There are numerous management techniques for professionals to aid them in organization and work ethics. They tend to come and go like the latest diet craze. But occasionally a management technique comes along that people swear by. One of the more popular ones today is Getting Things Done. Getting Things Done (or GTD) is a type of stress-free management technique created by author and consultant David Allen. The system is laid out and described in a book bearing the same name. It is designed to help people who are overworked and overloaded with tasks to be able to operate at a stress-free level. The system was developed by David Allen over a course of several years. The basics of the principle is to organize and create an inventory of all of your commitments, listing them externally. It is a very simple and flexible technique that hopefully will help to make you more productive. So how does it work? How does one go about implementing it in their daily work routine? Let’s take a look at how GTD is set up to help.
How Does “Getting Things Done” Work
The main point about GTD is dealing with “stuff”. Stuff is all of those things that float around in your head taking up space, and clogging the mental gears. Stuff is distracting and can pile up. In the most basic of terms, the first method of dealing with all this stuff is to identify it. Next, you want to get rid of all the stuff that isn’t yours. Basically, if it isn’t your problem, don’t worry about it. There are other things to take up you time. Also, if it is stuff you don’t need right now, get rid of it, too. After that you want to create a place that is appropriate for your working style to put all of this stuff. Once you have it all organized, you can take care of each item of stuff in a way that is time efficient for you.
Our Reminder System
According to David Allen, our mental “reminder system” is not efficient enough to keep up with all of our different tasks. When there are too many items crowding out head, our mental reminder system seldom reminds us of items in a timely fashion. Thus, by creating an external list of all of our tasks, it frees up our minds and makes it easier to keep track of everything.
Three Models for Success
David Allen does not stress priorities in GTD. Instead, he focuses more on control and perspective. According to the system, there are three models to use to go about gaining control and perspective in your work. You can create a workflow process, a framework that six different levels of focus, and have a natural planning method.
The workflow process consists of five different principles: collect, process, organize, review, and do. In the collect phase, you want to get, or collect, some of the stuff that is floating in your head and record it physically somehow. You can do this by writing down in a notebook, putting it in your email, leaving a note on the refrigerator, or whatever works for you. Allen refers to this physical place as your bucket. Once you have it recorded somewhere, you can act on it and keep track of it. Every week, you should empty your bucket of all tasks that you have completed.
The process phase refers to how you deal with your bucket. According to GTD, you start at the top of the list and work your way down. You deal with the items one at a time and never put an item back in the bucket once you take it out to deal with it. The system uses a “two-minute rule” which means that if a task only takes two minutes to complete, you should do it immediately.
The organize phase deals with exactly what it sounds like: organization. For every task that you complete, you need to organize a follow-up task. Other tasks can be broken down into ongoing projects, waiting for tasks that have been delegated to others, and then the tasks that are to be completed someday but not immediately.
The review phase is all about reviewing your list of tasks every day to evaluate your process. By reviewing your list of tasks, you can keep up with anything new that comes up and track those items that you have delegated to others or are otherwise waiting on.
The do phase is very simple. It means, don’t just spend your time organizing and reviewing. Do it. Get to work and get the tasks completed.
Besides the five methods above, Allen’s GTD also uses focus to gain control and perspective in one’s work. There are six levels of focus that are implemented. These levels of focus help to keep your eye on the big picture, so to speak. The levels of focus are Current Actions, Current Projects, Areas of Responsibility, Yearly goals, 5 Year Vision, and Life Goals.
The last model that GTD stresses to retain control and perspective is planning. Most of the time, the first two models are sufficient enough to do the job. Sometimes, though, when there is a particularly difficult task, you need to plan. The planning method has five different stages:
Defining the purpose and principles
Envisioning the outcome
Identifying the next actions to take
Use of Folders
Allen also mentions the use of the 43 Folders method. This is the use of 12 folders for each month of the year. From there, you use one folder for each day of the month. Thus, 43 folders in all. You can easily keep track of tasks by placing them in appropriate folders that you can check on a daily and monthly basis. This is just one more method to help you keep track of your externalist.
Reviewing Your Work
GTD stresses daily and weekly reviews of your work. You should review your work from all angles, both horizontal (which is side to side scanning of all new tasks) and vertical (to-do list from top to bottom). This is to make sure that your levels of work are all acting in concert and you are not neglecting any tasks.
You don’t have to keep an external list recorded on paper somewhere. With the popularity of the Getting Things Done system, there has been a large number of supportive software appear on the market that can be used with the system. This software handles stuff from project planning, brainstorming, list managers, and task outlining. There are also web sites that offer services dealing with GTD.
Specific laws bar or allow people of certain ages to work specific jobs. 16 years old is the minimum age to get most jobs. Employers can hire people under 16 years old in certain circumstances, but in other circumstances, employers cannot hire people under 18 years old.
The list of exceptions is long. This page lists all of the exceptions to the rule that a 16-year old can work most jobs. 13-year old, 14-year old, 15-year old, 16-year old, and 18-year old workers should study this to avoid applying for jobs they cannot be employed at.
13-Year Old or Younger People Can Work These Jobs
Actor/Performer in Theater, Radio, Television, Motion Pictures
At a Business Solely Owned/Operated By Your Parents
On a Farm Owned/Operated By Your Powers
Note: Parents cannot employ their children in mining, manufacturing or other jobs considered potentially hazardous.
Any Other Job Not Specifically Listed Under the “Can Work” List
*Note: A 15-year old can work at a grocery store under two circumstances. One, only on Saturdays during the school year. Two, during non-school weeks. Both of these apply to work as a stock clerk, bagger or cashier.
You Must Be 18 To Work These Jobs
Driving a Car or Truck on the Job
Using Electric Tools, Electric Equipment or Circuits
Working in a Saw Mill
Manufacturing Brick, Clay or Tile
Operating Metal-Shearing, Metal-Punching or Metal-Forming Machinery
Any Job That Exposes You to Radioactive Material
Demolition or Ship Breaking
Animal Slaughtering, Meat Packing or Meat Processing
Processing Leather, Tanning Leather
Glazing, Glass Cutting
Dry Cleaning or Laundry Work
Manufacturing Paper, Plastic Products
Manufacturing Synthetic Fiber
Manufacturing, Processing Rubber or Synthetic Rubber
If you think being a talent agent is like being a character on Entourage – all glamour and living the high life — you’re sorely mistaken. Being a talent agent is a demanding occupation, requiring knowledge and experience in a variety of fields. A good talent agent is an expert in marketing, knows how to promote just about anything, and (by the way) probably has a fancy degree in a public relations field. If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a talent agent to get out of getting a college education, you’re wrong. These days, a college degree is like a high school diploma.
What Does a Talent Agent Do?
The main thing a talent agent is good at is simply recognizing talent and figuring out how to promote it. A talent agent is a marketing wiz, yes, but they are also up to date on current events and know the business side of Hollywood better than 99% of the general public.
Talent agents “work” for people with many different talents. The most common occupation that a talent agent works with is acting — but pretty much anyone who could be labelled “talent” falls under that umbrella. Models, writers, even artists need talent agents to get their work “out there” and to keep them competitive in the workplace.
Talent agents tend to be specialists, working with a specific field of talent. Some talent agents will work only with child actors — a large population in any of the big media and film markets like New York or Los Angeles. Other talent agent specializations include television actors, commercial talent, or exclusively high profile celebrities.
The work of a talent agent would be impossible to pin down. Large talent agencies often employ multiple talent agents to work with their pool of clients. Many talent agents also offer “training programs” or “acting schools” for people who say they’re interested in a career as an actor or other creative type. This way, talent agents get exposed to all sorts of new talent that they otherwise may miss out on. This means a good talent agent also knows how to educate a person in a given field, or at least knows plenty of people who can do that training for them.
What Is the Best Way to Break into a Talent Agent Career?
The best wayto break into a talent agent career can be summed up in one word: internships. Just as large talent agencies offer training in acting and other creative fields, they offer courses in being a talent agent that take the form of office based internships. Mostly, wannabe talent agents do grunt work for already established talent agents, such as running errands, fetching food for clients and bosses, and filling out tons of paper work. You won’t get much (or any) face time with actual talent, but your willingness to work an internship with a talent agency will go far when it comes time to open your own talent agency services.
What Does a Day in the Life of a Talent Agent Look Like?
Talent agents perform any number of duties. Some of the more important daily tasks of a talent agent are like the following.
Arranging for classes or other workshops to allow already signed talent to hone their skills and crafts. Talent agents often hook their talent up with voice lessons, acting classes, or any other specialized training that talent may need to increase their popularity or appeal. Talent agents may also run these courses for wannabe actors and artists, to build up “new blood” for future talent work.
Meeting with future and current clients to find out what different types of talent they may need for upcoming projects. The talent agent’s job here is to connect their own talent roster with their clients’ future needs, and deciding if they need to seek out new talent to round out the agency.
Scheduling or booking auditions and other work appointments for their talent base. This is where the work of a talent agent gets difficult — you need to know your talent’s available working hours, be able to motivate them to take part in any new work you get them, and making sure your talent doesn’t have any special requirements for working hours, such as the limits placed on work performed by child talent.
Marketing your own talent agency. This means promoting your services, or the services of your talent agency, to clients or hopeful clients in order to get more work for your current clients or grow your client base. Talent agencies are as competitive as the clients they service, so Hollywood talent agencies have a lot of competition in this area.
Acting as a businessman, and collecting fess that are due when auditions are booked or your clients get a job. You’ll need to have business experience and know how to bill your talent and your clients on a 30 day billing cycle.
Networking with talent and clients as well as other talent agencies to promote your services and your own talent pool. This helps you land auditions and jobs for your clients, which is how you earn money.
Talent Agency Salaries – How Much Money Does a Talent Agent Make?
It is easy to come up with average starting salaries for talent agents — the details on payment and fees is not exactly hidden. Talent agents with a small client base or few actors at their agency will naturally earn less than larger agencies with lots of talent at their disposal. Beginning salaries for talent agents at larger agencies start at about $30,000 and go up as high as $80,000 for the largest talent agencies in the world. That starting salary tends to come with full benefits and a profit sharing program based on how much work you get for your clients and talent pool.
To start as a talent agent in a non-union or non-industry town, it is important to locate the agencies in that town or one that is not too far from your town. Meeting with the owner and see if there is any way you can help his or her agency.
The life of a talent agent can be glamorous, but to get to that point you’re probably going to have to pour a lot of coffee. The only way to get anywhere in such a competitive business is to work for years and build a reputation for yourself. One day you may be sipping champagne with A-list actors on a Lear jet, but for now you may have to settle for shredding paper at an internship. Your patience, and your education and experience, will pay off.
Not everyone is cut out for a 9-5 job. My father spent his whole life in an office — first in a cubicle, then eventually climbing his way up the corporate ladder. He put in long hours, often bringing work home, and the stress from work nearly killed him. I admire his drive and his abilities, but not everyone is looking to grind out a living this way.
Self employment is the best way to escape the corporate life but still enjoy the quality of life that a good paycheck provides. I work from home, and make a pretty decent living doing so — my friends always ask me: “How do I become self employed?” There are more ways to work for yourself than can be counted — but here are three good places to start looking for your new career.
Opportunities For Self Employment
Seems simple enough, but many people overlook the opportunities for self employment that exist right in the pages of your local paper. While some of the ads may seem too good to be true (“Work from home assembling toys!” or “Be your own boss, get paid to surf the web, $500/day” etc) there are many valid jobs you can find right in the Help Wanted section. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? You’re going to have to do some “leg work” and determine which jobs are real and which are, for lack of a better work, scams.
Be wary of anything that seems just too easy. Being self employed still means working — and anything that seems like too much money for too little work is probably not what it seems. Contact the author of the ad, and talk in detail about the nature of the job. Any potential “self employment” that requires a financial investment on your part is probably not worth it. One common “self employment” scam involves you purchasing a “kit” that will teach you how to assemble toys or other small devices from home, and get paid for it. Other common “work from home” jobs involve spending huge amounts of time on the internet, filling out “surveys” in return for small payments — and if this is your kind of thing, more power to you. Don’t forget to get all the details on the job . . . you may find that the hours required to earn a living are simply impossible. One of my potential “employers” wanted me to spend nearly 11 hours on the web every day, visiting websites and reviewing them, filling out surveys, etc — not only were the hours ridiculous, but the job itself seemed vaguely illegal.
Good jobs that can be found in the classifieds often involve writing. If you have the talent, there is plenty of ‘freelance’ writing work that needs to be done. Many owners of websites need solid content for their pages, and are willing to pay great wages for people who have writing skills.
When searching the classifieds for “self employment”, remember to do your homework. Contact the person who placed the ad, get all the details, and make sure you have the skills to perform the job.
Running Websites as a Business
Running your own websites as a business can be a lucrative and exciting way to be your own boss. You make your money through advertising, and fill your pages with the kind of content you enjoy. You can even hire the content work out to other writers, if you don’t have time to write all the content yourself or simply don’t feel you have the writing skills to get the job done. Here’s a quick overview of how this works.
The first thing you need to do is to acquire some domain names. A domain name is the name you want to give to your website. To get a domain name, you have to pay an annual fee to a registrar for the right to use that name. This step doesn’t instantly create a “website” — it just means you own a name.
Finding a web host is the next step. A web host is basically a company that has many computers connected to the internet. When you place your web pages on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. This is a simplistic explanation, but its accurate. You will need to sign up for an account with a web host so that your website has a home.
Once you have your domain name and web host, your next step will be to design the website. You don’t have to be a professional designer to do this, that’s the beauty of owning your own web presence. Although there are many things to consider in terms of web design, and an entire book couldn’t cover the details, if you’re a beginner you can use a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) web editor. These programs allow you to design your site visually, without having to mess around with the technical details of website creation. The WYSIWYG programs work just like a normal word processor program — very basic, user friendly
Once you’ve built your website, you can create content and find advertisements related to your website’s content easily — Google Ads is just one of many programs that exist to help you place ads on your site — and begin earning revenue.
Be Your Own Boss Through Ebay and Online Auctions
Perhaps the simplest way to be your own boss is through online auctions. You’ve most likely heard stories of people earning tons of cash buying and selling items on eBay and other online auction sites. If you are a collector or have a large amount of valuable items in your possession that you believe there is a market for, you are already stocked with inventory. Almost anything is up for auction online — people are looking for first edition or unique books and comics, baseball cards, antiques, even everyday furniture and houseware items. Signing up with eBay is easy and free, though you should check out the fine print, as there are fees associated with online auctioning. Another bonus to online sales is that you can work at your own pace — seven days a week or just a few days a month — and earn as much money as you need. There’s a huge market for online auction items, and you most likely have an attic or a closet full of items that people are looking for. Give it a test — search eBay for the kinds of items that are selling, and ask yourself if you have the ability and the inventory to join the massive online auction business.
How do you become self employed? The possibilities are nearly endless. You don’t have to slave away in a cubicle, or wear a uniform and flip burgers. In today’s economy, anyone can be their own boss. Do your research, decide what kind of work you’re interested in, and fire your corporate boss today.
Even in the professional world, some people just do not have good conversation and social skills. They have difficulty meeting and communicating with others. This can seriously affect your networking which is one of the essentials to a good business. The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been truer. Most people further their careers through networking. By working hard and meeting people, you can set up a list of contacts and associates that can help you. But how do you become good at networking? What if you are naturally shy? Just because you may not really know how to meet people doesn’t mean you can’t learn.
Here are some tips on how you can become good at networking.
Networking For Shy People
Networking for shy people can be really difficult. They tend to let their fears of insecurity and rejection keep them from making those necessary contacts. In order to break away from that habit, people who are shy can start out small and simple. Seek out friends and family for your first networking contacts. Because you are familiar and comfortable around them, it will be much less intimidating. After you have made those phone calls or emails to them, next try someone who you know but may not necessarily be close to. An example would be someone you went to college or high school with or even someone who you’ve met at the gym. Keep it friendly and mention that since you knew them, you thought you’d give them a professional call.
Make It Seem Like You Are Doing Them The Favor
No one likes to grovel and beg. Even if you are just getting your business started, you don’t want to seem desperate. When you talk to somewhat, try not to seem hesitant or pleading. Don’t whine about how poorly your business is doing as you ask them to help. You want to sound confident and upbeat. Don’t apologize for calling the person and act like you are an inconvenience. Make it seem like you are calling the person to do them a favor. If you make it seem like you have taken time out of your busy day to call or contact them, it will hold their attention better.
Keep In Contact With People
Most of the time, we know a lot of people who may not be interested in our business at that particular time. That is no reason to suddenly cut off all contact with them. Stay in touch with people that you like. You never know what the future may bring. People that you get along with may one day be able to help you and your business out.
Make Contact With Like Minded People
People who have the same interests as you and think as you do will be more likely to help you out at some point. They will be more likely to show an interest in your business and could turn into a valuable resource. When meeting people, you should definitely gravitate towards people with the same interests.
Know Where To Look
Although you can talk to people at parties, clubs, church, or wherever, some of the best places to tap into are internet sites. The internet is THE place to network. You have a ton of sites available to you such as LinkedIn, Myspace, and Facebook, not to mention all the different forums and blogs. By using these sites, you can meet a large number of people as well as keep in touch with classmates and old friends. Every contact you make, every name you add to your Friends list, is another person in your network.
Talk To Everyone
It is true that you should seek out people with the same interests as you but if a stranger at a party walks up to you and says “hi”, don’t clam up. This is a perfect opportunity to get to know that person and, in return, they get to know you. Never let these opportunities go by because you never know who you might meet that could help you out.
Give And Take
Networking is not all about trying to use your contacts to benefit yourself. Sometimes, it is about helping others. If someone is in your network of contacts, chances are you are also in theirs. Being good at networking is like being a good neighbor. You help people out when you can and they appreciate it more. If they appreciate you then they will be much more liable to help you out when you need it.
Keep Information On You
Because you never know who you are going to meet or when, you should always carry some kind of information regarding you and your business. If you have any fliers or brochures about what you do, carry a few with you to hand out. And always carry several business cards on you with your contact info as well as a brief sentence that describes what kind of business you are in.
Keep Up With Your Network
Once you have built up your network, you need to maintain it. This involves several things. First, you want to follow up on any calls or emails you made to potential network contacts. This keeps them in the loop and shows them that you still value them as a resource. Just because they can’t help you now doesn’t mean that can’t change. Some good ways to do this is to send out cards during holidays or birthdays. You can also send out a newsletter to keep them informed of what is going on with you and your business. Next, you need to organize your network. You need to create a database with everyone’s name and contact information for easy and quick reference. Try prioritizing your network by putting everyone that you have regular contact with in one category while occasional contacts go in another category.
Sure, networking is all about making contacts that you can use as a resource. However, don’t be a fake as you do it. Don’t simply use people and then drop them when they are no longer of any benefit. Don’t put on airs or act in any way that is misleading. The best way to network, to make lasting contacts that are beneficial, is to just be yourself. Even if you are still shy, you don’t have to try to act overly aggressive or spontaneous. When you act like yourself, people will see you for who you are and they will be more liable to help you out if they feel you are genuine. So don’t be a jerk.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, commonly known as the ASVAB, is a multiple choice test designed by the military and government to evaluate a person’s skills. The ASVAB score helps the military determine a person’s MOS, or Military Occupational Specialty. The job opportunities open to you in the military will be determined almost exclusively by your ASVAB score.
What’s On the ASVAB?
The ASVAB features multiple choice questions on a range of topics:
Auto and Shop Information
Mechanical Comprehension and
What Is an Average ASVAB Score?
The ASVAB has a total of 200 questions to be taken across a period of 134 minutes.
How Is the ASVAB Scored?
Not only are test-takers scored on each individual test section, but certain “cumulative scores” are also taken to indicate a person’s overall proficiency in certain subjects. These composites are called Verbal, Math, and Academic composite and are made up of point totals from sub-sections of the test.
The military looks at your scores and figures out which composite was your strong suit and assigns your MOS based on that.
Average ASVAB Score
Depending on what branch of the military you’re interested in, a good ASVAB score will fluctuate.
Nationwide and across all branches, the “average” ASVAB score is between 42 and 50. A “blowout” score on the ASVAB is anything 92 and above. A score that high or higher will guarantee you have access to the best MOS available, including nuclear work for the Navy or work as a Ranger in the army. The top score is a 99 (as it is rated on a percentile basis) and the bottom score is a 1.
Before you go worrying about averages and shooting the moon on your ASVAB, remember that the military is not required to place you in a specific program based on a high school. When a branch of the military has a great need in a certain area, they will fill that area regardless of the person’s MOS capabilities.
One of the best ways to prepare to take the ASVAB is by reading and using the Kaplan ASVAB guide, which is available at Amazon. (And if you buy it via our link, we make a few bucks.)
This article is part of a series about average test scores:
Becoming a financial advisor is a smart career move for people with the skills and know-how, because recent surveys rate “financial advisor” the third-best job in America, with an average salary substantially in the six figures.
So learning how to become a financial advisor is a worthy search topic. Having the resume to become a financial adviser is an entirely different matter, because you need experience in the world of finance dealing with subjects like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and overall investment strategies.
A financial advisor consults with clients on how to manage their investment portfolio and prepare for retirement. Every major life event and life decision, from marriage to retirement to having kids and grandkids, might call for a reassessment of prior investment strategies.
Your recommendations directly affect the lives of your client and their extended family, so giving sound financial advise is important, and having success over a course of years is even more important.
Join a Financial Firm’s Training Program
You’ll need previous experience and training as an investment broker and advisor to start your own career as a financial advisor. You might be that rare individual who can convince people they need to trust their future to you, but people with skills in charm and persuasion do not necessarily (or even usually) have skills in investment and finance. So learn the trade before you start to collect clients.
Get Good University Grades
Go to university and study a financial degree, and be sure to maintain a grade point average of 3.2 or higher. You have to show you mean business and you can handle the pressures and hard work of a life in investment. Even a college degree isn’t going to give you all the training in math, accounting, and finance that you’ll need, but it’s a healthy start.
When you finish, you’ll need to take professional exams to show you are qualified to be a financial adviser. Certain degrees might offer exemptions to some of these. Even when you pass your exams, you’ll need to retake these every year or so, to show you are keeping up with new developments in the world of finance.
Find a Salaried Position as a Financial Advisor
This might be difficult, but try to find a job with an investment firm which offers a higher starting salary, instead of large commissions and fees. That’s because these are going to be low when you first break into the business, as your client list will be small (non-existent at first). Once you have established yourself, this salary will become a minor part of your salary, as your fees grow with your client list and reputation, but for now, it’s going to be your mainstay.
Consider a Bank Job as an Alternative
Another alternative is to find a job working as a financial advisor for a bank. This is sometimes easier to procure, and it also tends to pay more than working as an independent financial adviser.
are also good at working with employees during their professional exams, when hours are going to be long and time short. Also keep in mind that a bank career might provide you with early-in-career essentials like a company car and a health insurance plan.
Get a Series 7 License – Get a Series 66 License
The General Securities Representative Exam or “Series 7 Exam” helps you become a broker-dealer, ready to cover topics like stocks, bonds, LLCs, options, open-end funds, and closed-end funds.
I’ve talked about this one before, but I wanted to be sure you knew about this one. Some states require a Series 66 or Series 63 license, too, so get your Series 66 license. Remember that a Registered Investment Advisor or RIA can sponsor people to get licenses, but you may also be able to get state sponsorship on this question, as well.
How to Become a Financial Advisor
Becoming a financial advisor is going to take a lot of work, but if you put in the time, you’ll get a job as a financial advisor. The main qualifications are the ability to work and communicate with people (clients), and a college degree. Once you gain some experience in the field, you’ll be able to become an independent financial advisor, work for yourself, and hopefully build a large client network and a sterling reputation as a financial advisor.
Learning how to write a screenplay can be a daunting task. There are a large number of protocols to follow, not to mention trying to create a compelling narrative that’s likely to get turned into a motion picture. While this article won’t tell you every step involved in writing a film script, it will set you on the path and arm you with some reliable advice. With a little hard work and lots of luck, your next stop will be a red carpet in Hollywood.
