How to avoid the 9 ‘thinking traps’ stopping you from achieving your goals

depressed lonely
In cognitive behavioural therapy, all thinking traps have one thing in common: as a general rule, they aren’t realistic, nor are they helpful.

  • As soon as something goes wrong in our lives, we tend to fall into negative “thinking traps”.
  • Not only do they prevent us from achieving our goals; they can have a serious effect on our health.
  • Psychologist Elke Overdick says there’s a way to rid yourself of some of these thinking traps.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The moment something unforeseen happens, many of us tend to slip into negative thinking habits.

Not only do these thinking patterns drag you down when it comes to achieving your goals – they can, in extreme cases, be detrimental to your health.

“Humans are very creative when it comes to finding new ways of thinking unconstructively and unrealistically,” explained psychologist Elke Overdick. “But in my experience, these nine – with which I enjoy working very much – are the most common.”

In cognitive-behavioral therapy, all thinking traps have one thing in common. As a general rule, they don’t meet the criteria for appropriate thinking:

  1. Thinking should be realistic.
  2. They should be helpful.

That may sound pretty obvious but it’s hard to ensure all your thoughts always fulfill these two criteria.

Take perfectionism or people-pleasing as examples: neither thought pattern is realistic or helpful and yet many of us fall into these thinking traps. Unfortunately, by the time we notice, it’s usually too late.

“To be honest, I’ve never met anyone, myself included, who isn’t affected by thinking traps,” said Overdick.

In an interview with Insider, she explained how you can manage or even rid yourself of these negative thinking patterns.

Being an overly harsh critic

Self-deprecation is one of the most common and worst thought traps.
Self-deprecation is one of the most common and worst thought traps.

Self-deprecation can be very damaging.

“I think it’s the worst thinking trap of them all,” said Overdick.

If you keep telling yourself you’re not likable or loveable, that means you’re focusing single-mindedly on your weaknesses.

“And if you only look at your weaknesses,” she said, “then, of course, it will be hard to like yourself because you’re not picking up on your strengths or your potential.”

How to get out of the thinking trap

If you’re doing the above, are your thought patterns reasonable? Probably not.

“If you have friends or there are people in your family who enjoy spending time with you, that’s evidence that, realistically, you have positive or lovable qualities”.

As well as bearing this in mind, it might also be helpful to make a list of your own positive qualities.

If, on the other hand, it’s your work you’re devaluing and you genuinely believe you aren’t good enough for your job, you need to bear in mind that companies are always thinking about how to fill vacancies.

When negative thoughts enter your head, actively try to remind yourself to be realistic by saying “I am lovable” or “I make an important contribution”.

Catastrophizing

stressed office worker
If anxious thoughts get out of hand and become unrealistic, you’ve fallen into a thinking trap.

“Anxious thoughts can be rational and, to a certain extent, serve an important purpose,” said Overdick.

“If we’re afraid or worried, we may be able to better prepare ourselves for or avoid situations that endanger us — however, if the thoughts get out of hand and become unrealistic, you’ve fallen into a thinking trap.

How to get out of the thinking trap

Overdick likes to work with five questions against fears and inhibitions. These questions can help bring your fearful thoughts down to a realistic level and work as a good guard against catastrophic thinking. Here they are:

1. What’s the worst that could happen?

2. What can I do to prevent “the worst that could happen”?

3. How likely is it the worst thing will happen?

4. What can I do if the worst thing does happen?

5. What will it mean for my future if the worst thing happens?

If you take a moment to answer these questions, you may find that the problem is not as bad as you’d previously thought and, equally, that the worst-case scenario isn’t either.

Rather than worrying, try saying to yourself: “I can handle it” or “There is always a way”.

Taking on too much responsibility

Those who want to take care of everything end up more susceptible to burnout.
Aiming to take care of everything will only make you more susceptible to burnout.

Do you sometimes feel responsible for things that are out of your hands? Do you often feel like you want to influence things you can’t change?

That’s a sign you have a tendency to take on too much responsibility.

While it may sound a positive trait, unfortunately, your behavior can also have a negative impact on others, as Overdick explains: “People in this thinking trap sometimes tend to incapacitate others without intending to and, obviously, with no malicious intent at all — but not delegating tasks to others might prevent those people from learning something and progressing themselves.”

How to get out of the thinking trap

Sometimes you can take the time to ask yourself whether something is really your job, or you can ask yourself whether you can actually influence a situation.

Remind yourself: “That’s not my job”, “I have no influence over this” or “I’ll let another person do this for their own development”.

Dealing only in absolutes

demands
Unfortunately, you have to face the facts: you are not the measure of all things.

We all have values and standards we adhere to in life.

People who fall into the trap of absolute demands, “musts”, and “shoulds” find it very important to adhere to these values — perhaps even to an exaggerated degree.

“If someone doesn’t adhere to your standards and you can’t accept that, you’ll end up angry. Often we forget that our values aren’t universal.”

How to get out of the thinking trap

Unfortunately, you have to face the facts: you are not the measure of all things.

“Sometimes it’s also good to be in others’ shoes. Other people have different rules that may be just as good and valuable to them as yours are to you,” Overdick explains. “The trick to managing this trap lies in accepting that there are basically no universal values and standards.”

Values and standards are subjective — they vary from person to person and are influenced by things like upbringing, culture, religion, and education.

Alternatives thoughts for when you find yourself stuck in the “must” or “should” mindset are “I am not the measure of all things” or “standards and values are subjective”.

Perfectionism

mirror
If you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes, you aren’t just putting yourself under a lot of pressure: you can’t develop any further either.

Salvador Dali once said: “Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.”

Perfectionists expect themselves and others to be perfect and end up failing massively.

“It’s unrealistic and unattainable,” said Overdick.

However, perfectionism shouldn’t be confused with striving to improve.

