How Writing the Word 'Done' Can Make You More Successful

Advice from Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff


The Sound of Your Voice Tells Employers How Intelligent You Are

Employers rated candidates higher when they heard, rather than read, their pitches


The Psychological Effects of Unemployment

Lack of work causes decline in conscientiousness and agreeableness


7 Companies Hiring Right Now

Top 7 Companies Hiring This Week 23-28 January 2015



  • Macy's (Public)
    Retail
    Cincinnati, OH
    | 10,000 - 25,000 employees |









  • Healthcare - Health Services
    10,000 - 25,000 employees |
    Veteran Hiring Initiatives


  • Consumer Products
    Olean, NY



  • Automotive - Motor Vehicles - Parts
    < 100 employees |
    Veteran Hiring Initiatives




  • Computer Software
    5,000 - 10,000 employees |
    Video
  • 20 Pink-Collar Jobs Dominated By Women

    Registered nurses, elementary school teachers primarily female



    Nurses prize giving 1950s

    By Kathleen Elkins

    Nursing - like teaching and waitressing - is among the occupations that economists call "pink-collared jobs," or professions long dominated by women.

    While more and more men are donning the pink-collar and facing the social stigma associated with "women's work," numbers tell us that we have a long way to go when it comes to evening out representation in certain fields.

    One of these occupations is nursing. Nine out of 10 registered nurses are female.

    Other occupations where women are highly concentrated include human resources manager, social worker, and counselor.

    Economists warn against such staggering disproportions, and believe that more integrated occupations would make the economy more efficient.

    Behavioral economist, Teresa Ghilarducci, told the New York Times that artificial barriers, such as the stigma around "women's work," make it more difficult for companies to find the best matches when hiring.

    IdeasFisherman created the following visual using data from the United States Department of Labor to show the disproportionate representation of women in certain jobs:

    Here Are The Top-Pay!ng Jobs In High Demand Right Now

    These positions may pay well, but you'll need to be well trained for many of them.





    If you're looking to make serious money with plenty of opportunity to find work, Glassdoor has something for you: its annual 25 best jobs. These are the cream of the crop, jobs that pay from just under $91,000 to a bit more than $212,000 a year and that are in high demand from employers, with anywhere from 1,264 job listings to more than 90,000.

    Glassdoor chose job titles that had at least 75 salary reports from U.S. employees over the last year and that were in the top half of job openings per title over the last three months. Top of the food chain, by far, were physicians, with an annual base salary of $212,270 (with bonuses and other compensation, the salary numbers may not show full compensation) and 7984 job openings.

    Next were pharmacy managers ($131,009, 1787 jobs), software architects ($130,891, 3229 jobs), software development managers ($123,747, 2249 jobs), and finance managers ($123,534, 9224 jobs).

    The jobs roughly fall into three categories. The biggest is high tech, which represented a baker's dozen of the jobs. Four jobs were in the healthcare industry, which shouldn't be a surprise, given the size of the industry and recent political emphasis on healthcare delivery. Seven of the remaining ones were in areas of business management, leaving lawyers in a category of their own.

    Many of these positions require significant amounts of training and experience, although that can sometimes come in various forms. Software engineers had the largest number of opportunities, with 99,055 positions. Many people go into the field with a traditional degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or other discipline. But some with two-year degrees will find a home, as will many who go through a programming boot camp to quickly and intensely learn the necessary skills.

    Also, keep in mind that between the salaries being average numbers and self-reported by people, they may or may not represent an accurate view of how much someone can reasonably expect to make doing one of these jobs.





    1. Physician

    1/10

    Average base salary: $212,000
    Number of job openings: 8,000*
    > Find a job as a physician
    *Job openings and salary data sourced from Glassdoor study.


