Tag Archives | careers

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Finishing college and getting a degree is essential for pursuing your future career but it will not completely prepare you for business life. While it is very important to have a college degree, in order to make it beneficial as well, it is crucial to take key courses and to take advantage of the opportunities around you to prepare yourself for life after school.

The first thing you have to realize is that attending every class won’t magically make you an expert in your line of work. That means that you should go out, get your hands dirty and try to learn as much as you can in practice, i.e. outside the classroom. Take advantage of the opportunities around you and available resources of your college. If you limit yourself, you will limit your career opportunities and slow your professional growth at the beginning of your business life.

Start planning on time

It is very important to start planning your future career on time. As soon as you start college, you should make a plan for your future business life; thinking about jobs related to your career interests and setting a list of goals. That way you will have a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to prepare yourself for the job you want. Ask for help from your parents and college professors because it is always good to hear both subjective and objective opinions on your skills and character that may help define your future career if you are not sure about the choice you made or don’t know what to choose. If you start planning on time you will be less stressed about it at the end of school.

Self-development is essential

Work on developing skills you will need while doing everyday tasks for school, for example. Start networking with professors and other members of the faculty. It will help you improve your communication skills and you will meet people and make connections that can lead to career opportunities later on. Enhancing your leadership skill development will help you become more confident work-wise while you are striving to reach your career goals. Improve your skills by taking additional courses to ensure you have good qualifications for your future job.

Take on an internship

Gaining work experience while you are still studying is a great way to prepare yourself for a career in business as well as increase employment opportunities. Use your summer break to take on an internship or a job related to your line of work. That way, when applying for a job requiring work experience, you will have a better chance of employment even though you are a recent graduate. Also, you will gain practical experience, earn course credits, and of course, improve and develop skills.

Prepare yourself for the job

Using internet tools is also a great way to become familiar with business terminology and programs used for various business areas. Find tools or software you will need to use for your future job and learn as much as you can about how to use them and how they function. It will help you add to your skills and be well prepared for the future. You can find all sorts of information online, so make sure you search official sites and find official software to work on while preparing for business life. If a certain company caught your eye and you are striving for a career with it, educate yourself on their line of work and find out exactly what they are looking for. Get in contact with people who work there and ask for volunteering options since business owners appreciate confident, talented individuals who are taking initiative.

Know your skills

Many graduates don’t really know what they’re good at or what their skills are. To solve this problem, do a skills assessment test that can direct you and even create a particular career path according to your personality and your abilities. You can find a lot of these tests online or you can consult with your college professors and ask for suggestions or recommendation for the best ones to take. Don’t push yourself on developing skills that are not compatible with your character; instead concentrate on what you know and what you’re good at.

Following these steps can help you prepare for the after-school life and getting ready for your future job. Keep in mind that it is crucial to start early and work on developing career-related skills. Taking on an internship will give you the necessary experience and advantage when applying for your first job, so be smart, and start planning your future on time!

This article was contributed by guest author Ian Pearson.

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At one time, it was common for workers in a wide range of industries to find a great job with a successful company and to spend most or all of their career working for the same company. However, things have changed, and job hopping is now far more common. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average time a worker remains employed with the same company is 4.6 years. This average is only 2.3 years for those who are between the ages of 20 to 34. As you might imagine, there are both benefits and drawbacks associated with changing jobs frequently. It is important to understand these pros and cons so that you can take steps to maximize the benefits strategically while detracting from the negative effects of frequent job changes.

Improve Job Skills

When you work in a single position or company for many years, you may not have the opportunity to use all of your knowledge and training. These skills become stale, and your understanding of certain concepts may become worthless over time when knowledge is not used. More than that, you may not be able to fully develop new skills that could help you to take your career to new heights more quickly when you only work in one position over the years. Each position you work in can introduce you to new skills and training opportunities, and having a more well-rounded resume could potentially help you to land a better job down the road or to reach the pinnacle of your career more quickly.

