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Hot Careers for 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-15-08

2009_hot

There is no question that it is a tough market to be looking for work. However, there will be opportunities in 2009. To find one that’s right for you, think news lines and trend tracks.

News lines

If you want to know what will be the hottest careers next year, look at the headlines this year. Related jobs may not be in the highest demand in the long run, but there certainly will be plenty of opportunities in 2009.

Many of these jobs are specialties within a larger job category. Therein lies a lesson for all of us – think about what you do and how it relates to the news. Then look for opportunities within that niche area.

Foreclosures and bankruptcy
Professionals who can help companies work through the financial and legal morass left by the housing bubble will do well in 2009. Banks, law firms, accounting firms, and large corporations are already ramping up workout departments, creating a need for both the professionals themselves and people who assist them.

Collection agents will also be in demand as businesses turn to outside firms to collect money they haven’t been able to collect themselves.

On the consumer side, credit counseling is an old industry with a new reputation. It is now considered mainstream and occupations in this industry were growing rapidly even before the last quarter of 2008. For more information:

National Association of Certified Credit Counselors 

International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators 

Center for Financial Certifications

Energy costs
Oil hit new highs in 2008 only to recede to prices not seen for years. However, it is fully expected that oil prices will rebound. Alternative energy companies are expected to do well, especially if expected development incentives from the U.S. government come through.

Since this is a relatively new industry, not many people have direct experience. So the industry will recruit from outside for all areas of the business. If you have transferable skills, consider companies in the emerging industry. This field should have traction for some time as the developed world moves from its dependence on oil.

Layoffs
The last couple of jobs reports have been dismal. Companies are cutting back on their workforce with a vengeance. Career coaches should be in demand as more people become disillusioned with their current career and seek more fulfilling alternative. You can learn more about coaching from the dominant certifying body, The International Coach Federation.

In tough times, many people think about starting their own business so they can have more control over their lives. One of the best ways to do that is to buy into a franchise system. Expect franchisors – those companies who offer franchises for sale – to do well. For more information about the franchise industry, check out the International Franchise Association. You might even decide to be your own boss and buy into a system yourself.

Trend tracks

There are careers that play off major trends that should still do well in 2009 and beyond. We took a two-step approach to developing this list. First, we turned to the Occupational Outlook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are careers expected to be in demand through 2016 because they play off of major trends – the aging population, the growth in education, technology, and more.

Then we refined the list by looking at industry predictions for 2009. If an industry was still projecting growth, we kept it on the list. If not, we culled it. Here’s our final group, organized by level of education required:

Professional degree
Dentists
Lawyers
Optometrists
Pharmacists
Physicians and surgeons
Veterinarians 

Doctoral degree
Biochemists and biophysicists 
Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists 
Computer and information scientists, research
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Teachers (postsecondary)

Master’s degree
Counselors (educational, marriage and family, mental health, rehabilitation, school, vocational)
Mental health and substance abuse social workers
Physical therapists
Physician assistants

Bachelor’s degree plus work experience
Actuaries 
Computer and information systems managers
Education administrators, preschool and child care center/program
Medical and health services managers

Bachelor’s degree
Accountants and auditors
Computer software engineers, applications
Computer system analysts
Financial analysts and personal financial advisors 
Network systems and data communications analysts
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
Teachers (elementary school, except special education)

Associate degree
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Computer support specialists
Dental hygienists
Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
Paralegals and legal assistants
Physical therapist assistant
Registered nurses
Secretaries (legal)
Veterinary technologists and technicians

Vocational degree
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
Teachers (pre-school, except special education)

Experience in related field
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products
Self-enrichment education teachers 

On-the-job training (long-term)
Automotive glass installers and repairers
Electricians
Interpreters and translators
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

On-the-job training (moderate-term)
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
Dental assistants
Maintenance and repair workers, genera
Medical assistants
Pharmacy technicians
Social and human service assistants

On-the-job training (short-term)

Home health aides
Personal and home care aides
Physical therapist aides

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Great guide

We found a great resource that may be unfamiliar to you. It’s called Career Voyagers. While it seems designed for career choosers, rather than career changers, we still think there is a great deal of value in spending some time with it.

