Women: Wear Makeup, Make More Money?

Generally speaking, women earn less than men (74 cents on the dollar, to be exact, or 97 cents if we look at men and women in similar jobs). They also spend more on grooming products ($15,000 on makeup alone, according to Mint). The latter fact has been called the Pink Tax, and it’s another example of how women are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to managing their professional lives. Why? Because it turns out that spending money on beauty products, far from a frivolous indulgence, might be a smart investment for women who want to make more money.

attractiveness premium

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Earlier this summer, a study in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that while attractive people make more money in general—20 percent more, in fact—women’s “attractiveness premium” was entirely due to grooming (makeup, hair-styling, etc.), while only half of men’s attractiveness premium was because of their grooming habits.

The study authors write that the findings “findings underscore the social construction of attractiveness, and in doing so illuminate a key mechanism for attractiveness premia that varies by gender.”

Is This Good News or Bad News?

The obvious upside to this research is that (almost) anyone can learn how to apply makeup and do their hair. The downside is that “women’s grooming,” in the gender-stereotypical sense, is a lot more expensive and labor-intensive than men’s, the beard trend notwithstanding.

Writing about the study, Ana Swanson at The Washington Post says:

“In a highly unscientific poll, 27 of my female colleagues at The Washington Post reported putting an average of five products on their face that morning, and keeping two additional pairs of shoes at their desk. The two male colleagues I asked averaged half a product and one extra shoe each.”

Bottom line: it probably makes sense for women who want to get ahead to pay attention to grooming, but that doesn’t mean that it’s fair—or that pay equity will come at the end of a makeup brush.

“It gives me another way to think of the mechanisms that are creating gender inequality in our society,” study author Jaclyn Wong said in a statement, reported by AOL. “It’s something that constantly sits in the back of my mind as I do my other work: what’s different for women that might not matter for men? What are some of the pressures women face that men don’t?”

Tell Us What You Think

Have you ever changed your appearance, and seen a pay increase as a result? Tell us about it at Twitter, or leave a comment.

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Research: Keeping Work and Life Separate Doesn’t Boost Productivity

There are a lot of reasons to keep your personal and professional lives separate, not least of which is the desire to have some downtime, untainted by work pressures. The problem is that modern working life is 24/7. When you can check your work email at 3 a.m. without getting out of bed, and make a doctor’s appointment on your tablet while sitting in a meeting, it’s hard to know when you’re working and when you’re off the clock.

cognitive role transitioningPersonal preferences for unplugged time aside, work-life balance experts often cite productivity concerns as a reason to keep the different parts of our lives separate. If you’re a working parent, you’re already familiar with problem: when you try to do two things, it’s hard to do both of them well. When those two roles occupy the same space and time, the way being a professional and being a parent often do in today’s world, it’s even harder to feel like you’re wholly devoted to one role or another. Now, research published in the journal Human Relations suggests that rigidly separating the two spheres, personal and professional, may come at the cost of productivity.

“To understand why, we need to understand a concept psychologists call a ‘cognitive role transition,’” writes David Burkus, author of Under New Management, at Harvard Business Review. “When you’re actively engaged in one role, but experience thoughts of feelings related to a different role, you’re experiencing a cognitive role transition. Often these transition are easy and fleeting (such as remembering a parent’s birthday during a night out with friends), but the more separate the roles in your life, the bigger than transition.”

Cognitive Role Transitioning and Self-Regulatory Depletion

In a study of 619 employees, researchers at Ball State University and Saint Louis University examined how cognitive role transitioning affected job performance.  Their research showed that workers with less segmented personal and professional lives were more likely to experience cognitive role transitions, but less likely to see negative impacts on their work. The difference lies in the way “self-regulatory depletion” affects job performance. When workers had less rigid boundaries, they expended less energy and experienced less stress switching back and forth.

If your boss wants you to do your best work, she’s better off letting you take that phone call from home.Click To Tweet

Exactly why employees with less defined boundaries were less depleted by the transition is up for debate.

“It could be that, because work and life are more closely integrated and less separate, it’s just easier for those individuals to push a home-related thought out of their mind, knowing they’ll be back in the home role sooner,” writes Burkus. “This may be why those employees in the study who had more blurred lines between work and life were the ones who experienced less disruption of job performance when home situations interrupted work time. However, it could also be that the more frequent role transitions makes it easier for those individuals to push the thought out of their mind with less willpower (almost like exercising a muscle).”

Regardless, it seems that if your boss wants you to do your best work, she’s better off letting you take that phone call from home.

“Overall, these findings suggest that integration, rather than segmentation, may be a better long-term boundary management strategy for minimizing self-regulatory depletion and maintaining higher levels of job performance during inevitable work–family role transitions,” the researchers write.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you prefer to keep work and life separate? Tell us on Twitter or leave a comment.

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The 4 Cities Creating the Most White-Collar Jobs

The professional and business services industry remains a strong part of the U.S. economy, adding jobs even when other sectors are weak, and offering significantly higher wages than other service-providing industries. In a recent piece for Forbes, Joel Kotkin and Mike Shires analyzed employment growth in professional and business services for 366 metro areas and ranked them. Let’s take a look at the big cities that came in at the very top of the list.

white-collar jobs

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  1. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee.

(Business services jobs: 16.39 percent.)

Although the current share of business services jobs in this region isn’t as high as other cities on the list, the job growth in this category since 2015 is 7.7 percent. What’s more, from 2010 to 2015, the growth in business services employment was 47.2 percent. The industry has been, and continues to be, on the rise in a big way, and white-collar workers would be smart to turn their attention to this region of Tennessee if they’re seeking new opportunities.

  1. San Francisco-Redwood City, California.

(Business services jobs: 25.21 percent.)

