Sunday Night Insomnia

 

Even if you do everything right, and typically don’t experience issues with falling asleep on other nights, the majority of people suffer from what has been described as “Sunday Night Insomnia,” or trouble falling asleep on Sunday nights.

 

At times, this is because the weekend disrupted your usual sleep/wake cycle. In some cases, anxiety about the coming workweek is a factor, as well as logging too much screen time right before bed.

 

Luckily, regardless of the cause, there are things you can do to help ensure you fall asleep quickly as your weekend comes to a close. If you suffer from Sunday Night Insomnia, here are five ways to beat it.

 

  1. Limit Screen Time

The blue light emitted by a variety of screens, including televisions, computers, and smartphones, can disrupt your sleep cycle. Ideally, you want to avoid being in front of any screen the hour before you go to bed. This gives your body a chance to shake off the effects of the blue light, making it easier to fall asleep.

 

Additionally, you should make your bedroom a device-free zone, ensuring you won’t be tempted to log some screen time once you settle in under the covers.

 

  1. Put on Your Pajamas Early

For most people, the act of putting on your pajamas is associated with going to sleep. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage by switching into your sleep clothes earlier on Sunday. That way, your mind starts to think it’s close to bedtime, which may promote better sleep.

 

  1. Put Worries to Bed

Sometimes, what keeps people up on Sunday nights is the coming workweek. Maybe you’re worried about your to-do list or stressing about an upcoming presentation.

 

One method for defeating your anxieties is to take 20 to 30 minutes and address them head-on on Sunday evening. Take some time to write out your concerns and list reasonable next steps. That way, when your head hits the pillow, your initial planning is done.

 

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  1. Mind the Temperature

Being too hot or too cold can make it harder to fall asleep. To avoid this, identify a temperature at which you are most comfortable, usually in the upper 60s or low 70s, and prepare your bedroom before you jump into bed.

 

  1. Do Something Relaxing

During the hour before your bedtime, consider doing something relaxing. Kick back with a book, take a nice bath or shower, and listen to some soothing music. This allows you to take a moment to slow down, making it easier to fall asleep when that time arrives.

 

By following the tips above, you can banish your Sunday Night Insomnia, giving you the ability to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated on Monday morning.

 

If you would like to learn more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Impostor Syndrome 

 

Have you ever walked into work thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing?” If so, you’re not alone.

 

Impostor syndrome, the feeling that you don’t have the right knowledge, skills or experience to work in your current role, is incredibly prevalent in tech. It often leads to extreme feelings of doubt, insecurity, and anxiety, making it harder to stay positive on the job even when people tell you that you’re doing great.

 

Often, beliefs that you are an impostor in the workplace aren’t based in reality, but that doesn’t make them inherently easy to conquer. If you are ready to get over your impostor syndrome for good, here’s what you need to do.

 

If You Don’t Know It, Learn It

One of the root causes of impostor syndrome is not having all of the answers. Maybe your code isn’t the most beautiful to behold, or you’ve never worked with a particular system before, and now you have to jump in.

 

Often, it’s a lack of understanding of a particular thing that leads a person to feel like they don’t belong in their job. But, it’s important to remember that no one starts out with this knowledge, and it’s always possible to learn something new.

 

If you don’t know how something functions or how to improve on something you’ve created, then adopt an inquisitive mindset and start researching. You can do internet searches, sign up for a class, or reach out to the expert in your workplace. All of these have the ability to get you the knowledge you need, making you more secure in your capabilities, including your ability to learn something new.

 

 

Keep Track of Compliments

Typically, we are more inclined to take criticism to heart, whether it comes from ourselves or someone else, than we are to accept that a compliment is accurate. Over time, these negative points override the positives, becoming a point of focus over the long-term.

 

However, it is possible to balance out the negatives with the positives, as long as you make an effort to keep track of the compliments given to you. For example, store copies of emails that offered kudos in a folder so they are accessible, write down the positive things people say, or stash cards that were given in appreciation in a file. Then, when you find yourself doubting your capabilities, turn to these resources to when you need a boost.

