Earning Potential of CNA Jobs

[ad_1] A career of CNA has many intangible benefits like making a positive difference to suffering people. In an ideal world that should be good enough for anyone to join a job. However it will be wrong to avoid two important benefits of selecting certified nursing assistant or CNA as a career option i.e job … Continue reading “Earning Potential of CNA Jobs”

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A career of CNA has many intangible benefits like making a positive difference to suffering people. In an ideal world that should be good enough for anyone to join a job. However it will be wrong to avoid two important benefits of selecting certified nursing assistant or CNA as a career option i.e job stability and good earning potential.

The average starting salary for a CNA ranges between 30,000 USD to 40,000 USD per year. While that may not sound a lot, you need to put it into perspective by considering the fact that CNA training can be completed in only 2 weeks to 4 weeks time. I am confident that for a training period that short, the salary is quite good. Moreover the salary keeps increasing as you gain in experience.

The salary that I mentioned above is only the average CNA salary. The exact earning potential will vary depending upon the state in which you work and the type of job that you take up. Typically the salary of a CNA in a geography is positively correlated with how expensive the place is. CNAs in expensive areas tend to earn more while those in not so expensive area earn below the national average.

A CNA may select to work in a hospital, nursing home or long term care homes. The place that you select will impact your salary as well. Typically hospitals are the best pay masters for CNAs followed by nursing homes. Within the hospital people who work in the intensive care unit tend to get paid really well. People continue to work in nursing homes despite the low payment because it offers the best work life balance while intensive care unit forces one to stay on his/her toe all the time.

Most of the time nursing assistant positions offer additional benefits, such as health coverage and retirement savings plans as well. If you are going to work through some agency then please check specifically whether these benefits are being extended to you or not.

Many CNAs migrate to higher skill jobs over a period of time. As a result there is a shortage of CNAs with more than 5 years of experience. Hence salary of CNAs tend to rise sharply beyond a certain number of years of experience.

There are few more points that you ought to consider while selecting your career. If you want a job that is recession proof, then CNA is one of the best jobs that you can go for. As with any other job, if you are good then you shall earn a lot more than the average.

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Top 5 Singing Careers – Earn Your Living As a Singer!

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Singing Careers have always been thought of as being difficult to achieve and only for dreamers who dare to put their livelihood on the line! However, there are a great number of freelance jobs as well as proper career paths that a singer may take, and it is not difficult to earn a good living as a singer!

Career No. 1: PROFESSIONAL RECORDING ARTISTE OR SINGER

This is a singing career that has great rewards, but is usually only available to a select few who are able to influence others with their personality, their looks, their singing, or their unique musical style. The road to becoming a singer is a rough and tough one, and only those who truly have the determination and the passion to become a singer will be able to make it to the end and achieve great success!

Most professional recording artistes would be able to make a living, and often also branch out into fashion, modeling, product or brand endorsement and even art and painting too! In order to make it big as a singer, one would need to have a great team of musicians to work with, as well as great production crew to create the bestselling records!

Career No. 2: FULL-TIME SINGER

Apart from the professional recording artistes and singers, there are also independent singers who are not signed to any record label, and who perform full-time at various locations in their country or in the world for a living! If you wish to have a singing career as a full-time singer, you would need to gain experience and perform at various venues like local pubs or cafes in order to build up a following or fan base. These would be the people who will support you wherever you perform, and also spread good word-of-mouth feedback regarding your performances to their friends! Some full-time singers also eventually become professional recording artistes too!

Career No. 3: BACKUP HARMONY SINGER

There are also some singing careers that allow you to be part of the production or support crew. As a backup singer, you would do recordings for the various backup harmony parts that each song may have, in order to make the song sound full and colourful! You would need to have a strong sense of harmony, and be able to sing various harmony parts easily and on pitch, because a song may have 5 – 10 harmony parts or more!

There are also those who perform live as a backup singer, being part of the backup chorus that is often on stage together with the lead singer at concerts or performances! These backup singers often travel together with the lead singer to various countries, and may even possess singing abilities that may surpass the lead singer!

Career No. 4: SINGING INSTRUCTOR

For those who do not really aspire for the limelight, and who derive their joy from teaching about singing and music to others, a career as a singing instructor is a great way to do what you love, and still earn a decent living too! Good singing instructors are in great demand, especially with the rise of various singing competitions like American Idol, World Idol and so on. The best singing instructors can even earn up to US$300/h for conducting individual singing lessons!

You would of course need to have proper music qualifications, great singing experience and qualifications, and also a good ear for listening to singing voices, and a great analytical mind for deciphering the singing voice and explaining it to your students so that they are able to understand your lessons well! The greatest singing instructors often have students who surpass them in their singing and eventually become much more famous than their instructors ever were!

Career No. 5: DEMO SINGER

For those of us who are just starting out as singers, you may wish to get some extra income by becoming demo singers. Demo singers sing original compositions and help songwriters to record their songs as a demo, so that they can sell them to recording companies or artistes. This is a great way for new singers to gain experience, and also earn some income through these recordings. It is also possible for demo singers to become professional recording artistes, if the recording companies like the voice that they hear on the demos! This is a great way to gain some exposure in the industry and also help budding songwriters to sell their songs too!

These are just 5 of the multitude of singing careers out there for those of us who aspire to sing for a living, or even aspire to become a professional recording artiste! Not everyone can be a professional singer though, but it is certainly not difficult to earn a living as a singer, and who knows, one day, you may achieve your dream to become a full-fledged recording artiste!

