This year, the new G20 agenda featured simply ‘women’ as a vector and driver for overall economic growth. This means that official data is finally confirming what the Western world has already been noticing and experiencing for decades now: women are good for business. According to reports by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the workforce participation of women (and thus, their economic contribution) still remains below their potential. In OECD countries (most of the so-called ‘developed world’), full convergence of men and women’s work participation may be achieved in the next 15 years, which could mean that 12% more business women could be expected to join the economy in this time frame. This creates a huge potential for growth in the economy if the skills and qualifications of these women will be used wisely. [Read more…]
In today’s economy, jobs are a fleeting commodity and almost none of them are really as long-term as they used to be in our parents and grandparents’ age. Most of the time, even when employed, we need to be on the lookout for the next job opportunity, and complete tens of job applications per year (on average). This is why there is no shortage of demand for high quality formulas for the perfect resume to inspire job applications. For all your future applications, we’ve put together this guide on the best sources for free resume templates. [Read more…]
You already know that being properly connected is an essential requirement of today’s professional market. Your online presence says a lot more about yourself to potential employers, peers and associates than your CV or interview are often able to convey. But while some hubs, like socializing networks, are more like a hazard you should manage carefully in order to not give recruiters the wrong kind of glimpses into your personal life, other online networks can be turned into quite an asset. Such is the case of your LinkedIn Profile, which once you learn how to properly build and use, can open up quite a number of doors for your professional life. One of the most overlooked perks of your profile is the LinkedIn Profile Photo, which sadly many applicants choose to skip, thinking it’s not really essential. [Read more…]
You’re probably up to speed with news of the improving economy (both national and worldwide), and the thawing of the job market which results from it. Since finances aren’t so tight anymore, plenty of major companies can finally afford to staff the positions they already needed for quite some time, and even to dare expand a little. As a result, the job market is finally more relaxed and there are plenty of positions and job openings being listed on top search engine sites everywhere. The trend is expecting to continue for at least several months into the future, so it may just be the best time for job changes and hunts for a better position (especially considering the number of companies hiring now). [Read more…]
CareerBuilder has recently released a well-documented report on “The Changing Face of U.S. Jobs”, which covers 13 years of ups and downs on the American job market. This piece of US employment news can be a useful tool for those who want to discover trends in the area based on age, gender and race. In this period of time, the United States already faced and overcame a series of drastic changes regarding employment which included two disastrous recessions, recoveries and an alarming growth in health-related professions. The fact is that this piece of US employment news proves that the growth of the workforce is directly proportional with the ever-altering demographics throughout the rest of America. So, exactly how much has the US employment market changed in these 13 years? More importantly, how have these changes affected job openings available today? Find out below. [Read more…]
It’s no news that there are some industries out there in which women cannot escape the perils of gender-based pressure at work. Society has, indeed, evolved to a point where women receive equal opportunities for access to education and employment in most of the western world. However, women still make less money than men and are still objectified in many career tracks. Most infamously, it’s the movie industry in Hollywood, as well as the modeling industry where women have to suffer the pressures of their gender identity and the beauty ideals it is held up to. In today’s post we bring you two tales of female objectification that ought to clearly point out how much unfairness still exists in the working world of the present.
Gender-based pressure at work drove model to anorexia
It’s rather unusual to see someone retire from their chosen profession at an age as tender as 23. However, it’s less uncommon for the fast-paced, talent driven world of modeling. Should her story have been a normal one, this is where Georgina Wilkin’s tale would have ended. However, the former British model has a lot more to talk about – for one thing, she stated in a recent interview, her modeling career was brief. She only lasted three years out on the runway. Its effects, though, lingered on for much longer. According to Wilkin’s own statements, she suffered from anorexia for eight years. The Brit beauty started out in the field at the young age of 15. She was immediately told to shed a few inches off her hips, but was still rejected even after doing so.
