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!
To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
(BPT) - To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia also founded Sa Dance Company, a bicoastal Indian dance troupe that performs at major venues across Los Angeles and New York.
Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
1) Preparation: Kadakia always keeps a suitcase packed with spares of essentials — chargers and adapters, toiletries, a favorite scarf that doubles as a cozy blanket, and almonds, her go-to snack for all her favorite adventures. Kadakia loves almonds because they have the protein and fiber she needs to stay full and nourished, whether she’s in the boardroom, in the air or about to perform on stage.
2) Planning: Kadakia meticulously plans out her schedule to make sure every moment is spent with intent. Time is her most precious resource, so detailed planning enables her to make every minute count. “I spend Sundays planning my week, and I begin each morning sipping antioxidant-rich green tea while reviewing my calendar, goals and actions for the day,” says Kadakia. “An integral part of my planning includes the careful scheduling of meals, workouts and snacks. Not only do I want every minute to count, but I also want every nutrient to count. I always carry almonds in my purse and my gym bag so I’m never caught hungry or tempted by poor food choices.” Kadakia takes a similar approach to planning her workouts. She doesn’t just schedule an exercise class — she also books second- and third-choice classes in case her first choice falls through.
3) Purpose: “Everyone has a purpose, whether they know it or not,” said Kadakia. “You owe it to yourself to identify it and pursue it with zeal. My personal purpose is to help people live their lives fully. It’s no coincidence that this is ClassPass’ mission, too. It has guided me through tough decisions — like quitting my safe day job years ago to create ClassPass and abandoning products that were working well but not well enough — and it has always guided me to fill my days with meaning.”
Armed with preparation, planning and purpose, anyone can own their everyday. It’s yours to seize.
Most people are stuck with a career path that has little to do with what they studied or envisioned themselves doing. Years later, they may suddenly find themselves at a crossroads, wondering how they came to their current point in their work life. However, finding a new career is a possibility at any age, and finding one that incorporates what you love is possible for anyone determined to seek a new path.
Start Your Own Business
By starting your own business, you can incorporate your own interests and be your own boss. However, like any business, getting started requires a lot of planning and research. Whether you want to open your own eatery or become an online merchant, the cost of starting your own business is high, but so is the potential reward. Here are several pitfalls to avoid when starting your own business:
Join a Franchise
Sometimes, starting a new business from scratch is not an attractive option. If not, you might want to join an existing franchise instead. Joining a franchise allows people to work in an industry they love with a brand they are passionate about. With the wide variety of industries with franchises, it's not too hard to find a franchise that mirrors your interests. In order to find the right franchise, you need to define what you wish to accomplish with a franchise, and then do market research to identify the available options, your budget and your community. Contacting the franchisor, reviewing their processes and interviewing other franchise owners comes after doing your initial research. Joining a franchise of a brand you love can be a rewarding way to work in an industry you love.
Teach What You Love
At times, teaching and sharing what you love is richly rewarding. Teaching and learning no longer have to be onsite at an expensive physical location. Many learning platforms offer virtual online learning conducted through videos, forums and online communication. Whether you want to teach online yoga or advanced coding, there are online communities available where online classrooms can be set up, and you can get paid for uploading your own educational videos.
If you are starting to doubt yourself and the passion behind your work, perhaps it is time to change your career. The average person changes jobs between five to seven times in their lifetime. With many options available both online and off, there are many opportunities to find a path that leads to a fulfilling job that you love to do.
If you’re looking to change your career but you don’t have a degree, check out this list of high-paying, easy-enter career fields that don’t require a degree!
While there are many benefits to earning a degree, not all jobs require that you have gone to college. There are several high-paying careers that offer entry-level opportunities to people without college degrees. Here are four of the best fields to consider when you're looking to earn a solid salary even if you do not have a college degree.
Surprisingly, there are a variety of jobs in the healthcare field that do not require a degree. While most need some type of training or certification to perform, you don't need a college degree to get started. One of the most high-paying job titles is ultrasound technician. Diagnostic medical sonographers earn an average salary of about $70,000 annually. This field also boasts an abundance of opportunity for upward mobility within the field.
Being a truck driver is a fantastic way to see the country while being paid to do so. Many truck driving jobs will require you to have a CDL, which does require certification. A career in truck driving also offers a flexible schedule, which is ideal for when you have other obligations. You can choose the routes that you want to take based on your availability. There is currently a shortage of truck drivers in the U.S., providing job seekers with plenty of opportunity.
Real Estate Agent
As a real estate agent, your primary function is to help clients buy and sell commercial or residential property. Ultimately, this job requires people skills, the ability to research properties, and strong negotiating skills so that you can secure favorable real estate deals for your clients. In addition to getting your real estate license, you will need to complete a training course that meets your state's minimum hours. This job allows you to be your own boss, which means that you can set your own schedule and determine how much work you want to take on.
