Apr 24

Rising Tide Car Wash Unique Employment

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It isn’t uncommon to share similarities with your workers, and at the Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, FL that trend couldn’t be truer. In fact, most of the employees share one very large thing in common: they’ve been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

John D’Eri co-founded Rising Tide Car Wash to give his son, and others on the autism spectrum, a place to earn a paycheck and build a community. As young adults, several of the employees began to age out of the school system and face a shortage in employment opportunities. The idea was created about two years ago by D’Eri in an attempt to build a business with the prime objective of employing people with autism. It wasn’t meant to be a charity or “sheltered workshop,” but rather a business with the potential to grow. D’Eri worked with experts in the car wash business and those who employ people with disabilities to develop testing systems and come up with effective training protocol. The repetition of the car wash is ideal for those on the autism spectrum who gravitate toward repetitive behavior and the business is performing well.

D’Eri is adamant about continuing to remain a self-sustaining business in order to encourage others to create similar programs that do not have to depend on grants or government red tape. The car wash employees 35 men who have been diagnosed with some form of autism and several who have moved up to manager positions.

Apr 23

Fast Food Pay Gap

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Demos, a public policy organization in New York, recently reported that CEOs of fast-food companies earned 1,200 times more than the average fast food worker in 2012. The report, called “Fast Food Failure: How CEO-to-Worker Pay Disparity Undermines the Industry and Overall Economy,” notes that fast-food CEOs are some of the highest-paid executives in America and that there is a significant pay gap. The average compensation in 2012 for the Fast Food Rulers was $26.7 million. On the opposite spectrum, fast food workers are deemed to be some of the lowest-paid workers with an average hourly wage at $9.09.

Catherine Ruetschlin, a Demos analyst and author of the report explained her objective for creating the report. She was not attempting to call out specific executives or advocate a specific increase in wages for workers but instead she was trying to point out the obvious disparity. Ruetschlin doesn’t feel that the amount a CEO makes or how little workers do is the important part, but rather what the relationship is between the two. The argues that the economy is recovering, the companies are growing, but only the executives are benefiting.

Ruetschlin and others look forward to the response from the fast-food executives. She believes that economic inequality threatens economic stability and growth and hopes that her report can bring change.

What do you think about the 1,200 to 1 pay gap? Do you feel closing the gap would improve our economy?

Apr 22

Twitter Redesign is Great for Job Seekers

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Gigats provides you will relevant information about the job market and workplace by staying on top of technology and useful job seeking tools. Recently, you might have noticed a change to the website with our favorite little blue bird, Twitter. Twitter’s new redesign highlights credentials and offers a new Best Tweets and Pinned Tweets feature. Twitter is already a great social network for companies to recruit employees on. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management recently found that more than 75% of companies use social networking sites to recruit job candidates, and 54% turn to Twitter when vetting candidates. With the recent redesign, that number is likely to increase. The new features aim to make the network even more interactive, providing opportunities for job seekers to up their game.

Read below for four tips to make the most of Twitter’s change-up in your job search:

1. Use the new features to highlight your credentials
The new features, Pinned Tweets and Best Tweets, place quality over quantity, allowing you to showcase your professionalism, skill sets and interests. The Pinned Tweets let you select a single tweet promoting your credentials or interests to “pin” to the top of your profile. Additionally, Best Tweets help your top content stand out on your feed, appearing larger than less popular tweets.

2. Get noticed by employers in real-time
Twitter allows you to interact with anyone, including hiring managers and senior leadership at a company. The best way to get noticed by potential employers is to interact with their posts. Interact with job postings to get noticed, but remember not to be too persistent.

3. Optimize your profile search
You search for companies on Google, and the companies do the same for you. Optimize your profile to ensure that you are a part of an employer’s search. List your location, experience and any skills that might appeal to a potential employer.

4. Treat your profile like a portfolio
The new change to Twitter turns your page from a profile into a personal landing page. Link to other online presences, such as a personal blog or online resume. Twitter’s redesign also allows you to upload up to 4 photos per tweet, creating a more visual and engaging page.

