Friday, January 28, 2011

Ode to American Inventiveness

Ode to American Inventiveness

American inventiveness is fueling revolutions in the Middle East. One can only marvel at how Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have been instrumental in enabling fledgling democracy movements to fan their flames and come to life.

Right now, today, Friday January 28, the Egyptians have shut down the Internet, an American invention originating in Arpanet, a network for engineers and scientists working for the government that was established in the late 60s. Arpanet spawned the birth of the commercial Internet that exploded in the 90s. We all know how the Internet has totally transformed our lives, our work and our culture.

Other American inventions such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have enabled the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East to communicate with each other and the world. I remember how striking it was when the American government asked Twitter not to take down its network for maintenance during the uprising in Iran as Twitter was a major tool for communications during this event.

These tools have largely surpassed and supplanted traditional media outlets and will be, in fact, transforming them.

So during this time of economic uncertainty with many people still mired in unemployment, I urge my fellow Americans to keep dreaming, hoping and inventing to keep American inventiveness as a force for major change.

I welcome your reactions to this post. How lucky we are that we can blog so freely!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

20 Jobs with Fast Growing Salaries


Jobs 2011: 20 Fast-Growing Salaries
You waited weeks to receive your offer letter, but after you tore open the envelope and scanned the form for the salary figure, your excitement was replaced by a wave of disappointment. If this sounds familiar, you're one of the masses.

There is often a disconnect between what workers think they should earn and what their employers are actually willing to pay them. It's also common for companies to intentionally lowball on the first salary offer. In fact, 58 percent of hiring managers surveyed by say they leave some negotiating room in their first salary offers.

It pays, then, to negotiate with your employer to boost your starting pay. The key is to know your market value -- this will ensure that you accept an offer that's fair, but also prevent you from pricing yourself out of any position. (For example, if you're demanding $100,000 for an entry-level coordinator role, you may need to rethink your strategy.)

The Internet is an excellent source for finding salary information. For example, visit, a site powered by and PayScale ( to offer free, comprehensive salary information and advice to help you negotiate your pay. On, users can conduct a quick search for their position and city. For a fee, users can access a detailed salary report that factors in academic degrees, years of experience, type of employer, commute, bonus and other specifics.

Also consider your industry when evaluating your salary offer. Working in a hot industry can catapult you into a higher salary range and give you more negotiating power. Healthcare workers, for example, are commanding higher salaries as employers struggle to fill their staffs.

If you're looking for a job with negotiation muscle, check out this list of 20 jobs with the highest salary growth in the fastest-growing industries, according to data from and Payscale:

Accounting/Finance Jobs with high salary growth:

· Personal banker -- $37,700
· Commercial loan officer -- $75,700

Healthcare Jobs with high salary growth:

· Clinical research associate -- $61,300
· Anesthesiologist -- $225,000

Information Technology Jobs with high salary growth:

· Webmaster -- $49,200
· Senior database administrator -- $93,300

Engineering Jobs with high salary growth:

· Civil engineer -- $57,200
· Project engineer -- $65,200

Sales Jobs with high salary growth:

· Sales assistant -- $35,800
· Sales engineer -- $79,900

Administrative support Jobs with high salary growth:

· Human resources coordinator -- $40,200
· Financial controller -- $79,900

Professional and business services Jobs with high salary growth:

· Paralegal -- $39,500
· Financial analyst -- $70,500

Retail Jobs with high salary growth:

· Retail store assistant manager -- $39,100
· Buyer -- $47,900

Hospitality Jobs with high salary growth:

· Restaurant general manager -- $49,800
· Hotel general manager -- $56,600

Customer service Jobs with high salary growth:

· Technical support specialist -- $49,100
· Call center manager -- $53,800

By Kate Lorenz,
On JobiJobs January 26, 2011.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, You Want a New Career, Now What???

A New Year and You Want A New Career, Now What????

So it’s a New Year and you have decided to change careers. You jump into a program that will be the golden gate to this new career, spend time, money and years on new training. Then you discover that there are few if any opportunities in this new field, you could not support yourself in this field, you do not really like this field and you end up going back to your former career. Has this happened to you or someone you know?
People may spend more time researching a new car that researching their new career.
Kicking the tires and being an EDUCATED CONSUMER before taking the plunge are just as important as trying out your new car before you buy it.
Here are some things you can do to fully investigate that new career about which you are thinking.

