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9 signs your company is going to close - and ways to save yourself

Published: Monday, February 05, 2018 @ 9:32 AM

Keurig Buys Snapple, Dr. Pepper Creating Beverage Behemoth

While there's something to be said for the "nose to the grindstone, ignore the gossips" approach at work, there is one time you want to avoid that strategy: when your company is about to go bust.

»RELATED: 9 secrets you should keep to yourself at work

Few places, whether they're large businesses or tiny mom and pops, are eager to share the news that they might be going under. So it's up to you, the employee, to shake off any denial and watch for the signs you might be working somewhere that's going out of business. While you don't want to be paranoid, companies do close, even in a robust economy. With a little advanced warning, you'll be prepared to deal with the fallout and have better odds of finding new work.

Here are nine signs your company might be closing:

This photo taken Sept. 20, 2017, shows the logo of theme parks "Disney" Store on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey won't stand for re-election to the board of The Walt Disney Co. A Disney spokesperson says it has become "increasingly difficult for them to avoid conflicts relating to board matters." With Disney planning to put ESPN online and Twitter live-streaming sports like NFL football, online video is surely an area of overlap.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Key managers and executives are finding new opportunities somewhere else.

Of course, you can't panic every time some executive leaves for greener pastures, but you should watch for several executives bailing at once, according to the list of "6 Emails You Get When Your Company Is About to Go Under" on Cracked.com. Assess whether any of them are leaving for jobs way down the ladder from their current positions, which could indicate they didn't have a choice.

Perks are eliminated for the rank and file.

Beware a formerly friendly and generous workplace that starts having fewer parties and happy hours, cheaper coffee or snacks in the employee kitchen or gets stingy with impromptu company holidays or expense account lunches. These could all be signs that the end is nigh, according to Business Insider's Rachel Gillett

The communication flow alters

Some of the signs that point to an eminent round of layoffs can also indicate your company is in its last days. One of them is that communications that used to be passed along verbally or in person now arrive via email or hard copy memo, Jim Link, managing director of human resources for the staffing and recruiting firm Randstad, told Monster Worldwide Inc.

Vendors start making noise about not getting paid

This is a sign to look for at smaller companies, where cash flow can change the situation much more quickly, according to Monster. Keep in touch with purchasing agents and accountants at the company to nose out what's really going on with cash flow and whether the company is nearing the end.

Good people leave (and not-good people stay)

When you see the real leaders and innovators at a company exiting, it's a good indicator that the rot has started to set in, according to digital transformation expert Tim Miller on the LinkedIn blog. Miller recommended this exercise for employees trying to evaluate whether their company is on the brink of failing: "Grab a blank piece of paper and write down every rubbish 'leader' or manager you can think of. If you are still writing after 3 minutes, then your company has a problem."

The business completely rebrands or updates its vision statement.

"A great business might update a logo or two, but if you are ever called into all employee-wide sessions where the 'New' vision of the company is rammed down your throat, your business is on the rocks," Miller added.

Doors are now closed for meetings.

When every day seems to bring more highly secretive executive meetings, the company is probably in trouble, Valerie Streif, senior advisor at the job search firm The Mentat, told Time. If the secretive meetings are coupled with vague responses when you ask what's going on behind closed doors, you should take this signal even more seriously.

Work flow slows to a crawl.

If you've noticed no one cares that you're on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter most of the day, your company may be going bust, Alex Twersky, cofounder and VP at Resume Deli, told Time. Any time there is less work going on, from fewer emails in the inbox to fewer meetings on the calendar, your company could be facing trouble.

The press on your company is all bad.

"No company can win every news cycle," Dele Lowman Smith, founder and CEO of the Atlanta-based Bold Move Consulting, told Time. "But an onslaught of negative coverage, or even a steady drip, can be a harbinger of bad things to come."

How do you save yourself on a sinking ship?

Once you've accepted that the company is doomed, you should step up your efforts to make sure you don't go down with the ship, according to Time.

Before you make tracks out of there, the publication recommended taking these steps:

  • Jot down a list of contributions you've made at your current job to use as you sell yourself to potential new employers.
  • Research what has changed in your field since you took on your current position. You might need a new certification or job skill to compete in the current job market.
  • Make sure your resume and social network profiles are up to date.
  • Reach out to your network for new opportunities right away.
"The sooner the better," Donna Lubrano, adjunct faculty at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies, told Time. "Companies often don't announce their troubles in advance - it's a strategy that prevents mass exodus. Get ahead of the curve."

