The Dos and Don’ts of Selling to Top Procurement Executives

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AT&T, Boeing, Microsoft, SDOT, Starbucks, Union Bank and Northwest Mountain MSDC prepare MBEs for effective engagement 

While engaging with potential buyers may serve as a well-developed skill for seasoned sales professionals, it may still pose a challenge for some business owners and managers, whether they are expanding to a new industry or introducing their products and services to a Fortune 500 corporation.

The Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council invited procurement executives from member corporations and public agencies to provide direction on how to leverage essential tools for business engagement.  The Council worked with supplier diversity and procurement executives from AT&T, The Boeing Company, City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Microsoft Corporation, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. and Starbucks Corporation to help participating minority business enterprises (MBEs) develop strong capabilities statements and effective introductory communication, commonly referred to as a sales pitch or elevator pitch.

Based on panel discussions and presentations, the Council presented the top three elements for strong capabilities statements as: (1) know your audience – do research and build relevant value propositions that illustrate an alignment of corporate cultures and values. (2) Articulate your differentiating factor – substantiate “what makes you different” with current case studies, proof of concept and documented results, and (3) be succinct – be careful with statements that are longer than 1-2 sentences, focus on a product/service and its benefits, and present it in a clean, organized and creative way.

How many pages should a capabilities statement have? The range is between 1-4 pages and definitely no more than 8-10 pages.  What not to do?  Don’t try to sell everything, don’t use a generic email address, don’t present a wall of text (with no creative format, graphics, metrics, or examples), avoid typographic errors (typos reflect poor attention to detail), and don’t present conflicting information between capabilities statements, websites and online profiles.

The introductory communication should reflect what is in the capabilities statement.  The top three elements were: (1) start with key differentiators – an effective way to capture attention and steer the conversation in a positive direction.  Information that is relevant to the target audience can be used as a starting point followed with a solution or proposal. (2) Present case studies, proof of concept, innovation, as well as results based on metrics, and (3) be authentic – personalize the message, draw on your inner passion and genuine interests.  Make the communication memorable and open up possibilities.

How long should introductory communication last?  Introducing a company in a nutshell should not exceed 2 minutes. To develop confidence, practice in front of a mirror and take every opportunity to speak in public.  What not to do?  Don’t rely on written notes or anything that can distract from making eye contact, don’t begin with “I’m a minority business so you have to do business with me,” and don’t dominate the conversation by not engaging your prospective customer.

“Preparing for Effective Engagement” is a three-part series designed to build skill and confidence among MBEs.  Parts one and two were held on April 27and May 18.  Led by Fernando Martinez, President and CEO of the Council, a panel of six supplier diversity and procurement executives met with fifteen MBEs and presented information on how to do business with their respective companies, how to develop a strong capabilities statement and how to deliver a 2-minute introductory communication.  They reviewed MBE capabilities statements and introductory communication with feedback and recommendations for improvement.  Part three of the series will coincide with the 2017 Annual Conference on June 14 at the University of Washington where MBEs will have the opportunity to apply what they learned from the series.  They will come face-to-face with procurement executives and decision makers.  The Council will count on each MBE to make a lasting impression. “The purpose of the series is to create a learning space for minority business owners and managers where they can understand real decision-making processes from companies they seek to do business with,” said Martinez.  “Our objective is to equip MBEs with the exposure they need to gain more confidence – and ultimately, a greater chance of securing contracts.”

To learn more, or to participate in the next implementation of the series, contact the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council at 253-243-6959 or visit the Council website, www.nwmtnmsdc.org.

About the Council

Founded in 1978, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive economic value by equalizing opportunities.  As an affiliate of the National MSDC, the Council certifies minority owned businesses and provides access to supplier development, supply chain inclusion, networking events and even formal introductions. The Council serves the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome
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graphics image of women taking off masks

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.

Talisa Lavarry was exhausted. She had led the charge at her corporate event management company to plan a high-profile, security-intensive event, working around the clock and through weekends for months. Barack Obama was the keynote speaker.

