Monthly Archives: March 2010

Creating Your Personal Mission Statement


You must have heard about companies having their mission statements. Here, we are not going to discuss about companies. Instead, we will talk about how a jobseeker needs to create their personal mission statement. Though the fundamentals of a jobseeker’s mission state are similar to that of a companies, an individual’s mission state refers to what is most important and making a decision of sticking to it much before we kick start a career. It helps jobseekers identify their important career values and what they believe in.

Given below are some important steps on how to develop a personal mission statement.

Identifying past success
Review your performance over the past few years. Try to remember at least four or five instances where you had personal success. These past successes may not only be related to your work, but you can also list your achievements in your community or home. Write down all these successes. In addition, you need to figure out whether these successes revolve around a common theme.

Identifying core values
The next important step of creating a personal mission statement is preparing a list of attributes you believe in. Try to prioritize these attributes. Finally when you have listed all the attributes, your task is to narrow down it all to a list of just four to five most important attributes or core values.

Identifying contributions
How do you plan to make a difference? Prepare a list of all the ways in which you plan to make a difference. These may include making a difference to the world in general, your community, your family, your employer and your friends among others.

Identifying Goals
Based on your priorities in life, you need to set your goals. Where do you want to be? Prepare a list of all your personal goals you want to achieve. Divide these goals into two parts – short term goals and long terms goals.

Writing the mission statement
Finally it is time to write your personal statement. For this, you need to review the all four steps and then write down the mission statement on the basis of your past successes, core values, contributions and goals.

After you have written your personal mission statement, it is advisable to have someone close to look at it. You can also ask those people to provide you with some important feedback. Now, it is your duty to stick to your created mission statement. However, you can also make adjustments depending on your need.

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Photographic Equipment Technician


Job responsibilities of a photographic equipment technician include dismantling and repairing of a variety of equipment used in the filed of photography. Whether it is cameras, lenses or projectors or other photographic equipment, these technicians are expertly trained in the repair of all these. Depending on where they work, photographic equipment technicians may also specialize in repairing a specific brand. If it is a smaller shop, technicians may be responsible for repairing a wide range of photographic equipment. On the other hand, those who are employed in larger shops specialize in repairing equipment of a particular brand.

To perform their work, photographic technicians use an array of hand tools including jeweler’s screw drivers, files, wrenches, micrometers, microscopes, digital voltmeters, electronic timers, optical measuring devices, soldering instruments, microscopes and gauges among others. Technicians are specially trained in the use of the all these tools for repairing photographic equipment.

Education & Training

There are several private vocational schools and community colleges that offer training in photographic equipment repair. Those who possess a working experience of 3-5 years and are well qualified land jobs easily with employers. A solid background in physical sciences and electronics theory is also beneficial to make the most of your career. Many employers also provide on-the-job training to newly hired candidates.

Job Skills
Patience and persistence are key to make the most of your photographic equipment technician career. Besides, candidates need to have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) to interact with customers and clients on a regular basis.

Earning
The earning of a photographic equipment technician depends on the years of experience they carry and the size and type of the employer. Technicians who carry an experience of 3-5 years earn an hourly rate ranging between $9.00 and $17.00. Those who are employed in larger shops or companies will have added employee benefits. Some of these technicians also work in shops on a percentage share basis and charge an agreed-upon percentage of the amount charged to the customer.

Job Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an employment growth rate as fast as the average of all other occupations, from the year 2002 through to the year 2012. With the increase in population and family and amateur photography, the demand for photographic equipment technicians also increases.

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Becoming an Aerospace Engineer


Major responsibility of aerospace engineers is the designing and development of aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. Besides, these engineers also supervise the entire manufacturing procedure and test the products. They fall into two categories – aeronautical engineers (design and develop aircraft) and astronautical engineers (work with spacecraft). Whether it is an aircraft weighing half a million pounds or a spacecraft traveling at thousands of miles per hour, aerospace engineers work with all these crafts to design, develop and test them. While performing their task, these professionals use a variety of technology including defense system, aviation and space exploration.

Depending on their work experience, engineers may also specialize in a specific area of aerospace engineering. There are different areas including navigation and control, design, guidance, instrumentation, communication, production etc. Apart from these, these professionals may also choose to specialize in a particular product including military fighter jets, missiles, spacecraft, helicopters, commercial transport and rockets among others.

Educational Qualification & Training
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to kick-start a career in the field of aerospace engineering. There are several technical colleges and universities offering degree programs in aerospace engineering, taking 2-4 years for completion. Graduate training is required for those who wish to take up teaching positions or become a part of research and development projects. Besides having a relevant engineering degree, candidates may also need to fulfill some licensing requirements. Engineers who work in the US in the public sector will need to acquire necessary licensure. Licensed engineers obtain the designation of Professional Engineer (PE).