Increase Income Potential

Regardless of whether you are comparing the average salaries of engineers, pharmacists or other professionals, you may be aware that most employers offer only a nominal cost of living salary adjustment each year. Some companies unfortunately do not even offer this small increase in income, and it may be several years or more before you receive a single raise with some companies. On the other hand, the earning power of your education and skill set may increase at a much faster rate, and you may discover that you need to change jobs periodically in order to earn the income that you are truly capable of. Keep in mind that your improved skills learned by frequently changing jobs can also help boost your earning power more quickly over the years.

Get Comfortable With Different Work Environments and People

Another great benefit of changing jobs periodically is the ability to work in a wider range of work environments and with many different people. This includes exposure to different managerial styles, working with a wider range of co-workers and learning how to meet the needs of a greater range of customers or clients. Through these new and varied experiences in different workplaces, you may feel more natural and comfortable in various work situations over the years. This can help you to interview more successfully for new jobs, and it can also help you to thrive in new positions. In some cases, individuals use this benefit to become a successful consultant in their field.

Employers May View Frequent Job Hopping Negatively

Many employers and hiring managers are well-aware of the trend for individuals to switch jobs more frequently now than in the past. However, when individuals change jobs too frequently, this can be a red flag for employers. For example, there is a difference between how an employer views a job candidate who changes jobs every three to five years versus how an employer views a candidate who has not stayed with a company for more than a year. Employers typically invest time and money training their new hires, and they want to select candidates who they feel comfortable may stay with the company for at least a few years. Even if you are a more qualified candidate than other applicants, your tendency to change jobs frequently may dissuade employers from offering you a job.

Relationships Could Be Impaired

Another potential downside associated with changing jobs frequently relates to your professional relationships. Careers are often developed through the ability to network extensively and to establish excellent industry connections. Some individuals you meet in a professional setting may be loyal to a specific company, and if you only stay with that company for a very short period of time, it may not be long enough for you to develop a lasting relationship. In addition, you may not stay in a company long enough to develop great references for future positions.

Switching Jobs Without a Plan

If you plan to switch jobs often, it is important to do so strategically. You should search for jobs that offer you the ability to enhance your current skill set, and you should research future job opportunities before deciding to make a career move. Understand how many years of experience you need developing a skill or working in a certain position or at a specific level before you change jobs. Make plans to stay in a specific position for a defined period of time before you leave. You should never leave a job because you are bored or frustrated, and you should always keep your attention focused on increasing your skills and earning potential.

Job hopping can be beneficial when done strategically, but you can see that it also can damage your career and jeopardize your ability to get a great job in your field if it’s done haphazardly. While many employers understand that the average time a worker may stay in a position is approximately four to five years, you should plan to keep a job for a period of time that helps you to strategically advance your career and maximize your income. With the right strategy in mind, you can enjoy great benefits by changing jobs periodically over the years.

This article was contributed by guest author Cassidy Hennigan.

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Being a medical professional is not just a job, it’s a passion. Students who find themselves drawn to medicine are often well-suited for a career in this field, but it’s important to take the time to consider the factors that make up this profession. These eight issues should help a student narrow down whether or not a career in medicine is right for them.

1. Commitment to Serving Others

The first question any student should ask themselves before entering into a career in medicine is whether or not they want to commit themselves to serving others. Because medicine is geared towards saving lives, students must be passionate about making a difference in this way.

Service-oriented fields like medicine are perfect for students who want to make a difference in other people’s lives; however, not everyone feels the need to contribute to society in this way. That’s why students must first sit down and consider if a career in medicine is the best path for them.

2. Education

Entering the medical field requires a great deal of education. With 14 years being the average time a student spends in school and residencies in order to become a doctor, and with other positions taking between six and eight years, the time it takes to become educated enough to earn a position must be taken into account.

