Women With Disabilities Face High Barriers To Entrepreneurship. How To Change That

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The University of Illinois — Chicago is home to a unique education program for entrepreneurs with disabilities run by associate professor Dr. Katherine Caldwell. It’s called Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities.

“We wanted to really bring disability studies and entrepreneurship to the same table to look at, ‘Okay, well where are we now?’” Caldwell said. “What does it look like, what are the main barriers that they’re running into, and what sort of facilitators would help them out?”

Caldwell found that Chicago-area entrepreneurs with disabilities had trouble finding resources to grow their businesses, had high barriers to entry and faced structural challenges from the disability benefits system.

Caldwell also notes that most of the entrepreneurs she works with are women of color. Women and minorities with disabilities face extra challenges. “There’s that whole discussion of the pay gap that we’ve been having in women’s rights circles,” Caldwell said. “But it hasn’t included women with disabilities.”

Accessible opportunities

Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities aims to help participants understand the benefit system and other typical barriers to entrepreneurship so that they can find a way to be most successful in building a business.

Like in any demographic group, there’s plenty of desire to build businesses in the disability community. Perhaps, it’s even stronger, Caldwell said, because traditional employment opportunities for people with disabilities are often less than ideal.

“They want to take control,” she said. “ They want to start a business so they can, not just create a job for themselves, but also create jobs for other people with disabilities.”

Many people with disabilities are employed through something called sheltered workshops. Which, Caldwell said, “Is basically work in a segregated work setting where they’re paid less than minimum wage.”

Sheltered employment was originally intended to give people with disabilities a chance to get work experience and skills that they could use to get other jobs. But, “Only five percent of workers actually go on to competitive employment from sheltered workshops,” Caldwell said. “So it’s not effective at achieving what it was supposed to back in the ’30s and yet for some reason we’re still doing it.”

In fact, she argues many companies are exploiting workers with disabilities through sheltered employment because it’s a way for companies to employ people who they can pay significantly less than minimum wage.

In addition to entrepreneurship as an escape from sheltered work, people with disabilities can use entrepreneurship to tackle challenges they face every day navigating a mostly inaccessible world.

“They can tap into that innovative potential of having experienced the problems that their business serves first hand,” Caldwell said.

Representation matters

Caldwell believes there needs to be an increase in representation of entrepreneurs with disabilities on a wider scale.

“One thing that they really need, and one thing that they currently lack are mentors, are examples of success,” she said. “Which is why having more visibility of entrepreneurs with disabilities especially women entrepreneurs with disabilities in the media would be super helpful.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun(damental) Workplace Rights

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Elizabeth Bradley

Young women professionals entering the workforce have little to no knowledge on how to handle workplace issues such as harassment, discrimination, and the gender wage gap. “Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge could put an entire generation of women at a disadvantage and seriously affect their earning potential,” said Elizabeth Bradley, Partner with Beverly Hills-based civil litigation and trial law firm Rosen Saba LLP.

“Most women are not taught to recognize subtler forms of discrimination that are less obvious than open harassment, but no less pervasive,” Bradley said. “For example, they may not realize that a man getting more promotions and advancement opportunities than his equally qualified female colleague is just as discriminatory as a man being paid more than a woman for doing the same job. They also may not realize that in several states, now including California, prospective employers are not permitted to ask for candidates’ salary history.”

Bradley, who has handled countless discrimination and harassment lawsuits, explains that gender doesn’t have to be the only motivating factor that is taken into account when filing a discrimination lawsuit. She is available to discuss this, as well as:

  • Important workplace rights that many young professional women are unaware of.
  • Ways that women can document harassment and discrimination so that allegations are not dismissed as hearsay, and without jeopardizing their careers.
  • Why the gender wage gap persists, and how women can advocate for higher salaries even if they have been underpaid in the past.
  • Specific industries where these issues are especially prevalent.