Wilkin was constantly subjected to gender-based pressure at work. One time, she hadn’t eaten anything in 48 hours and her agent told her she looked her best. Another time, the eating disorder put her in the hospital for several days; the ensuing weight loss had her booked for a prestigious Prada campaign. The former model recalls her fingers and lips going blue from the lack of peripheral circulation. She says she still sees these signs on today’s models. Georgina’s story is not singular, of course. One model recalled having seen models pull out their teeth to achieve the gaunt look, while another says she saw girls eating cotton swabs, in order to achieve the sensation of fullness. All these models, Wilkin included, have dedicated their post-modeling days to campaigning against the horrific standards of the modeling industry and one can only hope they succeed in raising awareness.
One would think that an Academy Award winning actress such as Jennifer Lawrence built her career entirely on talent. And there is no denying Lawrence’s prowess on the silver screen. However, she, too, has a grim story regarding gender-based pressure at work. In a recent interview to Harper’s Bazaar, the actress recounted being called fat and repeatedly prompted to lose weight. She was even threatened with getting fired if she doesn’t succeed to lose a specific number of pounds. Of course, Lawrence is no waif, but, by all standards, her figure is that of a typical (and typically healthy) female her age. To boot, she is one of the fastest rising stars on Hollywood’s firmament. At only twenty three years of age, she managed to follow up a performance in a popular favorite (Hunger Games) with a best lead actress Oscar for her part in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. All this fell on deaf ears, it seems, when it came to the producers. Lawrence, however, is adamant about holding her ground and will not even hear the word ‘diet’ without having a near fit.
Many will rush to argue that gender-based pressure at work is only telling of image-focused industries such as modeling or acting. However, those who do should consider the kind of treatment imparted to women who work in predominantly male environments or industries. To boot, think about the fact that dress codes for women are usually far more strict than those for men. A lot of inequality persists in today’s working environment, even in our allegedly enlightened day and age. And just because equal opportunity exists, this doesn’t make it sufficient to proclaim equality across the board.
Is the current, so-called generation still up for taking on a ‘save the world’ job, or are they simply too cynical to care about such sentimental matters? The “Y Generation” saw the economic recession with its own eyes and felt it deep in its heart when they also saw their parents losing their jobs, fighting bankruptcy, struggling for better health insurance and wonder at night what they were going to do about the house mortgage. And this generation of young future professionals started to think if money is everything they should worry about, or if it wasn’t the case to re-orient themselves to more satisfying jobs, ones that could have a real impact on the world, and ones that would mean something and leave a bit of their presence behind for others to benefit from. In a money-desperate world, such altruistic desires might sound superficial, as everybody has at least one bank rate to pay and some children to feed, but according to a recently published Pay Scale College Salary report, the young generation believe that people working in some specific domains can change the fate of mankind and can influence the future of the next generation.
The ‘Save the World’ Jobs
Specifically, the study compiled the answers of over 1.4 million graduates from over 1000 schools in order to assess their vision upon future jobs, best salaries, favorite places of employment and fields which can contribute to further human development. There is no wonder that technology was the nominated field of interest which could both pay very well and influence man’s future (and especially medical technology), with education on the second place, although the young ones are aware that nobody made fortunes out of teaching. But the young graduates also chose other employment fields they feel would positively contribute to human development, even if some of them don’t pay as great as a job at Google. Their preferences stirred towards:
- Medical assistance
- Special education, social services, primary teaching
- Medical technology
- Sports medicine and athlete training
- Biomedical engineering
- Child and family studies
- Biblical studies
- Molecular Biology
- Health care administration
The shift: right or wrong?
