Tag Archives: career advice

Pursuing A Career Change: How To Find The Best Version Of You

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Embracing your professional development or pursuing a career change can seem daunting, tedious and, at times, impossible. We often measure success by comparing ourselves to those around us, instead of focusing on our own qualities.

The reality is that there are many paths forward, and each person has a unique approach to finding theirs. Your success is the byproduct of a process of trial and error, your own experiments, and the practice of learning along the way.

Jen Glantz and Francesco Marconi’s paths have been anything but similar. While both live in New York City, one is an entrepreneur and the other works at The Associated Press. They, along with many others, started pursuing a career change while feeling lost. They asked themselves, “What should I do with my life? Why am I working here? Am I in the right place?”

As they found their answers, they came to share the belief that true fulfillment comes when you start focusing on building the “best version of yourself.”

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How Learning to Code Helped Me Grow as a Recruiter

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Learning to code

One of the best perks of working at General Assembly is that employees can take any part-time class or workshop for free. Last year, I took General Assembly’s Backend Web Development Course (BEWD) to learn how to code. As someone who works in Talent Acquisition at General Assembly, I thought this would be valuable so I could better understand our product offering. I also figured it would be easier to interview technical candidates if I understood the lingo.

Next week, I’m attending the Greenhouse Open, a three-day gathering of talent acquisition and HR professionals in San Francisco from May 25-27.  I am really looking forward to the “Programming for Recruiters” workshop with Michael Bouffard, VP of Engineering at Greenhouse, on Friday, May 27. I think every recruiter, especially one who speaks with engineers on a regular basis, should understand programming basics. As I prepare to attend Greenhouse Open next week, I’m reflecting on my experience taking BEWD and how it’s been helpful in my day to day role recruiting talent, as well as managing our systems and tools.

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The Skills and Tools Every Data Scientist Must Master

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women of color in tech

Photo by WOC in Tech.

“Data scientist” is one of today’s hottest jobs.

In fact, Glassdoor calls it the best job of 2017, with a median base salary of $110,000. This fact shouldn’t be big news. In 2011, McKinsey predicted there would be a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts “with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” Today, there are more than 38,000 data scientist positions listed on Glassdoor.com.

It makes perfect sense that this job is both new and popular, since every move you make online is actively creating data somewhere for something. Someone has to make sense of that data and discover trends in the data to see if the data is useful. That is the job of the data scientist. But how does the data scientist go about the job? Here are the three skills and three tools that every data scientist should master.

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Underpaid? How to Find Out What You Should Be Making (& Make it)

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business woman working on a lap top

Unless you’re Bill Gates, you’d likely jump at the chance to earn more money. That’s not surprising, considering 39% of employees believe they are underpaid, according to a 2014 Glassdoor survey. As a worker, you may be more to blame than you think: less than 50% of Americans actually ask for more compensation.

If you feel like you’re making less than you deserve, don’t wait until your boss offers you a raise. There are many ways to negotiate a higher salary, and the first step is to find out what you should be earning.

Hit the books (or the web)

It’s crucial to get an accurate picture of standard pay for your position across the industry. This is actually not as difficult as it may sound. You have tons of tools at your disposal- use them! Online resources such as Glassdoor and Monster.com’s Salary Wizard provide information on average income for specific roles. Browse these sites for accurate comparisons to what you’re being paid. Remember compensation can vary widely depending on where you live, so keep that in mind as you explore.

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Why Where You Work Can Be More Important Than What You Do

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Pursue your personal passion where you work

Photo: WOC in Tech

In my work as a creative career coach since 2008, I’ve seen this over and over again.

I’ve seen my clients think they’re in the wrong profession, only to realize it was where they were — not what they were doing — that was broken.

I’ve worked with my clients on clarifying and prioritizing their non-negotiable work qualities, and the type of work they were doing was less important than where they got to do it, and with who.

As long as they were working with insert-certain-type-of-people here on insert-bigger-mission-here, their own responsibilities mattered less and less.

At first, I was surprised at this finding. I was surprised hearing an affirmative response to the question, “Is where you work more important than what you do?” But then I kept hearing it. Again, and again, and again.

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6 Tips For Negotiating Your Salary

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Essential-Negotiating-Strategies

If you were offered $2 million right now, no strings attached, would you take it? Of course, you would! But did you know that you may have already inadvertently said no thank you to this offer? Author Linda Babcock writes about salary negotiation in her book Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation—and Positive Strategies for Change. She states that when an employee fails to negotiate salary early in her career, it could add up to as much as $2 million in lost wages over the course of a lifetime.

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How Much Can You Really Negotiate Before Accepting Your First Job Offer?

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Lean tech design data at General AssemblyThe good news: You have more bargaining power than you think. According to a recent survey by NerdWallet and Looksharp, 84 percent of responsive companies said that negotiating salary wasn’t a deal breaker, even for entry-level candidates. And yet, out of almost 8,000 college graduates surveyed, only 38 percent actually ventured to do some healthy back-and-forth before signing their name in ink. The main question boils down to the negotiation sweet spot—what’s reasonable to ask for, and makes you sound (dare we say it) entitled? To help you get the best offer possible, here’s what you can—and should—ask for before you officially take that first job.

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How to (Successfully) Ask For a Raise

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women in tech discuss a salary raise

Photo: WOC in Tech

We all could use a little extra in our paychecks, but asking for a raise is anxiety-inducing, even when you have a strong case to make. Asking for a raise without preparation can be awkward at best, and unsuccessful at worst.

A veteran hiring manager, Josh Doody, author of “Fearless Salary Negotiation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Paid What You’re Worth,” walks us through how to ask for a raise — and what to do if you’re turned down.

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Think Beyond the Obvious When You’re Changing Careers

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Image via Harvard Business Review’s Facebook Page.

If you’re contemplating a career change, you’ve probably been advised to look at ‘adjacent’ careers that require the same skill set (if you’re a journalist, you can become a nonprofit communications director; if you’re in sales, maybe you could move to marketing). That’s sound advice – but also very limiting.

If you really do think it would be fulfilling to move into a closely related field, that’s terrific, because you can make a strong case for yourself with hiring managers about why you already have the necessary skills to succeed.

But as I learned while writing my book Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, many professionals needlessly limit their options. When you’re reinventing yourself, it’s likely you have far more transferable skills than you might imagine.

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11 Tips for Freelancers from Twyla Tharp’s the Creative Habit

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Photo credit: Christine Bougie.

Photo credit: Christine Bougie.

“The white-hot pitch of creativity is only useful to those who know what to do with it,” says Twyla Tharp in her best-selling book, The Creative Habit. In it, she shares skills learned as a lifelong accomplished choreographer that help make creativity work better for you. It’s filled with ideas and exercises made to enhance your craft, whatever that may be, with better tools—both mental and physical. While it does focus on those involved in “the arts,” there is plenty of wisdom for the modern multi-tasking creative. Here, some of her best pieces of advice put through the lens of a freelancer who must constantly juggle craft with commerce.

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