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On Becoming an Individualpreneur – Taking Control of Your Career

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The structure of the United States’ economy is changing rapidly. Because of the impact of information, telecommunication, and transportation technologies, the demand for traditional administrative, managerial, professional, and vocational employees is gradually decreasing. This trend can be seen through outsourcing on a global basis, elimination of layers of management, and automation of labor intensive tasks. Increasing government regulation places a burden on the cost of employment, making full-time employees less attractive. The result is a shift to lower-income part-time service-oriented jobs.

Higher education in technological areas helps prepare individuals for the changing workplace; however, because of rapid changes in technology, any newly acquired knowledge and skills can quickly become outdated.

Relying on a career based on stable full-time well-paying job opportunities is a thing of the past.

In the future, every individual will have to take responsibility for a career with multiple income streams coming from more traditional institutional channels that may vary over time, but also from more entrepreneurially-oriented activities as an individualpreneur.

The sources of an individualpreneur’s income can include:

  • Employment income – either full-time or part-time, or in combination
  • Self employment income – as a sole proprietor of a small business earning income from the sales of products and/or services, and as an independent contractor earning fees for services rendered
  • Profit distributions from a business that generates income by leveraging the activities of employees
  • Residual income from activities such as commissions from referrals (affiliate and network marketing), rents, and royalties on creative work
  • Investment income from dividends, interest, and capital gains as an investor or limited partner

These sources may be interrelated. For example:

  • Profit distributions from a business as an owner may also include employment income as an officer
  • Profit distributions from a business as a partner or member of a limited liability company may also be subject to self-employment taxes
  • Income from sales of products and/or services associated with a network marketing activities

To be successful as an individualpreneur, it is necessary to have a combination of business development and operational skills, including the ability to:

  • See an opportunity and pursue it by developing markets, products and/or services, processes, and people
  • Lead, and to mentor and coach others
  • Follow, and to be mentored and coached
  • Manage processes
  • Be results-oriented, not just activity-oriented

A successful individualpreneur always has a “Plan B” to allow for contingency from under performing activities or unexpected events. Also, they follow a people wellness program that:

  • Improves their personal, household, professional, and financial wellness
  • Enhances their personal and professional lives to be happier, healthier, and more vibrant
  • Addresses economic, environmental, health, lifestyle, and social issues that affect the way they live, work, and play

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How to Get a High Paying Job – In Recruitment

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Recruitment Consultant is the perfect Job for a graduate coming out of university to find themselves faced with a highly competitive job market, armed with a degree not specifically targeted to any job in the real world.

I had a 2nd Class Degree in Philosophy when I graduated. There wasn’t a single job in the paper asking for that! Nevertheless there are numerous ways to get a job in recruitment and earn the big bucks.

The standard procedure is to post your CV on a job board like Monster and then apply to the recruiter jobs posted there in. This method can be effective in generating interest. Depending on your location barriers to entry in the industry are sometimes very low, however competition can be high.

Actual recruiting experience, though desirable, is most definitely not essential. Telephone or face to face sales experience, or even just the right attitude coming straight from school or university can be all it takes to get your first job.

A good way to break into a firm is to know someone working there already that will put in a good word for you. Assuming that you don’t have that luxury the best thing you can do to demonstrate you have the fearless, entrepreneurial attitude that will impress any recruitment manager is to approach a firm yourself, just like I did when I started out. Coming out of university I broke into the industry by turning up at an agency first thing in the morning, a copy of my CV in hand, and asking to speak to the manager. I handed him my CV and looked him straight in the eye. I told him I wanted a high paying job, and asked what he had for me? The combination of my up front confident attitude, and surprising him by turning up first thing on a Monday morning impressed him and he asked me back to meet a team leader that very day.

I researched what recruiters do and made sure I asked the team leader as many if not more questions than he asked me. Within an hour I had a job offer and began my career. That was at a small firm with approximately 15 recruiters. It was also over 6 years ago. Since then I have interviewed countless potential consultants for my employers, and I have worked alongside many recruiters who have moved around to different firms in the industry during their career. Not only that, I went through a grueling series of interviews to secure my dream recruitment job in London. I have more than enough experience of the recruitment industry hiring process to improve your success rate at interview. So if you are looking to get your first job in recruitment, or to change firms and move up the career ladder, I suggest you do the following.

Research

If you are new to the industry do your research. Reading this book will be more than enough to ensure you have the skills to do the job, but a few hours on the net finding as many sources as possible will be valuable time well spent. Once you have done that ring up a firm you are interested in and tell them you are looking to get into recruitment. Ask if there is someone you can speak to, to ask a few questions. Have plenty of questions ready. Asking questions is a huge part of the job and if you interview the recruiter they will notice it, and remember you. Speak loudly, slower than usual and clearly. Learn everything you can from the call. Just this call will be enough to pique their curiosity, and there is every chance they will ask for your contact details or ask you in to meet them. At the end thank them for their help, and ask if they have any openings at the moment?

Whatever their answer, ask who is in charge of hiring and if you can send them a copy of your CV to hold on file. Tell them you would be very interested in joining should an opportunity become available. Once again this will make a very good impression. The recruiter will be telling their manager about your call. Any good recruitment firm is always ready to hire another consultant. Each new consultant means more money, and more profit. It’s just a matter of whether they are prepared to train you from scratch or only hire experienced consultants.

