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Posted July 29, 2016 by

The best and worst career advice your parents ever gave you

It is only natural that you will seek your parents’ advice when you are getting ready to start your own career. After college, this is the source of many widely-awaken nights and several concerns and you should be able to rely on your folks for guidance on this matter.

And you are very likely to follow what they tell you, especially if they are successful people. But, the thing is that sometimes they might mislead you just out of trying to keep you away from frustration and disappointment. Or, in other cases, they might not know your industry of choice well enough to understand its particularities.

Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

So here is a curated list of the best and worst career advice that parents have given to their children. This way, you can prepare yourself to identify better when you should follow their lead and when a thank you and a smile should be the end of it.

# The Worst

So, let’s start with three pieces of advice where parents got it all wrong then.

You must get a degree.”

Most parents still think that if you don’t get a degree from a university, you are ruined for life. That you will never be able to get a good job or even to provide for yourself, as the best opportunities are available only for those with a wall full of certifications.

But, while it can be true for some careers, which require specific qualifications and licences, such as medical doctors and law professional, it isn’t mandatory for everybody.

There are many companies out there happy to contract talents that have never been to any university but who have proved themselves as capable of doing the job better than their competitors. And this is because a large number of these businesses are owned and run by people who also have no degree, for starters.

Of course, you need to develop several skills so to be employable, but most of them can be acquired and improved through technical courses, workshops, e-learning, and even self-taught.

Plus, there isn’t anything stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur yourself, and you won’t need any certification for it.

A job exists to pay your bills. You don’t have to enjoy it.”

You will spend from eight to who-knows-how-many hours in your job in the future. And the day has only 24 hours, and you will be asleep through other 8 hours, plus all other mandatory things you must do, such as eating, commuting and having a shower.

So, yes, you might not need to be absolutely in love with your job, but you must like it enough so to avoid that it will turn your life into a nightmare. Something has to attract you about what you are doing, from your daily tasks to your colleagues and boss, or you won’t be able to cope with it.

You can do anything you want.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. It is lovely to hear that but we all know that there are some skills that we just don’t seem able to learn them the right way.

You might dream with the idea of becoming a surgeon, but you know you have never managed to cut a piece of paper following a straight line, for example. Or you wish to become a professor, but get bored when trying to write a 20-page assignment.

So, yes, you can learn enough to become an average professional, but if you want to stand out from the crowd and be successful in your career, you will have to identify your strengths and choose a path where they can be improved and bring you proper results.

# The Best

Now that we survived all those bad ideas, let’s have a look at three pieces of advice from parents that you should really take into consideration from now on.

You have to work hard to get what you want.”

Nothing could be more true than it. The time when you used to lie down on the sofa and ask money to your parents is long gone, as you probably already noticed. And it won’t get any better.

So if you want anything in life, you will have to work for it and hard. You will have to put it as your top priority, get your time organised, make sure that you know what you want, and be persistent about it, even if the challenges start to seem too overwhelming to you at some stage.

Don’t lose your integrity.”

No matter what you are aiming for, you should never lose your integrity. If nothing else, it will guarantee that you sleep well at night with a clean consciousness.

It is very easy to think that bending some rules, or even ignoring them altogether, is a fair way to get a job or a promotion. That is a dog-eat-dog world, and if you don’t do it, someone else will do it anyway. So you protect and look after yourself first.

But while this is understandable, it is a resource that can backfire quite often. If you lie about your skills, for example, you know that you will be unmasked sooner or later. If you do anything morally or criminally wrong so to protect yourself or your job (or somebody else in your job), you will get yourself in trouble at some stage.

And the price you will pay for it certainly won’t be worthwhile.

A job doesn’t define the person you are.”

So, yes, you prioritize your career above everything in the beginning, even relationships and family, and this is OK. But, it doesn’t mean that, if you fail, you will have failed as a person as well.

A job is just part of what you do in life, and there are so many variables gravitating around it that you can’t be accountable for everything that goes wrong there. For starters, it is also a responsibility of your boss to make sure that you get your work done correctly, not only yours.

You might be a much better professional in another company, or maybe in another career. There is nothing wrong in making changes. Also, you shouldn’t take criticism personally – what is being said is about the task, not about you as a person, remember it.

To Sum Up

Our parents certainly are the first people we should look for advice when we are trying to start a career for ourselves. They have been there, they know us well, and want the best for us, so they will support us in our journey to the best they can.

On the other hand, exactly because of it, be ready to understand that some of their suggestions might be just wrong or not suit your needs or of the path that you chose. So learn to listen to everything, and then to evaluate what you will do or not with the information you got from your parents.

 Want more great career advice? Follow College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Patrick Cole, guest writer

Patrick Cole, guest writer

About Patrick Cole, the author:

Patrick Cole is an entrepreneur and freelancer. He is also a contributing blogger for several websites. Patrick loves self-education and rock music. Connect with Patrick via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

Posted May 06, 2016 by

Working for a startup after college

Startup business people working at modern office courtesy of Shutterstock.com

dotshock/Shutterstock.com

Everyone is nervous heading into their last year of college (except for those going to grad school, that is). It’s time recent graduates prove to themselves, and probably to their parents, that all of this was worth it; they can get entry-level jobs, get out on their own, support themselves, and start on a career path. It is probably their family’s hope that grads will conduct their job search seriously, and look at companies/organizations that promise a bright future. They’ve attended their first job fair, passed out their resumes, spoken with corporate recruiters, and some seemed interested. But something doesn’t “feel” right in their gut. There’s no excitement about all of this.

As recent graduates reflect on why they lack excitement, their minds go to the concept of a “corporate” environment with everyone playing their roles, a pretty large bureaucracy, policies, set work hours; “a single cog in a very large machine you will be,” as Yoda would say. Then there’s the office politics grads studied about in those business courses. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right. They’re thinking about their future success, which doesn’t include what the “big boys” offer. Recent grads need to look elsewhere.

Graduates need to consider working for a startup. Now their parents and some of their friends might think they’re a bit nuts. There’s no job security, as 50% of all startups fail within five years, and then where will they be? Mom may be wringing her hands. However, this isn’t their parents’ world anymore, and there are large advantages to taking this path right now in their lives when they have no obligations other than to themselves.

Flexibility and continuous learning

Most start-ups do not have “pigeon-hole” jobs. They will demand everyone pitch in when and where it is needed. Graduates may have a “job title,” but that will not mean a great deal. They’ll have a skill others may not, but they will be required to learn everyone’s job and everyone will be required to learn some of their job. This environment means continuous learning.

What’s the other great thing? Grads will be forced out of their “comfort zone” into exciting challenges; things can change on a dime, and they will need to change with them. If graduates really enjoy risks and challenges, they’ll love it.

Discover new talents

With all of the emphasis on pitching in, group decision-making, and problem-solving, recent grads may find they have creative talents and current skills they never knew or nurtured. They will be far more well-rounded in what they know and what they can do.

Learn how to budget

Pay is generally not the best for those who join startups. In fact, no one joins a startup for the salary. Graduates will often have to continue living like poor students, but they know how to do it. They’ll stretch those dollars, shop at thrift stores, and eat Ramen noodles sometimes. So what? Grads will also learn how to budget and be frugal.

Business people cheering with arms raised courtesy of Shutterstock.com

pikselstock/Shutterstock.com

Work with passionate people

Enthusiasm is contagious, and that is one of the great things about startups. Everyone comes to work excited about the day and their projects. Everyone shares in each other’s successes (and pumps each other up when there are failures). Grads, too, will be excited about getting up every morning and getting to work; many people in the corporate world would love to have that feeling.

Learn entrepreneurship

Forecasters predict small businesses will be more a wave of the future than large corporations. Why? First, corporations continue to expand globally and set up headquarters in other countries. Second, people no longer trust large corporations like they used to. These giants have taken big tumbles in recent years and no longer provide job security to their employees. It is the small business that is trending now. Working for a startup gives employees valuable experience in becoming small business owners at some point, if they should choose to head in that direction.

Push through failure

Most startups have their failures. The good ones with resilient employees move forward, learning from the failure but never losing the enthusiasm for what they are doing. It’s good to experience failure when young; it is a wonderful teacher. If that startup goes “belly up,” think of all the lessons employees have learned in the meantime.

Potentially invest or be given a stake

A lot of startups value their original people, and founders will give those people a stake in the company. Many people became millionaires because they started out with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Having a stake in a company at a young age is a great thing.

Love the Culture

Flexible hours are a big plus. Value is not based upon the number of hours worked. It is based on what employees produce. They may work several 18 hour-long days, only to sleep in late for several days after that and only put in four hours or so.

Dress is a big factor for many job seekers. If they love a jeans and flip-flop environment, taking their dogs to work, letting their hair grow, or sporting a tattoo, they will find the startup environment is where they want to be.

Choosing the right startup

Startups come in all different stages of development. Choosing one should be based on job seekers’ level of risk tolerance, their investigation of the founder(s), and their passions for the product(s) or services being developed. Nothing is carved in stone; if one idea doesn’t work out, there are many others to try.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle is passionate about the self-development process and wants to share his experience with more people via his articles. He believes self-sufficiency and discipline lead to great results. Follow him on Twitter.

Posted April 23, 2016 by

Financial aid secrets for college students

Financial aid web browser sign concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

alexmillos/Shutterstock.com

With graduation season looming, high school seniors throughout the country are receiving their college acceptance letters and celebrating their impending sense of freedom. At the same time, parents are studying financial aid options and scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay for the upcoming four (or more) years.

As the costs of attending college rise, it’s important to consider scholarships, grants, and student loans to assist with the hefty fees. There are also some innovative tricks that can help reduce this cost. Here are some insights gleaned from real university financial aid employees, parents, and former college students all high school seniors and their families should know.

Use your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important financial aid document college students shouldn’t skip. Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for any money, it’s important to fill this form out annually. This is how the federal government and schools determine what type of aid to give students. There are many subtle things that can impact the grants offered, many of which are unknown to the average person, and may change the amount a family qualifies for.

Attend class

Many universities have strict attendance and truancy policies to prevent abuse of the grants offered. If a student withdraws from a class due to non-attendance in the first few classes or consistent unexplained absences, their course load may drop below the mandatory credits needed to qualify for certain grants. If you have a scholarship or grant already, make sure you know the terms and what’s expected from your end.

Become a Resident Advisor (RA)

Aside from tuition, room and board are the most expensive costs incurred during college. With the average college student paying $8,535 a year just for a place to stay, it makes sense to try to skimp on this fee. Students who work as a Resident Advisor often wind up with free or significantly reduced room and board in exchange for their services, making this one of the most lucrative student jobs available.

Learn to cook

While Top Ramen may be students best friend those first few months, anything prepared at home is bound to be more affordable than college meal plans and eating out at restaurants. Even if a student’s cooking skills need some brushing up, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen.

Find freebies

So much of an average college student’s budget is spent on personal expenses, which often includes entertainment. Seek free options available through the university instead. Campuses are loaded with free amenities, from swimming pools and libraries to dorm dinners, guest lecture speakers, and student clubs.

Join a credit union

Since credit unions are run as cooperatives, they can afford giving customers extra perks that wind up saving them a lot of money. They typically feature lower credit card interest rates, higher interest rates paid out on savings accounts, and reduced-fee ATMs and online banking services.

While the term “starving student” has origins in truth, it doesn’t need to be a reality for all. Instead, research financial aid opportunities and spend wisely to save money and stick to a good budget throughout your academic career.

If you’re interested in more information on financial aid, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on first time budgeting, see what a Bountiful Utah Credit Union might recommend. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted March 05, 2016 by

What is career counseling

Photo of Veranda Hillard-Charleston

Veranda Hillard-Charleston, guest writer

Do people believe their current career trajectories feel like a hopeless game of grasping at straws? Maybe they’ve been thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” or “I don’t know what jobs I can get with my major/degree.” Having a long list of “I don’t knows” in the career department certainly doesn’t lead to increased life satisfaction. Luckily, there’s a solution: career counseling.

What is career counseling?

Career counseling is a goal-oriented process targeted at helping people gain better insight about themselves and what they want out of their careers, education, and lives.

According to Boise State University, the counseling element is one-step in a lifelong process of career development. Therefore, the object of career counseling is not to guide people in making better career decisions today. Instead, the focus of this process is to equip people with the self-knowledge and expertise needed to improve their careers and life decisions over their lifespan.

A career counselor is generally a master’s level professional with a background in career development theory, counseling methods, assessments, and employment information and resources. A professional will hold a confidential session with people to identify their unique values, interests, skills, career-related strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals in order to determine which resources they require and which course of action is most appropriate in helping them achieve these goals.

A career counselor can even help people separate their own career-related goals from those of others, such as parents, teachers, and friends who may be pressuring them to choose a specific career path.

Do I need career counseling?

Whether they’re freshmen in college or five years post-graduate, college students and recent graduates can benefit from the services of a career counselor. Since career development is a lifelong process – and people’s interests and skills are steadily changing – the earlier they gain insight about themselves and learn how to make career-related decisions, the better. If job seekers’ current dialogue is filled with “I don’t knows,” career counseling is a smart choice for them.

Possible career counseling for bank credit presentation of important issues courtesy of Shutterstock.com

frechtoch/Shutterstock.com

Maximizing from the counseling experience

So college students and recent graduates made the choice to get career counseling and scheduled an appointment. Their part is done, right? Wrong. A common misconception about career counseling is people show up, and an expert tells them exactly what career choices are best for them. In truth, career counseling is not a one-sided, quick solution to academic or career dilemmas. Consider the following:

• Job seekers are not simply there to receive. The counseling experience requires participation. An honest examination of job seekers is vital for the career counselor to guide them in the right direction. Together, they might uncover their career interests, but they must take action to continue down the right path.

• People must narrow down their goals. Coming in with a broad desire to “Figure out what they want in life” just won’t cut it. A clear-cut objective is necessary so each session has structure and both parties can tell when their work together is complete.

• Job seekers have to continue the career development process beyond counseling. A good career counselor can help them define their interests and values, identify goals, and provide resources and strategies for reaching these goals. Still, the important work is done by job seekers. They have to actually use these resources to pinpoint internships or job opportunities appealing to them and constantly consider how different opportunities match their interests, values, and skills.

