Is there such a thing as “too old” for the workplace?

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to work as long as they feel fit to do so. In our unfortunately real world, a focus on ever-younger generations in the workplace and the challenges of age discrimination make the issue of age in the workplace a fraught one. However, with the Baby Boomers working […]

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In an ideal world, everyone would be able to work as long as they feel fit to do so. In our unfortunately real world, a focus on ever-younger generations in the workplace and the challenges of age discrimination make the issue of age in the workplace a fraught one. However, with the Baby Boomers working longer than any previous generation (about 35% of the American workforce is expected to be over the age of 50 by 2022), we’re left with a very real question: how long should we continue working? Is there a point where “too old” becomes a factor?

The bottom line is that there’s no magic number. Some people
are able to work well into their 70s or 80s with no real trouble, while others
find themselves boxed out by age bias or rapid industry changes much earlier.
For each person, it comes down to a personal choice. Am I financially ready for retirement? Am I healthy enough to keep
working? What are my professional goals at this point in my life?

It comes down to what’s best for you, and only you can
decide that for sure. If you’re trying to make the “should I stay or should I
go” decision, there are several things to consider.

Facing the money question

Finance is often one of the primary considerations when it comes to deciding when (or whether) to retire. For those who have built a post-retirement financial plan with investments or savings, it’s a decision of when that point comes. For others who haven’t had that opportunity, or who have had setbacks, it becomes more an issue of whether it’s even possible. In either case, it’s important to seek out the advice of a financial planner. They can help you find ways to make retirement feasible, scout out alternative benefits, or map out a schedule for your escape plan.

Overcoming stereotypes

Part of age bias includes stereotypes about older workers struggling to keep up in a changing workplace. In reality, older workers are often better suited to jobs than their much-younger counterparts. Studies done by the AARP and other advocacy groups have shown that older workers are dependable workers: they show up on time, they’re not likely to job-hop, they’re less likely to miss work, and they’re fully capable of keeping up with tech and other trends.

But fighting these ingrained perceptions about older people can be tough. If you’re not yet ready to retire, then it’s important to make sure you’re still building skills, taking courses to learn new things, and staying up on all the current industry trends.

Something as minor as the way you dress can help shift the conversation away from your age. Staying in touch with modern trends (in an age-appropriate way) and “dressing the part” can counteract the idea that you’re not ready to keep up with modern workplace demands. It’s shallow but can make a real difference in perception.

Thinking about alternative careers

If you’re an older job seeker, the job hunt can be
incredibly frustrating. Junior positions are far more plentiful than senior
ones in most industries, and it can be tough to compete with the salary demands
of someone with fewer life obligations. Experience counts, but it can freeze
you out in a world where youthful flexibility is one of the most in-demand
qualities. If you find yourself stymied by dead ends in your current career
path, it might be time to consider something different.

Look at it this way: you have a lifetime’s worth of strong skills that can be applied to other jobs. For example, you might want to consider consulting—it’s a way to use your built-up expertise and experience, but on a more flexible basis. Or freelancing is also an option if you’re interested in starting a small business. It might be that your opportunities feel limited because you’re looking in a too-familiar place. If you think about doing something different from what you’ve been doing, you might find that doors are opening more easily.  

“Too old” is not something that anyone but you should decide when it comes to your career. If you’re ready, willing, and able to work, there are opportunities out there to continue your career as you see fit.

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3 old-school interview rules that are still relevant

It’s easy to see how job interviews have changed over time: more email, less formality, pre-interviews with chatbots, Skype interviews, etc. What’s not so easy is determining which interview principles are just as valid and necessary as ever, even as you prepare to job hunt in a modern world. Let’s look at some of the […]

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It’s easy to see how job interviews have changed over time: more email, less formality, pre-interviews with chatbots, Skype interviews, etc. What’s not so easy is determining which interview principles are just as valid and necessary as ever, even as you prepare to job hunt in a modern world. Let’s look at some of the evergreen tips that are just as helpful now as they were when your parents and grandparents were interviewing for jobs.

Wear a suit or your interview best

Many workplaces are going full-on casual these days. All the same, this shouldn’t affect how you dress for the interview. Even if you’re 95% sure your interviewer will be wearing jeans and a hoodie, you should still plan to wear your interview suit—or at the very least, an above-average, impeccably clean and tailored outfit. If you get the job, there will be plenty of time to dress like your new colleagues. However, when you’re interviewing you still want to project the most professional and put-together image possible.

