• A Fitting Inspiration

    March 31, 2009 by

    Today, I came across a quote that seemed a fitting inspiration for Women’s History Month: “Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.” The woman credited with that statement contributed many important achievements to the world of education over the course of her historic lifetime. Today, her accomplishments live on, continuing to benefit the lives of many.
    She was Elizabeth Harrison, an American Educator who became a major force in the establishment of standards and formal curricula for the training of Kindergarten teachers. Her innovations and best practices benefiting children’s education became accessible to many with the founding of Chicago’s National-Louis University in 1886. Elizabeth Harrison was the University’s first president, a position which she held for 32 prolific years. Known for her legacy of innovation, she created and launched the Parent-Teachers Association in 1897 and continued to put her unique mark on the University during her tenure by adding additional degree curricula and pioneering new educational delivery systems. Many of us, no doubt, benefited from her contributions during our childhood educational experiences.

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  • It’s Okay to Have a Credit Card. Just Don’t Use It to Pay for Books or Tuition

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    Before the economy went bad, credit card debt was often blamed on irresponsibility; since then, credit cards have become key to survival. Even with mounting debt, families can improve their situations. In fact, if a job was lost recently, it might be a good idea to consider transferring to a credit card with lower – or zero – interest.
    If used responsibly, a credit card can be a convenient and safe way to pay for large purchases like concert tickets and class rings. It’s recommended that they not be used to purchase books or pay for tuition, though. Paying such purchases off quickly could be a problem. Even with a zero interest credit card, paying back $500 in books or $1,500 in tuition or, worse, both could be difficult.
    Still, credit cards, when used responsibly, are a great way for college students and recent graduates to establish good credit. For people who already have credit cards, visiting a site like CompareCards could help them compare rates and find new cards with lower interest.

  • Pay Off Student Loans and Learn a Valuable Skill, Too

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    There are all kinds of ways for college students to earn money that can later be used to pay for student loans. One way is to take a portion of the money they earn during internships or part-time jobs and investing it. Of course, investing in stocks, bonds and other assets isn’t as easy as it looks on television; and the uneducated are left at the mercy of a broker to tell them what to do. That’s why Freddie Rick founded BetterTrades. He wanted to help others learn how to invest their money and manage those investments, without being totally dependent on brokers, who often charge fees.
    An added bonus to working with one of BetterTrades’ coaches, is an education about the stock market and how it works. Including the training received from a BetterTrades online course could be the deciding factor for an employer with a great entry level job to offer.
    Learning how to invest in the stock market can not only help college students save for their futures, it can also empower them to become financially independent after graduation.

  • Personal Branding Interview: Rita McGrath

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    Today, I spoke with Rita McGrath, who is an Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, and one of the world’s leading experts on strategic business growth in highly uncertain environments. Her new book is called Discovery-Driven Growth. In this interview, Rita talks about how already established brands and startups can grow in this economy, as well as how to grow your personal brand, mistakes that companies are currently making and the role of social media in business growth.
    How does a small business grow during this recession? What about an already established brand (Pepsi/P&G)?
    The best route for a small business to grow in a recession is to be absolutely indispensable to customers in ways competitors can’t or won’t match, or to offer a service that creates real value in a way that is highly differentiated. Consider, for instance, upstart Coinstar, a coin-conversion business with which you are probably familiar. From a tiny upstart in 1991 it has grown to become a substantial presence in many retail shops, on the basis of conveniently dealing with one of Americans’ pervasive irritations, the conversion of loose change to spending money.