Take advantage of Twitter’s new redesign to convince employers that you are worth hiring. You might still be limited to 140 characters a tweet, but your profile can speak volumes.

Apr 21

The Workplace of the Future

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Technology in the workplace has come a long way since type writers, clunky filing cabinets, rotary phones and massive machinery. With technological advances and the ever-changing styles of communication and management, the American workplace is drastically different from what it was in the past. Oudi Antebi, senior vice president of products at Jive, says that mobile and social are driving a cultural shift and creating a new work style. As a society that has gone mobile, we are ditching the desktop and clunky software and are no longer chained to our desks.

Today, we already utilize many different technological tools to work together. One tool that we currently rely heavily on and anticipate changing is email, a primary method of communication used by most offices. Countless startups are reimagining email inboxes, building real time messaging for the workplace and creating a cloud service for a more unified experience. Business software will also evolve to provide a better experience for users. There is an emphasis on building enterprise platforms and tools that enable workers to work with colleagues and customers across devices, teams and the world. In the future, it is anticipated that software will deliver new innovation quickly with minimal work on the user’s end.

In addition to changes in technology, the layout of offices will continue to be altered. Moving away from cubicles and C-suite offices, most companies will gravitate towards cost-effective, open office environments. John Michael, general manager of business interiors for Staples Advantage, believes that aside from the cost efficiency, there is another reason for creating a more open space. The most recent workforce generation is made up of “digital natives” who have been accustomed to using technology all their lives. This new workforce is used to multitasking and enjoys engaging and collaborating with co-workers. Open offices encourage the social dynamic among employees and encourage collaboration. A more collaborative work environment leads to more productivity, creativity and innovation.

What do you think the office of the future will look like?

Apr 18

Employer Hiring Education Requirements Rise

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It looks like an associate or bachelor’s degree is becoming the new high school diploma. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 27% of employers stated that their educational requirements for hiring have risen over the past five years. Thirty percent of the companies surveyed said that they are hiring more college-educated workers for jobs that were previously filled by high school graduates. For some career fields, such as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that number has increased even further, to 46%.  The survey, conducted by Harris Poll, included a sample of 2,201 hiring managers and HR professionals across various industries and company sizes and provided valuable insight on the current economic value of a college education.

As occupations continue to evolve and companies rely on professionals with strong skill sets, workers are finding it more difficult to stop their education at high school. The trend of hiring higher-educated employees is paying off for companies and being recognized economically. With a recent announcement from the Obama administration pushing two new initiatives to better train students for in-demand jobs of the future, it is unlikely the that the trend will just go away. One in five companies now target Master’s degree holders, and a third of employers say that they are sending current employees back to school for advanced degrees (the good news is that 81% say they are at least offering partial funding).

Have you noticed more companies requiring advanced degrees as a requisite for employment? If your company offered you the opportunity to go back to school would you take it?

Apr 17

Pitfalls of an Office Romance

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Jim and Pam from The Office, Don Draper and Megan from Mad Men, and McDreamy and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy. We constantly see office romances play out on television, chock-full of drama and extreme romantic gestures, but is it worth it to have one in real life? There are perks to finding that special someone while you are on the job but they also come with some drawbacks. Read below for the 10 potential pitfalls of an office romance.

1. People will gossip
Office gossip will always exist and an office romance can add fuel to fire. Try your best to be as discreet as possible to lessen the potential for office pow-wows about your romantic life.

2. You could lose your job
We deem this the biggest pit-fall of all. Make sure to study your companies’ policies about workplace relationships before you jump right in. Often managers and subordinates or individuals in the same department aren’t allowed to date without transferring or losing placement. Review the policy to safeguard yourself from potential unemployment.

3. Objectivity can go out the door
It’s easy to let your feelings for your significant other affect how you feel about your job. Remember to think with your head and not your heart when it comes to decisions about work projects or your opinion of co-workers.

