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Saturday, October 30, 2010

5 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Personal Brand Online

There have been countless incidents in which professionals have lost their jobs, been evicted, or even been arrested for things they’ve done on social networks. There has never been a more important time to discuss the many ways you can sabotage your personal brand, and how you can prevent these mistakes before it’s too late.

A new report by Microsoft states that 64% of HR managers think it is appropriate to look at online profiles of candidates and 41% have rejected people as a result. Your online presence which may consist of both content that you provide (on your LinkedIn profile for instance), as well as what’s written about you by people you may or may not know is slowly becoming part of the formal recruitment process. It’s also where first impressions occur before in-person handshakes are made, so you have to make sure you are managing your brand online, before someone else does it for you.  The following are five ways to avoid sabotaging your personal brand.

1. Don’t Ignore Brand Mentions

58% of Americans don’t even Google themselves, but employers and potential customers certainly will. It’s safe to say that people are already talking about you, either online or offline.

As you create your personal brand on a variety of platforms, your name will start popping up in search engines and on social networks. This can be both beneficial to your brand or harmful depending on the context. The viral nature of social networks, as well as their new ubiquity, should encourage you to start listening in on what people are saying about you.

Negative mentions will spread fast unless you keep your ear close to the web, so I recommend you setup a Google alert for your name, your company’s name, key competitors, partners, and industry buzz terms. There are many other free tools that can help you monitor your brand. You can also try Social Mention for a more complete solution to brand mentions on social networks.

2. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

A future problem, which some might say is a current problem, is the volume of social networks and the amount of status updates and messages you receive each day. If you’re active on each and every social network that launches, you will start to spread yourself too thin, which can really hurt your brand. You won’t possibly be able to update all of your social profiles, as well as keep track of pictures, profile information, groups, etc. In general, you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), as well as those networks in your industry.

You should reserve your full name on as many of the popular social networks as possible by using a service such as, before someone who shares your name claims them and you’re locked out for life. But just because you have claimed your name everywhere doesn’t mean you should expend valuable time and energy maintaining a presence on every social network.

There are some websites that allow you to scale your social feeds so that one status update can automatically spread to other networks, without manually publishing content. You can use or  to spread your status message to many social networks at once, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. You can also go to your LinkedIn profile and syndicate your tweets for your LinkedIn status update automatically or by using “#in” for each tweet (if you want to be selective). There is also a Facebook application for Twitter so you can syndicate your tweets through your Facebook profile.

3. Know Your Audience

It’s really easy to forget who you’re connected with on social networks as they grow. You might start out with high school, college, and summer camp friends, and then add some co-workers when you start a new job. There will be a point where you’re going to have to make a strategic decision, who you accept and who you don’t. The second you add your manager or colleagues is the time when you have to rethink what you publish or what you syndicate from other social networks. One mistake could cause you trouble.

On Facebook, you may want to have a profile page for your inner circle of friends and family members and then a Facebook Fan Page for your professional image. This way, you can make your profile private and hide it from search, while having a fan page that you can point your coworkers to. They will know that you are hiding your profile but should respect your privacy, especially since you’re giving them the option to follow your fan page.

4. Limit Self-Promotion

Certainly, self-promotion is an extremely important part of building your brand because if no one knows of your achievements or the company you work for, then how are they going to do business with you? Yet, I’ve noticed that people often over-promote themselves in various ways across the web.

Successful self-promotion only works in moderation, because if you’re constantly only promoting yourself, many people will unfollow, unfriend, or block you from their network. The best way to build a strong personal brand is to promote other people, which creates goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer: Your expertise. If you’re helping people 80 or 90% of the time, then people will be much more accepting of your self-promotional messages the other 10%. You will also start to notice that other people will promote you and their endorsement is even stronger than your own proclamations.

5. Be Consistent

Consistency is extremely important when it comes to any kind of branding, from personal to corporate.
Selecting a unified “picture” and spreading it across all your social media your website, your blog, your presentations, your press kits, your business cards, etc. will build image recognition in the mind of your audience. Consistency is significant for pictures, your name, as well as the fonts, the colors and the overall message that you communicate through your online properties.

There is no question that you already have a personal brand whether you built it yourself or not. The way to differentiate it from everyone else is through management. By paying attention to mentions of your name online, not spreading yourself too thin, knowing your audience, offering more value than self-promotion, and being consistent, you can be very successful.

