The Top Criminal Justice Career Profiles

Many people are curious about what types of careers might hit it big over the coming decades. They might be looking to make a career change or want to have the knowledge so they can help guide others in their lives, such as teens or college-age children. And criminal justice careers offer some promise of a lot of professional diversity as well as a variety of skill sets. And while many people might just think of one job, such as a police officer, when it comes to criminal justice careers, there are a surprisingly diverse set of jobs that someone with an interest in law enforcement, courts, criminals, or justice might pursue.

For example, Drug Enforcement Administration agents are part of the U.S. Department of Justice and they spend their time trying to track down criminals engaged in drug trafficking in some manner. What other careers are in this field? This graphic explains them.

The Top Criminal Justice Career Profiles

4 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Employees’ Morale

Employee morale makes a big difference in workplace productivity. As an employer, you can’t control your staff’s mood, but you can definitely ensure that they have a happy, healthy, and considerate environment to work in. Here are four simple strategies to consider implementing.

Open Up Communication

People like to feel as if their work makes a difference. This can be a difference in the world at large, or simply a difference for the person they are working for. It’s difficult to put in effort all day without understanding the reasons or seeing the results. Keep staff updated on your business’s successes and pitfalls, and make sure you let them know the results of projects they have personally worked on. Good communication builds trust and rapport. If you set a standard of openness, your employees will understand when something simply must be kept under wraps. 

Stock the Break Room 

Snacks in the break room can be a small but effective way to show that you care. A coffee machine is a good place to start; warm drinks offer comfort, and caffeine provides an energy boost to finish out the workday. To avoid the classic problem of burnt break-room coffee, try a Keurig brewing system. Single-serving Starbucks K-Cup pods let your employees brew themselves a cup when they need one, and don’t share the mess or cost of brewing an entire pot. Don’t forget to stock decaf pods too; everyone deserves something hot to drink. 

Fight for Employee Benefits 

To be an employee is to invest a large part of your time and energy into someone else’s business. The deal doesn’t have to be a bad one; as an employer, you have the opportunity to make a large difference in your employees’ lives. Look for ways that your business can provide benefits that staff would not be able to acquire on their own. This might include package insurance plans, vendor discounts, or even chances to travel. Working for your business should feel like an opportunity, not a cost. 

Encourage Career Growth 

If you’re the business owner, you’re likely already living your dream. Your business is a culmination of your career and the effort you have put in. On the other hand, your employees are likely at the start of their careers. As much as you enjoy seeing them every day, it’s important to remember that your staff want to grow and move forward in life. Try to provide opportunities for growth and success within your business. If an employee has a dream that will one day take them outside of your company, don’t be afraid to encourage them. The person you help go to school today could very easily be your industry contact of tomorrow. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to employee morale; what helps one person’s mood might make no impact on someone else. The best strategy is to set a standard of respect, communication, and care for your employees’ needs. If you have a good attitude, a good work environment will follow.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Cleanse Your Work Palate: What to Do In-Between Jobs

Being laid off or getting fired are, unfortunately, common events that many people will have to deal with at least a few times over the course of their professional career. While you may feel remorse for friends and family members when this type of event happens to them, you can feel a sense of panic or extreme stress when it happens to you.

Of course, some people who are currently out of a job may have quit on their own accord, and this may have been because of poor management or another similar type of issue. In any case, this professional gap can be stressful, but you can more easily navigate through this tumultuous time without scars by following a few tips.

1. Keep Calm and Focus

After losing or quitting a job, you may understandably feel confused or even hurt. It is normal to feel these emotions, so embrace them for a short period of time. During that period, consider everything from meditating to working out, blogging and more to get your mind off of the pain. You can and should spend time reflecting on what may have gone wrong in your previous position so that you can learn from it.

However, you should not dwell on negative emotions tied to those life lessons, but let them go so that you can move on with your life. Embrace this break from a work routine by spending more time with friends and family, relaxing, having fun, and enjoying the resulting reduced stress levels. After all, this break is only temporary, and you may soon find another job. By adjusting your line of thinking so that you focus on the transient nature of this break, you may be able to relax and enjoy a sense of calmness.

2. Enjoy Your Free Time

When you are not working regularly, you may have many hours in your day to enjoy at your leisure. Think of this time as a vacation of sorts that you can use to regroup and focus on your physical and mental health. Use it to reconnect with loved ones and to focus on nurturing these relationships.

You can explore new hobbies or interests that you have been meaning to try, such as taking dance lessons, cycling and more. If you have the funds to do so, you may even travel without concern about getting back to a job. Your trip will be much more relaxing than it would be if you had the stress of job responsibilities looming over you.

3. Make a New Financial Plan

A lot of individuals out of work for even a few weeks may begin to feel financial stress related to a lack of incoming funds. While you may want to enjoy your time off of work, practice moderation so that you can avoid overspending. Consider reducing your personal expenses so that you can conserve your savings. For example, you may cut back on cable TV, your entertainment expense, restaurant meals and more. You may also find a side job that can offset your lack of full-time income.

This could help you to stretch your savings for a longer period of time and reduce the financial strain that you may be feeling. If you are offered COBRA health insurance, consider the benefits associated with taking advantage of extended coverage for as long as it is available to you.

4. Get Back on Track

It is easy to get lazy when you have ample time to yourself each day. You may find yourself sleeping in regularly, spending hours watching TV and more. However, this can create boredom and may even lead to depression.

To prevent it, make a to-do list of items that need your attention around the house. Focus on improving your skills by working toward a new certification. Attend professional networking events and job fairs. You could even volunteer for an organization that supports a cause that you feel strongly about so that you feel productive each day. Another smart idea is to revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly.

