Posts tagged with "EMPLOYER"

Why Tech Workers Are Leaving To Fight Climate Change

With the climate crisis rapidly worsening, many tech workers are recognizing they aren’t making any significant impact to better the world in their current roles, prompting them to leave the traditional tech sector to work for companies fighting the climate crisis. The tech industry is notorious for having one of the most lucrative job pools for its workers, though the majority of those jobs aren’t particularly glamorous, purpose-driven, fulfilling, or legacy-creating roles. In fact, some of the most common tech jobs consist of designing, engineering, and developing software such as mobile apps or operating systems, or assessing, analyzing, and evaluating data to help companies make better-informed decisions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us several times over that people expect the businesses they work for (and buy from) to take a stance for things that matter to them. And while tech experts may not know much about public policy, legislation, or environmental science, they do know a lot about data. 

“It’s a data problem that we’re solving,” said Persefoni co-founder Kentaro Kawamori when approaching his business partner, James Newsome, about starting a SaaS to fight climate change, as reported by CNBC. A lot of tech workers in similar positions are feeling uncertainty regarding how to best make this career shift due to a lack of knowledge or experience around climate change. But their contribution to this work is not to be concerned with the science of climate change; it’s about managing and leveraging the data needed to navigate climate change.

Making The Shift

Dr. Soudip Roy Chowdhury, the CEO of Eugenie.ai, has witnessed this shift, as well, as more tech workers have looked to join companies with a mission that makes a positive impact on climate change. Dr. Chowdhury hired Narayanan Subramaniam as his CTO because of Narayanan’s dedication to living sustainably over the past 30 years, and because of how he could use his cloud-based technology expertise to impact climate change. 

Dr. Chowdhury cautions tech workers on their career move to the climate change industry. “While the industry needs more workers, you do need to be passionate about climate change and technology in order for it to be satisfying work,” he says. In fact, some tech workers have taken serious pay cuts from huge six-figure salaries to average $60,000 salaries. He also advises to look at what type of technology one wishes to be part of developing.

Climate tech, as a niche industry, has skyrocketed due to several recent changes. From 2020 to 2021, climate tech has seen an 80% increase in investment. The industry’s worth is now estimated at $56 billion, with energy and power companies having seen the most significant growth. When other industries climate tech touches are brought in — for example, transportation, agriculture, food, or logistics — the investment in climate technology increases to over $114 billion, with two-thirds of investments going into mobility and transportation.

Finding The Big Impact

Overall, there is no shortage of job opportunities in climate technology, and while a lot of workers seemed to have taken significant pay cuts, investments into the industry have boomed. The most important thing to know when considering a shift to climate tech, however, is whether or not one is truly passionate about the work involved in mitigating the global impact of climate change. Without that passion, as Dr. Chowdhury mentions, the work may not be enjoyable.

When it comes to companies making the most impact, the biggest thing Dr. Chowdhury says that needs to be considered is scalability. A wide variety of climate tech companies are working to analyze climate change and understand how it needs to be addressed, but the tech industry isn’t the only industry that’s been affected by climate change. “As a technologist, we need to start thinking about scale and how our technology can not only address specific problems for a few industries, but across all industries,” says Dr. Chowdhury. 

This is where using the notion of digitization will come into play. Dr. Chowdhury sees digitization and the innovative products it creates — such as the metaverse — as a prime opportunity for climate change and tech experts to collaborate and test out new, emerging technologies. With the metaverse, new technology being developed can be evaluated and tested to see the level of impact it will have in fighting climate change. And according to Dr. Chowdhury, Eugenie.ai is already accomplishing this.

“We are working on providing digital twin technology, where we help companies create a digital version of their processes and machines. This, of course, will help them to see how they can improve their output, but also how to follow certain process prescriptions,” says Dr. Chowdhury. These prescriptions are determined using simulations of data with a company’s past knowledge, combined with Eugenie.ai’s own research, as a blueprint. By following the prescription, companies can improve their sustainability KPIs, while maintaining operational throughput.

Dr. Chowdhury shares that his company is already partnering with some companies to test out this digital twin approach in the metaverse. “We have tested our digital twin today by applying it to some oil and gas mining companies. We’re helping them to reduce their production wastage by 2025 by focusing on fugitive emissions. The goal is to reduce their emissions close to 7-8% on a annual basis.”

