From Refugee Camp to Medical School
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Samixchha Raut standing outside casually posing in front of a tree

By Samixchha Raut

Eight years ago, I lived in Goldhap, a refugee camp in Nepal, where more than 7,000 people reside in just over 1200 households, without running water or electricity. Today, I’m 22, a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Biomedical Science and on a path to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor. I am studying for the MCAT exam to apply for medical school. It has been a long journey for me and my family.

My dad, a native of Bhutan, fled the homeland with his family. He settled in Goldhap, where he did construction work in a surrounding town, and later started repairing bicycles. He met my mother; they married and had me, and my two younger brothers. But there was barely enough food to go around.

In 2010, my family was able to immigrate to the United States, where we settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. I studied hard and earned a full scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. In spring 2018, I participated in a study abroad program with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). I spent six weeks in each of three locations – studying HIV/Aids Policy & Politics in Cape Town, Media, Gender & Identity in London, and Family and Child Development in Paris. The experience reinforced my commitment to be a doctor!

As a child, I was stricken with jaundice, and it wasn’t sure that I would survive. My parents worked extra hard and were finally able to purchase the medicine that made me better. Once I recuperated, I decided I wanted to be a doctor to help others.

While studying in South Africa, my class visited a township village, Zwelethemba. I felt like I was back in the refugee camp. The people were living in severe poverty. But you could see and feel the camaraderie and love among the villagers. Every child was being raised by the entire village. I pictured myself in them.

It took me back to our camp and to our struggles. I spent 13 years of my life in a refugee camp, living just like these people, and then suddenly, there was I among them as a scholar. It reaffirmed that I am on the right path. It’s important for me to become a doctor and pursue my passion of helping underserved people by providing them with adequate health care.

The study abroad experience was so valuable because I know if I’m to become a doctor and work with a diverse population of people, then I need to experience diversity. This exposure has boosted my motivation to work hard and give back to the community.

Continue on to Hudson Valley Press to read the complete article.

Job Interviews are Going Virtual, Here’s What You Need to Know
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Young latin woman on a virtual job interview

As businesses prepare to open their doors again, the hiring process has begun. Nearly forty million Americans lost their jobs from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that many of those people will be searching for work and participating in job interviews.

But, as we are still adhering to some social distancing rules, many of these interviews are likely to occur via video call.

Interviewing virtually is an unfamiliar territory, but having a successful, meaningful virtual interview is definitely possible.

Here are the best tips for having the most successful interview on a virtual platform.

  • Presentation
  • As you would for an in-person interview, you want to look presentable. While this means wearing an interview-appropriate outfit, you want to make sure that your background and camera angle are also presentable. Make sure your background is clean, containing as little distractions as possible, and that your computer’s camera is catching the best angle of yourself. This will allow the interviewer to see the best version of yourself while bringing their full attention to what you are saying and not to what else is happening in your environment.

  • Make Eye Contact
  • As you would in a physical job interview, you want to make eye contact with the interviewer. It can be difficult not to look at your own reflection in the video call and worry about how you look to the other party, but remember to look into the computer’s camera to show the interviewer that you are paying attention to what they are saying and are really listening.

  • Remember the Lag
  • Unfortunately, video calls are known to lag and glitch. Neither party is at fault, but be aware of these inconveniences. Talking over the interviewer, accidentally interrupting, audio cutouts, and temporary freezes are bound to happen, so speak slowly and talk only when necessary to avoid these possible interview mishaps.

  • Use Your Resources
  • Virtual interviews allow for better access to virtual resources. Keeping interview notes on your screen and using screen share to give examples of your work will help you to remember your best selling points and show your interviewer what you are capable of.

Not a ‘Math Person’? —You may be better at learning to code than you think
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Close up of african american woman working on computer in electronics laboratory. Doing Development of Software and Hardware. She wearing a lab coat. Side view

Want to learn to code? Put down the math book. Practice those communication skills instead.

New research from the University of Washington finds that a natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge, or numeracy. That’s because writing code also involves learning a second language, an ability to learn that language’s vocabulary and grammar, and how they work together to communicate ideas and intentions. Other cognitive functions tied to both areas, such as problem solving and the use of working memory, also play key roles.

