10 Good Reasons to Hire Veterans

Capitol Hill Democrats and Republicans lowered their swords long enough to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which dangles tax credits at employers as incentive to hire military veterans.

But Veterans Day is a reminder that there’re plenty of other reasons to hire military vets. Here are 10 of them, courtesy of the U.S. Labor Department:

Accelerated learning curve: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations.

 Leadership: The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Teamwork: Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.

Diversity and inclusion in action: Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities.

 Efficient performance under pressure: Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

Respect for procedures: Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.

Technology and globalization: Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.

 Integrity: Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances.

Conscious of health and safety standards: Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property, and materials.

 Triumph over adversity: In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina, and flexibility.


Surprising Jobs That Have Been Around Since 1850

Back in the 1960’s or early 1970’s you might have met someone who worked as a Key Punch Operator.  My sister in law was one of them.   But she might have trouble finding stable work in that field today since computers no longer use punched cards.

There are, however, plenty of jobs that have passed the test of time, surviving tidal waves of economic change. In some ways, consumers have become nostalgic for ways of the past. Just take a look around the urban landscape of our major cities.   The artistic vibe is a throwback to the 19th century, with a culture that supports homegrown, hand-crafted, limited-edition products.  Whether it’s 1850 or 2013, this scene shows that there will always be a place for certain niche occupations.

To find the jobs that have survived for more than a century, we combed through the U.S. Census of 1850, which is the first year the government-collected data on what Americans do for work.  We then compared it to today’s Census list of the Standard Occupational Classifications, which is revised every decade and identifies 31,000 occupations in America.  Several jobs make the cut.  While some have shown predictable stability — dentists, bankers, engineers — others are more unexpected. Here are nine surprising jobs that have been around since 1850:

1. Armorers: In the past, an armorer was someone who made personal armor. Today, it is someone who maintains and repairs small arms and weapons in the military or police force.

2. Charcoal burners (2012 median annual pay is $35,530): Someone who makes charcoal.

3. Cotton ginners (2010 median annual pay is $18,970): An agriculture worker whose job consists of operating machinery and doing physical labor to produce cotton.

4. Cordwainers (2012 median annual pay is $24,310): A worker who operates and tends machines used in the production of shoeware.

5. Cork cutters (2012 median annual pay is $31,430): Someone who operates cutting machines to cut roles or slices of materials.

6. Enamellers: An artist who uses enamel paint to make jewelry and other decorative pieces.

7. Gold beaters: Someone who hammers sheets of gold into gold leaf.

8. Map makers (2010 median annual pay is $37,900): A technician that assists surveyors and cartographers in collecting data and making maps.

9. Riggers (2012 median annual pay is $42,660): A person that specializes in lifting and moving heavy objects with a crane or derrick.

Now this doesn’t mean we think you should actively consider a career as a Charcoal Burner or Cordwainer. But if you get a shot at being a Gold Beater, that might be something to look into.


10 Things Super Successful People Do During Lunch

Before you spend another lunch scarfing down food at your desk with your eyes glued to your computer screen, here’s some food for thought.

Lunch breaks can be important opportunities to recharge, find creative inspiration and make business connections, according to many experts. Research suggests that certain lunch activities can make you more productive — and many successful people agree.

Unfortunately, with workplace stress levels on the rise and most Americans doing work-related activities off the clock, many workers feel they don’t have time for lunch. Just 19 percent of workers in the U.S. and Canada take lunch breaks away from their desks on a regular basis, down from 35 percent in 2011, according to a study last year by Right Management, a human-resources consulting firm.

But our bad lunch habits might be making us more stressed, while at the same time making us worse at our jobs.

Here are ten things super successful people do during lunch:

1. They leave their desks. “Staying at your desk is a big no-no in my book,” Michael Kerr, president of Humor at Work, says in an interview with Forbes. “There are more and more reports on the dangers of sitting too long, so even just getting up to walk to another room to eat is important.”

2. They go outside. A walk in the park can help rejuvenate the mind after a morning of hard work. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that subjects with recent exposure to nature performed better on memory and attention tests than those who did not.

3. They exercise. Steve Cooper, editor-in-chief of Hitched Magazine, says he runs during his lunch break every day. “The sweat, the fatigue, the endorphin rush all give me a boost in the afternoon and into the evening,” he writes in a column on Forbes. “It sounds counterintuitive, but after my runs I have more energy for the rest of the day and my mind is again sharp and ready to tackle any task.”

4. They read. “[Take] in as much information as possible throughout the day—reading magazines, watching films,” says advertising executive Tor Myhren. The man behind the E-Trade talking babies campaign adds that “all that information in your brain” creates an “inspiration overload.” Lunch could be just the opportunity you need to get your creative juices flowing.

5. They eat healthy. A recent study found that those who stick to healthy diets are 25 percent more likely to be high performers at work than those who do not, according to Business News Daily.

6. But they don’t over-eat. NPR points out that over-eating can cause your body to produce too much insulin, which lowers blood sugar and can make you tired or even depressed. The phenomenon is popularly known as a “food coma,” and it makes getting back to work more challenging than it has to be.

7. They grab lunch with friends or colleagues. “Lunch is an excellent time to continue to build relationships and network with others,” career coach Anita Attridge tells Forbes. Bradford Shellhammer, the co-founder of Fab.com, agrees that you should never eat lunch by yourself. “Food is also social to me, so I’d never want to check out and eat alone,” he explains to Entrepreneur Magazine.

8. Sometimes, they even do lunch with enemies! Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, tells the Wall Street Journal lunch can be a chance to bridge the gap with a rival. “Years ago British Airways went to extraordinary lengths to put us out of business,” he said. “After the court case, I rang up Sir Colin Marshall, who ran [British Airways], and said, ‘would you like to come out for lunch?’ … We had a delightful lunch at my house in London and became friends and buried the hatchet.”

9. They listen to music. Listening to music is a great way to blow off steam during your lunch break because it provides what the Mayo Clinic calls a “mental distraction.” The result: reduced muscle tension and decreased stress levels.

10. They take naps. Research suggests that daytime naps improve cognitive performance, The New York Times notes. That could be why Arianna Huffington created nap rooms at The Huffington Post. “Ultimately, at work, the most important thing is our energy,” she says in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s not exactly how many hours we are sitting at our desks, but how present are we when we’re there.”