Types of Scripts
Since you’re learning how to write a screenplay, a good starting point is to learn the various types of scripts.
Spec Script – Also known as a Submission Script, this is a screenplay that’s written with the hope that it will be purchased or optioned eventually. If you’re writing a screenplay for the first time, you’ll definitely be doing a Spec Script.
Commissioned Screenplay – When a writer is hired to write a specific work for the screen, this is known as a Commissioned Screenplay.
Shooting Script – Also known as a Production Draft, this is a script that’s been purchased and put through a series of rewrites. In this script, all the shots and scenes are numbered, and they’re broken down into the components needed to film them. This allows the order of filming to be arranged in a way that makes the most efficient use of cast, crew, sets, etc.
Before Writing a Screenplay
Before writing a screenplay, here are a few things you may want to consider:
Read Screenplays – To get an idea of how the written word translates to the big screen, it’s a good idea to read the work of other screenwriters. You can read as few or many as you like, but it’s a good idea to expose yourself to as many ideas as possible. You can either purchase individual scripts or view them for free at sites such as ScreenWriterCenter and Drew’s Script-O-Rama.
Take Classes – If you’ve never written a screenplay before, it would be worth your time (and money) to take a course in the subject. Any university with a film department should offer such a class, and it will allow you to become familiar with the fundamentals. Some classes may also require you to write a script as one of the requirements, which can be an excellent motivational tool for those less-than-focused screenwriters out there.
Learn Proper Formatting – Besides creativity, one of the most important elements of learning how to write a screenplay is knowing the proper formatting. It’s not as simple as opening up Microsoft Works and typing away. There are a number of industry standards for screenplays, and many agents or studios will ignore it if proper formatting isn’t followed. You can find specific instruction on the Internet or in books such as “Screenwriting for Dummies,” “Screenplay,” and “How Not to Write a Screenplay.” Below, I’ve included a few of the most common requirements (there are many more).
Formatting Requirements – A traditional screenplay is written on 3-hole punched paper measuring 8 1/2″ by 11″. Courier 12 font is normally used, and the top and bottom margins range from .5″ to 1″. The left margin measures between 1.2″ and 1.6″ (allowing for brads to be inserted), and the right margin is between .5″ and 1″. Dialogue margins are indented 2.5″ from the left, and 2.0″ to 2.5″ on the right. Dialogue is usually 30 to 35 spaces at the maximum. In the header of the upper right hand corner, a sequential number will appear on each page (except for the first page).
The average script is between 95 and 125 pages, and one page written in Courier 12 font equals roughly one minute of screen time. Dramatic scripts tend to be longer, while comedies and action films are usually shorter. Keep length in mind when writing your script, as some producers won’t bother to read one that’s considered too long. 125 pages is pushing it, as most modern Hollywood scripts are around 114 pages. The shorter the film, the more showings per day can be worked in at theaters.
While keeping up with all these rules can be a major pain, there is some good news: screenwriting software is available that instantly formats your script by industry standards.
The following are some of the best examples of screenwriting software currently on the market:
Montage Software (Mac only)
Final Draft (Mac or PC – One of the default applications used by Hollywood screenwriters)
Storyist (for Mac)
Celtx (available on the Internet for free in Mac and PC formats)
FiveSprockets (offered for free online)
Movie Magic Screenwriter (Mac or PC – One of the default applications used by Hollywood screenwriters)
Movie Outline (Mac and PC)
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The following are screenwriting tips to keep in mind both during and after the writing process.
Think Original – Try to come up with a script idea that hasn’t already been done 50 times. A fresh screenplay can often enhance your chances of someone in the industry wanting to read it.
Set a Schedule – No matter what, set a goal to write for a certain amount of time each day. The screenwriting process can be an exhausting one, so it’s important to keep yourself motivated and never give up.
The Importance of Dialogue – Great dialogue (and actors) can turn an average screenplay into a work of art. Pay special attention to your film’s dialogue, even if the focus is more on action or horror. If you’re unsure of how it will translate to the screen, you can always hire professional actors to read your script aloud (known as a “reading”). This will quickly give you an idea of what needs work.
Rewrites – Nobody writes a script worthy of an Oscar on their first try. That’s why editing is so important. Read and re-read your script, looking for any dialogue or action that doesn’t drive the film forward in a meaningful way. When you find such an example, cut it from the script with extreme prejudice.
Heroes Need Villains – Whether your character is fighting Asian mummies or cancer, it’s important to make the enemy seem as capable as possible. What’s a hero without a great villain?
Shot Selection – While a screenwriter will need to include shots in their script, don’t go overboard. You’ll need to mention a shot occasionally in order to direct the eye of the audience, but leave the rest of that up to the director.
Active Voice – The actions as described in your script should always take place in the present tense, not the past. Use the active voice.
Proofread – Before you even think about submitting your script, make sure it’s free from all grammatical errors and misspellings. It’s also a good idea to get someone else to proofread your screenplay.
Register Your Work
Once you’ve completed your screenplay, be sure to register your work. This may not keep someone from stealing it, but it will give you a chance to sue them successfully. While a copyright begins the moment your create a piece of art, that won’t do you much good in court.
The first option is to register your script with the Writer’s Guild of America. It’s quick and easy, although the registration will expire more quickly than you might imagine.
The second option is to copyright your screenplay with the Library of Congress. This is a more involved (and slightly more expensive) process, but the copyright on your work will be valid for decades to come.
Write a Treatment
In many cases, producers will ask for a treatment of your script. This is an abbreviated version of your script that allows them to determine if they want to read the actual product. A treatment includes the title, logline, and synopsis.
Title – Try to come up with a title that makes the audience want to know more. Simple is better.
Logline – A one or two sentence pitch that describes the basic premise of your script. This is what producers will usually read first, so make it as compelling as possible.
Synopsis – This should run between three and seven pages long and outline the script’s most important plot points. The film’s three primary acts will be discussed, and an overview of all the major characters will be given.
As I mentioned in the very first sentence, it’s a daunting task to write a Hollywood script. With so many rules–and the odds working against you–it’s a miracle that anyone ever sells a script in Hollywood. But they do, and thousands of serious spec scripts get written each year with the hopes of becoming the next Juno, Hurt Locker, or Little Miss Sunshine. So hone your skills, put on a fresh pot of coffee, and refuse to stop until you’ve made your own indelible mark on the industry.
All managers want to be able to track the progress of their staff to ensure they are reaching their objectives, just as all employees want performance feedback that is deemed credible.
Performance appraisals are often conducted by managers to measure employee performance; but there are other tools that can also be used to steer away from unintended subjectivity.
Here are 5 effective ways to measure employee performance
First, let’s take at a look at employee appraisals, as this tool is almost always used by managers to measure employee performance. This type of tool is usually conducted by an employee’s direct manager. The most effective appraisal tools include both a subjective and an objective element. The subjective component will most likely conclude how an employee performs against standards. All measurements should include some type of qualitative component. Many times to include a qualitative component a manger will be asked to rate an employee on their ability to exhibit flexibility, work in teams, as well as their ability to think analytically.
Another important performance tool is self-appraisal ratings. This allows an employee to actually rate his or her performance. Using such a tool usually leads to an employee accepting the performance appraisal processes, especially when their scores and managers’ scores are similar. In most cases, if the scores are not similar, a tool can be used to provide a vehicle. This vehicle is used to facilitate discussions that relate to manager expectations and then also the employee’s self-perception.
360-Degree feedback tools are used by many managers to measure employee performance. The feedback received through this tool comes from customers, peers, managers, and direct reports. Most times a self-appraisal tool is incorporated into a 360-degree feedback tool. This type of tool works best when the atmosphere found within a corporation is one that promotes open, sincere and truthful communication, as well as employee growth. This type of tool should be implemented as a positive criticism tool, not one that punishes employees.
Management By Objective
A management by objective tool is used to set employee goals (or objectives). This type of tool can help set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even annual objectives. Once an objective time period has ended measurements are then conducted and reviewed to see who met their goals. This type of tool should also be used in a manner that does not punish employees, but identifies which employees need extra training or guidance to boost company sales.
Balanced scorecards are often used at the highest business unit level; however, they are effective tools for a manager to implement as well. They help align and facilitate organization goals by measuring quantifiable data, such as accounts receivable turnover rates.
All organizations should experiment with different employee performance tools. Many times a company will find that one tool works much better than another or that combining several tools actually yields optimal results. The important thing is to use them according to the needs and wants of the company and its employees.
This was a guest post from Todd Shipley. Thanks, Todd!
You are looking for a new job and have either received an offer or you are expecting one. How do you negotiate a salary for a new job?
Do Your Market Research Before You Negotiate a Salary for a New Job
It is important to perform market research to find out how much the job you are considering is worth. It is also important to find out how much you are worth professionally. Cbsalary.com, payscale.com, and salary.com are some good sites to help determine the value of a job and the value of you as a professional.
Make sure you know what aspects of a job are important to you. Salary, company culture, benefits, the job itself, etc.
Know your needs, expectations, and bottom line and stick to your guns. If you know what you want ahead of time, you will not make the mistake of accepting a position that does not meet your needs, expectations, and bottom line.
Important Things To Remember While Negotiating a Salary for a New Job
Do not bring up compensation until the employer makes you an offer. If the employer asks about your salary requirements, you can say that your requirements are open and dependent upon the overall compensation package, job responsibilities, etc. If the employer insists on a salary requirement, you can give them a salary range with information you gathered from your market research.
You do not need to accept or reject an offer right away. I would suggest saying that you need to think it over after you receive any offer. Sometimes this small tactic is enough to get you an increase in the offer without you even asking.
Bring copies of your market research with you.
I would suggest writing out your salary proposal and bringing it with you to your in person salary negotiation meeting or having it with you for your telephone salary negotiation meeting in order to negotiate your salary the way you initially planned to.
Review your offer carefully and make sure it details all the conditions of your pay. Ask about what perks are offered including benefits, flex time, telecommuting, sign on bonus, paid vacation, paid time off, paid parking, gas reimbursement, public transportation reimbursement, company cell phone or cell phone reimbursement, company laptop, etc. Make sure you consider all the perks offered along with the salary offer.
Do not be afraid to decline a position if it does not meet your needs, expectations, and bottom line. If you are not willing to work for an employer at the salary offered, thank the employer and politely walk away. If the employer is really interested in you, they will contact you again and be willing to negotiate. There is always a risk however that you will lose the offer, but if the offer does not meet your expectations, bottom line, and needs, then you can find one that does with another employer.
Make sure you agree on when performance reviews will take place to review your salary, based on your proficiency and performance level before you sign an offer.
Incorrect Things To Do While Negotiating a Salary for a New Job
Do not act too eager. Always remain calm and try to keep the ball in your court.
Do not make demands, threats, or ultimatums. If you do this, your offer is likely to be rescinded.
Do not bring up other offers you may currently have or compare the employer’s offer to another one. This will lead to bad feelings and resentment.
Selling your artwork can be a time-consuming and tedious affair of marketing and advertising to find the right buyer. You have to get your art out there to be seen by an audience. You even need to gain some prestige by being a member of a well-known art gallery. It is hard enough to sell artwork using traditional methods. In the old days, you often had to get an agent to represent you. It would be their job to promote your work. Art agents had all the right contacts and acted as the middle man. They also took a cut of whatever you sold. Luckily, the internet opens up a bigger avenue and gives you more options to find the right market. If you are interested in art as a business, there are several ways to use the internet to sell your work online.
Selling Artwork In Your Own Website
The most logical place to sell your artwork is from your own website. There are hundreds of individual artists who have their own site that displays their work. You can create a gallery to showcase your artwork along with information like size, materials used, and price. You can even divide up your gallery into original works and prints. One tip to selling is to write a detailed description that includes keywords that will show up in online searches.
There are two basic types of websites you can have. You can have a gallery with your own domain name and hosted by a premium webhosting company. By choosing a domain name suitable for you, it will be more likely to show up easier in online searches. Keywords can also be used like we mentioned above. It will cost you a fee every month for the hosting but it can give you a huge amount of space to include a large number of images, a bio, links, and a shopping cart and check-out for selling your work. You can even set up Paypal and credit card payments through the site. You are likely to get the best price possible for your art by selling it directly from your website. No one else will be taking a cut out of it. Personal websites are also completely customizable to fit your needs.
The other type of website an artist can have to help sell their work is an artist’s blog. There are plenty of places to create a blog for free, such as WordPress.com. You can use a blog to write about your work, drop in a few images of your art, and to create a network of friends and potential clients. Blogs are great for driving online traffic to your site. If you have another website with a domain name and a larger gallery, you can link to it from your blog.
Sell Art at Auction Sites
Auction sites are a great place to sell your art. For one, they already have a large influx of customers that hit the site everyday looking to see the latest items for auction. If there is enough interest in your artwork, you can get a really good price from all of the bids. But if few people are bidding on your work, it may not bring the price you want (or it might not sell at all). So auction sites can be a bit risky if you want a solid price. If you want to sell your art at an online auction site, there are two main websites.
Ebay is the grandfather of all online auctions. It cost nothing to register and post items for sale. If your work does not sell in the allotted time (usually 6 days) then it doesn’t cost you anything. If your work should sell, then Ebay charges a fee from the price. Ebay draws in thousands of buyers every day but the categories are wide and there is no guarantee how many will be interested in bidding on art.
Etsy is another online site that is similar to Ebay but specifically for handmade original arts and crafts. Instead of bids, you can just buy the items and pay for the shipping. The site has a broad range of arts and crafts for various purposes so an artist should have no problem posting their work for sale.
Online Prints and Items Stores
There are many websites where you can sell inexpensive prints and other duplicates of your work. Your artwork can be printed on t-shirts, coffee cups, caps, greeting cards, and a number of other items. When you sell these items, the website takes out a fee for each sale. It is a good form of advertising for your work and a way to make a little money, too. Although there are many sites of this kind, three of the more popular ones are CafePress, RedBubble, and ImageKind. While CafePress probably has the wider assortment of items you can create, they all seem to have blogs and forums for their community of artists.
Other Online Galleries and Communities
There are tons of online galleries for the artistic communities. These galleries feature an assortment of artists who each have images displayed on their own page along with information about the individual artists and their works. Some of these community sites are better for networking and socializing while others you can actually sell your works from. Some of the larger sites include MyArtProfile, EBSQArt, and DevaintArt but there are many more out there. Just do an online search to find one that suits your style of art.
Link To Other Sites
Finally, another tool you can utilize to help sell your artwork is to link your site to other websites. Choose sites that would be appropriate to draw in potential customers. Chances are slim that you will find any art buyers by linking to a muscle car site. Set up your links at other art sites or anything that could be related to the type of art you do. The link will help to draw in traffic to your website and you will hopefully score a customer or two.
A career builder course is an education program, typically run over the Internet, with the goal of training you for a particular job or vocation. These courses often come in the form of seminars, workshops, and practical hands-on learning. Career builder courses are geared towards professionals who seek to advance in their current careers. They can help workers gain hand-on experience in a field, making it easier to find employment in a new vocation.
Advantages of Career Builder Courses
Completing a career builder course lets you to show your employer or a prospective one the valuable skills you have gained. They can also help you provide your aptitude for a particular job or function. When your resume represents one of 400 people vying for a job, showing documented evidence of your skills through training gives you an advantage over the competition. Hiring managers typically will offer a higher salary for those with an education, even if it falls short of a college degree. This is true for all positions, even those at entry level.
For those seeking to advance their careers, these programs show your employer that you are dedicated to your career. This will open the door for advancement in your career, showing you are someone with the skills, drive and initiative to succeed. Some employers will even pay the costs for these classes, or at least a portion of them. Anytime your employer offers to pay for work-related education, you should take advantage of it.
Not only do these courses make you look good in the eyes of your employer, they can also help you stay on the cutting edge of your field. This can keep things interesting for you at work. If you are in a high-tech or public service industry like high-tech, teaching and healthcare, you may be required to take continuing education credits or re-certification. Career builder courses can also help you do that.
Career builder courses are a good choice because they often take little time to complete, between six months and one year. They are also generally cheaper than university courses, making them attractive to workers who do not get help paying for courses from their employers. Because these classes are usually held online, they offer flexibility in scheduling, geared towards those who are already working full-time.
Choose the Right Program
Choosing the right courses requires that you assess your current career situation and determine the most important skills towards success. This may mean taking a course in new software platforms, or advancing your skills in software that you already are using every day. Industries that benefit most from career builder courses include IT, real estate and accounting.
In analyzing your skills and the training needed for advancement, it can be helpful to discuss your situation with a career counselor. You may also have a frank discussion with your employer about your strengths and weaknesses to find the right direction. Your employer will be impressed with your proactive approach to your career and you will gain valuable insight into the right courses to take.
Customer service professionals would be well served to choose a course in language immersion, such as Spanish. These skills are in high demand as the Spanish-speaking population continues to grow. Employers are always looking for customer service professionals who are bilingual.
Demand for IT professionals is always growing and database management is no exception. You can gain the skills and knowledge to break into this field through careers in Access and Excel. Advanced Excel skills can also help accountants advance in their jobs. Project Management is another career field that benefits greatly from such training. There are even some online schools that specialize primarily in this field.
Careers in Technology
IT professionals are the most likely to take advantage of these courses for career advancement. Jobs are available in several aspects of information technology, such as information systems, database administration, hardware, programming, web design and networking.
Database administrators are rising in demand. These professionals work to ensure that a company’s information remains secure, yet easy for other workers to access for their jobs. Hardware technicians are needed to set up new systems and ensure existing ones are in good working order. These professionals will need to understand both the mechanical functioning of computers and the software systems for running them. Software programmers benefit from courses in Visual Basic and C++ allowing them to learn new ways to manipulate these programs. Web designers can take any number of helpful courses, such as WordPress, HTML, CSS or Java, expanding their abilities to create new and more dynamic interactive websites.
Leadership and Communication
Leadership skills are required if you wish to advance towards management in your current field. These skills can be acquired through career training. You can gain the personal communication and interactive skills needed to effectively motivate others. You can learn about personality types and how to best communicate with different kinds of people. Such skills will go a long way in advancing your career.
Everyone can benefit from career training in time management skills. You can learn ways to be more organized, prioritize tasks, and making your work more enjoyable in the process. Time management skills allow you to work more productively in any field, leading to higher job satisfaction for both you and your employer.
Insurance workers can benefit from a number of courses. Those who broker insurance can take sales courses. CSR courses will help customer service professionals with customer skills, underwriting and compliance. Claims and negotiation courses can benefit adjusters in their everyday work.
Scientific or Technical Consulting
One of the highest paying and fastest growing employment sectors is in consulting. With fierce competition in this filed, courses can help you maintain an edge over others competing for consulting work.
Healthcare continues to be a growing field and federal investments in healthcare data management means more jobs. You can take courses to become certified in database management and medical coding to take advantage of these career opportunities.
No matter what your field, there are career builder courses available that will help you learn new skills, or advance those you already have.
Curriculum Vitae is a Latin expression, which is loosely translated as “The course of one’s life”. Curriculum means Course and Vitae means Life.
What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A Curriculum Vitae is similar to a resume but it is more specifically focused on academic achievements. A Curriculum Vitae includes educational and academic history and may include detailed teaching experience, publications, and academic honors and awards.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) versus Resume
The main differences between a Curriculum Vitae and a Resume are the content, the purpose, and the length.
The Content: A Curriculum Vitae should include an educational and academic background summary. It should also include teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, etc. A Resume should include a summary of your skills, experience, and education. A resume should be as brief and concise as possible while making every word count.
The Purpose: A Curriculum Vitae is normally used when applying for international, academic, education, scientific, or research positions. It is also used when applying for grants or fellowships. A Resume is used when applying for positions that match up to your current professional work experience. It is important to tailor your resume or curriculum vitae to the skills, experience, and education required for the position.
The Length: A Curriculum Vitae can vary in length. Some are two to four pages and some are longer depending on the background and experience of the individual. Resumes are typically one to two pages in length.
What to include in a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A Curriculum Vitae normally contains the following information:
Phone Number and Email Address
Fellowships and Awards
Teaching and Research Experience
Professional Associations and Licenses
Works in Progress
Related Professional Experience (Work experience not directly related to research/teaching/academic opportunities should be omitted or only described briefly)
References (Reference information should include Reference Title, University Affiliation, and Phone Number)
Always include a Cover Letter along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
A cover letter is your first and might be your only opportunity to get the attention of the hiring manager for the position that you are applying for. It is important for your cover letter to grab the hiring manager’s attention and let them know why it is important for them to review your Curriculum Vitae and interview you for their open position.
A Correct Curriculum Vitae
Proofread: You should always proofread your Curriculum Vitae. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone else proofread your curriculum vitae after you have proofread it before you submit your application.
Revise your Curriculum Vitae: It is important for your Curriculum Vitae as well as your cover letter to be tailored to meet the job qualifications and experience listed in the job posting.
Length: There is not a set limit to how long a Curriculum Vitae should be. Just make sure that all the details included in your curriculum vitae are relevant to the position that you are applying for.
Tone: The tone of your curriculum vitae should always be professional, informative, confident, and upbeat/positive. You should make every word in your curriculum vitae count.
Paper: If you are submitting a curriculum vitae non-electronically, then you should make sure you use good quality paper that matches your cover letter paper and envelope.
An Incorrect Curriculum Vitae
Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
Duplicate: Make sure that your cover letter does not read like a duplication of your curriculum vitae. It needs to be original and it should compliment your curriculum vitae.
Fonts: Do not use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your curriculum vitae should look professional. Make sure your entire cover letter and curriculum vitae is in the same font type.
Wording: Do not overuse adjectives in your curriculum vitae and do not use the word “very”. Do not start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your cover letter or curriculum vitae.
Recycled: Never use the same cover letter or curriculum vitae for different jobs. You should always take the time to tailor your cover letter and curriculum vitae to each individual job posting.
Dishonesty: Never exaggerate or be dishonest about your qualifications, education, etc.
These days plenty of people are dealing with unemployment. To wrap our heads around the concept of unemployment we need to define the word itself.
People think the word “unemployment” simply means being out of work. This is not totally true, at least not as far as the government is concerned.
Unemployment applies to people who are currently out of work but are looking for work and having trouble finding it. Usually unemployment is a direct result of being fired or laid off. People who simply have no job and weren’t laid off or fired are not “unemployed” as far as the government is concerned, rather they are “disaffected workers”. Disaffected workers aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. Remember — unemployment assistance is available for people under certain specific conditions such as layoffs.
What Benefits are Available for Unemployed Workers?
Here in the United States, when a person has a job but gets laid off, they can earn unemployment benefits which are granted to them by the government to help that person “make ends meet” until they can find their next steady income source.
The money a person earns during unemployment comes out of a general social security fund. This means that workers who pay into social security are really paying a kind of “unemployment insurance” — don’t feel as though you’re getting a hand out. The money you pay into social security is your “premium” against unemployment.
Unemployment benefits are calculated as a percentage of the money a person earned while they were employed. Obviously, people who earned more money paid more money into social security and can therefore earn more money back during unemployment.
Not all unemployment compensation is financial — there are plenty of other programs set up to extend benefits, like health care, during unemployment. These benefits and unemployment payments are typically paid out for as much as 26 weeks, though the government has been known to extend that time during recessions or other downturns in the economy. Obviously, once a person finds work again, these unemployment benefits end and they start earning their own cash once again.
Some Facts About Unemployment
It is likely that there will always be a certain percentage of the population unemployed. Even during our greatest financial times in this country there has been a 2-3 percent rate of unemployment.
As of this writing, the unemployment rate announced by the government is around 10.6%. For reference sake, ten years ago the unemployment rate was a measly 4.2%.
Some states, like Texas, have a fairly decent unemployment rate right now — that state is holding at around 8%. Other states, like Michigan (hit hard by an economic recession and financial misery in the auto market) is average around 16% unemployment, though many critics say that number should be much higher due to under-employment.
Unemployment is a serious problem. Luckily, the government has programs in place to help us through these difficult times.