Job Skills
Team playing skills have to play an important role. Therefore, aerospace engineers should be able to work as part of a team. Excellent communication skill (both verbal and written) is also crucial to interact with other specialists in this field. Other essential job skills include creativity, detail orientation, inquisitiveness and analytical skills.

Career Outlook

In the year 2002, aerospace engineers took up around 78,000 jobs in the United States. Though the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a decline in the employment growth rate, candidates with advanced educational qualification and relevant working experience will have no dearth of opportunities.

Annual Salary
Salaries of aerospace engineers vary depending on the level of education and years of experience. The average annual salary of these professionals is $72,750. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, those possessing a bachelor’s degree earn around $48,028 annually. Engineers with a master’s and a Ph.D. earn an average annual salary of around $61,162 and $68,406 respectively. With growing skill set, experience and specialization, the annual salary of an aerospace engineer can be as high as $105,060.

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How to Become a Flight Attendant


The airlines industry offers multiple career opportunities. And if you have passion for serving people to make their journey one of the most enjoyable, you can always consider becoming a flight attendant. The career as a flight attendant is not only one of the most popular, but it also gives you great earning benefits. To make the most of your career, you need to be formally trained and competitive to land jobs. Below, we discuss about the job responsibilities, education and training required to become a flight attendant and the career prospects the occupation offers.

Job Responsibilities
The main role of flight attendants is to ensure that the passengers have a wonderful flight experience. The job of these professionals is not only profitable, but it also brings you challenges. Before the air journey begins, the attendants are first briefed on multiple issues. The pilot of the flight directs these professionals on key issues including emergency evacuation of passengers, weather conditions, flight duration and individual passenger needs among others.

The flight attendant is responsible for ensuring the complete safety of passengers while onboard. Before the plane takes off, these professionals check the passenger cabins and make sure all the safety equipment is in place. They make sure that the individual requirements of passengers are met. Whether it is the supply of food, beverages, pillows, blankets or other necessary essentials, attendants ensure that all these items are present on the flight in adequate quantity.

After all the passengers are on board the flight, attendants inform them about the appropriate use of equipment and about emergency procedures. During the entire duration of the flight, these professionals cater to the passengers’ needs so as to make their journeys enjoyable and comfortable. They are also geared up to provide first aid care in case a passenger requires it.

Training & Education

Candidates need to be high school graduates to kick start their career as flight attendants. Employers may prefer candidates who have completed their study in psychology. Today, several professional schools and colleges have also opened to provide training in flight attendance. By completing a course from a training school, you can increase your chances of landing jobs in the airlines industry. If you wish to be employed on foreign airlines, you need to know at least one or two foreign languages. Most of the airlines provide on the job training to newly hired candidates.

Job Skills
Apart from having formal training, candidates also need to possess some other skills including good health, 20/30 or better vision, excellent communication skills and capability to maintain calm under stressful conditions. Both men and women also need to meet the eligibility criteria (height, weight etc) for working as a flight attendant.

Job Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an employment growth as fast as the average of all occupations, from the year 2002 through to the year 2012. With the increase in population and expanding economy, job growth also increases. Since a lot of people are attracted towards this career, you may need to face stiff competition while landing jobs.

Annual Salary

The average annual income of a flight attendant is around $43,140. With growing experience and advanced training, you can earn an annual salary as high as $91,050.

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Dressing for Success while Hunting for Jobs


Everyone must agree that first impression during a job hunt is very critical. When you are applying for job position and landing job interviews, you are actually trying to market yourself. Here, you are the product. To market yourself really well, you need to use essential marketing strategies. The term ‘dress for success’ has become a cliché due to overuse. However, the power of dressing to succeed can never be underestimated, however overused the term may be. During a job searcj, a smart jobseeker is also looking to make a good first impression.

What does the employer see when they greet you first time? Of course, it is the attire they look at. The way you dress for a job interview may enhance or ruin your chances of getting hired. Does that mean, you will get hired because you have dressed properly? Not at all. However, the first good impression that you leave on the employer may provide you with a competitive edge over other candidates who applied for the job position. A positive first impression is the stepping stone to getting the job you want. It is interesting to note that the way you dress up may also set up the tone for the entire interview you attend.

So, how should you get dressed? Of course, there are some safe options. But you should remember that your need is to dress for success. Only going for the safest option will not help you much. If you really wish to dress for success, you need to do some homework on your own. Do some research on the whereabouts of your prospective employer. The idea is to make the employer have the impression you fit in with what their organization is like. To get an idea about what would be the appropriate dress for a prospective employer, you can give a call to the Human Resource Department of the company and ask them about it. Or you can also make a visit to the company office and see for yourself what dress code is acceptable there. Remember not to visit the company office on a casual day.

