes to help you land your dream job.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

5 Tips To Make A Career Change In The New Year

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The New Year is traditionally a time for fireworks, celebrations, resolutions, and now, career change. A new study from Fiverr and YouGov shows that nearly 6 in 10 U.S. workers are looking to change something about their work or career in the New Year. Some of the changes they are considering include their company, industry or job location. These results underscore the fact that work has dramatically shifted over the past decade. People no longer have jobs for life and are prioritizing purpose over profit.

“As we enter a new decade, it is important for everyone to consider the opportunities that exist for them now that might not have ten years ago,” said Gali Arnon, Chief Marketing Officer at Fiverr. “Technology has made it possible for people to earn a living right from their phone or computer, work from anywhere and collaborate on a global scale. It has allowed people to be measured by their skills and their talent, regardless of anything else. People nowadays are not looking for that ‘job for life.’ Rather they want to be part of something that has purpose and stands for something bigger than itself.”

If you are yearning for a career change in the New Year, here are five tips to guide you through the transition.

1.      Take a step back

If you are considering a career change, this is a good time to ask yourself why. Take a step back to understand your motivation. Are you considering a change because you hate your boss or because you really don’t like your job? Try not to make a fear-based decision. If you’re thinking of starting a business because you are afraid of company layoffs, that’s not a good reason to pursue entrepreneurship. Your goal is to run towards something you love, not away from something you hate. To feel fulfilled, you’ll also want to ensure that your future career aligns with your values and priorities. For example, if your number one priority is your family, a job that has you on the road 42 weeks out of the year won’t be a good fit.

2.      Consider freelancing

The Fiverr and YouGov study also confirmed that many workers are looking for increased flexibility, the ability to work remotely, and a career that they’re genuinely passionate about. If that sounds like you, you may want to consider a freelancing career. According to the sixth annual “Freelancing in America” study sponsored by Upwork and Freelancers Union, more people than ever see freelancing as a long-term career path. The share of those who freelance full time increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2019. Not only that, but at nearly $1 trillion (approaching 5% of U.S. GDP), freelance income contributes more to the economy than industries such as construction and transportation. Skilled services are the most common type of freelance work, with 45% of freelancers involved in other areas such as programming, marketing, IT and business consulting.

3.      Start a Side Gig

Thinking about going from employee to entrepreneur? One of the best methods to test a new business idea without immediately abandoning your day job is to launch a side gig. It’s also a rewarding way to acquire valuable skills while generating a bit of extra income. As your side gig grows, you’ll get a sense of whether this is a more meaningful and fulfilling career path. Eventually, you’ll have the potential to turn your side gig into a full-time business.

4.      Hire a coach

As someone who is a coach and has hired coaches for myself, I can attest to the power of coaching. They are sometimes referred to as career coaches, life coaches, or business coaches. If you are feeling stuck, wrestling with what to do next or wondering how to put your ideas into action, a coach can help. Coaches are especially valuable in terms of holding you accountable and assisting with the creation of short and long-term action plans. They essentially keep you on track and moving forward toward your goal. Ultimately, getting an outside perspective from a professional can be extremely helpful when navigating a career change.

5.      Revamp your personal brand

Has your LinkedIn profile gone untouched for months or even years? Did you send your last Tweet back in 2012? Or, worse yet, do you lack a social media presence altogether? The New Year is an ideal time to revisit your personal brand. Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are and allow you to stand out from the crowd. Cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. Personal branding is also essential if you are a consultant or a small business owner. By effectively managing your online reputation, you will be able to control the narrative and differentiate yourself from the competition.

If you are contemplating a career change, the New Year is the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months, inventory your skills and chart a new course forward.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

U.S. Hispanic Population Reaches Record High

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Latinos account for 52 percent of all U.S. population growth

By Antonio Flores, Mark Hugo Lopez and Jens Manuel Krogstad

The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 59.9 million in 2018, up 1.2 million over the previous year and up from 47.8 million in 2008, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau population estimate.

Over the past decade, however, population growth among Hispanics has slowed as the annual number of births to Hispanic women has declined and immigration has decreased, particularly from Mexico.

Even so, Latinos remain an important part of the nation’s overall demographic story. Between 2008 and 2018, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16 percent to 18 percent. Latinos accounted for about half (52 percent) of all U.S. population growth over this period.

Here are some key facts about how the nation’s Latino population has changed over the past decade:

—Population growth among U.S. Hispanics has slowed since the 2000s. From 2005 to 2010, the nation’s Hispanic population grew by an average of 3.4 percent per year, but this rate has declined to 2.0 percent a year since then. Even so, population growth among Hispanics continues to outpace that of some other groups. The white population saw negligible growth between 2015 and 2018, while the black population had annual average growth of less than 1 percent over the same period. Only Asian Americans have seen faster population growth than Hispanics, with a 2.8 percent growth rate between 2015 and 2018. (All racial groups are single race, non-Hispanic.)

