Do You Know How to Be an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator?

Anyone can teach. We teach each other every day. For example, we give instructions to each other for such things as cooking, putting together furniture, and completing household other tasks. However, teaching someone is different than the process of educating someone. Consider the difference between informal learning and formal learning. An example of informal learning would be following a recipe to learn how to cook. In contrast, formal learning occurs within a classroom and usually is accompanied by evaluation and assessment. It may seem that teaching and educating are the same thing; however, the difference has to do with the place or context for learning.

This is the same distinction can be made for teaching informally (giving instructions) and teaching students in a formal classroom environment. A person enters the field of education as a profession – either full time in traditional academic institutions or as an adjunct (or part time) instructor. The reasons vary for why someone would choose to be in the classroom. A traditional full time professor may likely be responsible for conducting research, teaching, and publishing scholarly work. An adjunct instructor may teach in a community college, traditional college, or an online school. When someone teaches students in higher education he or she may be called a facilitator, instructor, or professor. This is important as there isn’t a job with the word educator in the title.

The questions I would like to answer include: What then does it mean to be an educator? Does it signify something different than the assigned job title? What I have learned through my work in higher education is that becoming an educator is not an automatic process. Everyone who is teaching adult students is not functioning as an engaging and highly effective educator. However, it is possible to learn how to educate rather than teach and that requires making a commitment to the profession.

What Does It Mean to Teach?

Consider teaching as part of the system of traditional, primary education. Those classes are teacher-led and children as students are taught what and how to learn. The teacher is considered to be the expert and directs the learning process. A teacher is someone who is highly trained and works to engage the minds of his or her students. This style of teacher-led instructional continues into higher education, specifically traditional college classrooms. The teacher still stands at the front and center of the class delivering information, and students are used to this format because of their experience in primary education. The instructor disseminates knowledge through a lecture and students study to pass the required examinations or complete other required learning activities.

Within higher education, teachers may be called instructors and they are hired as subject matter experts with advanced content knowledge. The job requirements usually include holding a specific number of degree hours in the subject being taught. Teachers may also be called professors in traditional college classes, and those positions require a terminal degree with additional research requirements. For all of these roles, teaching is meant to signify someone who is guiding the learning process by directing, telling, and instructing students. The instructor or professor is in charge, and the students must comply and follow as directed. Here is something to consider: If that is the essence of teaching, is there a difference between that and educating students? Is the role of a teacher the same as that of an educator?

What Does It Mean to be an Educator?

Consider some basic definitions to begin with as a means of understanding the role of an educator. The word “education” refers to giving instruction; “educator” refers to the person who provides instruction and is someone who is skilled in teaching; and teaching is aligned with providing explanations. I have expanded upon these definitions so that the word “educator” includes someone who is skilled with instruction, possesses highly developed academic skills, and holds both subject matter knowledge and knowledge of adult education principles.

Skilled with Instruction: An educator is someone who should be skilled in the art of classroom instruction, knowing what instructional strategies are effective and the areas of facilitation that need further development. An experienced educator develops methods that will bring course materials to life by adding relevant context and prompting students to learn through class discussions and other learning activities. Instruction also includes all of the interactions held with students, including all forms of communication, as every interaction provides an opportunity for teaching.

Highly Developed Academic Skills: An educator must also have strong academic skills and at the top of that list are writing skills. This requires strong attention to detail on the part of the educator and in all forms of messages communicated, including anything written, presented, and sent via email. The ability to demonstrate strong academic skills is especially important for anyone who is teaching online classes as words represent the instructor.

The use of proper formatting guidelines, according to the style prescribed by the school, is also included in the list of critical academic skills. For example, many schools have implemented APA formatting guidelines as the standard for formatting papers and working with sources. An educator cannot adequately guide students and provide meaningful feedback if the writing style has not been mastered.

Strong Knowledge Base: An educator needs to develop a knowledge base that contains subject matter expertise, as related to the course or courses they are teaching, along with knowledge of adult education principles. I know of many educators who have the required credit hours on their degree transcripts, yet they may not have extensive experience in the field they teach. This will still allow these educators to teach the course, provided that they take time to read the course textbook and find methods of applying it to current practices within the field.

Many schools hire adjuncts with extensive work experience as the primary criteria, rather than knowledge of adult learning principles. Those instructors I have worked with who do have a strong adult education knowledge base generally acquired it through ongoing professional development. That was my goal, when I decided on a major for my doctoral degree, to understand how adults learn so that I could transform from an instructor to an educator.

Becoming an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator

I do not believe that many instructors intentionally consider the need to make a transformation from working as an instructor to functioning as an educator. When someone is hired to teach a class, someone other than a traditional college professor, they often learn through practice and time what works well in the classroom. There will likely be classroom audits and recommendations made for ongoing professional development. Gradually the typical instructor will become an educator as they seek out resources to help improve their teaching practices. However, I have worked with many adjunct online instructors who rely on their subject matter expertise alone and do not believe there is a reason to grow as an educator. For anyone who would like to make the transformation and become an engaging and highly effective educator, there are steps that can be taken and practices that can be implemented.

Step One: Continue to Develop Your Instructional Practice

While any educator can learn through time on the job, it is possible to become intentional about this growth. There are numerous online resources, publications, workshops, webinars, and professional groups that would allow you to learn new methods, strategies, and practices. There are also social media websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter that allow for the exchange of ideas and resources within a global community of educators.

You can also utilize self-reflection as a means of gauging your effectiveness. I have found that the best time to review my instructional practice occurs immediately after a class concludes. That is a time when I can assess the strategies I have used and determine if those methods were effective. Even reviewing end of course student surveys may provide insight into the perspective of my students.