    2. Pharmacy Manager

    2/10

    Average base salary: $131,000
    Number of job openings: 1,800
    > Find a job as a pharmacy manager


    3. Software Architect

    3/10

    Average base salary: $131,000
    Number of job openings: 3,200
    > Find a job as a software architect



    Read More:   Here Are The Top-Pay!ng Jobs In High Demand Right Now

    Email signatures – what’s in and what’s out in 2015





    When it comes to animated signatures, religious quotes, multiple kinds of fonts or career histories--just don't.
    Remember when there were rumors going around that you'd soon have to buy "e-stamps" to send your emails? This technology myth originated in the early 2000's, and it's laughable now to consider the number of "e-stamps" you'd have to buy simply to get through a day's work.
    Email is the go-to tool in today's workplace, due to the number of people we communicate with in other departments, offices, businesses and time zones. In a world that's always working, your best bet to get in touch with people is through email. Which is why it's so important to have an email signature that's easily readable and conveys the necessary information.
    In 2015, here is what experts say is in—and out—for email signatures.

    Basic contact information: IN
    Your email signature has to start somewhere, and that's usually with your basic contact information. Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide," says, "Always put yourself in the seat of the person reading your email. If you have reached out with a request, what information will make it as easy as possible to respond to you? And what other items will make it more likely for the reader to feel compelled to follow up especially if you two are not acquainted?"
    Essentially, this means your professional information, such as title, function and/or company affiliation, Cohen says. "When there is some mystery or uncertainty about who you really are, it is less likely that you will get a response. Online scams are far too common and that has produced a skepticism that is easy to appreciate."

    Images and distracting fonts: OUT
    Older websites used to feature auto-play music, slow-to-load images and fonts that were hard to read. Unfortunately, many email signatures still look like those outdated websites and need to be upgraded to a more modern style. "Compatibility is essential for signatures, because email is sent and received across a wide variety of mail clients and devices," says Kyle Turco, creative manager for TechnologyAdvice, a company that researches and analyzes business technology to help companies find IT solutions. "Having elements in your signature that only work on a specific mail client will cause problems. Standard system fonts are best. The 'boring' fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana are your friend when it comes to email. They work on every system, which gives complete control over their appearance."
    You may also be tempted to add a headshot of yourself or include images from your websites. However, Turco says, "Never embed images into an email signature. They are bad news for several reasons. First, some email clients don't load images. If all of your important information is embedded in an image file, your recipient may never see it. Second, they typically show up as attachments. It's confusing and frustrating for every email from you to come in marked with an attachment if none of them have actual attachments."

    Legal disclaimers: OUT
    "There is much debate about the validity of legal disclaimers," says Ricardo Trigueiro, vice president of marketing and branding for Chuva Group, a firm specializing in image and brand development. "As far as a legal disclaimer, your company will add that if necessary. If you work for yourself, chances are you do not need a legal disclaimer." Be sure to ask a legal expert if you're unsure, but oftentimes general email communication won't disclose information that would warrant a legal disclaimer.

    Email address: IN
    Email addresses in your signature may feel redundant. After all, the email you're sending offers your email address, right? But by including your email address in your signature, you're making things easier for your contacts. Cohen says, "If you made the effort to reach out, then save the reader the effort of having to determine your email address. Also consider the possibility that the individual receiving it may want to create a contact file for you. You eliminate their need to scramble to gather that information by making it readily available." Your email may also be forwarded to other contacts, and including your email address ensures you're still easily reachable.

    Career history: OUT
    If you've written a new book or have been featured in the media recently for your work, including these highlights can be a great way to call attention to your expertise. However, this professional touch loses its appeal when email senders include their entire career history and every record of praise they've ever received. When your email signature is longer than your message, your self-importance seems exaggerated. "Email signatures should be short and simple," Turco says. "They need to contain enough information for your recipient to easily learn more about you—job title, company, phone number, and one or two social links—but shouldn't be your resume in email form."
    Your email signature is the final impression you make on somebody when sending them a message. Be sure that message is saying what you mean it to, and end it on a high note with an email signature that's clean, professional and helpful.

