TIME Workplace & Careers

Seattle Business Owner Will Pay $70,000 Minimum Wage to All Employees

CEO will take nearly $930,000 pay cut to help fund the raises

A Seattle-based company will pay a $70,000 minimum wage to all employees, regardless of their job title, after the CEO read a study that found pay hikes up to that threshold led to significant improvements in emotional well-being.

Dan Price, founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card payment processing firm, stunned his employees with the generous minimum wage plan, which will ratchet up salaries over the next three years, the New York Times reports.

Thirty of Gravity Payment’s 120 employees will see their salaries double over the next three years, while Price himself will take a pay cut from $1 million down to $70,000 a year, or minimum wage by his standards.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME Workplace & Careers

Jury Clears Silicon Valley Firm in Sex Bias Suit

APTOPIX Silicon Valley Sexual Discrimination
Jeff Chiu—AP Ellen Pao, center, walks to Civic Center Courthouse in San Francisco, March 27, 2015.

A jury rejected claims made by Ellen Pao about Kleiner Perkins

A jury cleared venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins of gender discrimination in lawsuit by former employee Ellen Pao following a trial that has put a harsh light on the skewed demographics in Silicon Valley.

After three days of deliberations, the jury rejected allegations that Kleiner Perkins passed Pao over for a promotion and then fired her because of her gender. It also cleared the firm of Pao’s claims it had retaliated against her.

The verdict was a major victory for Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in companies like Google and Genentech. The trial had shed an unflattering light on internal bickering within the firm and big egos along with the negative image that comes with a high-profile sexism lawsuit.

“Today’s verdict reaffirms that Ellen Pao’s claims have no legal merit,” Kleiner Perkins said in a statement. “We are grateful to the jury for its careful examination of the facts.

“There is no question gender diversity in the workplace is an important issue. KPCB remains committed to supporting women in venture capital and technology both inside our firm and within our industry.”

For Ellen Pao, the jury’s decision marks a major blow. Speaking to reporters just after the verdict, she emphasized that despite the loss, she hoped her case may help other women and make companies think twice about how women are treated.

“I have told my story and thousands of people have heard it,” Pao said. “My story is their story. If I’ve helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it.”

During more than four weeks of testimony in San Francisco Superior Court, attorneys for Pao and her former employer, blue-chip investment firm Kleiner Perkins, presented witnesses, emails and documents that portrayed widely different narratives of Pao’s career at the firm.

The trial, which has been closely followed in Silicon Valley and by the media, offered a rare and intimate window into the gender dynamics of one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investment firms. The case has been particularly significant for the tech industry, which has long struggled with diversity.

Pao, who filed the gender discrimination lawsuit following a seven-year career at the firm, claimed that she had been overlooked for promotions in favor of men with less experience. She also described how she was excluded from all-male dinner parties, subjected to a bawdy discussions of porn and given an inappropriate gift of erotic poetry by a senior male colleague for Valentines Day.

In turn, Kleiner aggressively defended itself in court by painting Pao as a difficult employee who lacked the qualifications necessary to be a venture capitalist. Witness after witness from the firm contradicted Pao’s accounts of misbehavior or said she twisted the facts to make insignificant events seem like serious problems.

Much of the trial’s testimony focused on Pao’s performance and whether she should have been promoted. In making her case, Pao claimed responsibility for a number of successful investments and pointed to her good relationship with companies in which Kleiner had invested. Kleiner, on the other hand, said failed to build expertise — or “thought leadership” — and constantly bickered with colleagues.

Kleiner eventually fired Pao in 2012, shortly after she had filed her lawsuit. She is now interim CEO of online forum Reddit.

After the verdict, Steve Sammut, a juror in the trial, explained to the media that he and his peers had focused their deliberations, in part, on how Pao’s performance reviews. He said they supported the firm’s defense by showing that Pao got dinged for the same weaknesses year-after-year, suggesting she never improved on them. Meanwhile, performance of male colleagues seemed to show improvements. Their critiques varied year-to-year.

“For Pao’s reviews, we went back and looked for areas to improve and they tended to stay the same, for other individuals they tended to drop off,” Sammut said.

The trial also brought into question Kleiner’s workplace policies, or lack thereof. Pao’s side argued that the venture capital firm didn’t have a real harassment policy in place until 2012, and that the partners often got away with inappropriate behavior without being punished.