It’s useful to strive to better oneself so you can develop, progress, and be successful. Perfectionism, on the other hand, is not.

“If you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes, you aren’t just putting yourself under a lot of pressure; you can’t develop any further either because, without mistakes, you can’t learn.

How to get out of the thinking trap

The goal should be to see the positive in mistakes and to accept one’s own mistakes, as well as those of others.

“Mistakes are a learning experience and help you to progress. They teach you how to do things differently and how to get closer to your goals.

Instead of looking into the past with an “Oh God, how could I have done that” mentality, Overdick said it’s more productive to think of the future and say to yourself: “Okay, that went badly and I did it wrong. Next time I’ll do it better.”

Alternatives phrases to say to yourself include “mistakes get me ahead in the long-run”, “mistakes are human” or even “mistakes make me likable”.

“After all, nobody wants to be around someone perfect all the time,” said the psychologist.

People-pleasing

people-pleasing party drinks woman man
It’s just unrealistic to aim to be liked by everyone.

Can you think of a single well-known public figure who has ever managed to be liked by everyone?

The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, or Gandhi? Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon?

While all these people were admired by many, they were by no means liked by everyone. This is demonstrative of how unrealistic it is to aim to be liked by everyone.

How to get out of the thinking trap

“I think it’s very important to remind yourself that you don’t like everyone,” said Overdick.

“Whether or not someone likes you depends on so many different factors, over which you simply often have no influence at all. For example, what does the person I’m trying to impress like? If he likes tall blonds, I can’t change that I’m small and dark-haired.”

Alternatives things you can say to yourself include “It’s enough if my friends like me”, “I don’t like everyone either” or “I don’t have to be popular, it’s enough if people respect me”.

Your telephone provider doesn’t need to like you; it’s enough if you get what you need.

Trying to mind-read

man laptop meeting cafe coffee
Is your thinking rational or accurate? Probably not if you’re trying to read someone’s mind.

Sometimes it can be as little as a glance or an ambiguous comment — those who get caught up in attempting to mind-read end up interpreting others’ actions or remarks as being directed against themselves, which leads to a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

How to get out of the thinking trap

Is your thinking rational and accurate? Probably not if you’re trying to read someone’s mind.

Maybe there’s a completely different reason for the behavior you’ve picked up on.

For example, could it have something to do with the fact that the other person is stressed or under pressure? Is there a reason for his behavior that has nothing to do with you?

Counter-thoughts at times when you find yourself worrying about what someone else is thinking might include: “This behavior isn’t necessarily intended for me” or “It’s their issue; not mine”.

Self-victimizing

man orange t-shirt serious discussion argument glasses
If you can’t solve the problem alone, get help from a colleague, your manager or talk to HR.

Do you often find yourself saying: “Everyone else is to blame, not me”?

People who think like that are usually over-simplifying, according to Overdick.

“On the one hand it’s easy to cede responsibility; on the other hand — and this is the big disadvantage of this thinking trap — you end up losing sight of your own potential to influence a situation, as well as opportunities to develop yourself.”

How to get out of the thinking trap

Question the extent to which you’ve contributed to a situation.

Do you always get handed pointless, thankless tasks at work?

Well, had you ever stopped to think that, perhaps, you failed to mention that these tasks are a waste of time?

Have you ever asked to do something else? If not, then why aren’t you thinking about what you can do to change the situation?

If you can’t solve the problem alone, you can also get help — for example from a colleague, by talking to your manager or, in extreme cases, by talking to HR.

Remember to say to yourself “There’s always something I can do” or to ask yourself “How can I do something to change this?” before you start pointing fingers.

Kidding yourself when it comes to over-indulgence

whole 30 binge
Telling yourself the things that distract you from your goals are actually good for you is obviously an ineffective approach.

Sometimes it’s okay to indulge a little, but it can become problematic when you delude yourself into thinking something that isn’t all that good for you is somehow beneficial: it can prevent you from achieving your goals in the longterm.

“It’s good not to focus on goals and achievements constantly but, in the long run, continually indulging and focusing on things that distract you from what matters are actually good for you is obviously an ineffective approach,” said the psychologist.

“Unfortunately, as humans, we function in such a way that we want short term gratification but aren’t always prepared for the long term negative consequences. Take gambling addiction or food binges as an example: we’re looking for quick and immediate pleasure and, at the time, prefer to ignore the long-term negative consequences, like financial loss and weight gain.”

How to get out of the thinking trap

“I think the same logic can be applied here as for those who victimize themselves — you just need a bit of a kick up the behind,” said Overdick.

In general, it’s good to question yourself, to be critical, and to ask again and again what longterm drawbacks you may experience by seeking short term enjoyment. In that way, you can stop to consider what to do about it.

“It’s better to intervene with yourself as soon as possible.”

Useful affirmations such as “I can stand up for my own goals” may help you to stop and consider what needs to be done.

Practical tips to avoid thinking traps

happy hour friends
You can challenge your own thinking traps by finding a “sparring partner” to support you in changing your behavior, using their own experience and knowledge.

Thinking traps wouldn’t be so awful if we were able to recognize them and nip them in the bud immediately. Unfortunately, it’s usually only the case that we recognize the symptoms once they’re really getting out of hand.

One thing you can do to challenge your own thinking traps is to look for a “sparring partner”, which is basically someone who supports you using their own experience and knowledge — particularly any knowledge and experience that’s relevant to you.

“This can be anyone from a family member or partner to a good friend or colleague, and it can also be a coach or a therapist,” said Overdick, “as long as it isn’t someone who’ll be easily satisfied with your first answer.”

Another method is to write “counter-thoughts” on a small card and place them somewhere where you’ll look often during the day. It could be your wallet, your desk, or the front door — or you can also use a symbolic object.

