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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    office cubiclesTwo years ago a civil servant in the German town of Menden wrote a farewell message to his colleagues on the day of his retirement stating that he had not done anything for 14 years. “Since 1998,” he wrote, “I was present but not really there. So I’m going to be well prepared for retirement—Adieu.” The e-mail was leaked to Germany's Westfalen-Post and quickly became world news. The public work ethic had been wounded and in the days that followed the mayor of Menden lamented the incident, saying he “felt a good dose of rage.”

    The municipality of Menden sent out a press release regretting that the employee never informed his superiors of his inactivity. In a lesser-known interview with the German newspaper Bild a month later, the former employee responded that his e-mail had been misconstrued. He had not been avoiding work for 14 years; as his department grew, his assignments were simply handed over to others. “There never was any frustration on my part, and I would have written the e-mail even today. I have always offered my services, but it’s not my problem if they don’t want them,” he said.

    The story of this German bureaucrat raised some questions about modern-day slacking. Does having a job necessarily entail work? If not, how and why does a job lose its substance? And what can be done to make employees less lazy—or is that even the right question to ask in a system that’s set up in the way that ours is? After talking to 40 dedicated loafers, I think I can take a stab at some answers.

    Most work sociologists tend toward the view that non-work at work is a marginal, if not negligible, phenomenon. What all statistics point towards is a general intensification of work with more and more burnouts and other stress syndromes troubling us. Yet there are more-detailed surveys reporting that the average time spent on private activities at work is between 1.5 and three hours a day.

    By measuring the flows of audiences for certain websites, it has also been observed that, by the turn of the century,70 percent of the U.S. internet traffic passing through pornographic sites did so during working hours, and that 60 percent of all online purchases were made between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. What is sometimes called “cyberloafing” has, furthermore, not only been observed in the U.S. (in which most work-time surveys are conducted), but also in nations such as Singapore, Germany, and Finland.

    Even if the percentage of workers who claim they are working at the pinnacle of their capacity all the time is slowly increasing, the majority still remains unaffected. In fact, the proportion of people who say they never work hard has long been far greater than those who say they always do. The articles and books about the stressed-out fraction of humanity can be counted in the thousands, but why has so little been written about this opposite extreme?

    The few books that have been written on this topic were written by slackers themselves. In Bonjour Paresse, French author Corinne Maier offers her own explanation for professional detachment. Maier opens the book (which eventually cost her a job) by declaring that social science has miserably failed to understand the mechanisms of office work: “Millions of people work in business, but its world is opaque.

    This is because the people who talk about it the most—and I mean the university professors—have never worked there; they aren’t in the know.” Having spent years as a bureaucrat at the utility Électricité de France, Maier contends that work is increasingly reduced to “make-believe,” that at the office, “image counts more than product, seduction more than production.”

    Under these circumstances, feigned obedience and fake commitment become so central to working that a deviation from those acts can result in embarrassment for everyone. As she recalls: “One day, in the middle of a meeting on motivation, I dared to say that the only reason I came to work was to put food on the table. There were 15 seconds of absolute silence, and everyone seemed uncomfortable.

    Even though the French word for work, ‘travail,’ etymologically derives from an instrument of torture, it’s imperative to let it be known, no matter the circumstance, that you are working because you are interested in your work.”

    The gap between image and substance is also a recurring theme in the comic Dilbert, whose creator, Scott Adams, was inspired by his uninspiring stints in the working world. Again and again, Adams questions not only the link between work and rationality, but also the relation between work and productivity: “Work can be defined as ‘anything you’d rather not be doing,’” he says. “Productivity is a different matter.”

    dilbert comic

    In the preface to the Dilbert collection This Is the Part Where You Pretend to Add Value, Adams openly gives his impressions of 16 years of employment at Crocker National Bank and Pacific Bell:

    “If I had to describe my 16 years of corporate work with one phrase, it would be ‘pretending to add value.’ The key to career advancement is appearing valuable despite all hard evidence to the contrary.

    If you add any actual value to your company today, your career is probably not moving in the right direction. Real work is for people at the bottom who plan to stay there.”