    How Video Games Can Help You In A Job Hunt




    Super Mario bros video game - World 1 level 1
    Generally when you're on a job hunt, experts will advise you to stop wasting time playing video games. Your time, they'd argue, would be better spent honing your resume, crafting your cover letter, and stepping up your overall networking skills. They're not wrong, but they're also not right. New research shows video games can provide surprising advantages. It's possible they can also serve you well in a job hunt, but only if you're willing to learn some of the logic behind successful games.

    I was first introduced to the value of video games in a mesmerizing TED talk by Jane McGonigal on how video games can give you a longer life. I followed her personal story of resilience and theories on health care empowerment on her site SuperBetter, built entirely on principles she learned as a game developer. She describes SuperBetter as, among many other things, a system to:
    • Build up your core strengths - physical, mental, emotional and social
    • Help you through a tough time, or with a difficult change
    Who doesn't need those attributes when on a job hunt? I certainly did, and in the process gained new
    respect for video games and the skills they can help us attain in landing our next new opportunity. Here are a few of them:


    It's about leveling up. In any great game, you gain skills at each level, and slowly move up to higher levels with more difficult challenges. In a job hunt, no one gets a resume right on the first draft. It's a skill that needs honing, both in format, language, and tone. All you can do each day is try again to get a little better at the resume and job hunting game, and slowly, but surely, you will. Calls will start coming in--if not at first, then when you've hit a certain level of aptitude. Look at each challenge in the job hunting game as a new level to be mastered, and don't beat yourself up when you haven't won a particular level on a particular day. There's always tomorrow.

    It's about epic wins. Gaming, according to McGonigal, is based on solid scientific principles, including the concept of "epic wins"--the achievement of great things you never thought possible. In the work world, Jim Collins, author of the business best-seller Good to Great, is the undisputed expert on greatness. He defines epic wins as BHAGS -- pronounced "Be-hags." The acronym stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals, and the value of them is perhaps best described in the book's subtitle: "Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't."

    His website is an easy place to quickly learn some of his most famous ideas, including:
    "Whether you prevail or fail depends more on what you to do to yourself than on what the world does to you."
    Powering Up. In the world of video games, what you do to yourself can be defined as "powering up." In a game, you're likely to face monsters, villains, rabbits eating your valuable carrot crop, or any other assortment of challenges. Great gamers know they have to sometimes slow down on a level to gather strength from charms, gain points to be banked for difficult levels, or get help/extra lives from available resources, including fellow gamers.

    In the job hunt world, the same principles apply. You have to know when to rest, when to exercise, how to stay sober and calm, and when to ask for help. No successful job hunt is done totally alone, hence the emphasis many place on networking, job coaches, and job clubs.

    Relieving stress. I became addicted to the infamous Candy Crush Saga when I was employed, not unemployed. It was a time when I was horribly stressed and needed to quiet my mind from the daily grind at work. A wiser person may have learned to meditate. I learned to play Candy Crush.

    Looking for a job is considered one of the top five stress inducers in life. But when you're stressed, it's hard to have a great interview, write powerful cover letters, or put hiring managers at ease that you're a great team player. One of the most important skills to master in a job hunt is the ability to calm down, including how to assume the Wonder Woman pose, advocated by Harvard scientist Amy Cuddy, just before a job interview. It works. I've tried it.

    Earning the prize. In Super Mario Bros, the small and unlikely heroes need to climb mountains, jump gaps, and persevere through untold challenges in order to save the princess. In a job hunt, the prize is a job, not a princess. But like the brothers, you will have to jump some amazing hurdles to reach your mountaintop. Success is a combination of believing it's possible, being patient, repeatedly working your way over barriers, being courageous, and constantly moving forward.

    No one would argue that a job hunt is a game. It's a serious endeavor to secure a sustainable livelihood. But if you can find the wherewithal to approach your job hunt much as you would a game, you might just enjoy the entire process a little bit more. At the very least, you may learn some valuable lessons about social science, game theory, and gameplay that will serve you well not only in the job hunt, but in your next job, where epic wins really are the basis of being a valued star employee over the long haul.    

    Work Rules Around the World Show Range of Practices, Culture

    Which countries have the longest workweek?


