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What Do You Wednesday?

(Due to extenuating circumstances, this had to be postponed until today. Better late that never, as they say).

Name/Profession: Susan Havill, Human Resource Business Partner

What led you into this career/profession?

I enjoy helping individuals achieve their full potential and finding ways to promote organizational development that leads to strong business results.

What appealed to you?

The opportunity to partner with leaders to develop people strategies that promote strong business results for the organization.

What did it take for you to get into this position?

I obtained a degree in human resources.  I obtained, also, experience working for leading companies in a variety of human resource roles.

What is the best part of your day?

Collaborating with leaders to develop solutions to their problems.  Training leaders on people development skills.  Coaching leaders on effective strategies to bring out the best in their teams.

What is the worst part of your day?

I really love my current role.  In more entry level HR roles earlier in my career, I spent a lot of time inputting HR data and filing information.  I prefer working on more strategic efforts.

What is the average salary for this position and perks of the job?

The salary for an HR Leader can range from $80,000 to $120,000.   In some roles I have had opportunities to do some fun travel. Entry level roles can average $35-40k, dependent upon the part of the country you work.

How would someone get started in this position?

Get internships during college to build some basic experience.  Volunteer for nonprofit groups to take on HR- related projects. Join HR-related associations and get involved.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

It’s very important to achieve HR certification to show that you can apply HR learning to real world business opportunities.  Plus, I found that the course that I look to prepare me for the test was outstanding in helping to broaden my knowledge.

 

“What Do You Do?” Wednesday

Robert (Bob) Filichia, CPIA, Filichia Insurance Agency, Inc.

Current Profession:

Insurance Agent/Broker, Agency Owner

What led you into this career/profession?

After a career in the Navy, I decided to go into Law Enforcement, where I worked for ten years. However, I tired of the hours and intensity of the job so I made the decision to go into the insurance industry. My father and brother were in the industry, so I was familiar. I took a job with State Farm as a claims adjuster; then I moved to the agency side with my father and brother with Nationwide. My father bought out his share and started his own agency, and then I decided to do the same.

What appealed to you?

I’m a people-person, so I liked the aspect of being able to help and educate people about protecting themselves by having insurance; I feel that if I didn’t, it would be a disservice. I like that you can educate clients about their safety and protecting their homes, cars, business and life.

What did it take for you to get into this position?
A lot of tears…. I had to first take a qualifying course and be working in the field for a year. I then had to take a 260-hour course (it is probably higher now) and then take the State certification exam. I obtained the 220 license, which allows you to write policies for home, auto, and life. As I moved into other parts of insurance, I had to take the Life Agent Exam and the exam to become a Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA). The process can take several years, dependent on how motivated one is and the product you want to focus on.

What is the best part of your day?

When I am able to sit with clients and educate them regarding their coverage. As I mentioned, I’m a people person so I really enjoy helping my clients but prefer to sit with them 1:1.

What is the worst part of your day?

When I get customers who are resistant or who come in defensive. The often don’t want to listen and can get very angry. I’ve been cursed and yelled at. But my training in Law Enforcement is helpful to diffuse these types of situations, which turn out well, overall.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This can depend on the agency you work for. Typically, new agents start at minimum wage, but the more experience and training you have, you can move up. There are opportunities to better your salary through incentives (1%-2%), plus bonuses. The average salary can range from $35 – 40,000; but there are agents who can make in the six figures. Another perk is that training is usually paid for, which is a huge perk. The more motivated one is, the higher their salary can go.

What led you into this career/profession?

After a career in the Navy, I decided to go into Law Enforcement, where I worked for ten years. However, I tired of the hours and intensity of the job so I made the decision to go into the insurance industry. My father and brother were in the industry, so  was I familiar.  I took a job with State Farm as a claims adjuster; then I moved to the agency of the side of the insurance world. As did my father and brother, we became Nationwide insurance agents. My father and brother each had their own Nationwide agencies, and then I decided to do the same.

