Finding fulfillment: Is this the right time to switch careers?
(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people in countless ways. From quarantine and social distancing to remote working, furlough and job loss, many people are reassessing how they spend their time and make money. Turning proverbial lemons into lemonade, people of all ages and backgrounds have decided to pivot their careers to do something that they truly enjoy.
Time provides the gift of insight
With extra time at home, people are taking stock of their jobs and paths for the future. They are exploring hobbies and passions that may have been put on hold. Finding enjoyment in these activities and realizing strengths and talents can be the inspiration for a new chapter. For example:
The silver lining of the pandemic is the gift of time for reflection and self-discovery. However, it's one thing to enjoy a talent or passion, it's another to figure out how to monetize it.
Desire inspires the need for change
Being your own boss is appealing. If you've discovered a talent and you want to make it a career, it's important to explore options that can help set you up for success. Taking orders for custom-made desks can be a rewarding side gig or even full-time career, if you have the space, tools and organization skills. Passionate cooks can explore culinary school and consider hosting online cooking classes to help garner some money and grow their reputation.
For people who desire to help others with budgeting or financial concerns there's no better time to explore the possibilities for a bright, vibrant new career as a financial professional. Organizations such as The Guardian Life Insurance Company provide training on how to build your career and find clients. They partner you with mentors in a team setting so that you can learn from peers as you help clients reach financial confidence. They even provide proprietary software that will help you build plans for clients so they can visualize their future success.
Financial representatives are in demand
A financial representative is someone who owns their own business and makes their own hours. You can decide areas of specialty and what you're most passionate about.
Financial representatives come from all backgrounds and exploring this career doesn't require previous experience. There is a growing need in the industry to have people from diverse groups become financial representatives in order to best represent a diverse group of clientele.
To learn more, visit https://www.guardianlife.com.
Is it time you changed your future?
Many people have been reassessing their life path during the pandemic and desire to make a change so they can spend their time doing something they love while making an honest living. If this is something you've been thinking about, there's no better time to consider options and opportunities.
As our population ages, career options in healthcare are predicted to expand. Nursing is a resilient and wide-ranging career field with significant opportunities, now and in the future. Here's four reasons why you should consider pursuing a degree and a career in nursing.
(BPT) - As time and technology reshape the workforce, most professionals are not in the position to stick with one career until retirement. Nursing offers relevant, future-focused opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels, from those re-entering the workforce or making a career change, to registered nurses pursuing further education. Below, you’ll find four reasons students are pursuing licensure or a degree in nursing (from RN to BSN and beyond), shared by Dr. Bonnie Stegman of Maryville University.
If you are interested in making a direct impact on the lives of individuals and communities, consider nursing. It’s a rewarding career, according to nurses themselves. Nurses provide personal contact and engagement with patients, which has only become more important in today’s often-hectic healthcare environment. At the same time, nursing is an exciting and expanding field with new areas of focus. You have more options than ever to pursue your interests and work at the cutting edge of healthcare.
2. Wide-ranging opportunities
Nursing often is associated with foundational healthcare settings such as primary care practices, hospitals or nursing homes. However, nursing offers many paths to develop the track that’s right for you. Specialties include areas relevant to our aging population, such as gerontology (focused on elderly patients) and genetics (patients with or at risk of hereditary diseases). You also can specialize in public health, working in nonprofit organizations, community health centers or governmental agencies. And you can build on your experience caring for patients and transition into other areas, serving as an administrator or educator, for example.
The opportunities available within nursing let you pick what best fits your needs and preferences. For example, if family responsibilities mean you need to keep a 9-to-5, Monday-Friday schedule, some primary care or specialty practices can accommodate that. Through telehealth, you can provide patient care and education remotely, potentially creating opportunities across geographic areas and time zones. If you’re open to moving around, you might find work as a traveling nurse to be an interesting — and usually well paid — choice. This flexibility means you can adapt and shift your focus as you move through stages and phases of life.
