Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top 10 Most Secure Jobs in 2011

compliments of www.jobs.aol.com

How secure is your job? Whether you think you're indispensable or totally expendable, if there's anything the last few years have taught us it's that nobody really knows what to expect. But job security doesn't have to be a total game of chance, as research and statistics do point out some jobs and some industries as being more stable than others. Using the U.S. Department of Labor as our guide, we've compiled this list of the top 10 most secure jobs for 2011.

  1. Nurse - Nursing is a field that runs perpetually lean anyway; but as health care demands expand in every direction, opportunities for both LPNs and RNs will continue to expand along with it. With job growth predictions hovering in the 21 percent-22 percent range by 2018 the already very large industry is expected to see more new jobs over the next several years than any other occupation.
  2. Physical Therapist - Driven primarily by again baby boomers and technology advances that improve survival rates for trauma victims and children with birth defects, the demand for physical therapy is on the rise and expected to continue growing by as much as 30 percent by 2018. The greatest needs are in departments where geriatric patients frequent ( acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic) as well as in rural and low-income areas.
  3. Pharmacist - Employers have already been reporting difficultly finding and keeping enough pharmacists and as the population ages demand will only continue to increase. The Department of Labor predicts job growth for pharmacists will rise a total of 17 percent by 2019, which when added on top of the current shortage, makes for a very favorable job market in the field.
  4. Physician and Surgeon - Tighter health care budgets and cost-cutting measures may keep the demand for doctors and surgeons at a more modest growth rate compared to other health care jobs (22 percent by 2018), but the fact remains that the expanding health care industry will keep the jobs coming. The job forecast is positive for all physicians and surgeons - but especially those will to work in rural and low-income areas.
  5. Computer systems and analyst and Administrator - Technology is at the center of both business and pleasure these days, so it's no wonder technology analysts and administrators are in high demand. All areas of the field are growing, but the most expansion (53 percent growth by 2018) is in network systems and data communications (network architects and engineers, Web administrators and developers) as more companies upgrade technology and as the Internet and wireless systems gain traction in the business world.
  6. Computer Software Engineer - Our increasing dependence on technology is purring demand for not only those who can analyze and repair high tech systems but also those who can make the most of them by creating new and improved software applications. Software engineers with expertise in mobile and wireless technology, networking, and the Internet are in especially high demand and overall the field is expected to boom by 32 percent by 2018.
  7. Biomedical and Environmental engineer - As a whole the engineering field is expected to grow at an average pace; but those specializing in biomedical and environmental engineering can expect to see significant increases (31-72 percent) in the demand for their skill set as an again population and growing health care industry call for improved medical devices and an ever-increasing environmental awareness spurs companies to seek help meeting new regulations and heading off environmental problems before they arise.
  8. Accountant, Auditor, and Financial advisor - Due to ever-changing financial laws, business growth, and an again population nearing retirement, job prospects for financials experts are estimated to grow by 22-30 percent by 2018. Also, helping to boost job security in the financial field; the increasing push toward transparency and accountability when it comes to high-stakes money matters and business management.
  9. Veterinarian - Not only are more people making animals a part of their family (cats especially) but they're placing a higher value on their pets and are willing to pursue and pay more for advanced and intensive veterinary services. Due to the rise in demand and the limited number of accredited veterinary schools (there are only 28 in the United States) veterinarians are predicted to have 33 percent more job opportunities by 2018.
  10. Lawyer, Paralegal, and Legal Assistant - The law is only getting more complex and jobs for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants aren't going anywhere. Projected to grow 13-21 percent over the next decade as other industries boom and require additional legal services, the legal field will produce the majority of new jobs in health care, intellectual property, bankruptcy, corporate and security litigation, antitrust law, and environment law.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Importance of Attitude

What is more important to a prospective employer – skills or attitude? The answer is that both are very important! If you do not have the appropriate skills for the position chances are that you won’t have been scheduled for an interview, but even if you meet every requirement for education, work history and knowledge your attitude can make you or break you – both before AND after a job interview! Below are some do’s and don’ts for before, during, and after your interview that will help you succeed in your search for an exciting new job.

