This year, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week takes place from September 11 to 17, 2022. This event is an opportunity to celebrate truckers and their integral role in delivering goods safely, securely, and on time.
However, demand for truckers has skyrocketed in the past few years, leading to a shortage of qualified personnel. The American Trucking Association (ATA), which represents the trucking industry, estimates that the industry is short 80,000 drivers. That shortage is expected to grow to 160,000 by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to this shortfall as many older drivers chose early retirement, and training offered by driving schools was disrupted.
The good news is that the United States government is taking several measures to address these challenges. Initiatives are underway to improve working conditions, and innovative workforce programs are being developed to recruit, train, and retain drivers. Efforts are underway to recruit from underrepresented communities like women, the formerly incarcerated, and service-disabled veterans.
Are you cut out for a career in trucking?
If you want to explore a career as a trucker, you must be sharp-minded and thrive under stressful mental and physical conditions.
The trucking industry is known for its welcoming atmosphere. What’s more, pay has been increasing along with other benefits, making commercial drivers some of the best-paid individuals outside the office.
Trucking is definitely a career to consider if you’re adventurous, hardworking, and always up for a challenge.
Cities work to lure remote tech workers
Some tech workers are ditching San Francisco and other areas with high living costs and relocating to more affordable areas instead. And many cities are rolling out the red carpet, aiming to attract highly skilled workers, along with the knowledge and tax revenues they bring with them.
Many cities offer relocation bonuses and other perks to entice remote workers. Why should you choose Tulsa over Memphis? Well, for one, Tulsa could pay you $10,000 to move. The cities that are most aggressively courting remote workers have suffered contracting or slow-growing populations. By drawing in new workers, cities hope to grow their tax base and attract high-value industries, such as tech and engineering.
Tulsa is running one of the best-known programs, offering remote workers $10,000 grants and free access to co-working spaces. The local government also coordinates with other organizations to host events and to help newcomers feel welcomed. Since 2018, Tulsa Remote has drawn in over 1,200 remote workers.
Tulsa is far from alone. At least 70 cities and regions have set up similar programs. The Northwest Arkansas Council launched a Life Works Here initiative, also providing $10,000 grants. Tuscon, Arizona, provides $1,500 to cover relocation costs, plus other benefits. Meanwhile, Hamilton, Ohio, is offering STEM workers who relocate $10,000 that can be put towards paying off student loans.
Freelancing website UpWork estimates that 22 percent of the American workforce, over 36 million people, will be working remotely by 2025. An Owl Labs study found that 16 percent of companies are already fully remote globally. Even as offices open back up, the Pew Research Center has found that 61 percent of employees continue to work from home simply because they prefer to do so.
3 essential qualities for IT professionals
Whether you already work in information technology (IT) or are just starting your studies, here are three qualities essential to your success.
1. Analytical skills
As an IT employee, you’re often required to solve problems. Consequently, you must enjoy challenging yourself and looking for innovative solutions. You must also be inherently curious to stay updated with the latest technologies in a constantly evolving field.
2. Communication skills
IT specialists must be able to communicate with their colleagues and clients. This means you must be good at conveying your ideas, making yourself understood, and finding the best moments to do so.
3. Organizational skills
If you want to thrive in IT, you must have exceptional organizational skills. Depending on your job, your colleagues may regularly interrupt you and require you to switch gears constantly. Therefore, you must be well organized and able to multi-task to keep up with your workload.
Do you have these qualities? If so, you have everything you need for a long career in this promising field.
4 strategies for retaining your employees
As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it can be challenging to retain your employees. Here are four strategies to help keep your talent.
1. Focus on communication. Communicate openly with your employees. Listen to their concerns and be open to new ideas. Let them know they’re heard and that you take them seriously.
2. Think about development. Employees often quit because of a lack of advancement opportunities. Therefore, provide training so your employees can develop their potential, avoid boredom and take on new challenges.
3. Offer benefits. Ask your employees what your company could improve and add these to their benefits and perks. For example, you could include group insurance, paid holidays, yoga classes, flexible working hours, and telemedicine.
4. Get out of the office. Create opportunities for your employees to socialize and have fun in a context that doesn’t revolve around work. Use the opportunity to celebrate their successes.
Employee retention also depends on effective recruitment. Therefore, use a specialized agency to start your talent search today.
Tips for negotiating a salary proposal
Did you receive a job offer, but the salary is too low? Here are a few tips to help you negotiate a higher salary that matches your skills.
Companies tend to set their employees’ salaries based on specific criteria. Among other things, internal equity is typically a factor. This means your salary should be reasonable compared to other team members with the same position and level of seniority. The salary amount may also be based on the company’s budget and urgency to fill the position.
You’re much more likely to negotiate a higher salary if you’re the company’s first choice. If the recruitment process drags on or you feel like you’re one of many candidates on a waiting list, you may be a second or third choice. In this case, asking for a better salary could be futile.
Points to talk about
Some things, such as vacation days and working hours, are difficult to keep secret and can cause dissatisfaction or jealousy among colleagues. Therefore, you should focus on confidential aspects of the job, like your salary and a company computer or cell phone.
Whatever your proposal, end it with an open question like “What do you think?” to get the discussion going.
Immigrants: transfer your skills to boost your career
If you’ve recently immigrated to the United States, you may not be able to practice the trade you did in your home country immediately. This is especially true for certain industries and positions with specific requirements. However, you can work on transferring your skills to launch a new career without starting from scratch.
List your transferable skills
Analyze your past experiences and make a list of your skills and education. If a job posting catches your eye, read it carefully and determine how your experience matches what the company is looking for. Use this information to build a convincing application.
Get your credentials recognized
It’s a good idea to get a credential evaluation. An independent credential evaluation service can analyze your non-U.S. qualifications and compare them to similar qualifications in the U.S. education system, labor market, or specific professions. This’ll allow you to apply for jobs with special education or skill requirements.
Go back to school temporarily
Depending on what you want to do, you can register for a higher education course related to your field. You may also be able to obtain missing credits for a diploma or write an equivalency exam to validate your professional license.
Are you unsure where to start? Meet with a career counselor or recruiter to discuss your situation.
4 little-known jobs in agriculture
The agriculture industry is indispensable, affecting both food supply and tourism. It presents various interesting job opportunities, some of which are less well-known. Here are four that might surprise you.
1. Mushroom growers are responsible for managing mushroom and compost production. They must also follow quality control procedures. Their schedule is variable and depends on the needs of the crop.
2. Orchard pruners trim apple trees in the summer and winter. They’re seasonal workers and don’t have any specific training. It’s possible to quickly learn the ins and outs of pruning on the job with more experienced workers.
3. Big game and ratite (flightless bird) producers raise animals like bison, wild boar, deer, ostriches, emus, and rheas. They also manage production, administration, and marketing, among several other tasks.
4. Floriculture (flower farming) supervisors coordinate and verify the work done by horticultural workers. They also perform a variety of tasks to produce flowering and ornamental plants.
The wonderful world of agriculture is full of possibilities.