Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why Is Labor Data An Important Piece of the Career Development and Job “Landing” Process?

Let’s first address what is Labor Data. Labor Market Information (LMI) includes all quantitative or qualitative data and analysis related to employment and the workforce. In other words, LMI looks at how many jobs are available and the quality of those jobs in the workforce. This is of course a simplified definition. The goal of LMI is to help job seekers, career changers, customers, educational systems and businesses make informed plans, choices, and decisions for a variety of reasons.

So why should job seekers look at LMI? The data can provide confidence, focus and motivation while they are pursuing a new career or career pathway.

Case Studies

Chris B. is considering a career in Information Technology. He has worked in Digital Printing for years. He started out as a technician completing the printing orders and eventually acquired a Bachelors to move up the career ladder. Over time he migrated to fulfillment manager where he managed several areas of the printing operations. He acquired technology skills by working with various software applications and Point of Sales Software to help facilitate operations. Chris is ready for a change but one where he can leverage his strongest transferable skills some of which include technology, engaging and helping others.

Through Chris’ initial LMI research he learned that the IT industry, including the cybersecurity sector, is expected to grow by 18% or 485,000 jobs between 2012 - 2022. The average median annual salary for computer/IT occupations was $81,430 in May 2015 per the Occupational Outlook Handbook. In addition, his research showed that information security analysts, computer systems analysts, software developers, and Web developers will be in top demand.

LMI data from CareerOneStop also showed Chris that with a 17 month to 2 year degree program, his earning potential will be close to 50k in NC and even higher in other parts of the US. For an entry-level Computer User Support Specialist position, which Chris is thinking of pursuing as his entry point, there are expected to be 15,050 Computer User Support Specialist Positions of varying levels added annually within the US.

While Chris doesn’t want to relocate, he knows he can move to another state because this job occupation is in demand. According to LMI data found on OnetOnline.org, Computer User Support Specialist is also known as Technical Support Specialist, Help Desk Analyst, Application Specialist and others.


Chris used Career OneStop to collect LMI on Employers that might hire him when he finished his training at a community college, technical school or area university. According to his research, he learned that over 100 employers had immediate job listings posted for Computer User Support Specialist in his state. These job listings correspond to the Standard Occupation Code (SOC) 15-1151.

With this preliminary data, Chris can begin making steps to pursue an occupation as a Computer User Support Specialist (I, II, III, IV). His motivation is high because he knows when he finishes his training the opportunities are there.

Naomi S. has been working as a Sales Manager for over 10 years. Within her Business Management work, she analyzes her sales projections and calculations by creating spreadsheets and word documents that resembled that of an advanced Excel or MS Word user. She uses macros and created spreadsheets to make operation decisions clearer. She doesn’t have a BS but several certificates in various areas. Using LMI data, Naomi has determined that a career as a Web Developer might be a strong option for her. She tends to migrate toward job functions that allow her to use her hands and solve problems at the same time. She is investigative by nature.

Naomi’s research started with OnetOnline as well. She learned that the average salary for web programmers is $64K and within the next 10 years there will be projected job openings of 58,600. This is approximately a growth rate of 27% for this job title alone. Of the respondents that participated in OnetOnline’s Web Programmer profile research, 20% of the respondents had Associate degrees while another 13% had a post-secondary certificate. Naomi’s confidence increases because she knows that she may not have to spend the time pursuing a Bachelors to enter the field. Her chances are decent for landing a job by acquiring an Assoc or Certificate.

The Occupation Outlook Handbook showed Naomi that there are similar occupations related to Web Developer that she could explore such as computer programmer, software developer and database administrators. While many of these similar occupations may require a BS or higher, Naomi can weigh those decisions prior to investing large amounts of time and money.

similar occupations.png

Naomi explores Career OneStop to collect LMI data related to the Information Technology industry with respect to her local area. Her research shows that in 2013 there were 1569 establishments that specialized in Professional, Scientific, Technical and Computer System Design Services (Industry Group # 5415) in her state. This same industry profile showed that over 42k were employed in North Carolina and the average wages paid in the IT sector was $84,760.

Naomi will begin to focus on companies classified under this number and network within this industry to ensure she is well connected with companies. She can land with one of these companies by the time she finishes her degree/certification.


Additionally, view a complete list of the top IT professions, with salaries and education level required.

If you are interested in working with a career coach, contact Smart Moms info@smart-moms.net

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 Best Careers/Jobs for Smart Moms and Dads

I have met thousands of women and men who are looking for careers that allow them to meet the immediate or projected demands of their lives. They are also looking for work that has value. Their enthusiasm is directly tied to their personality, interest, work values, financial goals or even skill set.