What appealed to you?

I’m a people-person, so I liked the aspect of being able to help and educate people about protecting themselves by having insurance; I feel that if I didn’t, it would be a disservice. I like that you can educate clients about their safety and protecting their homes, cars, business and life.

What did it take for you to get into this position?
A lot of tears…. I had to first take a qualifying course and be working in the field for a year. I then had to take a 260-hour course (it is probably higher now) and then take the State certification/licensing exam. I obtained the 220 license, which allows you to write Property and and Casualty policies for home, auto, business and life. As I moved into other parts of insurance, I had to take the Life Agent Exam. Later in my career, I completed designation training to become a Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA). The licensing process can take several years, dependent on how motivated one is and the product you want to focus on.

What is the best part of your day?

When I am able to sit with clients and educate them regarding their coverage. As I mentioned, I’m a people person so I really enjoy helping my clients but prefer to sit with them 1:1.

What is the worst part of your day?

When I get customers who are resistant or who come in defensive. The often don’t want to listen and can get very angry. I’ve been cursed and yelled at. But my training in Law Enforcement is helpful to diffuse these types of situations, which turn out well, overall.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This can depend on the agency you work for. Typically, new agents start at minimum wage, but the more experience and training you have, you can move up. There are opportunities to better your salary through incentives (1%-2%), plus bonuses. The average salary can range from $35 – 40,000; but there are agents who can make in the six figures. Another perk is that training is usually paid for, which is a huge perk. The more motivated one is, the higher their salary can go.

How would someone get started in this profession?

They first need to go to their State’s online website to see what the rules/laws are and licensing requirements. The then need to go through the required trainings and take the licensing examinations. Then, they need to find a broker to work for and learn from them.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

I would suggest that someone who wants to be an insurance agent to go work for someone else for five years to see if this is the industry for them, as it changes all the time. I would recommend starting as a Customer Service Representative (CSR), then working up. One also would need to like meeting and networking with people and have some sales skills, or be comfortable with being on the phone; these are taught in the CSR course but having an aptitude for these will make it easier to move into this role. I would recommend that once in the field, it’s about nurturing your leads and making the phone your friend.

 

How would someone get started in this profession?

They first need to go to their State’s online website to see what the rules/laws are and licensing requirements. The then need to go through the required trainings and take the licensing examinations. Then, they need to find a broker to work for and learn from them.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

I would suggest that someone who wants to be an insurance agent to go work for someone else for five years to see if this is the industry for them, as it changes all the time. I would recommend starting as a Customer Service Representative (CSR), then working up. One also would need to like meeting and networking with people and have some sales skills, or be comfortable with being on the phone; these are taught in the CSR course but having an aptitude for these will make it easier to move into this role. I would recommend that once in the field, it’s about nurturing your leads and making the phone your friend.

 

“What Do You Do?” Wednesday

Joanne McCurry, Professional Photographer

What led you into this profession?

I always had an interest in photography; I studied it in high school and college. I seemed to get a lot of compliments about my photos. I had sold an existing business and decided to pursue my passion in photography.

What appealed to you?

I like the problem solving, seeing things that others don’t, the storytelling aspect, and meeting new people.

What did it take to get into this position?

I had previous experience; when I wanted to pursue this further, I went back to college for digital photography. You need money for equipment and other start-up costs.

What is the best part of your day?

I like preparing for a shoot and planning, as well as taking the photos and editing to complete the finished look.

What is the worst part of your day?

Choosing the favorite photos and editing the ones I’m not keen on! Not knowing if I’m going to be working that day.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This differs from taking personal photos versus those for business. I take photos for realtors so it averages around $75/per property to $150 per hour for events (in addition to editing time).

How would someone get started in this profession?

A lot of people try but fail – it takes a lot of perseverance, a good eye, patience, and work. I took a local business start-up course, too to learn about how to run a business.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

It is a very competitive profession. Make good connections, build a client base and portfolio. It takes several years to become established.

