BerrienCountyCareer Job Hunting or Career Searching in Berrien County? Sat, 15 Aug 2015 02:17:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Biggest Job-Search Problem Is My Wife Sat, 15 Aug 2015 02:15:10 +0000 Dear Liz,

I could use your help! I’m job-hunting, and it’s creating unexpected problems for me at home.

I’m a relative newlywed. Susan and I got married three years ago and everything has been going great. I was working as a Credit Manager at a heating and plumbing company when we met, dated and got married. I got laid off from that job when the company merged with a larger company three months ago.

Liz, I was kind of excited about making a change. They say you should have six months of expenses in the bank, and we do. I’m thirty-one years old. I feel good, but Susan is very anxious and worried about my job search. She is still finding her career.

She works as a part-time teacher’s aide and makes very little money. Susan is a sweetheart and I am crazy about her, but she is very paranoid about money. Our house is worth more now than we paid for it, so that’s another good thing.

We are in fine shape financially, compared to a lot of people, but every day Susan says “Anything new on the job search?” She wants me to take any job I can get. She wants me to take a huge step back in my career just to be employed. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her that I know what I’m doing in my job search.

She wants me to go and apply at the big-box discount store near our house. I understand that there can be a point where it makes sense to take a survival job, but we’re not at that point! We already cut expenses and I got three months of severance which just recently ran out. I’m sure that’s why Susan is so worried. While I’m job-hunting, I’m also consulting.

I came home last Friday over the moon excited because I landed my first consulting client. The first project is only a $1000 project but it’s my first consulting gig ever, and the CEO and I really hit it off. The consulting gig could even turn into a full-time job.

Berrien County

Major Companies That Hire Ex-Offenders Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:13:29 +0000 Below is our list of jobs for felons. This is always being updated to add and remove employers.

We have no affiliation with these companies. You have to go to their hiring website through the link to apply. Leaving a comment for the employer will not get to them.

img236 a

Berrien County

2015 Minimum Wage Rates Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:03:06 +0000 The minimum wage rate is the lowest hourly amount that can be paid to employees.

In some states, the minimum wage varies from one location to another. For instance, San Francisco’s minimum wage is higher than the state’s hourly rate. As well, some states have scheduled increases in the minimum wage throughout the year. In Maryland, for example, the minimum wage for 2015 is $8.00, but will rise to $8.25 in July of 2015.

Federal Minimum Wage

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, however some states have a higherminimum wage rate. When the state minimum wage rate is higher than the federal rate, workers are paid the higher amount.

Please note that some employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements and others can be paid at a lower rate than minimum wage.

Minimum Wage Rates for 2015 Listed by State

The following is a list of minimum wage rates for each state for 2015 announced, to date. The list also includes scheduled increases for future years.

Alabama: $7.25
Alaska: $8.75 effective February 24, 2015 ($9.75 effective January 1, 2016)
Arizona: $8.05 (tipped workers $5.05)
Arkansas: $7.50 ($8.00 effective January 1, 2016, $8.50 effective January 1, 2017)
California: $9.00 ($10.00 on January 1, 2016)
  – Oakland $12.25 effective 3/2/15
Richmond: $9.60 (increase to $11.52 in 2016, $12.30 in 2017, and $13 in 2018, with exceptions based on employer)
– San Diego: $9.75 (increase to $10.50, January 1, 2016, $11.50 January 1, 2017)
San Francisco: $11.05 ($12.25 effective May 2015, $13.00  effective July 2016, $14.00 effective July 2017,  $15.00 effective July 2018)
– San Jose: $10.30
Colorado: $8.23 (tipped workers $5.21)
Connecticut: $9.15 ($9.60 January 1, 2016, $10.10, January 1, 2017)
Delaware: $8.25
District of Columbia: $10.50 on July 1, 2015 ($11.50 in 2016)
Florida: $8.05 (tipped workers $5.03)
Georgia: $7.25