No one will think you’re a nerd for overdressing, I promise.
But if you underdress, you run the risk of seeming unserious or unprepared.
Better over than under, in this case.

Print your resume

This one may seem archaic—you likely emailed your resume to the company in the first place, so who needs paper copies? It’s still a good habit to keep. The old-school idea that you need to print your resume on the finest paper stock you can afford is no longer a must-do, but bringing copies shows you’re thoughtful and organized. Sure, the person interviewing you may be reading your resume on a screen or may already have their own printout, but if they don’t happen to have your resume right in front of them, it’s an immediate point in your favor that you came prepared. It’s also a subtle hint about the well-prepared employee you’d be—ready for everything.

This also applies if you’re doing an on-screen presentation. Always bring a few printouts (for every person you know will be there, plus a couple of extras just in case). Handouts help people follow along and also serve as a reminder all about you afterward as they’re evaluating how the interview/presentation went.

Send a thank-you note

Do you know what else never goes out of style? Polite thank you notes. (Your parents and grandparents were right about that, but you don’t have to tell them so.) An email or a follow-up text technically fits that bill in this fast-paced digital world, but sending a handwritten (or typed and hand-signed, since not all of us were blessed with great handwriting) note to your interviewers is an eternally classy move. Or you can do both if you’re worried about seeming like an ungrateful procrastinator: the quick email sent the same day, and the more traditional note following thereafter.

It’s a nice touch, and not only makes sure that you’re back on the interviewer’s radar after you’ve left the office but also shows that you’re thoughtful and appreciative of the opportunity—this doesn’t need to be a retroactive sales pitch. A brief, on-point note that thanks people for taking the time to talk to you is likely to get a response along the lines of, “I knew I liked that guy for a reason!” There’s literally no downside to following up with a simple thank you note.

The job interview has changed so much over the past decade
alone, and will likely continue to shift as the workplace and hiring in general
grow and evolve. Still, despite all the outward changes, the basics of good
taste and solid organization never go out of fashion.

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How to spot a bad boss during an interview

When it comes to job satisfaction, almost nothing derails your ability to be happy at work each day than a bad boss. Sure, bad bosses come in many types and they aren’t all created equal, but regardless of the type of bad boss you’re dealing with, there’s a unique type of dread that comes each […]

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When it comes to job satisfaction, almost nothing derails your ability to be happy at work each day than a bad boss. Sure, bad bosses come in many types and they aren’t all created equal, but regardless of the type of bad boss you’re dealing with, there’s a unique type of dread that comes each morning when you’re getting ready to work with someone you can’t stand.

Bad bosses can make an otherwise satisfying job a nightmare and leave you exhausted and running for the exit at the end of each workday—not a recipe for professional happiness. Furthermore, one of the greatest predictors of job success is the ability to get along with and work well with your boss. If that isn’t happening, you may find yourself stuck in a situation that is keeping you from realizing your true potential.

The tricky thing about a bad boss is that initial impressions can be incredibly deceptive. Often, a potential manager couldn’t seem nicer when meeting them for the first time at a job interview. They can be very good at luring you in during the first few conversations, making it seem as if it’ll be amazing to work with them. But then comes the sonic boom of unfortunate realization when you discover that this couldn’t be further from the truth—and at that point after your foot is in the door and you’ve already been hired and started at the new job, it can be hard to make a quick escape.  

That’s why it’s in your best interest to try and recognize a bad boss as early as possible. Yes, some of them are sneakier than others and are harder to spot early on, but there are some red flags to look out for on interviews to help you avoid a potentially unhappy work situation. The next time you’re out on an interview, keep your senses sharp and look out for the following potential warning signs to help you uncover a potential bad boss.

Ask questions

Many people forget that job interviews are a collaborative and mutually informative process in which both sides are engaged and learning about the other, all in an effort to make a fully informed decision about whether a candidate—or a position—is the right call. Instead of just eagerly waiting to answer questions that are fired at you, make sure to ask targeted questions that can help you root out a bad boss. Questions like “What is the work culture like at [company name]?” or “What are some of the primary challenges that your team faces?” can get to the heart of a boss’s leadership style and work philosophy—which can provide key insight into what it might be like to work for them.

