Careers, Networking

3 Tricks for Effective Networking

July 29, 2015

Use these three tricks to improve your networking skills and expand your opportunities.

1. Be strategic.

Many people have a tendency to attend general networking events that host several types of companies in various industries.1 As you begin to learn how to network, you might attend these events to only end up disappointed by the end of the night as you walk out without a single business card. That’s why it’s important to find events that cater to your industry or career. If you’re invited to a general networking event, call up the event coordinator to find out what companies you can expect to be there. That way you can decide whether it’s a waste of your time. Getting a few company names can also help you research the CEOs and employers beforehand, so you know who to look for and what to say when you meet them. On LinkedIn, join groups that are relevant to your career and reach out to people who are connected to it.
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Life, Money

How to Find Free Childcare and More

July 28, 2015

Go ahead. Pinch yourself. You’re not dreaming. Believe it or not there are websites designed to help you find free childcare, carpools, public transit and ways to make free phone calls through your computer. If you’re a student (especially with kids), we hope these links will be of use to you. Enjoy your summer and keep going strong with your studies!

  • Childcare Aware – Free childcare nationwide search by zip code:

http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians

  • Child Care and Parent Share Search:

http://www.care.com/groups-p1218.html

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Careers, Education, Job Search Advice

Find a Healthy Niche in Social Services

July 27, 2015

Social services is a booming industry, projected to grow by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 And as a popular career field for people who want to help others, the competition for social worker jobs can be stiff. That’s why finding a specialty, or job niche, could help you stand out from the crowd with specific skills for a specific industry.2

Turns out, healthcare is also a booming industry. According to the BLS, occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022.3 So if you combine the job growth projections of social work and the healthcare industry, you have a great niche market in which to build a career. Earning a degree in Health and Human Services can allow you to take advantage of this opportunity.
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On the Job

How to Improve Your Office Environment

July 22, 2015

Do you come to work each day and feel like you’re getting into a boring routine? You arrive, share weekend stories with a few coworkers and get to work. Over time, this pattern can get a little tiring. How are you supposed to spice up the atmosphere at your office? As a work environment, shouldn’t you all be serious? Not necessarily. Consider these tips on how to boost your office environment and make it a more fun place to work.

1. Be social with your coworkers.

If you work in an office where no one communicates with each other on anything other than work, you may feel like your company is a little lackluster. The first step to making an office environment more enjoyable is to become social with your coworkers. That means inside and outside the office. If you notice everyone is a big coffee drinker on your team, offer to buy everyone a cup of joe to start the day off right. If you don’t know someone well in your office, this may be a great way to connect with them. If you and a few colleagues didn’t bring lunch to work, ask them to grab a bite with you.1 Simply walking to a takeout restaurant is a good way to get to know them better. If you like to cook or bake, show off your skills and bring in a few treats for your colleagues to enjoy.
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Life

5 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

July 20, 2015

Not everyone was born to be a morning person. However, several studies have proven that morning people may be more productive at work and happier in their lives. So what are the night owls to do? Consider these tips to transform yourself into a morning person.

1. Get ready the night before.

Do you find that you’re a little scattered in the morning? Are you constantly running late or do you have a tendency to leave something behind? If this is the case, preparing yourself the night before will help center you a little bit.1 Lay out your outfit for the next day, set up your coffee machine for the morning, make your lunch before you go to bed, and put your keys in a place you’ll pass on your way out. Getting yourself organized can keep you a little more clear-headed the next day, preventing you from showing up to work flustered. Put down all electronic devices 90 minutes before you hit the sheets. Research has found that looking at your phone or computer can actually stimulate the brain, so if you try to go to bed right after screen gazing, you may have more difficulty sleeping.2
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Life

4 Tips to Overcome Life’s Challenges

July 16, 2015
iStock_000026150244_Small

We all face challenges in life, but we don’t all have the same attitude. The truth is, learning how to stay positive can help us face life’s challenges and overcome them with more emotional strength.

We have all heard the saying, “sometimes life just isn’t fair.” Many times this is true, as many of us have faced challenges and obstacles that we believe were “unfair.” Some challenges happen when we least expect it and don’t understand why it happened to us. Unfortunately, we oftentimes take obstacles personally and become negative, which typically does not help us overcome the challenge. The key is to understand that you are not alone. These steps will help you understand and overcome life’s challenges.

1. Be humble.

In most cases we believe our challenges are unsurmountable and extremely difficult. Life is a gift and is not always easy. Realize this, take on the challenges that come your way, and stay humble. Being humble will allow you to appreciate your current position in life and keep focused on the opportunities ahead. There are many people in the world that likely have more difficult challenges but still continue to push forward. We are all fortunate to be living in a great country with the opportunity to do great things. Keep this in mind and the challenge will dissipate.
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Careers, On the Job

Career Skills: Writing Professionally

July 14, 2015

I am writtting this not e to u 2 se if it is difocolt to read. Can you imagine if this cane from ur dr. Would your feel comforti ble with them caring for your health?

