What Are the Most In-Demand Job Skills?

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interview candidate

By Greg Stuart

Are you in the market for a new job? Is 2019 the year that you decide to make a change in your career? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you need to get an idea of what skills are in demand.

I’ve written many articles on this subject, and most of them tend to lean heavily on the technical side, certifications, etc. I believe that this year, technical certifications will carry less weight than they used to. I see a trend in companies, inside and outside of Silicon Valley, where soft skills are starting to become more important. Lots of projects are manned not by one person, but by a team of people. To be an effective team player, you need certain soft skills to complement your technical skills to be successful. Let’s take a look at some of the most in demand technical and soft skills for 2019.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is becoming the king of the datacenter. With more and more adoption each year, cloud computing is poised to have a big 2019. Security measures are getting better, government entities are trusting the cloud, and new cloud-based certifications pop up every year. I realize the term ‘cloud computing’ is broad, so what areas of cloud computing should you focus on? Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. Amazon’s cloud computing platform is taking the market by storm. VMware’s cloud offering caved to Amazon’s stiff competition and instead focused on forging a partnership with Amazon going forward. Learn Amazon Web Services—take advantage of some of their online free training. Other options are training for Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure. Find training on Azure and become proficient at it; Microsoft is staking a bigger-than-expected claim in the cloud space.

Adaptability to Change

Is this a skill? I believe it is, and it’s become a necessary skill to learn. If you work in the IT career field, you already know that it’s an ever-changing landscape. New technologies crop up every year, many companies will adopt these newer technologies and expect you to figure out how to maintain it. If you focused only on Dell storage, your whole career—and all of a sudden, your company—does a forklift upgrade to NetApp storage, you have to be willing to learn a new system, or get a new job. Adaptability applies not just to technology changes but also personnel changes. In many of our job roles we are tasked to work as a team, and sometimes that proves difficult. Learning to adapt to change can help greatly in this area. Adapting to change means being flexible, and being flexible opens up so many possibilities for success.

Mobility/Mobility Security

The ability to work remotely has increased steadily over the years, and mobile and Internet technology has made advances. With a 4G connection, we can connect and work on spreadsheets in real time with other colleagues, hold virtual boardroom meetings with WebEx and Skype for Business, and check and answer emails as needed on the go. Learning to become proficient with enterprise mobility suites, such as VMware Workspace One (formerly AirWatch), can help you to safely and accurately provide corporate resources to your workforce on the go. With more and more corporations allowing their employees to access corporate resources on their personal mobile devices, it has become increasingly important to secure those resources. Mobility security is an in-demand skill set now and going forward.

Thinking Outside the Box

This is one of the most overused, cliché terms I can think of, but it rings true, especially now. Thinking outside of the box also means creativity or innovation—two terms all over the values statements of major defense industry employers. Companies don’t want employees that will follow the status quo when it comes to bringing solutions to market or managing a data center. There are times when the traditional way of doing things won’t cut it. That’s when you need to get creative and find new ways to do old things. Companies love bringing in a new employee and putting them on a lagging project to see if their fresh set of eyes can see new ways to accomplish what has become stale. Learning this skill can open up lots of doors for you.

…And Much More

There are so many other intangibles that companies want to see in their employees, which is why I’ll go back to my earlier statement—soft skills are king for 2019. More companies will hire you and train you on a technology or process if you have the right soft skills and fit in with their philosophies. Spend some time polishing up your soft skills and see what a difference it can make.

Source: news.clearancejobs.com

Master These Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

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Women sitting behind office desk reviewing a paper and smiling

By Casey Imafidon

To get ahead in your career, you have to bring something new to the table. While it may go beyond skill sets, other requirements for being selected for a position could be based on personal involvements, attributes, or extracurricular activities.

In this digital age, you’ll need these set of skills to stay ahead.

Accountability

There is a difference between passionately volunteering for a project and being committed to its execution. This is where accountability comes in. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew when you take that assignment.