“What Do You Do?” Wednesday

Name: Wende Landt, Realtor

What led you into this profession?

I began as a real estate investor, buying a property and renting it out, then selling it for a profit and buying another property. I found that I was sharing information with my friends on what I was learning but referred them to realtors I knew. Then, the ‘lightbulb’ went of:  “Why wasn’t I their agent?” Hence, my career in real estate sales.

What appealed to you?

The flexible hours to care for my children and have a great business. The industry is always changing and I love technology and learning, so combining this with helping people during a time that can be stressful – I knew this was the right business for me.

What did it take for you to get into this position?

To obtain a real estate license, I first had to pass a pre-licensing course, pass a background check, and then pass the State exam. Once the basic exams are done, in order to begin selling you must find a broker and sign up for the local LMS and Realtor associations. It then becomes following this by doing a lot of learning on how to actually have a business, including contracts and negotiating.

What is the best part of your day?

Saving my clients money! I love to get them the best deals possible.

What is the worst part of your day?

When things happen beyond my control that hurts the client. A big issue is with financing.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

For a full-time agent, I would say the average salary is $60,000/year. The largest perk is making your own schedule. Of course, this is balanced by being available when your clients need you. You can do much of your work anywhere there is an internet connection and a phone.

How would someone get into this profession?

Finding a school that teaches pre-licensing course is the first and foremost step, I do suggest getting a mentor and/or coach as soon as possible.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would give to someone who is thinking of this profession as a career?

It can be overwhelming when you first start, which is normal. Remember that this business is not as easy as it may appear. There are many legally-binding parts of the contract to learn, and you will be need to protect your client’s money to the best of your ability. This is likely the largest purchase your clients will make, and it can be a very stressful process. Remember to have patience, be honest, and remember the golden rule in life.

If you would like help in making a career transition, contact us today – let’s talk! http://www.cyscoaching.com

 

What Do You Do? Wednesday

Name: Jean Muurahaine, Managing Partner – College Park Consulting Group, LLC

Current Profession: Executive Recruiter

What led you into this profession?

When I graduated from high school, I would occasionally do secretarial temp jobs through “Kelly Girls”.  I was fascinated at the process of staffing and had a strong inkling I would really enjoy doing what the staffing coordinators did… interviewing and placing people on jobs.    It seemed like a natural fit to me.  Some people use recruiting as a stepping stone to move into HR or other areas.  Some people, like me, are born to this job and have made a life’s work of it.  From that first job in staffing, I took a career path into management with roles such as Staffing Manager, Branch Manager and National Service Delivery Director.  From there, I segued into Corporate Recruiting and then into retained Executive Search and Project Management with one of the largest Executive Search and RPO firms in the world.  In late career, my path changed again.  I decided it was time to open my own small recruiting firm.  I’m now Managing Partner and Executive Recruiter of my own firm specializing in Sales/Marketing, HR, and Manufacturing leadership. I plan to do this until I retire in a few years.

 What appealed to you about this profession?

The people interaction and fast pace.  I was an outgoing introvert.  I had very good people skills and, though a quite type, could develop instant rapport with people.  I genuinely enjoyed people.  I sat behind a desk doing administrative tasks as a secretary, but really hated it.  Staffing was a blend of administrative work with sometimes hours of chaos…ringing phones, a steady stream of people, urgent mandates.  The local branches of the agency were run like small businesses.  There was a lot of creativity and strategy involved in the job.  In my first job as a staffing coordinator, I learned how to manage/coach people, manage gross margin and profit, create candidate attraction strategies, assess talent, work with clients, customer service, and work toward goals.   I learned how all aspects of a business from sales to marketing to customer service fit together in a cohesive strategy for a successful business.

What did it take to get into this position?

