Monthly Archives: December 2009

Choosing Colleges & Playing it Safe

How do you see yourself – as a go-getter or as a realist? The answer that you give you to this question could define your college choosing strategy. To be successful with your career, you need to select the right college. So, what are the things that you need to consider while deciding which college you should attend?

When you are ready to attend a college, you have three options available – ‘reach’, ‘safety’ and ‘target’. Applying to a ‘reach’ school means applying at a college you might get enrolled in. Applying to a ‘safety’ school refers to a school where you should easily get in. The third option or the ‘target’ school means you give yourself a 50-50 chance of getting admission.

Now, as you have the three options obvious, you need to prepare a list of colleges which should include a few ‘reach’ colleges, a greater number of ‘target’ colleges and some ‘safety’ colleges. However, looking at the tough college admission environment, it is not wise to use the word ‘safety’ or ‘safety’ colleges.

Reaching for College Admissions
When you are applying to a ‘reach’ college you should be able to figure out the difference between a college which is a bit of a stretch and a college where there is just no possible way of getting in. Students should be well informed of the college admission standards, as they may vary from year to year. Be prepared with the up-to-date GPA and know the course requirement and test score average for the ‘reach’ school you are applying to.

Playing it Safe
When it comes to applying to a ‘safety’ school, it is not recommended to select a school only because you can easily get in. The rule of the thumb is to make sure that you like the ‘safety’ school or college you have selected. Students are advised to use their personalities to make a personal choice about the ‘safety’ school they want to attend.

Making no Mistakes
Do not get yourself in a situation where you will need to make a snap decision about ‘target’ colleges when the ‘reach’ college option does not work out. So, never try to put all your energies and efforts into only one category. Wise applicants submit applications to all the three categories – ‘reach’ colleges, ‘safety’ colleges and ‘target’ colleges. If you apply to all the three category colleges, you will always have options and will not need to make a snap decision if one options fails or does not work out.

If you keep these tips in mind while choosing colleges, you can always play it safe and have multiple options.

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Make Up Artists : Occupational Career Profile

How do actors and program presenters look so natural on the screen? Well, all the credit goes to make up artists for their great artistic capabilities and efforts. Whether it is a movie production, a television production or a theatre production, make up artists has an important role to play. If you really like to be artistic with air brushes, foundations, eye shadow, sculpting wax, concealer and mascara, you can decide to pursue a career in make up artistry.

Educational Requirements
There are hundreds of professional schools and colleges across the United States offering associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and undergraduate certifications in subjects like make up artistry, cosmetology, theatre, stagecraft etc. While you get enrolled in a degree program or a certificate program, you get training in special effects, master make up artistry, studio makeup etc. Equipped with a degree in make up artistry, cosmetology or stagecraft, candidates can land jobs in film and television productions and the fashion and glamour industry.

Make Up Artistry Courses
There are many specialties in this field. While you decide to pursue a career as make up artists, you can choose an area according to your interest. Courses or degrees can be obtained both online and via campus mode.

Some specialties in the field of makeup artistry are as follows –

Glamour Makeup
Performance Makeup
Film Makeup
Television Makeup

Interested candidates can decide to choose any of these specialties. Before you start attending a makeup school or a college offering make up artistry and cosmetology degrees, always remember to check out the accreditations of the academic institution.

Getting Paid
To work with prospective clients, you should possess a good portfolio. Remember, this is one of those industries where you need to market yourself and know how to get on with people. Earning or pay rates of make up artists vary depending on the field they work in and the portfolio they have built. A maximum number of these artists work on a freelance basis. On an average, a junior make up artist can earn £184 per day whereas a makeup designer prosthetic can make £279 per day. Commercials pay the highest wage. Top level make up artists who regularly work for fashion shows earn around £3,000 per day. Read about make up artistry courses and degree programs.


Filed under Film & Television

Computer Information Systems Manager

The employment growth rate for computer and information systems manager is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average of all occupations. With an evolvement and advancement in technologies, companies have a great demand for managers who play a pivotal role in the future success of business organizations and maintaining the security and the internet support. To stay ahead of others, companies are implementing new technologies and network. Organizations face the risk of potential attacks more than ever. Therefore, there is requirement for strong network security. This demand for smooth function of network creates more and more employment opportunities for computer information systems managers.

Job Description/ Responsibilities
Functioning as computer and information systems managers, these professionals will hold the responsibility of performing tasks as follows –

Supervising the programming and support departments
Planning and development of various computer activities
Consulting with executive managers for planning
Overseeing the network security areas in the organization
Keeping abreast of the latest technology updates and informing the concerned department
Providing suggestions regarding software and hardware development
Security enhancement
Working in close contact with technology specialists, consultants and sales representatives

Job Qualifications
Though candidates can kick start their management career with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree (emphasizing technology and business administration) is what employers always look for and prefer while hiring computer and information system managers. Prior real world experience in fields like information technology and systems analysis will enhance the chances of getting management jobs in computer information systems.