By Dan Schawbel

Friday, October 29, 2010

18 Sites for Finding Startup Jobs

Though it may seem like many of the job opportunities in the United States have dried up as of late, you can find a wealth of job postings on the Web that may be right up your alley. From programmers to promotions, there are many startup companies looking to hire just the right people for the positions they have open. These 18 services represent a mixture of well-known mainstream sites and companies that focus on nothing more than listings in the Web 2.0/startup market.

Have you had success using these sites? Tell us more in the comments.

General Job Site Startup Listings – The nice thing about the site is that you have the salary range listed on the summary page as opposed to having to go into each listing. – While they have a startups section, finding Microsoft intermixed in their thousands of listings makes you think it’s more a general technology area. – One of the longest running online job sites has numerous job listings for startups that you can search by company, date, job title or relevance.

Yahoo Hot Jobs – Yahoo’s job listings includes numerous listings for jobs at startups, most of them seem to be centered on the technical side.

Startup Specific: – Looking for startups in Asia? This may be the solution for you. – Focusing on nothing but jobs at startups, CoNotes has been around since 2007. – Browse jobs by city or pull up the category that applies to your skill set. – ejob focuses on staffing needs in and around Silicon Valley. – A one-stop-shop for startups to form business plans, find funding and locate employees that can fulfill their needs. – Aggregates startup listings from a multitude of sites. – Our very own marketplace features categories for listing jobs and looking for them also. – Lets you look up jobs by category, add them to your basket as you find ones that interest you and then apply to all of the ones you’ve saved. – Besides offering numerous job listings at startups, they have 225+ interviews with people from some of the companies explaining what they are about and what they are looking for in an employee. – Both startups and potential employees can set up profiles to try to find the perfect match for each other. The service is completely free to potential employees, but will cost employers to contact potential hires. – A small jobs board with unique listings that you can search by type of job or occupation. – Covers various industries related to Web 2.0 and startups, lets you also browse by job type. – Allows you to search jobs by occupation, location or even what stage of funding they are in. – Provides internship listings for students at certain schools and has job listings you can search by country or occupation.

By Sean P. Aune

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Building Your Career Portfolio: Four Career Investments for a Purposeful Lifetime

"When I was laid off, I was shaking so badly that I didn't know whether I could drive home," said Kristin, 32, a mother of three who lost a public relations job. "My heart was pounding and I felt disassociated, like the whole thing was a bad dream."
After working at the same company for five years, David, 36, was escorted out of his building after being informed that the company was heading in a new direction and no longer needed his type of skills.
Shock, rootlessness and anger are just a few normal responses many feel when they lose their jobs to corporate downsizing.
How can you mitigate career risk -- otherwise known as the pitfalls of marketplace change, economic turndowns, downsizing, personal health and life changes, and distasteful company politics that can wreck havoc with one's life?
The answer lies in building a CareerPortfolio, a career risk management approach, similar to building a financial portfolio, that can help you develop four, specific career assets, or "investments." Why four? Because these four ingredients offer a well-balanced opportunity for you to earn, learn, and help others throughout the rest of your life. And, like a financial portfolio, you can diversify risk so that you always have a number of career options on tap.
Begin with a Personal Purpose
To build a CareerPortfolio, start by developing your personal purpose. Your personal purpose is your investment strategy that guides all of your career decisions.
Begin by answering the following questions.
  • How would I like to be remembered 100 years from now?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • Two projects when I made a difference in recent years are (list them): 
Now think about the big picture and write down the purpose of your life by filling in the blank: The purpose of my life is to____________________________.
You can revise your personal purpose statement as needed. It will help you decide what types of opportunities are worth pursuing. You will become purposeful rather than just "busy."
Develop Your CareerPortfolio™
Now, it's time to assess the kinds of career assets you either may want to develop. If you have two or more of the following career assets working in your life, you will be building optimal career wealth over time.
  • Primary Income Investment your job, or business that you own, where the majority of your financial income is earned.
  • Secondary Income Investment -- an optional, alternate source of income that allows you to gain additional knowledge, career options, income, and sense of purpose. Not everyone is destined to own a business. However, those who choose to develop a business or occasional side project can start out small, and grow the business over time.
  • Volunteer Investment finding one or more ways to reach out to your community in a way that is meaningful to you. When volunteerism supports your personal purpose, you can gain new skills and meet valuable new contacts, all while making a difference in your world.
  • Lifelong Learning Investment including mentorship, focused reading and education.
Once you identify your desired career assets, you can put together a step-by-step plan for building your CareerPortfolio. Your overall life goals, available time, the ability to balance work and family, and stage of your life all should factor into your decision-making.

