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Career Aspects of Personal Finance. Chapter 2. Your Career Choice and Personal Goals. Realize that what you study in college may drive your career for the next 40 years Is it more important for you to do something you enjoy or Is it more important for you to make money

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Your Career Choice and Personal Goals

  • Realize that what you study in college may drive your career for the next 40 years

    • Is it more important for you to do something you enjoy or

    • Is it more important for you to make money

      • Maybe you can accomplish both

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Money and Financial Security

  • For most of you, your wages/salaries will provide the bulk of your income until you retire

  • You job will be the source of your retirement contributions

  • You job will be the source of other benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, etc.

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Other Issues

  • Job satisfaction

    • For many people this is more important than income

    • Intellectually challenging, pleasant work environment, friendly coworkers

  • Social contribution

    • Desire to contribute to society

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Variables That Affect Your Income Potential

  • Education

    • Those with bachelor’s degrees earn almost twice as much as high school graduates

      • Gap has widened in recent years

    • People with higher education levels experience lower unemployment levels

    • However, college costs have risen at a much greater rate than inflation

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The Importance of Continuing Education Income

  • In many occupations you are financially rewarded for advancing your education

    • Nursing, teaching, engineering, etc.

  • Other occupations require annual continuing education to retain licenses

    • CPAs, real estate agents, etc.

  • Continuing education programs are available at most community colleges and other higher learning institutions

    • Designed for working adults

      • Often scheduled at night and on weekends

  • Many employers offer tuition reimbursement and release time

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Occupations Earning Patterns Income

  • Should not just considering the starting salary for an occupation

    • Some occupations pay more at the starting level but others may have higher salary potential

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How to Choose a Career Income

  • Take a personal inventory

  • Examine future outlook for jobs

  • Measure career potential

  • Consider the benefits of preparation for an occupational cluster

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Take a Personal Inventory Income

  • Define your career goals

  • Explore your career interests

  • List your skills and special talents

    • Check out your campus Placement Center for information and personality tests

  • List your educational background and try to apply it to the job market

  • Analyze your likes/dislikes from previous jobs

  • Explore your hobbies and personal interests

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Web Links Income

  • Game that attempts to match one’s individual interests and skills with similar careers


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Help is Available from Career Counselors Income

  • Career counselor will interview, test and counsel clients about careers

  • Interview and testing process may take several days to complete

  • Tests measure career-oriented abilities

    • Verbal

    • Computational

    • Mechanical

    • Social

    • Sales

    • Supervisory

    • Personality dimensions

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How to Measure Career Potential Income

  • Changing career scene requires that you focus on the following

    • The industry’s growth prospects—some industries are expected to grow much faster than others

  • The occupation’s growth prospects—careers with greatest potential are those with economic growth, not worker attrition

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How to Measure Career Potential Employment Growth

  • Job location—a depressed area will offer fewer career opportunities

    • Certain geographical locations offer better prospects for specific occupations

  • Employer’s growth prospects—financial soundness of company

    • Recently many large companies have down-sized

    • Most experts believe growth in jobs will be created by small- and medium-sized companies

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Prepare for an Occupational Cluster Employment Growth

  • An occupational cluster is a group of related jobs

    • Example—if you get a degree in finance you could work in banking, investment management, brokerage sales, real estate, or financial analysis

  • Makes you more marketable in today’s changing job market

  • The broader your skills the more employable you are

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Prepare for an Occupational Cluster Employment Growth

  • Request assignments in other areas of your organization

  • Sign up for training opportunities even if it does not relate to your current assignment

  • If you choose an advanced degree you may be better off broadening your knowledge rather than deepening it

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The Self-Employment Option Employment Growth

  • Self-employed workers make up about 7% of today’s work force

  • Some experts believe this will rise rapidly in the next decade

  • Half of all businesses do not survive for two years

  • Earnings can be erratic from year-to-year

  • Health care expenses and taxes can be more if you work for yourself

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Working at Home: A New Employment Trend Employment Growth

  • Popular trend especially in the publishing and software industry

  • Advances in technology have made this easier for both employees and employers

  • With fewer commuters there is less traffic congestion

    • California promotes telecommuting for this reason

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Sources of Career Information Employment Growth