4. It could limit your growth
If your manager wants to create professional distance between you and your partner, it my limit your options in terms of internal growth and movement. Also, you should keep in mind that your attachment to a co-worker might make it difficult for you to leave job or a company that you’ve outgrown.

5. It breeds competition
A little competition between co-workers is natural and often times healthy but be wary of the potential ugly dynamic with your sweetheart. If you and your significant other receive a promotion or a raise, you may lose equal footing at work and resentment can arise.

6. Suffering work-life balance
It’s hard enough to separate work life from home life without having to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend to work with you every day. Try to maintain the balance by avoiding talk about work at home and remember not to bring personal relationship problems into the office.

7. Others may resent your relationship
Be sensitive to others and try not to flaunt your relationship in the office. Some people may judge you for finding an office romance, especially if the person you are with has a more or less established career than you.

8. It may be isolating
No one likes to be the third wheel and an office romance can easily become a workplace clique custom made for two. Remember to build friendships with others at work aside from your significant other; otherwise people might feel unwelcome or uncomfortable interacting with just the two of you.

9. Shared triumphs and troubles
Sharing your successes doesn’t pose much of a threat, but what happens when you hit turbulent waters together? If your company falls on hard times and you both lose your job, then what? Be sure to create a more substantial rainy-day fund in cause your dual-income household suddenly is demoted to a no-income one.

10. A professional relationship can last longer than a romantic one
Breakups are upsetting, awkward and straining enough when you don’t work together. Imagine having to see your ex every day (and still maintain productivity). It’s important to have a conversation with before you begin dating about how you plan to handle continuing to work together even if the relationship doesn’t last.

About 56% of business professionals have had office romances, many of which have resulted in marriages or other significant relationships. We aren’t saying you should avoid getting to know the cute Office Coordinator down the hall, just make sure you safe guard yourself from the potential fall-out of an office romance.

Apr 16

Finagling Workplace Perks

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Relationships aren’t always 50-50, especially in the case of an employer/employee one. In a recent Virgin Pulse survey, of more than 1,000 full-time U.S. employees, 75% said that they loved their companies, while only 25% felt that their companies loved them back. Talk about heart-break. Often, we love the companies that we work for due various elements, such as a company’s mission, our co-workers, or great pay. But when it comes to feeling like a company cares for us it usually comes down to the perks. Great benefits like life insurance, maternity leave and 401k plans make employees feel more cared for. While some companies may try to provide the ideal perks for employees, they occasionally miss the mark. If you are an employee who feels underappreciated, don’t assume that the only option remaining is to leave. It is likely that your employer is simply unaware of what you look for to feel acknowledged and a small dialogue can go a long way.

So how do you get what you want from your employer? Start by talking with your co-workers. Are they sharing the same emotions? Coming together as a group allows you to present a more solid case for what you all want from your company. As a group brainstorm what your company would look like in an ideal world and the type of perks it would offer. Now, turn around and think of the realistic world (where small budgets cause limitations and Hawaiian Punch from the water-fountain isn’t practical). What would satisfy you? Maybe in the ideal world an on-site gym is what you’d like, but in the realistic world you would settle for pass to the gym down the street. Once you’ve established the type of perk that you would like, make your case. Make a list of the accomplishments that you and your colleagues have made over the past year and demonstrate your dedication to the company’s success. As with any relationship, it’s easier to ask for something when you’ve proven that you’ve given in return. Finally, ask to schedule a meeting. No need to come in to it with 50 co-workers, just a few will work; otherwise your employer may feel bombarded. Give a well-prepared presentation that explains how you feel about the company, as well as your ideas to improve morale. Keep in mind that your manager might not have the final approval of ideas and that being flexible on the results is important. Create an open conversation and it will go a longer way than simply walking in and making demands.

Workplace happiness doesn’t solely rest in your employer’s hands. Don’t hesitate to take measures into your own hands to get the results that you want, but remember to take a smart approach and create an open dialogue.

Apr 15

Pay to Quit

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Every day, we wake up and we go to work and every week, we get paid for the work that we do. There’s no secret that we keep our jobs for the benefit of a paycheck but what if you were paid to quit? That’s the idea behind Amazon’s Pay to Quit program.

