The Brief: Whole Foods Really Wants Your Love

The Brief will be off celebrating Presidents’ Day on Monday. We’ll see you right back here on Tuesday, February 16! 

STEM & The City

Looking for a job in STEM? Hope you are living in Bethesda, Maryland. For the second year in a row, Bethesda has taken the top spot for cities with the highest paying STEM jobs, according to SmartAsset. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study looked at the average pay for 40 different STEM professions in more than 400 of the country’s largest metro areas. San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Oakland, and San Jose rounded out the top five. The study also found that math and engineering jobs actually pay more than jobs in tech, even though it tends to get most of the glory. Statisticians, mathematicians, and nuclear engineers are especially well-paid, earning about $130,000 on average in many of the list’s top cities. [Related: Levo’s 2015 STEM Salary Report]

Valentine’s Day Does Not Love Your Bank Account

Speaking of cities, if you live in Kansas, expect to shell out a lot of dough this weekend. According to a survey by, respondents in Kansas spent the most on their partner on Valentine‘s Day, with an average of $117 toward gifts, followed by Nevada ($112), Idaho ($111), and North Dakota ($108). If you live in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, or Maine, you will have plenty of money for the rest of the week, because the survey says you don’t spend that much on V-Day. Men are expected to dole out nearly twice as much as women, with average expenses totaling $196.39, compared with women’s $99.87. And if you don’t have a special someone in your life at the moment, do what Japanese women do on this holiday and spread the love to your friends, family, and coworkers. Because who doesn’t deserve some chocolate, flowers, and wine? [Related: When Is It OK for Networking to Turn into a Date?]

Milk, Eggs, Tattoo

And you thought Uber delivering your lingerie was a time-saver. Now, Whole Foods will be providing the ultimate Millennial time-saver by way of new, slightly cheaper stores called “365,” some of which include tattoo parlors. Because, hey, young people love tattoos and organic brands! “We don’t see any reason why we can’t…participate in that part of the market as well with our 365 by Whole Foods offer—it’s going to be unique,” Walter Robb, the co-CEO of Whole Foods, told Bloomberg. These stores will also have body care products and record stores in case you don’t feel like getting a tattoo that day but still feel like, you know, doing young people things. Will they also hand out complimentary selfie sticks when you walk through the door? [Related: The Millennials Guide to Doing Your Taxes]


Levo #POTD (Profile of the Day)

Meet Jodi-Ann Wray, a banking officer and senior quantitative risk management analyst. She is passionate about all things finance (personal and corporate) as well as music. Check out her profile here. Then discover more must-see profiles on Levo’s Front & Center.

Levo Loves…

Room star Jacob Tremblay showing off his best red carpet faces including Blue Steel on Conan. This will brighten up your day! Watch it here.

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8 Hiring Managers Share Their Best and Worst Interview Stories

8 Hiring Managers Share Their Best and Worst Interview Stories


If you just flubbed an interview—you showed up late, you let out a curse word, or you answered an early question poorly and that threw off your game entirely—try to let it go. You generally can’t get a do-over. But, you can take comfort that hiring managers have seen worse. Much worse.

You can also plan that next time, you’ll step up your game and do things that have impressed hiring managers. Here, eight hiring managers share their best and worst interview stories, starting with the doozies.

[Related: 6 Surprising Interview Questions—And How to Answer Them]


“She applied, but she didn’t want to come in to interview.”

“I once had a candidate tell me she could not interview for a position because she was busy all day canning green beans.” —Carlie Meyer, branch manager, Robert Half Finance and Accounting

“He showed up for the interview soaking wet.”

On a particularly rainy day, I interviewed a gentleman who forgot an umbrella and arrived for his interview completely soaked. Even after endeavoring to dry off in the restroom, he was still dripping wet and couldn’t focus and didn’t answer any questions well. And I felt compelled to keep handing him tissues.” —Alyssa Gelbard, founder of Resume Strategists Inc.

[Related: 9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers]

“Her attire spoke for her sense of good judgment.”

“A female job seeker arrived wearing a backpack that looked like a stuffed animal.” —Sheena Neal, division director, OfficeTeam

“He brought his guitar.”

“One of my most memorable interviews was with a marketing candidate who thought it would be clever to bring in his guitar and perform an original song during the interview. The song lyrics were about how badly he wanted the position and what he could bring to the table. He sang so loud that others throughout the office could hear him. It was quite awkward, to say the least. Ultimately, we passed on the applicant, but it was definitely an interview for the books.” —Manijeh Noori, project manager at The Zebra



“She was extremely polished, every step of the way.”

