What STEM Careers are in High Demand?

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What STEM Careers are in High Demand

Have you ever wondered what the outlook might be for your STEM career five or even ten years out? Or maybe you are a current student weighing your options for a chosen career path and need to know the type of degree that is required.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education labor trends and workforce studies experts have culled through the BLS data and have summarized the outlook for several select STEM careers.

With the right information in-hand — and a prestigious research experience to complement your education — you can increase the confidence you have when selecting a STEM career.

Software Developers
There are over 1,469,000 software developers in the U.S. workforce either employed as systems software developers or employed as applications software developers. Together, employment for software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software because of an increase in the number of products that use software. The need for new applications on smart phones and tablets will also increase the demand for software developers. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks. Most jobs in this field require a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field and strong computer programming skills.

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program from identifying the core functionality that users need from software programs to determining requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, such as the level of security and performance. Software developers design each piece of an application or system and plan how the pieces will work together. This often requires collaboration with other computer specialists to create optimum software.

Atmospheric Scientists
Atmospheric sciences include fields such as climatology, climate science, cloud physics, aeronomy, dynamic meteorology, atmosphere chemistry, atmosphere physics, broadcast meteorology and weather forecasting.

Most jobs in the atmospheric sciences require at least a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a related field that studies the interaction of the atmosphere with other scientific realms such as physics, chemistry or geology. Additionally, courses in remote sensing by radar and satellite are useful when pursuing this career path.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer models have greatly improved the accuracy of forecasts and resulted in highly customized forecasts for specific purposes. The need for atmospheric scientists working in private industry is predicted to increase as businesses demand more specialized weather information for time-sensitive delivery logistics and ascertaining the impact of severe weather patterns on industrial operations. The demand for atmospheric scientists working for the federal government will be subject to future federal budget constraints. The BLS projects employment of atmospheric scientists to grow by 8 percent over the 2018 to 2028 period. The largest employers of atmospheric scientists and meteorologists are the federal government, research and development organizations in the physical, engineering, and life sciences, state colleges and universities and television broadcasting services.

Electrical and Electronics Engineers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 324,600 electrical and electronics engineers in the U.S. workforce. Workers in this large engineering occupation can be grouped into two large components — electrical engineers and electronics engineers. About 188,300 electrical engineers design, develop, test or supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as power generation equipment, electrical motors, radar and navigation systems, communications, systems and the electrical systems of aircraft and automobiles. They also design new ways to use electricity to develop or improve products. Approximately 136,300 electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment such as broadcast and communications equipment, portable music players, and Global Positioning System devices, as well as working in areas closely related to computer hardware. Engineers whose work is devoted exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers. Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree, and internships and co-op experiences are a plus.

The number of jobs for electrical engineers is projected by BLS to grow slightly faster (9 percent) than the average for all engineering occupations in general (8 percent) and faster than for electronics engineers (4 percent) as well. However, since electrical and electronics engineering is a larger STEM occupation, growth in employment is projected to result in over 21,000 new jobs over the 2016-2026 period. The largest employers of electrical engineers are engineering services firms; telecommunications firms; the federal government; electric power generation, transmission and distribution organizations such as public and private utilities; semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturers; organizations specializing in research and development (R&D) in the physical, engineering and life sciences; and navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control systems manufacturers.

BLS notes three major factors influencing the demand for electrical and electronic engineers. One, the need for technological innovation will increase the number of jobs in R&D, where their engineering expertise will be needed to design power distribution systems related to new technologies. They will also play important roles in developing solar arrays, semiconductors and communications technologies, such as 5G. Two, the need to upgrade the nation’s power grids and transmission components will drive the demand for electrical engineers. Finally, a third driver of demand for electrical and electronic engineers is the design and development of ways to automate production processes, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and Distributed Control Systems (DCS).

Data Science and Data Analysts
Technological advances have made it faster and easier for organizations to acquire data. Coupled with improvements in analytical software, companies are requiring data in more ways and higher quantities than ever before, and this creates many important questions for them, including “Who do we hire to work with this data”? The answer is likely a Data Scientist.

When trying to answer the question “what is data science,” Investopedia defines it as providing “meaningful information based on large amounts of complex data or big data. Data science, or data-driven science, combines different fields of work in statistics and computation to interpret data for decision-making purposes.” This includes data engineers, operations research analysts, statisticians, data analysts and mathematicians.

The BLS projects the employment of statisticians and mathematicians to grow 30 percent from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the source, organizations will increasingly need statisticians to organize and analyze data in order to help improve business processes, design and develop new products and advertise products to potential customers. In addition, the large increase in available data from global internet use has created new areas for analysis such as examining internet search information and tracking the use of social media and smartphones. In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, biostatisticians will be needed to conduct the research and clinical trials necessary for companies to obtain approval for their products from the Food and Drug Administration.