This is part of a series of blog posts we’re publishing about How Stuff Works. The other posts in this series include:
Want to write online and get paid for it? AskDeb is looking for freelance writing on a wide variety of writing topics. We welcome writers who want to write about topics they choose, but we can also provide writing topics and specific writing assignments. The rest of this page covers what we look for when we hire someone to write online.
When you do freelance writing, by definition, you’re doing work for hire. You’re not an employee at all. You’re an independent contractor, and you own your own business. You can write what you want, when you want, and you don’t have to punch a clock or answer to some silly manager. And if we like your writing, then we pay you for it.
We’re looking for articles which answer questions on virtually every subject. If you have writing topics that you’re interested in, please contact us with a query to see if we’re interested in publishing an article on that topic. (We probably are.) Our only restrictions, when it comes to writing topics, are that articles should be in “question and answer” format, and that the articles should be reasonably family friendly. We don’t need biographies of adult entertainers, but we are interested in all kinds of general topics, like dating, cars, food, and wine.
If you don’t already have a topic in mind, then we’re happy to provide writing assignments to aspiring writers. Send us an email to let us know that you’re interested in receiving some writing assignments, and we’ll discuss potential article topics.
What We’re Looking For
AskDeb prefers to publish articles of between 500 and 1000 words. Please be sure that you use good spelling and grammar. This isn’t amateur hour, and while we support new writers, we are looking for competence in the basics. If we publish your article, we will pay you and provide you with a byline. For more information please email us at questions [at] askdeb.com.
Babysitting is a great part-time work choice for young teenagers — most states won’t allow kids to work until they are a certain age, usually between 14 and 16 depending on the state. However, if you want your child to make a little extra money while learning work ethic and probably having a good time to boot, babysitting is a viable and legal career option.
There is a consensus among people hiring babysitters that the minimum age is about 12. That’s the age at which a child seems able to handle emergencies by calling the proper authorities and to maintain some sense of authority. Every person hiring a babysitter will have different opinions on this. Let’s take a closer look at specific babysitting situations and determine what a good minimum age might be.
If you are looking to babysit for older children, say from age 10 and up, you will want to be much older than the child. Depending on the length of the sitting, you should be about 4 years older than the older child you’re sitting for. For instance, if the parents of a 10 year old are going out for a movie and want someone to watch the child, a good minimum age for a sitter would be 14. This age changes greatly if you’re talking about a long-term sitting. If the parents of an older child are looking for a live-in babysitter (to watch their child while they’re on vacation for instance), the babysitter should have a driver’s license — meaning that in most cases the sitter should be at least 16 years old.
Good news for those of you wanting to start babysitting right away — if you’re actually looking to take care of babies (under the age of 2 or 3) you can get away with being a bit younger. Girls around the age of 10 or 11 are sometimes capable of taking care of a baby especially if they are mature or have some experience looking after babies. Because babies of this age are simpler to watch — not running around or getting in trouble outside of the house — a younger babysitter is capable of handling the sitting job.
Be careful when agreeing to sit for an actual baby. Sometimes babies have more difficult health issues that need taking care of, so make sure you know the emergency numbers, the baby’s doctor’s number, and have someone nearby like a parent or older sibling in case you need use of a car. Remember that sitting for an infant often means changing diapers and doing other tasks that may not be so appealing.
In general, before a child can begin babysitting, they should be mature enough to take care of their own needs, be able to put together simple snacks, pay attention to parental demands like bed times and any housekeeping that is required, and have the blessing of their parents.
Babysitting can be a great way to teach a child about the responsibility of having and keeping a job. If you’re interested in babysitting, make sure you can perform all the duties required before you take on something that’s too big to swallow.
This is part of a series of posts we’re publishing about how old you have to be to do certain things. Other posts in this series include:
If you go to car shows to ogle all that chrome and the fancy paint jobs on all the classics, sooner or later you are going to want a collector car. Some people say that car enthusiasts never outgrew their childhood and that as adult kids, we still want our toys. What better toy can you think of than a classic car with the old-style curves, big engine, and retro appeal?
You may even already own one or more collector cars and may want to add to your collection. But it is not like you can go down to the local car dealer and have your pick from a whole line of available cars. Collector cars are harder to find, especially if you are looking for a certain model. But exactly where can I buy a collector car? Are there any sources better than others? If you are in the market to buy a collector car, here are some of the best places to look.
Online Classic Car Sites
While trying to figure out where can I buy a collector car, one of the best places to check out is online. There are dozens of classic car sites out on the web where owners can buy, sell, and trade collector cars. You can find almost any type of collector car in various conditions. Some sites are solely for completely refinished collector cars while others deal in project cars and hard-to-find parts.
Online is also the best place to find other car hobbyists. If you are looking for a specific car, part, or just have a general question, the forums on some of these sites are excellent places to get a quick answer. A couple of the more popular websites where you can buy a collector car are AutoTraders.com, AutoTradersClassic.com, Ebay, Atoncer.com, OldCarOnline.com, and ClassicCar.com.
Collector Car Publications
Before the Internet, the next best place to look when wondering where can I buy a collector car are car trader magazines and collector car publications. For years these sources had been the place to look for any collector cars that were on the market. Anyone who was interested in selling or buying a classic would advertise in these periodicals. Even today, the trades and magazines are still a good place to find that right car you are looking for. One of the most popular sources is Auto Trader magazine. You can find it on just about any newsstand where they sell newspapers or other magazines. There is also Car Collector magazine, Low Rider, and Hot Rod.
When someone mentions a car dealership, most people think of a big open lot full of the latest model of cars. However, there are specialty dealers out there that deal only in collector cars. There are not as many of these dealers around and you usually won’t find their inventory of cars out on an open lot. Generally, these dealers keep their classic cars in storage where they are well protected. To find out what the specialty dealer has in their inventory, you will need to contact them. An appointment has to be made in order to get a look at the car. If you go through a specialty dealer, though, you may not get a great deal on the price.
Direct From Owners
The most common way to find a collector car to buy is to purchase it directly from the owner. You may find an ad in the newspaper or just happen to be driving by and see the car with a for sale sign. If you are looking for a specific model of collector car, you are generally going to be limited on what is available in the local market. However, you can often get the best prices by dealing directly with an owner. If you want to buy directly from the owner, keep looking at the newspapers for ads or look up the local classic car club to find out if anything is for sale.
Collector Car Auctions
Collector cars often appear in auctions. Buying a collector car at an auction is a lot like playing the lottery. For one, you can never be sure what will show up at auction or what condition it will be in. Second, you can never be sure how the bidding will go. If there is a large crowd at the auction, chances are the price of a collector car will go high. If there are not many people at the auction, you might find the cars going for a lower bid. Be aware that auctions are popular places for collectors of classic cars. Everyone is there for the same reason you are; they are looking for a bargain.
The research staff at AskDeb is here to answer all your career questions. Answers are posted weekly so be sure to check often. The focus of this section will revolve around getting a job, researching job options, writing resumes, interviewing and all other career aspects.
If you’re looking for more career advice please send us an email at questions [at] askdeb.com.
The careers tips found here are provided by working professionals who understand the job market. Our goal is to help you find success in whichever career you pursue.
Career goals can be any number of things. Setting career goals can keep you from becoming unhappy with your career — it is as simple as that. Reasons for becoming unhappy at work are many — maybe you have problems with your work schedule, issues with some of the co-workers in your office, or major confrontations with your boss.
What is a career fair? A career fair is an event where a large number of potential employers or recruiters get together in a central location in order to give potential employees information about their companies and any open positions that are available.
All of us get direct mail items from time to time — from quarter-sized adverts for erectile dysfunction drugs to appeals from charities and non-profit groups. While we may grumble about direct mail (and the amount of it that seems to end up in the recycling bin) advertisers wouldn’t use direct mail campaigns if they weren’t effective.
If you are thinking of becoming a medical assistant, you probably want to know, “How much money does a medical assistant make?” The answer to that question will depend on where the medical assistant works and his or her level of skill and experience.
You are currently working at a job and have decided that you deserve a pay raise? How do you ask for a pay raise? It is important to perform market research to find out how much the job you are currently performing is worth.
Congratulations!! You just got a phone call telling you that you have been selected for a job interview for a position as a Financial Analyst. You starting thinking about what kinds of questions you will have to answer during the interview and you start to worry a bit.
You are looking for a new job and have decided you should attend some job fairs. What should you expect at a job fair? How should you dress? What do you need to bring with you? How do you attend a job fair?
A Curriculum Vitae is similar to a resume but it is more specifically focused on academic achievements. A Curriculum Vitae includes educational and academic history and may include detailed teaching experience, publications, and academic honors and awards.
You are thinking about changing careers and want to find out what industry you should pursue. The healthcare industry would be a wise choice, since it is the largest industry and it shows the highest amount of growth compared to other industries. So what type of healthcare career should you pursue?
You are in the middle of a job search and you are starting to get frustrated. You have your resume posted on a couple of job boards and you are searching and applying every day to all the new job postings that you feel you are qualified for.
You have finally made the decision to leave your current position at your job. Maybe this current job just does not suit your needs, you have found a better job, you have decided to go back to college to further your education.
You have just been asked by someone to write a reference letter for them. What is a reference letter? Should you agree to write the reference letter or graciously decline the request? If you do agree to the request, where do you start?
Did you know that most of the internet traffic on the major job sites is on Mondays and Tuesdays? Why? I personally believe it is because when you are working at a job that you are not happy with, it is hard to think about facing another entire week at that job.
You are starting your new ‘job’ of job searching. I say job because searching for a job sometimes feels like a full time occupation. You found some job postings that you are interested in and want to apply for.
The variety of questions to ask in an interview is virtually endless, but they all have a common goal. If you are the interviewer, you want to learn more about the applicant and whether he or she is a good fit for the job.
What is “working mom guilt”? The definition of ‘guilt’, according to dictionary.com, is a feeling of responsibility for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. Now would you honestly walk up to a working mother and tell her that she is guilty of an offense.
There are two major classifications of corporations: the S corporation and the C corporation. The C corporation is an unlimited partnership, with few restrictions on who may invest in the company. The s corporation has major limitations placed on it, but its tax status is a great deal less complicated.
Congratulations!! You have been selected for a job interview. You have done your research on the company, prepared a list of questions, and thought carefully about how you will respond to certain questions.
Congratulations!! You are a new mother! You were either working at a job or not working when you found out you were pregnant. You might be younger or you might be older. You might be single or you might be married.
There are many different kinds of investigators out there and each requires different training. Criminal investigators start out as law enforcement officers and eventually get specialized training to become an investigator (such as crime scene investigators made popular by the television show C.S.I.).
Before you can win an Oscar or get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’ll need to know how to become an actor. The life of a professional actor can be frustrating and uncertain, but the rewards can also be great.
When it comes to how to quit your job, there is definitely a right way to do it. It is important that you have a strong understanding of the specific reasons you want to leave before you do anything you might regret later.
Thinking of launching a financial planner career? You are not alone. Many are looking to this dynamic and engaging field as career that offers the opportunity to work with people and have a better understanding of economics and the development of wealth.
The field of business offers a wide variety of careers for all personality types. You don’t need to be a salesman to succeed in a business career; in some cases, you don’t even need a high school degree.
The American economy has largely away from manufacturing and into financial businesses. One only needs to look at the effect of failures in the American banking sector on the entire world to understand how important finance is in this country.
In the modern world, computers have become as common as telephones and pens. Not only have they become essential tools to every office, they have also brought new technologies to just about every business sector, including healthcare and energy.
A career builder course is an education program, typically run over the Internet, with the goal of training you for a particular job or vocation. These courses often come in the form of seminars, workshops, and practical hands-on learning.
When you think of retail careers, you probably think of a gum snapping, bubble blowing teenager, standing at a register, looking bored out of her mind. But the days of dead-end retail jobs are swiftly fading as retail companies begin to understand the value of long-term, driven and motivated employees, even at the entry level.
Many people know they want to make a career change but have no idea where to begin. Making a change without a clear plan can lead you into another career that is just as disappointing as your current one.
Who has not ever wanted to be a celebrity? Haven’t you wanted to walk the red carpet and or be famous enough to get invited to all the best Hollywood parties? Ever wanted to be that high-rolling rock star adored by millions?
It’s frustrating to get into an argument and argue the way you would like. That’s goes double when you feel like you have the better argument or you know you’re right, but the person on the other side of the debate simply has better debating skills.
Material handling, in its most basic of terms, is the moving of materials from point A to point B. Every business involves some form of material handling. It may be the moving of crates around a warehouse or boxes of paper from the storage closet to the office.
Every business has some form of inventory that someone at the office has to keep track of. Whether it is retail, manufacturing, or an office, there are always items and products that must be ordered for the business.
I remember being in my early twenties and just bouncing right back up after falling off the roof of a house. No injuries, nothing hurt. No problem. But as the body gets older, it’s a lot harder to bounce back up.
For anyone who likes to cook, becoming a chef can be their dream job. To be able to create delicious meals with artistic expression, using only the finest ingredients, is the ultimate aspiration for aspiring chefs.
Before the age of the internet, artist tools and resources were limited by what you could find either in a magazine or by word of mouth. You had to really get out and search for tools that were useful.
When explaining being fired from your last job, it is always best to tell the truth. However, before you start bad-mouthing your last boss, complaining about ex coworkers or citing evidence that you were set up for failure, remember why you were fired in the first place.
There are very few things more daunting than having to do well in a phone interview. Interviewing for a job in person allows you to gauge how well you are performing in the interview by reading a managers body language and gestures.
Almost any job will require a certain amount of public speaking skills. From making business presentations to dealing with retail customers, talking in public with people is a part of almost everyone’s daily business life.
Learning how to get motivated and stay motivated is one of the best lessons any person can learn. Whether you are trying to stay motivated at work or you’re trying to keep your energy levels up while working out, staying motivated keeps us moving forward when we really would rather just sit down and take a rest.
Not everyone is cut out for a 9-5 job. My father spent his whole life in an office — first in a cubicle, then eventually climbing his way up the corporate ladder. He put in long hours, often bringing work home, and the stress from work nearly killed him.
If you work in an office or a cubicle, it’s pretty natural to get bored looking at the same four walls every day. Dealing with boredom at work becomes part of your job description, so to be a good employee, you have to learn how to deal with boredom while keeping your job performance at an acceptable level.
You probably think you know all about the Minimum Wage. It’s simple; the federal government sets a minimum hourly pay rate for all employees, right? Well, no, not exactly. Many people do not realize that some states actually set a higher minimum wage than the federal government. Some cities have set their own minimum wages as well, usually called a “living wage.” There are many exceptions to the rules, in which employees are not entitled to earn the minimum wage. For minimum wage to apply, you must meet the definition of employee in the first place, and many wage-related issues are left up to the employer’s kindness (or lack thereof).
Minimum Wage Laws
In 1938, Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act, abbreviated as FSLA, to set the minimum wage. While the states had enacted minimum wage laws beginning in the early 1900s, these laws were designed specifically for female workers who were often paid much less than males. The US Supreme Court ruled the laws were unconstitutional, along with some federal laws trying to set a minimum wage. Finally, the Court approved of a minimum wage law in Washington. This paved the way for the enactment of a similar federal law. At that time, the FLSA set a wage of 25 cents an hour. In 1941 constitutional challenges to the law failed. Since then, the minimum wage has been updated to coincide with increases in the cost of living.
The FLSA regulates the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping rules, and youth employment standards. You can review the current minimum hourly wage by navigating to the US Department of Labor Website. [add link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/index.htm]
State Minimum Wage
States that offer wages higher than the federally mandated minimum are generally located in the northeast and western states, with the exception of Florida. Many centrally located states set rates that match the federal wage, while a handful are actually lower than the federal wage. Some US territories are exempt from the minimum wage laws altogether. When state and federal laws conflict, eligible employees have the right to the higher wage.
A living wage is based on the cost of living, typically in an urban area. Because cities are often more expensive that suburban and rural communities, cities enact living wages to deter poverty. The ideal living wage will provide a certain acceptable minimum living standard for anyone working at least 40 hours per week.
Exceptions to Minimum Wage
So why would states set a wage lower than the federal minimum? It is not just an academic exercise. Some employees are not entitled to minimum wage, so the lower state wage would apply. For example, any business or non-profit organization with interstate commerce operations must provide the minimum wage to employees, but if operations remain entirely in state and revenues total less than $500,000, the federal minimum wage does not apply.
Certain occupations are protected from exemption to minimum wage laws, regardless of the organization’s size. Employees caring for the sick or mentally ill are free from exemption, such as hospital and clinic employees. Educational employees, including preschool teachers fall under similar rules. Special compensation rules also apply to state and local government employees like firefighters, police, volunteers and those who are compensated with time off instead of overtime wages. Overtime is defined by the law as any work hours above the standard 40 hour work week. Workers must be paid 1.5 times their current hourly rate of pay.
There is also a special exception made for employees under the age of 20. They are only entitled to minimum wage after the first 90 consecutive days of employment. Still other exceptions allow lower wages for disabled workers, full-time students and student-learners pursuing work-related certificates, whether they are under age 20 or not.
Certain occupations are also exempt from the Act. For instance, executive, administrative, professional and outside sales workers do not fall under the law, as long as they receive a regular salary and meet certain requirements.
Independent contractors are not entitled to the minimum wage because they do not meet the definition of “employee”. The “contractor” controls the means and methods for which a job is completed. “Employees” are told how and when to do the job. Since most people who work from home do so on a contracted basis, and the number of work at home employees is rising, the application of the minimum wage law is declining. This is evident on job boards all over the internet where employers offer miniscule wages for different types of clerical and creative jobs.
Unregulated Wage Issues
The Act does not regulate certain wage-related employment issues important to workers. For instance, there is no clear definition of what constitutes full-time or part-time employment. There are also no requirements for employers to offer severance, sick leave, vacation or extra holiday overtime pay.
It is up to the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division to enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act. Government employee enforcement falls under the US Office of Personnel Management. The US Congress enforces the act for Legislative Branch employees.
Many people know they want to make a career change but have no idea where to begin. Making a change without a clear plan can lead you into another career that is just as disappointing as your current one. To ensure that you find work that is both profitable and rewarding, you should consider online career tests. These tests are about assessing your skills, interests and values, helping you make a well-informed decision on your new career choice. They have been designed by psychologists, teachers and employers to determine what you like and what you don’t, what inspires you and what you are good at.
A good place to start is by making a list of the parts of your job you love and other skills that you have and like to apply. Then make a list of those skills you want to keep out of your future job. Perhaps you dislike answering the phone. Maybe you would rather watch paint dry that continue standing in front of a register all day. Once you have a good idea of the career duties you want and those you do not want, you are ready to take some online career tests.
Career testing is not just for teenagers looking for direction. The economy is evolving as it begins to recover. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents and even hedge fund advisors are seeking new careers. These tests are perfect for finding the occupations best suited to your personality and working style.
Choosing a Test
Free job placement test are available all over the web. Choose one at a website you trust, like AOL. It is also a good idea to visit some web forums to see what others are saying about career tests that they took and their level of satisfaction with them. In some cases, these tests are used as nothing more than a marketing gimmick, so it is important to investigate the tests available and choose one that is dependable and truly free. You will often find a test that offers only basic and general information, and then requires you to pay a fee for the complete results.
Career tests will make some general career suggested based on your answers. Then it will take you through a personality test to help you choose the careers that are best suited to you. Once you have some career suggestions, lookup the job descriptions to be sure this is something you might want to try.
Online career tests are based on five time-proven tests to help measure your personality and aptitudes. They include the Myers Briggs Personality test, The Six Factor Personality Questionnaire, the Hogan Personality Inventory, The Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey and 16 Personality Factors
The Myers Briggs Personality Test has been around for years and is the basis of most of the personality tests that are found online. The test will determine your personality type combination based on how you answer the questions. The personality assessment evaluates how you cope, the way you process information, your decision-making style and your way of organizing life.
The Six Factor Personality Questionnaire measures six aspects of your personality and breaks each one down in to categories to express how much you agree or disagree with a statement. The aspects the test quantifies are Agreeableness, Introversion or Extraversion, Dependence or Independence, Openness to Experiences, Methodology, and Industry. This tests helps you better understand how you will respond in certain work environments.
The Hogan-type tests measure personality with respect to job performance and personal attitude. There are several Hogan tests, including a development survey, motivational, values, preferences and of course, the personality test. The test will measure your personality and emotional traits as they relate to particular occupations.
The Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey evaluates personality alone, measuring your potential for learning, any learning disabilities that may be present and your temperament. These assessments will determine how you relate in the workplace to conflict and personal relationships.
The 16 Personality Factors test is geared to measure the 16 primary factors that predict your behavioral tendencies with respect to reasoning and emotions, such as extroversion, sensitivity, attention span and openness to change.
Remember that no career test will give you a precise description of the exact career for you. They are simply tools that will guide you in the right direction. It is up to you to decide the best career choice and implement the decision to take the steps needed to have your new career. See these tests as the start of your new career search, not the final say in your decision. You will still need to invest your time and energy in making your career change.
Recommended Online Career Tests
If you are seeking truly reliable and trustworthy sites, the U.S. Department of Labor runs a website with some career tests that can help you.
They offer a Skills Profiler, Ability Profiler, Interest Profiler, Work Importance Locator and Employability Checkup. The profiler is a very useful tool for identifying your skills and matching them to jobs. The Ability Profiler matches your strengths with particular occupations. The Interest Profiler will give you more general results, helping you to uncover your general interests. The Work Importance Locator helps you to identify the job skills that are important to you and the Employability Checkup gives you a quick picture of your employability. All of these tests can be enormously helpful in directing your career path.
One surprisingly accurate test is the Color Career Counselor by CareerPath.com. You simply click on colors you prefer in comparison with other colors and the test produces careers that are good for you. The results are uncannily accurate for such a simple test.
You can also try the Job Diagnosis Test, which is quick and provides you with results in the top fields that would be best for you. The Live Careers test provides you with a detailed report to help you find your strengths and weaknesses. You can then get job search results matching your profile; however, you will have to pay a fee.
Online career tests give you insight into your talents, personality and characteristics. They are useful for determining which skills you need to acquire to find the right career. They will also show you which careers may be best avoided altogether. There are many tests available to help you and it is best to try a few and compare results before deciding the right career for you.
In the modern world, computers have become as common as telephones and pens. Not only have they become essential tools to every office, they have also brought new technologies to just about every business sector, including healthcare and energy. This basic fact of modern society makes careers in technology a safe bet for those looking for the right field to invest their time and energy in seeking a college degree or vocational certificate.
Change is Constant
Computing technology is ever-advancing, so there will always be a demand for those who understand and can apply the principles of the most recent software and hardware technologies. New technologies are being released on a regular basis and as businesses begin to use those technologies, they will need support personnel who understand how these new technologies work. Remaining on the cutting edge of technology requires constant evaluation of evolving technology and continuing education to keep pace. Otherwise, technology professionals can expect to change jobs often as their skills become outdated at one company and in demand at another.
Technology certificates and training can be garnered through IT training companies or through state continuing education and workforce development programs. Typically, these certifications are not valid as college credits, but they will usually count towards continuing education credits in most programs. Technology professionals can expect to invest about six to twelve months in IT training to gain a certification in a particular area.
Careers in Technology
There are several careers in computing technology that can be looked at like a pyramid. At the base are common IT jobs that do not pay as well, but offer more opportunities for employment. At the peak are top IT jobs at the executive level.
Database administration is at the bottom of the pyramid and is a rapidly growing field. Vital information in company databases helps the business to grow and remain profitable. Database administrators build and maintain information storage and retrieval systems that allow company employees to access information quickly and easily. They also must ensure information is kept secure.
Hardware technicians are not always needed on a full-time basis. It will depend on the size of the company in question. These professionals install hardware and ensure it is in proper working order. They will arrange work stations and set up peripheral components. Not only do these technicians need to understand how to install and troubleshoot hardware, they need a good understanding of the operating systems that run the machines.
Computer programmers design and develop software for computers. This are of technology is not used at all businesses, but it particular to software companies for the most part. Some large insurance companies and banks will hire their own programmers to ensure that financial information is always kept safe. Programmers develop customer software solutions for businesses, often working with existing software and adding functionality. Some programming languages often in high demand are Visual Basic and C++.