Next you want to find as many firms in your area as possible to apply to. Use the telephone directory and Google and local papers. A fantastic resource is the website KellySearch where you can look up numerous companies in a particular sector. Record email, telephone and website details for all the agencies you can find. You will be calling through the list, and emailing them all a copy of your CV. The aim here is to secure as many interviews as possible. 3 or 5 interviews down the line and you will have been asked every question you can imagine. You will be prepared for anything. No matter how nervous or unprepared you were at interview 1 by now you will be relaxed at interview. You can name drop other firms you are interviewing with and probably offers you have received too.

This makes you appear calm, confident and in demand. A hot prospect who turned up to the office in person asking for the manager, who has interviews all over town, and has already received offers from competitor agencies is 100% more likely to receive an offer than a student who emails their CV in and calls a week later to ask if it has been received!

An aspect of recruitment you may not be aware of is ‘Rec2Rec’ or Recruitment to Recruitment. Rec2Rec firms help recruiters move from firm to firm and charge agencies for finding them new consultants. Agencies despise paying fees to Rec2Rec’s who are basically doing their job for them, and charging a premium. If an agency is looking for a new trainee consultant and a Rec2Rec has recently sent them several graduate CVs that look good, but then you turn up at the door; maybe not as well educated but obviously confident, well researched, and well presented, they will hire you and avoid paying the Rec2Rec every time! Rec2Recs often source their trainee recruiter candidates from Graduates who have posted their CVs online. Use this technique to jump ahead of them.

Your CV

Recruiters look at thousands of CVs a year so it is important that yours is well presented. Have a look online for some examples. Make sure to include an abstract under your contact details. This is a short paragraph written in the third person describing your skills and personality. Assuming that you are fresh from education and have limited experience then you are aiming for something along the lines of:

“An enthusiastic and dedicated Graduate who enjoys being part of a successful and productive team. A dynamic and hard working individual with a keen eye for detail and an analytical mind. A determined and commercially aware person with the ability to manage projects to on-time completion. Works well on own initiative and can demonstrate the high levels of motivation and organisation required to consistently meet sales and performance targets. Possesses excellent interpersonal skills and communicates well at all levels. Thrives in high pressure, target driven working environments.”

Feel free to edit that to your hearts content. Underneath have your educational record and then any work experience. Format for this can be as follows:

“May 2004 – September 2006

Commercial Recruitment Consultant & New Business Developer

Handbag Recruitment, Colchester, Essex

A recruitment consultancy specialising in Commercial, Sales and Service Sectors

I beat the monthly sales target set for experienced consultants by the end of my third month, and have continued to meet and exceed all monthly sales and performance targets since then.

o Establishing and maintaining strong client relationships for repeat business.

o Managing multiple clients in diverse industries.

Etc…”

Depending on the company you worked for it is always wise to include a short line describing what they do. It is not always apparent what ABC Ltd do from their company name. If your job title and bullet points are also somewhat generic it may not be clear what kind of work you actually did! This happens a lot more than you might think, so ensure it doesn’t happen on your CV.

Once you have your hot CV ready, and you have forwarded it to 20 plus firms and called them all up or visited in person you will no doubt have some interview requests. If not, you may need to work on your CV some more! Or you can post your CV on all the Job Boards online and apply for every recruiting job on offer.

Now I am confident you have interviews arranged. To ensure your success do as I sad before and book as many as you can. Even if you are not interested in a particular firm, attend anyway! You want to approach each interview as though it is a Practice Interview, and you are researching the company and the industry. This is what you are doing, and will ensure you take the pressure off of yourself and are able to relax and ask questions without fear of messing up. Trust me – after 5 interviews at different firms you will be as sharp as a razor and the offers will flood in.

Before you set off remember to put on smart business attire. Suited and Booted. Tie done up. Clean shaven (and the equivalent for girls). It is better to be over rather than under dressed. You must give the impression that you are ‘all business’ and that you are serious about the job. Even if the agency you are going to operate casual dress – many do – you must turn up dressed to impress. Make your first impression count. Have plenty of pre prepared questions, and when they are answered you must reply describing how elements of your professional experience, or personal character, are what is desired / or make you suited to the job. Recruiters are loud, confident communicators, driven by a desire to make lots of money. You must show you are money motivated, competitive, and thick skinned. A hard work ethic and expecting to work long hours when required always goes down well. You will have to work long hours starting out. Once you are billing above your targets and bringing in lots of new business, hours will be shorter!

Concentrate on the impression you want to give at interview. The same person can interview with 5 different companies and come across completely differently at each one. Begin by making good eye contact (without holding on forever like a weirdo) giving a firm handshake, and a smile! Watch how the interviewer acts, how they talk, and remember what you think is important to them as the meeting progresses. After each interview go home and write out every thing you remember. Several interviews along you should have lots of notes to digest. Model yourself on the interviewers themselves, and the most important notes you have written down. You will be well on your way to having all the knowledge you need to give stunningly good interviews from then on.