Some years ago, if you asked the college graduates, many of them wanted to become surgeons, lawyers, business men, to find their place in advertisement, IT or everything financially related, from bank officers to economists and stock market players. Money took precedence over save the world jobs. There is an interesting shift in the young generation’s views and principles, as this inclination towards less well paid jobs, but ones with higher personal, intra-personal and social emotional impact seems to become more present and intense in the last years. Katie Bardaro, chief economist at Pay Scale says everything is a matter of choice. The Y generation can lean towards more meaningful, satisfactory lives in the detriment of earning big money, or they can choose well paid fields to ensure a comfortable and care – free living.
The practical approach
What about the future, analysts asked themselves, as young people of today seem to follow an unwritten law of not taking anything with you in the afterlife, but leaving something behind being what matters most. A possible explanation is that these graduates realized that there is no guarantee for the future, so it is better to make their lives as important for others and for the world as much as they can. However, the question still hurts: will these young professionals really make a contribution to the global economy? Will they survive the changes? How will they be able to face the cruel truth of buying cars, owning homes, pay for their children’s college fees and afford optimal medical care for their old parents? Are we going to see a new breed of “happy in poverty” people, settling down with what they can get but being satisfied about their contribution to the general well being, or is it just a teenage natural optimism that will wear off in time?
Food for thought
The answer is still far ahead from us. Among the less meaningful and “world saving” jobs and professional fields, the study’s respondents nominated the movie industry, the fashion industry and the advertising one. Paradox or not, these are among the best paid fields on the market even in our recession – stricken days. Maybe the most cynical of us would shrug our shoulders and say these optimists will change their minds soon enough, when they will have to face real life and real problems. Maybe the most cynical of their peers already applied to jobs and internships in IT companies and financial firms that will aid them to reach a successful career and a comfortable bank account. But maybe, this is the new face of the world: a subtle, but powerful switch from an individualistic attitude to a more “by the people, for the people” one. And how wrong would it be, really?
The U.S. military is as applauded as it is controversial. Following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, as well as the ensuing wars, more and more young men and women rushed to join the ranks of the military. Not only was there affective motivation at play, but the benefits of this career track also scored rather highly, at least in comparison with many other sectors of the economy. The pay was good and so were the medical insurance plans. Yet, over one decade later, the United States is facing a relatively unique situation, in which those members of the military are transitioning back to the home front. Switching back from working in the army to post-military careers can be challenging for many, which is why we’ve come up with five fields former army personnel might want to consider in 2013.
This is perhaps the most logical choice among post-military careers in the United States. Police force recruiters are keen on hiring war veterans, mostly because the two jobs require similar qualities. Soldiers serve their country, while police officers for the same to their communities, the members of those communities and their rights. In some jurisdictions, being a war veteran actually grants the job candidate more points on the entrance exams. They are also occasionally allowed to stay on the force for a longer time, past retirement age, and benefit from numerous perks under the GI Bill.
A poll undertaken by SCORE, a nonprofit that has teamed up with the United States’ Small Business Administration, some 25 per cent of war veterans have either opened up their own companies, or are thinking of doing so. The entrepreneurial career track is perfect for former army staff, simply because it requires a lot of self-discipline. And that is one of the many virtues that good soldiers thrive on. As such, veterans often find it easier to have the patience and focus it needs to get a small business off the ground and see it through those delicate first few years.
It goes without saying that IT is a field that requires a high degree of specialization, but what makes it one of the best post-military careers is the fact that the US army is highly technologized. Its personnel has to learn how to work with some of the most modern IT devices and programs, which would make it easy for any army member to work in this field as a civilian. Also factor in that the Bureau of Labor Statistics with the US Department of Labor has data according to which the IT field is going to be one of the fastest growing on the market until 2014.
This might sound like a counter-intuitive choice amid other post-military careers, but it actually makes a lot of sense for a former army member to go into teaching. Working in the army often requires highly specialized scientific knowledge, which makes it perfect for retired servicemen to become teachers of math or other sciences. Teaching might not be the best-paying career track at the moment, but it comes with many other types of perks – consider the long holidays, as well as the chance to tutor students as a way of supplementing your income.