Observe body language

Keep your eyes open—not just toward potential bosses, but also toward other employees you encounter. Do they get inpatient when you ask them questions? Do they seem tense or short-tempered during any part of the process? Are they exhibiting other behaviors or mannerisms that make you uncomfortable? These can be real red flags. Do others seem anxious or nervous around your potential boss? Is the conversational tone between them relaxed and friendly or just the opposite? True, these early indicators may not be fully indicative of what it might be like to work with a potential boss full time, but they also shouldn’t be completely ignored either. Instead, use all of the information you gather during the entire interview process—pros and cons—to help you make an informed decision should a job offer be made.

Do your research

This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people ignore this step during the interview process. The Internet is your friend when it comes to researching a prospective job opportunity, so take full advantage of it. These days, people leave reviews online about the companies—and bosses—they work for, and if they exist for the companies that you’re interviewing for they shouldn’t be hard to find. Yes, it’s probably not the best approach to treat the information you find online as unbiased fact, but it’s certainly worth considering. Do your research, but make sure that your first-hand impressions are weighted heavily when forming your opinions.

Trust your instincts

This is a more elusive concept than the others, but no less important when trying to suss out a bad boss. We all use our instincts to help us figure out a wide variety of people and situations in life, and interviews shouldn’t be any different. Do your senses start giving off warning signals when you’re on an interview? Are there just some things—either in the mood, the atmosphere, or the environment—that you maybe just can’t quite put your finger on but that don’t feel quite right? These may be early indicators of a toxic personality or work environment, which often results from a bad boss, and we strongly suggest you pay attention to these feelings—ignore them at your peril.

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7 blue-collar jobs with high salaries

When you hear about “hot” jobs these days, they’re typically white-collar or traditional office jobs in the tech or healthcare sectors. But there are also lots of high-paying, fulfilling jobs that are more physical, or that operate outside of the 9-to-5 cubicle life. If you’re looking for something outside an office, here are some highly […]

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When you hear about “hot” jobs these days, they’re typically white-collar or traditional office jobs in the tech or healthcare sectors. But there are also lots of high-paying, fulfilling jobs that are more physical, or that operate outside of the 9-to-5 cubicle life. If you’re looking for something outside an office, here are some highly paid alternative paths to consider.

Nuclear power reactor operator

The name of the job may conjure up images of Homer Simpson kicking back in Sector 7G with some donuts, but in reality, nuclear power reactor operators handle the day-to-day safety and productivity of nuclear power plants.

What you’ll need: A high school degree, plus extensive on-the-job training.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nuclear power reactor operators make a median annual salary of $94,350, or $45.36 per hour.

Police detective

When it comes to evergreen industries, fighting and stopping
crime is one of the all-timers. The need for qualified professionals to handle
crime on the streets and investigate cases will always be there. Detectives
gather facts and collect evidence against potential crimes and criminals. It
can be a very physical, demanding job, depending on what kind of investigation
is needed.

What you’ll need: A high school degree, plus completion of a training academy program. Detectives also need to be qualified to handle firearms and pass rigorous physical tests and personal background checks.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, detectives make a median
annual salary of $85,020, or $40.88 per hour.

Elevator installer and repairer

If you get right down to it, how many of us are terrified at the idea of being stuck in an elevator somewhere? Yet 99.99% of the elevator rides people take are safe and issue-free—and that’s because of the elevator installers and repairers who work behind the scenes to make sure elevators run smoothly and safely. This job combines strong mechanical skills and attention to detail to ensure that elevators, escalators, and other people movers are running as they should.

What you’ll need:
A high school degree, plus completion of an apprenticeship program. This is
also a job that may require you to work at significant heights or in small
spaces, so it can be physically challenging as well.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, elevator installers and
repairers make a median annual salary of $79,780, or $38.36 per hour.

Transit police officer

Transit and railroad police are responsible for ensuring safety and order on public transportation like trains, subways, and buses. They’re often the first line of defense when there’s an emergency on public transit, and are there to protect passengers, transit employees, and agency property.

