Is Gender Discrimination Still Happening?

Is gender discrimination a thing of the past?

It’s 2021, and women are making great strides in the business world. Women are CEOs of international billion-dollar companies; they serve their country as military commanders or political leaders. They are thought-leaders and successful business owners. With all these strides in job equality, is gender discrimination really still a thing?

Gender Discrimination

The short answer is, sadly, yes. Unfortunately, women are still discriminated against in the workforce and receive less pay for the same job that men do. (That isn’t fair!)

The problem lies in our societal beliefs. For all of our advances forward, there is still a stigma about what women should do. Women are natural caregivers, so they’re expected to raise the children, cook the meals, and clean the house. Society frowns on and even laughs at men who take on these traditional parenting and household roles. Unfortunately, society as a whole still believes that men should be the breadwinners and women should care for the family.

Gender Stereotypes

These gender stereotypes conflict with what is expected in leadership roles. In the workplace, many feel men can likely work longer hours and be more aggressive when it comes to sales, while women need to end their shift at five so they can go home and make dinner. Any potential employer who thinks this way is less likely to hire a woman for a job that the employer thinks a man is better suited for.

But, since you can’t turn someone down for a job based on their gender, the employer will decide that the man is “more qualified” for the position.  (Another reason for making sure your resume is up to date and includes all your qualifications!)

How Can We Help Eliminate Gender Discrimination?

What can we do as a society and as individuals to solve the problem? These ideas might help.

Be Aware

Gender bias is not as relevant as it once was, but it still exists. Companies need to offer awareness training on this topic, and individuals need to be aware of their own biases and learn to recognize their shortcomings. Harvard University offers an Implicit Association Test that allows you to test your own biases.

Change Your Attitude

As long as men are seen as weak for taking on parenting and household roles traditionally held by women, far fewer men will take on these roles. Being a stay-at-home parent taking care of your family is one of the most complex and challenging jobs anyone can do, and they should be positively recognized for their work. On the flip side, women should be recognized for the hard work, experience, and knowledge they bring to their careers in the workforce.

Get Involved

The only authentic way to eliminate gender discrimination is to make changes. And those changes need to come from state and federal governments. There need to be stronger laws about equal pay and discrimination of any kind. We have to stop assessing job candidates on gender and allow for gender-blind applications. By doing so,  all candidates will be judged on their qualifications and experience and provided an equal opportunity.

We also need to make male parenting roles equal. By creating a paternity leave policy it would allow both parents to spend time and bond with their newborn.  At the same time it will help both spouses adjust to the changes a baby brings to their home.

Educate Yourself on Gender Discrimination

You can make a change by educating yourself on discrimination, contacting your government representatives, and speaking with your company’s HR department about training.

Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?

If you need help updating your resume to include all of your qualifications, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:34:43-05:00May 25th, 2021|Career Success|Comments Off on Is Gender Discrimination Still Happening?

Top 10 Tips For Better Communication

The ability to communicate clearly is essential in your professional and personal life. Without clear communication, misunderstandings occur.  Improving your communication skills will help you succeed on the job and in the community. According to Incorp, “Employees can experience increased morale, productivity, and commitment if they can communicate up and down a company’s communication chain.”  Are you currently comfortable communicating with those in all positions in your company?

Better Communication

 

Tips For Better Communication

If you want to get ahead in life, then use the 10 tips below to improve your communication skills.

Keep It Simple

Whether you are communicating verbally or in writing the key is to keep what you are trying to communicate plain, simple, and easy to understand. Don’t overwhelm your audience with fancy language or technical jargon unless you are giving an academic talk and it is totally necessary.

Make Notes

Creating notes will help you plan what you want to say. You’ll be able to ensure that you include all the points you want to make and that you eliminate anything that is totally unnecessary. When giving a speech your notes will keep you on point throughout the talk and avoid you going blank in the middle of your message.

Engaged Listening

Surprisingly, being an engaged listener is an important communication skill. It ensures that the speaker knows that you are both listening and interested in what they are saying. Many of us have difficulty focusing on listening.  We often are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next.  Listening will help you to give an informed response as you will be able to demonstrate that you have listened and understood what was said.

Body Language

Your body can say things without you ever saying a word.  In fact, It can be saying the exact opposite of your words!  If you want to ensure that you are giving the right impression and message, then you need to make sure that you stand upright with your head high and shoulders back. Don’t cross your arms as this will put a block between you and the person you are talking to.  Pay attention to your body language.