For information about the law firm, visit RosenSaba.com

 

The “She” Suite Celebrates International Women’s Day with Women in the C-Suite and in Leading Roles

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International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is quickly approaching, and six leading business women will discuss their journey to the top of the corporate ladder. Gender diversity and inclusion remains a pressing issue across industries and sectors – and by ignoring this issue, companies may be hurting their bottom line.

WHEN
March 8, 2018
7:15 AM – 9:15 AM

WHERE
Washington University in St. Louis – Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall
Snow Way, 1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

WHO
Rebecca Boyer, Chief Financial Officer, KellyMitchell Group, Inc.; EMBA alumna
Andrea Faccio, Chief Marketing Officer, Nestle Purina North America; EMBA alumna
Linda Haberstroh, President, Phoenix Textile Corporation; EMBA alumna
Mary Heger, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Ameren Services Company; EMBA alumna
Deborah Slagle, Senior Vice President, Biologics Technology Cluster, MilliporeSigma; EMBA alumna
Joyce Trimuel, Chief Diversity Officer, CNA Insurance; EMBA alumna

According to a McKinsey study, diversity at the executive level strongly correlates with profitability and value creation. In fact, companies in the top quartile of executive-level gender diversity have a 27% likelihood of outperforming their less diverse peers.

On March 8, Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) will host a special panel discussion celebrating International Women’s Day featuring six business women who demonstrate their value to their companies as leaders every day. They are entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and global leaders representing companies. such as Nestle Purina, Ameren, and more.

One thing they all have in common: their Executive MBA experience from WashU, which is ranked among the top 10 EMBA programs in the country by several noted business publications including Financial Times.

From Real Estate To Tech Startup As An Over-40, African-American Female Founder

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Denise Hamilton left a very successful career in commercial real estate, as well as several other wide-ranging past endeavors, to start WatchHerWork. She elicits elegantly raw, specific and action-focused insights from professional women to help other women navigate successful careers. The thousands of interviews she’s done, combined with her own experience, fuel Denise’s powerful straight talk about career success, particularly for women and minority professionals.

Nell Derick Debevoise: What’s your current role?

Denise Hamilton: I’m the CEO and Founder of WatchHerWork, a multimedia digital platform that is closing the achievement gap for professional women by providing the much-needed professional advice they need when they need it, how they need it.

Debevoise: Tell us about your transition. It was a big one, right?

Hamilton: I had a successful career in Commercial Real Estate when I walked away to start a tech company, which is WatchHerWork.com.

Debevoise: What was scary to you about that big shift?

Hamilton: Economic Security is always the scariest part of any leap for me. There aren’t a lot of 47-year-old African American tech founders out there. I worried whether I would be welcomed into the space and if my unique perspective would be welcomed or marginalized. But I knew I had to bet on myself.

Debevoise: What was the hardest thing once you made the transition?

Hamilton: Patience. When you come from a salaried position with a large staff, it is a brutal transition to being alone or in a skeleton crew with limited resources. I used to have 10 direct reports to assign things to. Now, I have as many action items as they do at Goop with about 300 fewer people. I had to learn to be patient with what I was capable of accomplishing each day.

Debevoise: What was the most fun?

Hamilton: Constant reinvention and exploration. I learn something new every day and I am incredibly passionate about changing women’s lives the way we do at WatchHerWork. I feel the constant stretch and growth and I love it!

Debevoise: Who was most useful during your transition?

Hamilton: I had incredible mentors and cheerleaders who encouraged me and invested time to help me in the areas I needed support. No one has all the answers, but together, we all do.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

How to Promote Increased Inclusivity in the Workplace

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Rochelle Ford

By Rochelle Ford

When it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we often view it from two camps: diversity of thought, and race and ethnicity. Both should achieve the same goal: people bringing their unique perspectives, experiences and knowledge to the table and respectfully engaging with each other.

