Jobs with Short History, Long Prospects

There is no shortage of "hot jobs" lists at this time of year. Forbes, however, went a little beyond by identifying 10 prime positions that didn’t even exist a decade ago. A few highlights from its story:

Industries on the rise offer something uniquely appealing to 20-somethings graduating from college and looking for jobs: the opportunity to seize brand new positions where competition has not reached critical mass. Jobs that did not exist a decade ago include app developer; market research data miner; educational or admission consultant; millennial generational expert; social media manager; chief listening officer; cloud computing services professional; sustainability expert; and user experience designer.

App devloper

The iPhone was introduced in 2007, the Android shortly after. Since then, more than a million apps have been put up for sale in Apples App Store and Android’s Google Play. Consider this: in 2011, Apple pulled in more than $15 billion in revenues from mobile applications, which shrink  programs that used to run only on desktop computers to make them work on mobile devices.

As demand surges for apps to run on iOS, Android and whatever operating system is waiting in the wings, companies are faced with a dearth of talent with the skills to develop for mobile. This means fresh opportunity for programmers and developers to break into a booming market. Currently more than 16,000 listings for mobile app developers are listed on job site indeed.com.

Market research data miner

As customer information becomes more and more vital to the retail experience, businesses are compiling data in droves—and hiring experts to make sense of it. From different datasets including structured (transaction), semi-structured (user behavior) and unstructured (text) information, data analysts and scientists look for behavioral patterns to help retailers and businesses predict future trends or to build recommendation engines or personalized advertising.

Educational/admission consultant

When a certain set of affluent parents watch their toddler stack his or her first set of blocks, they’re not lost in a moment of cute, they’re strategizing their child’s likeliness of getting into the right pre-school. These moms and dads will stop at nothing to secure the best education for their kids—which for many includes hiring an educational or admissions consultant to help ease the process of interviewing and testing into schools from preschool to college. Admissions consultants can be paid thousands of dollars for their skills—which often include personal connections with school administrators.

 

What You Don’t Know About the Keystone Pipeline

The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline has largely centered on jobs that would be created, oil security that would be provided and suggested environmental concerns. Here are some other facts about the project (rejected earlier this year by the Obama administration):

  • Before this debate, few knew the State Department was in charge of the siting process for oil pipelines that cross international borders. That emanates from a 2004 executive order.
  • The Canadian oil sands, from which the pipeline would originate, are a mixture of sands, clay, water and bitumen, which is heavy, thick oil that must be heated or diluted before being pumped into a pipeline. Canada has 174 billion barrels in reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia, and 97% of those reserves are oil sands.
  • Canada is the largest supplier of imported oil to U.S. markets. According to a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Keystone project could reduce imports from the Middle East and Venezuela by 40%.
  • The 1,700-mile project will bring 830,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil to Gulf Coast refineries and help alleviate the current bottleneck of oil supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma.
  • Project owner TransCanada has resubmitted its application for the segment crossing the international border and recently announced it plans to construct a 435-mile leg from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, which requires no federal permit.

As expressed earlier here and in many other quarters, what was the administration thinking? Let’s get the ball rolling on this critical project. The benefits are too numerous.

Hey Indiana, Get on the Bike!

Indiana is home to seven of the 214 U.S. bicycle-friendly communities, according to the League of American Bicyclists. There are only three communities in the platinum grouping. In Indiana, Bloomington is a silver designee, with the following in the large bronze category: Carmel, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Indianapolis and South Bend. Governing reports:

The United States is now home to 214 bicycle-friendly communities in 47 states, according to a new list released Monday by the League of American Bicyclists.

Municipalities are evaluated based on their efforts to promote bicycling, investments in bicycling infrastructure and bicycling education programs, the league said in a news release. They must apply to be considered for the list. Localities are also divided into four categories: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

Boulder, Colo., Davis, Calif., and Portland, Ore., remained the only three communities to earn the platinum distinction on the 2012 list. All three ranked in the top 10 for their percentage of commuters who bike to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey, as Governing previously reported.

The league also singled out Durango, Colo., and Missoula, Mont., which were moved up from a silver to a gold designation.

More than 7 percent of Missoula’s commuters bike to work, according to the league’s report, well above the national average of 1 percent. The city has recently installed protected bike lanes, added bike path signage and created more bike parking. Durango has constructed more than 300 miles of mountain biking trails and continues to invest in city biking lanes, the league noted in its release.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation has doubled in the last decade, up to 730,000.
 

