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Archive for January, 2010

Answer These Questions First, Before Turning Your Hobby into a Full-Time Business?

In my travels around the country, I’ve met numerous individuals who worked full-time but had dreams of turning a part-time hobby into something that could allow them to quit their jobs and financially support their current lifestyle. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across the U.S.
No question, no matter how good your skills or how in demand your product or service, taking the plunge into self-employment is a major decision and one that you should not take lightly.
This article will provide you with some questions to answer as well as some thoughts and ideas to consider as you make some hard decisions about your future as you consider turning your hobby into a profitable (and sustaining) business.
Do you just enjoy your hobby or are you good to enough to actually sell your products or services? Making this distinction is essential, but often challenging to your ego. Is your hobby expertise really commercially viable or simply something that gives you great pleasure in your spare time?
For example, I really enjoy designing and building my own furniture and home accessories, but I also know I am not good enough craftsman to make a living selling my designs or creations.
Do you have the aptitude and drive to run your own business? It’s one thing to sell something to a neighbor or at a crafts fair, but a totally different thing to create and manage an entire business around your hobby. You’ll want to create a business plan for your own benefit as well as for potential investors (if you seek additional funding).
You’ll also be handling all the decisions for your start-up managing production, inventory, marketing, sales, finances, and accounting. You have to consider how much time running the business will take from your time creating the product or service you plan to sell.
Do you have personality/inclination for marketing, sales, and dealing with customers? Some of us have natural people skills that make it easy to deal with customers, but for the rest of us, taking the time and energy to sell, service, and please customers is simply too much. Remember, it’s not just making the sale, but dealing with everything surrounding the sale.
If selling or dealing with customers and clients is not your thing, of course, you can enlist a partner or hire a salesperson to do those customer sales and management tasks assuming your business will make enough money to support the additional personnel.
Is there a big and strong enough market for your product or service? I met a wonderful craftsman in Washington who makes unique water sprinklers from copper piping. He most certainly has the skill to design and create beautiful sprinklers, but because he does not want to sell his stuff online, he faces a very limited local market for his products.
How big is your market? How do you intend to obtain customers? Locally? Online? Selling through a third-party? It is extremely important to define your customer and then determine how many customers might seek out your product or service.
How much competition will you face? No matter how special you think your product or service, you will face competition whether from other hobbyists or other businesses. It’s important to take a hard look at how many, how big, and how powerful the competition will be for your product or service.
Once you’ve identified your competition, the next step is determining how you will beat them in order to get customers to buy your product or service.
What makes your product or service unique? In reality, truly unique products or services don’t exist because customers always have other choices. That said, you must identify distinctive elements of your product or service elements that your customers value and identify the best and most compelling method to communicate those features.
Even if your prices are higher than those of your competitors, if you can offer a truly distinctive (and in-demand) feature, you should be able to carve out a niche in the market.
How will you make the sale? Some key decisions about your potential new business concern how you handle customer transactions. Do you plan to only to make cash-based transactions, or will you accept credit cards? Obviously, accepting only cash (or check) for purchases is much easier, but not offering credit will often limit the number of people willing to buy your product or service. Accepting credit cards will also increase both your costs and aggravations, but may be something you have to do to make the sale.
If you sell through third parties, you can typically use their transaction methods (though still with an added cost).
Do you have enough money in reserve to cover start up costs and slow sales periods? The idea of having your own business and reporting to no one but yourself is a dream for so many, but unless you have the financial resources to do so, it may have to remain a dream for now.
On the other hand, if you have a source of funds whether from semi-retirement, savings, partner support, or financial backers you are one step closer to being able to realize your dream.
Have you considered the impact of losing healthcare coverage, life insurance, and other benefits? One of the major hurdles that is simply too high for some would-be entrepreneurs is replacing the benefits they currently receive from their employers. Healthcare costs for individuals and small businesses are not competitive and you may be forced to keep your full-time job or risk not having insurance.
You can mostly ignore this question if your spouse/partner’s employer benefits cover your needs.
Final Thoughts
Converting your hobby into a full-time business is a dream for many people, but before quitting your job, remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side. As one small business owner recently lamented, “I love owning my own business, and I hate owning my own business.”