4. Demand and compensation
Nurses are in high demand nationwide, a trend that shows no sign of slowing. That means you can expect competitive salaries and benefits. You’ll find that employers are getting creative in how they recruit and incentivize new hires. Mercy Children’s Hospital in St. Louis recently tested a seasonal staffing option, where nurses could opt to work a full-time schedule from September to June, then take time off in the summer while retaining their benefits — and a guaranteed job in the fall. Such initiatives represent a valuable offering for anyone with childcare considerations. Other employers are providing financial incentives such as signing bonuses and tuition reimbursement.
Make it happen
Once you decide to pursue your licensure or earn a nursing degree, you have a variety of options. It starts with finding a program that offers a realistic path for your existing schedule and responsibilities.
Online programs typically are designed for flexibility. The online nursing offerings at Maryville University include an RN to BSN program with multiple start dates throughout the year that can be completed 100% online to help students balance work and school. You also can find flexible options in on-campus programs. In addition to programs for full-time and transfer students, Maryville’s on-campus pre-licensure nursing options include a part-time evening and weekend program designed for working adults.
As our population ages, career options in healthcare are predicted to expand. Nursing is a resilient and wide-ranging career field with significant opportunities, now and in the future.
Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces. Here are 5 things progressive employers are focused on to attract and retain the best talent today.
(BPT) - A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that U.S. employment is projected to grow by 8.4 million jobs from 2018 to 2028. At the same time, employers are battling an ultra-competitive job market, in which candidates are being wooed by increased pay and enhanced medical benefits.
Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces.
Today’s employers are focused on:
A well-located workplace is a major selling point for attracting potential employees and retaining existing ones. Employers with a central location, easily accessible by public transportation, already have an advantage. For example, The Legacy Town Center office in Plano, Texas, boasts transit drop-off and pick-up at the building.
For environmentally minded employees who bike to work, secure bike storage is a real plus. The office tower at 201 Spear St. in San Francisco anticipates the needs of the area’s environmentally conscious workforce with bike storage and EV car charging stations, plus easy access to light rail.
Accenture Tower in Chicago sits above Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of the main suburban train stations connecting downtown Chicago to the suburbs, providing direct access to city trains, buses and expressways. The first two levels of the property are composed of 80,000 square feet of retail space, with more than 45 stores and restaurants.
Beyond providing competitive healthcare plans, employers are seeking new ways to encourage and support employees’ health-related activities — a focus that contributes to less absenteeism and greater productivity. For example, Park Place Village in Leawood, Kansas, has massage therapy on-site for all of its tenants.
Many major office owners are adding state-of-the-art fitness centers. 3001 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, features workout studios offering barre, yoga and HIIT performance classes in its eight-story, LEED Gold-certified Class A office building. And at Accenture Tower, the building includes a two-level fitness center spanning 14,000 square feet, with a basketball court, group exercise classes and new tenant lounge with air hockey, shuffleboard and wine lockers.
For employees with busy schedules, it can be tough to find enough time in the day to take care of necessary errands. Workers are especially drawn to locales that provide day-to-day services everyone needs without even having to walk outside.
Some office buildings go a step beyond. For businesses at RBC Plaza in Minneapolis, employees can use the U.S. Postal Service, on-site bank, a sundry shop and even a shoe repair/shoe shine service. But it doesn’t stop there. Other services offered in the building include a car wash and detailing service, and private wine lockers. And in the Carillon office tower in Charlotte, North Carolina, there's an on-site daycare for parents.
Beyond location and service-based amenities, today’s employees are increasingly demanding a workplace with a beautiful atmosphere, which often includes access to outdoor spaces. Building designers are taking note, providing more open spaces, skylights and/or atriums for a lighter, more welcoming work environment.
For example, The McEwen Building in the Cool Springs submarket of Nashville, Tennessee, offers employees and visitors an outdoor sitting area complete with a fountain and plush landscaping, while 3003 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Washington, D.C.
5. Employee engagement
With Generation Z workers about to enter the workforce, today’s employers also understand the power of creating engagement within their team, especially among young professionals. Next-level office amenities can increase employee satisfaction and deepen their connection to their employer.
For instance, RBC Plaza in Minneapolis offers a billiards lounge, as well as a cafe and coffee shop, while Preston Commons in Dallas, Texas, and 201 Spear St. in San Francisco both have on-site bars, giving office workers places to unwind and congregate after work.