    How to Make and Keep Resolutions in 2015

    This year, stop phoning in your professional life



    new year  new you motivational...

    Don't let another year go by without accomplishing at least one of your New Year's resolutions. Happify created a fun scientific Infographic to help you navigate the best ways to stick to your goals. Here are my top five ways career resolutions you can make (and keep) this year.

    Set a physical goal. And then tie it to a career goal. I know this sounds weird in the context of your career, but one the best ways of accomplishing career success is to attach it to the confidence and endorphins that come with your first 5K. Match your first public speech with the completion of three CrossFit classes.

    Learn a completely new skill. The complaint I hear all the time regarding career isn't you're underpaid, overworked, unappreciated...it's that you're bored. Take on more projects, take risks and challenge yourself. If you've been phoning it in for years, your resolution should be to find ways to make your job more challenging, not less.

    Restart a conversation. Of course you want to make new contacts, but one of the most overlooked ways of reviving your career is reconnecting with the people you know, but on a closer level. We tend not to take full advantage of the connections we have. Use LinkedIn to dig a little deeper and get to know your professional peers a little better.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Your online professional photo is one of the best ways to capture your identity within your professional setting. A few rules, though: No dogs unless you're a vet, no wedding dress except if you're a designer, no kids unless you are a pediatrician... The goal is to have your contacts see you in the context of your professional identify. And remember: Your LinkedIn profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you include a photo.


    Time for a makeover. It takes a few seconds to make a first impression. Don't let your attire distract from your great work. Step one: Weed through your closet. You know those scuffed pumps, boxy blazers and the sweater that sheds to no end? Time to toss. Enlist a savvy and stylish friend to take you shopping. Don't end the day before buying at least five pieces that will help you stand out at the office. Think of this new wardrobe as an investment in your professional brand.

    The 3 Big Mistakes Older Job Seekers Are Making

    How to maximize social media and mobile to find work



    senior business man computing silhouette


    By Richard Eisenberg

    As the editor of the Work & Purpose channel for Next Avenue, I'd be the first to acknowledge that getting hired after age 50 isn't easy.

    But after combing through the new 2015 Job Seeker Nation Study from Jobvite, a recruiting platform, and speaking with Jobvite's CEO Dan Finnigan about it, I'm convinced that many job hunters over 50 are making three big mistakes. Correcting these could make them stronger candidates and, in some cases, winning candidates.

    Before I go into each, it's worth noting that Jobvite's report on its online survey of 2,084 adults says that the biggest news this year is that the "recovering economy has placed job seekers in the driver's seat."

    Easier to Find Work Now

    Says Finnigan: "The labor market is very hot right now. People are looking for their next move and we see it across all age groups." The reason: Fewer people surveyed said it was difficult to find a job in 2014 compared to 2013.

    But older people looking for work need to realize that "a new job isn't going to fall into your lap," says Finnigan. "You've got to change the way you look for a job."

    The 3 Big Mistakes of Older Job Seekers

    Here are three mistakes job hunters in their 50s and 60s are making and how they can fix them to improve their chances:

    1. They're not using social media and mobile job apps enough to find out about jobs and to apply for them. When Jobvite asked: "Which of the following resources did you use that directly led to finding your current/most recent job," only 3 percent of those 55 and older and 5 percent of those age 40 to 54 said "social network." By contrast, 19 percent of respondents 18 to 29 did.

    "The social network numbers for older workers don't make sense today, when you consider that 73 percent of recruiters hire through social networks and 93 percent say they view applicants' social profile before making a decision," says Finnigan.

    The mobile story was similar. Just 4 percent of Jobvite's respondents 55 and older and 5 percent of those 40 to 54 said they used a mobile career site to find their current or most recent job. But 13 percent of people 18 to 29 did. (One of my favorite stats from the survey: 18 percent of job hunters who use their smartphones to look for work have done so in the restroom.)

