Archive for July, 2010

Jobs Created as a Result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – Part 4 in a Series of 4

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

In this last article in a series, we are going to take a look at one of the most difficult jobs that have come about as a result of the oil spill that continues in the Gulf of Mexico. For anyone who lives in this region of the country, they know too well the rich sea life that exists; not only shrimp and smaller fish, but dolphins, sharks and the millions of birds in the area. There is something so devastating about seeing that footage on television; dolphins that did not survive and seeing them being carried by environmentalists and veterinarians in their arms and seeing the heartbreak and often, the tears, on their faces. That sense of helplessness is something that will stay with these brave souls the rest of their lives, says A. Harrison Barnes, who is the founder of He said it also drives home the need for more personnel trained to assist these animals and mammals; those who chose these fields as their careers find themselves wanting to do more and for many, “more” means relocating to the area.

What many people around the world don’t see, but that those who live along the coast line do see, are the effects, firsthand, of the ruin. Mother pinnipeds (a seal with fur) attempting to clean the oil from her young with her tongue will ingest so much toxic oil that she cannot survive. Seals and dolphins who are so caked with oil their fins or flippers are too heavy to support themselves and will often drown. Now, sharks and other dangerous sea life, in an effort to find oxygen, are flocking to the shores. This could prove deadly for humans. The list is endless and the devastation only gets worse with time.

Even as engineers work on what is likely the most important jobs in their lives try around the clock to find the solution, ecologists and environmentalists are working just as hard to prevent what is inevitable for so much wildlife. This is why there is such a need for these trained professionals in this region of the country. And, says the founder, the need is not short term. It will take years – decades – for any degree of normalcy to return. Many trained professionals will make that region of the country their homes, while others will commit a significant amount of time doing their part. A. Harrison Barnes also points out that while the relief wells are the best scenario right now fifty miles away from the coastline where the oil spews, there are no guarantees.

Many environmental experts say the Gulf, in its entirety, could easily become a dead zone. Areas such as New Orleans, Louisiana; Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola Florida are those areas where makeshift vet offices are being set up and coordinated with those experts who know how to tend to the marine life. Many have already committed their energies, but as Barnes points out, this is one of those undertakings that “too much help” simply does not exist.

Graduate Business Schools up the Ante

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

After years of law schools and medical schools directing their attention and resources to attracting women applicants, business schools are now seeing the reaped rewards from these same efforts of enticing more women into MBA programs. Historically, women enrollees have been considerably lower than their male counterparts. That’s changing, though. More business schools are bringing out the heavy artillery in their efforts, says A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder of Private parties, all expense paid trips and other incentives – such as cooking classes, of all things, are successfully wooing more women.

Some of the best business schools in the country are already reporting impressive growth from women applicants; sometimes up to 2 percent. This means more women are going to be entering their business careers higher up the corporate ladder than in previous years. The overall image is changing too, says the founder. “Women aren’t as likely to be intimidated when faced with a tepid response in a classroom comprised of mostly men”.

A University of Michigan at Ann Arbor study revealed the main reasons the numbers have always been low have to do with a lack of female role models, a lack of encouragement by their employers and the belief business jobs would mean they would have to make more compromises in terms of marriage and family. Women have been becoming brilliant physicians and attorneys for decades, now the gap is closing in business, as well. A. Harrison Barnes says there’s one more reason women have sometimes steered clear of MBA programs that’s rather surprising: the quantitative capabilities are sometimes off-putting for women. Still, the report found that more than eighty percent of women business school grads agreed the MBA contributed significantly to their careers and that the challenges were well worth the anxiety and efforts.

One school, the University of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business, offered cooking classes as part of its enticement methods. Enrollment immediately increased by eight percentage points. This is indicative of women who want it all – and believe they can achieve it. From the results of this study, they’re right. From the boardroom to the kitchen to the school plays, today’s contemporary woman is realizing there’s a balance to be had – and they’re defining it to fit their needs.

Women have long since known they can incredible medical and legal careers and now, they know an MBA is within reach – and they don’t have to make the sacrifices those before them might have faced. The Stern School of Business, located in New York, has traditionally had the highest proportion of female students and it’s now reporting ratios of forty percent and growing. With more careers opening up, as evidenced by the trends on, it’s clear there’s a new trend and for many, not a moment too soon.

Getting that First Day Behind You

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Remember that first day of school when you were six? The night before, you couldn’t sleep and you were up and dressed (likely for the last time until you graduated high school) long before the alarm clock went off. It’s the same feeling as you eagerly anticipate your first day in your new career. So much to look forward to and so much you want to accomplish; you want to make a good impression while not shoving your foot down your throat in the process. Overwhelming, right? “Maybe a little”, says career coach and founder A. Harrison Barnes. “It’s natural to feel apprehension and in fact, it’d be surprising if you didn’t experience a bit of anxiety”. So, what does Barnes suggest?

“Your first day’s not the right time to make a statement or to draw attention, or at least, the wrong attention”, says the founder. This means you don’t want to take a risk with your choice of clothing. Dress conservatively. Odds are, you were able to get an idea of what the dress code was (if you weren’t told during your orientation). And even if you’re not sure, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you anticipate tours and long periods of time on your feet, women should consider a more moderate heel and steer clear of those backbreaking higher heels. Also, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable; be sure you choose clothes that fit you well and are in good repair. It’s distracting if you’re wondering if anyone notices that button missing from your shirt sleeve cuff.

