How Can You Get Ahead in Your Career?

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Professional Woman

Where would you like to be in one year? In five years? What experiences will help you achieve that? What interests and skills would you like to use in your career? Setting a career goal is about deciding where you want to head in your career and noting the steps needed to reach that point.

How to set goals

A popular acronym can help you write effective goals. Try the SMART system for your career goal.

Specific – Aim for a specific, concrete area for your goal or steps. For example, “make ten job search calls following up on my LinkedIn connections” vs. “make some networking connections.”

Measurable – To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable – Goals are most attainable when steps are thought out clearly and allow enough time. How do you intend to accomplish your goal? Which actions follow on other actions? Is the goal realistic given where you’re starting from? It should be a challenge, but also achievable.

Relevant – A relevant goal is one that really matters to you and to the end result. Is it worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does your goal relate to other efforts or timelines? Does it require resources that are currently available?

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a defined time period, both for clarity and to give your action urgency. When do you want to begin? When do you want to complete each step?

What are examples of typical career goals?

  1. Increase professional knowledge and training. Whether taking a college class, a workshop offered by an employer, or getting a certification, this is a common goal. It can be useful if you are looking for work or are already employed.
  2. Increase earnings. Being underpaid often detracts from motivation and performance. Making changes to earn more increases enthusiasm for most jobs and motivates a job search.
  3. Improve low-functioning work processes or relationships. This goal area can make the daily work experience more positive and rewarding.
  4. Have new experiences. Whether volunteering in your community or at work, joining a professional association to meet new people in your field, or introducing yourself to people you never talk with, new experiences fuel interest in your career.
  5. Attain a leadership role. Many people feel their ultimate goal is to lead in their career or organization. Establishing the steps to achieve a leadership role makes it possible.

Tips to achieve your goal

  • Write down the steps. Write down your career goal and the steps to get there. This will help you remember and achieve each step. Post your list where you will see it often.
  • Set deadlines. Give yourself a date to complete your goals by. Write the date when you actually finish each step.
  • Reward yourself. Taking steps toward goals is hard work. Think of small rewards to give yourself when you complete any step, to help you stay motivated.
  • Have a goal partner. Find someone to help you stick to your plan: a friend, co-worker, a job coach, or someone else. Discuss your goals and check in with them when you complete steps. If possible, do the same for your partner!

Source: careeronestop.org

 

After Careers With U.S. Armed Forces And Fema This Couple Opens Their Own Business

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McDuffie,Sharron, Rodney, Lee's Summit, MO

After Rodney and Sharron McDuffie retired after long and successful careers that included both the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. Government, the Raymore couple was looking for an attractive business opportunity to bolster their pension income.

So on April 15, Rodney, “61 years young,” and Sharron, “59 years younger,” as they note, officially opened for business as franchise owners with Floor Coverings International, whose representatives visit customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Lee’s Summit serves customers throughout greater Kansas City.

Sharron retired after 30 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where she was a Technological Hazards Specialist assigned to several nuclear power plants throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. Rodney retired from the U.S. Navy with 25 years as a Yeoman Administrator before joining the Department of Immigration, where he spent more than a decade before retiring as an Immigration Supervisor this past February. “We had started talking about what we would be doing in life with retirement approaching and looking forward to living the lifestyle we were comfortable in after more than 30 years working for the government,” Sharron said. “And we were not sure that once we retired on a government pension, if it would be enough. We are still pretty young and in good health, so we started looking for a business we could purchase that also offered plenty of flexibility, such as being able to work from home when we wanted to.”

In Floor Coverings International, the McDuffies found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

The McDuffies are also very excited about having the opportunity for their children to play a role in the business. Their oldest son, who just earned his master’s degree in Public Affairs, is “more excited than my husband and myself,” said Sharron, while their youngest son, who just graduated from high school, is looking forward to joining one of their flooring installation teams where he will gain the necessary experience to later become a Project Manager or Design Associate. A daughter, currently a middle school biology teacher, might join the business as an office manager or Design Associate while her husband is assisting with local marketing. “Since we have been up and running, the whole family is seeing what a great opportunity it is by joining or just participating in this family business,” Sharron said.