Just north of the traditional Silicon Valley region (see No. 4 on this list) this part of Northern California also stands as a beacon for white-collar industry and professionals. Although it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the country, San Francisco is also a wonderful place to lay down professional roots. It’s a good option for job seekers to consider, provided they can afford it.

  1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas.

(Business services jobs: 16.89 percent.)

With steady and impressive growth in business services employment since at least 2010, the Austin-Round Rock region lands at number three on the list of the best cities for white-collar jobs. It also landed at No. 22 on WalletHub’s list of the best cities for families in 2015, in large part due to a high “Education and Child Care Rank,” giving professionals just one more reason to consider a move to Austin-Round Rock.

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.

(Business services jobs: 20.98 percent.)

Silicon Valley may not have increased its number of business services jobs at the same rate as other regions on the list (6.7 percent increase in 2015, and a 36.4 percent increase since 2010) but there is still considerable growth. Also, with more than one in five jobs in the local economy stemming from the industry, this region remains one of the best areas for job seekers in this category.

For more information, see Forbes‘ list of the 15 big cities where white-collar employment is booming.

Tell Us What You Think

Did your city make the list? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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The 5 Fastest-Growing Dangerous Jobs of 2016

Every year, CareerCast releases a list of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., compiled by cross-referencing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Some of the jobs are what you’d expect: Firefighter makes the list, as does Police Officer and Emergency Medical Technician. Others, like Veterinarian or Farmer, might come as a surprise. All are essential to the health and safety of those of us who don’t brave heights, dangerous roadways, or actual fire in order to do our jobs.

dangerous jobs

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These are the five fastest-growing dangerous jobs on CareerCast’s list, together with PayScale data on median earnings and Bureau of Labor Statistics data on occupational outlook for each:

  1. Emergency Medical Technician: The fastest-growing occupation on this list, EMT comes with a host of job-related hazards, from traffic accidents to infection risks.

Median Annual Income: $36,342

Occupational Outlook: 24 percent

  1. Nursing Assistant: Nursing Assistants risk infection and injury in the course of their job. It’s also a physically grueling occupation, even on the best of days.

Median Annual Income: $29,777

Occupational Outlook: 17 percent

  1. Construction Laborer: Formal education beyond high school typically isn’t required to become a construction laborer, although those who work with hazardous materials might be required to obtain special training and licensure. Other on-the-job hazards include heights and injuries related to the use of job-specific equipment.

Median Annual Income: $38,576

Occupational Outlook: 13 percent

  1. Taxi Driver: Fatalities have fallen for taxi drivers since the 1990s, according to CareerCast, but this is still a dangerous job, with risks including robbery and assault.

Median Annual Income: $24,820

Occupational Outlook: 13 percent

  1. Veterinarian: The highest earning and perhaps most unexpected entry in CareerCast’s list, Veterinarians make the ranking due to the risks of working with animals, who are unpredictable even when they’re not ill.

Median Annual Income: $72,709

Occupational Outlook: 9 percent

Read CareerCast’s full list of the most dangerous jobs of 2016. Want to see the safest jobs, instead? Check out that list, here.

Tell Us What You Think

Were you surprised by any of these jobs? Talk to us on Twitter or leave a comment.

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Here’s How Many Jobs Have Come From Kickstarter Funding

Without Kickstarter, the world may never have been introduced to ingenious ideas like Oculus Rift, Coolest Cooler, and especially Exploding Kittens (what??). Although about 9 percent of Kickstarter campaigns fail, a whopping 91 percent of projects are successful. With such a high success rate and vast popularity, you have to wonder how these numbers translate in terms of economic impact.

kickstarter jobs

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Lucky for you, Ethan Mollick, assistant professor of management at the Wharton School of Business, took on the task and conducted a study called Containing Multitudes: The Many Impacts of Kickstarter Funding, published July 11, 2016. In his research, Mollick discovered just how much Kickstarter has impacted the economy. His findings are pretty incredible.

Personal Impact

The beauty of Kickstarter is that virtually anyone can start a campaign, and, despite what many may think, you definitely don’t have to be financially set to get started. In fact, Mollick found that creators earned a mean salary of $48,297 before Kickstarter and 39 percent were employed full-time. You don’t need to have a million-dollar idea or be the next Mark Zuckerberg, either — although, it probably wouldn’t hurt you if you did or were.

But, money isn’t the only reason to participate. Sixty-seven percent of creators said they felt that they were creating something important, while 53 percent felt that they were producing something that would help a community.

One thing’s for sure, Kickstarter proved to be beneficial to the creators’ careers and earnings. In fact, a third of creators said that their Kickstarter projects helped them advance in their careers. What’s more, 60.1 percent of the “successful” Kickstarter creators expressed that their projects “helped fulfill a dream” — and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Economic Impact

Kickstarter isn’t just good for personal and professional growth, it’s also great for the economy. Since its inception in 2009 on through May of 2015, Kickstarter has formed roughly “4,994 new formal organizations (companies or partnerships)” and generated “non-crowdfunding revenues of about $3.4B.” This translates to an average of $2.46 of revenue for each dollar pledged towards campaigns.

As for jobs, the study found that Kickstarter created an estimated 5,135 new, ongoing jobs (not including creators) and 160,425 temporary jobs from 2009 to May of 2015.

Kickstarter’s economic impact is sure to continue to rise now that it has partnered with Amazon “to bring 300 projects to the retailer’s crowd-funding portal, Launchpad,” reports Mashable. If you’ve ever had a wild and crazy dream that you know will make a difference in the world, then now’s the time to go big or go home. Ready, set, LAUNCH!

Tell Us What You Think

Have you or anyone you know had a Kickstarter success story? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Join the conversation happening on Twitter, or leave your comment below.

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