    Other office workers have presented similar accounts. In The Living Dead, David Bolchover rues “the dominance of image over reality, of obfuscation over clarity, of politics over performance,” and in City Slackers, Steve McKevitt, a disillusioned “business and communications expert,” gloomily declares: “In a society where presentation is everything, it’s no longer about what you do, it’s about how you look like you’re doing it.”

    The simulation, the glossing over, the loss of meaning, the jargon, the games, the office politics, the crises, the boredom, the despair, and the sense of unreality—these are ingredients that often reappear in popular accounts of working life. The risk when they only appear in popular culture is that we begin regarding them as metaphors or exaggerations that may well apply to our own jobs but not to work in general. But what would happen if we started taking these “unserious” accounts of working life more seriously?

    Consider the last novel by David Foster Wallace, The Pale King, in which an IRS worker dies by his desk and remains there for days without anyone noticing that he is dead. This might be read as a brilliant satire of how work drains liveliness such that no one notices whether you are dead or alive.

    However, in the strict sense of the word, this was not fiction. In 2004, a tax-office official in Finland died in exactly the same way while checking tax returns. Although there were about 100 other workers on the same floor and some 30 employees in the auditing department where he worked, it took them two days to notice that he was dead. None of them seemed to feel the loss of his labors; he was only found when a friend stopped by to have lunch with him.

    How could no one notice? I talked with over 40 people who spent half of their working hours on private activities—a phenomenon I call “empty labor.” I wanted to know how they did it, and I wanted to know why. "Why" turned out to be the easy part: For most people, work simply sucks. We hate Mondays and we long for Fridays—it's not a coincidence that evidence points towards a peak in cardiac mortality on Monday mornings.

    There are, of course, exceptional cases. According to a Gallup report from last year, 13 percent of employees from 142 countries are “engaged” in their jobs. However, twice as many are “actively disengaged”—they’re negative and potentially hostile to their organizations. The majority of workers, though, are simply “checked out,” the report says.

    office building corporate culture

    Foot-dragging, shirking, loafing, and slacking are ways of avoiding work within the frames of wage labor. In 1911, Frederick W. Taylor, the notorious founder of “scientific management,” called work avoidance “the greatest evil with which the working-people of both England and America are now afflicted.” His attempts to eradicate slacking set the course of a perpetual cat-and-mouse game, between the time-study men and the worker collective, that would live much longer than the industrial piece-work system.

    For Taylor, the project of making the labor process transparent was an important step towards efficiency—not only because it made the optimization of each operation possible, but also because it siphoned power from the worker collective, with its “natural” inclination towards “loafing,” and giving it to management, or as Taylor would have it, to Science. Today, now that the labor process has become opaque in new ways, the “evil” of which Taylor once spoke may have returned for good.

    Something that would have surprised Taylor is that slacking is not always the product of discontent, but also of having too few tasks to fill the hours. According to repeated surveys by, not having “enough work to do” is the most common reason for slacking off at work. The service sector offers new types of work in which periods of downtime are long and tougher to eliminate than on the assembly line: A florist watching over an empty flower shop, a logistics manager who did all his work between 2 and 3 p.m., and a bank clerk responsible for a not-so-popular insurance program are some examples of employees I talked with who never actively strived to work less. Like the civil servant of Menden, they offered their services, but when the flow of assignments petered out, they did not shout it from the rooftops.

    desk work corporate cultureMany would say that the under worked should talk to their bosses, but that doesn't always help.

    I spoke with a Swedish bank clerk who said he was only doing 15 minutes' worth of work a day. He asked his manager for more responsibilities, to no avail, then told his boss of his idleness.

    Did he get more to do? Barely. When I spoke with him, he was working three-hour days—there were laws that barred any workday shorter than that—and his intervention only added another 15 minutes to his workload.

    There's a widely held belief that more work always exists for those who want it. But is that true? Everywhere we look, technology is replacing human labor. In OECD countries, productivity has more than doubled since the '70s. Yet there has been no perceptible movement to reduce workers' hours in relation to this increased productivity; instead, the virtues of "creating jobs" are trumpeted by both Democrats and Republicans. The project of job creation hasn't been a complete failure, but the fact of unemployment still looms.