Be Confident

Confidence is a state of mind and it is something that you can create. There are many ways you can increase your self-confidence. Consider using affirmations and visualization on a daily basis or use hypnosis, coaching, or neuro-linguistic programming.  Finding ways to become more confident will help in all areas of your life.

Small Talk

If you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively during social situations, you can use the FORD technique to help you get a meaningful conversation started. FORD stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Talk to them about each of these items and you will appear to be a great conversationalist and others will want to talk with you. Using this technique, you’ll no longer have to feel tongue-tied when you meet strangers.

Use Eye Contact

Using eye contact correctly can really improve your communication. Your audience will feel a greater connection with you and listen more intently. Holding attention is a key skill of a great communicator. Remember to be natural and not to stare as that will have a negative impact.

Pause

Before you start talking or reply, take a breath and pause. This gives you time to think about how you want to respond, calm your emotions and manage your tone of voice. By using a pause, you can make sure that you respond in the way you mean to, instead of saying the wrong thing.

Ask Questions

This will show that you are listening to the other person and that you are paying close attention to what they are saying. You will also increase the sense of rapport between you. By asking questions you ensure that you understand what is said and can respond appropriately. If necessary, don’t be afraid to repeat back what the speaker has said to increase your understanding.

“Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say”

That old saying contains very sage advice. By ensuring that you follow it you will avoid misunderstandings and your message will be relayed with clarity. Of course, you’ll find on occasion that you need to be assertive and prepared to stick to your guns. However, the upside is you will gain the other person’s respect if you are honest and tactful.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:34:50-05:00May 11th, 2021|Career Success|Comments Off on Top 10 Tips For Better Communication

How to Deal with Age Discrimination

It may seem that we’re living in a more progressive world and discrimination of any kind in the workplace isn’t as prevalent, but that would be wrong. Discrimination is still very much at play in companies, and age discrimination is no different.

Age Discrimination

 

You’d think when you reach a certain age, and you’ve worked hard and have plenty of experience and knowledge, you’d be an asset to your company. But more and more older employees are being replaced with younger ones and even computers.  Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age and is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

According to AARP, Age discrimination in the workplace persists as a serious and pervasive problem.

Age Discrimination Danger Signs

How do you know if you’re being discriminated against? Here are a few signs:

  • Younger employees are offered promotions, educational resources, or special perks over older employees.
  • You have been overlooked for a particular assignment or project, or you’ve been assigned unpleasant or tedious tasks over and over while others are getting the best projects.
  • You are left out of important client or employee meetings or company activities.
  • Employees, including managers, have made jokes about your age or maturity, asked about your retirement plans, or made pointed comments about your age or abilities.
  • You’ve been passed over for raises and promotions that you’ve rightly earned.
  • You’re not entitled to as much time off as younger employees because you don’t have kids at home.

How To Fight Age Discrimination

If you’ve experienced any of these things, age discrimination may be at play in your workplace. Here are a few things you can do to fight it:

 Don’t Assume Fairness

Don’t assume your workplace is always fair and that there are other factors at play for you being overlooked. Look deeper, even if the comments or actions are directed at another employee. Try to see the situation from a neutral perspective or talk to someone outside your company who can be impartial and honest about what’s happening.

Push yourself to do better.

Read, take courses, stay up-to-date on trends in the marketplace, and find a mentor to inspire you. Don’t give your employer any reason to pass you over. If you work hard, have the experience and knowledge to handle something, there should be no question about your ability.

Don’t give them ammunition.

Don’t make jokes about your age, and don’t coast through your job without learning anything new or being willing to advance yourself. If you do this, you encourage age discrimination within your company; you feed their beliefs about older workers. A company doesn’t owe you anything for your years of service. You have to earn your promotions and raises on your merits.

Be Professional

Maintain professionalism at all times. Present yourself as polished, confident, and knowledgeable to your supervisors and your clients. Always put your best foot forward when representing your company.

Keep Records

Keep track of any possible age discriminating actions by keeping notes. If you ever have to take your problem to HR, you’ll need detailed notes of dates, people involved, and the situation.

Stay active and relevant in your industry and workplace so they won’t have any reason to discriminate against you. Dealing with age discrimination can be a challenge, but you can fight back and get what you deserve.

Do You Need Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T17:34:57-05:00April 29th, 2021|Career Success, Job Stress|Comments Off on How to Deal with Age Discrimination

10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Career success is important. Whether you are searching for a job, desiring a promotion, or working in a job you have had for years, you want to be successful. No one wants to be miserable in their career, be underemployed, or forever searching for a new job.

Career Success

 

What is Career Success?