Federal Public Service
It might come as a surprise to learn that numerous retired army members head on down to Washington DC after they leave the force, in order to become public civil servants. In fact, this is the case simply because veterans are often preferred to civilians, when applying for certain positions in public office. To boot, Washington DC also has a great and vibrant former military community. 16 per cent of all public service positions are based in the nation’s capital. If you’ve left the army and decided to go looking for this kind of job, then you are almost guaranteed to find a former acquaintance from the army there.
Of course, post-military careers include many other options. In our view, the above are the best choices for this year (as well as for the coming few years probably), but they are certainly not the only ones. The best part about looking for a job after having left the army is that you’re coming away from the experience with an ample set of skills, which you can use in just about any other line of work.
Things they are a-changing, when it comes to talking about formerly ‘tested-and-true’ methods for achieving success on the job. You may think that an MBA is essentially a fast track to a great career as an entrepreneur. You may think that knowing all about social media, hashtags, and online communities is all you need to be a good communicator. If you do, think again. The media is reporting on several major changes in the work field.
The phone still works!
According to a recently published news story from The Wall Street Journal, many employers in various fields are having quite a hard time, getting their younger staff members to use some of the more ‘traditional’ methods for sealing a sale. In other words, while young employees are as tech-savvy as they come these days, they’re disregarding the importance of classic means of communications, such as—the good old telephone. Bosses report that they have noticed a growing trend among the so-called Millennial Generation (i.e. those born as early as 1981). They are virtually married to their smartphones and other complex mobile devices, yet they will avoid making a simple call to a great extent. Many seem to favor sending emails and communicating in writing, which is not a problem in and of itself. Sometimes, however, it’s bad for business to put off making that one important call to the client, or to the potential new business lead.
Not only will a missed phone call result in not closing a sale, but according to some managers it will also make for less desirable employees. Avoiding to communicate through traditional methods such as the phone seems to have negative effects on creativity, too. To boot, it can also end in missed deadlines, in certain industries. The same article mentioned above speaks of fields in which emailing, instant messaging, or video conferences might make more sense – marketing is one example in this direction. However, such strategies rarely cut it in sales. This, in turn, has prompted the emergence of a new trend in professional training. Several companies now contract phone-use consultants, whose job is to literally educate staff members in the importance of phone usage. Employees are expected to monitor and report their use of the phone and follow a script whenever they leave a voice message.
Has the MBA become obsolete?
MBAs have come in for a lot of debate in recent years and many chalk up the controversy to the global financial crisis. The much-maligned 1 per cent largely hailed from a top business school environment. By association, their model of doing business has come to be perceived as outdated. And while not all experts agree that MBAs have become completely useless overnight, there is a lot to be said about how the graduate business school mentality needs to be updated to current social and economic realities.
There are several reasons that mainstream media cites to support this need for change:
- Student loan debt in the United States has skyrocketed over the past two decades. Universities have increased their tuition fees five times faster than the rise in inflation. This is why, at the moment, student loan debt exceeds the level of credit card debt. MBAs make no exception to this rule: they are expensive and students across the world are protesting against this reality.
- Asia is coming in strong on GMATs. 30 per cent of all such exams taken last year were taken by Asians and most of them were under 25. Needless to say, they are not going in for two-year MBA programs, but for one year fast track programs, specialized masters, or, conversely, part time programs which also allow students to work on their career hands-on.
- The Internet is making the information previously available in such programs more accessible to anyone around the world. Many of America’s top schools now offer some of their courses as MOOCs – massive online open courses. While this doesn’t mean they will stay free forever, these courses do pose a threat to the more traditional MBA program, which requires actual on-campus presence.
At the moment, it is difficult to tell the future of the MBA, but one thing is for sure. If these programs, which offer the promise of raising entrepreneurs for the future, want to succeed, they need to adapt their own requirements to that same kind of innovative mind frame they ask of their candidates.