“In psychology, we refer to these objects as ‘anchors’ — a new way of thinking ‘anchored’ into a postcard, a shell from a nice beach or a pretty piece of jewelry. The object itself is less important — it’s more important that you put it in a place where it will always actively remind you to think of the alternative.”

This is a great technique for those thoughts that resurface when you least expect them to, according to Overdick, “because they hit you even harder”.

It’s especially important that you’re reminded over and over again: you don’t adopt a new way of thinking overnight simply by flipping a switch. It takes a lot of repetition to get rid of your old thinking patterns.

“It’s like learning to play the piano — it’s not enough just to understand how a piece works; you need to consolidate what you learn through repetition and practice.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 lessons from ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ that will help you save up quickly

dollar bills in a wallet
One way to get on the right track with your money is by reading.

  • Reading is a fundamental step when attempting to improve your personal finances.
  • One of the most acclaimed books is Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which includes tips to help you save money.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

There are some must-read books in personal finances that will help you develop good saving habits.

Undergoing training and taking the time to read can help you improve economic control so you can become more financially literate and, ultimately, increase your financial freedom.

While many manage perfectly well relying on their intuition to guide their spending habits, it can also be useful to expand your knowledge and set up a budget, an emergency fund, or ensure you have a financial contingency plan in the event of something unexpected.

One way to get on the right track with your money is by reading.

There is a wide range of reading material that can help you apply a better philosophy to your finances.

One of them is Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a must-read if you want to learn about personal finance.

GettyImages 847741824
Laughing and getting in the sun are two ways to release endorphins.

It offers smart ways to escape the vicious circle of working hard for others your whole life while failing to save anything.

Here are seven helpful lessons you can apply from the book to your own life.

1. The rich make their money work for them

You must have heard the phrase “live to work or work to live”.

This is one of the basic concepts addressed in the book.

Most work to survive. If they have money problems, they ride them out or ask for a raise.

This is the vicious cycle most middle and working-class people fall into.

Generally, people with fewer financial resources study to get a good education to qualify for more relevant jobs so they can then earn more money.

They tend to avoid taking risks for fear of not being able to pay their debts, being fired, or not having the money they need to survive.

On the other hand, rich people make money and don’t work to earn it.

In other words, they buy assets that generate income. This is one of the book’s most important lessons.

2. Financial education is your greatest asset

According to this book, money isn’t your greatest asset.

If people are prepared to be flexible, have an open mind, and learn, they will tend to get richer.

If a person thinks capital solves all their problems, they will usually have problems their whole lives.

“Intelligence solves problems and produces money, and money without financial intelligence is quickly lost,” says Robert Kiyosaki, author of the book.

The book recommends having knowledge of accounting, investing, markets, law, bidding, marketing, leadership, writing, public speaking, and communication.

3. Don’t work to earn money; work to learn

Another of the book’s great teachings is that work is to be used as a platform to improve the skills you have.

“Find a job where you can learn the above skills,” says Kiyosaki.

A man in red sunglasses reading a red book on a towel on a beach
Use work as as a platform to improve the skills you have.

He stresses that learning can make you much more knowledgeable and can provide you with unique skills to improve your professional situation.

4. Know the difference between assets and liabilities

“An asset is something that puts money in your pocket and a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket,” the book explains.

In this sense, rich people acquire assets (securities and investments) and poor people add liabilities (commitments and obligations).

This is the main difference that can punctuate the future development of an individual’s personal finances.

5. Reduce your spending as much as possible

This lesson is closely linked to the previous one.

The author advises having as little debt load as possible because, in the end, it hinders the financial freedom you want to achieve.

“Reduce your liabilities” is one of the most repeated phrases throughout the book.

compromises buying home
Though some debt can be positive, it’s generally best to reduce your liabilities.

You have to keep in mind, however, that there is “positive” debt, like a mortgage, and then “negative” debt, like quick loans.

6. Reinvest the profits you make

The profitability created by your assets should be reinvested in other assets, according to the book.

“Don’t think about how to earn more income; look for more valuable assets – that’s how you should repeat the cycle,” says Kiyosaki.

7. Don’t rely exclusively on financial advisors

The book’s final piece of advice is that every individual has great insights into the capital that makes up their own personal finances.

Getting help from a financial advisor can be useful, but you also need to have control over your own money.

“Learn how to invest because nobody will do it better than you,” says Kiyosaki.

Read the original article on Business Insider

16 European tech startups to watch closely in 2021, who they’re hiring, and when to apply

HealthITcare is a startup with a telemedicine platform based on AI, aimed at health professionals.
HealthITcare is a startup with a telemedicine platform aimed at health professionals.

  • Insider spoke with 16 of Europe’s hottest tech startups to watch closely in 2021.
  • They confirmed whether or not they’d be hiring and when – as well as what they’ll be looking for.
  • The vast majority are recruiting for teams focused on product, business, or operations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

To find out how much capital they’d raised and what they planned on using the money for, Insider spoke with 16 of the hottest new tech startups to watch in Europe 2021.

Among the objectives that came up time and again were product development, consolidation of growth, and international expansion. One, in particular, stood out: growing their respective workforces.

This is interesting given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on companies, specifically where lay-offs and redundancy plans are concerned.

The economy is now waking up, gradually.

Activities that were stopped in their tracks due to lockdowns or mobility restrictions are resuming and it looks like emerging companies have decided it’s time to bolster their teams.

Of the 16 startups that Insider spoke with, only one MediQuo – a startup based on a platform that offers an online medical consultation service 24 hours a day – has said it has no plans to expand its workforce in the short or medium term.

The rest confirmed they’re hiring – they told Insider how many personnel they plan to add, over what period of time, and for which roles.

16. APlanet

Johanna Gallo, co-founder of APlanet.
Johanna Gallo, co-founder of APlanet.