    "In today's job market, the early bird gets the worm. If someone finds out about a job walking down the hallway looking at their phone or while in a restaurant, they're seeing it before the older job seeker who's used to doing it at night on their laptop or - God forbid - through the newspaper classifieds on the weekend," says Finnigan.

    2. They're not getting the most out of Facebook to find jobs. Just 10 percent of survey respondents age 40 to 54 said they use Facebook to find connections and network. But, Finnigan says, you should use Facebook much the way you use LinkedIn (you do use LinkedIn, right?).

    "Too many older job seekers use Facebook just as a photo-sharing tool - to see what their kids or grandkids are doing, but not as a utility to research and find job resources," says Finnigan. "If you're inclined to start a job search by asking people you know, you're more likely to find them on Facebook than on LinkedIn."

    He advises job seekers to modify their Facebook profile to include information about their work and career expertise. "So many people don't fill out their professional profile there," says Finnigan. "If you do, you're more likely to have that information show up in a search engine." (Be sure to adjust your Facebook privacy settings so your professional information is findable by search engines.)

    Also, Finnigan says, do a search on Facebook not just with the name of an employer where you'd like to work but that employer's name plus "people who work at ________" (that employer). Then, you'll find people in your Facebook network who work there or are connected to people who work there and you can contact them about job possibilities.

    3. They're not using Twitter wisely for their job search because they're too introverted there. "Twitter is where extroverts thrive," says Finnigan, because every tweet you send is findable by anyone.

    Introverts tend to use Twitter just to read what others are posting and to follow Twitter feeds of companies. It's fine to use Twitter partly to gather information this way (just remember to look for Twitter handles not just with the company's name but also with the word "jobs" at the end, such as @StarbucksJobs, since that's where some firms put their employment info).

    But you'll get the most out of Twitter when job searching by tweeting out news and articles to the Twitterverse. That way, prospective employers and hiring managers will see that you're keeping current and have impressive social media skills.

    "Share content you find interesting and you think would interest people you want to work with," says Finnigan. "Then, people will reach out to you and recruiters and companies will find you."      

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    Know your rights about vaccines, ill colleagues, and more


    Can I Put An Ad On Craigslist Saying My Former Employee Is A Thief?

    4 reasons you shouldn't slam your former employee in print


    Office worker wearing balaclava, standing behind office partition


    In one of my rare questions from an employer (and yes, I'll answer employer questions here), an AOL Jobs reader asks:

    I am a supervisor in a small company, and we hired a new employee that lied about his address, social security number, references, and overall job history. We eventually called the police to surveil him after hours and we found out he was stealing products, materials, and client info.
    He is currently awaiting trial.

    We have since put a new ad out to replace his position and the idiot applied to it. He falsified his references and everything in his reply to it is a bold faced lie. We would like other companies to know about him to not hire him.

    Can we legally put an ad on Craigslist detailing how he is a thief and should never be trusted? (Using his name and his whole ruse). We have proof of everything, and want to protect other small businesses. We are in Illinois.

    Wow. What a question. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. The answer, of course, is yes you can put an ad on Craigslist denouncing a former employee. Since Craigslist lets you pay the fee and design the ad so it goes up automatically, nothing would stop you. The question, then, is should you? Are there any legal problems you will encounter if you do?

    Here are 4 legal problems I see with your proposal to slam your former employee:

    1. Terms of use: The first problem I see is that this might violate Craigslist's own terms of use which prohibit, "offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or malicious postings or email." If Craigslist decided that your post was malicious or offensive, even if it wasn't technically defamatory, then they could take it down or even ban you from future postings.

    2. Defamation: Defamation is where you post a false statement of fact. If you can prove that everything you say is true, then that should be a defense to a defamation claim. However, you could still find yourself facing a defamation suit that could cost you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars to defend. If you win and get a judgment against him to pay your fees and costs, can he pay? Not likely. So you eat your fees and costs and get sucked into a lengthy and probably nasty legal proceeding.

