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Physically Active Jobs (with median salary): 6 Jobs That Will Make You Healthier

From an increased risk of heart disease to more fat around your middle, studies show that our time at the workplace (8.8 hours per day on average) can be hazardous to our health.
“Often psychological environments have more to do with health than physical environments,” says Bill Burnett, author of Advantage: Business Competition in the New Normal. Two companies producing the same product under the same physical conditions can have a radically different effect on employee health at work, he maintains. “The single biggest health factor in large companies is the psychological environment established by the leadership team,” says Burnett.
However, some stress can be a good thing, says vocational rehabilitation counselor Marky Charleen Stein. “Too little stress leads to boredom and inhibits the release of endorphins,” otherwise known as “happy hormones,” according to Stein. As a person who helps people with on-the-job injuries, Stein suggests that jobs with a variety of physical movements are healthier than jobs with a singular, repetitive movement.
We asked the experts to single out six physically active jobs or low-stress jobs that can make you healthier while earning a decent paycheck. Wage information courtesy of online salary database PayScale.com
Events Coordinator – Median Salary $39,020Just like Baby Bear in the children’s fairy tale of the Three Bears, Stein says, “A medium stress level job might be that of an events or activity coordinator — just right.” Creating fun and memorable events for businesses or individuals is a growing multi-billion dollar industry. Earning certification from the International Event and Wedding Professionals organization can go a long way to giving you the skills you’ll need to feel less stressed when juggling all it takes to pull off a successful event.
Chiropractor – Median Salary $60,263Stein notes that chiropractors use a range of movements treating patients. But they’re also often self-employed — taking a demanding boss out of the stress equation. Another bonus: according to the BLS the chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic and uses natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments. A well-educated practitioner will certainly know a thing or two about healthier living.
Physical Therapist – Median Salary $67,056Physical therapists (PTs) enjoy lots of variety, from patients ranging in age from babies to elders, to physically demanding treatments that require lots of lifting, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and standing. Many PTs typically work 40-hour weeks without emergencies or overtime, according to the BLS.
Fitness Trainer/Exercise Instructor – Median Salary $26,744Exercise physiologist, speaker and fitness instructor herself, Joyce Moore says exercise lovers should consider making their favorite pastime a career. “You may need to get a certification,” says Moore, but the health boost from this physically active job is undeniable. Moore notes she burns about 200 calories per hour teaching.
Gardener/Landscaper – Median Salary $33,127Moore says, “This is a great job because it definitely reduces stress levels and is also a great calorie burner.” She estimates grass cutting, weeding, and general maintenance burns 235 calories per hour on average. Plus, the time spent outdoors boosts Vitamin D levels which is necessary for maintaining bone health and supporting the immune system, says Moore.

Auto Detailing – Median Salary $28,660“Who doesn’t love cars?” asks Moore. Between washing and waxing, the average person can burn about 300-500 calories, she notes, not to mention reaping the rewards of meditative tasks like polishing. Remember the lesson to the Karate Kid from Mr. Miyagi? “Wax on, wax off. Don’t forget to breathe, very important.”

Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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Companies Hiring This Month, Hurry up – No. of Openings and Locations mentioned

