• BLS Jobs Report: 160,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment Steady at 5 Percent
    Hiring slowed in April, this morning's report from the Labor Department shows. Total nonfarm employment increased by 160,000 jobs, despite economists' earlier predictions that the report would reflect the addition of around 200,000 jobs to public- and private-sector payrolls. Unemployment remained at 5 percent.
  • #StarWarsDay: How to Use the Force to Boost Your Career
    "May the Fourth be with you." If you have any Star Wars fans in your life – and if you haven't, please pardon the rest of us as we electronically sidle away from you – you've probably already heard this a couple-hundred times this morning, counting online mentions. So you already know that today, May 4th, is a holy day for Star Wars fans and pun lovers everywhere. But what you probably don't know is that today is also an excellent day to think about what's missing in your career, and to set about fixing it. Forget your career bible of choice – what you need is The Force.
  • ADP Jobs Report: Private Sector Added 156,000 Jobs in April
    Private-sector job growth slowed in April, according to this month's report from payroll processor ADP, which showed private payrolls adding 156,000 jobs last month. Prior to this morning's report, economists polled by Reuters were predicting gains ranging from 116,000 to 225,000, with an average prediction of 196,000. The report shows the weakest job gains in three years.
  • French Office Worker Takes Former Employer to Court for Boring Him at Work
    Some people don't know how lucky they have it. Take, for example, the case of Frédéric Desnard, the former manager who's bringing his ex-employer, Interparfums, before an employment tribunal, claiming "bore out" – similar to burnout, "but less interesting," as The Guardian puts it. Terminated by the perfume company a year and a half ago, Desnard is now asking for over $400,000 in damages.
  • 5 Ways to Write a Horrible LinkedIn Recommendation
    Good LinkedIn recommendations do more than just tell prospective hiring managers and recruiters that you know your stuff – they might help those folks find your profile in the first place, by boosting your results in LinkedIn's search rankings. Bad LinkedIn recommendations, on the other hand, are worse than nothing at all. Think about it like you would any reference during a job interview process: if the person you've chosen to recommend you for a job doesn't have much good stuff to say about you, what does that mean about your skills and abilities?
  • #MondayMotivation: 5 Easy Ways to Get Excited About Your Career Again, Starting Today
    In times of career crisis – when you're unemployed, or facing major upheaval on the org chart – you probably long to be bored. Then things settle down, and you get into a routine, and boredom doesn't seem that great after all. The problem, of course, is that once you're feeling meh about your job or your career, it's hard to motivate to do anything about it. Taking a class or setting up networking coffees seems like an awful lot of work. It'd be easier to just put in your time at the old desk and then go home and start methodically working your way through your Netflix queue.
  • 3 Times It's OK to Lie at Work
    Even if you just started your first job yesterday, you probably know that it's generally a bad idea to lie on your resume, or about your salary history, or about your skills and abilities. Why? Very simply, it's because most liars get caught – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually, and publicly, and usually with a lot of embarrassing fallout. As Mark Twain once said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." Still, anyone who's ever spent time with someone who is 100 percent bluntly honest knows that a little truth-bending is sometimes an important part of professional life. Today, on National Honesty Day and in the spirit of irony, we offer you just a few times when it's OK to be less than truthful at work.
  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: Help! My Co-Worker Stole All the Good Vacation Days
    If you're interested in work-life balance issues, you've probably read your fair share of articles exhorting you to live in the moment and be here now and so on. There's just one problem: professional life demands that we live in the moment, and also live in next week, and also in six months from now. Take, for example, the problem of planning vacation time. To get it approved and not irritate your co-workers, you have to submit your request for summer fun while snow's still on the ground. Of course, even if you do that, there's no guarantee that you'll get what you asked for. For instance, your evil co-worker might get in ahead of you and scoop up all the good days. In this week's roundup, we look at advice for coping with that situation, plus job search tools you're probably overlooking, and how to grow your professional network without ignoring your personal life.
  • Why You Get Stuck in Conflicts at Work, According to a Harvard Negotiation Expert

    Why do even rational people get embroiled in conflicts they can't solve? The root cause, says Daniel Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, is an adversarial mindset called the Tribes Effect, in which conflicts turn into "me versus you, us versus them."

    "People think, 'Let's just be rational and we can resolve our differences, we can resolve our conflict,'" Shapiro says. "Not true. Unless you deal with the core psychology to the conflict, the mindset that's driving you and the other side in the conflict, unless you deal with that, the conflict will persist."

