Career

Want to Work from Home?

“Letting Employees Work from Home Can Be a Win-Win for Employers and Staff Alike.”

For employees, the option to telecommute appeals to a vast majority of full-time workers.  Research by Global Workplace Analytics found that there are benefits for employees and employers when employees telecommute and work at home.  For employees, the chief advantages are

  • Reduced time commuting to work
  • Lower costs of commuting to the office
  • Less stress of juggling the demands of work and family

There are also benefits for employers including

  • Less office space is needed because not every employee works in the office every day
  • Lower expenses for rent or costs associated with ownership of office space
  • A new way to attract talent because employees like the option of working at home
  • Increased employee motivation and engagement because telecommuting is considered a benefit

The top five companies and organizations that encourage telecommuting are:

  1. United-Health Group
  2. Dell
  3. S. Department of Agriculture
  4. Xerox
  5. Humana

For more information about this article and a complete list of the top 20 companies for telecommuting,  click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to point out the benefits of telecommuting.

Discussion Questions

  1. Not everyone is a candidate to work at home. What traits and time management skills are needed if you obtain a job where you can work at home?
  2. Are there disadvantages to telecommuting and working at home?
Categories: Career, Career_Appendix, _Appendix B | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Single Best Question to Ask in a Job Interview

“What did you do to prepare for this interview?”

According to CNBC contributor and author Suzy Welch, the above question is the most important question that a manager can ask and the best question a prospective employee can answer.  She explains she has asked this question for years and is always surprised at the answers she gets from prospective employees–answers that are the good, the bad, and the ugly.  One answer stands out.  When asked what she did to prepare for the job interview as my personal assistant, the applicant answered, I’ve been stalking you for three days.  Welch loved the answer because stalking  involved reading virtually everything she could find written about Welch plus reading and scanning everything I’ve ever written online and in print.

Not all answers display the passion that a job applicant should have.  For example, one applicant answered, “Well I drove here last night with my boyfriend so I wouldn’t get lost today.”  Not an answer that would demonstrate the kind of passion and curiosity and most importantly, the resourcefulness Welch was looking for.

For more information, click here

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Stress the importance of doing some detective work when preparing for a job interview.
  • Point out there are many websites that can help job applicants prepare for a job interview.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume you unemployed and have scheduled a job interview with a human resources manager for a bank teller position at a local Bank of America branch. What would you do to prepare for your interview?
  2. What traits or skills do you have that would make the bank want to hire you for this position? How can you tell or illustrate your traits and skills during the interview process?
Categories: Career, Chapter 1, _Appendix A | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Summary Instead of a Career Objective

Since the career objective presented on most resumes is too general and unfocused, hiring managers recommend a career summary. When developing a resume summary, consider the following actions:

  1. Plan a clear direction that emphasizes the skills and experience directly related to your career area. Communicate results and accomplishments that highlight your strengths.
  2. Research the industry to obtain an understanding of the trends and career competencies you will encounter.
  3. Develop phrasing that communicates the value you can add to an organization.

A resume summary can be appropriate for highlighting your work history and when transitioning careers. This resume feature also allows you to clearly communicate your personal brand.

For additional information on career summaries, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students search online for sample career summaries for industries of interest to them.
  • Have students create a career summary that reflects their current competencies and experiences.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Why are career objectives discouraged on resumes?
  2. What actions might be taken to develop an effective career summary?
Categories: Career, _Appendix A | Tags: | Leave a comment

10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask

“Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important:  You are there to ask questions, too.”

In this Forbes article, Joe Konop explains why job applicants need to be proactive when they are interviewing for employment.  Specifically, you should strive to achieve three things during the interview

  • Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
  • Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

Mr. Konop also provides 10 possible questions (and the rationale for asking each question) that you could ask during an interview.  For example

  • What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
  • What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
  • What is the next step in the process?

For more information, click here.  Then enter the title of this article “10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask” to read the actual article.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Help students understand that the job market is very competitive, and they must be proactive to get the employment position they want.
  • Describe how preparing for an interview can make the difference between obtaining the employment position they really want and unemployment.

Discussion Questions

  1. Choose a specific job and describe the traits that you would need to be successful.
  2. Assume you are a college senior and are interviewing for a position with a major employer in the marketing, banking, or accounting industry. How would you prepare for a job interview with this company?
  3. What factors make the difference between a good employee and a bad employee?
Categories: Career, Chapter 1, Skills Development, _Appendix B | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Career Questions to Ask Yourself

Studies reveal that most people do not enjoy their work.  In an effort to enhance your career satisfaction, career coaches recommend answering these questions on a regular basis:

  • Am I doing something that is aligned with my core values?
  • Am I doing something that leaves a lasting impact?
  • Am I doing something that is related to my natural talents, aptitude, and disposition?
  • Am I stretching myself a little every day?
  • Can I see myself doing this same work five or ten years from now?

Responses to these questions will allow you to make a better connection between your passion and meaningful work activities.  To assess your strengths and interests, use tools such as the Myers-Briggs personality test, Pathway Planner, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and the Enneagram personality assessment.  While aligning your work with your talents, aptitude, and dispositions, also continue to challenge yourself.

