These are the top 4 ways to get to the C-suite

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If your goal is to climb the career ladder of success all the way to the top, chances are your path may not be direct. But it can also be hard to predict. “When you’re in the middle of an organization or even a few levels away, knowing what it takes to get into the C-suite becomes a bit of a black box,” says Cassandra Frangos, former head of the global executive talent practice at Cisco and author of Crack the C-Suite Code: How Successful Leaders Make it to the Top. “Some think that it’s a straight line, and others think it’s a matter of luck or even politics—and at times it can be.”

However, having played a role in many C-suite successions, Frangos found that there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach. “All organizations are different, and every executive brings unique strengths,” she says. “It’s often a portfolio of experiences that you need to have as well as a lot of skill in terms of navigating different career paths.”

Frangos is the co-instructor of a new course at MIT Sloan School of Management’s Executive Education Program called “Charting Your Path to the C-Suite.” In it, she shares the four most common paths you can follow to reach the C-suite.

The tenured executive

The tenured path is where executives stay at company they love and find a great culture fit, says Frangos. This is also the most predictable and common path, with the majority of CEOs and other C-suite leaders promoted from within, including 69% of Fortune 100 CFOs, according to a study from CFO Journal.

This path also requires the most patience. While Frangos says internal hires that rise to the C-suite were identified as high performers within their first year, she also says they often spend more time in roles than those who take other paths. “Know how long you’ll be in line, and decide how long you’re willing to wait,” she advises.

For example, if you’re second in line, and the current CEO is young, well-liked, and only in the job for two years, it could take a while for you to be promoted. On the other hand, if your boss has been there for a decade and mentioned that they’d like to retire or do something new in the next couple of years, your time might be coming soon.

“You can’t control someone else’s succession,” says Frangos. “If you are a C-suite hopeful and there’s no spot opening up in your timeframe, it may be a signal to look elsewhere.”

The free agent

Free agents C-suite members reach a certain point at a company and then jump to another to continue their climb. They’re often recruited because the company is looking for an outsider’s perspective and ideas. “This path seems to be picking up steam, as 22% of CEOs between 2012 and 2015 were appointed from outside organizations,” says Frangos.

To be a free agent, you’ll need to demonstrate a flawless track record and reputation, says Frangos. “Also, [you’ll need to] develop your leadership brand in a more deliberate way compared with internal peers,” she says.

The leapfrog leader

Leapfrog Leaders pass over their peers as well as superiors, jumping several steps ahead based on their vision and potential. Frangos says this was the case when Chuck Robbins was appointed CEO of Cisco in 2015. Formerly the head of sales, Robbins jumped two spots ahead to take the top spot.

To be a leapfrog leader, you need to able to confront industry disruption and present yourself as a strong champion for change in the organization, says Frangos. This can be the most difficult path to execute because it’s not one you can plan for; you need to prepare for opportunities and be ready to seize them if and when they arise.

The founder

Perhaps the fastest track to the C-suite is to create your own. Founders start their own companies because they have an idea and a passion—not simply a desire to be a CEO.

With this type of career path, you have more control over the timing of your entrance to the C-suite. However, it requires different skills sets. You need to be entrepreneurial and have a willingness to take risk. You also must be willing to take on a wider range of responsibilities during your startup mode, as founders wear many hats.

Whatever path you take

Anyone headed to the C-suite should have a willingness to reinvent themselves, as well as the confidence to state their ambition, no matter which path they eventually take. The landscape of the C-suite is changing in terms of its dynamics and the way to think about leading, says Frangos.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

17 College Majors That Report Higher Underemployment

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According to a recently released survey from salary, jobs and career database, PayScale, holders of these bachelors degrees said they felt they were unemployed.

To complete its study, PayScale collected data from 962,956 workers.