Step Two: Continue to Develop Your Academic Skills

I know from my work with online faculty development that this is an area of development that many educators could use. However, it is often viewed as a low priority – until it is noted in classroom audits. If an educator has weak academic writing skills, it will interfere with their ability to provide comprehensive feedback for students. For online instructors, that has an even greater impact when posted messages contain errors with spelling, grammar, and formatting. The development of academic skills can be done through the use of online resources or workshops. Many online schools I have worked for offer faculty workshops and this is a valuable self-development resource.

Step Three: Continue to Develop Your Subject Matter Expertise

Every educator has subject matter expertise that they can draw upon. However, the challenge is keeping that knowledge current as you continue to teach for several years. The best advice I can offer is to find resources that allow you to read and learn about current thinking, research, and best practices in your chosen field. This is essential to your instructional practice as students can ascertain whether you appear to be current in your knowledge, or outdated and seemingly out of touch. Even the use of required textbooks does not ensure that you are utilizing the most current information as knowledge evolves quickly in many fields.

Step Four: Continue to Develop Your Knowledge of Adult Learning

The last step or strategy that I can recommend is to gain knowledge about adult learning theories, principles, and practices. If you are not familiar with the basics there are concepts you can research and include critical thinking, andragogy, self-directed learning, transformational learning, learning styles, motivation, and cognition. My suggestion is to find and read online sources related to higher education and then find a subject that interests you to research further. I have found that the more I read about topics I enjoy, the more I am cultivating my interest in ongoing professional development. What you will likely find is that what you learn will have a positive influence on your work as an educator and will enhance all areas of your instructional practice.

Working as an educator, or someone who is highly engaged in the process of helping students learn, starts with a commitment to make this a career rather than a job. I have developed a vision related to how I want to be involved in each class I teach and I recommend the same strategy for you. You may find it useful to develop teaching goals for your career and link your classroom performance to those goals. For example, do you want to complete the required facilitation tasks or would you rather put in the additional time necessary to create nurturing class conditions?

After developing a vision and teaching goals, you can create a professional development plan to prompt your learning and growth in all of the areas I have addressed above. While this strategy may require an investment of time, it is helpful to remember that we always make time for whatever we believe is most important. Being an educator is not sustaining a focus on job functions, rather it is cultivating a love of what you do and learning how to excel for the benefit of your students. Becoming an engaging and highly effective educator occurs when you decide that teaching students is only part of the learning process, and you work to transform who you are and how you function, while working and interacting with your students.

What Is the Difference Between a Job, an Occupation and a Career?

Often the terms “job”, “occupation”, and “career” are used interchangeably. However, in actual fact, these terms have quite different meanings so it is important to distinguish between these terms.

A “job”is work for which you receive pay. It is therefore a means to live and may or may not be long-term or lead to anything else by way of work. For this reason a job can be seen as one large task or a series of tasks that is typically performed in return for money. Contract work and project work often contain “jobs” that have to be done, usually on a fixed-term basis (even if they are repeated over many months and even years). Individuals tend to talk about their work as “just a job” when it doesn’t give them much long-term career satisfaction.

An “occupation” is a wide category of jobs with similar characteristics. In other words, an occupation is a broad title for what someone does on a continual basis. This means that all of their work tends to fit into a professional category that most people recognize. There are many examples in this category but some might be an accountant, doctor, engineer, nurse, plumber, police officer, scientist or teacher. As you can see, most occupations are fairly well-understood in concept, if not specific terms, and there is therefore lots of good information to be gathered on them (online, for example) as a future career option. Job satisfaction is often greater in an occupational role, but in modern times, it is far less likely than it used to be that people stay in only one occupation. Today, many of us will change occupations several times in our lives.

Finally, a “career” is a lifetime journey of building and making good use of your skills, knowledge and experiences (wherever these are invested). Put another way, a career is a period of long-term employment usually in a given area or industry. An individual will therefore typically spend many years in an area or industry and perform what may be several different roles. A career is consequently similar to an occupation but is often much broader, as it may involve several linked occupational jobs in the same or similar fields. For example, a doctor might start as a resident at a hospital, become a surgeon, act as a specialist, become a medical director and finally become a hospital administrator. These are four very directly linked occupations but can be considered a career in the medical field.

Of course, in a more general sense, there is nothing stopping individuals from pursuing quite a varied career in which he or she starts as an accountant for instance, works his or her way up to a Chief Financial Officer, later becoming a Chief Executive. S/he may even end his or her career on the board of an entirely different company in an unfamiliar field — still very much a career!

So in summary, a job is work for which you receive pay, an occupation is a range of jobs with similar characteristics and finally a career is a lifetime of making good use of your skills, knowledge and experiences.

Why does it matter?
If you simply want a job, you may be happy to collect your money as a return for the hours you put in and not worry that much about where it may lead you in the future. Both younger and older employees often feel that this is entirely acceptable, as they either want to gain some experience for their résumé or have to earn money to fund their out-of-work activities or interests. However, as soon as you start to think about other issues such as greater job interest, growth, learning and development, and collaboration opportunities, you are starting to think in more occupational terms (a field of activity in which you might flourish) and career terms (where one job may well lead to another that you may enjoy even more). For this reason, we will be examining how to look at occupations and careers that provide the greatest potential for enjoyment for individuals. And in order to do this we first have to know quite a lot about ourselves.

How Do I Select An Executive Recruiter?

Experts in recruitment
Executive recruiters are specialized professionals. They work at the recruitment process exclusively, and survive on their ability to get results in a highly competitive marketplace. Most executive recruiters bring years of experience to their work, and are intimately familiar with every aspect of candidate identification, sourcing and selection.

Executive recruiters are hired to cast a wider net and approach accomplished candidates who are busy working and not looking. Many candidates are invisible from where employers sit, and will not approach a public job opportunity without the safety and confidentiality of third-part representation.

