To many of us, S.W.O.T. is just a business term. In an analysis of business, we look at each environment and do a SWOT.
But this same principle should apply in our very own lives. In order to be the best we can be, we should be able to identify all the components of a SWOT.
Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
The same principle applies to your weaknesses, opportunities and threats:
Performing a SWOT enables you to elevate your strengths, restructure your weaknesses, advance on your opportunities and crush your threats.
Over the next few months we will analyze significant steps for success. These steps are designed to encourage, direct and build the self-esteem of young people. I encourage you to take the steps with us and build a life long success manual.
STEP 1: SWOT, analyze you! What are your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities and threats.
STEP 2: Build from your strengths.
STEP 3: Face your weaknesses.. Dreams are launched here!
STEP 4: Take advantage of your opportunities
STEP 5: Learn from your threats
Join us as we break down the steps that will launch, design and equip you for success.
Original post for Career Kids blog by Demene Benjamin. Read more of Demene's tips at her personal site,www.demenebenjamin.com
During the holidays many companies increase their number of employees. Companies need these "holiday helpers" to cover the active holiday season; therefore, the jobs are temporary. What a perfect time to try on a job!!! If you are in high school or college, or maybe an adult considering a career change, what a great way to experience different work settings without too much commitment.
This exploration may lead to discovery of jobs that you didn't know existed. You may find that you truly enjoy the work and may seek long-term employment through the company. Or, you may learn that the job just wasn't the right fit for you. Great! Now you know, and without much time or money invested.
Some companies to consider would be: shipping/receiving groups (i.e. UPS, FedEx), airlines/airports, retail, and restaurant.
You'll find a lot more ideas and resources for holiday job hunters at the CareerKids website, here.
Original post for Career Kids Blog. Barbara Smith is a professional counselor for children in the elementary grades.
A reader left a comment in an earlier post asking if anybody saw the potato peeler salesman clip on the Today show. Since everything is on the internet (young people please take note), I easily found the segment.
It's a great reminder of lots of things:
- If you enjoy your job, it doesn't feel like "work"
- Don't think you know someone based primarily on their occupation
- The definition of success is different for everybody
Read the article and watch the clip about Joe Ades. You'll enjoy it.
Sometime ago, I was a cross country runner. In my first year of running, I managed to qualify as one of the top five from my high school. I hated standing at the starting line waiting for the gun, but just as the gun went off I went into the zone. Over and over again I said, "finish, just finish."
Over the years, my sister and I have made family plans and created lists of things that had to be finished. Some of the items were so simple: do the laundry, wash the dishes, go shopping. Sometimes I think we made the list long just so we could say we got it all FINISHED.
Each January, I sit with my kids and have them write their annual goals, things they would like to accomplish and finish before the end of the year. We review the list each December; talk about what we FINISHED and what needs to be revisited.
Last week, the idea of finishing came rushing back to me as I sat and listened to a lady talking about the great accomplishment of crossing off the FINISHED items on her to do list. I laughed when she said she writes things down just to say she FINISHED them.
As I analyzed the idea of finishing, I realized that "to finish" something implies that you have completed a cycle. You had to start something in order to finish it. Mike Spraklin's philosophy of rowing says that the finish is the aspect of “sending the boat away.” It is actually here that the feet are pushing the boat away while the arms are working with the body and oars are leaving the water. Wow, what a wonderful picture of the entire cycle.
To take the analogy out of the world of sports and to apply it to everyday life would mean that you have to first believe, work your belief, and then finish!
Will you chose to be a finisher?
Original Blog written by Demene Benjamin for CareerKids.com
To learn more about the author, please visit www.demenebenjamin.com.
As I write this, the Dow Jones is down almost 500 points and below 10,000. No one really knows from one day to the next how the markets are going to react and how long the difficult economy will be with us and how low it will go.
If you want tips on how to speak with young children about financial matters, here is a good article with expert advice on how to be honest without frightening children.
I have kids aged 13, 19 and almost 21. These are the questions I have relating to them:
Will they be able to get student loans to finish college?
Will they be able to keep/find jobs during the school year and summer?
What advice should I be giving them with their long-range career planning?
For my first question, I was reassured when I found that congress passed the Ensuring Student Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 one more year, assuring loans through the 2009-2010 school year. For more information about student loans, go to the America's Student Loan Providers website.