However, it is often not enough to just hire a diverse group of employees. That is an important first step, but once the right people are hired, it is essential that every team member works to promote a more inclusive environment. Crucial to understanding our own role in this effort is recognizing the most innocuous ways we obstruct inclusivity. After self-evaluation, there are two essential tactics we must take: promoting empathy and combatting microagressions.

Cultivating a work environment based on empathy involves implementing programs and initiatives that will elicit positive engagement from team members at every level. Setting up programs for mentorship and affinity groups is a great way to connect employees with people outside of their usual circle.

Mentor programs that focus specifically on under-represented employee groups, such as women or ethnic minorities, can prove monumental in creating a positive learning environment for both mentors and mentees. Not only does the mentee gain advice from an experienced professional on how to navigate challenges, but the mentor also gains valuable insight into the conversations and resources that may currently be lacking in the company. Mentoring relationships that cross race, gender, age and ethnicity are important for people to learn about each other but also to emphasize solving organizational problems together.

Likewise, affinity programs, or employee resource groups, can also help build a more inclusive workplace by connecting Respectemployees who share a similar identity or cultural background and providing them with an avenue to seek support and career advice. These programs give employees the assurance and comfort of knowing their thoughts and opinions are being heard — whether it’s through regular interactions with a higher executive or connecting with team members from similar backgrounds in a familiar setting. Each program has its purpose, but they all aim to encourage team members to listen and connect with the people around them.

The second key step in successfully promoting inclusivity is learning how to combat microaggressions. They don’t have to be obvious, like blatant racial slurs, to be harmful. These actions can be seemingly small, ranging from verbal remarks that demean an employee’s heritage to language or behavior that exclude the feelings of employees who represent a different group. Executives have the responsibility to implement training programs that educate employees about the damaging effects of unconscious bias and microaggressions.

Employees on the receiving end also have a responsibility to combat this behavior and change the conversation moving forward. Knowing how and when to respond when confronted with microaggressions is critical. According to Jody Gray from the University of Minnesota and the American Library Association, the most important thing to do is take a minute to reflect before responding on an assumption. Asking a person to explain or restate their comment can often serve as a check for them to rephrase it in a more inclusive manner. If a response is needed, focus on the event, not the person—this lowers the likelihood of a defensive tone and can make the other person more receptive. Respond how you want to the other person to act, and avoid sarcastic or condescending tones. Gray suggests using yourself as an example: talking about how you’ve “unlearned” certain behaviors is a good way to get on the same level and can help reframe the conversation in a way that makes it click.

Additionally, if someone witnesses what is seemingly a microaggression toward someone else, the witness needs to follow the same steps but adding in the question of “Why am I offended?” Once that understanding occurs, keep the focus on oneself and not the supposed recipient because that person may not feel offended and may not want or need the witness to “come to the rescue.” Instead, follow the same steps of clarification, focusing on the event, using yourself as an example and creating a possible learning opportunity.

At the end of the day, creating an inclusive environment simply comes down to respect—authentic and mutual respect for your team and the common goal you are working to achieve. It’s important that employees understand and utilize the resources and programs that are in place to foster a workplace based on growth and personal development. From top to bottom, employees at all levels and backgrounds want to feel supported and valued for their different perspectives, and achieving inclusion requires full commitment and patience from all team members in order to succeed. What are other programs or initiatives that have been used in your own workplace that have proven successful in promoting diversity and inclusion?

Meet Danielle Olson: A ‘Gique’ Advancing the Case for STEAM Education

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Danielle Olson

What is a “Gique”? It’s a cross between “geek” and “chic,” a maker and creative problem-solver whose interdisciplinary interests turn STEM into STEAM. Meet Danielle Olson, researcher and PhD student at MIT and proud founder of Gique, a nonprofit that provides transformational, culturally situated STEAM learning for underserved youth.