What you’ll need:
A high school degree, plus completion of a training program similar to other
police officers’.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transit police officers make
a median annual salary of $74,450, or $35.79 per hour.

Signal and track switch repairer

Also in the transit world, signal and track switch repairers are the professionals who make sure the trains literally run on time. (If you’ve ever been on a subway or a train and gotten stuck, only to hear the conductor announce that there are signal problems and to hold tight, then you know how crucial these professionals are.) Signal and track switch repairers are responsible for installing, maintaining, and fixing the electric track, gate crossing, and signal equipment, and communications systems. And as many cities’ infrastructure tries to keep up with digital technology, it’s a role that will continue to grow and change.

What you’ll need:
A high school degree, plus on-the-job training.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, signal and track switch
repairers make a median annual salary of $70,490, or $33.89 per hour.

Power distributor or dispatcher

With power grids under more stress all the time, power distributors and dispatchers will continue to be in high demand. These professionals operate equipment that monitors, coordinates, and distributes electricity and steam to keep power systems running.

What you’ll need:
A high school degree, plus on-the-job training.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, power distributors and
dispatchers make a median annual salary of $82,310, or $39.57 per hour.

Supervisor of fire fighting and prevention workers

These professionals coordinate and organize firefighters and
other emergency first-responders. While they’re not on the front lines, they
make sure that the first responders are responding quickly, effectively, and
safely to fire emergencies or other accidents or disasters. This is often a
role filled by someone with direct experience as a firefighter or first
responder.

What you’ll need:
A high school degree, plus on-the-job training.

What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, supervisors of firefighters and fire prevention workers make a median annual salary of $76,330, or $38.61 per hour.

If you’re looking for a job that gives you a fulfilling career but doesn’t require advanced degrees or the traditional office grind, you might want to consider one of these essential, hands-on opportunities.

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Why you don’t need to meet every qualification when applying for a job

Regardless of industry or experience level, today’s job seekers have one thing in common—they’re facing a tremendously challenging job market when they’re on the hunt for their next opportunity. On top of an ever-shifting wave of technological innovation that’s shattering the old rules of job hunting and causing seismic shifts in how we pursue the […]

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Regardless of industry or experience level, today’s job seekers have one thing in common—they’re facing a tremendously challenging job market when they’re on the hunt for their next opportunity. On top of an ever-shifting wave of technological innovation that’s shattering the old rules of job hunting and causing seismic shifts in how we pursue the next steps in our career ladders, the ways that companies are sourcing resources and meeting their staffing needs are evolving.

The days where everyone pursues a full-time position with benefits are dwindling and being replaced by an expanding gig economy, in which employees craft “a la carte” workloads of various projects from varying employers and companies who hire on a freelance or contract basis. On top of this, the competition for available work continues to get more intense, which means that at least one old maxim for finding success in the work world still holds: if you want to land your next great job, you’re going to have to be at your absolute best when going through the application and hiring process.

Okay, so by now we’ve established that today’s job market is a shifting and tricky thing, and you’re going to need to bring your A-game in order to be successful. That said, why do so many job seekers do just the opposite by working against their best interests when on the job hunt? It’s true. A curious thing happens to many job seekers when they’re searching for their next great jobs: they often come across positions that they feel would be absolutely perfect for them—except for one small detail—and they talk themselves out of even applying for fear of not meeting the employer’s minimum expectations for qualified candidates. It’s a sad reality and keeps many folks who would probably perform wonderfully if given the opportunity from ever having the opportunity to test themselves and test their capabilities.

This often comes in the form of one glaring qualification listed in a job ad, which they currently don’t have, that sends a shockwave of anxiety and panic through applicants. They convince themselves that there’s absolutely no way they’ll be taken seriously as a candidate because of this deficit, and sadly move on. This phenomenon hits entry- and lower-level applicants who typically have less on-the-job skill-building experience extra hard, but it’s a bad move for everyone, regardless of level.

The
truth is, talking yourself out of growth opportunities can adversely affect your
entire career trajectory. Historically, a key point of moving on to a new
position is to test yourself with new challenges, to allow yourself to build
new skills, and to grow and evolve as a professional. After all, it would get
quite boring if you only considered jobs that allow you to do things you
already know how to do, without any hope of learning something new.

