Police shoot, kill man outside home in north Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police shot and killed a man in Minneapolis early Sunday after he fired a gunshot toward officers who were responding to a report of domestic assault, authorities said.
The Star Tribune reported that police spokesman John Elder said officers were heading to a house in the northern part of the city at about 3:10 a.m. when they learned that a shot had been fired in the home.
Elder said that after officers arrived, a brief standoff occurred with a man who initially refused to leave the residence. Officers spoke with the man by telephone and he eventually agreed to come outside, Elder said.
The man fired once at the officers as he left the home, and they returned fire, striking him an undetermined number of times, according to police. No officers were injured, Elder said.
The man, whose name hasn’t yet been released, was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he died, Elder said.

Democrat Angie Craig says she’ll support impeachment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota says she supports the articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump.
Angie Craig, who represents a suburban Twin Cities district that Trump narrowly carried in 2016, announced her decision on Sunday.
Craig says in an open letter to her constituents that she concluded that “it is clear from the testimony and the report delivered to Congress that the President attempted to coerce a foreign government into investigating his political rival by withholding congressionally appropriated military assistance to a foreign ally.”
Another Minnesota Democrat, veteran Rep. Collin Peterson, who faces a tough re-election fight in a heavily pro-Trump district if he runs again, remains undecided on the articles of impeachment.
Otherwise, support for impeachment within Minnesota’s congressional delegation breaks down along party lines, with Democratic Reps. Betty McCollum, Dean Phillips and Ilhan Omar backing it, and Republican Reps. Jim Hagedorn, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber opposed.

Doug Woog, former U. of Minnesota hockey coach, dies at 75

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Doug Woog, the former University of Minnesota hockey coach who took the Gophers to six Frozen Fours without winning a title, has died. He was 75.
Woog died Saturday in Lakeville after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002, Woog starred at South St. Paul High School and was an All-America player at Minnesota. He worked 35 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent at South St. Paul before taking over the Gophers in 1985.
Woog was 389-187-40 in 14 seasons with Minnesota, then had a long run as the Gophers’ TV analyst.
He is survived by wife Jan and children Steve, Dan and Amy.

