Early Bird Gets the Worm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Findings

The survey revealed the following differences by market:

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

About the Research

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

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

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).

Ask These Questions Before Accepting a Job Offer

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You’ve been offered a job and can’t wait to jump on the opportunity. But before accepting the offer, ask yourself the following questions.

1 What is the company’s reputation?
The organization you work for will have an impact on your short- and long-term career. With that in mind, research the business to find out what kind of reputation it has and what its actions show about its values and the work environment. Look over its annual report and information about the company in news articles and elsewhere to decide whether the business or the industry it’s in are facing any financial or legal challenges. You want to join a financially strong company where you can feel comfortable and grow professionally.

2 What are compensation and benefits?
Make sure the salary being offered is comparable to what other companies are offering to people with similar experience in similar positions. Ask if you can earn bonuses or other additional types of compensation, especially if that’s the case in your current job. Compare the benefits package with what you may be receiving now or could expect from another employer to be sure you’re not losing out on any benefits.

3 What will you actually do?
Ask as many questions as necessary to determine you understand what is expected, what opportunities are available and whether you will be satisfied in the job.

4 Will it cost me more to work here?
Your review of the benefits plan can help you answer this question, since it can tell you whether you will have to pay more for health insurance or any other crucial benefit than you are paying now, as an example. If you will have to move or face a long commute, consider whether the extra expense is worth changing jobs because, say, the new company offers better career opportunities.

5 Is this a good next step in my career?
The answer—and the factors you consider—will vary based on your ambitions and current position. Issues to consider—and ask about in interviews—include the advancement opportunities, in-house training available and educational financial assistance the company offers.

6 Will I like it here?
This can be a tough question to answer before you’ve even started. If possible, reach out to people who work at the organization, or see if friends or business contacts know anyone there you can speak with about the culture and other factors important to you. Another consideration is whether you will have to work longer hours or travel more in the new job. Will you consider those changes a drain on your free time or decide you should accept them as the price of getting ahead? And if you now can set your own hours or work remotely, find out if they are available with the new company. The answers to all of these questions can clarify which job is best for you.

Source: 360financialliteracy.org

15 Work Conversations That Could Cost You Your Job

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In August 2019, Google issued a new set of community guidelines that banned political discussions at work.

The new policy states, “While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics. Avoid conversations that are disruptive to the workplace or otherwise violate Google’s workplace policies.”

Talking about politics isn’t the only conversation you should avoid at work. There are plenty of types of work conversations that could cost you your job, so you’ll want to learn how to avoid them if they come up.

Talking Openly About Wanting To Quit

Even if you’re among co-workers you trust, it’s a bad idea to talk openly about wanting to quit your job, said Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation.

“No matter how close you may be with your co-workers or even if you said it out of frustration, it’s best not to discuss something this sensitive in mixed company,” she said. “News of this nature travels quickly through an office grapevine. Before you know it, your manager might find out and will have questions for you.”

“The best approach is to avoid discussing this topic altogether with co-workers,” Case said. “It’s a personal matter that should be kept to yourself and a conversation to have with management when, and if, the time is suitable for it.”

Discussing Religion

In general, it’s best to avoid any topic that could make your colleagues uncomfortable and raise a flag with human resources. Because religion is such a sensitive topic, it’s one you should not discuss at work.

“You may need to talk to HR or a supervisor if you need accommodation for your religious beliefs, such as time off for religious holidays or a place to pray during the workday,” said Paula Brantner, an employment attorney and principal at PB Work Solutions. “But when it comes to your co-workers, no one wants to be proselytized to at work since you’re compelled to be there, and it’s harder to politely decline.”

“Although religious discrimination is illegal, you also need to be focused on your job while at work, so don’t spend time engaged in religious conversations,” she said. “And don’t engage in discrimination against or harass other workers in violation of federal, state, and/or local law because they don’t share the same beliefs or have individual characteristics that you don’t agree with.”

Discussing Your Home Life or Marital Issues

Leave any issues you have with your home life at home, said Baron Christopher Hanson, lead consultant and owner of RedBaronUSA.

“News about your home life or any litigious matters you or a spouse may be facing can spread … or reveal weaknesses that competitors and foes in any workplace may use against you,” he said.