Olson says being a Gique is about using your passion to embrace change and create your dream job. Olson offered STEMconnector her insights and experience as an engineer, a dancer, a dreamer, and pioneer in STEAM education, as well as research on how the arts are leveling the educational playing field in STEM.

Interview below courtesy of Stemconnector

STEMconnector: How does using the arts impact the STEM talent gap?

Danielle Olson: Fortunately, a new and exciting field of education is emerging where curricula are designed to expose youth to the applications of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) in the real world. STEAM, rather than just STEM, education focuses on student cultivation of the critical, creative, and participatory dispositions key to empowered, authentic engagement in both science and art, along with preparing students to think of ways that they can contribute to society as individuals.

The arts have been treated as a “cherry on top” in recent years. But research demonstrates that an arts education offers critical development opportunities for children, which include cognitive and social growth, long-term memory improvement, stress reduction, and promotion of creativity. In fact, research findings show that if arts were included in science classes, STEM would be more appealing to students, and exposure to experts in these fields could affect career decisions. Gique believes that STEAM education affords students opportunities to envision themselves pursuing their “dream careers,” which they may invent for themselves.

There are three categories that aid in representing various perspectives of art integration: (1) learning “through” and “with” the arts, (2) making connections across knowledge domains, and (3) collaborative engagement across disciplines.

Gique piloted a 9-month-long, out-of-school STEAM Program with students at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an inner-city in Boston, Massachusetts, in the areas of science, the arts, and entrepreneurship by putting the theoretical framework, which underpins the necessity for STEAM education, into action.

SC: What kinds of lessons do you offer students?

DO: Gique designs and provides free, hands-on educational programs and mentorship to talented youth from diverse circumstances in the Boston area and in California. We create a safe, positive learning community for our students and cultivate their curiosity and self-esteem through two arms of programming:

  • Gique’s Science Can DANCE! Community Programs—provides youth with a way to explore STEAM through creative movement and dance choreography. By taking an integrated approach to breaking down technical concepts, we provide a unique mentorship opportunity for students interested in both arts and science topics.
  • Gique’s Out-of-School Time (OST) STEAM Program—a 9-month-long, weekly after-school program for middle school students to explore their personal interests in STEAM. This program enables students to receive long-term mentorship from innovators from around the world and participate in hands-on workshops and field trips. By the end of the semester, students gain a better understanding of how they can take an idea from concept to reality through innovation with art + design, science, and technology.

In addition to these two programs, Gique has provided a wide variety of educational opportunities to people of all ages in the Boston area for the past four years. We have collaborated with numerous organizations to provide educational programming, including MIT Museum, Harvard Museum of Science & Culture, Artisan’s Asylum, and General Assembly Boston.

SC: How can corporations that support a vibrant STEM workforce get involved in advancing STEAM education?

DO: First, corporations should stand with teachers and parents to fight back against policies that discourage interdisciplinary education. This may include, but is not limited to, policies that result in art, drama, history, and science class time reduction and policies, which discourage teachers from being innovative due to too much focus on standardized testing.

Second, people in power must use their influence to help give underrepresented groups more access to resources that can level the playing field in education. I had access to programs like FIRST Robotics Competition and MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program, which changed my life, thanks to the generosity of donors investing directly in people of color by sponsoring these programs. However, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in these programs if I had to pay for them. That’s why Gique leverages the support of its sponsors to deliver life-changing experiences to students that help them pursue career dreams that they may have deemed impossible.

SC: How is Gique measuring its impact?

DO: We have a structured process in place to design, administer, and analyze quantitative and qualitative measurements, including pre- and post- assessments, audio/video interviews, and external feedback (from program staff/volunteers and parents/guardians).

Specifically, for Gique’s OST STEAM Program, a schema was developed to identify, both broadly and specifically, what students learned and in what context it applies to their lives. Prior to each term, the program leadership developed several goals for student impact, with measurable indicators to assess each goal. Assessment questions were adapted from the Museum of Science Boston’s Engineering is Elementary program assessment model. At the end of the semester, students completed the same assessment for the program leadership to understand what deltas occurred and what the development areas were for program improvement.