At the end of each interview if you have not been offered the job you must close by telling the manager you have been impressed and would love to work with them. Then ask ‘What is the next stage?’ This makes clear your interest, and ensured that you know what happens next and when. If you have done all of the above, I expect you will have been offered the job before you have to ask. However, they may have other applicants to see so you must make your intent clear. If you are told that you will be contacted in a weeks time then press the issue. Say that you ‘have some other offers on the table’ and that you ‘want to make an informed decision asap’. Follow with ‘Is there anything you are unsure about or you would like to know more, about me?’ If the manager has any small doubts you will hear them now. Answer well and clear these up and knowing you have other options 9 out of 10 times you will get your offer and the job will be yours – if you want it. They may not have even had other people to see, and just been testing your interest. Do not accept a ‘no’ or a ‘not yet’ and always press for a reason why that you can respond to and then re-express your interest. Being able to push in a negotiation like this is a key part of the recruiter job. If you get the chance to do this at your interview you must take it. As it is guaranteed to impress the manager!

So you got an offer – well done! Do you accept right away? Well that depends how happy you are with it! If you have several others on the table then you could try and negotiate further. Say that you are really keen to accept but you have been offered more by several other agencies. Tell them you would love to join, and if they match X figure then you will accept right away. See what you can get on top of the offer. If nothing else it will be fun to do. Of course if you are happy then go for it. I would still attend any other interviews you have booked. You never know, you might like them more, or get a better offer. You will find every agency is different, so having offers from several will enable you to choose the one most suited to you, and what you are looking for.

So there you go, that’s how you can get a job in Recruitment. It’s a fantastic industry to work in, where the financial rewards can be substantial.

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Top Careers to Pursue and Refrain From During a Recession

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During a recession, disposable income tends to dissipate. For some people, purchasing the bare necessities can be difficult. So before you decide which career path to take, look over the following lists below.

Careers to Pursue

Health Care $50,000 +

People will always get sick creating a constant demand for Health Care. Depressions rates are often at a high creating an additional need. Examples include: Doctors, Nurses, Pediatricians, Specialists, and Therapists.

Transportation $30,000 +

Unable to afford the extreme gas prices, people opt for taking the city bus or subway. Examples include: City Bus Driver and Subway Driver.

Beauty $30,000 +

Presentation has always been and will continue to be important to an individual and required by their boss. Examples include: Hairdressers and Barbers.

Education $30,000 +

People don’t pull their children out of school just because of a recession and often times, adults go back to school in hopes of pursuing a more promising a different career path. Examples include: Elementary School Teachers, Teacher’s Aides, College Professors, Principals, Deans and Custodians.

International Business $60,000 +

When business isn’t being done here it is being done overseas. This career will not only survive but thrive during tough times.

Bankruptcy Law $75,000 +

Unfortunately, many Americans simply can’t survive when a cut-back or lay-off occurs. Bankruptcy numbers increase dramatically during a recession.

Debt Management $50,000 +

In a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy, debt management offices become flooded.

Grocery $30,000 +

People stop eating out and start eating in, and people need food to survive. Examples include: Butchers, Managers, Cashiers and Baggers.

Internet $25,000 +

Why go to the store when you can shop at home for less? Further, people have a lot more free time on their hands and as statistics show, a majority of that free time is spent online.

Research & Development $75,000 +

Businesses will always invest money into finding better, faster, more cost-effective ways of producing a product and providing a service, especially when business isn’t that great.

Casinos $50,000 +

Regardless of how tough the times are, gambling remains an addiction. In many cases, people gamble in hopes of striking it rich during a tough time. Examples include: Owners, Hostesses, Bartenders and Security.

Pharmaceuticals $75,000 +

Doctors will continue to write prescriptions and people will continue to take them. Anti-depressants are of the top prescribed during a recession. Examples include: Pharmacists and Drug Company Representatives.

Liquor Sales $50,000 +

For many Americans, when the times are tough they turn to alcohol in hopes of drinking away their problems. Examples include: Counter-Sales and Bartenders.

Auditor $50,000 +

When you can’t find any other way to save money, you do it around tax time which is why auditors are always in demand, especially during tough times.

Public Safety $50,000 +

When the times are tough, people get tough too. Crime rates experience a slight increase, creating a demand for Police Officers and Fire Fighters.

Careers to Avoid

Sales $50,000 +

While a career in sales may pay well, they only pay well when things are being sold. When money starts to get tight people refrain from spending any money they don’t have to.

Real Estate $50,000 +

Most Americans can’t afford to live never mind shop around for a house. Regardless of how low financing rates go, you can’t take advantage of them with destroyed credit!

Mortgages $50,000 +

If people aren’t buying houses they don’t need to apply for a mortgage.

Retail $30,000 +

These jobs are most readily available because people are being forced to leave the industry. Most retail jobs support sales made from disposable income. Examples include: Clothing Stores Cashiers Electronic Store and Department Store Cashiers.

Automobile Sales $30,000 +

Most Americans are refraining from driving, never mind purchasing a new car. Carpooling and city transportation become a more practical alternative for most individuals.

Construction $50,000 +

People are downsizing not upsizing, and going for old not new. Whether its housing or additions, not much is being built during a recession.

Marketing $50,000 +

While it may be the most needed, the Marketing departments are usually the first to go when companies attempt to cut-costs.

Travel $30,000 +

Traveling to work is enough of a problem, never mind hopping on a plane or planning a cruise. Even if someone wanted too, taking time off from work could cost them their job. Examples include: Flight Attendant, Hostess, Travel Agent or Cruise Ship Worker.