You can look at industries in which you have a particular interest. For a more general view, check out their Top 50 In-Demand Occupations and Other In-Demand Occupations.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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5 Questions for Job Seekers in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-15-08

2009

It would not be wise to base a career decision on a single year. However, if you’re looking for a job now or are considering a career change in 2009, you have to factor in the current conditions.
With that in mind, here are five questions to guide you through a career change now:

Is this career in an industry that is essential?

People will primarily spend money on necessities. Luxuries will be out the door for the most part. Even industries, that in past recessions have performed well, are predicting decreases in revenue. So think about what people have to buy.

For example, while there are reports of cutbacks by some healthcare institutions, most careers in health care should be relatively safe. New jobs in health care are driven by the aging population, and that will continue regardless of economic conditions.

Is it a cheaper substitute?

Consumers will be frugal in 2009 and perhaps beyond. So before you jump into an occupation, ask yourself if the service offers a cheaper substitute.

For instance, consumers will cut back on do-it-for-me and rely more on do-it-yourself. Finding a new job in a firm that helps consumers serve themselves may be more fruitful with most consumers pinching pennies.  

What’s the news?

When we think of 2008, words like “bailout”, “stock market crash”, and “credit crisis” come to mind. Think about the news this year for a hint of what will be hot next year.

As a case in point, careers that help individuals and companies wade through the financial and legal hurdles of their debt will likely be strong.

Is it a long-term trend?

Education is expected to remain strong, especially at the college level. In fact, enrollments are expected to rise, fueled by a large number of college-aged young people, increased desire to get a college degree, and more adults returning to school. Educational institutions are expected to hire to fill this demand by their patrons.

Expand your mind to the possibilities

You may be reading this article because you’re looking for a job right now. You may be considering a career change. In either case, before you do your own research, consider what the future holds.

We found a great article that discusses top careers in 2012. That’s not that far away, but some of these jobs sure do seem far out!

Oh, and now for the fifth question –

What career matches an opportunity with your passion and talents?

Some recommended reading on Bigg Success to help you find your passion and talents:

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part I)

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part 2)

Back to the Future: Visualizing the Life You Want (Part II)

Once you know the answer to this last question, you'll be on the right career track for you!

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Don’t Listen to Career Tests

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
11-24-08

Again with the Funeral Director? 

career_test 

In high school many of you probably took a careers/skills/interest survey. I did. And what I remember most is that my answers to the questions linked me highly with the occupation of Funeral Director. I am sure it also linked me with several other occupations, but that one stuck in my mind as I read the test results at age 16 or 17. And, of course, I instantly thought in stereotypes and imagined a job in a morose world of sadness and death. Sounded like a great job to a high schooler – and a girl to boot. What females run funeral homes? And it sure was fun for my sister. What a hoot for a 13- or 14-year old to find out her sister ought to be a Funeral Director (actually the test at that time said Mortician.) Imagine the great teasing that happened at our house.
 

Not once, but twice

So, fast forward a couple of decades. I had completely forgotten about those results until I once again took a skills/interest assessment test online. Just for kicks, to see where my skills might take me in future incarnations of my career (no pun intended there.)

Guess what ranked right up there in the top five on the list? Yep. Funeral Director. So this time, I decided to dive into the results and find out what it is about me and/or my answers that linked me to this profession, not once, but twice—20 years apart. There must be something that keeps bringing me back to that career.

My instincts told me that the following skills and interests would make me likely to thrive in this career:

  • I like helping people
  • I am generally calm
  • I am sensitive to the needs of others
  • I can help people plan
  • I write well

My instincts also told me that:

  • I'd have a tough time spending each day surrounded by grieving people
  • I'd have a tougher time spending each day surrounded by the dearly departed

Back to the research

According to the U.S. Department of Labor in its "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition", funeral directors:

“Perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary for embalming, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, procuring official for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

The job of a funeral director requires tact, discretion, and compassion when dealing with grieving people.”