Computer Support Specialist
In today's increasingly wired world, the demand for computer support specialists is high. This industry encompasses titles such as tech support specialist, help desk technician, IT specialist, and IT consultant. This career pays a median salary of about $50,000 annually. Good candidates for this job include people who enjoy communicating with other people and do not mind spending most of the day on the phone helping to troubleshoot computer issues.
There are myriad career options that do not require you to have a college degree. With the right research and commitment to gaining the skills that you need, you can be well on your way to a high-paying job in a variety of fields.
Read this other article for some more great career ideas!
Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities. However, it also comes with challenges. A collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging can help address remote working woes.
Make Working from Home Productive and Liberating
(Family Features) Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities.
However, it also comes with challenges. If you have worked from home, you have most likely encountered issues collaborating and communicating with colleagues in multiple locations. While there are multiple technologies aimed at helping remote workers and increasing their productivity, they can at times thwart it.
All too familiar with productivity, remote working woes and how to address it, CyberLink created U, a collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging whether working remote or down the hall from one another.
“It’s a place to hold online meetings, have presentations and chat with your colleagues that doesn’t come with the messy installation fuss and technical errors associated with other options out there,” said Richard Carriere, CyberLink’s general manager and senior vice president of global marketing. “It brings the best of social media, such as emojis, ease of use and the flexibility to have impromptu interactions, to a business environment, in a unique way that heightens communication and collaboration across users.”
According to commissioned research by polling firm YouGov, nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. office workers think it’s harder for remote workers to be seen in the workplace than non-remote workers. Office workers think it’s twice as difficult, when working remotely, to make strong relationships with bosses and coworkers while collaborating effectively. In fact, 1 in 6 think remote workers are less valued by the company, more than 1 in 3 think remote workers miss out on office culture and 1 in 5 think they get promoted less often.
There are also technical difficulties workers can encounter when using the technology solutions of the past. Of office workers who said disruptions and working with a solution that’s incompatible with the demands of a remote workforce today had impacted their work, the most prominent included:
To help address these issues and others, all of U’s offerings create virtual counterparts to in-person scenarios, in turn allowing workplace culture, creativity and dialogue to resonate beyond the physical workplace and to all workers, despite location. Learn more at u.cyberlink.com .
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - If you feel like you're working more, but getting less done, you're not alone. Employees are working an average of 44 hours per week, of which only 29 were considered to be productive, according to a new survey of 1,200 full time office workers.
The recent "Productivity in the Workplace" study commissioned by Fellowes found respondents feel the key to productivity is making adjustments within the existing workday versus working more hours. Chatty coworkers top the list of productivity killers, with unnecessary meetings, cell phone disruptions and problems with office equipment also on the list. Respondents identify productivity boosters as cutting back on meetings, having more quiet spaces to work, schedule flexibility and more up-to-date technology.
Laura Stack, also known as "The Productivity Pro," travels the country helping organizations of every size improve their employee and team productivity. She shares the following tips to help people make the most of their hours in the office so they can get back to business.
1. Give disruptions the boot. Resist the urge to constantly check email and turn off email notifications. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, instant messaging on Do Not Disturb, and let calls go to voice-mail.
2. Speak up. Need something new in the office to help your coworkers and you stay more productive? It never hurts to ask. Office equipment, like printers and shredders, are now being made with advanced technologies that can make your job easier and help you get back to work.
3. Cut down on meetings. Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting. Can you cover agenda items via email? Cancel meetings if face time isn't imperative and give colleagues more time to get their jobs done. Also, try to schedule one day a week on your calendar that is meeting-free.
4. Don't multi-task, single-task. When you do have a meeting, make sure you are 100 percent focused. You don't want to miss crucial updates and next steps on projects, it will only hurt your productivity later on.
5. Practice "on, in, around, or shred." Eighty-eight percent of people use paper in the office. Keep items you work with daily on your desk, those you work with weekly in your desk drawers, and those you work with monthly around your desk, in archives, or filing cabin Use an automatic shredder for everything else, like Fellowes' line of AutoMax shredders, which shred up to 500 sheets of paper at a time with the simple touch of a button -which helps avoid disruptions.
6. Break it down. If you have trouble getting started with a big task, break it into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, "What is the next action step I need to take to see progress on this project?" Then set a timer, leap into action, and focus on the next step.
7. Vary activities. For mental and physical alertness, vary sitting activities with standing ones, mental activities with physical ones. It will help prevent fatigue and keep your efficiency high.
8. Put some fun into your work. Turn boring tasks into a game. Make a deal with yourself that when you complete the activity, you will do something fun afterward - like taking a walk or having a piece of chocolate. By creating internal enthusiasm, you can stay focused longer.
