Career Advancement

Poll Question: How Much Influence Did Your Parent(s) /Guardian(s) Have on Your Career Path?

Have you ever said or done something and realized that you’re slowly morphing into your parents or guardians?

It happens. But that doesn’t mean you’re a direct copy. For this month’s poll, we’re trying to see what type of influence your parents or guardians had on your career. Maybe your dad was a police officer and you enrolled in the academy to follow in his footsteps. Or perhaps your mother was a nurse but you pretty much faint at the sight of blood and never considered that as an option.

Some take over the family business or go to college at their parent’s insistence. Others rebel, choosing career paths that make sense to them but are hard for their parents to understand.

Whatever your situation, we want to hear about it. Let us know your thoughts in our poll!

The Highest Paying Trade School Jobs

Have you considered trade schools?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—the traditional four-year college experience isn’t for everyone. If you love to work with your hands, why not consider trade school instead?

Also known as technical, career, or vocational school, a trade school is defined by PrepScholar as “a post-secondary institution that’s designed to give students the technical skills to prepare them for a specific occupation.” They frequently offer two-year programs and cost much less than the traditional four-year college experience.

Trade schools are open to all students with high-school diplomas or GEDs, regardless of age. This makes them a perfect option for both fresh high-school grads or those looking to make a career change later in life.

But what about career options? Is it possible to make a good amount of money with a trade school degree? Yes it is. And here are some options to prove it, courtesy of Trade-Schools.net and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dental Hygienist

  • Median pay—$72,910
  • Top pay—$100,170 or more
  • Job growth—20%

Dental hygienists clean teeth. They keep an eye out for tooth or gum problems and support the dentist in several ways, including taking notes and data input. They’re also available to answer general dental health questions.

Electrician

  • Median pay—$52,720
  • Top pay—$90,420 or more
  • Job growth—9%

Electricians are unsurprisingly the experts of all things electrical. This means installing, maintaining, and fixing electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures in buildings. They can work in homes, businesses, warehouses, and anywhere else with electrical wiring. Some jobs can be outdoor, while others are indoor.

Heavy Equipment Operator

  • Median pay—$45,890
  • Top pay—$80,200 or more
  • Job growth—12%

Heavy equipment operators, also known as construction equipment operators, drive or operate heavy machinery. If you’ve ever wanted to embrace your childhood dreams of driving heavy construction vehicles, you might consider this position.

Equipment used includes excavators, wrecking balls, and all sorts of other hulking vehicles. They use this equipment to build everything from roads and bridges to buildings and more.

Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse

  • Median pay—$44,090
  • Top pay—$60,420 or more
  • Job growth—12%

If you care for others and want to help them stay healthy, consider a job in nursing. A licensed practical or vocational nurse does not need a degree.

These nurses provide basic care while working under registered nurses and doctors. Job environments can vary, from nursing homes and hospitals to physician’s offices and even private homes.

Looking for further information on other job types? Check out our Job Spotlight blog series.

Do you have one of these jobs? Are you interested in one? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Poll Results: Are You Over or Underemployed?

Last month we conducted a Movin’ On Up poll asking whether readers believed they were over or underemployed. A resounding 85% said they are underemployed.

Only 9% said they were well-suited for their job, while 4% said they were over-employed.

It can be hard to keep going at a job where you’re underemployed. You aren’t given a chance to use your skills or show people what you can do. However, you should still try to do your job as best as possible, even in these circumstances.

Why? For one thing, it’s better than the alternative—being unemployed. It’s always harder to find a job when you don’t currently have one. Additionally, you never know what kinds of opportunities could arise when you really give it your all. You might get a promotion or take advantage of a chance to move to a different department.

In addition, you can build skills and network. As long as you find a way to keep learning, that’s experience you can use in your next job. Contacts you meet in this position (whether at your current company or with employees from other companies) could be valuable in your future job search.

At the end of the day, if a job makes you absolutely miserable, you need to move on. However, before you do, make sure that you learn everything you can from that job. Learn as much as possible, meet new faces, and pair all of that effort with a renewed focus on your job search.

How have you dealt with being underemployed? Let us know in the comments below!

