Are you successful?How did you get your career? How did you get started?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 6:24 AM GMT
    Well I am graduating in December and will be having a lot of debt to pay off.

    I have been interviewing for internships but so far nothing has come along. I won't have an internship by the end of my college career. So I know many of your are very successful and I was wondering if you could lend some advice to a newbie to the work force. My degree is in industrial psychology.

    I would like to be doing something possibly in management or human resources and I am trying to get my foot in the door. What would you say is the best way?

    I would be willing to pretty much travel anywhere to start a career. I just need to know how to get that opportunity.
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    Nov 09, 2010 7:10 AM GMT

  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Nov 09, 2010 12:43 PM GMT
    I would say stay in and get an advance degree or a 2nd one. The job market sucks. I want to go back and get more education but I can't take the time to do it because I'm locked into a ridiculous schedule that just keeps me going.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    I make a nice living working 15 to 25 hours a week (I spend a lot of time playing with my kids and doing nice things for friends and family).

    I quit chasing money and starting doing what I love. I do what my colleagues said was impossible - I combined my degrees in real estate finance and architecture into a single practice.

    I help people find under-valued buildings that can be renovated and/or repurposed for their needs.

    I LOVE WHAT I DO - that is the key to how I became self-employed, very independent and successful after a couple of decades of modest successes working for others.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:18 PM GMT
    I have my B.S. in psychology. I got an internship my senior year. It helped get my foot in the door. The internship was absolutely key for me. Now I'm in a career that I absolutely love.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:18 PM GMT
    Other than an internship the best way to 'get in' is to know someone on the 'inside' who can make things happen.

    I work as an assistant transportation planner for a major urban school district and I started out as a PAID intern and after graduation they decided to keep me on. Almost two years into my job, they actually considered me for a position pretty high up in the scheme of things but summer routing and planning got started so I had to put that to the side. Not only that but the guy who currently has that higher position isn't going to retire just yet.

    Overall I do consider myself to be pretty 'successful' since I have very little student debt, a great job that ties in with my degree and field of knowledge, and the opportunity to work with GIS software, maps, and Excel. Things that should help me when/if I decide to look for another job.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:20 PM GMT
    I'm successful, but success only continues to thrive on passion. So I'm getting to where I wanna get, but simply: People telling me no! icon_wink.gif Is how I got my start...
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    I think the big thing is to just start putting out resumes and applying - to internships, careers, whatever you can find. I actually know of an HR firm that employs the most industrial psychologists in the world (I believe). I don't know if they're hiring or not, but it's worth a look!
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2560

    Nov 09, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    You have a tremendous challenge facing you. That does not mean you cannot overcome the challenge. Look at the posting I copied out below and let me talk through it. I've commented inline of the text in red.

    Assume this is your target 5 years down the road. (Yes, 5 years.)

    HR generalist.

    Responsibilities include:

    · Knowledge of Employment policies
    · Thorough understanding of federal, state and local employment laws to include EEOC, FML, FLSA, Workers Comp etc.
    · Ability to communicate clearly and effectively

    [color=red]You need to use time now to locate real world employment manuals that folks will share. You can and must learn regulations including EEOC, etc. Be specific to the state where you wish to work in regards to state law. In Georgia for instance, emloyers are "at will" employers.

    This is true for the info below. Locate local HR managers, reach out to them and see if they can aid you in learning their policies and systems.

    · Development and implementation of company HR policies and
    · Maintaining personnel files
    · Benefit management – Medical, Dental, 401.K pension plan
    · Candidate screening and hiring processes
    · Employment record management
    · New staff orientation


    This is the one you do not have. Therefore, your target should be to find work in general HR support. Not as HR manager. You know this. That is what you see as an apprenticeship.

    Create an account on LinkedIn. Use it.

    •5+ years of HR Generalist support experience

    •Bachelors Degree (BA/BS) from 4-year college or university preferred

    •Strong management and conflict resolution skills

    •Proven customer centric focus: ability to influence culture and create alignment between business goals and employee performance

    •Demonstrated relationship building and interpersonal skills

    •Ability to effectively interact at all levels within the organization

    •Advanced skills in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Outlook, payroll software reporting

    Two other things. Large companies typically run HR systems on SAP, etc. We do this in an organization that employs 27,000. Employees all have login to SAP to manage HR related items at KIOSK in manufacturing plants and from the PC in office space. LEARN SAP HR or PeopleSoft HR if you can. There is a great deal online, Google it.

    Lastly, the business world is conservative. They will hire like minded people in most cases. In manufacturing (as an example up at the Kia plant in Georgia -- my home state) they DO NOT want a potential sympathizer to unionization. You arfe an Industrial Psychologist. You should know that. If this presents a personal conflict within you, pass on such jobs.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    It's all in who you know man. Milk whatever relationships you've developed in school for what they're worth. Never be afraid to ask for help, you'd be surprised how many other people are invested in your success!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
    What's your degree and what do you want to do? Advice can be generalized all over, but you ability to find a job and move forward is dependent on your chosen field. Personally, I wouldn't go on to further education unless you're absolutely certain you want to continue doing what you've studied. I know I don't want to go to grad school now for what I would've thought I wanted to do after undergrad. I'd be miserable having done that.

