We all know that our economy of the past few years, despite its improvements, hardly continues to offer a land of opportunity as it once did as far as salaries go. The disappointment from being paid less than you deserve is even greater when you also have a college degree (which would normally increase your pay). Some majors and specializations prove much more disappointing than others in terms of the financial compensation in post-graduation employment. To give you a heads-up, we’ve assembled this top of the lowest paying majors which lead to some of the lowest paying jobs in America requiring a degree. Keep in mind, these are not the worst college majors in our country. We don’t want you to get the impression that these majors are necessarily bad just because our society devalues them and deems them less than useful. Rather, these majors typically lead to the lowest compensation rates. Many of these jobs are actually quite vital to our society as a whole. Personal rewards may have to supersede financial gains. [Read more…]
The job recruitment process is about to get a lot easier with Switch, the new employment app that allows employers to review candidates a lot faster and simply swipe right if they’d like to connect with them. The prospective job candidates need to swipe right as well if they’re interested in the job, so the process really works both ways, just like Tinder does for the dating scene. This iOS mobile app also guarantees the user’s anonymity until they decide to connect with the user on the other end of the line. All in all, this just might succeed in changing the employment application process considerably. Let’s take a look at how Switch works and how it could impact employers and prospective employees. [Read more…]
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Breaking news: Oregon Employment Department Detects Major Server Data Breach. Bad news fell like a missile last Monday from the Oregon Employment Department. This government office reported that its big data servers recently suffered a security breach at the hands of hackers. According to official reports issued this past October 13th from Department representatives, a recent server hacking may have violated the private data of some 851,300 individuals registered with this agency. The size and source of the security breach was not initially known. An anonymous tip off first informed the Employment Department of the breach. They received the tip off via email on October 6th and were able to fully restore the servers to a secure state the following day. [Read more…]
At the end of September 2014, Liz Ryan, a consecrated Forbes contributor, wrote an article on what to do when being asked about your past salary during a job interview. Her article advises readers to maintain privacy regarding their salary and how this practice can increase your hiring leverage. In her article, she argues that such a question is actually an ‘illegal’ interview inquiry between a potential employer and employee. She also argues that not disclosing such information can actually work to the advantage of the job seeker if handled correctly. We endorse this sentiment whole heartedly. If you’re at a job interview and the recruiter or headhunter asks you about your current job salary, politely decline to answer. As Ms. Ryan indicates, you should instead note your salary target instead. If you do answer this question, not only are you caving to the hiring manager’s illegal question. But, you could ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ by making the potential employer offer you just a bit more than you currently earn. This may occur despite the fact that your qualifications and new job position would make you entitled to earn much more. The job market is too strong for anyone out there to be selling him or herself short through such self destructive behavior. [Read more…]
A recent survey released by GfK Public Affairs, a public opinion research company for Fidelity Investments, revealed that a large portion of employees would rather have a bigger 401(k) match than a higher salary. In fact, many of the respondents stated that they would have no use for a salary as high as $100,000, if it wasn’t matched by an according 401(k) retirement package contribution. This revelation led us to create a list of the top 5 job benefits more important than a higher salary. Here are the top 5 job benefits in the U.S. right now:
- 401(k) match
Over 1,000 employees were polled in the aforementioned survey. All of the participants were 25 years old or older. 43 percent of the participants chose a 401(k) match over a higher salary. For the 43 percent of respondents who chose this perk, a 401(k) even trumped larger paychecks. Interestingly enough, many employers don’t seem to match their attitude. Some companies increase the match cap over time. According to official data, other companies maintain the same 401(k) match level for years. Presumably, this is done to the increasing displeasure of staff members. Perhaps even more alarming, experts now say that as enrollment into 401(k) plans becomes compulsory, the match ratio will also decrease.
- Vacation Time
A 2014 Forbes survey revealed that most employees would feel delighted to have more than two weeks of paid vacation. These employees can expect good news on this front. Increasing numbers of tech and IT companies are opting for unconventional business models and providing their employees with unlimited holiday time. Netflix and Hubspot are among two of the companies to do so; meanwhile, other companies in the same field (such as Moz) have incentivized their staff to take all the paid vacation days they’re allowed in one year.
- Maternity Leave
Paid maternity and paternity leave recently rose to prominence among preferred salary benefits. Perhaps more companies should follow the lead of the American Gonzo Food Corporation. The corporation’s founder and CEO grants all its managers an extra week of paid vacation when they have a child. This also applies for people who choose to adopt. American Gonzo keeps this benefit separate from disability pay and FMLAs.
