Featured

Where to look for work

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Featured, Uncategorized

As a follow up to Tuesday’s post about the success my NC State students had in finding work after graduation, it seems only fair to tell you that Raleigh, NC, is the number one city in the U.S. “for Jobs Right Now” according to research conducted by Glassdoor and published by Forbes a couple of weeks ago. The criteria for the rankings included the “ratio of available jobs to population, cost of living, and job satisfaction among residents.” Raleigh’s population is listed as 1.3 million, but that’s really the total metropolitan area, which includes Durham and Chapel Hill and the surrounding towns. The number of available jobs was shown to be more than 24,000, the median base salary came in at just over $50,000, and the median home value was just under $200,000. All of those factors make it a highly desirable area and explain why the population has grown dramatically in the past two decades. Other cities making it to the top ten were (in order) Kansas City, Missouri Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Austin, Texas Seattle, Washington Salt Lake City, Utah San Jose, California Louisville, Kentucky San Antonio, Texas Washington, D.C. The northeastern part of the U.S. is noticeably missing from the list (although, in fairness, Boston did come...

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Preparing to network

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Featured, Networking

In my past few posts I’ve been writing about networking, and today I want to take a step back and suggest that there are some things you need to do before you go to any type of networking event. Analyze the event in terms of what you hope to accomplish. There are lots of reasons to network, and your approach is going to be different depending on your purpose. Are you hoping to talk with prospective employers? Do you want to learn about a particular business or industry? Are you looking for investors (or partners) for a business venture? Do you need to learn more about the specifics of a particular career? Or are you just hoping to meet more people and expand your network more generally (which is a totally legitimate reason for going to a networking event!) Prepare an elevator speech relevant to your purpose. My book’s Tip 22. Create and practice your elevator speech can help you get started. You can also find lots of advice online about how to write an elevator speech. One of the best sources I’ve found comes from an article by Katherine Arline writing for Business News Daily. The key points are: keep it short (30 seconds or less), keep it...

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Gila Cliff Dwellers

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Featured, News, Resources

Last week I visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings, a National Monument in New Mexico. The cliff dwellings consist of a series of seven large caves which were inhabited by a small tribe of indigenous people about 700 years ago. The caves are remarkable for the number of walls, built of rock, mortar, and timber, that the tribe built to divide the caves into about forty rooms. Many of the rooms were accessible only by ladder, and many of the walls are still standing today. The other remarkable aspect of these dwellings is that the tribe who built the walls only lived in the caves for about thirty years. There is no definite answer as to why they moved on after spending an enormous amount of time and energy building their cave homes, but the best guess is that they were unable to hunt, gather, and grow enough food to sustain the life of the tribe in the location they’d chosen. The reason I’m writing about this topic is to reinforce the idea of planning for the future. In my experience, many students choose their college majors based on what is most interesting to them—and that’s fine! But while you’re in college, you also have to plan for a way...

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Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Featured, News, Resources

This is the last of my vacation “best of the blog” entries. This one was originally published on July 25, 2013. Every now and then I read something that just rings so true for me that I have trouble imagining that other people wouldn’t respond the same way. But I’m sure that’s unrealistic, so I’ll tell you about an article that rang my “truth bell,” and you can let me know if you agree. The article, “The Best Definition of Success Is One You Never Use,” showed up in my inbox as a message from LinkedIn listing articles that I might find relevant. While usually those lists are not relevant to me, I always take a look as I never know when I might find a nugget of wisdom that I want to share. This was one of those cases. The author, Jeff Haden, makes a really strong case for the definition of success being tied to happiness—a topic I’ve talked about several times in this blog. What I like about this article is that Jeff recognizes that what makes one person happy isn’t going to work for everyone, and that happiness takes into account all aspects of your life—work and home, friends and family, social and private. So...

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Accepting a lower salary than you want

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Featured, News, Resources

This is the third in a series of “best of the blog” entries that I am reposting while I am on vacation. The following was originally posted on July 4, 2013. For some people (and here I’m mostly talking about new college graduates, but this could also apply to career changers), it may be necessary to start out with a lower salary than you want. . .or even than what you need to make your life comfortable. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, if your education doesn’t align with your career goals, or if you’re interested in the same job as a lot of other people, you may have to sacrifice for a while. Let’s take these situations one at a time. Lack of relevant work experience: You may have noticed that I added a word here (“relevant”) that wasn’t in the previous paragraph. College students often take whatever job they can get to help pay their expenses, so they could have a two-page resume with lots of work experience, but it’s quite likely that most (if not all) of those jobs don’t have much to do with the career they hope to enter. For example, a lot of college students work in food service and...

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Negotiating the best salary

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Featured, News, Resources

As I said last week, I’m on vacation, so I’m reposting some of my earlier advice. The following was originally published on June 25, 2013. As discussed in the previous post [both in June and during this vacation reposting period], one of the hidden dangers of the job search is determining what a reasonable salary might be for any given job. Most employers are going to have a number in mind—typically a salary range. The employer usually wants to hire the best candidate for the lowest salary, while the applicant wants to get offered the job and get the highest salary possible. So how do you, as the applicant, make that happen? Yahoo! Finance posted an article from U.S. News & World Report that has four suggestions, but what it really boils down to is doing your research and then using that research in your negotiation. The first suggestion is only helpful to those of you who are well into your career, have a lot of experience, and can discuss your current compensation to provide a framework for what you think you should be offered. If this will be the start of your career after college graduation, or if you’re changing careers, it can be a bit trickier. Basically, the...

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