Lavarry knew how to handle the complicated logistics required — but not the office politics. A golden opportunity to prove her expertise had turned into a living nightmare. Lavarry’s colleagues interrogated and censured her, calling her professionalism into question. Their bullying, both subtle and overt, haunted each decision she made. Lavarry wondered whether her race had something to do with the way she was treated. She was, after all, the only Black woman on her team. She began doubting whether she was qualified for the job, despite constant praise from the client.

Things with her planning team became so acrimonious that Lavarry found herself demoted from lead to co-lead and was eventually unacknowledged altogether by her colleagues. Each action that chipped away at her role in her work doubly chipped away at her confidence. She became plagued by deep anxiety, self-hatred, and the feeling that she was a fraud.

What had started as healthy nervousness — Will I fit in? Will my colleagues like me? Can I do good work? — became a workplace-induced trauma that had her contemplating suicide.

Today, when Lavarry reflects on the imposter syndrome she fell prey to during that time, she knows it wasn’t a lack of self-confidence that held her back. It was repeatedly facing systemic racism and bias.

Read the full article at HBR.

10 Women Scientists Leading the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
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Rose Mutiso speaks at TEDSummit: A Community Beyond Borders. July 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED | Flickr/TED Conference

By Tshiamo Mobe, Global Citizen

Climate change is an issue that affects everyone on the planet but women and girls are the ones suffering its effects the most. Why? Because women and girls have less access to quality education and later, job opportunities. These structural disadvantages keep them in poverty. In fact, women make up 70% of the world’s poor. In a nutshell, climate change impacts the poor the most and the poor are mostly women.

Poverty is driven by and made worse by climate change also makes girls more susceptible to child marriage, because it drives hunger and girls getting married often means one less mouth to feed for their parents. Climate change also leads to geopolitical instability which, in turn, results in greater instances of violence — which we know disproportionately impacts women and girls.

Ironically, saving the planet has been made to seem a “women’s job”. This phenomenon, dubbed the “eco gender gap”, sees the burden of climate responsibility placed squarely on women’s shoulders through “green” campaigns and products that are overwhelmingly marketed to women.

There are several hypotheses for why this is. Firstly, women are the more powerful consumers (they drive 70-80% of all purchasing decisions). Secondly, they are disproportionately responsible, still, for the domestic sphere. And finally, going green is seen as a women’s job because women’s personalities are supposedly more nurturing and socially responsible.

Women should be involved in fighting the climate crisis at every level — from the kitchen to the science lab to the boardroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained it best when she said: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” However, women are underrepresented in the science field (including climate science), with just 30% of research positions held by women and fewer still holding senior positions. The Reuters Hot List of 1,000 scientists features just 122 women.

Click here to read the full article on Global Citizen.

The Fastest Growing Jobs of 2023
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Nurse Practitioner holding clipboard

The job market is as different as ever, especially given the events of the last several years. Whether you’re looking to enter the workforce for the first time or want to make a career switch, it can be easy to become discouraged in the search for a job that is financially and market secure. As we enter 2023, take a look at some of the highest paying and most in-demand careers of the year and what you need to get started.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are primary or specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine how to improve or manage a patient’s health and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient’s life. Nurse practitioners typically care for a certain population of people. For instance, NPs may work in adult and geriatric health, pediatric health or psychiatric and mental health. While nurse practitioners are predicted to be one of the most in demand jobs of the next year, the healthcare field in its entirety is growing rapidly.

  • Education and Experience: Nurse practitioners usually need a master’s degree in an advanced practice nursing field. They must have a registered nursing license before pursuing education in one of the advanced practical roles. Working in administrative and managerial settings can also be a great way to gain experience and move up in the field.
  • Desired Skillset: Science education background, communication, detail-oriented, interpersonal skills
  • Average Salary: $127, 780
  • Job Growth Rate: 40% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 118,600

Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for using analytical tools, scientific methods and algorithms to collect and analyze useful information for companies and organizations. Data scientists additionally develop algorithms (sets of instructions that tell computers what to do) and models to support programs for machine learning. They use machine learning to classify or categorize data or to make predictions related to the models. Scientists also must test the algorithms and models for accuracy, including for updates with newly collected data.