Physical Education Teaching

% Underemployed: 56.4%

Human Services

% Underemployed: 55.6%

Illustration

% Underemployed: 54.7%

Criminal Justice

% Underemployed: 53.0%

Project Management

% Underemployed: 52.8%

Radio/Television & Film Production

% Underemployed: 52.6%

Studio Art

% Underemployed: 52.0%

Health Care Administration

% Underemployed: 51.8%

Education

% Underemployed: 51.8%

Human Development & Family Studies

% Underemployed: 51.5%

Creative Writing

% Underemployed: 51.1%

Animal Science

% Underemployed: 51.1%

Exercise Science

% Underemployed: 51.0%

Health Sciences

% Underemployed: 50.9%

Paralegal Studies

% Underemployed: 50.9%

Theatre

% Underemployed: 50.8%

Art History

% Underemployed: 50.7%

Continue on to Forbes for the complete slideshow.

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.

Answers To 7 Cliché Interview Questions

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By Heather Huhman

Throughout your career, you will participate in many, many job interviews. In all of these interviews, you will hear a few questions time and time again: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire you? Even though these questions are incredibly cliché, there’s a reason so many interviewers rely on them.

Your answers to the cliché questions say a lot about you. They can make or break your chance at landing the job.

It’s essential to prepare original answers for the cliché questions you know you’ll hear at your next job interview.

The strongest answers are unique and will give you a leg up in the competition.

Here are seven of the most cliché interview questions and how to answer them with originality:

  1. Tell me about yourself.

Employers will often begin the interview with this one. Because it’s so vague, this answer needs to be prepared ahead of time. You can answer using your elevator speech. Talk briefly about three areas of your career: job history, most impressive accomplishments, and relevant goals. Your interviewer already has your resume, so rather than memorizing your background, you need to expand on what makes you different and emphasize your passion. Keep it concise.

  1. Why do you want to work here?

This question will show hiring managers if you’ve done your research before the interview. You should enter the interview knowing background information about the company, recent news surrounding the company and industry, and specific details about the position. Understand the company culture and mission. Use what you learn to highlight the detailed reasons you want the job and why your background makes you a perfect fit for the company.

  1. What are your biggest strengths?

Your strengths and weaknesses tend to be paired together by interviewers, so have answers for both. When it comes to your strengths, you need to tailor your answers to the job description. In addition to a laundry list of responsibilities, job descriptions will often list soft skills required for the role. If you have these qualities, list them as your greatest strengths in the interview. It’s not enough, however, to say your biggest strength is your ability to communicate. You need to show them why by telling a story that showcases a time when you used your skills to accomplish a goal.

  1. What is your biggest weakness?

On the flip side come your weaknesses. This one is tough because it’s easy to give a cliché answer. Avoid giving a strength disguised as a weakness like, “I’m a perfectionist.” Interviewers know this is a cop-out. Instead, choose a real weakness, and put a positive spin on it. Talk about the fact that you realize it’s a problem, and discuss the ways you’re working to improve. For example, “I tend to rush through tasks because I want to get them done quickly, but I am learning to step back and put a bit more emphasis on quality than speed. I’ve started to become both efficient and effective.”

  1. Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?

Your answer to this question should demonstrate your desire to commit to the job and grow within the company. Talk about how you want to learn everything you can and expand your skills to benefit the company. Mention your desire to move up in the company over time. Explain you want this job to be the start of a long career with the company.

  1. How do you handle conflict?

When interviewers ask this (or similar questions about teamwork, leadership, etc.), they are looking for you to describe specific examples of your experience. Describe a time when you faced conflict in the workplace. Explain the situation, how you handled it, and the results. Don’t forget to tell the story from start to finish to show how you accomplished your goal.

  1. Why should we hire you?

This question might be one of the last things you’re asked in an interview. Like #1, it’s pretty vague, so have an answer prepared. Talk about your best skills and accomplishments that show why you, and you alone, are the perfect person for the position. Use specific details from the job description, and emphasize why you are capable of doing them best. If you’re not asked this question, you might be asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to tell me?” Use the same principles to answer this question. End your interview by proving why you’re the only person for the job.

Even though all of these questions are cliché, you can use them to shine in your interview. The fact that they’re so cliché is an opportunity. Expect to be asked these questions and answer them with stories tailored to make you the best candidate.

Source: Glassdoor

Ace Your Next Performance Review

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By Jillian Hamilton

Dreading a performance review is normal. Truthfully, your manager might be dreading your performance review, too. Something about the performance review process has led employees to feel threatened and vulnerable instead of as an opportunity for growth.