    3. Intrusion on seclusion: Even if you are telling the truth, Illinois and many other states recognize a claim for invasion of privacy if you intrude on the seclusion of another. The elements of this claim are: (1) an unauthorized intrusion or prying into the former employee's seclusion; (2) the intrusion is highly offensive or objectionable to a reasonable person; (3) you reveal a private matter; (4) you caused anguish and suffering. Would this publication illegally intrude on his seclusion? Is a pending criminal case private? Maybe not. But again, you have to decide if it's worth the hassle.

    4. Public disclosure of private facts: Illinois recognizes another kind of invasion of privacy if you publicly disclose private facts about the former employee. The elements of that claim are: (1) private facts were publicly disclosed; (2) the facts were private and not public facts; and (3) the facts disclosed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. If anything you disclose is not in the public record of his criminal cases, then you might cross the line here.

    These are just some of the potential downsides I see to this course of action. I'd love to hear from other employment lawyers who can think of more reasons why this plan is a bad idea. Post your thoughts in the comments section.

    Bottom line is that you get nothing but the satisfaction of revenge against an employee who irked you, and have plenty of risk. If I were your management-side lawyer, I would advise against it. Although some employee-side employment lawyer in Illinois will probably rub their hands together with glee if you actually do it.

    In general, employers who take revenge on former employees are just asking for trouble.      

    7 Things Successful Older Job Hunters Always Remember

    Use the advantages that you have and emphasize the benefits you can provide an employer.



    Mature woman using telephone at desk in office, smiling


    If you're over 50 and looking for a job, it's too easy to assume that companies all prefer younger people. That's a mistake. You have strengths, experiences, and qualities that many employers want. The trick is to remember what you can offer and to put it front and center, according to a recent survey of 1,913 human resources professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    As SHRM noted in another analysis, mature workers "have experience and skills honed during decades of employment" that offer significant benefits to employers. They will also be increasingly necessary to companies. Mature workers come from a demographically large generation and the "population of younger workers with the education and skills to replace Baby Boomers is not large enough -- or growing fast enough -- to make up for the older generation's departure."


    The percentage of workers who are 55 or older is projected to grow by 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, while the percentage from 25 to 55 will likely expand by only 2 percent. "There will not be enough younger workers for all the positions an organization needs to fill, particularly those requiring advanced manufacturing skills or advanced education in science, technology, engineering and math," says SHRM.

    All that is good news for the older job seeker, but to seal the deal, you need to remind potential employers of the top benefits they're likely to appreciate in hiring someone who is mature. Here are the top qualities you should demonstrate and communicate, based on the top five advantages employers perceive older workers having:
    • Show your business knowledge and skills, which 77 percent of those polled cited. That means polishing your resume and personal presentation to show what you have.
    • Seventy-one percent said that older workers are more mature and professional. Keep your job hunt and interviewing approach appropriate.
    • A strong work ethic is important, according to 70 percent.
    • You're not just there to perform a job but to be a mentor to younger workers, said 63 percent of respondents. Note your willingness to work with younger employees.
    • Fifty-nine percent of HR professionals thought that older workers were more reliable. Be sure to reinforce this notion at every step.
    • Proofread everything you send, as 45 percent of HR pros said that older workers showed better written English than younger people.
    • Be ready to demonstrate your critical thinking and self-direction, mentioned by 28 percent and 23 percent of respondents, respectively.

    Many companies have yet to understand the importance of hiring older workers, but by communicating through speech, writing, action, and examples the benefits you offer, you should find employers who will respond positively.      

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    Millions of women have been hit hard by America's retirement income-security crisis


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    No. 1: "Motivated"


    Can I Be Fired For Piercings That Were Okay Until They Changed The Dress Code?

    Can an employer change appearance rules after you are hired?


    close up of a woman ear with an ...

    An AOL Jobs reader asks:
    So I've been trying to find out if an employer has the right to fire an employee for piercings or covered/nonvisible tattoos if at the point of hire the employee was within the dress/personal appearance code. I have piercings (two in both ears, all plugs all less than 3/8") and no visible tattoos and when I was hired I was in code. Two weeks ago the dress policy changed to make my piercings no longer in code.

