A new year often brings with it new resolutions. A recent time.com article said that “enjoy life to the fullest” was the number one 2016 resolution. Number 6 on the list is “pay off debt” which correlates with number 4 “save more, spend less.” One way to achieve those two goals is to obtain a job position that pays more. That might even make the resolution list for some people- get a better job. It can be easier said than done. So how does one go about getting a better job?
- Make a plan
- Get organized
- Establish a network
- Stay focused
- Use social media
- Apply, apply, apply!
Make a plan– It’s hard to meet a goal that hasn’t been set. Create a vision- what do you want/need? Allow yourself to be open-minded, but keep in mind your natural strengths and preferences. Part of your plan might be attending college to earn a degree. Why? Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, says that “the payoff from getting a college degree is huge and is actually increasing. For people wondering if a college degree is worth it: Not only is it worth it, but the premium is growing.” Did you know that, “individuals with higher levels of education earn more and are more likely than others to be employed?” It’s true. Sandy Baum, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Payea’s report (2013) says that, “the evidence is overwhelming that for most people, education beyond high school is a prerequisite for a secure lifestyle and significantly improves the probabilities of employment and a stable career with a positive earnings trajectory. It also provides tools that help people to live healthier and more satisfying lives, to participate actively in civil society, and to create opportunities for their children.” Be reflective and consider possible barriers that may get it your way. Have a plan of attack to work around those barriers.
Get organized- Use a filing system to store paperwork, employment contacts, ideas, etc. Use a planner or calendar to keep track of appointments, interviews, or any important event that may assist you in reaching your goal.
Establish a network- You may have heard the quote, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” There is some truth to this! Granted, you need to be skilled/educated as well, but establishing a network could benefit you. Study the career field of your desired position. Research top professionals in that field. Follow them on social media if possible. Request business cards at meetings or conferences. Make connections and build authentic relationships (online and in-person).
Stay focused- Remember your plan. Figure out a way to keep yourself motivated. Better jobs don’t usually just drop in your lap. Be proactive and patient. Use self-initiative to take action. Think ahead and take advantage of opportunity when it comes your way.
Use Social Media– LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and job search sites, etc. can be great tools to see what career opportunities exist, learn about the profession, and promote yourself as a professional. Use them!
Apply, apply, apply- You’ve got to put yourself out there. Especially for an entry-level position, it’s better to be open-minded than to be overly picky. Refine your application (unique, but professional). Your resume will probably face a lot of competition. A small percentage of applicants will be invited for an interview. It’s good to gain interview practice!
Baum, Sandy, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Payea. “Review: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society.” Education Pays. College Board. The College Board, 2013. Web. 1 Jan. 2016. <https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/education-pays-2013-full-report.pdf>.
*If you’d like to give yourself the gift of education in 2016, consider DCTC.
Choosing a college is an exciting first step on your path toward a rewarding career. Naturally, we believe there is no better choice than the ECYD program at Dakota County Technical College. Some of the things that set our program apart from others are:
- Small class sizes;
- Convenient scheduling including full-time, part-time and online options;
- A two-day per week structured pathway to ensure completion of our highest award in 2 years;
- Transfer options to many four-year institutions;
- Affordable tuition and fees; and
- A hands-on approach to education that involves students in active learning of best practices.
We work closely with early childhood programs to understand what employers are looking for and to ensure that our students are well prepared for work in schools, child care centers, hospitals, Head Start, and a wide variety of other programs related to children and families. We are confident that you will find our classes to be active learning experiences that challenge you and hone your skills for a rewarding career working with children.
Use the contact information below to begin a conversation with either of the program instructors.
Dawn Braa Sharon Bergen
NOW ENROLLING FOR SPRING! Although our early childhood courses are filling, there’s still room for YOU! Options include enrolling in the Early Childhood & Youth Development or Child Life Assistant degree programs, taking a few courses, or enrolling in just one course. CLICK HERE for spring course information. (Note that some courses have pre-requisites)
We look forward to meeting you in person or online. *If you’ve already begun your educational journey, some of your previous courses may transfer in.