  • Education and Experience: Data scientists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science or a related field to enter the occupation. Some employers require industry-related experience or education. For example, data scientists seeking work in an asset management company may need to have experience in the finance industry or to have completed coursework that demonstrates an understanding of investments, banking or related subjects.
  • Desired Skillset: Analytics, mathematics, computer skills, problem-solving, industry specific knowledge
  • Average Salary: $100, 910
  • Job Growth Rate: 36% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 40,500

Information Security Analysts

Cybercrime is at an unfortunate all-time high. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has skyrocketed by 600 percent, creating a greater need for workers in cybersecurity. Information security analysts are responsible for planning and carrying out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They work to maintain software, monitor networks, work closely with IT staff to execute the best protective measures and are heavily involved in creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, a method of recovering lost data in a cybersecurity emergency.

  • Education and Experience: Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a computer science field, along with related work experience. Many analysts have experience in IT. Employers additionally prefer hiring candidates that have their information security certification.
  • Desired Skillset: Established and evolving knowledge in IT, analytics, problem-solving, attention to detail
  • Average Salary: $102, 600
  • Job Growth Rate: 35% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 56,500

Financial Management

If math comes easy to you, the field of financial management won’t be slowing down any time soon. Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization or individual. They create financial reports, analyze market trends, direct investment activities and develop plans for the long-term financial goals. They often work with teams, acting as advisors to managers and executives on the financial decisions of a company. Financial Managers may also have more specific titles for more specific roles such as controllers, treasurers, finance officers, credit managers and risk managers.

  • Education and Experience: Financial managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, economics or a related field. These disciplines help students learn analytical skills and methods. Although not required, earning professional certification is recommended for financial managers looking to provide tangible proof of their competence. Having job experience as a loan officer, accountant or related job may also be helpful in becoming a financial manager.
  • Desired Skillset: Mathematics, organization, communication skills, attention to detail
  • Average Salary: $131, 710
  • Job Growth Rate: 17% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 123,100

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Technology is advancing and its need exists in just about every industry. Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine and other fields. They design and conduct experiments to test the operation of software systems, frequently using techniques from data science and machine learning, often having expertise in programming and/or robotics.

  • Education and Experience: Computer and information research scientists typically need at least a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.
  • Desired Skillset: Mathematics, logical thinking, IT and AI experience, analytics
  • Average Salary: $131,490
  • Job Growth Rate: 21% (higher than average 8%)
  • Estimated Jobs Added from 2021-2031: 7,100

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Emeritus Blog, Wikipedia

Dressing for the Job You Want
LinkedIn
professional man and woman in office attire

By Natalie Rodgers

The saying “dress for the job you want” is still crucial advice when it comes to an interview. Even if you have the desired attributes and skillsets to your employer, wearing a sloppy or inappropriate outfit can greatly decrease your chances of being hired and being taken seriously. Picking the right outfit, however, will not only show your potential employer that you care for yourself and the occasion, but will give you the confidence to proceed through the interview as your best self. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to dressing for your interview day:

Do Your Research

Look into what kind of company you are interviewing with and what kind of clothing the day-to-day job would consist of. Depending on these answers, you may need to dress up or down a little more than your original outfit plans. If the workplace you’re applying to has a more relaxed environment, such as a startup company, you’ll probably be okay with dressing in something a little more business casual. However, if you’re applying to a big firm that requires a suit and tie, you might want to take on a more business formal wardrobe.

If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always a better idea to dress up then to dress down. Business casual is also a safe bet for most workplaces.