Johanna Gallo, co-founder of APlanet — a startup created with the aim of helping SMEs and corporations to frame everything relating to corporate social responsibility (CSR) — says the company is planning to make new hires. 

Gallo says that since raising its seed round in August 2020, the company’s expanded their workforce by 80%, focusing on areas like customer success, product, and technology with the aim of “offering the best service” as they grow. 

The founder says the team is constantly looking for new hires for other key areas like user experience (UX) or business development, both in markets where they already have a foothold and in those where they have only recently landed, like the United Kingdom. 

15. Baluwo

Baluwo startup team, with Josep Arroyo in the center.
Baluwo startup team, with Josep Arroyo in the center.

Baluwo is a Spanish fintech startup with its business model focused on helping African migrants living in Europe make transfers to their home countries.

CEO Josep Arroyo says his intention is to recruit up to 15 new people by the end of 2023. 

The startup’s CEO adds that these positions will be focused on expanding the commercial network in France, the UK, and the US. 

14. Belvo

The co-founders of Belvo, Pablo Viguera and Oriol Tintoré.
The co-founders of Belvo, Pablo Viguera and Oriol Tintoré.

Belvo is an open banking API platform in Latin America that was founded in May 2019. 

It allows users to connect their bank accounts to a management application and is joining the list of companies that will be growing their team in coming months.

The company claims it has grown exponentially in the last year, going from 18 employees in May 2020 to 70 in May 2021. 

According to sources at the startup, they currently have around 15 positions open on their website for areas such as engineering, the legal department, and business development. 

In addition, the company is looking to continue making new hires in different segments and countries, mostly in Latin America.

 

13. Bipi

Bipi car rental team: from left to right, Alejandro Vigaray, co-founder and COO; José Luis Hernández, CSO, and Hans Christ, co-founder and CEO.
Bipi car rental team: from left to right, Alejandro Vigaray, co-founder and COO; José Luis Hernández, CSO, and Hans Christ, co-founder and CEO.

Bipi is a car subscription platform known as the Spotify of rental cars.

According to Hans Christ, CEO of the company, in the last year the number of employees has increased “significantly.”

Furthermore, there are now more than 100 people in the startup. 

“We are in full growth and our team will increase even more in the coming months,” says Christ. 

At present, the company has over 10 positions open across operations, sales, technology, marketing, product, logistics, and accounting.

“Our objective is that the internal growth policy should go hand in hand with the company’s own growth,” he says. 

12. Capchase

Capchase
Capchase helps Software-as-a-Service companies to finance the growth of their operations with immobilized cash in future monthly payments.

Capchase is a startup that helps software-as-a-service companies to finance the growth of their operations with cash tied up in future monthly payments.

One of the company’s founders Ignacio Moreno says his company is also in a “fairly accelerated” expansion phase. 

In the last nine months, he says the team has grown from eight people to more than 40. 

The company is now looking for new recruits for its product and technology teams in Europe, areas where they expect to double the team in the next six to nine months. 

Moreno says they are looking to add open up one  to two financial analyst positions to continue improving their SaaS risk model.

At the same time, Moreno says that, in the US, they are building a strong team in strategy, finance, and capital markets.

11. Criptan

Jorge Soriano, CEO de Criptan.
Jorge Soriano, CEO at Criptan.

Criptan is a Valencian cryptotrading startup.

Cofounder Jorge Soriano says he intends to expand the workforce “in the next two to three months.” 

Soriano also says the company is looking for technical, financial, and operations profiles, but with a particular focus on the technical team. 

He also says that, as their intention is to expand their business focus to other countries such as Mexico, they plan to form small teams in each of the regions where they are located. 

Although the technical part would be handled by the parent company, Soriano says the company would need to incorporate people for customer service, operations and marketing.

 

10. Devo

Devo's platform analyzes a large number of datasets (logs) in real time.
Devo’s platform analyzes a large number of datasets (logs) in real time.

Devo is a startup that uses its software platform to analyze large amounts of datasets (logs) in real time.

Pedro Castillo, founder and CTO (chief technology officer) of the company, says the company’s intends to increase its workforce by more than 50% by the end of the year. 

“We are currently looking for professionals to fill different positions in all areas of the company, especially in our engineering team in Madrid,” he says. 

Devo has opened job offers for positions such as security engineer, cloud engineer, and DevOps engineer.

 

9. ECOncrete

ECOncrete
ECOncrete develops infrastructures that promote the regeneration of marine biodiversity.

ECOncrete is a platform that develops infrastructures that promote the regeneration of marine biodiversity. 

Paolo Tedone, regional sales manager of the platform, said the company’s intention is to grow “more than 200% in the next two years.” 

The hope is to add between three and four people to sales, two to marketing, two to research and development, and one to design over the next year.

The company has already doubled to four employees recently.

8. Goin

Goin CEO David Riudor.
Goin CEO David Riudor.

Goin is a Spanish mobile app — it provides sensible saving and investment opportunities for people who aren’t financially literate.

The firm intends to hire more staff in the coming months. 

According to CEO of the startup David Riudor,, they are looking for 30 people to fill various positions. 

Some of the roles they want to fill cover developers, product managers, business developers, customer success and other profiles to lead the expansion. 

7. Holded

Javi Fondevila and Bernat Ripoll, co-founders of Holded.
Javi Fondevila and Bernat Ripoll, co-founders of Holded.

People manager at Holded — a company whose software helps small businesses control all aspects of a business from a single platform — says the startup wants to focus on growth “both in Barcelona and Paris.”

Forment says it expects  to add around 45 more people to its team by the end of the year — their job offers are available on their website. 

It already has 80,000 users and more than $22 million in funding rounds.

Its objective in Barcelona is to strengthen the technical and product team — it’s looking for tech leads, senior backend and frontend developers, and senior mobile developers.

It also wants to hire a vice president of product to lead the department, designers, and various profiles related to data such as data analyst, data scientist, and data engineer.

