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Archive for December, 2006

New Year’s Eve is almost here, and you know what the means: Time to set some resolutions!

I spoke with Laura Berman Fortgang, a pioneer in the life coaching field and the author of several bestselling books, including Take Yourself to the Top, about some job goals that people in their 20s should consider setting for themselves. Here’s what she had to say:

New Year’s Resolution for people in their 20s: Establish a positive work record

Relax—you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life just yet. It makes sense to explore your options at this early stage of your working life, as long as you build skills and make contacts along the way.

“Deciding what to do long-term is more organic than most people think,” Fortgang says, adding that what is essential during this decade is to establish a good work record. “The people you work with … in your early years could become life-long supporters, mentors and references for years to come. So building a good reputation is important even if you don’t see yourself sticking in your current job for long.”

Thinking about graduate school? Here’s what Fortgang says:

“Sure, it’s easier to do grad school when you have no ties and responsibilities … However, using grad school as a way to hide from making decisions about what you want to do is not a great idea. I see grad school as better used for after you have a clue as to where you are headed–when gaining that credential or education that will reinforce your future success.”

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10 Hot Jobs for 2007

Want a job on the cutting edge?  Sure you do!  Why be a boring ol’ nine-to-five drudge when you could instead be the envy of your friends?  Snag a job in a cutting edge field and you’ll find yourself with plenty of opportunities as demand for your expertise grows.

Without further ado, we present 10 jobs that are looking hot for 2007 … drum roll, please …

1. Computer Forensic Expert

What they do: Use computer investigation and analysis to determine legal evidence. They uncover deleted information and can help the legal system track down people attempting to cover their illegal actions, such as hackers and inside traders.

What you need: A wide range of computer hardware and software experience, as well as an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer forensics, computer science or another related field.

2. Radiation Therapist

What they do: Work with radiation oncologists to administer treatment as prescribed and supervised by the doctor. They also maintain records and check the operations of the radiology equipment.

What you need: An associate or bachelor’s degree in radiology and certification under the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Licensing may also be required.

3. Medical Illustrator

What they do: Create images that visually communicate bioscientific and medical discoveries. They also act as consultants, advisers, administrators and educators in biological science communications.

What you need: A bachelor’s degree with a major in art and a minor in biological sciences or vice versa; a portfolio of artwork demonstrating competence. A majority of medical illustrators have master’s degrees in medical illustration.

4. Genetic Counselor

What they do: Assist families who have members with birth defects and other genetic disorders, and also aid in educational and administrative roles related to genetic counseling and inherited health issues.

What you need: A bachelor’s degree concentrating on biology/bioscience, psychology, genetics or nursing, and a master’s degree in genetic counseling. The American Board of Genetic Counseling and the American Board of Medical Genetics offer certification.

5. Art Therapist

What they do: Treat physical, mental and emotional disabilities through art expression.

What you need: A master’s degree in art therapy with completed curriculum under the American Art Therapy Association’s educational standards. To be a registered art therapist, 1,000 hours of direct client contact must be reached after graduation.

6. Legal Nurse Consultant

What they do: Use their healthcare expertise to assist and advise attorneys on medical-related legal cases. They aid attorneys by analyzing medical records and explaining healthcare terminology.

What you need: An RN license. Formal training as a legal nurse consultant (LNC) is not required, but helpful.

7. Nurse Paralegal

What they do: Like a legal nurse consultant (LNC), they work with law firms, government agencies and insurance companies on medical-related cases. However, nurse paralegals tend to perform more substantive legal work.

What you need: A bachelor’s or advanced degree in nursing or another health-related field and certification. Nurse paralegals often have experience working in a law firm.

8. Veterinary Physical Therapist

What they do: Treat and rehabilitate animals, using methods including hydrotherapy, swimming, exercise and massage.

What you need: Certification training is offered to licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians and physical therapists. Some certification programs require written exams, and follow-up case reports, independent studies and take-home exams are also available.

9. Animal Defense Lawyer

What they do: Handle cases dealing with animals in cases ranging from custody in divorce cases to veterinary malpractice. While laws suggest that animals are regarded as "property," owners who are battling for the custody often regard their pets at a higher standard.

What you need: The educational degrees and requirements for a major in law, a juris doctorate, and a concentration and clinical work in animal law.

10. Animal Assisted Therapist

What they do: Study and identify behavioral patterns in animals and apply techniques to improve mental, social and physical issues within humans through animal/human companionship.

What you need: A bachelor’s of science degree in psychology, social work, physical therapy, nursing or education. Additional training and certification in Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a big plus. AAT program concentrations can include elderly care, social work, education and other specialties.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Are your parents super-involved in your job hunting process? Did your mom write your resume? Does your dad haunt student job fairs, gathering company information for you?

If so, you have "helicopter parents," so named for their tendency to hover over every stage of their child’s life… and, well, it’s probably time to tell the ol’ parental choppers, "Thanks, but no thanks."

While it’s wonderful that your parents care enough to want to be involved in your life, at this stage in the game they shouldn’t be calling the shots. Sure, everyone wants to make Mom and Pop proud, but that doesn’t mean your parents should be responsible for deciding your career goals. And it should go without saying that when a hiring manager sets up shop at a job fair, he or she is there to speak directly with potential employees, not the parents of potential employees.

None of which is meant to imply that parents should be ignored. Your parents are valuable resources, and likely have years of work experience under their belts. Use their knowledge to your advantage by asking your parents for advice and perhaps even networking guidance, but don’t ask or allow them to do the actual grunt work of job hunting for you. In addition to being an employer’s nightmare, having your parents do your work for you is just kinda lame, isn’t it?

A good rule of thumb is to think of your parents as career advisors, not head hunters. Occasional words of wisdom are great, but if your parents start phoning up prospective employers for you, it’s a sure sign you’ve allowed them to cross the line. And when that happens, you’d better be prepared for the deafening perma-whir of your hovering heli-parent.

Check out this AP/MSNBC article for full details on the chopper epidemic… Heli-parents article.

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