Self assessment

Let's see…Tact. Check. Interview skills. Check. Arranging details by phone. Check. Discreet, Compassionate. You bet. So far, sounds like me.

However, that's where the buck stops. I might have some of the skills but not the constitution.

A profile on Salary.com of Funeral Director Fred Skinner summed up nicely the intangible qualities needed:

“Dealing with the emotional upheaval a major loss brings poses one of the profession's most important challenges. In one case, Skinner helped a teenage boy, beside himself with grief at the loss of his grandfather, to come to terms with the death. The family had chosen that the body not be viewed, and the boy was distraught that he could not see his grandfather for the last time. "I talked to the boy and his mother, and I got the family to give me 24 hours so that I could prepare the remains to give the boy a chance to see his grandfather and say goodbye."

There is more to any job than the skill set needed. What about temperament? Preference for hours worked? My personality, while compassionate, is too emotional for this kind of work. And though I most-likely could make all the logistics happen, I would not pass the test in terms of my comfort level with death. And, I like my evenings and weekends thank you very much.

So, even though I don't intend to choose this particular career as a next move, I discovered, or re-discovered some key information about my skills. Perhaps you would too. Take a career test online. You might unearth (again, no pun intended) some long lost skills or interests that you can polish for use in your current job or the next one you move into. And, by examining your personality, you might find out why you aren't in the jobs on your career test profile.

P.S. Funeral Directors have recently (2008) been highlighted in an Emmy Award-Nominated documentary. The PBS Frontline program The Undertaking received a nomination in the category of "Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming" category. According to a press release from the National Funeral Director's Association, Frontline “presented a moving, insightful view of funeral service and the important work performed by funeral service professionals every day. The documentary featured multi-generation, National Funeral Directors Association-member (NFDA) firm Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, which operates from several locations in suburban Detroit, Michigan.” 

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Great Bigg Ideas are Born Bad

By Bigg Success Staff
10-01-08

Growth

newborn 

Cavas Gobhai has consulted with some of the world’s largest companies. He helps them implement bigg ideas. Over the years, he has noticed something about ideas that succeed bigg. Here’s a quote from The Wall Street Journal:

"Big ideas don't get built incrementally. You back into big good ideas from big bad ideas."

Most good ideas may look a bit odd at birth. They may sound crazy or outrageous at first. But these bigg bad ideas are the seed for break-through ideas that help you succeed bigg.

We became familiar with Gobhai’s work through the book, The Predators’ Ball, written by Connie Bruck. One of his most famous clients, Drexel Burnham, ultimately failed for reasons that aren’t relevant to our discussion. However, during the time Gobhai consulted with them, they went from being a no-name firm to become one of the most formidable investment houses on Wall Street. 

While Gobhai’s techniques are largely geared for companies, we can also use these ideas in our personal lives. Here are nine steps to find your great bigg ideas:

#1 – Schedule time

If you don’t plan time for creative thinking, the odds are that it won’t get done. Dedicate a block of time at least every quarter to creative thinking. In a short time, you’ll see what a valuable investment this is.

#2 – Create the right environment

Some people think most creatively in absolute silence. Others work best with some noise. Whatever works for you works! Just make sure you place yourself in an environment where you can be most productive as you seek bigg bad ideas.

#3 – Accept spontaneity

While it’s important to dedicate time, it’s also crucial to develop a system to record your bigg bad ideas as they occur – on your commute, in the shower. Make sure you archive your bigg bad idea, whenever or wherever it pops into your mind.

#4 – Focus on challenges and opportunities

What’s the biggest challenge you face right now? What’s the biggest opportunity you have right now? Your opportunity may come from your own challenge or somebody else’s. By concentrating your energy on your biggest issues, you’ll move ahead further and faster.

