TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Things You Didn’t Know Sex Could Do for Your Career

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Having more sex has been linked to lower stress levels at work and higher pay

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

You’ve probably heard the saying “sex sells,” which is why sexy images appear so often in advertisements. But did you know sex can also improve your business and boost your career?

We often think of our business and personal lives as two entirely separate spheres, but in fact what happens at home and what happens at work often have overlapping effects. For instance, a stressful day at work can often send you home cranky, and workplace stress can elevate your blood pressure and cause everything from headaches to insomnia.

Similarly, happiness at home can have a calming effect at work, helping you make more clear-headed decisions and making you less likely to fall ill or feel overwhelmed with stress. Sure, sex sells, but it also has the power to improve your 9-to-5 life, whether you’re a worker bee or the boss. Here are just a few ways a good sex life can turn your career around:

1. People who have sex get paid more. Apparently there are some outside-of-the-bedroom perks for having more sex. One of those perks is a higher paycheck, at least according to research from the Institute for the Study of Labor. The study found people who have sex at least four times a week make more money than their peers who get less busy. It seems the correlation lies in how those who have more sex tend to be both happier and healthier, leading to more enthusiasm at work, better decisions, and less discrimination, which in turn leads to higher paychecks.

2. Sex reduces stress and prolongs health. Sex is a major stress reduction agent, which means better health and fewer sick days. According to the book Your Doctor is Wrong by Sharon Norling, frequent orgasms can increase life expectancy by three to eight years. Plus, a study by Arizona State University showed sexual behavior with a partner correlated with lower negative mood and higher positive mood the following day in middle-aged women.

3. Sex produces immune system-boosting hormones, resulting in fewer sick days. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone released during sexual encounters, and it has a whole host of benefits. Some of these include health benefits like reducing symptoms in women with lupus and alleviating depression. In fact, DHEA can even take years off your real age. According to a study by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, people in their 40s who reported having 50 percent or more sex than their peers also appeared to be about seven to 13 years younger than their actual age when judged by a panel of strangers.

4. No more office migraines: Oxytocin is pain relief. Oxytocin, released during sex, is also important in pain relief. Often called the “love hormone,” oxytocin is also released during labor in order to relieve pain. With its power to help relieve pain, the hormone could keep you feel healthier in the office.

5. Entrepreneurship can actually improve your sex life. Taking control of your own destiny by becoming an entrepreneur can be empowering–and it can empower more than just your career prospects. A recent survey of entrepreneurs found 14 percent reported having more sex after ditching their 9-to-5 job. So it works both ways–more sex can help your career with better health and higher wages, and finally breaking out on your own and following your entrepreneurial dreams can lead to more sex.

You might think your career and your sex life are completely separate entities, but what happens at home and at work can often intersect in interesting ways. By spending more time with your partner, you’ll actually be improving your chances of getting that promotion or taking your business to the next level.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Here’s What Basically Everybody Gets Wrong at Work

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The one quality you need to make your mark

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This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

Ever wonder why some managers just can’t get along with their teams? Or have you seen a boss who’s lost touch with reality?

Maybe you’re the leader, and you’ve noticed a slow-but-sure disconnect from your team. What can you do about it?

You’ve heard the advice time and again: Learn to show more empathy.

Empathy is considered by many to be a basic human quality. So why is it often still missing in our day-to-day work?

Many persons confuse empathy with its closely related cousin sympathy. The two qualities are definitely related, but the key to demonstrating empathy is knowing the difference.

According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s feelings and emotions.”

Whereas sympathy involves feeling sorry for someone, empathy requires us to go a step further, and it lasts longer. Here’s an example:

Imagine a colleague goes through a difficult situation; let’s say he loses a close family member in an accident. We naturally feel sympathy for him. We may even write a card or express those feelings somehow. For the most part, though, we move on with our lives.

But when we show empathy, we take more time–time to remember how we felt when we lost someone close to us (or how we would feel, if we haven’t had this experience). We think about how this affected our work, our relationships with others.

Even further, we try to imagine specifically how our colleague feels in this situation. We recognize that he (like every individual) will deal with the trauma in his own unique way.

Empathy has been described as “your pain in my heart.”

The problem is, despite the fact that we crave for others to try fitting into our shoes, we’re often not ready to do the same for them. We see this every day: broken marriages, strained parent-child relationships, deteriorating communication in the workplace. (Author Mike Robbins illustrates this perfectly here.)

