It's no secret that there's a lot of competition in the professional world. Sometimes, it seems as if everyone is out for themselves, and that you've got to be cutthroat in order to get anywhere in a career. The fact is, however, this is the exact opposite of what one should do when trying to take a career to the next level. Succeeding in business is all about networking and building strong relationships, something that can take months and even years to do. Related: How To Build Positive Workplace Relationships No matter what type of career you're working towards furthering, a strong network of business relationships is essential - here are just a few ways to help build one:
It's common knowledge that the medical field is rapidly growing, and shows no signs of slowing anywhere in the near future. Quite the contrary, with expanding waistlines - and thus, health and weight complications - on the rise, and new healthcare legislature being introduced, we are unlikely to see the medical sector retract in our lifetime. With that development comes an enormous range of different careers within the general medical field, whether private, corporate, and government in nature. Additionally, the pay and difficulty levels vary immensely, from medical assistants that merely require a certification to highly specialized surgeons that require a decade of school and training, but also collect a decent paycheck in return. There literally is something for just about anyone considering to move into the medical field. One additional benefit has to be the mobility and flexibility when the subject of moving or transferring is approached. Someone with, for example, an RN certification could move either next door or around the globe, and that kind of value is not available with a great many other career paths. Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are in great demand almost everywhere on the planet. Perhaps the first item to prepare for is medical school itself. If you happen to know early on that you are wanting to pursue this type of degree, it helps immensely to aim for electives in that area as early as your freshman year of high school. Classes dealing with math or science, especially biology, anatomy, physics and chemistry go a long way toward establishing a base from which to jump into medical school. Prior to high school graduation, the opportunity to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) will appear, and performance is essential. A score of 25 or higher will be looked at first. In addition, be prepared to show documented history of volunteer and intern work performed at a medical facility. An opportunity interview at various medical institutions will present itself, and this is a process to take very seriously. Some questions to consider: Does the school interview only those who have gone through extensive screening or is the interview mandated by residency and certain threshold scores on MCAT? Is the interview a final step in the selection process or a preliminary step? A few things the interviewers will be looking for include how well the applicant communicates, the various personality impressions that are projected, and whether the the person's demeanor is one that inspires confidence and trust. Today's world provides a number of logistical challenges, so you will find that more and more students are preferring distance learning, such as that provided by The College Network. Completing a degree or certification entirely online has its appeal, not the least of which is flexible hours to complete assignments. While the more basic nursing certifications and degrees are relatively commonplace, admission to MD/PhD programs is highly competitive, with a heavy emphasis on research. Those seeking to apply will soon discover that most advanced programs require significant research experience and the emerging ability to translate what was learned in a laboratory into relevant treatment for a patient. A great deal is also related to writing, as most institutions will request a statement outlining why the MD/PhD program was chosen, and also strong letters of recommendation from professors and other mentors in their field. You will want to plan on these requirements early, so as to ensure the admission process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information on MD/PhD programs, the AAMC provides a very helpful list of FAQs for MD/PhD Program Applicants. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Once upon a time, in a land not so far from where you’re standing, (heck, it might even be exactly where you’re standing) the only thing a potential employer could know about you was what you put on your resume. Filled with information gleaned through references and the few details you chose to reveal during your interview(s). Related: Can Bad Credit Make You Unemployable? Those days are sooooo sooooo over. Today, a potential employer has no qualms about checking your social media profiles (which is why many believe that social media is the new resume). Some people have even reported that potential employers have asked for their social media passwords so that they could get a look at profiles that had been made private. (NOTE: No matter what a potential employer tells you, you are NOT obligated to share your password. In fact, asking you for your Facebook password (and your sharing it) is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service.) It doesn’t stop with your social media presence or online reputation. Some employers will also go as far as checking a candidate’s credit before they decide whether or not to hire someone. The primary thought behind this practice (while miles away from foolproof) is, "If you can't be trusted with your finances... how can we trust you for this job?" How do you like them apples? Here’s the thing: It might, for lack of better cliché, 'chap your hide' that your potential employer wants to do a credit check (and, to be fair, you do not have to allow them to do so… but if you’ve already handed over your social security number you probably can’t stop them from doing it), but having bad credit isn’t just bad for your job prospects. Letting your credit stay bad is terrible for your livelihood and your personal financial health, too. But you already know that. If all of this sounds like a myth or an urban legend, you need to know that it is not. Last summer CNN investigated the rumors that employers were using credit histories to deny employment. In addition to several interviews, they cited a study that found that one in ten people had been denied a very hoped for job because the potential employer didn’t like what they found when they ran a credit check. Those are some scary statistics! So what do you do? How do you make sure that your credit status doesn’t cost you that job that you need so much?