Wednesday, October 27, 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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Making Lemonade: Starting a Business After Ending a Career

What do you do when the money tree starts sprouting lemons?
It's increasingly common these days to find middle-aged, mid-level managers suddenly faced with huge shifts of circumstance. Down-sizing, bubble-bursting, plant-closing, and consolidating are just some of the forces creating a class of sudden solo-preneurs.
At 50-something, you face particularly difficult job-hunting challenges. Your salary range is high. Your network is decent after so many years, but jobs at your level are few. You've been there, done that, and thought you were finished with all that new trick-learning.
A big upset like job loss can provide a shift of perspective, an opportunity to take stock. What is really important? What do you want to pursue at this point in your life? Is being your own boss the way to go?
I spoke with several silverbacks to share their wisdom gleaned from these life changes with a new member of the pack.
Dean turned 50 in January of 2005. In May he was fired from his position as marketing director of a high-tech firm. He's angry at the ease with which an employer could let him go.
"Control is a big issue for me," Dean says. "Do I really want to have someone tell what, where, and how? It seems like I work a lot but don't reap the benefits. If I were on my own I'd have all the benefits and all the risks."
Dean is deciding whether to find another job with the security of a regular paycheck and benefits or start his own business. He finds information on the Internet helpful but wishes there was a Big Brother-like program pairing people and businesses to help him sort through the options.
Carl was 51 when the ordinance plant where he was safety manager closed its doors. "I had a lot of friends in the business," he says. "I could have easily picked up another job, but I would have had to relocate halfway across the country. I didn't want to do that."
When Bob's engineering position was eliminated after 23 years with the firm, he went him into a deep depression that lasted for months. "I couldn't even drive," he says.
With the help of his psychiatrist, Bob recognized what was most important in his life, his wife, his son, and his lifelong hobby, bird-watching. "My doctor told me to go bird-watching every day," Bob recalls. "While out there on the wetlands I had a vision. I couldn't go back to the corporate life."
It takes a lot of stamina and belief in yourself to move ahead with plans for a business. Carl describes his state of mind at the time: "I wasn't frightened," he says. "I'm a survivor. I screwed up when I was younger – went bankrupt, lost a lot of material things. One good thing about failing is that it gets you over that fear of failure. You learn from your mistakes."
Both Bob and Carl did a lot of research, internal and external. Bob determined that he loved birds, kids, nature, education, photography, and the environment. Anything he pursued needed to involve those elements. Once he was clear on the essentials the how-to landed in Bob's lap.
"I saw an ad in a magazine to call for franchise information," he recounts. "My mind immediately took off with the possibilities. I began looking at retail spaces thinking ‘I wonder how that location would work?' I saw the ad on a Saturday. That Tuesday I called the company. On Thursday I had the package and on the following Tuesday they had it back."
Carl took his time, looking at options. His values included a love of people and a desire to create a positive environment. His plans started with casual conversation. "My buddies owned this building," he recollects. "There had been a restaurant there years ago but it had been mismanaged. And somehow the idea of starting another one came up. At first we were clowning around, yucking it up over a few beers, but then we started getting more serious.
While Bob made use of the infant, but already helpful, Internet of 1995, Carl used lower-tech methods to estimate his market. "I spent 15 days from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. counting cars at that intersection. I figured if we could get a big enough percentage of them to stop we'd be in business," Carl says.
Bob used a book on franchising to help him review his offer. Carl was mentored by a successful friend in the restaurant business who helped him think things through. They developed their business plans and opened their doors.
The first year was tough for both businesses. Miscalculations and errors sent both owners reeling.
At first Carl knew nothing about preparing and serving food. "The restaurant was overstaffed and overpaid," he recalls. "I felt held hostage by the people who worked for me. Things were pretty shaky there for awhile. Some days I wondered if we could open the doors."
Bob got overwhelmed with paperwork and screwed up his accounting records. "Plus I went crazy at Vendormart," he says. "I bought four times as much inventory as I should have. Nowadays the franchise pairs successful stores and newbies so that doesn't happen, but those safeguards weren't in place back then."
Bob's store is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary and has been recognized three times among the Top 30 Most-Improved stores. Recently his store was No. 2 out of 320 in overall sales.
Carl was advised that he'd know if the restaurant would make it within four years. It was clear after three that everything would be fine. Today after seven years he's looking to expand. "We're not getting rich, but we're self-supporting, and the relationships are priceless," he says.
What advice do they have in hindsight for Dean and others like him?
Bob says, "Find what you love and create your opportunity. Be willing to change—be retooled. Don't get stuck in a rut. And you gotta have another source of income when you're starting."
Carl adds, "We grossly underestimated the working capital we'd need. And if I had it to do over I'd own the building. There are improvements I'd like to make but I'm restricted by the landlord."
So back to Dean, who's looking at buying an existing restaurant business, if he doesn't decide to return to marketing. Where does he want to be in a year? What will he say when I check back with him?
I made the right choice. I'm doing exactly what I should and I'm excited about it.