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6 Things To Like In An Ultrasound Technician Career

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One of the fastest growing fields in the medical industry, more ultrasound technicians are finding it appealing to work as technicians either in hospitals or in medical diagnostic centers. If before sonographers were looked down upon, these days, even the medical industry acknowledges the importance of technicians in diagnosing one’s illness or disease.

What then are the things that ultrasound technicians like about their job?

Salary helps in providing for one’s family. Because it is one of the highest paid careers in the medical industry, practitioners are able to provide better future for his or her kids properly. Typically, the minimum per hour rate for technicians is around $17 per hour, while for the more experienced (in terms of years and specializations), rates can go as high as $27 and above. On top of the basic pay, they are also entitled to overtime pay, which is also a normal scenario if you are working as a sonographer and in a hospital setting.

Medical benefits are extended to their families. Being in the field of sonography allows practitioners to extend their medical and health benefits to members of their family. This is beneficial for the whole family because not all medical institutions have the same employee benefits other than the State-declared benefits accorded to medical practitioners.

Security of tenure. Despite the recession, the need for additional ultrasound technicians is increasing unlike in other professions where employees are either let go due to redundancy of position or the company itself has ceased to operate.

But in the case of ultrasound technicians, and other professions in the medical field, the projection is even growing especially now there is heavy reliance on the results of ultrasound as one of the basis for coming up with a prognosis.

Ability to provide information on the nature of the illness as well as help in properly diagnosing patient illness. Because physicians themselves rely heavily on results of scans and MRIs, technicians’ role in the medical team is also increasing because he or she conducts the actual the actual scans and actually discusses the results with the physician. Knowledge-wise, this helps you gain more information and understanding of various diseases, which you can still use as basis if you want to immerse yourself in the medical field more by becoming a doctor.

Dignity in labor. Ultrasound technicians like the fact that to become a practicing technician, one has to undergo rigorous training and pass certification exams to become registered members of accredited organizations such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), the American Registry of Radiological Technologists (ARRT), or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). In addition, one has to graduate from reputable and accredited schools in order to qualify for the certification exams, thus it further adds professionalism to the job as sonographers.

Emotional satisfaction of helping other people. Apart from taking visual images of patients’ internal organs, ultrasound technicians find fulfillment in knowing that they were able to help in coming up with the diagnosis. As part of the medical team, technicians play a crucial role in providing the correct and most accurate scans of patients. Thus, proficiency and focus at work is very much expected from them.

If you share the same sentiments as ultrasound technician, then you might want to consider working in this field of healthcare. You not only help in providing answers to patients’ illnesses, you will also be rewarded financially for all the hard work you put into the job.

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Writing Career – One-Year Fast Track to Success

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The idea of planning your writing career can be intimidating. How do you know what you want to spend your life writing? Instead of planning your whole career, ask yourself: Where do I want to be a year from today?

Over the past 30 years of writing, I’ve become a huge fan of planning. I plan consistently, and have yearly, monthly and daily writing plans. I never follow any plan precisely as written. I may ditch my plan for the day if I decide that something else needs attention.

However I can see from my own career that a lack of planning leads to a lack of action, and ACTION is what counts.

You may feel that you don’t know enough about available writing opportunities to plan, or that you’d rather be spontaneous, and wait to see what comes along. In either case, your lack of planning leads to inaction… which leads to disappointment and frustration.

Any plan (no matter how minimal) is better than no plan at all. Even if you ditch a current plan because you decide to focus on a particular opportunity, your plans inspire action, which ultimately leads to success.

Start planning today. Here’s how to set yourself up on a one-year fast track to writing success.

1. Decide you want to write

What do you want to write? Web writing is hot, but so is creating information products (for yourself or others), and blogging is huge too.

You may choose more than one opportunity, but aim to specialize in the subjects you cover, so that you establish yourself as an expert and command higher rates.

2. Decide on your subject area, or areas

By setting yourself up as a specialist in one subject, whether it is health-care, dogs or something else, you can ask for, and get higher rates.

You can also eliminate the hassle involved in writing about a subject you know nothing about (in which case, you may have to do a lot of research for a low-paying assignment).

3. Decide whether there’s a particular client you want

Some people dream of writing for a Fortune 500 company — do you? What do you think you would have to do to get them to consider your services? (If you lack experience, you may want to devote this year toward building up your portfolio so you will be confident in approaching your dream client.)

4. Work out how much time you’ll devote to your writing each day

If you have a full-time job, how much time can you devote to your career? Do you eventually want to become a full-time writer?

5. Decide the income you’d like to make in 12 months

Set an annual earnings goal for you to make a year from now and then break it down into monthly, weekly and perhaps even daily goals. If you are switching from a full-time job to your writing career, perhaps you want to exceed your current income. This may feel scary, but having goal will give you a challenge to shoot for and focus your efforts.

6. Now you’ve settled the basics, decide how you’ll meet your goals

Now that you’ve focused on the kinds of writing you want to do, how much time you can devote to your writing career and how much you want to make from it, it’s time to figure out how to meet those goals. Do you have clients already? How can you gain new ones?

7. Set milestones for your writing career and then break them down into doable steps

For example, if you’ve made a goal of earning $100,000 within 12 months by writing ebooks and blogs on real estate, your monthly goal should be to earn at least $8,333 per month or $2,083 per week at the end of 12 months.

Think about any assets you have which you can leverage (contacts? experience?), and then create stepping-stone goals which will help you to achieve that figure.