In a fast-paced work environment, many managers consider performance reviews as an uncomfortable requirement to complete or as a way to document poor performers for a potential employment termination.

While some companies are bad at growing their employees, you can do some of your own work to show up to the review table prepared. Your preparation may save your job, but ultimately, it will help you take control of your career and progress with your organization.

Here are three ways to prepare for your next review.

 

Get your mind ready. While sometimes money is directly linked to a performance, it’s helpful if you don’t link them in your own mind. When it comes to performance reviews, you have to take the long view of your career and not the short view of your bank account. Yes, paying the bills or taking a vacation is important, but using this opportunity to set your overall career in the right direction will have a long-term payoff with higher yields. So, don’t be short sighted and feel emotionally tied to a raise with your review. Feedback can be helpful to growth, so make that your mindset. When you’re focused on growing as an individual, you might even find that the money will follow sooner rather than later.

Spend 12 months planning for your review – not 12 minutes. Prepare throughout the year for your performance review. Spending time compiling your lists of goals or accomplishments will give you a leg up when you walk into your manager’s office. If you are unsure of what to prepare, here are a few ways you can prepare before the review:

Review your job description. It is helpful to understand where you are meeting and exceeding the documented expectations. If your description does not match your current position, it may be time to help craft a new description. Be sure to outline the additional job requirements for your manager. Bring the solution to the problem with you – especially at a performance review.

  • Review your old goals and identify new ones for the next year. Showcase your drive. You want to identify how you have been achieving goals and how you are driven to keep working hard and growing within the organization. Often, when others are driven, it can be motivating for others.
  • List out any learning initiatives you took on over the year – formal and informal. Lifelong learners are motivating to be around – even when they report to you. Showing the initiatives that you have taken on company or your time can highlight your value.
  • Look through your old appraisals, if you have them handy. See what goals you’ve met since then or habits you’ve adjusted. You may not need to communicate this information, but if you’re reviewing with a new manager in the organization, it could be helpful to refresh your memory on what other managers have done in the past. If the review takes a sharp left turn in an unexpected direction, you will be better prepared with this information fresh in your mind.
  • Prepare some questions for your manager. But do not ask questions about raises or promotions. That is similar to starting an interview process with a request for salary amount. Take that time to ask your manager about their career path or the history of the organization. An attitude of curiosity or learning can help you and your manager both walk away from the review encouraged.
  • List out your accomplishments. It’s helpful to track these items throughout the year, but even spending 30–60 minutes doing this before the review will help you remember your work accurately when you feel like you are in the hot seat during the review. Also, an added bonus is that identifying your accomplishments will help you keep your resume current.

Ask someone for help. Just like interviewing is a learned skillset for most, so is the performance review conversation. Find a trusted peer and have them ask you some hard questions. Practice communicating your accomplishments and growth to another human being before you try it on your boss. If your organization has a poor track record with performance reviews, this last step is especially important. All of your preparation is useless if you don’t take a little time to give your brain and emotions some practice.

You might still dread your performance review, but at least show up to the table prepared. You owe it to yourself and your career.

Source: ClearanceJobs.com

2020 Hot Jobs

LinkedIn
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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

First Day Jitters? How to Make a Smooth Transition

LinkedIn
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Making a career change is almost as stressful as meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time. Even if you’ve landed your dream job, you’ll encounter your fair share of challenges on your new career path.

Luckily, with the right approach, a positive attitude and a little bit of help, those challenges don’t have to be insurmountable.

So, if you’re considering a major career change, make things easier on yourself by following these six steps to get on the right path.

Find a Mentor

Going into a new job can seem like a never-ending mountain that you need to climb each and every day. But less-experienced mountaineers typically don’t climb without a guide—and neither should you. By seeking out someone with more experience who has been in your position before, you can gain not only some guidance but also a confidant who can offer sage advice, a sounding board to help you gain clarity and a champion to make sure your accomplishments get the attention they deserve. See if your new place of work has a mentorship program, or seek one out to see the benefits of having a mentor in the workplace.