  • When You Can't Quit Your Horrible Job, Do These 5 Things
    Short of living with someone you can't stand – sorry, parents of surly teenagers and people with weird Craigslist roommates – there's nothing that will make you unhappier than hating your job. That's partly because most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours at work, and partly because work provides us with a sense of identity. What's the first question you ask someone at a party? Often, it's: "What do you do?"
  • The 5 Best High Schools in the U.S., According to U.S. News
    High school students in the U.S. have a college readiness problem. According to a report from testing organization ACT, only 40 percent of students taking the ACT met three or four college readiness benchmarks, which correlate with stronger likelihood of success in postsecondary education. However, taking college preparatory core curriculum classes increased students' chances of meeting these benchmarks; 49 percent of "core-taking" students met the math benchmark, for example, compared to 27 percent of non-core-taking students. In short, academic preparation in high school is essential to a good college experience – and a successful career after graduation.
  • #MondayMotivation: 5 Ways to Work in Sprints and Rescue Your Productivity
    If you pride yourself on being able to keep a lot of plates spinning at the same time, I'm about to blow your mind: you probably aren't a good multitasker. That's nothing against you. The fact is, most people can only do one thing at a time. The folks who seem to be managing it are really just switching tasks quickly. But, even those super-productive people would be better off focusing. In fact, research shows that task switching could cost up to 40 percent of a worker's productive time.
  • 3 Fast-Growing Green Jobs
    Want to help the environment and your career at the same time? This Earth Day, do more than recycling your disposable coffee cup and heeding your environmentally conscious co-worker's admonition to think twice before you print out emails. Consider a career change to a green job, and give yourself a better shot at job security while saving the planet at the same time. You'd be surprised at how relatively little specialized experience or education you need to change to some (although of course not all) greener occupations.
  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: Does Your Cover Letter Make You Sound Like a Robot?
    Strange as it might seem to most of us, there are people out there who love various parts of the job search process. Some like meeting new people, or feel energized by the interview process; others see exciting new potential in every networking connection or job posting. But even those job-searching Pollyannas would be hard-pressed to find an upside to one part of the process: writing a cover letter that grabs readers' attention, expresses their qualifications, and doesn't mindlessly repeat the same material as their resume. In this week's roundup, we look at one expert's advice on writing a cover letter that reads as if it's written by a human, plus a few reasons why your job hunt is stalled, and tips to make your resume stand out ... even when the hiring manager only takes eight seconds to skim it.
  • #WednesdayWisdom: 3 Salary Negotiation Tips From Self-Made Billionaires
    Take a look at Forbes' World Billionaires list, and one thing becomes apparent: the best financial advice is to be born into wealth. Nearly a third of the world's billionaires come from money, even if they've managed to boost the family fortunes by dint of hard work. If you've neglected to choose your parents well from a financial perspective, the good news of course it that two-thirds of today's billionaires were not born with a Black Amex burning hole in their wallet. Those are the folks to look to, for inspiration in your next salary negotiation (even if you never quite make Facebook-money).
  • Elon Musk's Annual Salary Is Less Than $40k, But Don't Lose Sleep on His Behalf
    According to a recent filing, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was entitled to a $37,584 salary last year. As usual, he didn't take it. (The Wall Street Journal reports that Musk never takes his salary.) However, lest you worry that everyone's favorite real-life Bond villain/superhero is going to have trouble making ends meet, rest assured that he'll probably be able to keep himself in video games; according to the same filing, Musk has achieved 50 percent of the goals required to earn him a $1.6 billion payday by 2022.
  • Is College Still Worth the Money?
    From 2004 to 2014, the average debt for graduating college seniors who took out loans rose at twice the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, the real value of workers' wages is 6.5 percent lower today than it was in 2006, and recent college graduates are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than they were prior to the recession. It's not unreasonable to look at the data and ask, "Is going to college a good investment for today's young workers?"
  • #MondayMotivation: 10 Quotes About Succeeding Despite the Odds
    Even if you love your job, Monday morning probably isn't your favorite time of the week. For those who supposedly work Monday through Friday, the first morning back after a weekend feels like an abrupt shift, sort of like a miniature version of returning to work after vacation, only without the Instagram-worthy memories. If you're having trouble envisioning success this morning, these quotes will inspire you to turn your thoughts in the right direction.
  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: Do I Have to Disclose That I Was Fired?
    Even if you're the best employee in the history of paid work, you might get fired at some point in your career. Sometimes, it's no one's fault: you turned out to be a bad fit for the role and vice versa. Other times, you might have made a mistake, and paid a steep price for it. But the worst scenario is the one that's not your fault at all – but that still potentially haunts your job search afterward. In this week's round-up, we look at what one career expert advises job seekers who've been fired, plus how to repair a damaged professional relationship and how to give tough feedback.
  • How to Quit Your Job Without Making Everyone Hate You
    The average worker has 12 jobs in the course of a career, which means that you can count on leaving a position about 12 times between the start of your working life and retirement. Ideally, most of those job changes will be voluntary, involving a jump to a better gig, with interesting new challenges and a bigger paycheck. But even if everything goes according to your best-laid plans, there's one hurdle you'll have to cross again and again in order to get to where you want to be in your career: you're going to have to quit your job.

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