For information visit https://leessummit.floorcoveringsinternational.com or call 816-207-5738.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

Tech with a twist: Innovative youth program combines coding and dance

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Group of diverse girls dancing in the danceLogic studio

Numbers, stats and creativity are all integral parts of choreography — but they’re vital for coding, too. That’s the idea behind danceLogic, a program in Philadelphia that integrates dance and computer programming for 13 to 17-year-old girls.

“With dancing, you have to look at the steps and figure out how do they fit into one another. Same with coding,” said 14-year-old Nailah Shabazz, adding “basically, if I see myself coding and helping others, I think I can also bring in other people who look like me, to also want to pursue that field.”

For 14-year-old Lauryn Dorsett, the dancing part came easy – the coding, not so much. “The coding part is sorta hard at first when you think about it,” Dorsett said. “But once you really grow into it, and stay with it for a while, it starts to get easier.”

When she realized how much money she could potentially make with the skills, Dorsett said, she was even more intrigued. “Not all fields offer the same type of opportunities,” she said. “You can get far with this.”

Franklyn Athias believes that opportunity is everything. While working as a senior vice president at Comcast, Athias started danceLogic in 2018.

Originally, Athias only planned to focus on coding – but “he had trouble getting [kids] to participate,” according to his friend and co-founder Betty Lindley.

Lindley, who runs a cultural center, suggested he incorporate dance.

Athias wants people who might be intimidated by the math and science behind coding to understand that it’s like any other skill. “It’s always hard in the beginning,” he said. “This is why the dance part is so important, because a lot of young ladies came in and could not dance. But they practice.”

That’s what happened with Shabazz, who said she “inherited two left feet” from her father. “If I have the confidence to dance in front of a bunch of people and not be afraid of making mistakes, then I have the confidence to accomplish whatever goals I have in life,” she said.

“Something they thought was hard now became easy, right?” Athias said. “And it was all because of practice. It wasn’t anything else besides, ‘let’s try it, let’s get it wrong, let’s try it again and then boom.’ The smile comes on your face and say, ‘I got it, Mr. Franklyn.’ When that happens, he said, “the world is theirs.”

Athias wants danceLogic to help give back to the community. “I came from a very rough neighborhood, and someone introduced me to something that kept me out of trouble,” he said. “If I can help motivate some other person to do the same thing that’s the reward I get outta this.

When the girls finish the 14-week program, they’re rewarded too. Athias gives them iPads, so they can keep coding – he has no doubt they’ll keep dancing.

DanceLogic costs $50 total for the 14 weeks. The West Park Cultural Center, which runs the program, says it will never turn away anyone who can’t afford the cost. The center offers scholarships, too.

Continue on the CBS News to read the complete article.

Susan Olsen Shares Insights on Owning a Minuteman Press Printing Franchise in Leesburg, Florida

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Minuteman Press printing franchise - Susan Olsen and Team pose in store

Once an independent print shop, Minuteman Press in Leesburg is now a full-service Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise.

The Minuteman Press franchise in Leesburg, Florida is in good hands with Susan Olsen. Susan brings with her a 20-year retail career and a passion for helping others and getting involved in the community. Susan says, “We are a full service, locally owned and operated print and marketing center. We offer everything from offset/digital printing in-house to all types of promotional products that you can imagine. We are fast and friendly, and we are here to help you create and design anything you need to help your business grow.”

Like many people who felt stuck in their careers, Susan decided to become her own boss. She says, “My last job was as a General Manager at Staples. I got tired of making money for other companies and decided it was time to do my own thing.” Susan was able to take full advantage of Minuteman Press International’s conversion program and buy an independent print shop that is now her full-service franchise in Leesburg.

Why Minuteman Press? Susan explains, “It is really funny how it happened actually. I was horseback riding with a friend and talking about how I just wanted something different and was not really happy with my current job. We were talking about different things I could do and I told her my favorite part of Staples was the print and marketing. I was at home the next day looking at franchises for sale online and Minuteman Press popped up. I contacted Minuteman Press International and my Regional Vice President Jeff Robey reached out to me. He arranged for me to speak with other franchise owners right away. Talking to them got me more motivated and to dig deeper about the company. It has been a great experience from the beginning. I love the customers we service. I love the industry and I love how there is something different every day.”

