Friday, August 1, 2014

Career Profile: Spy

What They Do: Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and, in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of intelligence gathering—which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. (Wikiepdia)

Most spies are nothing like the 007s and Ethan Hunts of the movies. Instead of swashbuckling adventure, the job's main task is gathering intelligence. Governments and corporations, and organizations of all kinds routinely use spies to gain advantage over competitors, and the punishments for being caught can be severe. A talented person, though, will never lack for work.

What are the talents involved in making someone excel at this job? Here are five suggestions:

Achiever and Self-Assurance: The drive and confidence needed to carry out detailed, complicated, and potentially dangerous work under adverse circumstances

Deliberative: A natural carefulness about how one goes about one's business; the ability to detect when things are potentially going wrong

Input: The ability to gather, interpret, and keep track of different kinds of information

Relator: A tendency toward secrecy and keeping confidence only among a select group of individuals. This could also translate to a natural suspicion of outsiders, which can come in handy in areas where few can be trusted

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Job Search Tip #10 Employers and Social Networks

Facebook and LinkedIn have emerged as the two biggest social networks on the Internet. When looking for work, it's helpful to remember what each one is for and what do to with them. Facebook, for all its global dominance, is still mainly for friends and family. Do not send Facebook friend requests to potential employers or recruiters, especially if you do not know them well. Depending on what other stuff you have on your account, there might be things you don’t want someone to see unless they know you. It's always a good idea to keep your "business" and "fun" sides separate on the Internet, and this can be difficult to do if you're trying to arrange everything in one account.

My favorite description of LinkedIn came from Scott Nations of the CNBC show Options Action: it's "Facebook for people with jobs." This is the place where you should make your professional connections. Attempting to "friend" someone here is expected, because everyone is (supposedly) there for business purposes.

Don't be surprised or offended if someone rejects your invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Different people have different criteria for adding strangers to their network - in my case, I only connect to people with whom I have something in common, be it a former employer, mutual friends, or mutual interests. Even if you don't make a direct connection here, though, this is a great place to research names of companies and people who you can try to reach through other means.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Career Profile: Chauffeur

What They Do: A chauffeur is a person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle such as a large sedan or limousine. Originally such drivers were always personal servants of the vehicle owner, but now in many cases specialist chauffeur service companies, or individual drivers provide both driver and vehicle for hire, although there are service companies that just provide the driver. (Wikipedia)

Given the right client list, a person could make a good living providing transportation to individuals who need to get places. What talents would be needed for someone in this kind of position? Here are five suggestions:

Achiever The "drive" needed to undertake the long hours of driving and customer service that go with the job

Deliberative and Discipline: A careful, vigilant nature that enables someone to make a priority of things like always being on time for appointments, obeying traffic and parking laws, and maintaining the condition of the vehicle so that it is always safe ready to deliver top-notch service.

Relator Someone capable of developing trust with clients and the close business relationships required to gain repeat customers

The Positivity needed to provide a friendly level of service to customers and make what can become a routine activity from becoming too much of a bore

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Career Profile: Writer (Non-Fiction, How-Tos, and Technical Publications)

What They Do: Unlike a fiction writer, people who specialize in non-fiction deal more in recounting and interpreting facts, making them accessible and easy to understand for readers looking for knowledge. Opportunities for non-fiction writers are many, extending from publishing to corporate communications to education and government work. What are the talents involved in excelling at this career? Here are five suggestions:

Analytical: The brainpower needed to understand various concepts and ideas, putting them together in a way that breaks them down and explains underlying factors or combines them to explore overall themes

Communication: The ability to effectively use written language to recount, interpret, explain, and instruct

Discipline: An important talent for all writers, it's the ability to set and follow the routines needed to actually get writing on the page, revise drafts, and actually follow through on a project

Input and Deliberative: Dealing in facts requires the ability to collect and organize information, while also being careful how that information is presented so it is accurate and has the correct context and meaning

Monday, July 28, 2014

Career Profile: Writer (Prose, Poems, and Fiction)

What They Do: They are creative thinkers who get paid to write stories or verse. Lots of people write, but only a few actually make a living from it. But publishers are always on the lookout for the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, and someone with the right quality work can make a fortune and gain legions of loyal fans.