Once you have your goals, you’ll focus. Remember to create monthly, weekly and daily plans by setting goals and action steps. You’ll soon have your writing career on the fast track to success.

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Answering "Why Are You Looking For A New Job?"

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This is one of those job interview questions that will be asked by the savviest of interviewers. Although it’s positively heart-stopping to be on the answering end of this question, if you were the employer, wouldn’t you want to know how this seemingly fabulous person ended up on the job market? It’s similar to meeting an interesting, attractive person of the opposite sex, or finding a used car that’s only got 1000 miles on it and is 3 years old. Just a little too good to be true, and you can’t believe that no one else has discovered this amazing find.

Basically they’re trying to figure out what is wrong with you, and suspect they will get a clue by looking at your relationship with your last job.

So your task is to not give them any ammunition to rule you out of the game.

1. Never, ever, ever speak ill of your current employer, or any former employers for that matter. Everyone knows that one reason for this is because your interviewer will envision you badmouthing them when you decide to leave, and nobody wants to think about bad rumors about themselves traveling through the industry. Another reason to avoid dissing your past employer is that in this very small world, they could be a friend, relative or even your potential client at this new job. No person works on an island and you must always be conscious of the seemingly invisible threads that connect so many people.

2. Another never is to speak ill of the tasks you were asked to perform at your past or current job. ANY tasks. You may think that this new job would provide a blissful escape from the tedium of your last one, and so gleefully explain to an interviewer all of the mind-numbing things you were asked to do. However, your interviewer is thinking about the similar (but different) mind-numbing tasks of this position, and decides that you would quit after the first month. There’s no reason to hire you if you’ve already given them a reason for you to quit.

3. Also, you don’t want to speak ill of your co-workers. Those were or are your teammates, and the same rule holds true as reason #1. This world is too small, and good jobs are too few to take the chance.

So what CAN you say?

1. You can say that you wanted a new opportunity. That you felt that you had taken your current or past position as far as you could within the company, you had achieved X, Y and Z, and now feel that it’s time for you to learn a different aspect of the business, or to work for a bigger (or smaller) company. The key here is to focus on the future. Focus on the opportunities you see in this new position, how it will help you grow and learn and not what was wrong with the last company you worked for.

2. If you are applying for a job that touts flexible hours, work from home or excellent benefits in the job posting, you can mention those qualities as a reason to look into this new position. Again you don’t want to speak ill of your current employer, but say that you understand why they need to run their business as they do, but if the working arrangements at this new company are better suited to your lifestyle at the moment then it might be a good fit. You are showing the employer that there is a natural fit between their needs and your needs.

In the cases where you were let go from a position, all of the above rules apply. If it’s the truth, you can say that you were laid off as a result of a company-wide restructuring or budgetary cuts. If it was due to a disciplinary action you can say that at the time you were having some time management issues (if you were fired for being consistently late), but you have learned your lesson, that you take an employer’s requirements a lot more seriously and have taken proactive measures (which you can briefly describe) to prevent yourself from getting in that situation again. Show that you have made your mistake with your past employer and have absolutely no intention of making the same mistake twice. Sincerity, an action plan and great references are necessary to counteract any remaining issues.

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Unhappy at Your Job? Here Are the Top 3 Things That Create a Bad Work Environment

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If you are an employee it helps to identify a bad work experience early on before you are stuck there for years. If you are a manager it is good to review these three areas so you can spot these signs in your own groups and improve your teams. For both employees and employers it is good to know the major causes of dissatisfaction at work.

Keep in mind no company is 100% perfect and almost everyone will be able to connect with one or two of these workplace ailments, however if you see more than a few of these problems in your job then it may be time to consider that your company is not a happy place to work and could use some improvement.

3 Causes:

1. Your company – Is the entire company dysfunctional and a bad place to work?

Many companies create a work environment that makes being there eight hours a day (or more in many cases) an undignified experience. This could be the actual physical environment or this could mean the people in the company from the executive management team all the way down seem to be filled with jerks and shady characters.