The Types of Dress

Before you do anything, you’ll want to know about the different kinds of professional dress, especially if a certain one has been requested by your interviewer. The types of outfits include:

Casual: If you are in a rare instance where casual apparel is acceptable for the workplace, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s acceptable to wear a graphic t-shirt and a pair of shorts to your meeting. For a professional, yet casual look, you’ll want to wear something that is comfortable, but would also be acceptable to wear at a nice restaurant. For a professional casual interview, here are some fashion pieces you can pair together:

  • A button up shirt, polo or blouse free of logos, words and pictures. Patterns and design are okay, but make sure they aren’t too distracting
  • Dark jeans or pants
  • A knee length skirt or dress without patterns or designs that are too distracting
  • A plain colored cardigan
  • Clean closed-toe shoes

Business Casual: Business casual is one of the most common types of dress for an interview and a safe bet for just about any workplace interview. These outfits should be more dressed up than the “casual” outfit, but not fancy enough to wear to a wedding or formal event. Fashion items for a business causal outfit consist of:

  • Dark dress pants, slacks or pencil skirts
  • Button up shirts or blouses without logo, design and very limited pattern
  • A blazer, sportscoat or cardigan
  • Fancier closed toe shoes such as loafers, heels, flats or oxfords

Business Formal: Business formal is another step up from business causal and are typically outfits that can also be worn to events or places with more prestige. Law firms and many government positions usually include this kind of dress. The attire consists of:

  • Dark-colored, full suits
  • Suit pants or slim-fit, knee-length skirts
  • Blouses or button-down shirts accompanied by a jacket that preferably matches the bottom
  • Tailored dresses accompanied with a nice jacket
  • A tie
  • Fancier closed toe shoes such as loafers, heels, flats or oxfords

Hair, Makeup, Accessories

As there are many different kinds of hair and thus many different kinds of professional hairstyles, there is a wide variety for what is acceptable for a professional setting. Regardless of style, you’ll want to make sure that your hair is clean and kept.

As for makeup and accessories, both are acceptable and even encouraged for interviews, but you’ll want to make sure to keep both as simple as possible. Going for a more “natural” look is best for makeup and wearing jewelry that isn’t too bulky, noisy, distracting or inhibitive of normal body movements is best. You want to make sure that your focus is on the interview and not the discomfort of your clothes or accessories.

Clean it Up!

Before you throw on your big interview outfit, make sure that everything is clean and looks as pristine as possible. Make sure to iron your clothes (if needed), hang them up to prevent further wrinkling, free them of tags or loose strings and, above all, eliminate any negative odors.

Remember, your outfit should make you confident and compliment the experience and skillset that you know will benefit this workplace. Now go get them!

Sources: Indeed, The Balance Money

Why We Need More Women in Engineering: A Conversation with SWE Emerging Leader Kia Smith
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Kia Smith headshot

Diversity is important in every field, but this can especially be true in STEM. Having a diverse team allows for a wider exchange of thought, ideas and ways to problem-solve inspired by a variety of different life experiences and trains of thought.

But even with the progress that has been made to include more women and people of color in STEM, they are still vastly underrepresented, especially in the engineering field. In the most recent survey done by the Society of Women Engineers, women represented only 34 percent of all STEM workers and only 14 percent of all engineering occupations.

These numbers were even lower for women of color in the field.

Getting more women — particularly diverse women — in engineering is incredibly important, but don’t just take our word for it. Diversity in STEAM Magazine sat down with the 2022 Society of Women Engineers Emerging Leader and the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year, Kia Smith, to talk about her journey in engineering and why it’s important for voices like hers to be included this field:

Diversity in STEAM Magazine (DISM): When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer and why?

Kia Smith (KS): I knew once I sat down and reviewed all the possibilities of majors that I could have for college at 15 years old. I sat down with my dad and we reviewed my top three. We ranked them on how much school I had to take versus how much money I could make. Needless to say, with my love for math and science and data from the assessment, all signs pointed to STEM!

DISM: What types of challenges have you faced as a woman of color in the engineering field?

KS: I have had managers that made each day hard, people at work that acted like supporters who really used my kindness for weakness and friends (or people that I thought were my friends) turn on me for getting a career. While all hard, I realized everything is temporary and nothing is forever so I need to make decisions for me that will lead to my happiness no matter what.

