If the writing on the proverbial wall indicates your current position is in jeopardy, then sitting still and doing nothing is generally the best way to invite job-loss anxiety into your future.Examples that threaten job security include:1. Your company is in divestiture mode and/or may be acquired by another company where someone holds a similar, or the same, role as you do. In this case, your position may be considered redundant, and if you are unable to find another need to fill, you could be the next employee out the exit door.2. Your industry is on the decline. As in the case of the newspaper industry, where the explosion of the Internet and a completely new definition of ‘free press’ upended an industry, other industries often find themselves outcompeted and displaced by innovation and technology. When this happens, positions are cut. Will yours be next on the chopping block?3. Your performance is on the decline. If you have done everything you can to ensure a positive performance review and maintain optimum job productivity, yet you’re still unable to meet productivity expectations, you may want to get your career house in order. Whether it’s just not the job fit for you or the corporate culture is hampering your ability to perform as you know you can elsewhere, consider the possibility that your job at this company may be in jeopardy.So, what are a few things you can do, today, to begin empowering yourself and infusing your career with hope and possibility for the future?1. Talk to a mentor or friend (or even hire a career strategist) who is not only trustworthy, but who also understands the job market. Begin addressing your feelings and coagulating your thoughts with someone who can help you sort through next steps.2. Research positions and companies that not only interest you, but for which you are confident you can add value. Use Microsoft’s Word Cloud to sort through how many of your current resume key words align with the requirements of the job.Or simply, find key phrases and terms that you know other roles require and click on Edit and then Find, checking the box, “highlight all items found” for those words on your resume. If your resume story aligns with the requirements, you’re on the right track. If not, you may want to consider whether another job would be a better fit and continue your search.3. Acquire more training. If there is an area of career interest that requires additional training than you currently have, then go for it. Sign up for a course or a workshop or even an apprenticeship. Further, as you search out new opportunities for which you are a fit, also look for those roles that provide exposure to additional learning and training in areas you wish to grow.4. Update your resume (or hire someone to help you). Either way, prepare to be heavily involved in your own storytelling, because you own the key to the vault where your career intelligence is stored. Own your value – and be able to articulate it in a compelling way. If you aren’t sure of your strengths because they have become second nature to you, find someone to help you pull them out.Bottom line, a current resume still is a must-have and integral in today’s job search. The right resume may land you the next interview; a weak resume could leave you in the circular file, with hundreds of other people who slacked in communicating their value. Don’t leave the writing of your story in the hands of last-minute circumstances.5. Spruce up your online presence. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Then create one. If you are currently employed, be strategic in how you upload your new information so as not to set off the alarm bells that you are job searching. This includes a variety of strategies, one of which is to present your current role in a way that showcases your current company – marketing them in a positive light.Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even Instagram are replete with hiring decision-makers, recruiters and possible perfect contacts that could thread your resume through the needle of that next opportunity.Signals of disruption and change often begin well in advance of full-on explosive change. So, keep your antennae perked and prepare yourself for the fallout.
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Whether you have too much work experience and don’t know where to put everything, or if you are looking for your first professional job and don’t have much work experience to showcase, filling out an entire page can be a difficult task.If you’re working on your resume right now, keep reading. We spoke with Michelle Aikman, NCRW, Co-founder and Director of Adventure Learning of Cerno, to discuss the best actionable and realistic ways to transform your resume.1. Transform job duties into quantified accomplishments According to Aikman, the number one mistake job seekers make on their resume is only including what they do, but not how well they do it. For example, if you are a social media strategist, don’t just say you ran the company’s social media accounts. Instead, let the numbers do the talking and say, “When I started, we had X number of followers and X engagement, and I grew that to X.” “It’s really important that you communicate the benefits of your experience and achievements,” explains Aikman. “I always want to know how well someone has done the job. That’s what helps an employer connect the dots so they can see how, if you do that for them, what will they get out of it.” Ask a Resume Writer: How Do I Level Up Professionally?2. Ask someone else to read your resume If you’re trying to transform your resume, one of the best steps to do right now is bring in a third party to look it over. While it’s probably best to have a resume expert or professional read your resume, you could show it to a co-worker or boss to get their input on how well it translates your achievements and will stand out against others.“People often don’t get out of their own mind and think about what makes them a unique candidate and what makes them someone of value,” says Aikman. “People tend to under represent themselves, so having a conversation with a third party might help someone understand what they have to offer or what their competitive advantage is.”3. Go above the standard templateIf just getting the content onto your resume is tough, you might prefer to use a standard resume template because you don’t have time to even think about formatting it differently. However, taking the time to do so could be what helps set you a part, especially if you’re trying to move up a level in your career. “People too often use standardized resume templates and don’t think from a creative perspective,” says Aikman. “Instead, you should consider, “What does this employer really think about? What are they looking for? What can I communicate visually?” You are trying to communicate to someone else, so think about what they want to see. What works for the engineering industry does not work for the marketing industry; therefore, you have to style it toward the person who is going to be reading it.”13 Attention-Grabbing Resume Examples 4. Focus on the “forward” in your professional summaryAt the top of your resume, you should have a “Professional Summary” section detailing what your aspirations are. Instead of focusing on the accomplishments you’ve made in the past, Aikman advises that you focus on the forward. Doing so shows how what you have done can help you in the next stage of your career–and if you want to move to that next level, you need the employer to know that.“Next to your current job title, you can always put your aspiration,” says Aikman, suggesting that you add, “aspiring to be a manager” next to your current position or in your professional summary. “That’s a quick way to communicate that this is where you are now and this is where you want to go. Just don’t hand them a resume that says you want their job.”5. Compress related experiences If you’ve held a lot of different jobs in a short period of time, or have similar experiences from various companies, Aikman says you should try to compress what’s related into one section on your resume. Doing so transforms it into a way that’s easier to comprehend–and allows you to make any large unemployment gaps seem smaller.“Look at what’s relevant and compile or compress related experiences together as much as possible,” says Aikman. “If you have a strictly reverse chronological resume it’ll be hard to do this, so consider a combined format with some chronological components so the employer can understand your timeline, but then also have a “qualifications” section with key benefits or expertise from multiple experiences. “How to Become the Candidate Recruiters Can’t Resist6. Language mattersIf you have experience that isn’t exactly from professional work, but still adds to your qualifications, Aikman says you can add it to your resume, but that you have to be careful with what language you use. If you’re trying to transform your resume so it stands out or better showcases your talents, this is extremely important.“It just comes down to pulling out the relevant words to describe what you did,” says Aikman. “It may mean you need to be skilled in how you present the information because you may not be able to use the language you used before. Think about how you can communicate this experience using language that will resonate with the employer. 7. Believe in your resumeIt may sound silly, but the best way to really re-vamp your resume is to get it to a point where you really feel confident in it and believe in the way you are presenting it. “You have to believe in a resume for it to work,” says Aikman. Yes, the resume can be daunting, but if you want to land your next job, or move up to the next level in your career, one of the best actions to make right now is to give yourself a confidence boost and create a resume that really shows how valuable of an employee you are. You got this!
