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7 Workplace Disrupters Every Worker Should Know About

7 disrupters of work If you are a worker or future worker, it doesn’t hurt to get a little bit of understanding about how the folks who are interviewing you, offering you jobs and managing you, are thinking and going to be thinking.  (Graphic source – Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018)

As you know I’ve been sharing trends on workplace practices that new college grads and emerging professionals should know about.  However, the rate of change today, means that this information is not just relevant for these two groups.  It’s relevant for everyone!!

This list of 7 Workplace Disrupters were on the agenda at IMPACT2018, an annual get together of HR leaders talking and learning about the future of people management in evolving workplaces.   The theme for this year’s gathering was: The Rise of the Individual in the Future of Work. 

The 7 Workplace Disrupters that are forcing us how to think about workplace practices are listed below.  This list is not to be feared of course, but to be acknowledged as the current realities through which we must navigate our professional lives.

The 7 Workplace Disrupters

-Technology is everywhere.

-Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cognitive Computing and Robotics is new to the list of trends that are impacting HR practice of recruitment and selection of job candidates.

-There is a tsunami of data that HR offices (and organizations) are increasingly using to help make decisions.

-Jobs are vulnerable to automation.

-Diversity and generational changes are a factor in today’s workplaces.

-There is an explosion in contingent work (The numbers of part-timers, freelancers and independent contractors is on the rise).

-Average length of time in a job is about 4.5 years and skills are basically “expiring” more quickly.



Posted in Career Advice, Career and Industry Awareness, Diversity Recruiting, Employment Trends, First Year on the Job, Leadership, Life After College, What Employers Want | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m just looking for a good place to work

One of the most streGood place to workssful parts of the job search is evaluating whether or not a certain company would be a good place to work – for you.  Questions you ask yourself could be – How do I pick a good place to work? How do I know if I will like working in a certain company?

A recent article in the Society for Human Resource Management magazine looked at data from the Effective Workplace Index which identified characteristics of high performing versus low performing organizations.  The index compares how employees behave in high performing environments versus how employees behave in low performing environments. Some of the items in the index may be of interest to you as you research a company to find a good place to work.

For example, the data shows that in high performing organizations, 77% of employees want to stay versus 30% of employees who want to stay at a low performing company.

Another example is that 55% of people in high performing companies indicate that they are engaged in their jobs versus only 17% in low performing workplaces.

How would you use this information to your advantage as you consider where would be a good place to work?  Here is one way.

During the job interview, most recruiters and hiring managers, give job candidates an opportunity to ask questions about the company.  Consider formulating questions that would help you get a sense of whether or not it is a high or low functioning environment based on how people in that company feel about their satisfaction or their engagement.

Here are a couple questions you could ask:

Question 1: What is the employee turnover like in this position?  This will help you understand if people are staying with the company or not.  If you hear that people get promoted from this position into other roles, that could be a good sign that this is a good place to work.  If you sense that they are posting this job all the time, you might think that people don’t want to stay.

Question 2: What are some of the things that leaders in this company do to make sure employees are engaged with their work?  If you get a response that the company conducts employee engagement surveys or that managers coach employees to meet company objectives, while taking employee career goals in mind, you may think they are doing more to engage employees.  If you hear nothing about these types of activities, then you might thing that engagement is not a priority for them.

Choosing the right place to work is just as important to job applicants as finding the right employee is to companies.  It you don’t hear the responses you expect, it doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy working there or it won’t be a good fit for you, it just means you have more information to make a better, more informed decision about this company as a potential place to work.

Ask the questions that will get you the information that you care about as you evaluate whether or not an organization would be a good place for you or not. It’s better to learn more up front, instead of finding out after you start working.

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Black Teen Unemployment Rates at 22.9%

Teens at WorkThe US Department of Labor released the employment numbers for December 2017.  The December jobs report showed 148,000 new jobs and unemployment rate of 4.1%, which is the lowest in 17 years.

Although the numbers are good overall, it is concerning that the unemployment rate among African American teens stands at 22.9%.  Gallup data shows that young black males as a group also have higher unemployment, lower graduation rates, less access to healthcare and higher incarceration rates than other racial, age and gender groups in the U.S.  A college degree is often cited as the rationale for the differences among adults, but the gaps in teen unemployment requires more explanation and attention.