Does it Reflect You?
Think about who you are and what you enjoy doing. What are your strengths and talents? What do you love doing and want to do more? What do you hate doing and want to do less or not at all? What type of environment do you thrive in and what type of environment do you hate? What kinds of people do you want to work with? What is really important to you in your career and your life? Read Richard Bolles’ book “What Color is your Parachute? and complete the flower exercise. Post that on a wall near your computer to keep it in mind as you research your new career

I also recommend that clients take on-line self-assessments as the Self-Directed Search ( to find out careers that match your career interests and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) ( to identify your personality type. They are free or quite inexpensive and can provide insights into careers that match your personality and profile.

Research is Key

After defining yourself, you want to match your profile to the market and the employer who would be interested in employing you. You will want to conduct secondary as well as primary research to find out about
• The occupation that matches your skills, values, interests, preferred work environment, etc.
• The occupational outlook for this field - is this field in demand, growing or shrinking?
• Salary trends – would this field support your life style or would you have to change?
• How your skills match this field and the new skills you may have to develop
• Trends in the field – new developments, emerging standards and trends, challenges
• Potential employers and key decision-makers
• Professional associations for networking
• Professional magazines and journals
• Targeted job boards for job leads
• Recruiters and headhunters in this field
The website Onetcenter ( provides valuable career information such as job descriptions, skills, job conditions, job requirements and other important information. Another web site, the Occupational Outlook ( ) will give you the outlook on this career.

Information Interviews

Nothing beats meeting people in the field in which you are interested to find out what it is really like. Contact people on LinkedIn ( and at networking meetings and set up information interviews to ask the following questions:
1. What are the main functions of this job?
2. What is a typical day like?
3. What kind of people are successful in this job?
4. What are the positive things about this job?
5. What are the negative things about this job?
6. What are the most challenging things about this job?
7. What are the trends in this occupation?
8. What are the hiring trends?
9. What does it take to be successful in this job?
10. What are some professional associations associated with this field?
11. What are the salary ranges of this job?
12. Do you know other people doing this job with whom I can meet?

Kick the Tires

I highly recommend that you seriously consider shadowing someone in your new career to find out what really goes on during a typical day. I once took a week off from work to spend a day at the different settings of a particular field to see if I would like to work in this field and in which setting. In the end, I decided that it was not for me. Ask people if you might be able to spend a day with them just to get a better idea of the type of work, environment, challenges, etc. This may or may not be possible for certain fields. You may have to sign non-disclosure forms or get patients’ or clients’ permission. However, this is an invaluable exercise in finding out if this would be a good match for you.

Educational Training

Once you have decided on a particular field, it is really important to be an EDUCATED CONSUMER about the institutions providing training for this new field. Everyone is out to get your money and promise you the moon.
First of all, find out if you need to get additional training or will you get it on- the- job? Some organizations, including Google, hire highly skilled people and will train them in their content and ways of doing things. Other companies prefer to hire off the shelf professionals who require very little or no training.
Carefully research the institutions providing training for this field. Compare curriculum, costs, reputation, professors’ qualifications, career services support and placement, internship and employment opportunities, graduation rates, jobs that graduates have gotten, alumni of the program and networking opportunities. Speak to current students and alumni of the program to get their opinion of the quality of the program.
During your information interviews, ask people in the field about recommended institutions to get training and from which institutions they recruit. If the same program exists at Columbia University or a community college, ask your networking contacts which institution they would recommend and from where they would hire. Sometimes brand recognition can make a difference in hiring decisions.

Networking is Key

Start developing a network in this new field and go to networking meetings to develop contacts in the field, find out what is going on in the field, where the opportunities are, which organizations you would like to work for as well as which ones to avoid. This will be your window into your new field and will provide invaluable insights as well as job leads.

These are just a few tips on how to investigate a new career to make sure it is a good match before you take the plunge. Be an EDUCATED CONSUMER and know what you are getting into before wasting your valuable time and money. Let me know additional insights that you may have on this topic.