If you have seen several websites offering college degrees and have been considering getting a degree in accounting, there are some things that you should seriously consider first. As with any other career, the accounting field has many in’s and out’s. Below are some basics about the job description of accounting personnel that you should think about before joining the accounting field.
A. You may want to consider it. These days, one of the first things a recruiter or hiring manager does after receiving a promising lead is to search for the person on Google. Creating your own Web site or displaying your work on a larger platform gives you some control over what is found.
Even if you aren’t looking for a job, keeping an online portfolio can be a way to keep track of your accomplishments and industry activities. Be sure to let your boss know about the site and make clear that you are using it to showcase your work as part of your long-term career goals.
Q. What does an online portfolio typically include?
A. It usually includes samples of your best work, including articles, reports, PowerPoint presentations and links to blog entries. Portfolios are especially useful for work that can be presented visually, like photography, illustrations and ad campaigns.
Lisa Vaughn-Olstad, a lead agent at the Boston-based staffing firm Aquent, recommends including an “About Me” page that lists work history, education, affiliations and accolades.
An online portfolio can also illuminate your thought processes. Scott Belsky, chief executive of Behance, an online platform for creative work, says that when managers look to hire or promote someone, they want to see more than just experience. “They are also looking for that person’s process, how they do their work, who they collaborate with, how they test ideas,” Mr. Belsky says.
Some portfolios show an early version of a project, the final version and the iterations in between, he says, or reveal a process by telling the story of how the project was accomplished.
Be sure to check with your company, though, to make sure that none of the information you are displaying is proprietary. And make sure you explain clearly whether you worked on a project individually or as part of a team.
A blog on your portfolio, or a link to your presence on a site like Tumblr, shows visitors what is interesting to you professionally and personally, says Ms. Vaughn-Olstad. “You might be blogging about your work with disabled children or on the membership committee for an advertising club,” she says.
Q. Online portfolios seem a natural fit for creative professionals, but are they useful for those in noncreative fields like accounting, finance or law?
A. Yes, because having a consistent, online record of your accomplishments will make you visible on the Web and stand out to recruiters, says Angela Hills, an executive vice president at Pinstripe, a recruitment company in a suburb of Milwaukee. People with very specific technical skills, like engineers and programmers, can show examples of Web sites they’ve built or projects that used a particular programming language. “Don’t just tell me you have this knowledge; show me how you used it,” Ms. Hills says.
Analysts in finance or health care might use a program like SlideShare to post their presentations or papers. But in highly regulated industries like financial services, it is especially important to be careful about posting company information. Always check with your organization about what you can legally add to your portfolio, Ms. Hills says.
Q. Where on the Web should you place your portfolio?
A. Platforms are available for creative professionals to display their work visually, including Behance, Carbonmade and Dripbook; depending on the platform and package, the cost ranges from free to about $40 a month.
Platforms like these can be lead generators, too, as they are often searched by people looking to hire, Mr. Belsky says. You can also register a domain name — often for less than $10 a year — and create your own regular Web site. Designing your site can cost thousands of dollars if you use a Web site designer, or less than $50 a month if you use a site building tool.
Q. Are there certain things you shouldn’t include in your portfolio?
A. Don’t put everything you’ve ever done in your portfolio, because that will overwhelm visitors. Choose your finest work, which may not necessarily be your most recent but represents you best professionally, says Avishai Abrahami, chief executive of Wix.com, a Web site building platform.
And think carefully before linking to your social media presence. “If you use Twitter to tweet about industry topics, definitely link to it,” he says. “But if you tweet about your dating, don’t.”
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It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t think a vacation is a good thing. Beyond getting to explore different parts of the country or the world, vacations have been shown to improve mental health, prevent job burnout and even enhance creativity. Yet if you’re guilty of ending the year without using most of your vacation days, you’re not alone — at least among your peers. Your boss, however, might be a different story.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 81 percent of managers have taken or plan to take vacation this year, compared with 65 percent of full-time employees. While that number is up from 61 percent in 2011, the number of vacationers did fall well below pre-financial crisis levels. In 2007, 80 percent of full-time workers went on vacation or expected to take a vacation that year.
Take a look at the infographic below for more vacation statistics. Don’t worry about getting caught reading this instead of working — chances are your boss is on vacation anyway.
Matthew Tarpey, CareerBuilder Writer
The phrase “There’s plenty of fish in the sea” may comfort a recently jilted friend, but it is one of the most intimidating realizations for today’s active job seekers. For years you’ve been pinched on the cheeks and told you’re special, but when it comes time for a job interview, you may find potential employers a bit more difficult to impress than your Grandma.