In the modern workplace, be aware of what you are getting into when it comes to accepting a task, and you have to be accountable for the success of such task.

Adaptability

Change is not something you should shy away from in the modern workplace—it is something you should embrace. Getting stuck to old ways of doing things or old rules may not help the advancement of your career. Open your mind to new approaches and thoughts that would help you solve problems faster and better for your organization.

It is all about responding to what the current situation requires. You may have to bend your own rules and beliefs, but this will eventually make you a good people person and next in line for that promotion.

Networking

A simple conversation could pivot your career. You never know whom you are going to meet and how he or she can influence your career.

It becomes important to hold a conversation with anyone at any time and make it drive your progress in the workplace. From speaking to attending events to sending out your business card, consider what networking could do for you.

Focus

This one comes down to how productive you want to become. It is hard to focus or concentrate when there are many things begging for your time in the workplace.

We all reach that point or know that scenario when it is more fun to accomplish the easier things, such as checking emails or going through our social media page.

When it comes to standing out and staying ahead, you may need to practice focusing more so you have more satisfaction and meaning in getting work done.

Listening Attentively

Listening attentively is backed by taking the right actions after you understand a matter. You wouldn’t really understand a matter if you don’t listen or question every decision that is made.

You should be asking for specifics and getting to the root of behaviors or observations. This way, you would have clearer judgement and take smarter actions.

Being Innovative

It all comes down to asking the right questions and thinking of smarter and better ways of getting results. It could be your approach; it could be positioning yourself stronger and meeting the right people in the right way.

You may not necessarily be the hardest worker in the room, but you would be more effective if you push yourself to look for creative solutions to a problem in the workplace.

Confidence

There is a difference between misguided arrogance about your achievements and developing the ability to stand up for ideas. Sometimes, developing confidence helps you ensure and promote the achievements of others. You need confidence in the workplace if you are to deliver, engage, and reach certain goals.

Leadership

Leadership skills could be a source of influence for your co-workers and would get them on board to reach future objectives. Anyone with leadership skills will always gain visibility within an organization and be considered for more opportunities or promotions.

Communication

Whether written or verbal, communication skills help foster relationships with co-workers and superiors in the workplace. With good communication skills, clear expectations can be extracted so that you meet deadlines and deliver excellent work. Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their colleagues in an organization.

Teamwork

There is not much a company can do if it all depends on the activity of a singular person. Success is achieved when different people are working together for a common objective. Team players tend to build a friendly office culture and aid collaboration. Moreover, an organization will fare better when its employees can synthesize their varied talents or strengths.

The modern workplace is looking for persons who can collaborate well with co-workers. If you are a good team player, then you are going to be considered for promotions and career advancement.

Persuasive Skills

There is always that point in your career when you have to tell others about your ideas, services or products. Persuasive skills are necessary for career advancement because you have to be able to form a strong, convincing argument for why the other person should buy your products or services.

Negotiating Skills
In today’s workplace, good negotiating skills are beneficial during both internal and external discussions. Sellers of a new product or idea and customers always require negotiations to thrive in the marketplace. If you can have this quality and maximize it, then you have a great chance of moving upward in your career.

Knowing When and How to Show Empathy

Building relationships and sustaining them is important to long-term career success. Having the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes helps foster relationships and is a key ingredient to getting ahead in your career.

With empathy, you can provide insights and offer support that will help them grow in their job. You don’t have to be in a robotic work environment that limits growth, but with compassion you can steer your coworkers to performing at their peak.

Learn to offer support, sympathy and feedback every day you do business. You will have a more human work environment and be blessed with positive emotional returns.

Problem-Solving Skills

Your work environment presents a series of problem-solving situations. Be proactive at solving problems in an organization by going the extra mile to take the pressure off your boss and colleagues.

Patience with Others

Your patience with others could be vital in a tense situation. While the modern workplace could present stressful situations, how patient you are with coworkers and your superiors could determine your career advancement.

