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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    Frederik Groce, associate at Storm Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

    • As an African-American, Frederik Groce, an associate at Silicon Valley's Storm Ventures, is a rarity in the venture capital world, where only 3% of all employees are black.
    • In addition to being an atypical VC, Groce had an unusual journey into the industry. He grew up poor, planned on being a lawyer, and didn't really have a firm grasp on what venture capitalists do until he interviewed for a position at Storm.
    • But his experience running a multimillion dollar business organization at Stanford impressed Storm Ventures.
    • Hoping to help other blacks who are either in the venture industry or hoping to break into it, Groce's helped form a networking group in Silicon Valley and plans to eventually expand it to Los Angeles and New York.

    Fredrik Groce isn't your typical venture capitalist.

    He's 26. He's never run a startup and didn't come from the worlds of consulting or finance. He grew up living in motels.

    Oh, and he's black — something that's exceedingly rare in the venture industry.

    As even Groce acknowledges, "I'm a fluke."

    But now that he's a working VC, the associate at Silicon Valley's Storm Ventures is determined to help other African-Americans, maybe even some with similarly unusual backgrounds, make it into the industry or get their businesses funded by it.

    "I feel like it's my responsibility to help more people get into venture or navigate venture," Groce said.

    He's already helped organize a series of meet-ups for black venture capitalists. And he's working to turn the effort into a formal organization — tentatively dubbed BLCKVC — with branches in New York and Los Angeles as well as in the Bay Area.

    "We're creating a space for black venture," he said.

    His childhood homes were motels, and he moved frequently

    Not only is Groce an unusual venture capitalist, he took an atypical path to the industry. Indeed, as a kid, he probably had about as much chance of becoming a venture capitalist as landing on the moon.

    Groce grew up poor and itinerant. His father was a car salesman who moved the family around every year or two, looking for better opportunities. The family bounced from the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest to Ohio. Groce's life was so much in flux that he went to three high schools in four years, two in Ohio and one in Portland, Oregon.

    Except for a two-year period when Groce was in high school, his family lived in motels throughout his childhood, because they didn't have enough saved to put down a deposit on an apartment, much less a down payment on a house.

    "There wasn't much that kept us in any one place," he said. "If we saw an opportunity, we'd leave."

    Among Groce's relatives, his family's experience wasn't exceptional. Of his dad's 12 siblings, just one had some semblance of financial success, becoming a doctor. Some of the other siblings ended up in prison.

    Getting out of his situation meant going into medicine or the law

    His parents' financial hardships and all that moving around influenced Groce's world view — and made him determined to not fall into the same trap. Groce was a good student and was preparing to go to college. But if you asked him what he wanted to do after, it was to be a lawyer. Because where he came from, it was a career in the law or medicine that helped people like him open the door to better financial situations.

    "Become a lawyer or a doctor, and you're set" was the thinking, he said. "The people who made it out went through those pathways."

    After a somewhat haphazard process of applying to colleges — Groce divided potential schools into various categories and applied to only one of the top 10 ranked in each, a process that makes him "cringe" now when he thinks about it — he decided to go to Stanford.

    Although he got into all the colleges he applied to and going to Stanford meant moving far away from his parents, who were in Ohio, he didn't struggle with the decision. Stanford offered him more financial aid than he needed. He had older siblings who lived in the East Bay. And he'd have a place to live for four years — longer than he'd ever stayed in one place in his life.

    "It was an easy decision to be made," he said.

    Going to Stanford was 'transformational'

    The choice ended up being a "transformational" one for Groce, one that opened doors for him that he couldn't have imagined growing up. But as he entered Stanford, he initially saw the school as a stepping stone to going into law.

    Cyclists traverse the main quad on Stanford University's campus in Stanford, California, U.S. on May 9, 2014. To match Special Report COLLEGE-CHARITY/   REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach/File PhotoKnowing that a lot of his peers were also law-school bound, Groce figured he needed to set himself apart. One way to do that was to work on his business skills. Stanford doesn't have an undergraduate business school, so he couldn't formally study business there. But it does have an organization called Stanford Student Enterprises, which oversees the student store, sells advertising in campus publications, and handles the finances of the campus student organization.

    Groce got involved in SSE as a freshman, selling advertising that ran in the campus guidebook and alongside the campus map. During his tenure at Stanford, he grew more and more involved with the organization — and more and more successful.

    By the time he was a junior, he was making more money through SSE than his parents had ever made in a year. As a senior, he became the organization's chief operating officer and was working there about 30 hours a week. He made enough money working for SSE that he was able to pay cash for a house for his parents in Ohio. The move was almost as much for his peace of mind as for his parents.

    He was thinking, "OK, my parents will never be homeless."

    Working for a law firm changed his career path

    But if he loved business, Groce came to realize he wanted no part of being a lawyer. During the summer after his junior year, he got an internship at DLA Piper, a law firm with offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The internship gave him a chance to see what it was like to work in the law — and it was nothing like he expected.

    "I absolutely hated it. I was bored by everything there," he said. "It was earth shattering to me."

    So when it came time to graduate in 2014, he was somewhat at a loss about what to do next. He no longer wanted to go to law school. His experience at SSE had been great and made him interested in business, but he wasn't sure what direction he wanted to go in. So when the CEO position at SSE opened up — a two-year post that's reserved for recent Stanford graduates — he jumped at the opportunity, figuring he loved the organization and could use the time there to figure out his next career step.

    After being hired as CEO, Groce had a fairly unique opportunity for someone who had just graduated from college. He was overseeing an operation with dozens of employees, a multimillion dollar budget, and a half dozen business units.

    "There's a business side, an entrepreneurial side," he said. "You're the financial manager of all the student government and student groups at Stanford."

    It also gave him an opportunity to meet with people in the business community. And that led directly to his entry into venture capital.

    A chance meeting led to a new career

    Ryan Floyd wasn't necessarily looking to hire someone from an underrepresented minority group when he reached out to Groce in late 2015. One of the founders and managing directors at Storm Ventures, a relatively small firm, Floyd was mainly looking for someone young and talented to add to the team.

    "There were a lot of things we'd like to be doing here that we just didn't have the horsepower to do," he said.

    But diversity is valued at Storm. One of Floyd's partners is Indian. Another is Korean. Another is half Cherokee. One of his founding partners was born in Argentina. So Floyd also wasn't looking for the typical Stanford student, either.

    "I didn't want hire someone that had exactly my background," he said. "The makeup of entrepreneurship is wide and vast, and we need to reflect that at Storm if we want to see the best opportunities."

    I didn't want hire someone that had exactly my background. The makeup of entrepreneurship is wide and vast, and we need to reflect that.

    Stanford hosts events that showcase student entrepreneurs and startups. Floyd had been to some of those events and had found out that SSE funded many of the programs. He figured he ought to meet the person who ran SSE, thinking that person could help connect him with students who might make good candidates to join Storm.

    Floyd met with Groce informally, just to get to know him. But he walked away from the meeting so impressed that he didn't take his hiring search much farther.

    Groce admittedly didn't know much about the venture capital business, even then. SSE oversees Cardinal Ventures, a startup accelerator that invests in student-run businesses, so as he moved up in the management of the organization, he learned about the industry. But before he met Floyd, he didn't really know any VCs and didn't have a firm grasp on what they did until he was going through the interview process.

    But that didn't matter much to Floyd. The experience Groce had gained from SSE in managing people, budgeting, dealing with campus politics really made him stand out, Floyd said.

    "I think of myself when I was his age, my ability to articulate my interests, what was interesting about a business, what drives people," Floyd said. "He was much better than me. Much, much better than me."

    A small firm offers lots of experience

    Floyd and Storm initially decided to hire Groce part-time, while he was still working for SSE. He then resigned early from his CEO position and joined Storm full time as an analyst, studying potential deals. After two years, Storm, which focuses on enterprise startups, promoted him to being an associate — its only one — where he helps make the case for potential investments.

    "Because we're so small, there's not a deal Storm has done that I haven't touched in some way," Groce said.

    Storm Ventures' founding partners. From left, Alex Mendez, Tae Hea Nahm, Sanjay Subhedar, and Ryan Floyd.One area he's focused on for the firm is on startups that specialize in serving the technology needs of governments. That's an area that Storm had previously ignored. But the firm has now backed two startups in that business, based in part on the investment thesis Groce put together.