Furthermore, seasoned hiring professionals don’t (or at least shouldn’t) have expectations of finding absolute perfection when hiring—they often make decisions based on which candidates would fit well within their existing cultures and who seem as if they’d be enjoyable to work with and willing to learn. They’re likely not looking for or expecting to find a candidate who knows absolutely everything, so you shouldn’t let the idea that you’re not 100% perfect intimidate you out of at least trying.

Have you ever heard the old adage “fake it until you make it”? It’s a basic truth that reflects a well-worn approach to jobs—it’s okay to not know something and quietly keep that under wraps, provided you make every effort to get up to speed as soon as possible. And once you do, you can relax into your new position and do your job with confidence, all the while secretly glad you didn’t let it keep you from applying.

If you’re on the job hunt trail and wondering how closely your qualifications need to align with job postings, the answer is “close enough can be good enough.” Adherence to the Qualifications section of a job ad varies from company to company, but not having every single bullet point covered should never stop you from giving it a shot and going for it. Good luck!

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5 tips for hiring seasonal workers

Whether you work for a recreational facility like a ski lodge or are responsible for managing the retail sales push throughout the holidays, seasonal hiring comes with a lot of paperwork, onboarding, and job ad placement. The paperwork associated with the usual hiring process is often magnified by the need to fill several vacancies. When […]

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Whether you work for a recreational facility like a ski lodge or are responsible for managing the retail sales push throughout the holidays, seasonal hiring comes with a lot of paperwork, onboarding, and job ad placement. The paperwork associated with the usual hiring process is often magnified by the need to fill several vacancies. When the time comes for a seasonal hiring push, make sure your organization is prepared.

1. Hire more than you think you may need

For large retailers undergoing high volume seasonal hiring, you’ll want to keep tabs on your percentage of drop-offs or “no shows” for candidates who accept a position but do not show up on the first day of work. This phenomenon is inevitable with seasonal employees who don’t anticipate establishing a long-term relationship with their employer. When you know year to year the percentage of drop-off that occurs, you can be better prepared to be fully staffed and not have to scramble last minute.

The longer the timeframe between the job offer acceptance and the first day of actual work, the more likely the number of drop-offs will occur. So if you are planning ahead and hiring months in advance, plan also to hire more employees than you will actually need.  For smaller organizations who may only need to hire a handful of people, keep top-tier candidates close so you can fill a “no-show” vacancy more quickly.

2. Manage candidate and employee expectations

Make sure your offer of employment is clear in its terms. Seasonal workers who anticipate longer-term work or extended employment beyond the seasonal sales rush may become disgruntled if their time with you has an end date. Clearly communicate the timeframe of the offer of employment, as well as the benefits extended to short-term workers. On the other hand, laying the groundwork for repeat seasonal employment is also a good thing if future work is a possibility. Keeping a talent pool of seasonal workers can save you time and money in the future. The key point is to manage employee expectations appropriately and be direct about the likelihood of potential future employment.

3. Streamline your hiring process

How? With technology. Job ad platforms that maximize your job ad visibility can help you gather resumes more quickly and target candidates who may be a good fit. Because job ad technology has become so sophisticated, it can reduce the time you actually need to post an ad, streamlining the process by gathering more candidates to choose from and reducing your overall time to hire.

Once you have all those resumes it is also a good idea to use resume screening software to help narrow your pool to top-tier candidates. This is vital when you are hiring a lot of seasonal workers at once. The lengthiest part of the hiring process should be the interview stage. For long-term planning, it is a good idea to take stock in the off-season to troubleshoot inefficiencies in your hiring process. What lagged this year? Plan accordingly to adjust your strategy for the next seasonal hiring push.

4. Don’t cut corners

Yes, there’s a lot do when hiring seasonally, and you may need to fill vacancies quickly, but you still need to do basic things like conducting background checks. Hiring the wrong candidate can hurt your business and force you to restart the entire cycle. The hiring process for seasonal employees should not deviate from the process you undergo for regular long-term employees. Even though you may be hiring at a higher volume for a seasonal push, you need to maintain your hiring standards and consider short-term workers as integral members of your organization. The short-term worker will be representing your business like any other member.

5. Know and communicate your obligations and theirs

Some seasonal employees may not know what they are entitled to (such as workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, social security), and it is up to you to communicate to short-term workers what legal obligations your organization has to uphold. Laws can change from year to year, so you also need to be clear on how something like health coverage applies to short-term workers (which can depend on the size of your organization).

