There is a direct relationship between what you LEARN and what you EARN, for both individuals and businesses. The most recent data from the US Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract (232 - Mean Earnings by Highest Degree Earned: 2009) shows the differences in average earnings for different degrees:
The only exception here, it seems, is the Doctoral (PhD) degree. Perhaps this is the law of diminishing return! (just kidding) As with any study, there are outliers. Yes, some of our most successful entrepreneurs don’t even have a college degree (and in some cases, a high school education).
We can see this relationship between learning and earning clearly for individuals, but how do we measure this for businesses? Is there a way we can see how the number of degrees, certifications, and other credentials the business’s employees hold (or perhaps certifications the business has obtained itself like ISO 9000 and others)? I am not sure if this data is readily available. It is likely private company information, and/or you would have to complete some data collection procedure to obtain this somehow.
If you wanted to, you could dig a little deeper & compare income statements of companies with highly educated, certified individuals versus those without, or companies with certifications against ones without them. However, you’d have to be careful to filter out noise to make sure you can isolate & compare these individual variables effectively. Some companies generate a lot of income through manual labor compared to others who are service-based. You’d have to figure out how to create an even index to compare apples to apples, accounting for industry differences, experience, macroeconomic exposure, and other factors.
However, common sense would probably signal to us that companies who learn from their customers, who study the marketplace, and those who adapt new technologies, skills, and capabilities are the ones who stick around for the long term. In the words of Niolfer Merchant, “the social era rewards the gazelles — the ones that are fast, fluid, and flexible.” Taking that a step further, the companies who observe and learn are the ones who will win today and grow to be around tomorrow. If you actually need data to support this, I recommend comparing the financial statements (growth rates) of companies known for learning against those who have a reputation for not learning, preferably in the same industry. I haven’t done the research, but I’m willing to bet the farm that smart, learning companies win.
You probably already know this: businesses spend roughly 40 - 60% of their expenses (on average) on their human resources (think benefits, payroll, training, etc.). That’s a big chunk, but it should make sense, especially for companies who are more service than good-oriented.
Take a look at the NY Giants, for example. They spend 40 - 70% of their total revenue on their players (a little bit more than just 40 - 60% of expenses):
Here’s what the proportions look like over time, with a trend line (note that revenues likely increased sharply due to their recent Super Bowl wins and new stadium):
That’s quite a nice return on investment if you look at the sharp turn from 70% in 2010 to 45% in 2011. I would imagine when all the final numbers come in for the Super Bowl (and looking ahead), this upward trend of revenue and downward trend of payroll expense as a proportion of revenue will continue.
One more item to note, Eli Manning will likely take in close to $13MM for his work this year.
Let me ask you this - do you think the NY Giants invest anything in developing the talents of stars like Eli Manning, Corey Webster, and Justin Tuck? Do you think they do anything around building talents in up & coming stars like Hakeem Nicks? I can assure you, without doing any in depth research at all, that there is a ton of effort invested in strength, conditioning, practicing, learning, and growing going on behind the scenes of the games.
There is no chance at all that New York is taking a laissez-faire approach to winning Super Bowls. They are driving performance through incentives and training. This is a well-managed team that works as a powerful, cohesive unit. Yes, they hit some bumps along the way and were at one point considered out of the race in the middle of the 2011 season. But, they learned from their mistakes and became a stronger team.
In a context closer to home, your business is going after a Super Bowl every day of the year. You’re winning customers, fighting competitors, gaining market share, growing, and becoming more productive. What has worked for you to get ready for the game? Hiring the right talent is critical, but training & developing your talent is the key to becoming an agile business that thrives in a tough market.
Revising this post due to some good feedback I’ve gathered from loyal supporters. Thank you!
We’ve been building LEVELEARNING (full-time) since mid September, and we have “learned a ton.” Note: we have gathered some exceptional feedback from clients, and we are beginning to grow our business (i.e. - starting to make sales! yay!).
I say this, to be candid, after starting to read the great book The Lean Startup because we’re still trying to figure out how to get the right products & services off the ground to our customers. I could not have picked up this book at a better time.
We’ve made the classic mistake of taking 6 months to build products before talking to our first [prospective] customer. We’ve inherently made several MAJOR assumptions about what will work and what won’t. We have our ideas, but are they the same as our customer’s?
We’re shifting now to break what we’ve done into smaller parts to see what looks good, what works, and what doesn’t for our customers. You’ll see us focusing more now on rapid prototyping & incorporating our customer’s feedback into our services. You’ll see us releasing some “chunks” of our classes, or little bits of what we deliver, to get some rapid feedback from our clients to see what works & what doesn’t.