    "It's been an impressive progression for him," said Floyd. "He has a tremendous amount of maturity for his level of experience."

    To be sure, Groce is still early in his career. It's not clear if or when he'll become a partner at Storm or any other firm. Ultimately, that will depends on his ability to develop deals and generate returns, Floyd said.

    But Storm's invested in Groce and open to that possibility.

    "I'd love nothing more than to have Frederik as my partner at some point in the future," Floyd said.

    Silicon Valley has a diversity problem, thanks partly to pattern matching

    Still, Groce's experience is exceedingly unusual.

    Silicon Valley has long had a diversity problem. For literally decades, blacks, Latinos, and women have been underrepresented in the industry.

    In recent years, partly due to pressure from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, some of the biggest tech companies, including Intel, Apple, and Google have pledged to diversify their ranks and have made halting steps in that direction. But the venture capital wing of the industry has largely evaded that pressure and scrutiny — and done little to diversify.

    A lot of VCs just have the wrong mindset. They need to drop the stereotypes of what a founder looks like and be more intellectually curious.

    If you look at everyone working in the venture capital industry, from administrative assistants to managing partners, just 3% are African-American and only 4% are Latino, according to a 2016 survey by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association. Among so-called investment partners — a grab-bag title intended to cover the people that make investment decisions that includes managing partners, founding partners, general partners, and managing directors — none are black, just 2% are Latino, and only 11% are women.

    Critics inside and outside the industry blame the lack of diversity in part on pattern matching. Venture capitalists think they know what a successful startup entrepreneur looks like — all-too-frequently someone who is white who graduated from Stanford or an Ivy League school. Consciously or not, they typically invest in startups founded by people like that.

    And when looking to hire new partners, they frequently draw from the ranks of successful startup founders — which just so happen to be the same pool of white Stanford and Ivy League grads, because they're the ones who got funding.

    "A lot of VCs just have the wrong mindset," said Mitch Kapor, a partner at Kapor Capital and a longtime champion of diversity in tech. "They need to drop the stereotypes of what a founder looks like and be more intellectually curious."

    Hoping to forge a new path for others like him

    The lack of African-Americans in the venture industry makes it difficult for blacks aspiring to join the venture business or to found startups. The few blacks in the venture industry rarely make partner. And when they leave to form their own firms, they've had trouble raising funds, Groce said he's found in talking with them. As a result, many end up leaving the industry — and, as a result, blacks who join it have few mentors.

    "When you get into venture, you better be ready to be only black person there and all that entails," Groce said.

    That's why Groce has started reaching out to other African-Americans in the industry. He's trying to build a network of black VCs who can share their experiences, lend each other support, and help guide the next generation who enter the business.

    The hope is that while his path to the industry has been unique, he won't be the last one to follow something like it.

    "We're creating a space for black venture," he said.

    SEE ALSO: This year could see a bull market for tech IPOs — but don't expect to see a lot of big names go public

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How AT&T conquered all forms of communication after the government forced it to break up

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    Disney Internship 1

    • Professional internships with the Walt Disney Company are unlike any other internship programs out there.
    • You get the chance to actually work in your field and network with many different people.
    • There are lots of magical perks included, like behind-the-scenes tours and getting to test out new Disney experiences before the public.

    Many college students are lucky enough to participate in the
    Disney College Program, but not as many get the chance to become aDisney Professional Intern.

    I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to participate in two professional internships with the Mouse, and they were life-changing.

    Here are my top four reasons why I loved interning at Disney:

    You actually do work.

    Disney Internship 3

    There is a stereotype that many internships only consist of making copies or getting coffee. This is the furthest from the truth with the Disney Professional Internship program.

    My first internship was with theDisney Vacation Club. On the first day, I was assigned a massive ongoing project to spearhead.  There was never a dull moment. I was consistently doing research and conducting cross-channel focus groups. The learning never ended.

    My learning experiences continued the next year when I switched gears and interned with a different team at theDisney Cruise Line. Part of my daily routine was to compile and create reports on critical confidential topics for senior management. I had the chance to learn new systems and programs.

    These opportunities let me grow and improve the skills I had learned in the classroom to become a master of my craft. Many internships don't allow you the freedom to — excuse the cliche — spread your wings and soar. Disney does.

    You're a valued part of the team.

    Let's face it, sometimes being an intern can be lonely. You're only there a couple of months —a year at most — and you don't feel 100% part of the team.

    During both of my internship programs though, I never felt like an intern. I felt like a part of the team. There was an authentic sense of community and care for one another. I was welcomed with open arms, invited to lunch, and given the opportunity to bond with many of my co-workers.

    On the professional side, my leaders supported me in joining meetings and hopping on conference calls. They encouraged me to speak up. I felt like my opinion, and my thoughts were valued. I felt like I had a team to count on who also counted on me. These experiences made me feel like I was more than just an intern.

    You're given the chance to network with a ton of people across the company.

    Disney Internship 2

    Every intern knows that networking is one of the most crucial aspects of internship programs. In a company as vast as the Walt Disney Company, I really had no clue how to start.  

    Thankfully my leaders set me up with several meetings — lovingly called "meet and greets"— to get me started. From there I could request additional colleagues to meet with, then ask those people for additional contacts, and so on.

    As you could imagine, I met with a lot of people. I had over 75 "meet and greets" within the Walt Disney Company, across many channels, and segments of the company. Although this may sound exhausting, these chats helped open my eyes to all the opportunities within my field. I learned more about positions I felt passionate about and discovered different roles I had not considered initially.

    I walked away from each of these individuals with nuggets of information and advice that continues to help me as I create my career path.

    There are a lot of perks that come along with an internship at Disney.

    One of the more unique benefits of interning with Disney is the many perks that come with it.  Beyond receiving admission into the theme parks, the company offers magical moments offered from time to time.

    Team-building exercises can open doors to some behind-the-scenes magic. For example, my team at the Disney Vacation Club went on behind the scenes tours of  The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror inDisney's Hollywood Studios andKilimanjaro Safaris atDisney's Animal Kingdom. It was fascinating to learn all the ins and outs of the attraction, and it made team building way more fun than the norm.

    There are also more exclusive perks depending on your role, your department, and the timing of specific projects. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Disney Vacation Club team while they opened Disney's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, and I received a test stay in one of their brand new hotel rooms. I also had the incredible opportunity to board a test cruise on the newly renovatedDisney Wonderwhile interning with the Disney Cruise Line, which was a "wondrous" experience.

    Overall the experiences I had during both of my professional internships not only taught me a lot about the business of the Walt Disney Company, but taught me a lot about myself. I highly encourage anyone who meets the requirements to take look into the different programs and give it a try. I promise you won't regret it.

    Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What would happen if humans tried to land on Jupiter

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    Plane window

    • JPMorgan Asset Management's Malcolm Smith shares what an average day looks like as a $135 billion money manager.
    • Smith starts working between 5am and 6am
    • He steers of clear of social media platforms like Twitter and does his best thinking on planes.

    LONDON — Work starts early when you're in charge of more than $100 billion of other people's money.

    Malcolm Smith, the head of JPMorgan Asset Management's $135 billion international equity group, usually wakes at around 5:00 am, and is working almost straight away, he told Business Insider in an interview in February.

    "I'm doing emails, speaking to people from five or six in the morning," he said.

    "The first thing I do when I get up is check markets to see what's happened overnight, check the news flow that's incoming from people around the world. Occasionally I'll end up doing calls at the time of the morning, but will normally be in the office between 7:30 and 8:15."

    Smith's day then progresses in a manner that would be recognisable for many office workers, with a whole heap of meetings. 

    "There's normally a round of morning meetings for different investors, and investor groups.

    "Then its straight into the day of CIO reviews, what's happening in individual portfolios, any new client work we're doing, and I'll probably see a couple of clients across the day."

    Smith doesn't normally have time for lunch, but has frequent dinners with clients.

    Staying up to date is crucial in the markets right now, especially given the increasing influence politics and geopolitics on market movements, and the unpredictable nature of the current news cycle.

    Just look at Tuesday's shock news that President Donald Trump had sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, an event which caused the dollar to drop almost half a percent.

    To keep on top of things, Smith uses a variety of tools, including the traditional media. 

    "I tend to look at the standard news sources — Bloomberg, the FT, and [when prompted by a press officer] Business Insider."

    Internal research from fellow JPMAM employees also plays a key role.

