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Via Science Mag : Working from home because of COVID-19? Here are 10 ways to spend your time

“Classes are cancelled, exams are being re-scheduled, university buildings are staying shut, meetings are being postponed indefinitely,” a Ph.D. student who is based in Austria tweeted last week. “Now what am I supposed to do?”

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, many academics are of course dealing with greater concerns, such as the health of family, friends, or themselves. But for those free of illness and related burdens, and stuck at home, what do you do with your time? Here are some ideas for scientists who suddenly find themselves working from home.

1. Take care of yourself.

As a first step, don’t neglect your physical and mental health. Meditate. Do jumping jacks in your living room. Practice yoga. Whatever it is that works for you, do what it takes to care for your body and mind.

2. Learn a new skill.

Let’s face it. If you’re stuck at home, you’re probably not going to become an expert on how to run a mass spectrometer. But you could beef up your computer programming skills—for instance, by learning how to create a fancy new graph in R or how to produce documents in LaTeX. You could also read a book about a new topic or circle back to that online course that you never finished.

3. Revisit that long forgotten project.

Somewhere in the deep, dark depths of your computer’s file system, do you have an unfinished manuscript or unpublished data? If so, then you might want to use this time to dust off the files and figure out whether what you have is, in fact, publishable.

4. Promote your work online.

Consider devoting time to a bit of marketing. Does your personal website need updating? Have you been meaning to set up a Twitter profile and learn what hashtags are? Would you like to write a popular science article? Or create a YouTube video about your research? If so, this might be the perfect time to wiggle your way out from underneath the rock you’ve been living under and find new avenues for connecting with other researchers and sharing your work. If you’re struggling with social isolation at home, then social media might also help with that—giving you a way to interact and commiserate with other scientists, such as those on #AcademicTwitter.

5. Create a graphical abstract of your research.

Graphical abstracts—self-explanatory visual summaries of the main findings of your research—are an increasingly popular way to communicate science. They take time to make, but they are a perfect eye-catcher and are recyclable. Once you’ve made one, you can place it on posters, presentation slides, papers, and social media platforms. It could even help you build your personal brand.

6. Apply for funding.

You might benefit from spending time scouring the internet for fellowships, grants, and awards. Don’t just look in the most obvious places, such as federal grant agency websites. Take a look around for industry awards, lower profile fellowships, and little pots of research funding that you might be able to apply for. Even if you don’t receive an award, the process of applying will help you master the skill of grant writing.

7. Think about your career plans.

When you’re in the lab, it’s easy to focus on your next experiment and neglect long-term career planning. So, consider using some of your homebound time to learn more about yourself and your career options. You could read a book about career planning, test out career options with online job simulations, or use free introspection tools, such as myIDP. These things will help you reflect on the skills you have, brainstorm skills you’d like to develop, and think about where you see yourself headed in the future.

8. Conduct informational interviews.

If you have a few ideas about jobs that might interest you, then take this time to reach out to professionals who currently hold those jobs. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s not appropriate to ask them to meet up for coffee. But you can ask them for a quick phone call or Skype chat. The reality is that the people whom you’d like to speak with may be working from home too. What’s more, they might be itching for more social contact. So, informational interviews could be a good way to break isolation, learn about someone’s career, and build a network, while still keeping a distance.

9. Be nice to your fellow humans.

If you live with others, being cooped up with them fulltime might be less fun than you imagined it to be. Channel your frustrations into something harmless—for instance, by punching a pillow, exhausting yourself with pushups, or placing a tea towel between your teeth and screaming as loud as you can. Whatever you do, don’t punch anyone.

10. Do fun stuff.

Close your eyes and think back to the time before you went to grad school. What was giving you joy? Is there an old hobby you can pick up again? One upside of your home confinement is that you no longer need to spend time commuting back and forth to work. Can you reallocate that time to doing something that will bring you joy—or, at the very least, alleviate some stress?

It’s an incredibly turbulent time for most of us. Take care of yourself and others, and remember to wash your hands!

Via Forbes : Managing Talent Transitions During A Talent Crunch

According to a report published by Korn Ferry, “By 2030, all countries except India will be gripped by [technology, media and telecommunications] talent deficits,” adding that “unless governments and organizations can develop enough highly skilled workers, a talent crunch threatens the rosy forecasts for technological progress and its accompanying economic growth.”

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that almost 60% of employers have jobs that stay open for at least 12 weeks. Korn Ferry estimates that “by 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people” and nearly $8.5 trillion of unrealized revenue.

The founders of my current organization were former early employees of one of the earliest large-scale efforts, Linio, to create a Mexican digital revolution. Since they experienced the need to develop talent to match the pressing business and technology requirements at hand, our company valued malleable talent at its core, a reason I shifted continents to grow my technical, management and team-building capabilities.