Along with that of statistician, the employment of operations research analysts is projected by the BLS to grow by 26 percent from 2018-2028, again much faster than the average for all occupations. As organizations across all economic sectors look for efficiency and cost savings, they seek out operations research analysts to help them analyze and evaluate their current business practices, supply chains and marketing strategies in order to improve their ability to make wise decisions moving forward. Operations research analysts are also frequently employed by the U.S. Armed Forces and other governmental groups for similar purposes.

To learn more about other flourishing careers in STEM, visit bls.gov/ooh to learn more.

Source: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

‘Quiet’ is the workplace word of 2023
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Young black man using his laptop keeping a secret or asking for silence

By , Business Insider

It seems fair to say that “quiet” is the workplace word for this year. “Quiet quitting,” “quiet hiring,” and “quiet firing” have all entered the work lexicon in the last several months, each marking a trend in how workers and employers are continuing to adapt to changes in how work works three years after the start of the pandemic. Experts think those “quiet” trends and more are set to continue throughout 2023 and beyond.

While not everything in today’s workplace are related to these quiet terms — there’s also rage applying, career cushioning, and chaotic working to name a few — there are a lot of quiet trends happening at work.

Quiet hiring

According to Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, quiet hiring involves shuffling workers into new roles within a company and “happens when people internally are being asked to move to another area internally.”

“Quiet hiring” is one of the “biggest workplace buzzwords” of 2023 per Insider’s reporting. That’s based on Gartner research, which considered it one of nine “Future of Work Trends for 2023.”

Emily Rose McRae of Gartner’s HR Practice said per reporting from GMA that quiet hiring is a workplace trend in 2023 in part because of a shortage in talent.

“We do not have enough talent for the roles that are available,” McRae said. “The jobs report that just came out said we had the lowest number of job seekers in months, so we’re not in a situation where we’re easily finding lots more talent.”

Salemi noted a few other reasons as to why quiet hiring may happen, including that it can be a strategy to get around having to lay off workers. She added that it could be the case too that “the company realizes that the employee’s talent are being underutilized.”

She pointed out that there can be pros to these internal moves like acquiring new skills, but some may find out they aren’t happy with this change. Salemi pointed out a Monster poll that half of those impacted by quiet hiring are in roles that actually don’t match their skills. This could lead to people joining the ongoing Great Resignation.

“Companies are redeploying resources and employees are — depending on their situation — it could be a move or stepping stone to a bigger opportunity or they could feel perhaps like they’re not in alignment with their goals,” Salemi said.

Quiet quitting

As Insider’s Samantha Delouya reported, “quiet quitting,” or just doing a minimum workload, was one prominent trend last year, and according to Payscale’s new 2023 Compensation Best Practices Report, it “isn’t going away.”

Today’s high inflation of over 6% may also be one reason people are not going above and beyond in their roles.

“In the midst of inflation, these employees who stayed, they’re being asked to take on more and more work for what feels like less pay if they haven’t got a raise or promotion,” Bonnie Chiurazzi, director of market insights at Glassdoor, told Insider. “So when you think of it through their eyes, it seems more of a natural response to the context that they’ve been living through.”

And layoffs, such as those at companies like Spotify and BlackRock, may not help this trend.

Amid those kinds of layoffs, “there is the likelihood that there’ll be increased responsibility for the employees that are left behind,” Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale, told Insider. “And that may potentially exacerbate that quiet quitting movement where employees become more frustrated at the fact that they’re having to take on more responsibility, so that’s a dynamic we see potentially happening.”

​​Salemi also said she thinks quiet quitting is still taking place in the labor market. Similarly, Chiurazzi thinks the “quiet quitting trend will persist until employers are ready to turn up the volume on employee feedback and really dig into these conversations.”

“I do think quiet quitting will remain prevalent until some of the underlying issues are addressed,” Chiurazzi said.

Chiurazzi pointed to Glassdoor findings that suggest some workers aren’t too happy with their employer. Chiurazzi said about a third “of employees feel a lack of transparency with their current employer,” but also about a third aren’t happy “with how their employer engages employees” and about a third are unhappy with “how their employers follow up on employee feedback.”

Other buzzwords of the year from Insider’s reporting relate to quiet quitting even if they don’t use the word quiet. That includes resenteeism, which Glamour UK’s Bianca London described as “the natural successor to ‘quiet quitting.'”

Another related buzzword of 2023 is Bare Minimum Monday — or as Insider’s Rebecca Knight and Tim Paradis wrote: “the TikTokian progeny of ‘quiet quitting.'” While this involves doing just the minimum on Mondays, it’s similar given quiet quitting includes not doing more than you are required to. However, not all buzzwords are about quiet things in the workplace. Newsweek reported that “loud layoffs” will be a trend this year, and Salemi told Insider “rage applying” is also happening usually because people want to leave “toxic workplaces.”

Quiet firing, thriving, and promotions

Quiet firing is another trend describing what has been taken place for some in the workplace. As Insider’s Britney Nguyen wrote, this quiet term means “employers treat workers badly to the point they will quit, instead of the employer just firing them.”