H – M

Hawaii: $7.75 ($8.50 in 2016, $9.25 in 2017, $10.10 in 2018)
Idaho: $7.25
Illinois: $8.25
– Chicago ($10.00 July 2015, $10.50 July 1, 2016, $11.00 July 2017, $12.00 July 2018, $13.00 July 2019)
Indiana: $7.25
Iowa: $7.25 ($10.10 by 2016)
Kansas: $7.25
Kentucky: $7.25
– Louisville $7.25 ($7.75 July 2015, $8.25 July 2016, $9.00 July 2017)
Louisiana: $7.25
Maine: $7.50
Maryland: $8.00 ($8.25 July 1, 2015, $8.75 July 2016, $9.25 July 2017,  $10.10 July 2018)
Massachusetts: $9.00 ($10.10 on January 1, 2016, $11.00 on January 1, 2017)
Michigan: $8.15 ($8.50 in January 2016, then annual increases to $9.25 per hour by 2018)
Minnesota: $8.00 (Effective August 1, 2015, large employers are required to pay workers $9.00/hour and small employers $7.25, $9.50 in August 2016, with similar exceptions based on worker age and company size)
Missouri: $7.65
Mississippi: $7.25
Montana: $8.05

N – S

Nebraska: $8.00 ($9.00 effective January 1, 2016)
New Hampshire: $7.25
New Jersey: $8.38
New Mexico: $7.50
– Albuquerque: $8.75 ($7.75 with benefits)
Nevada: $7.25 for employees who receive qualifying health benefits, $8.25 for employees who do not receive qualifying health benefits.
New York: $8.75 ($9.00 effective December 31, 2015) (Tipped workers $7.50 effective December 31, 2015)
North Carolina: $7.25
North Dakota: $7.25
Ohio: $8.10
Oklahoma: $7.25
Oregon: $9.25
Pennsylvania: $7.25
Puerto Rico: $7.25
Rhode Island: $9.00
South Carolina: $7.25
South Dakota: $8.50

T – Z

Tennessee: $7.25
Texas: $7.25
Utah: $7.25
Virginia: $7.25
Vermont: $9.15 ($9.60: 2016, $10: 2017, $10.50: 2018)
Washington: $9.47
– Seattle: $10.00 or $11.00 effective 4/1/15 ($15 over 7 years, depending on employer size)
West Virginia: $8.00 ($8.75: 2016)
Wisconsin: $7.25
Wyoming: $7.25

Read More: Federal and State Minimum Wage | Exceptions to Minimum Wage

The private websites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.


Berrien County

10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:25:31 +0000 By Joe Konop, Next Avenue Contributor

Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important: You are there to ask questions, too.

Asking the right questions at an interview is important for two reasons:

First, when done correctly, the questions you ask confirm your qualifications as a candidate for the position.

Second, you are interviewing the employer just as much as the employer is interviewing you. This is your opportunity to find out if this is an organization where you want to work.

3 Things You Want to Achieve

When you ask the right questions, you want to achieve three things:

  • Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
  • Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

There are an infinite number of questions you could ask during a job interview, but if you stay focused on those three goals, the questions should come easy to you.

I recommend preparing three to five questions for each interview, and actually ask three of them. (I like to have more prepared than is needed because some of my questions might be answered in the course of the interview.)

10 Questions You Might Ask In a Job Interview

Here are 10 interview questions you could ask, and why:

1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.

2. What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.

3. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.

4. What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit? This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.

5. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? I love this question because it’s gutsy. Also, you’ll show that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.

6. Do you offer continuing education and professional training? This is a great positioning question, showing that you are interested in expanding your knowledge and ultimately growing with the employer.

7. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? Notice how the question is phrased; it assumes you will get the job. This question also tells you about the people you will interact with on a daily basis, so listen to the answer closely.

8. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth? This question should be customized for your particular needs. Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service it’s launching to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of where the employer is headed.

9. Who previously held this position? This seemingly straightforward question will tell you whether that person was promoted or fired or if he/she quit or retired. That, in turn, will provide a clue to whether: there’s a chance for advancement, employees are unhappy, the place is in turmoil or the employer has workers around your age.

10. What is the next step in the process? This is the essential last question and one you should definitely ask. It shows that you’re interested in moving along in the process and invites the interviewer to tell you how many people are in the running for the position.

With luck, the answer you’ll hear will be: There is no next step, you’re hired!

Joe Konop is the founder and principal of One Great Resumé, a resumé creation and career service provider. His website is Follow him on Twitter TWTR +0.7% @OneGreatResume and find him on Facebook.


Berrien County

10 toxic words you should never say in a job interview Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:12:20 +0000 LinkedIn Influencer Bernard Marr published this post originally on LinkedIn.

There’s plenty advice out there to rehearse what you’re going to say in a job interview: research questions the interviewer might ask, practice your answers, come up with salient questions of your own…

But what about rehearsing what you’re not going to say?