We are here to build a long-term, sustainable business, not a promising startup that will fade away from memory if it doesn’t work. To do this, we need to build something that people actually value. We’re always looking for people who want to give us feedback. If you are interested, please contact me directly at email@example.com
As health information technology (HIT) remains at the forefront of advances in the delivery of healthcare, the Department of Health and Human Services announces that major progress is being made in usage of HIT. A recent article announced that the number of hospitals using HIT has “more than doubled in the past two years.”
The efficiency and better healthcare available due to HIT has not only created better healthcare delivery, but is also creating more jobs. From the electronic medical record to the electronic health record to the personal healthcare record, qualified medical administrative employees have greater opportunities to find meaningful and vital employment opportunities. Physicians are receiving incentives form the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to incorporate the use of electronic health records to improve the efficiency and meaningful use of the EHR which results in better healthcare for everyone. $3.12 billion has been paid out in incentive payments to hospitals and health care providers who have begun to improve healthcare delivery by way of meaningful use of the electronic health record.
At LEVELEARNING you have the opportunity to receive training that will assist you in obtaining certification and employment in a very exciting and growing field of the electronic health record and health information technology.
As medical administrative positions and careers continue to rise, it is a nice thought for busy women to consider flexible opportunities such as a career that incorporates working from home. Due to the increased amount of paperwork due to government regulations, many companies are seeking employees to abstract medical information and translate the medical diagnoses and procedures to coded data. A recent article in Women’s Day Magazine featured medical coding as an option for an at-home career path. If you are a detailed person that enjoys the art of putting a puzzle together figuratively speaking, you might enjoy being a medical coder. A coding career path while working from home may promise a salary in the range of $39,000 to $46,000 annually, according to the article.
The reality of coding from home is that extensive knowledge is required and experience in the field will be necessary before the at-home benefit is realized. At LEVELEARNING you have the ability to gain the knowledge from the comfort of your home or wherever you choose. The medical billing basics, medical terminology, and advanced coding skills will create opportunities for the adult learner to gain knowledge and seek certification. Certification will enhance employment opportunities which will provide the necessary experience to eventually work from home. Working from home has the advantages of creating your own work schedule, working around other family member’s schedules, and the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Most coders who work from home have at least 3-5 years experience in the field and are certified from organizations such as the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC).
If you enjoy crossword puzzles and have a great attention to detail, you may have an interest in medical coding. It is an art that is gratifying when you are able to pull out the pertinent medical information from a medical record, establish the diagnosis of the disease and the procedures performed on the patient, and then convert the information to applicable standardized code sets. The insurance payers will use the codes to verify reimbursement criteria and medical necessity of the insurance claim. You may find more information about coding at the AAPC site and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services site.
Do you have trouble making important decisions? Such as, what is the most important activity to my business, my family, or even my day?
We all face times in our [work] lives where we have to prioritize where we focus our attention. We have to take a moment to evaluate all we have to do and then assign values to rank items in terms of importance.
Why is this so tough? The main problem, for most of us, is that we do not have unlimited resources in terms of time, investment, and/or materials. Here’s a real life example. When I worked in capital planning for the project office of the corporate real estate team for a very large financial corporation, we had a limited annual budget of a very large number that started with a “B” for capital improvements to all our facilities in our portfolio. Although this very large number sounds like it could cover all the facilities in the United States, in reality, it does not cover all the needs of the company (to iterate, this is a really, really large real estate portfolio).
At various times during the planning process, however, we had in the neighborhood of two to three times that annual budget amount of work that we needed and wanted to be done to support the strategic goals of the company and needs for support.
So, how did we narrow down a very large list to a much “smaller” list to fit the annual budget? Simple! We ranked all the projects. (Note the tongue in cheek - it was about as “simple” as you could imagine something this large of a scale could be).
We applied technique at the project level that created an “index” to compare one another relative to each other. We could thus apply this on a large scale by applying it to each project, sorting the list, and seeing what came out up top. Our index weighed the importance of many factors the individual project addressed, such as (but not limited to) business continuity, life safety, legal, strategic, and other types of needs. We created a tool to score projects against each other that would compare projects against each other on as objective of a scale as possible (it was not 100% fool proof) to arrive at consensus on what would make the final cut.