Minnesota knocks off No. 3 Ohio State 84-71

By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With an eight-day break between games, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was wary of this trip to Minnesota despite the roll his team had been on.
The third-ranked Buckeyes had the kind of flat performance Holtmann was worried about, and — Poof! — their perfect record was gone, thanks to an all-around effort by the Gophers.
Marcus Carr scored a career-high 35 points and Daniel Oturu had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Minnesota toppled undefeated and third-ranked Ohio State 84-71 on Sunday for coach Richard Pitino’s first win against a top-five team.
“I thought we had some inconsistencies to our practice week,” Holtmann said. “You’re not always sure if that’s due to finals or whatever. Obviously, it was a significant layoff, but I don’t look at that as the reason that we lost. They were the better team tonight.”
Oturu outworked Kaleb Wesson in the paint to win the battle of two of the Big Ten’s best big men with his sixth double-double of the season for the Gophers (5-5, 1-1). Prior to this game, the highest-ranked opponent they’d beaten in seven years under Pitino was No. 6 Maryland on Feb. 18, 2016. Minnesota beat the Buckeyes’ average scoring allowance by 30 points. That was fifth in the nation entering the game.
“I don’t know if there was a weakness in what we did,” Pitino said. “I just thought start to finish that was about as complete a game as we’ve played here.”
Carr stole the show with 28 points in the second half, but it took a collective increase in aggression by him and fellow guards Gabe Kalscheur and Payton Willis after a 20-point loss at Iowa when the three of them combined for 10 points on 3-for-29 shooting.
“We definitely had an emphasis on coming out here tonight and re-establishing what we want to do and the kind of team that we want to be going forward,” Carr said.
Carr, who’s in his debut with the Gophers after sitting out last season following a transfer from Pittsburgh, shot 12 for 17 from the floor after going 1 for 10 against the Hawkeyes.
“This is acting like a coming-out party for him,” Oturu said, “and people should start taking notice.”
The last time the Gophers beat a top-five foe was No. 1 Indiana on Feb. 26, 2013, under coach Tubby Smith. They were swarmed by their fans at midcourt after the clock ran out on Sunday.
Ohio State became the latest team at or near the top of the Associated Press poll to fall in what has been a wild first six weeks of the college basketball season.
“And I went ahead and said, ‘We can beat any team in the country,'” Carr said. “I know we haven’t been playing like it. I know we didn’t start out the season like we wanted to, but at the end of the day me and my guys and the coaches, we all have that belief in each other.”
Freshmen D.J. Carton (19 points) and E.J. Liddell (14 points) had season highs off the bench for the Buckeyes (9-1, 1-1), but Wesson had just 12 points and six rebounds with his playing time limited by foul trouble. He went 4 for 13 from the field and had six turnovers.
“We weren’t physical enough. We weren’t the more ready team, and we got beat,” his brother Andre Wesson said. “We can either learn from it or put our heads down and keep doing this, but we’ll be ready.”
Kaleb Wesson picked up his fourth foul at the top of the key for an illegal screen, lowering a shoulder into Kalscheur with 13:47 to go. Then Carr swished a 3-pointer for a 53-37 lead. The Buckeyes came as close as nine points down the stretch with less than four minutes left, but Carr answered with a three-point play after a drive in traffic drew a foul on Andre Wesson to push the lead back to 72-60.
Minnesota caught a big break with the absence of Ohio State’s second-leading scorer and best 3-point shooter Duane Washington Jr., who didn’t dress for the game because of a rib injury. Washington went 8 for 14 from 3-point range over the previous two games.
“His absence obviously leaves a scoring vacancy, but I don’t think it was ever really one of those games where it was within reach enough,” Holtmann said.
BIG PICTURE
Ohio State: The Buckeyes squandered the opportunity to take one of the top two spots in the next AP poll, after No. 1 Louisville lost to Texas Tech earlier in the week. The last remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes took the nation’s best scoring differential, an average margin of 26.2 points per game, into the night. They let the Gophers shoot 57.1% from the field in the second half.
Minnesota: A rough early schedule with six high-major nonconference opponents sure seemed to pay off with this performance. The Carr-Oturu tandem has showed the potential to be one of the best outside-inside duos in the league, if the guards can maintain some consistency.
UP NEXT
Ohio State: The Buckeyes return home to face Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday. Then they head to Las Vegas to face Kentucky. The Wildcats will be their third top-10 opponent of the season, in terms of ranking at the time of the game.
Minnesota: The Gophers have a six-day break from competition for final exams, before a sort-of-neutral-site game on Saturday against Oklahoma State in Tulsa, a 1-hour drive for the Cowboys from campus.
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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Kane scores 3 times as Blackhawks beat Wild 5-3