I put together a list below of some words you’ll want to try to avoid at your next job interview, because even though they seem like just ordinary words, they could be major red flags for an interviewer or recruiter.


First of all, if asked even a simple question, you don’t want to give a single word answer (yes or no). But when the answer is no, definitely don’t leave it there! For example, if asked if you know a particular computer program, and you don’t, you could say, “I haven’t yet had a chance to learn it but would be interested to do so,” rather than simply saying “No.”

Er… Um…

That old saying, “If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all,” applies here a big. Rather than hemming and hawing while you try to think up an answer, just be silent and think. Saying er or um too much could make you seem unprepared or as though you’re not paying attention.

Whatever, OMG, bae… groovy?

Lose the slang when talking to an interviewer. You want to come across as polished and professional, and you don’t want them to have to dig out their urban dictionary to understand you.

Sure, cool, kinda…

These kinds of words are just too casual, even in a casual workplace. You should be presenting the best version of yourself, not the sloppy, casual version.


This one seems innocuous at first, but if you use it a lot when discussing job duties and accomplishments, the interviewer might start to wonder if it was you or your team that was responsible. Try to use “I” as much as possible.

Dedicated, motivated, team player…

Lose the resume speech and jargon. Besides the fact that these words are incredibly overused in interview situations, they’re also better demonstrated than just stated. If you want to convey your dedication or motivation, share an example from your past work experience; examples will go much further to making your claims believable.

Leverage, synergy, ideation…

I’d avoid using too much business jargon. The chances that you’ll come off sounding like an idiot are just too high. Too much business buzzwords or jargon tends to make people sound pretentious, or worse, downright stupid.

“Hit the ground running,” “Circle back…”

These kinds of cliches have little to no meaning, they’re just verbal fluff, and they don’t add anything to what you’re saying. So leave them out.


I can’t think of a single instance when saying you “hate” something in a job interview is appropriate, but it’s exceptionally inappropriate to say anything about hating your former job, co-workers, boss, etc.


It’s become almost a cliche in and of itself to answer a question like, “What’s your biggest flaw?” with a positive flaw like, “I’m a perfectionist.” Any good interviewer will see right through that, so just don’t do it.

Do you agree or disagree with my list? Any other words you’d add? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Read more:


Berrien County

Job Interview Tips Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:04:45 +0000 Get Advice and Insight from Waggener Edstrom’s Staffing Partner

Like many career advice experts, Steve Fogarty, staffing partner at Waggener Edstrom, says candidates should research a company thoroughly before an interview. And if the company is a private firm, that’s not an excuse to skip doing your homework.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and finding a way to gather information on a company “distinguishes the great candidates from the good candidates,” says Fogarty.

Consider Fogarty’s company, a large independent public relations agency. He says that if someone were trying to find out about Waggener Edstrom, the candidate could take a number of steps. In addition to simply visiting the company’s Web site, joining a trade organization like the Public Relations Society of America would almost certainly give someone interested in his company exposure to people who work there.

Fogarty offers a less conventional method as well: “People might be able to find a press release that one of our PR people has written and contact that person and say, ‘I saw your press release. It looks really good. Would you be open to me asking a few questions? I’m doing research on your company.’ That’s a way to get information.”

What else can you do to improve your chances at the interview? Try these tips from Fogarty:

Be Concise

Interviewees rambling on is one of the most common interview blunders Fogarty sees. “You really have to listen to the question, and answer the question, and answer it concisely,” he says. “So many people can’t get this basic thing down. You ask them a question, and they go off on a tangent. They might think you want to hear what they’re saying, but they didn’t answer your question.”

Provide Examples

It’s one thing to say you can do something; it’s another to give examples of things you have done. “Come with a toolbox of examples of the work you’ve done,” advises Fogarty. “You should come and anticipate the questions a recruiter’s going to ask based on the requirement of the role. Think of recent strong strategic examples of work you’ve done, then when the question is asked, answer with specifics, not in generalities. You should say, ‘Yes, I’ve done that before. Here’s an example of a time I did that…,’ and then come back and ask the recruiter, ‘Did that answer your question?'”

Be Honest

Somehow, candidates get the impression that a good technique is to dance around difficult interview questions. “If you don’t have a skill, just state it. Don’t try to cover it up by talking and giving examples that aren’t relevant. You’re much better off saying you don’t have that skill but perhaps you do have some related skills, and you’re happy to tell them about that if they like.”

