Tech Employment Opportunities: Still Ranked Near the Top in U.S.

When you compare the number of job openings available, the overall job satisfaction rating, and the rate of remuneration, skilled technical jobs are among the leaders.  Why?

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Beyond Compensation

First, let’s discuss this topic of salary.  The top 10 Tech Jobs right now have a median pay-rate of between 68k and 125k.  When you average the medians for those ten jobs it comes in at a nice $98,250 per year.  It would be hard for most human beings to even be dissatisfied with a mere $68,000 per year.

Those Top 10 jobs in technology, according to a July/2017 summary, released in early August were:

Job Title Median Salary Open Positions Percent of Job Satisfaction
1.  Solution Architect 125k 2,200 74 %
2.  DevOps Engineer 110k 2,700 84 %
3.  Data Scientist 110k 4,200 88 %
4.  Data Engineer 106k 2,600 86 %
5.  Software Engineer 101k 17,000 70 %
6. Database Admin 93K 2,900 76 %
7.  UX Designer 92k 1,700 80 %
8.  QA Manager 92k 2,500 74 %
9.  Mobil App Developer 85k 2,100 74 %
10. Sys Admin 68K 4,000 74%

Clearly, these jobs are in demand; people are being compensated appropriately; and, most importantly, people feel that their job has purpose, and that they are appreciated for performing it.  The truth is, there are large factions of workers — whole sectors of our economy — where people never reach a 50 percent job satisfaction rate.  There is something inevitable about the advancement of technology, which in turn, offers a greater sense of job security in an ever-changing market.

Ubiquity

Why are there so many jobs available?  It is because older companies (which did not traditionally consider themselves data-centric) are now finding themselves in need of the same tools that modern businesses have already adopted. In fact, without them, they just can’t stay competitive.  Jobs in the technology sector will continue to flourish as the holdouts come to terms with modern business practices.

More importantly, our economy is slowly, yet inevitably, switching to an information-based economic model.  Automation is eliminating many manual labor jobs, making it more difficult for those in any position of political influence to reinstate manufacturing jobs which no longer service a purpose.

STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are now dominating almost all professions.  An auto mechanic must be computer savvy in order to operate the diagnostic equipment.  An outside sales rep can’t simply rely on a clipboard and carbon paper forms, because without a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, that person is hopelessly outclassed by their competitor.

Ordinary jobs are no longer “ordinary”, so the sooner we get over that notion the better it’s going to be for all of us.  If you’re currently in a job that doesn’t employ technology regularly, take a technology course (in school, online, or even self-taught) because every skill you learn makes you more useful and will help keep you employed until you’re ready to retire.

No one wants to be replaced because they went to their boss with a great idea, but when the boss asked them to create a “PowerPoint presentation” for the managers meeting they said “A power-what?”

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The Takeaway

The demand for people with any sort of technical skill is high, but the number of graduates has seen some fluctuation in recent years.  However, someone with a two or three year community college degree — or even someone who is completely self-taught, yet possesses an excellent skills level – will still possess an add value in the job market.

There are currently 627,000 unfilled technology jobs across all sectors of the economy (USA Today, April/2017).  They might be in Healthcare, Banking, Farming, Retail, Real Estate, or anything else you can imagine.

When the whole economy is looking at an unemployment rate of over 5 percent, and the tech sector shows less than half of that amount, it is time to upgrade your skills in order to maintain your relevance in both the job market or as an existing employee.

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Five Tips for Embracing Change in the Workplace

New policies, management alterations, technological modifications, shifts in company culture, and varied expectations are just a few of the common changes that can occur in the workplace at any given time. While adapting to new procedures is often challenging, an employee’s reluctance to adapt can certainly disrupt the direction of his or her career. Given this fact, there’s no denying that in today’s workplace, flexibility is the key to success.

Here, we review some practical advice on adapting to change in the workplace according to Bob Miglani, bestselling author of “Embrace the Chaos” which discusses moving forward in times of professional uncertainty.

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1.  Accept the new normal.

