Climbing the Career Ladder? (And School Dress Codes)

Curated by CLAI

CAREER LADDER: Careers, like life, do not move in a straight line. I’ve accepted that there is not only one answer, and that the “perfect job” may not exist for me. Rather than a ladder, I see my career as a pond of lily pads extending in all directions. There is no one way “up,” just a series of opportunities and mini-experiments that get you closer and closer to discovering what’s meaningful.

  • Where do you get on the ladder? Is there one in each city in the world? What happens if you want to try two different ladders at the same time? If you hop off for a detour, do you have to start back from the bottom, or do you get to return to the rung where you left off?
  • Only 27% of college graduates have a job related to their college major, and more than 90% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.
  • Yet 20-somethings are still erringly being told to figure out their (single) calling, find the perfect first job in that field, and then maintain a linear career trajectory.
  • 90% of college students are optimistic about their ability to find a good job when they graduate.
  • 70% said it was important find a job that allows them to do what they love, while only 20% said it was important to find a job that pays well.
Career Ladder

Career Ladder (BEWFAA)

SCHOOL DRESS CODE: If you’re wondering whether dress code policies disproportionately govern what female students can — or can’t — wear to school, you’re right. Our informal survey showed that regulations are more restrictive for women than for men.

  • Almost half the public schools in the country now have a dress code. That number has increased from 21% in 2000.
  • Shorts/Skirt Length: Most schools we surveyed have some rules on how long skirts and shorts must be, and how short is too short. Some go with the “fingertip rule” (shorts and skirts must extend beyond the fingertips), while others require only an “appropriate length.”
  • Bare Shoulders/Midriffs: Navel-baring blouses are a no-go at nearly every school we surveyed. Most also put some regulation on shirt sleeves. Spaghetti-strap tank tops are a common target. So are halter tops — but some schools ban sleeveless shirts all together.
  • Illegal/Profane/Suggestive Content: Clothing that suggests or portrays violence, illegal acts or illegal substances are almost an unequivocal no. Mostly, we’re talking T-shirts here.

Happier at Work or At Home?

Curated by CLAI

LESS STRESSED AT WORK THAN HOME? Both men and women are significantly less stressed out at work than they are at home. Women said they were happier at work. While the men said they felt happier at home.

  • Those with high incomes, she said, were the only outlier: Both men and women had much higher levels of cortisol at work, and both felt happier at home.
  • What does this tell you? It’s not so much that people prefer to be at work rather than at home or with kids. It’s that trying to do both in the same day is stressful. It’s the juggling that’s killing us.

Workplace (Olivier Schrauwen, NYTimes)

WHY YOU HATE WORK: The way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep.

Working Harder than a Greek or an MBA Student?

Curated by CLAI

GREEKS WORK HARDER THAN ALL OF EUROPE: As it turns out, Greeks work hard. Greeks work more hours than everyone else in Europe —  even more than workaholic Americans. (Caveat: Long hours at the office don’t always equate to high productivity).

Though they work a lot, Greeks are, by and large, not rich. Like poor people everywhere, they have to work more just to get by. Almost one-quarter of Greece’s 11 million people are at risk of poverty, the highest percentage among European Union countries.

Annual Hours Worked

(OECD. Graphic: Tobey – Washington Post)

MBA TRAVEL? “It’s all about the people” is a maxim that seems to flow through business-school campuses. Group travel, many say, is one way to build a network.

  • In many M.B.A. programs, lifestyle experiences are gaining on academic ones in importance, as seen in much busier evening and weekend schedules of bars, parties and trips.
  • Some student-organized travel is career-focused but carries no academic credit. That includes the Career Trek at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where professional student clubs introduce classmates to opportunities in areas like private equity, biotech and retailing.
  • Excursions can mean spending $3,000 before the first day of class. At the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, many first-year students choose among about 35 trips — five- to eight-day excursions to places like Costa Rica and Zanzibar, in an effort to help first-year students get to know one another. These student-led trips cost $2,100 to $3,600 a person.
  • As opposed to students in law or medical school, many enter business school with previous work experience in lucrative fields and may have substantial savings. Some M.B.A. candidates are in school on the dime of their companies, and have agreed to return to work in exchange for their tuition. Others come from very wealthy families and have trust funds.