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Job fair Thursday to feature nearly 70 employers

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Even after their service is completed, veterans still need full-time jobs. Here are six companies that pride themselves in hiring veterans and provide the best services for them. Booz Allen Hamilton The company has two resource groups for veteran emp

Disabled American Veterans and RecruitMilitary will co-host the Cincinnati Veterans Job Fair at Paul Brown Stadium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 24.

The event is free to veterans, military spouses, active-duty military personnel and members of the Guard and Reserves. Nearly 70 employers actively seeking the unique talents of America’s veterans will be on site. At least 400 veterans are expected to attend, according to organizers.

MORE: Packaging company hiring as many as 50 at Butler County location

“DAV is proud to co-host traditional and virtual career fairs all over the country and we’re excited to bring this one back home to Cincinnati where DAV was founded in 1920,” said Barry Jesinoski, the executive director of DAV National Headquarters. “We’ve provided employment services to the veteran community since 2014 and so far nearly 60,000 job offers have been made to veterans as a result.”

MORE: Global health care company hiring at Hamilton facility

Navy veteran Josh Vinson, a highly-decorated Navy recruiter, wanted to find a job that matched his skills. He said he found a great fit with his current company when he attended the Cincinnati Veterans Job Fair in 2017.

“I was looking to go into sales, marketing or recruiting,” Vinson said. “I stopped at Gus Perdikakis Associates and talked to the recruiter at their table. He said he wasn’t for sure if they were looking for recruiters, but he would give my resume to their recruiting folks. I got a call a week or two later for an interview and three days later they called me with an offer.”

Tim Best, CEO of Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary, said each year the organization hosts more than 150 hiring events for veterans.

MORE: Butler County RV dealer hiring for new Trenton location

The events provide candidates with opportunities to interact not only with potential employers, but also with organizations that provide services and support to those who served, Best said.

“Our partnership with DAV allows us to meet the needs of veterans and their families by providing access to benefits services and employment opportunities in one place,” he said.

Veterans who wish to register for the career fair and access DAV’s other job related resources may click here.

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Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 7:34 AM

Employees Say This Company Has the Best Pay and Benefits According to an Indeed report, That company is Costco Employees were more than satisfied with benefits like An employee wrote on Indeed’s website Indeed reviewed employee feedback 2. Kaiser Permanente 3. Verizon 4. FedEx Express 5. Apple

The hottest job in America may be one you've never heard of, but demand for people who can fulfill the roll is very high – as is its starting pay.

If you're qualified to be a data scientist, according to Bloomberg, you may find companies fighting for your services.

Andrew Gardner, a senior machine learning manager in Atlanta at Symantec Corp., an IT security firm, works to fill roles at the company but told Bloomberg he's frequently contacted by other firms who try to hire him away. In an effort to compete for data scientists, Gardner finds that he needs to offer more perks, such as the ability to telecommute.

As if that wasn't enough, data scientist was also recently named the "sexiest job of the 21st century" by Harvard Business Review.

The term data scientist was coined fairly recently, but it's already become an extremely popular job.

Job postings for this career rose 75 percent from January 2015 to January 2018 on Indeed.com, according to Bloomberg. Searches for data scientist jobs increased by 65 percent.

What data scientists do

This might be one of those job titles you hear and think, "OK, but what does this person actually do?"

As we're flooded with data in today's world, the challenge lies in how to best utilize that information. Data scientists, according to Forbes, use statistics and modeling to convert data in a way that helps organizations and companies do everything from developing products to retaining customers.

In practical terms, Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. gave Cornell University data that was scrubbed of personally identifiable information with the goal of determining how customers prioritized paying bills. The company wanted to know whether people placed a high priority on paying a mortgage, car payment or cell phone bill. Data scientists helped them mine and convert that data.

Data scientists can also be involved in a growing specialty known as "sentiment analysis," or finding a way to quantify how many tweets are praising your company versus complaining about it.

Expected pay

Even entry-level data scientists can expect to make six-figure salaries. The average salary for beginners in this field is $115,785 a year, according to Glassdoor.com. The average pay for senior data scientists is $141,257 per year.

Some data scientists who have Ph.D.s can earn as much as $300,000 or more.

