Tag Archives | career

8 Mistakes You Might be Making During a Job Interview

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

When you finally feel ready to balance school and a career, it’s time to take those important first steps. You’ve drafted up your resume, sent it out, and you’re ready to start showing up at job interviews. You’re probably looking to land a more lucrative position than the summer job you worked as a teenager, and a real job interview is a totally new ball game. Be in it to win it, and try to avoid making some of the most common mistakes.

Talking Too Much About School

Valuable university experiences lend themselves to your ability to perform well in a specific career. The person interviewing you read your resume, and they’re well aware of those experiences. Touch on them a little bit, but don’t do so to the detriment of any real-life career experience you may have under your belt.

Not Knowing What to Say

You’ve probably given speeches or oral presentations as a student. This isn’t the way you want to speak to someone who is interviewing you for a job. This person wants to know that you have a deep knowledge of the company and the culture, but try not to act like you’re educating them about the things they already know. Make it more about how the qualities you have can help their business succeed.

Looking Uncomfortable

It’s natural to be a little nervous, but it’s important not to let your nerves show. You might look uncomfortable because your dress shoes are too tight or your belt should be let out a setting, and you need to feel comfortable. It’s easier to process your thoughts and eloquently express them when you’re wearing attire that fits you properly.

Not Having Any Questions

At first impulse, it might seem impolite to question the person who is interviewing you. This person actually wants you to ask them questions. Ask about company culture, or what charitable causes their company supports. Show an interest and understanding about the future of the company. Find out some information about the company you’re interviewing for, and ask about what you’ve learned – the interviewer will appreciate it.

Leaving Out Crucial Information

Do you have a business card? They’re inexpensive, easy to design, and extremely helpful in professional situations. If the person considering you for a great position wants to look you up on professional social networks or give you a call, your business card should make it easy for them to find you.

Being Too Forward

Every student needs more money! This is a universal truth. It may put a bad taste in an HR professional’s mouth if you come out swinging about salary or hourly pay. Wait until you’re offered the position before you open up the discussion. It may help to negotiate a little less if you know your career path will have opportunities for advancement. You can negotiate a little more once you’ve established yourself.

Letting Stress Show

Students are constantly under a lot of pressure. Don’t bring that stress with you into the interview room. Read as many practice questions as you can, and verbally deliver the answers to yourself in a mirror. You’ll feel more comfortable making your point and you’ll have an opportunity to refine your answers as much as possible before anyone can hear them. Don’t sweat it.

Forgetting to Check In

The interview isn’t over when you walk out of the room. Remember to place a follow up call or send an email. Wait a few days to reach out – too soon seems pushy, but forgetting to call altogether may give them the impression that you aren’t genuinely interested in the position.

Everyone makes mistakes during interviews, but the most important thing to remember is that you can learn from them. If one interview doesn’t go so well, take what you’ve learned and make the next interview great.

This article was contributed by guest author Corinne Ledling.

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5 Ways to Kickstart Your Career Without a University Degree 

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Whether it’s a frugal desire to avoid the financial strain inherent in student life, or simply that you feel university isn’t the best path for you as an individual, there are many different ways to get your foot on the first rung of the career ladder that are worth keeping in mind when looking towards the future.

Apprenticeships
An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to be trained on-the-job, learning as you go under the guidance of experienced workers already well established in the business. In addition to gaining job-specific skills within the industry that interests you, time will generally be kept aside to allow for some study in the relevant field (typically one day a week), making it a comprehensive way to learn about the role. To qualify, you need to be at least 16 and not in full-time education, meaning it’s an ideal alternative to an academic path for many people.

Internships
An internship works in a similar way to an apprenticeship in some respects, in that it’s a position offered to prospective workers that allows them to gain first-hand experience in the workplace itself. It differs from the former however, in that it’s typically carried out over a shorter period of time (anywhere from a week to a year), meaning less time commitment if you don’t want to be tied down right away, but also in that they are generally offered with the intention of hiring any promising talent into a more permanent position.

What’s more, since an internship is classed as a work placement, you will usually be entitled to payment of at least the national minimum wage throughout the duration of your position.

Working your way up
In lots of industries, it’s possible to apply for an entry-level role that requires little to no specific experience or qualifications, and to simply learn about how the industry works from the inside as you gradually work your way up through the company. This route may take a little more time, but it can bring with it a lot of job satisfaction as you are promoted up the ranks, and would leave you with an intimate knowledge of all areas concerning the business.

