The Top Paying Jobs of 2014

Advanced degrees = Advanced salaries
It’s hardly a surprise.  The highest paying jobs seem to go to those who paid high tuitions.
According to CareerCast’s 10 Best-Paying Jobs of 2014, seven out of 10 of the highest paid professions are in medical professions.  (We’re looking at real jobs and careers here and not movie stars or professional athletes.)

Most of these jobs are found in the health care industry and require advanced degrees. This means that a six-figure salary can often come at the expense of six-figure debt. For instance, general practice physicians make an average of $187,200 a year, but according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the medical school class of 2013 graduated with a median debt of $175,000, and 86% of all graduates left with some debt.

The highest paid salary on the list went to surgeons, who make an average of $233,150 a year; general practice physicians came in second. In ninth and tenth place were podiatrists at $116,440, and attorneys, at $113,530, who also face a lot of education before they can practice.

There were only two high paying jobs on the list that don’t require graduate degrees: petroleum engineers and air traffic controllers, who on average make $130,280 and $122,530 respectively. The report cautioned, though, that “for those who choose a different path [than graduate education] to attain one of the best-paying jobs, be prepared to exchange paychecks for a high level of stress.” It described air traffic controllers as dealing with “some of the most stressful working conditions.”

Despite stressful working conditions, jobs as air traffic controllers are hardly up for grabs. The industry predicts only a 1% growth outlook by 2022.  Petroleum engineers, however, can look forward to a 26% growth outlook in the same period.  All of the health care professions on the list anticipate growth of 14% or higher. “As baby-boomer doctors … reach retirement, there often aren’t enough new doctors,” explained CareerCast publisher Tony Lee.

 

BarryStaff Inc. Selected as Google’s Featured Business

Featured Business
BARRYSTAFF

Dayton, Ohio
“Our Internet presence was absolutely crucial for us, coming out of the recession”

Doug Barry, Owner
25% annual growth since 2009

Founded as a family-owned staffing franchise in 1980, BARRYSTAFF became an independent company with a new name in 2000. Today they specialize in industrial, clerical and permanent placements. “Most of the staffing we do is in manufacturing,” says Doug Barry, owner of the Dayton-based company founded by his parents. As one of the few local staffing companies left in the area following the recent recession, “we picked up a lot of the work from our competitors who went out of business,” he notes. Doug credits their current growth in large part to the Internet and digital tools from Google.

Doug rebranded BARRYSTAFF in 2010. “We have had to change our total strategy on how we go out and sell, based on social media and the Internet—which has been good,” he explains. Google is part of that strategy. The company uses Google Maps for “getting people from point A to point B, not only to our office but also from their house to the job site.” Employees use Gmail and Google Calendar to keep up-to-date, and Google Search to stay current with both clients and prospects. The staff is also mobile, equipped with smartphones and tablets for complete access to all of their digital tools from anywhere. The company plans to create training videos on YouTube, and to use social media to attract new workers as well as new clients.

Manufacturing is on the rebound in Ohio, Doug says. With fewer local staffing resources available, “companies were looking around for someone who could pick up the slack. We had an Internet presence, and that is where a lot of them found us. It was absolutely crucial for us coming out of the recession, and it has helped us with our growth going forward.” BARRYSTAFF now has four locations—another good economic sign for the Buckeye State.

Check out the story on Google

 

Everybody Wants What Everybody Wants

By Barbara Corcoran – TV Personality on Shark Tank

1988 was the worst real estate market in a decade, but when I turned the corner on East 80 Street there were more than 150 people waiting in line to buy my 88 unsold New York City apartments. The unwanted units had been sitting on the market for more than three years, and I had decided to price them all alike – those on high floors and low floors, front apartments and back apartments, some with views and others facing brick walls. I put them up for sale first come, first served, creating a buying frenzy. I sold them all in an hour and put a happy million dollars in commissions in my pocket! That sale saved my tiny real estate business from bankruptcy.

I’ve learned that the number one rule in sales is everybody wants what everybody wants and nobody wants what nobody wants. When you tell a buyer they can’t have something, they always want it more, but let that same customer know there’s plenty to go around and they’ll always go home to think about it.

As an investor on ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank, I wouldn’t invest in nearly as many businesses as I do if it weren’t for the other four greedy sharks bidding on it. Whenever a hopeful entrepreneur gets one shark to bite, he can count on a feeding frenzy and a sure investment. And the feeding frenzy continues when the episode airs, because primetime TV exposure is the magic dust that makes folks at home want the product too. Tens of thousands of viewers order it online within minutes, the entrepreneur is wooed by the big box stores, and the same investors who had absolutely no interest in it the week before suddenly want in.