“Many barriers to programming, from prerequisite courses to stereotypes of what a good programmer looks like, are centered around the idea that programming relies heavily on math abilities, and that idea is not born out in our data,” said lead author Chantel Prat, an associate professor of psychology at the UW and at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. “Learning to program is hard but is increasingly important for obtaining skilled positions in the workforce. Information about what it takes to be good at programming is critically missing in a field that has been notoriously slow in closing the gender gap.”

Published online March 2 in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal from the Nature Publishing Group, the research examined the neurocognitive abilities of more than three dozen adults as they learned Python, a common programming language. Following a battery of tests to assess their executive function, language and math skills, participants completed a series of online lessons and quizzes in Python. Those who learned Python faster, and with greater accuracy, tended to have a mix of strong problem-solving and language abilities.

In today’s STEM-focused world, learning to code opens up a variety of possibilities for jobs and extended education. Coding is associated with math and engineering; college-level programming courses tend to require advanced math to enroll and they tend to be taught in computer science and engineering departments. Other research, namely from UW psychology professor Sapna Cheryan, has shown such requirements and perceptions of coding reinforce stereotypes about programming as a masculine field, potentially discouraging women from pursuing it.

But coding also has a foundation in human language: Programming involves creating meaning by stringing symbols together in rule-based ways.

Though a few studies have touched on the cognitive links between language learning and computer programming, some of the data is decades old, using languages like Pascal that are now out of date, and none of them used natural language aptitude measures to predict individual differences in learning to program.

So, Prat, who specializes in the neural and cognitive predictors of learning human languages, set out to explore the individual differences in how people learn Python. Python was a natural choice, Prat explained, because it resembles English structures, such as paragraph indentation, and uses many real words rather than symbols for functions.

To evaluate the neural and cognitive characteristics of “programming aptitude,” Prat studied a group of native English speakers between the ages of 18 and 35 who had never learned to code.

Before learning to code, participants took two completely different types of assessments. First, participants underwent a five-minute electroencephalography scan, which recorded the electrical activity of their brains as they relaxed with their eyes closed. In previous research, Prat showed that patterns of neural activity while the brain is at rest can predict up to 60 percent of the variability in the speed with which someone can learn a second language (in that case, French).

“Ultimately, these resting-state brain metrics might be used as culture-free measures of how someone learns,” Prat said.

Then the participants took eight different tests: one that specifically covered numeracy; one that measured language aptitude; and others that assessed attention, problem-solving and memory.

To learn Python, the participants were assigned ten 45-minute online instruction sessions using the Codeacademy educational tool. Each session focused on a coding concept, such as lists or if/then conditions, and concluded with a quiz that a user needed to pass to progress to the next session. For help, users could turn to a “hint” button, an informational blog from past users and a “solution” button, in that order.

From a shared mirror screen, a researcher followed along with each participant and was able to calculate their “learning rate,” or speed with which they mastered each lesson, as well as their quiz accuracy and the number of times they asked for help.

After completing the sessions, participants took a multiple-choice test on the purpose of functions (the vocabulary of Python) and the structure of coding (the grammar of Python). For their final task, they programmed a game—Rock, Paper, Scissors—considered an introductory project for a new Python coder. This helped assess their ability to write code using the information they had learned.

Ultimately, researchers found scores from the language aptitude test were the strongest predictors of participants’ learning rate in Python. Scores from tests in numeracy and fluid reasoning were also associated with Python learning rate, but each of these factors explained less variance than language aptitude did.

Presented another way, across learning outcomes, participants’ language aptitude, fluid reasoning and working memory, and resting-state brain activity were all greater predictors of Python learning than was numeracy, which explained an average of 2 percent of the differences between people. Importantly, Prat also found that the same characteristics of resting-state brain data that previously explained how quickly someone would learn to speak French, also explained how quickly they would learn to code in Python.

