Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Career networking begins now -5 ways to do it

It’s never too early to start networking your way to a better future. The people you meet today could be your connection to a new career, but you need to begin forging those relationships now. Here are 5 important ways you can do just that:

   1.  Make a business card. Even if you’re still in school, you probably already have a skillset you could highlight in the hyper-short format of a business card. All it really needs to contain, though, is your name and contact information. A resume may give the details of your work experience and education, but it’s just not practical to carry wherever you go. On the other hand, a business card is super convenient, makes you look like the professional you hope to become and entices your contact to share their own info so you can follow up with an email or phone call.
2.    Reach out to your existing circles. Contact friends, coworkers and teachers who are in the career you hope to have and let them know you’re on your way there. In fact, tell everyone about your future plans. Connections are formed over time and you can’t possibly know all your friends-of-friends. The wider your networking circle, the more likely you are to find people who can help you land a future job.
3.    Create new circles. Join organizations and clubs at your school. At Career Quest Learning Centers, our students create connections in groups like the Student Council and the National Technical HonorSociety. Try joining clubs off campus, too. If you’re an IT student, you might consider a student membership in an organization like the Association of Information Technology Professionals. However, the clubs don’t have to be career-focused. Charitable organizations offer a great opportunity to do good while you connect with like-minded people –and you never know where those connections might lead.
4.    Get online. If you’re not already on social media, it’s time you are. Just be certain that the face you present to the world is representative of the professional you want to be. LinkedIn is an especially effective tool for career searches, notifying you of jobs that fit your search criteria. And it makes it super easy to check out the connections of people you already know.
5.    Get a mentor. There are people in your field who would be happy to serve as mentor to someone like you! Do a bit of research and find those who have the kind of career you’re pursuing. Then, just ask them a few questions; it doesn’t have to be anything formal. People like sharing their stories and they especially like to know that there’s a new generation as interested in their field as they are.

      At Career Quest Learning Centers, we’ll teach you the skills you need to start on your career path. Then, our career center services can show you how to prepare an effective resume and cover letter, find job postings and even how to network.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pharmacy Tech Job Growth in Michigan and beyond

Jobs in healthcare related fields remained remarkably resilient even at the worst of the recession and now that there seems to be a light at the end of the economic tunnel, some jobs are rebounding with gusto! Across the U.S., pharmacy technicians can expect to see above average job growth and in some Michigan locales, the prospects are even more promising. According to the Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regularly Affairs, places like Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are seeing job growth of more than 20 percent and even statewide the job growth for pharmacy technicians is above 16 percent.

Great news if you’re considering becoming a pharmacy technician, but even better is that the rosy outlook is expected to continue through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And there are more than a few reasons why there is such a growing demand for pharmacy technicians:

·         An aging population using more medications
·         Higher rates of chronic health problems such diabetes and heart disease which require prescription medications
·         Advances in pharmaceutical research which increases available medications and their uses
·         The affordable healthcare act which expands access to health insurance and prescription medication benefits
·         Expansion of hospital pharmacy departments and the pharmaceutical services
·         Michigan’s move toward “satellite” pharmacies on hospital floors which require additional staffing

Pharmacy technicians play a vital role on today’s healthcare team. As assistant to pharmacists, technicians are called upon to perform a variety of tasks, including:

·         Measuring medications to fill prescriptions
·         Taking inventory of medications and supplies
·         Packaging and labeling medications
·         Interacting with patients and healthcare professionals to fill prescriptions
·         Processing insurance claims and payments
·         Serving as liaison between patients and pharmacists

If you’re a detail-oriented person who would like a career where you could play an important role in the healthcare field, check out the Pharmacy Technician certificate program at Career Quest Learning Centers.

Career Quest Learning Centers offer an array of career training programs, many of which can be completed in less than 7 months. Call one of our three campuses or contact us here for more information. The beginning to your new career could be waiting behind a Michigan door in Lansing, Jackson or Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Customizing your resume and cover letter

Searching for a job can be an overwhelming process. And when you finally hone in on the possibility of a perfect job, you don’t want anything to stand in your way. That’s why your resume and cover letter need to get you noticed –in the right way. Below are a few ways to make sure they do:

Cover Letter
While your cover letter needs to be as individual as you are, here are a few general tips to consider before you send off a bland note that might not get you the attention you deserve:

·      Don’t address your letter “to whom it may concern.” Instead, find out to whom it should be addressed and give the reader their due respect.

·         Get right to the point. Your reader’s time is valuable –so don’t waste it! In the first line tell them the job you want: Dear Mr. Miller: I would like to be considered for the Medical Administrative Assistant position you recently advertised in the Kalamazoo Gazette.

·         Do some company research and then demonstrate your knowledge of the company with a positive spin. What do you know about the company and why do you like it?

