|Careers & Employment Information|
What You Need To Know Before Committing To Vocational Retraining
You've thought a lot about the kind of work you want to do. The duties, the pay, the hours, the environment ? everything sounds right. According to the newspaper ads, there is a big demand out there. You find a program that sounds really good. You are all ready to sign on the dotted line.
Stop! Before you invest your time, your energy, and a good chunk of your money in this direction, ask some tough questions.
1. Request that the school provide you with placement statistics ? these are required by the state for all approved vocational courses. Statistics can be misleading so ask for details ? what kind of job did the graduates find, how much did it pay, how long did it take them to find it?
2. Ask for the names and telephone numbers of 6 recent graduates you can contact for feedback. Good schools often have recent graduates visiting on site to share their experiences with current students. If the school refuses to provide such a list, or cannot provide it for whatever reason they give you, red flags should be immediately raised.
3. Is State Licensure or Certification required for this field? If so, what is the school's passing rate? What is the examination's pass rate overall? How do they compare?
4. Arrange to audit one or two classes. Evaluate the instructor and the program organization. Talk to the other students about their experience.
5. Visit the placement office and find out what services and support are offered. At a minimum, you should receive a professional resume and multiple job leads. An excellent school will also provide interviewing skill training and employer background information. Find out if the school works consistently with several local employers which indicates that their graduates have been positive hires in the past.
6. Sit down with the Sunday Classifieds and circle employers in the field. Then call them for information. Are new graduates considered or is actual work experience required? Is the school known in the business community and what kind of reputation does it have? Has this company ever hired a graduate of this school? How would the employer recommend that someone enter this field?
If the school comes through with flying colors, move ahead with the knowledge that obtaining a first job after training is always difficult but you have some sources of support.
If your questions have revealed weaknesses in the program, evaluate other schools or consider selecting a different career goal.
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a respected Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and emotionally supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.virginiabola.com
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Dissatisfied With Your Job? Stop Putting Your Attention on What You Dont Want!
If I were to ask you the percentage of time you spend thinking about what you don't want, what would it be? And the percentage of time thinking about what you do want?
Are Your References Ready?
One of the most common forms of background check performed by companies hiring new employees is the reference check. They typically request that candidates provide them with three names of previous bosses. If you don't have three former bosses, then provide co-workers, teachers, college professors and/or professional colleagues as character references.
Job Search Tips - How to Increase Your Success
Finding a job can be a painful and difficult experience. Here are three things that you can do to minimize the pain and increase your chances of success.
10 Steps to Escape the Job World and Create the Life You Really Want
1. GET THE POINT ? OF LIFE, THAT IS. How many of us will look back in our old age and wish we'd gone to more meetings or put in more overtime. The point? Despite pressure to "play it safe" by sticking with your day job ("...but dear, you have a good job, you want to be HAPPY too?") you have every right to follow your entrepreneurial dreams. With the realization that life is for living comes the understanding that it is up to you ? and you alone ? to create the kind of life you really want. 2. GET THE RIGHT PICTURE. Be honest. How much time do you spend bitching about your lousy boss, hellish commute and on and on? As satisfying as a good gripe session is, you're wasting precious energy on the wrong picture. Five minutes a day spent visualizing your ideal work-life and fashioning a plan to get you there will move you far closer to your goal than 30 minutes of complaining about what you don't want. Bottom line: You won't see yourself doing it until you can see yourself doing it. 3. GET CLUED INTO YOUR PASSION. The most successful entrepreneurs love what they do. Haven't quite figured out where your passion lies? Start paying attention to situations or things that grab and keep your attention. Focus less on your skills (what you CAN do) or your resume (what you HAVE done) and instead, try to tune into what it is you really LOVE and WANT to do. What types of things did you love to do as a child? What kinds of characteristics or talents do people compliment you on? What kind of work or lifestyles do you envy? If you don't yet have the knowledge or skills to turn your heart work into a business venture, make it your business to fill the gaps. 4. GET A GRIP ON "IT." In her book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers says IT is what scares you ? and ultimately, what's holding you back from going after your dream. Perhaps your fear centers on money, or that you're not "smart enough," or that you'll fall flat on your face. Let's face it ? shaking up your life is scary. Yet, "Unless you walk out into the unknown," says Tom Peters, "the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low." So go ahead and indulge in your worst-case fantasy. Then get busy figuring out what steps you can take to prevent it from happening. 5. GET REAL. You've seen the easy money pitches: "Earn $1,000 a week stuffing envelopes in the comfort of your own home." Sounds great, right? Now, snap out of it! Launching your own business takes time and effort. You should also expect a drop in income ? at least in the beginning. Now is the time to revisit the ideal life you outlined in Step 2 and ask yourself, "How much do I really want my ideal life? What am I willing to do or give up to get it?" If you are serious about living life on your own terms, the sacrifice will be worth it. 6. GET INFORMED. Change always seems scarier when you have either inadequate, or worse, inaccurate information. Go to the library. Join associations. Talk to people who have started similar businesses. Take classes. Read trade publications. Subscribe to ezines. The more informed you are, the less "risky" the risks become. 