The verdicts did not go smoothly. Early in the afternoon, the jury came back with what it thought was a final decision. But the judge belatedly realized that the jury had miscounted its votes for one of four counts. The judge ordered the jury to return to deliberations over a remaining retaliation claim. They emerged about an hour and a half later with a decision on the final count.

This article originally appeared in Fortune.com.

 

TIME Workplace & Careers

8 Things Millennials Should Do Before Their First Job Interview

Reminder for Job Interview
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Truthful advice on how recent graduates can navigate today’s job market

Maybe it’s because we’re taught to find an older mentor. Or maybe it’s because people who are gray around the temples simply look wiser. Whatever the reason, when you’re fresh out of college, it’s tempting to seek career advice from the most accomplished people in the field you’re hoping to break into.

But in reality, those execs chalked up most of their accomplishments in an entirely different economic, technological and professional landscape. So Fortune talked to more recent college graduates—millennials who entered the workforce in the years after the economic crash and the invention of Twitter—about what they wish they’d known about getting a toehold in their career when they were 22.

Before you accept an internship, especially an unpaid internship, ask the employer this one question.

“Have you ever hired an intern?”

Internships have become a necessary inconvenience on the path to full-time, paid employment—even though they can sometimes seem more like a cruel prank to get recent graduates to fetch coffee and make copies for free.

Occasionally an unpaid internship turns into a solid job, but often it doesn’t. Before you gratefully accept someone’s offer to work for them for free, ask about the company’s track record of hiring from their intern pool, and weigh their answer before you accept. If they’ve only ever hired one intern, but have 60 working for them at any given time, it might be best to walk away.

“Sometimes it is worth it to wait and really vet these organizations. Expect better,” says Justine Dowden, who graduated in 2010 and has had six different internships or jobs since; she’s now pursuing a master’s in public health. “Try to work for a place that wants you to really grow from the experience of working for them, not just use you as expendable cheap labor. That will connect you to people. You really can’t wait around forever, but you can wait around for an internship that’s not just tweeting.”

Sometimes bigger—and more established—is better.

A creative startup with only five employees or a scrappy nonprofit looks cool from the outside—and it’s easy to think that you’ll be able to add a wide range of skills to your resume if everyone on staff is doing a little bit of everything. But it can also be maddening once you’ve been hired. Small upstarts often “don’t have the same HR structures as corporate places or law firms. All of the lines are blurred so it’s harder to know your position,” says Meg, a first-year associate at a law firm in Chicago, who watched many of her undergrad classmates unexpectedly struggle with the loose nature of their jobs at creative upstart companies. “Because the hierarchy wasn’t as clear, it was also harder for them to get mentors,” she adds. Beware of companies that lack a human resources department or won’t give you a concrete job description.

You don’t have to move to New York.

It might seem like all of your friends are moving to Bushwick, but take a wider view. There are good jobs everywhere. “Just try to look beyond NYC or Boston or SF,” says Dowden, who counts an internship in Amsterdam and a public-health job in Sacramento among her most valuable professional experiences.

Don’t wait for permission to put your ideas out into the world.

It’s never been easier to show employers that you have ideas worth listening to. Can’t get an informational interview with a company you’d love to work for? Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to publish your thoughts online about what the organization could be doing better.

“When I was a junior in college, I had some ideas I thought Google should work on, and I wrote this blog post,” says Ted Power, who graduated in 2007. “I mocked up this concept and put it out there, and got very lucky because someone at Google happened to see it, and said oh, you should apply for an internship here.” His internship turned into a full-time job at Google, which he later quit to instead work at a series of startups. Companies pay attention to what people say about them online, and if your tone is professional and your ideas are sound, you just might get lucky like Power did.

Meet as many people as you can. And keep in touch.

It might make you feel like a nag or a phony, but “all the bullshit you hear about networking is so true,” Meg says. When she first interviewed at her law firm, it went well. They told her they really liked her, but they wouldn’t be hiring any new associates that year—an all-too-common interview response in tough economic times. She kept in touch, calling them after she took the bar exam and again after she got the news that she’d passed. After her third or fourth call that ended with a polite decline, she got a call back from one of the partners, offering her a job. Meg’s pretty sure that never would have happened if she hadn’t gotten in touch with them after their initial “sorry, but we’re not hiring now.”