“This is the first study to link both the neural and cognitive predictors of natural language aptitude to individual differences in learning programming languages. We were able to explain over 70 percent of the variability in how quickly different people learn to program in Python, and only a small fraction of that amount was related to numeracy,” Prat said. Further research could examine the connections between language aptitude and programming instruction in a classroom setting, or with more complex languages, such as Java, or with more complicated tasks to demonstrate coding proficiency, Prat said.

Source: newswise.com

The Mental, Emotional, and Physical Comeback for Women in Business
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MBDA promo poster featuring Taraji P. Henson as the featured speaker

Join our speakers as we discuss how to ensure emotional, physical and mental self-care as we embark on the new normal for professional and home life.

Featured speaker Taraji P. Henson, Nic Cober Johnson, Author and Business Strategist; Jenniffer González-Colón, Congresswoman of Puerto Rico and Dr. Sherry Blake, Therapist and Mental Health Expert, discuss this important topic on June 3, 2020, 1-3pm EDT.

Get the details and how to register here.

Working from Home? Here Are Some Tips
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woman close up of hands on keyboard with cofeee and pen and paper on desk

Most advice about how to make working from home actually work focuses on the practical: The right office space. The right desk. The ergonomically perfect chair. The right software, the right messaging platform, the right apps…all the “stuff” you need to make remote work actually work.

Yet, ask most people who made the transition to working from home what they struggled with most – and continue to struggle with—and they will list things like staying motivated, managing their time wisely, avoiding distractions and staying on task—none of which has anything to do with “stuff.”

When I first started working from home, I instinctively replicated my old office environment. I bought a big desk. Nice credenza. Conference table. Large filing cabinet. Fancy chair. A cool land-line phone. To paraphrase the eminently quotable Chris Rock, that’s what I was accustomed to.

So, I assumed that’s what I needed.

But none of those things made me efficient, much less effective. I missed the “structure” of the workplace, the natural rhythm of a workday that, even though I was in charge, was still only partly under my control.

So, more often than I like to admit, I sometimes drifted. I was easily distracted. I was easily bored. I missed the structure. I missed the sense of urgency that the presence of other people helps foster.

Then I took a step back and thought about my most productive days. Not just the days I got a lot of things done, but the days I also got a lot of the right things done.

They all had one thing in common: A mission. An outcome, a deliverable—something tangible that created a real sense of purpose.

If you’re struggling to work as effectively from home—or if your employees are struggling to work as effectively from home—shift from focusing on tasks to focusing on outcomes. (Don’t worry; tasks are the foundation of outcomes.)

Before you end your workday, list what you need to get done tomorrow and determine the single most important thing you need to get done tomorrow.

Then, before you step away, set up your workspace (which, if like mine, is simply your computer desktop) so you can hit the ground running the next day. Have the reports you need open. Have the notes you need handy. Make sure the questions you need answered already have answers.

Then sit down and dive in.

And commit to completing everything you need to get done. Allowing yourself to give in to excuses, rationalizations, etc. is a slippery slope—and becomes a habit extremely hard to break.

But will be less of a problem when you get your most important task done right away. Starting your day with a productive bang naturally creates the momentum and motivation you need to move on to whatever is next on the day’s outcome list.

And the next. And the next.

Because completing a task is fine, but achieving an important outcome is satisfying, fulfilling, and motivating.

So never forget: What matters is what you accomplish from wherever you work. Success has nothing to do with your desk, or your chair, or your office space. (Today, my “office” is my backpack and my computer and wherever I feel like sitting.)

Success is all about what you achieve, and achievement always starts with knowing what you want to accomplish. And more importantly, why.

Jeff Haden is a keynote speaker, ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer, contributing editor to Inc., and the author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win.

Source: Owl Labs

Meet Brittney Nicole: Navy Veteran Turned Fashion Entrepreneur
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A clothes rack with women's coats hanging on it

Transitioning from military life back into civilian life is a challenge for any veteran. While there are many different approaches in choosing a career, one U.S. Navy Veteran decided that she would approach her career choice by following her passions.