Beyond legal issues, there are other workplace rules to consider. For example, when establishing a dress code, it can be important to communicate this in writing with short-term workers who may not have time to adjust to any “unwritten rules” that long-term employees know from years of working with your organization.

In summary, be clear and upfront on all aspects of the seasonal job you’re offering, and treat the process like you would any hiring situation. Just because workers may be temporary does not mean they don’t deserve the same benefits and respect as your usual employees. And who knows what gems you might uncover during your hiring process? Your next superstar could be among the seasonal resume pile, so be on the lookout and take care even for these shorter-term jobs.

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5 high-paying jobs for 2020

If you’re thinking about a career change or are just starting out on your educational or career path, the salaries of potential jobs are probably weighing heavily on your decision. Here are some of the highest-paid jobs, in some of the most in-demand fields, to work toward for 2020. Software developer The apps you use […]

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If you’re thinking about a career change or are just starting out on your educational or career path, the salaries of potential jobs are probably weighing heavily on your decision. Here are some of the highest-paid jobs, in some of the most in-demand fields, to work toward for 2020.

Software developer

The apps you use on your phone? Software. The programs you use for productivity every day? Software. The services you depend on (online banking, shopping, Fitbit tracking, etc.) in your daily life? Software. There’s a massive amount of software in every industry, and it all requires development and maintenance. Software developers are responsible for designing and creating these software programs and making sure that they continue to run smoothly.

What you’ll need: Software developers have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, technology, or a related field. Strong tech and problem-solving skills are a must.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers make a
median annual salary of $105,590.

Statistician

With so much data out there driving every business decision, people who can take that data and turn them into meaningful strategy or predictions are becoming more and more valuable. Statisticians crunch the numbers and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help guide companies in researching, solving problems, and making decisions.

What you’ll need: Statisticians typically have a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics, though some positions may only require a bachelor’s degree.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statisticians make a median
annual salary of $88,190.

Physician assistant

If you’re interested in healthcare but not medical school, then there are a lot of great high-paying alternatives. Physician assistants are medical professionals who work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide care and treatment for patients. Physician assistants examine patients, diagnose illnesses and injuries, provide treatments, give immunizations, educate patients and families about care, and prescribe medicine, among other high-level medical responsibilities.

What you’ll need:
Physician assistants are required to have a master’s degree, as well as a
licensing. Each state may have different requirements, so it’s important to
verify what’s necessary for licensing in your own state.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants make a
median annual salary of $108,610.

Dentist

Although maybe not a career path for the squeamish, becoming a dentist is a lucrative healthcare career for the right candidate. Dentists diagnose and treat issues related to patients’ teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth.

What you’ll need:
Dentists are required to hold a doctoral or professional degree from an
accredited dentistry program, plus pass written and clinical exams. They also
need to be licensed by the state—but requirements can vary, so be sure to check
your own state’s requirements.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists make a median annual
salary of $156,240.

Nurse anesthetist

Nursing roles of all types are in incredibly high demand right now, and this is especially true for specialized nursing roles. Nurse anesthetists are a type of advanced practice nurse (APN) who provide anesthetic treatment to patients before, during, and after surgery or other medical procedures. They work with physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals as part of an overall patient care team to ensure that patients are getting the pain management they need.

What you’ll need: Nurse anesthetists typically have a specialized master’s degree in nursing, plus must pass a national certification exam. Different states may have different requirements for licensing, so be sure to check your own state’s regulations.

What it pays:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists make a
median annual salary of $113,930.

Tech and healthcare are two of the industries growing the fastest right now, and salaries are increasing to keep up with the need for qualified professionals. You can’t really go wrong with considering a career in computers or health right now, so if you’re thinking of joining the fray, you’re definitely on a path to success. Good luck!

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4 signs it’s time to take something off your resume

Your resume is a timeline of all your valuable work and educational experience, as well as your most marketable skills. However, sometimes all those details that may entice a potential employer accumulate to the point that they become a bit, well, too much. When your resume starts ballooning beyond the standard single page, it may […]

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Your resume is a timeline of all your valuable work and
educational experience, as well as your most marketable skills. However,
sometimes all those details that may entice a potential employer accumulate to
the point that they become a bit, well, too much. When your resume starts
ballooning beyond the standard single page, it may be time to start pruning a
few of those fun facts. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding
which details go and which ones stay.

