7 Courses That Will Help Your Career

I came across this article this morning: 7 Courses That Will Help You in the Real World

This is no-brainer stuff:

• Accounting – this was my favorite class in high school (not so much in college when I had a teacher I could barely understand).

• Technology – if you’re not familiar with technology, what have you been doing?

• Public Speaking – consider joining Toastmasters.

• Writing – one thing facebook has shown me is that that lots of people do not know how to write.

• Marketing – one of the more interesting classes I took in college.

• Sales – we’re all salespeople.

• Management – another of my favorite courses in college. Fortunately, there are TONS of excellent management books available. I recommend reading 2 or 3 management books a year.

Basically, it’s a general business degree.

Ten More Tips for Job Seekers From Harvey Mackay…

I get a weekly email from Harvey Mackay. In light of yesterday’s post with job interview advice from Mackay, I thought I’d share today’s email with you, which is also on the topic of job seeking:

Use your head to open doors

In the State of the Union address, President Obama declared our national economic agenda “begins with jobs.” So does mine. I’m dedicating myself to a 30-day, nationwide tour to launch my newest book Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You*.

Use Your Head* is loaded with silver bullets. I even enlisted the help of readers of this column. They delivered great tips ranging from networking-your-way-to-work to tapping multi-skills for a totally new career.

People have asked me, “Harvey, what is the most bankable advice Use Your Head has to offer?” A tough call, but here are the 10 tips with the greatest traction after road-testing the advice in this book with hundreds of job seekers:

1. Getting a job is a job. You have to get a routine and stick to it. And it’s a 16 hour-a-day proposition. Get back in shape. Read. Network. Volunteer.

2. Rehearse job interviews in the privacy of your own home using your video recorder. Invite members of your personal ‘kitchen cabinet’ to pose tough questions and to critique your performance.

3. Never lie on your résumé, but always remember a résumé’s purpose is to get you an interview. Use industry accepted terms to describe what you do. If you try to make yourself seem too special, firms won’t know what to make of you.

4. After every interview, use the Mackay 22 to debrief yourself (We forget 50 percent of what we hear in four hours!) on what you learned and make notes including how your résumé played and how you could fine-tune it. Use the Mackay 44 to prepare for your interview. Both forms are available by clicking and signing up for free job secrets tools through www.harveymackay.com/free.

5. On résumés and in interviews, point to specifics in your achievements… the more measurable, the better. If you’re a manager, showcase the people you’ve developed in your career and where they are today.

6. Learn how to use the Invisible Web to know more than you ever thought you could (or should) about your interviewer and the company you are interviewing with.

7. The Internet is forever… and it’s everywhere. Countless people have torpedoed their chances by uploading career-suicide videos and party antics onto social networking sites like Facebook. Used properly, social networking vehicles like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, can help you enhance your network. And networking is how two-thirds of all jobs are found.

8. Respect your references. Recruiters check out these resources more thoroughly than ever before. Make sure your praise singers know in advance that you’re listing them and how appreciative you are of their help. Firms will also contact people who aren’t your fans.

9. The early bird may get the worm, but late birds get the job. You never want to be a warm-up act. Like the Academy Awards, the strongest contenders are those appearing at year-end.

10. Never negotiate your starting salary based on what you need. Base your argument on the marketplace and what you have to offer. Always have hard research handy to prove you know your numbers. But, if all else fails, offer to work for free for a trial period until you prove yourself.

Use Your Head also features thumbnail capsules of the 13 hottest job search books ever written. These are serious times, and job hunters need all the best advice they can get. After all, 17 percent of the workforce is on the street, counting those who have stopped looking.

People are learning that today’s outing on the job market is no one-time stand. It’s just another step in a lifetime job search. Committed? I’m so sold on the advice in Use Your Head, it comes with a money-back guarantee to refund the purchase price if you don’t land a job in six months.

But don’t just take my word for it. Last month, I was humbled by the prestigious Library Journal’s endorsement of the book: “… Highly recommended for job seekers and career changers at all experience levels.”