Getting Well

Our next edition of BizVoice magazine (July/August) will be focused on wellness. We’re currently doing interviews for the stories, and it’s been very encouraging to see what many businesses around the state are doing to keep — or get — their employees healthy. The importance of wellness really can’t be overstated. Case in point, see this inspirational viral video about an American paratrooper who’s turned his life around through yoga (and famous former WCW wrestler "Diamond" Dallas Page played a key role, which makes it even more awesome — at least for me).

Cassidy Turley Sprucing Up the Neighborhood

In our latest edition of BizVoice, we featured many companies that graced the recent Best Places to Work in Indiana list. Among those was Cassidy Turley (included in this article on maintaining a positive culture after mergers or rebranding), which will set out tomorrow to revamp Al Polin Park in Indianapolis.

With the summer months quickly approaching, more than 60 Cassidy Turley employees are joining forces with Indy Parks to make sure hundreds of Indianapolis children and families have a fun, safe and beautiful place to play. On May 16, Cassidy Turley’s Day of Caring will completely revamp Al Polin Park, located on the Near Northside of Indianapolis at 100 E. 29th Street.

“We estimate that 1,000 – 1,500 people use Al Polin Park each week,” explained Allen McClendon, Indy Parks’ senior manager for community partnerships. “Between neighborhood kids, basketball tournaments, family cookouts and our Summer Supervised Program, the park is usually a pretty popular place. That’s why we’re especially thrilled to have Cassidy Turley help give this park a much-needed makeover.”

CertaPro Painters of Indianapolis has donated supplies to repaint playground equipment, picnic tables and shelter areas to give the park a fresh, clean look. Mainscape Landscape Maintenance Services has also provided 50 cubic yards of mulch so employees can weed and re-mulch around the park’s trees and perimeter, helping the trees retain water and live longer.

In addition to hundreds of volunteer hours, the company will also pay for the installation of a new piece of playground equipment, as well as a new grill, concrete pouring for an ADA-accessible grill area and a fresh seal and coat for the high-use basketball court.

“It will be like a total 180 degree transformation when it’s done,” added McClendon. “We absolutely rely on our community partners like Cassidy Turley to do the aesthetic work that brings our older parks up to the standard of a brand new park. And it makes a huge difference in the community. People see we care about them and are inspired to take ownership of their parks.”

Cassidy Turley’s Day of Caring is not without benefit to the companies involved, though.

“Working with respected groups like Indy Parks is a perfect way for our team to gain more first-hand knowledge of the communities we serve on a daily basis,” said Michael W. M. Weishaar, SIOR, senior vice president and principal at Cassidy Turley and longtime board member of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation. “Events like the Day of Caring are very tangible, hands-on reminders that our work – not only in commercial real estate business and development, but also as volunteers – makes a real difference in our communities. It’s definitely worth the investment.”

This is the second year the company has teamed up with Indy Parks. In 2011, Cassidy Turley devoted a Day of Caring to the beautification of Stringtown Park on the city’s Westside.

PICTURED: Shown is a picture from last year’s Day of Caring, when Cassidy Turley staffers worked to beautify Stringtown Park in Indianapolis.

How First Dates are Like Work Life

A nice piece here from Ragan’s PR Daily should remind us to be considerate at the office. These are great lessons that will get you far in any endeavor. I’d also add, "don’t forget to smile." There’s nothing worse than taking someone out — or working with them — and see them displaying all the emotive fervor of Ben Stein on quaaludes:

In relationships, we tend to get so comfortable that we let go of some of the behaviors we display on a first date. I am no expert on relationships, but I do know that a second date depends on the “success” of the first date.

This is much like the workplace—think how much more successful we could be if we employed first-date habits in our work environment. Below are some widely accepted first-date rules that we should incorporate into our workdays.

1. Be punctual. Showing up late to a first date, even just five minutes, shows that the other person is not a priority. The same message is sent to your employers when you arrive late.

2. Be kind to the server. Acting in a rude manner to people you wrongly think don’t matter (for example, the waiter) will ruin any chance of a second date. Be considerate to everyone: the secretary, the intern, the nerdy co-worker. It’s the Golden Rule. If that is not reason enough, just realize that those people might be a valuable connection in your future.

3. Don’t complain. I don’t want to hear how horrible your day was; I want to hear why it was fabulous. Be positive, and look at problems as challenges. Your first date and your bosses will appreciate the high morale and energy. The only time anyone wants to see Debbie Downer is in an “SNL” sketch.