By JAY COHEN AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — While the Chicago Blackhawks have a whole bunch of issues at the moment, they also have Patrick Kane.
Kane scored three goals for his first hat trick of the season, and the Blackhawks stopped a four-game slide by topping the Minnesota Wild 5-3 on Sunday night.
Brandon Saad and David Kampf also scored for Chicago, which had dropped seven of nine overall. Jonathan Toews had three assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 stops.
Kane scored Saturday night, helping the Blackhawks open a 3-0 lead in the third period at St. Louis. But the Stanley Cup champions roared back for a 4-3 victory.
“It was nice we played again today, to be honest with you,” Kane said. “You never like sitting on that one for a few days.”
Kevin Fiala scored twice for Minnesota in the opener of a three-game trip. Eric Staal also scored for his 1,000th career point, and Ryan Suter had three assists.
The Wild, who beat Philadelphia 4-1 on Saturday night, dropped to 10-2-4 in their past 16 games.
“I don’t think we were as fresh as we have been,” Staal said. “We looked a little fatigued at times and I don’t think our execution was as high.”
The game was tied at 3 in the third period when Saad muscled his way to his 11th goal of the season. The rugged forward was grappling with Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba in front when he managed to tip Connor Murphy’s shot from the right point past Kaapo Kahkonen with 6:17 left.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to get a bounce there,” Saad said. “That’s what we needed tonight.”
Kane then added an empty-netter with 1:03 left, completing his sixth career regular-season hat trick. He has a team-high 18 goals this season.
“I don’t think I’ve been playing as well the past 10 games or so,” he said. “I want to start playing better for the team. If I play better, it’s obviously going to bring more to the group, a better chance for us to win.”
Kane got his first goal when he poked in a rebound of his own wraparound shot 7:42 into the first. It was a close call at the post and play was allowed to continue, but a replay review showed the puck crossed the line before Kahkonen knocked it away.
Kane then made it 2-0 when he scored from the high slot at 11:33 on a power play. Kane’s shot went off Suter’s stick before going into the net.
Chicago rookie Kirby Dach was sent off for hooking just 11 seconds after Kane’s second goal, and Minnesota took advantage.
Staal converted a one-timer off a pass from Suter for his 12th at 12:37. The veteran center became the 89th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points.
“It’s difficult sometimes reflecting in the middle of a season and a career, but four numbers is a lot of numbers and I’m obviously proud of that,” Staal said.
Fiala got each of his goals in the second. He beat Lehner on a breakaway for his seventh at 1:59. After Kampf redirected Murphy’s shot past Kahkonen at 8:13, Fiala tied it again when his centering pass went off the outside of Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta’s right skate and through the legs of Lehner with 5:40 left in the period.
NOTES: The Blackhawks improved to 6-1-0 in the second half of back-to-back games. … Wild G Devan Dubnyk, C Mikko Koivu (lower body) and D Jared Spurgeon (hand) are on the trip and expected to practice Monday. Dubnyk’s wife is dealing with a serious medical condition, and he hasn’t played since Nov. 16. “I think when he does get in that he’s going to be fine,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Just got to get some practice time for him.” … Blackhawks D Duncan Keith (groin) is skating again, but coach Jeremy Colliton said he doesn’t have a firm return date at this point. … Wild F Joel Eriksson Ek (upper-body injury) did not travel with the team. Boudreau said he might be able to play on the current road trip.
UP NEXT
Wild: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Minnesota takes advantage of 7 Chargers turnovers in victory