Continue on to Business Insider to read the complete article.

Kickstart Your Career With Public Health AmeriCorps
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MENTAL HEALTH open book on table and coffee Business

As communities across the country work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a healthier, more resilient future, there is an urgent need to grow our nation’s public health workforce.

Our communities also need innovative solutions to help break down barriers to good health and improve health equity. That’s why AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are teaming up through Public Health AmeriCorps, a new program that supports the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of diverse public health leaders.

Opportunities Are Now Available Near You

AmeriCorps is recruiting thousands of people to serve in public health roles at health departments, government agencies, community-based organizations, schools and other settings across the U.S. Adults of all ages and educational backgrounds are eligible to join Public Health AmeriCorps, which aims to recruit members who reflect the communities where they serve.

“Public Health AmeriCorps members add much needed capacity and support for local organizations and help address critical public health issues — like health equity, mental health and substance use disorders, COVID-19 recovery and more,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “This program will not only meet urgent public health needs, but also help fill the shortages in the public health workforce with thousands of Public Health AmeriCorps alumni who represent the rich diversity of the communities they serve.”

Depending on the organization’s and community’s needs, some common roles include:

  • Health education and training
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • System navigation, referrals and linkage to care
  • Research, data collection, analysis and assessment
  • And more!

For example, AmeriCorps members have helped more than 2.5 million people at COVID-19 vaccination sites and conducted 1.7 million wellness checks. Members have also served as recovery coaches to help individuals overcome opioid addiction by providing substance use prevention, education, screenings and assessments.

Why Serve with Public Health AmeriCorps?

For many AmeriCorps members, serving is a way to gain valuable, first-hand experience to help further or transition their careers. Members receive on-site experience in a public health setting and have access to a comprehensive training program. Serving is also a great way to help make a difference in communities and give back. In addition, members receive benefits including:

  • Professional development opportunities: Gain transferable skills employers value including leadership, teamwork and problem-solving.
  • Living allowance: Receive a living allowance to cover basic expenses during your service term.
  • Money for college and trade school: Individuals who complete a term of service will receive an education award which can be used for a range of educational expenses.
  • Loan deferment and interest forbearance: AmeriCorps members are eligible for forbearance for most federally guaranteed student loans. In addition, interest payments that accrue during service may be eligible for repayment by AmeriCorps.
  • Access to the national AmeriCorps alumni network: Be part of a network of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving communities. AmeriCorps alumni receive access to unique benefits and resources.

Learn More & Apply

Is this a good fit for you? Visit AmeriCorps.gov/PublicHealth for a complete list of opportunities to serve and guidance on how to apply. Part-time and full-time roles are available in rural and urban locations across nearly every state, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. You can also subscribe to AmeriCorps’ newsletter (public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCNCS/subscriber/new) and contact publichealth@americorps.gov with any questions.

The Woman Stepping Up to Take on Climate Change
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Monica Medina smiling wearing a blue suit with hair in bun

Environmental conservation is one of the biggest issues of the current times, bringing together representatives from every country to discuss what needs to be done to preserve our planet and its wildlife.

But thanks to one woman’s extraordinary expertise and her new position with the United Nations, we are improving worldwide efforts to help our planet.

Attorney and Army veteran, Monica Medina has been an advocate and a key player for sustainability and conservation efforts throughout her entire career.

She has worked as legal counsel on behalf of environmentalist organizations such as NOAA and the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, oversaw the Justice Department’s Environmental Division under President Clinton, led conservation efforts as the Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission under President Obama and has worked with various other environmentalist and ecological organizations.

Now, Medina’s expertise will be utilized in a whole new way: as the United States’ first ever Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources; a position designed to confront the environmental crises that directly affect our planet’s wildlife and water supply. In tandem with her position as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the state department, Medina’s position makes her one of the biggest power plays in environmental conservation among world leaders.

“I am really honored to have this role and this title,” she told ShareAmerica. “We’re in a world where the loss of nature is overwhelming and a real potential threat to the health of the planet and the health of people.”

In her new role, Medina will be working to support two of the most important ecological crises that effect humanity: the protection of biodiversity and increasing water security.

Decades of evidence shows that water security is essential to global efforts to increase equity and economic growth, build inclusive and resilient societies, bolster health and food security, decrease the risk of conflict or instability and tackle the climate crisis. Meanwhile, environmental stressors, like the climate crisis, nature crimes — including illegal logging, mining, land conversion — and wildlife trafficking, have deep and detrimental impacts on the biodiversity of our planet and the availability of clean and safe water for human use. The two crises are inextricably linked, and the state department and Special Envoy Medina are committed to addressing the crises holistically.

“These have deep and detrimental and lasting impacts on biodiversity, and on the availability of resources like clean and safe water,” Medina stated. “We are committed as we can be to try to address all of these crises at the same time.”