#5 – Suspend reality

When you find yourself coming up with all of the reasons why something won’t work, suspend reality for a bit. Picture yourself free from all constraints – time, money, and your own self-imposed limitations.

Think about why it could be done and how you would do it. Don’t reject any idea out of the gate; remember that your great bigg idea will come from a bigg bad idea. In fact, allow yourself to think of it the opposite way – the more outrageous the idea seems at first, the better!

#6 – Use images

This is another Gobhai technique. Use pictures, drawings, metaphors, animals or anything else you can think of to bring your ideas to life. By visualizing your idea, you come to a deeper level of understanding. You may realize that your image isn’t right; there’s a better analogy. Fantastic! You might be moving from the bigg bad idea to the great bigg one!

In The Predators’ Ball, Bruck discusses a Drexel session with Gobhai. One of the Drexel employees suggested that most of their competitors operated like a pride of lions. These companies had a definite pecking order among their employees. As the group discussed this, they realized their model should be a wolf pack, where everybody would feast together. 

#7 – Form a Master Mind Alliance

Here’s the bad news – you don’t have all of the world’s best ideas. The good news is that you can align yourself with others to discover more great bigg ideas.

Napoleon Hill, in his great book, Think & Grow Rich, defined “master mind” as:
“Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Find people who skills and goals are complementary with yours. Play off of your different strengths to discover ways you can mutually succeed bigg.

#8 – Review all your ideas

At regular intervals, but no less than once a week, sit down and review your inventory of bigg bad ideas. Upon further reflection, you’ll be able to categorize your bigg bad ideas in three ways:

  • truly just bad ideas that won’t go anywhere. You can ditch these.
  • bigg bad ideas that don’t solve your most immediate challenges and opportunities. You’ll want to archive these ideas for future use.
  • bigg bad ideas that you can implement now. You’ll develop these further and act upon them.

#9 – Reduce your idea to buzzwords

For that last category of ideas, reduce your great bigg idea to buzzwords – a word or phrase that you can easily call upon. These words should excite you to act now. You’ve turned a bigg bad idea into a great bigg idea!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

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Test Yourself: Do You Think Bigg?

By Bigg Success Staff
10-01-08

Test Yourself

question_mark 

Here’s a quick test to measure the size of your thinking. We adapted this from David Schwartz’s great book, The Magic of Thinking Big. The only thing we don’t like about his book is that he spelled “bigg” wrong!

There are twelve situations presented here with two ways to think about each one. See which answer most closely matches how you see the world.

Expense Accounts  
 
Do you increase your income by …
a) … aggressively reporting expenses on your expense account?
b) … producing more?

Conversation
Do you talk about the …
a) … negative qualities of people you know when they’re not there?
b) … positive qualities of people you know when they’re not there?

Progress
Do you believe in …
a) … maintaining the status quo?
b) … expansion?

Future
Do you see the future as …
a) … limited?
b) … very promising?

Work

Do you look for ways to …
a) … avoid work?
b) … do more work, especially helping others?

Competition
Do you compete with the …
a) … average?
b) … best?

Budgeting

Do you increase by bottom line by …
a) … cutting back on necessary items?
b) … increase income to buy more necessary items?

Goals
Do you set your goals …
a) … low?
b) … high?

Vision
Do you focus on …
a) … the short-term?
b) … the long-run?

Security
With which of the following statements do you most agree …
a) Security means success?
b) Success leads to security?

Mistakes

Do you handle minor errors by …
a) … turning them into major issues?
b) … ignore them if they have little consequence?

Companionship
Do you surround yourself with people who mostly chose …
a) … Answer “a)” above?
b) … Answer “b)” above?

Obviously, small thinkers answer “a)” to the questions above. Bigg thinkers choose “b)” and they surround themselves with other bigg thinkers – birds of a feather.

Admittedly, this seems like a simple list. However, when we looked deeper into the list, we realized that there are times when we fall back to “small” thinking. The challenge is to fight that urge, whenever it occurs, and keep thinking bigg. Another challenge is to always spell “bigg” right!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show