TIME Media

Spotify Still Doesn’t Make Any Money

SWEDEN-MUSIC-COMPANY-SPOTIFY
This photo illustration shows the Swedish music streaming service Spotify on March 7, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images

Music streaming service lost $80 million in 2013

Music streaming service Spotify likes to crow about how it hands 70% of the revenue it generates right back to artists in the form of royalty payments. Such a massive expense has led the company to be wildly unprofitable in recent years — but Spotify may be slowly crawling its way out of the red.

A new regulatory filing released in Luxembourg shows Spotify had revenues of 747 million euros (around $1 billion) in 2013, up 74% from 2012, according to The New York Times. The startup posted a loss of $80 million, but that was smaller than its $115 million loss in 2012.

Spotify has long claimed that as it gains more users, it will be able to both pay artists more handsomely and begin earning some profits itself. The company’s financial trends indicate that the plan may actually work, assuming they can keep adding new users at a steady clip.

But Spotify’s biggest threat is growing dissatisfaction in the music industry with the service’s free tier, which allows users to listen to Spotify’s entire song library while hearing a few ads in between tunes. It was this free offering that compelled Taylor Swift to remove her catalogue from the streaming service, while a Sony Music executive recently expressed concern that the free version of Spotify might deter people from signing up for paid subscriptions. The new financial figures show why Swift and others are wary of the ad-supported model: Spotify made just $90 million in revenue from its ad business in 2013, less than 10% of its overall revenue. That’s despite the fact that free users outnumber paid users on Spotify by about four to one.

Spotify maintains that many free users are eventually converted into paying customers, so the free offering serves as a valuable gateway. But it’s likely that industry players are going to become increasingly fixated on the growth in paid subscribers instead. That’s where the money is.

TIME Retail

San Francisco Passes First-Ever Retail Worker ‘Bill of Rights’

Ahead of the hectic Thanksgiving and Black Friday shifts

Just in time for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, the measure will make the worker-friendly city even friendlier.

Hours before retail employees punch in for their stores’ hectic Thanksgiving and Black Friday shifts, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved new protections for the city’s retail workers.

The supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday afternoon in favor of measures aimed at giving retail staffers more predictable schedules and access to extra hours. The ordinances will require businesses to post workers’ schedules at least two weeks in advance. Workers will receive compensation for last-minute schedule changes, “on-call” hours, and instances in which they’re sent home before completing their assigned shifts.

Businesses must also offer existing part-time workers additional hours before hiring new employees, and they are required to give part-timers and full-timers equal access to scheduling and time-off requests. The legislation will apply to retail chains with 20 or more locations nationally or worldwide and that have at least 20 employees in San Francisco under one management system. David Chiu, president of the Board of Supervisors, told Fortune on Tuesday that the proposal will affect approximately 5% of the city’s workforce.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has opposed the bill, arguing that it is too onerous for business owners. In particular, the Chamber has taken issue with the limits the new requirements will impose on employers’ staffing decisions.

Now that it has board approval, the proposal just needs the signature of Mayor Ed Lee, a Democrat, to become law. Even if the mayor rejects the legislation, which is unlikely, the measure has enough support among the city’s supervisors to override a veto.

While the action San Francisco is set to take on workers’ behalf is the first of its kind, one aspect of the legislation has precedent. Last year, voters in SeaTac, Wash. approved a measure that requires companies to offer more hours to part-time workers before they hire new employees. They voted for it as part of a ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, one of the nation’s highest rates.

If San Francisco’s retail worker bill becomes law, it will make a city already known as worker-friendly even more so. Earlier this month, 59% of voters cast ballots in favor of increasing San Francisco’s current minimum wage of $10.74 to $15 by 2017.

San Francisco’s proposal takes sharp aim at employers’ tendency to schedule workers’ hours with little notice—a practice especially prevalent in retail. Earlier this year, University of Chicago professors found that employers determined the work schedules of about half of young adults without employee input, which resulted in part-time schedules that fluctuated between 17 and 28 hours per week. Forty-seven percent of employees ages 26 to 32 who work part time receive one week or less in advance notice of the hours they’re expected to work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Congress attempted to tackle this issue at the federal level in July when they proposed legislation that would give retail workers more predictable hours. “Workers need scheduling predictability so they can arrange for child care, pick up kids from school, or take an elderly parent to the doctor,” co-sponsor Representative George Miller, a Democrat from California, said at the time. But the “Schedules that Work” bill has gone nowhere since it was introduced.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Ways Your Thank You Note Could Lose You the Job

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You might think that going through the motions and sending a generic thank you note is better than sending nothing, but you’d be wrong

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Let’s be honest: When it comes to applying for jobs, the “it can’t hurt” benchmark is often the deciding factor over whether or not to do something. Sending a cover letter? It can’t hurt. Finding your interviewer on LinkedIn? It can’t hurt. Sending a thank you note? It can’t hurt.