Always having a love for fashion, Brittney Nicole decided to open her own clothing business, Coco’s Wardrobe, upon her retirement from the U.S. Navy.  The New Orleans based boutique designs, manufactures, and sells women’s clothing that is meant to look as good as they feel, blending comfort with style. All of the clothing in Nicole’s shop has a women’s desire to feel confident and comfortable at the forefront of everything that is produced.

In addition, Nicole has also began selling uniquely designed face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shattering the Status Quo
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Jenny Lee sitting on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco

From a city’s youngest elected mayor to a country’s first billionaire, these Asian women don’t see obstacles—only opportunities

Otsu Mayor Aims to Use AI to Prevent Bullying

Naomi Koshi is the Mayor of the city of Otsu in the province of Shiga in Japan. She became the youngest woman elected mayor of a Japanese city. The city of Otsu announced plans earlier this year to use artificial intelligence to predict the potential consequences of suspected cases of bullying at schools. This would be the first such analysis by a municipality in the country. “Through an AI theoretical analysis of past data, we will be able to properly respond to cases without just relying on teachers’ past experiences,” Otsu Mayor Koshi told The Japan Times of the planned analysis, set to begin from the next fiscal year.

Source: The Japan Times

Vietjet Founder is Vietnam’s First Woman Billionaire

Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has made history as the only woman to start and run a major commercial airline, Vietjet Aviation. Her success has also made her very wealthy. She is Vietnam’s first self-made woman billionaire and the wealthiest self-made woman in Southeast Asia, with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

Source: forbes.com

GGV Capital’s Lee Ranks High on Forbes Midas

Jenny Lee is one of the highest-ranking women on the Forbes 2019 Midas list. Her portfolio at U.S. and China-based GGV Capital – where she is a managing partner – includes 11 unicorns, with some valued as high as $56 billion. A former fighter jet engineer with Singapore’s ST Aerospace, Lee has taken 11 of her portfolio companies public, including three IPOs in 2018. Her 2012 investment in Chinese social network operator, YY, netted GGV a 15-fold return.

Source: forbes.com

Grab App Co-Founder is Southeast Asia’s First Decacorn

Tan Hooi Ling is the co-founder of Southeast Asia’s first decacorn, super app Grab. The 35-year-old Harvard MBA graduate has led the company with cofounder Anthony Tan in raising over $9 billion dollars since launching in 2012. Nearly half of that sum came last March when the Singapore-based startup raised $4.5 billion in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Alibaba, Microsoft and 26 other investors, valuing the company at $14 billion. This Series H round aims to raise another $2 billion before the end of the year.

Source: egradio.org

Awkwafina Makes Golden Globes History

The Farewell star Awkwafina is the first performer of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe Award in a lead actress film category. She’s only the sixth woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the lead actress in a musical or comedy category. Awkwafina joins a small group of performers of Asian lineage who have won Golden Globe awards since the show started. The Farewell, which features a predominantly Asian cast, tells the story of a young woman named Billi (Awkwafina) whose family decides to keep news of a terminal diagnosis from the family’s elder matriarch, Billi’s grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao).

Source: cnn.com

Johnson & Johnson Names Gu and Huang Among Women STEM Scholars

Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2D (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design) Scholars Awards program, designed to increase the representation of women in these fields and support the development of women leaders, named Grace X. Gu and Shengxi Huang among its six recent Scholars Award winners. Grace X. Gu is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include composites, additive manufacturing, fracture mechanics, topology optimization, machine learning, finite element analysis, and bio-inspired materials. Her current project focuses on developing a more efficient 3D printer that can self-correct during a print job.

Shengxi Huang is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include biomedical devices and systems, electronic materials and devices, and optical materials, devices, and systems. Currently, she is developing a device to measure potential disease-causing biomolecules, such as cancer cells.

Source: wiareport.com

MiMi Aung Awaits Summer Launch of Helicopter on Mars 2020 Rover

Burmese-born MiMi Aung is very familiar with uncharted territory. She tackles it as part of her job: overseeing the building of a helicopter to fly on another planet. “What I find most rewarding and challenging about the work I do is the chance to develop never-been-done-before autonomous systems for space exploration,” the JPL project manager for the Mars Helicoper shared by email. The miniature 4-pound, solar-powered helicopter is designed to fly for up to 90 seconds and is scheduled to travel with the Mars 2020 rover. And when it attempts to fly on the Red Planet in 2021 (and hopefully succeeds) it will solidify Aung’s place in the history books.