If a leader can demonstrate true empathy to individual team members, it will go a long way toward encouraging them to perform at their best.

It may even inspire the team to show empathy for the leader.

That’s right—empathy begets empathy.

So how do you get your company leaders—and employees—to be more empathetic?

  • If you’re a manager, the next time an employee comes to you with a problem or complaint, resist the ‘Not again. What now?’ attitude. Try to remember: You once had a similar problem. If not, someone you respect did. Ask yourself: Why does this person feel this way? What can I do to make the situation better?
  • If a specific task or process is causing problems, try to work alongside a disgruntled team member, to better understand the person’s point of view. Showing empathy in this way takes time, but you will often motivate the one(s) you are trying to help. Not to mention the benefits this will bring to your working relationship.
  • If you are an employee who feels your manager is being especially unreasonable, try to understand why. Maybe the manager is dealing with extreme pressure of his or her own, or maybe there’s a problem at home, or maybe … you get the drift.

Simply put, empathy starts with giving others the benefit of the doubt.

Once, I learned the value of showing empathy firsthand. I had been working a number of years for the same organization, and was now engaged to my fiancée from Germany. As we were trying to determine where to start our new life together, my office made it clear that it was reducing personnel, and my department was being reorganized. I was being considered for a new position, and my fiancée and I decided that if I got it, I would remain in New York City and she would join me. If not, we would move.

I was told I would be informed of the decision within four to six weeks. Six weeks came and went. Then seven. Eight. Nine. The wedding date was getting closer, and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take the suspense—I didn’t care anymore what happened; I just needed to know something.

After going through the normal HR channels, I decided to try something different. I wrote an email directly to Mr. Pierce—a member of the executive board who was the head of personnel (whom I had never met). Since our organization had about 6,000 staff members at the time, I wasn’t sure how he would take this: I was traveling to Germany to see my fiancée in a few days, and I thought it would be great to have some news to share with her personally. (Call me a romantic. Or call me stupid–I’ve heard both.)

After two months of anticipation, it took exactly two days after my email to get a decision. I then boarded a plane to Germany, and less than 12 hours later, my fiancée and I were planning our new life together—in New York City. We couldn’t have been happier.

Sadly, Mr. Pierce passed away some months ago. I’ve often wondered how many similar emails, letters, and requests he read throughout the years. A press release issued by my former agency made the following statement:

Mr. Pierce served on various committees … [and] his organizational responsibilities required that he travel extensively … Despite his workload, he was well known for never being too busy to listen to those needing assistance or advice, and he put others at ease with his warm smile and good sense of humor. His closest associates noted that people from different backgrounds or cultures were naturally drawn to him.

When Mr. Pierce read my email all those years ago, he wasn’t just reading the random request of a junior manager. He was reading my deep concerns and feelings. The problem was important to me, so it was important to him.

Mr. Pierce knew empathy. My pain in his heart.

Employer or employee, empathy makes us more flexible and compassionate. It makes us easier to work with, and in the eyes of others, it makes us more human.

So the next time you realize that the relationship you have with a colleague is not what you want, take the time to show some empathy.

It might be just what the person needs.

One day, it’ll be what you need, too.

TIME

Looking for a Bump in Your Paycheck? Here’s Where to Look

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These are the jobs and skills companies want

Employers around the country are trying to fill roughly 4.7 million vacant positions, and that number grew by nearly 800,000 between the beginning and middle of 2014.

A whopping 96% of organizations told the Society for Human Resource Management they’ve hired full-time employees over the past year in the group’s new economic conditions survey. Two-thirds have hired part-time workers, and more than half have hired full- or part-time contract workers.

More than 80% of high-tech companies told SHRM they’ve added full-time contract workers. Almost three-fourths of educational services companies have hired part-time temp or contract workers.

Although there has been plenty of commentary about a skills gap in the sciences and technological fields, the positions companies today are trying to fill vary widely. Six in 10 of hiring companies are adding administrative staff, more than half are hiring financial and accounting professionals and about half are looking to fill managerial or executive-level positions. Other hot job categories include IT and HR.

That said, it certainly wouldn’t hurt job-seekers to brush up on their skills. About half of companies today are looking for workers to bring new skills to the replacement jobs they’re filling, a figure that climbs to nearly three-quarters in the technology sector.