The Home Stretch: Six Quick Tips to Finish Strong in 2017

With three-quarters of the year behind us, we’ve officially entered the final stretch of 2017. With 2018 just around the corner, many are feeling the pressure to finish strong. So, whether you’re a jobseeker or a busy employee, it’s important to take an assessment of where you are and what you need to do to meet—and exceed—your end-of-the-year goals.

Whether you’re right on track or falling short of your performance expectations, these six quick tips may help ensure you head into the new year with some positive momentum.

Fine Tune Your Action Plan
Although it’s likely too late to overhaul your annual plan altogether, there are small adjustments that can be made to give an extra boost toward meeting your end of the year goals. Taking a moment to review and revise your strategies before making a final push toward 2018 will help focus your efforts on the activities that will get you there.

Clear the Path
Sometimes the best thing you can do to shed all the clutter that has accumulated throughout the year is to clear a path toward the finish line. From extra projects and conflicts with colleagues or family members to actual files and paper piling up on every available surface around the workplace or home, ridding yourself of distractions lets you think more clearly about reaching and exceeding your goals.

Up the Ante
If you’re lagging behind—or just barely meeting performance goals—sometimes upping the ante is necessary to get a final burst of productivity to finish the year. Whether it’s changing your goal structure or setting “reward milestones” (where you treat yourself to something after a certain goal is achieved), giving yourself an exciting new reward to aim for may be exactly what’s needed.

Take a Breather
If you’ve had a long and challenging year up to this point, it’s likely becoming more difficult to summon the energy needed to stay on track. Before you start the countdown to the final days of 2017, take an opportunity to catch your breath. Whether it’s taking a full vacation or just a long weekend, a little time to recharge the batteries is essential to staying focused and energized for closing out the fourth quarter.

Throw a Hail Mary
If you’ve had a difficult year and it’s clear you are going to fall short of your goals, at this point in the game what do you have to lose by tossing a Hail Mary? Think way outside the box and take a risk on a creative strategy or job application that, if successful, could completely change the momentum and put yourself back on track to squeak out a win.

No matter what your end of the year situation may be, the most important thing is to stay focused. And, even if you fall short of meeting your goals, don’t dwell on it. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn what didn’t work so you will be better prepared to position yourself for success in the new year.

Poll: Why Can’t You Get a Promotion

Wondering why you can’t seem to get a promotion no matter what you do or achieve? Perhaps it’s a sneaky co-worker that sabotages your efforts, or a jealous boss that won’t let you ascend the professional ladder. Or it could just be that you aren’t yet ready or your company doesn’t have the funds or position available right now.

Whatever the reason, we want to hear about it. Let us know the reason you think you aren’t being promoted.

Let us know by voting in our poll!

 

How Has Work Changed Your Life?

Share your stories with us!

Many jobs provide a whole new work family, a new culture, and a new experience. Work can truly change our lives. We can learn new skills, meet new people, and go to exciting new places.

What about you? Has a job or any step on your career path ever changed your life? Maybe a degree or certification opened new doors, or perhaps you met a mentor in your first job that set you on an entirely different career path. It’s even possible you met your spouse on the job!

If you have a life-changing story to share about your career, let us know in the comments below. Or, if you’d prefer to let your social media friends know, use the hashtag #LifeChanging on Facebook or Twitter. We’re encouraging people across the nation to share their stories, and now we want to hear from you.

Has any step on your career path been #LifeChanging? Let us know in the comments below!

Poll Results: Will You Retire?

A few months ago we held a Movin’ On Up poll asking whether or not retirement was in your future. Only about 23% of those polled said that they planned to retire.

Twenty-nine percent said they can’t afford to retire, while 15% think retirement would be boring. Just fewer than 9% don’t see a reason to retire since they can travel and do what they want while working. Seven percent have heavy debt they have to pay off before retirement even becomes a consideration. Six percent wanted to keep working because they love their jobs, while 3% need to support their children financially. Two percent have to support their parents financially.

Six percent chose the “Other” option, with responses ranging from needing to work part-time or being a workaholic to the desire to start a second career.

So what does all of that data mean? We’re living in a changing employment environment. For a variety of reasons, baby boomers are working longer. This is the new normal. But it can be nice to see that you aren’t alone.

Any other reasons you won’t be retiring any time soon? Let us know in the comments below!