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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Career Planning

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Weekly Career Profile: Chefs and Cooks

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Six Things to Know About Chefs and Cooks:

  • They prepare food in dining establishments including restaurants, schools, healthcare facilities and office buildings.
  • Chefs and head cooks supervise other workers.
  • People who are in the culinary field have to work during the hours people eat out, for example evenings, weekends and holidays.
  • Chefs and cooks have fast paced, and often stressful, jobs.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts chefs and head cooks will experience job growth that is slower than the average for all occupations through 2022, while cooks who are in non-supervisory positions will experience growth that is as fast as the average.
  • The median annual salary of chefs and head cooks was $42,480 in 2012. Other cooks earned a median annual salary of $22,170 (US, BLS).

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Do You Want to Be a Spy?

Monday April 21, 2014

On a trip to Washington, DC my family went to the International Spy Museum. I recommend you go there if you're ever in the capitol region. It was a fun and educational way to spend a few hours.

Interesting facts about spying were displayed on panels in the museum's lobby. Of course one that had to do with careers jumped out at me. I learned that prior to September 11, 2001, an average of 110 people per day applied for jobs with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but that six days later, on September 17, 1100 people submitted job applications. What an incredible increase! I was just as taken aback by the original figure of 110 applicants. That many people want to work for the CIA? It got me thinking about spying careers.

Although career information on the website of The National Clandestine Service (NCS) of the CIA never mentions the word "spies," it is obvious that that is what its employees are. For example, if you were to follow one career path and become a core collector, you would recruit and handle foreign sources of human intelligence. Recruit and handle foreign sources of intelligence? Sounds like spying to me. There are other career paths, but all revolve around that function in some way. If you are interested in being a spy, you might want to consider a career with the NCS. Read Do You Want to Be a Spy?

Careers With a History Degree

Friday April 18, 2014

My family and I have spent many vacations visiting national parks. We've been to Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Everglades and many of the lesser known parks as well. During our travels we enjoyed listening to the park rangers talk about each park's history.The amount of information they knew is simply amazing. The US National Park Service hires people with history degrees so of course they would be well-versed in this subject.

History majors can work in a variety of occupations. In addition to being park rangers they can be teachers, librarians, writers and archivists, to name just a few of their choices. If you enjoy studying the past, think about getting a history degree. And when someone asks "What are you going to do with that?" you can tell them about the many choices you will have available to you. Read What to Do With a Degree in History.

Weekly Career Profile: Carpenters

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Six Things to Know About Carpenters:

  • They build, install, assemble and repair wooden structures, in addition to items made of other materials such as drywall, plastic and fiberglass.
  • The majority of carpenters work in the construction industry.
  • Individuals who want to work in this trade usually do a three to four year apprenticeship that combines classroom and on-the-job training.
  • This job can often cause discomfort and even injury since there is a lot of standing, kneeling, lifting and climbing involved in it.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2022.
  • The median annual salary of a carpenter was $39,940 in 2012 (US, BLS).

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How to Be a "Professional"

Monday April 14, 2014

The word "professional" gets tossed around a lot. People say, for example, "He is such a professional" or "She handled that problem so professionally." What does it it really mean? When we refer to professionalism we are describing the way a person acts in a work environment. It is a quality that is hard to define but it is quite obvious when it's missing. For example, someone who rarely shows up on time for work, is disrespectful to his co-workers or customers, or trashes her employer demonstrates a lack of professionalism. Does doing the opposite of these things show that you act professionally then? It may take a little more than that, but certainly it's a start.

Read: Professionalism: How to Conduct Yourself at Work

Major Focus: Economics

Friday April 11, 2014

Economics majors learn how to effectively and efficiently allocate scarce resources to a population with unlimited needs and wants. Typically one needs at least a master's degree to work as an economist, but there are other career options that utilize the knowledge acquired as an undergraduate.

Could this major be a good choice for you? See what career paths, both traditional and alternative, you can follow. Find out what classes you should be taking now if you are currently a high school student.

Here's some information to get you started:

  • Economics is a social science but, depending on the university or college, this major may be part of the college of arts and sciences or the school of business.
  • Most people who earn an associate degree in economics transfer to four year schools so they can continue their education.
  • While you need to have taken introductory courses in economics, you don't necessarily need a bachelor's degree in this subject to enter a master's-level program.
  • Some doctoral programs accept only students with a master's degree in economics but others prefer those who have a bachelor's degree.

More: Economics Major: Career Paths

Weekly Career Profile: Camera Operators

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Six Things to Know About Camera Operators:

  • They film movies, television shows, commercials, newscasts, concerts and sporting events.
  • Camera operators may work in studios or on location.
  • Many employers prefer job candidates who have a bachelor's degree in film or broadcasting.
  • Camera operators work full time and freelance.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2022.
  • The median annual salary of a camera operator was $40,300 in 2012 (US, BLS).

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It's Equal Pay Day

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Today is National Equal Pay Day. The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), wanting to raise awareness about the gap between women's and men's pay, picked a Tuesday in April to symbolize how far into the year woman have to work to earn what men earned during the prior year. It's hard to believe that, in 2014, women still earn significantly less than men. We've come a long way baby ... but clearly not far enough.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 helps ensure that women and men who do the same work and have the same skills receive the same wages. Sounds like it should be common sense, but sadly, it isn't.

Happy to Embrace the Unknown

Monday April 7, 2014

Regardless of what musical genre you prefer, it's hard not to be taken in by the the current number 1 song, Happy. I knew little about Pharrell Williams, singer, producer and writer of this incredibly catchy tune, (other than his funky taste in hats) until I saw him on Good Morning America today. Among several things he said during the show, one thing in particular that resonated with me was his answer to the question, "What inspires you?" He said "My inspiration is that which does not exist" (I may be paraphrasing slightly).

While I wholeheartedly believe in setting goals, a favorite proverb of mine, ironically, is "People plan, God laughs." That's why I think Williams' answer resonated so strongly with me. I think it's essential to have a plan, but it's equally important to welcome the possibilities inherent in the unknown or "that which does not exist" and be inspired by them.

Self Taught Skills You Need for a Successful Career

Friday April 4, 2014

To have a successful career you must be independent, have the ability to manage your time well and know when to ask for advice (as well as whether to take it). You must be receptive to feedback and assertive as well. Where can you learn these very important skills? Is there a class you can take?

Unfortunately there isn't one but don't despair. You can acquire all these skills on your own. A good time to do that is while you are still in school—whether it's high school or college. Getting good at these things requires a lot of practice but not to worry: you will have several years to do it. And you will keep finessing those skills even after you graduate.

Read: 9 Things You Must Learn to Do Before You Graduate

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