As you would with other prioritization techniques in work and life, we reevaluated our scoring model, re-scored projects, and even audited our global processes and routines to make sure we were doing this right. We did this in iterations to account for changes that occur over time, competing stakeholder needs, errors that could arise from blind spots with this scoring scale, and for other reasons.
Large scale or small, it is critical to set evaluation or scoring criteria that you can apply to each project, activity, task, or need to compare them against each other. You’d ideally do this in terms of return on investment, net present value, business case, or some other quantifiable measure (with your assumptions noted). You could create criteria that individuals or subject matter experts (SMEs) score independently to quantify factors that may be less tangible. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
No matter the scale of ranking, picking, and choosing you’re doing, try to evaluate each item by choosing important decision criteria and giving each of these a score. What you will end up with is a list where you have all your items (and variables) scored so that you can do a simple sum to see what pops out as highest priority. This should help to eliminate (or minimize) the guesswork on what needs to be done the most. Keep it simple, make it as objective as possible, and make sure it aligns with your overall company or personal goals.
So what? This is arguably the most important question you should ask anytime you consider an investment of your time and resources into a… project.
Just to be clear, let’s define exactly what a project is - it is something that creates a unique product, service or result. Within this definition, there are certain parameters to which a project adheres - projects must be temporary (there are definite start and end dates), they must be separate from “normal operations,” and this unique product must be something the individual or company has never done before.
What does this sound like to you? An event? A new product? A startup company? An initiative to improve company operations? An investment? Taking the family to Disney World? A whole lot more?
So, it’s probably safe to concede that projects exists in many facets of our personal and work lives. The ubiquitous nature of projects alone doesn’t necessarily justify your decision to become a certified project manager. Many “projects” require nothing more than common sense and discipline.
However, companies large and small take on projects every day where they invest tons of time and resources. If you are managing the project or counting on this project to accomplish your strategic goals, you want it to go off without a hitch. There are risks, costs, time, quality, and much more involved.
Project management is essentially a microcosm of business management. You manage everything in a project that you would in a business - scope, time, cost, human resources, quality, communications, procurements (contracts), and risks. Plus, each of these is interrelated to each other.
To obtain a project management certification, you must demonstrate 1) experience in managing (or working in) projects, and 2) knowledge of techniques on how to manage projects. Typically the certifying authority has developed sound best practices, lessons learned, and other authoritative (experiential) content in a central reference guide, upon which the certifying exam is based.
The beauty of being certified, or recognized as an expert on the subject, is that you can apply these skills in all kinds of business and life applications. Learning effective project management skills, as part of the certification process, can help you manage people, technical components, schedules, costs, quality, etc. much more effectively.
Plus, there’s a bottom-line incentive for companies. Time is money, and so are mistakes. The more productive use you can make of your time (and the less mistakes you make that cause rework) will imperatively increase your bottom line results.
This is just the tip of the iceberg (and high level overview) on why project management training is valuable to businesses and individuals alike. On this blog, we’ll explore real life situations & scenarios where effective project management skills can help businesses take advantage of opportunities to deliver results at a higher level. Stay tuned!
This is an essay Julie LeQuire (co-founder of LEVELEARNING) wrote not too long ago for a course:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to protect the privacy of protected health information and ensure standards for secure means of transmission of the protected health information. While the necessity exists to protect and secure a patient’s protected health information, the legal reality is that liability claims are expensive and can harm the reputation of a provider and negatively influence the provider’s eligibility to government programs such as Medicare. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 has introduced significant change to the regulatory environment for healthcare providers. One notable change incurred by the acts is that Medicare and Medicaid now require providers to provide and implement a compliance program as a condition of their enrollment in the program. The baby boomer population is now a large part of the Medicare program which makes Medicare a large consideration for providers who will be depending on Medicare programs and Medicare eligibility for payment of services.
LEVELEARNING is committed to offer the educational materials that will assist in learning the vital points of compliance in the healthcare setting. A well informed employee will be an asset in the aspect of understanding the legislation and rules that pertain to the privacy and security of protected healthcare information. Liability and costly mistakes can be avoided with compliant procedures and current knowledge of the laws.
Among the considerations that deal with fraud and adequate documentation of services, the privacy and security of protected health information is paramount in a required compliance program. It is clear that healthcare providers have the obligation to implement a compliance program and train the employees on a continual basis in order to be aware of the continual ongoing changes in compliance regulations for Medicare and all third-party payers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently revealed on February 22, 2011 that they imposed a civil money penalty of $3 million dollars on Cignet Health in Maryland due to violations of the HIPAA privacy rule. The charge stemmed from the refusal of the insurance company to allow forty-one patients’ requests to access their medical records. The HIPAA Privacy Rule states that a covered entity must provide a patient a copy of their medical record if requested within 60 days of the request. This example serves to warn that compliance adherence can assist in avoiding expensive liability claims.