With Tweets, Facebook, text messaging and the like, our society spends a lot of time on written communication. People may not realize that the quality of their writing can often influence their career path. If your workplace communication is poor, you may be judged as being less knowledgeable. However, if you practice good communication skills, you may be seen as more knowledgeable. Your communication skill level could mean the difference between getting that promotion and being overlooked.
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Education

5 Tips to Make an Ideal Study Area

July 10, 2015

People who go to school online may have a little more difficulty trying to focus than students who attend classes. This becomes all the more difficult when the weather is warm and other students are out of classes. So what is an online student to do? As a student, you should prepare a study space that will help you focus and get your work done, so you can get out there and enjoy the summer sun without feeling guilty about skipping your schoolwork.

1. Get rid of distractions.

What’s the one thing that can prevent you from getting your work done? Distractions.1 From Facebook and television to a buzzing phone, these distractions can keep you from focusing on the task at hand. Naturally, you want to try to avoid these distractions at all costs, but this can be easier said than done. That’s why you may need to go the extra mile. Turn off your phone or put it in the other room. Stay totally away from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Don’t check for updates, responses or new posts. Without these distractions, you’ll see how much easier it is to work.
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Careers, On the Job

Transitioning From Office Coder to Remote Coder

July 8, 2015

Many people enter the medical coding industry because it offers the opportunity to work from home. Those coders seek the flexibility of being able to roll out of bed, remain in their jammies, boot up their computer and begin working. Although those things are all possible, the transition isn’t always a smooth one.

Office coders are armed with resources at their disposal. They can turn to their fellow coworkers, ask questions and receive answers on the spot. In addition, most offices are filled with all of the books, materials and industry contacts that office coders can utilize whenever they have a need. Remote coders lose a portion of that once they make the change from office to home. Continue Reading…

Education, Life

4 Fantastic Tips for Summertime Students

July 7, 2015
Summertime studying

They call it FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. And when you’re in school, FOMO is never stronger than during summertime. It seems like the whole world is on vacation, and it can be tough to choose between schoolwork and hanging with friends. But looks can be deceiving, and it’s important to remember why you’re in school to begin with. Taking a step back to remind yourself of what your top priorities are can help you find the willpower to keep moving forward. Consider these important aspects of staying strong in your studies this summer.

1. Earn respect by saying no.

When someone is on a diet and they choose not to eat cheesecake, people respect that person for their self-control. And the healthier that person gets, the more people admire them for maintaining their diet. The same goes for school. You might have friends who pressure you to skip your schoolwork and join them for a summertime activity, but the truth is people will also respect you for saying no if your reason is to provide a better life for yourself and your family. That respect increases when you can finally declare that you’re graduating, and that you’re starting a new job. So remember, you might be missing out on a little this summer, but soon your summer vacations will be better than ever.

“I’m doing what I know I should do now, so I can do what I’d like to do later.”

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Education, Life

Summer Challenges: Being a Student with Kids

July 6, 2015

Remember how exciting it was to get out of school for summer break? Those were the days. And as your kids go through the same excitement, there’s a new challenge to face as a parent if you’re a student: “How do I handle being a parent and a student this summer?” There’s no doubt this is a challenge, but there may be some helpful resources1 for you.

Reach out for help.

If you’re a student and you’re trying to figure out how to juggle parenting and studying, your school may be able to help. Look for counselors or advisors to reach out to for advice. They may be able to help you find childcare services, transportation and other resources to assist you with your needs. Continue Reading…

Careers, On the Job

Making a Professional Impression: Phone & Email

July 3, 2015
cellphone chord image

If you want to make a professional impression at your job or in a job interview, consider these these helpful tips. Your cell phone settings and your email address do make an impact on your image.

Cell phones are a big distraction for people at work. Employers claim that they employees may lose up to 50 percent in productivity because of cell phones.1 Many employers, especially in healthcare, do not allow employees to use their cell phones at work and some may even prohibit employees from bringing them into the facility. Only use your cell phone on breaks or at lunch, otherwise remember, they are paying you to work, not text. If you’re going to an interview, turn your phone off or leave it in the car.

Phone ringtones, alerts, alarms.

Having a unique ringtone can be fun, but if your favorite Jay-Z song starts playing, it may not be work appropriate.

  • Tip 1: It’s best if you don’t have your phone with you at work, but that may not always be practical.
  • Tip 2: The next best option would be to silence the phone or put it on vibrate with no sound.
  • Tip 3: But, just in case you forget, you should still set the ringtone to a standard ring (with no words or music).
  • Tip 4: Also, if you do receive texts through the day, pick a plain and relatively quiet message notification.  Nothing breaks concentration like a tweedy-bird that whistles every few minutes. Your co-workers will appreciate your politeness.