by Liz Sumner, M.A. CPC

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dealing With a Bad Boss: Strategies for Coping

Maybe you have a boss who is sexist or racist. Or perhaps a boss who takes all the credit for himself. Maybe your boss thinks you have no life outside work and makes you stay late everyday. Or perhaps a boss who gives out too many tasks with impossible to meet deadlines (or constantly changing deadlines). Maybe your boss is a pathological liar. Or perhaps the boss plays favorites.
Bad bosses whether ogres, control freaks, jerks, micromanagers, or bumbling fools can be found in all organizations. Pop culture loves to make fun of bad bosses, from the pointy-haired boss in the Dilbert comic strip, to the completely insipid boss from the British import "The Office," to the anal-compulsive and mean boss of the movie Office Space.. but bad bosses are no laughing matter when you have to face him or her every working day. And, unfortunately, with the rightsizing of the last several years, there are probably more overworked and under-trained bosses than ever. It's also possible, though, that bad bossing is just part of the organization's corporate culture.
One study found that almost 80 percent of the employees surveyed identified their boss as a lousy manager. And almost 70 percent in that study conducted by Delta Road stated that their immediate superior had "no clue" what to do to become a good manager. Author Harvey Hornstein, Ph.D., estimates that 90 percent of the U.S. work force has been subjected to abusive behavior at some time. He bases his conclusions on a survey of nearly 1,000 workers over eight years.
So, what can you do if you are working for a bad boss? This article will provide you with the tools you need to manage the situation as best you can, but remember that sometimes the only solution is transferring to a different part of the company -- or switching employers.
Make sure you are doing everything right
The first solution is an honest analysis of your actions and behavior. How have you been handling yourself in your job? Have you always taken the high road, or have you resorted to occasional backstabbing, gossiping, or underperforming? If you're human, it's likely your bad boss has affected your performance, so try ignoring all these distractions and focus on your work to see if that changes anything. Find other sources of positive reinforcement for doing your job to the best of your abilities.
Compile a list of bad boss behaviors
The second solution is a bit more involved, but should be a cathartic experience for you. Make a list of all the things that your boss does that drive you nuts. Let the list sit for a few days and then review it again, adding or deleting activities upon further reflection. Next, rank the list from most annoying to least annoying. Pick the top two or three worst offenses and develop some suggestions for how your boss could act differently in those situations. Edit the suggestions to remove sarcasm or anger. Show the suggestions to a trusted friend who has no vested interest in the situation. Edit the suggestions again.

Once you feel comfortable that your suggestions are positive and helpful, consider scheduling a meeting with your boss to discuss. Perhaps suggest meeting outside the office for breakfast or lunch. Leave your emotions at the door, but be prepared for your boss to have an emotional reaction. It's possible that your boss is unaware of his/her actions, and this meeting could be very positive for all involved; however, it's also possible that the meeting will end badly.
Keep a journal of incidents
The third solution involves documenting each bad behavior of your boss in a journal. Don't judge or write emotional reactions; simply document the facts of the situation and how the bad behavior impacted your performance -- as well as others in the department. Again, this process may be enough to relieve you of the stress so that you can cope. However, at some point in the future -- perhaps as you are leaving for a new job you might consider taking the journal to a trusted colleague in human resources or even a mentor within the company.
Find a mentor with the company
If you love the company but hate the boss, another solution is to develop a mentoring relationship with a boss/supervisor in another part of the company. Mentoring is a fantastic strategy that you should consider even if you have a good boss because a mentor is someone who can help you in many ways, from offering advice to suggesting you for a promotion. And in coping with a bad boss, a mentor can be a good sounding board for you, and perhaps after you have documented all the offenses, someone who has the pull and the power to do something about your bad boss.
Report your bad boss
A last resort is reporting the bad actions/performance of your boss to his/her supervisor or to someone in human resources. While logic would hold that the company would not want a manager who is hurting performance or productivity, the reality is often that you become branded as a trouble-maker/whiner/complainer and your days at the company quickly become numbered.
Don't sacrifice your health or self-esteem
The worst thing you can do is simply to do nothing, hoping the problems will get resolved. No job, boss, or company is worth losing your health, sanity, or self-esteem. If you can't find a way to resolve these issues and/or your boss simply will never change his/her behavior, you should immediately start working your network and begin looking for a new job within or outside the organization. Again, if you love the company, a transfer might be the best option but keep in mind that your boss might be as evil as to sabotage that transfer. And try not to quit before you find a new job, but again, if work just becomes too unbearable, you may need to consider quitting to save yourself. 
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10 Careers which Pay you $30 per Hour (with average per annum salary) – According to Yahoo Hot Jobs