Most people tend to idealize the past, and often for good reason. However, holding on to the memory of how things once were is counterproductive when changes are present.  As Miglani states, “Let it all go. Let go of the old promises, the way we used to work, the people we used to work with, and the kind of workplace we originally signed up for. Let it go because it doesn’t exist anymore”. However, he continues, “It’s not doom and gloom… some of the best opportunities in life are presented to us when we open up to change”.

2.  Maintain a positive inner dialogue.

It’s quite easy to balk at a new procedure or shift in circumstances, especially when we didn’t find issue with the previous set of regulations or methods. Of course, accepting a new point of view is not something that happens overnight, but maintaining the ability to view any potential change with a positive attitude is certainly integral to one’s capacity to adjust to new situations. “What helps is to have a mentality where we think more about the possibility than impossibility”, says Miglani.

3.  Rework your goals and set out to achieve them.

It’s common for extreme or sudden workplace changes to leave us feeling somewhat directionless or even suspended in a state of limbo. Therefore, when our surroundings change, it’s to be expected that our plans and aspirations will also need to be adjusted. According to Miglani, “By setting a clear goal for ourselves, we can bring about a wonderful new mind shift that helps to direct our energy that is often wasted in so much workplace change”.

4.  Take charge of your own actions.

As in all aspects of life, there will always be factors within our careers which are not within our control. However, as Miglani reminds readers, a great portion of anxiety and stress can emerge from the uncertainty that occurs when we feel we have lost control of a previously manageable situation. This is why it’s important to own our actions, even in a changing workplace. “Allowing ourselves to be pulled into our work, focusing on specific tasks we can do gives us great happiness, fulfillment and meaning”, says Miglani. He continues, “Effort has the possibility to breathe fresh air into a stagnant life”.

5.  Avoid isolating yourself.

Sudden change can sometime cause an individual to feel a sharp reduction in their comfort zone. In fact, this is true of workers on all levels where unfamiliar “terrain”, so to speak, can easily result in the tendency to isolate one’s self. Unfortunately, however, this particular pattern is conducive to neither productivity nor success. Miglani advocates the importance of reaching out to others in both your professional and personal network during times of change. Not only will this help you remain plugged in to your evolving work environment, but it will also expose you to other perspectives, opinions, and even advice. Often, circumstances aren’t quite as dismal (or as unmanageable) as we envision them to be. “Speaking with others allows us to break the negative pattern in our head from all the confusing messages we get at our workplace, boosting our spirit, our resiliency tools, and our energy”, says Miglani.

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To Conclude

The most important factor to keep in mind is that as our surroundings (professional and otherwise) are capable of change, so are we. The evolution of circumstances is not an exclusively external process, as human beings are capable of incredible feats, which includes the amazing internal ability to change, learn, and adapt at will.

More from Stewart Cooper & Coon:  6 Common Workplace Concerns and Solutions

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

 

How to Stop Procrastinating at Work

Procrastination is a common facet of human behavior.  In fact, it is so universal that we wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised to find it evidenced in everyone from a farmer of the mesopotamian era to a corner cubicle of modern times. The basic fact of the matter is:  People have a tendency to get bored and distracted. In the course of your daily grind, you’ve probably experienced some form of monotony and agitation more times than you could easily count. Interestingly enough, this is likely regardless of your profession or income level.

At this point, we have to step back and acknowledge (from both a worker standpoint, as well as from a managerial perspective) that we’re dealing with a near-fundamental trait of human nature. Conversely, this is not to say that we should just throw our hands up, unfettered of any notion of improvement.

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Here, we try to gain a better understanding the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ of procrastination so that we can get a more firm grip on it (and ourselves) for the overall benefit of not only our careers, but the workplace we occupy.

The Two Types of Procrastination

Overload

Becoming overwhelmed is a very common cause for what may appear to the outside observer as simple procrastination. When you are overwhelmed, the mind can tend to shut down a bit. Yet, this isn’t always a bad thing, since ‘shutting down’ serves the purpose of giving your reeling mind time to reassess, reevaluate, and figure out a new (hopefully more viable) approach to the problems being faced.