One connection lead to another After getting my BA in Psychology, I was unsure of my next steps to find a career.  As so often happens in life, it was synchronicity that lead me to landing a great position. I had moved to a new city and was interviewing for HR positions without much luck.  I managed to get an interview with a large company, but they didn’t see a fit at the time.  My interviewer, however, knew a staffing agency owner who was looking for someone.  She thought I would be a terrific fit and she referred me to him.  I interviewed and received an offer within a few days.  I loved that job and stayed for 9 years.

What is the best part of your day?

When I have pulled together a great slate of candidates for my client’s position.  This doesn’t happen every day, but it’s the time when I get to do the things I love most….coaching for successful interviews, debriefing with the clients and candidates, negotiating, strategizing.

What is the worst part of your day?

Definitely business development- my least favorite thing in the process.

What is the average salary and perks of the job

It depends!  There are so many variations and entry points to this job.  I would say a typical starting salary with no experience may be around 35K – 40K.  An experienced Senior Recruiter can make 70k to the “sky’s the limit” with an average of 70K – 120K.  Again, it depends on experience, and whether one is working in a corporate role, 3rd party, RPO, or on a contract (1099) basis. An experienced Technical Recruiter can earn $60 – $75 per hour.   A retained search recruiter can make 200k+.   In a bad year, such as in a recession,  a 3rd party recruiter could make zero dollars.

How would someone get started in this profession?

The barriers to entry are actually pretty low.  I think HR is much harder to enter.   Seriously, people enter this occupation from all walks of life.  Usually, a college degree is all one needs to get in but, degree is not always required. A temporary staffing agency is a good entry point if you are fresh out of college.  A base salary is usually provided, plus a small bonus based on profitability of the office or other success measure.  Sometimes, individuals will move into recruiting after having been in other professions.  In this case, a degree plus business experience is usually all that’s required.  Corporate recruiting is a little tougher to enter because it is usually considered HR.  It’s very competitive and one would need to start as a recruiting coordinator or come up through a company through another route. If possible, I would intern somewhere to get experience on your resume.  Once you are “in” you are “in” and you can start building experience.  Then you can decide in which direction you want to take your career.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you make to someone considering this profession?

What words of advice and/or recommendations – This is a terrific profession and, in my opinion, doesn’t get enough recognition in the world of careers.  It’s a great stepping stone to get into HR through recruiting.  And, where else can one have the impact on people’s lives and the business marketplace, and have such high potential earning power without advanced degrees and years of experience?  In many 3rd party agencies, one needs to be good at and enjoy sales to be successful.  If you are not interested in sales, I would look at temporary staffing, RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) or corporate recruiting. Some RPO companies recruit entry level graduates and train them as “Sourcers” or Coordinators.   It’s also possible to find agencies where the sales function is separate and this could work too.  One does not need to be extroverted to be successful in recruiting. But, you must like meeting new people, talking to people and have a genuine interest in people and business.   Also, it’s important to remember this is a business career, not social work.  Good computer skills are also a necessity.  You will spend a lot of time looking at resumes, e-mailing, and using social media on computer screens.

Recruiting is a spectacular career that can take you to places you never dreamed. And, this is an understatement.  There are many, many options in this field.  For the individuals who get in this business and find that it’s in their blood, you can rule the world.

What Do You Do? Wednesday

This week, I’ll be profiling, and answering, what it takes to become a Career/Executive Coach.

What is your current profession:

I am a career and executive coach; as a career coach, I assist individuals who are looking to make improvements in their career, either through finding a new job or a promotion. This could entail helping them to identify their skills, strengths, values, and developing job search strategies, as well as interviewing skills. Often, this also can include helping individuals who want to start their own business. As an executive coach, I work with mid- and senior managers with their performance, which can include communication skills, decision making or negotiating, and just being better leaders overall. Helping them manage the stress of leading and helping them deal with difficult situations are also focus areas.

What led you into this career/profession?