    "We have a lot of internal research capability, so I consume a huge amount of that. We get a lot from the sell side as well — so overnight trading desks, how the US has finished up, how Asia's opening and how its trading so far that morning. I get that from both internal sources and external sources."

    "We have a great infrastructure here in doing that. We have people on the ground all over the world, trading guys, people who are looking at live markets and news flows the whole time, and they're connected into Twitter, social media, live news feeds, the whole nine yards."

    Smith himself, however, is not a fan of Twitter, saying he avoids using the platform for fear of having "too much" information, a problem he believes plagues many in the markets and can disrupt investment decisions.

    "The problem with Twitter is that you can't read everything all the time. You end up with the classic problem of having too much information. That's a problem for our industry actually," he said.

    "There's this wonderful drive to learn more and share information, but there's a limit to how many words you can read in a day. You can't read every piece of content that's been produced in that day."

    Information overload is something Smith is keen to avoid, and the enormous amount of time he spends travelling helps him with that.

    "One of the places I find the most productive for me is sitting on a plane. I'm sure people think I'm nuts when they sit on the plane next to me, because sometimes I'll just stare out the window," he said.

    "It's quite good to be isolated and just to have time to think about things. Time on a plane to look out the window and get lost in your own thoughts is quite an important thing. Some of my best thinking ever has been done there."

    "I have a pen and a notepad sitting there, and I just work through problems I'm dealing with."

    SEE ALSO: A 36-year-old in charge of $135 billion shares his 'awkward' advice for making it to the top — and it involves going against your instincts

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    woman happy talk boss work

    • The first day of work at your new job can be a stressful experience.

    • To make it a success, it helps to come in knowing what to expect.

    • Experts also encourage new employees to socialize with their colleagues as much as possible.


    The first day of work at your new job may be among the most memorable — and perhaps stressful — of your career.

    You've gone through the taxing job search process — spending hours perfecting your resume, days preparing for interviews, and weeks trying to impress your new employer — and now that you've landed the job, you'll need to live up to their high expectations.

    "Most of us remember our first days at every job because of the heightened pressure to impress," Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job," told Business Insider. "But you can reduce your anxiety by being as meticulous in planning your first day as you were in securing your new position."

    David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach, and author, told Business Insider that it's easy, even tempting, to passively ride along with the "human resources tour that usually sets off the first day of employment."

    There will be forms to fill out, videos to watch, people to meet, "and generally speaking, no real position-specific responsibilities," he told Business Insider. "But taking a passive versus proactive response would be a mistake. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your career with those who you'll be interacting with."

    Here are a number of things successful people do on the first day of a new job:

    SEE ALSO: 19 things you should never say on your first day at work

    DON'T MISS: 14 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, told Business Insider that 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," he told Business Insider.

    Taylor said 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 said. "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, Taylor said.

    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, suggested 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," Hockett told Business Insider.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    boss employee work computer
    Business Insider Intelligence is hiring a Resource Manager to manage staffing and training of the Business Insider Intelligence team.

    Business Insider Intelligence is Business Insider's real-time, premium research service focused on digital disruption. We publish market data, trend analysis, and proprietary survey data for executives in many industries.

     At Business Insider our motto is "get better every day." The Resource Manager will play a crucial role in helping the team achieve this goal. A Resource Manager is someone who has a keen eye for identifying and growing the ‘right’ people and is excited to bring new talent to the team and help team members grow and learn in their careers. We're looking for someone who is an excellent communicator with great people skills, is organized, has a great attention to detail, and has endless enthusiasm for building great teams.

    Responsibilities will include:

    • Posting jobs and screening applications
    • Phone screening candidates
    • Ensuring a bench of great candidates and interns
    • Onboarding new hires and helping familiarize them with Business Insider Intelligence
    • Coordinating and leading skill-building seminars across the Business Insider Intelligence teams
    • Managing freelancers
    • Other responsibilities  related

    The ideal candidate will have:

    • A bachelor's degree
    • Impeccable communication skills
    • 3+ years of professional experience 
    • Proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel
    • Experience working with analysts or journalists or in a research or journalism-related field is a plus

    Please APPLY HERE with your cover letter and resume. Let us know why this role at Business Insider Intelligence excites you.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    thumbnail, YouTube Gamers

    For many people, the thought of playing video games as a full-time job on YouTube or Twitch might seem like a far-off dream, akin to becoming a rockstar or professional athlete.

    For others, the very concept of a career reliant on video views and channel subscriptions, like so many "social media influencer," might seem like a quick jaunt down easy street for lazy millennials who don't want to get real jobs. 

    All this to say: There are a lot of myths and skepticism around what it means to play video games on the internet for a living in this day and age.

    But, like any career path, the stories and experiences among the people who make money from YouTube and Twitch are extremely varied. From the types of games they play on-camera to the amount of money they make is unique to each person; no one content creator is indicative of the success of the next. That said, there are definitely some common themes in their stories.

    I spoke with a few famous gaming YouTubers about what their jobs actually entail, how they measure success, and what makes them love what they do:

    First, the thing we're all wondering about: Money.

    Yes, it is true that a handful of people have made it really rich by creating a career on YouTube.

    Logan Paul made that very apparent toward the end of 2017 when he famously purchased a $6.55 million estate in Los Angeles, and then posted a series of videos showing it off.

    Every year, Forbes publishes a list of the world's highest-paid YouTube stars, calculated through "data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources, as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, industry insiders and the stars themselves."And every year, a good portion of the names on the list are leading gaming-focused YouTube channels. 

    Tied with Logan Paul for fourth pace on 2017's list is Mark Fischbach (a.k.a. "Markiplier"), who reportedly made $12.5 million last year. Markiplier currently has 19 million subscribers, and is most famous for his commentary during various horror video games, including the "Five Nights at Freddy's" series.

    Fischbach's channel says he's also raised over $3 million for various charities, including the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, through various livestreaming events and drives during his six years on YouTube. 

    Despite the sometimes-lucrative nature of the job, very few famous YouTube gamers expected to make it big when they started out.

    When asked how his life has changed since he achieved internet fame, Fischbach admitted, "Fundamentally, [my life is] not that different than the life I was living before, as I'm still spending the vast majority of my time at home in front of a computer," Fischbach told us.

    He did say, though, that playing games on YouTube has changed his general perspective.

    "Your horizons expand tremendously when you realize that millions of people are watching what you make," he said. "It's created a very strong sense of purpose for me and pushes me to constantly improve myself to meet ever-growing expectations."


    Markiplier's monetary success is, tragically, the exception rather than the rule for most online content creators — professional gamers included.

    In the same way that the occasional musical artist is discovered from relative anonymity while many more wait in the wings for their shot at the big time, there is an endless list of gamers who won't make it big, and it's not always for lack of trying. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    spencer paysinger

    • Veteran NFL linebacker Spencer Paysinger sent a letter to the NFL singing the praises for the ATU business combine.
    • The ATU business combine was a five-day program in late February and early March that allowed 29 NFL players to explore potential careers and fields of interest after they retired.
    • Paysinger said the program helped ease the nerves about retiring and said he hopes more NFL players will participate to find interests outside of football.
    • The entire letter can be read below.

    After taking part in the Athletes Transition U (ATU) business combine, veteran NFL linebacker Spencer Paysinger was inspired to send a letter to Roger Goodell, Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, and the NFLPA.

    The ATU business combine was a week-long event organized by Kaleb Thornhill, the director of player engagement for the Miami Dolphins, designed to help NFL players find areas of interest for future careers when their playing days are over. The five-day event in New York City featured 29 NFL players taking part in panels, conferences, group activities, and job-shadows with founders, CEOs, and business leaders in finance, tech, real estate, marketing, media, and more.

    Paysinger's letter to the NFL attested to the impact the combine had on him, saying it helped ease his nerves about retiring and what's next.

    "I played seven seasons, won a Super Bowl and made enough money to sustain my lifestyle until I catch stride in a different profession," Paysinger wrote in his letter. "There's just one problem; I've never been the type to remain idle. This problem unearths the fact that retirement scares the hell out of me. I like order, structure and accomplishing goals. Football allowed me to scratch those itches, but now that I'm willingly walking into retirement, there's no going back."