Airing Out Workplace Secrets

“Any workplace secrets — marketing plans, financial strategies or legal disputes — that your company is dealing with should never be discussed in public where details may be overheard, recorded or distributed digitally in nanoseconds,” said Hanson.

“In today’s modern world, communication comes at us seemingly from every direction — other people, our computers and especially our smartphones. Private texts and conversations can be seen or heard over our shoulders like never before, even on the train home from work when you think no one is really listening or seeing what you type.”

Discussing Health Issues

As with your home life, discussions about your health don’t belong in the office. Talking openly about a medical issue should not cost you your job, but it can make co-workers feel uneasy.

Telling your co-workers that you had a routine dental appointment isn’t necessarily an issue. Still, you might want to hold off on discussing serious medical problems, Annette Harris, president and founder of personal branding agency ShowUp!, told HuffPost.

“Similar to marital problems, people often just don’t know how to react or respond in a work environment,” she said.

Gossiping About Other Co-Workers

You probably won’t like every person you work with, but you should definitely keep those thoughts to yourself, said business coach Stacy Caprio.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

5 expressions to avoid in formal networking situations

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Networking is a delicate art. While it’s certainly evolved in the past decade, there are still certain situations (and certain industries) where you must abide by a particular set of strict, unspoken rules. Mess one of these up, and you risk missing out on a critical opportunity to advance your career.

When speaking to someone more senior—and business networking usually involves an “ask” for help from senior people—you need to convey respect and recognition of their status.

Remember: People will go out of their way for you if they like you and feel inspired by you. But turn them off, and they’ll tune out.

With that in mind, consider skipping any of the following casual or unprofessional expressions:

1. “Hey, I’m ______”

Introducing yourself casually is fine in most situations. But this language can come across as too casual if you’re introducing yourself to someone older or more senior who might be a good lead for a job.

Saying “Hello” is a better bet. And giving both your first and last names is more professional. You don’t want that other person walking away and thinking, “I met someone named Paul, but I never got his last name.”

2. “I’m VP of sales for company X”

When networking at a business event it’s tempting to rush in with your title. After all, you want your new contact to know you’re a professional with some status. But it will sound arrogant to add this so quickly.

I recently met a young woman at a networking event, and within the first 15 seconds she let me know that she worked for a big Silicon Valley firm and had a good job in IT. She never bothered to ask my name, work situation, or title. I was not interested in speaking to her again because the encounter was one way.

Rather than hurling your job title at a new face, wait until the other person asks for that information. If you ask them about themselves, they will likely raise the same questions about you. It means a lot more when they ask you what you do than when you shout it out to them.

3. “That’s cool”

Once you get into conversation with an executive, your words will define the kind of relationship you want to have with that person. If you’re too casual, you’ll sound like you don’t necessarily aspire to a professional connection.

Suppose you’re in conversation with a vice president who works in a firm you’d like to do business with. You ask, “Who do you hire for your sales training?” When you find out, you might be tempted to say something like “Hey, I know them,” or “Cool.”

Instead, opt for a more polished expression, such as “Yes, I’m familiar with that firm, and I believe we can offer something more.” This positioning will get you further in pursuing a possible business contact.

4. “Can I impose on you to make a call?”

Once you’ve gotten a good conversation going, you may be ready to pitch the other person for a lead. But the “ask” has to be handled with delicacy.

The phrase “can I impose on you” sounds like you haven’t done the groundwork for the “ask.” So go through the steps that will make you feel you are not imposing. This can include a lot of listening and selling yourself. Once you’re convinced you are not imposing, you can confidently say, “I’d love it if you could make a call on my behalf.” Now you’re off and running!

5. “Let me know how it goes”

If someone has been kind enough to speak to someone else on your behalf, be sure you do the follow-up—don’t expect them to get back to you.

Ask your new contact when you should follow up with them. You might also inquire “What is the best way to reach you?” They may give you their business card or phone number or say “Text me at this number.” The point is that you want to close on this networking opportunity, and that means the next step should be very clear.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Science Says You Need 1 More Thing to Be Exceptionally Successful (and Incredibly Wealthy)

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Think about any incredibly successful person and it’s easy to assume they possess something special: Talent. Perseverance. Intelligence. Skill. Education. Connections. Emotional intelligence. A growth mindset.

