Category: Career Guide

Portrait of a Modern Career Woman

Portrait of a Modern Career Woman

Ariana is 29 years old, attractive career woman – or rather, she retains the last vestiges of her youthful beauty. OK, Ariana was never a stunner, never a first-rate head-turner. But with her slender body, her long, thick black hair and a mischievous face that suggested a profound appetite for naughtiness, she was sexy.

I use the past tense for a reason. In the two years we have worked together, I have observed a definite depreciation in her looks. In part, this is due to her love of binge drinking. Alcohol remains endemic in many industries in London, not least ours, where entertaining clients is a central part of the job.

Ariana attacked that duty with gusto, and the empty calories she loaded into her system over many drunken nights meant that she ended up carrying considerably more weight than when she started. Not enough to make her obese, but enough to render her formerly shapely legs matronly, and to give her once-angular features a doughy appearance. These unfortunate adjustments amended my rating of her from “would definitely bang” to “would probably bang, provided it were easy and there were no other options available.”

But Ariana was much-loved at work for her madcap ways and the amusing stories that her frequent inebriation provided. For her last day in the office, another (female) colleague prepared a PowerPoint presentation displaying some of her “finest” moments. The slides were largely composed of photographs taken from Ariana’s Facebook page. Many of them featured close-ups of her increasingly bloated, drunken face as she careened from one crazy night out to the next. One slide was dedicated to her love of drinking whiskey. Another to her penchant for red wine. A third focused on the short skirts she liked to wear.

More slides revealed her “yolo” exploits in the various five-star hotels in New York and Berlin the company had put her up in for business events. Her talent for attracting beta orbiters was referenced; and the fact that she had been banged by a male colleague was revealed on a slide celebrating her “horndog” nature. My assembled colleagues hooted and guffawed at these images, while Ariana looked on, held in the embrace of another girl, close to tears at her impending departure.

Tellingly, not one of the slides referred to her professional capabilities. To be fair, her skills were complimented by two of her managers in their summing-up. Apparently, Ariana had proved herself to be a linchpin of her team, and she had been personally responsible for managing multi-million pound accounts. Personally, I am skeptical. I worked on projects with her a few times: she was rubbish.

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Building a career? Read these important tips

Building a career? Read these important tips

What do I need to do before pursuing a career? What types of goals should I set for myself? How will I stay motivated? Developing a career plan can help you outline a clear path as you begin looking for a new job.

In this article, you’ll learn how to assess what you need to develop your career objective, how to write S.M.A.R.T. career goals, and how to create your own career plan. We’ll also provide some different techniques you can use to stay motivated as you work toward your goals.

The 9 most important career planning tips is listed below:

1. Never Stop Learning

Life-long learning is your keyword.

The world is constantly changing, and everybody is looking for new ways of doing business.

If you have decided that your current skills are good enough, you have also decided that your current job is good enough.

But if you want a career in the future, you should add regular updates to your skills and knowledge.

2. Ask, Listen And Learn

A good listener can learn a lot.

Listen to your co-workers, your boss, and your superiors. You can learn a lot from their experience.

Ask about issues that interest you, and listen to what they say. Let them tell you about how things work, and what you could have done better. Most people will love to be your free tutor.

3. Fulfill Your Current Job

Your current job might be best place to start your career.

It is often very little that separates successful people from the average. But nothing comes free.

If you do your job well and fulfill your responsibilities, this is often the best way to start a new career.

Talk to your supervisor about things you can do. Suggest improvements. Offer your help when help is needed. In return ask for help to build a better career. It is often possible – right inside your own organization – especially if you have proved to be a valued employee.

4. Build Your Network

Your next career step might arise from your contact network.

Did you know that more than 50% of all jobs are obtained from contact networks?

If you have a good contact network, it is also a good place to discover future careers, to explore new trends, and to learn about new opportunities.

Spend some time building new contacts, and don’t forget to maintain the ones you already have.

One of the best ways to get serious information from your network is to regularly ask your contacts how they are, what they do, and what is new about their careers.

5. Identify Your Current Job

Your current job should be identified, not assumed.

Make sure you don’t work with tasks you assume are important. This is waste of time and talent.

When you start in a new job, talk to your superior about your priorities. If you’re not sure about what is most important, then ask him. And ask him again. Often you will be surprised about the differences between what you assume, and what is really important.