Also, don’t be afraid to work any personal connection you have—even if those connections aren’t people who are directly hiring right now. That fellow intern you befriended last summer? She might not be a hiring manager just yet, but she probably will know before outsiders do when her company is hiring. Don’t unfriend her on Facebook just because you’re annoyed she found a job right away and you didn’t. Stay in touch.

Put your Google-stalking skills to work.

Your talents are wasted on your ex. Instead, read up on the places you want to hire you and the people who work there. This is what LinkedIn is made for, but you can do better than that. Googling and combing social media can yield a surprising amount of information—so much that it’s almost like having a contact within the company. A lot of hiring managers are pretty public these days about what they look for in a new employee. Pay attention to what they’re saying.

It’s ok if you don’t know what your dream job is.

In fact, it might be better that way. The point of your first few jobs is just to try out different roles, responsibilities and different types of work environments.

“There’s a lot of pressure to find your dream job, or something that you absolutely love,” Power says. “That can almost be counterproductive because you have such high expectations. What’s more important is trying a bunch of stuff and figuring out what you like doing day to day. There are a lot of jobs that sound amazing, but the day to day is working in Excel or something.”

And if you do have a dream job, don’t write off an entry-level position just because it’s imperfect. After an internship at the White House, Meg landed a job at the Department of Justice, “which wasn’t my first choice,” she says. But in retrospect, it looks a lot better than the other political jobs she wished she’d gotten at the time. “I made $20,000 more at DOJ than you’d make at the White House,” she says. She also met a fantastic mentor at the Department of Justice, who convinced her to go to law school and ended up changing the course of her career.

Remember to have fun.

This is going to sound almost ridiculous, given that your first few jobs are likely to be less than ideal. But if you’re working super-long hours and finding yourself too busy to even see your friends, take a step back. You have plenty of time to work yourself to the bone later. “Young professional life is trying to figure out balance between trying to get ahead and enjoying your life,” Meg says.

Sure, you have loans to pay off. You want your next job to be a fantastic one. But you shouldn’t be more stressed than your boss who makes ten times as much. Your twenties are “the time you’re supposed to be going on disaster internet dates and going out and finding excellent hangover breakfast restaurants before work the next day,” Meg says. Make the most of them.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Companies

This 1-Year-Old Startup Says It’s the Fastest-Growing Business App Ever

Slack Business App
Courtesy of Slack

Slack is one of many new workplace apps taking offices by storm

Office messaging service Slack, which is celebrating its first birthday Thursday, says it’s now the fastest-growing business app ever.

Slack has more than half a million daily active users sending 300 million messages a month on the platform, according a company press release. The app’s daily active user count has grown 35% since the start of the year, while it’s pulling in $12 million in annual reoccurring revenue.

Slack, valued at over $1 billion after a $120 million funding round last October, hopes to kill frustrating back-and-forth work e-mails with an easy-to-use chat interface. It also gives businesses a platform to upload and comment on posts and files, as well as integration with a wide range of productivity apps like Google Drive and Trello.

“Messaging has emerged as one of the most fundamental applications of the Internet, and its value is shifting into our work lives,” said Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, in a release. “Slack radically increases internal transparency and turns communication archives into a powerful shared resource.”

Slack justifies calling itself the fastest-growing business app based on analysis from Tomasz Tunguz, a partner at Redpoint Ventures who closely watches the corporate software space. The company’s stellar growth rate is especially notable because it’s happening almost entirely thanks to word of mouth and media coverage, not an aggressive advertising campaign.

Slack’s early success comes as more tech heavyweights are looking to expand their presence in the workplace. In January, Facebook introduced Facebook At Work, a revamped version of the social network meant to boost office productivity. Amazon recently announced a new cloud-based corporate email solution. And Box, a corporate file storage and sharing platform, went public late last month at a valuation of $2.7 billion.

TIME Workplace & Careers

42% of Americans Didn’t Take Vacation in 2014, Survey Finds

Americans No Vacation 2014
Tetra Images - Chris Hackett—Getty Images/Brand X

Many Americans said they can't afford to use their vacation days

About 4 in 10 Americans didn’t use any of their vacation days in 2014, a new survey says.

