10 Things Grandma Wishes You Knew About Money

July 16, 2012

by Catey Hill, Contributor

Grandma and grandpa probably dish out advice on how to bake mouth-watering chocolate-chip cookies or how to change your own oil, but have they shared their wisdom on how to manage your money? If they’ve been mum so far, now’s your chance to get that advice (without a 25-minute phone call that first features a play-by-play of today’s shuffleboard tournament — we love you guys, but you sure can talk!).

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement released a survey showing what middle-income retirees say is their top financial advice for the younger generation. Here are the top 10 things retirees said they think we should know (and some of my thoughts below them).

8 Things Graduates Should Know Before Joining the Workforce

June 4, 2012

By Yun Siang Long
From CareerRealism.com

The following career advice is what I believe to be the top eight things college graduates should know before joining the workforce. I am sure there are additional tips you can bring into the workforce but these are a great start to ensure you begin on the right foot.

1. Time Management

Time is finite. Once it is gone you cannot take it back. Once a deadline is missed there is no turning back. If you missed an assignment, you risk a lower grade. But in the working world it can mean losing a job project and the company having to incur financial losses. Learn time management skills and you end up being more productive, effective and efficient.

2. Do More, Talk Less

It’s far too easy to be convinced by people who say you can talk to impress people. And I do not deny that, but eventually your work has to be the proof that you are a good worker and you are dependable. You need to decide if you will do more and talk less or do less and talk more.

3. Being Present

Being present means two things to me. Firstly, it means be on time every time. This ranges from a small internal meeting to meeting your deadlines. It means being there when you are needed. Golden opportunities present themselves when you are present. Secondly, being present means focusing on what is the work that needs to be completed. It also means being mindful and fully aware of your surroundings.

4. Give Your Work a Routine

Develop some form of routine and be disciplined to stick to that routine. This is related to time management but goes beyond the time management that you do in the office. Have a routine for your life. Give yourself time – block off time for yourself to read or even do the chores like laundry, etc. Start to be more organized than when you were in college. Stick to this career advice even though it does not relate to career building. You will soon see the wisdom of it.

5. Be Nice

Learn to be authentic and avoid politics. Of course, sometimes it is tough not to get involved at all. But you can learn to avoid it and be real. Be authentic to your values. These are your anchors that hold you when people change and agendas change. Be nice to people regardless of rank and designation. Smile often. Say your “please” and “thank you.”

6. Compete With Yourself

Compete with no one else. Of course, no matter what is said and done, you will always be peeping at the next guy to see how he is doing in his career.

Sure, peep.

But don’t be overly affected by competition that you forget to look at yourself. Be the best you can be in this long cross country marathon, it is filled with detours and stops. When you focus too much on your competitors you may get lost. It’s one of those graduate career advice you need to experience to know what this truly means.

7. Create, Not Just Discover

Life is as much about creating as it is discovering. I hear far too often fresh graduates saying, “I need to discover myself.” But is life all about discovering yourself? It is and it is also not. Life is as much as creating the you, you want to be as it is in discovering the you that you are.

The truth is somewhere in between. So, when you get a job that is less than satisfactory for you, use it as a pedagogue to discover yourself. More importantly, use it to give you hints at creating the self you want to be.

8. Fun is in Learning

There is a lot of fun in learning. If you understand being present in my earlier advice, then you will know work life presents so much you can learn and be paid for it. Learn to love what you do and learn to love learning. Because the chance to do what you love maybe far and in between. When you find fun in learning then you will be constantly improving yourself. Learn to love books and all sorts of books. There is no need to stick to books in your own industry.

These are the eight things I consider solid career advice for any graduate. A new phase of life has just begun. It’s a long road of work from now on. There is no need to take the whole in one breadth. Take time and enjoy life while honing your skills as you move along.

3 Reasons Your Resume is Keeping the Phone from Ringing

May 29, 2012

From CareerRealism.com
by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

If you know someone who’s looking for a job—and I’m sure you do—then you may have heard them complain about having sent their resume off to hundreds of employers, only to receive absolutely no responses or acknowledgments. I’ve heard this complaint countless times from friends and colleagues.

Part of the reason this happens so often is because companies really have become much less personal about their hiring processes. They simply can’t respond to every person who contacts them through their online application process.

However, there are still people being hired every single day. So what are they doing differently from those who never get a phone call?


**Another recent article from CareerRealism worth mentioning: 4 Reasons for Career Gaps and How to Handle Them on Your Resume

Why Fear is Hurting Your Career

May 21, 2012

By Bud Bilanich
From CareerRealism.com Success Tweet

Success Tweet: Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear and is a confidence killer. Act; especially when you’re afraid.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts on Success Tweet 45, 46 and 47, fear is the enemy of self-confidence and success. Fear often manifests itself as procrastination. Most people fear failure, criticism and rejection. It’s only normal. We all want to feel good about ourselves.

