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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    John F. O'Brien, dean of New England Law school

    The Boston Globe reports that New England Law School's longtime dean, John F. O'Brien, may be among the highest paid law school deans in America at more than $867,000 a year in salary and benefits.

    O'Brien makes more than three times the median salary of law school deans nationally, according to the Globe, which cited a study by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

    "Indeed, New England Law could not name a single law school dean in the country who makes more than O'Brien," the Globe reported.

    The school has faced sharp criticism for paying its dean so handsomely while hiking up tuition. In the last eight years, the school's tuition has nearly doubled, from $22,475 in 2004 to $40,984 in 2011, according to the Globe. 

    Critics have begun to question whether New England is worth its price tag, especially considering only 34 percent of its 2011 graduates were able to find jobs requiring a law degree within nine months of graduating compared to 68 percent at Boston Law School, the Globe reports.

    "There is no relationship between cost and benefit," Paul F. Campos, author of the blog "Inside the Law School Scam," told the Globe.

    Martin C. Foster, chairman of the school's board of trustees, defends O'Brien's salary by pointing to the percentage of graduates who pass the bar exam and a recent increase in the number of full-time faculty.

    SEE ALSO: Professor Sues Law School That Called Him a Safety Risk for Students >

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    cheryl bachelder

    Today's advice comes from Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes, via Forbes:

    "The thing I wish I had learned at a younger age is the importance of bringing your authentic self to your leadership and your workplace. Women spend a lot of years trying to figure out: What do I have to do to make these people happy? What do I have to wear? How should I talk? What behaviors are expected of me? We spend all our energy trying to give them what they want. It totally distracts us from our best selves and coming to work with something to offer."

    Instead of listening to what everyone else had to say, Bachelder says workers need to learn to think about what's best for themselves first. We are often our own worst critics so adding everybody else's opinion into the mix can only make matters worse. You will find that other people will respect you when you begin to respect yourself.

    "Acknowledge your talents, and as quickly as possible gain confidence in yourself, so that you can be a genuine, authentic contributor and not all that worried about what other people think."

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

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    ignore busy

    Every day is filled with the same number of hours: 24. So why is it that some people think that magically, another two to three hours will somehow materialize?

    While you can find ways to make your life more efficient—to think more quickly and to get more to-dos checked off your list in a limited amount of time—the reality is, you can only move so fast and get so much completed.

    When you try to squeeze just one more thing into an already bulging schedule, the result often is that something gets lost in the shuffle, or quality of results suffer. The longer-term loss is that your reputation takes a beating and the level of trust in your word plummets.

    Making the best use of your time is not easy, but it is a worthy challenge. If you're ready to tame the time-management beast, check out these three suggestions:

    1. Stop saying, "Let's get together." Before tweeting, Facebooking, or emailing your enthusiasm to meet up, chat, Skype, or phone another person, consider the realities. Is your schedule so jam-packed through the next six months that there is no way you would feasibly make time to meet with that other person? Then stop saying those three words, because when you fail to follow-up, your sincerity is put into question.

    Instead, do this. Show you value the other person in other ways. Read and comment on their blog posts. Be thoughtful. A quick, thoughtless, "You're a rock star," will not suffice. Instead, identify something specific in the post that resonated, or add value, by extending the conversation.

    Mail them a handwritten card, thanking them for something they did in the past year that made an impression on you. If you're compelled, include a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. You get the drift—show you appreciate the person in a meaningful, specific way.

    2. Quit over-committing. You know you only have 24 hours in a day. Quite frankly, of those 24 hours, a certain number already are assigned to sleeping, eating, spending time with family, exercising, completing work projects, attending scheduled meetings, and more. While it may feel magnanimous to say, "Yes," to every request that presents itself, resist the temptation.

    It's true that sometimes we must stretch to tackle an audacious goal, and we can then work a few more hours for a few days or figure out a more efficient path to achieve the task, but that is not always the case. Be realistic about what extra projects you want to wedge into an already bulging schedule and nix the rest.

    Instead, do this. If someone reaches out to you to do something for them or with them—and you're sincerely interested—but you don't see any light imminent in your schedule, then negotiate. Timelines and deadlines are not always set in stone. If you feel you can add value, and/or you have a sense that it is something you should do for them (returning a favor, for example, or simply because you care about them), or that you really desire to do it because it fulfills your own goals, then try to make it work.

    3. Stop wasting your time. Deep-six the non-value-add, soul-sucking components of your life. This may mean disentangling yourself from relationships that add no value to your head or your heart. Notice, we're not using the word, "career" here. In other words, not everything you do has to personally benefit YOU (your career, your personal life).

    However, on those occasions when you DO give of yourself—make sure you feel the heart for it (otherwise, you will feel regret, resentment, and/or anger).

    Instead, do this. Filter all other time-investing activities in which you plug your energy through the "so-what" filter, as in, so what if I didn't do this? So what if I never did this again? If the answer is, "It really adds no value to my life or career," then kick it to the curb. Ferret out who and what is best for you, and liberate yourself from the rest.

    Stop wasting your valuable time. Life is too short. You will be amazed at how much more content your soul is and how much better of a human being, colleague, and employee you become. Your crankiness will dissipate and your joy and value will materialize.

    Related Articles:

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    confused-surprised-shocked-disgusted-confusion-what

    Career site Glassdoor has compiled its annual list of the oddest job interview questions that companies ask, and – surprise! – there's a bunch of questions from tech companies like Google, Amazon and Salesforce.com.

    Glassdoor analyzed more than 300,000 interview questions asked at real job interviews and posted by people who use its website to come up these whoppers.

    We posted the full list of 25 here, but here's a rundown of the ones asked by tech companies.

    How would you answer them? We've shared our thoughts:

    How many cows are in Canada? Google asked a person applying for a job as a local data quality evaluator. Answer: about 7 million, according to Wiki Answers. (And yes, we Googled it.)

    What songs best describe your work ethic? Asked at Dell for a consumer sales job. Possible good answer: Depeche Mode's "Work Hard"

    Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it? Asked at Amazon for a product development job. Here's our list: 14 Startups That Would Be Awesome...If Only They Existed

    How would people communicate in a perfect world? Asked at Novell for a software engineer job. Obvious answer: telepathy. Better answer (posted on Glassdoor): Always in person, face-to-face. That answer leads to a discussion of videoconferencing tech, which is a lot easier tech problem to solve than telepathy.

    What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now. Asked at LivingSocial for an adventures city manager job. If you're not a great singer, might we suggest Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger"? And if you can sing, you'll have this one covered.

    Have you ever stolen a pen from work? Asked by Jiffy Software for a software architect job. Obvious answer: Yes, but not on purpose. Better answer: In the grand scheme, no. I've probably brought more pens to the office and left them there as I've taken home.