Our six-member company began looking for technology talent to solidify our technical offerings and processes in 2017. Talented software developers were easily available, but hiring talented software testers represented a challenge. We had previously worked with talented software testers in geographies such as the U.S. and expected the same level of expertise in areas such as automation testing when we began searching for talent.

Unexpectedly, we drew a blank even in the search for talented manual software testers after a yearlong search on online job search platforms such as LinkedIn and AngelList and a few private organizations providing software testing courses. Our software development team had grown to five individuals, but the absence of any software tester mitigating the risk of frequent software deployment represented a serious vulnerability.

The lack of strong software quality talent in our country of operations gave us the idea to look outside our industry for quality assurance talent since Mexico is otherwise known as a strong manufacturing destination, in part due to the work of quality assurance professionals. Based on my experience, here’s some advice on how you can manage talent during a shortage.

Look Outside Your Industry

The key when searching for talent outside of a company’s core industry is to go to the first principles and foundations of the expectations of what the particular talent pool brings to the table. In order to minimize the cost and risk of this strategy, find the most important set of these foundational characteristics that are represented in easily hirable and transformable talent. In order to determine the specific characteristics needed for bringing in the new trainable talent, separate what skills are trainable and what abilities are essential foundations for these skills.

Our primary aim was to have on-site software testing talent and then to look remotely for expanding our talent pool, but to tackle this serious talent shortage, we began to look for remote talent. In mid-2019, we managed to hire a talented lead tester in India through our network. To expand the testing team on-site in Mexico, we began to look strategically for talent with a strong testing mindset outside the internet technology industry, with the aim of porting their testing knowledge and processes to the software testing life cycle. We were able to hire strong quality testers from the manufacturing and chemical industries for our testing team and quickly transitioned these new joiners to think in terms of software flowcharts, user experience and software vulnerabilities over a one-month training period.

We distilled the core abilities of a good software tester and concluded that having a strong logical and deductive work background, even in a non-internet company setting, would suffice. We managed to hire mathematicians and statisticians who picked up the software testing skills quickly over a three-month training period. Seeing their quick absorption of manual software testing knowledge, we guided them to pick up automation testing concepts by organizing Java programming training in-house and saw these internally trained testers pick up coding of testing systems within a few more months.

Look Within Your Company

We envisioned searching within internal teams for similarly moldable talent following the success of our original talent transition and as our organization grew larger. The most stunning outcome of our talent transition program was moving a graphic designer in the organization to our testing team based on her performance, commitment to adapt and logical bend of mind. This employee eventually turned out to be the most driven and most appreciated peer within our software testing team.

Moving employees from one department to another within an organization can be a risky process since every department espouses a distinct cultural norm, such as a fast-moving technology team as opposed to the strategically evolving brand team. Attraction to other departments’ cultural inclination and the ability to gel with different personality types in a different department are important worker aspects to maximize if you hope to have a successful transition.

Misreading the abilities involved in realizing an opportunity and misunderstanding how different the post-skill-development destination is for someone undergoing a talent transition process are challenges managers could face during this talent transition process. To overcome these, it is essential to articulate expectations and give potential transitioners ample time around their future teams well before starting a transition.

Via Albawaba : 9 Tips To Write A Job Winning Resume In Less Than 20 Minutes

What does it take to write the perfect resume? Well, there is no right answer to this question. Simply because there is no perfect resume that compels every employer. In each case, you need the perfect individual approach. However, there are some universal tips on this subject.

You can find different articles on the topic or use services to write your resume without any effort. You don’t you like reading long rules and instructions? You cannot entrust this matter to other people even if they are professionals?

This article will help you make the journey to a new job shorter and on your own. You need just 15 minutes for reading and another 15 for creating the perfect document.

Here are 9 basic steps on how to create a perfect CV very fast in a short time.

1. Articulate the position

The title of the desired job position is one of the most important items on your resume. Your fate depends on how clearly you articulate your intentions.

Do not use collocations like “any position”, “specialist”, etc.; as these formulations will not give the employer an idea of what you want. Employers will not waste their time thinking about what to offer you. No specific position is specified – your email will be sent to the bin.

Do not specify several positions in one resume either. Even if you will be equally good at all the positions, you should create several different resumes. Have each one focusing on the experience and skills needed for a particular job. Yes, you will have to spend a little more time, but the result will not wait.

When you send out your document for a job opening, the first line should only say the title of the desired position.

2. Set Your Desired Income in Advance

If there are no salary expectations in a resume, the likelihood of invitation decreases. You can find different statistics on this platform.