Just under 42% of Americans didn’t take a single day of vacation in 2014, while about 15% of Americans took at least 20 days of vacation, according a survey by Skift, a travel intelligence site. The survey was administered via Google Consumer Surveys to 1,500 adult Americans on the Internet earlier this month.

The findings revealed that many full-time employed Americans have at least 10 days of allotted vacation, though only about 13% said they could afford to take that many. The survey also said that, on average, women took fewer vacation days than men.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans are reluctant to use their vacation time for fear of being replaced or worries of their work piling up. Employers are not required to give their workers paid time off under federal law.

TIME Workplace & Careers

7 Ways to Get Ahead at Work Before the New Year

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Thomas Barwick—Getty Images Coworkers in discussion at conference room table

7 things you must do before January

You have a little more than a month to go before the end of the year, so make the most of it. Experts say these are the important things to get done now if you want to start your career in the new year off on the right foot:

List your wins. Think of the best three things you accomplished over the last year and write them down, says career coach and personal branding strategist Pamela Weinberg. “Having these accomplishments on paper will help you to be able to better articulate your strengths when you get a review, or bonus,” she says. And if you’re looking for a new job, you’ve just written a couple of your resume bullet points.

Deliver bad news. If you manage other workers, this is the time to have any hard conversations you’ve been putting off. “Think about needed discussions with your subordinates concerning ongoing work,” says career coach Todd Dewett. “What needs to be improved that you’ve noticed but not addressed?” Be as specific as possible so the employee knows how to improve in the new year.

Brace for change. “Companies are constantly evolving,” says Margaret Spence, an expert panelist at the Society for Human Resource Management. “This work economy doesn’t allow you to be stagnant in your career.” The end of the year is a great time to look ahead and figure out what you’re going to need to know for the coming year. Is the company shifting to a new tech platform or implementing a new process? Are there any legal or regulatory changes the new year will bring that will change how you do your job? Get out in front of these changes in advance, Spence advises.

Get people’s contact info. “Get in touch with people who are leaving [or] moving to new roles,” says Patti Johnson, author of Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life. Get their personal phone number and email address so you can stay in touch, and make plans for an initial meet-up or get together now so you already have networking opportunities on your calendar for the new year.

Check in with your boss. “If you’ve signaled interest in a role shift or promotion and it’s been six months or more, it’s time to initiate conversation once again,” Dewett says. “You want to go into the new year with clarity about where to invest the bulk of your networking efforts — internally or externally.”

Plan on education. Consider your professional development and determine what skills you’ll need to make it to the next rung on the corporate ladder, Weinberg advises. Maybe a public speaking course or participation in an industry conference might give you the boost you need. “December is often a slow time business-wise so take some time to research how you might gain the skills you need to reach your 2015 career goals,” she says. Bonus: By getting a jump on this process, you won’t need to worry about a course or event selling out before you can sign up.

Say thanks. “It’s a great time to write hand-written personal notes of appreciation,” says career coach Glo Harris. She’s not referring to holiday cards, although those are important, too. The intent of this is to say thanks to standout clients, mentors and others. “Do the same with your team,” Harris says. Acknowledge what you appreciate about your colleagues — and be specific.

TIME Companies

7 Companies That Spend More on CEO Pay Than Federal Taxes

Ford Issues Recall For 850,000 2013-14 Vehicles
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Ford Ford has benefitted from a stronger economic recovery in the U.S., as many drivers look to replace their aging vehicles. Executives also expect it to be profitable in North America this year, albeit at a lower level than in 2013. In Europe, where Ford has closed factories and cut thousands of jobs, the company expects to report a narrower loss in 2014 and achieve profitability the following year. Worldwide, Ford’s 2013 revenue increased 10% from the previous year to $146.9 billion, while profits climbed 26%.

Average CEO salary has climbed to almost $32 million from $16.7 million in 2010, according to study

Seven of the country’s 30 largest corporations doled out more to their chief executives last year than to Uncle Sam.

These seven firms reported more than $74 billion in profits last year and received a combined total of $1.9 billion in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service, according to a study, giving them an effective tax rate of negative 2.5%.

The findings are part of a report from theCenter for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies. The twoWashington, D.C., think tanks have published an annual study called “Fleecing Uncle Sam,” which looks at CEO salaries and corporate taxes, since 2010.

