This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy which houses career interviews and job search advice for professionals in any industry. Visit to read about how to tame your ego and ask for feedback on the job. I have been working as an art teacher for the past two years. I work in a public middle school. Since art is an elective course, my classes contain students from every grade. I take care to ensure that the projects I assign are interesting to students of varying levels of maturity and commitment to schoolwork. In the past I have attempted to teach my classes about the history of art, but it is incredibly hard to reach students on an intellectual level when my classes are full of students from different grades and achievement brackets. As fascinating as I find art history to be, I made the decision to focus solely on the process of creation in my transition from artist to art teacher. On a scale of one to ten I would rate my job satisfaction as a nine. I am generally very happy with my job. Every now and then the early work hours and crowded hallway environment become overwhelming, and the way arts programs are being cut nationwide has caused me some anxiety. I do not like the way some parents blame teachers for not being more lenient with children who do not complete their assignments. If I could change one thing about my job, I would bar parents from being able to interfere with the educational process. The hardest part about being an art teacher is realizing that I have effectively given up on my former dream of becoming a famous artist in my own right. Creative people always have difficulty reconciling their artistic impulses and the realistic need to earn a dependable income. I truly do gain satisfaction from watching students discover and use their artistic talents. I think I ultimately made the right decision. My teaching schedule allows me to create my own art on weekends and during summer vacations. It is the mental shift that occurs when one becomes a working professional that caused me to feel like I was somehow backing out of my true calling, although I know I am fortunate to still be working in a field related to art. It is my artistic talents that make me a capable art teacher. Because of the way school years are scheduled, I still get to enjoy my social life and I almost never feel tempted to take vacation days. The work itself is not very stressful. The day-to-day grind can sometimes wear me out, and of course it is on those low days that students choose to be on their worst behavior. To become an art teacher, I majored in art and education in college. I fell into the routine that I still follow to this day. I would go to class, do my homework, and would then turn to painting as my outlet for whatever I was feeling at that moment. I would end up submitting some of these pieces to my professors as graded assignments. Others were painted just to suit my own whims. I approach my teaching career in much the same manner. I do not create my own private art with my job in mind, but if I happen upon a new technique or idea I may decide to include it in my future lesson plans. I was not always fond of the way my college courses approached the educational process. I thought that many of the methods I was being taught conflicted with the way that people naturally absorb new information. Aside from these minor annoyances, I cannot say that I regret my time in college. I am lucky to have a secure career, and this would not be possible if I had not completed a traditional college education. A public school teacher makes about $40,000 a year where I live. Due to the sad state of the American economy, this is only just enough to sustain a single woman's modest lifestyle. I do not struggle though, and I admit that I cannot justifiably claim to deserve a higher salary this early in my career. The hardest thing about entering the work force is making sacrifices. I had to give up my late nights out in order to wake up early every morning. I had to do away with my artistic tendency to wait for inspiration to strike; a school schedule demands that students be given daily assignments even if I do not think that they will yield inspiring work. I had to learn to accept that I would not always be completely satisfied with every aspect of my life. When I have the time and energy to create my own art, this internal restlessness has been a great inspiration for introspective pieces. Teaching is a great job for anyone who has the energy and patience to manage children on a daily basis. In five years I hope to still be teaching. Career art teacher image from Shutterstock
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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September 30, 2022
The business seems to be doing better, but you have reporting to show how well it's actually doing? You want to collect data and turn it into information. This allows the business to make decisions based on actionable reporting. How much business intelligence (BI) does your organization have?
COTS Applications For Actionable Reporting
Most COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) applications will have standard/canned reports. These are the “common” reports used by customers. If you’re implementing a new system and there are many standard reports, start with 10 top reports so you don’t overwhelm the end users. If you’re not sure what these are, ask the vendor to recommend them (especially if you’re changing your process and following the vendor’s best practice). Then the end users can utilize other standard reports as they get more comfortable and familiar with the application.
For example, if you just purchased a new phone system for the call center, find the reports that detail measurements such as the number of calls, dropped calls, wait time, peak times, etc.