    When I was hired I took out my lip ring, it wasn't to code. By code we are allowed to have one stud per ear (my second set is small and filled with a plug that makes them appear to not be there at work) with a face no larger than a 1/2", and now the code specifically states that employees with gauged ears must remove their jewelry before work. If that had been a condition of employment when I was hired I would not have taken the job since I have spent time, effort, and money to properly gauge my ears to the size they are. The jewelry I prefer for my ears is in gauged sizes. Now my preference might cost me my job if I refuse to let my ears shrink.

    Keep in mind I understand the concept of at will employment and will probably be job hunting soon just to avoid the conflict if it becomes an issue. That said and set aside, I am asking mostly out of curiosity and partly because I like my job and would like to figure out the legal standing for the issue.

    You probably know about the concept of "grandfathering" that you hear sometimes when laws or rules change. The idea is that people who were in compliance with the law before it changed are allowed to keep things the way they were. While this is common with things like zoning laws, I've never heard of an employer "grandfathering" an employee in on any rules change.

    If your piercings are just a personal preference, then you're probably out of luck. There are limited circumstances where a dress code change might be illegally applied.

    Here are some examples:
    • Religious discrimination: If the piercings relate to some religious requirement or belief, then you might have a religious discrimination claim. Your employer might have to accommodate your religious belief, especially since you've been wearing the items with no hardship on the employer to date.
    • Disability discrimination: I can't imagine how, but let's say the gauges had some medical purpose. Your employer might have to grant an accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act and let you wear them.
    • National origin discrimination: If the gauges are something you wear as part of your culture, and the dress code impacts people of your culture and not others, then maybe there's an argument for national origin discrimination. This would be similar to banning dreadlocks that had been allowed when only one Jamaican employee in the workplace has the dreadlocks. If the policy is directed at a particular national origin or race, you might have protection.
    • Retaliation: If you're the only person affected by the change, and the rules change came right after you blew the whistle on something illegal, made a worker's compensation claim or took Family and Medical Leave, you might be able to show that the rules change was done to retaliate against you illegally.

    I'm betting none of these apply to your situation. You might ask if they'd consider grandfathering you under the rules. If not, you may have to either take the gauges out or find another job.

    Why don't employers grandfather employees whose appearance was okay under older rules? I have no answer. Employers do lots of arbitrary stuff.

    If any managers or HR people can explain this one to me, I'd love to hear it.

    Do Women Make Better Managers Than Men?

    Gallup poll reports female managers engage their employees more than their male peers



    Businesswoman Addressing Meeting Around Boardroom Table

    Lean in, ladies. According to a recent Gallup survey, employees who work for female managers in the U.S. are more engaged than those who work for male managers. Female employees who work for female managers are the most engaged, at 35 percent. Female employees who work for a male manager make up 31 percent. At 29 percent are male employees who work for female managers. Male employees who report to male managers are the least engaged, at 25 percent.

    Female managers themselves also tend to be more engaged than their male counterparts, with Gallup finding that 41 percent of female managers were engaged at work, compared to 35 percent of male managers. This applies to female managers of every working-age generation, including ones who have children in their household. Managers who are more engaged tend to be more likely to contribute to their workplace's current and future success.

    How does Gallup measure employee engagement? They use the Q12, a 12-item survey that addresses specific elements of engagement that will predict employee and workgroup performance. The 12 Elements of Great Managing Are:
    • I know what is expected of me at work.
    • I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
    • At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
    • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
    • My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
    • There is someone at work who encourages my development.
    • At work, my opinions seem to count.
    • The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
    • My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
    • I have a best friend at work.
    • In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
    • This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
    Employees who work for female managers outscored those who work for male managers on every Q12 element but one. When it comes to setting clear work expectations, creating a positive team environment, as well as giving employees helpful feedback, recognition, and opportunities for career growth, female managers eclipse male managers.      

    How and Why To Write Thank You Notes After An Interview

    There's an art to writing a great thank you note

    close up of old typewriter with ...