7. GET READY. A goal has been described as a dream with a deadline. Take out a calendar. Even if you haven't nailed down all the details, you should still go ahead and set a target date for when you want your "new life" to begin. Besides being a great source of motivation, knowing how much time you have between now and "D-ream day" lets you create a realistic plan for hitting it. 8. GET SUPPORT. Enthusiasm is contagious, but so is pessimism. Avoid the nay Sayers and try to seek out others who share your passion for living life on your own terms. Consider meeting weekly with other aspiring entrepreneurs to generate ideas, share information and help each other stay on track. 9. GET GOING. To keep from being overwhelmed ? yet still make headway ? break your larger goal down into more manageable steps. Then, no matter how hectic thing get, pledge to take at least one action a day. Even the smallest actions ? jotting down a new idea, reading a single page, or making one phone call ? start to add up. And, once you actually get the ball rolling, it's hard to stop! 10. GET GRATITUDE. At the same time you're setting your sights on achieving your future goal, be mindful of how much abundance you have in your life RIGHT NOW! Changing course is a journey. Count your blessings and enjoy the ride. When you think about it, it's all we really have.
Job or Career
At this present time I have a job. It pays some of my bills, and again I have a job. I don't think of my job as a career because I don't have a passion for it. I dread going to work at times, so I know this isn't a career for me. I'm working at a clinic at the present time, and it's a stressful job, and not really my cup of tea.
What Me? Lie On My Resume? Who Will Know?
The temptation to lie on a resume is great! How can it hurt if I stretch the truth a bit? Employers see lots of resumes. How are they going to know who lies and who doesn't?
5 Key Factors to Consider When Selecting an Outplacement Firm
With today's economy, more and more companies are finding themselves faced with the situation of having to reduce headcount to remain competitive. Here are five key factors to consider when selecting an outplacement firm if your company is ever faced with a workforce reduction. 1. Types of Services Provided. One decision you will need to make regarding outplacement is whether your displaced workers would benefit most from group or individual one-on-one outplacement. For the majority of outplaced employees, if your budget permits, individual outplacement is the preferred option since it provides one-on-one support that will help them move forward more quickly than they would on their own. If you decide they would benefit most from individual outplacement, you will then need to determine what services would be most valuable to your displaced employees. One option would be to select an outplacement firm that develops their resume and cover letter for them. Another option would be an outplacement firm that offers office space and a computer for the displaced worker to prepare their own job search materials. 2. Areas of Specialty. Another factor to consider when selecting an outplacement firm is whether it is important to you that they have experience working with the type of displaced employees you will be sending them. A related factor is whether it is important to you that the outplacement company specializes in dealing with companies like yours. If their areas of specialty are important to you, review the outplacement company's web site and other marketing materials to see what their specialty is or ask them directly. If an outplacement firm's expertise lies in serving large companies displacing administrative staff and your small business is displacing experienced managers, this outplacement firm may not be the best fit for you. 3. Experience with Current Job Search Practices. How important is it to you that the outplacement firm be experienced with Internet job search techniques? Is it likely that the Internet will play a key role in your displaced employees' job search strategy? If you determine that Internet savvy is an important evaluation point for an outplacement firm, check to see whether the outplacement firm recognizes the importance of the Internet by having a web site. Are they aware of the top online career sites? Do they offer a service to post displaced employees resumes on these top online career sites? Do they have the ability to distribution resumes electronically to a select group of employers and recruiters? 4. Length of Time Support is Provided. Another factor to consider when selecting outplacement services is the amount of time you feel the displaced worker would require outplacement support. In general, the more senior-level the position, the longer it will take the displaced employee to find suitable employment. A second time factor to consider is whether the displaced worker will receive ongoing one-on-one scheduled sessions with a career transition consultant or whether the ongoing support merely includes access to job search support materials. 5. Costs. Outplacement costs must be considered when selecting an outplacement firm. Check to see whether outplacement costs are clearly defined and stated on the outplacement firm's web site and in their marketing materials. Are you charged only if the displaced employee elects to contact the outplacement firm for support or are you charged regardless of whether the displaced employee receives support? Are there affordable packages available that provide the services you feel your displaced employees would most benefit from without providing unwanted services? Another cost factor to consider is whether the outplacement firm gives you the able to select outplacement services a la carte to meet your needs. Also determine whether the outplacement company has a minimum fee requirement or whether they will charge you only for the number of displaced employees you actually have even if the number is as few as one. By considering each of these five factors you can develop effective selection criteria for deciding on an outplacement provider to best meet the needs of your displaced employees while adhering to your budget constraints. Copyright 2001-2004, Quest Career Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
Where Did All The Farmers Go?