DISM: Tell us a bit more about your role at Boeing and what you enjoy most about it?

KS: I am a Regional Supplier Quality Manager in the California Region for Boeing Space, Defense and Security. I lead 15 people and close to 200 Supplier’s product verifications in the Southern California area and internationally. What I enjoy most is the training and development of team members. My team is great and I love to see them happy and growing.

DISM: What does it mean to you to be recognized by the Society of Women Engineers, BEYA and so many more?

KS: It means the world. I wish my parents were alive to see it. For years I thought my efforts were not noticed or appreciated, which I was told many times does not matter if you are getting paid. This is far from the truth. Recognition is definitely aligned with my words of affirmation love language, so you can imagine the level of gratefulness and excitement that I am on this year.

DISM: Why do you believe women are integral in engineering?

KS: Our ability to think and reactive differently has always been misunderstood but today it is celebrated more than ever. Our ability to multitask and bring a different flavor to the table makes our teams that much more amazing. I believe this makes US integral in engineering, which is a function embedded in all that we do each day — whether it is Wi-Fi from satellites that I have personally worked on, cell phones, ordering an Uber or Amazon delivery or riding on an airplane. Safety, quality and efficiency are all minimal expectations in the world we live in and it takes diversity on engineering teams for this to happen.

DISM: What advice would you give another woman of color who wants to pursue a career in engineering?

KS: Go for it and let nothing get in your way! You are worthy, you are good enough and you will make a difference in this world! Never tell yourself no… let other people say it and then go around them and make it happen!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kia Smith

Revamping your Resume for the New Year
LinkedIn
professional working on resume at his desk and typing on keyboard

Starting your new year with a job search? Use these tips to infuse your resume with energy and communicate a clear story about what you can bring to your next job.

Create a personal brand to show employers your uniqueness.

Personal branding is about communicating your identity and showing what sets you apart from others in your field. It combines the personal with the professional, since a brand encompasses your skills and talents, along with personality and style.

When competing for a job, you need to stand out. Besides helping you identify your personal strengths, having a brand can pull your resume to the top of the pile, make you shine in interviews and leave your social media readers positively wowed.

Are you ready to start thinking — or re-thinking — your personal branding strategy?

Consider several of your best work experiences and how you contributed to them. What skill or characteristic is reflected in your best work stories? How did you use it? With what result? Ask yourself: “Why do people like to work with me or employ me?” What earns you compliments or accolades? What do people depend on you for?

Here are two examples to get you started:

  • Do you take unusual care to ensure details are thoroughly thought through and accurate? Your brand could be “willing to take on the precision that scares others away.”
  • You might be an outstanding supervisor who makes operations flow and brand yourself “a problem solver who excels at developing talent.”

Your transferable skills are a major selling point; make sure to highlight them.

An important part of what makes you valuable to an employer is your skillset. There are probably some skills unique to your particular work history; take time to note these and include in your resume.

Transferable skills are those that are used in many different careers and help make you an attractive job candidate. If you have a hard time coming up with a list of skills, take a skills assessment or try listing the key tasks from your previous jobs and highlight the verbs — or action words — you wrote down.

Promote your accomplishments to advertise what you can achieve.

The first thing an employer wants to learn from a resume is “how could this person help my organization?” Your resume should give the employer a clear answer by including your accomplishments.

Think about what you did in past jobs. What problems did you solve? What solutions did you come up with? What benefits did this have for the business, customers or employees? Think in terms of the challenge you confronted, the action you took to resolve it and the end result and how it benefitted the employer.

Tailor your resume to get through the initial resume review conducted by applicant tracking systems software.

Many employers use applicant tracking system (ATS) software to make an initial sort of resumes; the software indicates whether or not a resume should move on to human resources staff for further review.

For a given position, employers specify in the ATS the skills, education and training, years of experience and other details needed to qualify candidates for a position. As applications are received, the ATS scores each one and puts it in rank order based on how well it meets the employer’s list of criteria.