Or can it?

Actually, yes, it absolutely can. Here are just a few scenarios in which sending a thank you note might hurt your chances of landing the job.

1. It’s Full of Typos

If you’re really serious about a job, you probably had your resume and cover letter reviewed by a couple other people before you hit submit. But, even the most careful job seeker can make mistakes during the high that comes after a successful interview. Don’t blow your carefully crafted image, and double check to make sure that your thank you note is typo-free. (Here are a few tips for editing your own work.)

2. It’s a Week Late

Another good impression killer is sending your note in late. Thank you notes are the most effective when you send them ASAP or at least within 48 hours of your interview. If you want to leave the impression that you’re only mildly interested in the position, then go ahead and take your time. If not, then send it immediately. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

3. It’s Generic

You might think that going through the motions and sending a generic thank you note is better than sending nothing, but you’d be wrong. Hiring managers get excited when they find exceptional candidates who are really excited about the job. And sending a boring thank you note that could have been addressed to anyone? That’s an easy way to shatter your image.

Oh, and don’t think you can just write one spectacular thank you note and send it to all the different people you interacted with during the interview. Many companies request that thank you notes get forwarded to HR so they can be attached to a candidate’s file. Having the same five notes on file probably won’t help you land the job, so take the time to actually personalize some aspects of your message. It’s worth it.

(For a truly exceptional thank you note, check out communication expert Alexandra Franzen’s method.)

4. It’s Just a Way to Talk About Yourself More

Did you forget to mention that one time you did something that was extremely relevant to the job you’re interviewing for now? Think the thank you note is the right place to share this relevant experience? It might be okay to mention it briefly, but it’s definitely a mistake for you to transform your thank you note into a take two of your interview. Thank you notes shouldn’t be long, so you don’t really have a lot of space to, you know, thank your interviewer—let alone share another story. If you must do it, make it brief.

5. It’s Inappropriate

You don’t have the job yet, so don’t get too chummy in your note. No matter how sure you are that you nailed the interview, your best bet is to remain professional throughout the process. (That means no nicknames, no sarcasm, and definitely no cursing.)

I’ve gone on and on about the various ways sending a thank you note can hurt your chances of getting the job offer, but naturally the biggest thank you note blunder would be to not send one. So, please send a thank you note after your interview—just make it great.

TIME Careers & Workplace

How a Little Gratitude Can Help You Get Ahead at Work

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a donut or a cup of coffee

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Thanksgiving is just days away—and in between thoughts of casserole recipes and how to navigate your annual family dinner, you’re probably also thinking about all you have to be grateful for.

According to Alison Green from Ask a Manager, this is the perfect time to let your co-workers know how much you appreciate them—and why. “Showing gratitude to colleagues can build stronger relationships and help you get better results in your work,” Green writes.

Just think: When a co-worker has shown appreciation for something you’ve done to help him or her, you’ve probably been more likely to help that person again in the future. And when he or she hasn’t shown that gratitude, you probably haven’t gone out of your way to lend a hand again.

Plus, showing thankfulness helps improve the quality of the relationship as a whole. “People tend to feel warmly and positively toward people who appreciate them,” Green says, which can have a positive effect on future networking, references, and your interactions at work in general.

Feeling thankful for your cube mate or project partner? Try these four ideas to show your appreciation.

1. Give a Straightforward (and Specific) Compliment

A standard thank you may not be extraordinarily creative, but it works—and that’s the important thing.

You want to make sure your co-worker knows you appreciate her? Walk up to her desk or office and give her a genuine, straightforward thank you. To make the most impact, mention what you’re specifically grateful for (“Christine, thank you so much for jumping in and helping me with my presentation yesterday. I know it was a late night; I really appreciate you taking the extra time to make sure it was perfect. I couldn’t have done it without you!”).

Face-to-face, specific, and full of appreciation—it’s a thank you that anyone would want to hear.

2. Speak Up in a Team Meeting

An individual, face-to-face thank you is personal and effective, but there’s also room for more public appreciation—and a team meeting is the perfect place to recognize someone who’s helped you out recently.

It doesn’t have to be big and flashy. Try working it in naturally, like as part of a project update that you were going to give anyway: “The project is right on track, thanks to Joe, who reviewed it and helped me adjust the intro and conclusion—and I think it really hits the nail on the head now.”