    I graduated with a double degree in art and political science, then moved from So Cal to Washington, DC, to pursue something in politics. After working through Congressional internships, waiting tables and being a copy-bitch, I ended up hanging around people in the art department in a PR firm. Now I'm back in Colorado as an art director for a non-profit.

    All that said -- be willing to go where the work is. Be willing to do what it takes [ethically] to get what you want. And proof-read your resume.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 990

    Nov 09, 2010 5:25 PM GMT

    Are you successful?How did you get your career? How did you get started?

    I am successful - it's 9am, I'm in my pj's. I pay all my bills, have goo gobs of free time.

    I also don't have a traditional career. I work 5 or 6 months out of the year as a an archaeologist, and the benefits include decent pay and 20-30 hours of hiking a week.

    For the balance of the year I work at a national outdoor gear retailer: benefits include decent pay, flexible work hours, a decent retirement.

    A large part of how I developed my working lifestyle was:

    1. Joining the Navy at 18.
    2. Sticking out 20 years and getting a retirement.
    3. Letting the VA pay for 90% of my college education.

    For the Archaeology job, it's my BA in anthropology, an archaeology field school, Veteran's preferance points and a good resumé. Each year I've done field archaeology I've added some new tricks to my bag, and update my resumé. I was able to choose among 6-7 different jobs for the summer. How I got started: one of my professors is also an government archaeologist and helped my tweak my resumé and pointed me on how to get a government job. During the interview I was honest about my skills and why I wanted the job.

    For the retail job, I'm a avid cyclist, hiker, kayaker and snowboarder. I showed up in a freshly pressed casual shirt and a kilt - I'd done my research on corporate attire for that company, and added a twist to stand out. I was also familiar enough with the 'zen' of the company, and it played up to one of my strenghts: teamwork, so I played that up in the interview. I was honest about my skills, and emphasised that I'd never worked retail, but was happy to learn how they wanted things done.

    So, now in an economic turn down, I have to amazing jobs.

    I think the once piece of advise I'd give you is to not sweat not getting your dream job right away and don't be afraid to take a job like an office manager that could get your foot in the door with a company that has an HR department. If you're there, work well with the company, and express interest and enthusiasim about staying with and growing with the company you'll chances will be a lot better than just walking in off the street.
  • Csrobbie2000

    Posts: 359

    Nov 09, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    I don't know how to define successful, but if it means you have a rewarding job that you love, make decent money to contribute into your 401K, stock porfolio, save a little and still have enough to pay your mortgage and bills, then I guess I am somewhat successful ;)

    I actually got my first job through school jobtrak website right before I graduated. I was a Computer Science major, and I was lucky to have 2 employers really interested in me, so they kept counter offering me until I decided to go with the one paying the most along with benefits and the people I will be working with. My first two jobs only lasted a year and two, but I've been with this job for almost 8 years now. Nowaday, being qualified for the job doesn't always guarantee that you will get the job. It's also about being at the right place and time and having the ability to sell yourself. That being said, my advice is to take some time to write a detailed, professional resume. To me, it is the most important thing for someone to have an idea about what you can offer before he/she decides to see you in person. Customade your resume according to the job descriptions when sending out to different job prospects. Also, always do some researches about the company and come up with a few questions during the interview - whether it is about the company history, policies or technologies they're using. This will show that you are interested and serious about the job. Come to the interview prepared - have your porfolio ready, samples of your works or school projects, etc. Last, send a thank you card and follow up after the interview.

  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Nov 09, 2010 7:10 PM GMT
    Latenight30 saidI would say stay in and get an advance degree or a 2nd one. The job market sucks. I want to go back and get more education but I can't take the time to do it because I'm locked into a ridiculous schedule that just keeps me going.

    I/O Psych is a PhD
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 7:10 PM GMT
    Hi jlk7jester,

