Apprenticeships: Shaking Up the Typical Job/Career Process

Most job hunters are all too familiar with the “typical” process for entering a new career or finding a job:  you walk into a job interview and they want to know about your education, experience, skills, and any required credentials (license, certification, etc.) which you already possess.  You have spent a great deal of time – and money – to get to this point, and now you want a real job, with a real paycheck.  After all, you may have racked up a good chunk of student debt, and now you need that job to both start repaying it and to move on with your life and career.

However, the difficulty with the typical process is that it places the entire burden for job and/or career preparation, along with all associated expenses, squarely on the job applicant.  Go get ready, show ‘em what you’ve got, and if they like what they see, maybe you will be given a job.  Although there are variations, the typical process and its individual steps are similar to the one illustrated below. Continue reading

Are Your Career Goals SMART?

One of the challenges individuals face in establishing or working towards their career goals is clearly identifying and defining what they intend to accomplish.  Back in the early 1980s, the “SMART” goal-setting concept was introduced.  However, because it is a simple and common-sense approach to planning, it is still popular today.  Although the SMART model is sometimes modified to meet specific needs, at its core, the concept is the same.

SMART is an approach to considering and evaluating goals to ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.

A table detailing the meaning of the SMART acronym letters.For example, suppose you would like to pursue a specific career path but lack the necessary college degree.  After investigating the job you desire, you learn that a bachelor’s degree in the field of X is required.  Suppose also that you currently have either no college, some college, or an associate’s degree in X.  You are fully committed to the pursuit of this career path, so you establish a goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in X.  Let’s look at your goal from the SMART perspective. Continue reading