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Education

Tips for Online Discussion Boards

July 1, 2015
Colorful collection of thought bubbles

Why should you participate in your class online discussion board or forum? In a traditional classroom, as students, we talk to our classmates before class begins, sometimes during the class, and then again as we leave the classroom. In some instances, our instructors will even discuss their thoughts and opinions before class starts. We learn a lot from one another, such as tips for studying the material, pointers that our classmates have discovered, and helpful information that we just may have overlooked. In the online environment, we are bringing that tradition into our virtual classroom through discussions. Consider these tips for online discussion boards.

Answer the whole question.

As a student in an online class, you will learn a lot about the discussion topic by reading what your peers are posting. You should make sure you are providing details to all parts of the question in your post. A good rule is to rewrite the question so you can refer to it, making sure you are covering all parts. This will help you focus on the entire discussion question. For example, if your discussion asks you the pros and cons of making peanut butter fudge, make sure you are adding information about both aspects. It’s important for your learning, as well as others. If you only gave the pros, others would only get a one-sided view of making peanut butter fudge. It’s always good to look at other angles to help you gain a better overall understanding of your topic. Discussions will help you learn the topic better and apply in your career.
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Job Search Advice

References: They’re Like Yelp for Your Resume

June 29, 2015
hand holding up pinky finger

Ever made plans to go to a restaurant only to have your mind changed by the reviews online? Or maybe you’ve been on the fence about whether to buy something until a friend said such great things about it that you went online and ordered it right away. Other people’s opinions matter to us, and that is why references can be your greatest secret weapon. References are like Yelp, for your resume.

The References section of the application is the employer giving you the opportunity to assemble the perfect team of reviewers to help them make decisions when they aren’t 100 percent convinced that you’re the person for the job. Your references are your advocates. They are people who believe in your character, abilities, or proven track record of reliability. Choose wisely. Understand what role your references play. Make sure you have your references’ approval to list them, make sure they know what position you’re going for, and make sure they sound good on the phone. The last thing you want is an employer to have a poor experience with a reference. Your references are a reflection of you. Make sure they show the best possible professional side of you.

“From an employer’s perspective, if you pay attention to detail by preparing your references, you’re also likely to show attention to detail when working with patients.”

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Careers, On the Job

8 Ways to Manage Your Workday

June 26, 2015
multiple sticky notes make an image of a light bulb

No matter that type of environment you work in, chances are you have a myriad of tasks to complete on a daily basis. It can feel overwhelming knowing you have so many tasks to do and only 8 hours in which to do it. Here are a few suggestions to help manage your time wisely.

1. Wear a watch.

This may seem simple and maybe even silly considering we all have smart phones that give us the time. However, every time glance at your cell, you run the risk of finding a distraction with the constant notifications and new texts and emails flooding your inbox. A watch can help you stay on task, while your cell rests out of sight.

2. Utilize Outlook Calendar or iCal.

Use any calendar application that allows you to log not only meetings and deadlines, but daily tasks and projects as well. Take it old school with a day planner if you are more of a visual person or if you want to physically write down items that need blocks of time allocated for completion. If you have a super important task that needs done, schedule time to do it, rather than hoping you can squeeze it into your day. Print off the calendar and carry it with you to meetings so you are aware of what is next on your daily schedule.
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On the Job

Focusing in a Loud Office Environment

June 25, 2015
illustration of people with thought bubbles, multiple colors

Whether it’s a co-worker singing or taking a conference call from their desk, working in an open office environment can sometimes be distracting and disturbing to your work day. If you’re looking for ways to focus on your work without straining your professional relationships, try the following tips.

Use headphones.

Although it’s still noise, picking your favorite calming music may be less distracting than your co-workers. Some people also find it easier to concentrate when listening to music without words, so maybe try classical music. Internet radio stations are a great source for all kinds of genres and styles of music.

Go for a quick walk.

If you’re feeling frustrated or unable to complete your work, sometimes going for a quick walk will help clear your head and help you refocus when you get back. Also, by the time you return, your co-worker may have wrapped up their distracting activity.

Snack on some chips.

The loud chomping may help drown out the noise and help you concentrate.
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Job Search Advice

How to Overcome Interview Anxiety

June 19, 2015
Questions mark that looks like woman's profile

I spend the majority of my time coaching women through the career launching process. We work together on all the little things that come BEFORE the interview; everything from knowing all the different job titles they’d be qualified for, to how to navigate most hospitals’ human resources departments, to how to introduce themselves to local offices in case those offices decide to hire in the future. Once we are able to find an office who is interviewing, some of the women I work with start to feel really anxious, they start to feel like they are about to be judged and are almost certain that the judge will not be kind. I’ve had women actually avoid my phone calls for months because they are so afraid of the voice of “the judge” that they fear they will face in the interview. The Interview is just the door though.

The interview is like the door that Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) has to go through in order to make it to Wonderland. The movie isn’t about the door at all. The movie is about something altogether different, but her willingness to adjust herself, to make herself bigger or smaller, to notice what’s working and what isn’t, is what gets her through the door so that the REAL story can start. A favorite columnist of mine, James Altucher, says:

“Anxiety is the doorknob. The doorway leads to change. But you have to open the doorknob first.”

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