“Not only did she impress the recruiter who screened her prior to my interview with her, but she impressed me as well. She had clearly thought about how to interview, and she answered the behavioral based interview questions with strong examples. She was clear and concise with her answers and very polished and professional with her approach. I was trying to add a strong facilitator to the team and she demonstrated through her demeanor and examples that she was that person. By the time we did her demo by videoconference, she was the leading candidate and got the job.” —Laurie D Battaglia, founder of Living the Dream Coaches, former VP of Learning and Development at Wells Fargo

[Related: 3 Things That Will Make Hiring Managers Want You]

She showed up with a sample project specific to our company.”

“She wrote out a new social media campaign with an estimated number of new customers we could reach. She also had a media contact list, with highlighted reporters whom she already contacted and would be interested in covering a story about our company. The applicant not only impressed me in the interview with her professional demeanor but that she already started taking action. I had told her that there were other applicants I was still interviewing, yet she gave me the social media campaign and the contact information of those reporters. People who are interviewing for a position forget that they need to do something special, bring something that others don’t have. My applicant did.” —Leeyen Rogers, VP of Marketing at JotForm

“She made checking her references really easy for me.”

“When a candidate handed me her list of references (along with corresponding letters of recommendation), she stated ‘I have called each and every one of these references and apprised them that you would be calling soon. All are waiting for your call and happy to assist me in my job search.’ This candidate showed that she did her due diligence. And when I called her references, they were outstanding.” —Kelly Workman, vice president, OfficeTeam

“Her questions were so on point, as if she was already part of our team.”

“I recently interviewed a young woman for a junior role at QuadJobs. It quickly became clear that she’d done her homework and spent a lot of time on our site understanding the user experience, and she had some great questions about goals and key metrics. Some were the same questions we often ask ourselves at weekly meetings. I couldn’t believe how on the pulse she was.” —Audra Newman, founder of QuadJobs

Photo: Getty Images

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Books to read in your 20s

A Book to Read Each Year of Your 20s

Getting through your 20s in one piece is no mean feat. You experience some of the best times of your life—like college, new friends, romance, and the excitement that your prospective future brings. On the other hand, there is also heartbreak, school and work pressure, and looming adulthood. These 10 books are perfect for each year of the growing process and are reminders that you are certainly not alone in trying to figure it all out!

Age 20: Fangirl

Fangirl is a romantic comedy about a young woman starting college who must deal with roommates, love interests, being away from family, and a disagreeable professor. She has always escaped reality by reading and writing fan fiction but now is faced with the challenge of putting down the proverbial fangirl pencil and writing her own real-life story instead.

[Related: Books from Your Favorite YouTube Stars]

Age 21: The Bell Jar

Twenty-one is the age when the reality of graduation and the ending of the college era really kicks in. We have to start thinking about internships, jobs, and the future. Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar captures the darker side of dealing with growing up and facing the world — so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of what’s to come, this book will definitely make you feel less alone.

Age 22: Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults

Cowritten by two best friends fresh out of college, Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults covers all the postgraduate bases: love and heartbreak, excitement and disappointment, and how friendship got them through it all.

Age 23: The Best of Everything

The Best of Everything, a 1958 novel by Rona Jaffe, follows a group of young people who work at a publishing company in New York and comically (as well as accurately) depicts the struggles women face in the job world and in their personal lives then and even half a century later now.

Age 24: Life After Life

What if you could do it all over again until you finally got it right? The protagonist of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life is given this chance. In this historical fiction, a young woman is reborn over the course of half a century and has the ability to change things for the better each time.

[Related: 7 Women Who Inspired Best-Selling Books]

Age 25: I Don’t Care About Your Band

Anyone who has ever been on a date in their 20s (or their lives) can relate to I Don’t Care About Your Band, a memoir that candidly reflects on the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the world of dating after college.

Age 26: Girls in White Dresses

Jennifer Close’s Girls in White Dresses follows a group of girlfriends in their 20s who — while dealing with heartbreak, family problems, and career changes — must also watch as everyone they know (or so it seems) gets married.

Age 27: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing

A collection of loosely linked stories, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing finds comedy in the ordinary struggles of a girl growing up, becoming a woman, and dealing with everything that goes along with that hilarious, difficult, and personal process.

Age 28: She’s Come Undone

She’s Come Undone chronicles a woman’s struggles with family, weight, and relationships and is both touching and comical in its portrayal of a heroine who tries to find strength within in herself to rise above both the consequences of her own decisions and the hand she has been dealt.