Executive recruiters have the advantage of meeting with candidates outside the interviewing arena where they can build trust and rapport in a neutral and protected environment. They have mastered the delicate art of persuading well-paid, well-treated executives to give up good corporate homes for better ones.

Executive recruiters remove a tremendous recruitment burden from management by presenting a limited number of qualified candidates who are usually prepared to accept an offer. They also are skilled at dealing with counter-offers, and managing candidates until they are safely on board with their new position.

Committed to confidentiality
Executive recruiters understand the privileged relationships they have and are committed to strict confidentiality — both by professional ethics and common sense.

Many employers want to keep hiring decisions and initiatives confidential from competitors, customers, employees, stockholders or suppliers to protect against unnecessary apprehension. Management resignations are often private matters and require immediate replacements before the resignation becomes public knowledge. Sometimes employees need to be replaced without their knowledge. For these assignments, an executive recruiter is usually the only confidential solution.

Candidates also need the confidentiality which executive recruiters can provide. Many candidates are willing to hear of outstanding opportunities, which could advance their careers, but few are willing to explore those opportunities on their own in fear of jeopardizing their current position. An executive recruiter is a third-party representative that knows how to gain the confidence of nervous candidates.

Objective professional counsel
The objectivity and feedback from an executive recruiter is invaluable to an employers. Recruiters know how to advise and counsel management so that the best hire gets made — the choice with the longest-range likelihood of mutual benefit and satisfaction. They can help employers evaluate their expectations, and bring industry expertise to assist with the development of job descriptions, reporting relationships and compensation programs. They can also usually provide investigative reports on candidates, third party referencing, personality testing, foreign language proficiency assessment, relocation assistance and other specialized services.

Executive recruiters help balance the emotional reactions and biases of corporate management. Likewise, the recruiter can act as a skilled intermediary — a diplomat, if you will – to clear up misunderstandings, straighten out miscommunications, and tactfully convey each party’s concerns to the other during negotiations.

Cost effective investment
The use of executive recruiters should be viewed as an investment in improving the quality of an organization’s managerial might. The right choice can dramatically increase a employer’s value; and that value rises exponentially moving up the management chain. The fees associated with any particular search become almost incidental considering the ultimate payback.

A good way to view cost is to measure the cost of a bad hire. When an incompetent new employee makes bad decisions, hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars may be lost. This employee will have to be replaced and the overall downtime for having the position unproductive can be staggering. Employers often engage executive recruiters to ensure that such trauma and expense are kept to a minimum.

b. Types of Executive Recruiters

There are basically two types of executive recruiters: retained fee and contingency fee. Both retained and contingency fee recruiters perform the same essential service. However, their working relationship with their clients is different, and so is the way these recruiters charge for their service. Retained and contingency fee recruiters each bring certain advantages and disadvantages to particular kinds of executive searches. Cost in fees is basically the same (twenty five percent to thirty five percent of a candidate’s first years compensation), with the exception that out-of-pocket expenses are usually reimbursed for retained recruiters.

Retained recruiters
Retained executive recruiters derive their name from the fact that they work “on retainer.” Employers pay for their services up front and throughout the recruitment process. Retained recruiters are typically paid for the search process regardless of the outcome of the search, however most retained recruiters allow employers to cancel the search at any time for prorated rates.

Retained recruiters provide a thorough and complete recruitment effort, often involving multiple researchers and recruiters on a single assignment. They usually create detailed reports on the employer, the position, their research and recruitment efforts, candidate resumes, interviews, reference checks and other tangible services that add value to the search process.

They tend to work in partnership with the employer, offering expert counsel throughout the search, and requiring exclusivity and control over the hiring process. The retained recruiter may participate in all client interviews with candidates, all related discussions within the client employer, all negotiations, offers, and settlements. While the process may take three or four months, the hire is typically guaranteed for a year or longer. Because a retained executive recruiter spends so much time on behalf of each client employer, she can only work with a few clients at a time (usually two to six). Retained recruiters will usually present candidates to only one employer at a time and will maintain a two year “candidate hands off” policy.

It is usually best to hire a retained recruiter when an assignment is critical or senior in scope (seventy five thousand dollars or more), when difficult to fill or requires a thorough recruiting effort, when it requires strict confidentiality, or when locating the best candidate is more important than filling the position quickly.

Contingency recruiters
Contingency executive recruiters derive their name from the fact that they work “on contingency.” Employers only pay for their services if an employer hires a candidate referred by their firm. If there is no hire, then there is no fee due.

Most contingency recruiters work quickly and uncover many resumes. They tend to provide more of a resume referral service, and spend less time with each client. Because there is no financial commitment from employers to support up front candidate research, contingency recruiters tend to move on to new assignments more quickly once a job opportunity becomes difficult to fill. Contingency recruiters find it is usually more cost effective to market exceptional candidates to locate job opportunities than to recruit for employers and locate difficult-to-find candidates. Most contingency recruiters fill lower to middle management positions where candidate marketing can result in greater chances for success due to the greater number of job opportunities. However some contingency recruiters will not market candidates and will only recruit for employers.

The relationship between contingency recruiters and their clients is usually less intense, with less personal contact and a lower level of mutual commitment. It is not uncommon for an employer to use several contingency recruiters on a single search, while continuing to try and fill the position on their own.

Contingency recruiters usually manage eight to twenty assignments at a time, and maintain a one year “candidate hands off” policy. They will usually present candidates to multiple job assignments, and often face pressure working similar assignments with different fee levels. Contingency recruiters generally guarantee their placements for thirty to ninety days, but some offer no guarantee. Although the placement fees are usually twenty five percent to thirty five percent a candidate’s annual compensation, many contingency recruiters are willing to negotiate their fees and some charge as little as fifteen percent.