- Health Care Coverage
Not surprisingly, good health and medical care are still among the top preferences for employee benefits in 2014. The good news is that 86 percent of employers in the private sector already offer access to health insurance to their staff. As health care grows in importance, more and more companies set up gyms, spas, or wellness centers on their premises. They also frequently treat their staff to paid medical subscriptions.
- Tuition Reimbursement
Since the level of college debt in the United States won’t drop any time soon, offering a special tuition reimbursement program makes perfect sense and stands among the top preferred benefits for employees. Perhaps the biggest advantage is for staff members in the military, who can become eligible for a wide range of tuition reimbursement programs. Some employers also offer these programs to surviving family members of military personnel fallen in combat.
It’s important to note that 13 percent of the people polled said they’d take a $100,000 yearly salary instead of any other of the aforementioned benefits. A reasonable income is still important in today’s economy. Agreeing to be underpaid in order to have access to job perks seems wholly counterintuitive. What’s the point in saving up for a cozy retirement if life is unaffordable (and altogether unlivable) up until that point?
A popular misconception says that the young men and women who decide to join the army do so because they have no other options. The reality is much different as far as career success and earning a higher salary later in life go. Men and women aged 17 to 35 can freely enroll for army training. They are encouraged to think about what they want to do once they complete it. Will they re-enlist and forge a military career for themselves? Will they join another career track in the civilian world? Whatever you choose to do following enrollment, army training provides wonderful career success from past experience. Join us as we explore a few of the benefits that military training comes with.
Military Careers and College
Ever heard of the Mongtomery GI Bill? If you’re planning to attend college you should probably know about it. This is especially the case if you don’t have a trust fund or if you hail from a financially underprivileged background. In a nutshell, it’s one of the easiest ways to help you pay for coverage. Under the provisions of this bill, it may take you as little as two years in the army to receive tuition assistance of nearly $50,000 from the government. However, before you rejoice, bear in mind that this is one of the more complex financial aid bills out there. There are many complex calculations involved, as well as lots of deadlines you need to uphold before you benefit from the money.
In order to become eligible for tuition aid under the GI Bill, you need to contribute $100 each month, during your first year in military service. You apply with an equivalency certificate or high-school graduation degree and need to prove you’ve spent at least two years in the army. Then, the school you’re planning to attend also needs to have been deemed eligible by the Veteran’s Administration. Check out the full list of eligible schools on the organization’s website. You will then receive information from the VA in the mail and may be asked to provide further information. The process of applying for tuition aid is indeed complex. Luckily, you can seek out the assistance of your local Voluntary Education Services Office.
You’re in the Army Now: Leadership Skills
Needless to say, time spent in the army will help you develop a number of skills. Many of these skills will turn out useful for your subsequent, non-military career success. Want proof that a military career can help with a higher salary? Simply consider the kind of skills all graduates of Officer Candidate Schools are asked to develop. After completing their basic combat training courses, they enroll into the actual OCS program. This program teaches them the basic leadership skills expected of all Commissioned Officer. To this end, they’re organized into squads and taught tactics for small units. Their physical and mental abilities are put to the test regularly as is their desire to be the best at their job. Then, comes the second stage of the program during which all candidates are sent on an intense 18 day mission. Basically, all the knowledge and information they receive during the first stage of training are put to the test in a lifelike scenario in the field.
Aside from OSC, a military career will provide you with numerous other opportunities for developing your leadership skills. You can take a Warrior Leader Course, within the Noncomissioned Officer Education System. You can attend an Advanced or Senior Leader Course. You can enroll in the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, for instance. All these programs and institutions will effectively teach you self-discipline, strategy, and efficiency in hands-on ways that business schools simply can’t offer.
Priceless Experience Accumulated in the Army
Given the kind of experience one accumulates in the army, it’s no wonder that such an education often leads to a higher salary than average. Consider the fact that many former followers of the military career transition to government jobs. This has a lot to do with the fact that military training and subsequent careers in the field require security clearances – as do many government jobs. If such a position is not entirely appealing for you, you can also consider a career in law enforcement. While in the army, you can receive training in any number of fields (such as graphic design, healthcare, communications, electrical engineering, and even photography). Transitioning to a career in any of these fields as a civilian is guaranteed to bring along a hefty salary, too.
