Job of the Week: HR Retirement Analyst

This week’s featured job posting from MSU Human Resources is a Retirement Analyst for Human Resources (Job Posting 783016). Human Resources provides strategic human resources expertise, counsel, support, and services for the MSU community.

The Retirement Analyst provides IRS compliance and plan monitoring, which requires the ability to maintain retirement limits in multi-step plans or a multiple vendor environment. They also counsel and aid HR units, faculty, staff, and retirees who encounter retirement, benefit, and financial issues. They will assist employees with acquiring any necessary retirement information, including eligibility and payroll instructions. 

The selected candidate will also handle the processing of retirement and benefits transactions, including reviewing and approving Medicare validation, retirement loans, etc. They will also be responsible for developing and promoting educational activities for employees as needed. 

Interested applicants should have a four-year degree in Human Resources Administration, Labor Industrial Relations, or a related field. The applicant should have one to three years of experience in human resources administration, data or statistical analysis, or program development in retirement plan administration. Though not required, it is helpful if the individual has a series 6 or 7 securities license and CEBS Certification. For a complete list of job duties and qualifications, click here.

To learn more about Human Resources, visit To apply for this opening, prepare a cover letter and resume and submit your application here by June 7.

Time Management Blog Series: The Pareto Principle (a.k.a., the 80/20 Rule)

Do you feel like you’re busy all the time yet still not getting things done? Although you won’t always have control over your workload and assignments, further developing your time management skills can help you better manage your responsibilities and end each day with a feeling of productivity and accomplishment.

We’re highlighting various time management techniques over a series of blog posts to give you different tools to utilize depending on your needs, preferences and work style. The reality is that the best time management technique is the one you’ll actually use and stick with, so give different approaches a try and see what works best for you.

We’ll focus here on leveling up your time management skills with the Pareto Principle, also called the 80/20 Rule.

Pareto Principle: What It Is

Created by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, the 80/20 rule proposes that 20% of actions are responsible for 80% of outcomes, a powerful reminder that the relationship between inputs and outputs is typically not balanced. Pareto’s theory of predictable imbalance has been applied to almost every aspect of modern life and can be especially useful when used to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively.

How It Works

Unimportant and low-impact tasks tend to get in the way of important ones — the ones that could have a real impact on our career and organization — for one simple reason: Impactful tasks are usually much harder to complete in comparison to non-impactful tasks. To avoid what’s sometimes referred to as an “urgency trap,” take the time to step back from your work and look for the 20% of tasks that are the most critical and bring 80% of the results. For example:

  • What 20% of your tasks will truly help you advance in your career?
  • What 20% of your job responsibilities bring you the greatest satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment?
  • What 20% of your tasks contribute most toward your department’s and the university’s strategic goals and objectives?
  • Which one or two or your daily activities are responsible for 80% of your time wasted?

Who Will It Benefit?

While the 80/20 approach can work well for just about anyone, it may be an especially good fit for you if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You’d describe yourself as an analytical thinker or problem solver.
  • You are often working on tasks other people want you to, but you have no investment in them.
  • You’re frequently working on tasks labeled “urgent.”
  • You’re spending time on tasks you are not usually good at doing.
  • Activities are taking much longer than you expected.

Additional Considerations

The 80/20 Rule works well alongside other time management techniques, including Eat the Frog, which we covered in a previous post. To briefly summarize: start every day with the task that seems most complex and challenging. No matter how tempting it might seem to do simple and small things first, always do the difficult tasks first to start your day off with a “win” and build momentum.


Despite the 80/20 name, don’t assume the numbers 20 and 80 add up to 100. Your 20% could create 5% or 30% or even 100% of a result. The main goal with the Pareto Principle is to recognize any input vs. output imbalances and prioritize investing your time in the actions that create the highest-impact outcomes.

Below are additional resources that may help you establish a time management approach that works for you. Keep an eye out for additional posts in the Time Management Blog Series that dive into the Eisenhower Matrix, time blocking and more. Do you have other time management tips? Share in the comments section — your ideas may be just the thing another person needs to succeed with time management.


Determining Your Time Management Style (6-minute elevateU video)

Managing Your Time So It Doesn’t Manage You (19-minute elevateU course)

Time Management Blog Series: Pomodoro Technique (SourceLive blog post)

Time Management Blog Series: Eat the Frog (SourceLive blog post)

The Power of Habit (OPD Instructor-Led Course)

June Events Round-up

Are you looking for activities for you and your family to join this month? You’ll find plenty of events, courses, and activities (in-person and virtual) on campus and in the surrounding area. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the link if you’re interested in learning more.