Monica Medina (L), speaks with Cho Seung-Hwan (R), South Korea's special presidential envoy for the 2030 Busan World Expo
Monica Medina (L), speaks with Cho Seung-Hwan (R), South Korea’s special presidential envoy for the 2030 Busan World Expo, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). (WILLIAM WEST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As part of Medina’s position, she has attended and will continue to attend discussions and negotiation that will foster new conservation efforts to support biodiversity and water preservation. These conferences include the 2022 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), the December meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties (COP15) and the Intergovernmental Conference. She will also be in charge of forming partnerships with other countries to find climate solutions.

“I am really honored to have this role and this title. We’re in a world where the loss of nature is overwhelming and a real potential threat to the health of the planet and the health of people.” – Monica Medina

Additionally, Medina’s position will require her to implement a first-of-its-kind initiative dedicated to advancing water security in the U.S. and abroad. The White House Water Security Action Plan and the Global Water Strategy, both of which Medina will be leading, will identify the direct links between water and U.S. national security, and harness the resources of the U.S. government — from leveraging science and technology to informing our diplomacy, defense and development efforts — to advance global water security and foreign policy goals. Securing water safety is additionally believed to prevent conflict and promote global peace and stability.

Monica Medina makes a few remarks at a special preview screening of the Netflix film, “Mission Blue,” at the National Geographic Society's Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Monica Medina makes a few remarks at a special preview screening of the Netflix film, “Mission Blue,” at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, D.C. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Netflix)

“We see water scarcity as a growing threat to peace and security in so many parts of the world, so we made it a priority,” Medina said.

Though climate change has been one of the top growing concerns for people of differing citizenships, political beliefs and cultures, Medina has faith that these new partnerships and programs will have a positive impact on the future of ecological conservation. “We are working to advance our climate ambition, to strengthen resilience to climate change and to really get as strong an outcome as possible from COP27. We as the U.S., are bringing an awful lot to the table there.”

Sources: ShareAmerica, U.S. Department of State, whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia

Top Photo: Monica Medina, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the United States, poses for a picture during an interview with AFP on the sidelines of the UN’s first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution on November 28, 2022. (RICARDO FIGUEREDO/AFP via Getty Images)

Searching for a Remote Job? 5 Mistakes to Avoid
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womans hands on laptop keyboard wearing smartwatch tech background

By Jillian Hamilton

Remote jobs are a hot search term — even in national security. But while many say they want to work from home some or all of the time, it doesn’t mean candidates know how to find a remote job.

The candidate market may be hot, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find the right job that fits you.

5 MISTAKES TO AVOID IN YOUR REMOTE JOB SEARCH

But if you’re in the market for a remote job and not finding one, you might be making some basic mistakes. Sometimes, you don’t have to overhaul everything — just make a few adjustments.
 

  1. Focusing only on the remote-side of the search.

When it comes to jobs, it’s really about lining up the right skills to the position. It may be tempting to apply for every and any remote job, regardless of whether or not you even want to do the actual work. However, if you want to go remote in national security, your best bet will be to keep your job search open to all requirements and focus on your specific skillsets. You may find that in a candidate market, cleared employers are willing to offer some hybrid options. You can narrow your search for specific remote jobs, but it’s important to keep your skillsets the key piece of the equation. Employers are most concerned with finding cleared candidates who meet the job requirements.

  1. Never changing your resume for the different jobs.

This isn’t a remote-only issue. It is a normal struggle for candidates, but it’s worth mentioning because it can have such a negative impact on the success of a job search. If you’re not adjusting your resume based on each job description, make that your first change you make. If you want the job, you have to connect the dots for recruiters, highlighting how your skillsets map to the job requirements. Don’t just blast your resume out to every opportunity without making adjustments.

  1. Searching remote jobs outside your geographical location.

When it comes to cleared, remote opportunities, the odds of having to make an appearance at the office or the client site are high. Unless the contract allows for billable travel, you will need to be close enough to commute in, sometimes at least once a week. Unless you have a personal SCIF at home or the contract has zero classified information that you will have to handle, then you should expect some in-person interactions will need to happen. Try narrowing down your search to opportunities that are at least a drivable distance from your home.

  1. Forgetting your network.

You build your network for many reasons, but one of the best times to lean on them is when you are job searching. Whether it’s to ask someone to review your resume or it’s to connect to a company that has remote openings, you have to remember to reach out. Asking for help isn’t easy for everyone, but every job search is made better when your network is involved. Don’t forget to reach out to recruiters as part of your network, as well as key associations in the industry. Those connections could be your ticket to answering emails in your comfy pants at home.

  1. Skipping your remote skills section.

You might not think this section is important, but you’d be wrong. If you want to have a remote job, you have to highlight how you are suited to it. Not everyone thrives or has the right skills to make the remote life work for them. Team communications and collaboration skills in a remote world need to be highlighted. How are you at tracking tasks? Don’t talk about how much easier working at home makes your personal and professional life. That shouldn’t be your reasoning for an employer to offer you a remote job. If you really want to land your next remote gig, you need to highlight on your resume your remote skills, as well as share that information during the interview too.