As the economic recovery continues to march on, everyone from the analysts on TV to your neighbor down the street looks for a sign that the worst struggles are behind us. Because no one can guarantee that unemployment will decrease or that stocks will be more bull than bear, the best anyone can do is look for positive signs around them.
When all else fails, direct your eyes to the hiring activity of businesses around you. For a period of time a “Now Hiring” sign was a rare sight. Today, with some confidence and consumer demand, companies are hiring again. They need skilled workers who can boost business and help it grow.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of companies hiring this very moment. These employers in a variety of industries across the country are looking for good workers right now.
Here are the companies hiring in September:
Industry: Sales
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Sales associates
Location: Nationwide
Allied Cash Advance
Industry: Credit union, finance, banking
Number of openings: 78
Sample job titles: Brand manager, district manager, customer service representative, branch team members, branch assistant manager
Location: California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Florida
Alpine Access
Industry: Customer service
Number of openings: 1,000
Sample job titles: Customer service
Location: Nationwide and work-from-home
Asbury Auto
Industry: Sales, automotive, mechanic
Number of openings: 100
Sample job titles: New car sales, used car sales, service advisor, auto tech
Location: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, California, Arkansas
Blackboard Inc.
Industry: Computer Software
Number of openings: 95
Sample job titles: Software engineer, regional sales manager, sales specialist, technical consultant, complex hosting manager, software developer
Location: Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Indianapolis
Camber Corporation
Industry: Defense and aerospace
Number of openings: 300
Sample job titles: Acquisition professionals, cyber analysts, applications developers, IA professionals, software engineers, linguist, aviation engineers
Location: Alabama, California, Texas, Michigan, Hawaii, Virginia, DC, Florida, Ohio, and Maryland
Chesapeake Energy
Industry: Oil and gas
Number of openings: 496
Sample job titles:  Facilities engineer, production engineer, reservoir engineer, director of procurement, field technician, driller, truck driver, rig mechanic, engineering technician, geologist, landman
Location of jobs:  Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Pennsylvani, New York, Arkansas
Chico’s, Soma Intimates, White House/Black Market
Industry: Retail
Sample job title: Sales associate, store manager
Location: Nationwide
City National Bank
Industry: Banking, financial services
Number of openings: 141
Sample job titles: Financial sales advisors, relationship managers, residential lending officers, senior mortgage loan underwriters, operations supervisors, policy and procedures supervisors
Location: California, New York
Davaco Inc.
Industry:  Retail, restaurant contract services
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Finish-out installers and lead installers, product merchandisers
Locations: Nationwide
Industry: Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology
Number of openings: 700
Sample job titles: Cell processing associates, materials associates, QA and QC associates, human resources, facilities, engineering, IT support and compliance, government affairs, validation, clinical affairs, medical affairs, APH network, product development, marketing
Location: Atlanta, Seal Beach, Calif., Seattle, Morris Plains, N.J.
Dollar Tree, Inc.
Industry: Retail
Number of openings: 1300
Sample job titles: Assistant store managers, store managers, distribution center associates
Locations: National
Edward Jones
Industry: Financial investments
Number of openings: 400
Sample job titles: Financial advisors, branch office administrators
Location: Nationwide
Industry: Online media
Number of openings: 10,000
Sample job titles: Writers, photographers
Location: Nationwide
F5 Networks
Industry: Network, computer products
Number of openings: 115
Sample job titles: Senior software engineer, test engineer, field systems engineer, major account manager, territory account manager
Location: Nationwide
Glendale Adventist Medical Center
Industry: Health care
Number of openings: 55
Sample job titles: Business analyst, certified nursing assistant, charge nurse, director of perinatal services, LVN, monitor tech, occupational therapist, physical therapist, physical therapy aide, registered dietitian, registered nurses
Location: Glendale, Calif.
Humana Inc.
Industry: Health insurance
Number of openings: 400
Sample job titles: Registered nurses, case managers, pharmacists, pharmacy tech, sales
Location: Louisville, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona
Infor Global Solutions
Industry: Software/hardware solutions
Number of openings: 67
Sample job titles: Senior software engineer, business development, product manager, license manager, director of product management
Location: Colorado Springs, Tampa, Atlanta, Rancho Cordova, California, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Malvern, Pennsylvania, Greenville, S.C.
Industry: Health care, social services
Number of openings: 100
Sample job titles: Social workers, milieu counselors, registered nurses
Location: New York
The Mergis Group
Industry: Accounting and finance, engineering, sales
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Lead engineer, tax manager, mortgage professionals, quality engineer, CFO, controller, business development manager
Location: Nationwide
Industry: Staffing and recruiting
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Account executives, search consultants, project coordinators, Internet researchers
Location: Nationwide
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Industry: Educational and government contractor
Number of openings: 1,000
Sample job titles: Postgraduate research associates, evidence control specialist, desktop publishing specialist, health education specialist, health physicist, programmer analyst, property management specialist, administrative clerk, program specialist, administrative assistant
Location:  Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Ohio, Colorado, Tennessee, California, New Mexico, Georgia.
Industry: Sales, construction, manufacturing
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Outside sales, plant engineer, skilled labor
Location: Nationwide
Orkin Pest Control
Industry: Pest Control
Number of openings: 138
Sample job titles: Pest control specialist, national accounts sales director, security analyst, network engineer, branch manager trainee, administrative assistant, outbound sales specialist
Location: Nationwide
Ozark National Life
Industry: Insurance, sales
Number of openings: 100
Sample job titles: Licensed insurance agent
Location: Missouri, Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, Iowa
Industry: Internet services
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Outside sales representatives
Location: Houston, Austin, Ft. Worth, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis, Phoenix,  Los Angeles, Irvine, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa
Securitas Security Services USA Inc.
Industry: Security guard
Number of openings: 300
Sample job titles: Security officer, supervisor, EMT
Location: Nationwide
Industry: Sales, warehouse and transportation
Number of openings: 500
Sample job titles: Package handler, driver, accounting, inside sales, mechanic, outside sales
Location: 50
Industry: Engineering
Number of openings: 2,150
Sample job titles: Architectural engineer, chemical engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, environmental engineer, geotechnical engineer, construction management, estimating and scheduling, aircraft and vehicle technicians, facilities management, instrumentation and controls, logistics, project controls
Location: Nationwide
Vestas Wind Systems
Industry: Wind energy
Number of openings: 50
Sample job titles: Project manager, systems engineer, supply chain specialist, service performance specialist, SCADA systems manager, product manager, transport specialist, technicians
Location: Nationwide
Waggoner’s Trucking
Industry: Transportation
Number of openings: 100
Sample job title: Truck driver
Location: Nationwide