The public (but not over-the-top) recognition will make your colleague feel extra special—and it’ll help boost his or her value within the team.

3. Bring in a Treat

I know. It seems a little silly—and perhaps a tad reminiscent of your elementary school birthdays when you brought in cupcakes for the class.

But then again, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a donut or a cup of coffee that’s not from the lukewarm pot that’s been sitting idly on the break room counter for the past two hours. Simple as it may seem, a treat with a quick “Just wanted to say thanks for your help with the Smith account. I couldn’t have done it without you!” goes a long way to make a co-worker feel appreciated.

If that still seems a little awkward, swing for enough for the entire team, then throw in a personal note: “Hey everyone, I brought in some doughnuts to say thanks for your hard work this past week—especially Sarah, who really came through in the 11th hour for me on a big client account.”

4. Email the Boss

Part of your job as an employee is to make sure your boss knows how awesome you are—but it’s even better if your co-workers do that for you.

One of the most meaningful thank yous I’ve ever received came when a co-worker emailed my boss (and copied me), explaining how I’d been a huge help to him with a client situation over the past couple days and that he wanted to extend his gratitude. He forwarded it to his supervisor, and all of a sudden, my good dead was known throughout the department without me having to say a word.

So if you want to thank a co-worker, consider sending an email to his or her boss. The compliment on its own will make your colleague feel appreciated—but knowing that the boss also knows what he or she has done makes the gratitude even more meaningful.

A thank you to your colleagues doesn’t have to be a big show—but displaying your appreciation will help your relationships, your quality of life at the office, and your ability to continue receiving your co-workers’ help in the future.

TIME Careers & Workplace

4 Ways to Rock the Intro Call With a Recruiter

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You absolutely must show—early on—that you’re a strong cultural fit

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Congratulations. Your resume (or LinkedIn profile) just captured the attention of a recruiter. Take a moment to high-five yourself, for real. You done good.

Now what?

Now, you will likely be invited to participate in a screening interview—via phone, Skype, or Google Hangout or in-person—with the HR person or recruiter who just found you. Wowing this person is very important, because if you fail to, you’re not going to have the chance to dazzle the hiring manager with your mad skills at all. Your goose, as they say, will be cooked.

So, how do you stack the odds in your favor and ensure that you sail through this critical stage in the hiring process? By understanding what the recruiter’s role is, what he’s looking for, and what he stands to gain by finding the right candidate, and then strategizing accordingly.

Here are four ways to rock the screening call with a recruiter.

1. Demonstrate Quickly That You Cover the Basics

More often than not, HR people or recruiters aren’t going to be looking for nitty-gritty details about your technical aptitude. They’re more trying to see if you meet the baseline requirements for the job. That said, you should study the job description closely or talk with people working in the department, and then (before the interview) list out the things you think are the most important deliverables for the role. Be sure and touch on your strengths in these specific areas during the conversation.

2. Show That You’re Truly Interested (Assuming You Are)

Recruiters love when they realize a candidate is a strong match skills-wise for the role they’re attempting to fill. However, being a skills match means little if you give off the impression that you’re only so-so interested in the company or role. If they pass you through to the next stage of the interview process, recruiters want to feel confident that you’re enthusiastic and eager to learn more, not just wasting everyone’s time. And so, assuming you are reasonably interested in the opportunity, you’ve got to make that instantly clear to the recruiter during the screening call.

(Hint: Here are three steps to answering, “Why do you want this job?”)

3. Exude an Air of “Strong Culture Fit”

Companies hire candidates based on three things, not just one. Number one is the obvious, “Can she do the job?” This must be a “yes,” no matter what. But what typically clinches it for the candidate who lands the job is that she’s also a “yes” to these questions: “Do we like her?” and “Do we think she’s going to fit in around here?”

You absolutely must show—early on—that you’re a strong cultural fit. Thus, if you’re interviewing for a role within a company you know little about, you should study the organization’s online presence—the company website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, you get the picture—and figure out its brand personality, its tone, its vibe. And then, assuming you line up with that? Make it clear throughout the screening call.

4. Understand the Recruiter’s Role and Stake in This Process

By understanding the role of the recruiter in the hiring process, you will likely be better able to strategize this first interview. Most of these people are compensated—either entirely or partially—based on their ability to find and place people into open positions. That said, when they call you, they already want you to win. They want you to sail through the screening call because, if you win? They win. And if they fill this position quickly, they can also move on to another position (and make more money).