The list changes regularly due to our changing economy. My top picks are based on strong national job outlook and flexibility to do the work with a family, through illness or while caring for someone. Each career has decent earning potential and will utilizes and develops your transferable skills for that next opportunity. Each job is linked to a reputable resource that will provide more info in detail.

Visit our Facebook Page for job listings.

Here are my votes for some of the top 2016 mom and dad careers/jobs:


SKILLS - Skills required/acquired/developed while working this job
OUTLK - National Job Outlook
EDREQ - Minimum Education Required
SAL - Salary (Average Full-Time)
LOC - Remote/Part Time

  1. Personal Financial Planners
    SKILLS - Data Analysis, People Skills, Enterprising, Problem Solving, Listening
    OUTLK- 30%+
    EDREQ - BS & On the Job Training
    SAL (full-time) - 75k
    LOC - Remote, Part-Time, Full-Time
  2. Recruiter (Executive, Specialty, General)
    SKILLS - Selecting Highly Productive Employees, Assessing Needs, Detail Oriented, Prioritizing Competing Demands
    OUTLK - 5-9%
    EDREQ - BS
    SAL - 52k
    LOC - Remote, Part-Time, Contract
  3. Sonographers (also consider Radiologic Technologist & Computer Tomography)
    SKILLS - Results Driven, Investigative, Precise, Product/Equipment Knowledge, Good Judgement, Work Quickly
    OUTLK - 29%
    EDREQ - Assoc MRI
    SAL - 63k
    LOC - Part-Time, Full-Time
  4. Medical Records Technician/Manager
    SKILLS - Organized, Accuracy, Calming Agitated Patients/Customers, Research, Analytical Computer/Technology
    OUTLK - 20%
    EDREQ - Certification (RHIT)
    SAL - ~35k
    LOC - Onsite/Full-Time but set hours
  5. Interpreters/Translators/Linguists
    SKILLS - Collaborating, Accuracy, Neutral, Public Speaking, Professional, Listening
    OUTLK - 29%
    EDREQ - BS, On the Job Training
    SAL - 44k
    LOC - Part-Time, Full-Time, Contract
  6. Occupational Aides/Assistants/Therapists
    SKILLS - Technology, Quick Assessment of Situation, Resourceful, Problem Solving related to people, Social Perceptiveness, Great Communication, Physical Strength
    OUTLK - 40%
    EDREQ - CNA, Reabilitation Course, OTJ, Assoc, BS
    SAL - 58k
    LOC - Part-Time, Full-Time, Opportunity to Travel
  7. Web Developers/Graphic Design
    SKILLS - Evaluation, Problem Solving related to Complete Tasks/Goals, Creative/Artistic, Teamwork, Detailed Oriented
    OUTLK - 27%
    EDREQ - Assoc in Web Design
    SAL - 64k
    LOC - Remote, Part-Time, Full-Time, Contract
  8. IT/Cyber Security - Featured in the next post



Thursday, July 7, 2016

What To Do When You Are Stuck Trying To Reach Your Job Goal

It happens all the time, especially for multi-taskers, caretakers, Smart Moms, conventional, investigative, and artistic Holland code types. The steps needed to accomplish your goal can get overwhelming and immobilize you completely. You are challenged on what to do first, or next. I have been stuck thousands of times and have learned a few jumpstarts that can effectively get the ball rolling and send you on your way to reaching your goal once again.

  1. What is the job goal again? Why do I want to achieve this goal? Remind yourself what it is that you are working towards. For instance, the goal may be to get a job following being at home for 15 years raising kids. Yes, I have had some p/t jobs and volunteer jobs, but now I am ready to go back to work in an area that I am excited about. Real paid work. I need a paycheck, more or less feedback on my contribution, or maybe I need to work in a team where everyone has a part and there are repercussions if a part is not done. The ultimate question being ‘Why do I want to go back to work?’
    • It can help me to grow my retirement funds.
    • Maybe my marriage is not stable and I need a backup plan.
    • Perhaps, I want to feel accomplished and contribute to something outside of my home and receive the verbal and monetary accolades from this job.
    • Whatever it is, name it!

    It is your reason for pursuing this goal. Write it somewhere, where it can be seen by you regularly. Allow it to be imprinted in your mind.

  2. Stop the Ruminating. The self-talk in a Smart Mom’s mind is ongoing. We are tossing around solutions to certain issues with our children, how to carve out time with our significant other, important family member issues, how to exercise or provide self-care for ourselves. We have to coordinate the many doctor, school, household and self-improvement activities for our families and extended family. It is rewarding work but ongoing and does not leave much time for US. How do we stop ruminating and over thinking our decisions? How do we see the big picture (landing or create a job that meets our goals)?
    • Identify the fear - For me the fear has always been that I will not be able to serve my family as I have in the past. For example, because I go to work, my children will not make it to college or they will get caught up in drugs or some crazy boy while I am pursuing my career. I’m afraid of not being available to guide my children. What is your greatest fear if you pursue the job you are excited about? Name it.
    • Remind yourself that the chances of that fear happening are extremely low... List why your fears are improbable. You have been committed to this family for an indefinite time and caring for them is part of your backbone. You could not turn your back on them without completely abandoning a critical part of yourself. In other words, it is a false fear. Say it over and over when that fear pops up in your mind. It is a falsehood. Of course things can go wrong, but your greatest fear isn't worth stressing over. It is unrealistic and is holding you back from reaching your goal.