    Congratulations for your degree. My best wishes and good luck for the job hunt.
    In my country we have plenty of job opportunities hence I had multiple job offers in hand even before I got my degree. I consider myself successful in my career.
    I am not aware of the US job market but would like to help you with some common inputs.
    Problem: Finding a job.
    Known Facts: Tough competition and fewer job openings.
    Logic for success: Be better than others.
    How to be better?
    1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Identify and list them on a paper.
    What do you think are the strengths required for the job profile that you are looking forward to do? (If you haven’t thought about the jobs you would do, do it first. Refer point 2.)
    Now for each kind of jobs, list out all the required skill set. This is a glimpse of the best resume for that job.
    Find out the gaps between the ideal skill set and that of yours.
    Now the main task begins. Prioritize and learn those unknown skills and add more strength to your profile. Built your own resume and keep on adding more qualities and skill sets on it.
    I am sure with a well crafted resume you will get interview calls.
    2. “Do not desperately search for a job. You will be caught under wrong job. “
    Brainstorm and know for yourself what you want to do. You are about to begin your career. Once you start working it’s for another 30-35 years. So choose your career wisely.
    List the jobs that you would like to do. Identify the best companies that offer those jobs. Analyse the job market and the availability of those jobs. Don’t forget to check the packages that those companies offer to know the market value of each kind of jobs.
    3. Over and above all these stuffs, personality and attitude of the person matters a lot. These include the way you speak, carry yourself, mannerism etc. With the same skill set and abilities a company would hire a person with better attitude. Read, understand and build up soft skills too. I can list out a number of soft skill set. Its better you google it.
    Prepare yourself for the best opportunity.
    Good luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 7:15 PM GMT
    I'm on my way there. Getting yourself noticed in a city packed to the brim with art schools (and having not gone to art school yourself)and artists is really tough. The fact that it's been so easy for me has me equally cautious and thankful.
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    Nov 09, 2010 7:23 PM GMT
    I suppose I should answer that I WAS successful, now in retirement. Well, I dunno. I live well, can buy frivolous toys for us, and still give away a large amount of my income to gay charities. So maybe that's a success? I need a definition of success... icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 7:30 PM GMT
    I married an older man and then inherited his millions when he died.

    Just kidding. I have been on my own since 15, so I started work early, and put myself through school to get a degree, and then didn't really start making good money until about 6 years ago. Before that, I patented a process at Intel, got paid a fortune in stock, and was made a millionaire on paper at 26, but then the stock dived and I never received a dime. Now I'm making six figures, but still live a bohemian low key lifestyle with low overhead. I don't drive a car, I bike to work 25 miles round trip and then hit the gym. I live really modestly.

    I do pay someone to help with my son because I am gone so much. I like staying green and with low overhead I have amassed a nice savings. That i use on first class trips to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and a few other exotic places.

    Traveling and surfing are my passions, and nice clothes. I do not spoil my son he lives a middle class upbringing, with things that he needs given to him, rather than the things that he doesn't. Kids who grow up with money don't appreciate it later in life.

    Education isn't always the key. Being in the right place at the right time can be!

    So can looking good. Confidence and attitude and aggressiveness are key factors in climbing the corporate ladder.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Nov 09, 2010 8:40 PM GMT
    IT'S WHO YOU KNOW!! IT'S WHO YOU KNOW!! IT'S WHO YOU KNOW!! I got a job right out of college that most people would consider a big reach, but since I was able to make the proper connections I got the job, so get out there NOW and network!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 9:03 PM GMT
    For myself personally, I'm working on getting my BA in political science and a minor in Technology and Society. Another liberal arts student, eh?

    My saving grace? Currently acting-president of my community association, giving me an insight into municipal politics and issues. I get to talk to councilors and set up meetings with members of legislature to talk about community projects.

    And deal with rapacious developers and parking variances haha.

    I see it as all giving me insight into my passion of watching how people tick and my moonlighting ability of reconciling other people's differences.
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    Nov 09, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
    My only advice is don't stay in a dead end job. If you know you've topped out at one place and there's no chance for you to advance there, it's time to start looking for the next rung up the ladder.

    I spent about five years too many at a job I really liked but was taking me absolutely nowhere. I finally decided to leave and look for better opportunities. Now I wish I'd made that move five years earlier.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 11:44 PM GMT
    im on the same road .... finished my degree and now thinking looking for a good job where i can learn and make a career ..... aaaw! ...

    thnx guys for the advises ....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 10, 2010 12:49 AM GMT

    I have no doubt that you will have heard this until you may want to punch the next person who says it, but here goes: network, network, network. Let everyone you know what it is you're looking for. Then start talking to people you don't know.

    When I was about to graduate from college I saw that a lot of my peers had family and friends in the kind of banks I thought I wanted to work for. I didn't. So I started using the the alumni directory and calling people who were doing the kind of job I had in mind for myself. I never asked for a job. I just met with them and asked them everything I could think of about their work: how they got where they are; what they like about what the do; what they hate about it; what they think someone thinking about the field should know, etc, etc.

    Not only did I get a ton of great information that I was able to use when it came to interviews, I created a ground swell that led to offers from every one of the companies I was interested in working for.

    I realize that the job market is really awful at the moment. But I can not imagine that what worked for me in a less fierce market could do any harm even now.

    Best of luck.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3727

    Nov 10, 2010 12:59 AM GMT
    Don't worry about the internship issue. I also graduated in December. It was a good economy then, and I couldn't find work until February. I was an after school math tutor. In March I picked up a second part time job. In May I landed an internship that ran to August, I got it extended to October and then was made a permanent employee.

    The best part. That internship showed me what college couldn't. The career I truly wanted.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 10, 2010 1:01 AM GMT
    I made my fortune the old fashioned way...raping and pillaging! ... icon_wink.gif