College Planning Specialists

April 16, 2008

College Student Marketability Tool #1: Learn How To Be An Expert To Maximize Your “Employability”

If you believe that believing in yourself is a choice then you must understand how to begin the process. The first characteristic that shapes our reality is our self confidence. But how do you feel confident when you have never done something that feels so difficult like making a life change?

How Do I Build My Confidence?

1. Increase Your Knowledge and Expertise:

Take classes at a college, apply for an internship, or hire a specific expert
Read books, periodicals, online sources to supplement your base of knowledge
Understand that being an “expert” is defined by Websters as “skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.” You do not have to be a Ph.d; life experience and a willingness to learn will help you become an expert

2. Practice Your Craft:

Repetition and critiquing your performances are the mainstays of any effort to improve. By seriously practicing, being mindful of quality, and relentlessly striving to improve you will become an expert and build your confidence in the process

3. Offer Your Work For Free:

Give free workshops, tutoring, mentoring, or offer your resources to businesses. The key to offering your work for free is the priceless feedback and experience you gain from this activity

4. Find a Mentor:

Look for someone who is successful in your niche. Surround yourself with positive people. Allow their positive habits to rub off on you. Make the commitment to expand your base of friends and acquintances

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March 26, 2008

The Decision Crisis Student Face: Follow Your Interests and Passions

The credit crisis has now impacted the availability of student loans as more lenders drop out of the business. According to Net Worth’s Kathleen Pender “More than two dozen non bank lenders have stopped making college loans and last week, three large banks followed suit.” The fact that college tuition is spiraling upward with no end in sight, adds to the ever growing importance of a student’s career path decision making process.

What about the decision crisis that faces every student? Your decision making process for identifying the right career path is more important than ever. Unfortunately this process often begins in the middle rather than the beginning. Simply put many students and parents look at job markets, financial compensation, and job availability as the deciding factors on a career (major) path.

The First Step in the Decision Making Process

Before you consult the traditional counselors, career and interest surveys, and company representatives recruiting on campus consider the following:

1. Awareness: you will graduate to the workforce via corporate America or as an entrepreneur with a work life history that averages 40+ years

2. Interest: The career path you pursue should be one that holds your interest. It is imperative that students identify their all their interests. Make a detailed list of the things, activities, and rituals you enjoy. This is should help to heighten your awareness about what direction to take

3. Passion: After identifying your interests which are your passions? Which activity, subject, or ritual do you just love? Make a list of these “special” interests and consider them your detailed list moving forward

Discovering the correct career path (major) should start with the awareness that you will be spending the majority of your waking hours working. With this awareness you can then understand how important it is to find a career that you have interest and passion for in abundance.

By making this detailed list, students can take the first correct step to identifying the career that is right for them, the passion that will last a lifetime, and they can create a happier life from the beginning of their work life.

March 19, 2008

Is Your Fear of Money Forcing You To Choose The Wrong Major and Ultimately The Wrong Career?

Students and Parents pay attention to this story. . . Susan Hanshaw is an author, keynote speaker, and certificated minister. But Susan first began her work life in corporate America. She spent 20 years building a very successful career in the Direct Marketing industry culminating in a position as second in command of her firm with the title of Vice President.

Included in this rise to corporate stardom, was a high 6 figure salary, a stress level in line with the pressure an air traffic controller experiences, and the type of corporate “burn out” that plagues at least 50% of American workers according to Forbes: unhappy lives due to their jobs or the lack of purpose the job is missing.

As high school, junior college, college and university students–NOW–is the time to make the right decisions. Before basing the happiness of your life on your personal bank account, perks, or the prestige you believe will make you happy–take a closer look.

Examine your passions, your love of “what” you love, and investigate how you can turn a passion or love for something into a career that will energize your life.

Research your passion and create an intended action plan that will help you identify the correct major, identify the best career for your happiness, and that will ultimately help you attain this goal.

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