But unlike a human reader, the software is likely to reject resumes because:

  • Qualified candidates fail to use the employer’s chosen keywords.
  • The system doesn’t recognize unusual fonts or formatting.
  • Candidates lack the preferred experience, but may have qualifications that could make up for what’s missing.

Be precise

While including all of the above is important, remember that no one wants to read a twenty-page resume. Be informative yet concise with your resume, keeping your qualifications within the perimeters of two pages. Think of resumes as the plot descriptor on the back of a book, they are an initial look at who you are, not a detailed explanation of every detail of the book. A good rule of thumb is to keep your resume to a maximum of two full pages.

Source: CareerOneStop

The Hottest STEM Jobs of 2023
LinkedIn
Female architects discussing ideas for the new project

As 2022 comes to a close and the New Years’ resolutions start to flow, you may have “Pursue a New Career” as one of your 2023 goals.

The STEM field is growing now more than ever with jobs in every sector of science, technology, engineering, arts and design and mathematics. Here are the top jobs in the STEM field going into the new year:

Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers

Bioengineers and biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems and software. They are usually responsible for designing and operating medical equipment and devices such as artificial organs, prosthetic limbs and diagnostic technology. The bioengineering field is one of the highest “in-demand” jobs currently. They are currently estimated to grow at about 10 percent, a much higher rate than average.

  • Education: Bioengineers and biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, biomedical engineering or a related engineering field. Some positions require a graduate degree.
  • Top States of Employment: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas
  • Average Pay: $97,410 per year

Physicists

Physicists study the interactions of matter and energy. Theoretical physicists and (including astronomers) may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. They typically work on research teams to conduct research and experiments about the natural world, but they also work to design and create lasers, telescopes and other scientific equipment that will aid them in their research. Not only are jobs in this field in high demand, growing at about 8 percent, but are one of the highest paid jobs in the STEM field today.

  • Education: Physicists and astronomers typically need a Ph.D. for jobs in research and academia. However, physicist jobs in the federal government typically require a bachelor’s degree in physics.
  • Top States of Employment: California, Colorado, Maryland, New York and Virginia
  • Average Pay: $147,450 per year

Computer and Research Information Scientists

Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine etc. and have a profound knowledge in programming, complex algorithms and robotics. Many of their day-to-day tasks consist of research, computer work, team collaboration and experimentation. Jobs are growing at a little over four times the normal rate compared to average, with a whopping 21 percent increase.

  • Education: Computer and information research scientists typically need a master’s or higher degree in computer science or a related field, such as computer engineering. For federal government jobs, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for certain positions.
  • Top States of Employment: California, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Washington
  • Average Pay: $131, 490 per year

Software Developers

Software developers create the computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. They typically work with cliental to assess the company’s current programming and computer systems and work to create systems that are more efficient and helpful to their needs. They can also be responsible for the creation, development and functionality of computer programs and systems. Software development is a rapidly growing industry with a 25 percent outlook.

  • Education: Software developers typically only need a bachelor’s degree to work in the field.
  • Top States of Employment: California, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington
  • Average Pay: $109, 020 per year

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They are heavily involved with creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, maintaining software, monitoring networks and fixing potential and confirmed program threats. They must also keep up to date on the latest news and developments surrounding the tech field. IT Analysts are one of the fastest growing fields in the STEM field at 35 percent.

  • Education: Information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in a computer science field, along with related work experience. Employers may prefer to hire analysts who have professional certification.
  • Top States of Employment: Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia
  • Average Pay: $102, 600 per year

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, NBC

5 Tips to Create or Improve Your Linkedin Profile
LinkedIn
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Ready to land your dream job?  You’re in luck because recruiters and employers are looking for candidates in record numbers this year. And one tool they’re using to help them recruit is LinkedIn. Whether you already have a full LinkedIn profile, or you’ve never set one up, follow these five tips to make your profile shine.