Students who want to specialize will often be in their 30s before they begin their careers as a licensed professional. Even then, these professionals are required to continually learn, evolving their practice as technology advances the field.

3. Salary

Salary is often one of the major factors in a student’s decision to enter the medical sector. With large salaries available for most jobs, it is easy to understand why. Surgeons and physicians can easily make over $100,000, while other specialties can earn more, even at the start of their career.

However, there are some factors that influence the salary of a plastic surgeon, physician, or other medical professions. This includes the cost of living in a certain region, education level, accreditation, licensing, previous work experience, and more. It’s also important to remember that many students enter the workforce with debt, meaning that much of their salary could go towards paying off what they owe.

4. Job Opportunities

Job opportunities in medicine abound, with the average annual growth hitting roughly 400,000 new jobs every year. That number is only climbing and the medical sector is the number one employer in the United States.

With that said, opportunities for specific jobs will remain competitive. Specialized fields often call for extra certifications; students should remember that when it comes to getting licensed for their profession.

5. Lifestyle

All medical professionals have a stressful, busy lifestyle and often suffer from work overload. From physicians being on-call at all hours of the day to surgeons and nurses preparing and carrying out operations, to even technicians who have the job of ensuring medical technology is accurate, the lifestyle of a medical professional is not without challenges.

6. Cost of Training

Students who go into a medical career often need to attend medical school or other graduate programs prior to getting a job in the field. Because of the extra training, students in America often accrue a debt of $100,000 or more. This number is expected to rise with the annual increase in tuition.

Training for a medical profession is costly, but there is good news: there are a variety of loan forgiveness programs, scholarships, and grants to help ease the cost of schooling. Most students will still incur debt, however. That’s why the cost of training is a factor for students looking to specialize in the medical field.

7. Teamwork Scenarios

Becoming a professional in the medical field is about teamwork. Every professional in a hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility is a valued and integral member of a team that saves lives.

This means that students should think long and hard about whether or not they want to be a part of a team. Collaboration with others is critical, and medical professionals need to have a good working relationship with their colleagues in order to save lives, so a career in medicine is not for the independent-minded professional.

8. Personality Fit

Does a student’s personality fit really matter? In medicine, it can make a real difference. That’s because a student’s personality, goals, interests, and values can mold the kind of profession in medicine they decide to pursue.

Students who are compassionate, hardworking, and analytical make the best candidates. Health care is a person-oriented profession, so it’s important that a student can manage their temper, deliver news in a compassionate way, speak professionally and accurately with colleagues and patients, and more. By understanding their personality, a student can determine whether medicine is the right choice for them as a career.

Medicine is a challenging and rewarding career. Students will find themselves in a field that has a lot to offer them, both in personal and professional development. But it takes research to understand if this is a great fit for a student, so introspection is necessary before moving forward.

This article was contributed by guest author Jennifer Clarke.

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Losing a job nowadays is much easier than finding one – amply highlighted by the global economic recession that began in 2008. Thousands of employees worldwide, especially in the US, lost their jobs overnight as banks and financial institutions jumped in to stem their losses by foreclosures of loans. Hundreds of employees laid off nearly a decade ago continue to remain redundant for reasons ranging from lack of skills to dropping demand.

Economic depressions have a penchant to strike large economies such as the US with alarming alacrity: Nobody can predict when another big bender will strike. Thus, for fresh job seekers, it is imperative to know what to look for when taking up employment. The emphasis now has to shift from doing a “job” to developing a career that is time-proof.

Here are some tips to help students and prospective job seekers to choose a fitting career.

Job vs. career:
An American poet and essayist once said: “Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” This axiom holds good for today’s youth who are increasingly at odds over finding and pursuing a great career. A job is something you do to earn money. You sell your skills and time for a fixed pay, regardless of whether you like the work. A career is different: It involves doing what you enjoy, and as much as you can. In plain terms, it means getting paid to pursue your hobby.