  • Employees fight against each other – The atmosphere of some companies feel like a dystopian wasteland where the motto is everyone for themselves. It is difficult to get help from other employees and departments, or even worse they actively try to sabotage your projects to make you look bad. This makes for a very stressful environment. Employees who get along with each other, help each other, and act like a supportive team generally function like one as well.
  • No one gets promoted – Are you waiting for your manager to die so that you have a chance at promotion? Some companies are just not built to allow regular promotions. Maybe there is little growth or the bridge between job titles is too great. In these cases management needs to make up for the lack of real promotions with increased salary and additional numbers behind your job title. Even if there is no direct path from flight attendant to pilot, there should be a clear path to flight attendant level II and senior flight attendant. The company must provide a chance for growth, increased skills, learning programs, and regular salary increases above inflation adjustments.
  • Responsibilities are increased without the corresponding increase in authority – If your company is expecting you to perform ever increasing tasks and lead projects and programs there needs to be a publicly known increase in authority that gives you the ability to accomplish these tasks. This should be done in the form of a new job title or a public announcement stating you are in charge of certain aspects of a program. This allows people to know that you are not just being nosey and bossy, but are doing your job.
  • The skilled are not promoted – Often managers and entire companies reward friends or those who are most visible in the company over the most skilled and reasonable person for the job. This could be due to nepotism or it could be due to the skilled person being the only one who can perform a certain job and promoting them would move them away from the current job.
  • High turnover rate – Constant reorganization is tough on employees rather it is caused by layoffs, firings, or a lack of loyalty toward the company or employees. It constantly changes work requirements, causes a loss of friends and security, and removes experts who are most knowledgeable about their roles. High turnover rate is both a sign and a cause of a bad workplace.
  • No respect for employees – Employees are treated like property with no interest in their needs. They are never asked for their opinion, and never kept up to date on company direction. They are given no privacy, no independence, and are without the tools they need to perform at their best. Finally they are used up and spit out once they are no longer of value.
  • Appearance more important than results – Companies often choose to measure work hours, meeting attendance, or the appearance that work is being done even if creating that appearance takes away from actual productivity. These things often correspond with results, but it is the actual progress that matters in the end and results are what need to be counted. Sometimes a unique and unstructured workplace can birth the greatest creativity. Companies need to be mindful that one size does not fit all.
  • No time off – Vacation is made available and advertised on job descriptions but cannot be used since everyone is too busy or taking vacation is frowned upon and seen as being lazy. Vacation accumulates and is lost. Employees lose their personal life and become burnt out.
  • Payment is late or skipped – company is not fiscally solvent enough or responsible enough to pay employees what was promised. Checks are late or missing. If this happens once due to some mistake it may be forgivable. If it happens often then the company is stealing from you and not worth your time.
  • No one ever gets fired – A bad coworker can bring everyone down. Maybe others are forced to do their job, or they cause hostility or lack of fluidity in the group. Whatever the case the management team needs to have the backbone to stand up to these people and not let them harm the rest of the group.
  • Employees can’t tie what they do to the success of the company – Employees need to feel they are part of a bigger project and how their roles are important to the success of the company. The management team needs to keep them informed on company projects and how they are helping and share celebrations with them when goals are met.

2. Your manager – As a leader and a person

Managers set the tone and call the shots for the group and can make your work-life pleasant or crush your spirit. Managers are usually a key component to rather or not a person is happy at work. Good bosses are positive leaders for a department, insightful sources of experience, ambassadors to other departments, and they fight for their team during meetings with upper management. Bad bosses create a pocket of terror in an otherwise good company and tend to block progress more than help it along.

Here are a few common characteristics of a bad boss:

  • Everything is top priority – Some managers are very good at creating artificial stress in their department by inflating the urgency of every project. A good manager knows that their employees need a break and save the red alert situations for real emergencies.
  • Promising the world to upper management – Weak bosses cannot say no to upper management and pass on every request to their employees even if it is impossible. These bosses rarely provide good leadership. Other departments and even employees in their group take advantage of them. We also see this with managers who are more interested in promoted their own career over the needs of the group they lead. If their employees work long hours to complete every project that is asked it looks good for the manager and cost them little time to say yes.
  • Boss is overemotional and egotistic – Many bosses seem to confuse yelling and being a strong leader. Often loss of emotional control is used to hide a manager’s lack of real skill. Some schools of management seem to promote harsh words and threats as a way to motivate employees.
  • Manipulates situations to take advantage of you – During slow job markets many bosses take advantage of the situation by cutting pay raises to their employees, increasing work hours and generally rolling back promises made to employees. They know there are not a lot of other jobs available due to economic situations or realities of your type of industry. Bad managers use this to their advantage and forget you are a real person and not a commodity.
  • Doesn’t give positive feedback or guidance for improvement – Good managers give timely and regular feedback. They frequently and publicly praise employees’ work when it is good and give private feedback on how to improve when it needs improvement. Managers should not wait for yearly reviews to state progress or blow up at employees when things have been going downhill for months. Employees should know their role and have expected, required tasks that are achievable. Goals should not be constantly changing. Feedback should be given as goals progress. Finally, if employees work long hours for extended periods of time there needs to be reciprocal signs of appreciation from the management team to make sure the team feels appreciated and rewarded.
  • Your boss hates you – A bad boss may not be able to get over perceived differences with you. Maybe they think you have different political beliefs or a different work style than they have. They may allow this to cloud your work relationship and cause them to constantly be negative toward you. Good bosses don’t get stuck on these differences and instead can work with a wide array of personality types. They work well with the entire team and take an interest in each person individually. This allows the boss to know the strengths and weaknesses of each person in the team and know how to motivate them and get the best results from each individual. One person may not work well with constant supervision, but with a little room they may end up being the strongest employee in the team. Building these relationships also creates camaraderie with the team and can avoid situations where employees appear to lose interest in their work or snap unexpectedly.
  • Micromanaging – Bosses who don’t trust their employees will spend most of their time (and yours) checking your progress and questioning how you choose to attack a problem. This is fine for new employees or employees who work best if they have constant supervision, but if your manager doesn’t recognize your worth and intelligence after 15 years on the job then it can feel demeaning. This is made even worse if the boss is incompetent and knows less than you do but still insists to look over your shoulder and comment on every action. Managers need to let skilled employees do their job and give them room. They should value their opinions and allow them to bring questions and concerns to the boss when they have them.
  • Not around enough – If you boss is never available to be a leader then we have the opposite extreme of micromanagement. Managers are put in place for a purpose and if they do not guide the team, then someone else will. This can cause the members of the team to have to perform the role of the manager without any of the authority. They will not have the connections with upper management and will miss out on the guidance, direction, and experience a good manager would provide. This can cause bickering between group members and force employees to go around the usual chain of command to get things done.