    What's more, the jobs that are created often come up short on providing fulfillment. Involuntary slacking may first be conceived of as real bliss: “Hey, I don’t have to work!” one of my interviewees recalls. But as the years pass by, most of us will crave some type of meaningful activity.

    I interviewed an archivist who wrote his master’s thesis while at work and a subway-ticket collector who composed music in his little booth. If you're lucky, these activities may be pursued within the frame of wage labor—but that's very hard to come by. Our economy produces inequalities in income and job security, but also, we should acknowledge, in stimulation and substance. 

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    The Bekant desk system allows you to adjust the height of the desk with the push of a button. Depending on the version you choose, the desks retail on the Ikea site for about $499 and up.

    Produced by Devan Joseph. Video courtesy of Ikea.

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    Sallie Krawcheck was recently named one of the "100 most creative people" by Fast Company. She's a former analyst and senior banking executive who now oversees the Ellevate network -- formerly 85 Broads. Ellevate is a 34,000-strong global professional woman’s network.

    Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis

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    If you want to know which companies treat their employees the best, ask the employees. You'd be surprised to learn that the best tech companies to work for aren't all household names.

    Glassdoor's latest list of the 50 best companies to work for includes 14 tech companies, and you probably haven't heard of all them. We pulled out those 14 to create this list.

    No. 14: Genesys

    Company: Genesys

    Rating: 3.9 (out of 5)

    About: Genesys makes customer service software.

    An employee says:

    "The CEO is passionate about the company, employees and solutions. The technology is light years ahead of the competition and Genesys is well positioned to continue to stay as a market leader. Genesys offers many options for career advancement and promotions."– Genesys Product and Marketing (Daily, ND)

    No. 13: Interactive Intelligence

    Company: Interactive Intelligence

    Rating: 3.9 (out of 5)

    About: Interactive Intelligence makes call center software.

    An employee says:

    "They promote healthy lifestyles and offer an array of benefits outside of what is available at a typical company and they really listen to what employees want and do what they can to improve or change as needed."– Interactive Intelligence Employee (Indianapolis, IN)

    No. 12: Orbitz Worldwide

    Company: Orbitz Worldwide

    Rating: 3.9 (out of 5)

    About: Orbitz is a travel website.

    An employee says:

    "Have a global impact and at the end of the day the general public cares about what you do. Smart people who are hugely supportive and willing to drop what they are working on at any time to provide help. Open culture that encourages sharing with the greater tech community."– Orbitz Worldwide Technical Manager (Chicago, IL)

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    girl using computer

    Business Insider is looking for an awesome Account Manager to be based in our San Francisco office.

    The Account Manager will join a team responsible for executing digital ad campaigns for a growing list of major advertisers and agencies. He or she will be responsible for managing our West Coast campaigns from start to finish and for growing those client relationships. You'll be part of a team that ensures advertising campaigns go live on the site without a hitch, are successfully optimized, and perform to client standards. Also, you'll deliver performance reports to clients and benchmark those results against similar campaigns. You'll work with BI's sales, finance, business development, events, marketing, and ad traffic groups to ensure client goals are met.

    We are looking for someone who is passionate about digital advertising, great at client service, an excellent problem solver, and a quick study. This individual should also be able to work independently, as part of the satellite San Francisco office.

    Responsibilities include:

    • Managing the delivery of digital ad campaigns to ensure they fulfill properly
    • Recommending optimizations and upsells to clients
    • Creating a post-campaign analysis for each campaign
    • Interacting with top advertising agencies on major accounts
    • Working closely with the sales team to ensure client satisfaction
    • Creating weekly reports, case studies, benchmarks, and more

    The candidate should be proficient in Excel, PowerPoint, major ad servers (DFP, DFA, Mediamind, Atlas, etc), and web analytics tools.

    The ideal candidate is a client service and operations focused individual with experience in digital advertising, a BA/BS degree, and 3+ years of relevant work experience. Experience at an ad agency is also helpful. The successful candidate is extremely detail-oriented, exceptionally organized, has the ability to multitask and manage multiple accounts, possess strong written and verbal communication skills, and thrives in a fast-paced, deadline oriented environment.