Developing a set of skills:
Everyone is intensely passionate about something other than food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs. Each human has innate skills that need to be stirred and developed. However, only a few enrol in courses that permit them to develop their intrinsic skills. Regardless of the course you have studied, you’re probably aware of your ardour for a particular profession or trade.

Investing your time and effort into developing your skills in that specific work can help bag a job in a career of your choice. The legendary Chinese philosopher Confucius exclaimed over 2,500 years ago: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a single day of your life.” You can also develop your chosen skills by attending classes or courses outside your regular university hours.

Upgrading your skills:
This is vital since man and machine are now locked in a race – and the outlook for the humble human doesn’t look promising. Newer software and machines can do the job of many, reducing dependence on manpower. Upgrading your skills frequently is crucial. Myriad resources available on the Internet can help you hone and update your skills to give you a vital edge when applying for jobs.

Join groups related to your skills and career:
Scores of online forums exist across the world for almost every conceivable skill or talent. These permit persons from diverse cultures to exchange notes on existing and developing trends. Group discussions are held online that add to the skill development process.

Social media networks such as Facebook feature interest groups from various countries. Staying in touch with developments worldwide can help you get better paid jobs abroad, provided you are willing to relocate.

Multinationals usually headhunt for people who are willing to work outside their native countries. Blogs are an effective way to learn about the demand for your skills.

Obliterating deficiencies:
Humans have inborn deficiencies that you need to guard yourself against. This process begins with identifying areas that are directly related to your career but not have no imminent impact. For example, a student may be a financial wizard but lack basic computer skills.

Whatever your grey area, it would pay well to identify it as early as possible and work on acquiring the additional skill. It could turn out to be a lifesaver in situations such as an economic depression.

Time proofing:
A relatively new concept, time proofing made its appearance in the US and other major job markets in the aftermath of the 2009 global economic recession. Plainly put, time proofing means protecting your career and skills against adverse times and developments that occur in any sphere over a period.

Acquisition of new skills, fine tuning existing ones and remaining in touch with the industry help buy some degree of time proofing. Meaning, you are protected to some degree against an imminent layoff.

Develop business skills:
Acquaint yourself with how a company works. Such knowledge is essential when applying for a job or vying for a promotion within an organization: Bosses look for people who are business minded. Remember, business is all about making money.

Avoid underselling yourself:
Most job aspirants are desperate to get employed. They are willing to take the first job offered regardless of the salary offered. Such job aspirates prioritize experience over earnings and settle for payments that can be significantly lower than industry standards.

This jeopardizes your future prospects since your salary will be one of the bargaining chips while applying for another job. Job adverts usually mention salaries or wages a worker can expect, which gives a fair idea about what you can expect to be paid. Monitoring job websites is therefore a good idea.

Gathering certificates, documents and accolades:
This is very simple. Ask your school and every educational institute attended for certificates and other proofs of attendance and performance. Certificates issued for attending camps, competitions and accolades earned for your performance in sports or other activities help boost career prospects.

Apple polishing your teachers guides and mentors:
Many reputed organizations now engage companies to run background checks on job applicants. These background check companies call or email the references you provide on your resume. An adverse remark need not necessarily disqualify you for a job, but is highly undesirable especially when embarking on a chosen career. You can reap rich dividends by staying in the good books of your teachers, guides, mentors and other persons who may feature as your references.

Why these tips are important:
Educational institutions in the US and elsewhere pay millions of dollars annually for career counsellors on their campuses. Despite its importance, most students frown upon career counselling because they are insolently determined about what they wish to do.

Such haughtiness can cost dearly. Students tend to sacrifice enjoyable jobs for the glitter of money, so you should realize that you can be happy in your work while prospering.

This article was contributed by guest author Sam.

