Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Facebook Can Get You Fired

Ever find yourself procrastinating at work on Facebook? You know, checking pictures, keeping up-to-date on what your friends are doing,  writing witty status updates. I know just how addictive it can get. I've been there. Despite this attraction, it can be a valuable  job search tool. Job searchers post status updates about the type of work they're looking for; Employers post hiring updates.

However, there is more to this intrusive social media site than just catching up with friends. There are certain boundaries and discretion that should be observed when using Facebook regularly.  While employers may post updates announcing what particular jobs are available, or what type of skill set they are looking for,  they can just as easily investigate and judge you based on your Facebook profile.  When using social media tools it's important to consider that your Facebook pictures, or status updates can be searched if precautions aren't taken. Openbook, the website that searches 'public' status updates highlights how easily a profile can be exposed if privacy settings haven't been established.

So here's how to protect yourself:

   1. Clean up our pictures. Be conscientious of what pictures you want to post and share. Want to post some wild and compromising photos? You may want to think again. While you're at it, remove tags from any other inappropriate photos that could lead to embarrassment.

   2. Religion and politics are no-no's. Unless religion or politics is your profession, you may want to steer clear of making any religious or politically sensitive remarks. It's like any potential employer is going to want to know which way you vote.

   3. Privacy settings. You may want to make sure you secure your personal information or pictures before applying for positions or accepting a friend request from an employer. Facebook has a number of privacy settings that can assist you in protecting yourself, and ensuring you to control what people see and don't see.

Facebook is fun, who doesn't like it? It also can be a very valuable job search tool. However, whenever you're using any social media, or the internet based social site; discretion should always be advised.

10 Tips on How To Improve Your IT Career

Know Your Value Outside The Company

It's helpful to know what your value is in the IT industry - that is, outside your own company. Knowing what other companies think of you is a good way of knowing your own value. There are several ways you can do this:

• Find out what other people with similar experience and skills to you are being paid. This can be done by searching job websites (not at your work though!) or asking job forums.
• Getting interviews with other companies. This may be hard to do while you still have a job, and may not always work, but it can be a good way to know what other companies are willing to pay you.

Also, if you're an Australian IT worker, the job website Seek has a great tool that you can use to work out your expected pay range and benefits.

Make Lists to Keep Organised

How do you ever know what you need to do, if you don't have a record of it somewhere? It might be a good idea at the start to go by a few emails you get or what your boss asks you to do. But the best IT employees use their own organisational system or set of lists to keep track of what they need to do.

The type of lists you use will depend on your preference and your job, but a simple To Do list should be enough to start. Many email programs contain a list system (such as Tasks in Microsoft Outlook) that you can use. Even a notepad or an Excel file can work.

Bonus Tip: Sign up to my email newsletter on the right of this page (the big blue box - you can't miss it!) to receive BOTH an eBook that outlines some productivity tips for Outlook, as well as an email that shows you the inspiration and reasoning behind the greatest productivity system I've seen!

Join LinkedIn
Social networking is a big thing these days. You may be on Facebook, or Twitter. Another great social networking site for professionals is LinkedIn. Essentially, it's like Facebook but for professionals. You set up your profile, add your education and work experience, and connect with people. Reasons to do this include:

• You can keep up to date with your current and former co-workers
• It's like an online resume - potential employers can find you based on your experience
• You can find jobs via LinkedIn as well
• Other people can offer you recommendations - publicly writing how good you are at your job. Which you are! Or, you will hopefully be if you've been reading the articles on my site!

Join A Group Or Association

Many industries and sub-industries in the IT world have associations or interest groups that people can join. They can be groups based on specific technologies (e.g. Microsoft SharePoint), based on specific sub-industries (Business Analysis), or workers of a certain area (IT Workers in Chicago).

Joining these groups will not only connect you with like-minded individuals, but you'll have access to a lot of information, from both the organisation and the people inside it. This will be a great benefit to your career.

Personally, I've joined a few newsletters/groups that I'm interested in, such as Oracle developers and Project Management groups. There are a lot out there - have a look around!

Get Additional Qualifications

Arguably the best tip on how to improve your IT career is to obtain more qualifications. These should be in the industry that you're aiming to improve in, but general qualifications can help. Project managers, security and networking professionals, and even specific technology developers all have a range of qualifications they can obtain.

They usually involve studying the course material, enrolling in an exam, paying a fee, and then (hopefully) passing the exam. Depending on the courses, the fees may vary. But, in the long term, you should make that money back, both in benefits to your employer and future pay rises. People with extra qualifications usually get paid more - both from their current employer, and if they decide to change employers.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tips On How To Become A Wedding Planner And Successfully Fulfill The Dreams Of Other Individuals

Many individuals find that they can enjoy a successful and often lucrative career when they decide to become a wedding planner. In fact, many people within this field typically see high levels of demand and an industry that's very unlikely to go out of style. At the same time, most tend to appreciate being able to work on their own terms and as a freelance professional. However, in order to do this successfully, you'll need to possess a high level of dedication and determination. It's also important to make sure that you're able to work comfortably while on a sporadic schedule, which can entail long hours, late nights and early mornings.