    If this is the right gig for you, please apply online and tell us a bit about yourself. 




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    We spend the whole week with the same people, so it's only natural that a deeper relationship may develop. But the wisdom (and ethics) of the office romance are hotly debated.

    One of the cohosts of "Shark Tank," Barbara Corcoran, tells us to go for it — but remember the breakup could get messy.

    Produced by Sam Rega

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    T. Boone Pickens is an energy mogul who has achieved many wins throughout his career. This is how he defines the word "success."

    Produced by Justin Gmoser; Reporter: Julia La Roche

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    Slack Founder Stewart Butterfield

    If you're looking for great pay and job security, there couldn't be a better time to work in tech.

    Prospective tech employees are asking for more money. They're also rejecting job offers more often, according to a recent survey by, a careers website.

    Here's the rundown:

    • Candidates are asking for more money. 64% of respondents said its job candidates were asking for more money compared to six months ago. Two years ago, only 53% of companies saw that kind of ambition from prospective employees.
    • Job candidates are also rejecting offers more often. That could mean they're getting more competitive offers elsewhere. In December, 30% of respondents reported "slightly more candidates rejecting offers," an increase of 7 percentage points since 2012.
    • Tech workers are leaving their jobs voluntarily more often. That's a sure sign of a strong job market. 36% of respondents reported seeing an increase in voluntary departures compared to the previous year. That's an increase of 6 percentage points since 2012.
    • The prospect of layoffs is receding. 74% of those surveyed said layoffs were "not likely" in the next 6 months, an increase of 10 percentage points in the last two years.

    SEE ALSO: The Top 10 Skills That Got People Hired This Year, According To LinkedIn

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    Is your name holding you back from a life of riches? It sounds like something out of a terrible infomercial, but a recent paper* suggests that changing your name really could improve your labour-market chances. The authors focus on the economic impact of name Americanisation for migrants in the 1930s, with surprising results.

    Economists—most famously the Freakonomics duo, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner—have long worried that having the “wrong” name could set you back in the labour market. A number of studies show that having an “ethnic-sounding” name tends to disadvantage job applicants (though others suggest that names matter little). 

    Waves of migrants to America did not need economists to tell them that their name could be a disadvantage. Many changed their names to fit in. Almost a third of naturalising immigrants abandoned their first names by 1930 and acquired popular American names such as William, John or Charles. What was the impact? The authors draw on a sample of 3,400 male migrants who naturalised in New York in 1930. A large fraction of the sample was born in Italy, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries with similarly distinctive anthroponomy. Over half of Russian migrants Americanised their names; only 4% of Irish migrants did so. The authors came up with an index to show how American different names were: that allowed them to quantify a shift from a non-American to an American name.

    There were two steps to the naturalisation process. Migrants had to first file a declaration of intention. The second step involved filing a petition for admission to citizenship about five years following the initial declaration. The authors can therefore observe migrants’ characteristics at two different points in time.

    The economists do not have direct data for earnings. But the naturalisation papers record migrants' occupations. So the authors rely on another measure of earning potential that assigns scores to each occupation. A higher occupational score suggests a higher income. The authors find that changing from a purely foreign name to a very common American name is associated with a 14% hike in earnings.** 

    There is also the problem of reverse causality. It is quite possible that richer migrants were more inclined to Americanise their name. (They might, for example, live in a richer area with fewer migrants, which might incentivise them to change their name to fit in). So, to establish a causal link from name-changing to wage-boosting—and here’s my favourite part of the paper—the authors turn to Scrabble. They calculate the Scrabble score for the name of each arriving migrant (the score of all the letters in the name) and show that individuals who decided to Americanise had higher Scrabble points. That finding soothes worries about reverse causality: it suggests that it was not the wealthier people that changed their names, but those with unusual names.

    What sorts of people were most likely to Americanise their name? The most boring explanation is one concerning “imperfect information”: only some migrants realised the benefit of Americanisation. But the authors find little evidence for that. Instead, they show that migrants facing the greatest barriers to occupational mobility were most likely to Americanise and reaped the highest returns from doing so. People who came from more "exotic" countries, or who could not migrate to better jobs, benefited more from Americanisation than better-off migrants. These migrants had to jettison their individual identity for labour-market success.