When Rick and Melissa Hinnant of Grace and Lace showed their trendy socks on Shark Tank, they sold a million dollars in socks within four days! When fashion designer Gayla Bentley showcased her snappy dresses “for the plus-size woman,” Stage Stores became the first national retailer to carry her line. When Tiffany Krumins demonstrated her little elephant-shaped medicine dispenser to help sick kids take their medicine, giant CVS immediately ordered fifteen thousand units. And when Kim Daisy showed her delicious home-baked Daisy Cakes on Shark Tank, her website crashed as 20,000 cakes were ordered within eight minutes.

Everybody wants what everybody wants – and nobody wants what nobody wants – is the dictum played out every week on Shark Tank, to both the viewers’ and the entrepreneurs’ delight. If you don’t have demand for your product or service, you’ve got to dream up a way to create the illusion that there is.

 

GRADUATES – Avoid These Mistakes When Looking for Your First Job

Launching your first job search is both exciting and bewildering. You’re eager to impress potential employers with your newly gotten experience and degree, but you’re afraid that you might botch it. Here are some common job-search mistakes that trip up many new grads — and tips for avoiding them.

Mistake No. 1: Neglecting your network
Although online searches, campus career centers and career fairs all have their place, harness the power of professional networking when searching for your first job. Consider joining your school’s alumni network or a relevant professional association in your industry. Talk to as many people as you can — neighbors, parents’ friends, members of your house of worship — about your career goals, especially if they’re in the same or similar industries.

Mistake No. 2: Being sloppy or too clever
If you’re serious about the job search, you will not only carefully edit your résumé and cover letter, but you’ll ask someone else to take a look, too. Read your documents out loud to make sure they sound professional; this is also an excellent way to catch mistakes. Often, one typo can get your application tossed off the short list.

It also doesn’t pay to be cute or clever. Yes, your application materials might stand out that way, but not always in a good way. See Robert Half’s “Resumania” column for other good advice and best practices.

Mistake No. 3: Sending out generic documents
When you come across that cool job post, don’t make the rookie mistake of sending out a one-size-fits-all application. If you want to land your first job, you have to do your homework.

Start by clicking through the company’s website. Search for recent news articles. You may also want to like their Facebook page and follow their Twitter feed. Then, tailor your résumé and cover letter to show how your skills and experience mesh with the job description, as well as the firm’s corporate goals and culture.

Mistake No. 4: Being careless about your online persona

Just as you conduct a Web search on the people that you’re interested in dating, potential employers will do a search on you. If you haven’t already, sign up with LinkedIn, upload a professional-looking profile photo and write a polished summary.

You also need to comb through all your other online profiles and social media posts, and scrub what you don’t want hiring managers to see. Even though you may have set all the right privacy settings in the beginning, we all know how frequently they can change. It wouldn’t hurt to give everything a thorough once-over as you start searching for your first job.

Mistake No. 5: Showing immaturity
After sending out personalized application materials, you’ll start hearing back from a few companies. Don’t give them reasons to doubt their judgment with unprofessional phone or email manners. That could cost you your first job opportunity.

Start by getting rid of the quirky or brusque voicemail message. Instead, record a pleasant and neutral one that’s appropriate for a job search.

Don’t forget to give your email the same treatment by having an address that is a variation of your full name — not a nickname, your hobby, an alternate persona or something worse. And if you have a quote or cute graphic automatically appended to the end of each email you send, you’ll want to delete that or change it to just your contact information.

Mistake No. 6: Being unprepared for interviews

You got a call for an interview, but you can’t just show up and expect to ace it. Now is the time to study. Anticipate the possible questions and rehearse the answers. Practice with someone to make sure your delivery is smooth, confident and on point. Realize that the interviewer may throw you oddball questions like, “If you could be any animal, which one would you be?”

Also keep in mind that many preliminary interviews are now done by phone — and that not all hiring managers will set up appointments before calling. Be prepared for job-related calls out of the blue. And when they do call, try to find a quiet location where you won’t be interrupted.

You may wonder how to get a first job when there’s so much competition for so few openings. By avoiding these common job-search mistakes, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success and a long, fulfilling career.

 

Five Best Things to Say in an Interview

The best things you can say in an interview won’t necessarily get you the job on their own, but they can certainly pave the way. Keep these five things in mind as you go through the interviewing process to give yourself the best chance at landing the job.