Imagine, in just 60 minutes, you could earn enough to pay for a tank of gas, the cable bill, gym membership, or dinner out. Thirty dollars still covers some of life's essential costs. Earn that much in just one hour on the job, and you have enough to build a comfortable life to live.  
The latest U.S. Census Bureau figures put the median household income in the U.S. at $50,233. A $30-per-hour job brings in $62,400 before taxes, or 20% more than the national median. For many people, this extra margin is just one promotion or one credential away. To boost your economic security, consider these 10 careers with salary data as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Database Administrator
Mean Hourly Wage: $33.78
Salary: $70,260
Database administrators perform a vital role in our information economy, managing the database systems that help companies store, process, and access data effectively. Job growth is stunning in this high-demand field as well -- the profession is expected to grow 37 percent through 2016. Continuing education is a must to keep up with evolving technology, but entry requirements are modest. You can launch this $30-plus-an-hour career with an associate's degree in database administration or information technology.

Registered Nurse
Mean Hourly Wage: $30.04
Salary: $62,480
Historic demand for registered nurses is inspiring many people to reinvent themselves as health care practitioners. Nursing is projected to generate more new jobs than any other profession -- an estimated 587,000 positions through 2016, which represents a 23% increase in a decade. To take advantage of this boom, head to nursing school for your bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). Accelerated programs are available for career changers who already have a bachelor degree in another field.

Technical Writer
Median Hourly Wage: $30.18
Salary: $62,780
Technical writers interpret engineering and scientific information for a lay audience, producing product documentation, user manuals, project proposals, and scientific reports. Most writers come to the field with a college bachelor's degree in a communications or liberal arts field. Some colleges offer specialized certificate programs in technical communication, which incorporate IT literacy training.

Fashion Designer
Median Hourly Wage: $34.22
Salary: $71,170
Fashion design has the reputation as an all-or-nothing labor of love, you begin as a starving artist and ultimately attain celebrity stature designing haute couture. In fact, the majority of fashion designers, 3 in 4 designers, work secure, salaried jobs for apparel manufacturers. What these artists give up in suffering and glamour they make up for in a solid and stable paycheck. A job as a salaried fashion designer starts with an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design.

Median Hourly Wage: $30.11
Salary: $62,640
Accountants should have no trouble finding work as businesses throughout the economy sort through the financial rubble of the credit crisis. Mounting federal regulation will also contribute to demand for trained accountants. Accountants working for accounting and bookkeeping services earn upwards of $30 per hour. These employers hire trained professionals with a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance.

Environmental Scientist
Median Hourly Wage: $30.71
Salary: $63,870
Environmental scientists will be the heroes of the coming era, developing much-needed strategies to redress environmental damage to soil, water, and air. The field is expected to grow 25% in response to new federal regulations and funding, as well as private investment. A bachelor's degree in earth sciences will get you started in this fascinating and important field. Many scientists go on to a master's degree to secure the best opportunities.

K-12 Curriculum Designer
Median Hourly Wage: $30.87
Salary: $64,220
Curriculum designers are at the forefront of educational research, developing new instructional materials and strategies to improve the quality of education in our nation's schools. The job typically calls for a graduate-level degree in the field, such as a master's degree in education (M.Ed.).

Dental Hygienist
Mean Hourly Wage: $31.21
Salary: $64,910
To make about the same amount of money with a two-year associate's degree, enroll in a dental hygiene program. Dental hygienists work alongside dentists to promote oral health and hygiene. Hygienists enjoy distinction as one of the nation's fastest growing occupations, with 30% growth expected through 2016.

Detectives and Criminal Investigators
Median Hourly Wage: $30.05
Salary: $62,500
Solving crimes is all in a day's work for these criminal justice professionals. Criminal investigators can build their skill set by completing an associate's degree in criminal justice, where they take courses in crime scene investigation, criminal investigation procedures, and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics rates job opportunities as "excellent."