Web designers are often freelance professionals, working for the intermittent needs of smaller businesses. They can also be employees of large companies responsible for creating websites where customers can interact with the company. In some cases, the business is the website, making the web designing field of vital importance. These professionals must understand HTML, CSS, Java and networking.
Next up on the pyramid is the network administrator. This career in technology requires constant monitoring and repair of network communications within a company. The goal of the network administrator is to ensure that service is not interrupted, especially during times of high demand. These professionals will set up user accounts and permissions, workstations and email communications. In many cases, the network administrator is the go-to person for all login and email problems and a good portion of time is spent tracking down problems and answering user questions. Security is also a high priority in this career.
The workers who conceptualize, design and put information systems in place are called systems analysts. These technology professionals are overseen by project managers who budge, schedule and implement the steps in putting information system to work for the company.
Every field has managers. For information technology, most operations are supervised by information systems managers. These individuals will oversee the entire technological infrastructure, including hardware, software and networking.
At the peak of the IT pyramid sits the chief technology officer, sometimes called the chief information officer. This individual will have a broad understanding of technology and a keen strategic planning mind. This executive level position requires long-term planning and constant study of emerging technologies that may give the company an edge over the competition.
Careers in technology can pay anywhere from $12 per hour to $70 per hour, depending on the position, experience and talent of the individual. In generally, technology jobs pay 30 to 50 percent more than non-technology based jobs. Many of the careers in technology overlap one another. The network administrator may also be the hardware technician. The programmer may also be a web designer. Web designers often work in marketing as well.
Despite economic problems, the demand for highly skilled technology workers is expected to grow, especially in the fields of healthcare information technology and environmental science. Because of the Health Information Technology Plan of 2004, there will be strong push for professionals who can help healthcare providers digitize, store and manage patient records and prescriptions. Individuals can harness the power of an associate degree in health information technology to become a health information technician. “Green” jobs are also expected to expand with the global push towards more environmentally friendly practices. New software solutions are being created to save computing energy costs for businesses and professionals with this expertise will be in high demand.
Because of constant change, continued growth and higher salaries, careers in technology will continue to attract talented workers. This job sector will also spur further economic growth through better pay for workers and the need for continuing education, which helps to grow the education economy.
Almost any job will require a certain amount of public speaking skills. From making business presentations to dealing with retail customers, talking in public with people is a part of almost everyone’s daily business life. Many people have a fear of public speaking, or feel they are unprepared for speaking with the general public. Luckily, there are a few guidelines to fall back on when preparing to talk to a group of people, large or small. Consider the following 4 W’s (and one H) when preparing for a speech or presentation:
Who Are You Speaking To?
The audience of your speech or presentation will have a huge impact on the content and delivery of your speech. If you’re speaking to a group of teenagers, for instance, you will use different language than if you are making a business proposal to financial backers. What are your group’s interests, their prejudices, and their values? Try and figure out what the group has in terms of common interests, and also in common interest with you and your business. Remember that every group is unique — you don’t want your presentation to seem generic or “shotgunned” at any random group of people.
An example of how your audience can impact your speech — if this is a rather casual presentation, you should include plenty of humor. This will open up the group to your presentation, and break down their inhibitions. On the other hand, if you are speaking formally, you may want to limit your humorous content, and concentrate instead on the material at hand.
What Do You Want To Communicate as a Public Speaker?
As you sit down to prepare your speech, you should already know the message you’re trying to deliver. One way of becoming a better public speaker is simply to know what it is you’re speaking about — the ins and outs of the topic you’re covering. Ask yourself what would determine a “successful” speech — how will you know if and when you have communicated the message you have in mind? Preparing an outline, a bulleted list of points you want to cover, will go far in assisting you to stay on topic, but you don’t want to seem as though you’re reading off a cue card. Be sure you have a solid introduction — memorize your introductory paragraph so you seem casual — make a few solid “body points”, and end with a memorized conclusion. It is most likely that the audience will pay more attention to the introduction and conclusion than to anything else, so make sure to include your main speech points in both the beginning and end. By knowing exactly what it is you want to communicate, you’ll seem like a confident and well versed public speaker.
How Can You Best Deliver a Message When Public Speaking?
The language you use in your speech is important, as are the nonverbal cues you give through body language. Try to determine the best language (both verbal and body) to put your point across. Choose your words with your audience in mind, as discussed earlier, and try to maintain control of your nonverbal cues. Take deep breaths, drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthy meal before your speech — these may seem like basic points, but can impact your body language more than you think. Many people look at a speaker’s body movements more than they listen to the speaker’s words. Control of both types of communicaiton is crucial to a successful public presentation. If time and place allow, and if the topic is appropriate, consider and prepare audio or visual aids. These should be clear, easy to read and understand, and you should have the ability to present them without too many hang ups. I have seen presentations where the slide projector broke, the laptop that controlled the Powerpoint presentation wasn’t focused, or the handmade poster looked sloppy, and the audience immediately tuned out the speaker. Remember that simple is best, and maintain control of your speech through language choice and body control.
Believe it or not, the time that you deliver your speech can be as important as the delivery itself. Our brains are tired in the morning — so you my want to include a joke or something lighthearted at the beginnning of a morning speech to wake up your audience’s brain. After lunch or another meal, our brains are also rather sluggish. Consider the time of your speech and write accordingly. Speeches given at night are opportunities for the inclusion of humor or “blue material” — as these are generally ‘adult’ events, and the audience may be prepared for slightly off color material. Again, considering the audience before you make this choice.
There is a difference between “hearers” and “listeners” — to convert your audience from simply hearing your words to listening and taking your words to hear, you need to convince them why they should listen to you. If you don’t know why they should listen to you, then how can you expect them to know? There’s an old saying — “Fake it until you make it”. If you feel you lack the confidence to convince your audience that you are an expert in your field, act as if you’re the world’s foremost expert. Hold your head high, square your shoulders, and prepare awesome speech material. Becoming a better public speaker can simply be a matter of pretending to be one. Confidence, like in the dating game, goes a long way in the world of business.
These are just guidelines — your ability to give a solid public speech rests in your lap. It is a good idea to practice your speech as much as possible, and even if it feels silly, to do so in front of a mirror. You want to appear polished and practiced, but not robotic. Being a good public speaker can mean the difference between getting a job and being passed over. Developing public speaking skills is important enough to give the above suggestions some serious thought. Remember the four Ws (and one H) and good luck on your next speech.
My dad called me up last week in a near panic. He had a question and he needed my “expertise”. Was he wondering about the upcoming NBA playoffs? Maybe he had a question about blackjack strategy or the best way to get a red wine stain out of . . . but no, he was pressed for time and blurted out his question.
A quick Google search revealed the easy part of the answer — Secretary’s Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday in the last week of April. This year, it happens to fall on April 22. My dad’s a busy guy, and I’m sure he was in a hurry to pick up something nice for his secretary, so the call ended pretty quickly.
I wanted to know more.
Administrative Professional’s Day
For starters, let’s get the terminology right. Political correctness has turned what was once known as Secretary’s Day into “Administrative Professional’s Day”. I’m not against this — I fully understand the baggage associated with the word “Secretary”, and besides, the jobs that office workers do these days are much more varied, and do not really fit the bill of “Secretary”. Jobs celebrated on Administrative Professional’s Day include receptionists, administrative assistants, actual “secretaries”, and other professional office assistants.
How Secretary’s Day Began
What we now call Administrative Professional’s Day began its life as “Secretary’s Day” back in 1952 as a way for bosses to show their appreciation for the work of their secretaries. Back then, almost 60 years ago, the role of “secretary” was quite different from what we know today. Mostly women, these employees did the work of several people. Part receptionist, part “administrative assistant”, and often highly involved in the day to day operation of their respective businesses, secretaries were an integral part of any business. A businessman named Harry F. Klemfuss (of the consulting firm Young & Rubicam) worked with the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals) to create a nationally recognized time to honor the work of secretaries.
Harry Klemfuss’ goal was to encourage young people to consider careers in the secretarial or administrative support field. Recognizing how important the secretaries in his office were, Klemfuss believed that honoring their work would not only attract more people to the position, but would be a perfect way to show support and solidarity with secretaries and office assistants. With a background in public relations, Klemfuss easily promoted the importance of the job of administrative assistants and their value to an office environment. In promoting the work of secretaries, he created the holiday we now know as Administrative Professional’s Day, in recognition of the importance of administrative assistants.
The official period of appreciation/celebration was first proclaimed by then United States Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as “National Secretaries Week,” which was held June 1-7 in 1952, with Wednesday, June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first Secretaries’ Day was held in that year by the National Secretaries Association, with the support of an variety of other corporate groups.
In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week in 2000 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and wide-ranging job titles of administrative support staff.
How to Celebrate Administrative Professional’s Day
So how do you celebrate Administrative Professional’s Day, or Administrative Professional’s Week? There are many options to consider.
Over the past few years, Administrative Professionals Week has grown into the largest single workplace observance — a “holiday” that can be celebrated by anyone, regardless of religion or creed. The event is now celebrated around the world, not just in the US, and brings together millions of people for a wide variety of celebrations. There are community events, corporate gatherings, social activities, and every sort of even you can imagine recognizing a company’s support staff with appreciation and gifts.
The smallest scale celebrations include the giving of gifts or treating a group to lunch. My dad’s office, for instance, likes to bring in a catered lunch, and give small gifts of appreciation, ranging from cards and photos to gift certificates and even cash. Celebrations of Administrative Assistant’s Day can be as complicated as your office situation allows. As a matter of fact, the International Assocation of Administrative Professionals would rather you celebrate Administrative Professional’s Week in a lengthy if not productive manner.
The IAAP, which is the official sponsor of Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day, suggests that employers and bosses show their support for the holiday and their administrative support staff by offering training opportunities and classes for their staff. This does mean a large amount of distraction from the day to day operations of a business, but your staff may really appreciate classes in continuin education, seminars, or even time for self study. I have worked in an office setting where Administrative Professional’s Week was filled with classes in Beginning Spanish for Business — an often necessary tool in the United States. And remember, Administrative Assistant’s Day is not just for “secretaries” or receptionists — the IAAP also wants you to recognize the work efforts of those on your staff who serve in human resources or any professional development staff position. While this kind of activity may not be as instantly enjoyable as a box of candy and a nice lunch, your staff may appreciate the self improvement time more in the future, when they can use the courses they took (or started) as a bargaining tool for a raise or a new position.
My dad’s advice to me before I started my professional life was to always “get in good” with secretaries. They were the ones who ran the office, he said, and everyone knows it. The implication was that if you made friends with a secretary, you’d have a better chance at making friends with his or her boss — or at very least, your paperwork and other office needs would be met with a smile, and perhaps pushed through a bit quicker. While “greasing the wheels” may not be the most politically correct sentiment, it is always a good idea to take time and appreciate those employees in your office who otherwise get lost in the shuffle.
The job of secretary has changed a lot with the advent of technology. These workers are not longer the “office wives”, bringing coffee to executives and running errands. These workers are now given much more responsibility in daily tasks and the career is increasingly being taken up by men. This rising trend is expected to continue as the economic shakeout has had a stronger impact on the largely male dominated financial industry.
The term secretary is rarely used in today’s business environment. Instead, secretaries are called administrative assistants. The career path for secretaries is also changing. No longer will one expect to always be an assistant to someone else. In fact, today’s administrative assistants seek to learn and someday acquire the jobs of those they assist.
Administrative assistants can move onto many different careers. They can be office managers or administrators, administrative coordinators, and executive secretaries or assistants. They may also move onto careers in project management and human resources. The career path will depend on the type of secretarial position.
The office secretary or administrative assistant has the broadest range of possible career paths. Administrative professionals support managers and other middle-level professionals in their daily work. This means that administrative assistants learn a lot about many different jobs. In many cases, the office secretary knows more about the inner workings of a company that top level managers do.
Administrative assistants are expected to field phone calls, manage schedules and handle documents. When time allows, those seeking to advance their careers should offer to take on additional roles as appropriate. When additional work is offered, take on the job gratefully and see it as a challenge. Your good attitude and work ethic will make you stand out and give you more opportunity to take part in advanced tasks.
Taking on additional responsibility, whether by volunteering for more work or gladly accepting new tasks that may be assigned, makes the administrative professional shine in the eyes of management. See the new responsibilities as learning experiences that will help you reach the next level in your career. Make special efforts to master the technology in your workplace to jump start your advancement.
Always communicate clearly, concisely and in a friendly manner with everyone you come in contact with. By networking, you will open up more potential avenues for advancement. Ensure that everyone you speak to each day sees you as an intelligent, composed and industrious worker. Even if this does not get you promoted at your own work, it will help you get a reference for a better job elsewhere.
Continuing education is also important for administrative professionals who wish to advance their careers. By learning more about the field you wish to enter, such as human resources, it will be easier for you to fill job openings as they come up. It is vital that you know what job you want so that you can train for it outside of work and so you can let your employer know what your goals are. Many employers will work with you to help you secure the training you need to fill the position you seek.
Legal secretaries have a wide range of roles and duties within the attorney’s office. They may handle simple daily mail tasks or do the work of a paralegal. Duties include answering the phone, email communications, filing, and court document preparation. A good legal secretary is highly organized and good at dealing with clients. While they do not need to have degrees, many larger law firms prefer it. Specialized degree programs are available for legal assistants and can be very beneficial for anyone looking to enter this field.
At one time, the terms “legal assistant” and “paralegal” had essentially the same meaning. In fact in legal definitions, they do mean the same thing. However, when it comes to real world law practices, there is a growing divide between the definitions of these jobs. A legal secretary performs administrative functions while a paralegal does all the same work an attorney does behind the scenes. By hiring more paralegals, firms can keep attorneys hours in the court room and have the paralegals perform the research and brief preparation. An office can get by with one or two legal secretaries but will need many paralegals.
This means that legal secretaries are expected to do much less research and legal document preparation than in the past. Their work is more likely to support a paralegal. By working as a legal secretary by day and training to become a paralegal by night, legal secretaries can advance in their careers. They may also move on to become law clerks, title examiners and claims adjusters.
While the growth in demand for medical secretaries is along industry averages, healthcare is still a growing field and jobs will continue to become available. Medical secretaries often attend school part time to secure degrees in nursing, often moving on to become physician’s assistants.
Medical secretaries who wish to advance in their fields are advised to focus on improving their strengths, rather than bolstering their weaknesses. Those who can find solutions to problems are highly prized. Rather than bringing problems to the attention of superiors, find a potential solution first and bring both to the table. Even if your solution is not the best one, it shows that you have a positive attitude and seek to improve the workplace rather than just complain about it. Those who make their boss’s goals and priorities their own will also succeed. You may find a solution or a new viewpoint on a problem superiors are struggling with. Your input will be welcome and valued in working towards a solution.
Addressing concerns over patient safety is another way to shine in healthcare. However, these topics can be controversial. The best way to address them is to ask why certain procedures are in place and allow a conversation to develop naturally, exploring better ways to address the situation. It is important to always be diplomatic in dealing with other medical professionals, patients and their families.
While all these things will make you shine, the medical field requires training and certification. You will need to attend school and get a nursing degree if you wish to move on to patient care. When you do acquire your certificate or degree, it will be easy to move up within the organization because you have already laid the groundwork to show your ability to succeed in healthcare.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” In order to speed up your job search, do not solely rely on one medium to search for an opportunity but rather diversify your efforts. As an agency recruiter during these times, more than half of my day is spent working with candidates as a career counselor. Helping candidates speed up a job search has become a daily task. It can be very discouraging to look for a job in this market and the last thing a job seeker should do is what everyone else is doing. With so many qualified candidates on the market, competition is tough and one must do what he can to differentiate himself. The following are a few ideas to help speed up your job search.
Attend Networking Events To Speed Up Your Job Search
Regardless of a job seeker’s trade, there is a plethora of networking events you can attend to speed up your job search. This includes Job Fairs, User Group Meetings, Conferences and other miscellaneous professional networks. This medium is effective because of the face time obtained with potential co-workers and even hiring managers. It goes without saying; treat everyone with respect and courtesy. You never know who will be able to connect you to the job of your dreams. Candidates who have landed a job through their own independent efforts have almost always done it through referrals. This is proof that attending networking events can help speed up your job search.
Speed up Your Job Search by Using Recruiters
Working in the trenches of the Staffing Industry, I know first hand how recruiters can be viewed negatively. Recruiters can help speed up your job search as long as you use them as a resource to supplement your own independent job search. Lack of follow up is one of the most prevalent complaints about recruiters. Since a recruiter could be working with more than 100 candidates at any given time, it is not wonder how some job seekers can get lost in the shuffle. This is where professional periodic follow up is essential. If possible, meet with them face to face and build a relationship.
Make sure they become aware of your most marketable attributes and accomplishments. After all, they will be your liaison to their clients and are responsible for speaking intelligently on your behalf. The benefit of interviewing with an Agency is that they can truly tap you into jobs that are not advertised on the job boards. These “hidden” jobs are presented first to candidates already in a recruiter’s professional network. Speeding up your job search by using a Recruiter is a common practice used by many different professional classes. Recruiters can help job seekers find positions in Accounting, Finance, Management, Information Technology, Administrative, Clerical, Medical and more.
Speeding Up Your Job Search after Applying Online
The internet can seem like a black hole at times when applying for online postings. Try speeding up your job search by taking things a step further and contacting the ultimate decision maker. After applying online to a position, speed up your job search by researching the company and find key managers in the organization. Develop an “elevator pitch” about yourself that is clear and succinct. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes when you develop this pitch. Ask yourself, “Why should this manager hire me?” Use social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook, or even Myspace to make a warm connection with your target employer. This may seem like a bold move, but it is a proven agency technique to creatively speed up a job search.
An executive career search is not as simple as creating a one-page resume and uploading to the web. A search for this kind of high-paying employment requires a great deal of focus and persistence. The web offers many advantages to executives looking for a new job, but traditional networking should not be overlooked. In addition, there are particular portfolio tactics that should be used. While there are services available to help executives land the right job, it is important to understand what these services will and will not do for the executive. By understanding the process thoroughly, executives can guide the search process and stay on track in the search for a new job.
It is common for senior executives to remain in their jobs for many years. This means that they may be top players for the daily activities required in the position, but they find going out to find another job quite daunting. Those who have not searched for a job in over 15 years will have no idea how to approach the matter.
High powered executives can become overwhelmed with the process of looking for another job, all the while maintaining secrecy about the search with current employers. This makes marketing an executive profile on the web a delicate balance. Executives want to be highly visible to prospective employers without tipping off the current employer. This “sneaking around” can make executives feel as though they walk alone in a jungle. Because of this, it is sometimes helpful to partner with an executive search firm that can walk the executive through the process, keeping the search more focused and aggressive.
An executive search should be planned like a business. There will be objectives, goals, plans for action and deadlines. The executive should clearly define goals and objectives, and then develop a strategy that helps direct the search.
Creating a Web Portfolio
An effective executive career search requires the creation of a profile site that makes the executive stand out in the crowd. The site should include an executive resume, work history and some detailed descriptions of career accomplishments. Just as with a business plan, the executive should have a ‘brand’ that makes him or her recognizable above others, detailed in bold and compelling language. Portfolio specialists can be hired to assist in this process, and any reputable executive search firm should also have this skill.
Special attention should be paid to the executive resume, as it is the main tool in any job search. However, there are several other documents that will increase the chances for success. A well-rounded portfolio includes a series of documents that give the reader a deep understanding of the executive’s career and advancement. These documents will be targeted by keywords and show the most important career achievements. These documents in clued a Career Biography, Critical Leadership Initiatives, Functional Profile and Networking Resume.
The career biography is a snapshot of the executive’s career and education. It is presented as a narrative, highlighting networking contacts, board positions, speaking engagements and links to company websites. The document will focus on top accomplishments and the milestones achieved at each company. A short summary of job responsibilities is helpful in this document as well. Language should be clear, concise and powerful, like the language used in an executive resume.
Critical Leadership Initiatives
Corporate executives often use this document to show off their accomplishments in business and leadership. The executive should display achievements accomplished throughout the career, proving skills in strategic planning, leadership, staff development and business sense. All displays of leadership capabilities should be demonstrated, encompassing as many aspects of leadership as possible to show a broad expertise in this critical executive function.
Executives use this document to prove their strengths in the industry or roles in which they function. The document will focus on the industry knowledge or functional understanding of the executive. Typically, the document is one page, evidencing specific qualifications and achievements.
A networking resume is used to make the executive stand out with recruiters and top decision makers. : This is simply a shorter, more concise summary of the executive resume, highlighting top achievements at each prior employer.
Choosing an Executive Search Firm
When getting outside help for a job search, executives should be careful who they choose. Anyone can put up a sign that says “Executive Career Search Specialist.” Look for credible testimonials comments about a firm’s services before signing on. A reputable career search firm will not promise to find the executive a job; they will promise good information and advice.
In addition to finding outside help in the career search, executives should actively network. Online networking has exploded in recent years offering executives more opportunities to connect with the right people. Sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter provide the opportunities to reach out and connect like never before. Executive blogs and interactive websites present opportunities to connect with total strangers who would otherwise be out of reach. One such site is ExecuNet, which has been “Connecting Leaders Since 1988”.
While the Internet provides easy access to networking, traditional methods should not be overlooked. The rolodex still has a place in life, since many senior executive contacts are still doing much of their communications by phone. Almost all successful job changes happen because of networking though work contacts, family and friends. When it comes to traditional networking, there is a right and a wrong way to approach it.
The wrong way involves calling up contacts asking general questions about openings that may be available. Questions should be more specific in nature, explaining exactly the field and type of company the executive is after. Networking should be a series of calls to find the right contact for the specific job sought. Ask contacts for the means to secure the right contacts, not a job.
By utilizing the services of a qualified executive search firm, presenting a top-notch web portfolio and networking, the executive will be best served for a quick transition into the job sought.
When you think of retail careers, you probably think of a gum snapping, bubble blowing teenager, standing at a register, looking bored out of her mind. But the days of dead-end retail jobs are swiftly fading as retail companies begin to understand the value of long-term, driven and motivated employees, even at the entry level.
Making a career out of retail is becoming more desirable as companies have begun promoting from within. No longer will a cashier expect to remain at the register with the same low pay year after year. Hard working retail workers can expect to find advancement into store management, regional management, purchasing merchandising and more. The qualities that help an individual succeed in retail are energy, enthusiasm and strong interpersonal skills. Those who get great satisfaction out of helping people will find retail careers rewarding.
How to Become a Retail Manager
Those who excel at store clerk positions can become store managers, making them responsible for scheduling employee shifts, supervision and fielding customer complaints. Store clerks should make their intentions of advancement clear to store managers from the start. Ask for management training and gain the skills you need for management even before a position becomes available. This provides opportunities for a store clerk to advance to a manager position sooner. When your training is already in place, you will have the advantage of knowing the company’s business methods well and may even be chosen over those applying from other companies who already have management experience.
It is important to seek the right attitude about working your way up in retail. The first year or two can feel like an eternity as you go through your daily grind. When you view your work as a learning experience that will make you a better manager someday, it will be easier to find pleasure in even the most mundane tasks. Take pride in your job and follow the rules closely. Encourage others to do the same and you will be proving your skills in leadership.
It can often be difficult to present a model for other workers to follow. There is often resentment and you may feel as though you are seen as a “goody two shoes”. By making it fun and engaging, you will have more success in encouraging others to do their jobs as management wants them done. Be sensitive to the needs and feelings of fellow coworkers and avoid running straight to the store manager for help. Show your initiative and leadership skills primarily by setting a good example and secondly by showing the value of following the rules to others. Explain why these rules benefit the business and by extension, the employees.
Other retail careers will often require a college degree in retail or business. These careers include purchasing, merchandising and brand management.
Buyers have challenging jobs. They see constant flux in the level of success they achieve as sales rise and fall from one week to the next. These individuals are expected to find innovative ways to continually improve sales. The must be good decision makers, reacting quickly each day to maximize profits. The must have a strong intuition for while products and styles will be in vogue six months from now. The job requires constant networking and contacts to communicate with vendors and manufacturers, locating the best products for your business to sell.