This happens due to the fact that the employer needs to minimize the selection time. First of all, they want to invite people whose CV provides comprehensive information – both about the professional level and salary expectations. Second, confidence is a sought-after personality trait; not including your desired income shows the lack of it.

And only when the employer sees what they want, they start to consider candidates.

First of all, you have to decide for yourself which income to specify. Secondly, you have to prepare yourself for possible negotiation.

The most convenient way is to indicate the income that you had at the last place of employment. This is the best option both in terms of feedback and in terms of further negotiations with future employers.

3. Dismiss the Humor

Your resume is a business document. When composing, try to avoid irony, humor, and sarcasm. Once you are employed, you will have plenty of chances to show your personality. In the meantime, an informative business style will bring you much better results than a joke.

4. Keep it Brief

Do not make your resume look like an epic novel by inserting articles, publications, and reflection on the meaning of life. It’s all superfluous.

Your resume should not take more than two pages. Too short of a bio also will not add to your presentation. A summary with the main fields left blank and a comment “I will tell everything in person” will be immediately sent to the bin.

5. Delete Any Unnecessary Personal Information

For your own safety, do not include personal information in your CV – a copy of your ID, the exact address of residence and registration can be omitted.

Apart from that, do not bring your past drama to the new place of work. Only say why you left your last job if you are asked.

6. See if You Really Need Links to Your Profiles on Social Networks

Putting a link to your page on Facebook or other social networks in your resume is not the best thing to do. The employer may start digging and find out too many personal details.

If social networks do not characterize you as a professional, at the time of job search, it is worth thinking about restricting the ability to view your pages, leaving access only to friends and family.

If a link to social media is required by an employer, do some thorough cleaning, and hide everything that might discredit you. Pictures from college parties are good memories, but do you really need everyone to see them?

7. Check Your Resume For Spelling Errors

There should be no grammatical mistakes or misprints on your resume. Such CVs look unprofessional and make a negative impression on the employer. Use services like Grammarly to ensure your letter is immaculate.

8. Information Reliability

Be honest when you’re writing a resume. Knowledge of specific programs, availability of certain skills – all of this is easy to test. You might need to confirm all the information you have given with documented or relevant examples. So make sure you only state relevant facts in the resume.

9. A Relevant Photo

The last but still an extremely important point: the presence of a photo in your document is not mandatory. But if you do decide to accompany your letter with one, remember that it must meet a number of requirements.

The photo must show only one person – you – and your face must be seen clearly. Make sure the picture represents your professional side. Abstain from including a photo taken on a beach, however good it is.

Via Fortune : How to answer the dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’ in job interviews

On anyone’s list of the trickiest questions in a job interview, the simple (and ubiquitous) request to “tell me about yourself” would have to rank among the most dreaded—right up there with, “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why did you lose your last job?”

It’s not that talking about oneself is hard to do. In fact, it can be so much fun that the tough part is knowing what to leave out. And that’s the problem, according to Fran Berrick, whose firm, Spearmint Coaching, has advised executives at Procter & Gamble, Unilever, LVMH, and elsewhere. The question is “so open-ended you could drive a truck through it,” Berrick notes. “So people really struggle with it.”

Although “tell me about yourself” may seem like a harmless-enough icebreaker, there are at least two common ways to blow it. The first is by giving your interlocutor a recap of your resume. “They’ve already read that, and so they have a pretty good idea of your credentials and experience, or you wouldn’t be sitting there,” says Berrick.

The second way to mess up is by talking about your personal life. In our social-media-steeped culture, the lines between private and professional sometimes blur, but resist the urge to share anything unrelated to the job at hand. An HR manager for a Fortune 500 company recently told Berrick that a candidate, invited to describe herself, launched into a thorough account of what she and her family did on their last vacation. She didn’t get the job.

So what exactly are interviewers hoping that “tell me about yourself” will reveal? Two things, Berrick says: Whether you’re likely to be great at the job you’re applying for, and how you’re likely to fit into the company’s culture. Sounds straightforward enough, but what you say will be most effective if it takes just 60 to 90 seconds and if, in that brief span of time, you come across as “succinct, authentic, and engaging.”

Clearly, this is going to take some careful preparation. Here are the 3 steps Berrick recommends:

1. Create a narrative

Do enough homework beforehand, on the role and the company, to form a fairly detailed idea of what success in this job would look like. Then think back over your career so far and find instances where you made the best use of your talents.

“Let’s say you identify yourself as a positive, results-driven salesperson,” says Berrick. “Give a specific example, along with a few words about how you see yourself adding similar value at this company.” The same approach goes for “any other trait you want to highlight, like analytical skills or effectiveness as a team player,” she says, adding that putting a 90-second limit on your remarks is not only a good way to stay focused, but also “gives the interviewer just enough information to make him or her want to continue the conversation.”