Start with the details

This might seem counter-intuitive, but getting the details down first can help you round out the more general parts of your profile, such as the headline and summary. So don’t be afraid to dive right into the “Work Experience” section.

A good format to use for your experience is to start with a one or two sentence summary of each position, followed by bullet points that highlight specifics in terms of accomplishments and results. You might use a slightly edited version of your resume for this.

Get the headline right

Let’s be honest: your LinkedIn headline does a lot of heavy lifting for you. So it’s important that it highlight your industry or career as well as your skills and/or what you can offer to an employer. It doesn’t need to be cute or attention grabbing. But since it’s the one piece of your profile that most people actually will read, you do want to make sure it conveys information about you. Put yourself in the mind of a recruiter for your dream job, and make sure your headline has some keywords that will identify you as a good fit for that position. For example, if you’re looking for a career in something as specific as accounting or database management, you want to make sure that’s obvious from your headline.

To start brainstorming your headline, go back to your Work Experience information. You should find a story somewhere in your summary statements and your bullet points. Once you land on a headline, you might even want to tweak your Work Experience section to make sure it works well with and flows from your headline.

Make the effort with a headshot

This little image is the most-viewed part of your profile—in fact, recruiters and employers see it before they even click through to look at the rest of your profile. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer for your headshot, but if you have access to one, it can make the process easier. If you don’t, have someone take a a photo of you in front of a neutral background, and crop it to show just your head and the top of your shoulders. A good rule of thumb for how to dress is to wear what you would wear to your dream job (even though only the top of your shoulders will be visible). You want to look professional and friendly. Employers are looking for someone who will get along well with colleagues, so smiling or having an approachable look is important.

List all 50 skills

LinkedIn has up to 50 slots for you to list your skills, and they use these skills like keywords to match you to recruiters’ or employers’ searches. So, the more skills or keywords you have listed, the more likely you’ll show up in someone’s search.

Not sure which skills you should list? One place to get ideas is from the LinkedIn profiles of people who have jobs similar to yours, or who work in the same field. CareerOneStop’s Tools & Technology Finder is also a good place to identify the most common tools or software programs for your specific occupation; if you have experience with the tools or technologies you find listed when you look up your occupation there, you should definitely list them.

Ask for recommendations

This last point can be the hardest one for many people, but having even a couple recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can make a difference in whether a recruiter pauses and takes a closer look. Recommendations can be quite short—even two to three sentences—so asking someone to write one for you does not have to be a huge burden to them.

In terms of who you should ask, you can really consider almost anyone you’ve known in a professional setting. That can include people more senior than you, more junior than you, or colleagues at your own level. It can also include current or former colleagues, bosses, or employees.

Source: CareerOneStop

5 High-Paying & Fast-Growing Careers for Women
LinkedIn

In a world that’s constantly changing, finding a career that offers job security and steady finances in a growing market can be tremendously comforting. If you’re looking for the best field to pursue, here are some top jobs offering high salaries and exceeding the expectations of the job market. Note: The average growth percentage for any career is eight percent.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Description: Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals. Typical job duties associated with this position are analyzing technology needs within companies, computer maintenance, cyber-security and keeping up to date with the latest technology trends.

Education Requirements: Computer and information systems managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering technologies. Many organizations also require their computer and information systems managers to have a graduate degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is common and takes two years beyond the undergraduate level to complete.

Average Annual Salary: $159,010 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 11 percent

Human Resources Managers

Description: Human resources managers plan, coordinate and direct the administrative functions of an organization. They manage the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff, consult with top executives on strategic planning and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees. Their duties can entail coordinating an organization’s workforce to best suit employees, designing and overseeing employee benefit programs and handling staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures.

Education Requirements: Human resources managers typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. The degree may be in human resources or another field, such as business, communications or psychology. Courses in subjects such as conflict management may be helpful.

