Friday, September 30, 2005

Where it starts: career research

I met with a student yesterday who had plans to head towards the same career as his father and older brother. Trouble is, he’s not either of the two. His interests, passions, and gifts are distinct and not typical of others happily employed in that field.

But, the student didn’t know much about other career options, which resulted in his very valid question: how do people find out what’s out there?

That’s an excellent question indeed. How do you go about locating career possibilities? Especially when new options arise, seemingly overnight. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/30 at 10:33 AM
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The nitty gritty of choosing a major

With the verdict still out on how relevant specific majors are to final careers (aside from pre-professional program, that is), the point remains. Sooner or later you have to choose. So how do you go about doing that?

The following are selected tips I typically share with undecided students.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/28 at 03:12 PM
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Who cares about a college major?

Though most of my freshman appointments of late have revolved around their first year experience course, aka Prelude, self assessment assignment, the second most commonly raised issue is—-

What Should I Major In? I met with one person this week who had changed his major within the first week. Quick thinking on his part.

But the fact is with varying degrees of angst, as you may know from reading my posting advice from a senior, around 70% of all freshmen change their major that first year.

Before getting to the nitty gritty of selecting a major, some people wonder if it even matters what major you choose. 

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/22 at 11:56 AM
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Monday, September 19, 2005

Keeping the “same-old same-old” interesting

Yes, another blogging break last week while I struggled to keep my head above water. A very busy week. Nuts might be too strong a word but somewhere between Nuts and Very Busy would work.

And it was a week characterized by doing a lot of the same thing. Hour after hour. So it dawned on me this morning that other people might find themselves in the same boat, asking that age old question: how am I going to keep this interesting?

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/19 at 10:01 AM
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Top liberal arts skills

For those students looking ahead or those grads seeking to market your liberal arts background, the National Association of Colleges and Employers includes these skills and qualities in their description of the Perfect Candidate…

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/14 at 11:43 AM
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Friday, September 09, 2005

How to talk to anyone: ice breaker tip #1

Seems like a good topic for a weekend when social opportunities usually pile up. Though I love meeting new people, I occasionally find myself freezing before an event. It’s usually the room full of strangers that does it.

So, I collect tips on how to break the ice.

Here’s one from How To Talk To Anyone which I plan to use myself.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/09 at 01:56 PM
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Job seaching over the long haul—reader’s comment

In response to my post on carrying on an extended job search, a reader wrote the following:

“I am in the Fred situation right now.  Iíve been searching, on and off, for about 3 months now.  I tend to check the listings when the mood strikes me but I donít even hear back when I submit a resume.  The lack of response has lowered my hopes of moving out of my current job.”

Another case of searching in a very discouraging vacuum. And it’s true, many companies now have cut costs by not bothering to reply to the plethora of resumes they receive, thus extending the wait time until an applicant finally gives up on yet another attempt. 

So….what to do.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/09 at 01:26 PM
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Advice to Freshmen from a Senior

Half way through the second day of classes seems like a good time to welcome incoming freshmen to the hallowed halls of academia, especially if those hallowed halls anywhere near my office. Personally, I’m always delighted to see the campus abuzz with activity.

On top of mastering details like where to get computer support or where to find your classes—short term survival skills—there looms at the back of some students’ minds vague questions, like where am I headed with this college thing. Or, more specifically, what am I majoring in??

Maybe not surprisingly, 70% of all in coming freshmen switch their initial major during that first year. And that’s where this advice to freshmen from a senior comes in….

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/07 at 01:23 PM
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reader’s Question: how to handle a dismissal

A reader wrote in with the following question:
After working as a bank teller for 7 years, I was fired - so I was told -
because several customers complained about the quality of my service. There
were no complaints about my technical competence, and I never missed a
single day due to sickness. My question is, how do I work around this during
my job search?
I worked there too long to leave my last employer off my
resume, but I can’t think of a way to minimize the impact when asked why I
was fired. Customer service issues seem to be an employability kiss of
death.

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Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/06 at 08:49 AM
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Back after break

Just a short blurp here to let you know I’ve returned. Though you may not have even noticed the posting vacuum since you, as was I, may have been glued to events in New Orleans. Frankly, I was too heavy hearted to write. Fortunately, there are at least very small ways to show support….money to give and local evacuees to welcome.

With that said, the next post will return to its more typical venue.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/06 at 08:41 AM
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