Tag Archives | career

Image by Western Connecticut State University Peggy Stewart on Flickr

Image by Western Connecticut State University Peggy Stewart on Flickr

Whether you are a nurse or you’re in nursing school, chances are you’ve spent some time trying to figure this nursing thing out. You’ve done your research, spoken to seasoned nurses, or spent many nights studying while watching Grey’s Anatomy and laughing at the procedures the doctors are doing that are actually the nurse’s job. You’ve watched your free time drift away, taught yourself how to survive without sleep, and started to accept that just because your answer is right doesn’t mean it’s the most right. The need for nurses is at an all-time high in a variety of capacities. It is a demanding and draining position that is not for the faint of heart, but is also extremely rewarding.

The nursing shortage

If you are already a nurse or wanting to be, you are helping aid in the problematic nursing shortage. Right now more than 50% of the nursing workforce is close to retirement age and in the U.S., baby boomers are experiencing an increased number of chronic conditions that require hospitalization. While we are losing nurses to retirement and gaining patients, we need more nurses to fill the gap. Increasing enrollment is one way to impact the shortage, but this uncovers yet another issue, which is the low number of nursing instructors. The only way to promote a higher number of nurses willing to teach is to raise their wages. Due to the unequal amount of supply and demand in the nursing industry the job market for nurses is at an all-time high for potential nurses looking for work and therefore salaries are much higher.

The options are endless

The options for types of degrees and the jobs you can obtain with those degrees are expansive. With options for LPN, NP, and RN programs available at a slew of different nursing schools with varying pathways, every student will be able to find the degree and pathway that suits them best. The degree preferred by most nursing leaders is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), so do your research if you are thinking about joining the nursing profession to make sure you have the degree appropriate for your career track. One you’ve obtained your degree, the options open even more with careers available to nurses in a wide variety of specialties and lifestyles such as travel nursing, nurse educator, oncology nursing, pediatric nursing, and the list goes on and on.

You’ll always be learning

The learning process does not stop with graduation when you are in a medical field. Nurses focus on such a wide variety of medicine that they are always attending seminars and conferences, reading medical journals, learning new procedures, and trying to keep up with the forever changing medical industry. You’ll always be learning from seasoned nurses, trial and error, and mandatory continuing education. Coursework never stops when you are a nurse and in order to thrive in the field, nurses must be eager learners and naturally driven. A nursing career isn’t for everyone, and the obligation to stay on top of the evolving nursing world is one of the many difficult tasks required.

Nursing is difficult

Let’s drive this point home one more time: Nursing is hard. Nursing school is hard because being a nurse is even harder. If you are already a nurse, you understand this. Compiling an impossible amount of information in your mind and being able to pull it out at the most stressful time in an effective manner can be the difference between life and death for patients. Not only dealing with the long hours, lack of sleep, no social life, and the never ending amount of learning involved, but the physical and mental strain it puts on your body is not for the weak. You’ll cry for patients, make mistakes, work with an aching back and feet, get yelled at by faculty and patients alike, develop a strong stomach, work overnight, work into the next day, miss birthday parties, be invited to patient’s funerals, and be covered in bodily fluids. You are on the front lines of healthcare and you will see things that no one else sees. Be prepared.

It’s all about patient care

For those in nursing, the entire reason that they go through the rigors of nursing school and the battles of the job is for their patients. Without a passion for people and their welfare, maintaining a job that is so difficult would be impossible. Nursing isn’t a job you do for the money; good nurses in the field for a long time do it to help people. Caring and compassionate nurses mean the world to their patients and end up being the best at their jobs. Every single day you will be making a big difference in someone’s life. You are responsible for positive quality of life for your patients, you will be fulfilled and satisfied in your career, seeing immediate gratification for the tasks you complete correctly. Despite the pain, heartache, stress, time away from loved ones, and lack of sleep, nurses do it for their patients.

This article was contributed by guest author Chelsy Ranard.

Image by Financial Times , Flickr

Image by Financial Times, Flickr

Deciding what to do after college is a top priority for students–particularly as the day to don the cap and gown nears.

Your major does not necessarily determine what you will do with the rest of your life. It does, however, provide insight to future employers about your interests and background. It can also provide a springboard into your first job.

For students with a business major, particularly in finance or accounting, one potential career to explore is that of a chargeback analyst. If you are interested in commerce, read on to learn about this field that can be an inroad into the financial industry.

What Is A Chargeback Analyst?

First of all, to understand the position of chargeback analyst you must understand chargebacks.

Chargebacks exist to protect consumers from having to pay for fraudulent purchases made with their credit card. If a person notices that an unauthorized transaction was made with his card, he can file a chargeback with his bank. The bank then temporarily issues a refund and notifies the merchant that a chargeback has been filed.

Merchants can then dispute the claim if they suspect the consumer of fraud, or they can forfeit the refund and pay a fine.

A chargeback analyst is crucial for monitoring chargeback transactions. Analysts investigate and have the power to reverse refunds, track chargeback patterns, and serve as watchdogs for fraudulent activity.

A chargeback analyst is particularly important on the merchant end, as they work closely with merchants that choose to dispute chargebacks. Merchants must provide proper documentation–such as video evidence or a receipt–to prove that the customer actually did make the disputed purchase. A chargeback analyst can help round out these essentials and submit them in a timely fashion.