·         And remember, it’s not what the company can do for you; it’s what you can do for the company. What skill set do you possess that makes you a unique candidate perfectly suited to the job?

You may understand the necessity of customizing your cover letter, but it’s equally important to tailor your resume to the job you are pursuing. Start with the objective, but take it even further by considering these suggestions:

·        Find out the programs and systems used at the company and make certain you include your qualifications to seamlessly link to them.

·         Pull language directly from the job description and include it on your resume. If your resume says that you ran a team and the job description asks for candidates who can lead a team; you’re now a leader. Even your job titles can be tweaked to fit your new job if they reflect the same competencies.

·         View your past positions in a new light. If you were once in retail, consider the full skill set you may have called upon to perform your job. Demonstrating skills in client interface and conflict resolution is another—and better—way of saying that you know how to handle difficult customers.

·         Include hobbies and interests. You never know how you’ll connect to the person conducting the interview. When it comes down to the final hire decision, it’s often just about whether or not they like you. And you’re more likeable when you have outside interests –particularly if they match the interviewer’s.

At Career Quest Learning Centers, we not only train you to work in fields with some of the best employment potential; we also offer career services including assistance with resumes and cover letters.

Friday, December 27, 2013

3 To-Dos for your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s probably no surprise that losing weight and getting more exercise generally land near the top of our New Year’s resolutions lists every year. But according to the Franklin Covey Co’s survey, two new resolutions broke into the top 10 category in 2013: getting more education and improving career situations.

The two do go hand-in-hand.

If you want a better career, you’ll probably need additional career training.

While starting a new career may seem like a daunting long-term goal, breaking it down into mini-goals can help you get there. Instead of thinking big, try thinking small and following these 3 strategies to find your way to a new career in the New Year:
Before you choose a career, consider your own strengths. If you like helping others and really enjoy working with people, you may want to consider a career in the healthcare field where you’ll get to do both. If you’re a problem-solver, maybe a career in Information Technology is just your calling. Or maybe you’ve always imagined yourself working in business. Whatever your interests and natural abilities, there’s likely a career and training available to you.

Research Once you’ve thought about who you are and the kind of work environments that you might like, it’s time to do a little research. Check out careers where top employers are offering the kind of work you might find rewarding.

Did you know:
·         Jobs  in healthcare are amazingly resilient
·          Since 2007, while most industries were losing jobs, healthcare added more than a half-million jobs!
·         Jobs for computer support specialists are expected to grow 18 percent through 2020
·         Administrative assistant positions are expected to see a 12 percent growth through 2020

Inquire But how do you find out more? Asking questions of people already working in the fields you’re considering is one way. Another is to investigate training programs available in your area. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or request information directly from the school. Remember, if you want to set out on the path to a new career, starting with small steps should be your first action. At Quest Learning Centers, you can train for many jobs in healthcare, IT and business in as little as 7 months. We even have a 14-month IT associate degree program. You don’t have to spend years to find a new career. You just need to take that first step.

Career Quest Learning Centers offer an array of career training programs, many of which can be completed in less than 7 months. Call one of our three campuses or contact us here for more information. The beginning to your new career could be waiting behind a Michigan door in Lansing, Jackson or Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

3 Benefits of Working with the Elderly

Careers in the healthcare field offer dependable and rewarding work –especially when you find a focus that’s a fit for you. Working with the elderly provides many intangible rewards that you won’t discover in any other healthcare sector.

Working in geriatrics gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life. Elderly patients and nursing home residents truly need the services you provide. You may need to take your patients’ vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure. You might help them clean, bathe and dress, or serve them meals and help them eat. By assisting them with personal care and helping them retain their independence, you are providing a vital service to your patients. On the front line of caregiving, you also are uniquely suited to be an advocate for them. You can act as liaison between other healthcare workers and your patient and make certain that your patient’s needs are being effectively communicated and satisfied.

Many of the people with whom you’ll work look forward to their interactions with caregivers as a highlight of their day. Your warm and empathetic presence in their lives can mean the difference between a dismal day and a bright one. Seniors are also more willing to show their gratitude. They appreciate what you’re doing for them and they don’t mind telling you so!

Nothing helps you understand more about what’s important in life than seeing others face struggles you do not. Seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have travelled much farther along life’s journey than you and they have a lot to teach about what matters most. As you learn about the aging process and what’s to come, you may be better able to set priorities in your own life and remember to spend time with the people who matter most.

Time Machines
One of the common benefits cited by those working with seniors is how much they learn from their patients. Elders have a wealth of knowledge to share and lots of time to do just that. Their tales can be like a hidden time machine, taking you back to a simpler era. Take a ride and you’ll be fascinated with what you discover.