9. Change of scenery. Try to work in a different setting once a week. Whether you work from home, the library, or a nearby park, new surroundings can inspire ideas and give you the energy you need to tackle your to-do list.
To learn more about Laura Stack and the "Productivity in the Workplace" study, visit www.fellowes.com or www.TheProductivityPro.com.
(BPT) - Predicting the future can be a Herculean task in its own right, but when it comes to forecasting the growth of urban areas across the globe, research points strongly toward some new truths. One, urban areas will continue to grow. Two, with continued development of "smart' technologies for homes, businesses and entire cities, there is expected to be a significant impact on the employment landscape.
The boom of urban areas
Today, more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, according to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations' estimates and projections data reported in the 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. And, that figure is only predicted to grow. In fact, experts estimate urban centers will be home to two-thirds or 66 percent of the world's population by 2050.
These same predictions also see more people flocking to larger cities. By today's estimates, there are 28 megacities - locales with populations of more than 10 million people - across the globe. However, that number is expected to jump to 41 megacities as early as 2030. And as these cities continue to grow, managing that growth effectively becomes even more important.
The growth of technology and the "Internet of Things"
As cities continue to grow, experts forecast they will face challenges. There will be the need for infrastructure improvements to meet the challenges in housing, transportation, energy and employment to continue functioning successfully. As well as the ability to anticipate and prepare for future job skills requirements. A key factor in addressing both of these dilemmas lies in the continued development of technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), to help cities utilize resources more efficiently.
IoT can be integral in helping to maintain efficiency in these ever-growing cities by transforming the existing infrastructure into a giant interactive network to include everything from air quality, transportation and energy to communication systems.
Finding professionals to meet the challenges of change
To prepare for the new economy, students can learn through coding bootcamps like those offered by DeVry University. Over a 10-week course period, these bootcamps offer attendees coding skills education that can be applied in the growing IoT economy. They also prepare students for the marketplace by helping them create a portfolio, develop an interviewing strategy and fine tune their social media presence. Students can feel more empowered to face the challenges that are ahead.
"Innovative education is critical. To meet the needs and wants of today's students, and of employers looking for professionals with targeted skill sets, we continuously explore new ways to deliver relevant educational offerings," said Shantanu Bose, Ph.D., provost of
DeVry University. "Bootcamps are accelerated learning opportunities to augment current knowledge or immerse oneself into new disciplines in a matter of weeks or months. And like degree and certificate programs, bootcamps can be impressive additions to resumes when aligned with the chosen field."
(BPT) - When it comes to hiring and retaining employees, companies are always looking at new alternatives to build their staffs. However, new research shows that when it comes to attracting top talent, many professionals prefer a return to the basics, meaning stable employment with competitive base pay with traditional medical and retirement benefits are key.
The findings come from a recent survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board, which was established by DeVry University in 2010. The survey asked employees to offer their insight into what is most important for them when looking for the right workplace. Below are some of the most interesting findings.
Predictability over perks
Employees responded resoundingly that they wanted their work life to be more in line with those of the generations before. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents said they would like to work a single, full-time job as opposed to contract work or several smaller positions. This desire rang especially true with millennials as 91 percent of those surveyed agreed.
Respondents also preferred going to the office every day (22 percent) compared to working from remotely full-time (18 percent). Millennials, in particular, were more likely to seek a job where they had to be in the office each day (27 percent).
Stable jobs were valued by 84 percent of survey respondents, while only 16 percent said they preferred a job that may come with riskier employment opportunities.
Employers looking to stay the course
For employers looking to attract and retain top talent, they should focus on solidifying their existing benefits package. A competitive salary remained the most important benefit employees consider in an employer, but traditional offerings such as medical/dental coverage, paid time off and retirement plans were heavily favored over newer perks, including onsite food, wellness offerings and day care.
Employers also don't need to look at making dramatic changes to their existing organizational structure to attract employees. Thirty-six percent said they prefer working for a single manager, while 18 percent said they appreciated the opportunity to report to multiple managers. However, no matter how employers establish their hierarchy, they should always be looking for ways to give employees a chance to impact company decisions. Fifty-six percent said they prefer a job with "authority to make decisions that impact the entire organization," a sign employees care deeply about where they work and want to have a vital role in its growth.
Employees seizing what they want
For employees looking for new positions, the job market is healthier and those with the right skills and attributes will have their pick of positions. As we move further away from the recession years and the economy improves, those who can afford to take their time in their job search are most likely to find a position offering the things most important to them.
"The survey results show us that businesses today need to be good employers, offering stable employment with competitive base pay and traditional medical and retirement benefits," says Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. "The average American worker isn't necessarily looking for all the bells and whistles."
To learn more about the study, visit www.careeradvisoryboard.org.
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