It is vital that buyers have a strong sense of fashion and design. They spending millions at a time on products they predict consumers will want. Being a good trend setter will help you succeed in this field. These professionals often visit stores and directly observe customer reactions to their decision. They also go from store to store, speaking with managers and addressing difficulties with products and sales, so good communication skills are a necessity.
In many cases, a company has a buying team responsible for introducing a successful portfolio of products as a team. Not only must they predicts and locate the latest trends, they must also be good negotiators, bartering for the best price from suppliers. Workers must analyze past sales and price trends and learn how to prevent problems in supply. They will also seek ways to out maneuver competitors in the market place. Assistant buyers will be employed to place orders and ensure they are completed.
Merchandising is another sector within retail that offers rewarding careers. Merchandisers are responsible for sales promotions and displays. In many cases, merchandising and purchasing are lumped into one job description
Merchandising managers have a broader scope of responsibility and must plan and implement sales promotions and programs. They work closely with executives and advertising professionals to develop ad campaigns. They must decide whether to advertise on television or radio and will review displays in stores to ensure they are properly implemented.
Brand Managers offers one of the most challenging and rewarding careers in the retail industry. These executives must protect and grow reputation of a company or product. The focus is on creating a strong identity in the public eye with the brand these managers promote. They may also conceptualize, develop and implement new product lines under an existing brand name.
Brand managers work with marketing executives and merchandisers in strategizing promotions. They also spend a great deal of time communicating with licensing partners to determine the status of new product roll outs or negotiations. These executives must also keep a constant eye out for new brand extensions and potential branding partners. They will review customer surveys and testing to identify any problems with the public perception of the brand they may need to address.
Those who are enthusiastic and passionate about a particular product can make excellent brand managers. They must be able to back their enthusiasm with solid analysis and find creative solutions to problems that may arise. Interpersonal skills are a must since these professionals are in constant communications with licensing partners. They must be able to develop strong relationships easily.
All of these retail careers can be rewarding for those willing to work hard to drive sales and help the retailer succeed. Every major retailer has these positions available, but it is up to the individual to gain the skills needed to fill these roles through initiative, hard work and a drive to succeed.
You have finally made the decision to leave your current position at your job. Maybe this current job just does not suit your needs, you have found a better job, you have decided to go back to college to further your education, you have decided to stay home and raise your children, or you have decided to drop out of the workforce due to medical issues. Whatever your reason is for deciding to move on from your current position, you will need to create a resignation letter. So how do you write a resignation letter?
Why Use a Resignation Letter?
If you decide to leave a job, you should always write a resignation letter and submit it to your supervisor and Human Resources department before you give a verbal notice. Do not discuss your plans of resignation with any co-workers or anyone connected to your current company. You do not want to create a negative energy around the office. You need to have something in writing for proof that you actually gave a notice and resigned. Remember that you are a professional so it is imperative that you resign like a professional. So how do you write a professional resignation letter?
Before You Start Creating the Resignation Letter
Before you ever start creating your resignation letter, there are some things you should consider.
Analyze Your Current Job: Make sure that you are certain that you actually want to leave this position. Once you submit a resignation letter, it cannot be retracted. Make a list of why you are leaving this position. If your supervisor counteroffers you with something that will ‘fix’ the reason you want to resign your position, would that change your mind? If so, then you should have a meeting with your supervisor to discuss these concerns before resigning. I highly discourage accepting counteroffers because by submitting a resignation letter, you have broken the trust between you and your supervisor.
Research the Company Termination Policy: Find out what the termination policy is for your company. Most companies require a minimum of a two week notice. If there is no policy in place, it is good business etiquette to provide a two week notice. If you do not adhere to the company policy, this may disqualify you from ever returning to that company in the future. Keep in mind that your employer could ask you to pack your things and leave as soon as you turn in your notice.
Before You Submit the Resignation Letter
Before you submit your resignation letter, there are some things you should do to prepare.
Insurance: Make sure all your doctor and dentist appointments are up-to-date for yourself and your family while you still have company insurance. Do not let your health insurance lapse because this could disqualify you, if you or any of your family members have any preexisting health conditions.
Employment: Make sure you have already secured a new job before resigning your current job. It is harder to find employment when you are unemployed. This will also keep you from having a lapse in your insurance as long as your new job also has insurance.
Personal Information: Make sure you save and remove all personal files from your computer. You can email all files and information to your personal email account. Do not forget to gather up all contact information for co-workers that you may wish to maintain a networking relationship with. After you have gathered and saved all your information, I would suggest ‘cleaning’ your computer. Delete all personal files, pictures, personal information, inbox emails, sent emails, saved emails, etc.
Supervisor Meeting: Be prepared for your supervisor to have a meeting with you to discuss your resignation after you submit your resignation letter to him/her. It is important to remain calm, remain polite, and remain professional during this exit meeting. Your supervisor may react negatively and become upset but it is important that you remain calm and leave gracefully and on friendly terms. This supervisor is possibly someone you will need to use as a professional reference in the future. It is important not to burn any bridges with your supervisor or any of your co-workers because these are people that you may want to network with in the future.
Addressing the Recipient: Address the letter to your supervisor.
First Paragraph: The first paragraph should only contain positive information. Use this paragraph to highlight your accomplishments, as this might improve your chance of networking with your former supervisor and co-workers. Highlight your skills and emphasize your contributions by using plenty of action verbs.
Second and Third Paragraphs: The second and third paragraphs should contain your actual resignation. Your resignation should include the proper notice that your company requires or a two week notice if your company does not require a notice. You should state the date that your resignation is effective.
Final Paragraph: The final paragraph should also only contain positive information. You should thank your employer for the opportunity that they have provided you and express your gratitude. You should show your enthusiasm and appreciation for the work you have done.
Closing: You should end with “Sincerely”, sign your name, and then type your name underneath your signature.
Correct Resignation Letters
Format: Always use the Standard Letter Format for your resignation letter. Always type your resignation letter.
Proofread: You should always proofread your resignation letter. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone, that has no connection to your current company, proofread your resignation letter after you have proofread it before you submit it to your supervisor and Human Resources department.
Length: Resignation letters should never be more than one page. Your resignation letter should be as simple, brief, and as focused as possible. Make sure your letter is direct because you do not want to leave any information in the letter up for interpretation.
Specific Details: Do not include specific details including why you are leaving, where you will be working next, etc. You do not want anything in your resignation letter to leave any negative impact.
Delivery: Seal your resignation letter in an envelope addressed to your supervisor. You can give it to them personally or have it delivered. If your company has a human resources department, it is important to copy the human resources on the letter as well.
Tone: It is important to keep your tone positive in your resignation letter. This document will become part of your personnel file and it will be used by future employers for professional reference calls. You should always maintain your dignity and chose words that demonstrate your qualities so that you only leave behind positive memories of you. You must stay positive, professional, and courteous at all times.
Incorrect Resignation Letters
Format: Never email or handwrite a resignation letter. Emailed or handwritten letters are not professional. Remember that your resignation letter is the last reflection of your personal character.
Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
Fonts: Do not use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your resignation letter should look professional and will look that way if you use the Standard Letter Format. I suggest using Arial 10 as a font. Make sure your entire resignation letter is in the same font type.
Wording: Do not overuse adjectives in your resignation letter and do not use the word “very”. Do not start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your resignation letter.
Tone: You must resist the temptation to vent or say anything negative in your resignation letter. Keep your personal emotions out of your resignation letter.
Supervisor Reference: Do not ask your supervisor for a reference in your resignation letter. Ask for a reference only after you assess the reaction of your supervisor to your resignation.
You have just been asked by someone to write a reference letter for them. What is a reference letter? Should you agree to write the reference letter or graciously decline the request? If you do agree to the request, where do you start? How do you write a reference letter?
What is a Reference Letter?
A reference letter is a letter sent to an unknown employer and is used to introduce a person and explain that person’s integrity, character, and abilities. Reference letters are important and may make the difference between a person’s acceptance or rejection by a potential employer.
Determine If You Should Accept the Request to Write the Reference Letter?
Should you agree to write the reference letter or graciously decline the request? Don’t agree to write a reference letter for someone you don’t know well enough to discuss. Don’t write a reference letter if you don’t have or don’t want to take the time to write a dynamic detailed one. A vague reference letter can do more harm than good to a person. Don’t write a reference letter if you have to fabricate information. If you would have to exaggerate or be dishonest about the person’s qualifications, education, integrity, character, abilities, etc, then you should decline the request to write the reference letter. If you are not able to write only positive attributes about that person and are unable to omit their weaknesses, then you should decline the request to write the reference letter. You should only write a reference letter for someone that you have confidence in and that you would honestly recommend for employment.
Reference Letter Format
Always use the Standard Business Format to write a reference letter. You won’t have the specific Company information or Recipient Information since this will be given to an unknown employer.
Date: Make sure you include the date in the upper right hand corner of the letter.
Salutation: You will either need to use “To Whom It May Concern”, “Dear Sir/Madam”, “Dear Human Resource Manager”, or “Dear Recruiting Manager”, etc if you want to include a salutation. You also have the option of just omitting the salutation and go right into writing the letter.
First Paragraph: The first sentence of the first paragraph should be able to grab the attention of the recipient. The opening sentence can speak volumes. A good example of how to grab attention is to state that you are pleased or honored to write this reference letter. You should also include information explaining how you know this person and how long you have known them. State your own qualifications and explain why you are qualified to write this reference letter for this individual.
Second and Third Paragraphs: Use these paragraphs to list exceptional qualities and skills this person possesses. Put extra emphasis on the qualities and skills specifically related to their field of interest or job search. Use specific examples to reinforce your statements. Talk about their work competency, work initiative, prior experience, organization and communication skills, academic or other achievements, interaction with others, attendance and punctuality, how they react under deadlines and pressure, etc.
Final Paragraph: The final paragraph should reiterate any final points you feel are necessary. You should express your confidence in this person and recommend them for hire. You should make your ending statement strong without overdoing it. You should also indicate how you can be contacted for additional questions by providing your contact information and also include the best time to reach you.
Closing: You should end with “Sincerely”, sign your name, and then type your name underneath your signature. Include your job title or your entire professional company signature under your typed name.
Correct Reference Letters
Proofread: You should always proofread your reference letter. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone else proofread your reference letter after you have proofread it before you give it to the person you wrote it for. Remember that this reference letter represents you and the applicant.
Length: Reference letters should never be more than one page but don’t be too vague or brief.
Tone: The tone of your reference letter should always be professional, informative, confident, and upbeat/positive. Don’t say, “I think Mr. Smith would be a fit for…”. Instead say, “I am confident that Mr. Smith is a fit for…”. You should make every word in your reference letter count.
Wording: Use general attributes to describe the person. Use words like intelligent, self-motivated, responsible, dependable, flexible, skilled communicator, innovative, confident, trustworthy, etc.
Paper: Make sure you use good quality paper, preferably on company letterhead. Use quality ink-jet paper if available.
Incorrect Reference Letters
Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
Fonts: Don’t use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your reference letter should be professional and will look that way if you use the Standard Business Format on company letterhead. I suggest using Arial 10 as a font. Make sure your entire reference letter is in the same font type.
Wording: Don’t start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your reference letter. Avoid using adjectives with mediocre connotations like nice, good, fair, adequate, satisfactory, etc. Also skip generic adjectives like excellent. Instead of using the word excellent, use innovative, articulate, loyal, etc.
Personal Information: Never refer to the person’s race, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual preference, gender, marital status, etc.
You are currently working at a job and have decided that you deserve a pay raise? How do you ask for a pay raise?
Do Your Market Research Before You Ask for a Pay Raise
It is important to perform market research to find out how much the job you are currently performing is worth. It is also important to find out how much you are worth professionally. Cbsalary.com, payscale.com, and salary.com are some good sites to help determine the value of a job and the value of you as a professional.
Obtain recent copies of personal performance appraisals if applicable.
Obtain copies of any company awards won, personal recognition letters or emails from supervisors, clients, or co-workers, etc.
Research the company policy regarding pay raises. Some employers can only give pay raises at certain times of the year, regardless of the circumstances.
Make sure you know exactly what salary you are wanting and make sure you can justify asking for that amount. Always remain flexible however. If your employer cannot give you a pay raise, would you accept something else instead (extra vacation, flex time, etc)?
Create a salary proposal. This should include your market research in regards to the position itself and you as a professional, company revenue you have earned, company money you have saved, customer satisfaction details, deadlines you have met, solutions you have implemented, services you have improved, extra hours you voluntarily work, etc. You should also outline your soft skills including your initiative, work ethic, enthusiasm, etc.
Consider asking for more work responsibilities in order to justify your pay raise.
Arrange a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your salary at a day and time that is convenient for them. You can ask for a salary meeting in a letter that outlines some highlights of your salary proposal.
Important Things To Remember While Asking for a Pay Raise
It is important to remember that you need to prove why you deserve a pay raise and not simply just ask for one with no logical explanation as to why you are requesting one.
I would suggest writing out your salary proposal and bringing it with you to your in person salary negotiation meeting or having it with you for your telephone salary negotiation meeting in order to ask for your pay raise the way you initially planned to.
Make sure you bring copies of all your market research materials you obtained during your research to your salary meeting with your supervisor.
Remember that if you do not receive a pay raise, try negotiating for other perks including more vacation, performance bonuses, etc.
Incorrect Things To Do While Asking for a Pay Raise
Do not make demands, threats, or ultimatums. If you do this, your pay raise is likely to be denied.
Do not get emotional. Remember that this is not personal, it is business.
Do not go over your supervisor’s head to ask for a pay raise. Go to your immediate supervisor first and let them explain the next step to you.
When it comes to how to quit your job, there is definitely a right way to do it. It is important that you have a strong understanding of the specific reasons you want to leave before you do anything you might regret later. A job that does not seem right for you just now may turn into a very satisfying and well-paying career down the road. Make sure you are taking the long view of the situation. If you only need to struggle through another year or two before things will improve, it may be worthwhile to stick it out.
Is it You or the Job?
Consider that you might be the problem, not the job. How many times have you seen someone with good skills do poorly because of a bad attitude? That same employee is often the one who takes a job elsewhere, hates it, and tries to come back only for the position to be already filled. Before you go running to another employer, check your own attitude. If you put in a reasonable effort at work and always try to make the best of things and you are still miserable, then it might be time to find a tactful way to step down.
Nobody likes to give bad news, even when it is being given to bad people. Confrontation is uncomfortable and it is difficult to refrain from blurting out all the negative emotions that have been bottled up inside you over the past few months. However, burning bridges can really bite you in the behind. Do whatever you can to remain professional and courteous at all times. You do not want to lose a potential reference when the perfect job comes your way.
Be very careful about resigning because of another offer of employment. It is difficult to determine what a new job will really be like until you are in it. Make sure you tour the offices where you have been offered work. Pay close attention to the workers there. Are work areas neat and clean? Do the workers behave like professionals? Carefully consider if this is a place you want to spend 40 hours every week. Make sure the benefits, salary and flexibility for work hours are at least as good as your current job. If at all possible, talk to someone who has worked for your potential employer to be sure it is all that it seems.
Two Weeks Notice
While notice of two weeks is considered proper, it is not always possible to give this much time. Give as much notice as you can. If your employer asks you to stay longer, you are under no legal obligation to do so, barring a contract. Still, you should try to accommodate the request whenever possible. The easier you make your leaving on your current employer, the better your chances for a good reference later.
When you put in your notice, your employer will want to know why you are leaving. This is the most difficult part of quitting. Do everything you can to minimize the negative reasons you are leaving. Make sure you have tried to resolve these problems at your current employer before you go off to work elsewhere. This way, your reasons for leaving will not be a big surprise and you will encounter less resistance. It is also a good idea to ask for a letter of recommendation while you are resigning, rather than trying to chase one down at a later date.
If your employer tries to get you to stay by offering a raise, use caution. Rescinding a resignation for better pay will just mean you continue to be unhappy but you have a few more dollars in your pocket. There is always the possibility that your boss will remember this incident in a negative light, and you could pay for that later when it is time for a promotion.
The Resignation Letter
A resignation letter should be written, even when you resign verbally. Keep your letter straight and to the point. You do not need to reference your reason for leaving in the letter and you do not need to apologize.
Anything that needs to be said can be done verbally. This letter simply puts on record that you are resigning. Do not use company letterhead for this letter. Just put your name and address in the header of a plain document. Do not forget to keep a copy for your own records. You should turn the letter in to your Human Resources Department since it is merely a formality associated with resigning from your job. Make sure there is at least two weeks between the date of your letter and you final day of work.
After the Resignation
Some companies will walk you out the door the moment you resign. If the employer walks you out the door, consider it a free vacation. Most employers will pay you during the notice period even though you are not working.
If your employer keeps you on during your notice period, do everything you can to make the transition easier for your employer while you are working down your caseload. Prepare your desk for the next occupant and continue to work hard. On your last day, do not forget to return all company property. Remember to thank your boss for all the guidance you have received while employed there.
The Exit Interview
Many companies perform an exit interview as a way to address problems within the company and find solutions to them. Be careful not to bad mouth anyone in your exit interview. Still, it is only right that you explain the reasons you are leaving and the steps you took to try to resolve them. These criticisms should only be about company policies and how they relate to you. Do not criticize your boss’s management style or any other workers. Stress the reasons why the new opportunity is better rather than why the job you are leaving is bad. Do not forget to thank the employer for the opportunities and training you received there.
Be Gone but not Forgotten
After you have left your job, it is a good idea to stay in touch from time to time, just to let people know you are doing well. If possible, recommend business to your former employer and make sure they are told the business came from you. If you ever need to go back to work for that company, they will remember you in a positive light.
I am one of the world’s great procrastinators. I work from home, and between distractions on the computer and the daily chores required for living, I find myself falling behind at work.
When I do get into my working moods, I am an almost unstoppable force. My girlfriend is amazed by my dual nature — and just the other day she found herself putting off an important work related task. The conversation that ensued went something like this:
Her: “Will, How do I stop procrastinating?”
Me: “Hold on, I’ll tell you in a minute.”
After the pillow she threw hit me in the face, we got down to business and laid out some plans for her to follow — and it worked.
Common Causes of Procrastination & How To Not Procrastinate
So, to share with my fellow procrastinators (and we are all guilty of it at one time or another), here’s some common causes of procrastination, and how to not procrastinate. Remember that procrastination is a habit. A habit is simply a learned behavior — the good news is, habits can be changed. To stop procrastinating, you’ll need to form new habits. This does take time and commitment, but the reward in terms of work and your general happiness.
Recognize the difference between an appropriate delay in action, and an irrational postponement. Is there a reason or a justification for your waiting to do something? Maybe there’s important paperwork you’re waiting on, or a piece of mail that you need before you finish your task. These would be “good” reasons for delay. If you’re simply putting something off because it bores you or there’s something you’d rather do, that is considered procrastination.
Unpleasant tasks rarely turn out to be as bad as you think. Our brains lead us to some dark places, and sometimes we can worry and worry about how difficult or mundane a task is and justify putting it off because it seems boring. Complete these run of the mill tasks early in the day, to get them out of the way, and to do them while your brain is too sleepy to object. I like to pay my bills online first thing in the morning — it may be boring, but at least my brain won’t complain too much. Schedule boring tasks for early in the day so you have time to give yourself a reward for doing them.
If you’re procrastinating because something “looms ahead of you”: something huge and seemingly unmanageable like starting up a small business, getting a new job, having dental work, or preparing the annual budget or tax return, you will naturally put it off. The job seems too big or like it will take too long to do now, so you put it off. Simple action — break these large jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks. Draw up a plan (advice you’ll read again and again about how not to procrastinate) and take on the first thing on your list, no matter how small. This tiny sense of satisfaction will get the ball rolling, and your job will seem more manageable.
Sharing your deadlines with someone else, a “procrastination partner”, is a great way to make yourself accountable for your work. Trust me, you are not the only person in the world with a procrastination problem. How do you stop procrastinating? Involve a partner, or even a team of partners, and make deadlines among yourselves. You’ll be amazed how much work the group of you can get done, and the rewards you give yourselves will be worth it. Go bowling, go see a movie, enjoy a nice dinner out — anything to celebrate a group accomplishment. Teamwork is a great fix for procrastination.
Another method I use to avoid putting off work is to make a clear mental picture of the job once it is finished, and imagine how good I will feel once the job is done. This is sort of like “brain candy”, and is a great way to tease your mind past its standard method of procrastination. Maintaining a focus on the end result, not just the process of the task, will keep you in good spirits. Think of this as “whistling while you work”.
Finally, sometimes the biggest source of procrastination is simple distractions, either at home or at work. As you get distracted from a work project, make it a rule that you are not allowed to move out of your chair, make a call, surf the net, pick up a book, or play a game until you return to your task. This is particularly hard for me — as I said, I work from home — but once you make a habit of avoiding distraction, you’ll find it easier and easier to get your work done. This all goes back to rewarding yourself and re training your brain to avoid procrastination.
One step to help you avoid distraction at the workplace is to tailor your work environment. Make a little office space for yourself, if you don’t already have one — close your doors, hang “Do Not Disturb” signs where needed, clean up the clutter on your desk, and put the work right in front of you. Other distractions are food, soda machines, snacks, magazines — anything that is not directly related to the job you are putting off. This kind of single mindedness may be temporarily boring, but hopefully by now you’ve realized that you can get to the good stuff once you’ve gotten the work out of the way.
Human beings are procrastinators by nature. We want pleasure and we want it now — in a perfect world, no one would have to work. We’d lie on the beach all day sipping fruity drinks and playing frisbee with gorgeous models. But we do have to work — and we work to GET that beachside reward. If you can learn to stop procrastinating, you’ll have a more fulfilling life, and you’ll spend less time worrying about work and more time enjoying the fruits of it. Now that you’ve got some tools at your disposal, get this article off your desktop and get to work. How do you stop procrastinating? Train your brain toward better working habits, and remember the rewards you’ll reap.
There are very few things more daunting than having to do well in a phone interview. Interviewing for a job in person allows you to gauge how well you are performing in the interview by reading a managers body language and gestures. However, a phone interview is much less personal experience that requires more preparation.
Five Phone Interview Tips
So how do you do well in a phone interview? To answer this question I’ve put together the following five phone interview tips.
Phone Interview Tip 1: Get Organized
Write down the contact’s name and title.
Print out any information you found on the employer via their website or related resources so you can refer to it during the interview.
Keep all this near your phone at all times. You may not always be able to predict what time they will call.
Have a pen and notepad ready. The notepad should have at least 3 questions you want to ask the prospective employer about. You’ll also use the notepad to take notes during your interview, clarify points, or ask questions later during the “So, do you have any questions for me?” portion of the interview. Get the interviewer’s name, title and contact information (such as e-mail address, phone, etc.) Job title and responsibilities (brief but specific). Your notes will also be a great point of reference for your thank-you letter.
Have your resume in front of you. Should they ask you to elaborate on a point you will be ready to supply additional information.
Phone Interview Tip 2: Keep Distractions Away
Eliminate call waiting during your job search. Call waiting is very distracting to an interviewer. Use voice mail during your search time, so you won’t miss a call.
Put your interview information and telephone in a spare room that has a door. That way you can avoid distractions such as a dog barking, doorbell ringing or other disturbances.
Phone Interview Tip 3: Be Yourself
Relax by taking deep breaths before picking up the phone.
Smile when answering the phone and speaking to the interviewer. This keeps you sounding enthusiastic and upbeat.
Give concrete examples when able (use your achievement section on the resume to aid you with these).
Respond to the interviewer’s questions, but don’t volunteer information that hasn’t been asked. (No babbling!)
Repeat the question if you are not clear.
Phone Interview Tip 4: Land the In-person Interview
Be positive at all times! Never bad-mouth a previous employer.
Be enthusiastic about the opportunity. Mention how your skills match their needs.
Ask to schedule the interview. “This position sounds like a perfect fit. Can we schedule a time to meet and discuss this further?”
Phone Interview Tip 5: Send a thank-you/follow-up note
You can do this via e-mail or snail-mail. If responding to an online position, e-mail your thank-you note.