Taking over an existing business means that Susan has hit the ground running and jumped right into helping her clients. Susan says, “The most rewarding thing to me is being able to come to work every day and plan out what I think are the priorities, meeting the customers when I am out in the field, and meeting other business owners through the different organizations I am in. I am in the local BNI and the Chamber of Commerce. I love volunteering and helping out in the community.”

Since Susan is a new business owner with no prior experience, she credits Minuteman Press with giving her a new career path that helped her become comfortable with becoming an entrepreneur. She concludes, “I went with owning my Minuteman Press franchise instead of buying a small mom and pop shop because I love the fact that I have their ongoing support. I believe there are a great deal of benefits to being with the Minuteman Press franchise as they continue to help me as I help my clients.”

Susan Olsen’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1417 E. Main St., Leesburg, FL 24748. For more information, call Susan and her team at (352) 728-6333 or visit their website: leesburg-fl.minutemanpress.com

Click here to learn more about how to sell your independent printing business with the help of Minuteman Press International.

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to nearly 1,000 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 28 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, Top Franchises for Women, and Top Franchises for Veterans lists thanks to positive reviews from our owners.

At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at minutemanpressfranchise.com

Promotions, Plateaus and Possibilities: Context; Coaching; and Cohort Networks Keep Careers on Track

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Professional Woman

2019 Best CPA Firms for Women and 2019 Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership show how investing in women is Investing in firms.

The 2019 Accounting MOVE Project will delve into the perceptions and misperceptions that women and firms have about how and why women pursue partnership and other senior leadership positions. The report will also outline tactics that women, advocates for women, and firm leaders can take to ensure that all women CPAs can fully achieve their aspirations for their careers and drive firm growth in the process.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • Peer Power: Women’s peer networks are both horizontal and tend to be powerful retention factors. By comparison, men’s peer networks tend to be vertical and transactional. Leading MOVE firms shape women’s initiatives to make the most of how women organically cultivate networks.
  • Piecing the Future: Women plot their expectations based on what they observe and experience. Firms that show women the benefits of partnership and that build confidence and results with early business development wins seed ambition for partnership.
  • Intervention Builds Retention: Women don’t want to choose between coasting and quitting. Firms strengthen retention by cultivating multiple paths to senior positions, and by working with women before they reach the point of no return.

“Firms of all sizes are engineering new ways for women to excel.  And when women excel, firms win new clients and grow their relationships with existing clients,” said Joanne Cleaver, President of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that manages the Accounting MOVE Project.  “As well, the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project illustrates the power of re-investing in programs and culture proven to advance women. Firms that consistently participate in the Accounting MOVE Project promote more quickly. As a group, 28% of their partners and principals are women, ahead of even the high mark achievement this year of 27% women partners and principals, for all participating firms.”

“The findings in this year’s report emphasize how important it is to be transparent about career paths and opportunities within your firm. Having those honest conversations strengthens relationships and really creates a sticky factor,” said Jennifer Wyne, executive director of human resources for Moss Adams, founding sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project.

“Midcareer coaching offers the greatest return for investment in women, and the greatest opportunity for firms to drive immediate and long- term results from that investment.  At CohnReznick, we are steadily capitalizing on the effects of retaining rising women,” said Risa Lavine, Principal and chief of staff at CohnReznick. CohnReznick is the national sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project. “This year’s Accounting MOVE Project report shows strategies to help firms retool the pipeline.”

An executive summary of the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project is available at the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance website. https://www.afwa.org/move-project/

“This year’s MOVE Report is especially important to AFWA,” said Cindy Stanley, executive director for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), the association partner for the Accounting MOVE Project. “As a women’s organization, we see first hand the value of a strong women’s network at all stages of the career pipeline. This year’s report shows that as women advance in their career they have fewer peers, and each peer becomes more valuable. From entry level to partner, women benefit greatly from the support and example of other women in their network.”

Firms of all sizes are invited and encouraged to participate in the 2020 Accounting MOVE Project. Registration will open in August 2019 at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com. The MOVE Project is supported by founding sponsor Moss

Adams, national sponsor CohnReznick, and administrative fees from participating firms.  Registration for the Accounting MOVE Project will be open through December 20, 2019.

MOVE is making a real difference in the profession and has positioned CPA firms as innovators in the business world. Look no further than MOVE mentions in the CPA Practice Advisor, Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Parade and other publications to see how MOVE Project firms are leading the national conversation about advancing women.

Click here to view the  2019 Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Women

How to Find a Job as a New Graduate

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Woman sitting at a desk working on a resume

Goodbye university. Hello working life. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Making the transition from student life to full-time employment comes with mixed emotions. Beginning your career might mean sacrificing late-night drinks on a Tuesday at the campus pub, but it comes with plenty of benefits. Just picture what you’ll do with that first paycheck.

Graduating from a university or college and finding a job is a significant life event. And people handle it in different ways. Some new grads will take their time and go traveling to forestall the change. Others will be keen to get their professional lives started right away.

Regardless of when you plan on finding a job as a new grad, the process can be challenging. Many graduates lack familiarity with the basics of job searching, or how to sell themselves to employers when they have minimal work experience.

Not to worry, here we’ll cover some of the best strategies for finding a job for those who are recent graduates. This guide includes advice on:

  1. Setting expectations for your job search
  2. The importance of a well-crafted resume for new grads
  3. How to identify job opportunities
  4. Enhancing your professionalism

1) What to Expect As a Recent Graduate

OK, time for a reality check. Unless you are extremely fortunate, you will not find your perfect job right out of school. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s important to keep your expectations in check.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do everything you can to land a fantastic job. But you need to remember that there are thousands of other new grads out there looking to jumpstart their careers too. And there aren’t many ‘amazing’ jobs on offer to people who have minimal experience.

You may find that there are limited opportunities on offer with your preferred company or in your ideal role. Be flexible in this case. Look for opportunities that vary slightly from these ideals.

By all means, stay true to your interests and background. Just don’t be too narrow in your view of how you can apply your skills and experience. For example, you may want a financial analyst position with a commercial bank.

Well, maybe that commercial bank isn’t hiring analysts right now but they are hiring project assistants. Chances are good that many of the skills required of a project assistant are required of financial analysts as well.

And maybe you can start off as a project assistant, prove your abilities, and make a leap to an analyst.

The point is to look for opportunities that are relevant to the career path you foresee for yourself. This may also mean pursuing unpaid internship opportunities as a potential starting point with a company or career path.

Internships often lead to full-time, paid roles; and worst-case, an internship offers you valuable experience that you can use to help secure employment elsewhere.

2) Be Ready-to-go With Your Resume

Before you start your job search, you had better make sure you have a resume or CV that you can send along to recruiters or other contacts. You won’t find too many organizations that don’t require you to submit one or the other as part of their hiring process.

As a new grad, if you’re serious about landing a professional job, your resume or CV should look the part. So throw away that Word document you created five years ago when you applied for a job as a restaurant server, and upgrade to a modern version.

You will want to give careful attention to layout and design so that you can make a visual impact on recruiters. A resume builder can help on that front. But even more important is the content you include.

As a new grad, your best strategy for developing a resume/CV is to create an initial version that you can alter to fit the different positions you will be applying for. Don’t make the mistake of using the same resume/CV over and over again for every application.

One of the basics of resume writing is to customize your resume/CV to reflect the requirements of a particular job description. In other words, you need to show recruiters that you’ve got what they are asking for.

In terms of content, students and recent graduates can struggle to decide what to list on their resumes, especially if they lack relevant work experience. However, there are plenty of tricks for writing a resume with little to no experience.

What’s important is that you think hard about how other experiences, such as school work or extra-curricular, demonstrate the abilities you can apply to real-world work.

Continue on to novoresume to read the complete article.

From Refugee Camp to Medical School

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Samixchha Raut standing outside casually posing in front of a tree

By Samixchha Raut

Eight years ago, I lived in Goldhap, a refugee camp in Nepal, where more than 7,000 people reside in just over 1200 households, without running water or electricity. Today, I’m 22, a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Biomedical Science and on a path to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. I am studying for the MCAT exam to apply for medical school. It has been a long journey for me and my family.

My dad, a native of Bhutan, fled the homeland with his family. He settled in Goldhap, where he did construction work in a surrounding town, and later started repairing bicycles. He met my mother; they married and had me, and my two younger brothers. But there was barely enough food to go around.