Source: kcet.org

Ex-Chemistry Teacher Becomes Richest Self-Made Woman in Asia

Former chemistry teacher Zhong Huijuan has become the wealthiest self-made woman in Asia with a $10.5 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The bulk of her wealth comes from her stake in Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group, China’s largest maker of psychotropic drugs, which soared 37 percent during its first day of trading in Hong Kong. Zhong, who founded Hansoh in 1995, overtook Longfor Group’s Chairman Wu Yajun to claim the self-made title. Zhong is the second-richest woman in Asia, trailing only Yang Huiyan, co-chairman of Country Garden Holdings, who inherited her fortune.

Source: bloomberg.com

Photo: PHOTO BY STEVE JENNINGS/GETTY IMAGES FOR TECHCRUNCH

Have a book you want to write? There’s never been a better time!
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Annalisa Parent sitting at outdoor table in backyard with books, pen and paper

Millions of people have a dream of writing a book. They have a story they want to tell. Whether it’s their story, or one that they have created through sheer imagination, there are ideas eager to get put on paper. While there may be many industries backsliding right now due to the pandemic, the publishing industry is not one of them. In fact, experts in the field advise that now is the best time for people to get their book written and get the manuscript out to publishers.

“Quite honestly, there’s never been a better time to get the book written and take steps to get it published,” explains Annalisa Parent, chief executive officer of Date With the Muse. “I’ve been working with many clients to help them take advantage of this pause, as it’s perfect timing. The conditions are all right to be successful in the field.”

Timing is everything, Parent explains, because the pandemic shutdowns have led more people to read books. While people have been at home, whether to work or not, they have had more time to engage in leisure activities. Many of them are picking up the books they have been meaning to read. People may not be able to purchase the books in brick-and-mortar stores, but they have been gobbling them up through online purchases, both in digital and print formats.

In addition to it being a great time because people are buying more books, there are other reasons to take advantage of the opportunities right now, including:

  • Many people have more time on their hands, so they can sit down and write the book they want to work on. If they are working from home, they can set aside the time when they used to commute for writing. If they have been furloughed, they can schedule out hours per day to get their story written.
  • Due to so many people reading more, there will be an increased demand for books from publishers. The publishing industry sees that there has been an increase in demand for books, so they will be looking to continue that trend by putting out more titles.
  • Many literary agents also currently have more time that they can spend reading manuscripts. This gives people who are ready to submit their manuscript a competitive edge.

“Right now I am helping writers to optimize their chances of being published,” adds Parent. “We all need something good to come out of this pandemic. If you can get your book written and published, then that’s a silver lining that we can all agree upon!”

Parent is a writing coach who has helped many writers through all aspects of writing, publishing, and living the author lifestyle. She helps people with the book writing process, organization, getting the book published, and. Her free ebook The Six Secrets to go from Struggling Writer to Published Author helps people be successful with their book writing and publishing goals, including offering writing and publishing tips, publishing workshops, and coaching.

Parent has coached hundreds of writers and has taught over 100 writing courses around the world. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline,” won the CIPA EVVY Silver Award in Best Business Books and earned a merit award in the Humor category. She speaks internationally on writing-related topics, and she has been a guest on a variety of television, radio, and podcast shows, sharing her secrets for how to write, publish, and sell your book. For more information about Annalisa Parent or her book, visit her site at: http://www.datewiththemuse.com.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent helps writers to finish, publish and sell their novels. She is the CEO of Date With The Muse, a two time teacher of the year nominee for her use of neuroscientific principles in the classroom, and a recipient of the French congressional Medal of Honor as a member of a five-week peace-promoting speaking tour of France, in French.

She helps storytellers to publish traditionally at the highest level possible. Her book “Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline” has been lauded by multiple New York Times bestselling author John David Mann as “brimming over with invaluable practical writerly wisdom.”

Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live for her novels, CBS, Associated Press and PBS, as well as many international podcasts, radio programs, writing conferences and workshops.

Five Ways to Impress Your Boss While Working Remotely
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cheerful disabled young woman using laptop doing remote work from home on wheelchair

People produce their best work under different circumstances. Some are thriving during this time of working remotely, being able to complete their tasks from the comfort of their own home. However, for many, working from home has presented itself as a challenge. New distractions, change of routine, and being too cozy at home can all be reasons for lowered productivity at work.

To improve your work ethic, and better yet, attract your boss’ attention, here are top five tips for how to impress your boss from the comfort of your own home.

1) Be Responsive

Communication is key, especially in a time when we cannot see our co-workers face to face. Check your email consistently and have your phone on-hand, should your boss or co-worker need to get in touch with you. When you promptly respond to emails and calls during work hours, your boss will know you are reliable, doing your work, and not slacking off.

2) Be Your Best “Video Conference” Self

Treat video conference meetings as if they were in-person work meetings. Come to the meeting a few minutes early to show punctuality, and make sure you wear something professional. You don’t need to dress up in a three-piece suit, but a nice collared shirt, for example, will show you are present and professional, even when your boss isn’t watching.

3) Pay Attention

Whether it be in video conferences, phone calls, emails, or any other means of communication, you want to be paying attention. One of the most effective ways your boss will see this is during video conferences. Actively listen and look at your computer screen during meetings. If you are visibly distracted by your phone or something in your home, it will not only make you look unprofessional but also could tell your boss you are not working at home effectively.

4) Do Your Best Work

The quality of work you produce in the office should not change while at home. Putting the same effort and care (if not more) into your daily tasks will show your boss you are capable of doing quality work no matter the circumstance and that you also care about your work.

5) Keep Your Updates Present and Brief

You don’t need to send your boss an email after you do every little thing (unless they specifically told you to do that), but sending updates will give your boss a grasp on what you are accomplishing in your department. Sending a list of intended goals at the beginning of the day and a list of accomplishments at the end of the day is a great way to keep your boss in the loop on your productivity.

 

Is this Pandemic Changing Gender Roles?
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Female medicine doctor working on table with consulting patient.

When the United States joined World War II in the 1940s, women stepped up and went to work as many of the men had been drafted to the battlefield.

The switch allowed for women to break gender roles and step into the positions that were typically held by men. Now, among the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020, there is a strong possibility that a similar role reversal is taking place and changing expectations.

Researchers at Northwestern University, UC San Diego, and the University of Mannheim predict the virus could normalize the idea of a male being the primary, at-home caretaker.

Most of the essential jobs in the medical field are held by women. Ninety-four percent of nurses, 74 percent of healthcare workers, and more than 60 percent of pharmaceutical professionals are all women. While the idea of a “stay-at-home dad” has become more normalized, it is still not fully accepted, as many of these women continue to take on a majority of the caregiving and household work, along with handling their jobs. But, with the increase of work hours and the need for these medical professionals increasing, this leaves the newly home-schooled children to be at home with their fathers.

Breaking the stereotypes of gender roles, though hugely effecting personal lives at home, are predicted to influence a shift in economic and government issues. Many companies have been forced to make their schedules more flexible for employees with families, namely the men who are becoming the primary caregivers of their children while their wives are on the frontline of the virus. The exposure to this new experience could also affect how social issues are handled in government, as more lawmakers and government officials will have the experience of household duties and the expectations put on women, once the pandemic is over.

Whatever the outcome may be from this time, the role reversal being experienced between women and men will at least give new perspective into the expectations of the different pieces of the family system and hopefully inspire a more equal distribution of duties as a result.

 

3 Things You Need To Know About A May Job Search
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Pensive african woman using laptop computer while sitting at home with cup of coffee

It’s impossible to predict what the job market will have in store over the next few months. Even as economic data continues to trend downward, it is hard to guess in what ways hiring demand for the rest of the year will be shaped by widespread reopening of the economy and the requirement to put in place new public health measures.

If you need or have a strong desire to get a new job, you’ll want to start getting ready for a multitude of scenarios. While the job market is slow at the moment, it could ramp up faster than you expect or in industries you aren’t yet targeting.

