Degree or No Degree? That is the Question!

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When you graduate from high school, you encounter the proverbial fork in the road.  Go to college and pursue an advanced degree or move straight into the work force?  For those who choose to go to college, your chosen field of study can say a tremendous amount about who you are and your outlook on life.  For myself personally, I am a firm believer that any degree field should have an ROI (that’s return on investment for those of you not in business!).  Let’s face it, college is extremely expensive these days. It places a large financial burden on both you and your parents.  I highly doubt any parents want to spend $70-$80K for a college education and have their child study Western Civilization only to move back home and work in a coffee shop (although I hear Starbucks has great benefits!).  I’m not saying everyone has to be a doctor or lawyer, I’m merely saying that your field of study should at least mirror your life’s aspirations.  Because of my business background (thank you USC-Upstate), I have a hard time investing money into something that doesn’t pay a dividend, much less pay for itself at least.

There are non-traditional degrees as well.  These typically include associate’s degrees along with specialized certifications.  As a Technical and Engineering Recruiter, I routinely encounter candidates from both the traditional bachelor’s degree path as well as the more non-traditional associate’s degree path.  Obviously the traditional degree holders are your engineering and management candidates.  Those with associate degrees are typically CNC/CMM programmers, mechanical drafters, and designers.  These are all highly specialized and sophisticated career fields.  I’m not here to say that one path is better than the other, but I have always been impressed with the degree of knowledge/expertise that comes from some of our technical/vocational schools in the area.  These candidates typically are currently working while going to school in the evening and possess a very strong work ethic.  These people are taken very seriously and are admired by hiring managers.  The same rings true with engineering candidates.  Several universities across the Southeastern U.S. yield some of the very best engineering talent in the country, if not the world.

What does this say about people in the work force who do not hold a degree?  From an early age, most of us were taught that you have to have a college degree to enjoy success and financial gains, yet many people continue to grow and thrive in the U.S. workforce without a degree.  According to an article in Forbes, 68% of Americans 25 or older do not have a bachelor’s degree.  Some of these include very powerful business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Mary Kay Ash, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Rachael Ray, and Steve Jobs – just to name a few.  So why is it that these individuals were able to thrive without any form of advanced degree?  It can be argued that these people all started their own businesses and didn’t need degrees since they were entrepreneurs.  Qualities they all possess include innovation, drive, and creativity to make their individual businesses successful.  As someone that works with numerous companies across several industries, I’m starting to notice a trend.  While companies publicly require a college degree, I believe that they secretly desire experience instead.  Having both seals the deal!

 

Written by: Chad Hardin, Technical Recruiter     

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How to Leverage Social Media in Your Career

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We’ve all been witness to how quickly social media can bolster and subsequently destroy someone’s career. Justin Bieber was discovered on MySpace, while Twitter has forever blemished Anthony Weiner’s political career. Every day people are also impacted by their online media presence, but usually in less viral ways. If your primary focus is protecting yourself from a social media gaffe, you’re on the right track but you’re missing some integral ways social media can help you as well.

Facebook

facebookMany people feel that because Facebook is a personal platform, its accoutrements shouldn’t impact the professional realm. I remember the good ol’ days when you needed a college email account to join Facebook and my mom didn’t “Like” every photo I posted.  Unfortunately, we now live in a different reality and you have to adapt. Most recruiters and hiring managers will check Facebook. A few strategies to avoid any mishaps include strengthening your privacy settings and censoring your posts. Much to the chagrin of many, this means removing any revealing selfies, blatant “party pics” and statuses that are polarizing or offensive. If you’re in the heat of a job search, you can even disable it until you’ve secured a position.

Can Facebook help me? You bet. Facebook is filled with people who support you. Don’t hesitate to share accomplishments, projects and goals. Additionally, it’s a great relief to me as a recruiter when someone’s Facebook I’m following up on isn’t littered with obscenities.

LinkedIn

768px-LinkedIn_logo_initialsIf you don’t have a LinkedIn, you’re missing a huge opportunity to promote your services, meet like-minded professionals and learn about career opportunities. More than just a virtual resume, LinkedIn is a great place to share articles that are relevant to your industry and post some blogs yourself without the hassle of a separate account or website. It’s supposed to be interactive, so use it for more than just the profile!

Can LinkedIn hurt me? In short, yes. Make sure that the dates on your LinkedIn profile and the dates on your resume match up. Use a headshot that is professional and flattering. And for goodness sakes, check the spelling on your profile backwards and forwards.

Twitter

indexThanks to the advent of screen shots, an ill-thought-out tweet lives on forever. You should review your privacy settings and stay vigilant about the information you disperse on Twitter. I recommend going back over the history of all your tweets and removing any that are off-color. Are they funny in the right context? Maybe. But consider whether or not your quick-wit is worth losing your job.

