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I cried in public and am not ashamed…

December 24, 2008

Herzing College Online just had their third annual Holiday Party which yours truly plans, organizes and orchestrates. Whew! It is almost as intense as planning a wedding. In a time when organizations are canceling holiday activities due to the business climate and decreasing end of year bonuses we at Herzing College find ourselves lucky. We work for an organization that is growing, that is invested in its employees and their success, actually reduced health insurance premiums for next year and that welcomes employees and students into the Herzing family. I spoke a bit about this at the party as I was the acting MC at the festivities and actually got teary eyed and choked up to the point I was having a hard time speaking (I don’t think I have a career as a motivational speaker in my future). I asked my co-workers to take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we all are. It is a rare gift to find a career that you pop out of bed in the morning and are excited to go to. It is a rare gift to find an employer that is just as concerned about their employees and customers (students/graduates) as they are the bottom line. It is a rare gift to work for an organization that encourages forward thinking, new ideas and the chaos that comes with rapid growing and change to keep up with what the rest of the world is doing.

As I talk to my fellow Career Services Directors from colleges around the nation. I am shocked to hear that some of them service 20,000 students with just two or three staff. We on the opposite end of the spectrum are so dedicated to helping our graduates find jobs and internships that for the couple of thousand students we service we currently have six staff and in January will have eight. A demonstration of this college’s commitment to graduate success verses the bottom line. It makes me proud. It makes me proud that my staff gets the opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty for our graduates and watch graduates soar into new careers. I am proud that we get to know each and every graduate personally, by name, and their families and their stories even though we are an online college and they may be 1000 miles away. I am proud that we get to celebrate success, birthdays, graduations and “Herziversaries” with our student and graduate body and that sometimes a virtual pat on the back from Career Services is all a graduate needs to be re-energized in their job search.

2009 is going to be an exciting ride. We have many projects in the works that will increase our ability to service our Herzing Family; it is going to be fun to watch them grow, evolve and make an impact. Our growing student body may challenge our capabilities but not our commitment. Our number one goal is happily employed graduates.

For all those facing challenging times with the lay-offs, recession and turmoil on Wall Street stay strong! Every day I tell students that the right career will come along when it is suppose to and at the exact right time; when it does it will be the perfect fit. You just have to keep trying, keeping your head up, stay positive and don’t be afraid to be tenacious. There is an employer out there looking for you. Take this time to reassess your goals, do some volunteer work, further your education, perfect your resume and practice your interviewing skills.

January is typically a great time of the year to be job searching even though this year will be a little challenging given the economy. The businesses that are hiring will have new budgets going into effect which should mean an increase in employment opportunities, but remember it is going to be a competitive market. Be sure that you are in a competitive position. Ask yourself who is your competition and why are you the better choice? Is it your experience? Training? Education? Specialized knowledge? The people you know? Then market what makes you the better option and research what steps you can take to increase your marketability. Remember that in the job search your skills, knowledge and talents are a product and an employer is the consumer. Why would they want to invest in you?

I feel like I have rambled on a bit so I am going to close. My best to everyone, Happy Holidays and all my best in the New Year.

Amy

Please feel free to email me at achastek@onl.herzing.edu, I would love to hear your thoughts. You can also visit the best place on Earth to work and go to school at http://www.herzingonline.edu

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