Another tip A. Harrison Barnes suggests is to speak up. No one expects you to know the intricacies of the company the first day (or even the first month). If you’re asked to report to the conference room, instead of roaming the halls and risk showing up late for the meeting, simply ask which way to the conference room. No one is going to bite you or roll their eyes or even send you on the wrong route, says Barnes.

Finally, and this tip is good whether you’ve been on the job ten minutes or ten years, do your best to steer clear of the office gossip and office politics. Sure, you don’t want to alienate anyone, but you also don’t want to become your own worst enemy either. Most office dynamics have definitive lines drawn and there’s always the office clown, the office gossip, the office cheater…and on and on. Your goal is to do your job and do it well. Resist the temptation to get involved. Once someone notices you paying attention to a conversation, you’re sure to get drawn in. It’s just human nature.

Finally, the day’s over and you’ll be able to return home fully exhausted from the long day and having gotten little sleep the night before. You’ll also not be as stressed that second day as your first day proved to be.

Beauty as a Career?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Cosmetology is one of those versatile career options that open up a lot of avenues. With a license to practice, one can choose to focus on a single specialty, such as hair or make up or combine several of those attributes so that they make the most of their educations. Before you run out to apply to the local salon, there are a few things you’ll need to have beforehand. founder A. Harrison Barnes says a license is a must for anyone going into cosmetology. There are a lot of different reasons for this, but one of the most important ones includes having a thorough understanding of various things that can suggest health problems. A make up artist needs to recognize contagious skin disorders and those who focus their attention on providing clients the latest hairstyles need to have an understanding of scalp disorders, some of which are contagious as well. This is what’s taught in a cosmetology course. Every state has its minimum requirements that must be met before testing in front of the state boards.

So what about those opportunities? A. Harrison Barnes says the options are limitless:

“  Some cosmetologists go into business for themselves. They open their own salons that might include manicures, haircuts, colors and other beauty treatments such as facials.

“  There is also a growing trend in those cosmetologists who are willing to make their clients beautiful away from their salons. Weddings are just one of those events hairdressers and make up artists are showing up at as part of their services. Whether the stylist has a full time entourage on staff or keeps several part time employees, these professionals are always ready to go where their services are needed.

“  Cosmetologists are going into business with licensed massage therapists to provide a spa-like experience for their clients. It’s beneficial for both – they’re exposed to the other’s clients and because they’re partners in their business, no one person is shouldering the lion’s share of the expenses associated with the day to day operations.

“  Make a success of your first salon and then expand. Many cosmetologists are becoming well known for their chains of shops. It’s a great way to cover the proverbial financial bases while also providing jobs for the communities the shops are located in.

These are just a few of the ways you can make an incredible career with your cosmetology background. Keep in mind, though, if you branch out of the state you’re licensed in, you will need to contact any new states to ensure you remain in state compliance. Usually, it’s only a matter of applying for a license and in most states, says the founder, it’s less than one hundred dollars. It’s a fast paced career choice that provides excitement and provides a sense of satisfaction for those who choose this as their careers.

A New Job or a Vacation: What will it be?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Most of us, at some point in our careers, can relate to being burned out with our jobs. Our work days become burdensome and we find no satisfaction. Too many times, we soldier forward until we realize we’ve forced ourselves into a corner: we either have to find a new job or finally take that vacation that we should have taken months ago.

There are a lot of reasons for avoiding burnout, including physical ailments that can result from carrying that much stress. It’s not unheard of to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, migraines and emotional stress. The resentment, frustration and exhaustion build and before long, it’s all we can do to get out of bed each morning – even on the weekends. Job burnout can affect every aspect of our lives, says career coach and founder A. Harrison Barnes. So what are the warning signs that might serve as a warning that you’re nearing the breaking point?

Are you becoming increasingly difficult to be around at work or home (or both)? Is everyone treading lightly? That could be a sign that you’re burned out, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Does the thought of having to drive to the office cause your heart to race and your breathing to quicken? These are some of the physical signs. Even dizzy spells have been reported by men and women who suffer from job burnout.

Also, says the founder, if you realize your ten and twelve hour days are slowing dwindling down to seven or eight hour days, it’s likely because you’ve come to dread walking through your office door.

You’re not doing yourself, your family or your employer any favors when you’re running on empty. Even if the timing isn’t right for a two week vacation, you and your manager should be able to find a medium ground that allows you to take a week off now and perhaps another week before the summer’s over. It’s to his advantage too, after all.

More of us are spending more of our weekends working. In fact, twenty percent of us routinely bring work home with us on Fridays. Eliminating this habit can go a long way in easing your work related stress, says Barnes.

Finally Barnes suggests upping your resting hours. If it’s usually midnight or later before you finally hit the sheets, try to make an effort to have everything done and in bed by eleven at night. An extra half hour’s sleep can make a world of difference. If you’ve sacrificed your once-cherished workout routine, be sure to find time to include it again in your daily life. Exercise, as we all know, is often the cure all. If after you’ve tried to make these changes and you’re still feeling burned out, it may be time to consider a new career option. If so, you owe it to yourself to make it happen sooner rather than later.