Connie’s Career Corner Crime does not pay or does it?

Posted April 17, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day: Do what you love and you will love what you do.

Q:  Dear Connie: Recently I notice the letters CFE written after someone’s name. What does that stand for?

A: Dear Get Paid for Crime Investigation:  When you see “CFE” after someone’s name that means they have earned the designation of Certified Fraud Examiner. Certified Fraud Examiners are widely recognized as experts in the anti-fraud field. There are many career opportunities for CFEs and the area is growing at a fast pace.

Certified Fraud Examiners have the proven expertise to detect, prevent, and investigate a wide range of fraudulent conduct. Most major U.S. corporations, businesses, and government agencies employ CFEs, as do many international organizations.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Report to the Nation provides the following statistics about fraud and white-collar crimes:

  • Fraud and abuse costs U.S. organizations more than $400 billion annually.
  • The average organization loses about 6 percent of its total annual revenue to fraud and abuse committed by its own employees.
  • The median loss caused by males is about $185,000; by females about $48,000.
  • The typical perpetrator is a college-educated white male.
  • Men commit nearly 75 percent of the offenses.
  • Median losses caused by men are nearly four times those caused by women.
  • Losses caused by managers are four times those caused by employees.
  • The most costly abuses occur in organizations with less than 100 employees.
  • The education industry experiences the lowest median losses.
  • The highest median losses occur in the real estate financing sector.
  • Occupational fraud and abuses fall into three main categories:  asset misappropriation, fraudulent statements, and bribery and corruption.

According to SmartPros, Certified Fraud Examiners have the expertise to resolve allegations of fraud from inception to disposition, gather evidence, take statements, write reports, testify to findings, and assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

Connie’s Career Corner “Is a degree enough to be successful?”

Posted April 10, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day: If you want positive career growth, improve your skills.

Q: Dear Connie: I am struggling on my job. I have a degree but that does not seem to be enough to be successful. Do you have any suggestion on improving my situation?

A: Dear Needs More: Education is a valuable tool needed to enter many desirable positions in the workplace. It is not uncommon for a job to require a specific level of education before you can be interviewed for that position.

Many people who lose their jobs find themselves undereducated. A person may have been able to obtain employment many years ago without having a high school diploma. Now, we are finding that entry level jobs are requiring a minimum of a G.E.D. or high school diploma.

Though you have accomplished a bachelor’s level degree, there are other skills that employers value and deem necessary for you to be success in a job. It may be time to develop your skill set in areas outside of your formal education in order to continue growth within your career.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that employers see three general areas that employees need to improve. The biggest group of failings reported by employers is in communication skills, specifically lack of writing skills. Other employers report that face-to-face communication is a problem because of the preference for e-mail communication. Interviewing, presentation skills, phone skills, and overall interpersonal skills are lacking, also.

The next group cited a lack of good ethics, analytical and problem-solving skills, initiative, specific computer skills, flexibility, and professionalism. Also, mentioned were independence, patience, and the willingness to work long hours to get the job done.

The third area was the lack of work experience in new college graduates. Some companies see the need for internships and any type of hands-on experience.

Compare the above attributes to your work skills and begin now to improve the ones that you find deficient. Also, give yourself time to improve on any of the mentioned skills you may be lacking. It will help you grow if you are able to find someone who has work experience, good interpersonal skills and work ethics to mentor you through this beginning phase of your career. Learning how to work is as important as learning the specific task that is needed for a job.

Connie’s Career Corner “Do your groundwork”

Posted March 27, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day:   When I read a good resume, I never wonder how long it took the person to write it. Spend as long as you need to make your resume outstanding.

Q: I have been working very hard to get a job. I still have not found a job. What else can I do to find employment?

A: You may need to work smarter, not harder to find employment. Often we think because we are staying busy, we are working hard to accomplish a goal. The truth is job searching techniques change over time. You may be job searching using outdated methods.

Use the right tools for your job search, such as:

  • a good resume
  • solid training and preparation
  • the proper uniform for the job
  • the right attitude for the job
  • good telephone techniques
  • good job-search etiquette
  • the right interpersonal techniques

Start by building your network of acquaintances. People are more comfortable hiring a person recommended by someone they know. When you start a new job you are not the only one that has to make adjustments. The employees that you will be working with also have to adjust to you and your work style. Hiring managers know that if someone they trust recommends you there is a greater chance of you blending in and being a positive addition to their work unit.

It is important for you to know who you are and what you have accomplished in your work life. If you do not know how to express this to a prospective employer, it will make it difficult for you to tell him how valuable you will be to the company. Try writing your accomplishments down on paper (use your resume as a guide.) Then practice explaining your accomplishments to a friend until you can deliver the information in a smooth, conversational manner.

If you are not job searching at the present time, you probably will be in the future. On the average, most workers change jobs every three years. So, while you are happily employed, go ahead and do the work to get your skills up to speed and keep your resume current. Then, if you do need to search for a new position you will not have to do the groundwork during a time of stress.

Connie’s Career Corner “What to do when you lose your job”

Posted March 27, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day: It is your job to clearly express to a potential employer what you can do for their company. Toot your own horn!

Dear Connie: I just learned that my company is closing and I am losing my job. What do I need to do to find another job?

Dear Soon to be Unemployed: Learning that your job is ending can be a shocking discovery. The fact that you can not do anything to prevent this from happening can make this a stressful time in your life.

What you can control is your search for a new job. Most people make the mistake of waiting until their job or unemployment benefits end before starting their job search. It may take you months to find the job you want and to be offered the job, so, start your search now.

First, take advantage of everything your company offers to help you transition to another job. Some companies provide outplacement service that may include workshops on resume writing and interviewing. You may have state and local representatives on-site to explain filing for unemployment and local career center services.