Ask Good Questions

According to Howard Pines, founder and CEO of BeamPines, “the best thing a candidate can do at an interview is ask good questions.”

Doing so shows that you are thoughtful and interested in understanding the company. There’s usually a chance to ask questions at the end of your interview, so be ready with questions that show you’re engaged in the process.

Pines suggests several questions, including:
• What are the biggest short- and long-term issues I would need to focus on in this position?
• What would I need to focus on differently than the previous person in this position?
• What organizational issues should I be aware of?

 “I’m flexible.”

Whether it’s about possible job duties, a potential start date or simply timing for the second interview, stressing your flexibility makes you easy to get along with.

Hiring managers don’t like complications, and having to coordinate complicated schedules or haggle over a job description eventually just makes you look difficult. While you certainly don’t want to be a pushover — and “flexible” shouldn’t define your salary negotiation — show your potential employer that you’re interested in results that work for everyone.

The Company’s Own Words

Before your interview, become familiar with the company’s website and literature. Pay attention to the words used — what’s important to the organization?

“In your interview, hit key words that appeared on the company website or brochure,” says Olivia Ford of Adeptio. “These key words might include team, leadership, simplistic, culture or growth.”

Mixing these keywords into your answers can provide a subtle hint that you are plugged in to what the organization is looking for.

“That’s a Good Question.”

Use this phrase instead of blurting out “I don’t know” if the interviewer stumps you with a surprise question. It can give you a few moments to come up with an answer and, in the meantime, strokes the interviewer’s ego a little bit too.

Avoid the “I don’t know” answer when possible, but of course don’t lie about your experience or training.

Reasons You Want the Job.

Knowing a job prospect’s motivations is important for managers who are hiring.

During your interview, talk about how this position fits into your future plans and the ideas you have about your career, how it fits with your values, and what you would like to learn from it. Talk about how you see yourself in relation to the company and what you believe you can bring to the position.

These kinds of thoughts show who you are as a person, and go a long way toward giving the hiring manager an idea about how you might fit in the company’s culture and values.

 

How Improv Comedy Helps Employers

“The skills we apply on stage — things like working as a team, building on ideas, thinking on our feet, communication — those apply to more than just comedy. We can also apply them to the business world,” says Lillian Frances, owner of Chicago Comedy Company, where she runs corporate training and development workshops for businesses based on the rules of improvisational comedy.

For those unfamiliar with it (or who’ve never seen “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), improvisational comedy — or improv, for short — involves a group of people creating comedy on the spot, getting suggestions from the audience and immediately creating a scene. Because it is unscripted, improv teaches those who practice it how to think on their feet, listen to others and be team players — skills that come in handy in the business world as well.

It’s no wonder so many companies rely on improv as a way to train their employees with crucial business skills and build stronger teams. Chicago Comedy Company is just one of many companies that offer corporate improv workshops for companies of every size and industry. (Second City, iO and UCB are also known for their corporate training programs.)

Saying “Yes, and…”
Perhaps one of the most valuable skills improv teaches is the ability to say “yes,” a concept that has become foreign to many of us today. “In the real world, people tend to say ‘no’ a lot, so when we talk about “yes, and…” [one of the basic tenets of improv] and embracing a new idea, it’s pretty mind-blowing for people,” Frances says.

To help people understand the “yes, and…” concept, Frances pairs people up and asks them to start a conversation where every time someone speaks, they must start by saying, “No.” Then they start a second conversation, where every sentence must start with “Yes, but…” Finally, a third conversation starts, wherein every sentence begins with “Yes, and…” The point of the exercise is to help people see what it feels like to hear “no” all the time — and how powerful saying “yes” can be in opening up the lines of communication and generating ideas.

At Chicago Comedy Company, the customizable workshops can last anywhere from a few days to one hour. No matter the length, however, the results are pretty powerful. Frances says the transformation she sees in people from the beginning of the workshop to the end is “amazing.”

Not your ordinary training program
One thing that makes improv so effective as a business training tool, Frances says, is the fun, interactive approach. “With these workshops, employees aren’t just listening to a lecture — they’re actively doing these exercises, so they remember it more.”
Still, these trainings are most successful when they reach all parts of the organization. “You can teach all of HR about ‘yes, and…,’ but if it’s not ingrained in the entire corporate culture, it’s not going to be as effective,” Frances says. And that includes leadership as well.