3. Your roll – What do you want to get out your job versus what you are actually getting

Maybe there is nothing inherently wrong with the company, but it is just not the best place for you.

  • Not what you expected – If you went into your current position with a salary expectation and you ended up getting paid significantly less, that salary gap is going to eat at you. You may be happy performing a job for free if that is what you set out to do, but if you are not getting paid what you believe you are worth then your salary goals will keep you from being happy at that job.
  • You have no interest in what your company does – There is something to be said of being proud of what you do and where you work. If you believe chewing gum is destroying the lives of children then you are not going to be inspired to work harder at a chewing gum factory. If you hate what your company does or are even apathetic to its goals then your only motivation for working there is the money. You will have no enthusiasm and will not care about anything but your paycheck. If the money itself is not so good, then your motivation for the job will be minimal at best. Alternatively if you believe the products or services your company produces are really great or are helping benefit the world, then you will have extra incentive to go to work every day.
  • You work hard, but have no rewards or successes – In a school setting this is called busy work. You work hard each day but nothing of value is ever produced. You never get to celebrate the launch of a new product or start to work on new exciting projects. Every day is the same meaningless assembly line style tasks. No matter how hard you work there is no difference in your level of success and you never get to see the fruits of your labor.
  • You are not doing what you love – You spend a lot of time at work every day. Are you doing what you love or even what you are good at? Is this a creative outlet for your talents and passions or does it just pay the bills.

Flip these attributes for a good company that is healthy, productive, focused and driven.

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Job Growth in Criminal Justice Field

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that careers in the criminal justice field will grow rapidly between now and 2016. In the next few years paralegal, investigator, private detective and police officer jobs are predicted to grow between 11-22 percent.

Although a bachelor’s or master’s degree is not always required, a criminal justice degree is often preferred by law enforcement departments. It gives you a strong basis of knowledge when later working for a Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, State Patrol or the Federal Government.

Many departments give a substantial percentage of salary increase per educational level completed, and promotions are often quicker and better for officers with a higher education degree. In addition, there’s a growing trend amongst law enforcement agencies to offer tuition reimbursement.

“I believe that the degree will be well worth it when I look back on my career,” said a deputy sheriff when I asked him about his master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University’s online program.

“A master’s degree in Criminal Justice can help those who are looking for work by giving them an advantage in the initial hiring process. Employers know that a candidate with a master’s degree has intelligence, is dedicated, and is a person who is willing to work hard,” he says. “Experience is also extremely important, but education can help individuals earn life experience and broaden their understanding of the criminal justice field.”

The federal government is offering the deputy and all those working in a federal or county capacity the federal loan forgiveness program, which will pay for the remaining of his school debt after ten years of service.

Criminal justice is a field of innumerable possibilities, and not just in law enforcement. Political science, corrections management and criminal law are some of the specialized areas of study, as well as security, corrections, emergency response, crisis management, information technology, the court system, social work and case management.

Opportunities for graduates include with federal agencies like the FBI, CIA, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), the Secret Service, Customs, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), INS, and the Border Patrol. Local options include careers as a state trooper, SBI agent, detective, investigator, security specialist, and in the corrections department as a corrections, parole or probation officer.

Criminal justice can also lead to professions in law such as a lawyer, legal assistant, paralegal, court administrator, judge or magistrate, and in military and defense agencies leading to a career as a military police officer or investigator, criminologist, crime scene investigator, or forensic scientist. Other opportunities include: in gaming surveillance as a conservation officer, in colleges and universities as lectures and professors, and in the field of cyber crime and white-collar crime detection and prevention. When you decide what specialization you might be interested in, you will want to conduct more specific research. No matter what career you decide to pursue, a degree in criminal justice will be a strong foundation to have.

You may also consider whether an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree is right for you:

• An associate’s degree in criminal justice will give you a general overview of the criminal justice system, including policing and corrections, the court system and juvenile justice. For many departments an associate’s degree is the minimum requirement for becoming a police officer or sheriff’s deputy.

• A bachelor’s degree can introduce you to a specialized field within criminal justice. An added concentration can prepare you for careers in corrections, forensics, juvenile justice or crime scene investigation. A criminal justice bachelor’s degree with a technology focus, for example, could help you get a job working in the realm of computer crime and cyber security.

• A master’s degree can advance your career from the start or advance you professionally if you’re already working in the field. Courses focus on more specialized areas, such as criminology, juvenile law and criminal court systems.

“Higher education helps those going into the work force sharpen their writing skills, gain knowledge of the law, and learn about arresting procedures,” the deputy with his master’s from BU told me. Among the specialized areas he studied were criminology, white collar crime, terrorism and victimology. “There are, however, many other practical applications that one can only learn while on the job,” he has realized, and he named handcuffing, firearm tactics and processing evidence as a few examples.

“Getting a criminal justice degree is as academically challenging as an engineering or mathematics program,” says Don Schneidmiller, a Deputy Chief with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He recommends choosing a challenging program with instructors who have experience in the field, and to make sure the curriculum is broad so that you learn all aspects of the criminal justice system.

Most importantly, Schneidmiller believes, if you are interested in a criminal justice degree: “It is critical that students know they’ll be held to an extremely high moral and ethical standard,” Schneidmiller advises. “They need to start holding themselves to that standard now.”

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