    What kitchen utensil would you be? Asked by Bandwidth.com for a marketer job. Best answer we've seen (posted on Glassdoor): The Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

    If you could be anyone else, who would it be? Asked by Salesforce.com for a sales representative job. Obvious, ingratiating answer: Marc Benioff. Better answer: Anyone from our list of 15 Tech Geniuses Living Fabulous, Enviable Lives

    Don't miss The 10 Best Enterprise Tech Companies To Work For

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    When I graduated from Brown, I had a very limited conception of jobs, careers, and what I wanted to do. Basically, I figured I should do some kind of thought work that paid well, but I wasn’t sure what.

    Here were my original criteria:

    1. Intellectual vs. Manual. Does the job require a lot of conceptual work where I ‘used my brain?’

    2. Higher pay vs. Lower Pay. Do you get paid a lot? I didn’t have any real numbers in mind, but more money seemed better than less.

    This was my original thinking in a nutshell: seek higher-paid thought work. So I went to law school and joined a big law firm. I found that my framework was totally unhelpful when I didn’t enjoy being a corporate lawyer at all.

    After that, I started a company (that flopped), and worked at three other start-ups in tech and education. Over time I got a much better sense of the sort of thing that made a job enjoyable for me. I started categorizing the variables and came up with these:

    3. Changing over Time vs. Repetitive. In some environments, roles shift and change each period depending on what the company’s needs are. On the other hand, many functional roles can become very repetitive if you perform similar tasks over and over again.

    4. Broad Development vs. Specialization/Efficiency. Many jobs want you to become excellent at something and continue to do it. On the other end of the spectrum is a role where you're required to develop new skills because of evolving responsibilities (e.g., a manager at a growing company). Think a swiss army knife (generalist) versus a scalpel (specialist).

    5. Managing/teaching others vs. Operating Individually. Some positions involve developing others and taking responsibility for larger groups of people (e.g., becoming the head of a sales department). On the other hand, many of those with specialized skills or creative roles operate independently much of the time (e.g., a lawyer, writer, doctor, artist).

    6. Autonomy/Agency vs. Low Discretion. In some jobs, you are able to make choices how best to address a particular problem, and can exert some control over your own environment and schedule. In other roles, your discretion can be quite limited due to detailed hierarchies, policies, and procedures. (e.g., I found that I had relatively limited discretion as a lawyer because my schedule and environment were out of my control and the client makes most big decisions).

    7. People/service-oriented vs. Institutions. In some organizations (e.g., a tutoring business), you directly serve people that you may even see face-to-face. In others, as is common in the professional service context, your clients are large organizations that are hard to personalize (e.g., consulting to a large pharmaceutical company).

    8. Compensation for Value vs. Compensation for Time. In most established organizations, there are firm compensation and advancement guidelines, generally related to how long you’ve been there. If you create significant value for a company, it may not be reflected in compensation. In other more flexible contexts, it’s possible for an individual to be compensated according to the value he or she adds.

    9. Creative vs. Established Process. If a company has done something before, it probably has a set of documentation, rules, and policies to apply, and as an employee you will be expected to follow the process. In other settings, either because of the nature of the activity or because it hasn’t been done before, you may innovate or implement something new (though if you’re smart you’ll often refer to other companies’ best practices).

    10. Building/Making Progress vs. Maintaining Position. If a company is growing, then people’s roles often grow and change and opportunities abound. You are much more likely to feel that you are building toward something and making progress with each passing month. If a company is fighting a defensive battle, contracting, or even staying level, opportunities are harder to come by and roles tend to be more stagnant. In a professional service environment, you often work on one engagement or deal after another, with one ending before the next begins.

    11. Executing vs. Analyzing. In many analytical roles, you synthesize a great deal of data to produce a report, build projections, or make a recommendation. The output is the report, projection, or recommendation (e.g., as a consultant you build a report indicating how a company could lower costs). In an executive capacity, your output is the action or activity of the organization (e.g., opening stores, choosing what goods to sell, allocating resources to different marketing campaigns, etc.).

    12. Team-Orientation vs. Individual Metrics. In many professional service environments, the unit of performance is based on the individual (e.g., how many hours an accountant or lawyer worked and billed, how many patients a doctor has seen, etc.). In other companies, the organization’s performance is measured more collectively because people from different departments are required to work together in order to achieve shared goals.

    13. Uncertain Path vs. Predictable Track. In some situations, you can say with some certainty what the path forward is going to look like over the next number of years in terms of career progression. In others, your path forward will vary widely depending on how the company does and your role within it.

    14. Sense of Ownership vs. Employee. In some companies, staff feel a sense of ownership over their work and the performance of the company due to the nature of the activity, company size, culture, or compensation mechanisms (e.g., stock ownership). In other environments, employees feel detached from their employer and see individual performance and company performance as largely unrelated.

    15. Well-regarded vs. Obscure/Negative. Certain roles and organizations are admired by employees’ families, peers, friends, and the community at large. Others are not as well-regarded or well-known.

    16. Long-term vs. Transactional. In some industries and roles it is customary for employees to come and go every couple of years, particularly junior hires. In other environments employees may stay for extended periods of time to build long-term relationships.

    17. Positive Impact vs. Neutral/Indeterminate. Some organizations have missions or conduct activities that produce a discernible, positive impact (e.g., developing a new technology that reduces pollution or improves a health care treatment, etc.). Other companies conduct activities that are neutral or unclear in impact.

    This is an exceptionally long list of considerations. To make it a little bit handier, here’s a list of Job Traits:

    1. Intellectual vs. Manual Thinking

    2. Higher pay vs. Lower pay Compensated

    3. Changing over Time vs. Repetitive Changing

    4. Broad Development vs. Specialization/Efficiency Breadth

    5. Managing/teaching others vs. Operating Individually Managing

    6. Autonomy/Responsibility vs. Low Discretion Deciding

    7. People/service-oriented vs. Institutions People

    8. Fee for Value vs. Fee for Time Rewarded

    9. Creative vs. Established Process Creating

    10. Building/Making Progress vs. Maintaining Progressing

    11. Executing vs. Analyzing Doing

    12. Team Orientation vs. Individual Metrics Collaborating

    13. Uncertain Path vs. Predictable Track Risk-taking

    14. Sense of Ownership vs. Transactional Owning

    15. Well-regarded in Community vs. Obscure/Negative Admired

    16. Long-term vs. Transactional Committed

    17. Positive Impact vs. Neutral/Indeterminate Contributing

    I’ve found this more detailed framework much more useful, and I hope others find it helpful as well. It’s unrealistic to expect a job to hit every single note, particularly starting out. And every job has its fair share of trade-offs and need to manage relationships (e.g., even a CEO is beholden to directors, staff, investors/ownership, customers, etc.). But this set of job traits may help identify why particular roles are more or less appealing to you, and it’s useful to have a vision of what kind of role you’d like to move toward.