While the quantitative data collected often helped to inform strategic decisions and content choices, the qualitative data showed how the program impacted students, parents, volunteers and teachers. Gique wholeheartedly believes that learning experiences should be fun, so asking these qualitative questions were critical to the development and success of the pilot OST STEAM program.

Gaining parent/guardian feedback served to be an excellent indicator of how excited students were about the program.

Visit Gique’s community of leaders and makers at gique.me

Source: stemconnector.com

How Achievable The 6 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions Really Are

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goals

With the holidays coming to a close, it’s time to get serious and set some New Year’s resolutions for 2018. Unfortunately, keeping those resolutions is often easier said than done.

In the spirit of setting achievable goals, we asked therapists to weigh in on six of the most common resolutions and grade them on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being “very attainable” and 5 being “very difficult”). See what they had to say below.

1). LOSE WEIGHT
“Losing weight requires a fairly good understanding of nutrition and calorie intake. It also requires, rather uncomfortably, changing your diet and exercise ― two of your three most basic behavioral patterns (the other being sleep) ― and then maintaining those changes indefinitely. Before I was a psychologist, I worked as a personal trainer: You have to have structured goals and set attainable goal posts. Without structured goals, it’s my experience that people do well for two or three months, lose some weight, but then revert back to their previous lifestyle and gain the weight back throughout the year. Grade: 3/5.”—Ryan Kelly, a psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina

2). GET ORGANIZED
“This is very achievable if you start small. Most people want to go from not taking any action to immediate results, which is unrealistic. Good habits are best built upon one another in small, easily achievable steps. If you want to get more organized, choose one tiny organizational skill you can do for five minutes a day until you’ve mastered it. For example, make it a goal to pick up your clothes from the floor each night before bed. It can be as simple as that. Grade: 1/5.”―Amanda Stemen, a therapist in Los Angeles, California

3). LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’
“Setting boundaries with others means understanding how to change patterns of people-pleasing. People often learn to say ‘yes’ when they’d rather not do something because in our culture, we’re rewarded for taking direction well in family and in work. Luckily, the pendulum is swinging where people are learning to practice taking care of their own needs. I recommend trusting your intuition when something feels right to you, and learning to stay grounded in your experience while still responding to the needs of others. If you’re bogged down at work before a vacation, say: ‘I hear that you need this work done by the deadline, but I also have time off scheduled and I’ll only get the most urgent things ready for the client before then. When I’m back, I’ll finish it.’ Grade: 3/5.”―Kari Carroll, a marriage and family therapist in Portland, Oregon

4). TRAVEL MORE
“Traveling is super easy to experience, and you don’t need a fancy trip to Indonesia like your friends on Instagram to escape the pressures of life and enjoy nature. Get creative and pay attention when others you know take excursions around your area. You can easily take day trips on the cheap to check out nearby towns, hikes, lakes, a resort pool or an obscure museum. Sometimes getting in the car and driving until you find something cool can be an adventure in and of itself. Grade: 1/5.”―Carroll

5). SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
“Post-holidays, you may have had more than enough of some people in your life. But if we’re not intentional about getting together, it will only happen when forced upon us by holidays or others. This one is very doable with some planning and intentionality to follow through. Get started by picking one person a month to reach out to, then be the one who initiates and plans the get together. Grade: 2/5.”―Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling for men

6). LEARN A SKILL OR TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY
“As long as you’re not a perfectionist about this one, it’s achievable. I would phrase the goal as ‘time spent on a new hobby’ so it doesn’t feel like you haven’t made progress when you’ve practice tennis an hour a week and still miss the ball half the time months into it. I also think that trying new hobbies and skills is good because you may learn that you don’t actually enjoy the thing you thought you would. In that case, it’s better to switch and move onto something else. Grade: 3/5.”―Marie Land, a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

Read more from the Huffington Post here

Going Global Despite the odds—CEO shares how her company is reaching its global goal

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Connie Gorum

Connie Russell Gorum, the founder and CEO of C. L. Russell Group, LLC (CLRG), an industry workforce training company, started CLRG in 2015 after leaving her government job with a vision and a strategic plan—to become a global industry workforce training company.