6. Identify Your Next Job


Your dream job must be identified.

Before you start planning your future career, be sure you have identified your dream job.

In your dream job, you will be doing all the things you enjoy, and none of the things you don’t enjoy. What kind of job would that be?

Do you like or dislike having responsibility for other employees. Do you like to work with technology or with people? Do you want to run your own business? Do you want to be an artist, a designer or a skilled engineer? A manager?

Before building your future career your goal must be identified.

7. Prepare Yourself

Your dream might show up tomorrow. Be prepared.

Don’t wait a second. Update your CV now, and continue to update it regularly.

Tomorrow your dream job may show up right before your nose. Prepare for it with a professional CV and be ready to describe yourself as a valuable object to anyone that will try to recruit you.

If you don’t know how to write a CV, or how to describe yourself, start learning it now.

8. Pick The Right Tools

Pick the tools you can handle.

You can build your future career using a lot of different tools. Studying at W3Schools is easy. Taking a full master degree is more complicated.

You can add a lot to your career by studying books and tutorials (like the one you find at W3Schools). Doing short time courses with certification tests might add valuable weight to your CV. And don’t forget: Your current job is often the most valuable source of building new skills.

Don’t pick a tool that is too heavy for you to handle!

9. Realize Your Dreams

Put your dreams into action.

Don’t let a busy job kill your dreams. If you have higher goals, put them into action now.

If you have plans about taking more education, getting a better job, starting your own company or something else, you should not use your daily job as a “waiting station”. Your daily job will get more and more busy, you will be caught up in the rat race, and you will burn up your energy.

If you have this energy, you should use it now, to realize your dreams.

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What to do for a successful career planning

What to do for a successful career planning

Career planning is not an activity that should be done once — in high school or college — and then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers. Rather, career planning is an activity that is best done on a regular basis — especially given the data that the average worker will change careers (not jobs) multiple times over his or her lifetime. And it’s never too soon or too late to start your career planning.

Career planning is not a hard activity, not something to be dreaded or put off, but rather an activity that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals to achieve in your current career or plans for beginning a transition to a new career. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience. Here, then, are 10 tips to help you achieve successful career planning.

1. Make Career Planning an Annual Event

Many of us have physicals, visit the eye doctor and dentist, and do a myriad of other things on an annual basis, so why not career planning? Find a day or weekend once a year — more often if you feel the need or if you’re planning a major career change — and schedule a retreat for yourself. Try to block out all distractions so that you have the time to truly focus on your career — what you really want out of your career, out of your life.

By making career planning an annual event, you will feel more secure in your career choice and direction — and you’ll be better prepared for the many uncertainties and difficulties that lie ahead in all of our jobs and career.

2. Map Your Path Since Last Career Planning

One of your first activities whenever you take on career planning is spending time mapping out your job and career path since the last time you did any sort of career planning. While you should not dwell on your past, taking the time to review and reflect on the path — whether straight and narrow or one filled with any curves and dead-ends — will help you plan for the future.

Once you’ve mapped your past, take the time to reflect on your course — and note why it looks the way it does. Are you happy with your path? Could you have done things better? What might you have done differently? What can you do differently in the future?

3. Reflect on Your Likes and Dislikes, Needs and Wants

Change is a factor of life; everybody changes, as do our likes and dislikes. Something we loved doing two years ago may now give us displeasure. So always take time to reflect on the things in your life — not just in your job — that you feel most strongly about.

Make a two-column list of your major likes and dislikes. Then use this list to examine your current job and career path. If your job and career still fall mostly in the like column, then you know you are still on the right path; however, if your job activities fall mostly in the dislike column, now is the time to begin examining new jobs and new careers.

Finally, take the time to really think about what it is you want or need from your work, from your career. Are you looking to make a difference in the world? To be famous? To become financially independent? To effect change? Take the time to understand the motives that drive your sense of success and happiness.

4. Examine Your Pastimes and Hobbies

Career planning provides a great time to also examine the activities you like doing when you’re not working. It may sound a bit odd, to examine non-work activities when doing career planning, but it’s not. Many times your hobbies and leisurely pursuits can give you great insight into future career paths.