    Paysinger wrote in the letter, which was sent to the NFL on Tuesday, that he wanted to use the combine to make connections in film production, finance, and real estate world. He said the combine not only helped him make those connections, but helped him further identify interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

    "A.T.U provided a business environment that laid a foundation where I could build on my strengths and improve on my weaknesses," Paysinger wrote. "It doesn't matter if I'm in a boardroom pitching to a group, attempting to perfect the latte heart, or stopping a running back on 4th and 2. If I'm passionate and willing to devote the time and effort to something; I'm unstoppable."

    Thornhill told Business Insider that he was inspired to build the ATU after seeing college football and NFL players leave the sport unprepared for the world outside of football. He said he hopes to expand the program to all 32 NFL teams and possibly universities.

    "I hope more players decide to experience all that is A.T.U.," Paysinger wrote ."Kaleb is building something great by giving us a chance to get a leg up on life after ball. I’ve seen firsthand what it can do, and as I head into retirement I can confidently say my future is strong!"

    Read the entire letter below:

    "Let's get straight to the point– I'm retiring from the NFL on my own terms. After securing three games with the Carolina Panthers late in the season, they released me to activate a defensive lineman serving a four-game suspension. This was only the second time I have ever been cut, with the first coming a couple months prior by way of the New York Jets. Nonetheless, being cut twice was enough for me. I'm approaching 30, and my body isn't the spring chicken it used to be. I played seven seasons, won a Super Bowl and made enough money to sustain my lifestyle until I catch stride in a different profession. There's just one problem; I've never been the type to remain idle. This problem unearths the fact that retirement scares the hell out of me. I like order, structure and accomplishing goals. Football allowed me to scratch those itches, but now that I'm willingly walking into retirement, there’s no going back.

    "Now, you might expect me to take a few trips, assess the past few years, or even binge eat since I'm no longer subject to an NFL team's fine for being overweight. However, it's quite the opposite. Instead, one of the first things I did when I got back to Los Angeles was reach out to Kaleb Thornhill. I was searching for new information regarding the upcoming business combine he'd been developing, and I wanted to offer any help I could provide. I'll say it again, I HATE BEING IDLE! That being said, February 26th -March 2nd was circled on my calendar. 

    "Enter: Athlete Transition U. A platform designed to increase the success rate of athletes who are thinking about careers in business once their playing days are over. This wasn't my first experience in career-building after football. I attended the Miami Dolphins' business combine one year prior, which laid the groundwork for A.T.U. A few years prior, I completed an internship with Quest Diagnostics in their Blueprint For Athletes department under the tutelage of Richard Schwabacher, who's since become a friend and mentor. But along with the positives came the all-too familiar misconceptions of being a professional athlete. Some companies chose to discount me for being "just an athlete," assuming I had nothing to bring to the table. What A.T.U offered was opportunity. An opportunity to learn and network with entrepreneurs, CEOs and other business-minded individuals who are killing it in their respective fields.

    "Coming into the week, I had a few specific goals; connect with people in film production, investment funds and real estate. These three avenues are where I see myself committing my time and effort now that I'm retiring, and the A.T.U set up guest speakers who fit the mold. From well-known heavyweights in sports culture such as Mav Carter (creator of Uninterrupted/business manager of LeBron James) and Jay Brown (CEO of Roc Nation), to entrepreneurs like Robert Reffkin (CEO/co-founder of Compass Real Estate), Ted Chung (founder of Cashmere Agency/ Stampede Management) and Jonathan Levine (founder of Master & Dynamic). Needless to say, I was glad I chose to attend.

    "I learned lessons and absorbed quotes from these great business minds, but it was in the deep dives where I discovered some strengths, along with some weaknesses, of my own. The first deep dive split the athletes into three groups, with each group having their own product idea. We had two hours to come up with a pitch deck and present it to the room for funding. I'm all for collaboration mixed with some friendly competition, but when the time came to designate a group speaker, my team concluded I would be the best choice. After multiple failed attempts to convince Ndamukong Suh and Derrick Morgan to take over, I realized I was locked into the role and my guys were counting on me. With thirty minutes before pitch time, I was juggling my nerves while practicing for our presentation. Our group was lucky enough to go last, which allowed me to pick up tips on what would make for a dynamic, winning presentation. As Justin Pugh and I began our pitch, my nerves slowly subsided with every key point I delivered. I even talked a little s--- too! Sorry Team 2.

    "For my second deep dive I chose to spend the day with Kasper Garnell (Founding partner of Joe & the Juice). This opportunity was particularly interesting to me since I'm an investor in my neighborhood coffee shop Hilltop Cafe in Windsor Hills, California. Upon walking into their Spring Street location, I could tell I was in for a treat. As I grabbed one of their large energizer juices, I took a seat next to Kasper assuming we would be spending the majority of the day talking backstory and projections. I was wrong. Kasper talked for a moment before leading us downstairs to their training facility where I quickly found myself standing in front of a $20,000 coffee machine. I pumped out lattes as Kanye West blared from the speakers while my colleagues were in the pressure cooker that is the juice-making station. I never would've thought I'd find pride in being able to pour a cup of juice with such confidence and certainty. Thanks to their process of precision, I knew the pour would end at the cup's brim without spilling over. The precision I speak of is the identity that drives Joe & the Juice. Kasper and his training crew take every employee through a rigorous multi-week process before they can serve the customer. This breeds a culture of limited mistakes where employees are passionate about the product they serve, and not pouring only for their paycheck.

    "A.T.U provided a business environment that laid a foundation where I could build on my strengths and improve on my weaknesses. It doesn't matter if I'm in a boardroom pitching to a group, attempting to perfect the latte heart, or stopping a running back on 4th and 2. If I'm passionate and willing to devote the time and effort to something; I'm unstoppable. Possessing that sense of energy is exciting now that I'm retiring. Mav Carter mentioned that we, as athletes, are not brands; because brands don’t change. His words ring true as I begin my transition out of the NFL. I must learn to adapt or else I'll fall victim to the negative statistics surrounding retired athletes. The unknown can be scary, but I find solace in my diligence accompanied with the opportunities A.T.U has afforded me. 

    "I'm hard-pressed to find a better program that provides an education along with connections to top-tier companies. I hope more players decide to experience all that is A.T.U. Kaleb is building something great by giving us a chance to get a leg up on life after ball. I've seen firsthand what it can do, and as I head into retirement I can confidently say my future is strong!

    "Spencer Paysinger"

    SEE ALSO: Inside the most inspirational group text in the NFL and how it got started

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Nick Saban Alabama Smile

    • The highest-paid public employee in most states is a college football or basketball coach, according to a new report from ESPN.
    • The University of Kentucky's John Calipari is the highest-paid basketball coach — but his salary pales in comparison to football coaches for public colleges.
    • The salaries for the highest-paid public worker in every state range from $246,000 to $11 million.


    The highest-paid public employee in your state is probably a college football or basketball coach.

    ESPN recently published a report on the highest-paid public employee, which is someone paid by a state, county, or city institution. College athletic coaches dominated the list, often earning many times the salary of the state governor, probably the highest-profile public job.

    Eight basketball coaches and 31 football coaches made the list, representing 39 out of 50 states.

    Anyone who is not paid by the state — like coaches for private colleges — were excluded from the list, since salary data for a private employee is hard to come by. That means Duke basketball coach Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski and Stanford football coach David Shaw — the highest-earning college coaches in North Carolina and California, respectively — don't appear on ESPN's list.

    The salaries for the highest-paid public worker in every state range from $246,000 — more than $50,000 above the highest salary for any governor— to $11 million. ESPN points out that nine of the coaches who were the highest-paid in their state in 2017 no longer hold the same job.

    Of the 11 non-coaches who were the highest-paid public employee in their state, eight work in education and two are physician (several work at medical schools). Only one woman made the list: Mary D. Nettleman, a medical school dean.

    See who the highest-paid public employee of 2017 was in your state and how much they made. For comparison, we included the governor's salary and the median household income in each state via ESPN.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 highest-paid coaches in college basketball

    DON'T MISS: Here's the salary of every state representative in the United States

    DELAWARE: Mark Holodick, $246,000 salary in 2017

    Job: Brandywine School District superintendent

    Governor salary: $171,000

    Median household income: $61,017

    MAINE: James H. Page, $277,500 salary in 2017

    Job: Chancellor of University of Maine system

    Governor salary: $70,000

    Median household income: $50,826

    MONTANA: Clay Christian, $309,000 salary in 2017

    Job: Higher Education Commissioner

    Governor salary: $108,167

    Median household income: $48,380

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Assemblage Nomad

    • The Assemblage is a coworking space in New York City that provides its members with yoga, meditation, sound and breath work classes, and more.
    • Its founder, Rodrigo Niño, came up with the idea after taking a hallucinogenic drug called ayahuasca, which he said connected him to his "higher mind."
    • Memberships at the coworking space start at $200 for individuals, and run up to $6,500 for companies that want to rent out space.