Classes and courses
It’s always worth checking out what classes and courses are on offer at your local college or night school. You can find all kinds of training groups and short-term qualifications that can sometimes require as little as a couple of hours, one evening a week for a few weeks, at the end of which you have newfound skills and certificates to put on your CV.

Self-employment
It would be foolhardy to think that everyone could just go it alone in their career and make a success of it right away. That’s not to say that self-employment doesn’t work out for a lot of people, however, and it is indeed a perfectly valid option worth considering. It requires a lot of hard work and self-discipline, but if you’ve got the drive to make it happen, it can lead to many perks, such as complete control over your own working hours and holidays, the ability to set your own rate of pay, and creative freedom with regards to the work carried out and the very business itself.

This article was contributed by guest author Julie Cheung.

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5 Things You Should Do When Considering Career Choices

Image by Green Chameleon, unsplash.com

There’s nothing quite as exciting as graduating from college. This transition will empower you to begin pursuing work and building a rewarding career that will present you with a wide range of opportunities. As you approach graduation, it’s important to start thinking critically about what you are going to do afterwards. Below you’ll find several things that can help you as you begin considering your career choices.

1. Take A Personality Assessment.
One great way to ensure that you make a prudent career choice is taking a personality assessment like the one on this Career Assessment Site. These assessments can be used to help you decide which occupation is the best fit for you. For example, highly sensitive people will often times thrive in careers such as teaching, given the service-based nature of the job. Personality assessments will provide you with the detailed data necessary to ensure you understand which types of jobs you would really thrive in.

2. Complete An Internship.
In addition to taking a personality assessment, make sure that you complete an internship. Doing so will provide you with hands-on experience that you’ll be able to list on your resume. Also note that the resume will give you an opportunity to determine whether you actually like a specific career field. Utilize online resources such as www.internships.com to determine which internship opportunities are available in your local area.

3. Go To A Job Fair.
Another strategy you can implement to remain on the road to vocational success is going to a job fair. This step is important because it will help you interact with prospective employers and determine what jobs are available in your local area. As noted in “The Ten Keys to Success at Job and Career Fairs,” there are several things you can do to have success when you attend the job fair. Some of them include pre-registering for the fair, researching the registered employers, and taking multiple copies of your resume to the event.

4. Have Your Resume Professionally Reviewed.
Another strategy you can implement to help you have success in the job hunt that you begin near graduation is having your resume professionally reviewed. This strategy will give you an edge over everyone else by ensuring that your document has no grammatical errors. Remember that an employer may receive one hundred resumes for a position posted. As such, you need to do everything in your power to stand out in her or his mind!

5. Utilize Recruitment Services.
One final strategy that you should implement as you prepare to graduate and enter the work world is utilizing recruitment services. Professional recruiters have extensive experience in connecting job candidates with the ideal employer. Also note that they will often learn of available openings before the general public. Do an online search to determine which local recruiters have the highest success rate in terms of helping people find great jobs quickly and correctly.

Don’t Delay: Start Preparing For A Rewarding Career Today!
If you’re on the verge of graduation and have begun considering career choices, now is the time to implement strategies that will entail success. Utilize some or all of the tips outlined above to ensure that you get on the road to vocational success now!

This article was contributed by guest author Kara Masterson.

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6 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Writing Career

Image by Unsplash, pixabay.com

Starting a new career in any industry can be a scary endeavor, and that’s no less true for writing. Career writing is filled with uncertainty, more so than most other careers, but being a little more informed can help it seem less daunting. So if you’re a prospective writer, here are a couple of key points you’ll want to know before jumping in.

You Need to Read As Much As You Write
As a writer, you’re going to need to read just as much as, if not more than, you write. Reading is a writer’s way of studying their trade. It exposes you to different styles, new perspectives, and more advanced diction, while at the same time teaching you via the material that you’re reading.

You Need to Be Proficient in Grammar, Diction, and Spelling
Of course, if you’re going to be a writer, you’re going to need to know how to write well. Grammar, spelling, and diction are all extremely important aspects of writing, without which a writer cannot be successful. Luckily, there is software available that will assist you in the spelling and grammar departments; for example: Write!, which will spell check, autocomplete, expose grammar mistakes, count your words, and much more. All of this is necessary for any writer to be successful, as a writer that doesn’t follow conventions or makes many mistakes tends not to get very far.

There Is No Specific Path for Becoming a Writer
Being a writer isn’t like being an accountant, doctor, or teacher. Other careers – with predetermined degree expectations, wages, and hours – all have guidelines to getting started and advancing in that industry. A career in writing is entirely one’s own doing. You can get educated about how to write well, but that’s not going to get your work noticed. You’ll have to market yourself and prove your worth on your own. How you do this depends on what kind of writing you want to do. Every writer’s path is different, and getting to the endpoint – the point of success – is never easy.