In 2010, my family was able to immigrate to the United States, where we settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. I studied hard and earned a full scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. In spring 2018, I participated in a study abroad program with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). I spent six weeks in each of three locations – studying HIV/Aids Policy & Politics in Cape Town, Media, Gender & Identity in London, and Family and Child Development in Paris. The experience reinforced my commitment to be a doctor!

As a child, I was stricken with jaundice, and it wasn’t sure that I would survive. My parents worked extra hard and were finally able to purchase the medicine that made me better. Once I recuperated, I decided I wanted to be a doctor to help others.

While studying in South Africa, my class visited a township village, Zwelethemba. I felt like I was back in the refugee camp. The people were living in severe poverty. But you could see and feel the camaraderie and love among the villagers. Every child was being raised by the entire village. I pictured myself in them.

It took me back to our camp and to our struggles. I spent 13 years of my life in a refugee camp, living just like these people, and then suddenly, there was I among them as a scholar. It reaffirmed that I am on the right path. It’s important for me to become a doctor and pursue my passion of helping underserved people by providing them with adequate health care.

The study abroad experience was so valuable because I know if I’m to become a doctor and work with a diverse population of people, then I need to experience diversity. This exposure has boosted my motivation to work hard and give back to the community.

Continue on to Hudson Valley Press to read the complete article.

The Secret to Being a Better Boss: Create a “How to Work With Me” Manual

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employees with smiling fase seated at coference table

By Julie Zhuo

Once upon a time in a past job, I received an important email in my inbox that alerted me to some distressing news.

Every six months, our company ran a wide-scale anonymous satisfaction survey that pretty much every single employee participated in. If your team was big enough (as mine was), you’d get your own breakout of the results. I always looked forward to diving into my team’s answers and getting a sense of how people were really feeling about their work, our team dynamic, and me—their manager.

As my eyes scanned the various questions, graphs, and answers, one point in particular stopped me in my tracks.

Under the question, “How often does your manager show care for you?” the chart displaying the responses from my team was a mass of red. I had to read it a few times to ensure I wasn’t misunderstanding: The majority of my team thought I didn’t show care for them?

This was hard to process because of course I cared about them. I cared a lot! I took pride in thinking of new ways to help my direct employees grow and thrive. I gave them challenging projects and frequent feedback because I wanted to see them succeed. And if there were ways in which I could help them—by hiring for their team, advocating for issues on their behalf, or pitching in on a tough project—I always showed up. How could they think that I didn’t care?

That night, I met with a colleague who was also a manager for dinner and poured my heart out to him.

“Julie,” he said, “Have you ever told your employees you care about them? Or asked them how they’d like to be cared for?”

I searched my memories and came up short.

“Everyone’s wired differently,” he said. “And even with the best intentions, we struggle to understand each other. Every manager and employee has his or her own preferences for how they operate and how they want to be treated.”

He was absolutely right.

Even if you’re a good, experienced manager, and even if you show up to work every day with confidence, you’re still going to fail to connect with others from time to time. Some of this will be due to cultural differences, or contrasting personalities, or because we simply have different perspectives and life experiences. But the more I understood about what mattered to my employees, the better a manager I’d be. Similarly, the more my employees understood about how I worked, the fewer misunderstandings we’d have.

So I took his feedback and went to work on better understanding what “being cared for” meant to my employees. And in doing so, I realized I also needed to create a user manual—to myself.

Why Should You Create a User Manual?

When you buy a new camera, it comes with a user manual that teaches you about the specifics of the gadget—what each button means, how to select the appropriate lighting for the situation, how to access the images.

A user guide to your management style works in a similar way by creating clarity for how you work—what you value, what your blind spots or areas of growth are, and how people can build trust with you. It’s something you can give to every new employee who joins your team so they know exactly how to work effectively with you. Most importantly, as you revisit and revise it over the course of your career, you get to see aspects of yourself that have changed as a result of your experience.

So how do you go about creating your own “manager manual”?

The first thing you have to understand is that you really need to know yourself. Filling one out requires you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you tick, what you prefer others around you do, and what helps you perform at your peak.