—The South saw the fastest Latino population growth of any U.S. region. The Latino population in the South grew 33 percent during this period, reaching 22.7 million in 2018, up 5.6 million from 2008. This growth was part of a broader increase in the Latino population in regions across the country since the 1990s. States in the Northeast (25 percent increase), Midwest (24 percent) and West (19 percent) also experienced growth in the number of Latinos from 2008 to 2018.

—The states with the fastest Hispanic population growth tend to have relatively small Hispanic populations—and are not in the South. North Dakota’s Hispanic population grew by 135 percent between 2008 and 2018—from 12,600 to 29,500, the fastest growth rate of any state. However, the state ranked 49th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in its overall Hispanic population in 2018. Hispanic populations in South Dakota (75 percent), the District of Columbia (57 percent), Montana (55 percent) and New Hampshire (50 percent) also experienced rapid growth during this period, though all have relatively small Hispanic populations.

—Los Angeles County had more Hispanics than any other U.S. county, with 4.9 million in 2018. The next largest were Harris County, Texas (2.0 million), and Miami-Dade County, Florida (1.9 million). Overall, 11 counties had more than a million Hispanics in 2018; these include Maricopa County, Arizona; Cook County, Illinois; and Riverside County, California. In 102 U.S. counties, Hispanics made up at least 50 percent of the population in 2018

—Puerto Rico’s population declined nearly 4 percent in 2018 and is down about 15 percent since 2008. The island’s population stood at 3.2 million in 2018, down from 3.3 million in 2017, when hurricanes Maria and Irma hit. The two disasters led many Puerto Ricans to leave for the U.S. mainland, especially Florida. Even before the hurricanes, however, the island’s population had experienced a steady, long-term population decline due to a long-standing economic recession.

—Latinos are among the youngest racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. but saw one of the largest increases in median age over the past decade. Latinos had a median age of 30 in 2018, up from 27 in 2008. Whites had the highest median age nationally—44 in 2018—followed by Asians (37) and blacks (34). The median age for both Latinos and whites has increased by three years since 2008, tying for the largest uptick of any racial or ethnic group.

Source:  Pewresearch.org

What Not to Do in an Interview

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By Neal Morrison, City Career Fair

This is one of the most asked questions by candidates during my many years of producing the Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs and Roundtables across the U.S. Few candidates have any idea of the potential field of land mines that await them in an interview.

So we surveyed for their input over 500 recruiters and staffing managers who are on the front lines of recruiting for major corporations, government agencies and non-profits.

Here are their top 10 should NOT’s for an interview.

  1. Be Late – Noted by 100% of the Recruiters

“Next!” that’s what you might hear when you finally turn up—late. If an unavoidable delay occurs, immediately let the employer know before your scheduled interview time.  This shows consideration and a level of professionalism.

  1. Lack Adequate Preparation – Noted by 98% of the Recruiters

Not knowing what the company does or details about the position you’re applying for indicates to the Recruiter that you’re unprepared and may not be the right person for the position. Asking relevant questions that allow you to engage with the recruiter indicates just the opposite.

  1. Inappropriate Attire – Noted by 93% of the Recruiters

If you don’t know the appropriate attire, just call and ask the company’s HR. Business suits are always your best bet.

  1. Complain about your Current or Past Employer – Noted by 92% of the Recruiters

Don’t do it. You’ll be perceived as a complainer and possibly, someone who holds a grudge.

  1. Become too personal or familiar – Noted by 90% of the Recruiters

Flirting is unacceptable and should be avoided. Telling personal stories and sharing intimate details during your interview is taboo and could put-off the interviewer.

  1. Lack attentiveness and expressed interest – Noted by 88% of the Recruiters

Yawning, slouching, fidgeting, and clock watching send negative non-verbal cues to an experienced recruiter.

  1. Cursing or use of excessive Slang – Noted by 99% of the Recruiters

Not acceptable in the work place and will certainly eliminate you as a possible contender for the position. It could also draw question upon your emotional and psychological suitability for the position.

  1. Fail to smile appropriately and make eye contact – Noted by 83% of the Recruiters

Appropriate and regular smiles along with eye contact provide the first line of successful engagement with the interviewer.

  1. Talk or texting on your phone – Noted by 84% of the Recruiters

Talking and texting during an interview is disrespectful and will certainly eliminate you from further consideration.

  1. Forget to ask the interviewer their first impression of your qualifications – Noted by 75% of the Recruiters

Remember a golden and rare opportunity exists to gain valuable feedback from an experienced observer—the interviewer. Most are willing to share their observations and assessment of your qualifications and prospectus for getting the position, if asked.

Regardless of how you’ve done on interviews in the past, these insights when applied should build your confidence and thereby increase your success.

Neal Morrison is Diversity Outreach Director at City Career Fair (www.citycareerfair.com).