Television Producer
Median Hourly Wage: $31.66
Salary: $65,850
Producers coordinate the television features we enjoy, from sitcoms to dramas to the nightly news. To build the necessary skill set, producers enter the field with an associate's or bachelor's degree in mass communications or broadcast media.
A tight economy hasn't stopped employers in these ten fields from hiring qualified grads. With the right degree, you can upgrade your career and find job security in the form of a $30-an-hour paycheck.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why most jobs are never advertised?

Employers' reluctance to advertise is partly tied to the economy. Despite fluctuations, unemployment numbers remain relatively low in the United States. With the vast majority of the adult population employed, employers assume not many prospective workers will be scanning the want ads and Internet job postings. With a limited audience for their ads, employers are disinclined to spend money on advertising for workers. 

The second reason is more psychological. The people who read want ads are looking for jobs. While it might seem that an employer offering jobs and people looking for jobs are a perfect match, that's not often the case in the employer's mind. The employer has to wonder, Why is this person looking for a job? The answer that pops into the employer's head, whether fairly or not, is probably not a positive one. People look for jobs, many employers believe, because they are unhappy losers, job-hoppers, or unproductive malcontents who blame poor performance on their employers and believe switching jobs will solve their problems. Employers would rather go after people called "passive candidates" who aren't necessarily looking for work. In the employer's mind, those people will be successful, productive contributors to the company's bottom line. 

Employers also know that the best candidates are likely to be those referred to them through word of mouth. It is only when employers are truly desperate to fill an opening that they place an ad. 

Ohio State University career counselor B. J. O'Bruba said: "The last place I want to pull applicants from is the classified ads of major newspapers. Classified ad applicants are unreferred, untested, and unknown. The first place I look for applicants is within my current or previous organizations or applicants who were referred to me by professional colleagues and acquaintances. These applicants are better referenced, tested, and known." 

Further, busy employers simply don't have the time to go through the mountains of resumes an ad is likely to produce, especially an Internet ad, which can draw thousands of responses because of the relative ease of responding to such an ad. Employers often find it far more efficient to ask their employees and other members of their personal networks to refer high-quality candidates to them. 

Finally, the process of defining job vacancies can take a long time. In some companies, a year or more can elapse between initial conceptualization of a job and actually filling the position. Thus, at any given time, theoretical positions may exist within an organization, but the formal mechanisms of funding, structuring, and writing a job description for the position mean that the job cannot yet be advertised. That's another reason networking is so valuable. If you can tap into a job in its embryonic stages, you will have a huge advantage over those who wait to answer ads. Let's say Megabucks Corporation is planning a position that you're well qualified for, but the firm is six months away from advertising the job. You don't know about the position, but your networking efforts lead you to a key person, Joe Honcho, at Megabucks. After talking with you, Honcho attends a meeting and tells his colleagues, "Hey, I just met someone who would be great for that position we're working on." The management team may even decide to reshape the job to fit your unique qualifications. With his team's blessing, Honcho gets you in for a series of interviews. Megabucks still may not be able to hire you until all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted, but once the job is official, you are in all before Megabucks even had the chance to advertise the position.

Friday, October 22, 2010

20 Jobs That Are (Much) Better or Worse Than You Thought

If are just interested in what other kinds of jobs are out there or you're looking for a career change, start investigating the job market by taking a look at this list of 20 jobs that are either much better or much worse than you might have thought. Don't end up in an even more stressful, unrewarding job than the one you just left because you were harboring false expectations about the life a doctor or a CEO supposedly leads. At the same time, try searching outside of the box by giving freelancing or tattoo artistry a chance. You just might discover your true calling.