Have you been working hard lately — putting in long hours, picking up extra projects and helping your boss with their workload? Have you been constantly going over the top for your co-workers and managers? You feel you are deserving of a raise or promotion, but it’s not review time — so does that mean you have to wait for your annual review before you can get a promotion?Most companies typically give employees raises and promotions during their review season, but we’ve been wondering: Is it possible to secure a promotion ahead of review time? For employees who are looking to get to that next level in their career, we spoke with Career Coach Angela Copeland of Copeland Coaching to hear her advice on how employees can ensure they get a promotion before it’s review time!Prepare YourselfCopeland says it’s often easiest to secure a promotion during review season, but doesn’t think it’s impossible to secure one in advance. How do you do that? Think about your goals at the company and what you can do to prepare yourself for the next step. If you want to be a manager, consider how that role is different than your current one and what skills or experiences your boss would want to see you have.The more you take on new projects or responsibilities, the more likely you are to grow and gain new, valuable skills to prepare you for a bigger role. If your boss sees you taking on new challenges and asking for more work to do or constantly helping your co-workers, it helps keep you at the front of their mind when they start thinking about review season.8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Been Promoted YetManage Your ExpectationsIf you are seeking a promotion, Copeland says you need to pay attention to your expectations so you don’t get your hopes up about a raise or promotion. While it is possible to secure one ahead of time, Copeland points out that you should not raise your expectations ahead of time because you might not know what makes the most sense for the company financially.“I hear from many employees who feel that their employer should pay them more for their existing work because they feel undervalued for their great work,” says Copeland. “Even in the situations where this may be true, this is a tough case to make. It’s very rare that any employer is motivated to pay an existing employee more and give them a better title to do the same job and the same work they already do today.”While it’s fine to plan ahead and start setting yourself up to get promoted, you don’t want to set your expectations so high, only to find out the company is not able to promote you right now because of their financials.Ensure Your PromotionHow exactly can you secure your promotion ahead of time? When considering whom to promote, your manager is going to look for the employees who have potential for future success, or seem interested in growing their personal career at the company.First things first: make sure you boss knows your goals and how you envision your career path at the company. “If your manager doesn’t know your ultimate goal of rising up the corporate ladder and you do great work at your current job, you may be overlooked,” notes Copeland. “It’s important to communicate with your manager about your long term goals, so they can be your advocate.”Moreover, keep in mind that the job market is competitive — and so are your co-workers! If you want to secure a promotion, you’ve got to be on top of things. While there’s no guarantee, the best course of action is to be an all-star, team player that stands out among your co-workers.“A-players are employees that align their work to their company’s core goals. Very often, these goals are connected to very basic targets such as generating incremental revenue,” advises Copeland. “Managers want to promote employees who are generating more for the company than what is expected. They want to promote employees who are proactively taking on increased and different responsibilities. They want to promote employees they want to keep.”Lastly, Copeland points out that, when it comes time for your performance review, take the time to do more than the minimum required and take a proactive approach to the review process. Rather than waiting for your boss to tell you how you did and whether or not you are getting promoted, be more proactive!“In many companies, you have an opportunity to give yourself a self-evaluation first. Take it! And, on top of reviewing yourself inside the company review system, try putting together a presentation about why you think you did great,” suggests Copeland. “Many review systems limit you to text, but a presentation allows you to include photos, graphs, and charts. You would put this much time into any other project you’re working on. Why wouldn’t you put extra time into your own career progression? It impacts your future roles and how much you make!”If you’re looking to secure a promotion ahead of review time, focus on aligning your goals with the main goals of the company and be proactive about communicating with your boss, both about your goals and your performance. By doing so, you’ll stand out as the employee everyone wants to keep around and have on his or her team. If you can keep that on their minds, you’ll likely earn a promotion come review time!
Every industry has its jargon. But some words and phrases can be unclear, unnecessary or even offensive. Maybe some of these are phrases you like building into your business vocab, but use them with caution. If you’re going to offend or annoy someone, or if there’s a clearer way to say something, why not go the easy way and avoid them altogether?Our little caveat: every office has different protocol. If you’re buddies with your coworkers, it’s not so strange to talk to them about personal issues. And if you’re in the thick of the consulting, tech or business world, you might feel inclined to use the lingo and play along. But the joy of language is that there’s always another way to phrase something.13 Must-Have Words to Include In Your Resume1. “Assume”We’ve all heard it: “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.” Cute. But even if the catchphrase earns your eye-roll, it’s a good point: don’t accept something to be the case without proof. For example:“I assume you finished the report?” “I assumed Bob would run that part of the presentation.” “I assume you’ll be working on Saturday?”From a boss, “assume” is a passive-aggressive way to show authority. From an underling, it looks like ducking responsibility. In both cases, there are ways to make your point without making an ass out of you and me.2. “Like”“I like these doughnuts” is fair game. But avoid using “like,” “um,” “sort of,” “basically,” and other weasel words that fill dead air. They make you sound less confident and can even sort of give the impression that you basically don’t know what you’re, like, talking about.See what we mean?3. “We made a $400K offer”Or, “I finally got that $10K raise,” or even “I’ve never eaten there because it’s too expensive.” Good rule of thumb: avoid stating the amount of money you make or the pile of dough you spent on your trip to Iceland. If someone makes a lot more or a lot less than you, it could lead to awkwardness.4. “Hey, man”Not everyone who works is a man, and even seemingly innocent phrases like “Hey, man” or “What’s up, dude,” when used between people who identify as men, can create an environment of exclusion. Nicknames in general can help build a bond of casual camaraderie — but when that bond is based on being the same sex, that means anyone who doesn’t fall under the category of “man” or “dude” is excluded from the camaraderie.9 Things Men Should Never Say To Female CoworkersMost people who use these phrases aren’t being exclusive on purpose. But by calling out a connection based on something that other people in the office don’t share, these “dudes” might be making it harder for women to build the connections that will get them ahead.5. “Let’s talk that”“Talk about it”? “Discuss it”? “Have a meaningful and productive dialogue about the issue and its repercussions”?Here’s why Grammarly doesn’t like this phrase: “talk” is not traditionally a transitive verb because it doesn’t take a direct object. You can talk about something, but that’s an intransitive verb with a prepositional phrase: a very different category.While phrases like “we can talk it out” or “let’s talk things through” have shown the potential for talk to take on transitive qualities, “let’s talk that” is a step too far.6. “That was a fail”If you’re pointing out someone else’s mistake, you seem blaming and harsh; if you’re talking about your own, you risk undermining your coworkers’ sense of your abilities.Here’s how to turn it around: if you messed up, find a task too tough or aren’t sure how to address a problem, don’t start in with “I can’t,” “it’s hard,” or “I failed.” Find someone to ask for help and