Monday, December 17, 2018

7 Ways to Gain Experience

A common question from students and graduates transitioning to a new career is how to obtain to a new position in their field when the opportunities they are finding often require 2-3 years of experience. This can be a very frustrating conundrum indeed. However, don’t despair! Review the tips below to secure a position in your chosen career.
1. Explore our How To Gain Experience page where we have compiled five strategies to help you build the skills and experience needed to land that first position. 

2. Find an internship or volunteer opportunity. Securing an internship or volunteer position in your career area of interest is a great way to gain experience. An internship or volunteer position also provides you with the opportunity to build your network. It is not uncommon for an internship or volunteer position to turn into a paid position.

 3. Utilize LinkedIn. Networking with industry professionals through LinkedIn is a great way to find out what employers are looking for and how to enter into a particular field. Connect with people at the organizations you are interested in and attempt to build relationships. You may also want to connect with people who hold positions you have targeted and pick their brains for advice regarding entering a particular field. Reach out to WGU Alumni in your desired field to conduct informational interviews. Conducting informational interviews with alumni is a great way to get advice on how to better align yourself with entry level employment in your field and to learn more about how they got started in the field.

4. Search for keywords instead of job titles. Don’t give up on finding entry-level opportunities, just be creative in your approach. Instead of entering titles into job boards search specific skills. For example, if you are seeking an entry-level position in human resources, search for terms like ‘onboarding’ and ‘staffing’. Considering the fact that job titles rarely tell the complete story of a person’s duties, you may have to focus on the activities you would like to do at work as opposed to the title.

5. Consider alternative options. You can always look into comparable industries for a smoother transition. Consider positions that will help you gain experience with the end goal being to move to your field of choice later down the line. For example, staffing could be a good alternative to human resources. You can easily take your experience in staffing and move to a more human resources related opportunity down the road. If you are currently working, think about gaining industry experience from another department within your current company. Talk to people in your human resources department or your supervisor to see if there are any opportunities/help needed where you can gain experience. 

6. Visit staffing agencies. Staffing agencies are yet another resource you can use to find entry-level opportunities. It is always good to have someone else working on your behalf to find openings for you. These companies have both long-term and short-term entry-level positions that can give your resume a much needed boost.

7. Continue your professional development. There are many places where you can find free or cheap courses for continuous learning, including the WGU Career & Professional Development website. Some of the categories include communication, business acumen, strategic leadership, and conflict management. Not only will you gain knowledge, but completing additional coursework and trainings demonstrates your passion for your career and how you stay up to date on the latest changes in your field.

Be proactive in your job search and create opportunities by following the tips above. Don't wait around for a position to fall in your lap or solely depend on your degree for entry. Get started today and contact your WGU Career & Professional Development Specialist for individual assistance!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Teaching & Tutoring Online

Online teaching is becoming more and more common these days. Modern technology makes it possible for online teachers to share their knowledge with similar levels of quality as teachers in a classroom setting. It may even allow for more personalized learning for the child, and more children reached!

Now, teachers and tutors have a wide range of online opportunities to choose from. If you want to have a rest from a daily commute, get additional income, or want to travel and work, then online teaching could be the right choice for you.

Let’s learn more about teaching online and explore an opportunity to teach from the comfort of your home or really, just about anywhere

How to be a successful online teacher?
There are many similarities with being a classroom teacher, a tutor and online teacher. Many of the best practices teachers use in their classroom will apply to being an online teacher too. Some are also unique to online teaching. Here are some of tips for being a successful online teacher:
  1. Be prepared: Teachers take their preparation seriously, and online teachers do too. Knowing the lesson, content and learning goals ahead of time is critical, as well as knowing the student. Some online teaching experiences involve several students, and some are one-to-one experiences. Knowing students’ strengths and areas for improvement help teachers adjust the lesson and styles to students’ learning needs. The innovations around online teaching may allow teachers to more easily track student needs and progress and help teachers better target lessons to students’ learning goals too. 
  2. Have Props: This is helpful across most, if not all, subjects, and especially needed in teaching English online. If a student doesn’t yet know a word or phrase, having props (or being able to act out vocabulary and scenarios) provide another way for children to connect with the learning. Having print outs and objects can help make the experience come to life, especially when communicating across a screen. Having a whiteboard handy to write and draw on is always helpful too.
  3. Have a good connection: A good connection applies to both knowing your student and having a positive relationship with them, but also, to your internet! Making sure your internet connection is stable for each class is important, otherwise, it can be very frustrating for both you and your student as you try to communicate.
What is VIPKid?
VIPKid connects children in China with the world’s best teachers for real-time one-to-one online English immersion learning. A global education company, our mission is to inspire and empower every child for the future.

VIPKid offers a variety of benefits:
  • Flexibility with no commute, no minimum hours and the ability to set your own schedule
  • Curriculum provided with convenient access to pre-made lesson plans
  • Competitive pay with opportunities to earn additional rewards and income
  • Free workshops and opportunities for additional leadership and learning, including leading and attending local events and conferences
  • One-on-one classes to ensure 100% of each student’s needs are met using an interactive platform
  • An amazing community of 60,000 teachers and growing

Learn more about VIPKid and how to apply:

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Show Me The Money! Salary Negotiation

Salary negotiations can be intimidating and confusing, often raising questions like “How much should I ask for?” or “How do I know what my net-worth is?” With a few simple steps, you can quickly answer these questions and provide employers with an appropriate salary expectation when an employer requests salary information on an application or in an interview. 
  1. Research your market value. Consider your experience, skill-set, and capabilities to successfully do the job and your education as it relates to the industry. Websites such as and PayScale can help in determining an appropriate salary range based on your skills, experience, and education.
  2. Research the company. Beyond knowing your net worth, is it also important to research the company. Websites such as Glassdoor and CareerBliss allow you to gather salary information based on company name and job title.  Every day thousands of people share their salaries anonymously allowing you to see what employees earn at companies worldwide.
  3. Reframe. Compensation is more than a paycheck. We all have to pay the bills but compensation can also be included in benefits such as insurance coverage, vacation and sick leave, flexible schedules, and much more. These “perks” can be monetized and add value to your quality of life—personally and professionally. In an interview, let the company know that your first priority is to make sure that you both agree that this is a good fit and that you are well qualified for the position. You don’t want “numbers” to become a distraction. 
Job candidates often think that there is no leverage to negotiate salaries and the first offer must be accepted if you want the job, but you may be leaving money or additional benefits on the table. Although there is no guarantee that an employer will raise your salary, with a little research and confidence you might be surprised at what can happen. For additional assistance with salary negotiations or any additional career questions you may have, please contact WGU Career & Professional Development.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Check Out LinkedIn’s New Jobs Browsing Experience!

Have you spent hours, days, or even weeks scrolling through hundreds of job listings trying to identify the "perfect job title" that fits your degree? You're not alone. A challenge WGU students and alumni have is knowing what types of jobs to search for in their job search, or even which jobs exist.

LinkedIn has launched new job pages designed with the job seeker in mind. Now, job seekers and students unfamiliar with the professional landscape can browse job titles within various job functions (e.g. Information Technology, Healthcare Services, Education, or Human Resources). LinkedIn surfaces popular job titles and listings, as well as top cities and companies for a particular job.

As you browse job functions be sure to check out salaries as these can vary between job titles. Easily navigate to the salary explorer, and also explore our WGU Job Board to search for job listings for students and grads, and take a look at WGU’s employer research page for insight into companies you’re interested in to make informed decisions about your career.

Finding your dream job has never been easier!

For individualized assistance in putting a strategic job search plan into place, contact the WGUCareer & Professional Development Center. We are here to help!