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11 Companies With Innovative Benefits For Parents

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Over the past several decades, two full-time working parents has increasingly become the norm. That’s why it's especially important for companies to consider ways to make their employees’ lives easier. Here are 11 companies that offer innovative benefits to parents.


When it comes to parental leave, very few companies come close to entertainment company Netflix. In 2015, it announced that salaried employees would be allowed "unlimited paid parental leave" for the first year after a birth or adoption. After some uproar that the policy didn’t apply to hourly workers, Netflix gave hourly workers in their departments parental leave as well, albeit for shorter time frames (and the times allotted varies depending on department—DVD workers get 12 weeks, streaming employees get 16). But it’s still a step in the right direction.


This Las Vegas-based fast casual restaurant chain knows parenting demands don’t stop when children get a little older. That’s why on-staff parents can take time off whenever they want to attend their children’s events and activities. "If this kind of flexibility applies to one member of the team, it must apply to all," CEO Ashley Morris has said. "This creates a culture of support and understanding, and policies like these tend to help in retaining talent and creating an environment that fosters quality work."


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This year, the iconic canned soup company started offering gender-neutral paid leave—10 weeks for a primary caregiver and two weeks for a secondary caregiver (but, according to the Huffington Post, Campbell president and CEO Denise Morrison has asked the company's HR department "to be open to individual arrangements to meet employees’ needs"). The company, based in Camden, New Jersey, also has a lactation room for breastfeeding mothers. Once children are a little older they can take advantage of the onsite after-school programs, summer programs, and kindergarten classes.


This eco-friendly diaper company makes its money selling to parents, so of course you would expect them to be pretty progressive when it comes to their employees’ benefits. As well as more standard things like having onsite child care, giving up to six months of paid parental leave, allowing flexible hours once parents return to work, and the ability to work from home when they need to, most impressive is that babies are also allowed in offices.


The length of maternity leave in the United States means that often, women return to work while their child is still breastfeeding. Outdoor clothing business Patagonia tries to make this easier on their employees by allowing breastfeeding moms that are traveling for work to bring the baby (under the age of 1) and a nanny, all paid for by the company. Then once the children are older, company buses pick up the kids from school and drop them at the onsite childcare center.


This international law firm based in Washington, D.C. gives new parents plenty of great perks, like 18-week and 6-week paid leave for the primary and secondary caregivers, respectively; onsite child care; and 15 days of free backup childcare if theirs falls through. But perhaps most shockingly, while we think of lawyers as working ridiculous hours, this firm gives parents health and welfare benefits at just 25 hours a week if they decide they don’t want to come back to work full-time. They even have associates to coach new parents on the transition to part-time.


This Big Four accountancy firm consistently ranks in the top 10 of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies list. Among other more common benefits, like help with fertility, surrogate, and adoption expenses, this company is all about educating their employees. That’s why they give breastfeeding mothers access to lactation consultants and have coaches who are trained to help working parents figure out how to raise a child and how to handle work/life balance. But they don’t forget about you once your kid is older. The high school children of employees can meet with a college coach to help with applications and decision making once they're university-bound.


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Many parents probably have this company’s baby shampoo in their bathroom, and it takes just as good care of the children of its employees. As well as giving up to 17 weeks paid leave for mothers (8 weeks for fathers), they offer adoption and surrogacy assistance, and will ship breastmilk home when moms are traveling for work.


While most companies that get lauded for their parental leave give around 18 weeks of paid time off, this computer software company offers birth mothers up to whopping 26 weeks paid leave. Not only that, but the entire company shuts down twice a year—once in the winter, and once in the summer—allowing families to take a vacation or just spend time together.


NetApp, a Fortune 500 company, handles storage and data management. Located in Sunnyvale, California, it is especially generous to employees looking to adopt. Its adoption assistance plan will reimburse eligible employees for things like court costs, legal fees, and travel expenses, up to $20,000 total.


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Another one of the Big Four accounting firms—and, yes, the company that tallies the Oscar ballots—PwC has some very innovative benefits for parents. New moms are paired up with veteran moms in the firm’s Mentor Moms program, allowing them to get guidance, insights, or just a sounding board as they learn about being a parent. If a high-performing employee decides to leave the firm to be a stay-at-home parent, there is a program to keep in touch with former colleagues and attend training events for up to five years so they can stay up-to-date in case they want to return to the business world at some point. And if you do want to keep working they will help you find a caregiver using their Premium Nanny Service—free of charge!

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The Only Way to Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ In a Job Interview

Thanks in part to the influence of Silicon Valley and its focus on the psychological probing of job applicants, interview questions have been steadily getting more and more abstract. As part of the interview process, today's job seekers might be asked to describe a vending machine to someone who’s never seen one before, or plan a fantasy date with a famous historical figure.

Even if the company you’re approaching isn’t fully on board with prodding your brain, at some point you may still come up against one of the most common queries applicants face: "What is your greatest weakness?"

"Some 'experts' will tell you to try and turn a strength into a 'weakness,' to make yourself look good," writes Inc. contributor Justin Bariso. "That advice is garbage."

"Think about it," Bariso continues. "Interviewers are asking the same question to countless candidates. Just try and guess how many times they hear the answers 'being a perfectionist' or 'working too much.' (Hint: way too often.)"

While responding that you work too hard might seem like a reliable method of moving the conversation along, there’s a better way. And it involves being sincere.

"The fact is, it's not easy to identify one's own weaknesses," Bariso writes. "Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback—qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues."

Bariso believes the question is an effective way to reveal an applicant’s self-awareness, which is why companies often use it in their vetting process. By being self-aware, people (and employees) can correct behavior that might be affecting job performance. So the key is to give this question some actual thought before it’s ever posed to you.

What is your actual greatest weakness? It could be that, in a desire to please everyone, you wind up making decisions based on the urge to avoid disappointing others. That’s a weakness that sounds authentic.

Pondering the question also has another benefit: It prompts you to think of areas in your life that could use some course-correcting. Even if you don’t land that job—or even if the question is never posed to you—you’ve still made time for self-reflection. The result could mean a more confident and capable presence for that next interview.

[h/t Inc.]

This Is the Most Commonly Misspelled Word on Job Resumes

by Reader's Digest Editors

Your resume is your first chance to make a good impression with hiring managers. One misspelled word might not seem like a huge deal, but it can mean the difference between looking competent and appearing lazy. A 2014 Accountemps survey of 300 senior managers found that 63 percent of employers would reject a job candidate who had just one or two typos on their resume.

Most misspellings on resumes slip through the cracks because spellcheck doesn’t catch them. The most common misspelling on resumes is a shockingly simple word—or so you’d think.

Career coach and resume writer Jared Redick of Resume Studio in San Francisco tells Business Insider that the most common misspelling he sees by far is confusing “lead” with “led.” If you’re talking about how you run meetings at your current job, the correct spelling is “lead,” which is in the present tense. If the bullet point is from a former position, use lead’s past tense: led. Yes, “lead” as in the metal can also be pronounced “led,” but most people have no need to discuss chemical elements on their job resumes.

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Other spelling mistakes Redick has seen pop up over and over again on resumes is spelling “definitely” as “definately” (which spellcheck thankfully should catch) and adding an e in “judgment” (“judgement” is the British spelling, but “judgment” is preferred in American English).

To avoid the cringe factor of noticing little typos after sending out your application—especially if your misspelling actually is a real word that spellcheck recognizes—always proofread your resume before submitting. Slowly reading it out loud will take just a few minutes, but it could mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.


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