tell them what the problem is, what you’ve tried so far and what you need to know or do to fix it.On the flip side, some companies love talking about failures as opportunities for learning and growth. If you work in an environment brimming with that kind of positivity, kudos. But no matter whether your company embraces the word “failure” or avoids it like the plague, same idea goes: focus on next steps and ways to learn moving forward, not on who’s to blame.The Career Mistake That Still Haunts Me7. “Over the wall”In business, “throw it over the wall” can be translated as “send it to the client.” This is one of the cases where jargon gets in the way of clarity — and that can, in turn, lead to things not getting done. If you want to be understood, this is a phrase you can throw over the wall — as in, get rid of it.8. “Think outside the box”If your goal in the office is to think outside the box, why not do the same with your well-worn clichés? There’s nothing really wrong with this phrase, but it’s been used so many times that we dare you to find new ways to express the idea. You can keep it simple, like “innovate,” “find unusual solutions,” or even “come up with creative ideas,” or you can invent something totally new like “think one galaxy over.” (Though if you’re going for clarity, you might want to stick to “brainstorm.”)Either way, if you’re trying to find creative solutions at work, you might as well think outside the box in how you use language, too.A version of this article originally appeared on Grammarly. It is reprinted with permission. N/A 23 hours ago 23h Mechanical Maintenance Supervisors IM Flash Technologies Lehi, UT 23 hours ago 23h 3.1★ 23 hours ago 23h 3.6★ Physical Therapist, Inpatient (Full Time) Benefis Health System Great Falls, MT 23 hours ago 23h 3.9★ 2.5★ Diesel Mechanic RJ Logistics, LLC Chesterfield, MI N/A 23 hours ago 23h Maintenance Technician All Purpose, Inc. 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23 hours ago 23h Available Jobs at Vanguard 3.2★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Senior Full Stack Engineer – Institutional Systems Vanguard Charlotte, NC Developer – Entry Level Vanguard Malvern, PA It’s the moment every candidate dreads. No matter how much you prepare, there’s always that one question you aren’t ready for. It may be something you just forgot to consider or a really unusual question, like, “What would you do if you were a pencil in a blender?” This list gives you the dos and don’ts for handling this tough moment with grace. Do:Pause. Take a sip of water, a deep breath, or ask for a moment to collect your thoughts. Many interviewers will appreciate you taking a moment to compose a thoughtful answer rather than rushing through a hollow answer. Then, reflect on your job history – even a less-than-exciting moment may be relevant. If nothing springs to mind, consider non-work situations – volunteer work, professional associations, college activities, or even social clubs.Ask a follow-up question. For example, if they want to hear about a time you had a tough client, and you’ve been fortunate enough to never have one, tell the truth, and ask if they’d be interested in hearing how you handled a tough business partner or less than helpful vendor.6 Anecdotes You Need to Rehearse Before Your Next InterviewUse the power of the pen. Jot down the question to call out key phrases, or write out a few ideas to collect your thoughts. To prevent awkwardness, make sure to tell the interviewer what you’re doing. Be honest. It’s OK to admit you don’t have an answer. Instead, ask a clarifying question. For example, “I admit, I’m struggling to answer that question. Are you interested specifically in how I repaired a work relationship or how I establish strong relationships?” If all else fails, share how you would react if you were faced with that scenario.How to Answer the 50 Most Common Interview Questions Don’t:Make something up. It can look worse if you stumble or get caught in a lie. Most seasoned hiring managers can tell when someone isn’t telling the truth and you never know when one may ask a follow-up question that you can’t answer.Say, “I don’t know.” While it’s certainly best to be honest, you’ll want to offer something beyond candor to demonstrate you are able to address the question. In addition, you don’t want to give the misguided impression that your work experience has been narrow or that you didn’t prep enough.11 Things to Never Say in an Interview, According to a Hiring ManagerFear silence. You are not being judged on how fast you can answer questions. It can even work in your favor to show your comfort in an uncomfortable situation. If you’re worried that your silence is carrying on for too long, share the thought process that’s driving your answer. For example, “I’m considering which experience I can best relate to this question.” Use fillers. Adding “ums” and “uhs” makes you appear less professional and polished. To avoid this, slow down as you speak, even though it feels torturous. Bonus – this allows your brain time to gather your thoughts. Devon Miller, Talent Branding and Recruitment Marketing at Vanguard, is a writer specializing in branding and marketing topics that create authenticity and engagement via social media channels. Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment companies, offering a large selection of high-quality low-cost mutual funds, ETFs, advice, and related services. 3.2★ Senior Java Developer Vanguard Charlotte, NC 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h Senior Android Developer Vanguard Malvern, PA 23 hours ago 23h 3.2★ Java Developer – Site Reliability Vanguard Malvern, PA 23 hours ago 23h 3.2★ 3.2★ Data Scientist II Vanguard Malvern, PA 3.2★ Data Analyst – Internal Audit Vanguard Malvern, PA 23 hours ago 23h 3.2★ 3.2★ UX Strategist – CX Journey Lab Vanguard Malvern, PA Investment Systems Cloud Engineer Vanguard Malvern, PA 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.2★ Human Resources Business Consultant Vanguard Malvern, PA 3.2★ See more jobs at Vanguard Browse All Jobs
Degrees and certificates neededTo gain employment as a teacher, at least a bachelor’s degree is required. Some teachers choose to major in the subject area they plan to teach, such as English, history, or biology, but it is generally not a requirement to do so. In many states, including California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, a master’s degree is also required in order to obtain a teaching certificate. For any state you teach in, a certificate or license specific to that state is required. The certificate is typically given after prospective teachers pass a state-specific teaching exam. Some states also require that teachers have some supervised experienced teaching, or that they have completed a teacher preparation program. Skills for teachers Teachers should be comfortable with speaking in front of people, and should have strong communication skills. Organization is also an important skill for teachers, as creating lesson plans, grading and handing back assignments, and keeping students on track for state exams all require attention to detail and the ability to stay organized. It is also important for teachers to have the ability to stay calm in chaotic situations and to mediate between young students. Teacher Job Interview Tips How Much Does a Teacher Make? Be prepared for behavioral questions — behavior interview questions test how you’ve dealt with situations in your past working experience. An example of a behavioral interview question in a teaching interview might be “how did you deal with a student who was habitually acting out in class?” Employment for teachers is expected to grow by 7% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, and by 8% for middle school and high school teachers until 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are currently over 69,000 openings for teachers across the United States on Glassdoor. Interviewing as a teacher, your first-round interview will feature standard questions covering both your experience and knowledge of teaching, and general questions about your skills, strengths, and motivations for entering the field of teaching. To find typical interview questions for teachers and their answers, you can browse interview questions for teachers on Glassdoor. Often, as a teacher, you will be interviewed by different personnel within a school, including fellow teachers, school administrators, the school principal, and in some cases, parents.Often, candidates for teacher positions may also be asked to teach a class to a group of students or to interviewers. Giving mock lessons to friends, family, or former students can be a good way to prepare for interviews like this. Here are a few tips for nailing a teacher job interview: Research the school – get familiar with the school’s history, the curriculum, and any other information you can find either on the school district website, news articles, or through word of mouth. If you know anyone who teaches at the school who can give you insider information about academics, school policies, and extra-curricular activities, even better. Teacher Job Market Teacher Hiring Process Know your strengths and weaknesses — being a teacher requires some very specific skills, such as organization, communication, patience, mentoring, and knowledge of the subject material you’re applying to teach. Being able to explain why you shine in these aspects — and why you’re able to pick up the slack in areas you’re not as well-versed in — is critical to showing the interviewer why you’re capable for the job. As with most professions, salaries for teachers can vary widely based on a teacher’s years of experience, the school district and resources. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in 2017 was $56,900, while the median pay for middle school teachers was $57,720, and the median pay for high school teachers was $59,170. As of 2019 according to Glassdoor salaries data, the national average salary for a Teacher is $45,082 in United States. Salary estimates are based on 26,149 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Teacher employees. A teacher with over 15 years of experience can earn $56,157 per year, while an entry-level teacher can make $43,203 per year. Postings for teaching jobs can be found on job search sites like Glassdoor and on education-focused websites like teacher.org. Some schools still post job listings in the classified section of their local newspaper, so it’s worth scouring the newspaper or online classifieds, too. Once you’ve found a job that suits you, the application process for teaching jobs is usually relatively straightforward. A resume and cover letter will be required, generally. Some jobs also may request a portfolio of other materials showing your qualifications as a teacher, including sample lesson plans, written recommendations and/or a list of references, and materials from past students. It’s a good idea to compile a portfolio like this before you’re asked for it, so you can easily send it off when you’re networking or applying to multiple jobs at once. If your application goes well, you’ll most likely be invited for an in-person interview, and in some cases, to teach a sample lesson. Since many teaching jobs have relatively low turnover, you may not immediately find a teaching job that suits you in the district or geographic area you’re looking in. One way to overcome this is by widening the geographic area of your search, giving you more opportunities to become employed and gain experience, which will make you a more attractive candidate as you try to move into other districts. Another strategy is to work in substitute teaching. Although substitute teaching generally pays less, it can give you a valuable opportunity to network within a district and to gain experience as a teacher which you can leverage into future applications. Related Careers in Education: How to Get Hired as a Teacher There are many careers open in the education field besides teaching. Here are a few examples of positions open in the wide field of education. SCHOOL COUNSELORMedian Pay: $55,410Degrees Required: Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degreeSCHOOL LIBRARIANMedian Pay: $58,520 Degrees Required: Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degreeTEACHER’S ASSISTANTMedian Pay: $26,260Degrees Required: Associate’s degree
Move over, Gen Z and Millennials. The Baby Boomer generation, those born between 1944 and 1964, are the fastest-growing segment of the labor force in the U.S. and they are catching the eye of recruiters in every industry.According to Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain in the newly released “Job & Hiring Trends 2020” report, the 65+ demographic is working longer than past generations and shows no signs of retiring for good. “Senior citizens today are healthier, more engaged, and working longer than past generations,” says Chamberlain. “A ‘gray wave’ of senior citizens will be impacting the workforce in coming years, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.”Mature employees and job seekers bring a vast skillset and tremendous experience to open jobs, combined with a strong professional network that rivals any social-media-savvy Gen Zer. And despite the preconceptions of older workers, reports show they are just as open to learning and development as their young peers.“This historic surge of 65+ workers in the coming decades is also likely to surface new challenges — most importantly, rising ageism in the workplace — that employers will be under increasing pressure to combat,” says Chamberlain. Glassdoor’s recent 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study revealed that ageism is the most experienced or witnessed form of discrimination in both the U.S. (45 percent) and UK (39 percent). Nevertheless, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects individuals over the age of 40 in a range of employment actions including hiring, firing, pay, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, trainings and benefits.Companies like KPMG, General Mills, Pfizer, Kimberly-Clark and Mindbody are all eager to hire mature employees and have all signed AARP’s pledge to recruit and support workers of diverse age groups.The best way for older workers to prepare for 2020 and silence the ageism haters is to invest in upskilling and training. Whether that’s taking online classes or becoming certified as a CPA or real estate agent, few recruiters can argue with an experienced resume plus the latest skills. Dr. Chamberlain adds, “Employers who invest in relevant, accessible learning programs in 2020 and beyond will be best positioned to attract, retain and benefit from the aging workforce of tomorrow.”Learn more about the biggest job and hiring trends for 2020 by reading Glassdoor’s Job & Hiring Trends 2020.
Monaco midfielder Fabinho has admitted that he is tempted by a summer move to Man Utd.The Brazilian is reportedly one of the top clubs for United manager Jose Mourinho this summer, and some reports have even suggested that both clubs have reached an agreement on the transfer fee. The 23-year-old told Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo: “The offer would be tempting, first I would talk with my agents/representatives and with Monaco to make sure the right decision is made.”But it’s a great team and I would definitely think hard about the offer.”
Posted on May 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Sara Al-Lamki, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Sara Al-Lamki, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.The countdown to the end of the YC program looms ever closer, and the future is daunting and exciting all at once. We have all just returned from another inspiring YC meeting, this time in Accra, where we exchanged ideas, experiences, challenges, and our journey of figuring out the next phases in our lives. It was the perfect way to end our placement – with as much inspiration and vigor to change the world as we started, forgetting all the hardships we’ve endured, and finding solace in each others’ experiences. Still it is not quite over yet, and I’m trying to squeeze the very most out of the final 3 weeks left in Bali, and making sure that all loose ends are tied so I can leave knowing that I left a footprint, no matter how small.April was a month of fundraisers and sending out the message of all the wonderful things YRS is doing out into the world, or Bali at least. I organized a small fundraiser in early April where we screened an Indonesian movie called “Perempun Punya Cerita”, a collection of 4 short films directed by different Indonesian female directors, about the challenges Indonesian women face day to day, covering controversial topics such as premarital sex, HIV, abortion and mail order brides. It is a brilliant movie, and never fails to get the dialogue rolling about issues that are unspoken in Indonesia, especially in the tourist haven of Bali. The response was amazing, and was the perfect introduction to the annual fundraiser, which was held a week later.The annual fundraiser is a day for everyone to meet all the women that make YRS possible, to socialize, and get discreet Pap Smears. In addition, since we are located in a market where there is a small bazaar of high-priced donated items we held a raffle with 25 great prizes where tickets were sold far and wide, and my colleagues and I sold (or forced them to purchase) them to our friends and acquaintances. It was an extremely successful event, which rose over Rp 50 million (almost $6000). To western NGOs that may not sound like very much, but that is enough to cover the Pap Smear program for an entire two years, offering free services to 800+ women that will come in at that time. That is quite an accomplishment, and significantly more than what was raised last year. Hopefully we will raise even more in the years to come!April also saw a whole new team of staff entering YRS, and I got to learn about how to recruit for an NGO. I discovered that even though people may seem eager, commitment is key. And, even though one candidate may seem more qualified, if they are not committed then there is no continuity to the clinic and that is important for familiarity and trust with patients but also for the growth of the NGO. It was surprisingly eye opening. It may all seem obvious, but it’s just as important to notice certain minute details that I wouldn’t have necessarily looked at before, and that could make them right or wrong for the job. Still, the new team is great, and though there are definitely challenges YRS still has to overcome, hopefully this new team will lead the way to achieving their goal of expanding to 8 other education centres by the end of the year.For me, it was also a month of triumph – 15 weeks and 156 interviews later; I was done with my pregnancy habits and maternal health status survey. Dr. Fred Sai ended our Accra meetings with telling us to start slow, and to begin with just ‘lighting up your corner.’ I’m still a long way away of course. I still have to analyze the data and figure out what it all means, but it’s been a great ride, and the preliminary results are very promising. Just another reminder that my time in Bali is truly running out, but hopefully that my little contribution has begun to light up my little corner, and I can expand it to wherever my journeys take me next. It may take a while to light up the whole room, but I think I’m on the right track.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 9, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:Joy Lawn wrote about neonatal mortality in AfricaWe announced our upcoming move to the Harvard School of Public Healthmothers2mothers updated us on their PMTCT projectCIESAS began analyzing their dataSome reading for the weekend:NCDs and women’s health and rightsWill incentivizing aid lead to better health outcomes?Inclusion as a key to promoting maternal healthShare this:
When you pick up your veggies from your CSA you’re doing it. When you make a connection on Craigslist you’re doing it. You’re even doing it when you edit an entry on Wikipedia. What is it? It’s all of us collaboratively building solutions to the problems we face, both big (like maintaining your financial health) and little (finding a place to stay on vacation). And with the power of technology, it’s getting easier and easier to share what we’ve learned and stay connected. We’re calling this movement New Mutualism, and we see its manifestations everywhere. That’s why we’re using New Mutualism to build solutions to the problems freelancers face: At our Brooklyn, NY offices we’re meeting with members every month to exchange ideas, build community and solidarity, and plan how we’re going to use our powerful collective voice to make sure elected officials hear us. We’ve collaborated with members to build a Contract Creator to give freelancers a way to protect themselves and make sure they get paid every time. Using our story bank, The Freelance Life, members share their own personal stories and tips about struggling through dry spells, clients who don’t pay, and more. And our member-to-member discounts give freelancers a chance to connect with each other and share their expertise – for a cut rate. Freelancers Union founder and Executive Director Sara Horowitz has been working on a series of articles in the Atlantic that explore these issues and show how they shape the way freelancers work. You’ll be hearing more from us about New Mutualism, but we’d also love to hear from you. What do you think? How do you work with other freelancers to make your life better or your work easier? Image: Mutual Support by George Hart.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.I don’t know about you, but my sense is that things have changed mightily over the past 35 years.Back then, for example, tattoos were uncommon; gas cost 89 cents a gallon; and when you picked up the phone, nobody ever asked you where you were.But college? Well, that’s something that I had assumed was more or less still the same. That is, until my daughter Emily went off to college in Tacoma, Washington.You see, when I left for college in 1978 it was an abrupt break from my parents. I spoke to them once a week on the phone, but other than that, we had very little contact during the school year.And so I expected – dreaded, actually – that the same thing would happen with Emily and me. Happily, that hasn’t been the case.The reason? Technology.We Skype weekly, Snapchat regularly and text constantly. But that’s not all. What’s kept our connection even stronger is online scrabble. More specifically, a smartphone app called Words With Friends that lets you play scrabble with someone else, over time and over distance.It’s a fun distraction and a nice way to interact with your offspring in a way that doesn’t require you to think up meaningful, parenty things to say every other minute.For the first couple of months though, Emily won every game.I don’t mean by a little bit either. She’d be up by 100 points after four or five moves, a colossal difference in a game where the winner is lucky to clear 400.Then, one day, it dawned on me: Scrabble isn’t a word game; it’s a number game.Yes, you need to create words. But simply putting down fancy – even long – words, isn’t how you win. With some squares on the board offering triple value, and some letters worth as much as 10 times more than others, you win by paying attention to how the numbers add up.Has it made a difference? Well, now that I’ve adjusted my approach, I only lose two out of three to Emily (what can I tell you, she’s still smarter than I am).But you know what’s interesting? When it comes to acquiring new clients, most of the professional service providers I see are likewise playing “the game” in the wrong way.They think that client acquisition is a game of expertise and qualifications – one in which prospects hire the person or firm with the greatest capability.And so they continually attempt to prove their expertise and reinforce their qualifications. They point to the degrees they possess, their years in the field, their integrity, their work ethic, their overall expertyness.But here’s the thing. That’s not how people hire professionals.First, because they can’t discern who’s more technically capable anyway (do you have any idea how medically qualified your doctor is?).And second, because if your prospects are members of the human race (or at least primates), they’re neither systematic in evaluating all available options nor particularly objective in making decisions.Yes, you need to be seen as a qualified expert – that’s the price of admission. But that part is only the letters in the scrabble game.What you really want is to be seen as a likeable expert. That’s the strategic placement of the letters on the scrabble board. That’s what people remember and, unlike your technical capabilities, it’s something they can understand and form an opinion on.Two suggestions:Be more visible with the people you already know.Top-of-mindedness matters. When a need arises, you need to be on the short list of possible solutions. People don’t reach very far and if I haven’t heard from you in two years, it’s not going to happen.Find ways to stay in front of the people you know – your “house list” – over and over again, forever. (Did somebody say “Email Newsletter?“)Raise your likeability score.People hire people they like (and avoid those they don’t).Is your voicemail message friendly? Is your web site welcoming? Do you send thank you notes to people who help you? Do you return calls from strangers who ask a simple question? Do you congratulate people when something good happens to them? Are you easy to talk to, happy to help, generous with your time?I know. This stuff is so simple and obvious it seems like it doesn’t even belong in a discussion of how to market yourself effectively. But believe me, to the extent I’ve been successful, it’s not because I’m smarter than anyone else (although I am better looking). It’s because I work at likeability, all day long.Bottom line. Just as winning at scrabble requires more than just a strong vocabulary, getting more clients more consistently requires more than just credentials and expertise.Strive to become a visible, likeable expert, and you just may give Emily a run for her money.Michael Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development. He specializes in helping service professionals stay top of mind by positioning themselves as “likeable experts.” Sign up for his free newsletter, The Likeable Expert Gazette, here.