 

At some point, nearly everyone experiences bouts of impostor syndrome as they walk down their career path, so you aren’t alone in these feelings of self-doubt. But, by being open to learning and reminding yourself that you have exceeded others expectations, you can adjust your mindset, allowing you to beat impostor syndrome for good.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out a new opportunity, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Hadoop 

 

Pursuing a career as a software architect can be incredibly lucrative. In the San Jose area, those with the proper skills can make an average salary of over $140,000, well above the national average.

 

But, this means you need to have an appropriate level of technical prowess, and certain skills are more likely to help you stand out from the potential sea of applicants. If you are wondering which skills employers want to find in software architects, here’s what you need to know.

 

C++ and Java

While many programming languages may be requested by employers, C++ and Java are two languages that are commonly listed on software architect job postings.

 

Java is often prized for its versatility as well as its role in emerging technologies, like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Additionally, it can be applied to multiple environments, which is ideal for multi-platform organizations.

 

C++ is usually considered a general-purpose programming language and is widely used across multiple industries. It works well for application and server-side development, making it a must-have in the eyes of many companies.

 

 

Hadoop

Apache Hadoop plays a substantial role in big data-oriented objectives, so software architects that are familiar with this open-source software framework are in high demand. Hadoop can be seen as critical when data that needs to be analyzed is located on multiple servers, so being able to support these projects is a great way to stand out from the competition.

 

Agile

Many organizations favor the Agile methodology for software development. If a business already uses the approach, then being familiar with Agile will be seen as a necessity.

 

Since Agile has been a go-to methodology for some time, many experienced software architects will already have this knowledge. For those just breaking into the field, learning the fundamentals of Agile can be beneficial, as not everyone in entry-level roles will have this experience.

 

Soft Skills

Gone are the days where a person’s technical ability was the only thing hiring managers focused on. Now, soft skills are seen as vital to a software architect’s success, so they are becoming more prominent on job postings.

 

Usually, leadership and organizational skills are a high priority, especially for upper-level of senior positions. Communication skills are also a must, as software architects aren’t just tasked with working as part of a team but also partnering with stakeholders who may not be as technically savvy. This means being able to gather information and communicate complex details in a way that is easily understood by those not working in the software architecture field is a must.

 

There is a range of opportunities for software architects, but possessing the skills above puts you in the best position when it comes to furthering your career.

 

If you are looking for a new software architect position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with top employers throughout the area. Contact us today to see how our services can help you take the next step in your career.

 

 

 Mentor

 

A lot of professionals have heard that having a mentor can potentially benefit their career. But, since these arrangements aren’t necessarily common or publicly announced, exactly how it can help you get ahead can seem like a bit of a mystery.

 

Ultimately, having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial, as long as the relationship is constructed in the proper way. If you are wondering how a mentor can help your career, here’s what you need to know about the role.

 

A Long-Term Relationship

One of the biggest differences between a mentor and a coach is the duration of the relationship. While coaches often make short-term arrangements, a mentor is usually in it for the long haul. The idea is to serve as a guide, supporting your growth and professional development, and acting as a source of insight as you move forward down your career path.

 

The nature of a relationship with a mentor is usually not finite, allowing them to function as a critical connection for months or even years.

 

 

A Source of Encouragement

Often, a person who serves as a mentor is a professional in a position that you would one day like to have. This means that they have usually been in your shoes at some point in their career, so they are capable of both empathizing with the challenges you encounter while also being capable of offering encouragement. After all, they have likely had to tackle the same issues as they were rising through the ranks, and they made it, so they know it is possible to overcome obstacles and reach success.

 

At times, simply having a cheerleader can do wonders for your career. Understanding that someone else has made it through these challenges and is rallying behind you can be both stress-relieving and empowering, allowing you to accomplish more than you previously thought possible.

 

A Sounding Board

While it isn’t a mentor’s responsibility to tell you exactly what to do to reach your goal or give you answers when you encounter difficult questions, they can often serve as a sounding board when you are faced with tough decisions. Again, they have a deeper understanding of the field, so their wisdom can help you work through complicated problems, giving you a chance to make the decision while ensuring you considered all of the key points along the way.

 

In the end, a mentor wants to see you succeed, so they are going to offer their insights and encouragement as a means of supporting you during your journey. If you are interested in learning more about how a mentor can benefit you and your career or are seeking out new opportunities in your field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer and to see how our services can benefit you as you work towards your larger career goals.