Boredom

A high percentage of disengaged procrastination very likely results from simple boredom (aside from, perhaps, one would hope: Nascar drivers and airline pilots). However, this is really no great surprise. The typical workday for the average mid-level office worker is a far enough cry from an action movie; but even if it weren’t, human beings have the capacity to turn just about anything into a humdrum habit once it’s been repeated enough.

The Solutions

It all comes down to you. To understand the problem and move to address it, you have to understand your own reasons for doing it. Potentially, the largest single aspect to all of this lies in the observation of your patterns, moods, and behavior; which is absolutely necessary before you can hope to enact any real change in them. After all, that is the entire point. You’re reading this piece in the hopes or interest of understanding how to address your (or admittedly, your employee’s) issues with procrastination. If you fall within the former category, then this piece should speak to you directly. If the latter, then it is not a huge leap to take the material and put together some quick in-office practices that may help.

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Here are a few tips and tricks to remember that can help you minimize excessive procrastination:

  • Acknowledge and identify what’s blocking you; whether it’s fear, financial concerns, tedium, etc.
  • Make yourself accountable, to yourself, first and foremost.
  • Set goals; keep them small and follow through with them, on a daily basis.
  • Actively and intentionally reward yourself for achievements, no matter how small.

Don’t let procrastination hold you back, from either excellence in your career or pursuit of growth in and for yourself.

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

Four Ways to Impress a Recruiter in Your First Meeting

Capturing the attention of a quality recruiter is often easier said than done. However, provided you have earned that well-earned connection, there are certain actions which can help propel your name to the top of a recruiter’s list.

Your initial contact may either be an in-person or virtual meeting (via Skype or GoToMeeting, for example), or the recruiter (or HR representative) may choose to schedule a phone interview with you. Regardless of the platform, it is crucial that you win over this individual from the very beginning. One place to begin gaining a recruiter’s praise is to secure a clear perspective of what they are looking for in a job candidate and strategize fittingly.

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Recruiter, career strategist, and author, Jenny Foss, helps summarize some of the best approaches to “wowing” a job recruiter on your very first consultation.’

1.  Quickly show that you can cover the essentials.

The first course of action for a typical recruiter is to ensure that a candidate is capable of a job’s essential requirements. However, Foss explains, “That said, you should study the job description closely or talk with people working in the department [if possible], and then (before the interview) list out the things you think are the most important deliverables for the role”. So, while you want to remain primarily focused on the basics during your initial conversation, touching upon some your strengths as applicable to the more detailed specifics of the position is also imperative.

2.  Make your enthusiasm known if you’re interested in the position.

A candidate who is both qualified and excited about the job is a valuable asset to any recruiter, especially if you’ve made it to the next phase of the interview process. “[Assuming] you are reasonably interesting in the opportunity, you’ve got to make that instantly clear to the recruiter during the screening call,” says Foss. This ensures recruiters that their time invested has not been wasted; making it more likely that they will contact you if and when another, more suitable, position becomes available.

3.  Radiate a “cultural” match.

While online research and speaking with connected members of your network are effective ways of obtaining strong cultural cues about a particular organization, you cannot always be completely sure of a company’s culture until you actually beginning working there. However, any information you do gather will certainly help you score points with your recruiter during your initial conversation. Find opportunities during the conversation to show that you can relate to the company’s ethos; as this offers your recruiter a solid platform from which to convince other decision-makers in the company that you are truly a top-candidate for the job.

4.  Recognize the recruiter’s role and commitment to the process.

Simply stated, a recruiter wants to believe in you. Their goal is to come away from the conversation with a viable contender for the position. After all, it is at the basis of their career to align hopeful job seekers with a position in which they will not only thrive, but also provide value to the respective organization. “So,” with this in mind, Foss adds “never be afraid to ask for the interviewer’s input on how you can put your best foot forward with the hiring manager or for clarification on any questions you don’t understand. [This] person wants to send you through to the hiring manager. Make it easy to do so”.