Freelancing is precarious. With episodic income, it’s hard to take vacations or even sick days. But what if you’re injured or sick and unable to work for a while?Being a freelancer doesn’t have to mean being on your own in case an accident happens. Disability insurance ensures that you’ll have income, even if you’re unable to work.Here’s a comprehensive look at disability insurance — from the people who know freelancers best. Freelancers Union is the nation’s largest non-profit representing the independent workforce. We’ve been advocating for freelance workers for twenty-one years and we’ve been helping freelancers get benefits for over ten of them. Check out the disability insurance plans we offer through our National Benefits Platform.Do I need disability insurance?Having disability insurance ensures that you’ll still have income if you’re unable to work due to a long-term injury, accident, illness, or mothers having a child. It’s particularly important for freelancers, who don’t have the luxury of sick days or sick leave in the case of a life-altering event.Can I even get it as a freelancer?Yes, you can! You’ll need to report your income, but even freelancers can get disability insurance. Your disability insurance means you’ll get income replacement checks (like a paycheck) while you can’t work, as long as your claim is approved.How does it work?You sign up for a disability insurance plan depending on your income and how much you want to receive monthly in the event you’re unable to work for a long period of time. The premium you pay is scaled to the size of the monthly benefit you’d receive, so higher premium for higher monthly benefit.In the event of a life-altering accident, injury, or illness that renders you unable to work, after a waiting period (varying from plan to plan, generally from 30-90 days) you’ll receive benefit checks of the amount you signed up for. Monthly checks will be issued during the period of your disability, based on the terms of the plan you select. Depending on the plan, coverage may stop at age 65.What are my options?You can purchase disability insurance plans from a number of private insurance companies, including long term disability through Freelancers Union’s National Benefits Platform. Plans will differ by the amount of coverage they provide and how long you’ll need to wait before you can collect benefits.There are also plans that are intended to cover your credit while you’re unable to work, rather than your income. These plans pay out disability checks towards your mortgage or a loan payment you may have been working on.Is there anything else I should know?Freelancers might not think they need disability insurance, but in fact, it’s pretty important! You’re your own boss… which means that the buck starts, and stops, with you. If you’re unable to work due to an accident, you might not have the same safety net 9-5 workers do. Disability insurance provides peace of mind with a relatively low premium per month. You can get coverage through our plans starting as low as $6.58/month.Freelancers Union offers access to a disability insurance plan through Guardian, with a 30 or 90 day waiting period, specifically designed for freelancers. You can check it out, along with our other benefits, at our National Benefits Platform.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Small, flaky, needy, poor… nonprofits really can’t provide you much income, and they can’t pay, right?Let’s stop here. Because the more people who think that, the more business for me and my friends!Oh, alright. I’ll give it up: nonprofits are a great market for any freelancer at any level – and for real, paid work, not just to build an early career pro-bono-based portfolio.Remembering a little economics goes a long way here: Businesses (in the USA, at least) are often divided by size. There’s the small sole proprietor (maybe you?) on one end of the scale to the largest are C Corps on the other, and whole bunch in between. Put simply, you and Apple are both in business, but few would confuse you.By contrast, nonprofits divide by mission, like education, healthcare, environmental and much more. Discerning their ability to hire you, at first glance, is more difficult. You may not realize that some of the biggest employers in your town are nonprofits, because they don’t look like your image of a typical nonprofit.For example, here in Philadelphia, some of the biggest employers are nonprofits. The University of Pennsylvania is a 22,000+ employer with a budget of more than $8.75 billion. They’re only one of a number of major nonprofit universities, hospitals, and social service providers and other significantly sized nonprofits in our community.Plus, know that 30% of nonprofits are not 501(c)3s! There are nearly 30 other kinds, like credit unions, mutual insurance companies, chambers of commerce, and labor unions, just to name a few. (See them here)What’s that mean for you, the freelancer? Easy. Nonprofits can be a major source of revenue.To start, nonprofits use a lot of the same services as business, but sometimes with a different twist.Accounting? Of course, but nonprofit accounting is different from business accounting.IT? Yup, but the computer programs serving nonprofits can differ from business programs, depending on the department.Marketing? For sure, but nonprofit marketing might be more complicated since there are at least two “customers:” clients, and revenue contributors, like donors or government entities, all with different needs and perspectives.Then there’s the work that businesses don’t have. The most obvious? Fundraising. Yet be careful here. More than 35 states require you to register with them if you do any nonprofit fundraising related freelance work or consulting in their state. If you do any work that touches fundraising, check, even if you don’t think your work will require it. The same job in one state may require registration, while in others, it doesn’t.Still, I can hear you now… “that’s all great, but nonprofits don’t pay. That’s why they’re called ‘nonprofits!’”Actually, they don’t pay bad. Remember, “nonprofit” only means that it has no shareholders. Their “profits” (or “surplus” in nonprofit-speak) gets plowed back into the organization, not distributed to owners – because there are no owners. (A nonprofit’s board guides the organization and does not own it.)While some nonprofits have a sacrificial mentality, more enlightened ones pay as much for freelance work as any business of their size. They may ask you for a “nonprofit rate,” but who can blame them for asking? If you want to give them a break, it’s up to you. Personally, I find that small businesses are stingier than any nonprofit I’ve worked for. (Want some stats on this? See this Bureau of Labor Statistics summary)Yet before you jump headlong into nonprofit freelance work, there’s an essential point to keep in mind: mission is paramount. To hire you, a nonprofit may expect you to have at least some care about, if not enthusiasm for, their mission. There’s a lot of legal issues I won’t (nor am I qualified) to get into on this point. But consider that if you love their mission, you’ll probably do better work for them – especially if you’re in marketing, fundraising or program delivery.I could go on and on, but suffice to say that yes, nonprofits ARE a great market for freelancers – but let’s keep it between you and me!Matt Hugg is nonprofit consultant’s consultant at NonprofitConsultant.Zone a business and educational resource for consultants and freelancers to nonprofit organizations. He is author of “The ThinkNP Guide to Nonprofit Consulting: A Practical Workbook for Your Success,” (available on Amazon).