We all know the person who seems to have it all, a great job, good pay, lovely things, and yet they are unhappy and always complaining. They have not found career success. They are accomplished in what they do but not happy with their choices. So what is career success? According to an article on Forbes, career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and then finding that you are also happy and fulfilled with your life and career choices as well.

Keys to Career Success

Below are ten things we feel are vital to making your professional future and life a lot easier and more successful:

1. Know how to explain ‘what you do’.

Refining your elevator pitch does take practice. It may have changed throughout your career. Spend time thinking about this. It isn’t a cookie-cutter type thing. Everyone’s elevator pitch should be personal. Be so good at explaining what you do that those who hear it will never forget it.

2. Know your career non-negotiables.

Be honest with yourself about what you need out of a career, make a list, and don’t waste your time on jobs that don’t line up. If certain things really matter, don’t take a job that doesn’t serve you. Often, we are in a hurry to find a job or move up the ladder; we take a job that will limit our happiness because it goes against what we deem important. For example, you want to be home in the evenings to spend time with your children, but you take a job requiring several evening meetings per week. It won’t be long till you are feeling frustrated with this job.

Another example is that you desire to have a job requiring some travel, but you take a position that requires you to be in the same office every day with no chance of travel. Or you want to work for a company that supports something you believe in, yet you take a job whose policies do not line up with your beliefs. All these will hurt your success.

Know your non-negotiables and stick with them. You will be much happier in the end.

3. Jump off a cliff every once in a while.

Push your boundaries, get out of your comfort zone, and do something that terrifies you at least once in the early stages of your career and every so often as the years go by. It is so easy to get comfy and go through the motions and never challenge yourself. Sometimes we need to shake things up and try new things. You don’t have to be in a new job to shake things up. Look for opportunities in your current position to challenge yourself, take on something new, etc.

4. Learn how to take criticism.

It is important to take criticism seriously and not personally. Knowing where you are not meeting expectations will allow you room to grow professionally. This is a big one. Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect; if you use constructive criticism to improve and grow, it will contribute to your success. Ask for feedback, use it constructively, and it will carry you to new heights in your career.

Lear to say NO for Career Success5. Learn to say No. 

Sometimes this can be the hardest word to say to your boss. Knowing when and how to use this word when it is necessary may save your sanity. This is especially important if you have a boss who piles things on and doesn’t realize the time component involved. A great example of this would be when a boss tells someone who works with technology they want this and this and this done. The boss only sees the end product and has no clue how long each project takes to complete or the steps involved. As an employee, you might have to say, I’m working on this and this and this, and I can’t take on another new thing till at least one of these is completed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or ask the boss to prioritize all the projects he has assigned to you. That way, he can determine which you should spend your time. Sometimes when they see the list in black and white, they are surprised with how much they have assigned and are willing to take an item or two off your plate and give to someone else, or at minimum tell you which are low on their priority list so you can work on the items that will make you look like a hero.

I also need to point out that learning to say NO will come in handy not only with career success but with life in general. Learning to say NO reduces stress.

6. Know how to negotiate.

In most cases, this is the only way you will get what you deserve and want. Negotiation skills are valuable for your long term career and future happiness. Just a word of caution…don’t expect to get everything you want. Negotiation is give and take. I refer back to know your non-negotiables and make sure you remember and fight those things when you negotiate.

7. Find a to-do list system that works for you.

Whether you need 30 post-it notes or a list synced on all your devices, learn to manage your workflow. Trello, Asana, and Slack are all programs that can help with your to-do list. Not only are they helpful for you, but if you have a team, it helps to keep everyone on the same page and organized. Whether you use a paper tablet with a list or an online program, just be sure you prioritize items on the list, so you get the most important things done first.

8. Know when you are the most productive.

Use your energy levels to your advantage. Don’t spend your peak mental hours on wasteful things. This is so important. If you are the most productive first thing in the morning, then do your hard work, which takes concentration at that time. Save checking email or returning calls for a later time. To do this, you may have to tell yourself NO for a while till you get into a new routine, but once you see how much more productive you can be, you will realize it is worth making the change.

9. Know how to manage stress.

Stress can ruin your life if you don’t cope with it. Learn what helps you de-stress and make it part of your routine. Everyone handles stress differently. Some exercise, some spend time in nature, some meditate, take relaxing baths, read books, etc. Find what works to reduce your stress, and then make an appointment with yourself to follow through on these items on a routine basis. Reducing stress helps make you more successful, more fun to be around, and helps you to live longer.