By thoroughly and honestly answering the questions in this article, you should be on your way to making a decision whether you can turn your hobby into a business.


For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/
Certifications & a lot more visit  
http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
<http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/>

Answer These Questions First, Before Turning Your Hobby into a Full-Time Business?

In my travels around the country, I’ve met numerous individuals who worked full-time but had dreams of turning a part-time hobby into something that could allow them to quit their jobs and financially support their current lifestyle. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well across the U.S.
No question, no matter how good your skills or how in demand your product or service, taking the plunge into self-employment is a major decision and one that you should not take lightly.
This article will provide you with some questions to answer as well as some thoughts and ideas to consider as you make some hard decisions about your future as you consider turning your hobby into a profitable (and sustaining) business.
Do you just enjoy your hobby or are you good to enough to actually sell your products or services? Making this distinction is essential, but often challenging to your ego. Is your hobby expertise really commercially viable or simply something that gives you great pleasure in your spare time?
For example, I really enjoy designing and building my own furniture and home accessories, but I also know I am not good enough craftsman to make a living selling my designs or creations.
Do you have the aptitude and drive to run your own business? It’s one thing to sell something to a neighbor or at a crafts fair, but a totally different thing to create and manage an entire business around your hobby. You’ll want to create a business plan for your own benefit as well as for potential investors (if you seek additional funding).
You’ll also be handling all the decisions for your start-up managing production, inventory, marketing, sales, finances, and accounting. You have to consider how much time running the business will take from your time creating the product or service you plan to sell.
Do you have personality/inclination for marketing, sales, and dealing with customers? Some of us have natural people skills that make it easy to deal with customers, but for the rest of us, taking the time and energy to sell, service, and please customers is simply too much. Remember, it’s not just making the sale, but dealing with everything surrounding the sale.
If selling or dealing with customers and clients is not your thing, of course, you can enlist a partner or hire a salesperson to do those customer sales and management tasks assuming your business will make enough money to support the additional personnel.
Is there a big and strong enough market for your product or service? I met a wonderful craftsman in Washington who makes unique water sprinklers from copper piping. He most certainly has the skill to design and create beautiful sprinklers, but because he does not want to sell his stuff online, he faces a very limited local market for his products.
How big is your market? How do you intend to obtain customers? Locally? Online? Selling through a third-party? It is extremely important to define your customer and then determine how many customers might seek out your product or service.
How much competition will you face? No matter how special you think your product or service, you will face competition whether from other hobbyists or other businesses. It’s important to take a hard look at how many, how big, and how powerful the competition will be for your product or service.
Once you’ve identified your competition, the next step is determining how you will beat them in order to get customers to buy your product or service.
What makes your product or service unique? In reality, truly unique products or services don’t exist because customers always have other choices. That said, you must identify distinctive elements of your product or service elements that your customers value and identify the best and most compelling method to communicate those features.
Even if your prices are higher than those of your competitors, if you can offer a truly distinctive (and in-demand) feature, you should be able to carve out a niche in the market.
How will you make the sale? Some key decisions about your potential new business concern how you handle customer transactions. Do you plan to only to make cash-based transactions, or will you accept credit cards? Obviously, accepting on
ly cash (or check) for purchases is much easier, but not offering credit will often limit the number of people willing to buy your product or service. Accepting credit cards will also increase both your costs and aggravations, but may be something you have to do to make the sale.

If you sell through third parties, you can typically use their transaction methods (though still with an added cost).
Do you have enough money in reserve to cover start up costs and slow sales periods? The idea of having your own business and reporting to no one but yourself is a dream for so many, but unless you have the financial resources to do so, it may have to remain a dream for now.
On the other hand, if you have a source of funds whether from semi-retirement, savings, partner support, or financial backers you are one step closer to being able to realize your dream.
Have you considered the impact of losing healthcare coverage, life insurance, and other benefits? One of the major hurdles that is simply too high for some would-be entrepreneurs is replacing the benefits they currently receive from their employers. Healthcare costs for individuals and small businesses are not competitive and you may be forced to keep your full-time job or risk not having insurance.
You can mostly ignore this question if your spouse/partner’s employer benefits cover your needs.
Final Thoughts
Converting your hobby into a full-time business is a dream for many people, but before quitting your job, remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side. As one small business owner recently lamented, “I love owning my own business, and I hate owning my own business.”