Who would have thought that a holiday that began as the commemoration of an ancient saint would become one of the biggest spending days of the year? According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $130.97 on… Full Story,Aside from the temperamental weather, scarcity of holidays and pervasive universal cranky moods, one of the worst parts of winter is the feeling of being trapped indoors for months at a time. While bears are too busy hibernating to take… Full Story,I recently joked to friends that late last year most of the updates on my social networks involved mass food consumption (and accompanying pictures.) For the first week of the New Year, most of the updates involved or included exercise… Full Story,We are three days into the New Year and you may already be having a hard time following through with your resolutions. Financial resolutions are always popular choices but sticking to a budget and tackling your financial goals is an… Full Story,My inbox is full of questions about how to usher in the New Year while getting the most bang for your buck. As with most of my Q&A columns, the following are composites of several similar questions. At Home Celebration… Full Story,You’ve made your list and you’ve checked it twice. You’ve even added it to your Google calendar and synced with your extended family members. You are probably so efficient that every gift on your holiday list is not only accounted… Full Story,It’s December and you know what that means: The frenzy of the gift-giving season has begun again. I’m a fan of gifts of experience and “two-part” gifts. The gift of an experience can harbor memories that last a lifetime. For… Full Story,One of the more interesting facts to emerge from the Black Friday shopping weekend is that a majority of us splurged on ourselves instead of others. Since many of us still face daunting gift lists, I’ve enlisted the help of… Full Story,If you’re reading this, chances are good that as much as you love the turkey, trimmings and time with family, you’re already secretly plotting the best holiday shopping plan of attack. To save you time crowded against thousands of other… Full Story,If there is one wardrobe staple that gets a lot of play every winter, it’s your coat. It doesn’t matter how well cut your pants are or how striking your sweater is, and even if you live someplace only a… Full Story
I received the following question from a Minter via Twitter @johnulzheimer.“John, I had a collection for a defaulted credit card bill from three years ago. I want to buy a house and the collection agency told me that if I paid the bill they’d delete it from my credit reports. Their offer sounded suspiciously good so I did some research online. I found some stories talking about “pay for delete” deals working and I found just as many suggesting that those offers are bogus and that the credit bureaus don’t honor them. Can you shed some light on this?”What is Pay for Delete?“Pay for delete” is the informal way of referring to a collection agency offering to delete their collection account from your credit report if you pay them what you owe them.There is no formal pay for delete program with the credit reporting agencies.In fact, the credit reporting agencies frown on removing accurate negative information simply because it has been paid.Rolling the DiceI’ve read some of the service agreements the credit bureaus have with debt collectors and some of them contain language that warns collectors to not remove paid accounts.The penalty for being caught removing accurate collections after they’re paid could be as stern as the collection agency losing their account with the credit bureaus.That means no more ability to pull credit reports on debtors and no more ability to report collection accounts.Additionally, the credit industry’s credit reporting standards guide (Called the Credit Reporting Resource Guide) also directs debt buyers and collection agencies to not delete paid collections.The text reads, “Paid in full collection accounts must not be deleted” and “Do not delete paid in full collection accounts.”Collection agencies that are removing paid collections that are not errors are rolling the dice. The credit bureaus aren’t stupid and if they’ll notice if a collection agency is ordering the removal of paid collections.There’s legislation pending that would require the bureaus to delete all paid or settled medical collections within 45 days of a zero balance being reported.It won’t pass though. It’s failed twice already.Even if it were passed it would only apply to medical collections and not to any other variety, including credit card related collections.A Back Door MethodThere’s a back door “pay for delete” method that’s less common but equally effective.A debt collector could tell the debtor to dispute the collection with the credit bureaus after it’s been paid.The debt collector would then not respond to the credit bureaus request to verify the collection account and 30 days later the credit bureaus would remove it.The problem with this method is you have to entice the debtor to actually file a dispute with each of the three credit bureaus.This won’t remain a secret long if a collector does this with any frequency. How Collections are ConsideredThe way collections are treated has changed considerably over the past few years.FICO 08 (the most recent generation of FICO’s credit scoring models) ignores collections that have an original balance below $100, whether they’re paid off or not.The VantageScore credit score version 3.0 (VantageScore Solutions’ most current credit score version) ignores all collections with a zero balance.The only reason a credit score developer would have this type of selective treatment of paid or small dollar collections is that they either 1) aren’t as predictive of future elevated credit risk, or 2) there are other credit report items that are equally predictive and are a suitable substitute for consideration.John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. The opinions expressed in his articles are his and not of Mint.com or Intuit. Follow John on Twitter. Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related
In pursuit of flawless and good-looking skin we set a skincare routine and try to follow it with dedication. While having only the best intentions when planning our regimen, we sometimes sabotage our skin without even knowing it. According to some dermatologists, a lot of women don’t even moisturize their skin every day. Lack of moisture will not only lead to the development of more wrinkles, but it can also cause acne and flaking.We gathered some mistakes we make that are constantly damaging our skin.1. Not starting your routine with washing the makeup offThe very first step in your skincare routine should be cleansing. Ideally, do a double cleanse in the PM. The first step is for washing off the makeup, the second step is to make sure your pores aren’t clogged.2. Using the wrong cleanserSqueaky clean skin isn’t as good for you as it may seem. The normal pH of our skin is around 5.5. That’s why cleansers with a higher pH can cause acne, by provoking our sebaceous glands to produce more sebum than we naturally need.3. Not applying toners after cleansingToner doesn’t seem like a necessary step in a skincare regimen, but it is. Toners will prepare your skin for a moisturizer and remove chlorines and minerals found in tap water. Don’t forget to make sure you are using an alcohol-free one.4. Using too many exfoliating products Removing dead skin cells is very important, but physical exfoliants can damage your skin and result in dehydration and flaking. Instead, try using acid peeling serums which work on the skin surface directly and stimulate cell renewal.5. Popping pimplesDo not squeeze pimples, because this way you’ll only spread the infection further on your face. Instead use special acne treatments such as salicylic acid directly on spots.6. Avoid using oilsEven if your skin is more on the oily side, you should definetly use oils to moisturize your skin. Lack of hydration leads to even more active work of our sebaceous glands, and we don’t need that. It is better to use oils with linoleic acid like organic rosehip oil, hemp seed oil, or pumpkin seed oil.7. Not using SPF productsSkin that is unprotected from the sun tends to get more wrinkles and pigmentation. You should definitely use sun screen every day and not just in the summer. The higher the SPF level, the better.8. Not changing pillow cases regularlyIt may not be obvious, but our pillow cases actually collect a lot of bacteria from our body and external sources. During our sleep these bacteria can transfer to your face and cause acne. To avoid this do not forget to change your pillow cases at least once a week.9. Not drinking enough water & eating junk foodEvery problem that appears on our faces starts inside our body. That’s why you should also consider your eating and drinking habits. Start drinking more water and eating clean, and your skin will change for the better.Bonus: Kick your worst habits.Cigarette smoking breaks down collagen and elastin, which are essential for younger looking skin. That is why getting rid of this habit helps to reduce and slow down the aging process.Source