It's generally not difficult to become a wedding planner and to delve into the industry. As an example, there's no need to obtain a license or any formal qualifications in order to work as one. However, it's more than likely that you'll have a hard time getting your business started, particularly if you lack the experience in order to plan an event successfully. This is because clients will want to know why they should choose you over other professionals, which will be hard to prove without any experience or previous work under your belt. It can also make it difficult to stand up against the rest of the competition. Due to this, most find it beneficial to gain formal qualification to make themselves more marketable.

Oftentimes, potential clients will want to see a portfolio that highlights an individual's ability to organize an event. This is virtually impossible for those who don't have the experience to show that they know what they're doing. This is why many people find it beneficial to have formal qualifications before they start. This way, prospective clients will be able to see that a certain individual has enough knowledge to handle the job properly. Having formal qualifications will also enable you to build up a list of contacts, which can prove to be highly useful for those who run a wedding planning business, since it's often based around people.

If you're considering the idea of starting a wedding planner business and facing the rest of the competition, you may find that it will help to start off small. Once you have a few events under your belt, you'll be more likely to obtain positive testimonials. Testimonials can be highly important when it comes to influencing any future clients and their decision to choose your services. You can use these testimonials in a variety of advertisements, brochures and so forth.

If you're just starting off with your wedding planning business, then you may want to start with clients who are having financial difficulty. People who are on a tight budget may still feel that they need help, even if they can't afford an experienced professional. Due to this, your services may appeal to them more, particularly if you offer them special pricing. When offering them special pricing and laying out your plan, you can politely ask if they'll allow you to use them as a referral in return.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Life Coaching for Small Businesses

Now more than ever people are starting to explore different career paths as the economy worsens and jobs are becoming scarce. Many people see this as an opportunity to finally have their dreams realized and open their own business, "I always wanted to open that cupcake shop" or "Now I can finally open up my specialty yarn store". The truth is- more and more people are beginning to start their own businesses. This can be a wonderful and frustrating experience. On one hand you are your own boss and in control of your career. On the other hand, the cost of overhead and unseen details that go into owning a small business can be an overwhelming challenge. Here are a couple of tips for small business owners:

Have reasonable expectations:

Many people begin their own business and expect to see profit immediately. In many ways this makes sense. It takes a long time a lot of money and a lot of energy to set up a business. Scouting a location, leasing the property, advertising, coming up with a name even takes a lot of preparation. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Most people don't realize that it takes up to a year for small businesses to see profit. It's important to keep this in mind when things get tough.

Excellent customer Service:

The defining characteristic that makes small businesses stands out is excellent customer service. People want to come to the small business knowing that they are connecting with a real human being that cares about their needs as the consumer. Staying on task and remaining dedicated to a high quality product and service will help you stand out.

Conflict resolution:

Surprisingly, many small businesses suffer due to poor interpersonal relationships between coworkers and employees. Many small businesses start with family and friend and the progression from family business to booming business can be a difficult transition. Clear communication, positive thinking, and appreciation for the individuals that are working for you will go a long ways.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Benefits From Participating In Respiratory Therapist Programs Today

The continuing recession that has hit so many countries around the globe makes life really hard for many sectors of the market. One sector that seems to go untouched by this trend is health care. It is what many have referred to as being recession proof. As a direct result the number of degree programs being made available now is more than ever before. Just for an example, respiratory therapist programs have seen a massive increase not only in the number of those enrolled, but also in the number of places offering the program.

The health care industry is booming, that does not mean that it is going completely untouched by the economy. Rising costs have resulted in the reexamination of how labor is divided in many facilities. More specialized roles means that there are less responsibilities falling onto the shoulders of higher paid professionals. This then leads to fewer of those professionals needed, and less overtime to pay as well.

These degrees have an added advantage of being shorter than many other types of programs. Some of them are as short as eighteen months. The shortened length is attractive to many who have an interest in working in the areas of health or well-being, but do not see themselves as in a position to make a longer educational commitment. From a financial standpoint it is also preferable.

Traditionally, degrees in the health care field were only available through long established four year institutions. The cost of these often put them out of reach of many. However, this is changing as so many of these more specialized certificates and diplomas are available through technical schools and community colleges. The number of people that this reaches now has increased exponentially.

The demand for people able to take these jobs is rapidly growing. Ensuring that more and more people have access to the education necessary to become qualified, competent, and confident is essential for the industry as a whole. There are even now high schools that are offering parts or all of the training and classwork necessary for their students to be able to take the exams as soon as they graduate.

On the whole the population is getting older. With that aging comes an increase in the need for health care services. Even as the need rises, though, the costs also rise making many in this sector feel like they are fighting an uphill battle. Creating additional positions that are focused and specific helps by reducing overall labor costs.

The benefits of this arrangement are not only for those at the helm. Working class families now have access to higher wages and different types of work than ever before. The real plus side is the improvement in quality of life for these families. These are people that would otherwise have had few choices for employment outside of the retail, service, or manufacturing sectors.

Training for possible careers has undergone extreme change in the past decade. The addition of things like respiratory therapist programs is a welcomed improvement that helps not only employers, but also potential employees. This is really a win, win situation.