By thoroughly and honestly answering the questions in this article, you should be on your way to making a decision whether you can turn your hobby into a business.


For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/
Certifications & a lot more visit  
http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
<http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/>

Turning Your Internship into a Job

After Clint Pyle’s summer internship with CNL Group, Inc. (now CNL Financial Group) ended, he asked if he could continue to work for the Orlando, FL, firm part-time during the school year, and the company accepted. From an internship in which Pyle engaged in relatively simple financial tasks, such as bank reconciliations and other lower-level financial projects, the 1998 finance graduate from Stetson University, DeLand, FL, he spent two full years working part-time for CNL.
Pyle’s plan to use his CNL internship as a springboard paid off. “I was offered a full-time position upon graduation as a tax accountant,” he says. “I started two weeks after graduation preparing various federal and state tax returns, as well as preparing work papers for public-accounting firms to prepare other tax returns.”
Pyle’s experience is not unusual. A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that during the 2002-03 academic year, employers said they converted more than 38 percent of their interns into full-time hires. Employers have already had the opportunity to observe the strengths of interns they convert into full-time positions. “We hired several interns to full-time jobs upon graduation, and I noticed that the interns’ performance was superior to that of recent college grads just beginning with our company,” observes Cory Petcoff, a 2000 business administration graduate from Stetson University.
While some interns simply luck into job offers, others, like Pyle, make a conscious effort to propel their internships into jobs.
“I was quite proactive in my efforts to turn the internship into a full-time job,” recalls Pyle, who is now a senior financial analyst in the Treasury Department of The St. Joe Company, Jacksonville, FL. “At the end of the internship, I approached my manager and was very honest and open about my goals and plans. In turn, they offered me the ability to do the part-time work until graduation. As graduation neared, I again approached my manager, as well as my human resources representative, and discussed my future possibilities.”
 
Taking a proactive approach is one of a number of strategies that can help you parlay an internship into a job. Other techniques include the following:

  • Be sure you want want a job with the company with which you’re interning. “I really think interning is [not only] one of the best opportunities for the employer to test drive the person, but for the person to test drive the employer,” says Stetson graduate Walter Ballard, who attained his full-time job with PriceWaterhousecoopers LLP as a result of an internship he did during grad school. Interning gives you a chance to see if you’d enjoy working permanently for your internship company and how well you fit into the organizational culture. Once you’re convinced the employer is right for you, your enthusiasm — based on real-world, insider knowledge — will be a major plus in helping you land a full-time job there.
  • Once you’ve decided you like the company culture, show you fit in. You can show your fit with employer’s culture in many ways — from wearing attire that aligns with what your co-workers are wearing to demonstrating a work ethic that’s at the same level as regular employees.
  • Work hard. Putting his nose to the grindstone was the ticket for another Stetson University graduate, Cory Rhoads, who was offered a job right out of college with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) after interning there for the summer between junior and senior year. “I worked hard during the internship and completed my responsibilities,” Rhoads says. “I treated it as if it were the ‘real thing,’ and it turned out to be a good decision, as this was enough for them to see how I would handle working as one of their consultants after school.” Working hard also means not turning up your nose at distasteful assignments that come your way, no matter how menial they seem. Be willing to do what’s needed. Don’t assume that your education equips you with so much knowledge that executing low-level projects is beneath you. Remember the guy in the FedEx commercial who thought he was too good to prepare packages for shipping because he had an MBA? Don’t be that guy.
  • Be aware that your every move may be scrutinized. “An intern must understand that an employer watches everything you do,” Pyle notes. “Even if you think it is a meaningless task, there is a reason for it, and it is important to your employer. If you handle the task with professionalism — even though you may think you are ‘above’ the task — it will reflect highly on you.”
  • Don’t just work hard. Strive to do your best, and extend your best behavior to your interactions with company stakeholders — suppliers, vendors, distributors, and especially customers. Keep quality in the forefront of your mind for every project you undertake. And be sure you project the utmost in professionalism to those stakeholders on whom the company wants to make a good impression.
  • Seek out extra work, new projects. Show your willingness to go beyond what’s the the job description for your internship, especially if the employer is overusing you for low-skill tasks (such as making coffee or acting as a go-fer). Look for ways you can make your co-workers’ jobs easier. You’ll make a great impression while sharpening your skills so you can step into a permanent position when the time comes.
  • Strong academic performance can be influential with some employers. Some firms value good grades highly. If you can maintain strong academics while also performing in your internship, you may gain a leg up. “I think performance in school is important for being selected for one of these opportunities,” Rhoads says. “It was for Andersen’s criteria. Work hard in school to get past the interviews so you can get locked in with an internship.”
  • Maintain a positive, eager-to-learn attitude. Ask questions. Show that you want to learn the job and learn the company. Strike a balance between asking enough questions to show your desire to learn and pestering people with so many queries that you become annoying. Ask if there are any training programs, seminars, or workshops you could attend to increase your learning, and hence, your value to the employer. Look for opportunities to attend trade shows and industry meetings.
  • Develop your skills. Learn unfamiliar software programs. Try projects that help you to hone skills you’ve never used or don’t use often. Observe the skills used by people in the kinds of positions in which you envision yourself working, and polish those skills. The wider your range of skills, the more valuable you will be to the employer. On the other hand, Allyson Quibell, writing for WetFeet.com, suggests that you choose just a couple of skills to focus on so that you develop those skills to their fullest.
  • Track your contributions and accomplishments. Be sure to keep a record of all the ways you’ve contributed during your internship. be prepared to present this list when you make your pitch to the employer for a permanent job. 
  • Be a team player. Berry points out that some employers, such as investment banking firms, host many interns simultaneously. Those numbers, she says, should not inspire competition because there are usually plenty of full-time opportunities to go around for successful interns. Instead, teamwork should be among an intern’s major strategies since most employers value their workers’ ability to perform in collaborative relationships.
  • Seek input and feedback from supervisors and co-workers during your internship so you know how to improve as you go along. Show those you work with that you want to be the best you can be.
  • Don’t be shy about asking about permanent job opportunities. Your employer won’t know that you’re interested in a job unless you ask. Also be vigilant for opportunities to create a position. Look for employer needs that aren’t currently being met and consider proposing a job to meet those needs.
  • Network with co-workers at your internship — both during and outside of working hours. Get to know as many of the people you work with as you can, and socialize with them outside work, as well. Join the company softball team. Attend the company picnic or party. Everyone you meet is a prospective member of your network, and the more people who know you and your work, the more champions you will have when it comes to turning your internship into a job.  “Relationships are keys to any business setting,” Pyle notes. “Make sure you make an effort to build relationships with not only your co-workers but also your manager. Having a cordial relationship with your manager makes it much easier for you to approach your manager when you might otherwise be hesitant to do so.”
  • Find a mentor. Parlay at least one of your network contacts within your internship into more than just a contact. Cultivate a mentor who can guide you in developing a strategy for obtaining permanent employment. 
  • If the internship doesn’t segue immediately into a job, keep in contact and be persistent. Maybe you’re not a position to take a full-time when the internship ends. Perhaps you have coursework to complete before graduation. If that’s the case, be sure to leave on the best possible terms. Write to your supervisor to thank him or her for the internship opportunity. Keep in touch periodically and ask about openings, especially as graduation approaches. In addition to touching base with your immediate supervisor determine what other company contacts might be valuable in your quest to join the company — such as human resources folks and hiring managers in the departments that most interest you — and remain in contact with them

  • by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.


    For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/Certifications & a lot more visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
    <http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/>