Below is a breakdown of the employment data for December.

WHITES – 3.7% overall

Adult men (20 years or over) overall 3.4 %

Adult women (20 years or over) overall 3.4%

Teenagers (16 – 19 years) 12.3 %

BLACKS – 6.8% overall

Adult men (20 years or over) overall 6.6 %

Adult women (20 years or over) overall 5.8 %

Teenagers (16 – 19 years) 22.9 %

HISPANICS – 4.9% overall

Adult men (20 years or over) overall 3.8 %

Adult women (20 years or over) overall 5.3 %

Teenagers (16 – 19 years) 15.4 %

The number of long term unemployed, (those unemployed beyond 27 weeks) remained unchanged at 1.5 million representing about 23% of the unemployed.


Unemployment rates for persons 25 years of age or older by educational level:

Less than High School – 6.3%

High School graduate with no college – 4.2%

Some college or Associate degree – 3.6%

Bachelor’s degree or higher – 2.1%

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Posted in Career and Industry Awareness, Diversity Recruiting, Education & Training, Employment Trends, HBCU's and Politics, ReSkill America, Teens at Work | Comments Off on Black Teen Unemployment Rates at 22.9%

Connect with your HBCU alumni office

For almost two centuries, since the founding of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in 1837, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), have been educating students who go on to be successful alumni.  HBCU alumni are successful career professionals who are fully integrated into America’s diverse workforce.

As an example, in 2013 the top feeder schools for African Americans into Medical schools were colleges with the HBCU designation.  So, if you are one of the numerous college graduates in the HBCU community, who owe your career and professional success to someone on those college campuses, maybe you can consider giving back to your campus.

There are many ways to give back, especially through your campus career center.  For example, as an alumni you can share internships, job shadow opportunities or career positions with your campus.  You can volunteer to participate on employment panels, advisory boards or even do mock interviews in the career center.  Of course you can donate your time to mentor students or advise campus clubs and you can most definitely donate funds to support scholarship programs.

Here is the list of HBCU alumni offices.  Find your alma mater and think about how you can help.

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Build your Writing Skills

Better Writing Skills“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Just as college professors complain about the writing skills of their students, so do managers complain about writing skills of their employees. The difference? While your college professor will have to tell you about it; neither recruiters nor your managers are obligated to let you know.  I can tell you that throughout my assignments working in four different college career centers and since I started The HBCU Career Center a decade ago, poor writing skills from job applicants or new hires, is routinely one of the biggest complaints I hear about from HR managers.

One of the reasons that writing skills are so important is that our written documents have a way of getting into places before we actually do. It is therefore very important that our written words always represent us well, and we look good to the reader – at least on paper.

Think about it, some of the first writing samples a potential employer will see from anyone includes a resume, a Linkedin or other social media profile, job application and maybe a cover letter. A few employers may even ask applicants for writing samples.  We will deal with social media writing later, but for now, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you look good on paper through these documents. 

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Career Assessments Gives Insight

Career Assessments“It’s not hard to make decision when you know what your values are” ~ Roy Disney

How much work have you done to know more about your personal values, interests, skills and abilities.  I refer to this as your V.I.S.A. Knowing who you are and what you have to offer must be considered as you contemplate any career choices or decisions.

There are many career assessments to help you get started and costs range from free to very expensive.

Remember that no career assessment will tell you what you should be or what you should do. The results, however, can offer you a framework within which to start exploring options or help reinforce your current choice.  The results can tell you more about who you are and act as a filter as you evaluate options.

Career Assessments:

O*NET Interest Profiler – Find out your interests and how they relate to your work.  This Interest Profiler helps with decisions about what careers to pursue.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator – One of the most well-known assessments which results in a four-letter “type”—INFP or ESFJ, for example. The test helps to identify basic preferences for each of four dichotomies (such as introvert and extrovert) and describes 16 distinctive personality traits.  Contact us at thehbcucareercenter@yahoo.com if you are interested in taking this assessment.

MAPP – The MAPP career assessment is perfect for students, graduates and working adults. You’ll get a wealth of information to help find the right career that matches your unique assessment profile.

Values Assessment – The Values Test can help you learn more about your underlying work needs and motivations, and can help you decide what is important to you in a job.

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