    NOW READ: Before You Take That Banking Or Consulting Job, Take A Hard Look At The Downsides

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    rob pollak

    Figuring out when to leave work shouldn't be a Herculean task.

    You either talk to your boss, or leave when you've completed all your work for the day.

    But apparently that isn't the case in BigLaw.

    Rob Pollak, a former associate at an unnamed firm, created a pretty intricate flow chart showing the questions lawyers need to ask at the end of the day just to determine whether or not they can leave the office.

    lawyer leaving work flow chart

    Charts like these, and the crazed life they represent, are why former attorneys like Kelly Newsome leave the industry to pursue totally non-related careers.

    "I remember working on a deal, I was corporate attorney," Newsome said in an interview with Bloomberg Law. "And I was working on a deal very tired, came home one night, and uh, it was really one morning, took a shower, washed my face, everything, put my make up back on, put my clothes back on, did my hair and laid down on the bed very still because I knew I that would be too tired to do it the next day. And at that point I thought 'probably not normal.'"

    Newsom ultimately opened a yoga studio.

    (h/t Above The Law for the chart).

    DON'T MISS: Lifetime's Casey Anthony Movie Made The Prosecutor Look Like An Idiot >

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    There are different reasons why individuals become investment bankers (ibankers).  

    Why they yearn to practice the sacred art of investment banking (ibanking). Though there are people who enter this esoteric world of high finance by pure chance, and with little effort, they are anomalies. In the vast majority of cases deep-seated motivations propel the uninitiated to persevere until the gates of entry to that prestigious world open before them.

    Most of those motivations can be grouped into a handful of categories (see diagram below for examples). They also explain why so many bankers agree to work unusually long hours, to put up with abnormally high levels of stress and to sacrifice personal and leisure time. Take a look at the faces of people who have been in the business for over 10 years, especially in a front office role. Many wear their sacrifice on their face – though too few of them realise this.

    For those of you currently in the business, next time you attend the Monday morning meeting just take a nice, long look around the room at the seniors bankers present. Is it not unusual that many of them are probably 10 years younger than they look? I know it took me less than a year at the bank to give birth to most of the grey hairs I presently sport.

    So why do so many people accept, amongst other things, the premature ageing that comes with the territory? Different reasons.

    Hypnosis: dangling a shiny pendulum

    In the case of university students it tends to stem from psychological attraction. Convinced to put forth an application after being mesmerized by the words and tone of voice of recent grads in polished suits at campus recruiting events. Never mind that the speaker has had stress-induced diarrhea for the past month, working round the clock to make a deal happen, and has been literally pissing out his @ss every morning at work.

    Benjamins (US) / dosh (UK) / fric (French) / dinero (Spanish) / foulous (Arabic) / qián (Chinese)

    Let there be no doubt that chief amongst the reasons is the motivation to earn a lot of money. See, for many bankers, and banker-wannabes, it’s a given that the entrepreneurial route is the path which ultimately leads to the greatest riches. However, entrepreneurship is beset with pitfalls and risks. Therefore, given the very calculating nature of bankers, the optimal choice is a career which is less risky than entrepreneurship yet at the same time relatively more lucrative than other roles.

    If you consider it safe to be employed and risky to be an entrepreneur, then investment banking can be considered one of the best safe bets in terms of compensation.

    There are bankers who spring out of bed at 6am every weekday to get ready for work as if called into a meeting by God. The raison d’être for this group is to toil through all the days of the year until one very particular day in the year. Bonus day.

    Whether it is earned in €, $, £ or ¥, on a good bonus day it will feel as if God came down to earth and kissed him or her on the forehead.

    On bonus day you may notice for the first time that some of your colleagues actually have teeth. Year-round glares turn into ear-to-ear smiles. During the year you’ll see colleagues get engaged, marry, become parents and take off on week-long holidays to the Seychelles. However, you will not see them wear anything remotely close, i.e. as BIG, as the smile they’ll walk into work with that day in anticipation of the handout. The stress, grey hairs, hair loss, stomach ulcers, eczema, skin rashes, to name a few undesirable aspects of the job, are justified by the paper handed to you which contains your bonus for the year. If it is a great handout then the day after the beneficiary will glow like a prophet. Let’s hope it’s a good year, ey!

    The lifestyle: la dolce vita

    From fine Asian restaurants serving mouth-watering black cod with miso and expensive French wine to luxury hotels nestled on hilltops in remote exotic islands, the list of activities enjoyed by bankers can be out of reach to some people in relatively lower-paying industries. Whether the bankers truly appreciate the $100 main or £275 bottle of red wine served at Chez Quelqu’un or rather enjoy the status associated with eating there when the restaurant next door offers more delectable food at a third the price, does not matter here. It’s the lifestyle the job affords that some gravitate towards.

    Some chaps and chapettes want the opportunity to hang out with a Barbour jacket-wearing crowd or a Brooks Brothers posse. Makes them feel special.

    For others the right lifestyle includes being able to send their kids to a school which will prep them for entry into Eton College (UK), Philips Exeter Academy (US) or Le Rosey (Switzerland).

    Many like doing the rich person’s routine such as attending niche art exhibits where you’re served champagne, engage in inane small talk and pretend that you’ve done the rounds in art circuits since birth. Reminds me of an ex-colleague who’d always take half an hour to peruse art reviews online, jot down a few key phrases and throw them around at the events like he did a post-doc at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

    Let’s not forget the fine food:

    “Yes, to start with I’ll take the caviar appetizer, followed by the veal fillet, cooked in aubergines, with confit of veal breast, with pepper and lemon, and…oh…as it appears divine I’d also like the artichoke and black truffle soup with the layered brioche and mushroom. Thank you.”

    Status: symbol of financial success

    For some it’s the prestige that comes with the job which matters most. Many bankers love knowing that their friends refer to them as a ‘high flying finance guy / gal.’ All of a sudden people around think of you as a financial whiz. Relatives and friends will call you and question you on how to get mortgages, successfully refinance loans, invest in gold, buy into a tech start-up or even how to tip in restaurants. Your opinion on all things monetary suddenly matters very much. That is, even if all you do in your day-to-day job is to give loans to handful of South African corporates and that in reality you’re as knowledgeable on mortgages or commodities as a tourist guide in Giza (Egypt) is about Norwegian forestry.

    I’ve know some ibankers who’ll complain about the job on daily basis and carry their utter disdain for their work life on their foreheads. But when you run into them at a rooftop lounge on a Friday evening surrounded by an attractive young crowd of non-finance people you’ll hear them describe what they do as if they’re Thomas Crown.

    why become a banker

    True love

    Some people know they want to work in finance from a young age. True, it’s rare but when you meet them in a bank you’ll recognize it right away. More often than not they’re very sharp. Everyone in the team will either love or hate them. There is no in between. At a junior level (i.e. analyst / associate) they are typically the guys who make far fewer mistakes in presentations and models, digest information and data the quickest and generally appear to feel most at home in the building. It is almost a given that they’ve breezed through their finance studies in university. Some of them probably could have joined a bank straight from school rather than attend university.