Patience will be noticed by management and perceived as a strong asset in pushing the company forward. There will be times when troublemakers are brought to book for their actions, but you wouldn’t be one of them if you have patience as an asset or skill.

Source: lifehack.org

What Can You Do to Attract Diverse Candidates?

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Woman Applying For Job

Having a more diverse workplace means having people with different talents, skills, and experiences to help solve your organization’s problems.

For example, someone is great at creative problem-solving on the same team as someone who is good at taking those creative ideas and building them into a concrete plan. Also, having different types of personalities and backgrounds in the office helps foster a culture of innovation that can only be brought from bouncing ideas and concepts off one another.

How exactly do you go about finding and recruiting more diverse candidates?

Use social media to its fullest to find diverse talent. You’ve probably been using LinkedIn to source candidates, but have you been using it to its full potential?

There are many professional groups on LinkedIn that promote diversity and having a place for diverse professionals to congregate. For example, The Society of Woman Engineers group is a great avenue for sourcing female engineers.

It doesn’t stop there—there are plenty of groups for African Americans, Latinos, Veterans, and more.

Facebook also offers groups for professionals of similar backgrounds. It also gives you an avenue of showing off your company’s Facebook page, which should be filled with pictures detailing the positive aspects of your company’s culture.

Attend more diverse networking events and career fairs. Networking is always best done in person, so do some research on events happening in your area that are likely to attract diverse talent to meetings. Along with being able to find a promising candidate, attending these events shows everyone in the area that your employer brand is all-inclusive and that you all are putting real effort into sourcing these candidates.

This message goes a long way and leaves a lasting impression on those that may be able to help you in the future.

Have an attractive company culture. To attract diverse candidates, you first need to have a company that people want to work for. This means going into detail describing all of the perks that the position provides its employees, which includes but is not limited to: work outings, vacation time, work-from-home days, insurance plans, free coffee, gym memberships, etc.

You should also have plenty of pictures on your company website and your social media pages of your employees having a good time as well as what the office looks like.

Before you’re able to attract more diverse candidates, you first need to build a company culture that people want to be a part of.

Specify in job description that you all are all-inclusive and promote diversity in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that you put “all-inclusive” in your title. It just means that you should stray from using terminology that could alienate entire groups of candidates.

For example, many women may deem a sales job as unappealing due to masculine terminology being used throughout the job description.

Make yourself aware of these terms that could scare qualified candidates away.

Show off a diverse client base. When a candidate visits your company site with the intent of researching your brand, they’ll be clicking on your “companies we’ve worked with” button and judging your company by your clientele.

Provide a varied representation of the companies you work with so potential employees know diversity isn’t only practiced to strengthen their employer brand but is also woven into your business practices.

Use software tools to help in recruiting. Software helps facilitate diversity in the workplace by using AI to replace manual resume screening with a system that objectively applies screening criteria to all candidates. Taking human biases out of the recruitment process goes a long way when you’re trying to increase diversity—do some research on software that you think will come in handy, then give it a shot!

Be more open with your interview avenues. You should consider using strategies other than the typical in-person interview where some candidates may not be able to accurately share their strengths. For example, video interviews help make candidates more comfortable by giving them the ability to record the interview anywhere and at any time.

Don’t look at names. It’s pretty easy to guess someone’s gender and oftentimes their race just by looking at their names, which means that the second you see a name on a resume, you already made a mental image of what you think the candidate looks like.

By blanking out the names, you are going completely by what matters most—the candidate’s credentials.

Source: wepow.com/en/

Widowed Mother Of Four Begins New Chapter With No. 1 Home Inspection Company

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Sherry OConnor poses outdoors wearing a brown vest and gray sweater

In 2009, when the U.S. economy had taken a down-turn, Sherry and Mike O’Connor were looking for options. They decide to purchase a small machine shop, and moved with their four children from northern Michigan to Nashville, TN. Together they manufactured machines for the tire industry – until 2014 when their world was turned upside down. Mike O’Connor was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

“At that point, we had to sell the business and spent the better part of the next two years learning about and dealing with Mike’s illness,” reflected Sherry. “When Mike passed in 2017, I sold our Nashville house and moved ‘home’ to Northern Michigan, where I had spent every summer of my life and had lived since graduating from college in the mid 80’s. It was the familiarity that brought us back, but I knew that I needed a fresh start in business.”

