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If you got lost in Chapter 11, here’s the list of who’s there

(BUSINESS NEWS) A list of companies that have filed bankruptcy have either been reorganized or straight up closed.

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There is no denying that the face of retail has changed drastically in the last few years. For the better part of a year we have been writing about how brick and mortar stores have been losing the sales battle to their online counterparts and thus filing for bankruptcy.

With the holidays right around the corner — I know it isn’t even Halloween yet– you might go to do some shopping and be flabbergasted by what you don’t find.

The list of companies that have filed is loooooong (extra o’s for emphasis) and by no means is this a comprehensive list, but it is a topic we’ve stayed on top of. So here are a few stores to not look for when you (maybe, probably not) go to the mall for your annual holiday shopping spree.

Toys “R” Us – Toys “R” Us has been racking up a sizable debt of more than $5 billion dollars. The company made the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in September in federal court in Richmond, Virginia.

True Religion – True Religion didn’t file but, rather, sought out a second chance by adjusting their business model, but the jury is still out on if it happened in time.

Gymboree – Back in June, the San Francisco-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That was supposed to reduce the company’s debts by $900 million, but they were forced to close 375 of its 1,300 stores.

Rue 21 – Bloomberg Markets reported that the company, which operates over 1,000 stores prepared bankruptcy filings back in April.

Perfumania – In August, Perfumania Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, announcing it would close 64 of its 226 stores. Although Perfumania had already closed 103 stores in the past three years, the company was still losing money.

Abercrombie – The super ripped “teens” at Abercrombie are surviving the retail cull (barely) but in attempt to thrive in it, they decided to revamping their marketing.

Joe’s Crab Shack – In a $57M corporate shuffle Joe and his Crab Shacks got the axe. Around the same time, Dine Equity, owner of Applebee’s and IHOP, announced that they intend to close 160 restaurants, far more than previously estimated. They plan to shut down between 105 and 135 Applebee’s locations and 20 to 25 IHOPs.

Radio Shack – The once electronic great was purchased quietly in 2015 and there was a plan set in place to quietly shut down 200 stores on top of the other stores that had already shut down. Then five months ago, 1000 more stores were shuttered. If you’re keeping track of numbers that leaves only 72 company-owned stores remaining in seven states, including its native Texas. The About 500 dealer-owned store are sticking around for the time as well.

Payless – Payless finally admitted defeat and filed in April 2017. The initial filing estimates that the company owes between $1 and $10 billion in debt

Bebe – After four straight years of losses amounting to $200 million Bebe had to shut doors and file.

Family Christian – In 2015, Family Christian filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Surprisingly, the move came with a wave of optimism as company leaders believed it was a good opportunity to reorganize but it didn’t work and Family Christian wound up closing all 240 locations.

Wet Seal – In 2015, 3,700 employees were let go after the company filed for bankruptcy. It was acquired in April of 2015 by Versa Capital for $7.5 million; however, Versa could not raise funding or find a buyer for Wet Seal to continue and in January of 2017 all stores were closed.

By no stretch of the imagination is this every single company that filed in the last year.

Delia’s, Sears, Banana Republic were all on the chopping block at some point as were The Limited, BCBG Max Azria, Gander Mountain, Alfred Angelo, and Aerosoles. Also worth mentioning is that THE CITY OF DETROIT declared bankruptcy four years ago — how even?

In this day and age bankruptcy doesn’t mean what it used to, but it still isn’t anything to get excited about.

Kiri Isaac is the Web Producer and a Staff Writer at The American Genius and studied communications at Texas A&M. She is fluent in sarcasm and movie quotes and her love language is tacos.

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Is insecurity the root of overworking in today’s workforce?

(CAREER) Why are professionals who “made it” in their field still chronically overworked? Why are people still glorifying a lack of sleep in the name of the hustle?!

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So you got that job you wanted after prepping for months, and everything seems cool and good… but you’re working way more hours than scheduled. Skipping lunch, coming in early and staying late, and picking up any project that comes your way. You’re overworked.

Getting the job was supposed to be a mark of success in itself, but now, work is your life and everyone is wondering how you can be working so much if you’re already successful.

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Laura Empson delves into what drives employees to overwork themselves. Empson is a professor of Management of Professional Service firms at the University of London, and has spend the last 25 years researching business practices.

Her recently published book Leading Professionals: Power, Politics and Prima Donnas, focuses on business organizational theory and behavior, based on 500 interviews with senior professionals in the world’s largest organizations.

Over the course of her research, Empson encountered numerous reports of people in white-collar positions pushing themselves to work exhausting hours. Decades ago, those with white-collar jobs in law firms, accountancy firms, and management consultancies worked towards senior management positions to gain partnership.

Once partnership was reached, all the hard work paid off in the form of autonomy and flexibility with scheduling and projects. Now, even entry-level employees are working overextended hours.

An HR director interviewed by Empson noted, “The rest of the firm sees the senior people working these hours and emulates them.” There’s a drive to mirror upper management, even at the cost of health.

Empson’s research indicates insecurity is the root of this behavior. Insecurity about when work is really done, how management will perceive employees, and what counts as hard work. Intangible knowledge work provokes insecurity since there’s rarely ever a way to tell when this work is complete.