So, never be afraid to ask for the interviewer’s input on how you can put your best foot forward with the hiring manager or for clarification on any questions you don’t understand. Again, this person wants to send you through to the hiring manager. Make it easy to do so.

Interviewing is part art, part science. The art part requires you to bring forth your personality, enthusiasm, and interest. The science part? Requires you to study the process and the players and then strategize.

This article? Well, consider it your cheat sheet for getting to the “real interview.”

TIME Careers & Workplace

35 Things to Do for Your Career by 35

Feedback
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Get comfortable with getting feedback

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

We’re all for flexibility. Going your own way. Paving your own path. Doing what works for you (and not doing what doesn’t).

We’re also big fans of not putting a timeline on things. We’ve even said that there are plenty of things you don’t have to have by 30 (or 40, or 50, or ever…).

But when it comes to your career, there are some things that we do recommend getting started on sooner rather than later. Not because some all-knowing career god out there says you have to, but because you’ll make your professional future—not to mention day-to-day work life—a whole lot easier.

So, do you need to check every box off this list by the time you’re 35? Definitely not. But, consider it a list of suggestions that, if taken, can have a really big impact on your career.

1. Really Refine Your Elevator Pitch

While it will obviously change from time to time, you should never have a hard time answering, “What do you do?” In fact, you should be so good at it that people will never forget. So, really spend some time figuring out what message you want to get across when people ask about your career. Communication expert Alexandra Franzen has an exercise to help.

2. Know Your Superpower

Or, in other words, know the one thing that you’re truly amazing at. Serial entrepreneur Tina Roth Eisenberg says that all the most successful people she’s met know exactly what they’re best at: John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower is enthusiasm. See how to find your own super power, here.

3. Know Your Weakness

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s key to know what you’re not so great at. Not to make you feel bad—not in the least!—but to help you know who you should hire and work with to complement your skill set and what tasks you should delegate (so you can spend more time on what you’re great at). On that note:

4. Learn How to Delegate

No one can do it all, and especially as you climb the career ladder, you’re going to need to know the difference between the things you should be spending your time on and the things you shouldn’t. And, perhaps more importantly, be able to effectively and comfortably delegate to others—interns, staff members, your partner, your childcare provider, you get the picture. These 10 rules of successful delegation will help you do it right.

5. Know Your Career Non-Negotiables

You’re going to have a lot of opportunities come your way in life, and you don’t want to waste energy agreeing to things that really don’t line up with what you want to be doing. So, really be honest about what you want and need out of your career, and then come up with a list of non-negotiables that you can use as a guide next time you’re making a career decision. Writer Andrea Shields Nunez has some tips on creating them—and then actually enforcing them.

6. Do Something You’re Really, Really Proud Of

Whether or not it’s something you’ll be known for forever, something you get paid for doing, or even something you really want to do with your life, make sure you have something on your resume that, deep down, you’re really proud of.

7. Learn From Something You’re Not So Proud Of

We were going to add “fail at something” to this list, but that’s silly. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all failed miserably at one point or another. What’s more important? Learning from that blunder and taking that lesson with you productively into the next stage of your career.

8. Stretch Your Limits

You know you can manage a 30-person meeting, but a 100-person multi-day travel conference? That might be stretching the limits of your skills. Actually—this is exactly the type of stuff that you should try once in a while. After all, you’ll never really know how good you are until you step a bit outside of what you know.

9. Do Something That Really Scares You

This takes stretching your limits a bit further—we’re talking going way out of your comfort zone here. Whether it’s speaking at a conference, going for a (big) promotion, or finally writing that memoir, why not try something that terrifies you at least once in the early stages of your career? As they say, big risks can lead to big-time rewards.

10. Get Comfortable With Getting Feedback

Hillary Clinton once said that her biggest piece of advice to young professionals is: “It’s important to take criticism seriously—not personally.” Meaning: Knowing where you’re not meeting expectations is the only way you’ll learn and grow as a professional, but taking every harsh word to heart is a fast way to make your confidence crumble. So, take it from Hillz, and start taking feedback like a pro. Here are a few tips that’ll help.

11. Get Comfortable With Giving Feedback

Whether it’s telling your boss that his hourly drop-bys are really killing the team’s mojo or letting your direct report know that arriving to meetings on time is, in fact, required, giving feedback is a necessary part of getting what you need and being a happy professional. Learn how to give it well, ideally sooner rather than later. Career expert Jennifer Winter offers some pointers.

12. Get Comfortable With Saying No

For just being two measly letters long, “no” seems to be one of the hardest words in the English language for many of us to say. But it’s actually incredibly important for our careers (and our sanity!) that we learn to use it and stand behind it. Here’s how to say it to your boss, a friend, and everyone else.