    Turning Your Internship into a Job

    After Clint Pyle’s summer internship with CNL Group, Inc. (now CNL Financial Group) ended, he asked if he could continue to work for the Orlando, FL, firm part-time during the school year, and the company accepted. From an internship in which Pyle engaged in relatively simple financial tasks, such as bank reconciliations and other lower-level financial projects, the 1998 finance graduate from Stetson University, DeLand, FL, he spent two full years working part-time for CNL.
    Pyle’s plan to use his CNL internship as a springboard paid off. “I was offered a full-time position upon graduation as a tax accountant,” he says. “I started two weeks after graduation preparing various federal and state tax returns, as well as preparing work papers for public-accounting firms to prepare other tax returns.”
    Pyle’s experience is not unusual. A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that during the 2002-03 academic year, employers said they converted more than 38 percent of their interns into full-time hires. Employers have already had the opportunity to observe the strengths of interns they convert into full-time positions. “We hired several interns to full-time jobs upon graduation, and I noticed that the interns’ performance was superior to that of recent college grads just beginning with our company,” observes Cory Petcoff, a 2000 business administration graduate from Stetson University.
    While some interns simply luck into job offers, others, like Pyle, make a conscious effort to propel their internships into jobs.
    “I was quite proactive in my efforts to turn the internship into a full-time job,” recalls Pyle, who is now a senior financial analyst in the Treasury Department of The St. Joe Company, Jacksonville, FL. “At the end of the internship, I approached my manager and was very honest and open about my goals and plans. In turn, they offered me the ability to do the part-time work until graduation. As graduation neared, I again approached my manager, as well as my human resources representative, and discussed my future possibilities.”
     
    Taking a proactive approach is one of a number of strategies that can help you parlay an internship into a job. Other techniques include the following:

  • Be sure you want want a job with the company with which you’re interning. “I really think interning is [not only] one of the best opportunities for the employer to test drive the person, but for the person to test drive the employer,” says Stetson graduate Walter Ballard, who attained his full-time job with PriceWaterhousecoopers LLP as a result of an internship he did during grad school. Interning gives you a chance to see if you’d enjoy working permanently for your internship company and how well you fit into the organizational culture. Once you’re convinced the employer is right for you, your enthusiasm — based on real-world, insider knowledge — will be a major plus in helping you land a full-time job there.
  • Once you’ve decided you like the company culture, show you fit in. You can show your fit with employer’s culture in many ways — from wearing attire that aligns with what your co-workers are wearing to demonstrating a work ethic that’s at the same level as regular employees.
  • Work hard. Putting his nose to the grindstone was the ticket for another Stetson University graduate, Cory Rhoads, who was offered a job right out of college with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) after interning there for the summer between junior and senior year. “I worked hard during the internship and completed my responsibilities,” Rhoads says. “I treated it as if it were the ‘real thing,’ and it turned out to be a good decision, as this was enough for them to see how I would handle working as one of their consultants after school.” Working hard also means not turning up your nose at distasteful assignments that come your way, no matter how menial they seem. Be willing to do what’s needed. Don’t assume that your education equips you with so much knowledge that executing low-level projects is beneath you. Remember the guy in the FedEx commercial who thought he was too good to prepare packages for shipping because he had an MBA? Don’t be that guy.
  • Be aware that your every move may be scrutinized. “An intern must understand that an employer watches everything you do,” Pyle notes. “Even if you think it is a meaningless task, there is a reason for it, and it is important to your employer. If you handle the task with professionalism — even though you may think you are ‘above’ the task — it will reflect highly on you.”
  • Don’t just work hard. Strive to do your best, and extend your best behavior to your interactions with company stakeholders — suppliers, vendors, distributors, and especially customers. Keep quality in the forefront of your mind for every project you undertake. And be sure you project the utmost in professionalism to those stakeholders on whom the company wants to make a good impression.
  • Seek out extra work, new projects. Show your willingness to go beyond what’s the the job description for your internship, especially if the employer is overusing you for low-skill tasks (such as making coffee or acting as a go-fer). Look for ways you can make your co-workers’ jobs easier. You’ll make a great impression while sharpening your skills so you can step into a permanent position when the time comes.
  • Strong academic performance can be influential with some employers. Some firms value good grades highly. If you can maintain strong academics while also performing in your internship, you may gain a leg up. “I think performance in school is important for being selected for one of these opportunities,” Rhoads says. “It was for Andersen’s criteria. Work hard in school to get past the interviews so you can get locked in with an internship.”
  • Maintain a positive, eager-to-learn attitude. Ask questions. Show that you want to learn the job and learn the company. Strike a balance between asking enough questions to show your desire to learn and pestering people with so many queries that you become annoying. Ask if there are any training programs, seminars, or workshops you could attend to increase your learning, and hence, your value to the employer. Look for opportunities to attend trade shows and industry meetings.
  • Develop your skills. Learn unfamiliar software programs. Try projects that help you to hone skills you’ve never used or don’t use often. Observe the skills used by people in the kinds of positions in which you envision yourself working, and polish those skills. The wider your range of
    skills, the more valuable you will be to the employer. On the other hand, Allyson Quibell, writing for WetFeet.com, suggests that you choose just a couple of skills to focus on so that you develop those skills to their fullest.
  • Track your contributions and accomplishments. Be sure to keep a record of all the ways you’ve contributed during your internship. be prepared to present this list when you make your pitch to the employer for a permanent job. 
  • Be a team player. Berry points out that some employers, such as investment banking firms, host many interns simultaneously. Those numbers, she says, should not inspire competition because there are usually plenty of full-time opportunities to go around for successful interns. Instead, teamwork should be among an intern’s major strategies since most employers value their workers’ ability to perform in collaborative relationships.
  • Seek input and feedback from supervisors and co-workers during your internship so you know how to improve as you go along. Show those you work with that you want to be the best you can be.
  • Don’t be shy about asking about permanent job opportunities. Your employer won’t know that you’re interested in a job unless you ask. Also be vigilant for opportunities to create a position. Look for employer needs that aren’t currently being met and consider proposing a job to meet those needs.
  • Network with co-workers at your internship — both during and outside of working hours. Get to know as many of the people you work with as you can, and socialize with them outside work, as well. Join the company softball team. Attend the company picnic or party. Everyone you meet is a prospective member of your network, and the more people who know you and your work, the more champions you will have when it comes to turning your internship into a job.  “Relationships are keys to any business setting,” Pyle notes. “Make sure you make an effort to build relationships with not only your co-workers but also your manager. Having a cordial relationship with your manager makes it much easier for you to approach your manager when you might otherwise be hesitant to do so.”
  • Find a mentor. Parlay at least one of your network contacts within your internship into more than just a contact. Cultivate a mentor who can guide you in developing a strategy for obtaining permanent employment. 
  • If the internship doesn’t segue immediately into a job, keep in contact and be persistent. Maybe you’re not a position to take a full-time when the internship ends. Perhaps you have coursework to complete before graduation. If that’s the case, be sure to leave on the best possible terms. Write to your supervisor to thank him or her for the internship opportunity. Keep in touch periodically and ask about openings, especially as graduation approaches. In addition to touching base with your immediate supervisor determine what other company contacts might be valuable in your quest to join the company — such as human resources folks and hiring managers in the departments that most interest you — and remain in contact with them