Keep it short (one or two paragraphs).
Thank them for their time. Mention one or two things you learned during the phone interview. Reiterate how your skills match what they’re looking for. Tell them you are very excited about working for them and are capable to do the job. Address any points requested by the interviewer.
If you already scheduled an in-person interview, tell the interviewer you are looking forward to the interview on ______(day) at _____ (time).
Send a follow-up note to all phone interviews, even if you don’t take the position. It’s always a good practice to thank people for their time.
Healthcare in a growing industry. The demand for quality LPNs and RNs is at an all-time high and expected to increase over the next several years. It is a good industry to get into and pays well. Yet what is the salary range for LPN’s and RNs? Is there a base? What about overtime? Salaries for nurses vary from state to state. It also depends on where they are working (hospital, nursing home, or private practice). For anyone who has ever considered becoming a nurse, here is how the basic salary range breaks down.
Salary Range For LPN
Licensed Practicing Nurses work under the supervision of doctors and Registered Nurses. LPN’s get paid by the hour. The average hourly wage for an LPN is $18.25 an hour. This adds up to an average annual salary of around $38,000 a year. In some states, the highest salary for an LPN can reach $50,000 a year. The lowest hourly wage is around $13 while the highest peaks somewhere around $25.
What is more, if the LPN is hired to work at a hospital or nursing care facility, they can usually expect to earn an extra sign-on bonus. Sometimes this is paid in cash on the spot. Sign-on bonuses can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to two or three thousand dollars.
Salary Range for RN
Registered Nurses make more than LPN’s because they have had more training. RN’s often find themselves in supervisory roles to LPNs. RNs earn an average $31 an hour. The lowest average is around $20 an hour while the highest stops at around $42 an hour. This means that an RN can earn a gross annual salary of over $59,000, depending on what state they live in. Many colleges and universities offer both offline and online nursing degrees these days, allowing you to pursue a career as an RN.
Just like LPN’s Registered Nurses can earn more through a couple of different methods. The first is sign-on bonuses. Hospitals will pay quite a bit to sign on top RNs with a lot of experience.
Overtime is another way RNs can make extra money. Because of the nature fo the job, most nurses can rack up a good amount of hours as overtime, which is calculated as time and a half. This means that if an RN is making $30 an hour during regular time, they make $45 an hour with overtime.
RNs can get as much as 8 hours or more a week in overtime. Why? Because in a medical institute like a hospital, you cannot always just drop what you are doing because it is time to go home. You may be in the middle of administering to a patient or there may be paperwork to fill out and turn in before you leave. The institute might be short-handed and need someone to stay later to help out. All of that adds up to quite a bit of extra money.
Variations in Salary Depending on Type of Job
Depending on where LPNs and RNs work affects their salary. Public and private hospitals tend to pay more than anywhere else, especially if the RN specializes in something like ER or prenatal care. Some specialties can earn an RN double her normal salary.
Next to hospitals, RNs and LPNs can work in nursing care facilities, home health care, and private practices. The least paid in the industry is private practices such as a doctor’s office. The reason it is the least paid is generally because the hours are shorter, they may only work half a day on Fridays, and the office is closed on major holidays.
How They Earn It
Nurses make a decent income and they earn it. They care for the sick and injured, sometimes in the worst neighborhoods and with patients who are less than grateful. Nurses are responsible for taking and monitoring vital signs, giving injections, starting IV’s, taking samples such as blood, helping to make patients comfortable, and following doctor’s orders.
Nurses keep records and fill out a ton of paperwork, most of which has to be turned in before the shift is over. The gather patient history, ask questions, and get patients registered and ready for the doctor.
Unless they work in a private practice, nurses have long hours. Most hospitals have eight to twelve hour shifts, sometimes with a number of days ‘on’ and a number of days ‘off’. Despite the hours, with overtime, nurses end up working more than their shift. Sometimes back to back shifts are required. Nights and weekends are usually required as patients need care 24 hours a day. Hospitals do not close their doors at the end of the day.
Responsibility is a big factor with nursing jobs. But that is why the salaries reflect the time and effort that nurses put in.
You are in the middle of a job search and you are starting to get frustrated. You have your resume posted on a couple of job boards and you are searching and applying every day to all the new job postings that you feel you are qualified for. Either you are not getting responses on your applications you submit or you have so much competition when you interview for positions that you have not been able to get any job offers. What do you do? The best way to find a position in my personal opinion is to network with other professionals in your industry. You can start by sending out some networking letters. Networking is a highly effective job searching technique that is underutilized by the majority of job seekers. What is a networking letter and how do you write a professional networking letter?
Why Use a Networking Letter?
A networking letter (or approach letter) is used to help you obtain contacts within your industry that may be able to assist you in your job search. When you start promoting yourself with networking letters, you are likely to find out about job openings before they are posted online. There are thousands of positions created and filled without ever having to be advertised. A professional networking letter will help you to uncover these hidden job openings. The networking letter is a way to introduce or reintroduce yourself to contacts that might have information and advice to assist you in your job search. Your goal is not to ask for a job from these contacts but to simply ask for job leads, career advice, referrals, and introductions to other contacts that may be able to help you.
Before You Start Creating the Networking Letter
Before you ever start creating your networking letter, you should think about all the people in your network that you can reach out to.
Known Contacts: Think about what contacts you already know that you would like to send a networking letter to. Think about your current friends, friends of friends, spouse, spouse’s friends, current and former coworkers and supervisors, professional contacts you have met online through networking sites, associations and professional organizations, clergy, customers, clients, teachers, current and former teachers and classmates, etc. that you could reach out to.
Referrals: Ask your known contacts for names of other contacts that they know that may be able to help you.
Unfamiliar Contacts: Think about contacts that you met briefly at a networking event or an informal setting that you might be able to reach out to. Sending networking letters to unfamiliar contacts after your initial meeting is important in building good networking relationships. You can thank them for taking the time to speak with you and also confirm any follow up plans you mentioned during the conversation.
Unknown Contacts: You can search on Jigsaw or LinkedIn to gather names of additional contacts that you would like to connect with.
Follow-Up: Make a plan to follow-up with each of the contacts you plan to send a networking letter to. Make sure you have correct phone numbers for each of your contacts and follow-up via phone a few days after sending the networking letters. Follow-up is important in networking.
Keep In Touch: It is important to keep in touch with your contacts even when you are not job seeking or looking for advice. If someone helped you, then you should thank them and return the favor if possible.
Networking Letter Format
Always use the Standard Letter Format to write your networking letter. Instead of listing the Company Name and Company Address in the top right corner of your networking letter, you should list your personal name and address.
Addressing the Contact: Always write to a specific person instead of “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
First Paragraph: If this contact is a Referral, you should mention the name of the person that referred you to them. If this contact is Unfamiliar, you should mention how you know them including where you met and what you discussed, etc. If this contact is Unknown, then you should mention how you came across their information and why you chose to contact them.
Second and Third Paragraphs: The second and third paragraphs should outline your qualifications, talents, etc to convince the contact that you are worth the advice and information that you are seeking. Keep the information about you brief and to the point. You want to keep the focus on the information you are trying to obtain. You should address what exactly you are wanting from that contact. You can ask for job leads, career advice, referrals, introductions to other contacts, etc that may be able to help you.
Final Paragraph: The final paragraph should include a positive statement to influence the contact to take action. You should let them know that you will be contacting them to follow-up via phone in the next few days. You should always thank the contact for their time.
Closing: You should end with “Sincerely”, sign your name, and then type your name underneath your signature.
Correct Networking Letters
Proofread: You should always proofread your networking letter. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone else proofread your networking letter after you have proofread it before you send it to your contacts.
Length: Networking letters should never be more than one page. They should be short and to the point. You should make every word in your networking letter count.
Tone: The tone of your networking letter should always be professional, informative, confident, and upbeat/positive. You should try to keep the tone of your networking letter friendly without being over casual.
Paper: If you are submitting a networking letter non-electronically, then you should make sure you use good quality paper that matches your envelope.
Incorrect Networking Letters
Resume: Do not include your resume with your networking letter since you should not indicate that you are looking for a job in a networking letter.
Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
Fonts: Do not use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your networking letter should be professional and will look that way if you use the Standard Letter Format. I suggest using Arial 10 as a font. Make sure your entire networking letter is in the same font type.
Wording: Do not overuse adjectives in your networking letter and do not use the word “very”. Do not start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your networking letter.
Recycled: Never use the same networking letter for different contacts. You should always take the time to tailor your networking letter to each individual.
Personal Information: Do not include personal information or interests in your networking letter besides your name, address, and contact information.
Dishonesty: Never exaggerate or be dishonest about your qualifications, education, etc.
Learning how to get motivated and stay motivated is one of the best lessons any person can learn. Whether you are trying to stay motivated at work or you’re trying to keep your energy levels up while working out, staying motivated keeps us moving forward when we really would rather just sit down and take a rest. Life has activities that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but we know we have to do. And when you do them day-in, day-out for years on end, you tend to burn out.
Staying motivated when this happens requires focus and determination, because your job or your exercises don’t always pay off in the short term. It’s natural to want instant gratification and you’re not likely to get rewarded immediately for your hard work in your career.
How To Get And Stay Motivated At Work
So here are methods to get and stay motivated while you’re waiting for the long term payoffs for all the hard work you’re putting in.
1. Set Targets and Reward Yourself When You Hit Them
“Targets” are arbitrary goals you set within your job. Maybe you want to become 5% more productive in your job (5% more sales, 5% more volume produced). Whatever it is, set yourself targets to hit within the larger goal, so it isn’t just one long slog to get ahead. When you hit those goals, have set rewards you get for attaining that goal. This not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, but it also gives you that extra motivation to get the job done.
Consider when you go on a long car ride. You look at the map and get in mind your destination. But there are also landmarks along the way that tell you that you’re making progress. Consider the system of targets-and-rewards the same as telling everyone in the car, “When we reach so-and-so, we’ll stop, stretch our legs and get a meal.” Like that small rewards for keeping your patience on a long trip, targets are little landmarks on the journey that tell you that you’re closer to your final destination.
2. Recognize the Progress You’ve Made and Keep a Good Attitude
With that in mind, notice when you are making progress. Recognize in your mind that you have made improvements or inroads into the task you are trying to accomplish. This helps you maintain a sense of accomplishment, which encourages pride and positivity. It’s easy to get negative when doing your job, so you sometimes have to remind yourself to stay positive. Recognizing we have made progress encourages positivity.
Attitude is a huge factor in life. If you believe you can do something through hard work, you’ll be motivated to do that hard work. So when you want to get motivated and stay motivated, it helps to remind yourself that you can do what you’ve set out to do and that you will do what you’ve set out to do.
3. Make Your Breaks Count
When it comes time for break time, make certain the break counts. Really get away from your work for those 15-20 minutes. This will reinvigorate you and make you more productive until your next break. If you instead dwell on whatever task you’re performing, you’re not really getting a break. Getting a mental break is often just as important (if not more important) than getting a physical break.
4. Make It Fun
Find ways to make your job fun. This can be easier said than done. Friendly competition can make a job fun. Making real friends at work also instills a sense of fun in the workplace, because you might occasionally look forward to seeing your buddies. Finding challenges within your job to make the job seem more like a game also helps.
5. Find New Motivations
If none of the above seem to be helping, then you need to find new motivations and really deconstruct what it is that motivates you. Ask yourself, why am I doing this? What is it that gets me motivated and keeps me motivated?
Are you wanting better pay? Do you want a better position at your work? Do you want more recognition than your peers at work? Or are you seeking to improve your resume as a stepping-stone to a better job out of the company? Ask yourself what it is you really want and where you want to be, then use that knowledge to motivate you to accomplish your goals.
6. Be Healthy in Body
No matter how the above sounds to you, make certain you get exercise when you are in a stressful job. Otherwise, you lose energy and begin to get down on yourself. Exercise helps you burn off stress and relieve anxiety, which are two of the big problems many people in a stressful work environment have to deal with. Exercise is one thing you can control, so control this part of your life, at least.
How To Get And Stay Motivated When Exercising?
Keep an Exercise Journal – Keep track of the amount of time you exercise, the amount of weights you lifted and the number of reps you did. Keep track of the distance you ran or the speed you ran on the treadmill. Also, keep track of the weight you’ve lost. These things not only help you determine how intensive your workouts should be, but they also help make yourself accountable. When you know that every repetition and every ounce is being tracked, you’re more likely to take that extra minute to exercise.
Measure Your Improvement – While you’re keeping a workout journal, you’ll be able to measure your improvement in your workouts. Track your speed, strength and endurance while exercising. Keep track of how long you work out (endurance), how much weight you use (strength) and how far you ran (speed, endurance). Also, keep track of the weight you lost, but keep in mind that weight fluctuates from day-to-day anyway, so don’t consider any one measurement to be an indicator of the work you’ve done.
Don’t Burn Yourself Out – If you’ve been exercising a while and you’ve begun to “wear down”, you may be exercising too hard too soon. Limit the amount of exercise you do or stop exercising so hard, until you can build up your strength and stamina. Sometimes, lack of motivation comes from hitting a wall we placed there ourselves, because we had unrealistic expectations about how exercise would help us. Exercise is a long term project, and short term strategies are doomed to failure.
Keep Moving Forward – On those days you planned on exercising, but don’t feel like going through with the work out, do a little bit anyways. A little exercise is better than no exercise, even if the little bit is inadequate.
Schedule Workouts in the Morning – If you want an instant sense of accomplishment, perform a workout. That’s one reason why morning workouts are so positive, because you have something to hang your hat upon for the rest of the day.
Get a Workout Buddy – If you are having trouble learning how to get and stay motivated, consider adding a workout buddy. Having a second person working with us tends to motivate people. This might be a long time buddy, a coach or even someone you met at the gym.
With the recent shakeout in the mortgage industry many may assume this is not the best place to look for a career. However now is probably one of the best times to get started in this field. The housing crisis has led to many mortgage brokers giving up on their careers and moving on to other things. As the market rebounds, new mortgage professionals will be needed to replace them. In addition, government efforts to help homeowners have created more opportunities within the ailing industry. Market conditions are also creating more careers for mortgage servicing agents and consumer credit counselors.
The growth in demand for mortgage loan officers is expected to grow by more than ten percent over the next 13 years. Typically, a loan officer will have a Bachelor’s degree in finance or economics. However, there are many loan officers who began in administrative positions at mortgage brokerages and now practice without a degree of any sort. Those who work at a bank or credit union generally do not require licenses to be mortgage loan officers.
People skills are a necessity in the mortgage loan industry. People looking to purchase homes are often quite anxious about the process of applying for a loan. Add to that new regulations and more stringent requirements on loan applications and you have a recipe for stress. Only those who are able to metaphorically hold a client’s hand will be able to navigate the process successfully.
Other Mortgage Industry Careers
Mortgage careers come in many varieties and becoming a mortgage loan officer is just one option out of many. There are careers available for brokers, mortgage underwriters and mortgage servicing representatives. These jobs are available in both residential and commercial lending. You can also work with developers looking to construct new residential or commercial buildings.
Mortgage brokers have rewarding careers in the mortgage industry, serving as the middlemen between housing borrowers and lenders. They are different than loan officers in that they work for an independent brokerage, where as loan officers work for the lending institution itself. States have varying regulations about requirements to become a mortgage broker, but most potential brokers will need a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics or Finance, plus a Mortgage Broker certification.
A mortgage broker will connect borrowers with the right lenders by assessing the needs of the borrower and matching those needs with the lender that has the most advantageous loan program. The broker performs a credit check on the borrower before matching them with the right program and orders an appraisal of the property value. They may also need to negotiate special deals with the borrower and lender in order to close a loan.
Mortgage brokers make approximately $60,000 per year. Those working for large institutions and banks may only make $30,000, while those at the top of their fields can make $100,000. Mortgage brokers often earn based on commissions, so success depends upon their ability to attract clients, navigate the application process and close loans.
A mortgage underwriter is the person responsible for reviewing a loan application package, which is received through a loan officer or mortgage broker. This person will also look at the property appraisal and may request additional documents to validate employment and credit history. The mortgage underwriter is the person who ultimately decides if the loan will be granted. Because workloads can vary, the time it takes an underwriter to approve or deny an application will depend on the backlog. Typically, loans are approved within one working week.
It is not necessary to have a college degree to become a loan underwriter, but a Bachelor’s degree in finance, business or economics is strongly preferred by employers. A working knowledge of business law and accounting is also helpful. Those in the underwriting field can expect to be continually updating their knowledge and skills through continuing education, often paid for by the employer.
The job market for loan underwriters is expected to grow at a faster than average rate over the next ten years. Underwriters make a median salary of about $50,000. The lowest paid underwriters make approximately $30,000 and the highest paid make close to $100,000 per year.
Service representatives are also in high demand. These are the individuals who collect and process monthly payments, field customer questions, and pass payments along to loan underwriters. They also handle escrow accounts, ensuring that taxes and insurance are paid when due. These workers may also pitch related financial products to consumers, such as equity lines of credit.
Mortgage service representatives have a broad range of opportunities within the mortgage industry. They work in centralized offices in rural areas where companies can control costs through cheaper labor. These representatives only need to have a high school education. This is an excellent part of the mortgage industry for getting your foot in the door and gaining valuable mortgage experience. You can use this experience to move up to mortgage brokering or into more advanced careers in loan servicing such as hedging strategies and quality control.
Many skills are encompassed in this field, which represents something for everyone. Those who enjoy telephone work with challenges may enjoy collections. Those who are more analytically minded may find a career in quality control. Customer service can be good for those with a strong mind for details and a gentle hand with customers.
While the demand for mortgage brokers and loan officers fluctuates with the economy, existing loans always need servicing, making this sector of the mortgage industry a stable and dependable career. Opportunities for advancement are great for anyone willing to work hard. No college training is needed, making in ideally suited to those who prefer to enter the workforce directly from high school rather than attend college.
No matter what your skills and personality, the mortgage industry offers a job that will suit you. Whether you are a people person, an analytical mind or a number cruncher, you will find something that suits you well.
What is “working mom guilt”? The definition of ‘guilt’, according to dictionary.com, is a feeling of responsibility for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. Now would you honestly walk up to a working mother and tell her that she is guilty of an offense, crime, or wrong just because she is working outside of the home? I seriously hope not, but some working moms have such an overwhelming feeling of guilt that they might as well have committed a national offense.
So now that you have a little insight on what “working mom guilt” is, let’s figure out how to handle it. The first step into any problem is to analyze it to figure out why you have labeled it a problem in your life. So how do you go about analyzing a problem? Ask yourself questions about what specific things make you feel guilty about working outside of the home.
Mom Guilt About a Job
Let’s analyze your personal feelings about your job. What are your motivations for working? Do you work because you have a passion for your job or do you work because you desperately need the income to support your family? Would you feel less “working mom guilt” if you had a job where your work hours would allow you to spend more time with your child (children) even if it involved less pay?
Let’s analyze your personal feelings about your child care arrangements. Do you like the day care facility or person who takes care of your child (children) while you are at work? Are the child care expenses for your current arrangements financially draining you? Would you feel less “working mom guilt” if you changed your current child care arrangements?
Let’s analyze your personal feelings about your support system. Who are the people you are around most the time? Are you around your co-workers, your spouse, your family, etc? Think about those people individually. How does that person make you feel? Is that person a negative or positive influence? It would be best to limit your time around people that make you feel negatively about yourself and/or your work situation. Would you feel less “working mom guilt” if you spent 100% of your time around people that make you feel good about yourself and/or your work situation?
Spending Time With Your Kids
Let’s analyze your personal feelings about the quality time you are spending with your child (children). How are you spending time with your child (children) when you are with them? Are you making special time just for your child (children)? Remember that your child (children) will cherish time spent with you more than anything materialistic. So quit worrying about trying to buy things for them and just give them your personal attention. If you come home and need to cook dinner, involve them. Have them help you any way you can think of. Laundry…they can help. Cleaning…they can help. Think of anything you do while you are around them and think of ways that you can involve them to spend more time with them. Make sure you schedule some days for fun activities too. Go to the park, go swimming, go to the movies, play board games, put together puzzles, go for a walk, etc. Fun activities do not have to be expensive; they just need to be memorable. Would you feel less “working mom guilt” if the time you spent with your children was better quality time?
Let’s analyze your personal feelings about how you spend time just for yourself. Do you have any time that you set aside just for you? What things do you like to do that make you feel happy about yourself? You need to do this! Use that positive support system to watch your child (children) for a few hours while you run some errands, get a pedicure, talk a walk, workout, get a haircut, take a nap, etc. Make sure you have some personal time just for you at least once per month. Would you feel less “working mom guilt” if you had some alone time to give yourself a little break?
Hopefully this information has helped you pinpoint what exactly causes “working mom guilt” for you. Try making some changes in your life to see if this helps alleviate this “working mom guilt” feeling for you. Remember, you are trying to become the best mother and the best employee at the same time. Just make sure you are creating a healthy balance for both ‘jobs’.
You are thinking about changing careers and want to find out what industry you should pursue. The healthcare industry would be a wise choice, since it is the largest industry and it shows the highest amount of growth compared to other industries. So what type of healthcare career should you pursue? What are the top medical jobs for 2010?
General Health Physician
We probably should have all listened to our parents and became doctors.
What they do: When do you go to the doctor? I go to the doctor when I am sick, hurt, or for a preventative checkup. Doctors diagnose your sickness or injury and give you advice on how to get well or heal. They may write you prescriptions. They also perform well checkups and physicals and give vaccinations. They refer you to other specialty physicians when needed.
What they make: General Health Physicians can make anywhere from 113,000 per year to 268,000 per year. The average salary for a general health physician is 168,000 per year.
What they do: When you think of a scientist, what do you think of? I think of research. Medical Scientists perform research to try and understand human diseases better and improve human health. They perform clinical research and document their findings.
What they make: Medical Scientists can make anywhere from 68,000 per year to 152,000 per year. The average salary for a medical scientist is 109,000 per year.
What they do: Everyone has their favorite pharmacy. Maybe it is because of price, convenience, or a top notch pharmacist. Pharmacists dispense and compound prescribed medications and drugs. They will review the physician issued prescriptions to check for accuracy and figure out the formulas and ingredients needed. They also consult with pharmacy customers to answer any questions regarding medications and drugs.
What they make: Pharmacists can make anywhere from 85,000 per year to 172,000 per year. The average salary for a pharmacist is 108,000 per year.
What they do: Have you ever been seen by a physician assistant rather than your actual physician? I have and I have always been satisfied with the results. Physician Assistants diagnose your sickness or injury and give you advice on how to get well or heal. They may write you prescriptions. They also perform well checkups and physicals and give vaccinations. They work under the direction and responsibility of a physician.
What they make: Physician Assistants can make anywhere from 70,000 per year to 130,000 per year. The average salary for a physician assistant is 79,000 per year.
What they do: When I think of physical therapy, I always associate that with injury or stroke. Physical Therapists perform medically prescribed physical therapy treatment for patients that are injured. This helps them to restore function to whatever body part that is hurting and relieve pain that may be associated with that injury.
What they make: Physical Therapists can make anywhere from 48,000 per year to 85,000 per year. The average salary for a physical therapist is 67,000 per year.
What they do: Anytime you visit the doctor or hospital, you are always greeted by a nurse before the doctor. They are the ones that take your temperature, take your blood pressure, and gather all your symptoms and information to share with the doctor. They also are the ones that administer injections. The nurses are the ones that take care of you in the hospital before and after the doctor has seen you.
What they make: Registered Nurses can make anywhere from 50,000 per year to 90,000 per year. The average salary for a Registered Nurse is 66,000 per year.
Mental Health Specialist
What they do: If I could describe this profession in a couple of words I would use, “Healing for Your Mind”. Mental Health Specialists performs group and individual psychotherapy sessions. They will diagnose and advise patients of their mental health status. They work with the psychiatrist in deciding on treatment plans for patients.
What they make: Mental Health Specialists can make anywhere from 40,000 per year to 89,000 per year. The average salary for a Mental Health Specialist is 56,000 per year.
