Rethinking the Role of Vocational Schooling

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Vocational education, a mainstay of the American school system since the early 1900s, has experienced a slow but steady decline in the last few decades. What was once a pipeline into stable, middle class employment has become, in many schools, a shell of its former self; programs have either been slashed in the wake of “accountability” and college readiness mandates, or have become options of last resort for students who don’t do well in college-track programs. The Smith-Hughes Act provided federal funding for vocational education for the first time in 1917. At the time, the nature of schooling and work in the United States was changing dramatically. With rapid industrialization underway, it was no longer safe or feasible for kids to learn a trade at their parents’ sides, and apprenticeships, which had once taken place in small, specialized shops, were no longer practical as a way of training new workers at a rate adequate to meet production demands. Continue Reading

Planning the Perfect Career Shift

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It’s normal for most people to go through a career shift as much as seven times and sometimes even more. If you’re not happy with your current career, it’s time for a change. The problem is you might want a change, but you’re not sure how to switch careers. The key is to be patient and take your time. With a little work, you’ll be in a new career you love. Decide What You’re Passionate About We all dream of a job we love getting up for every day and don’t mind working long hours when necessary. You don’t have to just dream about it. Start your career change by figuring out what you’re passionate about. If you enter a career you hate just because it pays well, you’ll be miserable. Think about things that make you happy. It could be a hobby, a major you never got the chance to use in real life or anything else. Continue Reading

How to Deal With a Bully Boss

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You’ve just started a great job, but you find yourself dealing with a bully boss. What do you do? You don’t want to lose the job, but you deserve to be treated better. Don’t worry. You’re not powerless. Learn how to deal with this type of boss and get the respect you deserve. Realize It’s Not You The first step is to realize it’s not you. Many employees blame themselves. The truth is a bully boss doesn’t target you because you’re a bad employee. They’re just bad bosses. Start by saying to yourself “my boss is a bully.” You’ll feel better and more ready to take on the situation. Document Everything Did your boss call you a name in an email? Were they making fun of you in the middle of a team meeting? Gather your proof. Keep every email and memo. Send emails to your co-workers asking if they witnessed the verbal or even physical bullying (such as harassment). The more proof you have, the easier it is to prove your case if you need to go to HR. Continue Reading

Learn Everything About Text Etiquette At Work in 2015

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Put that phone down and read these rules of text etiquette at work! With the lines between personal life and work blurring all the time, chances are you are using your smartphone at your desk. In fact, chances are you are texting your buddies about meeting up for drinks at happy hour. But you need to know how to handle texting relationships with your boss, colleagues and others in your professional orbit. This is not your group text with your buddies from college. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, keep your romantic texting as far away from this environment as possible. In fact, keep all your romantic aspirations out of the workplace. Now, onto the new normal of texting. Continue Reading

What To Do When You Have Nothing To Do At Work

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Nothing to do at work? That means you are underutilized, ignored and ready for action. Take this opportunity to build a new skill, start a side business or work your way into more significant projects at your new job. We have all been there. Slowly wasting away the days under fluorescent lights, waiting for the lunch break to materialize like an oasis. Toiling under a management class that enjoys the fruits of a steady business, but has no time to assist in the growth of its youngest and brightest. Sound familiar? The best thing you can do is take advantage of the time you are allotted and the lack of intense oversight. Build yourself into a candidate that can get a better job, instead of lamenting the problems that stand in your way at the current gig. Continue Reading

Virtual Online Education Learning Classes: New Age of Internet Communication

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Before the Internet became as necessary to daily life as electricity or plumbing, learning had to be found beyond the walls of your home. As the public’s access to the Internet evolved, though, so did the learning process – you no longer need a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica to find out how many islands are in the Indonesian archipelago or what South American parrots eat. With this increase in informal learning comes a need for formal learning to keep up with the breakneck pace. By now, you are familiar with the mainstream avenues for formal online learning – the various colleges run entirely online and the auxiliary programs done off the side of an established university’s desk. Virtual learning is also starting to reach the younger demographic, with private primary schools now run online and experimental teaching philosophies being tested at high schools. The classroom is changing with the times, thanks to new technologies and an explosion in Internet access.  Continue Reading

Unique Ways to Keep Yourself Happy at Work

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Your mood can drastically affect the quality of your work. You always work better and time passes faster when you’re having fun. Imagine how great it would be to stay happy at work most of the time. While you can’t control everything at your job, you can take steps to keep a more positive, happy attitude throughout the day. Help Someone Else You probably know at least one coworker who could use some help now and then. Lend them a hand when you get a free minute. Even if it’s something as simple as bringing them back a cup of coffee when they can’t take a break, the act of helping others around you makes you feel happier. You’ll definitely smile more when you hear heartfelt thank yous from your coworkers. Continue Reading

Traveling for Work? Consider Country Inns & Suites!

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As my career has advanced, I have warmed up to the idea of traveling for work. Where I used to dread it, I now have a more positive outlook. Aside from getting myself excited about seeing a new place, I now look forward to the amenities offers by the hotels where I stay, The Rest Comes Easy. Of course, the fact that my employer pays for everything doesn’t hurt either! Continue Reading

12 Ways to Keep Yourself Happy at Work

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Your mood can drastically affect the quality of your work. You always work better and time passes faster when you’re having fun. Imagine how great it would be to stay happy at work. While you can’t control everything at your job, you can take steps to keep a more positive, happy attitude throughout the day. Help Someone Else  You probably know at least one coworker who could use some help now and then. Lend them a hand when you get a free minute. Even if it’s something as simple as bringing them back a cup of coffee when they can’t take a break, the act of helping others around you makes you feel happier. You’ll definitely smile more when you hear heartfelt thank yous from your coworkers. Don’t Bother With Gossip  You have no way of knowing what gossip is and isn’t true. Worrying yourself about what you heard at the water cooler is just going to cause unnecessary stress. Avoid gossip as much as possible and never participate in it. Much of what you hear is false rumors Continue Reading

New Employee Introduction Email Ideas

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If you’re welcoming someone new into your organization, then sending a new employee introduction email to those within your existing workforce is an effective, professional way to introduce a new face to the team. Not only is this simply good manners – but it is also a chance for you to create a great first impression of your new recruit, as well as giving off a positive impression of your organization to the new employee. An employee introduction email isn’t just a name and title on a page - it’s a way of welcoming your new employee into your organization with open arms! Continue Reading