In Paris, the company is aiming to create a customer success, marketing and product team for its French market. Consequently, it’s looking for a customer success specialist, amarketing manager, and product manager profiles.

After being acquired by leading European software company Visma, the company said it intended to hire more than 300 people, with the aim of improving its product and consolidating its position as the “fastest growing company in the ERP market.” 

 

6. HumanITcare

HealthITcare is a startup with a telemedicine platform based on AI, aimed at health professionals.
HealthITcare is a startup with a telemedicine platform based on AI, aimed at health professionals.

HumanITcare is a Spanish startup with an artificial intelligence-based remote medicine platform aimed at healthcare professionals, is also looking for new staff. 

CEO Nuria Pastor says her company is growing exponentially and that she expects to double the workforce to more than 30 people by the end of 2021. 

She says they’re looking for software developers, mobile developers, and data scientists. 

 

5. Kokoro Kids

Kokoro Kids
Kokoro Kids is focused on its mobile app, which promotes kids’ cognitive and emotional skills.

Kokoro Kids is a Spanish startup.

It consists of a mobile app to enhance the development of cognitive and emotional skills of children aged between two and six.

It does so through activities and games and offering tailor-made experiences. It is one of the companies that is not planning to hire in the short term. 

However the company says it’s planning a round of funding for the beginning of next year — with the funding, the company intends to expand its team with technical and artistic profiles, as well as marketing and sales. 

 

4. Meetoptics

Meetoptics is a metasearch engine with artificial intelligence specialized in photonics.
Meetoptics is a metasearch engine with artificial intelligence specialized in photonics.

Bárbara Buades, CEO and co-founder of Meetoptics — an artificial intelligence meta-search engine specializing in photonics — says it’s looking to hire eight new employees by the end of the year. 

According to the startup’s CEO, there are now six people on the team and they want to add two to sales for customer acquisition, market analysis and risk analysis, a product owner, a UX/UI product designer, three software engineers, as well as a frontend and full stack developer.

3. Mox

The co-founders of Mox, Gregorio López and Antonio Valenzuela.Mox
The co-founders of Mox, Gregorio López and Antonio Valenzuela.

Mox is a startup dedicated to last mile logistics — it covers everything from goods delivery and staff recruitment to the development of technology systems.

It plans on hiring in logistics and parcels (warehouse workers, forklift drivers and delivery drivers).

As for the timescales, company leaders say these will be linked to the growth in demand and the volume of merchandise, although it will be “an increase in the short and medium term.” 

2. Submer

Pol Valls and Daniel Pope, founders of Submer.
Pol Valls and Daniel Pope, founders of Submer.

Poll Valls, co-founder and COO (Chief Operating Officer) at Submer says the start-up is seeking to reduce the cost of electricity for cooling computers. 

Thanks to consistent growth they are experiencing, they are doubling their workforce “year after year.” 

They currently have 70 employees and, over the next year, they plan to add 60 extra people. 

Valls says the 60 new staff members will be mainly in front-office (B2B sales, solution architects and marketing) and technical profiles of different types (mechanical engineering, software, robotics, thermodynamics, chemistry, industrial). 

 

1. Trucksters

The founders of Trucksters, Luis Bardají, Gabor Balogh and Ramón Castro.
The founders of Trucksters, Luis Bardají, Gabor Balogh and Ramón Castro.

Trucksters is a Spanish startup that’s looking to optimize the world of logistics and the long-distance freight transport industry with an innovative service based on a relay system. 

One of its founders, Gabor Balogh, says they are in “full growth” and that they plan to incorporate more new profiles to the company, which they’ve already succeeded in doing this year. 

Balogh explains that the company currently employs more than 30 people in its offices in Madrid and Valencia, as well as associates in Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Hungary. And he anticipates that they will soon be opening a new international branch office. 

“We are now very focused on our international expansion and we are mainly looking for different profiles for positions in operations, technology and sales,” he says.

The company’s co-founder says its work model, which combines on-site and remote work, has allowed them to recruit staff from different parts of the world: “We startups have to lead this transformation of the work system, which is more technological and efficient than ever.” 

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Firms should always focus on bad news, according to a book Bill Gates says all leaders must read this summer

Bill Gates
“I wanted to understand what really went wrong and what lessons this story holds.”

  • Bill Gates has recommended reading “Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric.”
  • Gates said it was hard to read criticism of fellow leaders but that he got a lot out of the book.
  • One key takeaway of the book for Gates was not to focus exclusively on good news.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In his annual summer reads recommendation this year, Bill Gates mostly suggested books that strengthen the relationship between humans and nature.

One title in particular, however, stands out: “Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric.”

As explained in Inc, this book is a warning about how the leaders of General Electric, one of the world’s largest companies, were so blinded by their success for so long that it got too late to do anything about it.

“I was eager to read ‘Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric’ by the Wall Street Journal reporters Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann,” said Gates in his blog, Gates Notes. “I wanted to understand what really went wrong and what lessons this story holds for investors, regulators, business leaders, and business students.”

Adding this to his recommendations may not have been easy for Gates, however, as the book is a critique and analysis of decisions that should never be taken in a company – and General Electric was one of Microsoft’s first customers.

“At times, it was a bit hard … to read such harsh criticism of fellow leaders,” Gates added, “[b]ut I got a lot out of reading this book.”

Here are some of the main takeaways of the book, according to Gates.

Don’t be too ambitious in the short term

“One of GE’s greatest apparent strengths was actually one of its greatest weaknesses,” Gates said in his blog.

GE always met or exceeded Wall Street analysts’ predictions in its quarterly or annual results.

But what happens is that they were simply serving investors and stock market performance, which isn’t always an indicator that all is well.

A company can have a sizeable turnover but if it’s lower than analysts’ expectations, analysts will publish negative comments and share prices will plummet.