Over the years Sherry had developed quite a resume. She spent time as a travel agent, restaurant owner, bookkeeper, graphic artist, and real estate agent. “It is my time in real estate that led me to Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, and I know it will prove invaluable to my professional home inspecting business,” Sherry said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

“When I was selling homes, I often said that I was more like a frustrated home inspector. It’s true what they say, ‘no home is without some problems, but every problem has a solution’, and I look forward to easing the process for prospective home buyers.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise go to pillartopostfranchise.com.

Co-Parenting Tips Every Divorcing Couple Needs to Know

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Co-parenting couple arguing in front of their child

It’s well known that nearly half of all marriages in the country end in divorce. The rate is even higher for subsequent marriages.

What many people are not as focused on are the children involved and how to best go about co-parenting in a way that will help them grow into well adjusted adults. July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month, making it an ideal time to place the focus of divorce on the children, and what can be done to help ensure they come out of the situation in healthy manner.

“Divorce may seem like it’s something between the adults, but it is really something impacts the whole family,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offer virtual workshops. “Children need parents who will commit to working together for the health and development of their child.”

In a study published in the journal called The Linacre Quarterly, researchers shared their findings of reviewing three decades worth of research regarding the impact of divorce on the health of children. Their research found that divorce has been shown to diminish a child’s future competence in all areas of life, including family relationships, education, emotional well-being, and future earning power. Parents can help to counter the negative impact that divorce has on the children by focusing on effective co-parenting that will help ensure their success throughout life.

Children who see their parents continuing to work together are more likely to learn how to effectively and peacefully solve problems themselves. They will also have a healthy example to follow. It’s important for parents to remember that their feelings about their ex does not, and should not, dictate their behavior. It’s better to focus on being a positive example, putting your child’s well being in the spotlight.

Patel offers some tips that will help with ensuring co-parenting success:

  • Commit to making co-parenting an open dialogue with your ex. Arrange to do this through email, texting, voicemail, letters, or face-to-face conversations. In the beginning, it may be hard to have a civil dialogue with your ex. There are even websites where you can upload schedules, share information and communicate so you and your ex don’t have to directly touch base.
  • The key is consistency. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same between the two households, but you and your ex should establish generally consistent guidelines. They should be mutually agreed upon for both households. For example, meal time, bed time, and completing homework need to consistent. This helps create a sense of belonging and creates a sense of security and predictability for children. Discuss and come to an agreement about each of these issues.
  • Don’t give in to guilt and try and outdo your ex by gifting you child with things, instead agree on discipline. This includes things like behavioral guidelines, rewards, and consequences, so there is consistency in their lives, regardless of which parent they’re with at any given time. Research shows that children in homes with a unified parenting approach have greater well-being.
  • Keep in mind that children will frequently test boundaries and rules, especially if there’s a chance to get something they may not ordinarily be able to obtain. This is why a united front in co-parenting is recommended.
  • Be flexible and update often. If there are changes at home, in your life, it is important that your child is never the primary source of information.
  • Speak in positive language about your ex. Remember, often times, the marriage is what was the issue, not the parenting style. Each of you has valuable strengths as a parent. Remember to recognize the different traits you and your ex have – and reinforce this awareness with your children.
  • Children exposed to conflict between co-parents are more likely to develop issues such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. Keeping this in mind, strive to keep conflict around them to a minimal or none at all.
  • Keep the conversations child-focused. This will leave out problems that you and your ex have with each other. The focus now needs to be on the children.