    When these worshippers of finance walk across the trading floor or past the Head of M&A’s office they’ll fight hard to keep a stupid smile from manifesting itself. They cannot help it. The trading floor is like a playground for them. The Head of M&A’s office like a throne. And if they receive a nod of acknowledgement from the man inside that office they may rush to the bathroom, lock themselves in a stall and cry out of joy for the job they consider a blessing. They probably hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Spring) in their heads when they walk around the bank on a busy Monday morning, a difficult day for most humans. Or perhaps Beethoven’s Ode to Joy – the part where the entire ensemble comes together in joyous harmony.

    For these special souls, the enjoyment they derive from reading the Financial Times on a Friday morning is tantamount to a sustained mini ejaculation.

    I once spotted one of them in the bathroom. Thomas, who attended the UK’s leading boarding schools and spoke as if he were an earl, was an Equity Capital Markets (ECM) associate and we occasionally worked on deals together. He was probably headed over to chat to a Sales guy and decided to make a pit stop beforehand. He surely thought he was the only person inside the toilets. I was slightly out of his range of vision at the urinals. Anyway, he’d finished washing his hands and was now staring at himself in the mirror:

    Thomas: “Star ECM associate ladies and gentlemen. Rain maker! ”

    This catches my attention and I quickly notice he’s not on his phone. His smile reminds me of the smile on a friend’s face the day he became a father. He went on chatting to himself.

    ECM associate: “Walkin down the trading floor. Smile at the FX guys, “hey Cyrus how’s cable*”, wave to the EM traders, ‘yo Ravi how the Abu Dhabi bonds doing?  Has the sheikh farted again?”
    *note: cable is the exchange rate between the US Dollar and British Pound

    He suddenly bit both lips and looked down. He was overwhelmed by it all. I nearly bit through my lower lip trying to hold myself from bursting with laughter.

    Great expectations

    For some, a career in finance is expected of them from a young age. That was certainly the case with Guillaume, a Swiss M&A analyst I met in London during training.

    Guillaume: “Most of our family and friends are in finance. My father is a private banker. My older brother is a hedge fund analyst. The pay maintains the lifestyle we like. The lifestyle our friends also have, bien sur.”

    He tells me this as he brandishes a ring with his family crest on it as if he were a 17th century musqueteer. Has anyone told him there are under 30-year old dotcom-ers who have made more in 5 years than his ancestry combined? And they wear flip-flops and Billabong shorts to work.

    Tour of duty: Operations In & Out

    The people in this group are those who’ve planned the mission from day 1. They have given themselves two or three years to immerse themselves in that world, work like a horse, learn as much as possible about finance, hone their presentation and Excel skills, add some eyebrow-raising bullet points in the resume / cv and get out before it’s too late. Once the tour of duty comes to an end they tend to head back to university for graduate studies, launch a start-up, spend a year backpacking around Latin America flirting with locals and smoking local herbs, set about writing an ebook they’ll make available for download on a personal blog for $39.99, move into an Ashram in Uttar Pradesh and massage each other thinking it will lead to enlightenment and practice minimalism, etc.

    Sadly, only some of the people who swear an oath to the tour of duty on that very first day fulfill their mission. Everybody in finance reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about. To those in the business: how many times have you told yourself, ‘just one more year…just one more bonus’?  To those who have friends in the business: how many times have you heard them insist they’ll soon leave their job? Most end up MIA (missing in action). Once behind enemy lines and captured people slowly forget the original plan, which is easily overshadowed by the perks of the job inside the golden cage. That is precisely what happened to Carlos, a friend of a friend.

    He was on a two year plan. So he said. Six years later – though you’d think it more like 15 years looking at his face and what’s left of his hair – he still insists departure is imminent. A few months ago I ran into him in a lounge in New York. Rihanna’s What’s My Name started to play and he began to dance.  You could call it that, if you were looking through a kaleidoscope. In some parts of the world he’d get violently beaten with a dead monkey and have his head shaved with a butter knife for looking that bad. He used to dance with a modicum of style I was told. But after sitting on a chair crunched over a computer 12+ hours per day modelling on Excel for six years shit happens.

    The people

    One attraction of working in an investment bank is that you’re sure to work alongside some bright minds. The reason for that is very simple: investment banking promises enormous wealth and an exciting career and, therefore, it attracts some of the sharpest, most intelligent and driven individuals in academia and the workplace.

    I can’t deny that I’ve met some impressive people in the bank. Having said that, I’ve also met a great deal of legendary imbeciles.

    Nonetheless, some ibankers join and stay in the business because of the people.

    Chance, circumstance or the alignment of the stars

    Some stumble into the business by sheer chance, much like one accidentally steps in dogshit. It just happens. They’re at the right place, at the right time, and opportunity presents itself.

    It just so happens that nerds (intelligent but single-minded persons obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit) are most likely to have this happen to them. Why? They’re natural chess masters, have an engineering degree from a top-ranked global university and, most important of all, give off the exact impression a managing director wants to see in a potential recruit: “I’m a loser, will work like a dog, make few mistakes and rip open my scrotum doing the splits on two chairs like Van Damn if you ask me to.”  Hired!

    Why I became an ibanker

    My goal objective was clear from day 1: learn as much as I can; work with some very talented and intelligent individuals; gain the relevant skills; make the right contacts; work on large deals; and when the time is right jump and do my own thing.

    Having investment banking experience on a resume / cv no doubt strengthens your profile in the business world.

    Of course money and the element of prestige also played roles. Yet they were not the sole driving factors for me. Besides, the big money you read about in the media only goes into the pockets of a select few in banks. It takes some time before you earn the big numbers. Also, the banks will always give you just enough to make sure you stay another year, and another, and another.

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    At some point in the grand history of America, it was decreed that everyone was supposed to work for eight hours a day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Yet ever since Dolly Parton started belting out her famous anti-9-to-5 anthem, this regulated regimen has gotten major flak.

    Whether you think the 9-to-5 is arbitrary, counter-productive or just out of touch with your life priorities (not to mention natural circadian rhythm!), you’re in good—and growing—company. And even if you can’t start a flex-time revolution at your current workplace, you can find plenty of jobs that accommodate a less traditional schedule.

    Freelance and consulting jobs are obvious contenders based on the inherent work variety, but careers in healthcare, disaster response, media and travel are also prime candidates for outside-the-box scheduling.

    If the 9-to-5 agenda just isn’t for you, check out these 15 careers with unconventional hours:

    1. Freelance Web Designer

    The demand for beautiful and functional Web pages is high. So if you’ve got the chops, you can set your own schedule, pick your own projects and make the World Wide Web a more awesome place to browse—from the comfort of your couch.