So here is your To Do List:

  1. Make sure your goal is clearly defined:
    goals diagram.jpg
  2. Place your Smart Goal in a well accessed place (Bathroom mirror, car dashboard, taped to your desk). Refer to it often.
  3. When you encounter immobility, refocus on the goal and YOUR why.
  4. Be mindful of the rumination. Different thoughts will come up at different times. Remember to name it and speak to why it will probably not happen. Refocus.

By following these steps you will reach your goal. Anticipate getting stuck from time to time but have a plan! Let’s get started.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Leverage Your Caretaking Experience

Recently, my mom moved to the area and is living in an Independence Living Community with Home Health support coming in regularly. As a mother, wife, employee, entrepreneur and endurance athlete among other things, I needed support to make sure that my mom is well taken care of. My role as lead caretaker has taught me many things. The biggest being - It takes a village to care for someone.

There are several job titles that are hot in demand right now based on the number of seniors that need care and living in senior communities. The first two require no special training and with prior experience even if it is personal experience you can be hired rather quickly.

Personal Care Aides - help clients with self-care and everyday tasks. They also provide social supports and assistance that enable clients to participate in their communities. Of all the positions this one seems less labor intensive.

Salary $9. 50 - 10/hr Expected Growth 26%

Home Health Aides - help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

Salary $10.50/hr Expected Growth 38%

Medical Assistants - complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. Most Employers required a state license and studies at an accredited program. Also known if certified as CNAs.

Salary - $14/hr Expected Growth 24%

If you are seeking a new career or perhaps you have been at home for a long period of time busy nurturing and caring for someone, this career may have strong potential for you. Even if you are starting out in your 40's or 50's and plan to work for a while there is longevity in this field and clearly defined career paths.

*graph taken from CareerOneStop - Career Latticing Program

Two of my top work values is Altruism (work that make the world a better place) and Helping Others. What are your work values? If you are like me, these work values drives me to work even when it is raining, difficult work culture or a challenging boss. I still want to go and help others. If your work values are similar, you might want to consider exploring these career options.

If Home Health Aides or the likes are not your cup of tea, check out NC Works for ideas or high demands jobs based on NC labor data at http://nccareers.org/starjobs/star_jobs.html.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Virtual Jobs - Amazon

Having been an entrepreneur for over 10 years, I can appreciate and sympathize with those that work in companies that have small infrastructures. For those working or have worked in these companies, when the computer breaks or there is an IT issue YOU have to work hard to get it resolved. Software, hardware, databases and documented processes all can be difficult to navigate if standards have not been put in place. Escalation can trying especially if you are working remotely. Working at larger companies does have it's advantages.

What are your work values? Are they stability, well-defined advancement paths, support? If so, your chances are high in finding what you need in a large well-established company. Of course there are the exceptions. Do your research and check out websites like Glassdoor and CareerBliss for company reviews as part of your personalized job search research plan.

One large company that has a decent amount of virtual jobs is Amazon. The employee reviews look decent and we know that the infrastructure is in place.

Check out Amazon Jobs - Virtual.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Five Ways to Land A Job

This blog post is targeted to the seasoned professional who has some work experience. It could be many volunteer jobs or has a combination of volunteer and paid work experience. Your volunteer work is valuable especially if it is applicable and should be presented in a self-promoting light on your resume, interview, networking sessions, etc.

Here are some interesting ways to land a job if you are a seasoned professional.

  1. Help Recruiters Find You – Use keywords on Resume and Social Media Profiles - Use Wordle.net to identify the keywords in a job listing and make sure they show up in the right context in your resume and cover letter/email.
  2. Network – Talk To Friends, Family, Church, Social Clubs – Strengthen your Networking Skills. Many of the jobs available are acquired through networking methods. Check out this Video on Networking.
  3. Visit A Trade Show or Job Fair10times.com. Check with your CPA but your fee to attend could be written off as a professional development tax expense.
  4. Find An Apprenticeship – MyNextMove - http://www.mynextmove.org/find/apprenticeship.
  5. Set up Job Alerts on 2-3 of These Top Job Sites – Use these job alerts to stay abreast of opportunities at target companies. Leverage your network for introductions and referrals.

Interested in Career Coaching? - Send an Email to info@smart-moms.net.