    * Biavaschi, C., Giulietti, C., & Siddique, Z. (2013). The Economic Payoff of Name Americanization (No. 7725). IZA Discussion Paper.

    ** A quibble with the result would be the r-squared of the regression, which is very low.

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    businessman 50s illustration

    While corporations don't have the sex appeal of startups, they employ a lot of us.

    As the Washington Post has reported, 65% of the jobs created since 1990 have come from companies with more than 500 employees.

    That invites a question: How does one navigate corporate life?

    A recent Quora thread tackled that question.

    Here are the takeaways. 

    Focus on production, not effort.

    Working an insane number of hours isn't a ticket up the corporate ladder. 

    "Results are what matter," warns user Nick Simon — it's not about how "hard" of a worker you are.

    "Putting in long hours doesn't make you a good employee," he adds. "It makes you an inefficient employee."

    For greater efficiency, consult Warren Buffett.

    Don't hate on people.

    "Never ever speak foul about anybody behind their back,"said user Aveek Roy Chowdhury. "Even to the best of people. Even the walls have eyes and ears. They also have limbs to kick some sense into you!"

    Put another way: You're the master of what you don't say, you're the slave of what you do

    Study the people that succeed.

    Management might earnestly proclaim that teamwork and dedication are what get you ahead. 

    But you're more cunning than that.

    "Look at the employees who are successful, who get the recognition, who rise quickly — they represent what the company is looking for,"says user Rob Pawlikowski."What do they do that you can do?" 

    Keep improving, on purpose.

    Psychologists have discovered lots about biases.

    One of the biggest takeaways: We're not very good at knowing what we're not good at.

    Thus the need to talk your boss. 

    "Take feedback from your supervisor on your soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork,"says Arif Nezami."Your supervisor knows best your strengths and weaknesses. Know them and work towards them."

    The best venue for such a conversation? Mega VC Ben Horowitz recommends the one-on-one meeting

    Gather transferable skills. 

    You're not going to be at this job forever.

    Day to day, keep your next step in mind. 

    "The important thing for you is to learn skills that make you valuable for your next job,"says Nate Doromal. "Take some time everyday to learn something new and challenging. If you aren't doing this, then you are at risk of becoming a dinosaur." 

    To know what skills to develop, consider the eleven qualities Google desires.

    Make friends.

    "Make as many friends as possible,"says user Wisnu Nugroho."They will always come in handy. Always." 

    While some grumps will recommend that you isolate yourself from your peers, decades of organizational psych research suggests that continually growing quality relationships is required for advancing to the top

    SEE ALSO: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do

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  • 01/03/15--07:41: 3 Endangered Jobs For 2015
  • usps man mailOut with the old, and in with the new! While some industries are thriving in 2015, and anticipating further growth, other professions are struggling to stay relevant.

    Growth in the tech industry, for example, has been easy to understand and anticipate. But, other industries are paying a price for the changes technology has brought.

    Recently, CareerCast released their annual Jobs Rated report, which analyzes careers using various measurable criteria. Two-hundred jobs were ranked from best to worst through examining various factors like work environment, stress, and hiring outlook.

    The jobs toward the bottom of this list tell us something about which industries will struggle to stay afloat in 2015. These endangered jobs are anticipating steep declines in the years to come.

    Here are the top endangered jobs for 2015.

    1. Mail Carrier (average hourly wage – $17.65)

    Finishing dead last for projected growth outlook, the job of mail carrier is expected to decline of 28 percent by 2022. For those already working in the field, the $25 billion surplus in pension funds indicated by the National Association of Letter Carriers is quite a comfort. But, those who aspire to become carriers might find it pretty difficult to find an open position in 2015, and beyond.

    2. Farmer (average annual salary - $32,592)

    Improvements in technology allow farmers to accomplish more with fewer workers. Additionally, changes in supply and demand have impacted the market and prices, and implementing the new Farm Bill has come with its own set of new challenges and opportunities for farmers in 2015. Farming will always be important and relevant work, but the industry will be making some major adjustments in the years to come that will have a big impact on the profession.