It is best to utilize a contingency recruiter when the position is entry or mid-level management, when filling the position rapidly is more important than locating the “ideal” candidate, when filling multiple positions for an employer with the same skill set, and when it is important to fill the position at minimum cost.

c. Where to look for an executive recruiter

The best place to find a good recruiter is to begin with an in-house referral. Talk with the human resource department and employer managers to see what experience they have had with executive recruiters. Check with colleagues in other departments, peers at other employers or the local trade associations for additional recommendations. Another place to find comprehensive lists of executive recruiters is to purchase one of the major recruitment directories such as The Directory of Executive Recruiters, by Kennedy Publications, Hunt Scanlon’s Executive Recruiters of North America, or visit the many Internet directories of recruiters such as the Recruiter’s.

d. What to look for in selecting an executive recruiter

A proven track record. A good recruiter should have up to seventy five percent in repeat customer business, and completion rates that exceed eighty five percent.

Search results. For each assignment, find out how many candidates will be sourced, contacted and interviewed, and how many finalists will be presented.

Availability. If a recruiter is working on more than three current assignments, you can expect limited attention. Junior associates are no substitute to the quality recruitment offered by an experienced pro.

Performers. Recruiters should be doers not overseers. They should conduct the entire search from initial client discussions to research, recruitment, interviewing and final selection. Many recruiters will send their most accomplished recruiter or “rainmaker” on presentations to secure the assignment, but quickly pass on the work to junior associates. Find out if others will be involved with the assignment and what their roles will be.

A recruiter not a recruitment firm. The recruiter is the one performing the search, not the firm.

Industry specialists, not generalists. Specialty recruiters are more capable of completing an assignment quickly. Knowing where to go to find the best talent, and having the ability to quickly gain their confidence of talent is essential for a timely result. Recruiters that specialize within the employer’s unique segment of industry are often more effective.

Appropriate position specialists. Recruiters often specialize in lower, middle or executive level assignments. Find a recruiter that specializes in the level position the employer is looking to fill.

Trade association involvement. Association involvement helps establish a recruiter’s reputation and network of contacts. Find out what personal involvement and contributions the recruiter has made through participation in trade committees, writing articles for trade magazines, giving talks at industry events, and other prominent networking avenues.

Twelve month guarantee. Make sure if the new hire resigns or is terminated within twelve months, the recruiter provides a replacement at no professional fee.

Recruiters with good references. Validate recruiter claims of successes and industry involvement. Speak to references that can discuss recent accomplishments, ethical recruiting practices, and prove long-term, repeat business.

Premium service. Cost is usually the lowest factor on any hiring survey when employers are questioned on the most important factors looked for in selecting an executive search. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is true in most cases when hiring an executive recruiter.

Reasonable blockage. Check “off limit” policies. Find out what firms are “off limits” to the recruiter (protected firms that cannot be recruited from). If those firms are likely sources to fill the position, do not work with a recruiter who cannot touch those executives.

National capability. A national recruiter can often recruit a localized market effectively, but a local recruiter rarely can recruit a national market effectively. It is even far more important to find a successful recruiter who will locate the best candidates than one who happens to be based nearby.

Top 3 Rules to Land a Successful Career in Banking (or Any Career)

Every year many people dream of obtaining a challenging position within a great company, but so few of them actually reach the position of their dreams. A lot of people end up doing a boring or mundane job, waiting for an opportunity that never comes, or comes so late that we ask ourselves if it was really worth it.

But a few others climb the ladder of responsibilities with remarkable consistency and in only a few years. Sometimes they fall, but they seem to always get back on their feet in one way or another. They usually end up somewhere around the top of the hierarchy 20 years later. What skills or attributes do they have that is better than others? Are they simply better at the job? I know a lot of talented people, doing an excellent job, but that seem to be stuck for years at a low level of responsibility.

Is it pure luck? Luck plays a role for short term opportunities. But the fact that some people seems to always get better opportunities cannot just be explained by luck.

Actually I think that you can create your own luck, and that some people are extremely good at it. During my career I worked with a lot of different people. Some were successful and others were not as much. I have noticed some common characteristics in those who had the most brilliant careers. I truly believe that by following a few lines of conduct you can increase a lot your chance for success.

Here they are:

1 – Say “no” a lot

If you know where you want to go and you know your value, then you shouldn’t accept work in a field that doesn’t interest you, even if it is supposed to be temporary, or if it “is better that what you have now”. Learn to say no when someone offers you a job that is not what you want or does not show your full potential. Learn to ignore the people around you that want you to be reasonable, and tell you how great position is, it could very well be great but that is not what you want to do.

The only time you should compromise on that is when the position that is offered to you is part of the normal process to get where you want to go. For example if you want to be a trader, accepting to be an intern before getting a full time position is something natural,however working in the back office is not.

I know so many people who accepted the first proposition that came to them after graduation, thinking they will get better opportunities later. The truth is: once you start doing something, people see you differently, and have a harder time considering you for another job other than that which you are currently doing, whatever your qualities. If you keep insisting and refusing jobs you don’t want to do, they may consider you for the position of your dream.

And if you don’t make it in the end, what did you lose? The opportunity to do a boring job for the rest of your life? These kind of opportunities will always be there, trust me, don’t accept them while you didn’t do your best to do something else. So learn to say no, and to say no early.

2 – Don’t get too comfortable

If you feel too good in your current position, it could impact your evolution. If your goal is to climb the ladder of hierarchy, you have to be constantly on the move looking for opportunities. In every company, there are people that did the same thing for so long that nobody will think of giving them different responsibilities. And they shouldn’t, because most of the time, these people have lost the sense of challenge and the taste for change. They actually are so afraid of change that sometimes even moving from a working location to another can impact their performance. They are like a tree, people have always seen them where they are, and nobody can see them anywhere else.