Skills you need

Data scientists need technical, analytical and presentation skills, including the following:

  • Ability to program
  • Intense curiosity
  • Scientific background
  • Understanding of statistics and applied mathematics
  • Ability to design experiments to test hypotheses
  • Computational and analytical skills
  • Ability to communicate findings through visualizations and stories

Education and experience

Becoming a data scientist requires a good bit of education and practical experience. The following are some common pathways to landing a position:

Complete a degree – Majors such as statistics, mathematics, economics, operations research or computer science can be helpful.

Enroll in a master's program – Georgia State University and Georgia Tech offer Master of Science in Analytics programs.

Consider a doctorate – Kennesaw State University offers a Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science.

Utilize MOOCs (massive open online courses) – Coursera, for example, has a 10-course data science series from Johns Hopkins University.

Participate in a boot camp – These accelerated learning programs have projects built into the experience. Georgia Tech's Data Science and Analytics Boot Camp is a 24-week, part-time program with evening and weekend hours, so you can enroll even if you're employed or in school.

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7 of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 4:06 PM

Over the past four years, code schools in Central Texas have graduated hundreds of students. We spoke to graduates of three different Austin-area code schools to learn more about how they did it. Anthony Pekearo took nursing classes after high school and eventually working as a stagehand and a pedicab owner. He also dabbled in Bitcoin investment, before his account was hacked. “I lost $275,000 in one night,” he said. He discovered the University of Texas’ boot camp program, which focused on teach

It's the ultimate accessory for that fancy diploma they just placed in your hands. Not a frame, no. How about a job to go with it?

Pay attention, anxious parents, recent grads and anyone currently in the process of choosing a college major who would like to earn a healthy income post-graduation.

»RELATED: First job salaries for college grads up 5.2 percent from 2017

According to LinkedIn, the 2018 college graduating class will be applying for certain jobs in record numbers.

There are more students graduating than ever before (according to the National Center for Education Statistics), and hiring authority LinkedIn identified numerous companies, industries and locations where they are most likely to apply based on 2016-17 figures. Experts at the career site picked a short list of popular jobs for this spring's graduating class, including one sought-after job description that pays more than $90,000 annually.

So, if you want to go where the competition isn't, it's good to know that these seven jobs are like magnets (or free pizza, or naps) in their ability to draw lots of recent grads to apply.

Here are seven of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads, along with the median income to expect:

Assistant media planner

$58,000

New York City was No. 1 on LinkedIn's list of the Top U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads and it hired the most entry level folks in Marketing and Advertising spots like this one. Hello, Big Apple?

Abelardo Asensio Callol, 30, a software engineer from Cuba, fled to the United States and applied for asylum, but has been held in a prison for months as he awaits a ruling on his case. He is part of a group of asylum seekers suing the Department of Homeland Security over their prolonged detentions.

Software engineer

$92,300

Yep, this is the heaviest hitter on the list, offering a $90K-plus income right out of school. Seattle is just one of the cities that needs software engineers–and it's also No. 10 on LinkedIn's list of the "Top 10 U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads."

Graphic designer

$45,000

The Information Age is still hopping, and graphic designer hopefuls must make sure they've got what it takes to convey information across a wide variety of visual communication media. According to LinkedIn, Chicago and New York are both hiring for lots of marketing, advertising and Internet spots.

Investment banking analyst

$85,000

Another one of the top-earning entry-level jobs for 2018 college grads is also a popular job description at some of the companies that did a lot of entry-level hiring in 2017, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. But you can only fill the investment banking analyst role if your education (like a bachelor's in finance, accounting or economics) has prepared you for duties like performing valuation analyses and building detailed financial models.

Administrative assistant

$38,000

Many different college degrees would qualify a graduate for at least some administrative spots, but one of the top degrees for this position is psychology, according to LinkedIn.

Recruiter

$48,000

It's only a little amusing that one of the most sought-after spots for first jobs involves helping companies hire much more experienced people... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources specialists who work as recruiters may travel extensively to attend job fairs, visit college campuses and meet with applicants. Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree in human resources, business or a related field, but the BLS said that might vary by position and employer. It anticipated the human resources specialist job outlook overall to grow about 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is about average.

Account coordinator

$40,000

Account executive also makes the list, but account coordinator (which pays about 30 percent less) is a bit more accessible for folks with college degrees, client service skills and eyes for detail. Account coordinator was just one example of a job people with a degree in marketing would be qualified for, and Marketing was No. 2 on LinkedIn's list of "The top 10 majors that led to the most varied types of opportunities after graduation."

