Tag Archives: work

Learn More Spend Less:

Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (9 of 10)So you have your new job and so far it’s going well. However, as you get started you realize “Hey, I think I may be into learning how to code.” This is great! Coding is an in demand skill and you’re investing in yourself. You go! That being said you’re current position is as an administrative assistant and you have no idea how you’ll afford an entry level coding class. Before you hang up your coding hat and slink back to your job, check out some of the websites that we researched and found for you! Whether you want to learn graphic design or English composition, Not only will they teach you what you want to learn, they’re’ free! Here are our favorites:

  1. Cousera boasts over 1500 classes and 140 partners from colleges across the globe. All courses are offered for free, but there is an offer to pay a fee to sign up for the “Signature Track.” This option provides certificates when you complete the classes. The courses are approximately four to ten weeks long, with one to two hours of video lectures a week. Coursera offers a mobile app for iOS and Android operating systems.
  2. Code Academy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 9 different programming languages like Pytho, JavaPHPJavaScript (jQuery,AngularJS), and Ruby, as well as markup languages HTML and CSS. For people who want extra support, Codecademy also offers a subscription-based service called Codecademy Pro, which costs $20 a month and gives you an adviser and unit quizzes.
  3. EdX is made up of weekly learning experiences. Each exercise is composed of short videos broken up with interactive learning exercises. This allows for students to immediately practice the concepts from the videos. While EdX does offer certificates of successful completion, they do not offer course credit. Course credit is up to the sole discretion of the school. There are a variety of ways to take courses, including verified courses where students have the option to audit the course (no cost) or to work toward an edX Verified Certificate (fees vary by course).
  4. Digital Tutors, now Pluralsight states that it offers close to 4,000 courses in its catalog, has more than 750,000 individual subscribers and more than 6,000 corporate clients. The company has seen rapid growth in recent years, and has been named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies, ranking the #9 Top Education Company.
  5. Skillshare’s courses focus more on interaction than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project. The main categories of learning are creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology, with subtopics covering a myriad of skills. Skillshare offers a membership model, for $9.95 a month, as well as an open platform, where anyone can learn and anyone can teach. The Free Membership option gives learners the ability to watch a limited amount of class content each month at no cost.

It’s that time of year again! To weigh in on training and other company offerings at your organization, participate in our annual survey for your chance to win $500: CLICK HERE!

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5 Reasons We Should Be Taking Culture Fit Seriously

culture imageAt 24 Seven we ensure our clients and candidates will have lasting partnerships. We’ve outlined the five key characteristics to look for in a company. Finding the right culture fit takes time, but it’s the greatest investment you’ll make.

  1. Low Turnover:

When it comes to your interview, don’t be afraid to ask how long the previous person worked in that role. Ideally, you want to learn and grow in a position for at least two years. Joining a company with happy co-workers who are passionate about what they do will make you want to work harder.

  1. Great Training:

It’s also important to ask what kind of training programs the company offers. Learning a new skill not only raises your worth in the eyes of corporate America, but can give you a personal boost of self-confidence. If your company doesn’t offer the training that you are interested in don’t be discouraged, a quick Google search will lead you to online classes that you can take on your own.

  1. No Egos:

Remember, you’re interviewing a company as much as they’re interviewing you. Come to that meeting with a plan of action on how you could grow the position by working with others. You want to be in a culture where employees get praised and rewarded on a job well done. Steer clear of environments where workers are pitted against each other. You’ll find the best work you do will come from the help of others.

  1. Feedback’s a must! 

Ask: does this company stage reviews regularly? Or, possibly even more importantly, do these reviews allow the employee to give their advice on the pros and cons of the process? Always make sure when you’re giving feedback to your boss, to start with what’s working first. As for what’s not working, come with a thoughtful solution for making things better. Never finger point or cast blame on co-workers.

  1. Work-Life Balance:

One of the key components to work-life balance is management. Great managers know how to delegate, train and hire the best talent. Work-life balance means 8-9 hour days with a lunch break, two weeks plus paid vacation and PTO days. The occasional late night or weekend work is okay, and should be expected. Come to work focused and stay on task. If you find yourself in the office late every night, never be afraid to ask for help, especially if it’s known you’re taking on a lot!

