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The handiest list of American cities job seekers should focus on

(BUSINESS NEWS) If you are a job seeker and are looking to relocate, a list has been compiled for you so that you can see the best cities for job seekers.

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So many options

Looking for a job is overwhelming, no matter what. Regardless of your location, your field, and the stage of your career, that job search can seem endless and insurmountable.

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Multiply that stress by a bajillion if you’re open to relocation, and looking for jobs in multiple cities.

Too much oyster

If the world is your oyster but that kinda freaks you out, Indeed has a handy new list of (American) cities you should focus your search on. The job search engine determined that the best cities for job seekers share a few key qualities: a favorable labor market, good cost of living-adjusted average salaries, employers that value work-life balance, and solid job security and opportunities for advancement.

As you can see, a promising job search city isn’t just the place with the most open jobs.

Do you really want to move across the country for a job that pays peanuts and a boss that demands overtime daily? Unless it’s a passion project that you aren’t searching for, but actually finding, the answer is probably no. So check out the top contenders and save yourself a whole bunch of headaches.

5. Sacramento, CA

Number five on the list is Sacramento, California – the highest-placing Californian city. There are more so-called unicorns in cities like San Francisco, but do you really want to pin your career dreams on a technically nonexistent narwhal-horse? Sacramento scored particularly high in work-life balance and salary, which indicates that employers in Sacramento value their employees, and probably listen to them too. Almost a quarter of all the jobs in Sacramento are in government, but there are also some tech giants like Intel, and a diverse spread of other industries as well.

4. Austin, TX

At number four we have Austin, TX, the natives of which will be dismayed to see yet another plug for their sacred hometown, which according to them is overrun with Californians and other vagrants. But like it or not, Austin is growing, growing, growing, largely in part due to its status as an up and coming tech hub, already home to the likes of Dell, Apple, and even Indeed. It too owes the majority of its jobs to government, however. Work life balance is a big deal in Austin – we all need time for tacos.

3. Raleigh, NC

Number three on the list is Raleigh, North Carolina, which has the friendliest labor market on the list, but does fall short when it comes to work-life balance and job security and advancement. Major employers in Raleigh include IBM and Duke University and Health System – the professional services and business industries are booming here.

Orlando, FL

Second on the list is Orlando, Florida, which, believe it or not, is home to things other than Disney World. Orlando’s job market is stronger than 98% of the cities, including the city at the top of Indeed’s list. But Orlando is a pricy place to live, which means a good salary doesn’t go as far here as it might elsewhere. The biggest industry in Orlando is – surprise, surprise – leisure and hospitality, but there are also plenty of opportunities in trade and transport.

1. Miami, FL

*Drumroll, please.* Miami, Florida made the top of Indeed’s list, with the highest overall ranking for both work-life balance and job security and advancement. Again, though, Miami is an expensive place to live, so salaries aren’t as great there. The best industries in Miami are trade, transport and utilities, and professional and business services. Ready to soak up some Florida sun?

The Mason-Dixon charm

You may have noticed that the top four cities are Southerners, and the top 15 on Indeed’s list are in the South or West. Blue skies and blazing suns must make for great jobs, and according to census data, the so-called Sun Belt has many of the fastest growing cities in the country. If you burn easily or have vampire tendencies, you could try Seattle, Washington (17th on the list), Hartford, Connecticut (18th), or Providence, Rhode Island (21st).
You also may have noticed that a few major metropolises are missing: where’s NYC, where’s Chicago?

Recent census data shows that these gargantuan cities are growing less and less popular.

And manufacturing centers like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis are also facing population stagnation or decline. Senior Vice President at Indeed Paul D’Arcy says it makes sense: “Manufacturing jobs have steadily declined over the years and haven’t shown promise for career growth like a generation ago.” Now those states “are working to diversify their economy to attract workers and keep talent in their state,” he says.

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That means that yesterday’s job trends may not match tomorrow’s, so don’t target a city just because it’s booming. But if you like the location, the vibe, and the prospects, get searching!

#JobSeekers

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

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Business News

Leadership versus management: What’s the difference?

(Business News) The two terms, leadership and management, are often used interchangeably, but there are substantial differences; let’s explore them.

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Some people use the terms “leader” and “manager” interchangeably, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with this, there is still a debate regarding their similarities or differences.

Is it merely a matter of preference, or are there cut and dry differences that define each term?

Ronald E. Riggio, professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College, described what he felt to be the difference between the terms, noting the commonality in the distinction of “leadership” versus “management” was that leaders tend to engage in the “higher” functions of running an organization, while managers handle the more mundane tasks.