    3. Meter Reader (average hourly wage - $13.64)

    Once again, technology is the culprit. New remote-viewable meter readers allow utility companies to manage data without sending workers to the site. As the use of these systems expands, fewer meter readers will be needed.

    SEE ALSO: The 10 Deadliest Jobs In America

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    Broadway, Seattle Bike Lane

    Seattle has the best job market in the US, according to a study released Tuesday by WalletHub.

    The study took the 150 most populated cities in the US and analyzed them based on factors that are typically important to job seekers, such as employment growth, monthly median salary, and industry variety.

    Safety, time spent working and commuting, and housing affordability were among other factors considered in the ranking of cities' socioeconomic environments. 

    Washington, D.C., has the highest number of job opportunities, while San Jose, California, has the highest monthly median starting salary, the study concluded. 

    While Corpus Christi, Texas, has the highest housing affordability, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has the lowest rate of unemployment for people with a bachelor's degree or higher. 

    Here are the 10 cities with the best job markets overall:

    1. Seattle
    2. Des Moines, Iowa
    3. Gilbert, Arizona
    4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    5. Fremont, California
    6. Chandler, Arizona
    7. Omaha, Nebraska
    8. Salt Lake City
    9. Scottsdale, Arizona
    10. Plano, Texas

    All of the cities analyzed can be seen on the following map put together by WalletHub. The blue bubbles indicate the best cities for finding a job, while the orange indicate the worst. 

    To read more about the study's methodology, check out the full report here

    NOW WATCH: 4 Real Robots Designed To Make Life Easier



    SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Cities In The World For Students

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    Though that first day at your new job may be stressful, it's important to channel your nervous energy and start things off on the right foot. 

    SEE ALSO: 9 Things Successful People Do In The First Week Of A New Job

    1. Prepare and ask questions.

    Mark Strong, a life, career, and executive coach based in New York, says although the first day really is more about listening; you can and should ask questions when necessary. "Generally, you're trying to demonstrate your curiosity and desire to learn. Beware of asking too many questions on the first day, though. You have plenty of time to master the job."

    Taylor says it's a good idea to prepare by writing down both practical and general questions about how you can be most successful in the role. "By now you have enough background on the company to integrate more in-depth questions at your orientation meetings," she says. "Have a list of questions handy for managers you think you might meet. Make sure you also have a contact in HR in case you have very basic inquiries before you start or on your first day."

    2. Prepare an elevator pitch.

    Get ready to give a 30-second explainer of who you are and where you were before, as many new colleagues will likely ask about your previous place of employment, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job." Be prepared to also describe what you'll be doing in this new position, since there may be people who have a vague understanding of your role or simply want to strike up a conversation.

    3. Show up early.

    Get there at least 15 minutes early, suggests Teri Hockett, chief executive of What's For Work?, a career site for women. "If you haven't done the commute before, practice it a couple of times during rush hour a week before so that you're at least somewhat prepared for the unknown."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Every responsible manager wants their employees to be comfortable in their working environment. Some companies will go above and beyond to make their spaces unlike any other.

    But in the end, their hope is to increase creativity and productivity.

    Dr. Ron Friedman is an expert in workplace strategy, and explains the few simple factors that make up the perfect workplace. Check out Dr. Friedman's book, "The Best Place To Work" for more workplace insight. 

    Produced by Justin Gmoser

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    Carla Harris

    Want to know what's slowing down your Wall Street career? 

    A 28-year veteran at Morgan Stanley is out with a book on the unique challenges young professionals face when trying to navigate the workplace. 

    After publishing her first career advice book, Expect To Win, Carla Harris said she encountered questions from young professionals that weren't answered, such as how to advance or change careers completely. Although Strategize To Win, her new book, targets all industries, many of Harris' examples comes from her own experience in the financial sector. 

    Harris is the vice chairman of wealth management at Morgan Stanley. She joined the firm in 1987 in mergers and acquisitions. In 2013, Harris was named chairperson of the National Women's Business Council.