To most of us, a successful career is one of those life goals that is right in line with marriage, a mortgage, kids, and two bright and shiny new cars in the driveway. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. More often than any time in history, well-educated people are stuck in jobs that they're overqualified for and they're blocked for promotions by senior team members. Related: Overworked? 5 Ways To Avoid Job Burnout So, why not quit? Well, as much as the workforce has recovered, people find themselves in a precarious position of not wanting to leave one job for fear of not being able to find another.
1. A good product/service/ideaA small business is nothing without a good idea. You need something to sell -- anything from physical merchandise to consulting services to information products -- so you need to spend the bulk of your planning time making sure that you're selling the best idea you've got. Too many new businesses fail because they aren't selling anything original. Think of all the people offering web design services or selling Angry Birds app clones. Yes, you can make a physics-based game or turn your design talents into a freelance business, but you need to find some way of standing out from the pack. Don't copy; instead, reinvent, exceed, and transform.
2. A good teamEven if you're the only person working for your small business, you need a good team to help you get started. Even in entrepreneurship, it is in fact all about "who you know." The right team of supporters will help you get your product reviewed on that big website, or buy your first round of design services so you can build your portfolio. These are the people who will invest in you when you need money, and tell the world about you when you need customers. As you build your first great idea, start building your team.
3. A good computer security programAccording to Marketplace.org, "many small companies get hacked so often, they go out of business." These types of hacks include anything from siphoning money away from the company to stealing customers' data records. Newer hacks come in through social media -- think of this year's Burger King hack, in which hackers sent out numerous offensive tweets through the fast food company's Twitter account before getting shut down. A good security measure is to use cutting edge cyber security software. One of the leading companies in business cyber security, Trend Micro, recommends using software that includes "custom sandboxing, adaptive blacklisting, plus C&C detection with email and web gateway, endpoint, and server security." That's what you need to be looking for as you seek out a good security solution for your business.
4. A good tax adviserThis cannot be understated. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you become responsible for federal, state, city, business, and sales taxes. These types of taxes are paid throughout the year, not just on April 15. Save yourself a lot of trouble and hire a tax adviser to help you through the maze.
5. A good work ethicWhen you work for someone else, you have a lot of people invested in whether you get your daily tasks done. This is why you have that annoying manager walking around, making sure you aren't spending the entire day browsing Facebook. When you work for yourself, that manager goes away. You can check Facebook any time you want. But you also have to get your work done. When you go into business for yourself, you need the type of work ethic that will get a new company off the ground. There are many online productivity apps to help you keep focused, but in the end, your drive to get things done has to come from you. Do you have that fire in your belly? If not, you need to figure out how to get it burning. It's easier than ever to start a new business, but you still have to have the basic foundation in place before your company can launch. Start with these five items, and see where becoming your own boss takes you. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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Never apply for a job without making sure your online presence is as ready to interview as you are. Employers will look at the online version of you before they invite the in-person version to an interview, so make sure what they see helps solidify their impression of you as a candidate. Related: How To Stand Out To Employers When Applying Online Here are five things you must do before applying for a job:
If you are looking to get into the fast-paced world of online sales, there are a couple of avenues you can take. Boutique shops online are a bit more difficult to establish than they are when talking about brick and mortar, but a specialization can draw in customers, as long as you find a way to get their attention. One avenue that some of the biggest retailers in the world have decided to travel down is the discount retail road. Related: 5 Things You Need Before You Start Your Own Business When done right, discount shopping is one of the more popular roads to travel, because it brings in customers in droves. Especially in this economy, everyone is looking to save a little money on whatever they go shopping for. Stormy Simon and Overstock.com actually got into the game rather late, but have become known as one of the most popular online discount retailers in the world.
It’s not unusual for military veterans to go into law enforcement. In fact, many find it to be a natural transition. Not only does the military and law enforcement require similar skill sets, many law enforcement agencies also offer partial retirement credit to veterans. This means that a veteran who left the military after 10 years--and is ineligible for military retirement benefits--could become a police officer and apply his military time toward his retirement. Related: 10 Helpful Job Search Resources For Veterans While law enforcement is attractive to many vets, there are some who prefer a different path. Here are some other job options for those individuals: