Building a Meaningful Career

There are millions of people who go to the office every day even when they really hate their current jobs. They are not satisfied with their jobs, but stuck in it for various reasons. Every employee wants to do a job that provides them complete satisfaction, flexibility and benefits. But not every one of us has a meaningful career. When you have built meaningful career, you are happy both in your professional and personal life.

Rather than just pushing ourselves into any kind of job or career, we need to give it some thought and make the career decision wisely. To have a meaningful career, it is essential to identify our skills and talents. Every one of us has been born with some innate talents or skills. That’s exactly what one needs to assess and identify to live a meaningful professional life.

Once you have identified the skills that come to you naturally, you can plan to develop them even more. You can take appropriate education and courses to polish your natural talents. Then you need to look for careers where those skills have the most use. Depending on the type of skills you carry, you can find an industry you are passionate about.

There are many people who spend their entire life without realizing their actual potential and fulfilling their dreams. Let it not happen to you. Take appropriate action in time and identify your skills, talents and abilities. Never make your career decision in a hurry, as it might cause you a lot of distress and frustration in the future.

Research is also an important ingredient of finding a meaningful career for yourself. Even after possessing a good amount of creative talent, many candidates are unable to choose the right career path. It happens because they don’t research well about the available career options.

Another important thing that needs a mention here is that you should look up to professionals who are successful at employment. Get in touch with those who have really built a meaningful career for them. They can not only inspire you, but can also help you with some expert pieces of career advice.

If you really desire to build a meaningful career, start planning your career as early as possible. You can also turn to career counselors and career guidance services to seek professional help. Plan an effective strategy to prepare yourself for a career and reach where you want to be in your life.

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How to Handle a Termination When Fired

According to experts, over 25,000 workers are terminated from job illegally. As anyone can face a job loss or job termination, workers need to be better prepared to handle the situation. Given below are some important pieces of advice and tips that you can use to handle the job termination.

Legal Points
First and foremost, you need to see whether your job termination was legally justified. Many times workers may face a wrongful termination by employers. Employees really need to take the legal perspective in consideration. If your company fired for misconduct, you may not be able to receive the unemployment benefits. To check out whether you fit the eligibility criteria, you can get in touch with the officials of your state labor department.

Layoffs can Happen to Anyone
When you terminated from a job, you should be ready to accept it too. It is a fact that even the best professionals in the industry can face a job loss. In any case, you shouldn’t lose your head and act in desperation. Just make sure you identify the job lay off signs in time and have a well planned strategy in place to search for your next job.

Keep Your Resume Updated
Like job losses can happen at any time, job opportunities can also knock your door at any time. What’s important is that you don’t miss a potential job opportunity when it comes your way. That’s why it is important that you keep your resume and cover letters updated at all times. When a new job opportunity arises, you can simply tailor the resume and cover letter according to the specific requirements of the employer.

Job Application Requirements
Filling out the job application is a part of the hiring process you can never ignore. It is important that you provide the genuine details while completing the job application. If you lost your job, you need to mention it in the application. Don’t try to tell lies on the job application, as it can take its toll on your career or can create discrepancies in the future.

Practice Interviewing
As soon as you have lost the job, you should make sure that you are ready to make the most of the interview for your next job. Practice the process of interviewing and responding to common interview questions with one of your close friends.

If you keep the above mentioned tips in mind, you can be sure that you will handle the job termination with ease. At the same time, you’ll be better prepared to start the search for your new job and land one as soon as possible.

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What Are the Best Cities to Work In?

Where do you desire to work? Well, many candidates have a list of cities they would most like to work in. However, every city on your list may not be a good choice for getting a job. A city is best to work in if it offers plenty of career growth opportunities and where the salary scale is high. If you do some research on the internet, you’ll come across the best cities list, which you can choose from while planning to get a job in a suitable geographical location.

How are best job cities selected? Best cities for jobs are those that have a diverse economy and feature a wide range of stable industries. If you plan to do a job in one of such cities, you can make sure that you get plenty of career opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.

According to the Milken Institute, the following cities have been ranked to be among the top 10 best cities for getting a job. Have a look.

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Fort Myers, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
San Diego, California
San Luis Obispo, California
Laredo, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
McAllen, Texas
Monmouth, New Jersey

The Milken Institute releases the top 10 list of best job cities every year. One particular city which is at rank #1 may not maintain its position always. For example, cities like Boston and Gary have dropped in terms of rankings. They headed the list when they had a good job market. Boston, at one time, was one of the best cities for tech jobs. The city offered plenty of tech jobs to occupy. But now the situation is different.

Before you decide to get a job in a specific city or job location, you must have a look at the current best cities rankings. If you make a well informed deciding while choosing cities to work in, you will have maximum chances of growing your career and enhance your working experience as well.

After you have selected one from the best cities to get a job, you can visit regional or major job boards that use sophisticated job search engines. When you are planning to work in a particular geographical location, it is a good idea to check out regional job websites that feature city-specific job listings.

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How to Choose the Best Automotive Trade School

After you have made up your mind to step into one of trade industry careers, you should have all the essential information you’ll need to prepare for this career. One of the major decisions to make in this regard is selecting a reputed trade school for pursuing a course of your interest. Since there are so many technical schools and colleges, it may not be too easy to pick the best. Completing your skilled trades course from an accredited institution will keep you a step ahead of your competition. Given below are some key steps to help you choose an automotive trade school which is best for enhancing your career and employability.

#1. You may find plenty of technical schools that will offer courses in automotive field. That doesn’t mean any school that offers automotive program is best for you. To select the best technical institution, you need to go through the complete course details. Make sure the classes the course offers fit in with what you are actually looking for.

#2. Before you decide to get enrolled in an automotive trade school, be clear about your current financial situation. Now, find out the cost of the course you have chosen to pursue. Will you be able to bear the entire fee on your own? Will you need some financial aid? Think about all of these things. The best idea to know the details would be to get in touch with the financial aid office of the college.

#3. Find out whether the automotive school you have selected provides job assistance. Get a picture of the situation you will face after you complete your course from the trade school. Many trade schools offer students good placement assistance. The best school is that which helps you find a job and offers you support throughout your automotive technician career.

#4. Get information about the infrastructural capability of the automotive trade school you attend. Does the school you have chosen make use of advanced technological features? If you choose an automotive school with latest technology features, you will have an edge over your competition.

#5. Flexibility of attending classes is another major issue you need to consider. Particularly, candidates who are already employed need to know the details about the class timings. Find out whether your chosen technical school offers flexible schedules for working people.

#6. A background check on the qualification of instructors is also an excellent idea to ensure you receive superior quality education. Professionals with real world experience will be a lot more beneficial to you than those instructors who only have theoretical knowledge of the subject.

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Is Making Friends with Co-Workers a Good Idea?

Workplace relationships have always been an important issue of debate. But is it a good idea to make friends in the workplace, especially with your co-workers? Let us take it from the angle of cooperating with each other. If you think of it in terms of co-operation, you will really accept that it is cooperation which defines the success or the failure of a business.

There are multiple advantages of making friends with your co-workers. First of all, it reduces the competition that every employee faces in winning the affection of the employer or the senior manager. When you are friends with co-workers or colleagues, one thing is certain that neither of you will want the other person stab in their back to get ahead in their professional career.

On the other hand, workers also need to understand the making friends doesn’t always translate to going on family picnics together or going out for dinner together. Friendship relationships, however, do suggest that you and your friend have the most interest for the employer.

Another potential benefit that friendship with co-workers brings is that you can receive help when you are lagging behind in your work or completing a specific project. Since you are friends, you can think to depend on one another for pulling through in pressure times. On the other hand, if you treat co-workers as your keen competition or adversaries, you can never expect them to help you through rough spots.

One word of advice for co-workers, looking to make friends, is that they should always try to make friends with workers of the same level. Workers should be advised not to make friends with their senior manager or boss. If you do so, everyone else in the team will soon turn into your adversaries, which is not good for professional success.

There are some side-effects of workplace friendships as well. If two co-workers have become friends, their friendship will get stained if anyone of them is promoted to a senior level position. Though the friend might not say anything, some hard feelings will always be there.

If you are planning to make friends with co-workers, the best advice is to continue with it on a professional level. However, you should be very careful with love relationships or romancing in the workplace. Romantic relationships at work hardly work out.

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How to Use an Informational Interview for Success


Did you know you could land a job through informational interviewing? Well, if you conduct some research online, you will come to know of candidates who got a job after their informational interview. Surprised? It can happen to you as well. Conducting informational interviews with someone may also lead you to employers where there’s a matching job position available. And be sure it’s not about good luck.

Informational interviews can really lead to job search success if you conduct it the right way. There are plenty of job positions that are never advertised whether online or offline. But informational interviewing can take you to those job positions.

When you are stepping into a new career or struggling to find a new job, it is always recommended to conduct informational interviews with successful professionals and employers. Before you actually meet with someone for conducting this interview, you need to prepare yourself for the procedure really well.

If you want to make the most of informational interviews, you need to focus on three major steps, which are as follows.

#1. Prepare for the Interview Well
#2. Know What to Say & What not to Say
#3. Find out How to Get the Person to Refer you to an Employer or a Hiring Manager

The above mentioned steps are nuggets of information if you want to make the most out of informational interview. Anyone who conducts the interview has the chances of the landing an interview or a job through this effective job hunting procedure. Just equip yourself with informational interviewing tips and be ready to get the person you interview to refer you to a hiring manager. In this way, you can really penetrate the hidden job market and land your dream job even when you see no advertisements for the job of your interest.

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Top 10 US Universities with the Highest Number of Interns

The number of bachelor degree holders in the United States has gone up by 30% percent over the last ten years, as stated by the National Center for Education Statics. During the same period, the US population grew by 9.2% percent. In fact, the number of candidates graduating in the United States has outnumbered the growth in population.

How do graduates beat out the competition then? The best way to set themselves apart from other graduates is to complete at least one internship program from the college they attend. In the current situation, many of the US colleges are emphasizing on completing at least one internship program while going through their graduate degree.

According to a recently conducted survey, around 36.8 per cent of the 2009 graduating students participated in internships. Institutions like University of Pennsylvania and the Duke University can now boast around 80 per cent of college students completing the internship while continuing with their graduate studies.

Given below is the list of Top 10 Universities ranked in order of the highest percentage of 2009 graduates who also completed internships.

National University Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded in 2008-09 Percentage Graduating with Internship Experience
University of Pennsylvania 2,831 90
Colorado School of Mines 620 84
American University 1,384 81
Seton Hall University 1,017 76
Duke University 1,625 75
Fordham University 1,885 75
University of Pittsburgh 3,856 72
George Washington University 2,485 68
Johns Hopkins University 1,487 66
Florida Institute of Technology 449 65

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American Companies Plan to Give Pay Raises

Finally, there’s some good news for American workers. The outlook for workers in America is improving! An article (by Sandra Bullock) published in USA Today reports that workers in the United States can expect the largest increase in their pay since the financial crisis hit the nation. The report has been published on the ground of a survey published by an American human resources consulting firm.

The year 2011 will see a merit-based pay increase by around 3%, as compared to 2.7% in the year 2010. The survey regarding this report for salary raise was conducted in the months of January-February this year. Around 400 large corporations and mid-size employers were included in this survey.

The survey also reports that most of the American companies have also lifted their salary freezes that they had implemented in the wake of last economic recession. There are only a handful of companies that will continue their salary freezes in the year 2011. Now, there are scarcely any companies that are saying they would continue salary freezing this year.

Around 40% of the companies in America said they plan to add more people to their workforce. According to experts, employers in the United States will add around 2.4 million jobs in 2011. This percentage is just double the number of jobs that were added in 2010. Therefore, workers in American have finally some respite from salary freezes. Jobs continue to rise and salaries are also expected to be increased this year.

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How to Deal with Sudden Job Loss

You are not the only one who lost the job! This is quite normal. Several companies are cutting off jobs and giving layoffs. Therefore, you should feel discouraged or depressed just because you faced a job loss. Who knows this lay off might open new doors for your professional growth. What’s important is that you have prepared yourself well to handle the sudden job loss or layoff. Given below are some important pieces of advice to help you cope with unemployment or job loss.

Check Your Benefits
In you current organization, you may be entitled to multiple employee benefits including health benefits, life insurance benefits and sick leave among others. Before you leave the organization, you must get in touch with the human resource department to check the status. Find out about the requirements for the continuation of these benefits to avoid any kind of discrepancies in future. File for unemployment as soon as possible as well.

There are several companies that also offer job search assistance. Also remember to ask for the reference letter that can immensely boost your job search.

Make an Assessment of Your Goals
Sudden job layoffs or unemployment is also an excellent opportunity for you to assess your career goals. During this time, you can review your goals and modify them according to the prevailing circumstances. If you are well prepared to deal with the situation, you can also turn your unemployment or job layoff into a positive experience for professional growth. Many jobseekers moved on to better careers with advanced opportunities after they were terminated or resigned from the job.

Evaluate Your Financial Resources
Get a clearer picture of your financial resources when you are facing a job loss. If you have assessed how long your current financial resources are going to last, you will be able to avoid any kind of discrepancy that might arise otherwise in case of a sudden job loss.

Doing the Preparation for Job Search
Now that you are unemployed or have suddenly been given a layoff, it’s time to put your job search strategy to use. Make sure you have your resume, cover letter and references ready to boost your job search. If you always keep your resume updated, you can apply for jobs immediately as a similar opportunity arises.

Professional networking offers abundant benefits for jobseekers. Therefore, make sure all the people including your co-workers, colleagues, hiring managers and employers are well within your network. Collect their contact information so that you remain in touch even after leaving your current job or company.

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What are Transferable Skills?

Skills guarantee success. If you have the ability to do something, it is a skill. People lean many different skills as they live their years through personal and professional lives. Your work experience teaches you a lot of skills. Here, we are going to discuss what transferable skills actually refer to. Well, transferable skills are those skills which you can use across a wide range of jobs or situations. Transferable skills prove to be useful when you seek a career change or a new job with varied roles and responsibilities. If you have the ability to identify your transferable skills and sell it to employers, it can boost your employability.

Transferable skills are not only useful for career changers, but they can come handy even when you have chances of facing a layoff in your company or seeking a new job position after graduating from college. What’s important is that you possess the capability to identify the skills which can be transferred from one career to another.

Identification of Transferable Skills
The very first step towards making the most of your transferable skills is to identify them appropriately. Your job title or the job position may not say a lot about what kind of responsibilities you handled while working in a company. If you want to identify the skills, you need to review each job position you held in your career.

Not only your job, but you can also have a closer look at your life experiences. Life also teaches us a lot of important skills that we can use to do a job. The best part about using transferable skills is that they impart you the ability to make you adaptable to career or job changes. Let us have a look at a couple of examples.

Problem solving
Organizational skills
People skills
Communication skills
Time Management
Computer Skills

These are just a few of the plenty of skills that can be transferred from one career to another. Problem solving or time management skills can actually be used across a range of industries or jobs. Skills which are job-specific can not be used in other jobs. However, transferable skills enable you to embrace a new career and perform the responsibilities efficiently.

Employer’s Requirements
Though most of the employers would want candidates with job-specific skills, they also look for candidates who carry skills that can be transferred from job to another. Candidates with transferable skills possess good chances of career advancement. Employers may teach you job-specific skills, but it’s never easy to learn transferable skills from one employer. Learning skills which can be transferred is an ongoing process. You acquire such skills with the passage of time and experiences you face in personal and professional life.


Filed under Job Skills