  • by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.


    For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/Certifications & a lot more visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
    <http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/>

    Career Assessment Do’s and Don’ts

    Here are the keys to a successful career assessment. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this self-discovery process.

    • Do be aware that assessments are available to help guide you toward the right career for you. A qualified career counselor can administer, score, and interpret these assessments. A number of free career assessments also are available on the Internet, though many experts question their reliability.
    • Do compare online career assessments to see which ones might meet your needs.
    • Do keep your expectations in check when you take free online assessments. You may attain some direction and guidance from these tests, but don’t be overly reliant on them for magic answers.
    • Don’t discount the possibility that these free online assessments might suggest to you some career ideas and directions you had never thought of and that are worth further exploration.
    • Do take several different assessments to help you learn more about yourself and to help you determine which tests provide the most reliable results for you.
    • Do print out and retain the results of the assessments you take online. Compare results, and see if you can see patterns — a “career snapshot” — beginning to emerge.
    • Do trust your gut. If a free online assessment tells you something about yourself that doesn’t ring true, disregard that information.
    • Don’t rely on free online assessments alone for self-discovery and career guidance. Meet with a career counselor; college students and alumni usually have free or inexpensive access to counselors. Supplement the results you’ve obtained from free online assessments with other assessments the counselor might administer. Ask the counselor to help you interpret and integrate the results of various assessments.
    • Do use career assessments with a variety of other self-discovery activities, such as examining your strengths and weaknesses and the activities you most enjoy and least enjoy.
    • Do have fun taking career assessments. Self-discovery is almost always an enlightening and often entertaining process.

    by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

    For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/Certifications & a lot more visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
    <http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/>

    Career and Job Fair Do’s and Don’ts

    The following rules are the keys to successfully navigating a career or job fair. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important strategic tool of job-hunting.