So when you feel you’ve become too comfortable for too long, act now before it is too difficult to move. Scout for opportunities internally, and even in other companies. And above all: accept to take a reasonable amount of risk. Of course you could end up in a situation that is worse than it is now. But every positive thing in life come with a certain level of risk. And the most successful people will meet failure at some point. If you are always on the move and mobile, it will be much easier to get back on your feet after this. I think that is what makes the difference between those for whom failure means the end and those for whom it means a new challenge.

3 – Find that thing that sets you apart from others

If you want to succeed, of course you have to be good at what you are doing. But at a certain point, everybody is good in their core field, and that is not anymore the sole criteria for promotion. When the managers have to choose between you and others, you have to be the obvious choice. You have to become the one that has something more.

For example these recent years in banks, those who understand computers and programming have a certain advantage over the others. Because algorithmics and automation has become so important in the banking field, those who can understand the systems, and even able to build their own tools are the only ones who really master the whole process. And they are still so many bankers from the time where it was only about math and finance. Those who don’t adapt to the technology changes are no longer evolving, and choosing them for a managerial position means there is a good chance that they will apply old school methods and forgo keeping up with the digital revolution.

I think that in every field there is a skill set or knowledge base that is not typically seen as traditionally needed for the job, but that will actually give a boost to the person who masters it. This is because everything constantly evolves and often times people find it hard to adapt. Find this thing you can get that will put you a step in front of others.

The Importance of Career Aptitude Tests

It is very important that your career is one in which you are fully invested, in which you are happy and which gives you the remuneration you deserve. Many people go through life in careers that they took up only to keep the wolf from the door, or, even if it was something that interested them, it never got them the recognition or remuneration they thought they deserved.

It is for this reason that knowledge of your aptitude for different careers be gauged so that you can make the right decision early on in life. Many schools and colleges have included career aptitude tests in their final year programs so that students know what they should do next.

What are career aptitude tests?

These are designed to help you understand how your personal attributes like interests, values, aptitudes, and skills will impact you as far as success with a different career options are concerned. Out of a variety of career paths the one that suits you most will emerge based on your responses to a certain set of questions.

They are the first step in the process of career counselling and career planning, which includes information gathering, skills evaluation, skill development and enhancement.

A career aptitude test is one way of testing, which career suits you best. It tests your skill for specific tasks. Some say that a career interest test should be taken before an aptitude test, because if you are certain of where your interests lie, then you can develop the skill set for it.

Career aptitude tests measure your ability in the following – verbal and numerical reasoning, your analytical ability, perceptual ability, spatial ability, and technical ability.

Though it gives you an idea of your abilities, you cannot look at a career based on that, rather you should find out what interests you and then develop the abilities for that.

Evaluating and acquiring new skills has its basis in career skill testing. It is only after doing these tests you come to know where your interests lie. Then it is a lifetime of learning ahead, so the career aptitude tests must be designed properly so that you are on the right track from day one.

Some of the different popular career tests and their methods of suggesting careers

1. Test One examines your working style, your energy style, decision making style and your values – it uncovers your working preferences

2. Test Two outlines six personality types – you will be analyzed to fit any three of these. What sort of career fit this combination of three will be explained to you

3. Test Three analyses your personality and directs you to a specific career model within which you will hopefully find your dream job

4. Test Four gives you different career options to suit your personality type (which it analyses)

5. Test Five helps you to discover your personality type, and outline your ideal work environment and lists careers that match these two parameters.

A career aptitude test is the foundation for your development of your personal career. Whether it comes before a career interest test or after, it has its value in identifying your skills.

Exploring Your Career Path in the Financial Sector

Are you searching for a job in the financial sector? There are many excellent career choices in this industry that will give you great pay and benefits. Choosing a career as a financial planner is an excellent idea if you’re looking for a highly lucrative position with a bright future ahead of it. Jobs in the financial planning industry are expected to increase by nearly 27 percent by 2022. It’s a great idea to get in on the ground floor of an industry that is guaranteed to provide a lifetime of lucrative employment and career advancement opportunities.

What Sort of Degree Do You Need to Become a Financial Planner?

You can’t just expect to walk in and nab a “plum” financial planner position. You must show proof that you possess the necessary qualifications. A Bachelor’s degree in a financial field is an excellent starting point. It may get you in the door at some places. However, more and more employers are insisting that applicants for financial planning positions possess an MBA. This is especially true if you will be seeking a position that enables you to climb the corporate ladder to a senior management or even partner position.

You Will Need to Obtain Certification as a Financial Planner

The next step to becoming a financial planner is to obtain the necessary certification. The two most well-known types of certifications are Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). To qualify for the CFP exam, you will need three years’ experience in a finance-related industry. You also will need to have a Bachelor’s degree or better. And, finally, you will need to pass a thorough background check. The exam itself lasts 10 hours and is split over 2 days. To qualify to take the even more grueling CFA exam, you will need four years’ experience.

It Pays to Get Your License to Sell Stocks and Bonds

As a financial planner, being able to sell stocks and bonds is not necessarily a requirement. However, being qualified in this area certainly doesn’t hurt. You can obtain a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) license, such as the Series 6, 7 or 63, to be able to sell mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or insurance to a client. It’s an excellent way to gain more valuable industry experience and qualifications. At the same time, you are also making yourself indispensable to the needs of your clients and your employer.

What is the Career Path of a Modern Financial Planner?

Once you have achieved the necessary college degree to enter the financial industry, your career path will require first gaining three or four years’ worth of experience in junior positions. After gaining the necessary certifications, you will be able to work as a financial planner in an unsupervised capacity.