Fight Ageism Job Seekers: Older is Wiser – new research proves it

We’ve all heard stories of younger job seekers winning jobs over older job seekers. The bias against the older work force is typically bogus, but can be hard to overcome. And younger folks supposedly require less salary, too. My question to you, the older and wiser job seeker, is: Are you leveraging all your assets in an interview?

A new study, in the United Kingdom, shows that “Brain scans had identified four brain regions that contribute to wisdom. The elderly have more activity in these regions than the young, which results in their wiser judgments… Scans also showed the brain never lost the ability to grow.”

Get specific
Now I’m not suggesting you should print out the results of the study and plop it down on the interviewer’s desk. But you should relate how in difficult decision-making situations you have, time and time again, led a team in a good direction. There are thousands of jobs that require experience real-world experience including technical know-how, but also business process and problem-solving.

The salary range for the position has likely been set before the interviews began. Some applicants might be able to settle for the low end of the range. You might require the top end. There’s probably not a large difference between the two. Your goal is to convey what the company will get for the extra investment. As I always say, talk with examples. Don’t say “I’ve had great success leading projects.” Talk about a project in detail where you’ve had “great success.”

Talk long term
Another mistake older workers make in interviews is to make age a part of the discussion. Interviewers cannot bring this subject to the table it is discrimination to talk about your age. Older workers sometimes feel the need to say, “I have a long career path still ahead of me.” It is better to talk in terms of goals for your career that dovetail with the position and/or direction of the company. If you talk about long-term goals you still plan to achieve ones that require true dedication and hard work the interviewers will start to view you as someone who will be around for a while. There’s a subtle difference, but a positive one.

With experience comes knowledge. With knowledge comes wisdom. The older, wiser work force has a lot to contribute to the success of our companies. Make sure you remind the world of this.
By Jeff Lipschultz – AOL.com

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10 Ways the 2020 Workplace Will Work For You

The workplace of 2020 is an exciting one, filled with changes specifically designed to benefit the future employee. Workers of tomorrow can look forward to more employee development and advancement opportunities than at any time in the past 30 years. How you develop your work skills today could lead to a big pay-off in the 2020 workplace.