The No. 1 Feature of a Meaningless Job

Ask people what they want in a job, and meaningfulness looms large. For decades, Americans have ranked purpose as their top priority—above promotions, income, job security, and hours. Work is a search “for daily meaning as well as daily bread,” wrote Studs Turkel after interviewing hundreds of people in a striking array of jobs. Yet all too often, we feel that our work doesn’t matter. “Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.”

 

What makes a job meaningless? After more than 40 years of research, we know that people struggle to find meaning when they lack autonomy, variety, challenge, performance feedback, and the chance to work on a whole product or service from start to finish. As important as these factors are, though, there’s another that matters more.

Consider the following jobs. They all meet some of the criteria above, yet about 90% of people fail to find them highly meaningful:
• Fashion designer
• TV newscast director
• Revenue analyst
• Web operations coordinator
• Airline reservation agent
• Graphics animator

Why is meaning missing in these jobs? They rarely have a significant, lasting impact on other people. If these jobs didn’t exist, people wouldn’t be all that much worse off. By contrast, here are the jobs that are highly meaningful to virtually everyone who holds them:
• Adult literacy teacher
• Fire chief
• Nurse midwife
• Addiction counselor
• Child life specialist
• Neurosurgeon

They all make an important difference in the lives of others. Not convinced yet? Here’s a taste of the evidence on the link between helping others and meaningful work:
• A comprehensive analysis of data from more than 11,000 employees across industries: the single strongest predictor of meaningfulness was the belief that the job had a positive impact on others.
• Interviews with a representative sample of Americans: more than half reported that the core purpose of their jobs was to benefit others
• Surveys of people around the world: in defining when an activity qualifies as work, “if it contributes to society” was the most common choice in the U.S.—but also in China and Eastern Europe. On multiple continents, people defined work more in terms of contributing to society than as getting paid for a task, doing a strenuous activity, or being told what to do.
• Studies of people who view their work as a calling, not only a job or career: Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski, widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on the meaning of work, shows that a core element of a calling is the belief that your work makes the world a better place.

Enriching the Meaningfulness of a Job
Becoming a neurosurgeon isn’t for everyone. The good news is that there are steps we can take to make jobs more meaningful—for ourselves and others.

In many cases, our jobs do have an impact, but we’re too distant from the end users of our products and services. Think of automotive safety engineers who never meet the drivers of their cars or medical scientists who don’t see a patient. By connecting directly with these end users, we can see our past and potential impact. When university fundraisers met a single student whose scholarship was funded by their work, they increased 142% in weekly phone minutes and over 400% in weekly revenue. When radiologists saw a patient’s photo included in an x-ray file, they wrote 29% longer reports and made 46% more accurate diagnoses.

This is why leaders at John Deere invite employees who build tractors to meet the farmers who buy their tractors, leaders at Facebook invite software developers to hear from users who have found long-lost friends and family members thanks to the site, and leaders at Wells Fargo film videos of customers describing how low-interest loans have rescued them from debt. When we see the direct consequences of our jobs for others, we find greater meaning. “The greatest untapped source of motivation,” Susan Dominus explains, “is a sense of service to others.”

Of course, some jobs are simply not designed to have a major impact on others. In these situations, people often make the mistake of treating their job descriptions as fixed, overlooking the fact that they can take initiative to alter their own roles. Wrzesniewski, Jane Dutton, and Justin Berg call this job crafting—adding, emphasizing, revising, delegating, or minimizing tasks and interactions in pursuit of greater meaning. For example, hospital cleaners who lack patient contact stepped up to provide emotional support to patients and their families, and technology associates began volunteering for mentoring, teaching, and training roles.

When people craft their jobs, they become happier and more effective. In an experiment at Google, colleagues and I invited salespeople and administrators to spend 90 minutes doing the Job Crafting Exercise—they mapped out ways to make their tasks and interactions more meaningful and contribute more to others. Six weeks later, their managers and coworkers rated them as happier and more effective. When they developed new skills to support more significant changes, the happiness and performance gains lasted for at least six months.

Like all things in life, meaning can be pushed too far. As the psychologist Brian Little observes, if we turn our trivial pursuits into magnificent obsessions, we gain meaning at the price of manageability. When the weight of the world is on our shoulders, we place ourselves at risk for burnout.

Yet most people are facing the opposite problem in their jobs, of too little meaning rather than too much. Against this backdrop, the chance to help others can be what makes our work worthwhile. “Suffering ceases to be suffering once it finds a meaning,” wrote Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search For Meaning. “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself—be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is.”
***
Adam Grant is a Wharton professor and the author of Give and Take a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller on the hidden power of helping others

10 Things Great Bosses Give to Their Employees

Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people.