Age 29: Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things is essentially all you need to know about everything, ever. Cheryl Strayed, the voice behind Dear Sugar and the bestselling author of Wild, shares a collection of columns and quotes that put the ups and downs of life into heartfelt and humorous perspective.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR. Also read: 7 Habits of Extremely Punctual People

Photo: Getty Images

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missing the me before the mom

Missing the “Me” Before the “Mom”

It feels a bit poetic that I write this blog entry from the friendly skies high above the world below, on my first overnight trip away from my little girl.

Once the 20-something career road warrior, deftly navigating numerous airports in a week, to now, the 30-something new mom who is discovering the freedom of air travel without baby and a monumental entourage of stuff.

It is one of the first few moments of quiet and non-touching that I have experienced in a long time, and in these quiet moments I once again feel a bit of freedom mixed with a side of guilt that I am actually enjoying this moment being me—not mom—but me.

[Related: Defining Your Own Happiness as a Working Mom]

It took me a while for me to get here – to this place where I allow myself to admit that I have changed, and to allow myself to miss the me before the mom.

Two years ago, I started my new role at my dream organization. I was excited for my new adventure to join the all female executive recruiting firm focused on working with nonprofits doing great in the world. I took two weeks off between roles and detoxed from my previous employer and enjoyed much needed time off. I started my new role, wide-eyed and ready to tackle this new chapter in my life.

Little did I know that I was not starting my new role alone; I was growing a new little life and a new identity for myself as well. Two weeks in, while positive that I had the illness of the current client search I was working on, I was shocked to see the little pink line appear on the pregnancy test.

Some of my thoughts after the initial, “Oh wow, this is happening,” were, “What about my career? My job? My airline status (funny but kind of true!)?”

Ten months later, I welcomed into the world a new reality that came in the form of a rosy-cheeked beautiful baby girl. What I didn’t realize was that with the new arrival marked the departure of another life and identity that I needed to acknowledge and grieve.

As the days of maternity leave ticked away, I grew anxious to return to my job. Internally there was a battle brewing over wanting to continue to be the full time mother versus the woman who missed working with nonprofits to find their leaders and enjoyed having an organized calendar of events that were far more predictable than a three-month old’s daily needs.

[Related: Never Say THIS to a Woman Who Just Came Back from Maternity Leave]

When I returned to work, I threw myself into the work trying to prove to my company, and more to myself, that I was not only the same kick-butt worker as before but even better now because I had birthed a baby. After a month of this grind, I was exhausted, depleted, and feeling as if I was failing on all fronts—wife, mother, and employee.

And then I was gifted with a conversation with the founder of my company that shifted everything for me. Katie called me into her office and asked me how things were going and I gave my well-practiced answer that everything was over all good and that I was working really hard and trying to find the balance.

[Related: 6 People Every Working Mom Needs]

Katie, a seasoned mother of two, saw straight through my answer. She leaned in close and shared the following words that I will remember forever:

“One of the hardest things that I have ever been through is when my mother died, but the second hardest loss that I experienced was the loss of the woman that I was before I had children. It is okay to say it is hard, and it is okay to grieve the woman that you were. You are not selfish, you are not less than, you do not have to prove yourself to us, you just need to be.”

And with those words, the floodgate of emotions erupted, and I felt allowed to grieve. I went through all five stages of grieving:

  • DENIAL — unable to accept that I was any different or couldn’t attack my work as before my daughter was born,

  • ANGER — angry that I felt expected to be everything to everyone, angry that there were not enough private pumping rooms, angry that I was touched out and guilty for not always finding the beauty of new motherhood

  • BARGAINING — stretching myself to the point of exhaustion to keep all the plates spinning at the detriment to self

  • DEPRESSION — feeling like I was failing everyone

  • ACCEPTANCE — (finally!) which came with embracing the good, bad, and the ugly of the new stage of my life and to love myself with the sweet admiration and grace that I feel with every snuggle of my daughter.

The freedom to grieve the woman that I was and embrace the woman that I am is a daily exercise in patience and love. As I packed for my first overnight trip away, I cried and thought of all the what if’s to going away but as I quickly passed through security with only one bag and then leisurely sauntered through the airport with hot coffee in hand, I remembered that I’m still the road warrior but now I just have new tricks up my sleeve.

Jackie Hanselmann Sergi is an executive recruiter with KOYA Leadership Partners in Portland, Oregon, loving wife, and a proud mom of one sweet little girl.

This article originally appeared on Maybrooks

Photo: Getty Images

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The Brief: The Latest Findings on Office Romances May Shock You

Love @ Work

Though television makes it look so easy and fun to have an office crush (it also helps when your crush is played by John Krasinski) office romances are tricky IRL. In’s Annual Office Romance Survey, more than half of business professionals surveyed said they’d had some version of a romantic workplace relationship. Which industry is getting the most action? That would be hospitality, as well as the tourism industry, which ranked highest among industries where office romances are most common. They were followed by consumer products, retail and advertising,  government, human resources (ironic, huh?), and technology. But don’t expect romance if you are going into biotech or pharmaceuticals. As for who has dated who, 16 percent of survey respondents who’ve engaged in an office romance have dated their supervisor, and 23 percent said they’d dated a junior staffer. Oh, and before you point a finger at Millennials, it is actually the older generations that are pursuing office romances more. Well, what do you know? [Related: How to Deal With an Office Romance]

Credit Where Credit Is Due

If you work on a big team, are you really getting the credit you deserve? That is what Heather Sarsons, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in economics, wanted to figure out when it came to women and men working in groups. She found that women seem to get less credit when working in teams, especially if the team is comprised of mostly men. Sarsons decided to look at what happens after female economists co-authored papers with men. She found that women who are the solo authors on their papers have about the same chance of receiving tenure as a man, but women who coauthor more have a much lower chance of reaching the tenure level. She got these results even after controlling for things like productivity differences, school, year of tenure, field, and coauthor selection. “My hope for this paper is not that women work in groups less,” Sarsons explained. “It is to bring attention to the fact that people might unconsciously be assigning credit for things differentially.” [Related: Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling Reveal the Hardest Part About Collaboration]


You know when you’re at work and you suddenly need lingerie? No? You mean you, like 99.9 percent of the population, have never been in that situation? Well, UberRUSH seems to think you will be soon. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, starting tomorrow UberRUSH will deliver Manhattan residents new lingerie whenever they may need it. What’s cool is the lingerie is from Naja, a company co-owned by Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez. But still, Uber, what will you think of next? No, seriously. I am scared of what they will think of next. [Related: What It’s *Really* Like to Be a Female Uber Driver]

Interesting Things (in a Sentence or Two)

Has The Fashion Week Runway Had Its Day? (Daily Beast)

Katie Holmes is on a Mission To Humanize Mental Illness (

What 12 Successful People Do During Their Morning Routine (Levo)

Levo #POTD (Profile of the Day)

Meet Brittany Neish, Community Curator & Connector in Cleveland, Oh. She connects brands, people and organizations to form meaningful and dynamic partnerships that create a mission-driven impact! Check Out Her Profile Here. Then Discover More Must-See Profiles On Levo’s Front & Center.

Levo Loves…

That today Poshmark, the largest community marketplace for fashion, is introducing Boutiques, a new section featuring a curated selection of diverse boutiques stocking brand new merchandise from emerging and independent fashion brands. “Poshmark is changing the industry landscape for independent fashion brands,” said Tiffany Ishiguro, co-founder of the brand t+j Designs. “We went from an unknown brand on the marketplace to trending in just 30 days. Poshmark’s social sellers have distributed our products all across the country, proving to be a highly effective channel to get in front of millions of shoppers, especially the hard to reach Millennial.”

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most-googled jobs

Here Are the Jobs Your State Googles for the Most

When it comes to looking for jobs, many of us turn to Google to give us insight on the occupation we want—and want to learn more about. Zippia, a career-finding site, recently used Google Trends to research which jobs each state Googled more than any other.

[Related: The Most Searched Word on Job Boards]

Minnesotans, for example, Google-searched for lumberjacks more than any other state. Of course, for some states, the results are kind of snoozy, like in Colorado, where the most common search was for account manager. But it turns out, many of us have a secret desire to be or just know more about being professional cuddlers, tornado chasers, and pirates.

It might be an understatement to say Google searches—like what your state Googled for generally in 2015—can get pretty hilarious. Zippia listed the winner for each state, along with some other potential “winners” they didn’t include on the map since some states like California and New York had too many to count. Here are some of our faves:

1. Arizona: If you live in Arizona, you’re more likely than any other state to Google beekeeper and life coach gigs. And if you’re really serious about beekeeping and not just Googling it for fun, you can find plenty of organizations in the Grand Canyon State, such as the Phoenix Beekeepers Club and the Northern Arizona Organic Beekeepers Association.