Ten factors that will impact the 2020 workplace:

1. Demographics.
What it is: By 2020, the American workplace population will be more diverse: 63 percent white, 30 percent Latino, and 50 percent female. Four or even five generations, from Boomers to Generation 2020, will be working at once.
How it helps you: Companies going global will need to incorporate the experiences and backgrounds of a diverse workforce. Teams will be built up of workers of different gender, race and generation — and even workers of different nations.

2. Rise of business ethics
What it is: Companies that once only operated for profit will place new emphasis on the importance of their people, as well as the impact their existence has on the planet. The new bottom line will incorporate profit, people and planet.
How it helps you: An emphasis on doing good means companies will strive to be environmentally friendly. Plus, the ability for workers to give real-time feedback about their leaders ensures leaders will be held to their worker’s standards.

3. Social technology
What it is: Vlogging, Twitter, intranet chat rooms, Skyping — even today, there’s a vast array of online communication tools, with more to come.
How it helps you: The use of social technology means real-time feedback loops as well as facilitating offsite work teams. Social technologies will also enhance informal and peer-to-peer learning.

4. Mobile workplace
What it is: Increasingly powerful mobile phones are replacing laptops as the main work device.
How it helps you: Advanced Internet capabilities on your cell mean accessing your “desk” anywhere, anytime. Welcome to the “third place”: If the office is the first job site and the home office the second, the “third place” is anywhere your phone is.

5. Work/life flexibility
What it is: For younger generations, work is a significant part of their life, but they don’t compartmentalize it like older generations tend to. It isn’t about work-life “balance”; it’s about work/life integration.
How it helps you: Flexibility tools like web commuting and “third place” working will help replace the 9-to-5 workday with a goal accomplishment one (meeting goals regardless of what time of day the work was done), which will help companies boost the job satisfaction of their employees.

6. Serious play
What it is: “Sims” (Simulated Games) is the new buzz word in training: Online Sims allow employees to learn new jobs through low-risk direct practice.
How it helps you: Training will start to look like the games we’ve come to love, and studies show that Sims are effective methods for accelerating competence across the employee spectrum.

7. Mentoring
What it is: One-on-one mentoring is still a powerful way to develop employees, but companies will also use reverse-, micro- and group-mentoring.
How it helps you: Increased emphasis on mentoring means that your professional development will get a super-charge via direct input from company leaders as well as from your peers. Best of all, your opinions and skills are given new value as you reverse-mentor others, meaning that you will be tasked with teaching those senior to you about your role.

8. Democratization of information
What it is: Digital record keeping makes company information accessible to all.
How it helps you: The end of hierarchies! More employees will be tapped to help shape policy, project management and solve problems, rather than just follow orders.

9. Personal branding
What it is: Social technologies track personal ratings, referrals and reputations.
How it helps you: A good reputation has the same value in the future as it does now: It makes you a highly desired employee who can set your own value in the marketplace.

10. Talent shortage
What it is: There’s a big gap between all the Boomers retiring and the number of Generation X’ers available to fill their shoes.
How it helps you: The demand for 2020 leaders will result in more concentrated employee development and faster promotions for younger workers!

Although it’s a ways off, you can start preparing for the 2020 workplace by:

  • Adopting a global mind-set.
  • Becoming familiar with social networks
  • Building your personal brand
The future is coming, and adapting now will position you for a fast-track career in 2020.
By Jeanne C Meister and Karie Willyerd

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Slime-free Career Networking

Networking got a bad name because too many people saw it as transactional: I’m going to use you/you’re going to use me/let’s hope I can get a better deal on this trade than you do. That approach can have kind of a “meat” market, last-call-at-a-singles-bar flavor, and fear of getting caught in that flavor is one reason many women work late at their computers instead of going to an event where they might actually meet someone who would be good to know. On the other hand, if you meet someone you might want to do business with and don’t acknowledge that’s what you want, even to yourself, you close off any possibility that something good could happen.