    Average Salary: $78,000

    2. Nurse

    Medical care doesn’t stop at 5:00 p.m. As a nurse—as with many medical-related professions—you build your work schedule around flexible shifts. Whether you’re a night owl, early bird or non-traditionalist, you’ve got options.

    Average Salary: $66,000

    3. Real Estate Agent

    Selling homes is a ‘round-the-clock business. Working with your clients’ schedules, you choose the best times to show off properties. Your on-the-job hours may fall on nights or weekends, but you’ll never have a set routine.

    Average Salary: $39,000

    4. Social Media Consultant

    Helping businesses stay up to speed on the latest social media trends keeps you on the move sharing your expertise via project-based work. As a consultant, expect to do your fair share of hustling. The tradeoff? You’ve got the privilege of setting your own hours and working in your pajamas every once in awhile.

    Average Salary: $43,000

    5. Political Campaign Manager

    During election season, campaign managers work 24/7. Since each campaign is its own intense, unique project, campaign careers are a good match for people who like throwing themselves 100 percent into work for concentrated periods of time, then taking an extended (and well-deserved) break.

    Average Salary: $53,000

    6. Personal Trainer

    This career path keeps you on your toes, puts you face-to-face with clients and lets you set your own hours for individual pump-up sessions and group workouts. Yes, you may still hang out by the water cooler. But it’s a totally different atmosphere than a traditional office.

    Average Salary: $31,000

    7. Air Traffic Controller

    Planes take to the skies at all hours, so this job comes with adjustable shift scheduling. The work can be stressful—you’ve got to hone your concentration skills to keep planes flying safely—but if you’re looking for non-traditional hours and a big paycheck, this could be a good fit.

    Average Salary: $113,000

    8. Graphic Designer

    Whether you’re designing a new logo for an indie band or working on a branding package for a major corporation, your projects—and hours—can be all over the place. Industry competition can be tough, but if you survive the squeeze, you can score the flexibility you crave.

    Average Salary: $44,000

    9. Tax Accountant

    As an independently operating accountant, you choose to work when you want, where you want and with whom you want. However, most tax accountants’ years follow a general pattern: long hours during tax season and a lot of down time in the late summer.

    Average Salary: $32,000

    10. Makeup Artist

    Freelance makeup artists can cash in on irregular hours. Whether you’re perfecting a bride’s makeup bright and early on her big day or staying late at a glitzy photo shoot, this career doesn’t abide by traditional time frames.

    Average Salary: $53,000

    11. Court Reporter

    In this versatile role, you create word-for-word transcripts of speeches, legal battles and other noteworthy events. While some court reporters work in an actual court, others use recordings to work from home. In that case, your hours are your own to dictate—as long as you meet your deadlines.

    Average Salary: $48,000

    12. Dental Hygienist

    Flexibility is the name of the game for dental hygienists. Because single dentists often only need a hygienist a few days a week, most hygienists work at multiple locations. That makes it easier to choose your days off or create a custom schedule of evening, weekend or everything-in-between work.

    Average Salary: $69,000

    13. Sports Coach

    Early morning track practice. Afternoon games on the court. Far-and-wide travels to recruit new players. Whether you’re a major league coach or in charge of a high school sports team, this job is sure to extend beyond 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Average Salary: $28,000

    14. Travel Guide

    Traveling to distant locals will keep you far from a conventional punch clock. To keep your tour members happy, healthy and ready to explore the next monument, you’ve got to be on your game 24 hours a day. The upside? Enjoying blocks of downtime between each expedition.

    Average Salary: $30,000

    15. Consultant

    Consulting is the granddaddy of flexible career fields. In this role, you swoop in, offer your clients savvy advice and help companies succeed in your area of expertise. Your work will take you from office to office, never staying in one spot—or on one specific schedule—for too long.

    Average Salary: $70,000

    Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps career changers and choosers discover strong career choices and find the right education to make it happen. Follow her on Twitter at @InsideJobs!

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    Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work -- this isn't your parents' career-advice blog. Be Brazen.

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    It's been 26 years since Gordon Gekko of Wall Street pronounced greed is good. We won't take it that far.

    What we would say, however, is that paying your bills on time is excellent. Saving some money each pay period is spectacular. Having resources to splurge from time to time is magnificent.

    The key to enjoying those types of luxuries is finding a good-paying job. Our Best Jobs of 2013 features a buffet of remunerative occupations spanning the six industries we cover, even the stereotypically starving-artist filled creative industry. Here are those 19 jobs, where both earnings and employment opportunity are ample.

    Web Developer

    Average Wage: $81,670

    A good developer understands a Web user's browsing habits and uses that to design functional, informative, and aesthetically pleasing websites. The position requires creative chops, but ample analytical skills as well, not to mention a command for various computer languages. The multifaceted job description ensures a lucrative salary, with the BLS reporting that Web developers earned about $81,670 in 2011.

    Learn More About Web Developers >



    Computer Systems Analyst

    Average Wage: $82,320

    This collaborative career involves the analysis of computer systems within a business. That could mean implementing new systems, ensuring their proper quality through testing and software updates, training on proper use, and recommending new systems when the current ones become obsolete.

    The average salary for a computer systems analyst was $82,320 in 2011, but the highest-paid made substantially more—in Bridgeport, Conn., computer systems analysts earned approximately $100,900.

    Learn More About Computer Systems Analysts >



    Civil Engineer

    Average Wage: $82,710

    Civil engineers deal with infrastructure, and could be found working on the design side, knee-deep in construction, or heavily engrossed in research and education. The BLS predicts that this field will grow steadily for the next decade, with particular opportunity for engineers interested in rebuilding aging bridges, levees, dams, and transportation systems. For their work, prospective civil engineers can expect a salary of about $82,710.

    Learn More About Civil Engineers >



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    A single dad in Culver City, Calif., is begging for work as a lawyer on Craigslist, claiming he is so desperate he's willing to take basically any legal job.

    Here's the ad, originally posted by Above the Law.craigslist job postingWe don't know what's worse: a single dad begging for work or a recent law school grad working the register at a big box store.

    New data has revealed there aren't nearly enough legal industry jobs for all the people graduating from law school. It's clear the industry needs a drastic change.

    And cutting the third year of law school really seems like the best way to start reforming the industry.

    It would save students money and allow them to enter the job market earlier, which would hopefully give them more time to find a job and prevent them from also turning to Craigslist in a last-ditch effort to find employment.

    DON'T MISS: Here's A Really Unpopular Way To Fix The Legal Jobs Market >

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    The "hidden job market" is one of the biggest of buzz phrases for job seekers.

    Many experts argue that up to 80 percent of the available jobs are hidden, although absolute documentation is hard to come by. So where are all these jobs, and how can you access them?

    Typically, people think of the hidden job market as all the jobs which aren't publicly viewable on a company's website, job boards, or elsewhere. Some jobs will become public, but just aren't there yet. Others are hidden and aren't ever made public.