By JOE REEDY AP Sports Writer
CARSON, Calif, (AP) — Mike Zimmer has accomplished many things as a defensive coordinator and head coach. He added one more Sunday in the Minnesota Vikings’ 39-10 rout of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Vikings forced seven Chargers’ turnovers and converted them into 20 points. It is the most takeaways for a Zimmer-led unit, surpassing the six that Dallas forced against Washington in 2003.
“Obviously, the turnovers were big,” Zimmer said. “We knew that they had minus in turnover margin, so it was important that we try to get some today.”
The Vikings have won four of their last five going into next Monday night’s key NFC North showdown against Green Bay. Minnesota also has a two-game lead for the NFC’s final playoff spot after Dallas defeated the Los Angeles Rams.
“It’s still all up for grabs,” said Kirk Cousins, who was 19 of 25 for 207 yards with a touchdown and interception. “Ten wins is a good place to be. We’ve put ourselves in a position to have a lot to play for these last two games.”
It is the first time the Vikings have forced at least seven turnovers since Sept. 24, 1995, against Pittsburgh. The last time the Chargers have committed at least seven in a game was Dec. 13, 1998, when they had eight against Seattle.
The biggest turnover came just before halftime. The Vikings led 12-10 but the Chargers mounted a late drive and were in field goal range at the 26 with 23 seconds remaining. But on second-and-2, Philip Rivers fumbled when he was sacked by Danielle Hunter. Austin Ekeler recovered it at the 38 and tried to make a play but also fumbled. Ifeadi Odenigbo then scooped up the loose ball and went 56 yards for a touchdown to give Minnesota a 19-10 lead.
“Danielle did a heck of a job forcing that fumble. I was fortunate to pick the ball up,” Obenigbo said of the Vikings’ second defensive touchdown in three games. “I was running down and getting tired but I was fortunate to score the touchdown. Coach Zim always harps on pursuit and effort. That was a collective effort from everyone.
“It was pretty neat doing it against the Chargers because I grew up a Chargers fan because of LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers. Now being able to play them and be able to score my first touchdown is very cool.”
The score was part of a run of 30 straight Vikings points after the Chargers had a 10-9 lead midway through the second quarter.
Minnesota’s other two phases were solid as well. Dan Bailey kicked four field goals and Mike Boone ran for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Chargers (5-9), who have dropped four of their last five, had their worst performance of the season. Melvin Gordon fumbled twice and Philip Rivers threw three interceptions. Rivers, who threw for 307 yards, has been picked off 11 times in the past five games.
“We got our (butt) kicked in all three phases,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “We’ve gotten beat but we’ve never gotten beat like that, and that was my problem today. That’s my frustration right now. I haven’t seen that in the three years since I’ve been here.”
The Vikings scored on the opening drive for the fifth time this season when Cousins connected with Irv Smith Jr. in the back of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. Dan Bailey missed his fourth extra point when it went off the right upright.
The Chargers got on the board with Michael Badgley’s 41-yard field goal but gave it back on their next drive. Harrison Smith recovered Gordon’s fumble at the LA 11. The turnover would result in a field goal by Bailey on the first play of the second quarter.
The Chargers took a 10-9 lead in the second quarter on Rivers’ 2-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. After another Bailey field goal gave Minnesota the lead back, the Vikings would seize momentum late in the second quarter.
“It’s about keep plugging away. The offense kept coming away with points but for us to get the touchdown at the end of the half, it really gave us separation,” Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes said.
Boone had most of his carries in the second half after Dalvin Cook was injured. He had touchdown runs of 8 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
ALL-AROUND GAME
Hunter was everywhere for the Vikings. The defensive end finished with five tackles but had a sack, two forced fumbles and fumble recovery.
BENCHED
Gordon was benched by Lynn after his second fumble, which came on the opening drive of the second half. Lynn referred to it as “giving him a break” but admitted that the fumbles did bother him.
It was Gordon’s first fumbles since the one he had at the goal line at Tennessee on Oct. 20.
“I was just itching to make a play, make something happen, and you worry so much about trying to make something happen, you lose focus on the ball,” said Gordon, who had 28 yards on seven carries.
INJURIES
Vikings: Cook suffered a shoulder injury on the opening drive of the second half and did not return.
Chargers: LT Russell Okung re-injured his groin late in the second quarter and did not return.
UP NEXT
Vikings: host Green Bay next Monday in a key NFC North showdown. The Packers have a one-game lead in the division.
Chargers: host Oakland next Sunday in their final game in Carson. The Chargers and Rams will move into their new stadium in Inglewood next season.
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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Retiring Farmers Union president: Family farms still viable

BISMARCK (AP) — As Roger Johnson prepares to step down after 11 years leading the National Farmers Union group, he’s well aware of the many challenges facing its members: a painful trade war, the effects of climate change and the march of farm consolidation. But Johnson, a North Dakota native, believes smaller operators can still find a way to carve out a living.
Here’s a look at Johnson’s thoughts on agriculture and the future of farming:
FROM THE FAMILY FARM TO WASHINGTON
Johnson, 66, has led the Washington, D.C- based farm group since 2009. He announced last week he is stepping down when his current term ends next year.
For more than a dozen years before heading the group, Johnson, a Democrat, was North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner, where election campaigns in the conservative state mostly centered around who was more of a farmer than his or her opponent.
Johnson usually won handily. He is a third-generation family farmer from Turtle Lake who raised cattle and wheat, oats, barley, flax and sunflowers before selling the farm about four years ago to a nephew.
TRADE AND TARIFFS
Federal moves in the last couple of years on tariffs between the U.S. and China have been “disastrous” and have created turmoil in rural America, Johnson said.
“In my view, this administration has literally destroyed our reputation around the world, and I say that with a great deal of consideration,” Johnson said.
“I think China is a lost market for agriculture — there’s just too much damage done there,” he said.
“When we put these tariffs in place it shut down soybeans overnight,” Johnson said. “Soybean farmers took a huge bloodbath and elevators in North Dakota refused to buy soybeans at any price.”
China, America’s top agriculture trading partner, increasingly has turned to South America and Europe for farm commodities, he said.
“We’re in a new era of being a smaller player in the world market,” Johnson said. “There is no question about that.”
CLIMATE CHANGE
Johnson said his group has helped farmers adapt to climate change by advocating less tillage and the planting of more deep-rooted cover crops to hold carbon dioxide in the soil to prevent it from reaching the atmosphere, worsening global warming.
“We just believe in science,” said Johnson of climate change.
“Agriculture is the best and most immediately available tool to sequester carbon, and agriculture has to play a big part in that,” he said.
GLOOM AND DOOM?
Johnson sees promise with a growing number of people who are returning to farming’s roots with smaller family-run operations aimed at consumers “who want to know where their food is coming from.”
“There is hope in the long term” in a profession Johnson said is ennobled by those doing “God’s work.”
“The population around the world is growing and people have to eat so there will be continued opportunities,” he said.
Johnson said his group’s membership has grown by at least 10% in several states in the past year, especially among small producers focused on direct marketing.
Johnson said recent comments made by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue suggesting that small dairy farms may need to get bigger to survive were “uncalled for.” Johnson said they sent the wrong message to rural America.
“This get-big-or-get-out mentality in agriculture is really about closing small towns” that depend on family farms, Johnson said.
FARMERS UNION
Farmers Union, established in 1902, leans Democratic and toward smaller farms, though Johnson maintains it’s “strictly partisan.”
With about 200,000 members, it’s also tiny compared with the right-leaning American Farm Bureau Federation, which has about 6 million members and ties to big agribusiness and related industries.
Dale Moore, executive vice president of the latter group, said the Trump administration “is more in line with our policies.” But he said the two farm groups have worked in a “collaborative, cooperative way,” especially under Johnson’s leadership.
Said Johnson: “In terms of political influence, you can’t do farm bills that are necessary without everyone being heard,” he said.