13. Have a Broad Network of People You Can Trust

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (probably at least twice a week for as long as we’re in business), the greatest asset you have in your career is your network. And building relationships takes time, so start now. Our free, seven-day email class is here to help.

14. Have a Couple of Specific Career Advisors

We’re not saying mentor here—because finding the right mentor shouldn’t have a timeline on it and because there are plenty of ways to succeed without one—but having a couple of people in your corner who can advise you on everything from a terrible boss to a career 180 is incredibly valuable. And yes, this group of people can include your mom.

15. Scrub Your Online Presence

Increasingly, what shows up in Google and on your social media profiles is the first impression someone has of you. So, take some time to clean ’em up! Change the privacy on any old or questionable photos. Use SimpleWash to delete any Facebook or Twitter posts that could be incriminating. Game your Google resultsto make sure the things you want showing up at the top do.

16. Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile

Speaking of those things you want showing up at the top, your LinkedIn profile is perhaps your most prime piece of online real estate. When a client, future employer, vendor, or professional contact is looking for you, guess where he or she will turn? Yup, LinkedIn. So make sure your profile tells the story you want it to tell (our complete guide to a perfect LinkedIn profile walks you through the process).

17. Have a Portfolio of Your Best Work

Whether it’s a printed collection of articles, marketing campaigns, or annual reports you’ve worked on or a personal website showcasing your skills, having a portfolio ready to go will make it easy for you to show your boss (or future boss) what you’ve got. Here’s more on why you need one, plus some easy ways to get started today.

18. Know How to Sell (Yourself or Something Else)

Yes, even if you never envision a career in cold calling. The truth is, whether you’re pitching an idea to your boss or writing a cover letter about why you’re the perfect candidate, you’re going to be selling something to someone at some point. Get started on your own personal sales education with these tips.

19. Know How to Negotiate

Because, in most cases, it’s the only way you’re going to get what you want and deserve. If you’ve never done it before, we recommend starting small (asking your boss to, say, pay for a pricey upcoming conference), and checking out this hour-long webinar that’s jam-packed with actionable advice (and motivation).

20. Know How to Manage Up

It’s a common misconception that you have to grin and bear it through a superior’s assignments, working style, or way of doing things, paying no regard to whether his or her demands are reasonable. In fact, being able to manage up—or, communicate with your boss and advocate for what you need to do your job best—is a crucial job skill. Molly Donovan offers some tips for doing it well.

21. Know How to Send a Killer Email

You should never send an email that you’re not proud of (or wouldn’t be proud of if your boss saw) again. So make sure you’re really putting care into the professional messages you send! Erin Greenawald has some tips from an editor’s perspective on how to write ones that are flawless. It may sound like a lot of effort, but we promise it’s worth it (and will get easier the more you do it).

22. Master Your Handshake

This sounds small, but a handshake is the quickest way to make (or break) an impression. (Fact: A Fortune 500 CEO once said that when he had to choose between two candidates with similar qualifications, he gave the position to the candidate with the better handshake.) Learn how to do it right from an expert.

23. Find a To-Do List System That Works for You

Whether you need your list synced across all of your devices or you’re more of a pen-and-paper kind of guy or gal, commit to finding a to-do list that helps you manage your workflow in the best way possible. Yes, you might change methods as you switch jobs or new apps are launched over time, but knowing what works, what doesn’t, and what you like and don’t will make sure that you always have what you need to be your most productive self.

24. Know Your Energy Levels—and Use Them

There’s nothing worse (or less productive) than trying to work when you’re not at your best. You shouldn’t spend any more time wasting your peak mental hours—or forcing yourself to work when you’re in an energy slump. So, really understand and accept when you work best, and then use productivity expert Alex Cavoulacos’ advice to map out your ideal day.

25. Know How Much Sleep You Need—and Commit to Getting It

We hope you learned this lesson in college, but if not: Sleep is important. Whether you need seven or nine hours, know your number, and get it regularly. Your health and career depend on it—take it from Arianna Huffington.

26. Know How to Manage Stress

Stress can really rule and ruin your life, something you don’t want to let it do for long. If stress is an issue for you, nip it in the bud as early as possible. Career coach Lea McLeod has some advice for how to start mitigating your stress, but if it’s really becoming overwhelming, consider talking to a professional who can give you strategies.

27. Stop Over-Apologizing

You may think you’re being polite or strengthening your reputation, but apologizing too much, especially for small things or things out of your control, could inadvertently instill doubt in your abilities and undercut your professionalism. Make sure you’re saving your apologies for when you really messed up—not when your co-worker asks you to go back a slide in your presentation. Check out Lily Herman’s tips for making sure you’re saying what you really mean.