Image by Bench Accounting, unsplash.com

Image by Bench Accounting, unsplash.com

While you’re in high school, even just graduating seems like the biggest challenge you’ll face. Once you’re finished? It’s ‘where to?’ from here. Deciding on the right career path for you is all about balance. Be too impulsive and you might not find what you’re looking for; take the advice of others to heart? You risk choosing a profession you won’t enjoy.

Achieving a university degree, college qualification or short course certification doesn’t limit your career opportunities – it opens doors to them. Within every field is a diverse range of businesses, and in every business an even broader number of positions. Walking the path that’s best for you can be tricky at the best of times, so what do you really need to do? Follow the signs.

Sign 1: What are my strengths?
The first step to a successful career pathway is to stop thinking about careers. You’re still at the start of the track, so keep your focus on the journey rather than the finish line for now. Begin by taking inventory of your strengths – are you great at writing? Do you have a photographic eye? Is teamwork really not your thing?

Write down all of these in a notebook and you will start to see a pattern emerging. Our strengths are not only the tasks that we are good at, but also that we enjoy. They give us a sense of confidence, joy and pride to complete. So, naturally, they play an important part in developing your career.

Sign 2: What are my weaknesses?
Even more important than acknowledging the things you’re good at, is what you’re not. Do you struggle to concentrate for long periods of time? Are you easily overwhelmed when working with numbers? Your weaknesses are a strong indication of a career path that won’t suit you. But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate every job that has some form of administration to it.

Our weaknesses require hard work and dedication to overcome; they give you the opportunity to face a challenge. Without this motivation, at any job, you won’t learn and grow as a professional. This can end up being a worse scenario than facing a couple of simple equations in the long run.

Sign 3: Write a short list of industries
You should now have a list of close to twenty combined strengths and weaknesses. Take a closer look at these and the broader pattern that should be formed – do you have a creative streak? Are you interested in new technology? Maybe you don’t enjoy stepping into the limelight and taking control of situations? These attributes will help you to pinpoint the industries best suited to you.

Working with computer programs and numbers has endless possibilities, from information technology to accounting. For those with creative flair, the beauty and clothing industry is a global environment that excels in most cultures. As do the theatre and fine arts sectors. This isn’t the time to limit yourself – start listing every industry that pops into your head!

Sign 4: Now divide this into jobs.
Now that you have a fair idea of the different avenues available to you, let’s get specific. This phase is arguably the most research-heavy section of your career search. You want to read more than a job title and 100-word description. Ask yourself the following questions: what will you be doing day to day? What is the salary range and the workplace culture? Which countries does your career path thrive in?

Have a look through career resources and salary calculators alongside personal blogs and opinion pieces from professionals in that specific career. Once you have a list of the jobs that sound like a potential fit for you, it’s time to head to your local career counsellor and see if they can identify any further opportunities in that area. Keep cutting your list down until you get to ten or less – that’s the sweet spot.

Sign 5: What is most important to you in a career?
What are you in it for? Does the travel appeal to you or the money? The personal reward or the glamour? In this day and age, professionals choose their pathway for any number of reasons beyond financial security. There is no wrong answer here, but where possible, you should chase after your personal happiness before anything else. If you love getting hands on and building things, then choose apprenticeship training and work a trade. Don’t head straight to the law firm for that ‘promised’ six figure salary.

You’re by no means stuck in any career path you choose, but why not pick right the first time? While you take down all of the reasons to grab that profession pamphlet at the next career fair, see how they link up with your original shortlist of positions.

Sign 6: Now speak to trusted people.
Now is the right time to collate all of your research and speak to someone you completely trust; family or friends are great places to start. Choose someone who knows you well, but won’t tell you exactly what to do. The never-ending search for a career can be overwhelming and it’s tempting sometimes to give up altogether – an outside perspective will give you a welcome refresh.

You’re so close now to reaching that happy finish line! You know the one – where all your dreams come true and you never work a day in your life. The only person who can stop you from achieving this is you. And the only person who can get you there? You guessed it.