    Before Rodrigo Niño founded the New York City coworking space The Assemblage, he was first a real-estate developer and economist who launched the Prodigy Network in 2003, which uses crowdfunding to purchase commercial real estate.

    Originally from Colombia, Niño had been working in the US for over 20 years when he was diagnosed with stage-3 Metastatic Melanoma cancer at age 41. After two surgeries, he went on to seek answers outside of the traditional medical community.

    Niño went to Peru to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony, an ancient spiritual healing practice — and the latest craze among entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew that scientists have said has the ability to make users "objectively observe one's thoughts and feelings without associating them with identity." 

    "I was looking for answers in this physical reality, traditional medicine," Niño told Business Insider. "I'm an economist, [in] real estate, I'm very secular, very evidence and numbers driven. I couldn't find the answers that would satisfy my craving to deal with this fear," he said. "When you're confronted with the potential of dying, it's a very frightening experience."

    "I saw that we had this physical reality, and we have our individual self in our physical reality which is what I call the physical mind," Niño said of his own hallucinogenic experience. "But there was the unknown — and it [felt] very familiar. I had this spark of life. I call it the higher mind."

    After participating in the ceremonies for three days, Niño's connection to his "higher mind" was at its peak. His fear of death dissipated, he said, as he realized he had a "radical urge for service" to others.

    With The Assemblage, Niño is aiming to help members discover their "higher mind." Complete with traditional office space, meeting rooms, and a common area for food and drink, The Assemblage resembles something like a WeWork.

    But its difference lies in its offerings, providing members with Ayurvedic food, a non-alcoholic bar, and speaking events with guests such as spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra. The Assemblage will also offer studio and one-bedroom apartments for rent in their Financial District location, which is set to open in April.

    Below, explore The Assemblage's NoMad location — which Niño describes as "a consciousness incubator."

    SEE ALSO: Millennial brides dream of different weddings from their parents — and two Wharton grads want to help them get it

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    The Assemblage's NoMad space is the first of three locations in New York City. The two others, in Midtown East and the Financial District, are set to open soon.

    Niño has reportedly invested $400 million dollars in real estate for the Assemblage. This location covers 48,000 square feet and is 12 stories. Inside the main space the atmosphere is busy, yet calm. Members were quietly conversing and working as we walked through.

    Source: The New York Times

    Pricing starts at $200 a month for evening access to the common areas and events, and runs up to $6,500 a month for businesses that rent out office space. For $1,600 a month, workers can rent a private desk.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bring it on netflix secret categories graphic

    • Netflix pays a group of 30 people to binge-watch TV and film on its platform and label the content with category tags and metadata.
    • Fast Company recently profiled a professional "Netflix tagger," who described how her team develops descriptive "tags" for the service's recommendation algorithm and content sorting.
    • Netflix currently has several job openings for the position. 

    If you've ever found yourself wishing you could get paid to binge-watch TV and films, Netflix might actually be able to hook you up with a job.

    Fast Company published a profile of a professional "Netflix tagger" on Wednesday, describing how the streaming service currently employs a group of 30 people whose sole job is to watch Netflix content and "tag" TV shows and films with category information and metadata. 

    Sherrie Gulmahamad, the "tagger" profiled, discussed how her team develops Netflix's subjective and often bizarrely specific "category tags," which the service uses in its recommendation algorithm to label and sort content for viewers' discovery

    "We work with a sprawling palette of tones and storylines to capture the spirit of our content, and when it comes to those sorts of tags, we can be more editorial," Gulmahamad said.

    For example, Gulmahamad listed a long series of the available tags for "supernatural content" on the platform, which she said included "zombies, witches, dragons, cannibals, Bigfoot, mad scientists, mutants, magical creatures, angels, demons and even 'evil kids.'" 

    Gulmahamad described the job as "like being a librarian" with a "broad knowledge base of how TV shows or movies are related," where you spend up to 20 hours a week watching Netflix content. 

    There are currently several available listings for the "tagging" job, officially labeled "editorial analyst" on the company's website.

    Qualifications for the job include: "Ability to distinguish nuances within different movie and TV genres,""Ability to distill the essence of a movie/show and share findings in a concise manner," and "5+ years experience ... in the film and/or television industry."

    Read Fast Company's profile here.

    SEE ALSO: 39 of the best secret categories on Netflix and how to find them

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    coffee meeting

    • Starting a new job is nerve-racking.
    • Talking to people will make a good impression, but only if you do it in the right way.
    • If you walk in and talk about yourself too much, your new colleagues will probably think you're a bit self-obsessed.

    Your first day in a new job is a bit like your first day of school.

    Everything feels foreign: you're desperately seeking caffeine but have no idea where the kitchen is; you've forgotten everyone's names by 10am; and you probably won't go to the toilet until lunchtime because you're worried about getting lost and having to ask Sue from accounts to walk you back to your desk.

    However, when it comes to absolute first day no-nos, according to careers expert Jason Sackett, an executive coach and co-author of Compassion@Work: Creating Workplaces that Engage the Human Spirit, there's one that reigns supreme.

    When you're meeting new people at work, it can be all too easy to dive into the sordid details of your ghastly commute, which invariably would've been plagued by rain, making you ‘SO pleased' that you decided to wear the leather ankle boots instead of the white peep-toe sandals.

    All of these intricacies might be fascinating to you, because maybe you're a millennial, in which case you're probably a self-entitled narcissist, but the thing is, your new colleagues simply don't care about the ins and outs of your life, at least not yet.

    They just met you; if you go in guns-blazing with stories about your life, they'll dismiss you as self-obsessed from the get go, not exactly the first impression you were hoping for.

    "To start gaining respect of colleagues and superiors on the first day, make it about them, not about you," Sackett told Glassdoor.

    The key, he says, is to put them at ease and the best way to do this is by showing a vested interest in their lives rather than yours.

    "A common first-day trap is to talk up your own past accomplishments and future ambitions, which makes people nervous or annoyed because they don't know you," he said.

    "Instead, get curious and enquire about the roles, talents, and achievements of your colleagues to establish a persona as a listener, learner, and collaborator."

    It shouldn't be too hard to get them to talk, given that studies show most people's favourite topic of communication is actually themselves.

    In fact, research has shown that talking about ourselves activates the same region in the brain as eating good foods and having sex — if that isn't self-love, what is?

    SEE ALSO: A psychologist says this is what you should do if you work with a narcissist

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    success mountain

    • Sometimes, we might not feel super successful.
    • But that doesn't mean it's true.
    • There are a number of ways you can be successful without even realising it.

    Success is tricky and hard to define because it differs from individual to individual. My mother, who never held a corporate job her whole life, achieved great success as a homemaker raising kids and creating a nurturing home environment.

    Others will define it through a fat bank account, number of deals closed, books written, races won, or promotions received. Warren Buffett himself defined success by one's ability to say "no" to as many things as possible.

    And sometimes success alludes us because we're not even aware of it. Truth is, we all have abilities, strengths, traits, and gifts that are successful habits in the here and now, which we fail to recognise.

    So many of us go about life measuring ourselves by the impossible "success" standards of others. We may wrongly perceive that success is "out there," when it's already within us or within our reach.

    Worse, because we lack clarity about what success means in the context of our daily lives, we are often misled into believing we are failures.

    If you're unsure where you stand, ask yourself if any of these success habits apply to your life right now? If so, I'm here to suggest to you that you're already way more successful than you think you are. For example:

    1. You are successful because you surround yourself with successful people.

    Warren Buffett defines one of the keys to his success like this:"It's better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction."

    This lesson is practiced by successful people everywhere. They know that when they soak up the knowledge and learn the behaviors of other sages further down the path, it will only make them better and elevate their own success.

    2. You are successful because you help other people succeed.

    Adam Grant, top-rated professor at Wharton business school and best-selling author of "Give and Take,""Originals" and "Option B," tells CNBC Make It: "The most meaningful way to succeed is to help other people succeed."

