Category: Liz Suman
Forty-two percent of all Americans believe in ghosts, according to a 2013 Harris Poll. With such a significant portion of the population having a vested interest in paranormal phenomena, there are plenty of opportunities for someone interested in pursuing a career in the world of the undead. (Just ask Google.) But aside from the obvious requirement of chasing demonic spirits around New York City in a cool car with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, what exactly does a job as a ghostbuster entail, and how does one go about getting one?
PayScale recently gave readers a look inside some of the coolest offices around the globe. After conducting extensive research and drooling over countless worthy contenders, we narrowed the list to a handful of creative and unusual spaces, including the live orange grove of Google Tel Aviv, the James Bond-esque Cold War bunker offices of Swedish Internet provider, Bahnhof, and the vintage carousel horses at Ogilvy & Mather's Guanghzou, China outpost. To follow up on our list of incredible office spaces abroad, we compiled the following stateside edition outlining the most unbelievable offices right here in the U. S. of A. (and one in Canada). Prepare for a major case of office envy — the only antidote to which is the solace you can take from knowing how hard it must be to get actual work done in offices this cool.
Seventy-six percent of 2,600 people polled in a recent FlexJobs survey chose anywhere but the office during work hours as the ideal place to get "important work done." According to the company's 4th Annual Super Survey, which asked respondents to choose "their location of choice to be most productive on important work-related projects," 50 percent chose their home, and 12 percent chose an alternate location such as a coffee shop, library, or co-working space.
A new wave of tech companies has started to publicly prioritize diversity by giving it its own job title. Many of tech's big guns, including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Apple, and Google already consider diversity efforts worthy of an in-house point person, according to HR Dive.
Earlier this year, PayScale told the story of A. K. Verma, an Indian civil servant who managed to avoid coming to work for 24 years before eventually getting fired for "willful absence of duty" in January 2015. Though his case, a byproduct of India's tough-to-penetrate labor laws, is shocking, Verma is not the only employee who has been paid to do nothing. Plenty of workers have found themselves in situations in which they are paid not to work.
Football's most famous fans may finally be getting a voice. After years of NFL cheerleaders enduring embarrassingly low pay and overall poor treatment, working conditions seem to be improving. As a recent New York Times article noted, "The cultural dial is turning." So, what exactly is changing, and why?
Professional mermaid-ing is a highly specialized, fiercely competitive job that's swimming with a school of inner child-thrilling rewards, pun most definitely intended. Depending on a mermaid's employer, location, and experience, job perks can include working with children, wearing incredibly ornate uniforms, getting paid to dance underwater, and swimming with jellyfish (and sometimes sharks) on a routine basis. Though mermaid gigs are largely unadvertised, there are a surprisingly large number of opportunities to fashion a career as a real-life Ariel.
Forty-six percent of new hires don't last longer than 18 months, primarily due to "poor interpersonal skills," according to a study by leadership training company Leadership IQ, despite the fact that candidates are arguably more qualified than ever before. Certainly, they're more educated: 873,000 Americans are projected to earn master's degree in 2016/17 (a more than 50 percent rise since 1997), according to the U.S. Department of Education. The bottom line is that a candidate's resume isn't the only — and at times not even the most important — predictor for staying power or long-term success.
A recent Deloitte study based on 140 years of England and Wales census data found that technology has produced more new jobs than made existing ones obsolete. This is particularly true of "caring" occupations that require cognitive thinking, such as nurses and teachers, as opposed to "muscle power" occupations, such as weavers and metal-makers, which are more easily replaced by machinery. In other words, as long as we have brains and do our best to maximize their potential, we may not need to be terrified that we will be replaced by robots. While it's important to keep in mind that the Deloitte economists' assessment is limited to the U.K. workforce and thus not necessarily indicative of larger global trends, the study's findings do paint an overall rosier picture of technology's impact on human-occupied occupations in comparison to other recent studies.
Forget kids! Why nanny for human offspring when you could be spending your time with baby panda cubs instead? A handful of organizations, including the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in the Sichuan province of southwest China, actually employ a category of workers known as panda nannies, the primary responsibility of whom, as the job title suggests, is to play with painfully adorable panda cubs.
The short answer is "yes." It's also "no" and "it depends." The recent New York Times critique of Amazon's work culture — the most commented-on piece in the publication's history — has resulted in a firestorm of both backlash and support from the media and tech titans. Former and current Amazon employees have chimed in, sharing views and experiences that both support and negate the Times' claim that Amazon is a company guilty of "conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions."
The use of polarized language as a source of polarized ideas is nothing new. A classic case in point: The Quiz. Though the decision to have a career, a spouse, and/or children is clearly an individual and entirely subjective one, magazines throughout time have provided readers with the sometimes dangerous ability to define their identity, beliefs, and capabilities on the basis of arbitrary questions about life choices. Though such quizzes are silly and pointless when taken literally, comparing the gender-related values represented in contemporary women's magazine quizzes to those that showed up in publications from the 1950s is an interesting exercise that shows how views of women and their careers have shifted, and, for the most part, improved.