Salary of Information Technology Managers
Upper level management positions fetch an annual salary ranging between $82,000 and $151,000. For entry level positions, the annual salary offered is around $55,000. Salaries of managers also vary depending on the skill sets, years of experience and the specialty area they join.

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Four Building Blocks of Career Planning

Whether you are starting a new career or about to change your career midway, it is always advisable to do some career planning in advance. If you have an action plan ready in advance, you can avoid any setbacks in your career. Career planning needs time, research and effort. Jobseekers, students and other candidates need to plan their career with careful thought and consideration. Successful career planning is based on four building blocks –

1. Self Assessment
While making a self-assessment, candidates need to be quite honest and bold to themselves. To start with, you can prepare a inventory which includes your skill sets (basic, social, technical etc), interests, value in workplace and style of learning. Now, you need to review all of these. Do not overlook your weaknesses. To help yourself with the process of assessment, you can also use various free career assessment tests and diagnosis tools available on the internet.

2. Research
The next most important building block of successful career planning is research. Yes, it requires both time and effort. But the result you get will be worth the effort or more. First, try to prepare a list of career options that you are interested in. Now when you know of careers you are interested in, you can start researching and gathering as much information about these careers as possible. Get in touch with employment organizations, professional people and participate in volunteering work to accumulate more and more career information.

3. Make a Fit
Now it is time to compare your careers of interest with your personal inventory (self assessment). Figure out which careers match the most with your skill sets, strengths, interests, values, personality etc. Have a look at the career options you conducted a research on. Try to find out the career option that is the best match for your skills and interests.

4. Create a Plan
So, you have selected your best career option and have a career goal. It is now time to prepare an action plan on how to go about achieving your career goal. Know about the education, degree or training that you need to obtain for pursuing the career of your interest. Find out about the schools and colleges that offer degrees or training you are looking for. Know the cost of education that you are going to pursue. Figure out if you will need some financial aid. Apply for college students scholarships available in your chosen field. And finally, have a realistic time frame required to reach your career goal.

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Are You a Workaholic?

If you work for long hours, spend short time at home and get only a few hours of sleep, it is pretty likely that you are a workaholic. You love spending more time in office and even bring some of the office work home. You are unable to go on vacations and meet the friends in your social circle. The only hobby that you have is work. It means you are a workaholic. You immediately need to avoid being a workaholic.

As compared to other nations across the globe, Americans have a work-hard culture. Problem actually arises when you start living to work and more important things like your family and friends are neglected. People in America are spending more and more hours working than they used to do in earlier years. According to a study, 40% people in America do not even bother to go on vacations. Many of these people think that they will probably lose the job if they go on vacations. They have the fear that someone else will replace their positions in the workplace.

Technologically too, we face problems. We live our life in an environment which is constantly connected via e-mails, fax machines, cell phones, digital assistants etc. Therefore, employees or workers can scarcely manage to take some time away from work.

There are financial reasons as well. We become workaholic because we measure success in terms of materialistic pleasures. Most of the Americans find themselves busy doing multiple jobs at one time. They do it to keep their families away from poverty. When we work more and more for financial outcomes, we become workaholic.

There can be other reasons for people becoming workaholic. No matter how we suffer from workaholism, it may lead to the destruction of families and bring a host of health related problems. It is definitely a time for intervention when you start living to work and when the sole purpose of your life is to work. Workaholism can really take its toll on our families and relations.

Working hard and being a workaholic are two different things. Workaholic may not have time for families and relations. However, hardworkers are aware of the boundary line that exists between work and personal time. Therefore, it is essential to detect the signs of workaholism and work towards improving the situation.


Filed under careers, jobs

Using Social Media to Find a Job

Social media has become a wonderful tool for finding jobs you love. To make the most of it, jobseekers, candidates and students need to use this platform effectively. Candidates should know about the dos and don’ts of using various social media platforms like the Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Linked In etc. Equipped with tips and suggestions, candidates can really be able to build a foundation that is required to use social media to their benefits. Given below are some tips.

Why it Matters
Social media plays a vital role, as the information you put on the internet lasts forever. Whether it is text, a picture or a video, everything stays on the internet forever. Thanks to the ever evolving search engines, they are able to make your content searchable on the internet.

Who Searches Online
A variety of professionals and people do their research online through social media platforms. They can be hiring managers, colleagues, potential clients, potential mates etc. All these people can reach your profile by searching the online.

You Can Use Social Media to
While using the social media platforms, you can not only find out information about careers, but you can also learn about companies and their work culture. Knowing about the work culture of a company can help you make the decision whether you would like to work there or not. On these social media platforms, you can also get in touch with professionals who belong to the industry you are interested in. And you always have the opportunity to keep your network growing.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Social Media Platforms
To effectively use a social media platform to find jobs, you also need to be aware of the things that you should do and those that you should not. If you are using the platform to find a job, do not put inappropriate pictures of yourself on the internet. Before putting anything out there, give it a thought, as whatever you do online is forever.

Another thing that you should not do is never write nasty things about someone else. Or do not raise a mean issue on social media platforms if you are using it to find jobs. And finally, do not lie.