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Remember that when the right strategy is in place, you are more likely to win the game, or in this case, land the job.

More from Stewart Cooper & Coon:  Navigating the End of Your Job Interview: What Questions to Ask

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

How to Let Your Interviewer Know You’re a Perfect Cultural Fit

Let’s say that you’re a top-flight programmer, but you’ve decided that you’re not going to work just anywhere.  After figuring out exactly what you wanted to do, you took the time to do additional research and figure out precisely where you wanted to do it.

The problem remains, however, that even after you know that a prospective employer has an employee gymnasium, quiet rooms where you can grab a quick nap during the day to refresh your mind, an espresso machine, an open-door policy for all executives, and a convivial atmosphere where everyone’s ideas are accepted openly, you still have to convince them that you fit their perceptions of a good employee.  How do you do that?

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Don’t Oversell Your Enthusiasm

The temptation may be to fawn over the company’s product line or services; to gush over the importance it has in your daily life. However, they already have customers who love their product; what they need is someone who is going to extend their product line, enhance the public’s perception, or improve their current offerings.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you use their products regularly; you must demonstrate that you not only desire to improve their offerings, but that you have the skill to do so, while fitting into their community structure.  According to a 2014 survey, HR people are now paying considerably more attention to that last category.

For example, while the CEO of AVON® is Sheri McCoy, 75% of the CxOs, 65% of the Board, and 60% of the Management Committee are male.  AVON’s male-focused product line is relatively small, so why are men overrepresented?  Simple—they persuaded someone at the hiring level that they could integrate with the company in a positive way, and make a difference.

An Emotional Connection

Being passionate about the company’s objectives, and then backing that up with a plan for how you are going to further them, is a key success factor.  If you can describe the challenges an employee is likely to face, and have a plan for dealing with them, you’re already one-step-up on the competition.  By showing them that you’re going to add value, and not require a great deal of handholding, you become a valuable asset.

Moreover, integration is not restricted to day-to-day business.  If part of the company culture involves donating laptops to under-financed schools or toward scholarships for kids to attend college, mention that you’re aware of it.  You can even outline some plans for your own ideas to enhance the effectiveness of their projects.  Make clear to the interviewer that you want to work for the company and further all of its goals.

Fit In

There aren’t many companies that value the lone-wolf approach (if that’s your style, and you found a company like that, congratulations).  Most companies prefer integration and teamwork, so when you’re talking about solving a problem, use the word “we” more frequently than you use the pronouns “I” or “me”.

Nevertheless, if a large part of your job is interacting with customers, make sure you emphasize that a happy customer is a valuable repeat customer.  Without them, “we” wouldn’t even be in business (yes, you slyly included yourself as part of the company team there, helping the interviewer to think of you that way, too).

Don’t be a Drone

You don’t have to toe the party line.  Interviewers, if they are sensible, are not looking for a new best friend.  If you’re in the right sort of cultural environment you are often appreciated if you have a different way of thinking about problems.  It can be a very attractive feature.

Different approaches to problem solving can be a huge benefit to a company.  Getting people to think about new approaches to problem-solving can banish longstanding hang-ups and bottlenecks; it can provide new “Eureka!” moments that could completely change the way a company does business.

Admittedly, it’s the job of the employee to conform to the corporate culture.  Expecting to stand it on its head and make it do your bidding is unrealistic.  But there’s little harm in being different, and often large benefits.

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The Takeaway

Cynics tell us “Sincerity is great; once you can fake that, you’ve got it made”, but the truth is, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out, “You can fool some of the people some of the time…”  Even if you succeed, you won’t be happy, won’t do a good job, and you’ll be looking for something new in very short order.

If you find the place where you belong—the place you truly want to be—treat it seriously and show them that you fit, and not just that you want the job.  Anything else is just self-sabotage.

More from Stewart Cooper & Coon:  Who’s Interviewing Whom: Valuable Tips for Job Interviews

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.