What to do? When you meet someone at a business function, whether it be an industry group or women’s conference, that person is a prospect, and it’s okay to think of him or her that way . . . it’s even expected. If you meet the person somewhere else and you’re not sure if he or she would like to be seen as a prospect, you can do a quick qualifier and see how the response. If you say, for example, “Oh, I sell beauty products” to someone who owns a beauty salon, and she says, “What do you think of these appetizers?” you know that she might want to be your friend but not on your call list.

Be purposeful with your best prospects
At the other end of the spectrum are great prospects with whom it is clear from the start that you have something in mind. You have to be clear with them about what you want, too.

Just after I moved from Texas to Washington, D.C., I had lunch at the Jockey Club with a man named True Davis, a former U.S. ambassador to Sweden and high-level pharmaceutical industry executive. True was a mover and a shaker, and it was a real coup that he was meeting with me. I didn’t have a job, needed one desperately, and my mother, who had gone to high school with True, had suggested I call him for help. I did, and he graciously said yes. So I ended up going to lunch at the ritziest place at which I’d ever eaten, with True, who at the time was by far the richest and most powerful man I’d ever met, a man with tons of connections. I hadn’t done any homework on True, so all I really knew was that he was an important friend of Mommy’s. And I hadn’t thought through what I wanted, so I didn’t ask him for anything.

What I got from this encounter was an excellent lunch.

What else could I have gotten? At the very least, I could have procured a few introductions and interviews that would have greatly advanced my job search. I could have said to True, “I’m interested in working on the Hill for Congressman So-and-So, whom I know you know. Would you be willing to give his office a call on my behalf?” Or, “I’d love to get an administrative position in one of those prestigious Dupont Circle associations that I know you belong to. How do you think I should approach them?” At the very most, who knows what more a specific request might have yielded? But I blew it because I hadn’t done my homework, thought through what I wanted, and developed a powerful pitch around it. Which, by the way, he would have expected me to do and respected me for trying.

Even as recently as a few years ago, I still hadn’t completely learned my lesson. Flying back to New York from a speaking engagement in Detroit, I noticed Ram Charan, legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors and business writer extraordinaire, sitting in the plane’s first-class cabin. I was very familiar with his work, which I find amazing; to be perfectly frank, I had a big business crush on Ram, he was, at the time, my idea of who I wanted to be professionally when I grew up.

Since I believed then, as I do now, that you should try to meet people who do things you admire, I worked up my courage and seized the moment when I saw him standing alone by the luggage carousel after the plane landed. I forced myself to make an introduction, gushed like a schoolgirl over his work, and asked for a meeting. Tomy amazement, he agreed.

So when I got back to my office, I called his assistant, Cynthia, a lovely woman recognized my neediness and, despite her boss’s very tight schedule, managed a 15-minute meeting wedged in between Ram’s consulting sessions in New York. I arrived at the meeting, immediately offered my credentials (because by this time, at least I’d learned I have to credential myself with blues), and realized I had to make some kind of pitch. So I suggested we find some way to work together in the women’s market. Ram looked vaguely alarmed, told me that wasn’t really his sort of thing, and confessed that he had only agreed to see me because he thought I was someone else — some business muckety-muck’s daughter. A gentleman through and through, Ram then graciously declined my idea. That was it. He did, however, send me a standard issue, unsigned Christmas card that year and has continued to do so every year since, which jazzes up my office.

As much as I appreciate the holiday card, if I’d taken the time to develop a more precise pitch, I might have had a shot at working with new and powerful clients. Maybe if I’d said, for example, “I do a lot of training around relationship management, which would be an excellent fit with the work you’re doing on superior execution, and I think we could do X, Y, and Z together,” I could have at least gotten a second conversation. Instead, I essentially burned a very high-value prospect.

The moral of these stories: Save pitching your best prospects until you have a specific purpose or goal in mind that you can clearly articulate, and until you have thoroughly done your homework, which includes thinking through the benefit of what working with you or otherwise supporting you would do for them. Keep reading I’ll show you how.