This requirement is making it tougher for companies to fill these positions, so applicants who have kept their skills up-to-date will go to the front of the line. Only 4% of companies say that it’s “very easy” today to fill full-time positions that require new skills, a sharp drop from the 16% who gave this response in SHRM’s 2010 survey.

Over that same time frame, the number of organizations who judge it “very difficult” to fill these positions climbed 9 percentage points. This gap is especially acute in manufacturing, where an increased reliance on robotics and high-tech production methods means factory floors offer fewer, but higher-skill jobs.

“The recession eliminated a lot of line jobs that weren’t as skilled,” says Jennifer Schramm, SHRM’s manager of workforce trends. “Now the jobs that remain need to manage those robotics and, of course, that’s a much higher skill set.

Over the past year, roughly two in five companies have increased salaries, and one-third have offered employees bonuses. (Read why that might not be so hot here.)

If you’re looking for a one-time or regular bump in your paycheck, check out jobs in the professional, scientific or technical services field: Nearly half offered either raises or bonuses in the past year.

Other categories where a large number of employers report hiking salaries include manufacturing and high-tech, as well as finance, insurance and real estate. Nearly half of finance, insurance and real estate companies report offering bonuses, too.

More than 80% of hiring companies are replacing jobs that had been previously lost, but there’s plenty of opportunity for job-seekers to forge new ground: More than 60% are hiring for completely new positions, and two-thirds say they’re creating and filling more new positions today than they were a year ago, and over 40% are hiring people to replace existing jobs, but with new duties.

“It looks like getting the right credentials and education are important today and are going to be more important in the future,” Schramm says. Since companies are actually cutting back on how much they invest in worker training and education, that puts the onus on the job-seeker to pay for those certifications or degrees on their own.

Since education is already pricey and getting even more expensive, make sure your educational investment will give you what you need to move ahead in your career. “The trajectory is that more credentials and education are needed today than were in the past across all job categories,” she says.

TIME

5 Holiday Spending Mistakes That Can Kill Your Credit

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This time of year can be brutal on your credit score

Now that the holiday shopping season is here (what, you didn’t know Halloween is the new Black Friday?), companies are pulling out all the stops to get us to spend. But watch out: There are some fairly common holiday spending behaviors that can do a number on your credit score. Here’s what the experts say you need to avoid.

Maxing out your cards. In truth, getting anywhere near your credit limit is a bad idea. “Your credit card utilization rate accounts for nearly a third of your credit score,” says Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey.com. This percentage of the credit you’ve used compared to how much you have available should be at 30% or less, and if you’re actively trying to raise your score, you should aim for as little as 10%.

This holds true even if you don’t revolve a balance, Tran says. “Even if you religiously pay off your credit card balance in full, the snapshot that the credit report captures might show a high balance, which has a negative impact,” he says.

Loading up a low-limit card. This is a corollary to not maxing out your cards because your credit is scored based on both your per-card as well as aggregate limits, explains John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com. “The closer your balance is to your credit limit, the lower your credit scores,” he says. If you put $1,000 on a card with a $1,500 limit, that looks much worse than putting the same amount on a card with a $15,000 limit, he says, even though the amount you’re spending and the total amount of credit you have available hasn’t changed.

Ulzheimer notes this is even more important if you plan to pay off your holiday purchases over a number of months, because this maximizes the amount of time you’ll have a harmfully high ratio on the card.

Opening a slew of store cards. Yes, we know — you’ll get 10% or 15% off, or maybe you’ll even be able to jump that insane line on Black Friday. Opening a bunch of store credit cards is still a bad idea. Every time you apply for credit, your score takes a (small) ding, so making your way through the mall filling out applications can cumulatively have a noticeable effect on your credit score.

Closing a bunch of cards. “It can… be damaging to panic and close credit cards because you’re afraid of overspending for the holidays,” warns Bankrate.com analyst Jeanine Skowronski. If you know you can’t handle the temptation, then go ahead and close cards, but this should be a last resort because it can hurt your score because closing a card takes that credit away from your utilization calculation, she says.

Similarly, a lot of people think they’ll sign up for a store card just to get the one-time discount, pay it off and then cancel it. This is really a double-whammy for your score because you ding your credit profile twice, once when you open the card and again when you close it.