    • Do have a specific strategy for maximizing your time at the event. And don’t bother spending time with recruiters from companies that do not interest you.
    • Do pre-register for the event, and do attempt to get the list of attending companies before the career fair.
    • Don’t eliminate companies because they are recruiting for positions outside your field; take the time to network with the recruiter and get the name of a hiring manager for your particular career field.
    • Do attempt to research basic information about each company you hope to interview with at the job fair. A common career fair question from recruiters is, “Why do you want to work for our company?”
    • Don’t just drop your resume on the recruiter’s table and walk off.
    • Do prepare a one-minute “commercial” that focuses on the unique benefits you can offer the employer – your unique selling proposition. And do be prepared for common interview questions.
    • Do be prepared to talk about your work experiences, skills, and abilities. And for college students, do be prepared for a question about your GPA by some recruiters. (And do use the GPA — overall, college, major — that makes you look the strongest.)
    • Don’t be afraid or intimidated by the recruiter; he or she is there to do a job — to meet and screen potential candidates.
    • Do have a few questions prepared for each recruiter, but don’t ask questions that any good job-seeker should already know, such as “What does your company do?”
    • Do say the recruiter’s name several times during your conversation, even if you have to keep glancing at the recruiter’s nametag. And do get a business card (or at least contact information) from each recruiter.
    • Don’t forget to eliminate such bad habits as playing with your hair, chewing gum, fidgeting, rocking from side-to-side, acting distracted, rubbing your nose, etc.
    • Do remember all the keys to successful interviewing, including a firm handshake, a warm smile, eye contact, and a strong voice.
    • Don’t use filler words such as “um”, “like”, “you know.”
    • Do bring enough copies of your resume to the career fair. And do bring different versions of your resume if you are searching for different types of jobs.
    • Do take advantage of the time you have to build rapport with each recruiter, but don’t monopolize their time.
    • Don’t ever just walk up to a booth and interrupt a current conversation; wait your turn and be polite.
    • Do dress professionally — conservative is always the safe choice. 
    • Don’t waste the opportunity to network, not only with the recruiters, but with fellow job-seekers and other professionals in attendance at the career fair.
    • Don’t ever say anything negative to the recruiter about your college or previous jobs, companies, or supervisors.
    • Do be sure to ask about the hiring process of each company, but don’t ask too many questions about salaries, vacation time, and other benefits.
    • Do take the initiative and ask about the next step in the process. And do be prepared to follow-up all job leads.
    • Do be sure to follow-up with each recruiter. Some experts say to call and leave a message on their voicemail right after the job fair, but at a minimum you should send each recruiter a thank you letter.
     
    For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/Certifications & a lot more visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
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    Career Assessment Do's and Don'ts

    Here are the keys to a successful career assessment. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this self-discovery process.

    • Do be aware that assessments are available to help guide you toward the right career for you. A qualified career counselor can administer, score, and interpret these assessments. A number of free career assessments also are available on the Internet, though many experts question their reliability.
    • Do compare online career assessments to see which ones might meet your needs.
    • Do keep your expectations in check when you take free online assessments. You may attain some direction and guidance from these tests, but don’t be overly reliant on them for magic answers.
    • Don’t discount the possibility that these free online assessments might suggest to you some career ideas and directions you had never thought of and that are worth further exploration.
    • Do take several different assessments to help you learn more about yourself and to help you determine which tests provide the most reliable results for you.
    • Do print out and retain the results of the assessments you take online. Compare results, and see if you can see patterns — a “career snapshot” — beginning to emerge.
    • Do trust your gut. If a free online assessment tells you something about yourself that doesn’t ring true, disregard that information.
    • Don’t rely on free online assessments alone for self-discovery and career guidance. Meet with a career counselor; college students and alumni usually have free or inexpensive access to counselors. Supplement the results you’ve obtained from free online assessments with other assessments the counselor might administer. Ask the counselor to help you interpret and integrate the results of various assessments.
    • Do use career assessments with a variety of other self-discovery activities, such as examining your strengths and weaknesses and the activities you most enjoy and least enjoy.
    • Do have fun taking career assessments. Self-discovery is almost always an enlightening and often entertaining process.

    by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.

    For Career Building in all type of Tech. & I.T. Fields and Exams/Certifications & a lot more visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm or visit
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