Not the usual suspects

At this point, your goal should be to cultivate a diverse group of potential prospects rather than being bogged down by narrow definitions of who can help. So, your prospects might include not just your boss, but your boss’s boss, his counterpart in the next department, and his executive assistant. Not just your colleagues, but your competitors as well. The speaker you admire at a conference and the senior manager you meet at a wedding or party. Anyone with shared interests is a possible prospect, even if you do not share the same immediate goals.

Consider this scenario: You’re up for a plum assignment, along with several candidates in your company, and various decision-makers meet in the corner conference room to choose who gets the nod. Your boss is in the room and you know you can count on his support. But there are several others there, too, who don’t have any reason to support you; in fact, they have reason to argue against you because they want their own person to get the job.

Those people are prospects, too.

So you need to start thinking about indirect ways to cultivate those relationships. At the most basic, you might simply engage them in an occasional conversation. Or perhaps you could provide a useful piece of intelligence now and again “Hey, Tony, I thought you might like to know . . .” Tony still may not actively help you once he gets to that conference room, but he’ll be far less inclined to actively argue against you, and he may be more easily swayed to accept you over the person he’d originally thought would be the better choice.

As for your competitors, think of it this way: If you are competing with someone, you both have the same goal, which implies you have a similar vision. If you view this person as a prospect, thinking about a way to carve out the territory so you can support him or her in his or her piece and he or she can support you in yours, you have turned a competitive relationship into a functional, value-producing one. Politics really do make strange bedfellows.

This is an area where men often have an edge because they do not take competition as personally as we do, nor do they retreat from conflict as often. After a big ball game, men have no problem going out for drinks with players from the other team. We, on the other hand, just want those girls from the other team to go away — they’re bad girls and we don’t want to play with them anymore. We see the relationship context; men see the competition. We see girls who wanted to beat us; win or lose, guys see other guys who like baseball the way they like baseball and that’s what’s most important.

If you can make the mental shift that allows you to see your competitors as both competitors and potential prospects, you put yourself in the right mindset to win.
by Ronna Lichtenberg,

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Hiring Trends for 2010: Where the Jobs Are

According to CareerBuilder and USA Today’s most recent Job Forecast nationwide survey of employers, hiring in the second half of 2010 is likely to mirror hiring trends of the first half of the year with hiring progressing at a moderate but consistent pace. Of the 2,534 hiring managers and HR professionals surveyed, 41 percent plan to hire new employees in the second half of 2010, 42 percent do not plan to hire new employees during this time period, and 16 percent are not sure.
Most in-demand jobs
Among the 41 percent of hiring managers that plan to hire in the second half of 2010, the focus will be in these areas.
  1. Customer service (25 percent)
  2. Sales (22 percent)
  3. IT (18 percent)
  4. Administrative (13 percent)
  5. Business development (10 percent)
  6. Accounting/Finance (10 percent)
Recruitment trends and concerns
The survey reports that three trends for the second half of 2010 are:
1. Increase in emerging jobs.
According to the survey, 24 percent of hiring managers will recruit for jobs in emerging markets including social media, green energy, cyber security, global relations and health-care reform.
2. Increase in company turnover.
Fifty-six percent of HR Managers surveyed are concerned that their top talent will leave for another job as the economy improves.
3. Lack of skilled labor.
Twenty-two percent of hiring managers reported that despite the large labor pool, they can’t find qualified applicants to fill their positions. Forty-eight percent of HR Managers reported a lack of skills in their organizations, particularly in IT, customer service, and communications.
Are more companies hiring than firing?
The survey suggests that hiring is outpacing firing with most companies not anticipating a major change to headcount.
  • 21 percent of employers will add full-time, permanent headcount.
  • 8 percent plan to downsize.
  • 65 percent don’t anticipate a change in headcount.
What parts of the country are experiencing the greatest job growth?
There is no significant difference in hiring full-time permanent staff in different parts of the country.
  • West — 22 percent
  • Northeast — 21 percent
  • Midwest — 21 percent
  • South — 20 percent
Are salaries increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?
  • 42 percent of employers do not plan any change in salary levels.
  • 31 percent expect to see an increase of 1 to 3 percent.
  • 12 percent plan increases between 4 and 10 percent.
  • 1 percent anticipate an increase of 11 percent or more.
  • 3 percent anticipate a decrease in salary.
The employee perspective
In addition, CareerBuilder surveyed over 4,400 workers to gain their perspective on their employers and the current job market. Employees’ perceptions of their employers as a result of their employer’s actions during the economic downturn vary.
  • 20 percent of workers admit to having a worse opinion of their employers.
  • 14 percent have a better opinion.
  • 61 percent have unchanged views.
Reasons employees want to leave
29 percent of workers surveyed reported they plan to change jobs once the economy rebounds and 25 percent plan to leave their organization in the next 12 months for the following reasons.
  • 30 percent feel overworked and resentful about layoffs.
  • 33 percent believe they are underemployed or overqualified for their positions.
  • 23 percent do not find their work engaging.
Salary raises, increased employee recognition, readjusted workloads, and better career pathing and training were cited as factors that could influence the employee’s decision to stay.