KBS, one of the largest owners of office buildings in the nation, has partnered with many of America’s companies to support recruitment and retention by buying well-located offices and infusing them with state-of-the-art amenities. To learn more, visit kbs.com.
Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. In this article, Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry.
(BPT) - Careers in the video game industry are highly desirable, and for good reason. Working for a video game company can be rewarding, and equally important, turns a favorite pastime into an exciting career. However, for tween and teen girl gamers, the prospect of one day working in the video game industry may seem daunting. While 46% of the U.S. gamer population is female, women account for only 22% of video game developers.
Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry:
1. What inspired you to build a career in the video game industry?
I am a life-long gamer, artist and digital creator and now, my official title at Star Stable is 3D Artist. Working for a company like this allows me to unite my interests and skills to create magic for girl
2. What are the types of jobs for women in the development studio?
To build a game, artists (3D, 2D, VFX and animators), designers and programmers need to work closely together from start to finish. Artists work on the overall creative vision. Designers work with the mechanics and features. Then, programmers use their coding knowledge to bring it all to life. We work with producers to make sure that all tasks associated with the development process are completed on time and tracking with the overall vision of the project. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, developers focused on mobile and virtual/mixed reality are in high demand, as are tech animators, who use a combination of creative and animation skills to solve issues related to art production.
3. What other types of jobs do women have in the industry outside the development studio?
I have built my career in game art, but it takes dozens of people with specific skillsets for a video game company to succeed. Community managers interact with players daily to ensure they are having a positive experience with the game and make sure fan feedback is implemented. We also have women running the business at the executive level and as product managers and business developers. There are multiple opportunities, inside and out of the development studio, so you must embrace your skills and interests to find which career path you would enjoy most.
4. What are the most important skills needed to succeed?
I recommend that budding video game developers find a network, get to know different game engines, become familiar with 2D and 3D software, and try new games all the time. Then, become a specialist in the aspect that interests you the most. Developing specific skills is important but developing into a well-rounded person with a broad view of the world is equally important. It is also good to dive into sports, learn the arts, take a computer class or explore theater. Never stop learning and challenging yourself.
5. What advice do you have for young girls who want a career in video games?
It’s also important to find a company that embraces women in all roles and embodies a culture of inclusivity and accessibility — the Star Stable team is more than 50% women. Finally, give back. If every woman who is part of the 22% proactively mentors other young women, imagine the next generation who will one day grow up to become our colleagues!
Advice for Employers for Recruiting and Retaining the Workers of Generation Z
(BPT) - The U.S. workforce is in the midst of an influx with 65 million workers from Generation Z beginning to look for jobs, according to BridgeWorks Consulting. This group of workers, born after 1997, do not remember a time without the internet and have grown up in a post-2008 recession era of financial responsibility, meaning what motivates them differs greatly from previous generations.
The combination of Gen Zers’ financially savvy, entrepreneurial spirit and their deeply rooted relationship with technology means employers need to reassess and diversify the ways they interact with and what they offer candidates. This also creates challenges in identifying the groups’ reason for choosing a field or job, placing the pressure on the hiring business or brand to stand out as an attractive experience.
“With this generation, the onus is on employers to learn how to relate to and attract their next employees,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the current Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks.
EcoCAR’s recent study of college students participating in the competition revealed two key insights that translate across industries and may help employers of all types better understand who their co-workers and employees of the future will be.
Tech is integral to all aspects of their lives
Gen Z hasn’t known a time without access to infinite information at their fingertips as smartphones debuted when many were infants. Easy access to information has allowed Gen Zers to be curious learners and interact with companies and brands much earlier than generations past.
The study shows job seekers are likely to engage with online articles (62 percent) and videos (61 percent) along with other content on social media, which can be a great starting point for hiring companies to build their relationship with the Gen Z workforce. These insights apply to all companies — from large national companies to local small businesses — and are easily attainable through a variety of online channels.
“Our insights show interaction between Gen Z and employers must start before the next hiring cycle or career fairs,” said Wahl. “Employers of all sizes should be aware how their future employees interact with their brand before they are looking to hire.”