Good bosses have strong organizational skills. Good bosses have solid decision-making skills. Good bosses get important things done.

Exceptional bosses do all of the above–and more. Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them.
That’s why extraordinary bosses give every employee:

 1. Autonomy and independence.
Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn’t deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (I’m looking at you, manufacturing.)
Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it’s “mine.” I care when I’m in charge and feel empowered to do what’s right.
Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.)
Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.

 2. Clear expectations.
While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled.
Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee’s job impossible. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next.
When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first–and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.

 3. Meaningful objectives.
Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive–especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks.
Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work.
No one likes work.

 4. A true sense of purpose.
Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team.
The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own.
Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.

 5. Opportunities to provide significant input.
Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage.
That’s why exceptional bosses make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn’t feasible, they always take the time to explain why.
Great bosses know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued–and appreciated.

 6. A real sense of connection.
Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire–and with and for people who respect and admire them.
That’s why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help–those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations.
A true sense of connection is personal. That’s why exceptional bosses show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker.

7. Reliable consistency.
Most people don’t mind a boss who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly.
(Great bosses treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There’s a big difference.)
Exceptional bosses know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.

 8. Private criticism.
No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good bosses give that feedback.
Great bosses always do it in private.

 9. Public praise.
Every employee–even a relatively poor performer–does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It’s easy to recognize some of your best employees because they’re consistently doing awesome things. (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they’re your best employees? Something to think about.)
You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that’s okay: A few words of recognition–especially public recognition–may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.

 10. A chance for a meaningful future.
Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional bosses take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company.
How can you know what an employee hopes to do someday? Ask.
Employees will only care about your business after you first show you care about them. One of the best ways is to show that while you certainly have hopes for your company’s future, you also have hopes for your employees’ futures.

HIRING “NERDS”?

If there’s anything certain about the Jonathan Martin-Miami Dolphins situation, it’s that we don’t even know enough to be dangerous.

The simple details are out there for anyone to peruse. Martin, an offensive tackle, gets hazed as a rookie well into his second year, finally has had enough and leaves the team with the allegation of over-the-top hazing that’s basically a harassment claim. A voicemail from teammate Richie Incognito is leaked to show the craziness and intimidation. That teammate is put on administrative leave pending a National Football League investigation.

Why did the Dolphins situation go so wrong? It went wrong because a new type of player was onboard, and the managers responsible for the team were disconnected.   They didn’t give that new type of player the support he needed within a group of incumbents who looked very different from him.

The incumbents in the Dolphin locker room collectively said “no nerds.” Which the last time I looked, isn’t a protected class.

Martin is a nerd. He’s a Stanford University grad whose parents graduated from Harvard. Regardless of the fact that he’s 6-foot-5 and 300-plus pounds, he’s different. He’s perceived as an academic and soft in the dog-eat-dog world of the NFL.

Like so many workplaces that bring in recruits with different backgrounds, Martin’s managers (in this case the Dolphins coaches) appeared to have taken a hands-off approach to managing Martin and onboarding him into the organization.

It’s a man’s world in the NFL. Figure it out for yourself; make your own way.

Any new hire who appears different is a threat to the status quo, which is why when the hazing started and continued without any apparent intervention, the result was this: Martin became a voluntary termination, and a jaded one at that. Lawsuits are sure to follow.

Your company has hired nerds. And just who are the nerds in your company? Your incumbents define nerds as any hire that looked different from what was normally hired for the position in question.

Examples:

• Hiring college grads when a large percentage of the incumbents don’t have a college degree.

• Hiring people with the experience you need in unrelated industries because you want to broaden your company’s perspective.

Every company of any size has made a move to hire new recruits that don’t look like the incumbents in a target position, otherwise defined by me (and incumbents) as “nerds.” The success of those initiatives usually depends on one factor: The strength of the manager(s) who are charged with onboarding those nerds, talking to the incumbents about why they’re coming in and troubleshooting the assimilation of the nerds on an ongoing basis.

Nerds — by this definition — are good for your company. They broaden your perspective and make you more diverse in ways unrelated to employment law.

But buyer beware: If you’re going to hire nerds or anyone different from what’s expected, you can’t have absentee managers. The nerds need support, and the crusty veterans can’t be trusted to be mentors because of the perceived threat and aforementioned differences. Diversity through your version of nerds needs active managers who build relationships with everyone.

Just ask the Miami Dolphins.