You will be qualified to receive your base salary, plus incentives and bonuses. That can easily add another five figures to your annual pay. As you work your way upward to a senior position, you can earn a six-figure base salary with matching bonuses and incentives. The career of a financial planner is thus a highly lucrative path to consider.

Are you an experienced financial advisor looking to make a change or buy a book of business? Contact the experienced financial advisor recruiters of Willis Consulting Inc. They have many top industry contacts and can help you land the position you want. See open positions at http://www.willis-consulting.com/financial-advisor-jobs/

The Way to Prepare for an Immigration Interview

There are many different forms of interviews with US immigration, such as an asylum interview, a naturalization interview, a US consular interview, or a spousal interview. The immigration officer carrying out the immigration interview asks very different kinds of questions at every one of those types of immigration interviews, so you’re going to be needed to display different types of documents at each. Even so, you will find a bunch of basic approaches for how one can prepare most efficiently to go to pretty much any immigration interview. Understanding the right way to be prepared to go to just one particular immigration interview will make you able to do just fine when you attend all sorts.

Tip #1: Get there on time to the scheduled immigration interview! More often than not it can be really difficult simply to be able to secure an immigration interview appointment and officials are constantly extraordinarily over-worked. Should you get there only minutes after the slated time in a hectic United States consulate or U.S.C.I.S. office, the case could very well end up being terminated, even when you do manage to make it there afterwards! Never fail to get there at the very least 30 minutes before your reserved immigration interview in case there may be traffic, there’s an extremely long line to get into the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building, you’ve got automotive problems, or perhaps you didn’t remember a document. When you have a lengthy commute to reach the office, allow for a bit extra travel time. Do not forget that a lot of things usually are not permitted within the office, which can include pepper spray, knives, liquids, lighters, matches, or even smartphones. For people with extra time, you’ll be able to put whichever objects you aren’t permitted to take with you back inside of your car or truck with no being stressed about being late. For those who arrive before your current appointment, your officer could quite possibly call you for your immigration interview early, and your lawyer or attorney will not yet have arrived. It’s best not to enter without the lawyer! Always ask your officer tactfully if you’re able to please wait for your immigration lawyer or attorney, who will show up by your appointed appointment time. Without a really good lawyer or attorney around, officers may request info they are not allowed to and/or improperly deny the case.

(Unfortunately, several US consulates will not allow an immigration attorney to go in with you. If this is the situation, make sure to prepare very well in advance so you know what’s going to be asked and how to answer.)

Tip #2: Dress properly for your immigration interview. If you go to an important consultation with the leader of a large company, you do not arrive in jeans and a t-shirt, but will instead be clothed in your current best dress or suit. Government authorities happen to be human beings, also, and they’re going to judge you based on your clothing to find out the variety of applicant you’re going to be. Dress conservatively, don’t wear clothes that are too revealing, and ensure that your suit will show you really are the sort of self-confident, reliable, and also honest woman/man that immigration official would like to share his country of America with.

Tip #3: Pay attention to every single question the officer asks and then respond appropriately and also truthfully. Usually the official is really a busy employee and frequently only has a distinct amount of time for each immigration appointment. If you are taking too much time, he’s going to give up his own lunch time and it no doubt will not get your immigration interviewer into a great mood at the time he’s deciding your case! Therefore, listen closely to each thing he asks and also don’t forget to answer specifically what she or he is questioning you about – not less and not more. in the event that the agent inquires where you entered the US, don’t tell him when. If she or he questions when you met your husband or wife, you should not tell him where. Simply answer each question directly, clearly, in the least amount of things possible, and truthfully. Not responding to any question or even giving the official a great deal more than he or she would like to know can aggravate him. You really want to keep the official comfortable so he will be more likely to approve your application. And lastly, if you can’t remember the reply to a query, it is okay to say that you do not remember or don’t know. Your officer should understand you might be nervous, plus it is better to be truthful rather than make a guess and give an inaccurate response.

Tip #4: Bring copies of all of your documents with you. While each and every category of appointment will require you to bring different documents, irrespective of what records you’ll be taking with you, definitely keep the original along and also an additional duplicate. Even if you sent a copy together with the application, it might possibly be lost so the officer is going to want a new photocopy. Alternatively, the immigration interviewer just might prefer not to locate the document and might be grateful if you give him an alternative duplicate very quickly. Keep all your legal documents in order so you can be prepared any time your immigration officer requests a document.

As long as you carry out these simple tips, you will find that the immigration appointment proceeds far better! You will feel a bit more confident and at peace and your immigration officer will notice that and it may improve your immigration application. In addition, your interviewer is going to be happy you got there dressed appropriately, punctually, and ready for your interview. Your official definitely will truly feel respected by you and this is an important aid at any kind of interview, and in particular in an immigration interview! Good luck – we’re certain you are ready for your forthcoming immigration appointment!

[http://www.immigrationamerica.org] is free website run by a licensed immigration attorney with years of experience. Our goal is to explain immigration law clearly and simply so you can understand. Our articles and services are free to help you. Our goal is to provide you with information, immigration forms, podcasts, videos, an attorney directory, and a wealth of other resources so that you’ll understand the US immigration system and how to travel through it.

How to Find the Right Immigration Lawyer

Immigration has been making many headlines in recent years. Globalization has resulted in a rapid influx of people from one country to another. Presently, there are an estimated 191 million immigrants, with the last 50 years seeing an almost doubling of the immigrant population.

With an increasing amount of immigration come increasing challenges and issues surrounding immigration and naturalization laws. One needs to consider many things in order to obtain and maintain the proper immigration status, including: processing requirements and timelines for work permits and visas, different laws from one country to the next, and the ever changing aspects of immigration law. It is always advisable to hire the services of visa lawyers so that careful immigration and visa compliance planning can minimize problems and delays.