The template I’ve included below includes the questions and answers from my own user manual. You can also download a clean copy with just the questions here by choosing File > Download as > whatever file type you’d like or File > Make a Copy. After I created it and shared it with my team, I encouraged them to do the same and share their working styles with me so I could learn how to best manage them. Feel free to modify it to best suit your needs, and continue to change and adapt it as you learn more about what makes your particular user manual more effective.

A User’s Guide to Working With [Your Name]

Introduction

Why are you writing this user guide? What do you hope will be the result of writing and sharing it?

My Example: I’m writing this user guide to give you a better sense of me and my unique values, quirks, and growth areas so that we can develop the strongest relationship possible. I encourage you to do the same and share your user guide with me as well.

How I View Success

What does being good at your job mean to you? What are some of the values that underpin your understanding of success?

My Example: A manager’s job is to continually aim for better and better outcomes for their team. If my team is not happy or not producing good work, then I am not doing a good job. A manager’s three major levers for better outcomes are: people—hiring, coaching, and matching the right person with the right role; purpose—clarity on what success looks like; and process—clarity on how to best work together. Of these three levers, I believe people is the most important.

Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

How Boundaries at Work Help at Home

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young business woman on phone

By Suzanne Brown

You headed out from the office a few hours ago for a friend’s birthday happy hour, and the office has emailed, called, or texted three times already. Can’t they figure it out on their own? It’s Wednesday and you’re at your son’s baseball game. Sure, it’s for a group of 10-year-olds, but it’s important to him, and that makes it important to you. Why has your boss called you four times already?

Your client keeps trying to contact you with a message saying, “I have a question,” but she won’t leave what the question is. Is it an emergency, or can it wait until you’re back in the office after the weekend is over?

Does this sound familiar? Don’t they understand you’re off the clock right now?

The Need for Boundaries at Work

Boundaries. It’s part of what’s missing in these scenarios. A consistent piece of advice from the more than 110 professional part-time working moms, whom I interviewed, was about the need to set and maintain boundaries at work.

Setting Boundaries Can Be Hard

Many of us want to be connected and not miss a thing. Setting boundaries means we might miss something. Deadlines don’t usually move for us. We move for them. A crisis might blow up or maybe we’ll miss a huge opportunity. And part of it is often simply trying to keep all parties happy. But, what’s the likelihood of these things coming up or a crisis happening in the hours after you leave the office? I’ll bet it’s generally low, especially if you schedule around deadlines and have an idea of whatever is coming up.

Technology as an Enabler

Technology is a blessing and curse. It allows us to work from anywhere anytime, which we love. And it enables clients, colleagues, and managers to get a hold of us whenever they choose. If you combine that with people who don’t have their own boundaries or maybe you haven’t established yours, you’re in for a lot of interruptions from the office during your downtime each day or even on vacation. Remember that it’s OK to walk away from the office and turn off technology.

The Boundaries at Work Are Important for so Many Reasons

  • You want to pay attention to your family and be present.
  • You need a break each day to recharge to perform your best.
  • Time away from the office each day helps manage stress.
  • You look at things with a fresh perspective when you can put them down for a while.
  • If you’re working part time, it makes financial sense to work the time you get paid.

Want Some Ideas on Boundaries You Can Start to Implement?

  • No phone or electronics time for X amount of time each day or for the time when you’re with family, unless it’s an emergency. I might check email or texts while I’m home with the boys, but I don’t usually respond to anything that isn’t urgent. And no phone at the breakfast or dinner table.
  • Response to non-emergency communications (phone, email, text) within 24 hours or by end of day or whatever timeframe you’re comfortable with. You might be traveling, in an all-day meeting, sick, taking care of a sick child, or working on a major deadline. Give yourself some wiggle room, so that people don’t expect you to respond in minutes and then keep contacting you until you do finally respond.
  • Real work emergencies can come up. Define what an emergency is to your team, clients, manager, etc. Everyone you’re interacting with needs to be on the same page, as they can vary from person to person or even project to project. If you get a rare call or text after hours, you’ll know something is going on that needs your attention.
  • You can use boundaries to get your work done. Designate meeting or call days or times on your calendar, so that you have work time and time to get work done each day.

Boundaries Are Set—Now What?