BE FLEXIBLE WITH REMOTE DEMANDS

Sometimes in national security, the remote jobs just aren’t there. But be sure that it’s because all the contracts are actually requiring 100 percent on-site support and not because you’re making some key mistakes in your remote job search. And you may need to be flexible on the amount of cleared remote work you can get. With federal agency offices opening back up, mask guidelines being adjusted and vaccine mandates on hold, more clients will be expecting more faces on-site. Being able to support the mission with a hybrid schedule is a win for the national security workforce.

Source: ClearanceJobs

3 Ways to Maintain Balance When Your Work World Shifts
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You may have heard of “quiet quitting,” a term that is creating a lot of buzz around setting boundaries at work. The idea is that rather than leave a job, some workers are deciding to keep doing their duties but not go above and beyond, sparking debates about what’s “normal” when roles shift and more responsibilities are presumed to be assumed.

“Quiet quitting” is making its rounds on social media and web forums everywhere for good reason. Imagine that your manager wants you to take on more responsibility at work, but doesn’t give you a promotion.

(It’s not an uncommon story. After all, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. workers work an average of 1,791 hours per year versus an OECD country average of 1,716.)

You can do one of the following:

  1. Grin and bear it.
  2. Demand perks, a salary bump or a bonus for your work.
  3. Desperately search for guidance because no one told you how to handle this situation.

Your answer will likely vary depending on what led to the change.

Team dynamics can shift for any number of reasons. A coworker could be taking leave or a new job, the company might be downsizing or your employer could simply decide to change your role. Whatever the catalyst, you’ll want to have a chat with your manager to define your new responsibilities, set boundaries and ensure that you’re treated fairly.

Understand the terms

Before deciding whether or not to ask for more money or a better title, find out if your new responsibilities are permanent and what prompted them.

For example, if you’re shouldering the workload of a coworker who will be out for parental leave, you might be able to negotiate an interim salary adjustment or bonus for your temporary workload adjustment. On the other hand, if your company is cutting costs after a round of layoffs, it’s probably not a good time to ask for a raise.

Read the room and think about how your needs and the company’s needs overlap and then you can make your move.

Ask for more

No matter how much you like to think of yourself as a “team player,” you don’t work for free. If your increased workload is due to temporary changes, like a colleague taking a sabbatical or medical leave, you should be paid for the additional work you’ll be doing. Be sure to ask for a specific number, whether it’s a raise or a bonus, and quantify that number with data.

If your workload is increasing because a colleague is leaving permanently, find out if the company is planning to fill the vacancy. If you’re absorbing duties for a vacant role that could be a promotion, ask for the promotion or even an “acting” title to demonstrate your skills.

In situations where a raise or a title change are out of the question, get creative. Explore perks like additional paid time off or even a one-time bonus. If the company offers educational reimbursement, you could even request more tuition or training reimbursement.

In either situation, don’t let negotiations continue indefinitely. If your manager asks for more time to figure out a plan, schedule a follow-up meeting right away.

Define expectations

Your employer shouldn’t expect you to do the jobs of two or three people in the same amount of time for the same pay. It’s neither fair nor sustainable. Setting reasonable expectations up front for your redefined role can help you avoid burnout later.

As you discuss your workload with your manager, try to create realistic estimates for how much time you’ll need to perform each task well and ask about reassigning some of your existing workload — or pieces of the new workload — to other team members. Before leaving the meeting, set a check-in date so you can reassess the situation after you’ve had time to adapt to your new role. Some of your new duties may be easier than you expected, but you may need more training or mentorship to thrive in other areas.

Put it in writing

Ideally, you’ll be completely aligned with your manager on expectations, but it’s always best to have written terms that you can reference. That doesn’t mean you have to ask your manager to draft a to-do list for you. Instead, take notes as you discuss expectations and new assignments — plus any changes to your compensation, benefits or title — and send your manager a follow-up email outlining what you discussed. If the company tries to renege later, you can point back to your email documenting the terms you agreed to.

Carpe diem

While taking on extra work is challenging, it’s also a chance to show that you’re ready for bigger roles. Setting expectations and boundaries with your manager before you jump into an expanded role can help position you for success.

Whether you use the opportunity to move up the ranks within your current company or seek another position with a new employer, shifts in your workload can sometimes be stepping stones to advance your career. Embrace the change.

Source: Glassdoor

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media in Hiring
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hand on smartphone looking at social media image

Does your candidate screening process include checking out applicants’ social media? It’s a practice that has become common, but it introduces important ethical and legal considerations that employers should be aware of, along with potential impact on diversity and inclusion efforts.

Conducting general employment background checks is a well-established practice; they typically cover an applicant’s work history, credit history and possibly justice system involvement. But the practice of reviewing candidates’ social media accounts on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook is much newer. Recent surveys indicate a majority of employers now use social media background checks to screen candidates, and that their findings range from alarming to impressive.