Another example of misuse of protected health information occurred at the UCLA Health System at Los Angeles in July of 2011. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights revealed that violations occurred when two celebrity patients were admitted for care. The charges resulted due to employees accessing the protected health information of the celebrity patients through their electronic health record without permission or reason to access the private information. Georgona Verdugo, the Director of the Office of Civil Rights was quoted as stating, “Covered entities are responsible for the actions of their employees. This is why it is vital that trainings and meaningful policies and procedures, including audit trails, become part of the everyday operations of any health care provider. Employees must clearly understand that casual review for personal interest of patients’ protected health information is unacceptable and against the law,” The monetary fine amounted to $865,000 for the UCLA Health System and a strict corrective compliance plan was mandated.
Innocent mistakes can also lead to disastrous consequences if the healthcare employee is not aware or properly trained regarding privacy rules and regulations. A data breach that affected 20,000 patients occurred at the Stanford Hospital and Clinics resulted in a $20 million lawsuit. The breach occurred when a billing company that was contracted as a business associate posted a spreadsheet of emergency room patients to a student website that offered homework assistance. The spreadsheet was intended to explain how to convert data into a bar graph. Regrettably the spreadsheet contained patient names, account numbers, diagnosis codes as well as admission and discharge dates. The spreadsheet remained on the site for eleven months until a patient discovered the private information disclosure. The significance of internal employees being comprised of compliance regulations, but also the companies contracted that also handle protected health information is vital in order to remain compliant.
Compliance is a reality that demands continuing education and awareness. An educated and compliant employee is a very valuable asset in the healthcare arena.
This article has been copied & posted here, word for word, as seen on its original page. Please visit the American Express OpenForum (http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-benefits-of-online-continuing-business-education?extlink=sm-openforum-tw) for the original text.5 Benefits of Online Continuing Business Education
Perhaps you dedicated countless hours to sitting in a classroom in the hopes that completing an education would open doors to endless possibilities. You (or in all likelihood, your parents) invested your hard-earned money into that college degree hanging on your wall. You committed years of your life in order to be ready for your career. So you are all set…right?
The learning fun is just beginning. Whether you’re just starting a career or jumping into the ranks of small business owner, you have to commit to staying abreast of key developments in your industry so you can be seen as the “go to” source of information. The good news is there are some really great online courses available today that will allow you to continue your education in a very convenient way.
Here are five benefits of taking online courses.
This one is more obvious than the others, but being in control of your own schedule is a huge benefit of taking a course online. I understand that time is hard to come by, but making a commitment and scheduling time will force you to make time for a course and to continue to grow.
Also, with an online course, you are able to go at your own pace. For instance, if you are taking a marketing course and already have a great referral plan set up, you can skim through this section and really focus on that content producing strategy that you know you need to get to.
The Code Academy is a great resource for learning programming.
Most online programs have access to a community forum of participants in the course. If you decide to take a course that offers interaction, take advantage of the networking potential that exists. If nothing else, you may be able to find a partner to hold you accountable to finishing the assignments on time.
When taking a course online, you have the possibility of gaining so much more than simply reading out of a textbook. Online programs often feature content in a variety of forms such as video, audio, text, worksheets and more. People learn in many ways and reinforcing content in multiple formats enhances the chance of truly understanding what is being taught.
Lynda.com features training programs for almost every software program you would even need to learn.
Let’s say you purchase a course and the content is so great you would like your entire team to gain from a lesson. An online course may make it easier to share the content with your peers, mentors, staff or team. You may be able to go through the material together and once a lesson is complete, brainstorm how you can apply the content into specific aspects of your business.
Kajabi is a powerful tool that allows you to create membership sites and host paid online teaching courses.
Many online programs offer a consultant or instructor’s help to go along with the lessons. If you are simply sitting in a huge auditorium filled with students, you may never have access to one-on-one time with your professor. However, with an online program you should at least be given e-mail interaction to help lead you in the direction of the course and keep you on track.
The Ultimate Marketing System is a great example of a complete online course that features all of the benefits mentioned above.
What other benefits do you get out of online education?
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
What makes you tick? If you could do anything, and nothing else (i.e. - income) mattered, what would you do?