My next question is will my daughter be able to keep her part-time job that she depends on? Will my son be able to find a job when he comes home from school? This past summer was a rude awakening for him because it was not as easy as in the past. Will it be harder? I know knocking-on-doors and networking are still the best ways to find jobs for youth, but don't forget common websites like craigslist and groovejob.com
Young job hunters will not be able to be as picky as they may have been in the past. In my area, many fast-food locations were begging people to apply. I don't notice that anymore. Your geographic area will determine just how difficult the job market will be, but I plan on encouraging my kids to pay attention to any help wanted signs just in case they get laid off, remind them of the skills employers are looking for, including just being on time, and encourage them to consider internships to gain additional marketable job skills. The best place for them to learn about internships is either through their school, such as the department for their major.
Should people make adjustments with their long-range career advice? I think students should still be encouraged to follow their heart, albeit with a little practical sense. You have to enjoy what you do for a living. Period. But, students need to be aware of the related and connected careers available to them in the field they are interested in. Whether they want to be a lawyer, own a restaurant, be a stock broker, a dancer -- all of these careers have related careers that most young people don't think about and may in fact be better options.
Do you have students who are confused or anxious? Are you adjusting your advice? Please tell us what you think. A lot of people are confused right now. We should all be talking right now.
An acquaintance of mine is currently in training for one branch of the federal government. He will be in training for this division of the government for nearly nine months before going out on his own. However, he recently found out that a separate division of the government would like to interview him, during the time he will still be in training.
His situation led me to think about when it is professionally acceptable to change jobs? Realistically, if he is planning on pursuing this other employment, he will have to tell his current employer while he is still in training that he is pursuing other opportunities. It is easy to see how the current employer may feel that they have an employee who is truly not interested in the job he has yet to truly begin. The current employer could justifiably relinquish their employment offer to avoid paying for the extensive training that the employee is not completely interested in completing.
From the employee's side I can see how he would be pursuing the careers where he has interest, and taking employment as needed. Having a genuine interest in a job can lead to long-term employment with that company and can reduce the amount of burn-out often experienced by employees not truly invested in their work.
So, how do you make that decision? Do you potentially burn a bridge with a current employer in order to pursue a different position? Or, do you remain where you are to avoid the risks involved?
That's like a 6 letter dirty word if there ever was one.
At a young age, most of us can't think beyond money, a job and a want. But as time went on, many of us decided that we had to settle for the 9 to 5; for the traditional employment and living for a pay period.
It's hard to imagine that over half of the US economy is supported by small business owners. That means that somewhere along the line, millions of people got tired of earning just enough and living pay period to pay period. These creative, entrepreneurial folks started designing, manufacturing and marketing products and services of their own and became the backbone of the American economy.
Some of these businesses are now major corporations: Clothing companies like FUBU, media conglomerates like the Walt Disney Company, and darlings of the tech world, like Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
If that's not enough to make you change your stinking thinking - that "career" isn't a dirty word, but a platform to launch your dream - think about this: it wasn't just a job that got Martin Luther King, Jr. to dream, or a black man to run for President of the United States or even a women to run for the White House. These people chose careers!
I have adopted the theme, "Believe in Now." Now is the time to prepare yourself for greatness. Believe now you can launch your destiny and that now is the perfect time to believe in you.
Original post for Career Kids blog. Visit www.DemeneBenjamin.com for more inspiration and advice.
I have two kids in college.
My daughter is in a large, urban school whose Resident Advisors tend to look the other way at alcohol, pot, noise, etc., as long as no one is complaining.
My son is in a small, rural college which has a zero tolerance for most things: alcohol, drugs, candles in the room and any kind of noise at any time of the day. His RAs have searched trash cans just because they can. Seriously.
Two different types of schools with two somewhat different policies.
We tell our son that he needs to get involved if he wants to change the noise and other rules that seem extreme. And to question authority if he feels his civil liberties are being stomped on. But, we completely support the zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. A young person who discovers drinking -- and thinks an occasional binge is no big deal -- is better off being in the environment of his school. I just forwarded both the kids this research article that explains some of the reasons why we support the school with the no-tolerance policy that is actually enforced.
At Career Kids, we include a small amount of drug awareness products in our catalog and website, but they generally don't seem to be what our customers look for from us. I think we should expand our offerings because it is so important. Please let us know what you need and so that we can better serve you.
Learning styles are unique. We each have one, or two. Whatever your style is will ultimately influence how fulfilled you will feel in your career. Congruency within a career is extremely important in order to avoid burnout and to achieve the highest level of satisfaction.
There are several learning style assessments available. Find one that works for your grade level and/or clientele. Perhaps you are searching for information for yourself- this information is useful for you as well. Check out these online resources:
Original post for Career Kids Blog. Barbara Smith is a professional counselor for children in the elementary grades.