An analyst can also coach the business about proper chargeback prevention practices to help reduce the risk of future problems.

Qualifications

Most companies prefer incoming analysts to hold a bachelor’s degree (in the field of business is particularly valued) and have one to three years of experience in a relevant field. It is also possible to get a job with less experience or with a high school diploma, but higher education and prior work experience are qualifications that make you more likely to land the job.

Besides education and experience, chargeback analysts are also expected to be comfortable making judgment calls and have a certain degree of creativity and flexibility. Skills in accounting, analyzing, communication, and computers are also important.

Average Salary

As of July 2014, the median annual salary for a chargeback analyst in the United States is $32,255. This number will vary based on several factors, including geographic location, size of the company, level of education, and number of years of experience.

Best and Worst Cities

Some of the best cities for aspiring chargeback analysts to seek employment are:

  • Hackensack, NJ
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA

The aforementioned cities have salaries that are higher than the national average. Cities below the national average include:

  • Knoxville, TN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Abilene, TX
  • Provo, UT
  • Macon, GA

Being a chargeback analyst can be a rewarding career itself, and it can lead to further opportunities in the finance sector. College students and recent graduates with a degree in business can at least consider this career option.

Even students without a business degree can consider a career as a chargeback analyst as an understanding of accounting and a mind for analytics can also make you a strong candidate.

Chargeback management is a relatively new concept. Therefore, there are definite opportunities for growth, expansion, and career advancement. It is absolutely a worthy idea to consider.

Would you consider working as a chargeback analyst?

Image by Nicola, Flickr

Image by Nicola, Flickr

Whether you’re asked this question in the middle of an interview for your dream job or by some very prying relatives, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is quite difficult to answer. Granted, some of you may know exactly how to respond, but several of you are probably stumped. If you had asked me this question before my first year of university, I would have said something along the lines of “After graduating university with high marks in all of my accounting classes, I’ll be working towards earning my Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in one of the top accounting firms downtown.” If you ask me this question now, you’re going to get a response that’s less specific and more conceptual. Compared to the old answer, the new one may sound like a big “I’m not sure.” However, it’s actually a much stronger and more suitable response.

As a student of a highly esteemed business school, several of my classmates seem to know exactly where they’re headed in life. I see peers who are moving so quickly with their careers – networking with industry leaders, making the right connections and, most importantly, landing internships that undoubtedly lead to full-time employment. I used to be one of these people.

I landed my first accounting internship even before I graduated from high school. For this company, I worked on several different projects that ranged from doing research on potential clients to doing advanced Excel work. At the same time, I did some bookkeeping for a small car dealership a few times a week. The work definitely taught me a lot and I’m thankful for those experiences, but I couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled without any indication as to why. After a month, I decided to move on from this position, hoping to find something else. It was the best decision for me at the time and I don’t regret it.

Then, my first year of university came around. Refusing to be fazed by a not-so-pleasant experience, I went ahead with my decision to pursue accounting. I attended almost all of the accounting networking events hosted by my school’s career centre and accounting club, did extensive research on which courses I needed to take in order to get my CA designation and even went so far as to plan my third and fourth year so that I get my designation as quickly as possible.

However, things changed when I took my first accounting class. From all of my excitement over a future career in auditing and adding “CA” after my name, I didn’t really stop to think about what accounting actually was. Since I was in a special program in high school, the only accounting class I ever took was an online course that taught more bookkeeping than actual accounting. In contrast, my university accounting class taught me that accounting is more than just bookkeeping and looking at numbers on a page. Don’t get me wrong, I was doing well in the class, but I wasn’t enjoying it. Halfway through the term, I had a sudden realization. I couldn’t see myself doing accounting for the rest of my life. In five years, I couldn’t see myself working as a Staff Accountant in one of the top accounting firms and my business card wasn’t going read “Jan N., CA.” I finally understood why I had my reservations about my first internship. For once in my life, I didn’t know what I saw myself doing five years down the road. My career path had hit the wall.

Now, if you’ve ever been through this “career limbo,” you can’t help but feel lost. When you don’t know what you’re passionate about, it affects everything: including your attitude towards your schoolwork and your extra-curricular activities. During that period, I spent most of my time frantically searching for other career paths; desperately trying to recreate and rebuild my five-year vision.

Fortunately, after some time, I had another realization. Some of the greatest leaders of our time didn’t know what they would be doing in five years. They weren’t caught up in trying to achieve some concrete plan. Instead, they focused on solving problems and succeeding by constantly improving their selves. Consequently, I realized that I was approaching the question in the wrong way. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” isn’t meant to yield responses that must be obeyed and followed; it’s meant to motivate and serve as a constant reminder of one’s goal.

After taking a long, deep breath, I realized that my previous five-year vision was bland and uninspired. It didn’t allow for any sort of growth and limited me to a goal that thousands of students already have. I needed to open my career path to possible detours and bumps along the road. For example, after speaking to a professor about a certain business field, he told me that graduate school would be necessary – a path that I didn’t even consider until speaking with him. No one’s career path is ever linear; there are going to be curves, ups, downs and loop-the-loops. You just need one strong and clear vision that you will work towards every day, but has ample room for adjustments and improvements every so often.

Now is your turn to answer this question. Where do you see yourself in five years?