A Glimpse Into Sustainable Business

Companies will now be able to more accurately estimate how their technologies will impact climate change upon launch. In turn, companies like Eugenie.ai can develop prescriptions that will rapidly accelerate the developmental stages industries will have to undergo when adopting new climate and sustainability technologies. With opportunities to develop life-changing climate technology becoming more available and in dire need, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of tech workers are looking to change careers and find more meaningful ways to utilize their expertise.

While many data scientists and software engineers are working at great companies at Google, Amazon, and other tech giants, not many of them can say they’re working on technology that will help to drastically shift the way other industries function. This isn’t to say that their jobs aren’t important; tech giants like Google and Amazon need to understand that tech is not entirely about understanding and optimizing consumerism. 

In fact, consumers are more likely to support sustainability efforts as long as they understand the methods and meaning behind them. However, it’s going to take more workers to leave their big salaries at Google to help the rest of us understand the data necessary to recognize the severity of our climate crisis.

Filmstrip illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Best Places to Live × Work

The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021—InternationalLiving.com

While just about every country is willing to provide a tourist visa that lets visitors hang around for a few months, most will not grant permission to live and work within their borders without a job offer from a local employer. Some offer long-term residence visas that let expats legally live in the country, but they don’t typically allow for work. A new report from the editors at International Living highlights four countries where it’s possible to find easy access to a residence visa—and the permits that allow for work as well.

Source: International Living

It’s clear that an increasing number of Americans want a different life and are looking for countries where they can live and work legally. But the options are limited without a local employer willing to provide a job.

Expats able to earn from anywhere do have a few good options, however, according to International Living’s report. While a small collection of countries welcomes outsiders, who can qualify for the necessary visas, four in Latin America and Europe stand out as the best options in terms of cost, ease, and timing.

Panama

If your goal is to live and work remotely overseas, but remain close to U.S. borders, Panama is your best bet. Direct flights land in Panama City from at least nine U.S. cities and take between three and seven hours, depending on where you’re coming from.

Beyond proximity, Panama offers what it calls the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, a special program whereby nationals of certain countries (including the U.S. and Canada) can apply for permanent residence, which comes with a Panamanian cédula, the local ID card. That cédula is permanent, allowing holders to come and go as they please, as would a born-and-bred Panamanian. Separately, the program also allows holders to request a work permit through the Ministry of Labor, though that’s part of a different process.

Obtaining a temporary cédula takes about eight days. It will take another two days to obtain a multiple-entry visa that’s necessary so an individual can come and go as they wait out the roughly five-month process for the government to issue a permanent cédula. Once a cédula has been obtained, a person can then apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor, which will take about a month.

To start the cédula process, you’ll need basic documents—passport, proof from the FBI that there is no criminal record—and $5,000 in a Panamanian bank account, plus $2,000 for each dependent. And to obtain a work permit, then you’ll need to set up a Panamanian corporation (which can be disbanded after a year).

Uruguay

If speed is more important, then Uruguay is a great choice. Here, expats can land at the airport with the correct collection of documents, and if they already have a pre-scheduled filing date with the immigration office that day, they can file their paperwork and have a temporary cédula that afternoon or the next day. All that’s required is a birth certificate and an apostilled police record (meaning it has been authenticated and is acceptable across international borders). They will also need to show that they have the financial means to support themselves with a provable stream of income from anywhere in the world.

With a temporary cédula, they will also have immediate access to the state healthcare system, or they can immediately buy access with a local, private healthcare plan, which will cost about $70 to $350 a month, depending on the bell and whistles they want.

To manage the process themselves, expect to pay about $600 to $700. But they will also need to have a proficient level of Spanish, as none of the paperwork is in English. Otherwise, hire an attorney. It will be quicker and more efficient and will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

­Portugal

Portugal has two visas that would apply to someone wanting to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula: D2 and D7. Technically, the D2 is for independent workers and entrepreneurs, while the D7 is for those who are retired or earning passive income. In practical terms, the D7 will make sense for most people, even if they’re not retired, because it’s based on income. The D2 requires proof that an expat can support themselves as a freelancer and can begin issuing Portuguese invoices on which the business will be taxed, though the tax rate is fixed at 20% for 10 years.

With the D7, instead, a person will need only to show that they have €8,000 (about $9,700) per person in a Portuguese bank account and that they have the equivalent of €30,000 ($36,400) in a bank account back in their home country.