Think you can’t make a hobby into a career? People do it all the time. The great painter Paul Gauguin was a successful business person who painted on the side. It actually wasn’t until he was encouraged by an artist he admired to continue painting that he finally took a serious look at his hobby and decided he should change careers. He was good at business, but his love was painting.

5. Make Note of Your Past Accomplishments

Most people don’t keep a very good record of work accomplishments and then struggle with creating a powerful resume when it’s time to search for a new job. Making note of your past accomplishments — keeping a record of them — is not only useful for building your resume, it’s also useful for career planning.

Sometimes reviewing your past accomplishments will reveal forgotten successes, one or more which may trigger researching and planning a career shift so that you can be in a job that allows you to accomplish the types of things that make you most happy and proud.

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Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

How many times will you change careers in your lifetime? If you’re like most people, you’ll change careers at least several times over the course of your life. How successful you’ll be in making transitions among careers can at least be partially attributed to the amount of career planning and preparation you’ve done.

Every job-seeker needs to take the time to step way from the day-to-day grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your career and developing some plans for your future. Whether you love your current job and employer or feel frustrated and confined by your job, career planning can help. Think of career planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career; without the bridge, you may easily stumble or lose your way, but with the bridge there is safety and direction.

This article provides you with some basic guidelines for both short-term and long-term career planning.

Short-Term Career Planning

A short-term career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of short-term career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the near future.

As you begin your career planning, take the time to free yourself from all career barriers. What are career barriers? There are personal barriers (such as lack of motivation, apathy, laziness, or procrastination), family pressure (such as expectations to work in the family business, follow a certain career path, or avoidance of careers that are below your status/stature), and peer pressure. And while career planning and career decision-making is an important aspect of your life, do not put so much pressure on yourself that it paralyzes you from making any real choices, decisions, or plans. Finally, career planning is an ever-changing and evolving process — or journey — so take it slowly and easily.

Long-Term Career Planning

Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.

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Are you shy? Discover best careers fit for you

Are you shy? Discover best careers fit for you

Feel like your quiet personality makes you the office outsider? Here are six careers where a reserved nature is an asset, not a limitation.

Does the phrase “small talk” make you cringe? If you’re a quiet person, navigating the social niceties of the professional world could be a real drag. You may even feel like your personality is holding you back from getting a leg up in your current career. But don’t count yourself out just yet. A quiet demeanor could conceal great powers of observation or analysis.

“People who are quiet might focus on data and things, rather than people, so there are some occupations [in which] they might be able to do a better job,” says Laurence Shatkin, a career expert and author of several books, including “50 Best Jobs for Your Personality.”

Ready to let your quiet attributes do the talking? Consider pursuing these careers where your natural inclinations could be your greatest assets.

Career 1: Accountant

When data talks, are you usually listening? An ability to sit quietly while poring over numbers could serve you well as an accountant.

If you prefer to keep quiet and focus on the details, this number-driven occupation could play to your strengths, Shatkin says. Reviewing financial statements, computing taxes, and reviewing accounting systems are some of the duties required of accountants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Accountants carry out their duties in either an office or at home, according to the Department of Labor. Sounds like you’ll have plenty of quality time to spend with your number-friends. Just keep in mind that this job may require meeting face-to-face with clients on occasion, in order to provide recommendations or explain your findings, the Department notes.

Career 2: Graphic Designer

Would you rather express yourself through images than words? Your skills as a visual communicator could take center stage in a graphic design career. Quiet people are often considered better listeners, Shatkin says, which means they may have an advantage in this creative field.

Why do graphic designers need active listening skills? In order to “really focus on what the client is trying to convey with the graphic,” Shatkin says.

But taking direction from clients isn’t the only time you’ll find yourself keeping mum. As a graphic designer, you might spend much of your time figuring out the best way to use colors, images, text, and layouts to communicate ideas, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sounding a little lonely? Don’t worry, graphic designers aren’t completely solitary. Being able to work in teams is also an important quality, as graphic designers often collaborate directly with a client or in conjunction with marketers, programmers, or other graphic designers, the Department of Labor notes.

Career 3: Software Developer

If you come up with your best ideas during quiet contemplation, a career as a software developer could deliver rewarding work. “Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While they may work in teams, most of the day-to-day work is solo, Shatkin says.