10 Jobs That Are Worse Than You Thought
The glitz and glamour of these 10 jobs overshadow the disadvantages of long hours, minimal recognition and high-stress environments. Think twice before you set up an interview for one of the following jobs.
  1. President of the United States: OK, so even if you wanted to be the next president of the United States, you probably wouldn't get elected. But ever since elementary school, hasn't every kid dreamed of one day becoming the leader of the free world? If you're still envisioning yourself at the podium, you might need a serious reality check. World leaders get very little sleep and are blamed for every negative trend in security, taxes, the economy and health care. Plus, they almost never have a day to themselves for their entire term. Sure, you get to travel the world and have access to the best food, doctors, airplanes and exercise equipment around, but is it all worth it if you don't have time to enjoy it?
  2. CEO: CEOs are awarded huge salaries, attend great parties, work in a big office all to themselves and earn respect in their field from co-workers, business partners and even competitors. But just like the president of the United States (although on a lesser scale), CEOs represent their companies in the public eye and are forced to accept the blame and responsibility for whatever goes wrong in their business. CEOs may also get special perks like trips on a private jet or invitations to extravagant parties, but they also sacrifice time with family and friends in the name of work.
  3. Spy: A sexy spy might make a great Halloween costume, but unless you're seriously ready to dodge real (not plastic) bullets and are willing to sacrifice your identity for a mission no one will ever hear about, enlisting in the CIA to get your kicks isn't a good idea. Officers take a pledge of confidentiality that goes way beyond sharing trade secrets with competitors: Your entire identity is fake, and even if you manage to pull off a blockbuster-worthy performance on your next mission, you won't receive any recognition for it. In addition to jetting off to other parts of the world and keeping your life a secret from friends and family, spies can find themselves in extremely dangerous situations involving prison time, assassins or worse.
  4. Artist: The romantic ideal of an artist's life includes sipping lattes, napping often and creating wonderful masterpieces, whether in print, on stage or on the canvas. However, most artists could barely afford a latte and have to perform "sellout" jobs in order to support themselves until said masterpieces are complete. An artist must be completely devoted to his or her craft before settling on this frustrating, though sometimes rewarding, career.
  5. Public-Relations Executive: Throwing fabulous parties, schmoozing with the media and hanging out with high-profile clients is all in a day's work for the fabulous public-relations executive, is it not? It is not. While some public-relations firms specialize in event planning, many executives find themselves begging newspapers and magazines for a few lines of copy and a photograph, crafting editorials for clients, and basically trying to satisfy everyone at once. The cherry on top? Public-relations executives get almost no recognition for their overtime: All of the praise goes directly to the client.
  6. Doctor: While clever physicians can find niche opportunities to keep them active in research, teaching and treating patients in specialized fields, U.S. News & World Report maintains that these days, "doctors are spending less time than ever with patients and more on paperwork." Besides continually working overtime, as well as "trying to care for noncompliant patients" and chronically ill patients, doctors must also be vigilant against malpractice suits, hospital scandals affecting their practice and more.
  7. Personal Assistant: Can you imagine what it's like to be Lindsay Lohan's personal assistant? Besides Lindsay's car-chasing escapade involving the mother of her personal assistant just before being arrested for a DUI, the personal assistants of celebrities have likely seen it all. From babysitting to shopping (not always as glamorous as it sounds) to car maintenance, we the daily chores that an assistant has to dignify quickly overwhelm any initial starstruck fantasies.
  8. Professional Athlete: How great would it be to play the same game you loved as a 10th-grader professionally? Professional athletes can make anywhere from six-figure salaries to tens of millions of dollars thanks to advertising deals, promotional events, tours and everything in between. The downside to being a professional athlete, however, is that your bankable status is as unstable as you are trendy. Brett Favre aside, most athletes are booted out of the industry as soon as they sustain too many injuries or reach a certain age. Consider your career ruined if a scandal breaks out, and frequent trades mean that you'll have to uproot your family and say goodbye to friends all too often.
  9. Attorney: If you see yourself bustling around the big city fighting for justice and digging up clues like the lawyers crafted by Hollywood, take into consideration that U.S. News & World Report also rates attorneys as one of the most overrated careers of 2008. While "a legal career promises prestige, money, and the chance to use the law to make a difference in society," attorneys are often overwhelmed by loads of paperwork and hours of overtime spent on seemingly frivolous cases.
  10. Restaurant Owner: Sure, your friends think that you make a mean shrimp creole, but will the critics and the general public? Opening your own restaurant requires more than great recipes: You need a team of devoted, generous investors; a loyal following of customers; and an ample, clean space to serve your food. Besides struggling to attract stellar reviews and an enthusiastic crowd, restaurant owners sacrifice weekends and prime-time evening hours, when their presence is needed at the restaurant.