Clinical Social Worker
What they do: When I think of a social worker, I always think of someone that is trying to help someone else. A clinical social worker helps patients and their families that are having personal difficulties that are interfering with getting the maximum benefits from medical care. They advise the patients and their families of medical recommendations and assist them in adhering to those recommendations.
What they make: Clinical Social Workers can make anywhere from 39,000 per year to 91,000 per year. The average salary for a Clinical Social Worker is 54,000 per year.
What they do: When I think of a radiologist technician, I always think of a cold dimly lit room, big heavy cape you wear, and having to keep still in order for them to get good x-ray photos. A radiologist technician explains to the patient how they need to hold whatever body part that needs to be x-rayed and will sometimes position it for the patient. They adjust the equipment and make whatever setting changes that need to be made, and then they take the x-ray photos. They work under the direction of a radiologist.
What they make: Radiologist Technicians can make anywhere from 39,000 per year to 66,000 per year. The average salary for a radiologist technician is 54,000 per year.
Medical Records Technician
What they do: When I think of a medical records technician, I always think of insurance. I know that medical procedures and treatments must be coded correctly for the certain insurance companies to cover the costs associated with that specific medical procedure or treatment. They maintain the medical records of patients and perform documentation of the medical conditions and treatments. They review the medical records and code clinical data. They store and file medical records in order to make file retrieval efficient.
What they make: Medical Records Technicians can make anywhere from 35,000 per year to 70,000 per year. The average salary for a medical records technician is 42,000 per year.
Health Services Manager
What they do: Health Services Managers analyze health services that managers use to accomplish corporate information policies and address issues. They work with the other departments to understand their goals and give them advice on accomplishing health services information needs. They are responsible for hiring and managing a health services staff.
What they make: Health Services Managers can make anywhere from 28,000 per year to 61,000 per year. The average salary for a health services manager is 39,000 per year.
What they do: Medical Transcriptionists transcribe dictated recordings from physicians and other healthcare professionals into medical reports and correspondence. They analyze the medical terminology and edit and correct the medical reports and correspondence in order to transcribe the recordings into an understandable format for readers.
What they make: Medical Transcriptionists can make anywhere from 29,000 per year to 52,000 per year. The average salary for a medical transcriptionist is 36,000 per year.
Clinical Laboratory Technician
What they do: Clinical Laboratory Technicians perform medical laboratory tests that help with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. They work under the direction of a Medical Technologist.
What they make: Clinical Laboratory Technicians can make anywhere from 27,000 per year to 45,000 per year. The average salary for a clinical laboratory technician is 33,000 per year.
You have decided to pursue a medical career, but you do not have the finances to pay for the required education. What are some ways to pay for education for a medical career?
Start Planning While in High School
If you are lucky enough to still be in high school, then you can start planning ways to save money for college and medical school before you ever start college.
Advanced Placement (AP) Classes:Taking AP classes while in high school will give you college credit without the expensive college cost. Take advantage of AP classes in high school when they are offered. Make sure the course credits will transfer to the university or college you plan on attending.
Local Community College:Take some courses at a local community college. The prices are normally less expensive than state and private colleges. Make sure the course credits will transfer to the next college or university you plan on attending. Since the community college is local, maybe you have the option of living where you were living when you attended high school in order to save money.
Local Public University: Consider choosing a public in-state college or university in order to save tens of thousands of dollars.
Combined Bachelor’s and Medical Degree Programs: Some colleges and universities offer combined Bachelor and Medical Degree programs. This will allow you to obtain your Bachelor’s Degree and your Medical Degree in six years instead of the typical eight years, which will save you two years of college tuition and costs.
Keep Focused: Try to choose your schools and majors wisely. Each time you change schools or majors, you are likely to lose some course credits that might not transfer to your new school or major.
One of the most popular ways to pay for education is by obtaining student loans. The only problem is that when you graduate college, you start your career with a huge amount of debt. Student loans are financial aid that must be paid back with interest.
Federal Government: Research the federal government to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness on your student loans.
Employers: Research employers to see which employers offer loan forgiveness as part of their financial package.
Tuition Payment Plans
Research universities and colleges to see if they offer any type of tuition payment plan. Some universities and colleges offer interest free plans that can spread the cost of tuition over a number of months.
Research academic institutions, local corporations, churches, etc to see what scholarships are offered and how to apply. You can get a scholarship for academic performance, minority status, field of study, etc. There are many different types of scholarships available. Take the time to perform thorough research on all scholarships available to see if you qualify for one or some of them. Scholarships do not need to be paid back.
Grants & Awards
Research universities and medical schools to see what grants and awards they offer and how to apply for them. Perform a thorough research on all grants and awards that are available to see if you qualify for any of them. Grants and awards do not need to be paid back.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program encourages students with financial need to perform community service and work related to their courses of study to help pay for their education expenses. Check to see if your university or college offer FWS and if you qualify.
The military will pay for your health career and required training in exchange for military service. The amount of military service is dependent upon the amount of education you receive.
U.S. Health Service Corps
The National Health Service Corps is a government program that will pay some or all your medical tuition (for physicians, nurses, dentists, and mental/behavioral health professionals) in exchange for two to four years of service in a medically underserved area of the country.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that help students pay for school in exchange for ten to twelve months of work. AmeriCorps allows for full time and part time work.
Peace Corps offers Graduate School combined with Peace Corps service (Master’s International) in over fifty colleges and universities. They also offer scholarships or reduced tuition at forty participating schools for volunteers that have returned from Peace Corps service.
If you are thinking of becoming a medical assistant, you probably want to know, “How much money does a medical assistant make?” The answer to that question will depend on where the medical assistant works and his or her level of skill and experience.
The job of medical assistant is one of the fastest growing fields in the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the profession will grow as much as 34% by 2018. Technological medical advances and the increasing elderly population are factors fueling this explosion of growth. Additional medical technology requires newly training assistants. In addition, the elderly require more care than younger patients do.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?
The lowest paid medical assistants only earn about $20,000 per year for 40 hours work. The best-paid assistants can make almost $40,000. For the most part, median earnings run from $25,000 to $30,000 per year. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the mean income for medical assistants at hospitals is $29,720. Those who work at colleges and universities, physicians’ offices and outpatient care facilities all make about $28,700. Those who work for other healthcare practitioners, like chiropractors and podiatrists, make about $25,000 per year.
Most medical assistants also gain good benefits with the job. These can include health insurance, vision coverage, dental insurance, medical discounts, paid vacation and sick time, long-term disability coverage, a pension plan, a matching 401K and tuition reimbursement for continuing education.
What It’s Like to be a Medical Assistant
Medical assistants fill the need for medical care at a lower cost than nurses and physicians. Medical assistants also interact more closely with patients than any other type of medical professional. This makes it is an excellent career for those who enjoy being on the go, like meeting new people and feel good making a difference in the lives of others.
Medical assistants also must perform administrative duties alongside their regular clinical tasks. They help doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals keep the office running smoothly. The professional duties of the medical assistant can vary by location, depending on the type of medical practice.
A medical assistant at an elderly housing facility will have a great deal of hands-on clinical work. A medical assistant in a general practitioners office will spend a lot of time behind a desk taking copayments, making phone calls and filing medical records. They will also spend a few minutes with patients, checking vitals and taking a medical history, before the physician sees the patient.
The level of clinical duties left to a medical assistant will depend on the restrictions imposed by local state laws. Most medical assistants are limited to tasks such as taking vital signs, taking a medical history, explaining a procedure or treatment, prepping patients for an exam or helping a doctor perform an exam. Medical assistants can also gather specimens for lab tests. They may be directed by doctors to advise patients on medications and treatments, call in drug refills, remove sutures or similar medical duties. Medical assistants cannot prescribe drugs independently.
Some medical assistants work in fields like ophthalmology, optometry, or podiatry. Such medical assistants usually work more closely with physicians than other medical assistants. They help the physician through every step of the examination, equipment use and care, and treatments. They often receive less pay than those working in a general practitioner’s office.
Other medical assistants work in specialty fields like obstetrics & gynecology, cardiology, hematology, or orthopedic surgery. These medical assistants often earn better pay because the specialist physicians who employ them are paid at higher rates by insurance companies.
The Difference Between a Medical Assistant and a CNA
A medical assistant is not the same thing as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The jobs are similar, but the CNA works with the patient and nurse, rather than the patient and physician. A CNA is not likely to spend time on administrative duties, collecting copayments, filing medical records or billing.
A CNA may perform bedside care in a hospital. This is not a task given the medical assistants. CNAs also must perform some activities that a medical assistant is not qualified to do. These can include caring for the patient’s hygiene or adding to medical records.
The biggest difference between the two vocations is that a medical assistant cannot work in any facility where a doctor is not present. In addition, a medical assistant is not required to engage in continuing education to maintain certification unless he or she is a certified medical assistant.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
Medical assistant training is sometimes done on the job, but most assistants will complete one or two years of schooling before they can get a job in this field. It is rare for a medical assistant to get a job without having a high school diploma, even though there is no formal requirement for one.
To become a medical assistant, you are most likely to be hired if you go through a program at a vocational-technical high school, postsecondary school, or at a community or junior college. One-year programs will give you a certificate or diploma, while two-year programs will give you an associate degree. Certification is not required to begin work as a medical assistant.
Courses of Study
Medical assistants must study many of the same courses that nurses and nurse’s assistants take. These include anatomy & physiology, medical terminology, medical transcription, keyboarding, accounting and insurance claims processing. They are taught laboratory methods, procedures for clinical and diagnostic work, the principles of pharmacology, how to administer medicine and emergency care. Other courses include administrative office duties, patient /customer relations, medical law and medical ethics.
Accreditation and Continuing Education
Two accrediting bodies are available for those who wish to become accredited. Such accreditation requires hands-on experience through an internship, but can result in higher starting pay. In addition, certified medical assistants often have more opportunities open to them, standing out among other applicants who only have a one or two-year degree and no certification.
Material handling, in its most basic of terms, is the moving of materials from point A to point B. Every business involves some form of material handling. It may be the moving of crates around a warehouse or boxes of paper from the storage closet to the office. Material handling is found in many different fields and industries such as construction, manufacturing, shipping, research, and retail. There are many methods used to handle materials and different equipment depending on the type of materials that need to be moved. Utilizing efficient handling and storage of materials is a vital part of any industry as it provides a continuous flow of materials and reduces the stress of labor. So what does material handling involve? Are there any safety concerns? What kind of equipment is used? Here is a closer look at material handling.
Moving and Handling Material
The moving and handling of materials must be done with the proper equipment by experienced and trained professionals. Using the wrong equipment or letting just anyone try to move and store materials can lead to accidents and slow down production progress. Equipment that is used must be big enough to safely handle the load being transported. Attention has to be paid to height, weight, and leverage. being used must be of a size and have the power to handle the load safely.
Experience is a necessary in lifting and moving materials around a business or job site. An operator needs to have a working
knowledge of how to stack items and where to store them so that they are not in the way. In a retail business, you don’t want to place any times that customers might run into, trip over, or otherwise hurt themselves. In construction or warehouse settings, one must always think safety and have the ability to react quickly.
Experienced operators and handlers should plan every lift and move. They must make certain that their path is free of all obstacles and pedestrians. If line of sight is difficult, you should use someone as a spotter to help guide you.
Storage of materials is a part of material handling and very important. must not create a hazard. Storage areas can easily create a hazard and slow down production of stored improperly. Areas should be kept free of scattered materials that may cause someone to trip and fall. Hazardous materials should be carefully stored so as not to cause fires or pose a threat to employee health. You should also be mindful of pests such as rodents that can get into stored materials and cause damage. When stacking materials for storage, keep in mind such factors as the height and weight of the combined stacks, the condition of the containers, and how accessible the materials are to the business that uses them.
Why Is Material Handling Important
Material handling is important because it is a reliable means to transport goods and materials to areas where they are needed. They help keep production flowing. Without proper material handling, production slows down. There are many companies out there that specialize in providing material handling services for any type of job or industry.
Safety is also an important aspect of material handling. The methods and equipment used are designed to help make tasks easier and (if safety guidelines are observed) to help decrease injuries while on the job. Accidents can easily occur from unsafe or improperly handled equipment and materials. Workers frequently cite the weight and bulkiness of objects being lifted as major contributing factors to their injuries, one of the most common of which is back injuries. In 1990, back injuries resulted in 400,000 workplace accidents. The majority of these types of injuries occurred from body movement such as bending and lifting. In addition, other accidents can occur from such things as falling objects that were not stacked properly to items that were not stored properly.
Material Handling Methods and Equipment
There is not one piece of equipment that is designed to carry out all forms of material handling. It takes many different kinds of equipment that all perform different functions. Some of them do have some overlapping functions but most have only one purpose. Here are some of the more common types of material handling equipment: cranes, slings, moving trucks, forklifts, pallet jacks, hand dollys, conveyors, trailers, storage bins, pallets, and storage containers.
What is more is that sometimes material handling involves landscaping, excavating, or demolition. In this case, the materials would be things such as dirt, sand, rocks, broken masonry, or debris. This is also classified as materials handling and can be just as important as moving finished products from a warehouse. To handle and move these materials, the proper equipment that is going to be used will be tractors, bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, and gravel trucks.
Safety And Training Programs
There are many safety and education training programs involving proper materials handling. These programs center on such topics as safety, engineering, equipment training, handling of hazardous materials, and storage. The content of the training should emphasize factors that will contribute to successfully moving materials, keeping production flowing, and reducing workplace hazards. Training and safety programs should educate employees to the dangers of improper lifting and how to avoid unnecessary physical stress and strain. Training programs should also instruct workers on the proper use of various equipments.
Did you know that most of the internet traffic on the major job sites is on Mondays and Tuesdays? Why? I personally believe it is because when you are working at a job that you are not happy with, it is hard to think about facing another entire week at that job. So on Monday and Tuesday morning, you start looking for a better job. So where can you look? Where can you find job listings online?
Indeed is a great job search site that you can use to review multiple job listings from thousands of different company career sites and job boards all at once. It is very simple to use and you only have to enter a job title, keyword(s), or company. You can also enter a city or zip code to search for local positions. It is personally one of my favorite sites to use to find job listings online. This site was selected by Time Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Websites” for 2007.
Simply Hired is a job search site that is very similar to the indeed.com site. The way that you search for jobs, the search results, and even the layout of the site looks almost identical to the indeed.com site. You also search jobs on this site by entering a job title, keyword(s), or company. It also has the ability to narrow jobs by city or zip code to search for local job listings online.
Linkup & Jobster
Linkup and Jobster are two additional job search sites that pull job listings from company career sites and job boards in order for you to review them in one convenient location. The way you search for job listings online is similar to the indeed.com site and simplyhired.com site.
Twitter Job Search
Twitter Job Search is a really awesome site. You can search for keywords and it will pull job listings related to the information you enter. The results will also show you the different twitter accounts that are responsible for posting the listing. If you click on the different twitter accounts it will show you all the job listings posted by that twitter account. You will also have the option to follow that account on twitter and have all their job listings come up in your own personal twitter account.
LinkedIn is a great site not only for professional networking but for job searching too. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile created, I would suggest you create one. It is free and will increase your professional visibility. LinkedIn has a job section where you are able to search for job listings posted on linkedin.com by using job titles, keywords, and zip code proximity.
Job Hunt is an excellent informative site created just for job seekers. Job-hunt.org was purchased by NETability, Inc. in 1998. NETability Inc is a web development and consulting company that specializes in search engine-friendly and user-friendly web sites. This site is jammed-packed with useful Internet-accessible job search resources and services on the web. It contains free e-books for job seekers, excellent job searching articles, hundreds to thousands of links to job openings, and many more additional job seeker resources.
Jigsaw is a great site for networking but I personally used it to find business cards of the individuals I was trying to get in contact with while job searching. When I was job searching and I came across a position that I was interested in, I would put the company name, manager name, etc into a jigsaw search and try to find out the contact information for the individual or company I was looking for. If the manager name was not listed on the job listing, I would search through the job titles on jigsaw for that particular company and then contact someone with a job title that I thought might be responsible for the job listing or in the department of that particular job listing.
Glass Door is an excellent site to research companies. This site lists personal reviews posted by employees regarding the company that they are working for or used to work for. This site will allow you to compare salaries that employees of companies post confidentially. They just added a new section that allows you to leave comments about your interview experiences with companies. It does list job openings for companies that are pulled from the indeed.com site.
Jibber Jabber is a site that will help you to organize and manage your job search for free. You can track your personal and professional relationships, target companies, and jobs that you apply to. This is a fantastic tool to use during your job search to keep you organized and increase your productivity.
You are starting your new ‘job’ of job searching. I say job because searching for a job sometimes feels like a full time occupation. You found some job postings that you are interested in and want to apply for. You already have an excellent resume, so it is ok just to send your resume unaccompanied by a cover letter right? Wrong! Submitting a cover letter along with your resume is critical. So how do you write a cover letter when searching for a job?
Why Use a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is your first and might be your only opportunity to get the attention of the hiring manager for the position that you are applying for. It is important for your cover letter to grab the hiring manager’s attention and let them know why it is important for them to review your resume and interview you for their open position. Employers receive an overwhelming amount of applications with each open position posted, so it is important that you make your application stand out from the rest. The best way to make your application stand out is to have a dynamic cover letter. So how do you write a dynamic cover letter?
Before You Start Creating the Cover Letter
Before you ever start creating your cover letter, there are some things you should do to prepare.
Analyze the Job: Read the job description and qualifications carefully and thoroughly. Make sure you are qualified for the position. Do not apply for a position that you are not qualified for. As a recruiter, that is one of my biggest pet peeves!
Research the Company: Go to the company website and research the company in detail. Read everything on the website to gather information that might be useful for you to mention in your cover letter. Hoovers is a great site to visit along with the company website to research any company.
Find the Hiring Manager’s Name: If the manager’s name is not listed on the posting, be creative and find it. Search the website or call into the company and ask who is in charge of hiring for the position. You can also try searching on Jigsaw or LinkedIn.
Revise your Resume: It is important for your resume as well as your cover letter to be tailored to meet the job qualifications listed in the job posting.
Addressing the Recipient: Try to always write to a specific person (preferably the hiring manager for the open position) instead of “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
First Paragraph: The first sentence of the first paragraph should grab the attention of the hiring manager. Don’t start with telling them what your name is or how you found the job posting. That information is useless to a hiring manager. A good example of how to grab attention is to state what the manager is looking for and explain your experience related to that. (Example: You are looking for a Recruiter with 5 years of experience in agency recruiting. I am an agency Recruiter with 10 years of experience). You can also include some company information you found during your company research and relate it to your qualifications in the first paragraph.
Second and Third Paragraphs: The second and third paragraphs should outline your qualifications in detail by matching them to the job qualifications listed in the job posting.
Final Paragraph: The final paragraph should include a positive statement to influence the hiring manager to take action. You should also indicate how you will follow up (usually via phone or email) and include your availability for interviews. You should always thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration.
Closing: You should end with “Sincerely”, sign your name, and then type your name underneath your signature.
Correct Cover Letters
Proofread: You should always proofread your cover letter. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. I would recommend having someone else proofread your cover letter after you have proofread it before you submit your application. I used to work for a manager that would disqualify any cover letter or resume that had a spelling or grammatical error, so this step is crucial.
Length: Cover letters should never be more than one page. That is not the case any more for the actual resume however. Detailed resumes are good as long as the content is relevant to the job that you are applying for.
Tone: The tone of your cover letter should always be professional, informative, confident, and upbeat/positive. Don’t say, “I think I would be a good fit for…”. Instead say, “I am a good fit for…”. You should make every word in your cover letter count.
Interview Request: You should always request an interview in the final paragraph of your cover letter.
Paper: If you are submitting a cover letter non-electronically, then you should make sure you use good quality paper that matches your resume paper and envelope.
Incorrect Cover Letters
Contractions: Do not use contractions. Write out the word ‘do not’ instead of using the word ‘don’t’, etc.
Duplicate: Make sure that your cover letter doesn’t read like a duplication of your resume. It needs to be original and it should compliment your resume.
Fonts: Don’t use decorative fonts, flashy colored paper, or unusual formats. Your resume should be professional and will look that way if you use the Standard Letter Format. I suggest using Arial 10 as a font. Make sure your entire cover letter and resume is in the same font type.
Wording: Don’t overuse adjectives in your cover letter and do not use the word “very”. Don’t start too many sentences with the word “I”.Limit the use of writing in the passive voice. Avoid using clichés and meaningless or wordy expressions. Do not use exclamation points in your cover letter or resume.
Recycled: Never use the same cover letter for different jobs. You should always take the time to tailor your cover letter and resume to each individual job posting.
Personal Information: Do not include personal information or interests in your cover letter or resume besides your name, address, and contact information.
Dishonesty: Never exaggerate or be dishonest about your qualifications, education, etc.
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Sometimes you want to know how much a lawyer makes, especially when you look at his or her bill! The truth is, not all lawyers make hundreds of thousands of dollars, but some do. The amount of money a lawyer makes depends greatly on the field of law and the quality of the attorney.
Lawyers fall into two basic categories. They will work in either criminal law or civil law. Civil law represents any practice of law outside of the criminal justice system. For this reason, there are only a handful of criminal law categories and hundreds of civil law categories. A criminal attorney works to either prosecute or defend a person charged with a crime. Civil law encompasses a broad spectrum of attorneys that can practice many different types of law. Attorneys can practice both criminal and civil law.
There are four essential types of law practices where you will find the amount a lawyer makes varies greatly. These include public interest, private practice, government and corporate. While public interest attorneys make the least, corporate lawyers are the highest paid. Each type of practice has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Lawyers who work in the public interest are not in it for the money. Many make as little as $25,000 per year. Laws are now in place to help these attorneys pay their student loans, which can run as high as $80,000 or more. Lawyers who spend a substantial amount of their careers working in public interest can have their government loan debts forgiven after 15 years of making payments based on their earnings. Public interest lawyers can work for non-profit organizations or be public defenders in the criminal justice system.
Public interest attorneys gain the satisfaction of knowing they are working for the public good. They are responsible for changing the mores of a society based on fairness and social justice. These attorneys also protect the less fortunate and defend those who cannot afford to hire an attorney. This sort of selfless employment can be very rewarding and satisfying.
Most lawyers work in private practices. They may work independently, be a member of a firm, or be a law firm partner. The pay scale in private practices can vary wildly, based on an attorney’s schooling, experience and record of accomplishment. Even the size of the firm can affect the pay scale.
Salaries can also differ by location, with urban attorneys making more than rural ones. Family lawyers generally tend to make less than lawyers in other fields do. Still, the average urban family lawyer makes between $100,000 and $200,000 per year depending on the number of hours worked.
Trial lawyers and plaintiff attorneys are often employed in private practices and can earn millions if they come across high-profile cases. However, such cases are rare. Patent attorneys, or intellectual property lawyers in the entertainment industry, require special training. Working in such a highly specialized field, they make an average of $115,000 per year. The highest paid patent attorneys can make as much as $300,000 per year.
Starting Lawyer Salaries
A starting attorney can make between $40,000 and $80,000 per year. However, in the highest paying markets, such as cities like New York and Washington DC (and sometimes even Boston), first year associates can find work starting at $160,000 per year. Other cities may pay around $120,000 per year. Smaller rural areas may start attorneys as low as $35,000, but around $70,000 is more common. While these numbers may tempt many to enter the field of law, finding a job as a lawyer is extremely difficult. Competition is stiff, causing many would-be lawyers to end up in another profession, still owing $80,000 in tuition and only making $30,000 per year.
Governments often hire lawyers, employing them to provide legal advice. These lawyer positions are considered among the most secure in the legal field. Government attorneys often have the opportunity to work on high-profile cases, much more frequently than private practice attorneys do.
The benefits in government jobs are excellent and well beyond what one could expect in a private practice. In addition, government attorneys work standard 9 to 5 hours, unlike private practice lawyers who may work 80 hours per week. While government lawyers generally make less than those in private practice do, most of them make more than $100,000 a year.