Personal and career growth are imperative
Gen Zers are seen as self-starters that take pride and responsibility for their own career paths with 76 percent believing they are culpable for driving their own career trajectory and 42 percent with hopes of self-employment, according to Concordia University-St. Paul. The entrepreneurial work ethic and concerns of financial security can explain the emphasis placed on professional and personal growth. Our research shows young job seekers agree on the importance of career advancement opportunities (98 percent), competitive wages (97 percent) and personal learning and development opportunities (96 percent). Regardless of industry or job-level, Gen Zers see a link between personal and professional growth and seek employers who share that thinking.
“Employers who can reach prospective job seekers early in their process and then deliver a fulfilling day-to-day experience with proper compensation will be prepared to both attract and retain the incoming wave of young workers,” said Wahl.
Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
(BPT) - Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Being recognized and landing a promotion can provide a variety of perks such as more money, increased influence and more control over your daily routine.
So how do you land that promotion? It comes down to building key skills such as self-development, listening and communication. Fortunately, online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning can help you develop these skills to get to the next level in your career.
Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
1. Prove that you’re capable of self-development
The difference between being a “high-potential employee” versus a “high-performing employee” means everything to your advancement, and to the company where you work. While a high-performing employee does their job well, their performance review will look similar from year to year, revealing little about their potential for moving up. A high-potential employee, on the other hand, shows a willingness to push themselves to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities and be open to lateral moves — especially if that means mastering new abilities.
How do you become a high-potential employee? Demonstrate your capacity for self-development by actively soliciting feedback from others to learn how you can grow and improve, and proactively take on opportunities to increase your skill set.
2. Be a strong listener
In today’s world, there’s a misconception that dominating the conversation means you’re a leader, but the opposite is actually true. Being a good listener is vital to being a strong leader, and a crucial component to earning that promotion.
By taking the time to understand others’ perspectives, needs and concerns, you’ll be better prepared to communicate your ideas and solutions, and to persuade others to come on board. This is essential to leading, whether it means a small group or an entire corporation.
Active listening is an art — it is underrated and takes significant practice to master. Identify a leader in your organization who is a strong active listener and watch how they lead. You can also master this skill by taking a course on active listening as part of your own career development.
3. Communicate with purpose
Boosting your communication skills is critical to being both a leader and a team player. Demonstrate to your manager and your team that you know how to address the bigger picture, and show how your work ties to the overall company strategy. Express your vision of the larger mission or goals of the organization, as opposed to getting caught up in the details.
How you express yourself also makes a huge difference. Be concise, purposeful and confident in your statements. This will help you build a strong executive presence and build trust among you and your colleagues.
Don’t wait for a promotion to come to you. Now’s the time to be proactive and focus on growing your skill set. Show what you’re learning by actively taking on new challenges and communicating with purpose and confidence. To learn more about mastering the skills you need to advance in your career and get that promotion, visit www.linkedin.com/learning.
Every day, thousands of workers across the country put on a hard hat as part of their work attire. And, while it may not be their favorite thing to wear, it's an important piece of safety equipment that helps protect from head injuries and even save lives.
(BPT) - Every day, thousands of workers across the country put on a hard hat as part of their work attire. And, while it may not be their favorite thing to wear, it's an important piece of safety equipment that helps protect from head injuries and even save lives.
Gary Govanus is proof of this. He didn't put much thought into what he was wearing 45 years ago while working in-flight services at night at Chicago O'Hare, but by the end of that day his life would be forever changed because he reached for a Bullard hard hat at the start of his shift.
On the night of his accident, he and his team were cleaning out an Eastern 747 airplane that had electrical problems and its flaps were stuck in the extended position. This meant manually moving things in and out of the plane using an inconvenient and steep staircase.
"Because of the height of the door and the curvature of the air frame, the ramp that usually nestled up against the side of the plane at door level was now about two feet lower than the door and there was a three-foot gap between the plane and the truck," says Govanus. "It presented an obstacle that required thought and planning to get into and out of the plane."
Freezing cold and past quitting time, Govanus was anxious to get home to see his fiance who had recently arrived in town.
