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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.

Business News

Asking the wrong questions can ruin your job opportunity

(BUSINESS NEWS) An HR expert discusses the best (and worst) questions she’s experienced during candidate interviews. it’s best to learn from others mistakes.

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When talking to hiring managers outside of an interview setting, I always find myself asking about their horror stories as they’re usually good for a laugh (and a crash course in what not to do in an interview). A good friend of mine has worked in HR for the last decade and has sat in on her fair share of interviews, so naturally I asked her what some of her most notable experiences were with candidates – the good and the bad, in her own words…

“Let’s see, I think the worst questions I’ve ever had are typically related to benefits or vacation as it demonstrates that their priorities are not focused on the actual job they will be performing. I’ve had candidates ask how much vacation time they’ll receive during an initial phone screen (as their only question!). I’ve also had them ask about benefits and make comparisons to me over the phone about how our benefits compare to their current employer.

I once had a candidate ask me about the age demographics of our office, which was very uncomfortable and inappropriate! They were trying to determine if the attorneys at our law firm were older than the ones they were currently supporting. It was quite strange!

I also once had a candidate ask me about the work environment, which was fine, but they then launched into a story about how they are in a terrible environment and are planning on suing their company. While I understand that candidates may have faced challenges in their previous roles or worked for companies that had toxic working environments, it is important that you do not disparage them.

In all honesty, the worst is when they do not have any questions at all. In my opinion, it shows that they are not really invested in the position or have not put enough thought into their decision to change jobs. Moving to a new company is not a decision that should be made lightly and it’s important for me as an employer to make sure I am hiring employees who are genuinely interesting in the work they will be doing.

The best questions that I’ve been asked typically demonstrate that they’re interested in the position and have a strong understanding of the work they would be doing if they were hired. My personal favorite question that I’ve been asked is if there are any hesitations or concerns that I may have based on the information they’ve provided that they can address on the spot. To me, this demonstrates that they care about the impression that they’ve made. I’ve asked this question in interviews and been able to clarify information that I did not properly explain when answering a question. It was really important to me that I was able to correct the misinformation as it may have stopped me from moving forward in the process!

Also, questions that demonstrate their knowledge base about the role in which they’re applying for is always a good sign. I particularly like when candidates reference items that I’ve touched on and weave them into a question.

A few other good questions:
• Asking about what it takes to succeed in the position
• Asking about what areas or issues may need to be addressed when first joining the company
• Asking about challenges that may be faced if you were to be hired
• Asking the employer what they enjoy most about the company
• I am also self-centered, so I always like when candidates ask about my background and how my current company compares to previous employers that I’ve worked for. Bonus points if they’ve actually looked me up on LinkedIn and reference specifics :)”

Think about the best and worst experiences you’ve had during an interview – and talk to others about the same topic – and see how that can help you with future interviews.

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Business News

AdvoCare MLM was painted as a pyramid scheme! Well color me surprised

(BUSINESS NEWS) AdvoCare is the most recent case of an MLM being called out as a pyramid scheme by FTC, but there’s plenty more MLMs where that came from…

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AdvoCare business structure

It’s always a good day when an MLM (multi-level marketing business) actually suffers legal repercussions. Granted, these days don’t happen nearly as often as we’d like – MLM CEOs have historically had deep pockets and a far reach – which means it’s all the more reason to celebrate when one gets called out.

Today’s culprit is AdvoCare, a Texas-based “wellness” company. AdvoCare has been fined $150 million by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for operating a pyramid scheme. The company, as well as a few of its top influencers, have been misleading people when it comes to how much money they could earn. This is pretty typical behavior for MLMs in general, though many are careful to couch your potential earnings in vague terms.

For the record, the majority of users lost money, and most who managed to turn a profit made a maximum of just $250. I say ‘just’ because it’s hard to know how long someone would have had to work to not only break even, but manage to turn a profit. MLMs make big claims about earning money, but when you have to pour a hefty sum of cash into the products, it can take a while just to break even.

That’s why many MLMs, including AdvoCare, push contributors to recruit, rather than sell the product. And if you’re thinking that sounds like a pyramid scheme, you’re totally right. This method of putting recruiting first is part of the reason AdvoCare has gotten in trouble with the FTC.

In response, AdvoCare is moving away from multi-level marketing sales and pivoting to selling products directly to retail stores, which in turn sell to customers.

Now, with AdvoCare’s downfall, don’t be surprised if other MLMs insist that they’re different because they haven’t gotten in trouble with the FTC. In fact, plenty of MLMs are quick to tell you that they’re totally legal and totally not a pyramid scheme. Sure, Jan.

First of all, if there’s a big focus on recruiting, that’s obviously a big red flag. There are plenty of pyramid scheme MLMs out there that just haven’t gotten caught yet. But there are other sneaky ways an MLM will try to rip you off. For instance, some companies will insist you buy tons of product to keep your place, and that product can be very hard to unload. Not to mention, many of the products MLMs tout are subpar at best.

AdvoCare getting called out by the FTC is a great start, but MLMs seem kind of like hydras. Cut down one and two more seem to spring up in its place. So be vigilant, y’all. Just because an MLM hasn’t gotten caught yet doesn’t guarantee it won’t still scam you out of your hard earned cash.

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Business News

Bose is closing their retail stores, but we haven’t heard the last of them

(BUSINESS NEWS) Over the last 30 years Bose has become so well understood by consumers that they don’t even need retail stores anymore. We hear them just fine.

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Over the next few months, Bose plans to close all of their retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The company made the announcement last week. With 119 stores closing, presumably hundreds of Bose employees will be laid off, but the company has not revealed exact numbers.

However, this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the maker of audio equipment is struggling to stay afloat. Rather, the move marks a major change in how consumers purchase tech gear.

When the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company opened its first U.S. retail store in 1993, it was making home entertainment systems for watching DVDs and listening to CDs. According to Colette Burke, Bose’s vice president of global sales, these first brick-and-mortar locations “gave people a way to experience, test, and talk to us” about Bose products. “At the time, it was a radical idea,” she says, “but we focused on what our customers needed and where they needed it – and we’re doing the same thing now.”

When a lot of this equipment was new, consumers may have had more questions and a need to see the products in action before purchasing. Nowadays, we all know what noise-canceling headphones are; we all know what a Bluetooth speaker is. We’re happy to read about the details online before adding products to our virtual shopping cart. The ability for Bose to close its retail stores is probably also an indicator that Bose has earned strong brand recognition and a reputation as a reliable maker of audio equipment.

In other words, consumers are less and less inclined to need to check out equipment in person before they buy it. For those who do, Bose products can still be purchased at stores like Best Buy, Target, and Apple. But overall, Bose can’t ignore the fact that their products “are increasingly purchased through e-commerce,” such as on Amazon or directly from their website.

In a statement, Bose also said that it has become a “larger multi-national company, with a localized mix of channels tailored for the country or region.” While Bose is shutting down its retail stores in several continents, it will continue to operate stores in China, the United Arab Emirates, India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.

Burke said the decision to close so many retail stores was “difficult” because it “impacts some of our amazing store teams who make us proud every day.” Bose is offering “outplacement assistance and severance to employees that are being laid off.”

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