    If that's anti-climatic for you, consider the evidence. Grant has observed in his studies that great leaders think bigger than themselves. They advance a vision or an idea or a project that's "going to affect a lot of people."

    Grant explains further: "[Leaders] who put other people first, they end up inspiring a different kind of effort, a different level of motivation, and a greater sense of belongingness."

    He adds, "The ones that I admire the most, who also tend to produce the best results, are the ones who are givers not takers — who say 'look, it's not all about me.'"

    3. You are successful by virtue of the way you communicate.

    Being able to communicate effectively is one of the best life skills you can develop. Think about it: people that can masterfully communicate their thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns and wishes are better equipped to succeed on so many levels. They are...

    • ... able to manage or avoid conflict
    • ... able to negotiate win-win scenarios
    • ... able to influence others
    • ... able to increase their ability to collaborate at a high level.

    That's what successful people do.

    4. You are successful because you love what you do and know where you're headed.

    All successful people, regardless of how much or little money they make or have made, have a purpose that they can't help but pursue. Perhaps for you, it's the thing you absolutely love to do and that makes you come alive.

    If you know what that is for you, and you're good at it, you're probably on the fast track toward your ultimate goal, whatever that is for you. If so, you are successful.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said, "Do what you love, and put your whole heart into it, and then just have fun."

    Even if there are low monetary rewards, you would probably do it anyway because of your love for it.

    Cook understands this deep down. "My advice to all of you is, don't work for money—it will wear out fast, or you'll never make enough and you will never be happy, one or the other," Cook told students at the University of Glasgow last year after receiving an honorary degree from the school.

    5. You are successful because you realise life is about the journey, not the destination.

    Successful people don't give up so easy. When they experience setbacks, it's all part of the journey of experimenting, learning, growing, and failing forward. When they do stumble and fall over and over, they don't bicker and yell at the world with fist in the air, "This is too freakin' hard, I don't deserve this!"

    They are able to see through the hard moments, bounce back from the discouragement, and accept the next challenge with determination and resolve. They have an undying support system of people that passionately believe in their conviction. With every win — however small or large — they celebrate and party like it's 1999. They find joy in the little things as they try and try again. And along the way, they can look over their left shoulder at what they've achieved and proudly proclaim, "I am, indeed, successful."

    SEE ALSO: Answering yes to any of these 7 questions means you are more successful than you might think

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Natalie Sawyer

    • Natalie Sawyer has left Sky Sports News.
    • There was no announcement of her leaving on the program.
    • Many of her colleagues are understood to be upset about her departure.

    One of the best-known presenters on Sky Sports News left the company on Wednesday, without any mention of her departure on the program.

    Natalie Sawyer was with Sky for 18 years, and in that time became the face of the channel's transfer deadline day coverage, along with Jim White who hasn't been let go.

    According to The Times, Sawyer was told earlier this month that her contract wasn't being renewed. Her final shift ended at 5pm Wednesday, and there was no announcement that she wouldn't be returning.

    This is quite a contrast to when Georgie Thompson left to join Sky Sports F1, and was presented with a bouquet of flowers, causing her to burst into tears live on air.

    The Times was told other presenters weren't allowed to mention Sawyer's departure on air, and many are understood to be upset about her leaving.

    Today, Sky issued a statement to acknowledge Sawyer's exit.

    "We'd like to thank Natalie for her many years of great service to Sky Sports and we wish her all the best in the future," the company said.

    Sawyer is believed to be pursuing other job opportunities, and she still has a column with The Sun.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Home DogWalking

    • Over 13,000 people in the UK are using a new website to get people to do the tasks they don't have time to do.
    • While some tasks are mundane like cooking and cleaning, they can be more bizarre.
    • Past tasks have included dressing up as a stormtrooper to walk a bride down the aisle on her wedding day and flying to Texas to collect an engagement ring.
    • The UK is Airtasker's first market outside of Australia, where its Taskers earn more than $100 million AUD each year.

    Over 2 million people around the world — and now thousands in the UK — are using a website to get people to do the tasks they don't have time to get around to (or never dreamed someone would do for them) — and some of them are pretty bizarre.

    Over 13,000 people have signed up on Airtasker since it launched in the UK on March 12, its first market outside of Australia.

    The "community marketplace" acts as a digital noticeboard of sorts to connect people and businesses with members of the local community who are able to complete tasks to earn some extra cash.

    It has more than two million members globally, and claims its Taskers earn more than $100 million AUD through the platform each year.

    The most common tasks — of which around 5,000 are uploaded every day around the world — involve cleaning, removal, or jobs for handymen, but some are certainly more creative.

    In the first week following its UK launch, tasks being uploaded on the site included re-stringing a squash racket, creating a 100-question pub quiz, and even building a snowman in London's Finsbury Square for £55.

    Since then, a lot of the tasks have been food-related.

    Here, a Tasker tracked down a sold-out Waitrose chocolate avocado easter egg...

    ...While another found and delivered two tubs of Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sultra Core within an hour.

    Stormtroopers, engagement rings, and fried chicken

    Lucas London, Airtasker's UK Country Manager, said: "The traction in terms of tasks/earning opportunities that we’ve seen in the first two weeks in London is what took us two years to achieve in Australia."

    The standard of request is even more bizarre in Australia, where tasks have included flying to Texas to collect an engagement ring, dressing up as a stormtrooper to walk a bride down the aisle on her wedding day, and being paid to find the best fried chicken in Sydney. The company expects this to become the case in the UK, too.

    That's according to Sydney-born Airtasker cofounder and CEO Tim Fung, who told Business Insider he came up with the idea while chasing success in more traditional ways.

    After university, he started his career at investment bank Macquarie. "My soul was crushed, but I learned a lot of great things," he said.

    In 2009, he decided he wanted to do something more creative, and joined modelling agency Chic Management — which has worked with the likes of Miranda Kerr — with the goal of being "like [Hollywood agent] Ari Gold from 'Entourage.'"

    He also jumped at an opportunity to work on a telecom startup, Amaysim, which he called "like Ryanair in the mobile world."

    The idea for Airtasker didn't come about until 2011 when Fung was moving apartments in Sydney.


    "I asked one of my friends, Ivan, to come help me move. He runs a chicken nugget factory and he had a truck," he said.

    Fung realised that instead of asking friends and family to help us with tasks like moving, assembling furniture, and packing boxes, there's no reason why we can't be asking members of the community who could stand to make some extra cash.

    "In our community, we tend to have really low trust," he said. "People are pessimistic about people in their community and talk about them like they're strangers.

    "[This is about putting] some simple systems in place to be able to trust people in your community."

    Airtasker has raised $67 million in funding to date, according to the company.

    It employs around 165 people around the world and completed a $35 million funding round in October last year for its UK launch.

    Fung says some Taskers are earning $5,000 AUD (around £3,000) or more a month.

    "You can definitely make a viable career out of it," he said. "Our highest earner made £95,000 in 12 months last year."

    How it works

    Cleaning Dishes2

    It's a demand-driven marketplace, according to Fung, which means users can say exactly what they're looking for and have people come to them rather than the other way around.

    "It's not an agency model where you give your job to the agency and they go and find you someone," he said. "All of the tasks on Airtasker are proactive buy-in — rather than the jobs getting pushed, the jobs just exist and the workers can jump on."

    It's free to post a task or sign up as a Tasker.

    Once you post a task, you'll receive offers from Taskers, then can pick the one that's right for your job.

    Taskers can add a number of verification badges to their profiles — including trade licenses, ID checks, and background checks — to promote themselves on the platform.

    "The minimum is a verified phone number. We use more community verification vs. being a centralised background checking business," he said, adding that their verifications come along with reviews of the jobs they've done.

    The more badges Taskers have, the more they're able to charge.

    "60% of the tasks are not awarded to the person who makes the lowest offer — most of the time people are choosing people who have a bit more skill," he said.

    However, the amount of experience and level of verification required is up to you. "It's no different to if you were hiring someone outside of Airtasker," Fung said.

    "Of course if you’re having someone come into your house like a babysitter, you want checks done. If you want 20 people to be extras in a movie or hand out flyers in the street, you probably don’t want such rigorous checks."

    You pay by credit card when you accept an offer, and once the job has been completed you hit a "release" button and the funds get transferred to the Tasker right away.