Today, CLRG is well on its way to reaching its global goal after only two years of founding the company. The playing field changed for CLRG in 2016 when the company was selected among seven small and medium-size American companies to participate in the United States – Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) U.S. Trade Mission to Azerbaijan and Georgia organized in partnership with ExportDC. This opportunity strategically positioned the company’s goal of becoming a global industry workforce training company.

Connie shares some insight from her interview with Becky Mangus, publisher of The Biz Monthly, on her global journey and steps to help other entrepreneurs pursuing globalization.

When/why did you decide to set global goals for your business?
I’ve always been considered a big dreamer and risk-taker, so when I decided to start my business, I knew maintaining that mindset was very important for the success of my business. Small businesses have access to so many resources today that allow us to explore areas we could only think about and watch others #GoBig. That’s no longer the case today. Today, small businesses compete with large businesses, so I knew I had to think big if I wanted to be a player in the game. So, going global was the only position for me to take.

How did you achieve your initial global connection?
Being selected in the U. S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC) U.S. Trade Mission to Azerbaijan and Georgia in partnership with ExportDC literally opened the global connection for me. Pursing global connections without an experienced colleague is very challenging.

What was it about the 2016 Trade Mission Trip that made your dream of a becoming a global company seem possible?
After the Trade Mission Trip, I finally had access to contacts. The mission featured participation in the country’s economic and sector briefings, networking receptions, exclusive meetings with relevant government officials, B2B appointments with prospective global agents, distributors, partners, and end-users. I learned about the country’s trending industries and their economic climate. This opportunity allowed me to develop relationships with both embassies. I now have access to special embassy events and meetings concerning the economic status of both countries and forecasting updates. This helps my company stay current with developing global performance solutions for diverse industries. Understanding your industry from a local and global perspective will better position you for success.

Were these two countries on your radar when planning your global strategy?
They were not. To be truthful, this was my first time learning about these two countries, which made it more interesting. Don’t limit yourself; engage in new markets.

What were the first steps you took to make breaking into the global training industry a reality?
For me, my first step was connecting with global commerce organizations. The next bold step was to visit the desired country. Staying behind the computer was too safe and comfortable for me. I wanted to experience the culture and develop relationships. One thing I always share with my training team is you must learn the customer’s culture to effectively train their team. Learning the protocol of traveling abroad was like developing a new training course for me. Once I accomplished that, I felt more knowledgeable about the culture. I can now share my experiences with other inspiring entrepreneurs looking to expand global.

This was a long-term goal, but what had you done over the years, leading up to your concentrated effort to help with your vision?
I continued to network with local global commerce organizations and businesses with prior global experience to help keep me current with the global trends. When you’re an entrepreneur, learning becomes your lifestyle—it never ends.

Can you share a situation from your career that involved obstacles you had to overcome and share what you learned from those situations?
As a woman entrepreneur, I knew I would encounter constant obstacles, to say the least. But that only adds fuel to my perseverance. One situation I recall is being told by a former colleague that I should wait until I became a ‘big business’ before I started thinking about taking my company global. That was just the fuel I needed to prove them wrong. The more I began to research about small businesses going global the more I became aware of the possibilities for my company. That situation taught me to never allow someone to limit my capabilities based on my current position and to have a diverse group of mentors. Mentors serve for different purposes; no one mentor can serve all your needs. Today, I have more than one mentor who help me in different aspects of the growth of my business.

