Archive for May 2011

Career-oriented vs. Job-oriented

May 23, 2011

Tip for the day:  Your actions are a reflection of your character.

 Dear Connie:  What makes someone career-oriented as opposed to job-oriented?

Dear Future-focused:  The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a job as “A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, esp. as one’s trade, occupation, or profession.”  The definition for a career is “A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.  The general course or progression of one’s working life.”

Some people will go to work in a job and will be content to stay in their initial position all of their working life.  There are jobs that do not lead to promotions.  The employee will need to gain additional skills or move to a different company to be promoted.

Some people do not want to “climb the ladder” in business.  They may not want the additional stress or responsibility that could come from moving up to the next position.  Many times people who stay in one job for their entire working career will make more income than someone who has a more “prestigious” position.  If they work hard, are dependable and efficient, their yearly raises can enable them to accumulate an income larger than their education or experience would afford them in a different work area.

Career-oriented people have a goal that involves constantly learning new skills in addition to being dependable and efficient.  They will focus on making each job an opportunity to develop skills leading to their next position or assignment.

Career-oriented employees have worked through the entry level jobs and know they can always learn a new skill to help them move up the career ladder.  A person has to gain experience in the area they wish to excel in.  There are some well paid employees who started out working at a fast food restaurant and moved into the “Manager Trainee” program.

Lastly, each person measures the success of their career differently.  Some career-oriented people measure their success by their income, while others measure their success by the number of people they are able to help.  Many people who work in the non-profit area or government may make quite a bit less than if they used their skills in the public workplace.

People with careers are problem solvers.  In fact, career employees usually look at problems as opportunities.  A career-oriented person would probably develop a plan and start working their way through each barrier, never allowing themselves to be stagnant or to give up on their dream.

You can start now to practice the characteristics that a career person usually possesses and move from a “job” to a “career.”

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

There is Value in Having a Strong Work Ethic

May 16, 2011

 Tip for the day:  “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” (Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer)

Dear Connie:  My boss keeps talking about new employees not having a strong work ethic.  What is he talking about?  I have not seen anyone stealing from the company. 

Dear Searching for Ethics:  In the 1950’s, my parents and their generation were known for having a very strong work ethic.  The old-fashion definition of work ethic is a dependable, honest, and hard worker.

Some employers have expressed concern that they are having trouble finding strong work ethics in their younger workers.  As a young worker, you will want to impress your boss with a strong work ethic by performing well on the job.  In today’s job market, managers are often expected to do more with less staff.  If you are the employee who is seen as dependable, your chances of success are greatly increased.

Until the past few years, ethics seemed to have little connection with success.  Young people could site examples of CEO’s, CFO’s, and politicians who were not held accountable for making unethical decisions and yet were extremely successful.  We have witnessed a shift in the value of work ethics.  Politicians are being removed from their positions; companies are vanishing because of unethical financial decisions that were made by the company’s management. 

In Stand Out, Andrew J. DuBrin gives some tactics that are characteristic of people with strong work ethics.  You can start improving your work status by practicing these suggestions:

  • Demonstrate competence even on minor tasks
  • Assume personal responsibility for problems
  • Assume responsibility for free-floating (non-assigned) problems
  • Get your projects completed promptly
  • Accept undesirable assignments willingly
  • Follow through on tasks
  • Submit timely information
  • Be willing to work beyond the standard 40 hours per week
  • Look busy

If you take each job you have seriously by being on-time, dependable, honest and a competent hard worker, you will be giving yourself an advantage that leads to success.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

Non-Profit Employer Forum REMINDER

May 11, 2011

Join us for a Non-Profit Employer Forum to hear from professionals in the industry and ask them your questions about hiring trends, resume tips, interviewing help, and much more. Get first-hand advice from those in the community who know their industry best!

Where: 1313 Old Fort Parkway Murfreesboro, TN

When: May 12, 2011

Networking begins at 12:30 p.m.

Forum begins at 1:00 p.m.

Panelists include representatives from:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Greenhouse Mistries
  • Goodwill

For more information, please call (615) 898-8081 Ext: 147

Career Connections

May 10, 2011

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A few pictures from this past weeks Career Connections meetings. To attend a Career Connections meeting, forum, or event, check our calendars page.

Do not lie on your application or résumé

May 9, 2011

Tip for the day:  “Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior”—Dr. Phil McGraw.

Dear Connie:   I was just fired from my last job.  My friend said I should not list my last job on my applications when applying for another job.  He said they will never know I omitted the information because I did not work there 90 days.  He says everyone lies when trying to get a job.  Is that true?

Dear Tell the Truth:   I cannot speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and people I respect. Everyone does not lie on their application.  In fact, lying on an application can cause a person to not be hired or even to be let go from a position if the lie is discovered later.

It is possible that your friend has done this before and was still able to gain employment.  You might not get caught trying this approach.  I am sure you would not decide to rob a bank because your friend has done that and did not get caught. Just because a person may be able to get away with being deceptive, it does not make it either right or smart.

If you lie on an application, you are choosing to be dishonest.  Employers want to hire honest people for several reasons.  Your supervisor does not want to spend his time worrying that you will be dishonest and not do the job you were hired to do.  Your company does not want to worry about you stealing supplies, money or goods.

When it comes to applications, be honest because omitted information is considered the same as being dishonest.  Background checks and reference checks can reveal a lot of information about a person who is applying for a position with a company. Be sure that all of your dates and prior employment information on your résumé and application match.  If you have a felony and the application requires you disclose this information, do so. Discrepancies between written and verbal information is one tool used to disqualify applicants during the interview process.

This is also a good time to consider your personal view on honesty and ethics.  Because someone has done something for years does not mean that they will “always get away with it.”  We have seen professionals lose prestigious jobs for lying about their education on their résumé.  We are now watching large company’s deal with ethical issues.

Remember, if you tell a lie you have to remember who you told what so you can keep your story straight.  Why put yourself through such stress?  Be responsible for whom you are and what you do, and you will be a valued and well-respected employee.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

Career Connections

May 4, 2011

A few pictures from recent Career Connections meetings… Check our calendars page and join us for the next Career Connections meeting near you!

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Sumner County Job Fair

May 3, 2011

When: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Epic Event Centre
392 W Main St, Gallatin, TN 37066
(Located off Broadway, beside McDonald’s)

Customer Service
Food Service
Staffing Agencies
And more…