Conversely, a company can make huge losses, but if they’re lower than analysts’ expectations, its share price will soar.

Lights Out reveals some questionable methods GE used to arrive at the numbers it felt it should.

Seeking this short-term profit weakened the company.

Don’t focus exclusively on good news

“In many companies, bad news travels very slowly, while good news travels fast,” Gates said.

The leader said he tried to fight this at Microsoft – whenever an employee told him positive news, Gates would ask him what wasn’t going so well.

While some might find this off-putting for employee morale, the ultimate message is not to motivate people to focus only on the good news, as it may mean you don’t get to the bad news in time.

Don’t fool yourself and definitely don’t fool your team

Believing that they could have it all was one of General Electric’s biggest mistakes.

Investors had full confidence in the company, but that confidence should never transfer over to the leaders themselves.

Unfortunately, it did.

So they tried to dip their hands into almost every jar they could, including filmmaking, insurance, finance, and nuclear power plants – as well as making light bulbs and household appliances.

“GE didn’t have the right talent and systems to bundle together a dizzying array of unrelated businesses and manage them well,” said Gates. “GE successfully persuaded people that its generalists could avoid the pitfalls that had tripped up big conglomerates in the past.”

“In reality,” he explained, “those generalists often didn’t understand the specifics of the industries they had to manage and couldn’t navigate trends in their industries.”

If customers and partners believe your company is the best or the most cutting-edge, they will trust it – but if a leader assumes it to be true and has no concerns nor any capacity for self-criticism or improvement, he or she is lost.

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Google and Microsoft offer resources and millions in donations to help see India through its COVID-19 crisis

Sundar Pichai
Google also announced a variety of measures to help increase awareness, information on vaccines, testing, and more.

  • As India’s COVID-19 crisis rages on, US tech giants are pledging their support for the country.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the tech giant will give $18 million in new funding to India.
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft would use its resources to help India through the crisis.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Monday morning, India reported 352,991 new COVID-19 infections, crossing the 300,000 single-day spike mark for the sixth consecutive day.

As India battles a major healthcare crisis, the country is receiving help from all around the globe.

A number of tech leaders and billionaires have joined the list of those attempting to help India – Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the tech giant will be giving $18 million (₹135 crores) in new funding for India.

Google also announced a variety of measures to help increase awareness, information on vaccines, testing, and more.

“We know the biggest way we can help is through our core information products like Search and Maps, YouTube, and Ads. Our COVID features on Search are available in India in English and eight Indian languages, and we continue to improve localization and highlight authoritative information. That includes information on where to get testing and vaccines; so far, Maps and Search surface thousands of vaccine sites, and we are working to add tens of thousands more,” the company said in a blog.

CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella also took to Twitter to say Microsoft would use its resources and technology to support India during the crisis.

Another Indian-American tech leader and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla, announced a fund for hospitals in India to build up their supply of oxygen containers and concentrators among other essential supplies.

The US opened up the supply of raw materials for the production of COVID-19 vaccines to India on Sunday night.

Balaji Srinivasan, a Silicon Valley investor, has also announced a donation of up to $100,000 for COVID-19 relief in India, according to Coindesk.

They were also joined in pledging donations to India by the likes of Adam Nash, co-founder of Silverback Ventures, and co-founder of cryptocurrency asset Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin.

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Why you should offer interviews to applicants with gaps in their résumés

Man traveling Azores Portugal
Having come from a non-academic family, I certainly wouldn’t have dared to leave any gaps in my résumé before my first job in a local newsroom.

  • Gaps on your résumé often mean life experience but many people are scared to take time out.
  • I dropped out of my university degree and later left a company job but it made me a better worker.
  • Recruiters should view résumé gaps with curiosity and be more concerned when people don’t have any.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In between jobs, I’ve chased magic swords. A friend of mine traveled through Vietnam and Thailand. Another spent time taking care of her family and one enjoyed the summer doing nothing at all.

From a human perspective, a gap in your résumé is obviously a good thing – you’ve spent that time having pizza for breakfast, entertaining clever thoughts, learning Spanish vocabulary, or devouring all seven Harry Potter books.

Gaps in your résumé mean freedom and freedom takes courage.

I’m in my mid-30s now, but from 1992 to 2008 when I was preparing for working life, I feared the résumé gap. Career advisors taught us to see them as the death knell to our careers.

“People will ask about it,” we were warned. “And what are you going to say?”

Having come from a non-academic family, I certainly wouldn’t have dared to leave any gaps in my résumé before my first job in a local newsroom.

The fear of plunging myself into “economic ruin” would’ve plagued me and I would’ve been afraid of how I’d justify myself in job interviews – and whether I’d even be able to respond to the dreaded question.

teen playing desktop computer game with headphones graphics
I dropped out of a university degree and spent my days playing computer games.

But now, my advice to anyone with a résumé gap would be to answer boldly.

I dropped out of a university degree and spent my days playing computer games until I finally got a place on a different program. Although that might not seem like a good use of my time, it taught me a very important lesson – if something doesn’t work for me, I have to change it.

At that point, it was my degree, and later on, it was a company I was working for. Both times, it’s been worth it because I’ve been able to better evaluate my situation and think about my skills and what I really want. My life has improved as a result and I’ve become a better worker.

“I don’t have any gaps on my résumé,” one of my acquaintances wrote to me once. “And I regret it.”

The people I know who do have those gaps have told me they took the time off to recover from mental health issues. Many of them decided they wanted to work for themselves during their breaks, and a lot of them have made it happen.

What people learn during their time off from their careers gives them the freedom to think differently and maybe even better. Admitting that is tough because it goes against our ideas about the “ideal worker.”

That’s precisely the problem. What society demands of professionals today isn’t sustainable anymore, or even relevant. If you do your job well only when it works for you, then you are one thing above all else: replaceable.