Why college is no longer the only path to a successful career

There’s no doubt about it, the world is changing fast—and at a pace that most of us have never experienced before. Everything from rapid advances in technology to seismic cultural, political, social, and economic shifts are altering the way we live on a deep and lasting level, forcing us to reevaluate many of the previously […]

The post Why college is no longer the only path to a successful career appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

There’s no doubt about it, the world is changing fast—and at a pace that most of us have never experienced before. Everything from rapid advances in technology to seismic cultural, political, social, and economic shifts are altering the way we live on a deep and lasting level, forcing us to reevaluate many of the previously “tried and true” ways of doing things.

Like it or not, there’s a term for all of this—it’s called progress—and the world is divided between those who choose to keep up and those who fall behind.

Chief among these transformations is higher education. Decades ago, college was seen as an ideal way to prepare young adults for success in the working world, and a degree was practically mandatory in order to climb your way to the top of the professional ladder and into one of the big corner offices. These days, that old way of thinking—and those corner offices—are evaporating, and it’s forcing folks to reevaluate the value of college in this brave new world of rapidly evolving professional opportunities.

The cost is prohibitive for most

A big factor that’s upsetting the old college apple cart is cost. Simply put, the cost of earning a degree has skyrocketed in recent years, and finding the funds to finance higher education has become infinitely more challenging for most of us. On top of this, the notion of borrowing your way through college has become increasingly less desirable as the stigma against getting buried in student loan debt continues to grow and get attention.

A degree no longer signifies that you’re more qualified for a job

That said, there’s an even more elemental concern regarding the value of college that’s got folks talking and thinking long and hard before making the decision to commit to earning a degree: Does college even effectively give you a leg up in the work world?

It’s long been a cliché that college kids, equipped with their expensive diplomas, are ill-prepared for the pressures and demands of a job in the real world. And now, with rising education costs and an increasing focus on alternate paths to professional success (like embracing entrepreneurship and starting your own business), the very notion of whether or not that expensive diploma is worth going after anymore is being questioned by an increasing number of people.

Sure, the argument can still be made that having that degree on your resume is a crucial step in order to get your foot in the door at most jobs. Still, it’s also hard to argue against the notion that the value of a college degree becomes increasingly diluted when everyone else has one too, and those who find other and more unique ways to stand out from the job-hunting crowd just may have the upper hand.