"I was thinking about going home and not getting into the airplane," he recalls. "As I took that final step to get into the aircraft, I missed. I may not remember everything from that night, but the sight of watching the open door go by as I started my plunge is forever ingrained. I knew that I was about to find out if it was my time to die."
But he didn't die. He fell about 30 feet to the cement tarmac. Thanks to the position he landed in, a heavy winter coat that provided cushion and his hard hat, he survived.
"I was wearing a hard hat and that heavy jacket. The hard hat kept me alive. The jacket prevented further injury to my shoulders and arms. I came away with two compressed vertebrae and two broken wrists. I was blessed," Govanus says.
Hard hat history
Hard hats save lives, and what you may not know is that the hard hat turns 100 this year. The hard hat comes from a Kentucky-based, family-owned company called Bullard, which was founded in 1898 in San Francisco and originally supplied carbide lamps and other mining equipment to gold and copper miners. The “Hard Boiled” hat was introduced in 1919, and was the first of many innovative designs over the past century that have led the company to become a leader in head protection and safety equipment.
During the 1930s, while the Golden Gate Bridge was being constructed in San Francisco, bridge engineer Joseph B. Strauss contacted Bullard to request that the company adapt its hats to protect bridge workers. This was also the first area ever designated as a “hard hat area.” The company continued to innovate the hard hat through the decades. In 1938, they designed and manufactured the first aluminum hard hat, which was considered very durable and reasonably lightweight for the time.
The company’s distinctive three-rib, heat-resistant fiberglass hard hat was developed in the 1940s. In the 1950s and 1960s, thermoplastics replaced fiberglass. In 1982, the standard hard hat changed again with the incorporation of a non-slip ratchet suspension with a knob in the back for simple sizing.
The modern hard hat is produced from polyethylene plastic, making it lightweight, durable, easy to mold and non-conductive to electricity. It has a variety of features such as easy-lock snaps, an upgraded suspension system and enhanced air flow, making it more comfortable and convenient than ever before.
Bullard is also a proud supporter of the Turtle Club, which is a group that honors those whose life was saved as a result of wearing a hard hat. Survivors are encouraged to share their story and contact Bullard via the company website.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs.
(BPT) - If you’ve ever felt tense, anxious or simply unable to relax while performing your job, you’re far from alone.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Stress found 80 percent of U.S. workers across industries have felt stress in the workplace; nearly half say they could use help dealing with it and 42 percent said their co-workers could use some relief.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs. For example, for the past 20 years Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, and in a typical week hundreds of dogs and cats enjoy spending time with their owners at the pet food maker’s St. Louis campus.
"Pets bring a wealth of benefits — both physical and emotional — to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," notes Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina we experience the benefits of pets at work every day, and want others to as well."
As more and more companies adopt a pets-at-work policy, consider these facts based on a recent Purina report about the many advantages of such programs:
* They can benefit health: Pet-employee interaction has been shown to reduce the employees' blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to alleviating anxiety.
* They can improve employee retention: Sixty-three percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say they’re very satisfied with their work environments — nearly twice as many as those in other workplaces. In fact, respondents rank the option of bringing pets at work as the second most-valuable employee perk — more valuable than free coffee and parking. Overall, three in five survey participants wish their workplace would institute a pet-friendly policy.
* They can alleviate loneliness: Eight in 10 employees who can bring pets to work say that activity makes them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable. That's partly because talking about pets can be an ice breaker, making it easier for people to approach co-workers and get to know them better.
* They can promote physical activity: Many employees spend breaks and lunchtime playing with their pets or taking them for walks, boosting their own aerobic activity at the same time.
* They can increase pets’ happiness: Rather than staying home waiting for their owners to arrive, pets get to socialize with new people, play with other pets and enjoy more activity. Nearly nine of 10 people in the survey agree that bringing their pets to work strengthens owner-pet bonding.
In light of the proven benefits, Purina encourages other employers to consider allowing pets in the workplace. A toolkit with tips and information is provided at Purina.com.
“Our goal with our report is to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of taking pets to work and to arm employees and employers with insights that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies,” notes Dr. Venator.
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