2. Florida: Diagnostic medical sonographer isn’t really a strange gig to Google, but body painter and cave diver definitely rank up there. Of course, sunny Florida has plenty of places for diving.

3. Louisiana: Louisiana residents apparently want nothing to do with sitting inside an office—they prefer to be out among nature as zookeepers.

4. Kentucky: People in Kentucky google tree hugger more than any other state. Who’s gonna tell ’em that the job doesn’t pay well… or at all?

5. Michigan: If you’ve ever been to Michigan, you know it’s home to some breathtaking lighthouses, and residents here are very interested in learning more about being lighthouse keepers.

6. Missouri: This state is known for wild weather, so it makes sense that residents here would be intrigued by chasing tornadoes.

7. New Hampshire: Vegetarians, beware: New Hampshire residents have a desire to work as butchers.

8. New York: New York City residents rarely get personal space, so it’s a bit shocking that this state Googled professional cuddler more than any other. Perhaps residents upstate are lonely?

9. North Carolina: People who live in North Carolina enjoy Googling for pirate jobs. Perhaps they find Jack Sparrow aspirational?

10. California: The good people of California have an expressed interest in becoming lion tamers — because obviously that sounds like a chill job.

Intrigued? Check out the full list on Zippia to find which jobs your state Googles.

This article originally appeared on Brit + Co.

Photo: Getty Images

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#ICYMI: Watch Levo’s “Head + Heart = Hustle” Webinar!

We’ve all heard that creating a career full of passion and purpose is the key to a fulfilling life. That loving what we do and using our talents will not only enhance our own lives, but also the lives of those around us. But what if we don’t know what our purpose is? How can we sort through all of our likes, skills, and experiences to get to what we’re meant to do?

[Related: How to Create a Sense of Purpose at Work]

Rebecca Kaufman, the Senior Associate of Work On Purpose at Echoing Green, has been working to help thousands of people around the world answer this question. And now she’s bringing the curriculum to Levo! In this webinar, Rebecca will show you how to:

  • Uncover your personal genius and how you can apply it to the issues you care most about.
  • Develop the boldness and the spirit of risk-taking required to launch a path with purpose.
  • Create your life and work with meaning.

Check out the full curriculum here and experience the interactive webinar with Rebecca below!

Take this quick survey for a chance to win a meeting with Levo’s CEO, Caroline Ghosn! 


The Brief: Female Flight Attendants at This Major Airline Just Had a Huge Win

Who Wears the Pants Now?

After a years-long dispute, Unite, the union representing British Airway crew members, announced Friday that the airline had lifted its ban on women wearing pants. Female crew members who joined the company after 2012 had to abide by a dress code that mandated women wear a skirt, unless they applied for a waiver on medical or religious grounds. This policy remained even though a survey found that 83 percent of female members wanted the option to wear pants both for warmth and protection. “British Airways’ stance was unbefitting of a modern airline in the modern age and demonstrates that Unite will not allow cases like this to go unchallenged,” the union said in a statement. “Not only is the choice to wear trousers a victory for equality it is also a victory for common sense and testament to the organizing campaign of our members.” Sadly, not being able to wear pants is common for many major airlines. Etihad Airlines’ female flight members don’t have a pants option, Virgin Atlantic female attendants can only wear pants on a case by case basis and Japanese airline Skymark at one point required its female employees to wear mini-skirts. I mean, c’mon. [Related: How to Dress for Casual Friday at Work]

Leading Ladies

2015 was a good year for women on the big screen. Women comprised 22 percent of protagonists in the top 100 domestic movies of the past year (hello, Katniss!), according to a recent study by Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. This marks a 10 percent increase from 2014. The bad news is 2014 was an exceptionally low year, but this could be the beginning of seeing real change on film. The study also found that most female characters were younger than their male counterparts. This shouldn’t be a shocker as being over the age of 40 in Hollywood qualifies you to play a grandmother. The majority of female characters were in their 20s and 30s while the majority of male characters were in their 30s and 40s.  The percentage of male characters in their 50s (17 percent) is almost twice that of female characters in their 50s (9 percent). [Related: Jennifer Lawrence Asks, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” in Her Honest Essay]