Memorial Day: From Military Veteran to College Student

By: Michael Dombrowski | Edited By: Christine Lai

As a Marine, OEF veteran, and current student, I was faced with three options when I left the military. I can get a job, go to college, or do both at the same time. Essentially, I, and many other veterans, must pick up where we left off before we joined the military. Civilian college life can be daunting at first for what we have known for the past 4-12 years is military life. Deciding to finish school and step into the shoes of a college student is like being a foreigner in your own country.

The battle does not end for a vet once he or she starts going to school. In many ways, it has just begun. In order to once again find our place in the civilian world, we have to overcome the differences in the military lifestyle and a feeling of isolation. Many veterans have a unique need for counseling that is different from their fellow civilian students. The internal struggles are sometimes overwhelming, which may lead some to self-medicate with alcohol or controlled substances, if other means of help are not readily available.

American Flag with Eagle

Memorial Day (ProjectTurnAbout.Org)

Ways Colleges Can Help Veterans

College offers a unique opportunity to veterans by giving us an environment to redefine ourselves and to work towards an easily identifiable goal. In short, college gives a veteran what he or she needs the most: a mission.

  • Veteran’s Office: A veteran’s office sets aside a space for veterans to congregate. A school can not only consolidate its resources for its service members, but also create a military community that veterans feel familiar and comfortable with. Veterans can speak freely with others and find support during the critical time of adjustment.
  • Career Planner: Along with this meeting place, a career planner can also help former military members with the disorienting prospect of finding a path for themselves.
  • VA Representative: Finally, a Department of Veteran’s Affairs representative can give veterans direct access to much-needed aid, especially for those with mental and physical wounds. Oftentimes, the very system that is designed to help veterans can be one of the most frustrating and laborious processes when navigating without guidance.
  • Veteran Student Organization: Veteran organizations are veterans’ own answer to the problem of finding help and understanding after their military careers. Because of limited funding, colleges should work with these organizations that already have a rapport with the veteran student body.

Colleges can greatly increase the amount of inclusion and acceptance for veterans from the campus community and bolster the veterans’ desire to contribute in whatever way they can. The links between all aspects of a campus community must be forged in order to assure equal opportunities for success in the academic and personal struggles for all students.

What Veterans Bring to the College Campus

Veterans have the potential to add to a campus community in many ways, but they can only benefit the community that actively includes them. Veterans add to the classroom environment input that is derived from their experience and maturity.From a financial standpoint, veterans also inject guaranteed money to the college with monetary assistance from the GI Bill. Both veteran and civilian students would benefit from increased interaction between them.

The judgments made about the veteran community must start with a greater understanding of their struggles. They are not simply a group of older students that carry a government check for education in their wallets. They are their own class in society with memories and pain that is matched only by their will to continue on and better themselves. For the many that choose to do so by furthering their education, most would ask only for acceptance, assistance, and inclusion.

About Michael Dombrowski

Michael is a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and a current student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Michael deployed to southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009.

You Make $22M? Are You a Specific or Holistic Thinker?

Curated by CLAI

FAST-FOOD CEO SALARIES SKYROCKET: CEOs in this sector make about 304 times the income of the average worker. Overall, the average compensation of fast-food CEOs has quadrupled since 2000. (Compensation includes salary, bonus and the value of exercised options.)

  • YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) CEO $22 million in 2013.
  • Chipotle’s CEO took home $13.8 million
  • McDonald’s CEO compensation totaled $7.7 million.

WESTERN SPECIFIC V. EASTERN HOLISTIC THINKING: Chinese people think from macro to micro, whereas Western people think from micro to macro. For example, when writing an address, the Chinese write in sequence of province, city, district, block, gate number. Westerners do just the opposite

  • The Americans focus on individual items separate from their environment, while the Asians give more attention to backgrounds and to the links between these backgrounds and the central figures.
  • Perhaps it’s not surprising. A traditional tenet of Western philosophies and religions is that you can remove an item from its environment and analyze it separately. Cultural theorists call this specific thinking.
  • Chinese religions and philosophies, by contrast, have traditionally emphasized interdependencies and interconnectedness. The Ancient Chinese thought in a holistic way, believing that action always occurs in a field of forces. The terms yin and yang (literally “dark” and “light”), for example, describe how seemingly contrary forces are interdependent.

While the Americans mentioned larger brightly-colored fish, the Japanese spoke more of the background & the interdependencies between objects. (HBR)