The top 5 career questions — and where to find answers


by Teri Fritsma

You wouldn’t dream of buying a home, planning a vacation, or choosing a school without researching your options.  Why should your career be any different?  There’s plenty of reliable data to help you make informed career decisions.  Experts call this “labor market information,”  or LMI.  Here’s how you can use LMI to answer five of the most frequently asked career questions.

 

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50 Careers in 50 States in 50 Weeks


by Teri Fritsma

Daniel Seddiqui is on a mission: he’s traveling to all 50 states in 50 weeks.  In each state, he’s trying out a career that’s typical for residents there.  In Wisconsin, for example, he learned what it’s like to be a cheesemaker.  You might be surprised to discover what career he tried during his visit to Minnesota.

 

Daniel says, “My goal is to help Americans understand each other’s lives, respect each other’s hard work and stimulate peoples’ curiosity about different lifestyles.”

Community colleges key in fueling new economy


by Shirley Fenlason

Tuesday there was exciting news on the higher education front! President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative which will invest 12 billion dollars in community colleges over the next decade. This initiative reflects the importance of community colleges in growing a globally competitive workforce through Associate’s degrees, short-term training, certificates, and other training options. The President noted “that in the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate’s degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience. We will not fill those jobs – keep those jobs on our shores – without the training offered by community colleges.”

 

So what does all this mean to Minnesotans? Continue reading

How to have a career that lets you work from home


by Teri Fritsma

Working from home (also called telecommuting) can give you more flexibility, greater control over your work schedule, less time commuting and a smaller carbon footprint.  Approximately 21% of people work at least some of their hours from home on a typical work day, according to the  American Time Use Survey (ATUS).  Here are some other findings from the ATUS that can help you figure out how to position yourself for a career that lets you work from home.

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Want to advance your career? Clean up your e-mail etiquette.


by Teri Fritsma  

These days, using e-mail effectively isn’t just a nice thing to do — it’s a critical part of managing your career.  Why?  First, because e-mail is a dominant form of communication and we often use it to talk to people we don’t know well, or even people we’ve never met in person.  This means people may form opinions of you based mostly or entirely on your e-mail style.  Second, e-mail forms a permanent record of communication, so if you’ve used it poorly, it could come back to haunt you.  Finally, e-mail lacks those helpful interpersonal cues that come across in phone or in-person contact, making it easier for miscommunications to occur.  This can compromise people’s impressions of you or even jeopardize a job interview.

 

So, what are the biggest e-mail faux pas?  To answer this question, I conducted an informal survey here at ISEEK, asking my coworkers to tell me about their e-mail pet peeves.  Here’s what they said.

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Interested in a clean energy career? What training is available in Minnesota?


by Shirley Fenlason

As Teri mentioned in an earlier post, renewable energy growth is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). I read The Pew Charitable Trusts' recently-released report on "The Clean Energy Economy" and found some encouraging job-related information. It found that from 1997 to 2007, the clean energy job national growth rate was 9.1%, compared to a total job growth rate of 3.7%. According to Pew, "the clean energy economy is poised for explosive growth." Clean energy refers to energy from sources that are environmentally friendly, like wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal.

So what are clean energy occupations? Continue reading