Career counseling offers people a safe and confidential place to explore their career passions and identify areas in which they are experiencing difficulty. It is a collaborative relationship – the client and the counselor work together to discover the client’s true career goals and work to overcome any obstacles. However, the client must be devoted to career development and willing to do the work to truly benefit from the experience.

If you want more career advice, go to College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Veranda Hillard-Charleston is Chief Contributor for MastersinPsychologyGuide.com. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Veranda has more than five years of experience as a trained mental health professional.

Posted August 12, 2015 by

Finding Your Career Path

a magnifying glass hovering over several career fields, centering on the words Find Your Career

A magnifying glass hovering over several career fields, centering on the words Find Your Career. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In each country, there is a relatively high unemployment rate among the younger generation. Many complain about their inability to find a job. Or worse, they don’t know what they want to do with their life career-wise. They are ill-prepared for dealing with the real world. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey made comments about people solving their financial problems by just getting a good job. How can people qualify or pitch themselves to get a well-paid job?

More often than not, we find many of the younger generation going onto benefits programs or drifting along in life with no sense of direction. To overcome this obstacle, parents, teachers and mentors must strive to provide clear advice and direction to the emerging generations so that they can gain clarity on their purpose in life. Essentially, ‘where it is they fit in the world!’ Now often the younger generation has their sights set on becoming rich and famous by becoming a sports or music star. And even though it is a credible career choice, there are only a select few who will qualify to have a professional career in those chosen fields. (more…)

Posted July 29, 2015 by

Health Insurance Options for College Graduates

Brandon Cruz

Brandon Cruz, President of GoHealth Insurance

Graduating from college is an exciting time that is full of new experiences. While embarking on the post-college journey, it’s important for new graduates to consider how they intend to obtain health insurance. The good news is that today’s young adults may have more options than in the past. Consider six different ways for college graduates to get covered. (more…)

Posted April 03, 2015 by

5 Ways to Ease the Transition from Community College to University

Illustration depicting a roadsign with a future concept. White background.

Illustration depicting a roadsign with a future concept. White background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In recent years, students and parents have increasingly found the lower tuition costs associated with community colleges to be a big draw. For many families, the cost of a four-year university simply isn’t feasible and many students are not willing or able to borrow the student loans needed to cover the costs. With that being said, eventually students do have to make the transition from community college to a university, should they decide to continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree. (more…)

Posted March 24, 2015 by

First Apartment Necessities

Sarah Landrum photo

Sarah Landrum

If you’re just moving in to your first ever apartment or home of your own, you’re probably pretty psyched right now. All of that newfound independence to do what you want when you want it: what could be better than that? If you’re used to your parents picking up the groceries and other house necessities, or if your old college roommates always reminded you when you were getting low on toilet paper, being on your own might come as a bit of a shock.

There’s a lot you’re going to need to take care of on your own, so get organized. Keep one of those notepads on your fridge so you can scribble down when you’re out of eggs. Nobody likes getting back from the store only to realize they’ve forgotten something. And keep a calendar. Seriously. This will keep you on track and remind you to do all of the things on time. (more…)

Posted March 24, 2015 by

Everything You Need to Know to Move Out After Graduating College

Sarah Landrum photo

Sarah Landrum

I’m sure we can all pretty much agree that the freedom and independence of college life is great. Your significant other can stay over whenever you please, you can blast the music as loud as you want, and ordering Chinese food in the middle of the night is totally acceptable. When you’re living with your best friends, there’s no one around to judge you. That’s why moving back in with your parents after graduating from college might seem like a bit of a culture shock, or even a nightmare.

There are ways to move out on your own after college. Whether you’re tired of your parents or are relocating for a new job, we’ll walk you through it. (more…)

Posted January 26, 2015 by

Parents, Are You Giving Homework Help to Your Children?

According to the US educational system, if parents want their child to succeed at school, they are to help their kids with homework. The case is, students spend 70% of their waking time out of school.
Many parents face loads of troubles on the ground of this issue. Some of them are too busy because of their work, some are just surprised with the level of the difficulty of the materials their kids get at school. Homework-Desk.com decided to find out the exact numbers and statistics from this field.
Really interesting is the fact that parents studying-activity frequently depends on their age and gender. We also managed to differentiate the most popular subjects parents help their kids with. Parents’ being interested in the studying life of their kids increases children’s interest in school and makes them enjoy studying more.
There are some rules and guidelines that can help parents deal with studies, such as there should be a definite time for doing homework, as well as, a definite place. Kids shouldn’t be distracted while dealing with their home assignments. All the materials needed should be provided for the child, so that he/she won’t waste time on unnecessary researches. (more…)