College doesn’t teach the skills you need for success

It’s also important to question why so many employers are lamenting the ever-widening “skills gap” that’s making it harder for them to source qualified candidates for their open positions. Some argue that it’s the direct result of an outdated higher education system that bogs students down with coursework that’s not relevant to their chosen career paths … and instead keeps them on an extended academic treadmill to ramp-up costs and eat up valuable time that would be better spent gaining practical, work-focused experience and training.

On top of all this, the higher education system, with its exorbitant costs and sometimes questionable admissions selection processes, contains barriers to entry that many progressively-minded individuals are eager to leave behind and move past. Many of today’s forward-thinking business leaders today are recognizing a new truth: a driven, hard-working, curious, and naturally talented individual who demonstrates a little grit and a lot of hustle during the interview process can be just as effective as a candidate with a college education and perhaps little else (and maybe even more effective).

So, as this debate rages on, where does this leave those who want to make the right decision about whether or not to invest in college? Like most things in life, the answer isn’t a simple one. The truth is, not all colleges—or job candidates—are created equal, and some programs in some schools are more effective at preparing students for the work world than others. Therefore, it’s up to individuals to research their options, learn about their chosen fields and requirements to entry, explore their universe of options, and make an informed decision that’s right for them.

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How to make work friends when working remotely

The modern work world has seen tons of changes sweep across industries in recent years, largely led by seismic shifts in technological innovation that have completely revolutionized how many of us handle our jobs. There’s simply no denying it: today’s workplace is a brave new world. How we work and what we’re able to accomplish […]

The post How to make work friends when working remotely appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

The modern work world has seen tons of changes sweep across industries in recent years, largely led by seismic shifts in technological innovation that have completely revolutionized how many of us handle our jobs. There’s simply no denying it: today’s workplace is a brave new world. How we work and what we’re able to accomplish during any given day has been undergoing a radical transformation in recent years and will likely continue to evolve—those of us who choose to stay on top of all the latest developments and ride the wave of change will be best positioned for success; those who fail to do so may be left behind.

Even where we’re able to work has changed. Where once we were all required to commute each day, back and forth, to a communal workplace in order to do our jobs effectively, this is no longer a hard and fast rule. Many companies have begun offering remote work options, and today’s employees are able to handle their work responsibilities from the comfort of their homes, from a coffee shop, on a train, or wherever they find themselves in the world at any given moment. For many of us, all we need is a computer and a decent Internet connection in order to get things done at work. These days, there’s an app for virtually every task, from project management to task organization and reporting, to video conferencing, to sales aggregation, and much more—all which are making the notion of a “brick and mortar” office space increasingly obsolete.

Global Workplace Analytics recently reported that telecommuters represent the fastest-growing segment of the employee population, and it’s really no surprise. Companies benefit from this arrangement by reducing overhead costs and having an engaged and motivated workforce who can channel time wasted on commuting into their work. Reduced geographic requirements for employees also open up opportunities for hiring talented individuals from a larger and more diverse pool. Then, employees get to save the time and costs associated with commuting into work each day and enjoy increased freedom and flexibility.  In many ways, it’s a win-win situation.

That said, there are some potential pitfalls to working remotely. For some, it can be an isolating experience. When working remotely, connecting in meaningful ways to colleagues becomes more of a challenge, and making work friends and maintaining these key relationships is harder and takes more work. This can have a real and lasting impact on employees’ sense of connection to the companies that employ them, as well as their professional happiness and well-being. That said, there are ways to make friends when working remotely. Consider the following strategies to help you pull it off successfully.

Come in the office from time to time if you can

Many companies offer telecommuting as an option, but still, provide a dedicated workplace to come into should employees choose to do so—and seriously consider doing so! Dividing your workweek between time in the office and time at home will help you get valuable face time with your coworkers, and help you strengthen and maintain those important workplace friendships.

Get out of the house

Working remotely doesn’t have to mean working from home—and work friends don’t necessarily have to be people you work with. There’s a whole universe of remote workers who find public places to get things done. You’ll likely run into remote workers in places as wide-ranging as libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, and other public venues with free wifi; consider working from one of these spaces and try talking to your fellow telecommuters. Who knows—you may have lots of things in common and find yourself making new work friends in no time!