What are the talents involved in excelling at this kind of work? Here are five suggestions:

Communication: The ability to effectively use written language to tell stories and create images that last in readers' minds

Discipline: Perhaps the most underrated talent involved in creative work, it's the ability to set and follow the routines needed to actually get writing on the page, revise drafts, and actually follow through on a project

Ideation: The ability to take ideas, concepts, themes, and characterizations and transform them from the abstract to tools that can be used to tell effective stories

Significance and Self-Assurance: Writing something other people will actually read can be a daunting and, to some, intimidating activity. Great writers not only have the ability to write, but also the self-confidence in themselves and their work needed to put their creative product out into the world, despite the inevitable rejections from publishers and judgment from critics

Friday, July 25, 2014

Job Search Tip #9: Use PDF

PDF stands for "Portable Document Format." It's a kind of document format that is used when someone sends a document to another person and they want it to look exactly the way they created it. You used to have to pay a fee to Adobe (the company that invented the PDF format) to convert documents, but today just about every computer has the software to do it for free, and if it doesn't it is pretty easy to get.

If you create your resumé, cover letter, or other document using a word processing program, you should convert it to PDF before e-mailing it out to perspective employers. This will ensure they can open it even if they don't have the same kind of program you used to create it. It will also prevent garbled text and messed-up margins when the document is opened, as well as others deleting or adding to what you wrote.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Career Profile: Facilities Manager

What They Do: Facility (or Facilities) management (FM) is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with business services functions such as offices, arenas, schools, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc. However, FM facilitates the business on a much wider range of activities than just business services and these are referred to as non-core functions. (Wikipedia)

If facilities managers did not do their job, the world we live in would look much different; specifically, much less coordinated and well-run. This is one of those jobs where the work is in the background, but is immediately noticed if not done correctly.

What are the talents involved in someone excelling at this position? Here are five suggestions:

Activator: Someone who can keep up with the real-time requirements involved in organizing human spaces

Analytical and Arranger: The knowledge and creativity needed to meet the needs of many different constituents, some of whom might be at odds with each other

Harmony and Connectedness: An understanding of how many different moving parts can not necessarily work together, but work in the same space together, sometimes using the same common resources that benefit everyone

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Career Profile: File Clerk

What They Do: Like the name implies, this is a person who is responsible for filing a company or organization's documents. In the modern workplace, there's a good chance this person is responsible for handling electronic file documents as well as the paper kind. Although in many workplaces this is considered to be an entry-level job, if it's not done correctly, chaos soon follows. A competent person in a complex, record-intensive organization can make a good living providing quality service in this role.

What are the talents involved in this profession? Here are five suggestions:

Achiever: The energy needed to accomplish the kinds of operational tasks involved in record-keeping

Deliberative and Discipline: A natural organizer; A personality that lends someone to want to put things in their proper place

Input and Maximizer: The ability to keep track of information so it is correctly organized and categorized, as well as a propensity to make sure a certain level of quality is achieved in one's work on a constant basis

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Career Profile: Editor

What They Do: Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete work. The editing process often begins with the author's idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the editor as the work is created. As such, editing is a practice that includes creative skills, human relations, and a precise set of methods. (Wikipedia)

Even in the Internet age, editors are essential to the production of published work. If everyone who wrote for the Internet had one, the Web would be a much better place.

What would it take to excel in this profession? Here are five suggestions:

Analytical and Intellection: The brainpower needed to understand concepts, interpret writing, and organize thoughts on a page

Communication and Deliberative: The ability to construct coherent information from others' work in a way that is factually correct (if it needs to be), well put-together, and understandable to a larger group of readers

Maximizer: A knack for making good projects great, and of taking mediocrity and making it shine

Monday, July 21, 2014

Career Profile: Dance Therapist

What They Do: Dance therapy, or dance movement therapy, is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditions. As a form of expressive therapy, DMT is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related. The ultimate purpose of DMT is to find a healthy balance and sense of wholeness. (Wikipedia)

In a world where more and more people turn to drugs to cope and heal, there are still some professions that specialize in more natural cures - in this case, the movements of the human body. What talents may be involved in excelling at this kind of job? Here are five suggestions:

Activator and Restorative: An inner drive to heal, combined with a willingness to put the work in

Communication: The ability to describe various movements, their meaning, their correct execution and their benefits. Failure to do so could increase the chance of injury

Connectedness: The intuitive understanding of how different parts of the body work together, and how moving the body influences mental and emotional states

Indvidualization: The ability to understand what's wrong with a specific individual and customize movements and routines that will help them