Keep Your Guard Up

According to Fogarty, you can split recruiters into two schools. There are those who are very straight-laced and serious, and candidates had better take the process seriously as well when dealing with them.

“Then you have recruiters like me,” he says, chuckling. “I’m going to be that candidate’s best friend when they call me. My technique is to put them at ease, because I want them to tell me everything, and a lot of candidates mess up in this area. They start to think, ‘Oh, this guy is cool. I can tell him anything.’ And then they cross the line.” And that can take a candidate out of contention. Remember: Always maintain your professionalism.

Ask Great Questions

Another of Fogarty’s interview tips is to come ready with good questions to ask. He says nothing impresses him more than a really good question that not only shows you’ve researched the company in general, but also the specific job you’re hoping to land in particular. “That makes me go, ‘Wow, this person has really done their homework. They not only know the company, but they know the role.'”




Berrien County

Last-Minute Interview Preparation Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:59:41 +0000 By Doug Hardy, Monster Staff Writer

Adapted from Monster Careers: Interviewing

Even if you have less than a day before your job interview, you can outshine the competition with a little interview preparation. The following four tasks will take you about four hours (plus five minutes) to complete, and you’ll walk into the interview confident you’ll be successful.

Conduct Basic Interview Research

To prepare for an interview, find out as much as you can beforehand. Call the person who scheduled your interview and ask:

  • Who will you be talking to? Will you meet the manager you’d work for, or will you just talk to HR? What are the interviewer’s expectations?
  • What’s the dress code? Dress better than suggested. Most times, it’s best to wear a professional suit. You’d be amazed how many candidates show up looking like they’re going to class, not presenting a professional demeanor.
  • Get directions to the office. Plan to leave early. Keep a phone number to call if you get stuck on the bus or in traffic. If you arrive late and stressed, the interview will not go well.
  • If you don’t have a detailed job description, ask for one.

That’s a five-minute phone call.

Learn About the Company Online

Do some fast Web research, which will give you something to talk about in addition to the job description. Go to the employer’s Web site, or search the Web for information such as:

  • How big is the company in terms of annual sales or employees?
  • What does the company say about its products or services?
  • What recent news (such as a new product, a press release, an interview with the CEO) can you discuss?
  • If the company is public, the boilerplate at the bottom of its press releases will tell you a lot.

Basic research should take you about an hour.

Think of Some Stories

Be ready to answer typical interview questions with a story about yourself. To prepare, write down and memorize three achievement stories. Tell about times you’ve really felt proud of an achievement at work or school. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership. Wherever possible, quantify what you’ve done, e.g., “increased sales by 20 percent,” “cut customer call waiting time in half,” “streamlined delivery so that most customers had their job done in two days.”

By the way, nonwork achievement stories are good too; if you volunteer for the local food pantry, write down a time you overcame a big challenge or a crisis there.

Achievement stories make you memorable, which is what you want. There’s an exercise in Monster Careers: Interviewing called “Mastering the Freestyle Interview,” which helps you develop these stories into compelling sales points.

Take the time you need — at least three hours on this task.

Pick Your Outfit, and Go to Bed Early

Lay out your interview outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. The last thing you want is to waste all of your interview preparation by arriving flustered and panicked because you couldn’t find a parking space.




Berrien County

100 Potential Interview Questions Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:57:48 +0000 By Thad Peterson, Monster Staff Writer

While there are as many different possible interview questions as there are interviewers, it always helps to be ready for anything. So we’ve prepared a list of 100 potential interview questions. Will you face them all? We pray no interviewer would be that cruel. Will you face a few? Probably. Will you be well-served by being ready even if you’re not asked these exact questions? Absolutely.

Basic Interview Questions:

Behavioral Interview Questions:

  • What was the last project you headed up, and what was its outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
  • Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?
  • Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?
  • What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
  • What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
  • If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
  • What was the most difficult period in your life, and how did you deal with it?
  • Give me an example of a time you did something wrong. How did you handle it?
  • What irritates you about other people, and how do you deal with it?
  • Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job.
  • If you were at a business lunch and you ordered a rare steak and they brought it to you well done, what would you do?
  • If you found out your company was doing something against the law, like fraud, what would you do?
  • What assignment was too difficult for you, and how did you resolve the issue?
  • What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years and how did you come to that decision?
  • Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.