The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35.3%, according to federal law. The reality is that most large corporations’ pay a far lower rate. Large American companies pay an effective corporate tax rate closer to 12.6%, according to the Government Accountability Office. Essentially, a host of items can lower a corporate tax bill, such as write-offs for research and development costs, or the depreciation of buildings and equipment.

As firms find ways around big tax burdens, the rift between what they pay the federal government and what they pay their top executives has been widening. The average compensation paid to CEOs that the study singles out has climbed to almost $32 million from $16.7 million in 2010.

Here are seven corporations that paid their CEOs more than the U.S. government in 2013 (the numbers below were compiled by the study’s co-authors).

1. Boeing

Boeing pre-tax income: $5.95 billion
CEO James McNerney total pay: $23.3 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$82 million

2. Ford Motors

Ford pre-tax income: $6.52 billion
CEO Alan Mulally total pay: $23.2 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$19 million

3. Chevron

Chevron pre-tax income: $4.67 billion
CEO John Watson total pay: $20.2 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: $15 million

4. Citigroup

Citigroup pre-tax income: $6.4 billion
CEO Michael Corbat total pay: $17.6 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$260 million

5. Verizon

Verizon pre-tax income: $28.83 billion
CEO Lowell McAdam total pay: $15.8 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$197 million

6. JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan pre-tax income: $17.23 billion
CEO Jamie Dimon total pay: $11.8 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$1.3 billion

7. General Motors

GM pre-tax income: $4.88 billion
CEO Daniel Ackerson total pay: $9.1 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$34 million

TIME Workplace & Careers

The Unlikely Secret to Succeeding at Your First Job

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How not to mess up your foundation to future success

40 under 40 Insider Network is one of several online communities where the most thoughtful and influential people in business under 40 answer timely career and leadership questions. This week, we ask: What are 3 must-have skills to land your first job? The following is an answer by Kevin Chou, CEO and co-founder of Kabam.

Your first ‘real’ job should give you the foundation needed for future success. This couldn’t have been more true in my case, but not in the ways you’d expect.

After graduating from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, I went to work as an analyst in the technology group of a bulge bracket investment bank. It paid very well and was in the tech field I wanted. This was it. I was on my way.

It was 2002, during the depths of the dot-com bust and when the tech sector was a wasteland. I was working with the only active client for the group, a private technology company that engaged our bank to sell itself. As this was the only business for the group at that time, this deal was under tremendous scrutiny on all levels.

I was working 100-plus hour weeks for three straight months, and I remember vividly one weekend when I had a horrible flu. I was at the office working on a Saturday when the VP managing this deal went out to dinner. As she left, she asked for “another rev” on the presentation. Translation: I had to put in another eight hours that night, with a fever, and the CEO wanted to review the presentation on a 7:00 AM call the next morning (Sunday).

I cant remember the exact mixture of caffeine and decongestants I took, but I somehow managed to get the presentation done, nab a couple hours of sleep and arrive back in the office for the call. I was drowsy, achy and coughing miserably during the call. At one point the VP muted the phone, looked at me and said, “I’m going to need you to perk up.

Perk up I did, but not in the way she was thinking. At that precise moment, I knew I was in the wrong job and more importantly, the wrong career path. In one life lesson she had unwittingly (and unrelentingly) taught me three key things:

  • Pursue great people and not the paycheck
  • Do work you love
  • Create a healthy work-life balance

Suddenly, the income was not as important as being able to work with great mentors and people I could learn from. I had hoped for this when accepting the investment-banking job and soon realized it didn’t exist. I remained blinded by the pay until that mute button was pressed. I left and ultimately took a job that paid much less but was far more rewarding in terms of the people and the work.

Having a clear understanding of what was important to me was critical not just when co-founding a company that I wanted to work at – but also to create a place that fosters satisfying careers for all those I work with as well.

TIME Workplace & Careers

3 Little Words You Should Never Say

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PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou—Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Easy to blurt out, hard to take back

themuselogo

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

You’re in a meeting, just wrapping up your status update, and things are going well. The group seems reassured that you’re on top of things. Then, just as you’re about to close your laptop and head for the door, your boss’ peer asks, “How are projections looking for Q2?” Your boss nods in your direction and suddenly, all eyes in the room are back on you.

