Category: Careers

Is the BYOD Movement Unfair To Lower Income Employees?

devices

Bring your own device (BYOD) is a workplace policy that encourages employees to access work systems and information on their own personal devices. Typically this includes laptops, tablets, mobile phones or desktop computers. The movement began as an opportunity for workers to use their own devices which they were familiar with and allow greater access to company information to increase convenience and productivity. Slowly, however, there is a growing concern that these policies may become standard and employers could begin forcing their employees to comply with BYOD and use their own devices for work everyday. This is a dangerous policy, and one that could potentially harm lower income employees.

Expensive

The obvious reason this could be unfair to lower income employees is because it forces them to invest in technology they cannot comfortably afford. Desktop computers are much more cost-effective than laptops but cannot easily be transported to and from work each day. Using personal devices for work will also cause greater wear and tear on an employees personal device, which could lead them to be forced to pay out of pocket for repairs or replacement devices sooner than otherwise planned. It is also likely that employees will be forced to own a device from a short list of pre-approved phones, laptops and tablets. This could force lower income employees who could not afford the latest and greatest to upgrade their equipment immediately to something outside of their price range. It would also cause low income employees who cannot afford multiple devices to be forced into using a device they would not otherwise choose for their personal device since they are pigeon-holed into owning a device supported by their company. Many employees may not be able to afford smart phones, which have become more commonplace, but are still much more expensive than their basic counterparts. Even if an employee is able to afford a smartphone, having to do a great amount of work on them may require them to upgrade their data plan and raise their monthly bill. A $20 or $30 a month increase doesn’t seem like a great deal but for employees on a strict budget it could cause undue stress.

Potential Disadvantages

In a company where BYOD isn’t mandatory but encouraged there are still potential disadvantages for lower income employees. Employees who cannot upgrade to top of the line equipment will be at a disadvantage to their work counterparts and could be forced to work on inferior equipment which could limited their productivity. Without access to devices like tablets and state of the art smart phones they will also be at a significant disadvantage since working remote from home and checking in while on the go will be much more difficult for them. It is quite possible, if not likely, that such employees will find themselves much less productive overall compared to their counterparts who can afford such technologies. There are many benefits to the bring your own device movement and a company that can properly implement and manage it will be able to provide its employees with greater convenience and opportunities for productivity. It is critical, however, to make sure they do not alienate their low income employees during the process, and that could prove a tricky task for even the most savvy company.

Ready For That Interview: 8 Job Saving Tips

jobinterviewGetting ready for a job interview is taxing enough without having to worry about your appearance. Once you make sure you dressed the part and your entire presence radiates success, you can relax and start focusing on providing succinct but impressive answers that will make you stand out.

First Tip: One of the most important parts of dressing for your job interview is finding appropriate clothes that fit you properly. Watch out for too small shirt collars, gaping buttonholes, shrunken suit sleeves or trouser legs, and bizarre colors. In general, your performance should make you memorable, not your clothing.

Second Tip: No matter what position you interview for, you must always have a small pack of paper tissue with you. You never know when you will need to sneeze, cough, or simply wipe your hands. Mishaps happen, be prepared.

Third Tip: You can be certain that somebody at some point during your interview will look at the shoes you are wearing. This should not make you self-conscious, but it should prompt you to arrive in squeaky clean, well-polished footwear. Your shoes must also be comfortable, but they need not to be brand new or of the latest fashion.

Fourth Tip: You might be a sharp dresser or a flamboyant personality by nature, but interviewing for a new position is not the time to express your extravagant dress-sense. Tone down your accessories to the bear minimum, and opt for more conventional pieces that enhance rather than overshadow your presence.

Fifth Tip: Nothing can provoke stronger emotions in newly acquainted people than bad haircuts. Flowing hairstyles, unkempt manes, strange coiffures are all red lights interviewers look for. Do not be let down by your hair. Get a fitting haircut close before your interview and make sure you know how to properly style it.

Sixth Tip: There are many people who are allergic to strong scents and your interviewer might just be one of them. Do not give them the opportunity to dismiss you just because you were heavy handed with your cologne or perfume. Choose light, fresh scents and apply half the amount you usually use.

Seventh Tip: Scents are not the only odors that can be offensive to other people. Many job candidates forget to freshen their breaths before they meet their interviewers. Coffee, tea, smoking and even not talking for a while can cause bead breath, and a whiff of bad odor is not impression you wish to make.

Eight Tip: Regardless of your gender, body shape, and occupation, you must go to your job interview carrying an appropriate bag. This means you need a bag that is comfortable; the right size for your purposes, and does not require you to make special accommodations. Arriving to your interview laden with your shopping would be inappropriate for instance, or carrying a miniature backpack might seem equally strange.

All in all, you do not want to spend more time on preparing what to wear than what to say at your interview, but you also need to put some thought into composing your appearance. You must project a confident, professional, and positive persona in order to draw your interviewer in from the moment you meet. Dressing the part will help you act the part and that is what you need to do to get the job.

The Truth About Becoming A Professional Gamer

Becoming a professional gamer is often on a list of dream careers for people who love games and show a talent for the form. But that dream is often a complicated one — with only a small percentage of players making the cut to “professional” status, and of those only a handful achieving something resembling a long-term career. Still, the prospect of doing a job that you love has got many people wondering what the outlook is like for someone wanting to take a chance in the world of eSports.

professional-gamerLike any professional endeavor, there is a question as to whether innate talent or hard work matters more in gaining professional achievement –– but when looking at those who have accomplished big results across a range of fields it would seem that whatever the role of talent, it is often trumped by sheer hard work and practice.

Indeed, the old adage that “practice” is the way to get to Carnegie Hall isn’t just old-fashioned advice: Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has suggested through his research that there is something called the “10,000 Hour Rule,” of which he believes there is a requisite amount of work — about 10,000 hours — that it takes for someone to master a task. It’s the kind of time commitment, reduced of course if you’ve been gaming for many years, but intimidating nonetheless, that might make you stop to think about the potential downsides of this career track.

When something you love becomes something you have to do, many find that passion is quick to leave. It’s the sort of curse of having too much of a good thing: Many of us find that our favorite activities are a form of play and a relief from the stress of work. When that relief becomes a form of stress it can become a frustrating experience.

So, like the Beatles, who played back-to-back sets in small clubs for hours upon hours and years upon years — and through this practice became extremely successful — Gladwell might suggest that becoming a professional gamer is within the grasp of those who would seek out its possibilities as well as grueling challenges, with the caveat that the hours and dedication one would have to put in are immense and often lacking in rewards.

There’s also the downside of job security as a professional gamer: when you’re self-employed, even as a professional, the lack of benefits (or even a guarantee of work months down the line) creates a “feast or famine” environment, in which one can be reaping financial rewards one month and have a steady stream of income dry up the next. For these reasons, another old saying, “Don’t quit your day job,” is one way of having the sort of reliability of income that a self-employed gamer might not.

In this way, learning tasks that build on skills used in gaming — an understanding of how computing, coding and design works, for example — can be a few extra arrows in a professional gamer’s quiver that will allow them to bring in extra income when times are lean.

So for these reasons, educating yourself about the benefits and downsides of being a professional gamer — and knowing the kind of sacrifices that you’ll have to make — is a key component in putting your foot in the professional water, so to speak. Whatever you do, remember that the values of hard work and honesty will always be of help.