To apply for either a D2 or D7 visa, an expat must enroll in the Portuguese tax system and become a tax resident. That requires obtaining a Portuguese tax number before they can even apply for a visa. And for that, they will need a sponsor, which can be a law office, accounting office, or migration office.

For that reason, they’ll need to hire a pro to walk them through the process and be their sponsor for the tax number. All in, that will cost you between €1,000 and €2,500 (about $1,200 to $3,000). The process will require two to four months to complete.

As a freelancer, an expat will also want to apply for Non-Habitual Resident status, or NHR, which is issued to people who’ve never lived in Portugal before and move to the country. With NHR status, income earned outside the country is exempt from taxes. They will have to file a Portuguese tax return and declare the income, though they’ll owe no taxes on it. The other benefit of this is that it shows Uncle Sam they’re a tax resident of another country, which then helps trigger their eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

A person is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport after five years of residence, though they have to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Czech Republic

It’s a two-step process in Czech Republic. First step: apply to join the živnostensky (zivno) list. This isn’t specifically for foreigners. It’s a trade license for any Czech resident who works independently, be that a plumber, masseuse, artist, or whoever. That will take a week at most. Zivno in hand, they can then apply for a one-year, temporary residence visa.

They must apply for a residence visa at a Czech embassy outside of the Czech Republic, show they have housing (a notarized lease agreement) for the full-length of the visa they seek, up to one year. That means they’ll need to visit the Czech Republic to arrange that. Some expats will move to Prague, obtain their housing and zivno, then take the train to nearby embassies in Berlin, Vienna, or Bratislava and complete their application.

They will need a signed letter from their bank stating that they have the equivalent of 125,000 Czech crowns on deposit (about $5,700). That will need to be translated into Czech, which a visa agency can handle. Be sure the account has a debit card, which must be presented at the application meeting at the Czech embassy, because officials will want to see it—it’s proof that a person can access the account.

An FBI criminal background check is required, though as an American an expat can also go to the U.S. embassy in Prague and sign an affidavit attesting to their criminal-free background. Along with a passport and an application form, that’s pretty much all the documents an applicant needs.

To hire a local agency to help with the process, it should cost less than 15,000 crowns (about $685) for everything. The embassy fee is a separate 5,000 crowns (about $230).

Once the temporary visa expires after a year, it can easily be traded in for a renewable, two-year long-term residence visa. After five years as a legal resident, a person is eligible to apply for Czech citizenship and a Czech passport, which like the Portuguese passport, is an EU passport and thus gives them free rein to live and work anywhere in the EU.

The full report on the best places to live and work in 2021, including more information for immigration experts in each of the countries mentioned, can be found at: The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021.

International Living has launched its new “Work From Anywhere” resource, devoted to coverage of innovative money-making strategies, ways to build a portable income, tips for boosting health and well-being, methods to maximize Social Security, and so much more. More information can be found, here.

Study says bosses need to stop doing THIS in 2018

Researchers Identify the Most Worst Boss Behavior

Leadership coach explains findings

Here is the most damaging boss behavior: A manager who has mood swings.

A recent study from University of Exeter found that leaders who exhibited “Jekyll and Hyde” behavior (switching between friendly and kind to volatile and critical) created the highest level of disengagement among employees.

“You might think that a boss who was sometimes friendly and magnanimous with his staff would earn some brownie points that would help ease hurt feelings when he later lost his temper,” says leadership coach Jack Skeen, who is the co-author (along with Greg Miller and Aaron Hill) of a new professional development book, The Circle Blueprint. “However, it’s just the opposite. Instead, employees begin to view their boss as unpredictable. Since they never know which boss they are going to encounter (the nice guy or the grouchy guy), they are constantly walking on eggshells and afraid to be themselves or voice their ideas.”

However, Skeen assures managers that they don’t have to be ‘one-note’ happy managers all the time, either. “Employees understand that their bosses are human and that they have bad days,” says the Fortune 500 coach, “But you can be disappointed or displeased with your staff without losing control and attacking your employees on a personal level.”

To help leaders grow into their full potential, Skeen has co-created a self-assessment tool to help leaders assess themselves in key areas, including their power, purpose, humility and independence. This assessment is available for free here, to anyone who has purchased The Circle Blueprint. “Until leaders are aware of how they are impacting the people around them, specifically their employees, they are going to continue hitting a professional plateau.”

For more on this topic or to speak with Jack Skeen, please contact me.

 

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