Before Your Interview:
• When writing your resume and cover letter, avoid any negativity towards yourself or others. Make your resume honest and positive. The resume is often the first contact that a new employer will have with you, and first impressions, even on paper, do matter. If you include information about why you are currently seeking new employment in your cover letter, do not say something to the effect of, “My current/most recent boss was too demanding/unrealistic/etc”. Instead, either leave this section out completely or word it in a way that comes across as positive rather than negative.
• When you receive a phone call requesting an interview keep in mind that the caller may be your prospective boss or someone that they have delegated to call you on their behalf. It does not matter what title this person holds, you should treat them as you would the employer – with respect and politeness. If you act offended that the boss didn’t call personally or act as though the person calling doesn’t matter because they are not the one hiring you, you can bet that that information will be shared and will be a part of the hiring decision.
• Arrival – when going for the interview itself, plan ahead. If you do not know exactly where the office is located, drive by the day before (at approximately the same time as your interview if possible) in order to get an accurate feel for traffic flow and how long it will take you to arrive. You do want to arrive early, but not grossly so. Planning to be there about 10-15 minutes early is a good rule of thumb. If you arrive 30-45 minutes early it may be an inconvenience to the office staff, if you arrive last minute it shows that you may have punctuality issues. Remember to dress for success – be sure that your clothing and footwear choices are appropriate to the office setting and the season and that they are clean and pressed. Dressing too casually or in wrinkled clothing gives the impression that this position isn’t all that important to you.

During Your Interview:
• First, remember that your attitude and behavior in the waiting area is very important! How you treat the receptionist actually does have an impact on the employer’s feelings toward hiring you. Again, be polite and respectful. Do not act as though the receptionist is there to serve you, or is beneath you. Negative behavior of this sort will most definitely be passed along – as will positive behavior and a pleasant attitude. While waiting for your interview, do not fidget, talk or text on your cell phone or repeatedly glance at your watch or the office clock. You do not want to appear inpatient or engage in unprofessional behavior. Instead, turn your phone off before entering the office and if you are asked to wait, glance through a magazine or brochures that the office has in their wait area. If you are flustered due to something that happened before you left home or traffic on the way to your appointment, take a few deep calming breaths before you enter the office. Appearing flustered will make your prospective employer think that you are unable to handle stressful situations.
• Remember to relax! Nervousness can come across as incompetence or being unprepared. To help settle your nerves, try researching the company before leaving home. The more you know, the calmer you will be. It also shows your prospective employer that you are serious in your interest in their company. Prepare a few logical questions about the company and/or position in case you are asked if you have any questions – that way you do not feel put on the spot and unprepared. Breathe calmly and slowly during your interview, show enthusiasm and interest and try to give clear honest answers to the questions you are asked. Remember to keep your facial expressions friendly and open. Do not scowl or frown, even if asked a question that is difficult to answer.
• At some point in your interview, you will inevitably be asked about your previous employment experiences and why you are no longer with those companies. How you handle the answer to this question will say a lot about you! Do not speak badly of your former company or former boss. Problems with other employees or a lack of organization might suggest that you are uncooperative or are unable to adjust to different situations. A prospective employer, upon hearing you degrade a former employer or company, will believe that you will do the same to them. No one likes to be talked about negatively! Instead, keep your answer neutral – do not lie, but do project a positive and move-ahead attitude. It is better to say, “I am searching for a position where I am able to focus more on helping my patients/customers/clients to meet their goal(s)”, than to say, “My former company didn’t know what they were doing and expected me to do too many different things at one time”.

After Your Interview:
• As your interview is ending, smile and shake hands with the interviewer, thank them for the opportunity to interview with them and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them in the future. Remember to remain professional all the way to your car no matter how you feel the interview went. Smile, say “Have a nice day” to those you encounter along the way, and walk with your head up and your back straight.
• After your interview it is acceptable to send a polite Thank You note to the interviewer, again expressing your gratitude for their time and the opportunity to learn more about the company, along with a hope that you will speak with them again soon. Do not be too long-winded about it – a simple thank you mentioning those points will suffice. Also, do not beg or grovel for the job. If the decision of who to hire comes down to yourself and another candidate, your post-interview attitude may help make the decision – you want it to be a positive factor, not a negative one!
• Remember that the wheels of hiring sometimes move more slowly than you might like. Be patient! Most likely, the interviewer has several candidates lined up and must meet with each of them, even if they really liked you. Once the interviews are completed, they will review resumes and interview notes on each candidate, and then make their decision. In some companies these items will be shared with another individual or several individuals before a decision is made. If you have not heard from the company after a week, it is okay to call once and politely ask if there is anything else they need from you, but check your attitude before you pick up that phone! You want to appear friendly and helpful, not disgruntled or aggravated about how long their decision is taking. Remember that you will most likely have to leave a message either on voicemail or with a live person, and your attitude towards that person or machine or about leaving a message in general, will be noted. Do not call back repeatedly to find out the status of the position or have an attitude when you do call. Employers do not want to feel as though they are being bullied into making a decision, or making a decision before they are ready. Impatience is not a desirable quality!

To be successful, remember that attitude is just as important (and often more so) than all the degrees and titles you can collect! Before any contact with any potential employer be sure to give yourself an attitude check and be sure that you are projecting a friendly, outgoing and pleasant attitude. Put a smile in your voice, even if you are only leaving a message. Treat everyone in the office or on the phone as though their feelings about you are extremely important to whether or not you get the job – because they are!