By Jeff Haden

Who they are inside — and what that then allows them to do — makes all the difference.

Or not.

Research shows that traits like passion, mental toughness, constant learning, and a willingness to take risks do lead to greater success:

  • Hard work is usually rewarded.
  • Perseverance is often the difference between success and failure; give up and failure is guaranteed.
  • Intelligent risk does, at times, pay off. (And if it doesn’t, what you learn from new experiences makes success more likely the next time)

When you out-work, out-think, out-skill, and outlast other people…  you’re much more likely to be successful.

Think of it as the 80 Percent Rule: Do what other people are unable, or just as importantly, unwilling to do, and in time you should at least make it to, say, the 80th percentile of successful people.

But to get the rest of the way?

To be one of the most successful people?

Bill Gates was talented. And lucky.

Science says you’ll also have to be lucky: To be at the right place at the right time, to meet the right person at the right time, to stumble on an idea, a market, an audience… to experience something you weren’t necessarily looking for.

Take Bill Gates. Young Bill was clearly smart, creative, driven… he had all the qualities that tend to create success. (Except maybe emotional intelligence.)

Yet because his family could afford to send him to a private school, and because that school was one of the few in the country with access to a teletype that could connect to a GE time-sharing computer… and because his friend Paul Allen shared an article about Altair, the first microcomputer kit, which led them to convert Basic into an operating system for Altair…

Bill might still have become successful. He had the mental and emotional tools. But luck — or coincidence, if you prefer — also played a huge role.

Millions of other people are talented. And lucky.

Who you are — and what you do — matters. But success is also based on factors you can’t control.

For example, research shows:

  • “In any group of elite hockey players,” writes Malcolm Gladwell, “40 percent will have been born between January and March.” Being born early in the year tended to make them the biggest, strongest, and fastest in their junior age groups.
  • People born in June and July are significantly less likely to become CEOs. Why? Because they were the youngest in their classes.
  • People with easy to pronounce names are “judged more positively” than people with difficult to pronounce names. Why? Good question.
  • Over half of the variation in income across the world depends on the country of birth. Where you’re born — something you obviously can’t control — matters greatly. As the researchers write, “The role of effort… cannot play a large role in explaining global distribution of income.”

Bottom line, luck definitely plays a role.

But so does what you do it.

And whether you try to create your own luck — because you can.

How to Get “Luckier”

  1. Meet more people.

Mick Jagger ran into Keith Richards on a train station platform. They noticed each other because Keith was carrying a guitar, Mick an armful of records. A friend introduced Woz to Steve Jobs because he knew they both liked electronics and playing pranks. Sergey Brin met Larry Page during a tour of the Stanford campus.

Meeting the right person at the right time can make a huge difference. But, like many things, it’s a numbers game: You can’t luck into meeting the right person unless you meet a lot of people.

And if you assume that good things will happen — that every person you meet is worth meeting.

Because you never know where it might lead.

  1. Try more things.

While sometimes success is a straight line, most successful people have tried and failed at a number of things. That’s why they’re successful: They were willing to try something new, something hard, something off the beaten path… and to learn from what did and didn’t work so that next time they were even more prepared, more skilled, more talented, and therefore more “lucky.”

Try things. Then try more things.

Because you never know where it might lead.

  1. Try more “off course” things. 

Doing the same things, day after day, typically creates the same results.

The only way to achieve differently is to do differently.  Embark on a side project. Learn a new skill. Open up to different experiences.

Do a few things you assume — but don’t actually know — you won’t like.

Because you never know where it might lead.

  1. Ask.

Luck sometimes results from the right person saying yes: To your idea, to your startup, to your pitch, to your proposal, to your request….

But no one can say yes unless you ask.

As Steve Jobs said:

I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help … I called up Bill Hewlett when I was 12 years old. “Hi, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m 12 years old. I’m a student in high school. I want to build a frequency counter, and I was wondering if you have any spare parts I could have.” He laughed, and he gave me the spare parts, and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett-Packard … and I was in heaven.

I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates, sometimes, the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.

Unlucky people wait to be discovered. Lucky people discover themselves — and ask for what they want.

Start asking — nicely — for what you want.

Because you never know where it might lead.

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

LinkedIn
Hispanic woman in customer service

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

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

LinkedIn
Hispanic women executive leading a meeting

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.