Pay to Quit, a program that was created by Zappos and the Amazon fulfillment center, is pretty simple. Once a year, employees are offered the opportunity to quit with a headline that reads, “Please Don’t Take This Offer.” The first year that the offer is made it is for $2,000, then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. Amazon’s intention isn’t to rid themselves of employees, they actually hope that the offer isn’t taken- so what’s the purpose

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezo, states that the goal is to encourage employees to take a moment and think about what they really want. He believes that in the long-run an unhappy employee that stays in a job that they don’t want to be in is unhealthy for the individual and for the company.

Amazon warehouses are large distribution centers where workers often work long shifts performing physical labor, so it is clear that the job may not be cut out for everyone and the opportunity to be paid to quit may come as a relief for some workers.

What do you think of the opportunity to be paid to quit? If you were unhappy with a job would you take the offer?

Apr 14

Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance

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A work-life balance is the ultimate weighing of the scales. The balance between work and play has always been a difficult one to find and with no exact equation or established guideline for achieving the happy medium, many job positions vary in their delivery. As a major consideration for candidates who are looking for work, we can’t help but wonder which are the best positions for a work-life balance and why?

The 9 Top Jobs for Work-Life Balance

  1. Bookkeeping, Accounting and Audit Clerk
  2. Landscaping and Groundskeeper
  3. Massage Therapist
  4. Office Clerk
  5. Optician
  6. Physical Therapist
  7. Recreation and Fitness Worker
  8. Sports Coach
  9. Web Developer

A common theme among the best positions for a work-life balance is the flexibility of schedules and work hours. Massage Therapists, Opticians, and Web Developers have the flexibility of setting their own schedules, working part time, or being self-employed. Other positions, including Bookkeeping, Accounting and Audit Clerks, and Sports Coaches have seasonal schedules where they have to endure a high level of work expectations for a short time, such as a tax or sports season, and are then able to enjoy the remainder of the work year at a calmer pace.

Another significant benefit for most of the positions was the low level of stress that most of the jobs yield. As a Landscaper or Groundskeeper, often the greatest level of concern is related to injuries from heavy machinery like lawn mowers and chainsaws- something easily avoidable by following basic safety precautions. Office Clerks experience the luxury of rarely having to take their work home while Recreation and Fitness workers often work part time allowing them to find a second job or to let off some steam with some free down time.

Overall, the positions on the list provide workers with an ample amount of downtime and the ability to enjoy it without the looming feeling of stress. Which of the positions on the list sound like a perfect job-match for you? Visit Gigats.com to find the career with your perfect work-life balance!

Apr 11

French Ban Emails and Calls After 6PM

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noemailThe Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, fashion, delicious food, and no work emails or phone calls after 6 pm. Seems like France has it all figured out. French workers have enjoyed shorter workweeks and plenty more vacation time than their American counterparts for years, and recently thousands of workers in France have been given the right to not check work-related emails or phone calls after 6 p.m.

The ban comes after years of the 35-hour work week that France implemented in 1999, slowly creeping closer to 40 due to the rise of smartphones and increasing employer demands for overtime work. The new guideline is an agreement that was made between Unions and employers in France and states that it is no longer a requirement for employees to check their work-related emails outside of work hours. The change will primarily affect the technology and consulting sectors, including workers at the French offices of Google and Facebook.

While France continues to move towards protecting their 35 hour work week, in America there is still no cap on weekly work hours and the average worker productivity is up more than 400% over the past half-century.  On average, Americans now work 200 more hours per year than French workers. In addition to protecting the number of hours worked, the French typically receive at least 5 weeks of vacation time. Sure we can be jealous, but hey, we are much more productive over here in the States, right? Contrary to the general public perception, a recent study suggests that French workers are more productive than German ones and only marginally less productive than their American counterparts. Maybe a few extra weeks of vacation time and our cell phones turned off in the evening couldn’t hurt?