Taking the deferred-interest bait. “One marketing strategy that can get folks in trouble is the delayed interest offer,” says Beverly Harzog, consumer credit expert and author of “Confessions of a Credit Junkie.” Not paying by the end of the grace period or even missing a payment could trigger retroactive interest on your purchase, often at sky-high retail card rates. “You’ll owe the interest that would have been charged during that time period,” Harzog says. Not only does this make that purchase ultimately more expensive, it also increases the likelihood you’ll need to revolve that debt, which hurts your utilization.

TIME Autos

Tesla Delays Model X But Turns a Surprise Profit

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STAN HONDA—AFP/Getty Images The Tesla Model X is introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show .

New SUV won't be delivered until late 2015

Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV has been delayed again, the company announced in its quarterly earnings report. The new vehicle is now slated for release in Q3 of 2015, a delay of several months.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO Elon Musk wrote that Tesla’s difficulty rolling new products out quickly was a “legitimate criticism” of the company, but said that the car maker’s practices would not change. “We prefer to forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers,” Musk wrote. “Doing so negatively affects the short term, but positively affects the long term.”

Tesla’s revenue for the quarter missed analysts’ expectations slightly at $852 million, but was nearly double the same period last year. The company also posted a surprise profit, generating adjusted earnings of two cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of one cent per share.

The company delivered 7,785 of its flagship Model S vehicles during the quarter. It expects to deliver 33,000 vehicles for all of 2014.

 

TIME Internet

7 Incredible Viral Moments That Turned Out to Be Marketing Stunts

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Social marketing schemes will break your heart

There have been a lot of questions about whether or not overnight Internet darling ‘Alex from Target‘ is a real viral sensation or a just a marketing ploy. Here are 7 other viral sensations that broke our hearts when we found out they weren’t real:

Dumb Starbucks

In February, a “Dumb Starbucks” opened its doors in Los Angeles. Not only did the Internet freak out, but people actually got out from behind their computers to line up around the block to order Dumb Espressos and buy Dumb Norah Jones CDs. Then it turned out to be part of a Comedy Central show hosted by comedian Nathan Fielder. Womp womp.

Bar for Pregnant Women

The Internet was horrified when pictures of Gestations, the self-proclaimed “first bar for pregnant women,” began making the rounds on Twitter. “It may just be a tasteless advertising gimmick,” the New York Post wrote. And it was. Gestations, soon replaced by Blackbox bar for on-duty pilots, was just a way for an app called Bartendr to drum up publicity.

Worst Twerk Fail

A YouTube video showing a girl catching on fire after attempting to twerk upside down racked up 9 million views in just six days. It was featured on The View and The Today Show. And then Jimmy Kimmel revealed it was all a stunt for his show, and the woman was a literal stunt woman.

Hoverboard was a lie

HOVERBOARDS ARE REAL (finally!) thanks to @huvrtech http://huvrtech.com #theyrehere

A video posted by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

In March, people were convinced that hoverboards were about to become a reality. And then Funny or Die released a statement declaring that the ad was fake. “Sadly, we were lying,” the liars explained.

20 Strangers Kissing

A beautiful, seemingly sincere video showing strangers — gay and straight, young and — meeting and then kissing garnered 42 million YouTube views in four days. And then the world found out that it was actually an ad for a clothing company. Love isn’t real. Trust no one.

Evan Longoria’s Bare Hand Catch

Baseball player Evan Longoria saved a reporter’s life by catching a ball speeding towards her head with his bare hand. Except he didn’t because it was a stunt for Gillette.

Ellen’s Celebrity Selfie at the Oscars

If you put the world’s most famous actors together in a picture, it’s hardly surprising that it will become the most retweeted selfie ever. But was Ellen’s “spontaneous” Oscars moment really that spontaneous? Or was it an ad for event sponsor Samsung? Ish. Samsung spent an estimated $20 million on the show, and marketing chief Todd Pendleton told Adweek that it planned to have Ellen take a selfie with Meryl Streep using a Samsung smartphone. Ellen may have upped the stakes, but it was, essentially, an ad.

TIME Economy

Alcohol Is Getting More Expensive Most Quickly in These Cities

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV Products Ahead Of Earnings Data
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Jeff Allen, a driver for Brewers Distributing Co., delivers Anheuser-Busch beer in Pekin, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Bay Area booze is getting pricey

If the price of your pints seems steeper than it did a year ago, you might be on to something.