Put Your Back Into It

And in other pants news: and you thought skinny jeans were bad. Now there is the wedgie jean. Yes, this is for real. Levi’s has rolled out the Wedgie Fit Jeans which give your butt a nice little uplift while also being very tight around your waist and hips (and yes, the Kardashians/Jenners can definitely be blamed for this. They can also be blamed for neck contouring, but let’s get into that later). Jonathan Cheung, senior vice president of Levi’s Global Design, told Mashable: “The Wedgie was inspired by the way girls were wearing vintage Levi’s … Just as the 501 CT was inspired by girls wearing the 501 a little bit slouchy, the Wedgie is inspired by girls [who] were downsizing a vintage 505 and wearing it very close and almost vacuum-packed to the rear-ends—hence the affectionate and cheeky name.” Oh, fashion. You really are the craziest. [Related: The New Guard of Fashion Illustrators]

Levo #POTD (Profile of the Day)

Meet Rachelle Jackson, a user experience designer-in-training for UXDI at General Assembly. She is also a lover of live music, travel, good food, and all things animal print. Check out her profile here. Then discover more must-see profiles on Levo’s Front & Center.

Levo Loves…

New York-based womenswear label Rallier. After watching the Girl Rising documentary, Rallier founder Olive Rose Fay was inspired to start a line of classic designs for women that would also help girls’ education on a global level. For every piece sold, school uniforms are sourced from regions plagued by gender inequality and given to local young women.

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January Was an Amazing Month for Millennials

Why January Was an Amazing Month for Millennials

January’s jobs report was out on Friday.

The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January while the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, a fresh eight-year low.

And the big winners from the report? Millennials.

[Related: What Salary Are Millennials Making?]

As first pointed out by Conor Sen at New River Investments, January was the second-best month ever for employment growth in the 25-to-34-year-old bracket.

From December 2015 to January 2016, a net 429,000 jobs were added in the 25-to-34 bracket.

The only time this number was higher was 16 years ago—in January 2000. Back then, 1.166 million jobs were added for the 25- to 34-year-olds at the height of the tech bubble.

Now there are differences of opinion about who actually qualifies as a millennial; Goldman Sachs previously defined the generation as those between 15 and 35 while the Pew Research Center defines millennials as those 18 to 34.

However you define millennials, the current young professional generation is far larger than older groups, and even if you want to call millennials “snake people,” they are the future of the US economy.

[Related: It’s Time to Stop Hating on Millennials]

During the economy’s lukewarm post-financial-crisis recovery, millennials have often seemed to get the short end of the stick in the jobs department.

And so it’s an encouraging sign to see a huge spike in jobs gains among younger workers.

This article was originally published on Business Insider.

Photo: Getty Images

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I’m Working With My Best Friend—Where Do We Draw the Line?

I’m Working With My Best Friend—Where Do We Draw the Line?

I’m joining a new company, and I already know one of my coworkers. In fact, she’s one of my dearest friends. While neither of us outranks the other, we will be working together closely. She’s suggested that she’s excited to have a friend at the office, but I want to be her colleague at work, not BFF. How can I set boundaries with our relationship at work without hurting our relationship?

If your relationship with your friend is as close as you suggest, this new dynamic can best be dealt with in a straightforward and honest way. Say something like, “I’m really looking forward to working with you, too. But tell me—have you had the same thoughts I’ve had about how we should navigate our friendship as it moves in and out of the office?”

If she acknowledges she’s had the same thoughts, it’s easy to begin the dialogue. Now it’s just a matter of addressing it and coming up with some ground rules for yourselves. If it hadn’t occurred to her yet, you’ve made an honest, vulnerable admission in a way that should open the door to a productive conversation.

[Related: Friends & Money: How to Not Ruin Your Friendship]

Either way, as you talk, give some thought to expressing that your overarching care for each other will stay consistent, but it may manifest differently in a personal setting versus a business environment.

For both of you to be successful at work, you will need the support of your boss and coworkers. That’s a hard thing to do if you’re seen as a clique with loyalties to each other instead of the company. At work, the best situation for each of you is to be seen as committed to the success of the business first and foremost. Your colleagues and superiors will respect and understand that dynamic without feeling threatened by your friendship.

[Related: 4 Ways to Cope with a Clingy Coworker]

It may also help to throw some “what ifs” at each other when they truly are hypothetical. For instance, “What if one of us gets promoted and the other doesn’t? What if one of us winds up managing the other? What if the boss seems to favor one of us over the other?” Office dynamics are seldom static over time, so talk out future scenarios now when no one’s feelings are on the line.

Finally, the secret to staying friends is your willingness to keep an open dialogue as you move forward and encounter real situations. Confront feelings as they arise, empathetically work through them, remembering why your friendship is important to each of you, then move past them together.

Christine Tardio is a trusted advisor and business coach to a dynamic range of women business leaders. She can be reached at

This article was originally published on Daily Worth

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