What words of advice do you have for other small businesses seeking to go global?
Start planning now; today, much of the growth trends are outside the United States. Whether small businesses realize it or not, their competitors are global as well as local. Diversity is real; it’s not just a trending new word that makes a company appear politically correct. When small businesses begin to balance domestic and international markets, they can better manage their risk and leverage growth opportunities. Always think bigger than your present position. Stay connected, and join local global commerce associations. I would recommend the following organization to help get started entering the global industry: globalchamber.org.

2018 Hot Jobs

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stem cell research

Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering, and technology will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation.

As the nation’s roughly 2 million college freshmen take the first steps on their career paths, the employment experts offered some advice on which areas could offer the most fertile employment landscape over the next decade.

Many freshmen have no idea what career path they want to pursue, relying on a mix of courses in the first year to help point them in the right direction. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is a good idea to at least be armed with information about where job growth is expected to remain strong to make the best decisions about one’s course selections going forward.

Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering, and technology will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation. However, it is vital not to overlook critical coursework in writing, public speaking, and courses that sharpen your critical thinking skills. While technical skills are in high demand, employers across the country consistently lament the lack of writing and communication skills that are essential in any profession one might pursue.

Indeed, when human resources executives were asked by the Society of Human Resource Management to identify the skills that 2013 graduates were lacking the most, the largest percentage by far pointed to basic writing skills. Nearly half of the HR professionals said last spring’s graduates lacked grammar, spelling, and other writing skills. Math, which ranked second in the list of skill deficiencies, was selected by 18 percent of respondents.

Even if you pursue a profession that is desperate for workers, a lack of fundamental written and verbal communication skills will significantly reduce the chances of being considered, let alone hired.

Below is a list of fields and professions that are expected to experience strong employment gains in the coming years.

Big Data – Health care, corporations, government agencies, etc., are all collecting massive amounts of information. The demand will be for people who can organize, manage, and make sense of all this data.

R&D – Technological developments are accelerating the pace of change and significant breakthroughs in all types of fields, from renewable energy to health care, from transportation to home construction. Those schooled in biology, chemistry, math, engineering, design, computer technology, etc., are going to be rewarded with ample job opportunities in research and development.

Veterinarians – Pets are more popular than ever, and some of them get medical care that’s practically fit for a human. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for vets to rise 36 percent by 2020.

Medical technicians – As medical equipment continues to become more sophisticated, they require highly trained individuals to operate, troubleshoot, and repair them.

Athletic trainers/physical therapists – These represent two sides of the same coin. They share many of the same fundamental skills and training. Several trends are driving the growth in demand for these workers—the most obvious one being the aging baby boomer population, which will require increased physical care. We are also seeing growth in competitive sports, fitness, etc., that is creating demand for those trained in repairing participants.

Sales and Marketing – All of these other growth areas need people to increase demand for their products and services. That’s where sales and marketing pros will benefit. You could have the greatest invention ever, but if you don’t have a team to get it into the marketplace and create demand, that invention will never see the light of day.

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists – While these types of jobs need a catchier name, the demand will continue to grow. Where we work, how we work, and when we work have all changed dramatically over the past decade. These will continue to evolve going forward. So, we will need people who specialize in maximizing efficiency, health, cost, quality, etc. We have companies now where more than half of the employees work from home. How do you make sure everyone is on the same page and moving in the right direction? Yahoo couldn’t do it, so the company ended its work-at-home option. Companies need strategies for managing such a workforce, and these are the people who will do it. These workers will have varied education backgrounds, including psychology, engineering and technology, design, sociology, administration and management.

Also: Teachers and education services (as more private learning systems pop up); registered nurses, particularly in specialty areas, such as oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care; finance and accounting; trade crafts, such as electricians and plumbers; information technology and network administration.

Source: challengergray.com

How Job Seekers Can Make a Good First Impression

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Interview Tips

Your resume stood out among the others. You made it through the phone screen. Now it’s time to meet your potential employer in person. This is “do or die” time—an opportunity that cannot be missed.