“Effective and healthy co-parenting may be difficult at first and it make time some time to work everything out,” added Patel. “But getting this part right in the long run is going to have a huge positive impact on your children, so it’s worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help to put a plan together or determine how to best put co-parenting into action.”

Patel has a new debut radio show on Dash Radio, North America’s first mainstream South Asian radio station, which premiered in April 2019. The station was founded by Rukus Avenue Music Group, and can be heard 24-7 on the Dash Radio app, as well as on the on the Dash Radio platform at DashRadio.com.

Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She also offers concierge parenting services, helping families to reach specific goals, such as focusing on college admission. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.  She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at www.reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

Sources:
The Linacre Quarterly. The impact of family structure on the health of the children: Effects of divorce. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240051/

UPS Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Women Exporters Program Workshops In The U.S.

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UPS representatives at the UPS booth during the WBENC Business Fair 2019

As part of its continuing efforts to create an inclusive business environment and growth opportunities for women, UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced the launch of the Women Exporters Program workshops for U.S. businesses.

The program will help women business owners and leaders to gain access to the vast global marketplace, comprising 95% of the world’s buyers.

In the U.S., there are nearly 12 million women-owned small businesses, yet women-owned businesses comprise just 12% of U.S. exporters. Providing training to enable small- and medium-sized businesses owned by women to export would help propel those companies onto the world stage. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, “In a ‘full potential’ scenario in which women play an identical role in (global) labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.”

To provide a pathway for cross-border business opportunities, the U.S. launch of the Women Exporters Program  began at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference & Business Fair, one of the largest events of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. At WBENC, UPS hosted a series of workshops and offered one-to-one coaching sessions, providing:

  • Insights and training on export strategies;
  • Tools and resources to enter new markets;
  • Insights on how to build an export-friendly digital presence; and
  • Guidance on package flow and preparing an export shipment.

UPS experts also provided tips on targeting, research, documentation and shipping processes to help build confidence and competence. The workshops are the first step in the U.S., with additional training sessions being planned for the future.

The U.S. launch is part of a global deployment of the program, which began in May 2019 in Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Vietnam, with planned expansion to the United Arab Emirates in September 2019 in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the SheTrades initiative. The business training will help women entrepreneurs expand their potential customer base and growth potential, while strengthening communities. According to independent research commissioned by ITC conducted in 20 developing countries, women in those locations tend to invest up to 90% of their income in their children’s health and education. Helping women entrepreneurs build export skills has the potential to reduce intergenerational cycles of poverty.

“As a leading global logistics company, we have deep insights into how businesses move across borders and grow,” said Eduardo Martinez, UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer and president of The UPS Foundation. “Delivering this knowledge and expertise to women entrepreneurs to help expand their business opportunities is just one of the ways we’re helping to catalyze economic prosperity and inclusion across our value chain of customers, suppliers and communities. Our collaboration with ITC, and the launch of the U.S. program with long-time partner WBENC, are demonstrations of the power of public-private partnerships which will advance women entrepreneurs all over the world.”

Kathleen Marran, UPS VP of Diverse Market Segments, confirms the demand for the program, “No matter where I have traveled this year, from the UAE at a SheTrade event, to DC with the National Association of Women Business Owners, to the Women Presidents’ Organization national conference in Charlotte, to the WBENC Women Exporters Program lab, I am so encouraged by the energy, commitment and innovation coming from these women-owned and women-run businesses. Sharing UPS tools, approaches and expertise to help them achieve their objectives is not only worthwhile because it’s smart business, it is meaningful because of the progress we’re able to create.”

In March 2019, UPS was selected for WBENC’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) Hall of Fame. While UPS has been recognized previously as a WBENC Top Corporation, this marks the inaugural year for this new, pinnacle designation, and UPS is one of only nine companies selected.

Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, said, “UPS has been a strong partner and consistent leader in increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion sets the example, and we are so proud to have inducted them into our inaugural Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises Hall of Fame. The UPS Women Exporters Program launching at our National Conference & Business Fair will truly help move the needle for women-owned businesses by expanding opportunities to new markets and providing opportunities for exponential growth.”