    Timing

    Before a job becomes public, several people are likely to know about it: the hiring manager; the manager's boss who has to approve the addition to head count; members of the department who know that a job is being created or that someone has left or will vacate a position; an HR generalist who will work with the hiring manager to formulate the job description; HR staffing personnel charged with listing the position and recruiting for it—but haven't yet made it public. When you put it all together, you can imagine 10, 20, or more people in different areas of a company knowing about a job to be filled before it becomes public.

    Intention

    There are several legitimate reasons why an employer may decide not to publish a position at all. Many employers simply don't want to be deluged by large numbers of resumes they know that they would receive if they advertised the position. Often in a small or family-owned business the employer will approach his/her own network to see if someone knows anyone who is good at "whatever." Sometimes a stealth search is undertaken for other business reasons, such as not tipping off the competition about what is going on, or even to replace an under-performing worker who is still on the job and doesn't yet know of the employer's intention to let him go. The list of reasons can go on and on.

    You never know in advance who might be in that select group who has advance knowledge of a job opening, or be looking for someone without advertising it. But by getting out there, interacting with others in a whole range of activities, and more formal networking, you will increase your chances of finding that hidden opportunity.

    Pursue Serendipity

    The most important thing that a job hunter can do after creating a dynamic, achievement-based resume is to go about talking to as many people as possible. By engaging with other people in all aspects of your life, you can often make serendipity happen.

    A classic example is an unemployed man who was cheering his son on in an inter-school soccer game. He struck up a conversation with the man standing next to him who, it turned out, was the father of one of the opposing team's members. With a little small talk he found out that the man happened to own a company in the same field. In the course of conversation, they asked about each other's employment. Within a larger context, the job hunter offered his well-honed personal branding statement and let it be known that he was pursuing new opportunities. The other man replied, "I've been thinking about hiring someone with just your background for my company. How about coming in on Monday morning so we can get to know each other better?" Two weeks later, the unemployed man started his new job.

    Network and Seek Out Decision Makers

    Research your target companies through business publications, search engines, and social media like LinkedIn. When you see someone's achievements written up, send a note of congratulations. Ask if you can have a few minutes of his/her time to learn more about what they're doing, their innovation, expansion, or business initiative. Make certain to convey that you are not asking for a job, and are interested to find out more about the other person.

    When you are successful in networking, you can then demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the field. In this context you can ask, "Who are the other key people you think I could learn more from?" Turn a bit of information into a personal encounter. Turn the encounter into an informational interview. And turn one informational interview into a series of others. As the process goes on, at a minimum you will learn a great deal, and over time you will likely meet someone who is looking for you but just didn't know it. The hidden job will then become revealed, and you will be at the head of the line to be considered.

    Happy hunting!

    Arnie Fertig is the head coach of JOBHUNTERCOACH.COM, where he utilizes his extensive background in HR Staffing and as owner of a recruiting company to help mid-career job-hunters land their next job. Arnie provides one-to-one coaching services to individuals throughout the U.S. in all aspects of the job hunt, including: resume writing, personal branding, utilizing social media, enhancing networking skills, preparing for interviews, and negotiating compensation.

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    homer d'oh the simpsonsFor people without an inside track to a job, internet job boards, corporate websites, and job fairs are often their first resource.

    Unfortunately, despite the fact that they're the most widespread and easy way to find job openings, recruiters apparently have a very low opinion of them.

    From a piece by Nelson Schwartz in The New York Times: 

    “'You’re submitting your résumé to a black hole,” said John Sullivan, a human resources consultant for large companies who teaches management at San Francisco State University. “You’re not going to find top performers at a job fair. Whether it’s fair or not, you need to have employees make referrals for you if you want to find a job.'

    Among corporate recruiters, Mr. Sullivan said, random applicants from Internet job sites are sometimes referred to as “Homers,” after the lackadaisical, doughnut-eating Homer Simpson. The most desirable candidates, nicknamed “purple squirrels” because they are so elusive, usually come recommended"

    Companies vastly prefer referrals and employee recommendations because they save a great deal time and money. According to the piece, at accounting firm Ersnt&Young, 45 percent of non-entry placements come from employee recommendations, and they're hoping to increase that to 50 percent.

    The New York Fed found that referred job seekers are twice as likely to get interviews. 

    Networking, connections, and who you know have always been a massive part of the job application process. The rise of the Internet was supposed to democratize that, to give people more access to jobs they previously wouldn't have heard about. It turns out, in many ways, it's done the opposite, leaving employers with so many choices that they stigmatize many job seekers without really taking their qualifications into account.

    That means finding openings where you know people and keeping in close touch with friends in your industry are taking priority over the application itself. 

    NOW READ: See What The Desks Of 39 Successful People Look Like

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    david lat twitter

    David Lat is best known for his insightful, and somewhat snarky, legal insider blog Above The Law.

    But before he created ATL, he was an assistant U.S. Attorney with a blog called Underneath Their Robes,where he poked fun at, and often judged, the same federal judges he was arguing cases in front of.

    Lat recently sat down with California Lawyer to talk about how he mitigated the risk he was running with Underneath Their Robes.

    Plus, he dished on what it's like to be romantically dissed by a federal judge.

    From the interview:

    I blogged as a young woman who called herself Article III Groupie. She was obsessed with fashion, shoes, and fabulous federal judges. I initially created this identity just to cover my tracks. But as time went on I kind of found myself getting more and more into the character. At one point I even asked Richard Posner [of the Seventh Circuit] out on a date.

    Did he say yes?

    No, he actually turned me down. But I think he regrets that.

    When in character as Article III Groupie, Lat actually held a "Super Hotties of the Federal Judiciary" competition, a title he reveals Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski campaigned for and won.

    Check out the nominees for the 2006 competition and, of course, the full list of winners.

    When Chris Christie, his boss at the time, found out about Lat's secret blogger life, he was actually pretty cool with it, Lat told California Lawyer.

    "What he actually said to me was, 'David, you're doing great work here. And it's my call what I do with you. So let's just go back to the way things were,'" Lat said. "And that's essentially what happened - minus the blogging, of course."

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    graduates diploma college

    Last week, it was reported that law school applications were on pace to hit a 30-year low, a dramatic turn of events that could leave campuses with about 24 percent fewer students than in 2010.

    Young adults, it seems, have fully absorbed the wretched state of the legal job market. 

    And hallelujah to that.

    The last thing the economy needs is thousands of additional J.D.s sitting around with no work and $125,000 of grad-school debt hovering over them.* But just as importantly, if the coming correction is as big as some are predicting, there's a chance that the hiring environment for new law school graduates could return to sanity within the next few years.

    A small chance, at least.