Blurting out a panicked “I don’t know!” may seem like the path of least resistance in an uncomfortable moment—but if you want to be taken seriously as an emerging leader, you should ditch that phrase and learn what experienced leaders say when they don’t know the answer.

Saying “I Don’t Know” Costs You Credibility and Influence

I once spoke with a woman who was truly an expert in her field—the only engineer on her software team with a PhD. But despite her technical chops, people kept sidestepping her and going to her boss with questions that she could have answered.

It turns out that the tech-savvy PhD was in a job that required her to represent the department in senior-level executive meetings where it had been deemed acceptable—even encouraged—to interrupt whoever had the floor and fire a rapid stream of tough questions at him or her. No matter how meticulously the engineer prepared for the meeting (and firing squad), she would inevitably fumble, lose her composure, and say, “I don’t know. I’ll ask my boss.”

Just like that, she had inadvertently trained people to go to her boss with their tough technical questions. It turns out that Dr. Phil was right when he said, “We teach people how to treat us”—and that this is especially true when it comes to establishing credibility and influence at work. Every time you say “I don’t know,” you teach people not to come to you next time.

“I Don’t Know” is Not an Answer—or an Option!

Once, while at a professional crossroads, digital marketing executive Dr. Patricia Fletcher reached out to a mentor for help. When her mentor, Jeanne Sullivan, a seasoned investor and corporate board member, asked what Fletcher would do in a hypothetical situation, Fletcher began her response with “I don’t know….”

Sullivan cut her short, reminding her, “‘I don’t know’ is not an answer. The correct answer is, ‘I don’t have enough information to answer your question.’”

Fletcher now looks back on this as one of the best pieces of advice she’s ever received. “When it comes to business, there’s no such answer as ‘I don’t know,’” she says.

Prepare a More Powerful Response

In the business world, a person who speaks with confidence is likely to be perceived to be competent.

Writing for ForbesWoman, negotiation and leadership expert Selena Rezvani suggests, “Rather than turning to ‘I don’t know’ as a default, prepare yourself with some more powerful responses.”

Wondering what your options are? Here are four powerful options I recommend you commit to memory:

  1. “I don’t have enough information to answer your question.” —Jeanne Sullivan, founding partner of Starvest Partners (and Dr. Patricia Fletcher’s mentor)
  2. “Good question. I’ll find out.” —Chris Turkovich, principal program manager
  3. “Based on what we know today, my thoughts are…” —Selena Rezvani, leadership author, speaker, and consultant
  4. “I don’t have the data at hand, but I’ll get it to you later today.” —Senior software engineer

The PhD software engineer from the story above practiced these responses while standing in front of a mirror until she was able to stand her ground when fielding a tough question. Now, when pressed for an answer, she looks the inquisitor in the eye and responds in a way that builds her leadership presence and authority. And now, colleagues and execs alike know to come to her—first, before her boss—with technical questions.

Communicating with confidence is part of a leader’s job. To join the rank of truly exceptional leaders, upgrade your communication toolkit and eliminate your “I don’t knows” in favor of more powerful responses.

TIME Workplace & Careers

This Is Where All of America’s Employed Bachelors Live

It's raining men, especially along the Tennessee—Kentucky border

Roughly eight in 10 single women who want to tie the knot one day say it’s “very important” to them that their future spouses hold down a steady job, according to a recent poll by Pew Research. Less than half of the surveyed men felt the same way. In either case, Pew Research has created an interactive map of the marriage market to showcase which parts of the country tend to have a bumper crop of employed bachelors and bachelorettes:

 

The highest concentration of single men with jobs is in the city of Clarksville, straddling both sides of the Tennessee-Kentucky border. They outnumber the women 145 to 100.

Interestingly, there isn’t a single city in the nation where employed, single women outnumber the men. They live in the highest concentration in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, at a roughly 1 to 1 ratio with the male population.

But the most intriguing differences emerge depending on the definition of “eligible.” If the goal is to find the highest proportion of bachelors, then large swathes of Arizona, Indiana and Louisiana offer favorable odds, but refine the goal to employed bachelors and suddenly those states appear to be wastelands. It reveals how drastically the marriage market can change depending on what you’re looking for, and how unlikely it is that a map of just one or two preferences will lead to that life-long mate.

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to look.

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