I sat down this week with a friend & former colleague to talk about his job search and a little about what we’re doing with LEVELEARNING. It struck me, especially as we work hard to get this company off the ground, that making a decision on what to do next can be extremely challenging. As Dr. Seuss tells us in Oh! The Places You’ll Go!, ”And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”
The next move is a tough decision to make, but it’s not impossible. For us at LEVELEARNING, we’ve had to make some tough decisions out of the gate like, do we go ahead with course A or course B? Do we invest more in our technological infrastructure or advertising? With constrained resources and time, it’s certainly important to plan & analyze your next move, but at some point, you have to make a decision and move.
Whether you’re starting your own business or looking for your next job, you have to do the same thing. However, the following framework can help you to focus your efforts:
- Evaluate what’s most important to you, and rank them in order: job role, industry, geography/location, company (culture, reputation, and prospects)
- Figure out what you liked best about the past roles you worked - was it working with people? Was it doing specific tasks? Did you really like what your company did?
- Do you function better in roles with structure or those loosely defined where you can chart your own path?
- Are you better at front office (working with customers, bringing in revenue) or back office (operations / financial management) work?
- Do you want to work for a larger company where your role is very specialized and defined, or would you rather work for a smaller company where your role is more open?
Before you do any of this, make sure you make it a point to find a job where you will be happy. Collecting a paycheck and benefits may not be worth it if you are constantly stressed, unhappy, or otherwise watching your health deteriorate as a result of working. Happy workers are more productive and healthy.
I, for one, am elated to work for myself. I’ve always been a self-driven person who thrives working with people and creating something new in a largely unstructured role. I think I was born this way; I always had trouble conforming to structures as I was growing up. I’ve traditionally worked very structured, back-office roles in very large corporations, which, honestly, was not the best fit for me. It has been a bit of a transition to go from this kind of role to starting a business. I’ve had to learn a lot of new things I never thought I’d learn. Plus, we’re having to really nail down, at an early stage, what we really want to do. These decisions are tough because I want to do it all! The good news I look forward to doing more over time as we grow.
So, if you’re looking ahead to make your move, to figure out your next step, take another tip from Dr. Seuss: “just never forget to be dexterous and deft.” Think outside the box and do what you love. There is no better time than the present to make this important decision that will impact your future.
Before I get started, please allow me to set some expectations with you on what you’re about to read. I will not (and not just because I’m contractually obligated to) say anything negative about my former employer. I’m not going to vent frustrations and blow the lid off everything that went wrong. That’s not the point, although if you’re going through what I’m going through now, some healthy venting is a good idea. Don’t boil over and let your emotions drive you into despair.
I’d like to give you my perspective because my experience has actually been very positive. Yes, I did spend a couple of days wondering what went wrong, how this all happened, and why I couldn’t pull my head out of the sand. I’d love to tell you that this didn’t get me down, but it did for a short period of time.
And then I realized something - I have a clean slate! I have a great opportunity to [finally] do some of the things I’ve always wanted to do with my work!
You see, I worked at one of those too-big-to-fail financial institutions where every day for the past three years or so was filled with some kind of doom & gloom thinking. It was always just a matter of time until the next job cuts, until the government took over, or until the next wave of bad news. Pressure to perform and stress ran high as the workload increased every time people were let go and the fear of losing your job hung heavier over your head. This thinking was no fault of company culture or the great people who worked there - it represented the macroeconomic conditions we all heard about in the news, that many of us live and breathe each day. It was constant fear propagating fear in a negative feedback loop that never ended.
As you might imagine, working in an environment like this could alter your worldview. It could change your disposition. It estranges you from friends, family, and what’s most important in your life. It sucks you in.
Yet something very interesting has occurred since I’ve left this environment. I’ve turned off the TV and radio (for the most part). I’ve spent more time with my wife and kids. I’ve read a lot of great books and articles on the booming Third Industrial Revolution and all the robust opportunities surfacing in various new technologies. Despite what you read & see, we’re going through a boom in these areas. Not just offshore, but also in the US - all over the world. Opportunity is rampant - you have to see it to believe it.
Liberating my mind from the shackles of meltdowns around the financial industry feels like a rebirth. It feels like I’m seeing with new eyes. I’m heading down the road of my entrepreneurial dreams, which if I were still at the bank, I wouldn’t be able to do. I’m getting to make all the decisions in lighting fast time (no more bureaucracy!), and I’m getting to do lots of great, impactful work. I’m coming into my own, and the sky is the limit.
