Hello everyone. Thanks for reading my blog the last couple of months. I have been working on a new site, and I think it is now up and running smoothly. You can link to it here by clicking on lorihopp.com. Thanks again for your patience and support while the new site was under construction. See you at the new site!
Posted by Lori on February 24, 2010
Is going to college really worth it? Probably so, but it’s not that clear cut, and economics have been arguing the point for 30 years. Most studies tend to show that college-educated people end up making far more money in the course of their lifetimes. (The niggle: Usually, it’s not worth paying for a private university.)
Oh my! This is not what we really want to hear. As parents, we want to know that the financial investment we make in our children will be returned to them ten-fold. Adults returning to college hope for the same return on their investment. It’s good to think the all efforts will be rewarded, but the truth is that some will come up short. In his article, Infographic of the Day: Is College Really Worth It? , Cliff Kuang gives us some amazing factoids.
- Every year, more than 2 million high school students enroll in college. After the first year, 1 out of 3 will drop out. Collectively wasting $9 billion every year.
- The most expensive college after room and board is Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. It costs approximately $149/day, $54,410/year. Take that times a 4 year degree and you have invested $217,640. For that much money, you could buy a Ferrari!
- Compare the tuition, room and board at Yale, an Ivy League College, to an in-state university and you will invest an additional $27,500/year at Yale. With that investment, you could expect to earn approximately $56,000/year. You could expect to earn about $49,600 with your in-state university education. If you chunk out all of the numbers, it will take you 17 years to make up the difference in tuition.
We will re-visit this information from time-to-time and see what other conclusions we can draw from the data. What is your plan for college? Will you go directly from high school to work, or will you go to a technical college, or university? Make sure you compare the data on the cost of the tuition with realistic earning capacity before signing your enrollment form.
Posted by Lori on February 23, 2010
In these days of uncertainties, you never know when you may lose your job. When faced with the dreaded pink slip, your mind races a million miles an hour. Do you enroll in college or vocational training? Do you just sit back and draw unemployment after the chips fall? Maybe you get hired by another company, but should you enroll in online courses?
According to Joseph Grenny from wetfeet.com, you should have the following conversations:
- Ask long-timers about past practices — How have layoffs been handled in the past? Is advance notice given? Are cutbacks across the board or targeted? How are the decisions made?
- Clarify compensation surprises with HR — Will the company be paying normal bonuses or annual raises this year?
- Assess your general risk levels — How likely is a layoff in your division? Department? Team? Job? If there are open forums with executives or other higher-ups, these are great places to ask these questions.
- Assess your specific risk level — Find out where you stand with your supervisor. What skills, job changes, projects or other actions would make you less dispensable?
- Have a conversation with yourself — What should you be doing now to prepare yourself to survive a layoff?
I think #5 is the most important conversation of all. You need to put yourself in survivor mode should the layoff actually happen. Perhaps you need to focus on learning some new skills, or pay down some debt. Be sure you address all of the conversations should your number come up and it will lessen the blow.
Posted by Lori on February 22, 2010
One common job interview question is, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The question is asked because the employer is trying to determine if you can paint yourself into the fabric of the company for the long haul. Will you make a committment to be trained for a job, then stick around awhile? Or, are you only wanting to make some quick money before hopping to the next company?
Lisa Seasholtz from wetfeet.com has some common answers to the question and gives the rationale on why you should give your answer very careful thought. Here are some answers from the list:
- “In your job”
- “At this company”
- “Married, living in Connecticut, with one child”
- “A partner”
- “Back in school – full-time”
- “I don’t know”
Think about how you would answer the question. Make sure you click on the link to find out how to improve your response.
Posted by Lori on February 19, 2010
Many companies have begun the search for summer interns even though it is only February. Working as an intern provides an up close and personal view of life on the job. It is as important to discover what you don’t want to do as it is to find a career that will make you happy. Also, the company is taking YOU on a test drive in order to determine if you would make a good employee upon graduation. Regardless if you would like to be considered for future employment or not, it will behoove you to conduct yourself in a manner that is appropriate. Wetfeet.com has some suggestions for you to put your best foot forward:
- DWI: Drinking while interning – no getting sloshed at the company picnic!
- Deflate your ego – respect EVERYONE.
- Work time isn’t nap time – no explanation necessary.
- Show skills, not skin – dress appropriately. Take clues from your co-workers on what to wear.
- Let the adults talk – no baby talk, please.
- Say it to my face – back stabbing isn’t ever appropriate.
Research companies in your area and see if you can find any who are hiring summer interns. Even if you find that you do not like the job, you will expand your personal network, which is always a good idea. You may even discover a new career path that will provide a lifetime of personal fulfillment.