Sunday, August 24, 2008

Join a professional organization

At college, every major had a club. The Economics department had the Investment Club, and the English majors had their independent annual magazine. And just like majors at college, every career has a professional organization to join.

Professional organizations give many professionals advantages in the workforce. These organizations can keep you up-to-date on the latest advances in the industry, and they can offer great networking opportunities. At annual events you can hear seminars on the most recent developments in the industry and opportunities to meet other professions.

Also, a lot of professional organizations offer certification or “chartering” programs. Most certification programs require you to take a test and/or complete continuing education. The real benefit in completing a certification program is that you get to brag about it on your resume. Putting certifications on your resume allow you to show your commitment not only to your career but to the industry as well. Plus, it gives you talking points if you encounter other certified individuals.

The best part about professional organizations is that every industry has one! A few example professional organizations (and their web sites) are:


Professional Association of Custom Clothiers ( PACC )


National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) (2)

Social Sciences:

Social Science Research Network

Project Management:

International Society of Six Sigma Professionals

Securities Analyst:

CFA Institute

Financial Planners:

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

Freelance Writers:


These organizations are also great if you interested in learning more about a particular field. Their web sites will be full of job postings, industry events, and networking opportunities. So before you considering thinking about the costly graduate school option to get your foot in the door, research an industry through a professional organization. You’ll be surprised how much you learn!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Don’t Rely On Your Job For Personal Happiness

Many people become overwhelmed by the search for the perfect job. And who can blame them? In life we constantly search for perfects: perfect car, perfect house, perfect mate, perfect job. But so often in our searching we forget where we started and why we were looking in the first place.

The perfect job is as aloof from us as any sort of “perfection” in life. There will always be problems with your job (and your life). An annoying co-worker, repetitive work, and bad bosses are in every job no matter where you work. Even if you find a job without these, it may only be until some new co-workers walk through the door or a boss gives you some new responsibilities until they surface.

But stop searching for the perfect job! Because your probably not searching for a great job, but a great you. I think people who are constantly looking for the perfect job aren’t sure of who they are or what they want out of life. Before you can be satisfied at work, you have to be satisfied with yourself.

So before you begin the job search, figure out what makes you happy. What do you enjoy to do? What type of lifestyle do you want? What are kind of people you want to surround yourself with? These are the most important career questions you need to answer. You can’t even think about looking for a job if you can’t answer these basic questions.

Once you become satisfied with yourself, you quickly realize how thousands of jobs could make you happy. In the end, jobs are jobs. You show up and do the best you can. But what you come home to at night are the really important things: your home, your life, your family. And after retirement, when your career is just a soft whisper in the back of your head, you’ll quickly realize how foolish it was to waste your time in search of the perfect job.