UPS’s commitment to empowering women business owners is part of its broader diversity and inclusion efforts focused on employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. UPS recently announced a collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote women’s economic empowerment and improve women entrepreneurs’ ability to export. UPS’s Supplier Diversity commitment enables women- and minority-owned businesses to gain access into UPS’s global purchasing of products and services. UPS’s employee programs focused on diversity and inclusion help foster an inclusive environment that enables each person to learn, grow and contribute.

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter. Learn more about our sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2018, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $114.9 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/Foundation and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter.

Want That Promotion? 6 Tips to Get You There

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professional woman sitting at desk in office smiling

Whether you’re dreaming of a higher salary, greater professional challenges, or both, the following tips will help you get the promotion you deserve.

1 Find a Mentor Within Your Company

A mentor can help guide all facets of your career, including your journey up the professional career ladder. You can make your mentoring relationship a formal one obtained through a mentoring program or an informal one. Choose a mentor you feel comfortable with so that you can talk openly and honestly. Your mentor should also feel comfortable enough with you to point out your weaknesses and how you might work on them.

While any mentor can help you, the most beneficial ones are senior professionals within your organization. In addition to providing insight into the company and its expectations, your mentor can put a good word in for you with people who occupy significant leadership positions within the company.

2 Maintain a Positive Attitude

You might find staying positive difficult as deadlines loom and roadblocks hamper your professional efforts. But it’s worth doing whatever you can to keep a smile on your face. According to CareerBuilder research, employers say that having a negative or pessimistic attitude is the top obstacle standing in the way of workers getting promoted.

When you feel angry or frustrated at work, remember to take a few deep breaths and keep your composure. Maintaining your upbeat attitude, even when faced with adversity, can pay off.

3 Maintain Professional Standards

Maintaining professional standards is immensely important. But you might be surprised by how often workers let those standards slip when they’re comfortable in their workplaces.

Additional employer turnoffs reported to CareerBuilder include all types of professional faux pas including the following: regularly arriving to work late or leaving early, using vulgar language within the workplace, and taking an excessive amount of sick days. At minimum, break these bad habits, then add some new ones: Dress smartly at all times, even on casual days. Ask questions when you’re unsure about something. Avoid whining or complaining when something doesn’t go your way; instead problem-solve a way to fix them.

4 Start Promoting Yourself

We’re taught from an early age that modesty is a virtue, but humble will only get you so far up the corporate ladder. If you’re leaning toward a promotion, you need to know how to promote yourself first.

Chat with your manager about your career aspirations and how your supervisor thinks you’re tracking to meet them. Don’t be afraid to take credit for your role in the company’s successes. Get into the habit of writing monthly emails to your manager detailing your recent role in helping sales managers with their work, for example. Keep a personal record of your achievements so that you can easily recall them if you’re asked why you deserve a promotion.

5 Volunteer for More Responsibilities

You might feel like you’re busy enough with your own tasks, but if you can take on extra responsibilities, you’ll show that you’re a valuable member of the team and one worthy of promotion. Consider volunteering for jobs not only within your department but also in other areas of the company. The tasks you’ll receive from other related departments will give you an opportunity to understand more about the business and potentially gain new skills.

6 Gain New Knowledge

In the modern business environment, qualifications matter. The good news is that in the digital age, these qualifications are easier to get than ever before. Many credible colleges offer online courses that allow you to pursue your bachelor’s degree or advanced degrees from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. You might also consider enrolling in seminars and conferences that deepen your understanding of your industry and the latest technology used within it.

Don’t keep your educational studies a secret, though. You’ll likely impress your boss by your initiative, and your employer may offer to reimburse you for some of the tuition costs involved with your academic studies.

When you combine the right professional skills and professional attitude, you’ll have the qualities and the mindset you need to impress your boss when you ask for that promotion you know you deserve.

Source: CareerBuilder.com

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 from 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.

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