Of course, you need to have attire for job interviews. But you need to buy the attire keeping in mind your financial situation, so that you do not spend excessively. You can definitely have two sets of formal attire for interview purpose. Depending on your financial resources, you go for buying more sets of attire than two.

‘Dress for Success’ Tips
While you get dressed for job interviews, you should also remember that attention to detail is quite important. Given below are some important tips on how to dress for success during a job hunt.

clean and polished conservative dress shoes
well-groomed hairstyle
cleaned and pared fingernails
minimal use of cologne or perfume
no visible body piercing, aside from the conservative ear piercings for women
well-brushed teeth and no bad breath
no gum, candy, or other similar objects in mouth
minimal use of jewelry
no body odor

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What is a Self Assessment?


Self assessment is the stepping stone to the entire career planning process. It is essential to assess yourself for making a well informed decision about which career direction you want to choose. A career development professional helps candidates conduct a successful self assessment. While you are planning your career, a self assessment enables you to make a well informed decision. To understand the process of assessment, it is essential to know the anatomy of self assessment or what this assessment takes into consideration.

What does a self assessment look at?
When you conduct the assessment, it takes into consideration elements like your values, interests, hobbies, skills, personality etc. Tools that can be used during the assessing process are as follows.

Value inventories
Everyone has their own values. The assessment decides what values are more important to you. All these values are associated with your job satisfaction. Some of the most important values include security, autonomy, prestige, high salary, leisure time, work schedule flexibility, interpersonal relations, high pay etc. The values can be categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic values. Intrinsic values refer to what contributions you want to make to the society. The extrinsic values, on the other hand, include things like earning potential and physical setting.

Interest Inventories
Another most important inventory of self assessment is interest inventories. The questions asked in this section are based on an individual’s likes and dislikes. Different people have different hobbies and interests regarding various activities. Some of the interest may include running, reading, knitting, writing, playing golf etc.

Personality Inventories
Apart from having interests and hobbies, individuals also differ in terms of their personal characteristics and traits. The inventory includes elements like motivational drives, individual traits, attitudes and needs.

Skills Assessment
The assessment of skills does not only determine what you are good at, but it also informs what you actually enjoy doing. The most important thing to pay attention to here is that you need to select skills which include both – you are good at it and enjoy doing the same as well. The skills assessment also informs whether you need to acquire some additional skills to have a successful career.

It is through self assessment that students, jobseekers, career changers and other candidates can ensure which career will prove profitable to them. On the basis of the skills you possess, interests you have, values you hold and personality traits you carry, a self assessment makes you capable of making a well informed decision.

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How to Become a General Contractor


The construction industry offers a number of careers to choose from. If you have a passion for directing and organizing a variety of construction projects, becoming a general contractor may just be the right career option for you. Right from house building projects to roadways construction projects, general contractors plan and supervise a wide range of building and construction projects. To make a career in this field, you need to know where to start, what qualifications to obtain, how to get trained and what the career prospects are.

Job Description
The main job responsibility of these professionals is to coordinate the construction of residential, commercial, industrial and other building projects. General contractors are responsible for supervising and overseeing the entire construction project. All the design and building activities are done under the keep supervision of these contractors. They play a crucial role in putting together an efficient workforce. They hire workers for the projects and supervise their entire activities till the project gets completed.

Apart from this, general contractors also hold the responsibility of choosing the best techniques for the transportation of building materials to the construction site. A major challenge for contractors is to complete all the work within the designated budget. The entire planning needs to be cost efficient and should not exceed the provided budget. Depending on their interests and preferences, general contractors may also choose to specialize in residential or commercial building.

Educational Qualification & Training
The minimum requirement to become a general contractor is a bachelor’s degree in construction science, construction management, building science, civil engineering or a relevant field. Practical experience is essential to kick start a career in this field. Apprenticeships and internships prove very useful in acquiring some real world experience.

Besides having a bachelor’s degree, general contractors also need to fulfill some licensing requirements. These requirements may vary from one state to another. Some professionals also acquire voluntary certifications to gain a competitive edge over others. The Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Contractors are two major bodies offering certifications to general contractors. To obtain the certification, candidates need to pass state examinations, have minimal education and working experience.

Career Prospects
Job prospects for general contractors are good. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth faster than the average of all occupations, increasing at 16% from the year 2006 through to the year 2016. With the growth in population the level of construction activities also increases resulting in job growth. Another reason that contributes to job growth is the lesser number of qualified professionals than the number of job positions available. More job positions will be available also due to a large number of general contractors reaching their age of retirement, leaving for other reasons or taking transfers.

Annual Salary
The salary of a general contractor may vary depending on the job position and years of experience they carry. They earn an annual salary ranging between $56,311 and $108,494.

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