This article was contributed by guest author Caroline Schmidt.

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

Image by COD Newsroom, Flickr

While college is a natural step for many students after high school, it is also a time filled with uncertainty concerning a future career. If handled properly, the college experience can be one filled with exploration and discovery as to what passions a student truly possesses. Very often, many students find their way into careers they never dreamed of, simply due to taking a certain class or joining a campus organization. If you’re in search of some different paths that may prove to be unique, consider these options.

Yes, You Can be a Philosopher
Contrary to many popular opinions in today’s high-tech age, the world still needs plenty of people with critical thinking skills who can see situations from many different viewpoints. No college degree gives students these skills more so than philosophy, which can lead to numerous career paths. Some graduates wind up as CEOs of major corporations, while others join the Peace Corps and are off to see the world. Whichever path you choose, a philosophy degree can prove to be very beneficial.

An Unconventional MBA
While most people believe earning an MBA is a safe choice of degrees, it can also be made very unique along the way. For example, students who earn an MBA in information systems can take their training not just to Wall Street, but to many other areas as well. Due to the ever-increasing threats to national security, more and more law enforcement and government agencies are recruiting people with backgrounds in business and information technology to assist with intelligence analysis and much more. If you’ve dreamed of being a special agent or a spy for a specific organization, this degree path just might get you there.

The Worldwide Medical Degree
For students obtaining a medical degree, most career choices come down to working in a hospital or entering private practice. However, some students have very different ideas for their training. Some choose to travel the world to help the poor through such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, or use their training by moving to rural areas to assist those in need.

If you find yourself struggling with finding the ideal path to take while in college, consider these options and many others as well. While many people leave college with similar training and skills, it is those who march to the beat of a different drummer who eventually wind up changing the world for the better.

This article was contributed by guest author Rachelle Wilber.

Image by moleshko, pixabay.com

Image by moleshko, pixabay.com

While a bachelor’s degree can open the doors to more lucrative jobs and employment opportunities, not having one doesn’t have to mean you’re never going to have a fulfilling life. Depending on your goals, certain positions require a degree and you may need to seek out proper training to get the job of your dreams. However, some positions don’t require a bachelor’s degree – here are a few options:

Web Development
You don’t have to have a degree to become a Web developer. If you can learn to use the right tools to create a good-looking and functional website, you can stand to make good money. According to Business Insider, there are 50,700 projected job openings for web developers between now and 2022.

Postal Worker
Postal workers make good money, and you don’t need more than a high school diploma to get hired. There is moderate on-the-job training involved, and it will keep you active and make you known within your community.

Gaming Managers
If you live in an area with casinos, you can get a job working on the ground floor and make your way up to gaming manager without anything more than a high school diploma. These jobs are more difficult to get, but it’s highly attainable for the person with the right attitude.

Nursing Programs
A nurse doesn’t need a bachelor’s degree to get started. Ameritch College of Healthcare notes that it’s possible to get a degree in nursing in less than two years. Finding a program with a good reputation is also important to help you land that first nursing job. If you want to increase your employability later, you can always get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree while you work.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
If you have an associate degree, you can monitor the safety of patients and check images to make sure the MRI machines are taking high-quality images. These jobs are in fairly high demand, but there are also expected to be 11,300 openings through 2022.

Several other jobs exist that can help you get the type of income you need to live your life. Funeral service directors, power plant operators, nuclear technicians and retail jobs are all available to people without a degree. The important thing is to decide what you want out of your life, and then begin looking for the type of job that could help you meet those goals. If it means going back to school, that’s okay too.

This article was contributed by guest author Anica Oaks.

Image by Flazingo Photos on Flickr

Image by Flazingo Photos on Flickr

There are so many exciting opportunities available in so many careers that many young women, and men too, end up going to college without a clear cut idea of what direction they will go in. This problem can cause them to waste valuable time, when they could be moving in a definite direction toward long term goals.