The easiest option is to establish boundaries from the beginning of a relationship, either a new job or with a new client. If it’s an existing relationship, you need to create a plan and give time for people to re-adjust to new boundaries. Maybe you create a transition plan for yourself so that it’s not like a light switch between two sets of boundaries. It will take retraining a client, your boss or your team. You need to stick to your boundaries over time, though, even when things get iffy and pushback kicks in. You can do it!

I’ve focused on the consistent boundaries at work and how they impact you every day. If you’re interested in more on why vacation is important, since those are bigger boundaries, read my blog about the importance of vacation or time away.

About the Author
Suzanne Brown is a work-life balance speaker, strategist & author, and strategic marketing consultant.

Making Strides in Health Care—AMA elects its first African-American woman president

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Dr. Harris poses outside of builing in white pants and blue blazer

Atlanta-based psychiatrist Patrice A. Harris, MD, is the first black woman to become the American Medical Association’s (AMA) president. When Dr. Harris assumes her role in June this year, she will also be the Association’s first African-American female to hold that office.

“It will be my honor to represent the nation’s physicians at the forefront of discussions when policymaker and lawmakers search for practical solutions to the challenges in our nation’s health system. I am committed to preserving the central role of the physician-patient relationship in our healing art,” Dr. Harris said.

First elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2011, Dr. Harris has held the executive offices of AMA board secretary and AMA board chair. She will continue to serve as chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force and has been active on several other AMA task forces and committees on health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting. She has also chaired the influential AMA Council on Legislation and co-chaired the Women Physicians Congress.

Dr. Harris continues in private practice and consults with both public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Source: wire.ama-assn.org

Looking for a STEM Job? Head to These States

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Focused scientist using tweezers in petri dish

Milken Institute’s 2018 State Technology and Science Index, a biennial assessment of states’ capabilities and competitiveness in a tech-focused economy, ranked the top ten states to pursue a STEM career.

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Colorado
  3. Maryland
  4. California
  5. Utah
  6. Washington
  7. Delaware
  8. Minnesota
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Oregon

“The success stories of states profiled in this year’s index reflect sustained efforts to not only build but to maintain their ecosystem,” said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics. “Making the changes that are necessary to perform well on the State Technology and Science Index can contribute to stronger long-term economic performance.”

Massachusetts benefitted from the presence of major research universities, the availability of venture capital, entrepreneurial expertise, and a tech-oriented workforce, according to the report. The state was first in three of the index’s five composite indexes and finished third in another. Massachusetts continues to strengthen its position in tech and science by increasing public funding of neuroscience research, cybersecurity innovation, and startup development.

Utah’s move to fifth was driven by tech-sector employment growth – the fastest in the nation – averaging 4.3 percent annually. The state also had the most university graduates with degrees in science and engineering – 15.4 per 1,000 students. Utah stood out for the success of its universities in spinning research into commercial ventures.

Delaware rose to seventh from tenth, strengthened by an increase in venture capital invested in technology companies. The Legislature authorized a 25 percent tax credit for small companies (those with fewer than 25 employees) engaged in research and development in specific high-tech fields. The state ranks fifth in the number of business startups with 53.4 per 1,000 residents.

The State Technology and Science Index provides a benchmark for policymakers to evaluate their state’s capabilities and formulate strategies for improving STEM education, attracting businesses, and creating jobs in the tech sector. Indices considered in the report include the number of patents issued and doctoral degrees granted in each state.

“Investing in human capital and developing a STEM workforce is crucial for regional economies that want to attract large technology companies and the jobs they bring,” explains Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken Institute’s director of regional economics research.

In addition to the index, the report offers case studies that examine issues such as non-compete contracts that limit employee mobility, along with access to higher education in building a vibrant, adaptable workforce.

Drawing on this data, the report recommends four steps policymakers can take to improve their state’s competitiveness:

Increase scholarships and other financial aid to lower the cost of higher education for in-state students who plan STEM careers.

Better align STEM curriculums to make it easier for students to transfer credits from lower-cost two-year colleges to four-year institutions.

Encourage partnerships between higher-education institutions and private companies to provide students with work experience to improve workforce readiness and job placement.

Make employee noncompete laws less restrictive to encourage a freer exchange of ideas and talent among tech companies.

The index draws on data from government and private sources dating from 2015 to 2017, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration, the American Community Survey, and Moody’s Analytics.

Source: milkeninstitute.org