Cocoa Farming Can Boost Colombia’s EconomyColombia’s cocoa has also been positive for rural development and job creation in remote areas, which were beset by conflict for decades. Ex-combatants now find decent work on cocoa cooperatives, supported by the National Cocoa Federation, the company Casa Luker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the international community. Colombian _campesinos _previously involved in the production of coca, a plant used to make cocaine, have found a viable alternative in cocoa—without the violence associated with the coca trade. Smallholder farmers with one or two heads of cattle per hectare have been able to diversify to include cocoa and timber on their farms.Agroforestry-based Cocoa Production Can Boost Resilience to Climate ChangeColombia has experienced record floods and droughts in recent years, fueled by climate change and exacerbated by the climate phenomenon El Niño. Agroforestry-based cocoa, coupled with a “silvopastoral” approach to livestock management involving more trees in the landscape, has enabled farmers to adapt to Colombia’s changing climate and become more resilient. And new, more productive, drought-tolerant varieties of cocoa, developed in partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (Corpoica), have enabled greater yields to be harvested from existing agricultural lands, raising farmer incomes and productivity. Cocoa beans. Photo by Max Pixel Sustainable Cocoa for ForestsColombia joins the initiative as part of its engagement in the Food and Land Use Coalition, a public-private collaboration to develop strategies for sustainable rural economic development.Unlike in West Africa, cocoa production has not caused significant deforestation in Colombia. Other drivers like livestock and coca production, illegal timber, mining and infrastructure development are responsible. Recent rates of deforestation have skyrocketed in the country, largely attributable to the paradox of Colombia’s new-found peace: Areas that were once off limits to development as a result of the presence of illegal armed groups are now quickly being converted to agriculture and other uses.The Government of Colombia believes cocoa can be a solution to this problem, as part of a concerted strategy to close pristine forests to development and restore degraded areas of land with agroforestry-based cocoa. This type of production happens in tandem with nature—cocoa plants grow beneath the shade of on-farm trees. Progress to date is heartening: From the Amazon to the Pacific, Colombia has invested in thousands of hectares of agroforestry-based cocoa schemes, taking pressure off biodiverse natural forests and restoring ecological health to degraded landscapes. The result is deforestation-free cocoa.Cocoa farming in Guaviare, Colombia. Photo by Neil Palmer/CIAT Victor Combita is a cocoa farmer and community leader from San José del Guaviare in the heart of the Colombian Amazon. For many years, his region was the epicenter of Colombia’s civil conflict. It is also among the states with the highest deforestation rates, as a result of livestock, coca production and illegal timber clearing. Combita, however, seeks a different path.Alongside several hundred farmers, he runs a sustainable cocoa co-operative, providing high-quality Fino de Aroma cocoa while also protecting and restoring forests. It is for farmers like Combita that Colombia’s joining the Cocoa and Forests Initiative today is so significant. The Initiative, which began in 2017 in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, aims to create a global movement for zero-deforestation cocoa. What better region for this type of production than the areas adjoining some of the world’s most intact and important tropical rainforests, such as the recently enlarged Chiribiquete National Park?Victor Combita, shown here, runs a sustainable cocoa cooperative, alongside several hundred other farmers in San José del Guaviare, Colombia. Cocoa Farming and PeaceThe future of the Colombian peace process rests to a significant degree on how the country delivers a better future for its rural communities. The Colombian Peace Agreement attaches great importance to “integrated rural reform,” the provision of viable alternative livelihoods for smallholder farmers coupled with land tenure rights, better infrastructure and access to markets. Colombia’s Fino de Aroma cocoa has a distinctive quality – fruity, nutty and flowery – and therefore an important niche in the market.As both deforestation-free and “peace-friendly,” Colombia’s allegiance to the Cocoa and Forests Initiative will generate greater global market interest in Colombian cocoa. The World Cocoa Foundation counts as its membership many of the world’s largest traders and producers of cocoa. Its support for Colombia’s entry into the Cocoa and Forests Initiative sends a powerful signal. The Colombian chapter of the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture, hosted by IDH, recently selected cocoa as one of its focus commodities – another encouraging sign that the future for the sector is bright.Colombia is at an important crossroads. The government of President-elect Ivan Duque takes office next month with an encouragingly strong commitment to rural development, ecosystem protection and market transformation. The stage is set for success. For Victor Combita, and thousands like him, there is a bright future in which peace, forests and cocoa all prevail – in Colombia and the world at large.
Podcast Suggestions Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack I just hit the six month mark in podcasting…and they said it wouldn’t last. I do it a little differently than many as our podcast, Technology For Business Sake, is actually repurposed from a weekly radio show I co-host on a business talk radio here in Atlanta. As the guy responsible for producing the show and the podcast, I’ve learned a few things that you may want to consider if you’ve been thinking about taking the podcasting plunge. These tips won’t focus on the technical side of podcasting, as there are a number of great resources for this type of information, like www.podcast411.com or http://www.apple.com/itunes/store/podcaststechspecs.html. These are things we found made the podcasts get better over time, according to the folks who listen to us. 1. Write down the focus and formatThis has got to be one of the most important, and overlooked, things you can do. People think they know in their head what they want to do but I guarantee you don’t really know until you see it on paper. And I’ll also guarantee what you first write down is not going to be what your show ends up being. So take the time to write a mission statement for your podcast, and to create a format for the show with these components:• Overall show length• Number of segments• Segment lengths• Timeframe (daily, weekly, monthly, etc)Our podcasts typically last 45-48 minutes long, but that’s really because it’s a radio show first. You may want to keep it short and sweet and max out in the 10-20 minute timeframe. Remember people’s attention spans are getting shorter as more things are coming at them all the time.2. Think of your podcast as InfotainmentI’m sure many of you are looking at adding podcasting to your marketing mix, which is totally understandable as studies chronicle its growing importance. And you want to put a lot of meat in each show to make it interesting to people who could use your services. But don’t underestimate the power of entertainment. Interesting means more than just spouting facts, figures and best practices. It also means making all your great facts and figures appealing to take in. Some people have written books I’ve enjoyed a great deal, but when I listened to their podcast I found myself needing a glass of water they were so dry. Now you don’t need to do stand-up or improvisational skits, but please don’t be afraid add a little personality…..PLEASE…..3. Don’t be afraid to go to the hoop strong!One thing we learned early on is that our intended audience, small and midsize business owners, want to listen to recognized experts they’ve heard of before. So we decided to go after guests that were pretty recognizable. On our third show we were able to get GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons on with us. Since then, we’ve had best selling authors (Chris Anderson, Geoffrey Moore, John Battelle, Don Tapscott), executives at well known companies (RIM, Microsoft, Google, Intuit, etc) and other great guests on with us. And the question I get more than any other is how do you get all these high profile guests. It’s pretty simple….we asked them and they said yes. I sent an email to a “press@” email address and eventually ended up getting Parsons, as well as Google’s director of online sales Emily White. Some folks, like Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine and Six Apart’s Anil Dash I just sent an email to directly. Now I know our show airs first on the radio, but being a new show we couldn’t tell how many people were actually listening, but because we shared the mission of the show with people and had a nice website that served as a marketing mechanism, we’ve been able to continue attracting great guests, like this week’s guest NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. So don’t be afraid to ask a star in your industry to participate in your podcast.4. Have a strong web presence for your podcastIt goes without saying that you want your podcast to sound great. Well you’ll also want a great look for your podcast as well. Make sure you have pages with show summaries, giving people the option to listen to the podcasts on the site or to download them. Let them know how long the show is and provide links to other information that comes up in the conversations. This also should give people interested in your podcast a chance to interact with you, which is extremely important. Remember we’re in a Web 2.0 world, where mass collaboration is the name of the game. And if you want a mass audience, you better find ways to create a conversation with the folks you’re aiming to do business with.5. Dress up your RSS feedNow that I just told you how important it is to have a strong web presence, I also have to tell you that 75% of all podcast downloads come from iTunes. This means there are a great deal of people who may listen to your podcast who may never see your site. So it’s really important to take time to write catchy descriptions of your podcasts in your show’s RSS feed. The feed is the way the majority of folks will learn of your show, so you want to make sure you set it up correctly. Many podcast directories, especially iTunes, are very picky about this, so before you submit your feed go to www.feedvalidator.org to get it validated. Also sign up with www.FeedBurner.com to begin getting stats on who’s subscribing to your podcast. Also you can use a tool like www.feedforall.com to walk you through creating the RSS feed. I used it to get our feed created.There is just the tip of the iceberg, but a few things to think about before taking the plunge. Topics: Originally published Jun 1, 2007 12:50:00 PM, updated March 21 2013