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The Perfect Match

 

conversationheartsWith Valentine’s Day fast approaching it seems everywhere you look there are ads for dating sites geared towards finding the perfect relationship. It’s the season of love and over at 24 Seven, we recommend taking a closer look at another very important relationship, the relationship you have with your career. I saw an ad for a popular dating website that talks about finding the right match with compatibility testing. This led me to the question, is finding a corporate match like finding a romantic match? When we spend on average 50 or so hours a week in the office, should we apply the practices we use to finding a partner, to finding a job?

A quick Google search can let us know almost everything about a person without actually meeting them. Details about someone’s personal and professional life are both readily available. Researching someone before a first date is a way of determining right off the bat what you have in common and if the possibility for a meaningful connection (the ultimate goal) is there.

The cultural fit or compatibility that we are looking for in our partners, we need to look for from our jobs too. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health recently stated that, “In the current research, we test the idea that emotional fit with culture (EFC) is linked to psychological well-being – i.e., being satisfied with oneself, having positive feelings, accepting one’s body and having no symptoms of depression.” Emotions impact how well people perform tasks, how engaged, creative, and how committed they are to the project at hand. The job hunt falls along these lines, both for candidates and managers alike. When you get your first interview, do as much research as possible, as you would before a first date.

It’s important to determine whether or not this new company is going to make you feel at home. Go to the company’s website and read their “About Us” section. Learn about their core values, how they were founded and what cultural ideals they uphold. After a scan of the company page, check out reviews on websites like Glassdoor. Of course these reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, but keep an eye out for any common themes that run throughout.

Another important outlet to check out is the company’s social media presence. Much like vetting a potential date, vet the company. Check out their LinkedIn and the types of employees that work there. Also look at their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. This should give you a sense of the types of communities and trends that are important to organization.

When you get to the interview remember it’s a two-way street, while the interviewer is trying to determine if you’re the right person for the role, it’s also an opportunity for you to figure out if the company’s culture is right for you. To determine if you’ve made a match ask questions such as:

  • What will my average day look like?
  • What is your favorite part about working here?
  • What is your least favorite part about working here?
  • How long have you been working here?
  • What is the attire?
  • Will I be part of a team or working primarily on my own?
  • Do I report to you consistently or will I have scheduled meetings to check in?
  • Are there training and/orprofessional development programs or incentives.

Also, while you are in the office make sure you take note of the environment around you. How are the desks laid out, is it an open office plan or will you be sitting alone? Is it silent and everyone has headphones on or is it noisy and everyone is working and chatting?

At the end of the interview go home and think about everything you’ve learned about the job and company. Is this a place where you could be happy and productive? Will you grow with this company, much like you would grow and mature in a relationship? These are all important facts to consider before you accept their offer of “going steady”.

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Mind the Gap

24 Seven recently released it’s annual 2015 Salary & Job Market Report, which emphasized the existence of a Skills Gap and its negative repercussions on companies. The Harvard Business Review also addressed this and reported that last year, 35% of the 38,000 employers surveyed stated that they are having difficulty filling jobs due to lack of talent. This skills gap is a trend that can be tracked across both businesses and business periodicals alike.

You may be thinking what does this mean for me?

Are the skills that I possess in demand? 

Do I need to completely rethink my career path?

shutterstock_69073516 (2)While Employees recognize the demand for skills and that having up-to-date skills improves hireability, they may find the skills employers listed as “in-demand” surprising. Employers are actually looking for range far beyond pure technical skill level. In fact, 75% of the hiring managers surveyed stated that soft skills are increasingly more important in the market. Some hiring managers went as far as to say that they would be willing to overlook functional skills (those that can be trained), favoring a candidate who possessed the right soft skills. And what is this magic combination of soft skills? According to the study, hiring managers are looking for creative, collaborative critical thinkers that are able to learn new things and develop coworker relationships.
Here are a few suggestions to increase your hireability:

  1. Huffington Post suggests thinking exponentially about your talent. The only thing you can count on in today’s workforce is that it is in a constant state of flux. You have to be able to adapt and continually learn the most you can from every stage of your career (even the less glamorous parts may be valuable down the line).
  2. Invest in your Social Media. Take the time to update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google + and the rest. With the increasing dependence on the Internet, it’s important to make sure your media is up to date and that you have a web presence!
  3. Stay positive! It’s important to keep a positive attitude and not lose hope. The application process can be brutal but something will come! Employers want to see that you are enthusiastic and excited to get to work- not frustrated and angry. And if an interview goes poorly don’t beat yourself up, use it as a learning experience to see where you can improve for the next one. And I promise there will be a next one!
  4. Stay current. Even if you’re not working right now stay up to date with what’s happening in your field. Follow influencers on LinkedIn and your favorite companies on Twitter.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Recruitment and Staffing firms are trained to help! They will know how to ensure that you’re best qualities shine and help you through every step of the process.

Most importantly, deep breath, stay positive and have faith that you’ll end up right where you need to be!

 

 

See:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeanne-beliveaudunn/are-you-investing-in-the-_b_8142198.html

https://hbr.org/2014/08/employers-arent-just-whining-the-skills-gap-is-real/

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Advertising Week Hits NYC – and We’re Still Recovering

girls-for-blogAdvertising Week took place last week in NYC. Now in its 12th year, the week-long conference includes more than 290 events, 95,000 attendees and 900 speakers. Some of the featured speakers from this year’s conference were Facebook’s CEO Sheryl Sandberg, Buzzfeed’s Chief Marketing Officer Frank Cooper, Skinnygirl Founder and CEO (and our favorite Housewife) Bethany Frankel, and Orange is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba.

As a woman-owned business, one of the panels we most related to at 24 Seven was, “The Glass Ladder: Women as Creative Leaders.” Moderated by Sheelah Kohlhatkar, features editor and national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek, the panel consisted of strong female leaders across a range of industries:

Beth Newell- Creator of Reductress, Editor and Comedy Writer

Nancy Hill- President and CEO of 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies)

Camille Hackney-Executive Vice President of Brand Partnerships and Licensing/Head of Global Brand Council at Atlantic Records, Warner Music

Mindy Goldberg- Creator and Owner of Epoch Films

Tricia Clark- CoFounder and CEO of Narrative

Leslie Simme- Chief Creative Officer of Young and Rubicam

In this panel, one of the major topics discussed was why the idea of a woman leader in business is still such an issue. With the rise of strong female leaders in content production such as Amy Schumer, Tina Fey and Shonda Rhimes, it would seem natural that this trend of female empowerment would translate behind the scenes. However, the panelists agreed that this is still something we are working toward as a country. Of the fight for more female leaders Nancy Hill remarked “Women have to attack this issue from all fronts, but there is momentum gaining.” And that momentum was clear based on the empowered audience of both men and women.

On the subject of finding balance as a female leader, Camille Hackney opened up about her personal experience stating that, “The women I’ve worked with have always relied on strong partners at home helping with the domestic aspects of life. Most successful women can’t be tasked with everything at home and maintain a high power position unless they have a supportive partner. There needs to be a true partnership both in their career and their home life.” Hackney’s comment raised the question, is it important to broaden the definition of what it means to be a man? If society starts to encourage all different types of men from the CEO to the stay at home Dad, is it possible that this will spur change and add to the acceptance of female leaders? Hackney furthered this point, suggesting that it is important that we promote confident and capable men in the domestic sphere as well as in business. As young girls we are always told we can do anything and be whatever we want. However is it possible that young boys need to be told that too? Does the rise of female leadership ultimately encourage a discussion beyond acceptance of a strong woman, to one about the acceptance of a domestic man?

The last section of the panel opened with Kohlhatkar asking how being a woman has helped these leaders get to where they are today. There was general agreement among the 6 panelists that because business is still largely male dominated; there are voids to fill in women’s media. The takeaway being that a potential disadvantage can actually lead to opportunity.

The panel concluded with advice for women today: there will always be a trade off,  home versus career, so it is important to decide early on what’s important to you and what will make you happiest. “It’s all about balance,” Tricia Clarke remarked, “finding the sweet spot between passion and skill set will give you some guard rails and a road map to your career.”

And the final word of the day? Nancy Hill advised young women just starting their career to “never be afraid to step up.”

To watch the panel see http://www.advertisingweek.com/replay/#date=2015-09-28~video-id=69~venue=5

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