 

 

 Data Scientist

 

Companies all over the country are looking for skilled data scientists, making it one of the hottest careers today. And, as more businesses look for ways to leverage their data, data science has the capacity to remain an in-demand specialty for quite some time.

 

Professionals in these roles often command high salaries, especially if their skill set is strong. However, even those who have worked as a data scientist can always elevate their careers by making smart decisions. If you are looking to get your data scientist career off the ground or take it to the next level, here’s how to get started.

 

Learn the Right Programming Languages

While there is a range of programming languages in use in the data science field, some of them are more in-demand than others. Ultimately, Python, R, and SQL are the most common ones requested by companies in their job postings, so having at least one of those at your disposal is a must.

 

If you aren’t familiar with those programming languages, you do have options for acquiring the skills. First, you can always take a course at a local college or university, even if you already have a degree, as this will allow you to improve your knowledge in a formal, and widely accepted setting.

 

Boot camps are also becoming a popular method for learning coding languages. Some of these courses focus on a specific language while others cover several that are relevant to a particular profession.

 

Finally, if you are already a skilled coder, you may be able to learn Python, R or SQL on your own. There are a lot of free online resources that can provide you with guidance, so don’t be afraid to conduct a search and see what is available.

 

 

Focus on Accessibility

Right now, competition for top jobs can be fierce. There are a lot of tech pros who decided to focus on data science, so there may be multiple qualified candidates that apply to every opening.

 

While having the right technical skills is important, you also want to demonstrate that you can make the information accessible to others. Not everyone who uses the results of your work will be tech-savvy, so being able to discuss the data in a way that is easy for others to understand can separate you from the pack.

 

Examine Multiple Industries

Since data science can benefit nearly any business, there are opportunities available in practically any industry. This means you may want to explore options outside of your current industry, particularly if you are looking to make a step up quickly.

 

While IT companies are an obvious target, data science is also hot in the finance, insurance, and professional services industries. Healthcare, manufacturing and even retailers (at the corporate level) may also be looking to add data scientists to their teams.

 

If you are interested in finding a new data scientist position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us today to see how our services can help you succeed.

 

 

 Former Employers

 

Job seekers are often anxious when it comes to having their references checked, with many wondering exactly what a former employer can say about their performance. For example, can a previous employer tell a hiring manager that you were fired? Can them tell them why that decision was made? Are they allowed to discuss the amount of notice you provided when you quit or how many times you were absent?

 

Questions such as those can leave a lot of job seekers worried, even if their overall work history is fairly standard for their field. If you have been wondering what a previous employer can or cannot say about you legally, here’s what you need to know.

 

Federal and State Laws

When it comes to federal regulations, there simply aren’t any. Employers, from a national perspective, have the ability to say whatever they want when they are contacted for a reference.

 

However, many states do have laws that dictate what can or cannot be discussed, though they can vary dramatically from one state to the next. This means you need to review the regulations that pertain to you, and not just based on where you live now, but where your previous employers were located too. If you are planning to relocate for a job, then review the laws in each of the states you are considering as well.

 

 

What Employers are Usually Allowed to Say

As mentioned above, what your former employers can say about you varies from one state to the next. However, there are certain things that are commonly considered legal.

 

Most previous employers can typically disclose if you were terminated from your position, as well as the reason behind that decision. Some states also allow them to talk about your performance, though the feedback may be limited to generalizations.

 

However, even if an employer can discuss specific details about their experience with you, the majority are very cautious when it comes to disclosing various kinds of information. Predominately, their goal is to avoid lawsuits that fall into the defamation category, which includes slander and libel. This means that, unless they are entirely certain that what they are about to say is accurate, they won’t provide the information.

 

Can You Ask Them What Will be Discussed?

Sometimes, the easiest way to find out what might be disclosed is to contact your previous employer’s HR department or a suitable representative and just ask them. In most cases, they will be upfront with you about their policies, so you can determine what they are likely to say during a reference check.

 

Ultimately, if you aren’t sure what they will cover, it is best to assume that they will provide a large amount of detail. This is one of the reasons why you need to always be honest on your application, as failing to be truthful can come back to bite you.

 

If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more about our services, including how they can benefit your career.