Depending on where you live, the price of alcoholic beverages was increasing faster than the rate of inflation heading into this fall season. This rate of increase is according to Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) data for all urban consumers released periodically by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This first chart shows how fast alcohol prices increased or decreased when it comes to alcoholic beverages alone:

Note that we are using only eight months of 2014 data in the above chart to compare against the 2013 yearly index average for each area.*

To better understand these numbers at scale, consider for a moment the all-items CPI-U basket, a weighted average of expenditures across all consumer goods and services. It’s the most common measure of inflation in the U.S. Throughout the year, the BLS publishes U.S. city average index values as well as more granular metropolitan index values. You’ll often hear about the inflation rate. Specifically, this number tells us how fast the index value for all the items in the CPI-U index is increasing for a given timeframe. As of August 2014, that number was averaging 1.65%, up from last year’s total average of 1.46%:

In nine of the 25 metro areas considered, the price of alcohol outpaced the ongoing 2014 rate of inflation. Naturally, these were areas in which the price of alcohol was increasing the fastest.

The fact that alcohol prices were increasing the fastest in the San Francisco Bay Area is not necessarily an indication that the Bay Area’s alcohol is the most expensive in the nation. Because a CPI measures how fast prices change in one area over time, it can’t be used to compare prices across cities. Increases or decreases, however, can be compared across geographic areas over time.

If you’re wondering about specific alcoholic beverages, it’s mostly beside the point. For those living in an area where the price of alcohol was increasing faster than inflation, drinks this weekend really might be a little more expensive.

*In FindTheBest’s CPI comparison topic, we use the yearly average of monthly index values. Using the yearly average smoothes out the potential volatility of year-over-year comparisons because it incorporates more data points. So measuring against the 2013 yearly index average for each area, the chart shows the percent change from that 2013 yearly index average to the end of August 2014. The August to-date average covers eight months of BLS data, though indexes for most metro areas are released on an odd/even basis or else a semiannual one.

This article was written for TIME by Ryan Chiles of FindTheBest. More from FindTheBest:

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TIME Media

HBO Thinks It Can Grab 5 Million Cord-Cutters With New Service

The logo of Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) is seen on the exhibit floor during the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show in Washington on June 11, 2013.
Bloomberg/Getty Images The logo of Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) is seen on the exhibit floor during the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show in Washington on June 11, 2013.

But the company doesn't think it will upset pay-TV model

HBO has made its expectations for its upcoming streaming service a bit more clear. In a quarterly earnings call for parent company Time Warner, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the premium cable network is looking to pull in between 4 and 5 million new customers who don’t currently subscribe to cable with its new online-only offering. In October Plepler estimated that there are 10 million broadband-only households in the U.S., a cohort he called “low-hanging fruit” that could easily be persuaded to buy HBO.

By allowing people who don’t pay for cable to access its content, HBO is engaging in a high wire act that has never been attempted before in the pay-TV industry. The company wants cord-cutters to buy its service, but it doesn’t want the people who already pay for cable to dump their subscriptions in favor of an HBO-only product. That would upset the pay-TV distributors, who currently handle customer service for HBO and often lower the subscription cost to entice new subscribers.

Plepler believes the doomsday scenario where HBO inadvertently hastens the collapse of the cable bundle won’t happen. In fact, he said the company actually sees greater potential upside in convincing more cable subscribers to add HBO to their current plans. HBO wants to add 10 to 15 million such subscribers in the coming years. “This is not binary. It’s not one or the other,” he said. “I see nothing but upside for us, nothing but upside for the consumer, nothing but upside for the distributor.”

Others in the industry are not so sure. After HBO announced its intention to launch a stand-alone service, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said, “It’s going to be a challenge for them to not cannibalize what is already a really, really good business.” (NBC is a division of Comcast, the country’s largest cable provider.) Plepler said HBO continues to have a strong relationship with Comcast and intends to work closely with broadband providers to launch the new service.

Even without the cord-cutters, HBO is bringing in a lot of money. The network generated $1.3 billion in revenue during the third quarter, a 10% increase over the same period a year ago. Operating income declined 4% to $380 million. Time Warner as a whole saw revenue rise 3% to $6.2 billion for the quarter, beating Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Adjusted earnings were $1.22 per share, also beating projections.

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