One use of social media information that seems particularly justifiable could be to eliminate candidates who demonstrate poor or even dangerous judgment and behavior in their personal life that might impact coworkers and the workplace if they were hired.

However, this — and any other — purpose for reviewing applicants’ social media raises the risk of legal liability because federal employment laws (including the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act) prohibit hiring based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and more. Any of these characteristics would likely be visible on an individual’s social media, so searching candidates’ social media may increase the risk of discrimination, or appearing to discriminate, based on these qualities.

Companies may hire an independent service to conduct social media-based background checks, rather than perform them themselves. This is intended to shield the employer from seeing information about candidates’ protected status and preserve the legality of the hiring process. However, the employer is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the independent service and may also be required to disclose this practice to applicants in advance.

Some states bar employers from asking applicants for access to their social media usernames and passwords. However, employers may still conduct searches of information that is publicly available on social media. Besides legal risks, one of the primary arguments against social media background screening is implicit bias. To avoid recruiting based on stereotypes, it’s recommended that hiring processes follow the notion of “blind recruiting,” removing personal information as much as possible. Also called “anonymous
recruiting,” the concept keeps the focus on skills, work experience, education and training and other essential factors that affect how a candidate would perform on the job.

“Blind recruiting” excludes consideration of other features of job candidates that would not impact their ability to perform a job, such as appearance or political affiliation. These characteristics would also likely be apparent in social media and knowing this information about a candidate could compromise the ethics of a hiring process and impact an organization’s efforts toward expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring.

Source: CareerOneStop

4 Tips to Nail a Virtual Job Interview
LinkedIn
woman interviewing with man on website, close up, rear view

by Ben Laker, Will Godley, Selin Kudret and Rita Trehan

If you’re job hunting right now, chances are you’re also interviewing remotely. There are some serious upsides to this. You can avoid tardiness (no traffic snarls), reference notes without being too obvious and if you’re located in a rural area, you now have access to the same opportunities as city dwellers, saving you money.

There are also downsides. Combined with technical problems — like forgetting you’re unmuted or having a cat filter stuck on your face — virtual interviews can go horribly wrong.

Through our latest research on remote hiring, we wanted to know, given these pros and cons, how can job candidates really stand out during the virtual interview process?

Here are four practices you can use to turn your next virtual interview into a job offer.

1) Set up your space.

  • Have a clean, uncluttered background: Our advice here is not for you to start rearranging your entire room. Just find a spot that is simple and free of distractions. You can even choose a simple virtual background instead of propping yourself in front of a messy bookshelf. Contrary to previous research, we found that unconscious biases were less likely to creep into the decision-making process when candidates had a clean backdrop. 97 percent of the recruiters we spoke to preferred virtual backgrounds of office settings over beaches, mountains or outer space.

2) Prepare for the unexpected.

  • Keep notes handy, but don’t refer to them too often: During job interviews, it’s standard for recruiters to ask candidates for examples of their most impactful work. Don’t let this unnerve you in the moment. Create a printout or Word document of notes with crisp bullet points highlighting a few projects you want to share. Sort your projects under two or three headers: accomplishments, research and volunteer work.

We suggest no more than one page of notes. The goal is to refer to your notes minimally.

3) Rehearse.

  • Use hand gestures: In our study, 89 percent of successful candidates used wide hand gestures for big and exciting points, while moving their hands closer to their heart when sharing personal reflections. Your body language can impact what you’re saying and how you come across. Our research also found that you can connect to your interviewer just by keeping an open posture and remembering not to cross your arms. Look into your webcam, not at your reflection. We recommend framing yourself in a way where you’re not too far from the camera (we suggest no more than two feet). Make sure your head and top of your shoulders dominate the screen, and as you’ve heard before, look into the camera when you speak.

4) Don’t perform a monologue; spark conversations.

  • Ask questions: There’s always an opportunity to ask questions about the office and the culture in an interview, but when you interview remotely, you’re going to be left with more questions than usual. Whatever you want to know, ask. Don’t worry about looking silly. The recruiter will appreciate your curiosity.

We suggest asking questions about the kind of technology you’ll have access to when working remotely, if you’d be working in a hybrid team or how success is measured at the organization. 85 percent of successful candidates asked these kinds of questions to demonstrate their values and priorities, while revealing vital bits of information about their personality. For example, you could ask, “Do you have a flexible work policy?” Then bookend your question with, “I’ve been volunteering as an English teacher for marginalized communities twice a week, and it would be great to be able to continue doing that.”

For better or worse, remote hiring is here to stay. While there are many unrivaled benefits to this, you need to do your bit to ace this relatively new process. Remember, trousers are optional, outstanding delivery is not.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Why We Need More Women in Engineering: A Conversation with SWE Emerging Leader Kia Smith
LinkedIn
Kia Smith headshot

Diversity is important in every field, but this can especially be true in STEM. Having a diverse team allows for a wider exchange of thought, ideas and ways to problem-solve inspired by a variety of different life experiences and trains of thought.