2. Make your answer consistent with your brand

Intentionally or not, each of us has a personal brand—the overall picture of our professional accomplishments, goals, values, and reputation. A resume is the most obvious place to sum up all of that, but sites like LinkedIn matter, too. Invited to “tell me about yourself,” keep your answer in line with the information about you that’s already out there in cyberspace.

That’s not to say you can’t emphasize different aspects of your brand, depending on who’s asking. “With a recruiter, you might stress specific job skills,” says Berrick, while “in an interview with a C-suite person, especially a CEO, you can talk more about the view from 1,000 feet—for instance, how you see yourself fitting into the company’s mission.”

3. End with a question

To finish up your 60-to-90-second narrative, ask something. Berrick recommends, “Can you tell me a bit about the kinds of people who are most successful here?” This not only gives you a clue as to the culture you’d be getting into if you’re hired, and whether you’d be likely to thrive in it, but “it helps you end your story,” says Berrick. “That can be hard for some people.” No one wants to keep an interview going for more than it’s necessary.

Via CNBC : How to spectacularly quit your job, according to Stanford experts

Picture the scene: You stand, resignation letter in hand, in front of your boss’ desk. You set down the envelope alongside a string of choice criticisms, carefully construed over the years. You turn and leave, tossing a Molotov cocktail over your shoulder without so much as a backward glance.

It may make for a dramatic movie scene, but it’s far from the recommended way to leave a job.

And the alternative isn’t much better. You meekly present your boss with your two weeks’ notice, then work quietly for the next fortnight before disappearing into oblivion.

They’re two versions of the same story, but neither is conducive to setting out the next stage of your career.

The first scenario — the “bridge burner” — can be downright dangerous, according to Stanford professors Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, and the second — the “2-week lame duck” — isn’t much more helpful.

In their new book “Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work,” the two career experts pioneer a third “radical” approach: The generative quitter.

Based on their combined 80 years’ experience navigating their own careers and those of thousands of others across professional services and academia, Evans and Burnett say the “win-win-win” strategy will ensure you leave your current job on the best possible terms and set yourself up for the next stage of career success.

“As any movie-maker will tell you … the two most important moments are the climax of the action and the last five minutes. And the last five minutes is your quit,” Evans tells CNBC Make It.

“An incredibly powerful memory and impression will be the way you left; the last couple of things you did. It’s really important to get that right.”

Four simple steps

Quitting your job is not a decision to be taken lightly, and sometimes there may be opportunities to work with your employer toward an alternative solution.

But if you decide it’s the right next move for you, Evans says politely handing in your notice should always be followed by four important steps.

1. Leave the campsite better than you found it

All good campers know the rule “leave the campsite better than you found it,” but it’s also a good rule for work, says Evans.

Take small steps to make your workplace better in your final few days on the job. Not only will this set your colleagues up for success, but it will also boost your confidence and improve your references for your next job. What’s more, since so few people do it, it’ll ensure you’re remembered long after you’ve left.

2. Rev up your network

Your professional network is one of your greatest assets for future referrals and job opportunities.

Be sure to preserve and expand your network before you leave by taking time to cement existing relationships with teammates and reaching out to people you never got the chance to know while doing your day-to-day job.

3. Set up your replacement to win

When making your next career move, it can be easy to overlook one important player: your successor. But setting them up for success, while seemingly counterintuitive, can pay dividends, says Evans.

You can do that by writing them a quick reference guide to your job, including key insights, procedures and contacts. Not only will this provide a feel-good factor, it’s also an “incredibly easy opportunity to absolutely outstandingly distinguish yourself, like ‘wow, I’ve never seen anything like that before,’” he notes.

4. Exit well

Finally, make sure that the final impression you leave is a positive one. You may have het up feedback you wish to impart, but make sure you do so constructively. Most importantly, highlight the positives you and the company have gained from one another.

“It’s not that hard to do this right. Just give yourself a good script, and most importantly, stick to it. You’ll be glad you did,” says Evans.

A skill for life

While Evans says his four-step approach to quitting is useful for people at all career stages, he argues that’s especially so for young to mid-career professionals.

With ever-extending retirement thresholds and fast-changing industries, young workers today are set to move jobs multiple times and “quit a bunch” over their careers, he notes, so it’s important to get it right.

“What you want to do as you move along is have an unbroken train of not only ‘I was successful,’ but ‘I was successful and long after I went, they think well of and speak well of me,’” says Evans, noting that it’s vital in today’s “hyperconnected world.”

“That’s going to go as a deposit in your bank account of value as a credible professional for the rest of your life. So the younger you are, the better this is,” he adds.

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