Salary Questions:

  • What salary are you seeking?
  • What’s your salary history?
  • If I were to give you this salary you requested but let you write your job description for the next year, what would it say?

Career Development Questions:

  • What are you looking for in terms of career development?
  • How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
  • What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?
  • If I were to ask your last supervisor to provide you additional training or exposure, what would she suggest?

Getting Started Questions:

  • How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly with the team?
  • How long will it take for you to make a significant contribution?
  • What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days of this job?
  • If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?

More About You:

  • How would you describe your work style? 
  • What would be your ideal working environment?
  • What do you look for in terms of culture — structured or entrepreneurial?
  • Give examples of ideas you’ve had or implemented.
  • What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
  • If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
  • Tell me about your proudest achievement.
  • Who was your favorite manager and why?
  • What do you think of your previous boss?
  • Was there a person in your career who really made a difference?
  • What kind of personality do you work best with and why?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What are your lifelong dreams?
  • What do you ultimately want to become?
  • What is your personal mission statement?
  • What are three positive things your last boss would say about you?
  • What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
  • What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?
  • What are three positive character traits you don’t have?
  • If you were interviewing someone for this position, what traits would you look for?
  • List five words that describe your character.
  • Who has impacted you most in your career and how?
  • What is your greatest fear?
  • What is your biggest regret and why?
  • What’s the most important thing you learned in school?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • What will you miss about your present/last job?
  • What is your greatest achievement outside of work?
  • What are the qualities of a good leader? A bad leader?
  • Do you think a leader should be feared or liked?
  • How do you feel about taking no for an answer?
  • How would you feel about working for someone who knows less than you?
  • How do you think I rate as an interviewer?
  • Tell me one thing about yourself you wouldn’t want me to know.
  • Tell me the difference between good and exceptional.
  • What kind of car do you drive?
  • There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • What magazines do you subscribe to?
  • What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Who are your heroes?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • What is your favorite memory from childhood?

Brainteaser Questions:

  • How many times do a clock’s hands overlap in a day?
  • How would you weigh a plane without scales?
  • Tell me 10 ways to use a pencil other than writing.
  • Sell me this pencil.
  • If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
  • Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
  • If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
  • If you could get rid of any one of the US states, which one would you get rid of and why?
  • With your eyes closed, tell me step-by-step how to tie my shoes.




Berrien County

10 Low-Stress Jobs that Pay Around $100,000 a Year Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:46:45 +0000 Looking for high pay without a lot of fuss? Check out these jobs.

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer

If you’re looking for a job with great pay and a laid-back atmosphere, PayScale found some options for you. The salaries listed are the national median annual total cash compensation (annual salary or wage, plus bonuses, profit sharing, commissions and so on) and the percentages show the percent of respondents they surveyed who answered “my job is relaxing,” “not stressful” or “a little stressful” when asked if their job is stressful.

Reservoir Engineer, $136,000, 66 percent
Reservoir engineers perform modeling studies in order to determine the value of exploration and potential production of oil fields. They estimate yields and analyze economic risk of major projects.

Petroleum Engineer, $130,000, 59 percent
Petroleum engineers determine the most efficient ways to maximize extraction of fossil fuels. They may also design or develop new tools and processes for extracting fossil fuels.

Patent Attorney, $146,000, 54 percent
Patent attorneys help protect intellectual property for organizations. “As a patent attorney, I do love my job,” says Judith Szepesi, a partner in a small intellectual property boutique, HIPLegal LLP. “We work in Silicon Valley, but unlike many of our start-up clients, we don’t work 16-hour days.”

Szepesi says she loves learning about new technology and helping start-ups create a coherent intellectual property portfolio, which can include patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as trade secrets.

“It does take time and energy to get here. In addition to school (getting a technical degree and a law degree), all three of us did our stint in larger law firms that had high pressure to bill hours,” she says. “But where I am now is amazing.”

Data Scientist, IT, $113,000, 59 percent
The interest in big data has fueled demand for data scientists, who analyze and manage large caches of data. As the amount of data companies can mine continues to grow, there may be a growth in demand for people with these skills.

Geophysicist, $105,000, 56 percent
Geophysicists study and analyze the shape of the Earth and how plates, layers and other parts of the Earth move. They also study the atmosphere of the planet and physical phenomenon such as gravity, fluid dynamics, magnetism, radioactivity and electricity.