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10 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid

Are you considering changing your career? Are you bored, fed-up, lost, or otherwise unhappy in your current career? Are you facing a crossroads at which you need to decide between staying in your current field and moving to a new one? Do you have skills that you are not using in your current career? Have you been promoted to a point where you are no longer doing what you love?

Changing careers is one of the biggest decision job-seekers face, and with many possible outcomes and consequences. Before you make that jump to a new career field, consider these common career change mistakes so that you can avoid them as you make the transition from one career to your next.

1. Making a career change without a plan. Probably the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to change careers without a plan. A successful career change can often take months to accomplish when you have a strategy, so without one, you could end up adrift for an even longer period. Having a detailed action plan (including items such as strategies, finances, research, and education/training) is essential to your success. Without a plan, you might take the first job offer that comes along, whether it is a good fit for you or not..

2. Changing careers because you hate your job. Don’t make the mistake of confusing hating your current job with hating your current career. Take the time to analyze whether it’s just the job/employer/boss that you hate, or whether it’s the career/skills/work that you dislike. The same goes with if you are feeling bored or lost with your job; review whether it’s the job/employer or the career. Whatever you determine, it’s best not to leave your job if possible until you have a plan for finding a new job/career.

3. Making a career change solely based on money/benefits. Certain career fields are very alluring because of the salary and other benefits they offer, but be very careful of switching careers because of all the dollar signs. Keep repeating to yourself, “money won’t buy me happiness.” Remember that you may make more money, but if you hate your new career, you’ll probably be spending that money on stress- and health-related expenses. A career that’s hot today could be gone tomorrow, so dig deeper.

4. Changing careers because of outside pressure. Don’t let your parents, significant others, or anyone else influence your career choice. They don’t have to live that career every day; you do. If you love what you do and earn a reasonable living, why is it anyone’s business but yours? If you switch careers because of outside pressure to have a “better career,” and then hate your new career, you’ll end up resenting the person(s) who pressured you to make the switch.

5. Making a career change without refreshing your network and finding a new mentor. Don’t ever attempt a career change alone. As soon as you have identified the career field you want to switch into, begin developing new network contacts. Conduct informational interviews. Join industry associations. People in your network can provide inside information about job-openings and can even champion you to hiring managers. Networking is essential for all job-seekers, but even more so for career-changers. And use a current or new mentor as a sounding board to help guide you in the transition.

6. Changing careers without examining all the possibilities. Don’t jump career fields without first conducting thorough research into all the possibilities, including career fields you may never have considered. By conducting research into careers you have never considered or been exposed to, you may find the career of your dreams. Talk to people in your network, read career and job profiles, meet with a career management professional. The more information you have about various career choices, the more successful you’ll be in making a career change.

7. Making a career change without assessment of likes/dislikes and without self-reflection. Self-assessment (of your skills, values, and interests) is a critical component to career-change success. Make a list of the skills you love doing (in your job, in your hobbies, in all aspects of your life) and the skills you never want to do again. Next, consider taking one or more assessment tests, especially those with a career component. Preparing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis is also a useful activity. All these activities are designed so that you better understand yourself your product so that you can find the best career for you and then sell yourself to employers in that new career.