Get a Routine and Stick to It

Be prepared for what you signed up for. It doesn’t matter what your previous work life was like, you need to be certain of the schedule your new employer expects of you. Each workplace is different—some offer flexibility, while others have a strict 9–5 schedule. If your career change also comes with a significant change in routine, take the week before your start date and get yourself ready for it.

Do it For the Culture

Do you like to tell jokes and go for little walks during the workday? You better be sure that’s something that isn’t frowned upon at your new job. You can add your own personal flair to the overall team dynamic, but trying to change an entire company culture is more than difficult. Your best bet is to ask the right questions during the interview and knowing for certain that this position is the right fit. Because you don’t to be a Seinfeld type of person walking into a Friends type of office.

Take Note

It can be tough to remember everyone’s name—let alone all the new terminology that’ll be thrown at you—so a pen and a notepad will likely be your best friends (at least for the first few weeks). Don’t be shy about writing things down, asking follow-up questions or asking people to slow down or repeat themselves. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to gain a solid understanding of the ins and outs of your new company.

Build Strong Relationships

Working independently, taking charge of responsibilities and exuding a sense of confidence may give your superiors a positive image of you, but you can’t do everything alone. Many workplaces increasingly value collaborative efforts, so find a way to work well with your coworkers. By building strong relationships right away, you’ll be able to develop a network of contacts that extends across departments.

Don’t Stop Networking

Just because you’re on a new career path, it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to old your old contacts. You’ll be able to strengthen and diversify your network with your old and new colleagues. While it may seem like an arduous task to be constantly connecting and reconnecting, the sooner you start reaching out, the sooner you’ll start feeling more comfortable.

You’ve worked hard to get to this point in your career, so this should be a positive time in your life. Following these bits of advice will minimize stress and set you up for a successful transition into your new career.

Source: CareerBuilder

The Key Job Search Skill You Never Knew You Needed

LinkedIn
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Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels.

By Hannah Morgan

As a job seeker, you need to develop an important set of new skills. Job search requires self-promotion! You must learn how to think like a marketer and learn the basics of selling!

Why? Because you are selling… you.

It is going to take a lot more to separate yourself from the other candidates looking for the same job you are. And because hiring managers need to be able to justify every expense and see a return on their investment.

Hiring a new employee is one of the greater risks employers take. Make it easy for your future hiring manager. Explain how they will benefit financially from hiring you.

Self-promotion skills pros have mastered: People with a background in sales understand basic sales principles and know how to build a sales funnel. They understand lead generation. Job seekers are sales professionals and should understand what the job duties are in their new role. Self-promotion is merely applying those principles to one’s self.

The responsibilities of a sales professional closely mirror those of a job seeker:

  • Develop new and manage existing relationships
  • Perform prospecting on the phone and in person
  • Strategically manage online and offline brand promotion
  • Increase contact volume and enhance awareness in the community
  • Plan and implement a marketing strategy/campaign
  • Write strong technical and marketing materials
  • Monitor activities and performance

Identify leads. Just as sales professionals must identify the companies who need their product or service, you must identify companies who could use your services.

Sales professionals develop a large pipeline of potential customers, not just those who have an immediate need. Their prospective customer is anyone who could potentially use their product. The million-dollar question is: How?

They find new ways to identify customers. One way is by identifying similar products they may use. In your case, look at companies who already employ people who do what you do. Search LinkedIn for job titles and see which companies have your job. Or you could look at what companies are doing. Are they growing? Did they win a new contract? You can identify companies that will for the problem your services solve.

Once you have identified these targets, create a sales pitch for each individual company based on what they would gain by using your service.

Brand promotion. As you know, you have a personal brand or personal reputation. Self-promotion means strategically managing this and promoting it within the community. Salesmen go to trade shows, industry events, and local events. Likewise, you should seek opportunities to attend and perhaps even speak at events in your area of expertise. Get out of the house! And don’t forget to build a reputation online.

Strong communication skills. Every email, pitch, and proposal a salesperson sends and every conversation determines whether they will close the sale or not. Learn how to write and speak clearly and concisely. Write your message so that a prospective employer can see your value. In other words, explain the benefits of hiring you, not just your features (skills and abilities).