Daily tasks might include designing computer applications such as word processors or games, or creating the operating systems used in consumer electronics, the Department of Labor reports. Still, software developers don’t work in a vacuum. They will need to address feedback from customers about programs they develop, says the Department.

Career 4: Database Administrator

Do you like to quietly and thoroughly think over the task at hand before taking action? If so, you may want to think over a career as a database administrator. Talk about the need for quiet concentration: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in this career “a minor error can cause major problems.”

That’s because database administrators are responsible for organizing large amounts of data for important processes, like credit card transactions, the Department of Labor reports. Of course, where there are important databases, there are also users of those databases, which is why this career can also require “a fair amount of collaborative work,” Shatkin notes.

Career #5: Writer

Do you feel most comfortable when you’re up to your eyeballs in research and facts – with not a person in sight? Then you might have a calling as a writer. Quiet people often have a great ability to concentrate on slogging through information, Shatkin says. This kind of endurance can be a prized skill for writers, who, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, need to demonstrate strong research and proper citation methods to establish credibility in their work.

Writers produce work for many different mediums. In addition to writing for books and magazines, writers might create content for an advertisement, website, or TV or film script, according to the Department of Labor.

Yes, writing is often a solitary endeavor, but a supporting cast is needed to see manuscripts through to publication. As a writer, you would likely communicate regularly with an editor or client, the Department notes.

Career 6: Survey Researcher

Surveys are used regularly to help organizations test the waters of public opinion, but did you ever wonder who designs the questions? Survey researchers – that’s who. If you’re one for long hours of quiet contemplation, this could be the career for you.

The listening skills that seem to go hand-in-hand with quiet personalities can be the key to designing surveys that deliver reliable, meaningful results, Shatkin says.

No, surveys won’t tell you how they should be designed, but your employers might. “Part of [survey research] is finding out what someone needs to learn from the survey, and that requires really listening,” Shatkin says.

As a survey researcher, you could enjoy a good amount of silent work – like researching the survey topic, determining the best method for accurately capturing the desired information, or using statistical software to analyze the results, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Just note that you won’t be spending all of your time on Silent Street. Survey researchers can also be responsible for conducting surveys themselves by facilitating focus groups or interviewing people over the phone or in-person, according to the Department of Labor.

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Top 3 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

Top 5 Salary Negotiation Mistakes

If you want to make adults squirm like kindergartners, broach the subject of salary negotiation. Talking money makes most workers uncomfortable. And while they want such talks to succeed, they make plenty of blunders. If only they had some basic negotiation guidelines.

So what’s the best way to avoid stumbling and also boost your confidence? Rebecca Warriner, a job search coach and owner of Woodland Recruiting, a Seattle-based recruitment and outplacement firm, has some salary negotiation tips when pursuing a win-win situation for you and the employer—rather than starting out defensively, assuming you’re going to get a low offer. Warriner notes, “Salary negotiation is a dialogue that the company and the candidate should be having throughout the hiring process. It should not be a one-time conversation at the end.” She says to embrace your power and how it relates to the negotiation.

Warriner, who’s been on both sides of salary negotiation for over 15 years, offers a handy list of negotiation mistakes to avoid.

Being unprepared. “I get pretty frustrated as a recruiter when I ask somebody, ‘What are your expectations as far as pay goes?’ [and they do not have an answer],” says Warriner. She suggests doing some homework, and then determining what you’d like to earn. Warriner recommends several methods, including using salary information Web sites, talking to recruiters, asking friends who work in human resources, or connecting with local professional organizations that have salary information.

Once you have a solid answer, practice it. Get in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye and say, “I earned $55,000 at my last job and I am targeting the $60,000s in this job search.” If you feel you were underpaid in your last gig but aren’t sure about bringing it up, Warriner advises raising the topic in a positive light, underscoring that you’d like to increase your earnings as you make your next career move to better reflect your skills and experience. It pays to be confident with your salary negotiation counteroffer, she adds.

Playing games. Telling a prospective employer what you think they want to hear is risky business. “Oftentimes, a candidate will say that they are very flexible; that they are willing to take a step back in pay. Don’t say you’re really flexible if you’re not,” Warriner says. She points out that this approach assumes the company will be more invested in and attached to you at the end of the interview process, and therefore willing to offer you more money than you first asked for—but they won’t be.