Ever wondered what to bring to an interview? To help you with your selection of items, we’ve compiled a list of ten absolute essentials that should probably find their way into your briefcase as you walk out the door. Remember. Always put your best foot forward using these interview tips.
What to Bring to an Interview:
Item one tops the list as arguably the most important item of what to bring to an interview. You know what they say. It’s mightier than the sword. This definitely applies to the job interview scenario. Bringing a pen along denotes preparedness, as well as the fact that you’ve put some thought into the preparation process. Besides, your interviewer is definitely going to be impressed with the fact that you’ve come prepared; chances are, they are looking for someone who thinks ahead for the opening.
2. Copy of your resume (or several)
Of course, you don’t need a resume to apply for every position. And, not every job applicant has a CV. However, it doesn’t hurt to have one drafted just in case and to bring it along. If you don’t have a resume, print out your online job portal profile, and keep it handy during the interview. Should your interviewer not have one on hand, doing so will definitely give the interviewer the impression that you’ve come prepared and are determined to snag the position being offered.
3. Your portfolio
You may think that only creative professionals should have portfolios. Of course, this is one item on our ‘what to bring to a job interview’ list that’s a bit more relevant for creative fields such as design, architecture, or photography. The truth is that no matter what field you seek your job in you’re going to want to show your potential employer past examples of your work. A good hint is not to overload your showcase file. Limit it to a few relevant examples that you’re particularly proud of.
4. Reference letters
In the case of references, the same principles apply as with resumes. You need them regardless of what the job ad says. They’re not absolutely essential. They may not be a deal breaker if the interviewer hasn’t specifically asked you for one. But, having them available speaks volumes about your hiring potential, self-esteem, and professionalism. In the case of a highly competitive interview process, providing on to a potential employer could make all the difference. If you can’t provide references in written, printed form, at least provide the names, positions and phone numbers of 2 or 3 professionals you’ve worked for and who can vouch for your professionalism.
A notepad is a useful item to bring along to a job interview. You will most likely have to write down names, dates, addresses, phone numbers, etc. With the possible exception of taking down phone numbers, it’s not really polite or appropriate to whip out your cell phone during a job interview. After all, current etiquette rules dictate that all such devices remain switched off and tucked away during important meetings. And, a job interview is definitely an important meeting if you’re serious about landing the job.
6. Breath mints/gum
Trust us, fresh breath is a must-have. Have a mint or chew some gum a short while before the interview. Whatever you do, though, remember to dispose of it or swallow it before the actual interview begins.
7. Bottled water
Many people don’t consider this one when they formulate a list of what to bring to an interview. Chances are you’re going to get some water offered while there, but you should come prepared nonetheless, just in case you don’t. To avoid a sore throat, it’s always a good idea to keep some water handy. This is especially true for those unexpected, stress-induced cough fits that sometimes strike.
8. Professional attire
Are you familiar with the KISS principle? It’s short for “Keep It Simple… Silly” and it applies to tips on what to wear to a job interview. Regardless of the line of work or position you’re applying for, your outfit should look clean, neat, and appropriate. Check for pet hair and wrinkles in your clothes. Avoid over-the-top accessories, fragrances, or makeup. Keep those heels and skirt length in check, ladies. The point is that you want your interview to be interested in your experience and skills, not in your sartorial choices, right?
9. A single, professional bag
No, you don’t have to invest in expensive leather goods to pass an interview. However, the point here is not to drag along a massive computer bag, along with a second bag, briefcase or folder. It’s going to make you look cluttered and disorganized. Simply fit all your necessary belongings into a single, simple bag, slip it on your shoulder, then slip it off when you sit down, to make sure your hands are free during the interview.
10. Good questions and factual answers
This one’s pretty self-explanatory for a list of what to bring to an interview, isn’t it? We know that questions and answers don’t exactly qualify as items. But, they’re essential to bring along regardless. Countless online lists of job interview tips and good questions to ask during an interview will provide you with the adequate tools to ace an interview. Take some time to peruse them. Then, select a few that apply to your particular line of work, position, and interests. Furthermore, when it comes to answers, remember that the interviewer only cares about the facts. If some less comfortable moments occurred in your past, you ought to be able to speak about them calmly and reasonably. Whatever you do, don’t lie. Interviewers are usually trained professionals with the ability to sniff out a fib a mile away.