    In an interview with BI, Harris talked specifically about what young Wall Streeters are doing wrong. According to Harris, here are five ways to avoid the common mistakes:

    Know when to use what skills

    Harris said the biggest mistake young professionals make is not understanding the necessary skill set and how it changes. She said young professionals must know when to transition from analytical skills to interpersonal skills as their careers move forward.

    "When you’re first starting out in your career on Wall Street, your analytic skills, your quantitative skills and your attention to detail are the things that are most valued," she said. "Three to four years into your career as associate, you’re about to be promoted to vice president. And at that point people are valuing your commercially, your ability to build relationships, especially at the junior levels at the client organizations."

    Be authentic

    Harris' advice for finding an advantage within a very competitive industry is to be your authentic self. Figure out what the recruiter is buying, and match up your skills and abilities based on the position. Authenticity is the best way to differentiate between yourself and the rest of your peers, she said.

    "People make a mistake when they try to behave or act like other people, and then they lose the power of their individuality," she said. "Each of us has something that makes us uniquely who we are. And that is your competitive advantage.”

    Manage your time aggressively

    After graduating from Harvard, Harris has moved up the ranks at Morgan Stanley, has written two books and sings gospel music in her spare time. She said that many people have a misconception about Wall Street as very demanding and time-consuming, but in reality, time management is doable.

    "I made a commitment to myself when I came into this business that if I was going to have to work hard, I would play hard. And I wanted to make sure I had a well-rounded life," Harris said.

    To do this, Harris said she aggressively utilizes any spare time on evenings, weekends and lunch hours.

    "I think it’s really important to maintaining long-term success, particularly in financial services, that you have balance in your life. Because work is not always going to go well," she said. "And if you don’t have balance, it’s easy to become distracted, disoriented, disillusioned with this business.”

    Distinguish between relationships and performance

    To set yourself up for success, Harris talks about the importance in using both 'performance currency' and 'relationship currency.'

    “Performance currency is the currency that you gain from doing a great job, and it can do three things for you," Harris said. "Number one, it will attract a sponsor, it can get you paid and promoted, and it also gets you a reputation in the workplace as someone who delivers."

    Harris said performance currency is key when starting out in a new position. As you move into the third or fourth year, that emphasis should shift over to relationship currency, in which you invest in people that respect and support you.

    "That relationship currency is the most valuable when it comes to ascending in an organization," Harris said. "It’s going to be somebody’s judgment about whether or not you’ll be successful in this new assignment, and judgments are directly influenced by relationships."

    Neither performance nor relationships should be neglected at either stage, Harris said. But the investment into each type of currency should have a notable shift as you progress.

    Understand the company structure and mobility

    When entering a new position, Harris said it's important to understand how the company promotes and utilizes its employees. Without knowing how a firm operates, you can't just join operations and expect to move into mergers and acquisitions or corporate finance, she said.

    "If the company has no precedence for moving people from operations into investment banking, it does not have anything to do with your ability, but it has everything to do with their precedence,” she said. "So if they haven’t done that, you’re not going to be the exception to the rule."

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    Napping pods may be be the norm for Google offices, but "restoration rooms" are being included in plenty of new workspaces. However, taking a snooze during the work day remains controversial. Should it be allowed? Dr. Ron Friedman, author of "The Best Place To Work," tells us his thoughts.

    Produced by Justin Gmoser

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    Learn how to combine different colors when choosing your clothes for work in the morning.

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    Networking fears

    One of the most common pieces of advice for professionals is to network whenever, wherever, and with whomever you can.

    But in a recent post on Career Contessa, a website for career-driven women, tech consulting professional Lulu Xiao explains why that may actually be a terrible suggestion. 

    She writes: "Every time I hear someone proclaim the need to network, I can't help but cringe. It brings to mind awkward interactions at happy hours, stunted discussions about job responsibilities, desperate attempts to continue (or end) conversations, and a general feeling of discomfort."

    While she recognizes the obvious advantages of knowing many people in lots of different places, Xiao says the term "networking" has always seemed disingenuous to her.

    She tells Business Insider that when we think of that word, there is a general understanding that the goal is to increase the number of professional contacts we have in order to help further our careers.

    She says when the focus of networking is primarily quantitative in nature, "then we neglect to value the importance of having high-quality relationships."