    There was a time that graduating from law school meant that you had a fairly sure shot of landing gainful employment as an attorney. No longer. Since the recession, the fraction of new J.D.s finding a full-time job requiring a state bar license withered from roughly 74 percent down to less than 60 percent. That tumble is depicted in the chart below, which compares how the classes of 2007 and 2011 fared on the job market, based on datacompiled by the National Association for Legal Placement. 

    Note that the fraction of new JDs without jobs or working part-time more than doubled to a combined 22 percent. That's plain brutal.  

    NALP_Employment_for_New_Law_Grads_I_EDITED.PNG

    To be fair, more than half of those part-timers are at least technically working as lawyers. But many are likely "contract lawyers," who are hired to sit in front of a computer and review vast document caches for as low as $25 an hour. These luckless young folks are supposed to spend less than a minute staring at each PDF before marking it "relevant" or "not relevant," and there's now software available that can do the work better than most humans. It's a pretty soul-sucking gig, and often a career dead end. 

    So what, precisely, killed the J.D. job market? When the financial industry melted down in 2008, it burned a hole straight through the finances of America's big corporate law firms. They in turn cut back on hiring, and that destabilized the rest of the market, as graduates who would have landed a plumb firm job opted for lower-paying positions in government, small firms, and public interest that in past years would have gone to the alums of less prestigious institutions. As shown in the graph below, also from NALP data, about 80 of the hiring cutbacks were at firms -- and, if you dig a little deeper, most of those were concentrated specifically at firms with 100 or more lawyers. Outside of private practice, actually hiring edged up. 

    NALP_Employment_for_New_Law_Grads_II_EDITED.PNG

    But here's the key thing: while the number of law grads without work more than doubled, the number that did land jobs stayed relatively even -- 37,123 in 2007 vs. 35,653 in 2011. So why did unemployment grow so much? Because more people were graduating law school in 2011 than four years earlier. And that brings us to why there might be a little ray of hope for this year's law school applicants. 

    It involves a tiny bit of high school math and a tiny bit of optimism. As the National Law Journalreported, law schools are on pace to receive about 54,000 applications, which would lead to about 40,000 students on campus come Fall. Looking over past years admissions and graduation statistics, I think it's fair to ballpark the national law school attrition rate for the last couple years somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Applying the conservative 10 percent figure, that might mean just 36,000 law students will graduate in 2016, down from a full 44,495 in 2011.** In short, the number of new JDs would roughly match the number of jobs that were available to even the unluckiest law school class in recent history. They wouldn't all necessarily be very good jobs (again, consider the contract lawyer), but they'd be jobs nonetheless. 

    That's the math. Now about the need for optimism. Big law firms seem to have stabilized themselves, but the calm might only be temporary. Their business model is still in a fair amount of danger, under siege by innovative, lower-cost companies that market basic corporate legal services on the cheap as well as technology that threatens to undercut the need for associates, and along with them an important source of profits. As firms struggle their way towards sustainable growth, some may well cut down their hiring even further. And if they do, the effects will be felt all over the legal job market, just as they have been for the past couple years. Call it trickle down unemployment.   

    So here's the deal, class of 2016: You're okay if law firms stop shrinking. You might not be okay if they don't. 

    _______________________________

    * That's the average a student has to borrow for a private law degree. Compare that to the roughly $36,000 of debt undergrads rack up for a private B.A. 

    ** A quick note for those paying extra careful attention to the numbers in this piece: NALP's survey data only tracks about 95 percent of law school graduates. So if you add up the number of jobs and subtract it from the raw number of new JDs in 2011, it would suggest the unemployment problem should be much worse than the graphs indicate. And who knows: it might be! But we don't have the data to know for sure.

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    sheryl sandberg

    In a new book, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg writes about the difficulties of being a woman in a man's corporate world.

    Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Leaddue to come out next week, is filled with sound advice for women as well as tidbits about her life.

    Sandberg's career is already the stuff of legend, points out book reviewer Tom Gara at the Wall Street Journal: Harvard summa cum laude, Treasury Department chief of staff by 27, Google VP at 32 and Facebook chief operating officer today.

    Her life screams of ambition, and it seems to have started very young. Sandberg writes that she trained her younger siblings to “follow me around, listen to my monologues and scream the word ‘right’ when I concluded.”

    But that doesn't mean everyone always respected her. In men, that kind of take-charge ambition is viewed as a positive. When women show those traits, Sandberg writes, they often meet with a negative reaction.

    And then there's the straight-up sexism Sandberg encountered. In another story, she tells how Tip O'Neill literally patted her head (instead of shaking her hand) the first time they met. She was in high school and an intern on Capitol Hill with her local congressman. He introduced her to O'Neill, then Speaker of the House:

    ”The speaker looked at me, then reached over and patted my head,” Sandberg recalls. “He turned to the congressman and remarked ‘she’s pretty.’ Then he turned his attention back to me and asked just one question: ‘Are you a pom-pom girl?’”

    Don't miss BEYOND MARISSA MAYER: 25 Powerful Women Engineers In Tech

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    executives, powerful, office, meeting, board room, talking

    A new software trend is turning the painful chore of annual employee reviews into something fun.

    Yes, really.

    It's called social performance management—or, in a buzzword that's less redolent of "Office Space"'s TPS reports, "gamification."

    Gamification means adding game-like features—challenges, levels, leaderboards, and badges—to work tasks.

    Examples of companies offering this software, inspired by video games and Facebook apps, include Badgeville, Jam, Leaderboarded, NewsGator, Work.com.

    Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, even has a free, open-source project called Open Badges.

    The idea is expected to storm the enterprise by next year. Some 70 percent of the 2,000 largest businesses around the world will be managing at least one “gamified” application or system by 2014, market research firm Gartner predicts.

    "Gamification offers engagement and motivation techniques to rally opposing forces to work toward collaborative goals," writes Gartner analyst Elise Olding.

    To be sure, gamification has been overhyped in Silicon Valley, and it can have a gimmicky quality that may turn off employees if done wrong. As a productivity enhancer, it usually flops. The game effect will wear off, management will quit watching the game, and people will go back to their usual work patterns and productivity levels. 

    In organizational psychology, that's called the Hawthorne Effect.

    But when it comes to employee feedback, gamification is a natural fit. That's because getting a pat on the back from your boss or coworkers never gets old. Gamification just makes those gestures easier and more public.

    If the pat is immediate and visible to the whole company, like a badge on a leaderboard, it's even more effective than a private thank-you via email.

    That's a concept called "hyperfeedback," Deloitte consultants Doug Palmer, Steve Lunceford, and Aaron Patton wrote in a report called "The Engagement Economy."

    "Games do not wait to reward you: buildings collapse and make noise, scores increase instantly, and virtual money may even change hands. In real-world scenarios, however, an individual’s action may go totally unnoticed or unrewarded. Adding hyperfeedback to a process can provide the right reward at the right time," the Deloitte team wrote.