28. Get Over Impostor Syndrome

Whether you’re just getting started in a new field or you’ve been climbing the promotion ladder at your company since graduation, impostor syndrome can plague any professional. But the truth is, it’s hurting your career (not to mention your self-esteem). Here’s why—and here are a few ways to get over feeling like a fraud and start feeling like the badass you are.

29. Have a Career Emergency Plan

What would you do if you got laid off tomorrow? If you don’t have an answer (or your answer is “Freak out! Panic!”), it’s time to come up with a career emergency plan. A crisis, like being let go or having your company go under, isn’t something you ever want to think about, but if it happened, wouldn’t you rather have a ready-to-go action plan than be running around like a crazy person trying to get anyone to hire you? Here’s how to get yours started ASAP.

30. Pick Up a Side Project

Ever wondered how you’d do at consulting? Thought about opening up an Etsy store or restoring and selling old cars? Try it out. At best, you’ll find a new career or source of income, and at the very least you’ll have some variety in your day to day.

31. Invest in Your Retirement

We know: In the early stages of your career, it can be hard to fork over any of that precious paycheck. But savings compounds over time, so starting early means you’ll have exponentially more in your later years (to, you know, live it up on a boat sipping mai tais all day). Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

32. Invest in Yourself

Today’s working world is changing faster than ever, and to stay on top of your professional game, it’s important to continue to grow your skills. Oh, and this doesn’t have to mean going to grad school. Here are 50 totally cheap and doable ways to add some professional development into your routine.

33. Invest in the World

Whether it’s volunteering your skills to a nonprofit in need or mentoring a junior employee, little feels better than giving back to the world. Here are a few ideas you may not have considered.

34. Know What You Don’t Want

You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up by 35 (or, hey, 95). But, assuming you want to have a job and career you love, it’s important to at least keep thinking about it—if not actively chasing it. And, often, the first step to knowing what you do want is ruling out what you don’t want. Don’t want a dictator for a boss? A sales role? A management position? Great. Whittle away some options, and you’re at least getting closer.

35. Give Yourself Permission to Go After What You Do

Oh, and if you do know what you want? Start taking steps to go after it. Yes, careers are long, but why spend one more day than you have to not doing what you want? You have our permission. We hope you have yours, too.

MONEY Shopping

7 Things to Know About Thanksgiving Shopping Boycotts

Dillards retail department store.
Dillards retail department store. Jim Parkin—Alamy

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are up in arms about stores like Walmart and Target being open on Thanksgiving. What kind of impact will their protests have?

Like it or hate it, Thanksgiving shopping is a growing trend, and based on the crowds of consumers that will surely show up to browse and buy on the holiday, it’s a tradition that is likely here to stay. Here’s a deeper look at which stores are open, which are closed, and why, as well as the campaigns being waged around the country to try to keep Thanksgiving as a sacred, family-first, non-shopping day.

Dozens of national retailer won’t open on Thanksgiving. While stores like J.C. Penney, Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart, and Best Buy are opening on Thanksgiving and trying to attract the masses with some seemingly terrific deals, at least three dozen other national retailers have vowed to remain closed on the holiday. The Boycott Black Thursday and the Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Facebook pages, as well as other Thanksgiving shopping haters are encouraging consumers to support the stores that aren’t opening on the holiday by shopping with them later in the season. Among those staying closed on Thanksgiving are:

Academy Sports + Outdoors
A.C. Moore
American Girl
Barnes & Noble
Bed, Bath & Beyond
BJ’s
Bloomingdale’s
Burlington Coat Factory
Cabela’s
Christopher & Banks
Costco
Crate & Barrel
Dillard’s
DSW
GameStop
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
Home Goods
JoAnne
Lowe’s
Marshalls
Men’s Wearhouse
Menards
Neiman Marcus
Nordstrom
Orvis
Patagonia
P.C. Richard
PetCo
PetSmart
REI
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sam’s Club
Talbots
T.J. Maxx
Von Maur

Also, let’s not overlook all of the small businesses that wouldn’t even consider opening up for shopping on Thanksgiving.

Some stores say they’re staying closed on principle. A statement released to the press from TJX, the company that owns Marshalls, Home Goods, and T.J. Maxx, makes a point of it being an “associate-friendly” business that is “pleased to give our associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.” Similarly, Costco explained its decision to stay closed on the holiday this way: “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.”