10 Jobs That are Better Than You Thought
If you're ready for a career change, don't rule out any of these jobs just because you think that they might be too unstable, boring or common. From freelancer to consultant, several of these careers can become the key to a whole new lifestyle, full of job autonomy and creative opportunities.
  1. Freelancer: Freelancing can introduce a rewarding lifestyle for an individual who craves flexibility and creative freedom. While freelancers do the work that the customer requires, they manage to enjoy more autonomy in their jobs than most professionals. Along with the creative-spirit label, however, comes the unfair social stigma of being unstable or unable to find a "real" job. Freelance pay is often low, as the general outlook of companies that want to outsource is that anyone can write, design or program. If that were the case, though, why even hire a freelancer? The next time you enlist the talents of a freelancer, don't underestimate his or her talents.
  2. Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: While even the top makeup artists experience unstable careers, union strikes and less-than-desirable pay, they're sometimes able to manage an employer's budget and experiment with high-end products they wouldn't normally get to use themselves. Makeup artists and stylists are also encouraged to flex their own creative muscles to make the most of their products and try out new looks on the job. Working on big studio projects or on Broadway will allow you to get up close and personal with famous stars. If you're a stylist or a beautician with a celebrity clientele, why not link up with them for a business partnership à la Kate Hudson or Jessica Simpson?
  3. Librarian: U.S. News & World Report considers a job as a librarian a decidedly "underrated career." If you work for a school, you'll enjoy school holidays, but if not, the magazine still holds that "librarians' work hours are reasonable" overall.
  4. Cameraman: Cameramen (and camerawomen) for network TV stations like NBC can earn around $60,000 per year, though most in the industry probably make less. The perks? There is no dress code, you have the ability to manage your own equipment, and you can use your own expertise and creativity to figure out how to get the best shots. If you're really at the top of your game, the chance to shoot film for TV shows, movies and commercials with big stars is a possibility.
  5. Stay-at-Home Parent: True, stay-at-home parents don't make money based on their duties as an errand-runner, a babysitter or a dishwasher. Despite the study that found that stay-at-home moms would earn more than $131,000 annually if they got paid, publicizing the fact that you stay home all day with the kids and the chores won't get you the "ooohs and ahhhhs" that saying you're a doctor or a lawyer will. Special perks for stay-at-home parents that other professionals rarely enjoy include skipping the daily commute; not having to abide by dress codes; and avoiding tedious reports, evaluations and meetings.
  6. Consultant: Consultants often get to specialize in several different areas, including "working as a speaker, trainer, and writer as well as providing" basic industry information for their clients, according to Job Profiles. If you run your own consulting company or are a partner in a small firm, you may get to dictate your own hours, choose your own projects and work hard to build up a reputable profile in your field as a go-to industry expert. Once you're known around town, other opportunities could open up, like blogging, hosting seminars or even snagging book deals.
  7. School Psychologist: Just because you're not charging clients hundreds of dollars to sit on your swanky couch doesn't mean that you aren't sitting in a lucrative spot in your industry. U.S. News & World Report includes the school psychologist in its list of the Best Careers of 2008. The median national pay is $62,600 per year, and school psychologists get school holidays, including summers, off from work.
  8. Journalist: Low pay and minimal creative freedom (at least in your early days) often deter great writers from pursuing careers in journalism, and many instead opt for law school or graduate programs. The life of an experienced journalist, however, is not so bad: Travel opportunities are just around the corner, whether you report on the weather, politics or style trends. Getting to see your name in print is not only rewarding, it's the optimum branding mechanism for when you want to develop your career and explore other avenues later in life. Journalists are also some of the most informed members of society, as their job requires them to be the first to know about economic changes, the law and even community scandals.
  9. Nanny: The nanny appears on our list of the most underrated jobs not because it's actually the perfect career, but because many people still don't understand the heavy workload and long hours that nannies face. Thanks to the book-turned-film "The Nanny Diaries," college girls may now understand that getting any old job as a nanny isn't as easy as it sounds. Live-in nannies have it especially hard, as they are required to be arts and crafts experts, tutors, nutritionists, fitness instructors, counselors and more. Depending on their employers, nannies may also find it hard to have a personal life of their own, as last-minute meetings and parties come up, canceling the poor nanny's plans. On an up note, however, The New York Times reports that "as affluent employers have faced growing demands on their own time, many nannies are starting to oversee the parents' lives as diligently as they do (or once did) the children's. And some now say their work has almost as much potential for career development as that of the doctors, lawyers and bankers they work for." So you see, nannies don't just babysit.
  10. Tattoo Artist: Outside of the tattoo industry, tattoo artists don't get a whole lot of respect. Still regarded by some as a rebellious career choice in which hepatitis runs rampant, the tattoo industry is actually a legitimate, booming business that can turn into an enjoyable, lucrative career path. Most parlors don't open until the late morning or afternoon, and cable TV shows like "L.A. Ink" and "Inked," while not typical of most tattoo shops, have shown us the laid-back atmosphere where tattoo artists come to work. Talented artists can earn decent money, and conventions, guest-artist job openings and other events offer excellent opportunities for travel, career mobility and self-promotion.
By HR World Editors

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