However, Riggio believes it is only a matter of semantics because successful and effective leaders and managers must do the same things. They must set the standard for followers and the organization, be willing to motivate and encourage, develop good working relationships with followers, be a positive role model, and motivate their team to achieve goals.

He states that there is a history explaining the difference between the two terms: business schools and “management” departments adopted the term “manager” because the prevailing view was that managers were in charge.

They were still seen as “professional workers with critical roles and responsibilities to help the organization succeed, but leadership was mostly not in the everyday vocabulary of management scholars.”

Leadership on the other hand, derived from organizational psychologists and sociologists who were interested in the various roles across all types of groups.

So, “leader” became the term to define someone who played a key role in “group decision making and setting direction and tone for the group. For psychologists, manager was a profession, not a key role in a group.”

When their research began to merge with business school settings, they brought the term “leadership” with them, but the terms continued to be used to mean different things.

The short answer, according to Riggio is no, not really; simply because leaders and managers need the same skills to be productive and respected.

This editorial was first published here in June of 2014.

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Business News

Does Raising Cane’s have the secret to combatting restaurant labor shortages?

(NEWS) Fried Chicken Franchise, Raising Cane’s, has turned to an unusual source of front-line employees during the labor shortage- Their executives!

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White paper sign with black text reading "Help Wanted."

I wouldn’t call myself a fried chicken aficionado or anything, but since chains are designed to blow up everywhere, I have experienced Raising Cane’s.

I’m pretty sure the Cane’s sauce is just barbecue mixed with ranch, but hey, when you’ve got a good idea, keep with it.

In the further pursuit of good ideas, the company has resorted to an intriguing method of boosting staff in a world where the lowest paid among us are still steadily dying of Covid, and/or choosing to peace out of jobs that they don’t find worth the infection risk.

Via Nation Restaurant News: “This is obviously a very tough time, so it was a joint idea of everybody volunteering together to go out there and be recruiters, fry cooks and cashiers —whatever it takes,” said AJ Kumaran, co-CEO and chief operating officer for the Baton Rouge, La.-based quick-service company, from a restaurant in Las Vegas, where he had deployed himself.”

The goal of this volunteer mission, which involves 250 of the 500 executives deployed working directly in service roles, is to bolster locations until 10,000 new hires can be made in both existing locations and locations planned to open.

It’s obvious that this is a bandaid move – execs exist for good reason, and in terms of sheer numbers (not to mention location and salary changes), this is hardly tenable long-term. But I can say this as someone who’s gone from retail to office, and back (and then forth…and then back again) several times – if this doesn’t keep everyone at the corporate level humble, and much more mindful of employees’ needs, nothing will.

The fast-food world is notorious for wonky schedules only going up a day before the week begins, broken promises on hours (both over and under), horrendous pay, and little to no defense of employee dignity in the face of customers with rank dispositions. With the wave of strikes (Nabisco, John Deere, IATSE) making the news, and lack of hazard pay/brutal physical attacks over mask mandates still very fresh in workers’ minds, smart companies are hipping themselves to the fact that “low level” employee acquisition and retention needs to be much more than the ‘work here or starve’ tactics that have served since the beginning of decades of wage stagnation. The best way for that fact to stay front-of-mind is to go out and live the truths behind it.

In Raising Cane’s case, the company also announced that they’re upping wages at all locations — to the tune of an actually not totally insulting $2 per hour, resulting in a starting wage of $15 and a managerial wage of $18.

Ideally, paying people more to cook, clean, and customer service all in one job will actually attract people back to fast food work. Seriously consider the fact that the people cleaning fast-food toilets are the same people making the food that goes into your mouth. The additional fact is that it’s better for everyone’s health when they’re paid enough to care about what they’re doing and stay healthy themselves.

Of course, one does also need to consider how much inflation has affected the price of goods and housing since the ‘fight for $15’ began almost a decade ago in 2012. Now, raising wages closer to the end point of multiple goods still might not be enough!

AJ Kumaran continued, “The chicken prices are through the roof. Logistics are very hard. Shipping is difficult. Simple things cups and paper napkins — everything is in shortage right now. Some are overseas suppliers and others domestic suppliers. Just in poultry alone, we have taken significant inflation.”

That’s global disruption for ya.

It remains to be seen whether this plucky move can save Raising Cane’s dark meat, but I’m very pro regardless. Send more top-earning employees into the trenches! No more executives with 0 knowledge of how the sausage sandwich gets made.

No more leading from behind.

Why not? What are ya? Chicken?

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Business News

Unify your remote team with these important conversations

(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.

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Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.

According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.

Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.

Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.

With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.

The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.

Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.

This story was first published in November 2020.

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