Failure, criticism and rejection are not pleasant experiences. They lower our self-esteem and make us feel bad about ourselves, so we often avoid doing things that we think might lead to failure, criticism or rejection. As a career success coach, I advise my clients to have to have the courage to do things that might result in failure, criticism or rejection.

Failure, criticism and rejection provide you with the opportunity to grow and develop – to become a life and career success. You can’t take failure, criticism and rejection personally. Failure, criticism and rejection are outcomes. They are a result of things you have done. They are not who you are.

Remember this career advice. We all make mistakes and fail on occasion. We all do things that cause others to criticize or reject us. This doesn’t mean that we are failures as people. It means that we have made some poor choices and have done some dumb things.

Failure, criticism and rejection provide the opportunity to start over – hopefully a little smarter. Buckminster Fuller once said, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.”

That’s great career advice. I agree with it wholeheartedly.

Fear leads to procrastination. That’s why putting off things you want to do, and need to do can really hurt your self-confidence and career success. If your fear of failure and criticism, and rejection paralyzes you to the point where you aren’t willing to take calculated risks, you’ll never learn anything or accomplish any of your goals.

Don’t be afraid to fail, or too hard on yourself when you fail — or when others criticize or reject you. Instead, put your energy into figuring out why you failed and then do something different. Here are my four career success coach questions to ask yourself the next time you fail, or get criticized or rejected.

1.Why did I fail? Why did I get criticized or rejected? What did I do to cause the failure, criticism or rejection?
2.What could I have done to prevent the failure, criticism or rejection?
3.What have I learned from this situation?
4.What will I do differently the next time?
If you do this, you’ll be better able to face your fears and act; and you’ll be using failure, criticism and rejection to your advantage. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says…

“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”

I know it’s hard to see the benefit or opportunity in failure, criticism and rejection. But it’s there – you just have to look hard enough. But it all begins by facing your fear and acting; by conquering procrastination.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are self-confident. Self-confident people face their fears and act. They follow the career advice in Tweet 48 in Success Tweets, “Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear and is a confidence killer. Act; especially when you’re afraid.”

Our most common fears are failure, criticism and rejection. However, if you choose to find and use the learning opportunity in failure, criticism and rejection you will not only become more self-confident, you will become more successful.

It’s sad but true – failure, criticism and rejection are the price you pay for becoming a personal and professional success. Beating procrastination by facing your fear of failure, criticism and rejection and acting will pay big dividends — and help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

Using Pinterest as a Job-Search and Branding Tool

May 14, 2012

From NACE Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

Pinterest—a content-sharing social media website on which account holders “pin” images, videos, and more to their virtual pinboards—is gaining popularity for its broad spectrum of uses.

Thom Rakes, career center director at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, sees two ways students can use Pinterest to enhance their job-search efforts—as a tool to research potential employers and as means for students to market themselves.

“Some large and cutting-edge companies have created Pinterest pages, providing a different view of the employer than more traditional web pages,” Rakes says. “And since the focus of Pinterest is on graphics and images, it is of most use to students pursuing visually related careers, such as graphic or digital design and marketing. It may help more visually orientated job seekers stand out.”

Brie Weiler Reynolds, the content and social media manager at FlexJobs and a former career counselor at Emmanuel College, agrees, saying it’s much easier for students in creative majors to use Pinterest because of the visual component.

“The arts, graphic design, marketing, and other heavily visual majors will probably find using Pinterest for their job search to be easy and straightforward,” Reynolds says. “Students in more traditional majors—business, social and life sciences, and others—will need to be more creative in their use of Pinterest.”

Why is Pinterest attractive to job seekers? First, it’s easy to get started. Unlike setting up a website or professional blog, it takes just a few seconds to create an account and start pinning, Reynolds says.

“It shouldn’t necessarily replace those other two options for personal branding, but it’s a good way to get started,” she adds. “And, it’s a strictly visual medium in a world of text-based job-search tools, so it’s very different from other options.”

With that in mind, Reynolds touts the importance of students thinking about how they can represent their majors and career interests visually—whether it’s by using pictures of organizations with which they’ve interned, or pins of student organizations and activities with which they’ve been involved.

Reynolds offers some other tips for career services practitioners to share with college students using or interested in using Pinterest as a personal branding or job-search tool. To use Pinterest as a personal branding tool, college students should:

• Create resume boards on which they pin pictures related to their schooling and experiences.
• Create portfolio boards with examples of their work, which is especially good for creative fields.
• Pin a copy of their resume with text that says “please share me.”
• Create boards related to their interests to give more insight into them.
• Place their Pinterest URLs on their job-search materials, including resumes, cover letters, e-mail signatures, profiles on LinkedIn, and more. Make sure they use their actual name as their Pinterest page name so people can easily find them through a search.

For using Pinterest as a job-search tool, students should:

• Follow employers they want to work for on Pinterest to learn about the employers’ marketing efforts and corporate culture.
• Follow career services offices and experts to learn the best job-search strategies, trends, and advice.
• Get ideas for places to work by seeing what organizations their employers of interest follow.
• Create boards for “Places I’d Like to Work” and “Jobs I’d Like to Have.”
• Use keywords like “hiring,” “human resources,” “recruiting,” and more to find employers that are using Pinterest to recruit.

Reynolds says that one of the biggest mistakes college students make is thinking they can use Pinterest for both personal and professional purposes.

“Students will want to keep their Pinterest pages clean and professional, because they never know who might be looking at [the pages],” she explains. Reynolds also strongly suggests that students make use of the text box available for each picture.

“[Students should] say something about each picture they pin—what it is, how they were involved, when and where it occurred,” she says. “That text is the student’s only chance to tell viewers what they’re looking at, and how it relates to the student as a professional.”

5 Ways to Land that Post-College Job (Even if You Graduated Years Ago)

May 14, 2012

by Jessica Kleiman, Contributor

For college seniors and grad school students, graduation is no longer something on the distant horizon. In the next several weeks, many will be entering a tough job market, although the good news is it’s starting to look up. According to a 2012 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), participating employers reported that they plan to hire 10.2 percent more new college graduates from the college Class of 2012 than they did from the Class of 2011.

However, with many experienced workers looking for jobs and companies still watching their budgets, it can still be quite challenging to land that first post-graduate position. In BE YOUR OWN BEST PUBLICIST: How to Use PR Techniques to Get Noticed, Hired, and Rewarded at Work (Career Press; Jan. 2011), the career guide I co-wrote with fellow Forbes blogger Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, we discuss why it’s essential for job candidates to stand out from the competition and market themselves as a valuable and unique brand. This is especially important for recent grads because many will be interviewing for entry-level jobs along with fellow graduates who have the same basic qualifications.

So what can graduates do to improve their employability in 2012? Here are a few pointers from our book.

2012 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads

May 7, 2012

From Experience.com

Experience invited employers from across the country to participate in the 2012 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads survey, and the winners are in! This exciting initiative is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers for recent college graduates. As a whole, these 10 organizations offered outstanding company cultures, sweet paychecks, and extraordinary opportunities for rapid career growth. Here’s a detailed look at this year’s winners (sorted alphabetically) – including some new and familiar faces to the chart.

To see which employers made the list, please click here.

Employers Report Record Intern-Conversion Rate

April 30, 2012

From NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Not only are employers expecting to increase internship hires by 8.5 percent over last year, but they’re also reporting record-breaking conversion rates, according to results of NACE’s 2012 Internship & Co-op Survey.

Survey respondents converted 58.6 percent of their Class of 2011 interns into full-time hires, an all-time high since NACE began reporting conversion rates in the early 2000s. The previous record of 57.7 percent was reported by NACE in its 2011 Internship & Co-op Survey.

The drivers of the record conversion rate were lower offer rates coupled with a stable acceptance rate. Employers extended offers to 61.2 percent of their Class of 2011 interns, compared to 66.7 percent of their Class of 2010 interns, but both classes accepted at the same rate—86.5 percent.

The Graduation Checklist

April 23, 2012

by Jenn Sheehan
From GradGuard.com

I loved college, though I was ready for something new after four years at a small liberal arts university on a secluded campus. Being the first in my family to graduate from college, however, I was at a total loss as to how to prepare for and what to do once the day came. Between my independent study, thesis, extra class and graduating in the midst of a recession, I avoided thinking about life after graduation my last semester, but, looking back, there were many things I could have done to prepare and make taking the next step easier once graduation day arrived.

Now that I’ve had a few years to find my way, I’d like to share a list of smart things you can do now to prepare for graduation and beyond. Though it may seem scary and sad to leave school and move into the real world, your future will be exciting, bright and just as fun!

To view this article in its entirety, please click here.

Interested in other articles about things you can do to prepare for graduation, and life after college.  Check out these other Graduation Checklist resources:

The 10 Best Job Hunting Apps to Get You Hired

April 16, 2012

Looking for a Job? There’s an App for That!
By Dawn Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

Today’s tsunami of technology means savvy job seekers have jumped on the app wagon in an effort to give themselves the leading edge in the job search process. Mobile apps allow job seekers to search discreetly for positions — anytime, anywhere — and respond to postings quickly. There are apps that help with career planning, organize the job search process, alert job seekers to compatible positions, and can even upload and send resumes to recruiters.

This article explores the 10 mobile apps (in no particular order) every job seeker should know about.

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