The not-so-subtle message being sent is that these retailers care about their workers, their workers’s families, and families in general. The implicit flip side is that stores that are opening on Thanksgiving should be shamed because their decisions to open on Thanksgiving demonstrate they don’t care as much about their employees or about American traditions and family.

Other closures seem a matter of practicality. “We’re not a high-volume, low-margin business,” Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder, told the Wall Street Journal last year when the topic of Thanksgiving store hours arose. “We’re not trying to make some statement. It’s better for us to be closed.” The same line of thinking applies to other upscale retailers that aren’t opening on the holiday, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. It’s a no-brainer for these stores to stay closed on Thanksgiving because it wouldn’t be a big money-making day anyway. “Thanksgiving promotions are about necessities that are marked down,” Neiman Marcus’s Reeder explained to the Los Angeles Times recently. “It’s just not a part of what we do.”

Likewise, as the Detroit Free Press columnist Georgea Kovanis pointed out, JoAnn, Home Depot, and many of other stores that will stay closed “aren’t generally known for their door busters … where people stand in line, waiting to pounce on dirt cheap large screen televisions or Lego kits.” Surely, stores like Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart—open 24/7 even on Thanksgiving—would open on the holiday if the higher-ups thought it would be worthwhile. So before going out of your way to support stores for remaining closed on Thanksgiving, consider Kovanis’s observation: “It’s not difficult to sit out the World Series or Super Bowl when you were never in the game to begin with.”

Boycotters are focused on shoppers as much as retailers. While boycott organizers and petitioners are actively spreading the word about stores that are ruining Thanksgiving by forcing employees to work—especially ones like Kmart, which is opening early in the morning on the holiday—they’re also targeting consumers who are giving stores a reason to open when they go shopping on the day. “We really just want to encourage people to stay home on Thanksgiving,” Brian Rich, the creator of the Boycott Black Thursday Facebook page, explained to his hometown Idaho Statesman. “If we can eliminate the demand for shopping on Thanksgiving, retailers will go back to staying closed. Retail employees can be at home with their families, and that’s really the ultimate goal we’re pushing for with this movement.”

Recently, a group of protesters at a “ProThanks” rally outside of a mall in Michigan also was simultaneously imploring stores to reconsider their decisions to open on Thanksgiving and asking shoppers to consider staying home. “Our hope is that we can make other people conscious that their choices do affect other people,” one protester said, noting that consumers who go shopping on Thanksgiving give stores a reason to be open—and a reason to force employees to work that day.

Thanksgiving hours don’t necessarily boost sales. Obviously, stores that are open on Thanksgiving boost sales for the day—because they’d otherwise be closed and making no in-person sales. But the idea that opening on Thanksgiving boosts overall sales for the holiday period is dubious. Analysts are quick to point out that retailers “risk cannibalizing” sales by opening on Thanksgiving. The sales transactions that occur that day would otherwise probably be made on Friday, or later in the season, and the net sales change is likely to be zero. A big reason why Black Friday sales have declined in recent years is because stores have been expanding sales earlier and earlier into Thanksgiving.

Retailers feel forced to match the competition. The most promotion-driven retailers—Walmart, Target, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Best Buy, etc.—are constantly trying to beat the rest of the pack to the sale. They’re all battling for the business of shoppers with limited holiday shopping budgets, and so it’s essential to get their money before it’s spent elsewhere. This is why price-matching policies are proliferating, and why early Black Friday sales are popping up earlier and earlier. And it’s a big reason why stores are opening on Thanksgiving: They’re scared that if they stay closed, they’ll be losing business to the competition.

The impact of boycotts will probably be minimal. Even if only a very small portion of consumers goes shopping on Thanksgiving—11% are interested, according to one survey—that represents tens of millions of shoppers heading to the mall. And that’s more than enough justification for retailers to open their doors on the holiday.

As for consumer boycotts of Thanksgiving shopping, “In terms of overall holiday shopping impact, there is none. Zero,” Richard Feinberg, a computer science and retail professor at Purdue University, said this week in the South Bend Tribune. “Even if people did not go out (Thanksgiving weekend), they would not boycott any store that they said they would boycott in the weeks to follow, with the many great sales available. And the people who really do boycott a store are just as likely to shop online during the time they are boycotting.”

TIME Advertising

No, Budweiser Isn’t Ditching Its Tear-Jerker Clydesdales Ads for ‘Jay Z and Zombies’

"Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay"

What’s the only thing that will make you cry harder than Budweiser’s tear-jerker “Puppy Love” ad, in which a golden retriever and a Clydesdale horse form an interspecies friendship, set to a bittersweet Fleetwood Mac song? Reports that the beer titan is ditching its heartwarming Clydesdale campaign for Jay-Z, zombies, and other millennial-grabbing ephemera.