But even with the progress that has been made to include more women and people of color in STEM, they are still vastly underrepresented, especially in the engineering field. In the most recent survey done by the Society of Women Engineers, women represented only 34 percent of all STEM workers and only 14 percent of all engineering occupations.

These numbers were even lower for women of color in the field.

Getting more women — particularly diverse women — in engineering is incredibly important, but don’t just take our word for it. Diversity in STEAM Magazine sat down with the 2022 Society of Women Engineers Emerging Leader and the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year, Kia Smith, to talk about her journey in engineering and why it’s important for voices like hers to be included this field:

Diversity in STEAM Magazine (DISM): When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer and why?

Kia Smith (KS): I knew once I sat down and reviewed all the possibilities of majors that I could have for college at 15 years old. I sat down with my dad and we reviewed my top three. We ranked them on how much school I had to take versus how much money I could make. Needless to say, with my love for math and science and data from the assessment, all signs pointed to STEM!

DISM: What types of challenges have you faced as a woman of color in the engineering field?

KS: I have had managers that made each day hard, people at work that acted like supporters who really used my kindness for weakness and friends (or people that I thought were my friends) turn on me for getting a career. While all hard, I realized everything is temporary and nothing is forever so I need to make decisions for me that will lead to my happiness no matter what.

DISM: Tell us a bit more about your role at Boeing and what you enjoy most about it?

KS: I am a Regional Supplier Quality Manager in the California Region for Boeing Space, Defense and Security. I lead 15 people and close to 200 Supplier’s product verifications in the Southern California area and internationally. What I enjoy most is the training and development of team members. My team is great and I love to see them happy and growing.

DISM: What does it mean to you to be recognized by the Society of Women Engineers, BEYA and so many more?

KS: It means the world. I wish my parents were alive to see it. For years I thought my efforts were not noticed or appreciated, which I was told many times does not matter if you are getting paid. This is far from the truth. Recognition is definitely aligned with my words of affirmation love language, so you can imagine the level of gratefulness and excitement that I am on this year.

DISM: Why do you believe women are integral in engineering?

KS: Our ability to think and reactive differently has always been misunderstood but today it is celebrated more than ever. Our ability to multitask and bring a different flavor to the table makes our teams that much more amazing. I believe this makes US integral in engineering, which is a function embedded in all that we do each day — whether it is Wi-Fi from satellites that I have personally worked on, cell phones, ordering an Uber or Amazon delivery or riding on an airplane. Safety, quality and efficiency are all minimal expectations in the world we live in and it takes diversity on engineering teams for this to happen.

DISM: What advice would you give another woman of color who wants to pursue a career in engineering?

KS: Go for it and let nothing get in your way! You are worthy, you are good enough and you will make a difference in this world! Never tell yourself no… let other people say it and then go around them and make it happen!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kia Smith

Taking on Diversity in Tech with Daleele Alison
LinkedIn
Daleele Allison headshot

Daleele Alison likes to help others stop wasting time doing tasks that don’t provide direct value to their clients. He is a technology professional, entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of RooksDM, a technology consulting group that helps alleviate pain points for small to midsize companies by using the right technology. Alison has worked as a consultant, business analyst and project manager for Fortune 500 companies to SMBs.

Diversity in STEAM Magazine (DISM) spoke with Alison about his company, the role diversity plays in tech and more on his participation in NMSDC’s Emerging Young Entrepreneurs cohort.

DISM: What have you seen businesses struggle with the most when it comes to their technology? How does RooksDM help them? 

Daleele Alison: From our perspective, businesses are excited about adopting new technology. However, when businesses rapidly implement new technology to fix a singular problem, this often becomes a band-aid solution and can lead to a different set of challenges. Many businesses end up with a large number of tech tools that become overwhelming to manage and lead to low user adoption. It’s important for businesses to take a step back and be strategic. At RooksDM, we ask the right questions about technology and processes and dig deep into the core pain points. Rather than simply throwing technology at a problem, we take a holistic approach. Our goal is to implement technology that works together and sets a foundation for scalable growth.

DISM: Do you feel there is diversity within the IT/tech sectors? Why or why not? 

Alison: We have seen progress in diversity within the tech industry. Organizations with targeted initiatives to increase diversity have definitely started to move the needle. It’s exciting to see a shift in the industry, however, there is still a long way to go. It continues to be a challenge for diverse vendors to break into large enterprise corporations. I’m hopeful that through tracking and monitoring vendor diversity, we will see even greater progress in supporting minorities in tech.

DISM: Why was it important for you to participate in NMSDC’s (National Minority Supplier Development Council) Emerging Young Entrepreneurs cohort? What have you learned thus far that is applicable to your own business? 

Alison: The NMSDC’s Emerging Young Entrepreneurs has been an important way for us to learn and network. Through this initiative, we have been able to connect with like-minded colleagues, which has led to advice and potential business growth. The sessions have been invaluable and have expanded my thoughts around marketing, finance and strategy. We are truly grateful to be a part of this community and are looking forward to more opportunities in the future.