Job candidates follow these 10 guidelines to make a good—and lasting—first impression.

1).  Be mindful of the other person’s time. Ask how much time the other person has to devote to the meeting, and hold to that time frame.

2).  Ask questions about the company and the open position.

3).  Dress appropriately.

4).  If you were referred by a mutual friend or colleague, reference that person in positive terms. This helps build a “personal bridge” and establish rapport.

5).  Take notes throughout the interview. This shows that you are interested and engaged enough to be taken seriously.

6).  Arrive at the meeting on time. This shows that you respect the Solutions providerother person and that you are a true professional.

7).  Be fully prepared. Learn everything you can in advance about the company, the opportunity, and the interviewer.

8).  Make a connection between your past successes and how they relate to the prospective employer’s needs and challenges.

9).  Present yourself as a solutions provider rather than a job seeker. Offer to be of service and show genuine interest in helping the interviewer solve his/her business problems.

10).  Follow up with a timely thank you note. This is a must!

In today’s tight job market, so few job seekers actually make it to the interview stage. By incorporating these simple suggestions into the interview process, job seekers will make a good first impression, be memorable, receive better feedback, and ultimately get more job offers.

For more information and other useful tips for achieving career success, visit getthejobbook.com.

Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.

 

Home-Based Businesses—A Portable Career Option For Military Spouses

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A home business can be the perfect solution for a military spouse on the move. Before you start writing that business plan, here are a few things you should consider:
Will a home business work for you?

A self-assessment and career assessment can help you decide if it’s the right move for you. While thinking about the possibilities, you’ll also want to consider the following:

  • Personal and business goals. Determine the type of home business that’s best for you and your goals. Writing down your goals will help you focus on what’s important.
  • Abilities and interests. Do you have experience or a skill that works well in a home business setting?
  • Marketing and networking skills. Whether you’re selling products or providing a service, you’ll need to market your business to potential customers.
  • Investment required versus funds available. Most home businesses require at least some money on hand up front. The amount depends on the type of business.
  • Family support. Having the support of your family will go a long way toward making your business successful.

What kind of business will work best for your family and schedule?

Virtual work. Working virtually allows you to easily work from anywhere in the world, so you can take your job wherever the military takes your family. There are many telecommuting opportunities available, including:

  • Administrative services, such as scheduling, data entry and bookkeeping
  • Computer programming, database maintenance or website design
  • Medical transcribing
  • Test grading
    • Writing, editing or proofreading
    • Graphic design
    • Translation services
    • Call center services

    Traditional services. With traditional services, you probably won’t be able to take your client base with you when you move to a new duty station. But if you can make your business successful in one location, you’ll be more likely to be able to do it again. These businesses can include:

    • Child care
    • Catering
    • Photography
    • Tailoring or sewing
    • Housecleaning, lawn care or painting
    • Lessons, such as piano, dance or a foreign language

    What rules and regulations should you be familiar with?

    As you set up your business, you’ll need to understand the rules and regulations for home businesses:

    • Licenses and permits. To find out if you need a license or permit, check with your local Small Business Administration office.
    • As a business owner, you’ll need to withhold taxes from your income, such as federal, state, self-employment, local and usage taxes. Your installation’s financial counselor can give you more information on the tax requirements for your business.
    • Your local SBA office can explain zoning ordinances in your area, which may limit the use of signs or how many people can visit your home for business reasons.
    • Installation housing regulations. Installation housing regulations vary by location. In overseas locations, a Status of Forces Agreement may affect the type of business you can run. Requests are usually approved as long as they don’t compromise security in the housing area or compete with installation services.
    • Types of business ownership. Most home-based businesses are sole proprietorships, meaning you use your Social Security number for the business and assume all liability. Some businesses are set up as Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs. LLCs are more expensive to set up but limit your personal liability.

    Source: militaryonesource.mil