    The most salient example, she says, is that one of the most prominent indicators on any LinkedIn profile is the number of connections a person has. "However, we cannot tell what that number really means," she explains. "Does a person have 500 contacts, but only know 10 of them well? Or does the person actually have a solid network of 500 contacts that he or she can reach out to anytime? Though the number of contacts is the same in both cases, I think the latter case is more impressive and should be more highly regarded."

    Additionally, she says, if we network in order to meet people who will help further our career, we do not set ourselves up to make authentic relationships — "something that I believe is key in making lasting and meaningful relationships."

    "When I used to 'network,' I often felt compelled to talk to certain people because I thought they would be more helpful in my career advancement," Xiao says. "My conversations were always stunted, however, because I was trying to connect with a self-benefiting motive in mind. Instead, I found that I developed better and more meaningful relationships when I connected with people as if I was making a new friend." 

    PP_LX.JPGThis is why she changed her perspective and decided "network, network, network" is bad advice, shifting her energy to "relationship building."

    "The difference is far more than semantic," she writes in her post. "It involves an entirely different way of approaching and getting to know others. Relationships describe more meaningful and natural connections between people. When you develop relationships, you connect with people, because they are inherently interesting."

    So now when she goes to a "networking event," she doesn't chat with people based on whether they may be able to help her further her career. She talks to those with whom she connects on a personal level over things like their mutual love for Beyoncé or travel.

    "There are definitely advantages to having a big network," Xiao says. "And ideally, a person would have a large but strong network." But if you can only have one, a stronger network is far more important than a big one.

    "I would rather have great relationships with 10 people than be marginally associated with 100," she says. "I've found that I am connected to more and more people — and my network grows even faster — when I focus on building strong relationships and friendships."

    Read the Career Contessa post here.

    Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.

    NOW WATCH: How To Respond To 8 Illegal Interview Questions


    SEE ALSO: Amazing Things Happen At This Master Networker's New York Apartment

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    Office smile happy

    Job hunting site Glassdoor just released a list of 25 best jobs for 2015, according to information shared by employees who have these careers.

    And 10 of them are  tech jobs.

    It looked at three things to come up with an overall "Job Score": Average annual salary, opportunities for advancement, and the number of open job listings.

    It then ranked these careers by that Job Score.

    No. 10: Sales Engineer: $91,318

    Career Score: 4.2
    Number of Current Job Openings: 6,007
    Average Base Salary: $91,318
    Career Opportunities Rating: 3.2

    A sales engineer is a job at a technology company. This is the person that matches a customer's technical requirements with the bid or proposal, and a person who acts as a technical resource for the sales force.

    For instance, Google is currently looking for "sales engineers" to sell its cloud services.

    No. 9: Mobile Developer: $79,810

    Job Score: 4.2
    Number of Job Openings: 4,651
    Average Base Salary: $79,810
    Career Opportunities Rating: 3.3

    A mobile developer writes apps for mobile devices. Every business today is looking to let its workers and customers access apps on smartphones and tablets. These folks make that happen.

    Yahoo is looking for mobile developers. It has an entire mobile team in New York.

    No. 8: IT Project Manager, $103,710

    Job Score: 4.3
    Number of Job Openings: 5,700
    Average Base Salary: $103,710
    Career Opportunities Rating: 3.2

    An IT project manager runs technology projects at an enterprise or tech company. As technology becomes more central to every business, IT roles like these have grown in respect, salary and demand.

    ESPN, one of the 50 Best Places to Work, according to Glassdoor, has pages of tech-related project manager positions available.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ever wonder why you've always been drawn to the idea of becoming a veterinarian or microbiologist? Or why you're convinced you'd be happy as a landscape architect or teacher? 

    Your personality type has a lot to do with why you fancy some jobs over others. And that's why understanding your personality type could be a key factor in finding the career that makes you happy. 

    To help, Truity Psychometrics, a provider of online personality and career assessments, and the developer of the TypeFinder personality type assessment, put together an infographic with the details of the four dimensions of personality type, as well as suggestions for ideal jobs for each:

    personality careers_972

    SEE ALSO: Here’s Why Introverts Can Be The Best Leaders

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