8. Changing careers based on the success of others. It’s human nature to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. Just because your best friend or neighbor is successful in a certain career does not mean that you will be or that you will be happy doing it so certainly consider the career field, but make sure you do the research before jumping into it. Finally, just to add yet another cliche, too many job-seekers switch careers on the assumption that the grass is always greener and often times find out that is not the case.

9. Making a career change without necessary experience/education. As a career-changer, you must find a way to bridge the (experience, skills, and education) gap between your old career and your new one. While transferable skills (skills that are applicable in multiple career fields, such as communications skills) are an important part of career change, it is often necessary to gain additional training and experience before you can find a good job in a new career field. Research whether you need additional training, education, or certifications. And try to find time to volunteer, temp, intern, or consult in your new career field what some experts refer to as developing a parallel career before quitting your current job and searching for a full-time position in your new career field.

10. Changing careers without updating job-search skills/techniques. If it’s been a while since you were last on the job market, take the time to polish your job-search skills, techniques, and tools. Review your resume-writing techniques, master networking, and polish your interviewing skills. What’s the sense of doing all this research and preparation in attempting to change careers if you are not current with your job-search skills? Use the resources in our Career Toolkit to examine and polish all aspects of your job-hunting techniques and tools.

Final Thoughts
You have so many resources at your fingertips, both here at Quintessential Careers and other career sites, that there is no excuse to making any of these career change mistakes. But if you do make one of them, step back and see if there is a way to fix it and move on… a career should not control you; you should control your career.

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

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Life Planning: Go Big or Go Home!

“Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir your blood… MAKE BIG PLANS. Aim high in hope and work.” So wrote Daniel H. Burnham in the last century. The big plans are important. They capture your vision. The next step is to break them down into “do-able” chunks, chunks that can be done in even one day. That is what gives you a definite sense of accomplishment, isn’t it? The big plans are necessary, the baby steps, imperative!

My daughter shared a marketing tip with me the other day. She said, “Go big, or go home.” I thought about this quite a bit as it seemed so brash and arrogant. Great slogan, but what about the little guy? Then, it all made sense. Each person has the opportunity to define “big” for himself or herself. If we are to live our dreams and visions about how we want our lives to be, how we want to be remembered, what our contribution to our daily world could be, it IS true. Go big or go home!

Have a vision. Have a master plan for your whole life as you presently see it. What would you like to be doing, experiencing, being or having in your life, sometime in your life? What are the things that are most important, significant and valuable to you? That’s big!

After you have created the “big picture” then you can decide what you would like to create immediately and pay attention to that. Timing is only one difference between short- and long-term goals. Another important difference is that short-term goals lead directly to long term goals that fit perfectly into the master plan. And the good news is….you are in charge! You can change your master plan, and your approach to it, as your interests and priorities shift and grow. You are not locked in. A master plan is a plan for joy and passion, not a plan for duty and obligation.

It is useful to break your goals down into three categories: current, near future and far future. Once you have put your future goals into your subconscious mind, they are begun. It is not only action that is required. Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind is key. Thoughtfully craft your current goals. Know how you will measure your success and plan for it.

Think big! Think limitlessly. Think “out of the box.” People are often limited by their minds unwillingness to stretch. Remember what Napoleon Hill said: “…if you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it!”

If you find yourself surrounded by people who are “thinking little,” it might be difficult to find support and acceptance for your big plans. You may have to include some new associates who want to play “big,” too! You have probably heard that, if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch! Jump off that porch and get running!

Reflect on the biggest view of your life your master plan. Is it big enough for you? Does it cause you to stretch to get your arms around it? If not, think a little bigger and see where it takes you. If it does, be sure you have planned the route that will get you there. Then, follow it. As you embark on each task today, ask yourself, “Am I on the road to my vision by doing this?” If not, make a correction.

Go big or go home! That one little phrase keeps me on my toes.

by Rhoberta Shaler, Ph.D.

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