For additional information on career assessment questions, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students ask others for their answers to these career questions.
  • Have students research various careers that who allow them to make a better connection between their passion and meaningful work activities.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are actions a person might take to plan for a satisfying career?
  2. How might a person research careers that provide meaningful work?
Categories: Career, Career_Appendix, _Appendix B | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Gig Economy

Online selling, personal taxi services such as Uber, and renting a spare room to tourists, are examples of an increasing number of people generating or supplementing their incomes by trading goods and services online.  This trend is often replacing traditional employment.

Measurement of the “gig economy” (working outside a formal work environment with temporary, short-term employment by independent workers) is difficult.  Many situations are not reported in current labor statistics. In recent years, the fastest growth for self-employed workers has been in hairdressing, cleaning, and management consulting. While these services may be in the gig economy, this trend may also indicate growing formal self-employment in these fields.

Gig economy activities may start as temporary work due to a lay-off or a need to supplement household income. However, as time goes by, these self-employment positions can become a person’s ongoing employment status.

For additional information on the gig economy, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students describe examples of the “gig economy.”
  • Have students explain the “gig economy” to others (including different generations) and get their reactions.

Discussion Questions

  1. What factors influenced the development of the gig economy?
  2. How might the gig economy affect a person’s financial planning activities?
Categories: Career, Chapter 1, Financial Planning, _Appendix B | Tags: , | Leave a comment

4 Tricks for Getting Rid of Your Nerves and Appearing More Confident in a Job Interview

“There are endless telltale signs of nervousness at work or in a job interview. . . “

This Business Insider article describes typical signs of nervousness that applicants experience during a job interview which include sweating, rapid blinking of the eyes, stammering, and many other symptoms.  Hope Restle, the author of this article, provides 4 recommendations to help you remain calm during the job interview.  Each recommendation is accompanied by more information about how the recommendation can help and real-world examples of how it can reduce stress and nervousness.  Specifically,

  1. Recall a memory that inspires positive emotions.
  2. Create a secret gesture that corresponds with a positive experience you’ve had in your life.
  3. Silently repeat a mantra or saying to help you relax.
  4. Be interested in what the other person says.

At the end of this article, there is also a link to a video that describes questions that you should never ask during a job interview.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Help students prepare for a job interview.
  • Point out that the 4 recommendations can also be used to reduce stress in other situations where someone gets nervous.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume that you are applying for a new job that you really want. What can you do to remain calm and reduce that “nervous feeling” during a job interview?
  2. In today’s complex world, it is not uncommon for people to become nervous during a typical day. What can you do to reduce stress in your daily activities?
Categories: Career, _Appendix B | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Modernize Your Resume

Resumes continue to evolve. To have a modern-looking resume, consider these suggestions:

  • Use keywords from the job description that will allow the applicant tracking systems (ATS) to select your resume.
  • Adapt your resume to each position for which you apply. Use organization-specific keywords to help you get an interview.
  • Eliminate your photos and references from your resume.
  • Include social media links for the recruiter to obtain additional information on your background and activities.
  • Make use of callout boxes, in addition to bullet points and line breaks, to highlight key experiences, qualifications, and accomplishments.

For additional information on updating your resume, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students talk to others to obtain suggestions for updating a resume.
  • Have students create a resume based on these suggestions.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are common mistakes people make on resumes?
  2. How might a person improve the effectiveness of their resume?
Categories: Career, _Appendix B | Tags: | Leave a comment

Your Path To Success

What separates successful people from others?   While favorable timing, personal connections, wealth or other advantages can lead to success, a person must also possess various success-oriented attitudes, behaviors, and skills. Some of the actions that can lead to academic, career, and personal success include:

  • Display poise and confidence in your ability.
  • Assess existing skills and knowledge.
  • Set personal and career goals that align with your abilities.
  • Develop a habit on ongoing learning.
  • Take risks that allow you the opportunity to achieve at a higher level.
  • Persevere in your work efforts
  • Be prepared to face and go beyond obstacles.
  • Rejection and criticism can lead to future success.
  • Develop effective interpersonal skills. Your ability to interact, gain support of others, and develop trust is critical.

 For additional information about a success path, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students ask people to describe their definition of “success.”
  • Have students obtain suggested actions for personal and career success using online research.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are common mistakes people make in their personal financial planning and career planning activities?
  2. What actions do you plan to take to improve your personal and career success?
Categories: Career, Career Training, Career_Appendix, Chapter 1, Financial Planning, Skills Development, _Appendix B | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

10 Life Hacks That Will Make You Richer

“Money interviewed dozens of experts in different fields to find out which skills, tricks, and workarounds are most financially worthwhile.”

In this article Daniel Bortz and Susie Poppick describe 10 different activities that can help anyone advance their career and increase their salary.    While the list below identifies different activities, more specific information about each activity is provided in the article.

  1. Master the meeting
  2. Lend a hand at work
  3. Learn a language
  4. Get techy
  5. Write better
  6. Learn social savvy
  7. Take back your workday
  8. Sell yourself
  9. Learn to DIY (Do It Yourself)
  10. Get Organized

For more information, click here

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Point out that the suggestions in this article can improve their productivity on the job and make them a more valuable employee.
  • Encourage students to read the article for specific information about each of the above activities.

Discussion Questions

  1. In today’s work environment, why is it important to “make yourself a more valuable employee?”
  2. Ask students to review the 10 different activities and pick the two they feel are the most important. How could those two activities make you a better employee?
Categories: Career, Career Training, Chapter 1, Skills Development | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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