Average Annual Salary: $126,230 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 9 percent

Nurse Practitioners

Description: Nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. Their duties could also include operating and monitoring medical equipment, diagnoses, research, running tests and creating patient care plans. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

Education: Nurse practitioners must have a master’s degree in their specialty. APRNs also must be licensed registered nurses in their state, pass a national certification exam and have a state APRN license.

Average Annual Salary: $123,780 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 45 percent

Physician Assistant

Description: Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine in teams with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose and treat patients. Physician assistants may also research new treatments, conduct health-centered outreach programs and speak on health and wellness.

Education Requirement: Physician assistants typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. Earning that degree usually takes at least two years of full-time postgraduate study. PA graduate school applicants usually have experience caring directly for patients. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Average Annual Salary: $121,530 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 31 percent

Software Developers

Description: Software developers create computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. They may also analyze clients’ design needs, have a strong understanding of ADA compliancy online, recommend software upgrades and perform software maintenance.

Education Requirements: Software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire developers who have a master’s degree.

Average Annual Salary: $110,140 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 22 percent

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Balance Careers

3 Ways to Conquer Imposter Syndrome
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By Lori Pugh

I’ve spent most of my professional career in the high-tech field, surrounded by predominantly male leadership. While I will always be appreciative of the mentorship and guidance I have received over the years, I’ve often found self-comparison leading the way for me.

In the STEAM fields, you’re expected to be very innovative and forward-looking. While those around me exuded confidence and self-assurance, I have often felt like I was faking it. For the longest time, I became risk-averse for fear of looking stupid. As I climbed the corporate ladder, I was sure these feelings would leave me and was disappointed to find that they would intensify.

Then, one day, many years ago, an employee reached out to me asking for advice about overcoming “imposter syndrome.” Never having heard of this affliction, my interest was piqued. After reading more about it, I realized this term describes me. Discovering that others felt these feelings flooded me with relief. In my research, I found that this “syndrome” was felt mainly by women and people of color.

Instead of being stressed, I felt challenged to learn how to conquer it. I sought coaching to help me do so, which inspired me to help others with my newfound knowledge. It has been a monumental privilege to help others learn to conquer this debilitating condition. If you can relate to these feelings, then I know you can conquer them, too. Here are three ways to do so.

1. Build self-confidence. Nobody is born with confidence. That means it can be built! Self-confidence is an emotion guided by our thoughts. If we become aware of our thoughts and identify the driving factor of negative emotions, then we have the power to target and change them. We can alter beliefs about ourselves, our career, our relationships, our lives. It’s natural for fear to crop up. That’s just the primitive part of our brains trying to protect us. With practice, all of us can rise above those natural, fear-driven thoughts and create self-confidence in every area of our lives.

2. Recognize that failing is a crucial part of success. We’ve all been taught in some way that failure must be avoided. However, when I was surrounded by software engineers, I learned that we all need to fail to improve. They call it “failing fast.” When developing software, failures or “bugs” are a normal and natural part of the testing process. It helps developers improve what isn’t working in the coding. Rather than fearing failure, look at it as a sign that you’re learning and moving forward.

3. Stop agonizing over what others may think. It’s natural for us to ponder what others think about us, but it’s the worrying that paralyzes us because there’s nothing we can do about it. Worried thoughts, however, are notoriously inaccurate. In the end, you cannot control others’ thoughts, feelings or expectations. While you may still face times of worry, you also face a choice in those moments to have courage and move forward despite any discomfort. And in doing so, you will continue to build confidence in yourself.

The journey of creating self-confidence and conquering imposter syndrome can be a long and challenging process. But if you choose to be your authentic self and have confidence in your abilities, you’ve taken the first important step.

Lori Pugh is the Chief People Officer for the nonprofit, Waterford.org. She is also a certified life coach specializing in helping women build their self-confidence and recognize their inherent brilliance. You can find more information on her website, loripugh.com, or by joining her Facebook group, “Women Walking Tall.”

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
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  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy–Winter 2023
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  3. 2023 NAWBO Leadership Academy
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    February 8, 2023
  5. National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates (NAAAS) Conference
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