You’re Going to Do a Lot for a Little
When you start writing, no one is going to want to invest in your work. You’ve got to prove your worth before people will be willing to spend money on you, and that can be done by offering up free work to small enterprises with the hope that someone will notice your skill. This may come in the form of writing for the local newspaper voluntarily, or starting a blog centered on your writing. You’ll start small, work extremely hard, and get paid little. But if you’re persistent, your hard work may very well pay off.

Research Is a Key Part of Career Writing
In order to write, you’ve got to know some things about your topic. This is true for all types of writing, whether business, creative, or web content. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’ll show through. For this reason, it is important to be willing to research and learn about your topic, especially if you want to be considered an expert in your subject.

You Should Have an Auxiliary Income
A career in writing can be dry, in terms of your income, as you are starting out. You’ll have to prove your worth before people will be willing to pay you anything considerable for your work. That being said, having a part-time job, or other source of income, to supplement your needs is helpful so that you don’t go into debt while trying to break into writing. Family support will work too, if available. When your prose starts making a sufficient profit, drop that extraneous income and focus on writing.

This article was contributed by guest author Daniel Smith.

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Becoming a Therapist: Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy

Whether you’re still in high school or you’re currently exploring majors in college, deciding on any career path can be an intimidating task. It can be even more difficult to choose when careers seem so similar and require years of education and training, like career options in therapy. Find out what your passion is, and discover the paths of success for careers in physical therapy and occupational therapy with the following infographic, Becoming A Therapist:

Becoming A Therapist was created by Progressus Therapy
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How High School Graduates Can Find the Right College for Their Career Aspirations

Image by Tulane Public Relations, flickr.com

Pursuing higher education is one of the most important decisions you will make for your future. It’s becoming more difficult for high school graduates to find rewarding careers. Postsecondary education can qualify you for more jobs and help you earn a higher salary. Discover these simple tips to learn how you can find the right college to achieve your career goals.

Determine Academic Goals and Needs
Students should choose a college that meets their academic goals and needs. It’s important to ensure that an institution offers a program that can train you for your desired career. If students plan on changing colleges in the future, it’s imperative to make sure those college credits can transfer. A traditional college might not be the right choice for working professionals. Many colleges offer online degrees for programs such as radiology technology. You can learn more here.

Academic Advising
One of the best ways to find the right college is to speak with an academic advisor. These advisors can provide you with information about colleges in your area as well as top-ranked institutions across the country. It’s important for students to inquire about admission requirements such as grade point averages and test scores to ensure they are eligible for the program. Academic advisors can also help you determine the financial cost of attending a specific institution.

Research College Rankings
Whether you are pursuing a general business diploma or a prestigious law degree, it’s important to choose a college with a challenging curriculum. Popular magazines such as U.S. News and Forbes provide a list of top-ranked schools in the country. This is an excellent way to find colleges that could help you meet your academic goals. Students can also purchase a variety of books about top-ranked colleges, which includes admission and tuition information.

Verify College Accreditations
It’s imperative to verify the accreditation of a college before enrolling in a program. An institution can have a regional, national, or specialized accreditation. Students can verify accreditation through the U.S. Department of Education. The accreditation of a school can vary depending on the type of programs they offer as well as the quality of the curriculum. Some employers will not recognize institutions that are not properly accredited, which is why it’s important to be selective about the college you attend.

It’s important to find the right college to prepare for the career of your dreams. Colleges should meet your academic goals and be properly accredited. Students can learn about programs by researching college accreditations and rankings.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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How to Find a Medical Career You’ll Love

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The medical field is extremely broad and has hundreds of different jobs. From administration to brain surgery and everything in between, the options for a career in the medical field are abundant. There are many aspects to a career to consider in order to find a medical career you’ll love. Knowing what’s important, finding your passion, having realistic expectations, and doing your research are all ways to find a medical career you’ll love. Whether it’s location, salary, education, patient interaction, management, science, or changing the world that motivates you to do your job, there is a medical career to fit your passions.

Know what’s Important
When deciding on which medical career is right for you, you’ll need to prioritize what’s important. If salary is important, research the medical careers available in the salary range you desire. If your degree is important, research the educational requirements of some fields that seem interesting to you. Since the medical field is so broad, there are options in education from a certification to a doctorate degree. If travel is important to you, research the options for travel nursing and what is required to work in that field. The opportunities are limitless as long as you do your research and prioritize what’s important.