Can Twitter help me? Of course! Use this platform to share valuable information about meetings, events, and news. You can also advertise your skills and follow/interact with others in your industry.

Snapchat

240px-Snapchat_LogoMany of us have been burned by that friend who took a screenshot of the ironic and contorted face you sent in jest and then immediately shared it with the group chat (haven’t we?). Spoiler alert: that will always happen. Be judicious in the illustrations and photos you send through this platform.
Can Snapchat help me? Actually, yes. Many professionals share trade secrets and information about their businesses via the “My Story” feature. Send people to your website. Share a beauty tip. Promote your brand.

Instagram

instaI appreciate the privacy features on Instagram and find that typically people are more circumspect about what they post here. However, be wary of posting too many selfies as it can imply narcissism.
Can Instagram help me? Well, where would the Kardashians be without Instagram?

In summary, you have a virtual reputation that is very difficult to mend once tarnished. In addition to protecting it, spend some time strengthening it as well.

An Apple a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

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An employee’s health has a tremendous impact in their productivity at work. That is why educating employees on staying healthy and taking care of themselves is necessary in the workplace. Making healthy decisions such as smart eating choices, incorporating exercise in their life style and maintaining a good mental health through stress management programs are critical for employees and organizations. Healthy employees promote success and provide a return on investment for the company. In order for companies to promote health and wellness within the organizations they should keep in mind the following initiatives:
Create innovative programs that are fun for the employees. Exercise challenges are very attractive and fun to develop. A very popular practice is providing a pedometer so employees can measure the number of steps or their walking distance per day.
Promote healthy meals for company events and meetings. Whether it is a company meeting or a fun event, companies should encourage employees to eat right by offering healthy and tasty options.
Create a healthy environment. Designate areas that are smoke-free in and around the company’s premises. This will protect all employees from being exposed to secondhand smoke and will protect those who are allergic to smoke.
Provide incentives. Let employees know that good healthy choices are rewarded by giving them gifts such as gift cards to sports stores or  healthy grocery stores, healthy food baskets, gym memberships, etc.
Communication. Provide different sources of information with wellness initiatives. Use social media posts and websites about fitness and nutrition to educate employees on the latest information on wellness.
Commitment. Most importantly, the development of a comprehensive wellness program is only possible if there is a commitment from top management and willingness from employees to get involved.

Written by: Ana DavisAna Davis

Ana was born and raised in Colombia, South America.  Ana has been in the United States for eighteen years and is now an American citizen.  She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Masters in Human Resources and Management.  Ana’s wealth of knowledge comes from a background in international business, human resources and finance.  Her community involvement spans from serving on the Board of Directors of Loaves and Fishes, Greer Relief Agency, The Greer Chamber of Commerce and the Spartanburg Human Resources Association (SHRA). Ana has been with Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing since 2004 as a Recruiter and was promoted in 2010 to the Human Resources/Business Manager. She is a member of Fairview Baptist Church in Greer, SC and is married to Jerry Davis.  Together they have one son Chase (23) and twin daughters Kayla and Jessica (16).

New to the Area?

         Moving to a new city is exciting! After all, you are starting from scratch with a new place to live and work. A new city brings sights to see, and of course, new people to meet! A new city opens up a diverse mix of people and cultures, including locals who have vastly different perspectives and experiences to yours, and will enrich and widen your outlook on life.

Navigating in Greenville can be especially challenging to someone like me, who is from the Midwest. That area of the country was planned by creating homesteads. So for the most part, everything is on a grid system; most roads are north/south or east/west. It took me a while to realize that in Greenville I couldn’t just turn on a road and expect that it was going to head in a certain direction! I also had to really think while I was traveling on I-85. I knew I wanted to go east or west, but the signs only say north or south!

How do you navigate when you are new to an area? How do you go about finding a doctor and other professionals? I found the best resource for most things was to reach out to my co-workers, most whom have lived in this area for the majority of their lives. Another great source for information has been our children’s school teachers some of whom are also new to this area and understand the struggle.

An additional resource is to volunteer at charities that are meaningful to you. The more you put yourself in places that fit your interests and lifestyle, the easier it will be to find people with whom you have things in common. Also, the more involved you are in the community in which you’re building a life, the easier it will be to feel at home.

I have also found that keeping in touch with friends from my previous “life” has helped a lot. It is so much easier to do in our constant communication world!  There is no better feeling than setting a goal for yourself and working each day to achieve it. Learning your way around a new city (not just physically) is a reward as you continue to see the progress that you are making!

Written by: Carol Tribby

Carol_Tribby_3177Carol Tribby joined the Godshall team in 2013 as the Director of Business Development. She was born in Wisconsin.  She lived there and in Iowa growing up. She attended Hope College in Holland, MI and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She lived in that area until she relocated to Greenville, SC in 2013. She and her husband have 6 year old twins and love to camp and hike in their spare time.