We’re Looking For Summer 2014 Interns!

Summer at The Fool

Summer at The FoolAre you a college or grad student looking for an amazing summer internship? We’re currently looking for talented, curious, motivated students who want to spend this summer at The Fool! This is an 8-week paid internship where you’ll get to work on great projects with great people…and you’ll never have to wear a tie (unless you lose a bet or something). You’ll work in our Alexandria, VA, office, located just outside of Washington, DC.

If you’re interested in investing, writing, international studies, web analytics, software development, or retention marketing, we want to learn more about you! Find out more about our specific internship openings and submit your application by January 31, 2014.

Want to learn more? Some of last year’s interns were happy to share their Foolish experience!

The Fool Visits Port City Brewing Company

Cheers

A group of Fools took a trip down the street to Port City Brewing Company, a maker of craft beer in Alexandria, VA. We toured the brewery, learned facts about their process (some of their glass bottles are made from the sand of Virginia beaches — how’s that for locally sourced?), and, of course, participated in a tasting. Studying other businesses can be a lot of fun, especially when those businesses are our neighbors. Cheers!Sir Lifts A Lot

Cheers

Chris and AdamAlissa, Josh, and Emily

Intern at The Fool!

Summer at The Fool

Summer at The FoolStill looking for a great place to work this summer? The Fool is looking for a Retention Marketing Intern to work for 8 weeks at our Alexandria, VA, office. It’s full-time (40 hours per week) and PAID!

In this internship, you’ll spend your time writing marketing emails and working on marketing campaigns. You’ll learn how to create email marketing programs, design A/B tests, and communicate according to our company’s Foolish style.
Do you have strong persuasive writing skills, a basic understanding of HTML, and the ability to be in the Washington, DC metro area this summer? Apply today!

Make Saving for Retirement Fun and Easy

401(k)s

401(k)sWhen you’re an adult, you get to do awesome things, like occasionally eating ice cream for dinner. But with that freedom comes responsibility – paying taxes, taking out the trash, and saving for retirement. And you should save for retirement! Every ten years you wait to start can cut your potential future nest egg by half.

Like many companies, the Fool offers a 401(k) program to its employees. What’s a 401(k)? It’s an investment account that allows you to contribute to your retirement directly from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. You pay taxes once you begin taking that money out of the account after you retire. Many companies (the Fool included) will match your contributions – if you set aside a certain percentage of your salary for your retirement, your employer will kick in a matching amount. It’s free money!

So why would people choose to miss out on the employer match? Some just aren’t able to save at that moment, some never get around to filling out the paperwork, and some are so confused by 401(k)s that they put off getting started. Many companies try to counteract the confusion with thick information packets and boring annual informational meetings, but the Fool refuses to make anything boring.

Enter Robert Brokamp: Rule Your Retirement advisor, personal finance expert, and wearer of amusing Halloween costumes. Bro (as we affectionately call him) teaches a monthly 401(k) class for new employees, funny-ing up his presentation with photos from Awkward Family Photos. Thanks to our investing-minded culture, 87% of Fools contribute to a 401(k) (compared to 77% of eligible workers in the U.S.). Bro aims to increase that number of Fools and non-Fools alike by making saving for retirement simple and accessible.

What are some things your company does to teach employees about their 401(k) options?

 

 

It’s Time to Stop Workplace Bullying

Bullying

BullyingI read quite a few blogs on management and hiring practices (kudos to my favorite, Ask A Manager), and recently I fell down the rabbit hole of clicking links to related articles at the bottom of a post. That’s how I came to learn about the Workplace Bullying Institute (or WBI), “the first and only U.S. organization dedicated to the eradication of workplace bullying.” The site is filled with fascinating research, tips for targets of bullying, and training materials for managers. The resources WBI provides are very useful, yet they make me incredibly sad.

Why? Because an organization like this is needed in the first place.

According to a 2010 WBI survey, 35% of workers in the U.S. reported being bullied at work. An additional 15% of workers witnessed the bullying of others. That means half of workers in America are affected by bullying. Meanwhile, a National Center for Education Statistics study (PDF) that came out in 2009 showed that bullying affected 28% of students ages 12 through 18 (this doesn’t include cyber bullying, but rather in-school bullying like being called names, being made the subject of rumors, or being physically harmed).

So 28% of pre-teens and teens are the victims of bullying, while 35% of workers are. Who are the adults here?

If you’re not compelled to do something about this in your own office, think of it this way. Your company is creating a culture of incivility and fear. How much is this costing you? Employees calling in sick more frequently, increased turnover (hiring a new employee equals one and a half times the salary of keeping an existing one), lower productivity because teams don’t function well, and HR spending time counseling victims of bullying and investigating their claims. Imagine how much better our workplaces would be if bullying was not tolerated? If bullies were given specific and stern feedback about their behavior one time and then fired if they didn’t improve? If employees knew they could report bullying without consequences or retaliation, and that once they did, a thorough investigation would take place? According to WBI research, bullying is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment, yet it’s a silent epidemic in corporate America.

If you’d like to learn more about the financial and emotional effects of workplace bullying, and ways you can help bring about change, I highly recommend Robert Sutton’s intriguingly-named book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. After you read it, anonymously leave it on the desk of your office bully!

Let’s bring kindness back into the workplace. It’s good for your business, and even better for your employees.

More Tips on Standing Out in a Sea of Job Candidates

Application Tips

Application TipsI wrote a post last January that generated a lot of traffic – tips on how to get your job applications to stand out. It seems a lot of you are here (rightly so!) to learn about career opportunities and how to get them. Since then, I’ve read through countless more applications and made lots of connections at conferences and networking events. So what else can you do during your job hunt to make it a success?