10. Make a career emergency plan.

What would you do if you got laid off tomorrow? Instead of panicking, get started on an action plan. During the past seven months, many of us have dealt with layoffs we never expected. Many people have started new businesses, freelance work, or hunting jobs in different fields. Having an emergency career plan with several options is always smart. When something happens, you know what steps you need to take to implement your plan. Without a career emergency plan, it may take months till you figure out what to do next. Create a career emergency plan and revisit it every year, so it is up to date and ready in case you need it.

Do You Need Career Search Help?

If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider at Career Find to assist you.

By |2021-06-14T20:21:26-05:00October 27th, 2020|Career Success|Comments Off on 10 Things to Do for Your Career Success

Social Media CheckUp

Do you need a social media checkup?  In today’s professional world, it should be assumed that a company will check a candidate’s social media presence when they are looking for employment with that company. It is important to find out how your potential candidate presents themselves to the world and what they choose to share on social media.

Social Media Checkup

Why Should I be Concerned?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.  They look for information supporting the candidate’s qualifications as well as the negative stuff.

One job hunter named Sarah was in her third and final round of interviews at a company. Unfortunately, she forgot to clean up her Facebook page prior to beginning her job hunt. She was not extended an offer because of the passionate and derogatory views that she expressed about a previous employer. Another candidate, Matthew, did not remove images that he posted on Instagram of drinking and partying with his friends on a weekly basis. The company decided that they didn’t want to deal with a party animal showing up late to work. They never extended an offer to him.

Sam posted a lot of discriminatory comments on his page with hateful remarks about people of a different race and sex.  When the employer saw how negative and polarizing his posts were, they chose not to offer a second interview.  Another job hunter bragged on social media about skipping work and going to the lake for the day.  Although he had been the top candidate, he was not offered the job.

Clean Up Your Accounts

As far as employers are concerned, in today’s world, everything you choose to put on social media is a direct reflection of who you are.  So you might want to consider a social media checkup.

I always advise my clients to clean up their social media accounts prior to starting their job search. On Facebook, it’s not just the images that you post and the information that you put out there, it is also what you have been tagged in. It is wise to look at all of your posts, as well as anything you have been tagged in. Untag, hide, or delete items prior to beginning your job search.

Lastly, there is always the option to suspend your account temporarily while you are on the job market.  But be aware that employers expect you to have social media of some sort and if everything is deleted, it could be a red flag.

In this day and age, you must be exceptionally vigilant about what you share on social media and what the content says about you.

Stand Out From the Crowd

When you are looking for your next opportunity, it is extremely important to be at your professional best and to differentiate yourself from other job seekers. Take the time to complete a social media checkup and make sure you are putting your best foot forward.  If you need help, we can get you on the right track to get the job you want.  Contact Rachel Schneider to schedule an appointment.

 

 

By |2021-06-14T20:30:17-05:00July 30th, 2020|Career Success, Job Search|Comments Off on Social Media CheckUp

Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work

With many of us adjusting to working remotely, setting up home offices, using the dining room table or some other makeshift desk, plus the stress of isolation, and fear of COVID-19, we are feeling pressure from many directions.   This crazy time can take a toll on your body. To prevent aches and pains, try your best to practice proper ergonomics while working from home.

Proper ergonimics

Ergonomic Tips for Remote Work

Check Your Monitor

When you sit at your desk, make sure the center of your computer screen is slightly above eye level.  If you are constantly looking up or down, it can create neck and back problems.

Be Aware of Your Arms

Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor with your wrists supported and minimally bent.  Putting extra stress on your wrists will increase the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Customize Your Chair

Desk and computer heightUse a desk chair with adjustable lumbar back support and customize it to your body.  You can also purchase separate back supports if you feel you need them.  I found this diagram of how high your desk and monitor should be on Pinterest.

Bend Your Knees

Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.  If you are vertically challenged, you may need a small footrest so your feet are not dangling.

Keep Your Feet on the Floor

Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.  Do not cross your legs or your ankles.

Use a Headset

Instead of holding the phone with your shoulder, use a headset.

Get Up and Stretch

Take time to stretch your body and change your position during the day. It also gives your eyes a break from the computer screen.  It is recommended you move at least once every hour.  Stand up, stretch, take a walk, just move.

We rely heavily on our body and mind to help us reach our maximum potential in all aspects of life.  Take the time to take care of your body.  Proper ergonomics can help with remote work so your body can carry you wherever you’d like to take your career, whether that be back to your office when this is all over, or being a permanent remote worker.

 

By |2021-06-14T17:29:09-05:00April 14th, 2020|Career Success, Remote Work|Comments Off on Proper Ergonomics Can Help With Remote Work
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