Working with the elderly as a Nurse’s Aide or Medical Assistant means you’ll be working in a field with solid job prospects. The U.S. elderly population is soaring. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people worldwide aged 65 and older will nearly double by 2025. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that Nurse’s Aides can expect faster than average job growth through 2020 and medical assistants can expect much faster than average job growth.

When you choose to work with the elderly, you’ll not only be providing important care to a deserving population; you’ll be rewarded with sound job security and true gratitude.

At Career Quest Learning Centers, you can train to work in the healthcare field as a Certified Nurse Aide or Medical Assistant and specialize in geriatrics once you are working. Call one of our three campuses or contact us here for more information. Your new career could be waiting behind a Michigan door at Lansing, Jackson or Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Medical Assistants –5 Skills You’ll Need

If you care about people and have a strong desire to help them, you may already have some of the skills you’ll need to become a Medical Assistant.  A  medical assistant program may be the perfect match for the person you are and the job you could find in in today’s modern healthcare office.
1) Honesty & Integrity
Patient privacy will be entrusted to you as a Medical Assistant and you must guard that responsibility with the utmost care. Not only will you be privy to sensitive medical information, but you will also learn much about the personal lives of your patients. Honesty and integrity are also vital in your interactions with doctors and staff. The team approach used in most healthcare settings today demands that each member honestly and openly accept responsibility for his or her role within the organization. 
2) Interpersonal Skills
You’ve got to be a people person. As a Medical Assistant, you’ll spend most of your day interacting with people from all walks of life. You’ll need to be pleasant and helpful to doctors, nurses, medical staff and patients –patients who may be nervous about a procedure, a diagnosis or their overall health. Your ability to offer them reassuring words and a warm smile can be the difference between a good experience and a horrible one.
3) Communication Skills
As a Medical Assistant, you’ll often need to translate complicated medical terminology into a language that your patients can understand. Serving as liaison from patient to doctor, you may be taking patient history one moment and then instructing patients on post-procedure care the next. Your ability to effectively communicate can save your patients unnecessary stress, ensure that healthcare workers in your office do their best job, and increase the level of professionalism with which  your entire facility is run.
4) Fine Attention to Detail
Whether you’re performing lab procedures, doing coding and billing, or intefacing directly with patients, your fine attention to detail is an asset the healthcare field requires. Mistakes in the medical field can cost more than just time and money; they can adversely affect patient care.
5) Ability to Multi-task
If you’re thinking that working in the healthcare field as a Medical Assistant sounds like you’ll be busy doing a lot of different tasks, you’re right. The ability to quickly switch gears and adapt to changing situations is an important skill. As a Medical Assistant in an exciting medical setting, you’ll often be called upon to keep many balls in the air, all the while remaining pleasant and professional.  
At Career Quest Learning Centers, you can train to be a Medical Assistant in as little as 7 months. Call one of our three campuses or contact us here for more information. Your new career could be waiting behind a Michigan door at Lansing, Jackson or Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Administrative Assistants –More Important than the boss?

While you may have always suspected it, now there’s mounting evidence that Administrative Assistants serve roles in corporate America that are considered even more important than the jobs that their bosses do. According to a social media survey conducted by office giant Staples, almost two-thirds of those participating said office administrative assistants are more relevant than the boss when it comes to holding the office together. 

Good Administrative Assistants do perform a host of above-and-beyond tasks for their bosses and their companies. Often not receiving the recognition they deserve, Administrative Assistants screen calls and emails, organize meetings, manage schedules, handle travel arrangements and track expenses. In smaller companies, they sometimes become ipso facto Human Resource managers. And in big and small arenas, they serve as gatekeeper to the boss, discerning just who gets in and who does not.

In “The Case for Executive Assistants” article for the Harvard Business Review, executive assistant recruiter Melba Duncan points out that good assistants save their bosses time and their companies money. In addition to the roles which are most commonly associated with them, Executive Assistants can be crucial onboarding resources, helping new managers get up-to-speed with company culture, according to Duncan. “In this way, knowledgeable assistants are more than a productivity asset: They’re reverse mentors, using their experience to teach new executives how people are expected to behave at that level in the organization,” said Duncan.

And for a few highly skilled assistants, the roles they initially play within an organization serve as stepping stones to advancement. Because the tasks Administrative Assistants often perform involve direct client communication, project research and vendor negotiations, Assistants are often strategically positioned to understand the full scope of what a company does and where it may be going –and to follow their company’s upward trajectory.

The value of and potential for today’s Administrative Assistants can’t be overstated. They are vital members of any organization. At Career Quest Learning Centers, students in the Administrative Office Professional Program are trained to work in today’s modern office setting. The program offers a wide array of office, communication and computer instruction to help students prepare for entry-level through advanced-level employment.