Events on Campus

  • June 16 – Beal Botanical Garden Tour: Native Plant Strategies for Attracting Great Insects: whether we’re talking about butterflies or mosquito eaters, join Beal Garden curator Peter Carrington to learn about a host of insects that can make our outdoor lives more interesting, colorful, and safe if we allow them to participate.
  • June 17 – MSU Juneteenth Celebration: join the second annual MSU Juneteenth Celebration from 5-9 p.m. at the Breslin Center. Juneteenth (abbreviation for June 19th) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
  • June 18 – Unconditional Love Fund 5K: the Unconditional Love Fund 5K is a run, walk, stroll or roll to raise funds to support the MSU Gender and Sexuality Campus Center.
  • June 21 – Come Out! In Detroit: a conversation with illustrator Isabel Clare Paul and historian Tim Retzloff who teamed up to create the comic “Come Out! In Detroit,” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Christopher Street Detroit ’72, the first LGBTQ+ pride celebration in Michigan. Grab a free copy of the comic and don’t forget to stop by the exhibit showcasing the materials used for research to create the comic.

Health and Wellness

  • Every Wednesday – Pilates in the Garden: come stretch, meet friends, and enjoy an outdoor lunch hour exercise class at W.J. Beal Botanical Garden. Admission is free.
  • Starts June 1 – Self-Compassion – An Essential Skill for Success: based on the research of Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Brené Brown, this course will provide an overview of the research on self-compassion, define what self-compassion is and challenge the myths about self-compassion that lead people to be overly harsh and critical with themselves.
  • June 14 – Sleep: Understanding and Optimizing Your Nightly Reboot: this class will explore the science of sleep, the impact sleep has on overall health and wellbeing, and how to improve your sleep quality.
  • June 20 – Rest with Music: enjoy a live musical performance to listen, relax, reflect and rest with music. Join in-person or virtual.
  • June 29 – Intro to Ergonomics: this session will explore the basics of ergonomic aides, injury prevention, how to set up a workstation, and stretches/exercises for keeping work-related pain at bay.

Family-Friendly Activities

  • Various June Dates – Summer Circle Theatre: after a two-year hiatus the mid-Michigan tradition is back for its 60th Anniversary celebration of FREE theatre. 
  • June 4 – Family Day at the MSU Broad Art Museum: join friends from the Potter Park Zoo and take a closer look at art inspired by animals in the MSU Broad collection. All ages are welcome.
  • June 15 – Wild Wednesdays: Frogs: families with children under 7 are invited to our Wild Wednesday summer programs! Join a naturalist along the trail for a fun, interactive activity.  Each week will have either a nature-themed craft or a chance to explore more of our natural world! This week’s feature: FROGS!
  • June 17 – “Scrap Hat” Craft-In: for this drop-in craft-in, Spartan Upcycle staff will be joined by puppet artists and MSU faculty Steve Baibak and Pia Banzhaf, who will help us bring our visions to reality! Swing by, see what strikes you, and have fun exploring what’s possible when we rethink fashion and try on the unconventional! 

Learning Opportunities

  • Starts June 7 – The Parent Talk System Webinar Series: a parenting workshop designed to improve communication and provide practical strategies for raising confident, caring, and responsible children.
  • Starts June 7 – Conflict Management and Non-Escalation: the primary goals of this course are conflict resolution, de-escalation, crisis management, and everyone’s safety. This training will prepare participants to apply the taught skills to real-life situations and to retain those skills over time.
  • June 7 – Welcome to MSU: if you are new or returning to Michigan State University, the Greater Lansing area, Michigan, or the United States, the WorkLife Office can help connect you to campus and community resources.
  • June 9 – Facilitating Process Improvement: participants will identify leading process improvement frameworks, develop a project plan using RAPID methodology, adopt facilitation best practices, and identify key elements of project success.
  • June 14 – (TIAA Webinar) Financial Finishing Touches for Women: am I ready to retire? How do I know if I have enough? How do I plan my income? What should I look out for as I plan and even after I am retired? Financial success can often complicate your life, and we are going to try to help you answer these questions and more.
  • June 14 – Identify and Maximize Your Strengths: the CliftonStrenths Assessment identifies your natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving so that you can discover what makes you exceptional and maximize your potential.
  • June 16 – (TIAA Webinar) Saving for Your Ideal Retirement: find out how retirement savings, planning, and the real benefit of time are essential features of retirement investments.
  • June 17 – Engaging Teams for Maximum Performance: methods of building trust, setting goals, and providing feedback to help enhance employee engagement and working relationships will be shared.
  • June 22 – Performance Management for Hybrid Teams: this class will share best practices, and identify tips and strategies for developing strong and high-performing hybrid teams using MSU’s Performance Excellence process.