So how can you set yourself apart from the hordes of starry-eyed, gown-wearing, degree-clutching graduates that you’re competing with? In her book “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your Career,” author Jennifer Merritt offers several career boosters to transform your run-of-the-mill résumé into a job-magnet jackpot.
Industry and professional associations
Many young professionals underestimate the potential payoff of industry and professional associations. Some are convinced they’re outdated and redundant, while others are just afraid of the price tag. However, when used properly, these groups can be helpful in expanding your network, staying on top of industry trends and furthering your education.
Once you’ve signed up, paid your dues and gone through the elaborate hazing process (just kidding), it’s up to you to make the whole thing worthwhile. Get involved by attending meetings and mixers, running for positions and joining committees or sub-groups of young professionals. “But don’t just stick with the youngsters,” Merritt says. “You want to meet people who’ve been there and done that and whose experiences you can learn from.” Don’t be intimidated by high-ranking professionals in fancy suits — chances are they’d love to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Check out these tips from employers on how to differentiate yourself:
You may have participated in some charity events through a high-school sports team or a bake sale your mother threw so you’d have volunteer work on your college résumé, but volunteering can benefit you in more ways than merely making you appear charitable.
While it is true that companies like to hire charitable individuals who can help the company’s image, there’s actually more in it for the company than just saving face. In fact, many companies offer volunteering opportunities to their employees, because a number of studies have shown that giving people time off to volunteer improves worker retention and recruiting.
But you’re not here to hear about how much companies like charitable people. You probably know that. What you want to hear is how volunteering can benefit you by expanding your professional network, offering you leadership experience and giving you the opportunity to enhance skills outside of your everyday repertoire. Plus the people you meet while volunteering will know you as passionate and full of character. That can lead to a referral in the future.
Most recent grads are of the opinion that alumni networks are their alma mater’s thinly veiled attempt at squeezing more money out of former students who are no longer paying tuition. For some time that was actually true, but due to the economic downturn and the snail-paced recovery, many alumni networks have started offering other services. Many now offer expert seminars, advanced education opportunities, mixers and dedicated alumni career services. That’s a lot better than a yearly magazine and some dinnertime phone calls asking for donations.
Meet-and-greets and seminars hosted by alumni associations are also great opportunities for you to add to your contact list. These can be especially helpful, because people often like to hire and promote other people like them, and sharing an alma mater is a great similarity to have. Plus it’s an easy-yet-effective ice breaker.
Skill-related classes and certifications
Employers generally prefer candidates who have demonstrated their ability and willingness to go above and beyond the bare-minimum requirements. So while having a hot-air ballooning license may not help you land a job in marketing, taking classes and earning certifications that are not only interesting to you, but are also related to your field, could prove advantageous in the long run.
In many professions, optional certifications can help you get promotions and stay on track with your career goals. Additional certifications and classes can indicate a deeper level of understanding of your field and convey a strong commitment to your career path. Investigate what certifications your mentors have or the titles of individuals whose jobs you may want in a couple years.
Of course, furthering your education doesn’t necessarily have to be career related. Taking classes is a great way to stay active and an excellent answer when potential employers ask, “What have you been up to since graduation?” Plus outside-work interests can potentially create strong connections with a boss or supervisor.
Speak up and become an expert
As Merritt puts it, “You don’t need a decade of experience to be considered an expert.” Experience doesn’t necessarily lead to expertise. Of course it contributes, but so do earning certifications, networking with industry players, being a strong communicator and staying up-to-date on industry trends.
As you grow your professional network, it’s likely you’ll meet people who host speaking events that are perfect for a budding expert or an eager first-time public speaker. Proving your knowledge and communication prowess at smaller venues can lead to larger platforms, such as guest blogging or spots on industry panels. Bottom line: If you want to become an expert in your field, go out and become an expert in your field.
I have written a few articles about dumpster diving in the past, and since then, more than a few judgment enforcers have shared their experiences with me. One of their stories was so interesting, I obtained the enforcer’s OK to make their experience for this article.
My articles are my opinions, and is not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and not a lawyer. When you ever want legal advice or a strategy to use, you should contact a lawyer.
A judgment enforcer had hit a road block in their judgment recovery research. They had an especially clever and experienced judgment debtor who hid their assets well. The judgment enforcer had accumulated quite a bit of info on the debtor, but they didn’t have a clue about their assets. This is the story of their first trash search episode, also known as a dumpster dive.
The judgment debtor lived at a home that they may be renting for cash, about 10 miles from the judgment enforcer’s home. The judgment recovery specialist began by using Google Maps, then went on a drive-by, to see what he could find out by going on a short trip over to the judgment debtor’s home.
The judgment recovery specialist then Googled “cityname garbage pickup” and found the right recycling/trash company for where their debtor lived. The trash company’s web site didn’t show the scheduled days and areas that garbage was picked up. So, they phoned the trash company, and told them he was going to move into their city soon, and he needed to ask about a tiny bit of info.