    If the Tasker has done a great job, you can choose to leave them a bonus and if a task took longer or less time than expected, both parties can agree to adjust the price.

    Robots and transparency

    While some of the tasks are pretty bizarre — one Australian woman offered $500 AUD for someone willing to give her a secret pasta sauce after losing her grandmother's famous recipe — Fung said the site has a number of tools in place to ensure things don't get out of hand.

    Users must agree to the site's guidelines when they register and can flag anything they see on the site as "inappropriate."

    Fung said Airtasker has also developed an AI robot, called Alan, who "has learned from tasks that have been posted before, can predict what isn’t going to meet our community guidelines, and pulls down stuff that’s not appropriate."

    He said the staff look at the tasks Alan has pulled down to determine whether or not they're OK to be on the site.

    Insurance partner XL Catlin also covers cover Taskers for personal injury or property damage whilst completing a task.

    "We don’t want it to become something like Craigslist has become in some areas of the world," Fung added. "The number one thing for us is to create a culture of transparency."

    SEE ALSO: How 2 Goldman Sachs investment bankers quit their jobs and raised £5 million to cook meals for dogs — including the pets of celebrities

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    dot room still

    INSIDER is hiring a paid intern to write visual features for our website.

    The ideal candidate is a clear writer who is obsessed with all things related to art, design, and photography.

    Expect to scour the internet for eye-catching, original photos and illustrations, and write about everything from trending optical illusions and puzzles that stump the internet to viral hidden objects in photos and Photoshop controversies. You’ll also work on evergreen features that include interviewing photographers and artists, and write stories around compelling photo collections.

    This internship position is at our Financial District headquarters in New York City. It starts in spring/summer 2018 and runs for six months. Interns are encouraged to work full-time (40 hours a week) if their schedule allows.

    We're looking for the following:

    • Excellent writing skills

    • Passion for art, design, and photography  

    • Ability to package stories in exciting ways, and work at a fast pace

    • A journalism background

    Our interns are an integral part of our team. We seek out self-starters and people who are enthusiastic about collaborating with reporters, producers, social media editors, and other team members.

    At INSIDER, our motto is "Life is an adventure." We tell stories for, about, and by people who seize life. That means they love to travel, try new foods, listen to new music, and fight for what’s right — and they admire people who do the same. INSIDER is distributed across social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube , as well as on the web.

    If this sounds like your dream job, apply here with a resume and cover letter telling us why you want to be our visual features intern.

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    INSIDER is hiring a paid intern to write about retail with a focus on beauty and style for our website.

    The ideal candidate is a clear writer who is obsessed with all things related to beauty and style, and who is more interested in the way big-name retail brands impact a general audience rather than niche, industry news.

    Expect to write about everything from trending news — like Ulta Beauty allegedly reselling used makeup or the latest beauty sale — to evergreen reported features that include interviewing Sephora employees about their favorite products, finding out the secrets of Lush employees, and discovering shopping hacks that can save customers money. You’ll also have the opportunity to write about experiences like trying tank tops at different stores in the same size, reviewing beauty products people can’t stop talking about, and taking readers through unique stores.

    This internship position is at our Financial District headquarters in New York City. It starts in spring/summer 2018 and runs for six months. Interns are encouraged to work full-time (40 hours a week) if their schedule allows.

    We're looking for the following:

    • Excellent writing skills

    • Passion for beauty and style

    • Ability to package stories in exciting ways, and work at a fast pace

    • A journalism background

    Our interns are an integral part of our team. We seek out self-starters and people who are enthusiastic about collaborating with reporters, producers, social media editors, and other team members.

    At INSIDER, our motto is "Life is an adventure." We tell stories for, about, and by people who seize life. That means they love to travel, try new foods, listen to new music, and fight for what’s right — and they admire people who do the same. INSIDER is distributed across social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube , as well as on the web.

    If this sounds like your dream job, apply here with a resume and cover letter telling us why you want to be our retail intern.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: In 50 years we'll have 'robot angels' and will be able to merge our brains with AI, according to technology experts

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    With such a competitive job market, landing the job offer is getting increasingly harder. Dave Carvajal, the author of "Hire Smart From The Start," explains how to set yourself apart from the competition. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Dave Carvajal: In a world where people are getting increasingly marketed to more and more, it's important to be able to make your point succinctly and effectively.

    Carvajal: The biggest mistake that people make when it comes to writing a résumé is, first of all, writing a résumé. Oftentimes they will write a résumé like a list of technical achievements, and so the résumé will actually look like a technical manual. Instead, they should be writing their résumé like a marketing brochure. A list of benefits to the buyer. Think about the greatest value-creating experiences, the experiences they might have had working on a team and to use, not only action words, but use success-action words; active words. For example, 'driving,' 'growing,' 'leading,' are very positive, affirmative action words.

    Carvajal: The best advice on cover letters is have them be short and to the point. Understand what the buyer is looking for. Have your cover letter be specifically targeted to the individual reader, and speak to them in their language. Use their words; use their values.

    Carvajal: As an interviewee, it's very important to make sure that you do research in advance so that you truly understand what are the core values of the organization, what is the culture, what are the things that they celebrate and promote, and really do the best that you can to understand and communicate the overlap between your own personal values, and the values of the organization. One of the best things that you can do in preparing for your interview, is making sure that you not only research the core values of the organization, but also research the growth of the organization and where they're headed, where the puck is going in the marketplace, in the industry, for that business. Be able to communicate the decisions that you've made in your career, the values that you bring to the organization, and how certain experiences might make you uniquely qualified to help the organization grow and move into a direction that it's looking to go into.

    Carvajal: Oftentimes, we spend too much time in the English language focused on the transactional exchange of words, when, rather, we should be communicating at a deeper level the core values and the beliefs that we have. Technical chops are only responsible for about 20% of the reason why someone will succeed or fail at any given company. More than 60% of the reason why anyone will succeed or fail at any company has everything to do with whether their personal DNA matches the cultural DNA of the organization.

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    awkward rooftop

    • Silence can be uncomfortable.
    • But if you know how to use it properly, silence can also be an effective tool.


    It isn't just about emotional intelligence and knowing when to just stop talking so that you don't damage relationships with your co-workers, as I've written about before.

    This is planned silence to purposely create blank space in a discussion or facilitated meeting. When used strategically and effectively, it can help generate breakthrough ideas or help you negotiate great deals.

    This kind of silence is really hard for many of us, myself included.

    A decade ago, I had my first VP level job in a pretty big global company. One of my job responsibilities was to facilitate top leadership meetings with the C-suite and SVPs related to their leadership team effectiveness. How they functioned as a leadership team through planned and unplanned transformation was going to make or break the outcomes they were trying to achieve.

    These meetings were frequently challenging in terms of the content we had to put on the table as well as the personalities and individual politics that existed.

    I remember after one difficult meeting, I met with my boss for feedback. She was a member of the C-suite and a meeting participant.

    In her direct way, she told me that I did a good job but that I talked too much. I was filling the blanks in for people when the conversations got hard. She finished by telling me that I probably didn't like silence very much but that I needed to get more comfortable with it. She left me with one sentence I've played in my head for years now:

    "Let there be awkward silence."

    I took the advice in the spirit it was intended and have continued to apply it with good results. It still doesn't come naturally to me and isn't comfortable for me. I still need that mental prompt.

    As with many things, I wondered about what was going on here from a science perspective. And as with many things, there is some science behind why I felt (and still feel) the way I did (and still do), and why that silence works in terms of generating ideas and stimulating the right conversations.

    The Science of Us Social Humans

    There have been a good number of research studies on awkward silence that have generated some interesting findings. Participants in one Dutch study within the last several years said that they felt more anxious, rejected, and less self-assured after some amount of prolonged silence in a difficult discussion.

    Other studies confirm similar results in different settings, essentially leading us back to the foundation of human beings as social creatures.

    To boil it down to its most basic levels, silence in challenging situations essentially represents rejection in our minds. And rejection from a social group a long time ago meant bad things for us as individuals.

    That was certainly the feeling I had in some of those difficult leadership meetings I had to lead years ago. When I took my boss's advice and tried to let there by awkward silence in subsequent meetings, I'd watch them all staring at me wanting them to just say something so I didn't feel like a fool ultimately to be ostracized from the team.

    The good news from the research is that I wasn't just an insecure new VP. Most of us feel that way after some prolonged silence. We want the conversation so that we feel connected.