Since having a job with every perk we dream about is pretty much impossible, prioritizing in a realistic way is important. Chances are we might have to sacrifice a few more years than we’d like to schooling, or work shifts we’d rather be home for, or make a little less money than we’d prefer, but as long as you know what is important, you can prioritize certain things and discover the non-negotiables while finding your perfect job.

Find Your Passion
Whether animals, patient care, diagnostics, or another area of medicine, you have to discover what your passion is in order to find the job that’s meant for you in the medical field. Any career in the medical field is difficult, filled with late nights, life or death decisions, and physical and emotional stresses. Without a passion to do the work, it’ll be a taxing career choice. So before deciding on salary, location, or educational requirements of each option, decide what aspect of healthcare you are passionate about and seek options in that category. Those in administration, for instance, may not have to work the more difficult shifts, but they do lose out on patient interaction. If your passion is dealing with patients, it might be better to look into the hands-on careers.

You have the ability to work with children, infants, the elderly, emergencies, cancer patients, injured animals, department organization, hospital finances, or a regular clinic. There is a place for your passion as long as you are able to find it. Hospitals need nurses, medical assistants, paramedics, doctors, and hundreds of other positions. The world needs medical professionals passionate about their patients and it’s important to find your passion in order to find the career that coincides with it.

Having Realistic Expectations
Discovering what’s important and what your passion is the first step in finding a medical career you will love. The next step is to make sure your expectations of each career choice is realistic. Research is your friend and it’s important to know the ins and outs of each career option that may satisfy your passion. Medical assisting, for instance, not only requires minimal schooling, but also offers growth for the future as well as a variety of medical settings to work in. Veterinary medicine is not just cuddling kittens and puppies all day, but also involves some less than glamorous procedures as well. Working in pediatrics is a great way to be involved in the treatment of children, but it also involves some heartbreaking decisions to make. Nursing is a great way to experience many different aspects of medicine, but it also involves less than ideal working conditions. The better you manage your expectations, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your job.

Finding a medical career you love is all about discovering what’s important to you in a career, what you are passionate about in the medical world, and managing your expectations for each career choice. The medical field is not a career path for the faint of heart, and those that find their passions within the medical world have to be dedicated and strong individuals. The options can be overwhelming, but it’s a blessing in disguise in order to find the perfect career path for you.

This article was contributed by guest author Chelsy Ranard.

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Out of High School? 6 Career Choices You should be Considering

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

Image by Wokandapix, pixabay.com

If you just graduated high school, you’ve probably got no shortage of people trying to give you advice for your future. “The world’s your oyster! You can be anything you set your mind to be.” However, you have to realize that some of the professions you are interested in are either highly competitive, or don’t pay very well. If you want to move on to a high-paying career instead of moving back in with mom and dad once you graduate, here are six career choices you should consider.

1. Medical Careers

There is a worldwide shortage of nurses and trained medical professionals. This practically guarantees that you can find a job with a degree in the medical field. And, with most programs lasting only two years, you can get to work much faster than people chasing a four-year degree.

For example, ultrasound technicians with a two-year diagnostic medical sonography degree, made median salary of over $66,000 in 2015.

2. Welding

The average welder is 55 years old. That means that many are soon to retire, and the world needs welders for everything from construction to the fine arts. With a standard hourly rate of more than $17, welders have job security and command an excellent salary.

3. Paralegal

If you have an interest in law, you should consider being a legal assistant. You’ll work under a lawyer in a fast-paced, exciting environment. What’s more, the median salary for a paralegal last year was nearly $47,000.

4. Marketing

As long as people have companies, they will need to communicate with potential customers. That’s where marketers come in. If you are looking for a job that allows you to be creative but also has a median salary of more than $60,000, you should consider becoming a marketing specialist.

5. Plumbing

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! And the people who choose plumbing as a career seldom regret it when they bring home an average yearly salary of $49,000.

6. Auto Repair

As cars get more advanced, fewer people are able to fix their vehicles themselves. This, combined with a lack of mechanics, has contributed to a career with a median salary of $36,610.

These are by no means the only careers available to you, but they do offer great pay and job security. Whatever career path you choose, we wish you the best of luck for your future!

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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7 Ways Furthering Your Education Will Help You Land a More Professional Career

Image by Fabian Irsara, unsplash.com

Image by Fabian Irsara, unsplash.com

There are many great reasons to pursue a professional career, but education is often essential for certain professions. Those considering careers in areas such as law, business, or medicine must consider the costs, but education can be a catalyst for advancement. Here are seven ways education can benefit your professional career.