I love this company we’re building, and I can’t wait to show what we’re doing. We’re a little behind from the Oct. 1st launch we were aiming for, but we’re more focused on getting it done right than just getting it done. Not to worry though, we’re very close, and we won’t start too far behind this target.
So the point is, if you’re going through (or have gone through getting laid off), take some time to clear your mind. Expose yourself to and embrace all the positive news that’s out there for job opportunities. Jobs of the 21st century will catapult us out of this recession, and we need more skilled people to help. No one person or group of people can fill the supply needed for all the skilled jobs created by our new economic booms. We need to play offense to get our workforce ready.
I’d also recommend taking some time (I did this) reflecting on opportunities for personal growth and development. I assessed what worked and didn’t work in my job that lead me here. I quickly realized that I just experienced an incredible learning opportunity. I found out that I was pretty good at some things and that I needed to work on others. All-in-all, this introspection gave me the confidence I needed to launch into this venture and plan for the road ahead. I’m ready.
So, spend some time thinking clearly. Take a look at what you would love to do, and go do it. Nobody should ever work a job they hate. Find your calling and work towards it. Today is a new day. You have a clean slate and a great foundation to build on. The world is your oyster.
You have probably heard before that you may change jobs at least 11 times in your full career (if not more). It is commonly accepted now between employers and employees that individual rarely hold positions or stay at a company for an entire career.
So, if you are in the middle of a job or career transition, where do you start? Are you one of the lucky few who can bounce right back into a similar job in the same role, company, and/or industry? Maybe not (as most of us are). Are you considering a new career?
Regardless of your circumstances and the fact that unemployment hovers around 10%, there are great resources out there to help you begin the process of finding your new career opportunity. And, most of these are free.
Check some of these out as you begin our transition plan:
- CareerOneStop from the US Department of Labor. The US Department of Labor has provided exceptional resources to help you (in their words) explore new careers, find education & training, fine tune your resume and interview skills, learn about salary & benefits in various industries, search for jobs, and find local assistance. What’s really neat about the explore new careers section is how it takes a look at your past experience to how you can translate this to a new career. It is a great tool. The find education & training resource directs you to federally funded schools (mostly community colleges & universities) where you can find job-related skill training opportunities. We (LEVELEARNING) do not appear in this directory as we do not accept Title IV funding for our programs. Last, but certainly not least, you can get a a great idea on what to expect for salary & benefits by using the For example, you can see what medical records and health information technicians make here.
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-2011 edition) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is an exceptional resource (in their words) to research many types of roles and their required education / skills, growth prospects, earning potential, what work is done on the job, and earning prospects. This is a great place to start if you’re considering a new career. For example, see this page on what prospects look like for Medical Records and Health Technicians.
- Your state’s agency who specializes in job / career placement. These tools are great supplements to the federal resources in that you can see what industries / job prospects are growing and declining in your state / area. For example, the North Carolina Employment Security Commission links you to great information such as the fastest growing industries and jobs in the state & local metropolitan areas.
These government agencies provide great help and free resources for you to start planning your next job or career move. As with any resource, there are many strengths and weaknesses. Also remember, when it comes to planning for your next job, you get what you pay for. That is, the more you invest in terms of time and effort into thinking through and researching your next time, the higher the probability you will secure a job and actually enjoy what you’re doing.
Further, here are some extra free tips from us that should give you encouragement and launch you in the right direction:
- Do what you love. If you’re between jobs, there is no better time to examine your strengths and interests to align these with your career. Nobody should ever be miserable in their job. You are the most productive, and you live the highest quality life (at home and at work) when you do what you love. Take a moment to understand what you’re good at and what jobs highlight those skills. Also ask, “if I could do anything, what would it be?”
- Believe you can make the jump. Nobody will believe in you more than yourself. If you’re second-guessing what you’re capable of doing, it will show. Have confidence that you’re smart & capable and that you can do anything you put your mind towards doing.
- Find help. Tons of government, private sector, and non-profit organizations exist to help you get a job and advance in it. Another great resource (to add to the list above) is the Help Guide from Rotary International.
- Invest in your capabilities. If you do not have the skills you need for your next job, take a course, pass a certification exam, or find a way to build your portfolio of experience. Employers, in today’s job market, are not as willing as in the past to take on someone without the general skills needed for the job and spend the time and money needed to train them. Showing proven acumen and results will land you the job more often than not. Why? Employers invest in you to add value to their company, not just to take a paycheck.