    The Science of Four Seconds

    What does the science say about how long a "prolonged" silence actually is before it becomes awkward for us? In many cultures, including the United States, it is just four seconds. It is even higher in other cultures based on how much any particular culture values silence.

    But even though four seconds may not feel like much, in a group when nobody says anything for a few vital seconds, it can feel like a painfully long eternity. And that is precisely why it works.

    Somebody wants to break that silence because of the social anxiety that silence causes. As long as it isn't you breaking that silence and filling in the blanks for someone else, that silence becomes critical because it forces people to reflect longer and more deeply.

    One Easy Tactic You Can Use

    Through the years, I have learned one simple approach to make this work. I figure out logical places in any presentation I am making or discussion I am leading to ask the group about their perspectives on what I have just discussed or presented.

    I then tell them that I'm going to shut up. And I do. I count to ten in my head. Not surprisingly, I have never had one case where someone didn't say something before I got to eight even though it still feels like forever in my mind. Then the conversation usually flows just fine from there.

    SEE ALSO: Psychologists found a surprising benefit to awkward silences

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    MENLO PARK, CA - APRIL 04: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Zuckerberg announced a new product for Android called Facebook Home. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    • After two days of grueling testimony to Congress by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg one thing is clear: there's a dark cloud hanging over Facebook right now.
    • The company is still hiring like mad and a Facebook recruiting exec says applying for jobs now during this 'challenging time' will impress recruiters.
    • Facebook is still a top-rated employer with thousands of open jobs.
    • Interestingly recruiters aren't as focused on hiring the thousands of new content moderators CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised.

    While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was getting publicly grilled by Congress this week, Business Insider was on the phone with Liz Wamai, Facebook's Recruiting Director of Global Operations. 

    Facebook has always been known as a fantastic place to work, ranking No. 1 on Glassdoor's 2018 list, thanks to high pay, benefits, over-the-top perks, interesting work and growth potential. 

    But the scandals embroiling the company has put a cloud over the company: everything from the threat of regulation, to the threat of slowed growth, decreased revenues and a falling share price from possible changes to its business models. Facebook's stock is still down about 11% from its level before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.

    That scandal involved Facebook admitting that data on 87 million of its users was harvested and sold, then used in service of Donald Trump and the Brexit campaigns. This is on top of accusations that Facebook sneakily collects data on you for its own advertising purposes and contributes to app addiction and feelings of depression.

    So, if there's a silver lining in this, it's this: if you've always dreamed of working at Facebook, now might be a particularly good time to apply. 

    "I personally think challenging times are a very good way of filtering who is really interested and committed to who we are and what our mission is, and who is interested in solving some of the problems Facebook is tackling," Wamai told Business Insider. "This could be an opportune time [to apply]."

    Content moderators, not so much

    Wamai has been at Facebook for two years and helped the company grow its headcount from a little over 17,000 people in 2016 to over 25,000 today.

    FacebookShe and her team still have thousands of jobs open, there are over 3,300 jobs listed on its jobs site particularly for software engineers and other technical roles.

    She's also looking for communications, legal, HR and finance pros, she said. 

    Interestingly, one area that she didn't name to us as a priority: content managers.

    This even though Zuckerberg promised to hire thousands of people this year to help Facebook review and remove dangerous content.

    Facebook says it will double the team to 20,000 people employed in the role by year's end, from the 10,000 people  doing content moderation in October, 2017.

    But content moderation jobs tend to be contract workers and Wamai confirmed to us that many of the new hires will be contractors employed by Facebook's existing contract-work vendors. There will be some new full-time Facebook positions open, but she declined to say how many. We found only 15 jobs mentioning the Trust and Safety team currently on Facebook's job site, although the company says that more full-time jobs in this area may be listed soon.

    How to nab that interview

    To find those people for those many open engineering and business roles, Wamai and her team are out in force, she said. They are doing career recruitment events and scouring LinkedIn, she said.

    In fact, Wamai was poached from her former job in HR at Bloomberg, first approached by a Facebook recruiter on LinkedIn. "I didn't have a tech background," she said. "I thought it was spam. It turned out to be a real opportunity."

    Facebook director of recruiting Liz WamaiFacebook is also participating in Glassdoor's first ever-ever, livestream event for job seekers on April 25, where she'll offer tips on how to get hired at Facebook.

    Besides spiffing up your LinkedIn profile, some of those tips include applying for internship programs such as Facebook University. 

    Those with more experience should look for ways to meet and network with existing Facebook employees, she advised, and come to a recruiters' attention through an introduction.

    But she also stressed that applying for a job online could work, too. "I think it's a concern when applying on our website that it's a black hole," she says. But she promises that HR has dedicated staff looking at applications that come in the door that way, too. 

    SEE ALSO: How to get Facebook to stop showing you creepy ads like Mark Zuckerberg promises you can do

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    woman yawning at work tired

    • Afternoon drowsiness is a natural part of the human sleep cycle, which is driven by the circadian rhythm and sleep-wake homeostasis.
    • The circadian rhythm is the body's 24-hour cycle that can be influenced by external factors, while sleep-wake homeostasis is a biochemical system that tells the body when it needs sleep.
    • The mid-day crash hits when sleep-wake homeostasis is pushing for sleep and the circadian rhythm has not caught up. 
    • To manage this exhaustion, try to get seven hours of sleep, eat a well-balanced lunch, drink plenty of water, and take short walks or stretches throughout the day.

    In today's corporate world, most employees are expected to be 100% focused and on task from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with an unpaid break wedged in the middle that gives them just enough time to stuff their faces and get back to work.

    Is this a realistic expectation? No — hence why many other countries acknowledge the need for a midday break at work (It's considered a constitutional right in China).

    Instead of refreshing with a quick cat nap, many American workers must trudge through what is deemed the "2:30 feeling," pour their third cup of coffee, and continue to stare blankly into their computer screens.

    The human sleep cycle naturally lulls us into a sleepy daze in the early afternoon, according to The National Sleep Foundation.

    woman tired stress sleep head desk worker stressed upset angry exhausted

    Also known as the sleep-wake cycle, the natural cycle is driven by two separate biological mechanisms — the circadian rhythm and sleep-wake homeostasis, or homeostatic sleep drive — that work together to balance your energy and notify your body when it's feeling tired and awake.

    The circadian rhythm is basically the body's internal clock based on a 24-hour time period, and it considers external factors that can affect it, like the environmental light-dark cycle, reminding you how awake you normally feel at a certain time of day, every day.

    Sleep-wake homeostasis is a sleep-inducing biochemical system that drives the body to sleep based on the amount of elapsed time since it last slept. These two processes work together to keep you awake when you should be awake, and asleep when you should be snoozing.

    The imminent 2:30 feeling falls over cubicles across the globe partially because the homeostatic drive is pressing for sleep, based on the amount of sleep you got the night before, and the circadian rhythm has yet to catch up and remind your brain to stay alert — after all, it's at work, and should be 100% productive at all times, remember?

    So what's the solution? If a 30-minute power nap is out of reach — and it is for most of us — master these tried and true tactics for staying energized at work all day long.

    Get proper sleep

    Pregnant Woman Sleeping

    A no brainer, right? Apparently not — A 2013 study published by Gallup found that 40% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night. Yes, it's easier said than done, but putting some effort into getting to bed at a decent time will pay off in dividends. If you get at least seven hours, that homeostatic sleep drive is less likely to be bugging you when the clock hits 2:30 p.m.

    Eat foods that boost your energy. 


    The post-lunch crash can be the result of an extra-full stomach or reactive hypoglycemia, where your blood sugar drops after eating, causing you to become tired, weak, and even lightheaded or anxious. To avoid this, make sure your lunches are well-balanced, and pack some high-protein snacks such as almonds or hard-boiled eggs to give you a boost when you need it.

    Take a walk or stretch. 

    woman stretching at desk

    Nothing gets the blood circulating like a little cardio. Sitting in one position for eight hours straight is not good for the body, so do it a little favor by taking a 10 to 15 minute walk after lunch, or set an alarm on your phone to take a five minute stretch break with your coworkers a few times a day.

    Drink water. 

    water bottle

    As hard as it might be, refrain from your first instinct of picking up the cup of joe and pour yourself a tall glass of water instead — you will thank yourself later. When you think you've had enough, drink more — research shows even slight dehydration can keep you from performing at your best.

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