No matter how the economy shifts, some jobs remain critical. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning installation and maintenance personnel, better known as HVAC workers, are essential for commercial and residential properties. An HVAC training program can provide a solid grounding in the fundamentals you'll need for a career in the field, but learning more about HVAC careers before you choose your school is important. Many HVAC schools offer HVACR training: What does this mean? The extra letter stands for refrigeration, a technology that overlaps HVAC in many areas. While some refrigeration technicians work on the appliances familiar in every home, the majority work for professional kitchens, schools, hospitals and anywhere else that refrigeration is important. What are some HVAC and HVACR career options? Like any field, HVAC has a wide variety of specializations. If you have a background or interest in engineering, you might be involved with designing systems or improving HVAC technology. Are you a natural at sales and marketing? If so, then you may work as a vendor. Installation technicians build new systems or add ventilation to existing buildings. Large office buildings and commercial properties often employ maintenance staff to keep their complex ventilation system in good shape. Other HVAC workers prefer to own their own repair company and serve a variety of small businesses and homes. Specializing can add value to what you have to offer. Trained HVACR personnel are equipped to deal with the special needs of a hospital or manufacturing plants. Supermarkets and restaurants rely on their refrigeration systems, giving refrigeration installation and maintenance specialists other industries to specialize in. Experts who specialize in retro-fitting old homes with new central heating or air conditioning systems also have highly marketable skills. What makes someone a good HVACR career candidate? Successful HVACR personnel typically work well with their hands and take satisfaction in building things. Manual dexterity is important for anyone who repairs and maintains equipment, and that includes ventilation and refrigeration systems. Many HVAC jobs also require physical strength; you'll have equipment to help you maneuver bulky items such as refrigerators, but you'll still find a strong back an asset. If you're planning to open your own HVAC repair service, you'll need talents beyond your mechanical aptitude. Excellent customer service, efficient time management and sharp troubleshooting skills are vital for self-employed HVAC workers. Someone hoping to start their own business might consider taking some business administration courses along with their specialized HVAC training. What's the earning potential for HVAC workers? As in any industry, locale, demand, specialization, and education influence earning potential for HVACR workers. Entry-level workers and general maintenance personnel typically earn toward the lower end of the scale. Designers, distributors and specialists have higher earning potential. What education do HVACR workers need? Your educational needs depend on your specialty, but an accredited HVAC school is a good place to start. HVAC schools offer a range of options from six-month courses to two-year degree programs. Military training can also lead to HVACR careers, and these roles also involve practical experience. Even after graduation and certification, you'll spend time in an apprenticeship during which your earnings will be at the lower end of the pay scale. It can take years to master your career, particularly if you specialize. What challenges can an HVAC worker expect on the job? No matter what your role in the industry, expect pressure as an HVAC worker. Your customers want speedy service whether you're restoring their air conditioning on a hot day or installing a new refrigeration unit for a hospital's blood bank. You'll probably face uncomfortable conditions, too: close quarters, uncomfortable temperatures and bad weather are common challenges for HVAC personnel. As with any work that requires physical exertion, HVAC maintenance and repair jobs can be dangerous. You'll need to practice good safety procedures for dealing with high voltage equipment, chemical coolants and heat exhaustion. What's the ceiling on HVAC careers? If you're willing to continue your education and have a strong natural aptitude for the work, you'll have plenty of advancement opportunities. Everything from owning your own business to developing ecologically sustainable cooling systems for large multinational corporations can start with HVAC training. Caitlin Murphy writes on behalf of Redstone College offering degrees in HVAC, Aviation and Wind Energy.
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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