Once again, some solid advice from Harvey Mackay. If you’re not familiar with his books, you might want to check him out.

Harvey Mackay’s Advice for Job Interviews

I just found out that Harvey Mackay has just published a new book titled, Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You*. I love the title. If his other books are any indication, I’m sure his new book is a great one. While looking at his book on Amazon, I found the following posted by one of his reviewers. It’s Mackay’s advice for preparing for a job interview. I thought it was worth sharing:

Timing and Advance Planning

1. Scheduling–Try for the time of day you shine best.
2. Get a good night’s rest the day before.
3. Try to work out in the morning. It will help improve your alertness and relax you.
4. Create a contact sheet for each company with names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses.
5. If a recruiter is involved, have a pre-meeting huddle about positioning for the interview.
6. Review your own videos of your simulated interviews.
7. If any forms are needed, complete them neatly in advance.

Apparel and Appearance

8. Shine shoes, check fingernails.
9. Get a haircut and styling, comb.
10. Choose a suit with shirt and tie or blouse.
11. Coordinate accessories (including watch, umbrella if necessary, etc.).

Reading and Research

12. Read recent articles on the prospective company.
13. Research company Web site for their latest news and press releases.
14. Know the company’s most recent annual and quarterly sales and profits.
15. Google people you’ll be meeting for background on them.
16. Know how to pronounce names of people you will meet.
17. If possible, learn the names of the receptionist and administrative assistants.
18. If this is a second interview, review notes of past meetings.
19. Scroll through the day’s business news so you have something to talk about.
20. Create a list of good questions you will ask the interviewer.
21. Check e-mails just before leaving for any last-minute rescheduling.

Take Withs

22. Portable phone (turn off before interview) – Who calls them a “portable phone?”
23. Portfolio or business case
24. Résumé copies (at least two)
25. Business cards
26. Blank paper or notebook and pens
27. Breath mints or spray
28. Your personal calendar if a follow-up meeting is discussed

Getting There

29. Plan on being punctual and intend to arrive several minutes early.
30. Check weather report in case you need to plan on extra time.
31. Google map and either pre-drive or investigate road congestion.
32. Investigate parking practices.
33. Identify the correct building entrance.
34. Anticipate going through security and having to wear a visitor badge.

If Meeting Over a Meal

35. Eat something like a power bar or piece of fruit beforehand.
36. If possible, know the menu in advance.

Just Before Showtime

37. Do a once-over in the mirror for hair and clothing.
38. Pay attention to your posture.
39. Have a reasonable idea of appropriate, positive opening comments.
40. Put on a warm, relaxed smile.
41. Prepare for a dry, firm handshake.

Plan Follow-up Pre-Interview

42. Anticipate beforehand how and where you will debrief yourself.
43. Have stationery and postage ready for handwritten thank-you notes.
44. If a recruiter is involved, know how to reach this person after the interview for a debriefing.

Good advice. Looks like I might have to check out the book.

*Affiliate Link

From MSN: 30 Jobs That Pay at Least $80,000 Per Year

I saw this yesterday: 30 Jobs That Pay $80,000

Some of the interesting ones to me were…

Management analysts
Do this: Figure out best practices of management by conducting studies and procedures to help companies figure out how to operate more effectively.
Get paid: $82,920

Financial analysts
Do this: Assess the financial situations of an individual or organization.
Get paid: $84,780

Economics teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in economics.
Get paid: $88,330

I’m almost certain that none of these are starting salaries. I do know one of them that seems to be a pretty close to a starting salary these days:

Chemical engineers
Do this: Design chemical plant equipment and create processes for manufacturing chemicals and products.
Get paid: $88,760

My wife is stunned at how much freshly-degreed chemical engineers are making these days. It wasn’t like that when she started back in late 1995. Based on my wife’s starting salary (from memory), the starting salary for chemical engineers has increased over 6% per year since 1995.

Anyway, check out the list and share it with any kids you know who are trying to pick a major.