People do lots of things in their jobs. They develop ideas, help people, solve problems, manage the chaos behind the scenes at large institutions, tackle climate change, teach, calculate, heal, and program.

black woman hiking
Gaps on your résumé often mean you’ve got life experience.

We’re not always equally good at those things and gaps tend to help us improve our performance. We need to remember life isn’t a machine and people aren’t cogs – life is complex.

If we don’t incorporate that into our lifestyles and into our work, then ultimately there won’t be anyone left who can develop the ideas to accommodate our complex lives.

However, gaps are scary. One of my friends is currently looking for a job but she’s scared to spread the word through her networks, whether professional or personal. I think that’s a fatal error.

If we all had the courage to leave gaps in our résumés and if recruiters approached gaps with curiosity rather than apprehension, the world of work would radically change.

Even taking parental leave is considered a “gap” in your résumé – a career inhibitor or something you shouldn’t allow yourself.

The truth is that work experience rarely makes us discover anything about life. We only get that through life experiences.

That’s why I think recruiters should be more concerned when someone comes into an interview without a gap in their résumé.

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Amazon is hiring 5,000 new employees in Germany, with some roles paying up to $82,000 per year

This picture shows the logo of US online retail giant Amazon at the distribution center in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on December 17, 2019.
The company recently expanded its logistics empire to cope with rising demand over the holiday season.

  • Amazon will hire 5,000 more permanent employees in Germany in areas from shipping to marketing.
  • In a press release, the company said it encouraged applications from those seeking job security.
  • Entry-level Amazon logistics wages range from $13.25 to $14.90 per hour but are location-dependent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon already has 23,000 employees in Germany but is now looking to add more people to its workforce.

The delivery giant said in a press release on Friday that it would hire another 5,000 staff in areas from shipping to marketing.

Most Amazon employees work in logistics, where entry-level wages range from $13.25 to $14.90 gross per hour depending on the location. Germany’s current minimum wage is $11.14 per hour but will rise to $12.26 by July 2022.

At its logistics center in Sülzetal near Magdeburg, the minimum is $13.92 per hour; in Koblenz, it is $14.19; at the air freight handling facility in Leipzig it’s $15.83. Wages automatically rise after 12 and 24 months.

After two years, employees earned an average of around $3,500 gross per month including restricted employee shares, according to Amazon. There were bonus payments and other benefits.

It hasn’t been an easy year for the German branch of Amazon, with workers striking in June over rising COVID-19 infections at the company and again in October after their COVID-19 bonus payments were scrapped.

German trade union Verdi called for a four-day strike at Easter to demand a pay rise for workers in the retail and mail-order sectors. Amazon has also been subjected to an antitrust investigation over relationships with its third-party sellers in Germany.

In its press release, Amazon said it was calling for applications from those worried about the future of their jobs and was recruiting from a wide range of sectors.

Amazon Logistics Center
Amazon has 15 logistics centers spread across Germany.

“This is a great opportunity for career changers because we are open to a wide range of talents and qualifications,” said Amazon Germany country manager Ralf Kleber.

The company’s German headquarters are located in Munch while its research and development center is in Berlin. There are also a total of 15 logistics centers spread across the country.

Amazon itself does not provide any information about the salaries offered to employees in other sectors. According to employer rating portal Kununu, customer service employees earn about the same as their colleagues in warehouse and shipping.

Kununu’s data showed an account manager at Amazon earned almost $67,000 per year while a marketing officer earned around $62,000 and a human resources officer around $60,000.

According to Glassdoor, software engineers earn significantly more with a salary of over $82,000.

The company recently expanded its logistics empire to cope with rising demand over the holiday season and its delivery service could be worth up to $230 billion by 2025, according to Bank of America estimates.

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The elusive oligarch making Russian COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ criticized the EU for vaccine nationalism

Sputnik V
Russia’s vaccine is now set to go global, with plans for Sputnik V to be used in one in 10 vaccinations worldwide.

  • Dmitry Morozov of pharmaceutical Biocad is the oligarch behind Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Sputnik V is now being rolled out worldwide, with plans to use it in one in 10 global vaccinations.
  • However, it faces hurdles in the EU and US as well as Russia with reluctance and supply bottlenecks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In Russia, the name Sputnik is associated with innovation, progress, and one of the greatest successes in Soviet history.

When Sputnik 1 became the first human object to reach Earth’s orbit in 1957, Americans watched in amazement.

Over 60 years later, Sputnik is taking the world by storm again, this time as Russia’s flagship COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

Mass production started in September and, despite Russians initially being divided about its potential efficacy, it’s now been rolled out across the country.

Russia’s vaccine is set to go global, with plans for Sputnik V to be used in one in 10 vaccinations worldwide and particularly in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Vladimir Putin was vaccinated against Covid-19 with Sputnik V, partly to coax those Russians who remain hesitant to go and get the jab.

Dmitry Morozov, an elusive oligarch who heads pharmaceutical company Biocad, is the man behind Sputnik V.

The pharmaceutical company behind the vaccine

Sputnik V is still viewed with a fair degree of skepticism especially in the EU and the US.

Earlier this month, a top official of the European Medicines Agency said approving the vaccine too early would be “somewhat comparable to Russian roulette.”

The vaccine’s official Twitter account then demanded a public apology, saying the official’s comments “raise serious questions about possible political interference in the ongoing EMA review.”

However, Russia is also struggling with supply bottlenecks and according to information from an independent pollster reported by Reuters, over 60% of Russians are unwilling to be vaccinated with Sputnik V.

Biocad is a well-known and well-connected name in the pharmaceutical industry and has been producing drugs for HIV and cancer for years.

US-based Pfizer, which is producing its own vaccine together with BioNTech, was even interested in acquiring Biocad.

Morozov owns 30% of the company and, in September, the company established one of Russia’s most modern production facilities in Zelenograd, north of Moscow.

The company employs 2,500 employees and has 1,500 people working on Sputnik V alone.

The team is also developing a drug for COVID-19 lung disease.

A camera team from Spiegel TV got a rare glimpse into the production of the vaccine, which revealed high levels of security at the factory in St Petersburg.

Complexity inhibits production

According to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, 10 million doses of Sputnik V have been produced so far.

However, many more doses are needed to vaccinate Russia and meet global demand.

Vladimir Putin
Russia has approved two other homemade vaccines, CoviVac and EpiVacCorona.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Sputnik V is a vector-based vaccine.

This means fragments of the genetic material of the coronavirus are placed in attenuated viruses like adenoviruses.

The adenoviruses deliver genetic information from the coronavirus into the human body.

The body’s cells then respond and produce the virus’s protein, which the immune system can recognize and for which it can produce the body’s required defense substances.

With Sputnik V, however, two different adenoviruses are found in each of the required two doses, administered three weeks apart.

While this makes the vaccine more effective, it also increases the complexity of production.

According to data published in The Lancet, Sputnik V is just under 92% effective and so is roughly as effective as the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Morozov finds the EU countries’ hesitation baffling and has spoken about vaccine nationalism and bureaucracy in the EU, according to World Today News.

In addition to Sputnik V, Russia has approved two other homemade vaccines, CoviVac and EpiVacCorona.

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Ford paves the way as the first automaker to allow 86,000 employees to work from home permanently

Ford logo
Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July.

  • Ford has become the first auto company to announce employees can work from home in the long-term.
  • The company will explore flexible arrangements from July, depending on individual responsibilities.
  • A survey showed 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and felt more productive at home.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford has become the first automobile company to shift towards remote working on a permanent basis, according to CNBC, with around 86,000 employees being allowed to work at least partially from home.

The policy is aimed at office workers rather than factory workers, who number around 100,000 and have largely returned to work.

Hybrid work plans and remote working will depend on individual and managerial responsibilities.

“The nature of the work we do really is going to be a guiding element,” chief people and employee experiences officer Kiersten Robinson told CNBC. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 12 months, it is that a lot of our assumptions around work and what employees need has shifted.”

Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July when most employees are expected to make at least a partial return to the office after more than a year.

“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent – you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, David Dubensky, told The Washington Post.

“Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful,” Dubensky added. “It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”

Remote work coronavirus
95% of Ford employees wanted a hybrid form of working.

According to a survey conducted at Ford in June 2020, 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and a number of them felt more productive at home.

The move from Ford comes after major companies including Google, Spotify, and Salesforce all announced that they were offering their employees the option to work from home permanently.

A survey conducted in January by the National Association for Business Economics suggested just one in 10 companies expected employees to return to the office after the pandemic.

“These companies are all looking at each other,” associate professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Angela Hall, told The Detroit News. “And especially someone like Ford, who is a large, respected employer – people are going to model that behavior.”

The Washington Post also reported that General Motors and Toyota were looking at flexible options for a return to the office, although they are both yet to announce new policies.

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Daimler is converting its engine plant in Berlin into a digital campus and hundreds of jobs may be in danger

02 September 2020, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Sindelfingen: Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG speaks during the opening ceremony at the "Factory 56" plant. The new S-Class will be built in the new completely digitalized and networked factory.
Costing around $2.4 million, the conversion project could offer employees long-term prospects.

  • Daimler plans to close its oldest plant in Germany and make it digital, Handelsblatt reported.
  • The $2.4 million conversion is part of a cost-cutting scheme that will cut 20,000 jobs by 2025.
  • The future factory will focus on electromobility and will assemble smaller parts for electric cars.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Daimler is planning to gradually shut down its engine and transmission production plant in Berlin-Marienfelde and convert it into a digital campus, Handelsblatt reported.

The German factory opened in 1902 and is the oldest Daimler plant producing conventional combustion engines. Its closure will now put 2,500 jobs at risk at the Mercedes Benz parent company.

Costing around $2.4 million, the conversion project could, however, offer employees long-term prospects, as the future factory will focus on electromobility and will also assemble smaller parts for electric cars.

Daimler management and the works council in Berlin agreed to convert the factory into a “digital start-up factory with a series of state-of-the-art pilot lines and test cells,” the company announced Wednesday.

Assembly in the digital plant will be carried out using sensors and software applications, including the latest enhanced reality tools.

There will also be training sessions for representatives from over 30 international Mercedes factories.

Some of the technologies that will be used are already being used at Mercedes. For example, Daimler used the new MO360 ecosystem to produce the S-class.

Daimler is also investing in self-driving cars, teaming up with Alphabet’s Waymo. It is now backing a high-end car service that aims to compete with Uber and Lyft.

FILE PHOTO: A Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA car is displayed prior to the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Daimler plans to transform and put electric cars at the fore.

“We will significantly reduce the workforce,” a manager told Handelsblatt.

According to Daimler, however, its top priority is designing and implementing the project in a socially responsible way.

Jan Otto, chairman of IG Metall in Berlin, told Handelsblatt that the number of jobs to be cut had not yet been decided although the union is demanding that the Daimler plant in Marienfelde remains a production site.

According to Otto, Marienfelde could also be expanded again in the future, perhaps to produce battery systems or at least recycling batteries.

Daimler’s planned transformation from a hardware provider to a software-based company with electric cars at the fore is putting particular pressure on the group’s engine sites which still manufacture classic internal combustion engines.

Daimler CEO Ola Källenius is also pursuing a number of cuts across the board, particularly affecting engine locations.

The main plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is being hit particularly hard by these cost-cutting measures, and thousands of jobs are to be cut at the plant by 2024.

Overall, Daimler plans to cut more than 20,000 of its 300,000 jobs worldwide by 2025.

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