The key, she says, is to be confident in the salary range you want, and walk away from jobs that aren’t offering it. More than anything, “don’t go through the [hiring] process to have compensation be the reason it doesn’t work,” she says.

Warriner also discourages pitting offers against each other, such as going to your current employer and saying, “I’d like to stay here, but this other company is offering me more.” She says “companies are not interested in candidates that are only interested in pay.” Warriner believes this will likely result in a lost job offer, and lost respect for you from all companies involved in the process.

Comparing apples to oranges. If you’re changing careers or moving into a different industry, Warriner says you should tailor your salary expectations. For example, a person moving from a larger company to a smaller organization, or from a corporate outfit to a nonprofit, should expect lower pay. She suggests looking at compensation factors beyond salary in these cases, such as the commute, benefits, the team you’ll work with and industry experience you’ll gain.

Stringing a company along. When the time comes to say yes or no, you need to be ready. Warriner believes that “the comp package is something that should have been talked about during the entire process,” so you shouldn’t encounter any big surprises. If it really is the first time you’re seeing the offer and you need time to review it, say something positive, such as, “I’m really happy to receive this offer. I am happy to work for this company. I just want to make sure I am seeing everything and would like tonight to think about it.”

Following bad advice. “A lot of advice on salary negotiation is really old fashioned,” says Warriner. “It is based on power plays and assumes that the company is being dishonest.” Some examples include delaying the salary conversation as long as possible, not giving a salary range/figure, or delaying your response to an offer for a week. Taking this power-play approach may cause the company to be turned off by you.

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Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

Developing a strategic vision for your career plan

How many times will you change careers in your lifetime? If you’re like most people, you’ll change careers at least several times over the course of your life. How successful you’ll be in making transitions among careers can at least be partially attributed to the amount of career planning and preparation you’ve done.

Every job-seeker needs to take the time to step way from the day-to-day grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your career and developing some plans for your future. Whether you love your current job and employer or feel frustrated and confined by your job, career planning can help. Think of career planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career; without the bridge, you may easily stumble or lose your way, but with the bridge there is safety and direction.

This article provides you with some basic guidelines for both short-term and long-term career planning.

Short-Term Career Planning

A short-term career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of short-term career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the near future.

As you begin your career planning, take the time to free yourself from all career barriers. What are career barriers? There are personal barriers (such as lack of motivation, apathy, laziness, or procrastination), family pressure (such as expectations to work in the family business, follow a certain career path, or avoidance of careers that are below your status/stature), and peer pressure. And while career planning and career decision-making is an important aspect of your life, do not put so much pressure on yourself that it paralyzes you from making any real choices, decisions, or plans. Finally, career planning is an ever-changing and evolving process — or journey — so take it slowly and easily.

Long-Term Career Planning

Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.

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Hot careers with high pay potential

Hot careers with high pay potential

Want to pursue an in-demand career? Check out these six fast-growing careers with solid earning potential. One health care career has a median wage of $86K a year and is projected to grow 22% by 2020.

Medical and Health Services Manager

With all of the changes in the health care system in recent years, it’s no wonder that the U.S. Department of Labor projects medical and health services managers to be in great demand.

In fact, the Department of Labor projects job growth in this sector to be faster than the average, at 22 percent, from 2010 to 2020. One main reason for their projected growth? An increased number of physicians, patients, and procedures, the Department says. In effect, managers will be needed to organize and oversee the medical information and staffs.

To get into specifics, medical and health services managers work to improve the efficiency and delivery of health care services, says the Department. How? By keeping up on new laws and regulations for facilities, managing hospital finances, communicating with the members of medical staff, and more.

Education Options: Most medical and health service managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in health administration. However, a master’s degree in health services, public health, or business administration (MBA) is also common.

Median Annual Wage: $86,400
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $147,890
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $52,730

Hot careers with high pay potential

Accountant

Do you get fired up at the thought of balancing your checkbook? Do you absolutely love tax season – or at least not hate it? You could be accountant material, and that’s a good thing if you’re looking for a high-growth career.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that nearly 200,000 accountant jobs will be created (a 16 percent increase) from 2010 to 2020. The Department of Labor says this stellar job forecast is due to the recent corporate financial crises and stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector – all of which require an increased focus on accounting.