1. It’s not doing you any favors

Job seekers have a tendency to be completists when creating resumes. If they worked somewhere—anywhere— they are compelled to include it in the Experience section. Some career counselors will even compel clients that they must include every little job to avoid any odd gaps that might suggest a long period of unemployment. But don’t be pressured when deciding which of your past jobs to include on your resume. If the job is not relevant to your current career path, leave it off. No employer is going to hire you to work as a law clerk because you made ends meet as a check-out clerk during your college days.

2. It’s from too long ago

Speaking of your college days, you might want to consider when you held a particular job as you decide to keep it or cut it from your resume. An employer probably won’t be interested in where you were working 20 years ago. A job you performed that long ago would have to be pretty impressive to warrant a spot on your current resume—perhaps a particularly high-level position at a particularly impressive company. Even if it is suitably spectacular, it might be best to just discuss that experience in person during your interview.

3. Your experience is not actually job experience

Employers want to hire well-rounded individuals with an abundance of life experience, but they’re most interested in actual on-the-job experience. You may have performed work relevant to your career path as a student or intern. However, your resume may not be the best place to list such experience, since the focus should remain on where you’ve been employed. Such non-work information is best left to the resumes of those who do not have much experience as an employee.

4. Your experience suggests you’re overqualified

On the flip side of that last point, there are circumstances under which you might not want to appear too experienced. If you’re sick and tired of toiling away as management and would like to simplify your life by getting back into a simpler, lower-level position, indicating you are overqualified on your resume could work against you. A potential employer might decide that there is a more appropriate person for a particular job and that you’d be better off remaining closer to the top of the corporate ladder—even if you’d prefer to slide down a few rungs. So you might not want to include the loftiest experience on your resume when seeking a lower position.

Basically, your resume should not be a roadmap of your life as a worker. You should tailor it to the kind of job you really want now. Thinking about your resume in those terms will help you to make the big decisions when it’s time to decide which details to leave in the past as your career heads into the future.

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5 of the spookiest jobs for this Halloween season

If you’ve always had a personality on the dark side, or just have a high tolerance for blood, death, or other things that make less hearty people a little squeamish, you might want to consider one of these “spooky” careers. Nocturnist Even though healthcare is one of the hottest industries, you may not hear about […]

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If you’ve always had a personality on the dark side, or just have a high tolerance for blood, death, or other things that make less hearty people a little squeamish, you might want to consider one of these “spooky” careers.

Nocturnist

Even though healthcare is one of the hottest industries, you may not hear about the kind of medicine that happens at night, outside of typical working hours. Though the name sounds a bit ominous, a nocturnist is really just a physician who works overnights at a hospital or other in-patient facility, ensuring patient care throughout the night. Many doctors and nurses work varying shifts that include overnights, but nocturnists work exclusively on night shifts. These physicians are on hand for emergencies or working with nurses and other night shift medical professionals to ensure that patients are receiving round-the-clock care.

What you’ll need:
Physicians need to complete a bachelor’s degree, a medical degree, and
internship and residency programs.

What it pays:
Physicians make a median annual salary of $208,000, per the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics.

Taxidermist

If you’ve visited a natural history museum (or have been to
the house of someone with an unusual hobby), you’ve seen the handiwork of taxidermists.
These are professionals who preserve animal bodies to look as they did in life.
In addition to the aforementioned museums or other public displays, hunters
often hire taxidermists to preserve animals they’ve hunted as trophies.

What you’ll need: Though there’s no specific college degree for taxidermy, there are courses that can teach you the trade. Most states require additional licensing or permits, so be sure to check your own state’s requirements.

What it pays:
Taxidermists can make a median annual salary of $41,000, per PayScale.

Phlebotomist

If the thought of blood doesn’t make you feel faint and you’re looking for a healthcare job, phlebotomy may be the way to go. Phlebotomists draw blood for testing, transfusion, research, or donation. It’s not exactly the spooky vampire route, but these medical professionals provide a valuable service in healthcare.