And whether you're looking for a job with the fewest competitors or are happy to run with the pack heading for the most sought-after spots, make sure you consider this job-seeking advice. (And you thought you were through with lectures.) "Get 'em while they're hot." According to LinkedIn, the best time to apply is "right now." For 2017, LinkedIn identified April through June as the months when the most grads were hired into entry-level jobs.

Didn't march, not quite done, traveling to Europe this summer? "If you're not ready yet, don't worry," LinkedIn experts advised. "August is another hot time to apply."

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7 tips for males who manage or mentor females

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Women are interrupted 30% more than men in the workplace Being constantly interrupted by men, or "manterrupted," quiets women and makes them lose confidence To avoid spiraling into self-doubt, here are some tips to put a stop to interruptions Speak with conviction using words like 'know' instead of 'believe' Use shorter sentences so your breaths in between aren't as long, making it harder to interrupt Lean in and make eye contact Speak authoritatively and don't open remarks with any type of apology Be sur

It's a sensitive time in this #MeToo era.

As Peter J. Strauss described it in Forbes, "Over the past few months, there has been an important and long overdue national conversation surrounding the topics of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace." 

»RELATED: 7 ways women can avoid being ‘manterrupted’ at work

And while the movement has generated massive positive change, "some of the fallout from the ongoing discussion has been the expression of caution—and even a bit of fear—around male-female interactions in the workplace," Strauss noted.

One biggie: Since media reports of extensive sexual harassment started surfacing in fall 2017, a survey from women's empowerment non-profit LeanIn.Org and online survey platform SurveyMonkey found that male managers are three times as likely to say they are uncomfortable mentoring women. They're also twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman than they are working isolation with another man.

Add to that, the statistic that senior men are now 3.5 times more likely to hesitate over establishing a working dinner with a junior female colleague (versus a male at the same level) and five times more likely to hesitate to travel for work with a junior woman, and women are clearly missing out. LeanIn.org is already on the case; it created a #MentorHer program in February that already features many high power male mentors with female mentees.

Strauss also challenged his peers and the workforce at large to maintain mentoring strides and keep pushing for further gains.

"I would like to encourage my peers to change the tone of this conversation and focus on the many successful male-female work relationships we have each seen, fostered and benefited from," he said. "A workplace is super-charged by having a mix of well-mentored men and women. We need more men to mentor women because they'll be helping to positively change the workplace."

Male mentors benefit, too, according to sociologist David G. Smith and psychologist W. Brad Johnson, who described the aspects of cross-gender professional relationships that flood men with anxiety in Harvard Business Review. Many male mentors they interviewed said they often learned more from female mentee than the females learned from them.

»RELATED: These are the top 50 companies for women in the US, according to one site 

What holds men back from becoming a mentor?

"Partly, these guys are rattled by the prospect of close, caring, but nonsexual developmental relationships with women at work," the pair of researchers concluded. 

But when guys back away from mentoring women, "The net outcome is unsatisfactory for women and for the companies and organizations that hire them," they said.

Here are tips from Smith and Johnson and Strauss for men who mentor women, to the benefit of the workplace, the women and the men themselves:

Focus on professional progress. Rules for mentoring should be the same no matter the gender of the mentee. "What's the mentor or mentee's motivation for entering into this mentoring relationship?" Strauss asked. "You focus on skills, talents, goals and competencies."

Give constructive feedback. "Keep it real by not veering off the track of professional growth."

Think of mutual growth. "Focus on developing the women and men on your teams through impactful mentoring that elevates both the mentor and the mentee," Strauss said.

Ask if you're unsure. Colleagues or HR can help you understand what is considered inappropriate behavior and what is acceptable. "Something that was a compliment years ago might be considered an inappropriate comment today," Strauss said.

Practice common courtesy and respect. "Treat a female colleague as you would any other colleague," Strauss advised. "Men should take the extra step of educating themselves on the definition of sexual harassment and what it means to women in a professional setting.."

Learn to listen up. "Men can be more effective mentors for women if they practice listening skills with the goal of showing empathy versus trying to quickly problem solve or 'fix' things for her," Smith and Johnson noted. "In the process of listening, male mentors may find that they develop and appreciate enhanced interpersonal skills, access to larger networks and insider knowledge of their organization that makes them more effective leaders."

Quit worrying about the crying already!  Men must take it in stride if a female mentee cries. In the words of Smith and Johnson, "Get over it already, dudes. Men should appreciate the research showing that greater prolactin levels, human evolution and socialized permission are at play here, not weakness or distress."

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