1. Professional Requirements
Certain careers require education or training. For example, becoming a lawyer requires a law degree. After law school, aspiring attorneys sit for the bar exam in their state and are licensed upon passing. Similarly, paralegals also require certification. Paralegal schools offer certificates, after which exams are required for licensure. For many other fields, similar programs are necessary to enter the profession.

2. Management Positions
For those seeking promotions, many businesses look for people with experience and education. It can be so important that some firms pay for employees to complete degree programs. Once you have the right educational background, it will simply take time and experience to move up the corporate ladder.

3. Alumni Networks
If you attend a prestigious university with a loyal alumni base, you can tap into that professional network. Many graduates look to hire students from their old school. Networking is a great way to get a foot in the door at competitive firms.

4. Diverse Skills
Education also develops valuable skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration. These skills are highly valuable in the workplace. A graduate degree like an MBA will provide a broad foundation that can be applied to any field.

5. Experience and Training
One of the most valuable assets for any professional is experience. Many schools offer internships for students to gain work experience. A company may even hire you for a full-time position upon completion.

6. Learn from Professionals
In college, many professors have years of professional experience. You can benefit from their wisdom in any given industry as you learn how to navigate your own career path.

7. Personal Development and Maturity
The process of learning will also give you perspective and maturity as your career moves forward. Understanding the expectations and possibilities in a field is a huge advantage as you make your way professionally.

A professional career offers many great incentives but education is often needed to enter or advance in certain fields. As you consider the costs, also remember the benefits that an education can provide. Education will certainly open many doors and provide great ways to advance in your selected profession.

This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.

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You’re Not the Only One Who Has No Idea What to Do With Their Life

Image from skitterphoto.com

Image from skitterphoto.com

College is pretty unfair. You’re 18, you just finished high school, and all of a sudden you have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. You barely had any time to breathe, and figure out what things you like, let alone the stuff that you would want to do forever. After graduation, you might feel lost and alone. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

The scary thing about this feeling is that it looks like it’s never going to go away. And that’s true to some extent. You’re always going to want to better yourself, and you’re going to keep on finding new things that excite you. Statistics show that less than 30% of college graduates actually work in the same field they majored in. So having a change of heart after college is perfectly normal. Accept the fact that you’ll constantly be looking for a change. And cherish this feeling. This is what’s going to keep you going, long after you’ve found a steady job.

If you’re not sure about what you want to do, but you want to figure it out soon, it might be a good idea to just jump straight in. Find a job that’s not too demanding, and get used to the work environment. It’s probably not going to solve all of your problems instantly, but it’s definitely going to challenge you and help you see things from a different perspective.

You can continue working on other things as well, like your hobbies, or other activities you stopped pursuing during college. Some companies have all sorts of features for their employees that help them keep track of their work and other important information, so you can schedule around your job and focus on other things during your free time. You gain some valuable work experience, and still have plenty of time to figure stuff out. Not to mention the fact that you’ll have some money set aside to invest in your passions.

Volunteering for a period can help you find out more about yourself, and how you would fare in a work environment. Even if you don’t find your dream project, you can still feel proud of yourself for giving back to the community. It’s a great opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people, who are maybe more experienced than you, and can give some advice.

It’s important to keep your spirits up during this period. It’s not going to feel this bad all the time, so the best thing you can do right now is to make this experience as manageable as possible. Talking to people can really help, especially when you’re unsure about so many things. You’ll discover that everyone has gone through this at some point in their life. And they might have some valuable stories about how they got through it.

Meeting new people is also going to help you figure out what you want to do. First-hand experience is always preferable if you want to make an informed decision, but there are so many things to do out there, you’re just not going to be able to try them all.

You can always set up a meeting with a professional career counselor. The fact that that there is an actual field that deals with this sort of problem should tell you how widespread your issue is. Counselors can help point you in the direction that is right for you.

No matter what you decide to do during this period of transition, never forget that your wellbeing is a top priority. Get to know yourself anyway you can. Otherwise, you may have a hard time landing a job, or keeping it after you got it, because you won’t know what you are looking for. And you might end up even more confused than you are right now.

There are a lot of people who ended up having successful careers late in their life. And you’re barely in your 20s. Nobody really expects you to have it all figured out. And this is a pretty important thing, so taking some time to think about it is actually the right course of action.

This article was contributed by guest author Marc Mendelman.

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