This is why a high school student or first year college student needs to learn to focus intently on finding an answer to the age old question: What do I want to do?

This is an exciting and critical choice, especially for young women, who today have unlimited choices regarding careers, many of which used to be dominated by men. More than ever, young women are capable of entering and excelling at anything they choose. This is why it is important to think about it ahead of time and get on the right path.

My best advice is to think big when it comes to a career choice. When you pick a type of career, make sure you don’t limit yourself to one thing. Pick something in which you will have some leadership and growth potential. You want a career that will help you be the very best, smartest, well-rounded person you can be. You want something that may not be easy, but has the potential to be amazing.

A study at the Pew Research Center showed that organizations with three or more women in top leadership roles have high scores for contributing to the overall effectiveness of companies.

I know how intimidating it is to try to make decisions when you don’t really know what a career will be like until you actually graduate and go to work. There are always some things that are impossible to know until you do them. But, there are a couple of things you can do that will help the process.

Fact is, if you are not able to figure out some basic things before you begin your education, you may spend a lot of money and invest a lot of time in a career in your life that may not be right for you at all. If you waste years doing something that doesn’t make you happy, you won’t be able to go back and start over again.

Statistics show that many college graduates often end up being employed in a completely different field than the first career they started out in. This happens quite a bit – because the world is changing at such a fast pace, it is hard to predict anything that is going to happen. Times are so different than say, 50 years ago, when most people worked one job their whole life. Today’s careers offer many more opportunities for personal development, especially for women because there are more opportunities available than ever before.

By spending time analyzing your personal needs before choosing a career, you are contributing to the process of developing a higher emotional IQ, which has been shown to be a contributing factor in 58% of variations in personal and professional success. A high percentage of employers today are placing increased value on a person’s emotional IQ, rather than a person’s IQ level alone, when seeking employees.

Here’s a shortlist of five easy steps to helping you decide on a career.

#1 Who Am I?
First of all, spend time doing some serious thinking about the kind of person you are and what sort of activities make you happy. Are you a people person, who needs constant interaction with those around you, or are you happiest working solo and accomplishing tasks on your own?

#2 What are My Goals?
Ask yourself what kind of goals you want to set in your career. Do you a job with the chance for numerous achievements, or would you be happier with a set of simpler smaller steps for personal development?

#3 What is Important to Me?
Find out the kind of things that really matter to you and the kind of topics you are interested in. I know this sounds ridiculously basic, but unless you can do this, you will have no idea what direction to start out in.

#4 Where do I Want to Live?
The place you want to live and work is ultimately the first thing you should know. This can help you narrow down the type of work you do because of the opportunities in your location.

#5 How Can I Make the World A Better Place?
Think about what kind of personal talents you have and any specific way you can use your individual talent to make a difference in the lives of others. Everyone has a unique set of talents/skills that can contribute to the wellbeing of other people. What is your thing? What are you really good at? What have you done in your life that made you the happiest?

When you look at these five basic questions and record your answers, you will have a basic outline of the kind of career choice you can make.

After you have answered the five questions, it’s time to dig deeper and find more information on the career you are interested in. Read, study, and explore many different types of careers and try to visualize yourself working in that type of a role. Talk to people who do different things. See what you can learn just by searching for information. Use the knowledge and input of everyone around you to help you in your search for what you want to do.

Consequently, after deciding what career you want, you can take the next step and investigate all the various schools that could provide you with that learning.

The important thing is to make sure you don’t limit yourself because of any fear you might have about reaching your goals. Truthfully, it is up to you, as far as you can go in any career, so don’t be afraid to reach higher and farther than anything you have ever done. Educational opportunities will lead you down a path to personal growth that will change your life forever in so many ways.

Set your goals high when considering a career direction, and then take the first step that will eventually get you a rewarding career, not just one that will pay the bills. A job needs to be more than that.