As for their daily responsibilities, accountants do everything from help businesses reduce costs, prepare tax returns, examine financial statements, comply with financial regulations, and communicate with management about a business’s financial operations, says the Department.

Education Options: The majority of accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree in accounting or business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

Median Annual Wage: $62,850
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $109,870
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $39,640

Elementary School Teacher

Do you want to pursue a growing career that involves mentoring the next generation? A gig as an elementary school teacher could be in your lesson plan.

Why? Because this career is hot – at least according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” Elementary teacher ranked number 15, with a projected 248,800 jobs created from 2010 to 2020. However, keep in mind that faster growth is expected in the South and West of the country, thanks to more student enrollment. Growth will be slower in the Midwest and Northeast.

Elementary school teachers teach grades first through fifth and sometimes sixth, seventh, and eighth, according to the Department of Labor. It goes on to say that these teachers often teach many subjects, like math, English, reading, and science.

Education Options: Every state requires public elementary teachers to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and have a state-issued certification or license. Some states also require elementary school teachers to major in a specific content area, such as math or science.

Median Annual Wage: $52,840
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $81,230
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $34,910

Network and Computer Administrators

Can you name one medium-sized to big business that isn’t totally or partially dependant on computers? We’re guessing you’re drawing a blank right now. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Department of Labor projects jobs for network and computer administrators to grow by a whopping 28 percent, or nearly 100,000 positions, by 2010 to 2020.

The Department of Labor says this is because businesses will invest in newer, faster technology and require better security. As a result, “More administrators with proper training will be needed to reinforce network and system security,” says the Department.

In terms of their day-to-day tasks, network and computer administrators organize, install, and support a business’s computer systems. If you’re a computer lover, you’ll likely also love this gig, since your work life will be dealing with such things as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets, adds the Department.

Education Options: A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science related field is most common for this career. Some positions, however, require only an associate’s degree or a certificate in a computer field, along with some related work experience.

Median Annual Wage: $70,970
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $112,210
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $43,400

Human Resources Specialist

Are you a good judge of people? Maybe you have a knack for ascertaining their strengths and weaknesses? If so, a career as a human resources specialist might be worth considering – especially since it is projected to have stellar job opportunities.

How stellar? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the occupation of human resources specialist is projected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. That’s due to a number of factors, including the increased emphasis on finding and keeping quality employees.

As a human resources specialist, you would help recruit, screen, and place workers into appropriate positions. You also might do things like assess company needs, interview job applicants, process their paperwork, and perform employee orientations, says the Department of Labor.

Education Options: “Most positions require a bachelor’s degree,” says the Department. “When hiring a human resources generalist, for example, most employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.”

Median Annual Wage: $54,310
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $94,700
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $29,850

Registered Nurse

Are you looking for a career that helps people improve their health? Look no further than registered nursing. These are the caregivers who perform diagnostic tests and explain patient treatments, among other things, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You’ll also be happy to hear that these vital health care workers will be in great demand.

In fact, the Department of Labor put registered nurses at the top of its 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” It projects more than 700,000 nursing jobs to be created from 2010 to 2020 (that’s a 26 percent growth rate, by the way).

What gives for this high growth? The Department says “Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements; an increased emphasis on preventive care; and the large, aging baby boomer population who will demand more health care services as they live longer and more active lives.”

Education Options: An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program are two education paths commonly taken by registered nurses. They must also be licensed.

Median Annual Wage: $65,950
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $96,630
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $44,970

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5 Tips to prepare your first job interview

5 Tips to prepare your first job interview

You have completed high school or college and now you’re ready for your first “real” job. You have sent resumes and were called for your first interview. How can you do well in the interview so that you end up being offered the position?

1. Dress professionally. No belly shirts, low cut blouses or flip-flops, because you will work and not the beach. Although it is not necessary to buy a costume, it is particularly important to look professional. If you try to get a job in an office as a conservative accounting firm, do not dress like you’re going to a concert. If you apply for a retail job, you have a little more free. Rather than list and this garment is not acceptable, I would tell you to dress as if you were going to meet one of the most important people in your life because you are!

2. Make sure you are well groomed. Do not look like you just get out of bed and could not bother to take care of basic personal hygiene. Nothing is going to be the HR Manager interview to a close faster than dirty hair, dirty nails and body odor. As an employee, you will be a reflection of society and no customer wants to do business with someone uneducated.