    Common sense says to write a thank-you note after an interview. But like Emily Post, are thank-you notes now a thing of the antiquated past?

    No, dear Millennial, they are not. And no, dear Boomer, they are not an obvious common courtesy.

    When properly done, post-interview thank-you notes serve several distinct purposes. Unfortunately, most notes are not executed well and don't really contribute to your chances of landing the job.

    For example, here is an actual hand-written note I received after an interview:
    "Dear Rhona:
    I want to Thank You for taking the time to meet with me regarding the ____ position. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope to speak with you again soon.
    Sincerely,
    __________."
    See anything wrong with it? Before you answer, here's a hint. The thing most wrong is what's not in it.

    A great thank-you note should accomplish a few things that this note--while still nice--does not. It should:
    • Help the interviewer consider you more strongly by showing your passion
    • Improve an answer to a question you may not have nailed
    • Answer a question the interviewer posed and didn't leave time to address
    • Provide deeper follow-up to a point you may have made
    • Provide another example of how you can help the organization based on something mentioned during the interview
    Of course, one letter can't (and shouldn't try to) address all five points. But even though thank-you notes should be relatively short, the content or "meat" of them still takes precedence over brevity. Generally, when I get a pleasant but generic thank you letter like the one above, I immediately file it in the trash. It basically wasted my time. However, if a letter adds information about the candidate, it gets stapled to his or her resume and cover letter and kept for future consideration.

    Length is important, though. A few well-written paragraphs should suffice--but no more than one page. With that in mind, only one or two points can be handled substantively. Pick the one that's most pertinent and then use the other bulleted goals for follow-up touch points in subsequent correspondence in a week or two.

    Sometimes thank-you notes just feel like wasted time, particularly after a bad interview--but when done correctly, they aren't. Take goal number two, for instance: addressing a question you may not have handled to the best of your ability. In the thank-you note, you can write that after sleeping on it, you realized that you neglected to mention how you completed a project that addressed the issue, and add that information.

    Email or Snail Mail?
    Short answer: Both, but increasingly email. Here's why:
    • Email is immediate. It can be sent within hours of an interview.
    • Email allows links to pertinent follow-up information.
    • Email does not preclude you also sending a standard thank-you note that can arrive days later and be used as a second touch point.
    Like interview questions, I believe thank-you notes are best used as conversation starters. Here's a redacted example of an email thank-you note I sent after one interview:
    Dear ________:
    Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me regarding the open position for _____________.

    Regarding our discussion on ongoing learning and new media tools, some techniques I've found valuable include:
    * Recorded webinars. I developed these at The NAPL Network for key management topics, and seminars were then recorded for on-demand access by members throughout the year. I also use webinars in keeping my own knowledge base up-to-date on various media topics.
    * Short Explainer Videos. This new video format breaks down difficult concepts into 60 or 90 second visual spots that keep audiences engaged. Here's a link to one I completed recently for The Press. http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/site/video/. This video was also repurposed into TV and radio spots.

    These and other cost-effective options can easily be interwoven into a broader strategic communications plan for maintaining consistent and targeted messaging. I would welcome the opportunity to move to the next phase and continue our discussion for broadening the audience reach and engagement of _________. Thank you again for your time and consideration.
    This was not a short note. Its purpose, however, was to function like a second cover letter, allowing me to thank the interviewer while highlighting experiences and credentials that directly addressed concerns raised during the interview. It showed that I listened, understood her questions, had something to offer, and was still excited about the prospect.

    I ultimately did not get the job, but I did move to the next level of consideration, and that's really the only goal of each interaction--to get to the next level.

    When crafting your own post-interview thank-you notes, don't use Emily Post as a guide. Her rules of engagement were about personal connections and note cards. Business correspondence follows its own rules, including stationery over cards, and content that is less personal and more practical. Each letter, whether on paper or digital, needs to get to the point, not waste time, add to the conversation and encourage forward motion. It's a different type of art, but one that can be easily mastered.      


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