Colleagues turn into competitors, and suddenly working outside of your regular hours becomes seen as normal if you want to keep up with the competition. You want to stand out from the crowd, so staying late a few days a week starts to feel normal.

This can turn into a slippery slope, and when being overworked feels like the norm, you may not notice taking on even more extra hours and responsibilities to feel like you’re contributing efficiently to the company.

During her research, Empson found that some recruiters admitted to hiring “insecure overachievers” for their firms.

Insecure overachievers are incredibly ambitious and motivated, but driven by feelings of inadequacy. Financial insecurity and disproportionately tying self-worth to productivity are just a few contributing factors to their self-doubt.

As a result, these kind of people are amazingly self-disciplined, and likely to pursue elite positions with professional organizations. Fear of being exposed as inadequate drives insecure employees to work long hours to prove themselves

Even upper level management is subject to this same insecurity.

Organizational pressures can make even the most established leader overwork themselves.

Empson notes, “Working hard can be rewarding and exhilarating. But consider how you are living. Recognize when you are driving yourself and your staff too hard, and learn how to help yourself and your colleagues to step back from the brink.“

Analyze your organization’s conscious and unconscious messaging about achievement, and make sure you’re setting and enforcing realistic expectations for your team.

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The most common buzzwords (still) used in job descriptions

(BUSINESS) Employers are trying their best to attract really high quality talent, but the buzzwords that continue to plague the process are lame, annoying, and often insulting.

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It’s that time of year again. Year-in-review lists abound and Indeed.com is no exception. The website for employers and potential employees has taken a look back at the year in job descriptions and released its list of the weirdest job titles used in online listings.

They found the usual suspects — yes, sadly rockstar and hero still make the cut — but a few other keywords skyrocketed up the charts in 2018.

Indeed recognized seven top-performing buzzwords in its research: genius, guru, hero, ninja, superhero, rockstar, and wizard. Among these Top 7, some were up over previous years, while others’ popularity seems to be fading.

Employers really loved referencing masked assassins in their descriptions this year, resulting in a 90 percent year-over-year jump for ninja, and a 140 percent increase for the term since Indeed began tracking these stats in 2015.

Wizards and heroes didn’t fare as well. Job titles containing “wizard” were down 17 percent from 2017 and use of the word “hero” was down a whopping 44 percent since last year. Superhero ended the year up over 2017 (19 percent), but is still down by 55 percent since 2015.

So which states are touting these weird (some might say annoying) titles the most? The answers aren’t too surprising. California tops the list for ninja, genius, rockstar, wizard, and guru. Texas, whose capital is Austin, aka Silicon Hills, loves using hero, superhero, guru, rockstar, and ninja. Populous states New York and Florida make the list for using several of the buzzwords — no surprise there. But a few smaller states snuck into the Top 4, including Ohio (No. 1 “superhero” user) and Utah (No. 4 on the “rockstar” and “wizard” lists).

While many companies like to use these so-called creative terms to convey a sense of a hip and cool company culture, does using these “fun” titles actually find the best candidates? According to Indeed, the answer might be “not exactly.” Job seekers aren’t necessarily searching for terms like ninja or guru, so they might not even find the job they would be the perfect fit for. And truth be told, many experienced job seekers are turned off by these weird titles and might not even apply to the job in the first place.

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Half of the jobs Amazon will offer at their new headquarters won’t be tech

(BUSINESS NEWS) As Amazon begins laying solid plans to start hiring, some are upset that half of the new jobs won’t be tech jobs – let’s discuss why.

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As 2019 gears up, one of the biggest tech stories of 2018 will carry into this year, and that’s Amazon HQ. Amazon’s two new headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia and Long Island City, New York have promised about 50,000 new jobs coming in 2019 according to Engadget and the Wall Street Journal.

The catch? Only half of those jobs will be in tech. Some are upset about this, so we’ll explain:

Naturally, a behemoth like Amazon has many moving parts and these two facilities will require different roles to keep the company functioning. An estimated 25,000 jobs will be in support roles like administration, marketing, finance, maintenance, and human resources. For the cities they’ll occupy, this means there will be more than one way to find employment besides tech or IT.

It’s undeniable that Amazon’s $5 billion investment will vastly change these two communities. Employment opportunities can bring growth for residents, however it will depend upon the company’s ability to hire local. Likewise, Amazon’s presence will draw city transplants, a tactic that historically raises property values and living costs (looking at you, Seattle).

Crystal City is expected to see a huge influx in traffic and housing, according to The Washington Post. Although the state has promised to allocate resources into transportation, and Amazon assures a slow growth at first, thousands of workers will need accommodation.

For Long Island City, a community who’s already transforming from industrial yards to a blooming arts neighborhood, we will likely see its gentrification reach new heights. LIC is set to become the digital-lifestyle relative across the river from its cousin, Manhattan.

In any case, residents can hope to take advantage of the varying positions that will need filling in 2019.

However, everyone should brace for change as this corporate beast gradually awakens.

Whatever the new headquarters will bring, we can expect it to be, in typical Amazon fashion, bold and flashy.

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