User Experience Researcher, $99,300, 62 percent
People in these positions design and analyze websites, stores and other experiences and how people use them. UX researchers identify areas that don’t “flow” and identify user goals and needs. They work with other departments to keep experiences efficient and effective.

Principal Scientist, $117,000, 48 percent
Principal scientists are the leaders of research teams. They manage scientists and perform annual performance reviews while overseeing the research and providing guidance when needed.

Actuary, $97,700, 63 percent
Actuaries calculate the financial cost of risk. A background in statistics and mathematics is helpful for this job. Actuaries often work for insurance companies but may also be employed at organizations that want to keep tabs on their risk levels.

Principal Software Engineer, $115,000, 48 percent
People who work as principal software engineers oversee research into new technologies and component design. They design, develop and test new software and oversee system integrations at organizations.

Senior Product Marketing Manager, $116,000, 47 percent
Barry Solomon is a high tech consumer electronics product marketing manager. “I get to meet with external stakeholders, i.e. customers, industry analysts and press to evangelize my product and to better understand customer needs and industry trends,” he says. “I then bring that knowledge back to our company so that we can improve our products (as well as our product positioning) and meet the market’s needs.”

Solomon says he enjoys working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. “It’s also incredibly satisfying when customers embrace your products and trust you to solve their problems,” he says.



Berrien County

Why These 6 Employees Love Working at Small Businesses Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:43:18 +0000 Flexibility and a place at the table are some top reasons.

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer

Working at small businesses can be a lot of work — employees may put in extra hours to get things done, or they may have to take on several roles. But the benefits of working at a small business are legion, and are often a draw for hiring talent.

The opportunity to be heard

One of the biggest advantages of working at a small business is the ability to collaborate so easily. Amanda Cohen is the marketing coordinator at Homescout Realty. Every Monday, the company has a meeting in which everyone discusses progress on projects, metrics that have been hit, what is and isn’t working for the company, and so on. “I have been able to form a close and engaging relationship with all levels of the company hierarchy, from our two co-founders to the sales team, allowing for great communication, culture and success,” she says.

A smaller staff also means it’s easier to get your ideas in front of company leaders. Hannah Diamond is the marketing coordinator for UrbanGirl Office Supply, and she says she loves working so closely with the owner. “I am never in the dark about anything going on, and I can ask her anything,” she says, and there is no bureaucracy or busywork.

This access means her ideas have a chance to be heard, and she can act on them. “I had the idea to create a holiday, Woman Owned Business Day, on May 1. It involved getting 500 other woman-owned small businesses involved. It was a large undertaking, and to anyone else, probably seemed like a crazy idea,” she says. “All I had to do to was ask, the owner said yes, and I was allowed to go from there.” At a larger business, she says, she might not have had the opportunity to try something new.

Eli Kirkley, communications specialist for Lake Homes Realty, also put his own idea into action at his small business. He created a feedback survey that was implemented at the organization’s annual agent summit, and he also improved a process for collecting data about lakes to inform potential clients. “I feel as though my opinion and input actually matter when I have discussions with my boss,” Kirkley says. “In weekly meetings we discuss marketing strategy and I regularly see my ideas put into action.”


Flexible work arrangements and spaces are often cited as an advantage for working at a small business. Jake Hamilton is director of content at LazBro Inc., where he works from home part of the time so he can spend more time with his 18-month-old son and save money on daycare.

“Family is important to them,” he says of the owners. “For this same reason, they have always provided healthcare benefits to their full-time employees, covering 100 percent of the cost. They believe in taking care of the people that take care of them.”

Hamilton says he worked for a Fortune 500 company for 12 years before coming to LazBro. “I stepped away when my wife was pregnant with our son and I wanted a better work/life balance. I have not regretted it,” he says.

It’s often more apparent at small businesses when people aren’t getting their work done, and that can lead to a culture of trust. Heather Fink is the online services manager at, an online auction site for government entities, where she has unlimited time off. “This is where trust comes in — my co-workers trust that I am doing my job and getting what I need to get done, so who cares if I need to take a day off here or there or work from home? My company cares that their employees are happy while the job is getting done and revenue is being generated,” she says.

Living the values

Because smaller companies have fewer layers of decision-makers and are more nimble, many employees find it easy to live out their values. “We live our values in our work space because as a green company, we strive to be green in the office,” says Lindsey Conger, publicist for Prime Five Homes, an eco-friendly real estate development company. “We use solar panels, wind turbines and recycle in order to be as eco-friendly as possible.”



Berrien County