It’s fair to prepare yourself for a longer job search than you would have experienced this time last year, but don’t give up on your efforts. Before you launch or continue your job search, here’s what you need to know to help you face this month’s unique challenges and find new opportunities.

1. You’ll benefit if you stay on top of hiring trends

No matter how bleak hiring data may appear at the moment, many companies will still have new, interesting and unexpected jobs that need to be filled this year.

Right now, companies are still trying to figure out how they will operate in this new environment once social distancing guidelines lessen or are removed. What they can’t foresee is how much customer demand they will have, how consumer behavior and personal values may have permanently changed and what they will need to do to make their business more resilient in the future. All of these factors will create significant changes to their corporate strategy, exposing leadership gaps and creating new talent needs.

As hard as it is to imagine right now, the business world will get back to operating at full capacity but likely in a very different form. Some companies will experience a long-lasting or permanent shrinking of their business while others will find ways to quickly innovate and expand. This process of resetting the corporate landscape will take some time and it hasn’t fully begun yet. Many leaders are still trying to deal with their most immediate problems which are largely centered around managing their cash flow.

You’ll have a head start and huge competitive advantage if you pay close attention to the news over the next few months and prepare to target the new and unexpected jobs that will soon be needed. If you don’t make it a regular habit to follow sites that focus on business-related content or watch business-only news channels such as CNBC, this is the time that you need to start. Consider this research a major part of your job-searching tasks.

Admittedly, there is no guarantee that you will be qualified for the jobs that emerge or that they will be in the right geographic location for you. But you can’t even begin to assess the fit, work to match your skills to the new needs or consider remote working options if you aren’t even aware that these new jobs exist.

Start this month by building the habit of monitoring the business world more closely than you normally would and be on the lookout for emerging hiring trends.

2. Your networking will be more effective when it’s done slowly

Unfortunately, there are few new ideas on how to best conduct a job search. You’ve likely heard it again and again, but networking is still the most efficient use of a job seeker’s time.

This month, work to reactivate and strengthen your network through personal outreach and check-ins. While you should focus on networking daily, resist the urge to mass email your résumé or have transactional discussions. Difficult times and prolonged social distancing have left many people craving a sense of community, which creates the perfect environment for genuine networking.

Instead of jumping right to your desire to be on the radar for job leads or blasting out copy and pasted emails about your background, try a slower and more methodical approach. Invest time in writing better emails and catching up without a specific ask at the end of your message. These tactics are much more effective in the long run. When the market warms up again, these efforts will have been beneficial in deepening your connections, so that the more direct inquiries you send later will be better received.

The key to developing a stronger relationship is to focus first on the connection with the individual and not on your job search. Be sure to remind people that you care about them beyond your professional needs. This will help them care enough to keep you top of mind when new opportunities inevitably start developing.

3. Once started, your hiring process may move faster than usual

In a booming job market, one of the hardest things about conducting a search is never knowing when a job lead is worth your effort. Many of the jobs you’d see online were outdated or low priorities for the recruiters and hiring managers. Other openings were for jobs that the company hadn’t thought through very well and weren’t sure what they actually wanted or needed in the position. Even in a hot market, it was a frustrating experience to find motivated hiring managers, and job processes often went on longer than necessary.

If there’s any good news about conducting a job search during hard economic times, it’s that almost every job lead you see or hear about is indeed a well-formed position and a priority at the company. If it wasn’t, it would not be open right now.

Jobs that open in the next few months will be created out of necessity—something urgent needs to be built or fixed in the business or someone important resigned—and need to be filled as soon as possible. This can work in your favor if you stay diligent about monitoring job openings throughout the otherwise slow month ahead and are ready to engage your network to find a contact for these searches immediately.

Keep in mind that these jobs will be filled quickly and competition will be fierce. Due to the large number of applicants that are recently unemployed, it will be harder than ever to simply get noticed without a personal contact. This is yet another reason why networking should be your top priority all month long.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  2. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  3. 2020 NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference
    September 21, 2020 - September 23, 2020