Next, you need to treat your job search like a marketing campaign. You need a marketing package that consists of your resume, cover letter and references. This marketing package becomes your personal advertisement! If you do not have a resume, this will take some time. You will need to identify your skills and present them clearly in written form.

This is the time to sharpen your interviewing skills. There are several different types of interviews. One type that is favored by employers is the panel interview. Knowing how to handle different types of interviews and practicing your response to questions will help you be more relaxed during your interview.

Finally, let all of your friends and family know you are job searching. Call up old co-workers and spread the word you are looking for a job. Networking is the way many people find their next job.

Connie’s Career Corner “There is no such thing as too old to learn.”

Posted March 20, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day:  It is never too late to follow your dreams.

Q:  Dear Connie:  I never finished my degree.  It would be so helpful in securing a better job but I am too old to go back to school.  I will be turning 45 this year and do not think I would be able to do the work.  Do you think I could do it?

A:  Dear Need to Finish my Education:  Going back to school is a big decision.  Many people have gone back to school who are your age and much older.  Belmont had a young lady of 70 to complete her degree several years back. 

There are many skills that you have picked up in your life that will help you manage the stresses of college.  Your organizational skills are probably much better developed than when you attended college as a young person.  You will also see the full value of the almost lost opportunity of your first college experience. 

Consider all of the things that might be barriers to your success in finishing your degree:

  • Extra      expense that results from attending college
  • Less      time to be available to your family
  • Amount      of support from your family and friends
  • Your      own dedication to completing this goal

Work with the financial aid department to inquire about the amount of funds from PELL, scholarships and loans that are available to you to put toward paying tuition and books.  There are many sources of funding available and the financial aid officer will be able to suggest many different avenues for you to research. 

It is important to have a realistic idea of the time commitment required.  Talk with the schools academic advisors to get information about the classes you will need to complete your degree. Discuss the amount of time that will be needed to finish out-of-class assignments. 

Let your family know that you have always dreamed of finishing your degree.  Express your belief that education is important for everyone and can lead to a better life.  Ask them to support you in this effort.

The main thing you will need is to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish this valuable goal.  You need to go into this venture with the determination that you have what it takes to complete your program of study.  You will build your self-confidence along the way as you see that you can complete the assignments and can do them well. You can do it! 

Connie’s Career Corner “Is your dream job just a dream?”

Posted March 13, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Uncategorized

Tip for the day:  Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. Janet Lane

Dear Connie:  I am not happy in my job.  How can I tell what job I would be happy doing?

Dear Looking for My Dream Job:  Happiness is a state of mind and is defined differently for each of us.  Most people are happiest doing work they love.  When you find the job that is best suited to your skills, abilities, and values, you will look forward to going to work instead of dreading Mondays.

If you love working with people, you probably will not enjoy sitting at a computer and entering data all day.  If you like to give a lot of thought to your projects, you will probably not enjoy being in the middle of a place where there is constant noise and phones ringing.  If you love talking to people, you may really enjoy the daily interaction of a salesperson. 

You need to spend a little time thinking about what you like and dislike about your present and previous positions.  Take a sheet of paper and on one side list all of the things that you enjoyed about the jobs you have held and on the other side list all of the things that you disliked about the jobs you have held.  You will want to be specific when making this list.  “I do not like working in retail” is too general.  List what you did not like about working in retail, such as, “I did not like the seasonal cutback on my work hours.”

There are websites you may want to check out to get ideas about the kind of work that might be a good fit for your interests and skills.  Go to and click on the tab at the top “College” and in the middle of the dropdown you will find “Career Search.”  This is a quick free online quiz to help you find careers by identifying your career interests and working style.

Another online free quiz called MAPP, the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential, gives you a more detailed evaluation.  Go to to try this assessment.  This is longer and will take you about half an hour to complete.  You can find other quizzes on sites such as and  

Remember, no one should ever decide what job you should do.  Assessments and tests should be used only to provide you with information to help you make a good decision.  Only you know what type of work will really interest you and will lead to an enjoyable career path.

Connie’s Career Corner

Posted March 6, 2014 by ncacstaff
Categories: Connie's Corner


“Do not get caught in Junior High Drama”

Tip for the day: Guard your reputation. It is the best asset you have.

Q: Dear Connie: I have a co-worker who is constantly trying to make an issue out of whatever is happening. She spends more time talking about things that do not apply to the workplace than working. Can you give me some tips to avoid this drama?

A: Dear Wanting to Avoid the Drama Queen: One thing that can derail a career faster than anything else is to be a part of “junior high drama” in the workplace. Supervisors will not deem a person an asset if that person is always spreading gossip. I am glad you see the situation for what it is and are seeking ways to avoid being involved with this type of behavior.

Some people thrive on the excitement that they can generate by making personal issues a workplace problem. Often trying to cause problems between co-workers is a result of needing attention or a low self-esteem.

The question is, “What is your responsibility in this situation?” You will want to always approach workplace problems with professionalism. When you bring personal problems into the office, it opens up the opportunity for other to share their opinions and even gossip about your personal life. Share the positive things in your life, but consider keeping conflicts at home out of the workplace.

Ask yourself, “Is this situation a part of my job?” If it is work related, address the challenge. While at work concentrate on your business life; not your personal life. If you share your personal life with this person, you are opening the door for their involvement.

Do not get caught up in “he said, she said.” Remove yourself from interoffice drama by keeping your opinions of others to yourself. This will avoid comments you make from being repeated and maybe misrepresented. Sometimes it is best to just walk away from a conversation.

When this person learns that you will not engage in talking about co-workers or be a part of spreading gossip, she will probably leave you alone and move on to talking to someone else. Professionalism is they key.


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