Have a strategy you can measure. A self-promotion strategy is more than applying to every job that looks interesting. Purposely focus on companies and people who you know could use your services. We call this target marketing and it happens in advance of a job posting. Are you measuring these activities?

  • How many people did you reach out to this week?
  • How many jobs did you apply to?
  • Did you have any interviews this week?
  • How many hours did it take you to do all this?

Have you ever seen a sales professional’s weekly progress report? These are the kinds of metrics they are asked to track. You should, too.

Thick skin. The one attribute salespeople have, which will serve you well, is the ability to deal with rejection. It is part of their job, and you will experience it, too.

Salespeople realize that not every opportunity becomes a sale. As a job seeker, not every lead or every interview will translate into a job offer. Be prepared for this. Learn how to cope with the fact you may never know the real reason you weren’t selected for a job.

Just keep moving forward, adapting your self-promotion strategies to favor those that are successful.

Source: Careersherpa.net

4 Tips to Rejecting a Job Offer Without Closing the Door Completely

LinkedIn
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You did it! You crushed your interviews and mailed your thank-you notes, and now your experiences and efforts have landed you a job offer. If you’re lucky, the process has excited you for the new role and company, but it’s not uncommon to discover deal-breakers that leave you wanting to stay. Perhaps the negotiated salary is too low, the job description has been altered, or some change at your current employment makes you reconsider leaving in the first place. Whatever the reason, you may need to learn how to reject a job offer.

First, let go of any guilt you feel about rejecting this job offer. “Interviewing for a job does not signal that you will definitely accept it if it’s offered to you, no more than an employer interviewing you is an implicit promise to hire you,” Alison Green, author of Ask a Manager: Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work, write in New York Magazine. Harboring these feelings will only make telling the employer of your decision harder on you, and could negatively impact your response — and you don’t want to hem and haw before declining or attempt to over-explain yourself in an email. Either could risk offending the employer more than simply passing on a job.

The last thing you want to do is burn bridges, especially in a niche industry where everyone seems to know everyone else. Crunch the numbers and search your soul to ensure that you’re confident that the job offer isn’t for you, then follow these tips to rejecting a job offer.

As soon as you know, let your would-be employer know.

As many hours as you have put into researching the company, preparing for interviews, and acing the tough questions, an employer has spent that same time narrowing the applicant pool down to you. So, if you would not want to wait for an extended period to hear whether or not you got the job, don’t make the hiring manager sit on pins and needles waiting for your decision. No one likes to be strung along, Monster notes.

How you deliver your news is equally important. Glassdoor notes that you should think about the line of communication you’ve had thus far: A thoughtfully crafted response to an ongoing email chain might be acceptable. But, if you’ve developed a phone rapport — or if you want to underscore how much you’ve valued the company’s consideration—call with your decision. (Just don’t leave a voicemail.)

Always start with “thank you.”

It may be obvious, but don’t take for granted this simple opening line, over email or phone. Thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity recognizes their time spent reading your application, meeting with you, introducing you to the team, and so on.

Be short, sweet, and only somewhat specific.

Cap your explanation at no more than two sentences, with just enough detail to demonstrate the real thought that you’ve given the offer and that you’re not passing on a whim. Maybe you’re just not ready to relocate, or willing to compromise on salary, or both. Perhaps you’ve been offered another position that you do choose to accept. The simplest explanation will suffice here; no need to share your full pros and cons list with the prospective employer.

Also, Indeed suggests you skip the brutal honesty: If you’re not as interested in the people or company as you once thought, a polite explanation that “the position doesn’t feel like quite the right fit” would be better than risking insulting the team or company.

Keep in touch.

After you express your gratitude one more time, sign off with a simple yet effective, “I hope our paths cross again in the future” or “I hope that we might work together in the future.” Either indicates your goodwill toward the hiring manager and openness to other opportunities together. (Tip: This closure works just as well in a graceful thank-you note after you’ve learned you’ve been passed up for a role!)

Continue on to the Woman’s Day article on Yahoo News to read the complete post.