You need a job that involves doing something you will enjoy, but it should also be a job that will challenge your abilities and give you the satisfaction of doing something well and changing the world the way that only you can change it. Believe in yourself and you will get there.

This article was contributed by guest author Karen Bresnahan.

Image by Jeremy Wilburn, Flickr

Image by Jeremy Wilburn, Flickr

While many do not think that a career in higher education can lead to a high income, it is possible if you choose to pursue the right titles. If you are looking for the top-paying jobs in higher education that are also in high demand, do your research before you choose to enroll in an advanced graduate program so you can specialize your degree. Here are the five top careers to consider as you compare specialties and concentrations.

Professors Who Teach Health Education

The need for health professionals has never been greater, and the majority of professionals who are entering the industry need a college degree. There is a growing demand for health educators within post-secondary establishments and also a growing shortage of specialized professors who can teach this subject area. If you would like to enter a high-paying field where the top earners make $187,199 per year, teaching health specialties could be a great choice.

College Professors Who Specialize in Economics

Another great teaching position that has flourished is economics. All business majors, many students who earn a Bachelor of Arts, and future economists must all take one or more classes in economics. Not only will you get to teach economics, you can also participate in research while you stay up-to-date with the most recent field developments. The average economics professor earns $101,806 per year.

Program Director of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies

You do not necessarily need to be in front of a classroom teaching to play a part in the success of students as they pursue a degree. As a program director, you will manage and implement the university’s vision and strategy for overall education as you establish goals and improve and innovate programs. This is an important role and requires expertise in higher education.

Director of Student Affairs

A director of student affairs plays a crucial role in keeping students involved in their community while still urging them to strive for a successful future. When you hold this title, you will manage all student activities, oversee the clubs, refer students to counseling, recommend scholarship opportunities, and advise students of community services they may be eligible for.

To hold this title, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. While a BA is required, most schools prefer to hire candidates who hold a master’s in higher education that teaches content on student development, conflict resolution and approaches to student affairs. If you have already begun a career after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, an online higher education degree at the master level could be a great way to balance the present with the future.

Academic Advising
In both public and private higher education institutions, there is a need for academic advisors who help students map out the path they will take to meet their educational and professional goals. Many students enroll in school without a clue as to what they would like to do. You will be there to help students make decisions, set academic plans and stay on track. You are an advisor, a coach, a motivator and more.

There is a long list of positions you can pursue as an educator or an administrative professional. Be sure to educate yourself on the requirements to hold a specific title, and only then can you prepare for your career in higher education.

This article was contributed by guest author Anica Oaks.

Image via pixabay.com

Image via pixabay.com

Just a couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Career Conversations Panel: Discovering Careers in Communications, Journalism and Writing. The event was hosted by York University and featured people in the field of writing advising people on how to find jobs in said field.

The panel consisted of a journalist with experience writing for many periodicals, the director of Communications at York University, an editor for Maclean’s and FASHION magazine, a novelist with Join In Press and a former Editor in Chief for The Atkinsonian.

I found the presentation extremely useful. The panel all managed to give helpful tips on how to find a job in writing; here are a few of my favourites:

  • Be persistent when applying for jobs: apply and reapply until you get in
  • Self-publish
  • Start out as an intern: this often leads to a full-time job as good workers may be kept on board

After the seminar, there was a chance to mingle with the panelists. I took this opportunity to talk to one of the speakers about an internship with FASHION magazine. He gave me information on how to apply and gave me his business card. Though I wasn’t able to use it for the internship I applied for, I was impressed he gave me his contact details without me asking.

I would give the Career Conversations Panel a 9/10. Not only was it informative, but it was also a great way to network. I learned about new strategies to apply for jobs I had never heard of, for example, if you apply and reapply for a job, the chances of getting it are higher. The panelists were eager to discuss their claims to success and talk to the guests. Overall, I was pleased with the Career Conversations Panel.