4. Listen to me! Men, I know you hear this all the time, but it is true. We all just want to be heard. Basic guideline: If you are talking more than 50 percent of the time, then you are talking too much. This is also true for meetings. And it’s a two-way street. Listening is half of communication, which leads to my next point.

5. Communicate. Oh, so you don’t like “chick flicks”? You should have told me that before I bored you with a double feature of “Titanic” and “The Notebook.” I think that sums up this tip.

6. Dress the part. Put some effort into a first date, or at least look like you did. I didn’t spend two hours 30 minutes getting ready for you, just so you could show up looking disheveled. For work: Be presentable enough for your calendar demands, such as meetings with clients and drinks after work.

7. Don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. If you’re not picking up the check, don’t go for the Surf and Turf. This is an important lesson for all of us at work; don’t take advantage just because it’s not on your credit card. We are bound to get comfortable in relationships and at work. Comfort is great, but sometimes we need a reminder to put our best foot forward—and not in our mouth.

The Ultimate Countdown: 100 Reasons to do Business in Indiana

If you’re an Indiana enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s 100 Reasons to Move Your Business to Indiana. The list is complemented by a colorful, eye-catching web site.

We’re happy to relay the Indiana Chamber suggested some of the items on the list and has contributed mightily over the years to many of the factors that have created an outstanding business climate. Most notably from the 2012 legislative session, we’re enthusiastic about numbers 12 ("Indiana is a right-to-work state") and 14 ("Indiana is eliminating the inheritance tax").

Kudos to the IEDC and all the contributors to this list. We live in a truly great state — and we’re always happy to show it off.

Sen. Coats Hosting Job Fair in Lafayette

Sen. Dan Coats is hosting the 2012 Hoosier Job Fair on May 30 in Lafayette. There are currently 70 businesses already signed up to participate from all across Indiana, offering over 2,500 jobs. This job fair will be advertised throughout the state and organizers expect job-seekers from across Indiana (as well as graduating students from Purdue University) to be in attendance. It is a FREE event for participating businesses and job-seekers alike.  If your business would like to participate, please call (317) 554-0750 or visit the web site at www.coats.senate.gov/jobfair.  Below is more information about this event.
 

  • WHEN: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
  • TIME: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • WHERE: Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, West Pavilion (1401 Teal Road, Lafayette)
  • COST: FREE
  • Businesses can sign up by calling (317) 554-0750, emailing jobfair@coats.senate.gov or logging onto our website at www.coats.senate.gov/jobfair.
  • PARTNERS: Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, State Senator Brandt Hershman, State Senator Ron Alting , the Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayette WorkOne and the Tippecanoe County Commissioners

Working from Home? Don’t Make These Mistakes

With the recent emphasis on flexible scheduling in the American workplace, many workers — at different levels — are now afforded the opportunity to work from home at times. However, if you’re like me, the few times I’ve actually done this, I didn’t make it out of my flannel pajama pants. This article from Forbes explains why that’s not a great idea, and offers the 10 mistakes people often make. Here’s a bulleted list, but read the entire piece:

  1. Failing to smile when you pick up the phone. Just as customer service reps are taught, you come across on the phone better when smiling.
  2. Not getting dressed. Looking good gives you confidence.
  3. Having bad posture. It can lead you to acting too casually.
  4. Looking like a terrorist on Skype……..don’t do that.
  5. Having unflattering props around in a conference call. Beer mugs, kids’ toys, ashtrays, etc. don’t inspire confidence in your peers.
  6. Saying "no" in emails. If you’re giving someone bad news, call them. The personal touch is appreciated.
  7. Poor e-mail length. Be clear in what you’re asking others to do. Lengthy emails can lead to confusion of what’s expected, and short emails can appear stuffy (e.g. "Fine."; "Thanks.")
  8. Ignoring the noises around your house. If you’re on the phone, hearing lawnmowers or kids yelling "Marco! Polo!" may not win your client over.
  9. Forgetting the virtual handshake. Start a conversation with personal information to set a pleasant tone.
  10. Thinking you’re alone. You’re still connected to the professional world, so don’t multitask too much with personal tasks like laundry.

Insurance Savings Available for Drug-Free Hoosier Workplaces

Drug-Free Hoosiers – a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration – is available to provide Indiana businesses with 5% savings on workers’ compensation insurance premiums if they can maintain a certified drug-free workplace. These savings have been available since 1999, but not all businesses are aware of this. 

View the Schedule Rating from the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau to see what is available and if your company qualifies.

For more, check out the Drug-Free Hoosiers web site or contact Mary Wellnitz of The Figment Group Inc. at mwellnitz@figmentgroupinc.com.