7 Ways You Should Never Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”

LinkedIn
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The question comes up in nearly every interview. It might be phrased in any number of ways, but every interviewer is going to ask, in some form, why should we hire you? The most important thing to remember when answering this question: Your answer should focus on how you can benefit the company and what you can offer your potential employer.There are plenty of right ways to answer this question, but there are even more ways you can get it wrong. We’ll walk you through all of them.

First things first — there are some things, though they may be true, you should never say in response to this question.

1. Because I need the job

This will do nothing to excite the hiring manager. It doesn’t illustrate any passion for the position or company — it doesn’t even express interest.

2. Because I want to move

You’re looking to make a move to a new city, but you have to have the job to make the move possible. This isn’t a great reason to hire someone, because it can make the company feel like it’s just filling a temporary purpose — to get you to your destination. While you should be honest about your intention to move, you shouldn’t use this as the reason why you want to work there.

3. Because I hate my current job

Badmouthing a past or current employer in a job interview is bad form. Saying you want a new job just to escape your old one might be true, but the interviewer doesn’t need to know that.

4. Because I want to make more money

Don’t we all? Let’s be honest. For many people, this is the reason they’d like a new job. But if you use pay as the reason why a company should hire you, its hiring managers could see you as a flight risk — the moment someone else offers you more money, you’re gone just as quickly as you came.

5. Because I can grow your business by 1,000%

Don’t answer by promising something you can’t deliver. Be realistic — you’ll have to make good on your word later.

6. Because I am [insert fluffy words not backed up by anything concrete]

Just about anyone in a job interview can say things like, “You should hire me because I’m a team player! I’m hardworking and creative.” So is everyone else. If you’re going to talk about “soft” skills and attributes, then be ready to back them up with anecdotes or metrics.

7. Because your company would look great on my resume

Companies are probably well aware of this — and it’s not a reason to hire a candidate. Remember to make your answer about what you can give the company, not what you hope to get from it.

5 good ways to answer, “Why should we hire you?”

1. Because I have something you won’t find in other candidates

Companies should hire you because you have a unique skill they need. Think beyond the basic job description — you and the other candidates likely tick all those boxes. You’ll need to bring a skill they didn’t even know they needed.
Let’s say you’re interviewing for a graphic design position. You check all the boxes on the job description and you have a killer portfolio‚ so the reason that company should hire you over anyone else should be one that makes you stand out. Maybe you have experience with JavaScript, maybe you’ve managed people and processes simultaneously, perhaps you have experience with large and recognizable companies. Give them something you’re sure they won’t get from another candidate.

2. Because I bring something unique to company culture

Hiring managers and recruiters want to make sure you’re a good fit for their company and team culture. Be clear and honest about how you would contribute to the office climate:
You should hire me because I see at this company a culture of excellence. I won’t work anywhere that I feel doesn’t have the same standards I do. I’m positive, forward-thinking, and at my last job, I led my team from disappointment to success.

3. Because I can solve a problem you have

You can really pique a hiring manager’s interest by solving a problem for them. It’s one fewer thing for them to worry about and something they can get excited about. If you can solve a problem for someone at the company, you likely have won a champion in the hiring process. You said your customer acquisition engine has stalled and your cost per lead is too high. You should hire me because I can solve this problem — I’ve done it before. At my last job, I lowered CPL by 42% in eight months.

4. Because I believe in your company mission

Companies that are highly mission-focused want to hire teams that back that mission, too. Explain why that mission matters to you and provide examples of how that mission has motivated you beyond your professional life.You should hire me because I, too, believe that all children should have access to high-quality education. I spend my free time working with at-risk youth to ensure they don’t fall behind on their schoolwork. I’ve done this for three years, and I understand the causes and unique problems these kids face.

5. Because I’m hungry to learn

<Let’s say you’re interviewing for a position that’s a step up from your current job; you should show your employer why you’re ready to take on more responsibility. You should hire me because I’ve been a product manager for four years with excellent success, and I’m hungry to take on more responsibility and grow in my career. I see so much potential for this role, and I would love the opportunity to step in as a manager and teach junior team members what I’ve learned and watch them grow, too.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.