There were several roads I had to take to get to where I am today. I used to be in a mid-level leadership position, and oversaw a particular program where I had to be out with vendors. I was required to have meetings with them, where they basically ‘cornered’ me at one of them and questioned why I was not doing what I did for them and be on my own (they had better insights than I did at that time). I had never thought of working for myself but it really got me thinking. I found the field of coaching and signed up to take courses to become certified; I was also pursuing my doctoral degree. I did a lot of research on the field, wrote up a business plan, and set up a target date that I would leave my job and open my company. I completed my coaching certification and graduate with my Ph. D. close to each other, which was a nice complement.I left my job on a Friday and opened my business on the following Monday, which was 10 years ago this April.

What appealed to you?

I was attracted to this field because it meets my need to help others, but I like the fact that there are many ways to provide coaching, so you reach can be wider in helping more people to live the lives they desire, while earning unlimited income.

What did it take to get into this position?

I took a coaching course, which was six months long. As part of the program, you have to both give and get coaching; once I completed these I earned my certification. I had to determine the niche area to focus on – since I teach a career management course at a university, focusing on careers was an easy choice. Focusing on executive coaching, which entails behaviors, was also easy as I have a social work background and my experience in leadership positions are nice complements. I also teach courses to MBA students, such as organizational development (OB), leadership, change management and a few others, so the knowledge and research I’ve done help in both areas.

What is the best part of your day?

Coaching clients and seeing transformations is exhilarating. Helping people to uncover their skills and realize they have the power to make changes in their lives is very rewarding. I love helping individuals uncover their big ideas and make them a reality. I also would say that the connections I get to make, through networking and association meetings, and even through social media, we as well as having the opportunity to speak and write also make up great days. There are just so many opportunities that make my days successful.

What is the worst part of your day?

Building a business can be hard, as there is marketing that needs to be done, making phone calls, keeping control of finances, etc. These can be outsources but I still need to oversee them. Working with a difficult client can also be very challenging. As I teach also, working to find the balance between that and my business dealings can be frustrating and result in long hours.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This is hard to answer, as coaches make their own pricing structure, and it also can depend on which part of the country, or the world, you are from. According to Sherpa Coaching, the average hourly rate for executive coaches can be up to $300; business coaches – $150, and life coaches at $100/hr, but you can charge an amount you feel is comfortable and that you deserve. If a coach offers a program, they can price as little or high as they want. Coaching offers the option to create multiple streams of income and deliver through multiple mediums. There is much written out there on this, such as through the International Coach Federation (ICF) or Sherpa Coaching websites.

How would someone get started in this business?

While it is not necessary to have a certification to be a coach, I would highly recommend enrolling in a coaching school, or taking a program, as you will learn the basics of human behavior and motivation, how to move people through transformation, and how to ask compelling questions to enable a client to get their answers for themselves (which is the premise of coaching). Writing a business and marketing plan will set the tone for a coaching business; you would also need to register your name with your State, and get a business license (all of which are usually under $100). You can set up a website and get business cards, but these are not necessities to finding clients and being successful.  I’d suggest looking at your own experiences or background to align with the area of coaching you prefer, such as health, life, business and the like; if you have something you’ve overcome, such as a divorce or losing weight, are good ways to help others overcome them, as well. Once you are set up, I’d recommend finding 100 people to coach, either for free or a fee, to hone your skills. I’d also recommend getting a coach, who can help as you grow and develop your business.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone thinking of this profession as a career?

I would tell them to run into this profession, as the possibilities are unlimited. Go to a coaching school to learn how to coach, take some marketing classes, and put yourself out there. Hone your skills to be the best. Don’t worry about what others think or set your bar according to others; be firm in your abilities and surround yourself with others who will support and lift you up. Get yourself a coach who can guide and support you, and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid – face any fears you may have and embrace changes you may need to make.  Focus on finding your ‘tribe’, or the people who need you, and you will have more happiness and opportunities than you thought possible.