Make a better effort

Just because it gets harder to make work friends as a telecommuter doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’d like to make and keep work friends when working remotely, you’re going to have to put yourself out there. Use social networks and video conferencing tools to keep in touch on a regular basis. Keep each other up to date on how things are going by using available messaging resources (email, Hangouts, Slack, etc.). Organize after-work events and activities with colleagues so you can see each other more often. Work friendships are just like other types of friendships—they require effort on your part, so don’t forget to nurture these relationships.

Telecommuting may open up a world of new work options for you, but you don’t have to blindly accept the potential loneliness that some people experience when working remotely. Use the strategies and advice presented here to ensure that your work friendships are as satisfying as your work. Good luck!

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How to tell if a company’s culture works for you

Even within the same industry, company culture can vary pretty drastically. One company may encourage creative problem-solving and innovation, while another wants things done in a very particular way, from the top down. One may explicitly encourage work-life balance, while another expects people to be available on phone or email after hours. If a job […]

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Even within the same industry, company culture can vary pretty drastically. One company may encourage creative problem-solving and innovation, while another wants things done in a very particular way, from the top down. One may explicitly encourage work-life balance, while another expects people to be available on phone or email after hours.

If a job looks great on paper but the company culture is one that doesn’t work with your goals or your style, it can impact your work, your job satisfaction, and your stress levels. Just like picking a college or a pet, it’s important to think about whether a company’s culture is a good fit for you personally before you commit.

Let’s talk through some of the ways you can figure this out before you accept a job offer.

Do some deep background research

Before you apply for a job somewhere (or when you prepare for an interview), it’s natural to look up the company online: their website, their social media presence, etc. But if you’re trying to figure out what it’s really like to work for the company, you have to look beyond the nice, neat, corporate face. A company brand is something that can be controlled; what people say is not nearly as controllable, and thus a good source of info for your initial research.

Sites like Glassdoor or even Yelp can provide valuable insight from former employees or customers. However, keep in mind that online reviews should often be taken with a grain of salt. Is this someone with an ax to grind? Or are a number of people saying the same thing?

LinkedIn can also be helpful to see who’s working at a company, and what they present to the world. What kind of tone do you see in their profiles? How do they interact?

Think about what you want

In a job search, your ideal work situation can become secondary to the consideration of “which place will offer me an opportunity?” But it’s essential to think about what you want in the workplace—before you get started. Like with personal relationships, the odds that you’ll get everything you dream of are not high. What motivates you? What makes you happy? What has worked (or not worked) for you in former jobs?

Thinking about your priorities, your values, and your
working style gives you a baseline for thinking about whether a particular
company would work for you. If you have any personal dealbreakers for an
employer, now is the time to start thinking about those before you commit to a
place.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When a recruiter or an interviewer asks you if you have any questions, the answer should never be, “Nah, I’m good.” Asking questions shows you’re thoughtful and engaged in the process. But it might not occur to you to ask questions that go a bit beyond the job description. Use that chance to ask about what life is like at the company.

Here are some examples:

“How
do people here relieve stress during difficult times?”

“What
do you do to celebrate successes?”

“Would
you say that this is a collaborative atmosphere, or is it more of a head-down
place where people work on their own?”

“What
would you say is the overall management style of this company?”

“What
do you like best about working here?”

You can also ask for a tour of the office during your interview. That way, you can see firsthand what the working environment looks like. Is everyone dressed (or acting) very casually? Do things feel more formal? How are people interacting? Seeing the place on an average day can help you judge how you might fit in, and whether you’d feel comfortable.

Trust your instincts

If a place seems a little too good to be true, it probably is. If everything looks shiny and happy during your tour but you saw some less sparkling information online, the truth is probably somewhere in between. The bottom line is this: you know better than anyone what works best for you and your working style. If you have a good feeling about a place after doing your due diligence, go with that. Or if some little voice is shouting “avoid!” in the back of your head, don’t discount it.

A company’s culture can be a huge factor in your work satisfaction and happiness. You want to pick the one that gives you the best chance for a long, productive working relationship. Otherwise, you may find yourself cranky, unhappy, and back on the job market much sooner than you would have liked. It’s much better to put in the time and thought now to find the places that will help you thrive.

The post How to tell if a company’s culture works for you appeared first on TheJobNetwork.