It is here that the service of an immigration lawyer comes into the picture. The modern day complexities have shifted the focus to law firms that specialize in immigration issues and nationality laws. There are a number of firms that deal in niche areas such as US immigration laws.

Permanent immigration is the ultimate goal of many people entering or planning to enter the United States. But before this is possible, it is likely one will need a visa.

Immigration lawyers can provide the freedom many people seek to live and work permanently in the U.S. They also can provide the specialized know-how and answers to many questions in their designated field of immigration law.

There are two kinds of visas someone attempting to immigrate to the U.S. can get. One is a permanent visa while the other is the temporary visa. A person who acquires a permanent visa does so without any limit on the number of years they can stay. A person who receives a temporary visa is subject to a yearly limitation. Most non-immigrant visas require you to show that you don’t intend to migrate permanently. For a non-immigrant visa, you have to prove that you have a permanent residence in your home country that you don’t intend to abandon. Some visas are also of “dual intent” which means you may also attempt to obtain permanent U.S. residence through a green card.

Immigration attorneys assist multinational companies in the legal and orderly movement of their global talent across international borders. They also help obtain the necessary work permits and visas for U.S. domestic employees who need to be transferred abroad both temporarily and permanently.

However many companies prefer to keep a retainer immigrant lawyer, these attorneys can also be consulted on an hourly rate for their legal services whenever the need arises. While hiring an immigration lawyer, check that there might be additional costs such as postage, courier fee and long distance charges.

An immigration attorney can be hired through a reference. You can also contact a State Bar Lawyer Referral Service in your state. Another way to find an attorney could be to consult a yellow pages or advertisements in newspapers however these may not be the best option as the best of lawyers don’t advertise their services. The best way to find a qualified lawyer is through referrals from trusted friends, family, and other members of your network.

You can also search for a lawyer on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) website. AILA is a national association of lawyers and attorneys who teach and practice immigration law, so you can be reasonably certain you’re dealing with someone who understands immigration laws and policies.

Regardless of the method you use, make it a point to interview a few before making the final decision. Check if the lawyer is a member in good standing of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Last but not the least, check the credentials of the immigration lawyers you speak to. Contact your local state bar to find out if your lawyer is licensed and in good standing, and if he or she has ever been subject to disciplinary action.

The author is an individual writer loves to make informative and general articles on different topics, like in this article he is discussing about the tips for finding the best immigration lawyers or immigration attorneys or US nationality law firms.

Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer or Not?

There is no situation which absolutely requires a private immigration lawyer. Be careful not to misread that. I didn’t say that immigration lawyers aren’t valuable; they just aren’t required.

The fact is that hiring an immigration attorney is a matter of preference. As an immigration attorney myself, I can safely say that some immigration matters probably do not need the attention of an immigration attorney. If an individual needs to renew her green card, there’s a form for that that can easily be found on USCIS’s web site, and she can fill it out herself and pay the fee. It’s that simple. Don’t waste your money on an immigration attorney to do this for you.

Other immigration matters, while seemingly straightforward to the untrained eye, can turn into an immigrant’s worst nightmare if she omits something in her paperwork or admits something that gets her into immigration trouble that she wouldn’t have otherwise been in. For example, an individual with a criminal record (such as a conviction based upon shoplifting a pack of gum five years ago!) who applies for naturalization could be put into removal proceedings. Please don’t let that happen to you.

Then there are the incredibly difficult immigration matters that individuals usually have absolutely no idea how to handle, such as submitting complicated waiver applications, navigating all the different types of employment-based visa categories, or (heaven forbid) being placed in removal proceedings which necessitates at least several hearings in Immigration Court.

That being said, there are several very good reasons why people hire immigration lawyers:

(1) Immigration law is complex. In 2005, the Congressional Research Service reported: “The statutory scheme defining and delimiting the rights of aliens is exceedingly complex. Courts and commentators have stated that the Immigration and Nationality Act resembles ‘King Mino’s labyrinth in ancient Crete,’ and is ‘second only to the Internal Revenue Code in complexity.’

Finding someone who can navigate the complicated immigration laws can mean the difference between being able to live and work in the U.S. and being forced to leave. Legacy INS Spokesperson Karen Kraushaar stated that “immigration law is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.”

There are, however, some immigration attorneys who either cannot or at least have not yet figured it out. In a law review article written by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Northwestern University Law Professor Albert Yoon, it is noted that a panel of judges were asked which area of the law had the lowest quality lawyers. The judges “agreed that immigration law was the area in which the quality of representation was lowest.”

The lesson from all of this? Yes, immigration law is complex, but it is important to find an immigration attorney who can figure it out.

(2) Immigration lawyers can fend off future immigration problems. Because of the complexity of immigration law, it’s difficult for individuals attempting to handle an immigration case by themselves to get up to speed on the immigration laws. This is especially important if time is running against you, which it almost always is in immigration matters. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has stated in the context of detained immigrants that “the need for legal representation for immigrants has grown so acute and the consequences so drastic that something must be done.” If immigration attorneys are useless, then a U.S. Supreme Court Justice would never have made such a remark.

People sometimes think they do not need an immigration attorney because they don’t have any immigration problems. For a lot of people, that may be true. But for some people, it’s not that they don’t have immigration problems, but it’s that they don’t know that they have immigration problems. “Oh? You mean that if I leave the U.S. right now I won’t be able to come back for 10 years?” Yes, I am sorry. If that individual had seen an immigration attorney a year ago, there may have been something the attorney would have advised in order to prevent her current immigration predicament. Not seeing an attorney when in doubt can result in a lot of “could have, would have, should have” statements.

(3) Immigration lawyers do it better (statistically speaking). Statistics can be dubious and misleading, so I don’t like using them lightly. However, the statistics that I am about to share with you are verifiable and are worth your attention. Lawyers cannot guarantee a successful outcome in any case. In fact, lawyers should specifically say to every new client that “I cannot guarantee a successful outcome in your case.” The lawyer can then offer these statistics:

In the context of removal proceedings (where the immigrant is not detained):

The immigrant is successful in immigration court 74% of the time when represented by a lawyer;
The immigrant is successful in immigration court 13% of the time when NOT represented by a lawyer.
In the context of asylum cases:

Out of 37,266 affirmative asylum cases, 36.8 percent of claimants who were represented were granted asylum, compared to 4.0 percent who were not represented;
Out of 16,180 defensive asylum cases, 25.9 percent of claimants who were represented were granted asylum, compared to 7.4 percent who were not represented.
These statistics are not meant to be used as a sales pitch to a client wondering whether or not she should hire an immigration lawyer, or whether to hire you or I as her lawyer. Rather, they are meant to provide a wake-up call to the client, in essence saying, “Immigration law is complex. You can do this on your own or you can hire a lawyer to guide you.” If staying in the U.S. is important to the client, the choice is clear.

Immigration lawyers do much more than simply fill out immigration forms. We can spot immigration problems before they occur, and advise a client accordingly. When we believe the client does not have a good case, we tell them, and suggest ways in order to build a stronger case. When we are forced to fight the government, we prepare legal briefs in support of our arguments and make appearances in immigration and consular officers with our clients. We offer strategies for successful outcomes at immigration interviews, and inform clients of potential pitfalls to avoid at these interviews. As you can see, all the evidence supports the case that immigration lawyers are invaluable.

Secrets of A Recruiter Revealed

I felt it was time for a controversial article, so here we go. What’s the deal with recruiters? When I say recruiters, I mean headhunters. There are so many questions and controversy surrounding them and I felt it was time to address this.

How Do Recruiters Get Paid? Well, the rumor around this one is that you get a lower salary offer from the company because recruiters get a chunk of money off the top. The good news is, that is very far from the truth! Let me explain… There are two ways a recruiter is paid: contingent or retained, contingent being the most popular. Here’s how it works: A recruiting firm will call company X and negotiate a “fee”. This fee is a percentage of the candidates compensation that is paid to the recruiter when a candidate is successfully hired. The average fee is usually around 15-20%, but can go as high as 30%; this all depends on the type of position being recruited for. The firm then decides on how much money the actual recruiter gets from that fee, this can range from 0-100% of the fee paid by the company. Let me explain with numbers. Recruiter places candidate John at Company X. John makes $100k. Company X pays recruiting firm a 25% fee ($25,000). Recruiters then make their percentage fee on that $25,000; let’s assume 10% or $2,500. Some recruiters can receive a salary in addition to commission, while some are simply commission based. It’s also important to note that recruiters are only paid if the candidate stays with the company for at least a previously contracted period of time (usually 90 days).

Why Don’t I Hear Back From Recruiters? This is the question I hear all the time regarding recruiters. Well, honestly, it has two answers; one – you didn’t do your research, or two – the recruiter doesn’t care about you. So first, you didn’t do your research. Just because you called a recruiter does not mean they have jobs for every industry or level in the world, therefore; they may not have jobs for you. Most recruiters specialize in specific locations and industries. Do your research and find the recruiters that are right for you. This will increase your chances that they will be able to actually help you.

Secondly, most recruiters will not care about you if they know they cannot place you. This has nothing to do with your profession, but whether or not they specialize in your area. In large recruiting firms, they hold their recruiters to quotas. These quotas cover anything from how many people they call per day, how many interviews they have in person, to how many people they hire. To these firms, you are just a statistic. A statistic because the recruiter needs to “interview” people so they can meet their quota.

The secret here again is that you have to do your research and find a great recruiter. If you go to a great recruiter, they will have connections with the companies in your industry and will be able to help you.

One challenge with recruiters is that many of them simply search the internet to find jobs to recruit for and use you (the qualified candidate) as bait to get a contract with the company. This means they will send a blind email to the company with your resume attached. You are led to believe they have active jobs that you have a chance at getting, however, they may simply be using you to get that company to become their client so they can make placements with them in the future.

Sad, but true. After reading all of this, you might think you should find and work with every recruiter possible! Why not? Let them all find jobs for you, right? It will improve your chances of getting a job, right? NO, Wrong!

You definitely do not want to do this. You do not want to saturate yourself through all social media, major job boards and recruiters. What can happen is the potential employer you really want to work for receives your resume from 10+ different sources and this just makes them mad. They simply do not want to look at your resume 10 times over and after seeing it the first two or three times they may just throw it out. Whether this is wrong is a topic for another article and debate for another time.

We’ll say it again, and again, research the recruiters and limit the number you work with to two or three. In addition to this, tell them you will not send them your resume unless they tell you exactly who they will be sending your resume too. This is a good way for you to track where your resume is going so you don’t “over apply” to the jobs as well as stay behind the driver’s wheel!

When you speak with them, do not be afraid to question their background. What do they know about your job or industry? What is their track record in your industry? How many placements have they made? What companies are they going to send your resume too? While these may seem as bold questions, it is a better precaution to take rather then ruining your chances for a job with a new employer.

At the end of the day, recruiters are not crooks, devious or self-centered people. Most of them are good people who work long hours and are paid on commission trying to make a living. As with any industry, a few bad eggs have given the industry a bad name. I can promise you there are very good recruiters out there, you just need to find them.

Feel free to comment below and keep the discussion going! I will respond to all of your comments.

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