DISM: How has being MBE certified through NMSDC leveraged your business’s success? 

Alison: Being MBE certified through NMSDC has given RooksDM access to a much larger community of like-minded businesses. We now have exposure to larger organizations to build our business. We have also built relationships with fellow minority-owned businesses. It has been so valuable to learn from each other and share stories and resources that support business growth. We are also proud to share our certification with current and prospective clients. This certification provides us with additional credibility that supports our conversations with potential clients.

DISM: What advice would you give another minority-owned entrepreneur or business owner just getting started?

Alison: My advice to fellow minority owners is to be intentional about how you spend your time. It’s easy to focus on initiatives that don’t matter or that won’t make an impact. It is critical to have the right people in your network to lean on so you can spend your time where it matters most. For us, spending time building relationships has been a game changer, not just in nurturing prospects but also in strengthening relationships within our industry. Leaning on others in the industry for support and expertise has not only led to referrals but been helpful to our overall growth.

Photo credit: Tori Soper Photography

Follow These 6 Unwritten Rules of Interviewing to Land Your Next Job
LinkedIn
professional interviewing and typing on notebook

By Ron Kness

When interviewing for a job, it seems like you are at a disadvantage being you are the one answering questions. But there are six unwritten rules that gives you a leg up on others who are interviewing that might not know these six secrets.

The Six Unwritten Rules of Interviewing

Some rules are clearly defined in life, but when it comes to interviewing, the unwritten ones are subtle, but in a tight race, it could be the difference between an offer letter and a ‘thanks for your time and have a nice life’ note.

Rule #1 – Be succinct on the “Tell us about yourself”-type questions.

Most likely somewhere in the interview you are going to be asked the question “Tell us about yourself. Some interviewees will reveal very little about themselves (either by choice or because they are not prepared to answer the question) while others go through their whole work history … whether it is relative or not.

Both are mistakes. Concisely walk your interviewer(s) through the relevant parts of your career. Why relevant? Because in doing so, it provides evidence that you have a performance record at doing similar work.

Another question frequently asked is “Tell us about a time when …?” What an interviewer is really asking is about your competence, commitment and compatibility in a job similar to the one you are interviewing for. Now is a good time to share a story relevant to these three Cs.

Another question that tests how well you do on the three Cs is “Do you have any questions for me?” What they are really asking is “Do you care enough about this job that you researched the company well enough to ask a question or two that could not be answered by simply searching Google.” In other words, it tests your resolve as far as how badly you want this job.

Rule #2 – Understand the role of each interviewer.

How you answer questions depends on the position of the person asking them. Your answer to an immediate supervisor will be different than questions asked by middle management or even top management. Tailor each question to the person asking it. Being able to do this requires some preparation in thinking about answers and some thinking on your feet.

Rule #3 – Make sure your body language is saying the same thing that you are speaking.

Body language should be saying the same thing as the words coming out of your mouth. However, an experienced interviewer will pick up differences between what you are speaking and what your body is saying. How you are sitting, your facial expression, eye contact, posture etc. all speak loudly about you.

One place where many interviewees fail is not maintaining eye contact. Not only does looking someone in the eye show them you are actually listening to what they are saying, but it shows you are self-confident and assertive by being able to do so. Many people cannot as they are intimidated by the person asking questions. And it can be even worse if a panel is asking questions.

Rule #4 – Have more than one career story.

Because many upper-level jobs have multiple interviews, each with a different person, you should have multiple stories about your career. Why? Because quite often interviewers will collaborate with each other after the interviews and if you told each one a different story of your career, it reflects well on your preparedness for that interview overall.

Rule #5 – Following up will not speed up an offer.

Most of the how-to-interview material written always recommends to follow up an interview with a thank-you email or handwritten note the day or so after your interview.

Some like to also send a follow-up email if they have not heard back by the follow-up date established during the interview. If that date did not come up during the course of the interview, be sure to ask “When should I look for a response?”

If after that amount of time has elapsed and you have not yet heard anything, it is a good gesture to let them know you are still interested but know that it most likely will not speed up an offer if there is going to be one.

What can speed up an offer or decline is letting them know if you have an offer from another company. This is just good etiquette to let them know. You may be on a waitlist meaning they want to hire you, just not for that position and they are waiting for a job to open up that is better matched to you.

Rule #6 – Check with the people actually working at that company.

People working at the company you are applying to will give you a much clearer picture as to the company climate than will the person interviewing you. For one, if they are in HR in the company, you will not get an unbiased answer. If the interviewer is a third-party hired to interview for the company, that person may not even know anything about the company culture, so they can’t give you an honest answer either.

Talk to some of the employees that work there and ask their honest opinion of the company. Most likely, they will tell you the truth — good or bad.

Besides the recommended preparation as far as dress, answers to commonly asked questions and your own prepared questions, be sure to brush up on these six unwritten rules of interviewing and get ahead of your competition.

Source: ClearanceJobs

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