Several times a year, I hear someone complain about the development of farm land in our area. These complainers consider it a crime that so much of our farm land has been converted to housing, business, shopping, etc. They seem to consider the farmers and developers to be criminals.
Discover What You Really Want To Do
Are you doing what you really want to do or did you just fall or wander into the job you now have. As a friend of ours once said,' I am one of twenty two doctors in our family. The only ones in our family who are not doctors are the dogs and cats'. Did you decide what you wanted to do or are you one of a growing number whose work was dictated by circumstances or their parents?
Job Search 101
The whole job search effort is completely exhausting and at times just plain pathetic. It is what it is and if you are unemployed know that the job search experience is one familiar to everyone at some point and time, so don't feel alone. One of the major mistakes many job seeks make is not being able to keep the whole job search experience organized. Remembering who you spoke to on what day, concerning what job can be a true "mission impossible."
Telecommuting Website (Part Two)
Last article I discussed why a telecommuter would benefit from starting a website, and what you should include on the website. This article, I'm going to cover how to market the website and the basics of getting one set up.
Assess Your Transferable Skills
One of the most important parts of a job search is assessing your Transferable skills. These are skills which you can use in other jobs such as: Communication, Information Management, Human Services, Managerial, Manual/Physical Labour, Personal Attributes, Organization.Often when people have been working in the same job for a long time, they become so accustomed to performing their duties that they fail to recognize the skills they have. It is beneficial to sit down and write out a list of all the things you do in a work day and all the things you do at home as well. It is easy to forget that skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and organization which you use at home and in volunteering are skills that you can transfer and use on a new job. A benefit to this recognition of your skills is that you can come up with a variety of Ideas for jobs or places that these skills may be used. If you are currently unemployed and are having a difficult time with this, talk to some friends or a career/employment counsellor.Once you have determined where your transferable skills may be best used, you can work on some Productive Strategies to market yourself. This may be using your networking skills to gain access to some new employers, or it may be revising your resume to highlight your skills instead of your work history. It may also involve doing some volunteer work to expand your network by putting you in touch with people who might have other contacts you can use in your job search.
Employment Under A Microscope
A certain amount of oversight is involved in almost any job. The more important, the more highly skilled, the more successful the position, the lower the degree of oversight. At the bottom rung of the economic and social ladder - the laborers, the maids, the easily replaceable positions - the more watchful are the powers that be, the less secure are the workers, the more personally vulnerable are they to any mistakes made.
Showing Appreciation to Workplace Un-Sung Heroes
Millions of Un-Sung Heroes are born every minute! They are found everywhere-on street corners, in our homes, offices, and communities-wherever there are people in need of rescue. These special people, whose positive actions and initiatives are performed to benefit others, are not famous or in the news for what they are doing; but their efforts affect, enrich and touch countless lives.
Career Education Options For Working Adults
Ask yourself this question: "Do I like what I do for a living?" If you answered "no", what are you doing about it? Maybe you have a "good" job, but it's not very rewarding to you personally. Maybe you have job with good pay, but bad hours or worse ? a job with good hours, but bad pay. Perhaps you've just done your job for too many years, or are excited to work in some of the new careers that just weren't available when you finished school.
7 Tips for Writing Winning Resume Cover Letters
Writing a good resume cover letter is something you should seriously consider when preparing to send off your resume to potential employers.
The Fallibility of Psychological Testing
Psychological Testing has become rampant across industries, more so in the case of Information Technology, BPOs and ITES companies. These tests are used to 'throw up' personality profiles and competency descriptions that would help companies recruit the 'right' candidate. The Human Resources department in most organizations is responsible for the administering of Psychometric tests.
Kill the Hype
She was waiting for me when I returned from a meeting. Standing outside my office door, I could tell by her downward glance, Jodie was not there to give me good news on the project. Despite her confident, enthusiastic and definitive style, she failed to deliver what she had pitched. It was not the first time.
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