3. Be aware of your body language. A firm handshake at the beginning of the interview shows that you are confident. Maintain eye contact, stay relaxed and pay attention to the interviewer. Ask questions and listen thoughtfully to the answers. Think before you answer the questions the interviewer will walk and keep the conversation on the subject.

4. Be prepared for the interview. Research the company in advance, each company now has a website where you can learn what they do and who their clients. This shows the interviewer that you are interested in the job and took the initiative to find everything I could about the company.

5. Be present in the interview. I interviewed candidates who have acted as if they were waiting for a bus. They do not ask questions but simply listened to me, and I was not really sure if they were attentive. Be enthusiastic, ask questions and participate in the interview. After listing all the functions required for the position, I asked a candidate if this sounds like something she was interested in His answer was easy, “I can do the job.” She did not answer my question, she seemed indifferent and did not get the job. If you can not be excited in the interview, you will not be excited to work either.

First impressions count, and want to let the interviewer that you want the job, are willing to work hard and do your best. You may not necessarily be the most qualified candidate, but still get the job because you were the person most remarkable. Good luck!

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Worst mistakes career changers make

Worst mistakes career changers make

You can be a nasty surprise if you’re not careful before changing fields.

Career change is never easy. Half the world thinks you’ve lost your mind, headhunters say you never work again and your loved ones contribute the old “I told you so” routine. But for many people burned out, bored or multiple talents that are sitting on skills they do not get a chance to use, modify the fields is the only way to avoid losing their marbles.

Regardless of your career change strategy, never make these 10 mistakes:

1. Don’t Look for a Job in Another Field Without Some Intense Introspection

Nothing is worse than leaping before you look. Make sure you’re not escape a field that suits you just as bad as the last. Be sure you do a thorough self-assessment first.

2. Don’t Look for Hot Fields Unless They’re a Good Fit for You

You would not try to sneak into your skinny cousin, so why try a field because it works for him? People trying to help and will do the equivalent of whispering “plastics” in your ear. Instead of jumping to their suggestion, take the time to consider your options. Decide what you really want to do. When you enter a field just because it’s hot, burnout is not far behind.

3. Don’t Go into a Field Because Your Friend Is Doing Well in It

Get in-depth information on the fields you are considering networking, reading and doing research online. Having informational interviews with alumni from your college, colleagues, friends and family is a fun way to get the scoop on different fields.

4. Don’t Stick to Possibilities You Already Know About

Stretch your perception of what might work for you. Read job profiles and explore career fields that you learn about self-assessment exercises.

5. Don’t Let Money Be the Deciding Factor

There is not enough money in the world to make you happy if your job does not suit you. Job dissatisfaction and stress is a health issue No. 1 for working adults. This is particularly true for career changers, who often earn less until they get their sea legs in a different field.

6. Don’t Keep Your Dissatisfaction to Yourself or Try to Make the Switch Alone

It’s time to talk to people (probably not your boss for now). Friends, family and colleagues need to know what is going on so they can help you tap into this large percentage of jobs that are not advertised.

7. Don’t Go Back to School Unless You’ve Done Some Test-Drives in the New Field

You’re never too old for an internship, volunteer experience or trying your hand at a contract assignment in a new area. There are many ways to get an experience that will not cost you anything except your time. A new piece may or may not make the world sit up and take notice. Be sure where you want to go before you put yourself through the pain and debt of another program.

8. Be Careful When Using Placement Agencies or Search Firms

Do some research to be sure to find a good match. Ask those who work in the area you are trying to enter or other changers successful career for suggestions. Try to find a company that knows how to be creative when placing career changers – not one that focuses solely on the movement of people on the ladder in the same field.

9. Don’t Expect a Career Counselor to Tell You Which Field to Enter

Counsellors are facilitators, and they’ll follow your lead. They can help find your long-buried dreams and talents, but you have to do research and decision making for yourself. Anyone who promises to tell you what to do is dangerous.

10. Don’t Expect to Switch Overnight

A complete career change usually will take a minimum of six months to shoot, and time often stretches to a year or more.

Changing fields is one of the most invigorating things you can do. It’s like living young again, except with the wisdom of any age you are now.

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