Identify and define key performance indicators (KPIs), which are measurable values to analyze for better decision making. KPIs may be related to a specific function, line of business, or group of individuals. You can take a group of KPIs and create a dashboard. For example, some KPIs related to the help desk are:
- Tickets by status (e.g., open, on hold, completed, canceled)
- Tickets assigned by technician
- Average resolution time
- Rate of first-time resolutions
- Customer satisfaction
Once you’re comfortably leveraging the standard reports, you may want to ask the vendor (or your team’s developer/programmer) to customize standard reports or create custom reports with additional specific information you’re looking for. This may involve combining data from multiple tables within the application.
Two typical ways to serve these reports: 1) “push” reports to the end users on a scheduled frequency such as via email daily; or 2) have the end user “pull” reports which gives them the ability to access the reports as needed.
But reporting isn’t limited to COTS applications. You can create remarkable reports using Excel such as PivotTables, Pivot Charts, or Slicers.
Other Tips & Tools For Actionable Reporting
Another phenomenal visualization tool that is part of Office 365 is Power BI. It’s part of the Microsoft family (similar to Excel) so it’s straightforward to use. You can create a dashboard visualizing year-over-year comparisons, market segmentations, drill downs, etc.
If you’re new to Power BI, you can download the free desktop version (which admittedly does have limitations). If you find that Power BI does meet your basic reporting needs and you want more, then you can upgrade to the Pro license.
If you have enormous amounts of data, you may want to consider creating a data lake (raw data) or data warehouse (structured data). You can pull in data from multiple disparate systems into one central repository. There are ETL (extract transform load) tools to load the data into the data warehouse. You can cube the data so that the end users can roll up, drill down, and slice the data, do “what if” scenarios, etc.
TIP: If you allow end users to create their own reports, it’s critical that they understand the various data fields. Are you able to give them some type of data dictionary, or are they able to certify the results? It would be disastrous if they selected the wrong date or revenue field which produced incorrect results and sent the report to the board of directors.
Other reporting considerations:
1. Have a separate reporting database so that you don’t affect the production database. You don’t want an end user to kick off a complex query inadvertently causing production response to come to a crawl or even freeze.
- If you do set up a reporting database you need to decide how frequently the data will be updated—real time, once in the evening, etc.
2. Data needs to be secured appropriately (security). Who should have access to specific data fields should be determined by the data owner. For example, only a small handful of people should be able to access salary/payroll information.
3. Data should be classified such as public, internal, confidential, or restricted. Access should be controlled as appropriate.
4. Create a customer portal (extranet) to empower your customers (also partners and vendors) so that they can pull their own reports and information.
There is a quote by Lois Horowitz: “Not having the information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for that information leaves you powerless. In a society where information is king, none of us can afford that.”
For more information on actionable reporting, follow me on LinkedIn!
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September 30, 2022
The interview is one component of the job search process that most people love to hate. While it serves as a sign from the employer that you are being strongly considered for a position, it also can be a source of angst for candidates who fear they'll make mistakes that will cut them out of the running.
A great way to overcome the anxiety interviews produce is to begin feeling good about the process. Need help getting there? Here are five ways to build confidence for a job interview.
One great way to build your confidence going into the interview is by conducting plenty of research on the company and the position that you're going after. A common question interviewers ask is, "Do you know anything about our company?" Most times, candidates give vague answers, or—in a worst-case scenario—answer, "No."
If you're able to share the company's background information and showcase knowledge of its future goals for the position in question, you'll have an opportunity to impress the interviewer.
Review Common Interview Questions And Practice ThemBigstock
By understanding how to answer common interview questions, particularly behavioral interview questions, you'll build a lot of confidence going into the job interview.
Another great way to build confidence for a job interview is to practice before the big day. You can do this by answering questions in front of a mirror to read your own facial expressions and body language, or you could have a friend help you with a mock interview.
It's also great to find a professional outfit you feel comfortable wearing. Feeling good in your clothes and knowing you've fully prepared can work wonders for boosting your confidence before a job interview.
Make Sure You Have No Skeletons
An important step in preparing for your interview is being able to recall your own career history and discuss prospective goals with the company and in your professional life as a whole. But, as you look back over your career, be sure to research yourself online to ensure there are no skeletons on the internet that could be brought up in your interview.
Remember, companies conduct background checks often via search engines, so it's up to you to ensure your social media profiles are professional and/or private.
It's normal to feel some anxiety before a job interview, but you can take steps to minimize those nerves. We hope these tips help you build confidence for your next job interview and shine in the hiring process!
Need more help building confidence for a job interview?
We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Power Hour Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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