What you’ll need: Completion of an accredited phlebotomy program and professional certification.

What it pays:
Phlebotomists make a median annual salary of $34,480, per the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics.

Butcher

What’s the only job where you’re encouraged to hang bodies on hooks and wield a meat cleaver? That
would be butchery. These professionals handle, process, cut, and package meat
for customers. They may work in an independent store, or (more common) in a
grocery store. 

What you’ll need: Butchers typically learn on the job, with no special training or expertise required to start. It can be a physically demanding job, though, working on your feet all day in cold rooms and using dangerous machinery. The job may also require food handling certification, so check your own state or local requirements.

What it pays:
Butchers make a median annual salary of $31,580, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics.

Mortician

Death is a fact of life and requires the experienced guidance of morticians to guide families through the funeral process and ensure that the dead are properly processed and interred. Morticians typically work in independent funeral homes, and their tasks can include preparing bodies for burial or cremation, helping with funeral planning and preparation, and ensuring everything follows legal and professional standards.

What you’ll need:
Morticians typically have an associate’s degree (or equivalent) in funeral
service or mortuary science. Most states require additional licensing and
certification, so be sure to check your own state’s requirements.

What it pays:
Morticians make a median annual salary of $52,650, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics.

While these jobs may not be up there with “ghost hunter” in
terms of true spookiness, they’re very real jobs and career paths that will pay
the bills—for those brave enough to take them on.

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5 tips for collaborating with people you don’t like

You can pick your friends, and you may become friends with some of your co-workers, but you can’t pick your co-workers. In fact, you may find that you do not like some of them at all—they may be unfriendly or outright combative, or simply have personalities that clash with your own. Even so, you don’t […]

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You can pick your friends, and you may become friends with some of your co-workers, but you can’t pick your co-workers. In fact, you may find that you do not like some of them at all—they may be unfriendly or outright combative, or simply have personalities that clash with your own. Even so, you don’t have the option to avoid them. It’s a tough fact of work-life that we often have to collaborate with people with whom we do not get along.

So what do you do when you’re thrown together with someone with whom you just can’t seem to see eye-to-eye? Here are a few tips that may make collaborating a bit more bearable.

1. Try to modify your reactions

Look, we’re not blaming the victim (you) here, but sometimes you may be contributing more to a personality conflict than you think. Try to define what it is about your co-worker you don’t like. If you can’t pinpoint it and conclude that they’re simply “unlikable,” maybe it’s time to work more on your reactions to that person than on avoiding them. Don’t allow the little things to grate on you so much.

2. Recognize your differences

Sometimes people don’t get along because they have personalities that differ wildly. A shy person may find a more outgoing individual to be a bit obnoxious. Conversely, an extrovert may label an introvert as a stick in the mud. Keep in mind that everyone is not going to share your personality type. Try to be aware and sympathetic to those differences and modify your own behavior instead of expecting your co-workers to be more like you.

3. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes

Working with an unpleasant individual can make your life miserable, but maybe that co-worker is the way they are because they’re going through something rough. If a co-worker is less than friendly or even hostile, that person may be dealing with troubles you don’t even know about. Try not to make annoyance your default when dealing with someone annoying. Go with empathy first.

4. Communicate

The key to becoming more empathetic is understanding the person who’s rubbing you the wrong way. The only way to do that is to communicate. If a co-worker is being hostile or unhelpful, ask him or her (politely!) what the problem is. Your co-worker may open up to you, effectively unclogging the lines of communication that will make your collaboration much healthier. Just be sure not to press too hard if your co-worker doesn’t want to open up. You don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy.

5. Lead the conversation toward problem-solving

If you manage to open up the conversation lines with your co-worker, follow up those general questions with more specific ones about how you can improve your working relationship. Do so by stating the problem to your co-worker and giving them the opportunity to tackle the problem. Say something like, “What do you think we can do to work more productively together?” Your co-worker will feel as though you respect their opinions and hopefully appreciate the fact that you want to make amends. In the event your co-worker feels just as frustrated as you do, it will also show that you’re both in the same boat.

Remember that you’re not the only one who ever had to get used to a co-worker you wouldn’t exactly hang out with on your off-hours. It’s a common problem and one that can usually be ironed out by dealing with it head-on.

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