  • Use the library

  • Career Guidance and Placement Center on campus

    • Can provide detailed information about

      • Specific industries and firms in your areas

      • List of where recent graduates are employed

        • Helps you network

    • Handles on-campus interviews

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Electronic Sources of Career Information Employment Growth

  • Many employers advertise on the Internet

  • Many career-oriented web sites

    • Posted job opening as well as the ability to submit resumes

    • Most are free

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Web Links Employment Growth

  • Career-oriented web sites










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The Job Search Employment Growth

  • Many people procrastinate with their job searches

  • However, should start early in the fall of the year they expect to graduate

  • Employers like applicants who are

    • Well-organized

    • Prepared

    • Informed

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Where to Look Employment Growth

  • Start with relatives, friends and acquaintances

  • Campus Career Planning and Placement Office

    • Set up a placement file—contains interview sheet, transcripts, references

  • Job service centers

  • Private placement agencies (headhunters)

  • Professional associations

  • Newspapers and trade publications

  • Direct solicitation of local employers

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The Effectiveness of Job Search Techniques Employment Growth

  • Many job search techniques are relatively ineffective

  • About 2/3 of all jobs are found by people using informal methods

    • Networking

    • Personal contacts

    • Direct employer contacts

  • Most job openings are in the hidden job market

    • Haven’t yet been advertised or are created for individual job seekers

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How to Write an Effective Resume Employment Growth

  • Resume—personal data sheet listing your employment qualifications

    • Aimed at convincing potential employers that you are right for the job

  • Should contain at a minimum

    • Identification

    • Job objective

    • Background

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How to Write an Effective Resume Employment Growth

  • You may have gained valuable skills in the past that can be transferred to another job

  • Don’t forget about volunteer experience

  • Use a straightforward, factual presentation style

  • Try to limit to one page

    • Adjust margins, font size, spacing

  • Print on good-quality paper

  • Appearance is important

    • Be professional

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How to Write an Effective Resume Employment Growth

  • Resume formats

    • Chronological—lists work and educational experience in chronological order

    • Functional—highlights important job skills, etc.

    • Targeted—focuses on a specific job target and lists your qualifications as they relate

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Cover Letters Employment Growth

  • Cover letter is a letter attempting to sell yourself to a potential employer

  • Tailor each cover letter to the job for which you are applying

  • Address it to a specific individual

  • Limit it to one page

  • Always send your resume with a cover letter

    • Even if submitted electronically

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Cover Letters Employment Growth

  • Should contain three elements

    • Attention-grabber

    • Selling yourself

      • Explain what you offer and summarize your background

    • Call to action

      • Ask potential employer to call you or say that you will be calling them

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The Job Interview Employment Growth

  • Face-to-face meeting with prospective employer

    • First impressions are made

  • Prepare in advance

    • Learn about employer in terms of size, products, locations, philosophy, etc.

  • Approach interview with self-confidence

    • Stress your qualifications

    • Only talk about weaknesses if interviewer brings them up

      • Try to minimize their effect

  • Listen carefully to interviewer and respond as directly as possible

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The Job Interview Employment Growth

  • Ask interviewer questions about company and job position

  • Interviewer will be influenced by

    • Your ability to express yourself

    • Your enthusiasm

    • Your posture and dress

  • May have to take an aptitude text

  • Unethical to sign up for an interview for ‘practice’

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Deciding on a Job Offer Employment Growth

  • If you receive a hiring interview you must decide if job matches your

    • Career goals

    • Financial goals

    • Work environment goals

  • Many job applicants find themselves having to choose between multiple job offers

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Salary and Benefits Employment Growth

  • Should expect a competitive salary

    • May be able to tactfully negotiate a higher salary

  • Don’t look at just the numbers—consider the whole package

    • Work environment

    • Advancement opportunities

    • Potential top salary

    • Fringe benefits

      • Health insurance

      • Group life insurance

      • Reimbursement for educational expenses

      • Retirement plan

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Re-Entering the Workforce Employment Growth

  • Employers want evidence that your knowledge and skills are current

  • Try to keep your skills current by

    • Taking part-time volunteer jobs

    • Working on freelance projects

    • Taking refresher courses