In a Monday piece about Budweiser’s reported millennial problem — 44% of 21-27 year-olds have never tried a Budthe Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s iconic “Clydesdales are out” and that “February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac.”

Luckily for you nostalgia lovers, that is actually not the case.

“Let me be clear,” Budweiser VP Brian Perkins said in a statement emailed to TIME. “Straight from the horse’s mouth: The Budweiser Clydesdales are here to stay and will continue to play a central role in our campaigns, including holidays and Super Bowl.”

Budweiser sent TIME its new holiday ad, which melds millennials and Clydesdales, which can be viewed above.

This isn’t just good news for puppy lovers. It benefits Budweiser, as well.

Currently clocking 53 million YouTube views and counting, “Puppy Love,” made by ad agency Anomaly, was a the most viral ad of the Super Bowl. And according to Unruly Media’s measurements, three of the four most shared Super Bowl ads of all time starred the Budweiser Clydesdale’s. (This includes “Puppy Love,” “Brotherhood,” and its 9/11 tribute.)

Co-founder and chief operating officer of Unruly Media, Sarah Wood, told TIME that when it comes to driving sharing and brand metrics, “It’s the strength of emotional connection, and the goal for all savvy advertisers in 2015 should be valuable virality.”

But if millennials aren’t drinking Budweiser, does the fact that the ads get shared even matter?

Let’s look at it this way. According to a 2014 Unruly report analyzing Super Bowl ad statistics, not only didn’t ads with celebrities drive online sharing, but they also didn’t provide for brand recall.

You might remember that Ben Kingsley was in a Super Bowl spot, but do you remember that he was selling a Jaguar? Chrysler might have made a beautiful ad starring Bob Dylan, but according to Unruly, only 7% of people who watched the ad realized that it was for Chrysler.

Budweiser’s Clydesdales, on the other hand, boasted 89% consumer recall.

“We are excited to see exactly how much the Clydesdales can still touch the hearts and minds of our passionate fan base,” Budweiser’s Perkins says. “There have never been any plans to remove our beloved Budweiser Clydesdales from our brand identity. In fact, we can confirm they will return to the Super Bowl in 2015.”

Of course, if Budweiser wanted to have Jay-Z and Beyoncé come in riding the Clydesdales in an upcoming tear-jerker Super Bowl ad, we won’t complain.

Here are some past Clydesdale Super Bowl ads:

TIME Media

HBO Deal to Bring ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘True Detective’ to China

Game of Thrones
HBO

New partnership involves a Chinese online video service run by the tech giant Tencent

Westeros is about to bring another kingdom under its reign. HBO has inked a deal to bring hits like Game of Thrones and True Detective to a Chinese online video service run by the tech giant Tencent, giving Chinese viewers the ability to stream HBO shows legally for the first time.

HBO content is already popular in the country thanks to rampant piracy. Introducing a legal option could help the Netflix-like Tencent Video as it competes with other Chinese web giants like Alibaba, which owns a large stake in the online video site Youku Toudu.

However, like much foreign content, HBO’s shows will be subject to approval by the government before they air or stream. When Game of Thrones was broadcast on Chinese television earlier this year, it was so heavily edited that fans griped that it had been neutered into a “European castle documentary.”

[WSJ]

TIME Companies

Apple’s Market Cap Just Hit $700 Billion for the First Time

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
People attend the Apple keynote at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College on Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The number has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO from Steve Jobs three years ago

Apple hit a major symbolic milestone Tuesday morning as its market capitalization topped $700 billion for the first time.

The tech giant’s market cap has doubled since Tim Cook took over as CEO three years ago when Steve Jobs stepped down from the role. The company’s stock has hit several new record highs lately on the heels of September’s wildly successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple shares have jumped by 21% since the company unveiled the new smartphones at a product event that also heralded the arrival of the much-hyped Apple Watch and the new Apple Pay mobile payments system.

The Apple Pay service became available last month, while the Apple Watch will go on sale in 2015.

But, the latest iterations of the iPhone have been driving up the company’s value since they went on sale in September and posted a record opening weekend by selling more than 10 million units. Apple is expected to keep selling those phones at a swift pace over the holiday season, with at least one analyst forecasting 71.5 million iPhone shipments in the fourth quarter.

At this point, Apple’s market cap is higher than the gross domestic product of all but 19 of the world’s countries, coming just behind Saudi Arabia (GDP of $745 billion) and ahead of Switzerland ($650 billion), according to data compiled by the World Bank.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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