    When the employee receives a constant stream of feedback, documented as challenges met or missed, there's may be no need to sit down for an annual recap. All you need to do is check the leaderboard.

    NewsGator, a social-collaboration company, recently took a look at how gamification can fit into a company's overall employee software usage. Here's an infographic they used to explain it:

    Gamification

     

     

    SEE ALSO: Future Of Business

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    Todd McKinnon Okta

    Enterprise tech has gone from a yawn to an excited scream over the past year.

    Businesses that sell to other businesses, with their steady revenues and more-predictable growth, are now the darling of tech investors.

    That means they're good places for employees, too.

    So if you're gunning for a new job with stock options that could make you a millionaire, consider this:

    So if you're thinking of making the jump, where should you go?

    FireEye: Great tech and a golden-touch CEO

    Company: FireEye

    Location: Milpitas, Calif.

    No. of Employees: 400

    FireEye is a hot security startup for a whole bunch of reasons. It solves the hard security problem of protecting enterprises against previously unknown, so-called "zero-day" attacks. It just landed a $50 million round of financing on a $1.25 billion valuation, and hired an experienced CEO, Dave DeWalt.

    DeWalt joined in November after turning down some 40 other job offers. He's had a string of leadership successes, including the turnaround of McAfee through its $7.68 billion sale to Intel. Wouldn't you want to work for a guy with that track record?



    Box: Big IPO pending

    Company: Box

    Location: Los Altos, Calif.

    No. of Employees: Over 500

    Box is a venture capital darling, run by its young and brilliant founder Aaron Levie. Box is widely expected to go public in 2014 and to be a big hit with investors when it does. Meanwhile, the money folks can't stop throwing millions at it. In 2012, it landed a massive $150 million Series E round.

    The reason it's so hot? Box has turned its secure file-sharing service into a development platform that enterprises love.



    Okta: Everyone wants Okta's action

    Company: Okta

    Location: San Francisco

    No. of Employees: About 75

    Okta was the first cloud startup backed by Andreessen Horowitz. That's significant because Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz pioneered the concept at their previous company, Opsware. Okta has been going gangbusters ever since.

    Okta helps companies manage employee identifies in the cloud. This is such a hot area that big guys Salesforce and Oracle now want in(Okta's founder and CEO, Todd McKinnon, cut his teeth running the engineering department for Salesforce.com.)

    The competition has helped Okta up its game. In 2012, it signed on 140 new enterprise customers.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    His girl friday

    Law school is more unpopular than ever, and it has some unlikely critics.

    Law professors Paul Campos and Brian Tamanaha are now calling for drastic reform of the same system that pays their bills.

    Campos writes at "Inside the Law School Scam," and Tamanaha wrote the book "Failing Law Schools," which won him "Most Influential Person in Legal Education" last year.

    But one law school leader says the people calling law school a "scam" are the ones who are actually hurting legal education in the United States.

    "Much of the alarm about the quality and value of accredited legal education is distorted and exaggerated," says Steve Sheppard, associate dean for research and faculty development at University of Arkansas School of Law. "Where is the scam?"

    Sheppard says he works with thoughtful students who are fully aware of the costs of law school. Those costs, he says, have gotten higher because students expect more: nicer facilities, smaller classes, and better career services.

    So, if law students aren't being had, then why are young people avoiding law school now?

    The numbers don't lie.

    The Law School Admission Council's numbers indicate that applications for fall semester are on track to reach a 30-year low, the National Law Journal's Karen Sloan has reported.

    Sheppard doesn't argue with the numbers, but he does provide an alternate theory of why law school applications have plummeted. Law school hasn't suddenly become a bad investment, according to his theory.

    Here's Sheppard's explanation that came in an email to Business Insider:

    "The decline in law school applications is as easily explained (and perhaps more accurately explained) by the drumbeat of criticism than by the economics of education or legal employment. This criticism has been initiated by unhappy law students, drop-outs, and graduates, along with critics in the law faculties who have their own axes to grind. It has been amplified by a press and blogosphere that is either not equipped to evaluate the criticism or happy to sell papers by flaming it."

    That last line could have referred to a New York Times article that cited a law professor who predicted the demise of 10 law schools in the next decade.

    To be sure, that expert, University of Chicago Law professor Brian Leiter, didn't tell the Times how he came up with that precise number.

    But are negative articles and critical professors really behind the dramatic drop in law school applications? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

    SEE ALSO: The Law School Crisis Doesn't Exist At Places Like Yale >

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    George Washington University, GW, Law School

    One of the nation's highly ranked law schools is spending nearly $3 million to place more than one-fifth of its 2012 graduates in school-funded, short-term internships, The GW Hatchet reported Thursday. 

    George Washington University Law School's Pathways to Practice program pays students $15 an hour to do part-time legal work for up to a year after graduation, according to the school. 

    As the recovery for the legal industry continues to stall, more and more students are relying the program and using its resources.

    The number of students  in the program jumped from 95 to 109 graduates, according to the Hatchet. One student criticized the program as giving students a crutch.

    “It’s another level of having an umbilical cord with the school. From what I understand, if they’re not employing you, you’re not really doing substantive legal work a lot of time,” 2L student Nick Shepherd told the Hatchet. “Having a job with the school may encourage you to sit back. I don’t know if it’s the best incentive, and then you drain more resources.”

    GW Law is ranked the 20th best law school in the country by U.S. News. The school costs nearly $46,000 per year and enrolls 1,430 full-time students.

    SEE ALSO: This Is The Best Law School In America To Snag A Date

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    The National Association for Law Placement has released its analysis of hiring for the fall 2012 summer associate recruiting season, and the results aren't pretty. 

    Firms are being pretty stingy when handing out summer offers, which are made to second-year law students. In fact, things are almost as bad as they were during the recession, according to the NALP.

    "Against that background, recruiting volumes by U.S. law firms on the campuses of U.S. law schools were mostly flat during the late summer and early fall of 2012 compared with recruiting activity the year before," the report found.

    And things aren't expected to get any better in 2013. 

    “We have seen some faltering in recruiting volumes this past fall and that reflects the continuing faltering in the larger legal economy," NALP Executive Director James Leipold said in a press release. "If you read the client advisories coming from some of the private banks that are involved in law firm financing, it’s clear that 2013 is not likely to be dramatically better."

    This chart, produced by the NALP and posted by Above The Law, says it all about the current recruiting market for 2Ls:NALP Summer Hiring Chart

    Recruiting for summer associates isn't expected to get better anytime soon.

    "I would expect flat and faltering to be characteristics of the entry-level law firm hiring market going forward, at least for the short and even medium term. Multiple experts have made the case that the legal market is not likely to return to pre-2007 levels, and the recruiting environment reflects that reality," Leipold said in the press release.

    SEE ALSO: What It Takes To Get An Impossibly Prestigious Supreme Court Clerkship

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