Lawyers who work for independent corporations are called corporate counsel. Going to work “in-house” as a corporate lawyer can be a risky move for an attorney working in a private practice. Although corporate attorneys make more money than any other type of attorney, these attorneys are often generalists, handling any law issues that come up for the company that employs them. They also spend little time in court, spending most of their days drafting and editing legal documents.
If an attorney has been working as in-house counsel, it is extremely difficult to get back into a private practice. Private practices need sharp attorneys with specific skills. After generalizing for a corporation and being out of the courtroom, prior in-house attorneys are thought of as out of practice.
In addition, other businesses prefer to hire private practice attorneys to come in house. This preference makes it hard for corporate lawyers to find jobs other corporations. Still, corporate attorneys can sometimes enjoy shorter hours. They can earn better benefits and sometimes be offered stock options and bonuses. If a high corporate salary is managed wisely, it may reduce the risk involved in working as a corporate attorney.
In general, unless you choose to work as a public interest attorney, you have a good chance of earning $100,000 or more per year. This generality only applies if you work very hard and go to a well-respected school for your law degree. Those who are not able to give their strongest effort and go to a good school may find themselves with a useless law degree and huge amount of student debt.
You are looking for a new job and have decided you should attend some job fairs. What should you expect at a job fair? How should you dress? What do you need to bring with you? How do you attend a job fair?
Why Should You Attend a Job Fair
Attending a job fair is a chance for you to meet with numerous companies in person for possible employment in a single day. Job fairs are also great opportunities to build your network, practice and master your interviewing techniques, learn valuable industry and company information, and collect tons of business cards for networking purposes.
Things To Do Before You Attend a Job Fair
Prepare a 30 Second Introduction: Talk about your professional background, your strengths, your career goals, and end with why you would be an asset to their company. Be prepared to give more detail on these subjects if asked.
Internet Research: Most job fairs have websites that list the participating employers. You should gather information about the companies you are interested in speaking with on the job fair site and on their specific company websites. Make sure you are able to answer the “Why do you want to work for our company?” question for each employer you plan on speaking with.
Prioritize Employers: Make a Target “A” List of employers you would like to speak with at the job fair in order of importance. Make sure you follow this list so that you are able to meet with the employers you are most interested in without running out of time. Also make a Target “B” List of employers you would like to speak with at the job fair if time allows.
Prepare a List of Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask each employer you plan on speaking with. Here are some example questions you could ask:
What kind of skills and experience do you normally look for in the employees you hire?
What characteristics do your most successful employees possess?
Does your company hire continuously or just at specific times of the year?
How long does the hiring process take and what does it consist of?
Pre-Register: Some job fairs allow you to pre-register online. Take advantage of this time saving step if it is offered. Some employers are able to review pre-registered job fair attendees before the job fair, so this is another way to get your profile in front of employers.
What Should you Wear to a Job Fair
Solid Colored Suit: It is always best to wear a solid colored suit for a job fair. Blue, Navy and Gray are the best colored suits to wear to a job interview. Blue and Navy colors represent honesty, trust, tranquility, and loyalty. This color has the best success rate for interviews. A gray color represents neutrality and sophistication. This color has the second best success rate for interviews.
Blouses/Shirts: Make sure you wear a coordinated blouse or shirt with your suit. A white shirt is an excellent choice for any suit because it goes with anything and it is not a distraction color. Men should always wear a tie with a suit. Make sure you pick a tie that coordinates with your suit and is not too busy, flashy, or distracting. A solid colored tie would be an excellent choice but make sure it isn’t a distracting color that represents you in a negative way.
Shoes/Socks: Always wear dark colored socks with a suit. Do not wear white socks. Wear shoes that are professional. Make sure your shoes are shined and not dirty, torn, or look worn-out. Do not wear sneakers or flip-flops. Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes. Do not wear shimmery or overly embellished shoes. Women should wear closed-toed flats or high heels (3 inches or less) to a job fair. Your shoes should compliment your outfit, not overpower it or become a focal point. Wear shoes that fit comfortably since you will be doing a lot of walking and standing at a job fair.
Jewelry: Always wear very limited jewelry to a job fair. Do not wear any jewelry that could become distracting. Necklaces should be simple and not big and flashy. Rings and bracelets should be simple and only one ring should be worn on each hand. Do not wear a ring on the same arm as you have a bracelet on because it might become too much. If you wear a bracelet, only wear one and make sure it is not flashy or bulky. Do not wear cocktail rings or long, big, dangly earrings. Remember, you are trying to accessorize your outfit without anything that has a possibility of becoming distracting. Do not wear any face piercings to an interview and make sure you are only wearing one pair of earrings in the fatty part of your earlobe. I would recommend that a man not wear any jewelry to an interview besides a watch and a wedding ring (if married). Wearing a watch is an excellent choice because it gives others the impression that you are a timely person that is concerned about being on time and meeting deadlines. On that note, if you wear a watch you better arrive early for the job fair.
Hair: Your hair should look neat and professional. If you have long hair and tend to fiddle with it, make sure you pull it up because fiddling represents a sign of nervousness. Do not wear any flashy hair accessories that might become distracting. Do not wear a hat. Keep your hair and bangs out of your face at all times. Keep any beards and mustaches clean and trimmed if you are a man. Men should have a short and conservative hair cut for a job fair.
Makeup: Less is better as far as makeup goes during a job fair. Make sure you wear lipstick and not lip gloss because shiny lips can become distracting. Use neutral colors for eye shadow and liners such as tans, browns, and creams. Use brown or black mascara and make sure it doesn’t look clumpy. Do not wear fake eyelashes to a job fair. Make sure your eyebrows are well groomed. Add a small amount of neutral colored blush for a healthy glow.
Perfume/After-Shave: Do not wear any perfume or after-shave to a job fair because your interviewer may be allergic. Make sure you are clean and showered however.
Nails: Make sure your nails are clean and well trimmed. I would recommend a manicure for both a man and a woman. Do not wear any bright colored nail polish to an interview because that can become a distraction.
Teeth: Make sure your teeth are clean. I recommend a dental cleaning every 6 months to keep your teeth looking their best. Remember to smile during a job fair.
Accessories: If you wear a belt, make sure it matches your shoes. If you bring a handbag, make sure it is small (not flashy or bulky) and coordinates with your outfit. I recommend ditching the handbag for a briefcase. You should either have a briefcase or portfolio with you during a job fair.
What Should You Bring to a Job Fair
Resumes: Make sure you bring enough copies of your resume with you to the job fair. I suggest bringing 20-50 copies of your resume (depending on the size of the job fair and the size of your Company Target lists). Make sure your resume is printed on white or off-white high quality paper. Your resume should be free of graphics, photographs, or fancy print styles.
Pens:Bring some quality pens with you to the job fair. I suggest bringing 2 or 3 in case someone accidently keeps one of your pens.
Notepad:Bring a notepad so you are able to write down information that you gather at the job fair.
Portfolio:Bring a professional looking portfolio with you to the job fair. Inside the portfolio should include copies of your resumes, copies of your professional references, examples of your work (if applicable), Notepad, Pens, and Business Cards (if applicable).
Things To While at a Job Fair
Arrive Early: Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before the job fair officially begins. Plan on extra time to park, check-in, and plan your strategy. Recruiters are normally more fresh and attentive at the beginning of the day.
Check-In/Register: You will need to check-in whether you registered online or not. If you did not pre-register online prior to the job fair then you will need to register as well when you arrive. If they give you a name tag to use, make sure you use it.
Plan Your Strategy: If they offer you a map of the job fair, study it and compare it to your Target “A” list and Target “B” list of companies. Determine the order you will speak with these companies. Large companies with high profiles will have the longest lines, so visit these companies first if they are on your Target “A” list. Check to see if any new companies have registered that you were not initially aware of and add them to your target list as appropriate.
Network: Take advantage of any extra time you have during the job fair to network with others. Talk to the other job fair attendees while waiting in lines, eating lunch, receptions, workshops, breaks, etc. They may have valuable information that may be able to help you including job-hunting ideas, job leads, etc.
Gather Information:Make sure that you try and obtain a business card from each employer and recruiter that you speak with so you have their contact information for future follow-up. Feel free to take company brochures if offered at the job fair booths.
Non-Familiar Company: If you happen to come across a company that you did not research beforehand, take some of their company literature that is offered at their job fair booth and read it while waiting in line or come back again after you have developed some knowledge of the company.
Not Accepting Resumes: Some employers are unable to accept hard copy resumes because of federal regulations. You can still speak with these employers and offer your ‘sales pitch’ to sell yourself if you are interested in the company. Make sure you document what the employer’s application procedure is so you are able to apply at a later time. Make sure you obtain a business card from the employer or recruiter.
Important Things To Remember at a Job Fair
Be assertive and show initiative. Make sure you show your interest in the company and job opportunity.
Make sure you give a good firm handshake when you introduce yourself and make eye contact with the person you are speaking with. A firm handshake is a sign of a confident person.
Always smile. Smiling shows enthusiasm and confidence.
Remain Calm. Do not become overwhelmed by the crowd of people. Do not allow yourself to become afraid or intimidated by any employer or recruiter. Keep a positive upbeat attitude.
You should always cover up all facial and body piercings if they cannot be removed.
You should always keep all tattoos covered during a job fair.
Incorrect Things To Do at a Job Fair
Do not bring your cell phone, blue tooth, iPod, or Blackberry to a job fair. If you do, it should be put away and turned off.
Do not walk into a job fair eating or drinking anything including gum.
Do not bring any animals to a job fair unless it is a Seeing Eye animal.
Do not bring your children, spouse, relatives, friends, or anyone with you to a job fair.
Do not fidget with your hands, feet, hair, face, objects in your hands, etc. Fidgeting is a sign of nervousness or intimidation.
Do not bring or wear anything during a job fair that can possibly become a distraction and take the focus off of you as a professional.
Do not show up to a job fair smelling like smoke.
Do not just drop your resume on an employer’s table and just walk off.
Do not use filler words such as “um”, “like”, “you know”, etc. Using these types of words make you sound less confident.
Do not interrupt a conversation of another job seeker and employer or recruiter. Wait your turn and be polite.
Do not say anything negative about previous jobs, co-workers, supervisors, companies, or colleges.
Things To Do After You Attend a Job Fair
Send Thank You letters out the very next day following the job fair that express the employers’ hiring needs, your qualifications, and expresses your desire for a second interview. Also thank them for taking the time to speak with you at the job fair. You will need the employers’ contact information in order to do this, which is why it is important to obtain business cards from everyone you speak with.
Follow-up with phone calls and emails one week after you send your Thank You letters to the employers that you have not heard from.
Does the internet feel like a black hole when submitting your IT resume? Perhaps your IT resume is not as effective as it could possibly be. Having reviewed thousands of IT Resumes in the fields of Help Desk, Desktop Support, Server Administration, PHP Developer, .NET Developer, Java/J2EE Developer, Oracle Developer, Oracle DBA, SQL Developer, SQL DBA, Project Manager, ERP Specialist and IT Manager, I have found commonalities of effectively written IT Resumes.
Six IT Resume Tips
Based on those commonalities I’ve put together the following IT resume tips.
Effective IT Resume Tip 1: Tailor fit your resume content to match the job description. It can be cumbersome at times to tailor fit your resume for each position applied for, but it separates you from the status quo that send the same resume over and over again. For example, if a job description calls for Help Desk experience, elaborate on your experience with ticketing systems, call volume, number of users supported etc.
Effective IT Resume Tip 2: Place key words in the body of your resume. In an effectively written IT resume, key words are located in the body of your resume because that shows where, when and how you used that specific technology. Simply adding a skills section to your IT resume is very ambiguous. For IT resumes specifically, the more times a technology is listed in the resume, the better. For example, if an employer is targeting a Middle Tier Developer, the more times C#.NET, VB.NET, ASP.NET, SQL Server and Visual Studio should be listed in the body of the resume. For Support Professionals, key words such as Active Directory, Citrix, Ticketing System, Windows XP, Server 2003, LAN and WAN may be part of your key word arsenal. It is not redundant to list technologies multiple times as long as each bullet point is value added. It is important to note, when recruiters and employers are searching for resumes on the job boards, they are typing Boolean strings to locate these key words.
Effective IT Resume Tip 3: Use bullet points. Nothing is more frustrating that reading a resume written in paragraph form. Resumes are meant to be marketing tools that are quick and easy to read. Remember, that employers may take no more than 30 seconds to look at your resume. You will have better chances of catching attention with action packed bullet points and a clear objective statement rather than your entire professional life story written as a novel.
Effective IT Resume Tip 4: State a clear objective. When listing your objective, be direct. Avoid fluffy cliché statements such as, “Seeking a challenging opportunity with a growing company to fully utilize my technical skills.” In reality, this means absolutely nothing. If applying for a Help Desk job, try “To obtain a Help Desk role.”
Effective IT Resume Tip 5: Prove your worth by adding return on investment statements (ROI). Regardless if you are an IT Manager, Infrastructure Support or Development professional, a CFO will see you as overhead. IT departments are costs centers that do not necessarily bring in revenue. With this in mind, if an IT Professional has a track record of saving company dollars, this truly serves as a point of differentiation.
Effective IT Resume Tip 6: Take note of your resume’s length. Keep it brief and to the point. The most effective IT resume format is around 1 – 3 pages. Remember that you want your resume to be full, not long.
There are many different kinds of investigators out there and each requires different training. Criminal investigators start out as law enforcement officers and eventually get specialized training to become an investigator (such as crime scene investigators made popular by the television show C.S.I.). Fire investigators which inspect fire scenes for signs of arson have to start out as fire fighters and work their way up to the position of investigator.
How to Become a Private Investigator
Another type of investigator, and one that has sort of a romanticized view, is that of a private investigator. P.I.’s have been popularized by Hollywood for decades. From Humphrey Bogart to Tom Selleck, private investigators have been depicted as suave guys who, after the bullets have stopped flying, always get the girl. But the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being a private investigator involves long hours and tedious research. It may not be glamorous like in the movies but it is a well-paid career that is in demand. If you have ever had an inkling to become a private investigator and wondered “what majors or degrees do I need to become an investigator” then you may be surprised at what it takes.
What Does A Private Investigator Do?
Private investigators spend their time investigating all sorts of things from domestic problems such as cheating spouses to working with banks and creditors to find clients who have skipped out on their unpaid bills. They also work for lawyers to track down information to be used in court proceedings and they investigate cases of theft and fraud for private clients.
Private investigators can be hired for just about any kind of investigative work so long as it is not illegal. The investigator field is one of those rare types of jobs that, once you get established with a list of clients, can be financially secure in either a good economy or a bad one.
Useful Background Skills Or Degrees
Many private investigators have some sort of background skills that are useful to their jobs. The majority of them have law enforcement backgrounds or even time spent in the military. They are familiar with how law enforcement officers approach a case and how the law works to protect an individual’s rights.
Some private investigators have degrees in criminal justice, sociology, and/or political science. You actually do not need a degree in order to enter the investigative field. However, if you think of it as additional training that could benefit you, it could prove well worth the time spent to obtain them. The private investigative field is very competitive after all so having the additional knowledge could be very helpful.
Things You Need
As a private investigator, there are some tools that you will need that will make your job essentially easier. First and foremost, you need a cell phone and a pager. This is not so you can text your friends while waiting in your car. This is for business so you can call clients and they can call you. Another tool of the trade is a good camera with a telephoto lens. Doesn’t matter is it is film or digital but digital would be more practical. You can edit the photos or instantly print them out. A laptop or something like an iPhone that has wireless internet access is also handy to have. A lot of your work will take place outside the office and if you have one of these you can do online research anytime. Lastly, you need a reliable means of transportation. Taking the bus everywhere just will not do, especially if you are being paid to follow someone.
Education And Training
Other than some useful background skills, you don’t really need any formal education or training. However, there are plenty of investigator courses that are offered at numerous investigative schools. You can sign up and for a fee, take some classes that show you the proper procedures such as how to collect evidence, fingerprinting, the proper paperwork to fill out, and soon. There are even online courses that you can take.
You can also work with an experienced private investigator as an assistant. This is a great way to learn with hands-on training and you can earn a paycheck while you are doing it.
Skills You Will Need
People who go into the investigative field need to be good at doing research and have an ample amount of patience. You need to be good at puzzle solving and be well organized. An analytical mind that can connect seemingly random events and items and make a coherent string of events out of them is essential.
Aspiring private investigators need to learn how to do credit checks, criminal background checks, and use the computer to do extensive online searches. Most of an investigator’s work takes place in the office using the phone and the computer to do a lot of the leg work. If you cannot learn these fundamental skills, your career as a P.I. is going to be a short one.
Apply For Your License
To become a private investigator, check with your state officials to see if you need a license. Not all states require a license for practicing investigators. If they do, you will have to apply for one with the appropriate state department. This will involve a criminal background check on your part as well as paying any processing fees. If you are not sure where you check to see if a license is required, call your local police department or county sheriff’s office. You can also call your state law enforcement department or check them out online.
For more information about what majors you need to become an investiator, visit:
Every business has some form of inventory that someone at the office has to keep track of. Whether it is retail, manufacturing, or an office, there are always items and products that must be ordered for the business. But if the items are not tracked properly, they could end up causing the business to lose money. To keep up with inventory, every business should use inventory management. Inventory management is a system of overseeing the flow of inventory through a business and is an integral part of any company. It involves ordering, price comparison, space management, shipping, receiving, and controlling the products to make sure the inventory gets neither too high nor too low. If you happen to run a business and have never considered the importance of inventory, here is some useful information on why you should keep up with it.
Why Keep Up With Inventory
Bottom line, inventory for any business costs money. It doesn’t matter if the inventory is for resale or if it is supplies and raw materials for your own company. It can be anything from retail items to toilet paper for the office bathroom. It is all considered inventory and is tied in with the finances of the business. Inventories that are out of control can become a serious financial loss for a business. They require an investment in both dollars and time to keep up. Low inventories are bad because this means your business does not have enough resources to pull in its potential profit. On the other hand, a stockpiled inventory is equally as bad because it represents money that is just sitting there not being moved which makes it a waste of resources.
Successful Inventory Management
Successful inventory management seeks to control a balance associated between the inventory that comes in and the inventory that goes out. Balancing all of the various parts of inventory management means paying attention to these key elements: time, calculating buffer stock, movement of products, and accurate record keeping.
Time is an important factor because a business needs to understand how long it takes to process orders and arrange deliveries and shipments from different suppliers. Inventory management is also about understanding the amount of time it takes for products to be transferred out of the inventory. By having a working knowledge of time management and time flow it makes it possible to know when an order must be placed and how many units must be ordered to keep a business’ production running smoothly.
Calculating what is known as buffer stock is also a key to effective inventory management. What is buffer stick? Buffer stock is additional units over the required amount to maintain a constant level of production. In other words, all those extra parts and products that you keep on hand just in case something happens to the original item that is currently in use. For example, if your business has a couple of extra keyboards or monitors in storage in the event that a keyboard or monitor currently being used decided to become defective. By having this buffer, a business can be prepared in case of an emergency and keep their production from falling behind due to interruptions or lack of resources.
The movement of stock is a third element that is required for successful inventory management. Units, products, and stock all go through many processes while they are in inventory. Proper inventory management moves units at a rate that is beneficial for a business. It also tracks all resources and materials as they are used to manufacture finished products and recognizes when to adjust the amount of units that are ordered to keep up with fluctuating inventory. You definitely do not want your inventory top get too low before you decide it is time to order more units.
Probably one of the most important elements of successful inventory management is keeping accurate records of everything from unit amounts of available materials to the number of finished products that are ready for shipment. Every business needs to keep a record of newly completed goods balanced against their inventory totals as well as keeping up with what gets shipped out to which buyers. If any products are returned, inventory management has to keep the total amount of what was returned as well as whether to classify the products as damaged or suitable for resell. By keeping up with inventory records, any salesperson or manager within a business will be able to know what the company has ready to sell, how many units are available, and when to reorder more supplies. Accurate record keeping is also important for tax purposes.
How To Implement Successful Inventory Management
There are many steps and methods a business can go through in order to have a successful inventory management system. Some businesses have adequate inventory systems in place but many do not. To have an inventory management system that gives a company the most potential from its inventory, it is a good idea to implement each of these following characteristics.
To protect against theft, limit the number of people that have access to your warehouse. Theft is an ongoing problem that can rob a business of substantial sums of valuable materials.
Establish an accurate stock list for your inventory.
Assign bin and pallet locations in your warehouse. This makes shipping and receiving run much smoother.
Record all products that leave your warehouse. This is a must. Under no circumstances should product or shipment leave your business without being entered in the computer.
Process paperwork in a timely manner. Don’t let it pile up. All paperwork of everything that came and went should be filled out by the end of the day.
Set objectives for your buyers. You can reward buyers according to the level of customer service and return on investment for the product which they purchased.
Make sure everyone in your company is aware of the negative effects of bad inventory management. This includes everything from theft, damage, or lost products.
Ensure that stock balances are accurate and set up a comprehensive cycle counting program.
Transfer excess inventory stock to another branch or office that might need it. This saves on money that would normally have gone to purchase the inventory and keeps dead stock from sitting around and not moving.
Make inventory management considerations part of your annual or quarterly strategic planning.
Competency based interviews are the most common style of interviewing. Competency based interviewing, also known as behavioral interviewing, requires you to draw on past experience and describe specific examples of incidents that demonstrate your competence in a particular area.
Top 10 Job Interview Questions
The following are what I consider the top 10 job interview questions you’re likely to encounter and how you should approach them.
Common Interview Question 1
What are your career aspirations? Take a step back and look at where you are in your career and what level position you are applying for. If this is a forward or lateral move, first explain how your previous experience is applicable to your target position. Make sure to cite specific examples. If your long term career aspirations expand further than your current target role, then explain how you have advanced through your career and how you plan on getting where you want to be.
Common Interview Question 2
Why do you want to work for our company? Research the company and find specific attributes about it that you truly find desirable. Company attributes that are appropriate to discuss during an interview include company growth, history, mission statement, niche and market share. Check to see if there have been any recent publications that shed your target company in a positive light. Also, if you have experience in the same or similar industry, make sure to reflect on that experience and explain your transferable experience.
Common Interview Question 3
What interests you about our product/service? Draw on previous experiences where you have successfully used or worked with your target company’s service or product. Always tell the truth and discuss what you can sincerely appreciate about what a company has to offer.
Common Interview Question 4
Of your previous jobs, which did you enjoy most and why? Describe enjoyable attributes of your last job that are similar to what your target job will offer. Make sure to cite examples of events that would provide value to your target employer. Customer service, teamwork and ability to multi-task are a few good things to mention.
Common Interview Question 5
How have you managed conflict in the past? Think of a conflict you have resolved successfully that could potentially take place in your target role. This will walk them through your conflict resolution abilities in an applicable sense.
Common Interview Question 6
Describe what you have done in your career that shows your initiative. This question is designed to determine what leadership qualities you may possess. Even if your target role is not a leadership role, it is important to show leadership qualities.
Common Interview Question 7
What are your weaknesses? Your strengths? This is a question that must be handled very delicately! Start with the weaknesses and end with the strengths. It is always wise to end with a positive trait or quality. Weaknesses should be should be downplayed and kept very general. Think of common weaknesses that an individual in your target role would experience. Regarding strengths, elaborate on your qualities that the ideal candidate of your target role will posses.
Common Interview Question 8
What does teamwork mean to you? Regardless of your target position, all jobs require teamwork and collaborative efforts. Every employer wants a candidate who will mesh well in their environment professionally and culturally. Cite specific examples of when you have allied your talents with others and achieved success.
Common Interview Question 9
What style of management gets the best results from you? Evaluate your current and previous managers and their management styles. Some are micro managers, non-micro managers or somewhere in between. Despite how you have been previously managed, almost all interviewers want a candidate to be independent. The applicant who can be granted complete autonomy of their role and be managed the least is typically the most favorable candidate.
Common Interview Question 10
What have been your major achievements to date? When discussing your major achievements to date, make sure they are applicable to the role you are applying for. Think of the best way to distinguish yourself amongst the competition. Degrees, certifications and company awards would be good topics to discuss. Especially in the current economic state, any achievement that involves saving money is a huge differentiation point.