Remember, you need to give in order to take something. The same applies on the social media platforms as well. And always be quite aware of how you brand yourself on these platforms which may include Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Linked In etc.

Building or managing a profile on social media platforms like these does not cost you money. So, put in some sincere effort, take sincere interest in your contacts and spend time with your contacts to build credibility on the network. If you want to receive recommendations from someone else, also be ready to give recommendations.

Keep your profile up-to-date, participate in discussions, ask questions, answer questions and send notes to contacts. Do not try to oversell yourself. Don’t spam. Don’t gossip. Just be genuine.


Filed under job hunting, job search, jobs

Why Do Mid-Career Pros Need Career Counseling?

So, you are not able to decide whether you should stay there or move on? You are unhappy and stuck at work, right? It means you need guidance. If you are stuck up in situations like these, you can always seek guidance from a career counselor. Today, you can find hundreds of free career tests and career assessment tools on the internet. A career counselor or free online career tests help you deal with important issues like career planning, career change, career shift and career development. These free tests will enable you to know your strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you will be able to make well-informed decisions about your job or career.

But, it is essential to listen to the signs –

Lack of clarity about work related issues
Dissatisfaction with the current job or career
Feeling of Frustration
Lack of Motivation
Workaholism which leads to imbalance between work and life

When should you head to the career counselor?

When you are stuck up at work
When a relationship saps your energies
When you face a dilemma while making important decisions
When you have a work-life imbalance
When you are dissatisfied with your work
When there is a sharp dip in effectivity at the workplace

How does the counselor help you resolve your career crisis?

Enables you approach a crisis with objectivity
Provides guidance so that individuals may resolve the career crisis themselves
Helps individuals discover their inner self
Helps individuals identify strengths

So, whenever you face situations like these, be ready to detect the signs and head to the career counselor if you can not handle or resolve the crisis yourself.

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10 Job Search Attitudes That Will Bring You More Interviews

No matter whether you are starting a fresh career or switching into a new career, given below are ten job search attitudes to get you more and more interviews. And remember these are not just feel-good quotes. So, read each of the job search attitudes carefully, adopt them and keep them repeating over and again.

Attitude # 1: Business firms and corporations hire without joy and fire without remorse.
Attitude # 2 : I will work for good pay, good benefits and good people.
Attitude # 3 : I will always work towards career advancement.
Attitude # 4 : My job search is a positive activity and it will always be the central part of my life.
Attitude # 5 : I will never stop looking for my next job again. (because your employer is always   looking for their next you.
Attitude # 6 : It is not disloyal to look for work when I already have a job.
Attitude # 7 : I have the ability to create an opportunity even when there isn’t an opening.
Attitude # 8 : I will be more successful if more people know about my job search.
Attitude # 9 : Helping others find work is a great way for me to my next work opportunity.
Attitude # 10 : I will search for jobs as if I don’t need one.

So, are you ready to adopt or develop these 10 job search attitudes?

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Career Coaching

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How to Go About Finding a New Job

Well, there’s no magical formula to finding jobs and getting hired. Job hunting requires a lot of effort and patience. You can enhance the chances of finding a new job when you have a job search strategy in place. The more time you spend on planning for job search, the better are your chances of getting it. But, the most important thing, after you have an action plan ready, is to stick to it and have patience. And remember the line – ‘I will persist until I find myself a new job.’

To help you find a new job, given below are some essential steps on how to go about finding it.

Assess Your Life & Career
Do you have your career goals clear in the mind? Are you able to figure out the balance between your life and your career? It is important to ask yourself questions like these and make an assessment of your life and career.

Set Job Search Goals
Where do you see yourself pursuing a career 6 months down the line or in the next 6 years? Conduct a research on job options and employers you are targeting. And remember to have realistic expectations while trying to find yourself a new job.

Expand Your Professional Network
Professional networking is an essential part of job hunting process. Understand the value of professional networking and how it helps people in finding jobs. Around 70%-80% people acquire jobs with the use of their network. Spend time and make sincere efforts to reconnect with and expand your network. Strengthen the network and try to build credibility.

Acquire New Skills
Continue acquire more knowledge and obtain new skill sets. Today, employers are looking for candidates with strong interpersonal and soft skills. Get yourself trained in written and verbal communication, team playing, problem solving, analytical skills etc.

Sharpen Your Interviewing Skills
Job hunters overlook this important part most of the times. While finding and applying for jobs, you need to practice for job interviews more and more. Before you land up at the employer’s, do some research about the whereabouts of the company and prepare accordingly. Select a faithful friend to practice interviewing. Keep on practicing until you become confident. Get ready with some intelligent questions to ask the interviewer as well.

Are You Marketable?
You may have great potential and talent. But having skilled is not enough alone. You should know how to market your skills to the employer. To successfully find a job, you should stand apart from the rest of the jobseekers applying for a specific job.

While trying to find a job, remember to follow the above mentioned steps and you are definitely going to find one for yourself. It is very essential to have a job hunting strategy in place so that you do not unnecessarily spend a long time on finding jobs get more career benefits.

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