  1. Make sure you’re applying to the actual job that’s listed. If the opening is, say, for an editor, and you go on and on about how you want to work in market research, you’re not the ideal candidate for this job. It’s better to spend more time on fewer applications and make sure they’re the best they can be and appropriate for the job opening, rather than sending generic applications out to hundreds of places a day. Quality, not quantity.
  2. Do some research about the company you’re applying to. Let them know what you learned in your application. Mention how your skills would fit into the company’s work.
  3. Actually write a cover letter. A real one, not just “I’m applying to this position. You can reach me here.” This is a marketing document. Brag about yourself! List relevant accomplishments! Show the recruiter your personality! An amazing cover letter fills in the gaps on your resume. Are you looking to switch career fields? Your resume will show no relevant experience, but a cover letter can list your transferable skills. Are you a recent graduate just starting your career? Your resume might be a little empty for now, but your cover letter can discuss student leadership roles, volunteer work, and other ways you got experience even though you haven’t held many jobs yet. Trust me – applications with no cover letter get eliminated from consideration immediately at a lot of companies!
  4. Show gratitude. A lot of people helped you get to where you are, so write them a quick thank-you email. The recruiter who interviewed you? Always send a follow up email to thank them for their time and reiterate interest in the job. The person you met through a friend who answered your questions or introduced you to someone who was hiring? Thank them too! No need to send flowers – just a nice, sincere note.

Intern at The Fool Next Summer!

Foolish Interns

Foolish Interns

The school year just started, but if you’re in college, you know the rush to find a summer internship has already begun. And The Fool has already begun looking for YOU – bright, motivated students, in college or grad school, who want to spend two months working for an awesome company.

We’ve got openings for interns who are interested in investing, writing, editing, and software development. Why spend your summer with us? For one thing, we’ll pay you! You’ll also get to learn from some amazing Fools, work on great projects, and take intern-specific classes in a number of topics (like personal finance, investing, crafting your resume, and more!). You’re eligible to enjoy some of our sweet benefits, like free fitness classes and, because you earned it with all the fitness classes, free cake once a month. Our metro-accessible office is located right outside of Washington, DC, arguably one of the most fun cities to live in as an intern. Did I mention that we’ll pay you?

Don’t take my word for it – some of our 2012 interns wanted to share their experience:

“I couldn’t have asked for a better summer internship than working at The Motley Fool. Beyond the amazing work environment, The Fool made sure to involve interns in important work, to the point where I felt crucial to the business by the end of the summer. You will meet fantastic people, learn about the world of finance from a Foolish perspective, and never want your summer to end.”
– Charlie, Fool.com intern

The Motley Fool maintains a unique balance between a fun, happy work environment and extremely high performance. Not only did I have a great time last summer interning with TMF, but I learned two new programming languages, networked with professionals inside The Fool and outside, began investing personally, and I felt I had a lasting impact on my team and our product.”
– Desmond, Software Development intern

“My summer at The Fool was awesome. I learned more about investing during my two-month internship than in two years of studying on my own. The atmosphere is truly welcoming. Whether I was attending classes with the Analyst Development Program, doing research for a service, or just debating a particular company’s future with The Fool’s analysts, I always felt like part of the conversation. If you enjoy studying companies and talking stocks with other true investing nerds, you’ll love interning with The Fool.”
– Frank, Investing intern

“I never thought that working at an investment advisory can be so much fun! I’ll always remember The Fool for its great work atmosphere, wonderful people, lots of freedom, and lots of free food! One particular aspect that I loved about the place is Fool U classes. You can learn anything from How to Invest to How to Throw a Frisbee here! I think the people that work here are wonderful, creative, and really talented at what they do. Personally, working with the people in the Software Dev team was fun and enriching.  I had a great summer!”
– Nilesh, Software Development intern

The deadline for applying is Friday, January 4, 2013. Click here to access our online application.

Getting Organized

Fool Cap

Fool Cap In a flexible work environment like the Fool, we leave it up to each employee to create a system to help them organize their time. Some people get a thrill from checking items off on a to-do list, some email themselves reminders, some block off time on their calendars to work uninterrupted…and some operate with no system at all!

But no one works in a vacuum – you often set out hoping to accomplish a certain amount of work in a day, only to get derailed by last-minute requests, non-stop phone calls, and other distractions.

Recently, the Fool brought in a consultant from McGhee Productivity Solutions to teach a daylong, hands-on seminar called “Take Back Your Life”, where you use features of Microsoft Outlook (which we use as our email client) to organize and categorize your tasks. I’m not here to give away their secrets (though if your organization is looking for help in this regard, I recommend this seminar!), but I’ll share with you one tip that’s helped me whittle away at my to-do list, both at work and at home:

Break your to-do list down into smaller actions.

Here’s an example: I keep my home quite presentable, but my walk-in closet was my one messy space. I didn’t parade party guests through my bedroom to show them my secret shame or anything, but I use that closet every day, and picking through a disorganized space stressed me out. So “reorganize closet” was on my to-do list. As you can imagine, looking at that item every time I set out to clean my home made me feel overwhelmed, so it never got done.

Instead of writing one general item on your list, break that task down into small steps. In the case of my closet, I started by buying a shoe rack, which cleared up the floor. That paved the way to sweeping the floor for the first time in three years (there’s a reason I called that closet my secret shame, remember?), picking out some clothes to donate, and then rehanging the clothes I wanted to keep in a more organized way. But it all started with a shoe rack I had been meaning to buy for a while.

So, you have a project at work to get done. “Get project done” isn’t a good to-do list item! Start with something small. Do you need to set a deadline? Get some questions answered by a colleague? Set up a preliminary meeting to make some plans and prioritize tasks? Do those things first, and the project will seem a lot less daunting.