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  • It’s Not Enough to Just be a Better Mousetrap

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    There’s a saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson that many innovators like: “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”
    We love it because the saying implies an invention or fresh idea simply needs to be better than what’s already out there to be successful. All we need to do is create it… and customers will throw cash or fame our way.
    Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Case in point: the mousetrap itself.
    The spring-loaded mousetrap was invented in the late 1900s. Since then, tons of new (and better) mousetraps have been invented. You can now reduce your mouse problem through live traps, glue traps, water traps and other gruesome devices. There’s even a mousetrap that gently gases mice and then emails you a notice. PETA calls that one an “animal friendly achievement!”
    But, when you think of solutions to your mouse problem, I bet your mind still goes to the simple spring-loaded trap. (Or your cat.)
    Why is that?
    It’s probably because the plain, ordinary, run-of-the mill mousetraps are the ones that get all the attention. Cartoon characters are always sticking their fingers into them (as well as some not-so-smart comedians on television). Kids use them to build tiny spring-operated cars in shop classes in middle school. And, I’ll bet that while most shops out there don’t even carry most of the fancy mousetrap models, they all have the simple one that everyone knows.

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  • Salaries for College Interns Rise 5 Percent

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    Employers expect to increase the pay they offer college students for internships, according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
    Overall, employers taking part in NACE’s 2009 Experiential Education Survey say they will offer bachelor’s-degree-level interns an average hourly wage of $17.13–up 4.9 percent from the average they offered last year’s interns.
    Interestingly, the increase in intern salaries is paired with a 21 percent decrease in the number of internship opportunities available.
    “We are seeing that intern hiring and full-time hiring are down this year due to the current economy. The increase in intern salaries may reflect a long-term strategy on the part of employers to ensure their internship programs continue to attract top students,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.
    Intern salaries are affected by the student’s major and year of study as well as the location of the internship.
    “There are a variety of factors that determine salary,” says Mackes. “For example, in general, the further along the student is in school, the higher the salary, with sophomores earning more than freshmen, and juniors earning more than sophomores. By field, students in engineering and computer sciences earn the highest salaries on average.”
    The average hourly wage for engineering students is $18.26, while those studying computer sciences earn an average hourly wage of $17.20 as an intern. (See Figure 1.)
    Students who have previously held an internship are also likely to get a higher salary.
    “More than 60 percent of responding employers say they pay more to interns who have previous internship experience–even if the internship was with another organization. They recognize the value of internship experience,” says Mackes.

    Figure 1: Intern salaries: Average hourly wage, by field of study
    Field of study Average hourly salary
    Business $15.93
    Communications $16.00
    Computer Sciences $17.20
    Engineering $18.26
    Sciences $16.60

    All data are for bachelor’s degree level students.

    Since 1956, theNational Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/press/.

  • Recession proof your career

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    The list is a bit old, but I believe the advice from HR World on the Top 25 Careers to Pursue in a Recession is still good. Take a look at the article to read all 25 — I’ll give you the top five:

    • Health care: People will always get sick.
    • Energy: Although we’re likely to cut back, we’re not going to stop using energy.
    • Education: No matter how dire the economy, there are always jobs for teachers — particularly good teachers.
    • Utilities: Just like the energy sector, it’s safe to assume that we aren’t going to stop lighting our homes.
    • International business: According to the article, even when the economy is doing poorly in the U.S., other countries may be doing well. Not true this time around, but the advice may ring true the next time our economy dips. Since I don’t think this one will work for you, I’ll give you number 6…
    • Public safety: Police and fire fighter layoffs do occur, but we’ll always need protection.

    You’ve seen this advice before — the downturn might be a good time to reinvent yourself. Read HR World’s list and see if there is a career of interest there for you.
    Then go after it!
    <img alt="Melanie Holmes" src="https://www.collegerecruiter.com/employersblog/melanie-holmes.jpg" width="67" height="67" class="mt-image-left" style="float: left; margin: 0 20px 20px 0;" Article by Melanie Holmes, Vice President of World of Work Solutions for Manpower, and courtesy of Manpower’s Contemporary Working blog. Melanie shares Manpower’s extensive knowledge while building strategic partnerships with government, universities and other leadership organizations across the country. She is also responsible for social responsibility at Manpower, which includes diversity, volunteerism, community involvement, community relations, philanthropy and workforce development.