The judgment enforcer told the garbage worker the street and block that the debtor lived at, as the place they was planning to soon move into. They then asked the employee which day of the week, or day, would his trash receptacles need to be on the street for pick-up? He got his answer (Wednesday morning) and thanked them and said goodbye.
The next Wednesday morning, around 4:30 AM, the judgment recovery specialist and their friend started their mission. The judgment enforcer’s partner drove a small pick-up truck to their judgment debtor’s address. As they predicted, the recycling or garbage cans were sitting in front of their house, on the curb.
They pulled up next to the garbage receptacles and stopped. The plan was to keep the truck idling, and the recovery specialist wouldquickly snag their trash bags inside their judgment debtor’s trash receptacles. The reality was, while there were a couple of neatly-tied bags of garbage, most of their garbage was sloppy, wet, sticky, and smelly. There went their plan a quick and easy dumpster dive.
The judgment enforcer had brought along gloves, but they had no other equipment, not even some plastic bags. The recovery specialist transferred the few sticky bags there were, to the back of their pickup truck. Then he picked up the whole garbage can, and dumped all the trash into the back of the truck, and got a greasy stain on his pants.
Next to the trash can was a separate recycling receptacle, mostly full of junk. The judgment recovery specialist hastily dumped the papers into the back of their truck; just when a light came on at the neighbor’s house, and some dog began to bark. The recovery specialist’s heart rate quickened, and he jumped back in the pickup truck and they sped away, just as they thought they heard someone yelling at them. They did not wait to hear what that yelling was about. Luckily, they were long gone before anyone could see their license plate.
When they neared the freeway, they saw a few of the debtor’s recycle bin paper stuff were flying off the back of their pickup truck, so they decided to take the back-roads home at a reduced speed. They swore to either be much better prepared on their next dumpster dive, or to never do this again. After they got home, they arranged their “payload” on a thin tarp, and waited for daylight.
With tongs and gloves, they sifted through the judgment debtor’s garbage. As they expected, nearly all their trash was only trash, and all of the debtor’s recycling turned out to be useless. However, there was a gift within the garbage as they discovered a partly ripped-up banking statement and a void check which was half-torn.
The banking lead provided sufficient info to then do a successful bank garnishment, which paid off the entire judgment. Even though that stain stayed on his pants, and it was a scary, messy, and time consuming (especially with cleanup), the judgment payoff made the dumpster dive worthwhile.
Meetings are typically a familiar area in which to allocate disapproval when normal project or time management inadequacies become apparent.
They are frequently assembled to meet four distinct purposes:
The team meeting:
Typically project based, but not necessarily so. There may be many of these with personnel and higher managers. They present a chance to raise morale and build good alliances throughout the various disciplines, via the agenda of the meeting. It allows fresh and more seasoned members to get an understanding into less routine elements of the project. Typically, people will make a brief presentation as an aspect of their input.
All team members ought to attend and, compared to a progress meeting, they might have a less formal air, with less minutes, .
These effective meetings are formed for many reasons. Good problem solving strategies will be valuable here, beginning with the correct definition of the problem (Problem Statement). Only those with the necessary competence in addressing the problem need make an appearance. Similar to any other meeting they should generate minutes with particular points of action. Such meetings are normally summoned since there is an urgent need for the answer. For this reason, make all minutes short and circulate quickly.
These are attended by any amount of people from a few to a large number for company-wide communication. The success of the meeting will rely upon the information being put across and the manner it is introduced. There is no scarcity of technology for making sure any slideshow looks proficient. In the course of a small meeting you might wish to permit questions as you continue but normally, for larger meetings, keep them until the end.
An abstract of the meeting could be circulated at the end.
These business meetings are really commonplace within any project. They provide a chance for stating the ongoing progress of vital tasks against an agreed plan. Progress can be assessed at regular meetings or at a more formal point, like, a milestone of a project. In either circumstance, team members ought to be able to raise any problems that currently occur or may happen later.
Convening the right meetings will usually help with providing effective meetings.
All issues that may result in a delay in the project end time are critical. If project delay is inevitable, permission ought to be sought from higher authority (meetings of the Board) to alter any plans and schedules. Before you turn to this, can you run several activities at the same time, increase resource, enhance the hours of work, farm out tasks or merely increase performance by some means? You might need to take these alternatives to senior management, in addition to the effect of any project hold-ups, ahead of agreeing any extension of the project finish date.
Meeting spells ought to be reasonably short with suitably pinpointed actions. Most of the above meetings will be the responsibility of a Project Manager, however, you will be able to spot similar aspects in non business meetings.