 

 

What Do You Do? Wednesday

As I get a lot of people coming to me who are unclear on their career path, this weekly posting will be helpful to get a clearer understanding of various industries and careers that you might be considering. I’ll be profiling individuals who work in them and you can hear directly from folks who can give you the ‘low-down’ and inside information. They say that one of the best ways to do so is with information interviews – I’m giving you these. I would still encourage you to go and talk to others, as you will gain more than one perspective. I hope you enjoy these; if there are any particular jobs or industries you’d like to learn more about, feel free and message or contact me (cyscoaching.com).

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Melissa A.

What led you into this career?

My early career path was to be a pediatrician but, once I got into college, I didn’t want to spend that many years in school so I decided to become a Physician Assistant, which is a very competitive field. The fastest way to get into PA school is to become either an EMT or a Paramedic, as you need to have hands-on experience to get in.  I started out as a Pharmacy Technician but that experience is not considered for PA school, since there is no direct patient care, so EMT was the quickest path. I did consider becoming a Paramedic, but their schooling is one year  – I would learn the same things; EMT is three months which would allow me to get direct patient care and meet the qualifications for PA school. My grandmother is a nurse, and my mother worked in various management positions in the healthcare industry, so this was a field that was familiar and that I’ve been attracted to.

What appealed to you?

I like helping people and working with children, which is why I wanted to be a  pediatrician. I used to go to work my mom sometimes, so I am comfortable in these settings. I like the variety and options of settings to work in. I currently work in the emergency room of a hospital, so I have get to see a variety of patients and use various skills to help them.

What did it take to get into this field/position

Once I made the decision, I researched schools and talked to friends who were in the field to determine the best choice.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences so I did not have to take any prerequisites. I was still working while going to school, which can be challenging, but I was able to work with my employer on my schedule.

What is the best part of your day?

I like the variety of people I get to interact with, which includes the team I work on, which are other EMT’s, doctors and nurses. We are supportive to each other; along with the variety that each day brings, it makes the day go faster and be more fulfilling.

What is the worst part of the day?

Dealing with illness, and death and dying, can be stressful; sometimes patients can be highly stressed or sick and can be demanding or unreasonable, as can their families. Scheduling can be an issue, especially when people call off and you may be short-staffed. Another issue can be others expectations for their needs, which may not be realistic, or they want it in their own time; we sometimes are called to do several tasks at the same time.

What is the average salary and perks of the job?

This can vary on the setting you work in, as well as the part of the country and/or county in your state. I’d recommend investigating in your area for the average salary. One needs to know that this is not a high-paying salary, even though you are helping to save lives; it’s the satisfaction you get from providing that help one needs to consider. I would say perks can include the work schedule, as you tend to work longer days but have more days off; you can decide which shift you’d like to work; you can have a career without 4 years of college. I guess another ‘perk’ is job opportunity, as this profession needs all types of workers at all times.

How would someone get started in this profession?

I’d recommend learning as much as you can about the industry and the requirements; investigate schools for cost and programming to ensure you will have full capability to provide the proper assistance. I’d also recommend that one looks at the types of agencies who hire EMT’s, such as hospitals or ambulance agencies, and see which ‘fits’ your needs. Be ready to attend classes daily, and do clinical work to help you get hands-on training. There is a test to become certified, so studying, commitment and preparation will help one pass.

What words of advice and/or recommendations would you give to someone considering this profession?

I’d say be sure of why you want to become an EMT and make sure it’s compelling; find a good schedule while going to school and be ready to work when the need is there, not the other way around – the healthcare industry is a 24-7 operation. Do good work, be a team player, and never quit learning. The rewards will come, which may not always be in the form of money, but can come through other opportunities; I am now in nursing school and have been offered a job by my hospital once I graduate, plus I’ve been given the responsibility to train and on-board new hires. I’ve been recognized for my work and this has made me want to go on to have more responsibility and ability to help others, which is why I enrolled in nursing school. I don’t plan on stopping there as I’d like to eventually become a nurse practitioner. It’s all what you make it. Good luck to anyone considering this field.

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