  • Even With Lay-offs in This Down Economy, Employee Recognition is Up

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    Hi All,
    Did you know that when a company executes a round of lay-offs, they see a drastic increase in employees who survived the lay off leave for new jobs?? The surviving employees get “paranoid” that they will be next so they start looking for new employment.
    So, if you think your multigenerational workforce will stay “no matter what” because of the current job climate, you could be very wrong. Employee recognition is still critical for retaining your top talent and improving morale at work. Even in a down job market, good people still get recruited.
    I came across this recent blog post that addresses this, written by an employee recognition expert whom I know, Cindy Ventrice. And, btw, for those of you who are managers and executives seeking ways to provide your employees with recognition strategies that work, I strongly recommend following Cindy’s blog and/or picking up her book, Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works.
    Okay, back to the topic. According to Cindy’s blog post, even in this down economy, employee recognition is up. Here’s what she has to say about this:
    A recent CareerBuilderSurvey found that while companies are cutting down on perks, benefits, travel and incentives, employee recognition is actually up!
    It seems that the benefits of sound recognition programs are understood in most organizations. They know that the returns of good recognition far outweigh the costs.
    Want to reap some of those returns? Forget about expensive appreciation events and awards for now. Focus on recognition between individuals.
    Manager-driven programs produce the best results so teach managers how to build meaningful recognition into their overburdened schedules without causing additional hardship.
    Second to manager-driven recognition is peer-driven recognition. Set up simple peer awards with little or no monetary component so that they don’t require a lot of oversight.
    Create programs that drive your most important business initiatives. This helps morale and produces the results you really need right now.

    Pay attention to Cindy’s valuable advice. Your employees are your most valuable asset…so let them know!!
    Oh, and did you know Boomers require and desire as much recognition as Millennials at work? It’s true…so spread your recognition around to employees of ALL ages!
    Bye for now.
    Lisa Orell.jpgArticle by Lisa Orrell, Millennial & Generation Relations Expert and courtesy of Lisa’s Generation Relations Blog

  • 5 Tips For Using Twitter In Your Job Search

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    In the last couple of weeks there have been some well reported cases of people losing their jobs through what they write on their Facebook profile or even being fired before they start a job through what they Tweet as was reported this week as in the case with a candidate being recruited by Cisco.
    This last week, the Sunday Times has an article by journalist Gabrielle Monaghan on the more positive use of Twitter for networking when it comes to job search.
    Twitter is actively being used to help people in the current economy connect to job opportunities, as is LinkedIn and Facebook.
    I was fortunate to be contacted by Gabrielle and shared 5 tips for using Twitter in your job search which you can read below:

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  • Online Job Search and Recruitment Part II — Free Help with Your Job Search is Only a Library Away

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    I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.Groucho Marx
    Need Internet Access For Your Job Search? Need Help Learing How To Do an Online Job Search? Visit Your Public Library!
    As we discussed in Part I of this series on how searching for a job has changed in the Internet age, the Web has become the place to begin the hunt for your next job.
    However, if you’ve been laid off for a while — or are having a hard time finding that first job — you may be unable to afford the computer and/or Internet service provider fees that would allow you to conduct your online job search from home. You may also be concerned that you lack the computer skills to succeed in online job searching.
    Fortunately, job-seekers have an easily accessible place to go for free Internet access — and you don’t even have to buy a cup of coffee.
    That place is your local public library.
    Oh — and don’t worry if you don’t have a computer or don’t know how to use one. Libraries let patrons use their computers for free, and will even teach people how to use them.
    According to this recent article in the Huffington Post, “Three-fourths of all libraries offer information technology training to their patrons, including how to conduct online job searches and how to use standard office software applications.” Continue reading …
    george lenard.png Article by, Dawn Wolfe and courtesy of George Lenard, the originator of George’s Employment Blawg, has over twenty years of experience in all aspects of labor and employment law, including preventive law as well as litigation. His special interests include employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and noncompetition agreements. He is currently a managing partner with Harris, Dowell, Fisher & Harris, L.C., in St. Louis, Missouri, and lives in the suburb of University City with his wife and family.