5. Start Looking for a New Gig

Many people will take a few days or even longer than week to enjoy their time off of work and regroup after quitting or losing a job. That is perfectly fine; however, you do not want to spend too much time taking it easy. The sooner you start looking for a new job, the sooner you may be able to start working and get your career and finances back on track.

While looking for job postings online, you should also network with personal and professional contacts to learn about jobs and to potentially get your foot in the door. If you are out of a job for an extended period of time, ensure that you follow forums, blogs, trade journals and more so that you can keep up with industry changes that may be relevant when you interview for a new position.

Tomorrow is Another Day

Regardless of why you are currently out of a job, your lack of gainful employment can seem like a stressful setback. You may even take your lack of income and your employment issues personally, and this could lead to depression. When you follow these important tips, however, you can navigate through this rough patch more comfortably, and you may more easily find a great new gig that takes your career to the next level.

Author Bio:

michelle_lauryMichelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.

Are You Ready to Move into the Flexible Jobs Market?

2017 might be the year when flexible jobs explode. For many looking to wrest some control back over their working lives, this could be the year. Flexible jobs give people the ability to have more control over when and where they work. For some this means cutting down from full-time, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working, while for others it means taking their job and moving it to the spare bedroom. Initial results are showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of engagement and productivity within the work itself.

Flexible Jobs with Potential

According to Forbes.com, there are 20 jobs above all others which are primed to be the top flexible jobs of 2017. These are:

  1. Statistician
  2. Product Manager
  3. Physical Therapy Assistant
  4. Operations Manager
  5. Operations Analyst
  6. Office Manager
  7. Occupational Therapy Assistant
  8. Nurse Practitioner
  9. Nurse – ICU
  10. Medical Director
  11. Information Security Analyst/Manager
  12. Genetic Counselor
  13. Front-End Developer
  14. Financial Analyst
  15. Data Scientist
  16. Client Services Coordinator
  17. Business Process Analyst
  18. Business Development
  19. Account Manager
  20. Account Executive

With 63% of employees believing the 8 hour work day will soon be a thing of the past, it is worth considering if flexible work is right for you. The main considerations are financial and practical. Can you afford to work less? And can your job be done from home? Or can it be shared? Then you have to see if your company is willing to enter into flexible working arrangements. Reduced work, for example suits those with savings, stable income from a partner, or a second job/side hustle to fall back on or build up. Those on low wages with financial insecurity cannot afford the less work option, but may be able to wrangle a work from home remote position if it improves productivity for your employer.

Can You Go 100% Flexible?

For the above, it is mostly about reconstructing or renegotiating jobs you are already in. For many, this is not an option. The first decade of the 20th century saw an explosion of jobs relating to the Internet. So far, the second decade has seen working patterns fracture and become more flexible with more jobs being related to servicing online needs or performing everyday business tasks and services online. The so-called gig economy has been around for a long time, but it seems more prevalent now and has allowed many people fired from work to instantly get back up on their feet and move forward with their lives. Instead of applying for a steady stream of jobs, many people are able to brainstorm how to turn their situation into a job or at least a steady income be it driving people around or delivering items.

Make no mistake, the flexible lifestyle of a freelancer can be stressful. You do have the ability to work when you want, as you want, but each gig is not always well paying, and they may be hard to obtain too. You need tremendous self-discipline and the ability to go out there and make things work for you. Furthermore, whether a freelancer or a remote worker, flexible work needs a lot of organization and an ability to ignore distractions. Strike the right balance, work hard, and it can be a very rewarding lifestyle.

Jenny Holt is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

What’s Next After Being Fired From Your Job?

greatnessAre you struggling to find a new job after being fired? Or maybe you’ve been fired recently and your next move is still unclear.

Recovering and getting back into work after a firing isn’t easy, but it can be done.

Here are seven top tips to help you get your career back on track….

Be Honest with Yourself and Employers

No one likes an employee who plays the blame game. Be honest with yourself and potential new employers about what happened.

If you caused the firing, don’t shift the blame, and definitely don’t badmouth your former employer.

If you were fired through no fault of your own, such a restructuring, be honest about that too, but still avoid the blame game. Try to keep it as positive as is reasonable.

Take Stock of Your Career

Now is a good time to take stock of your career and decide where you really want to go next.

Ask yourself:

  • Were you happy in your job prior to being let go?
  • Why or why not?
  • Is there a direction that would be a better fit for you?

If you want to retrain, now is a good time to look into doing that.

Stay in the Loop with Networking

The article “You Were Fired: Now What?” suggests keeping up with your network even after a firing. Former colleagues and clients can be a rich source of leads for new roles.

Networking can help you feel less out of the loop and keep you up to date on what is happening in your industry.

Keep things friendly and professional and there won’t be any awkwardness.

Keep on Good Terms If You Can

It’s easy to get angry at your boss after a firing, but trying to stay on good terms will serve you much better in the long run. If you can’t do that, at least be civil and avoid pointing fingers.

Depending on the circumstances of your firing, your boss may even be willing to act as a reference for you, or let you know about any opportunities that are a good fit.

Look to People Who Know You

Gaining a new employers’ trust after a firing can be challenging.

After all, they’re looking for people they can rely on, and if the choice is between someone who has been fired and someone who has a spotless record, it’s easy to see which direction they’re going to take.

That’s where people who know and already trust you can be helpful.

Look to friends, colleagues or others in your network for leads and recommendations.

You might also approach former employers who you parted from on good terms.

Stay Busy

It’s important to stay busy after a firing. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting yourself into a slump and subsequently finding it harder to get out and get back in the game.

Consider taking a training course, doing some further education, or even doing some volunteer work. You’ll be brushing up your skills and keeping your mind active at the same time.

Secure Good References

Good references can be a challenge after a firing.

You don’t have to approach your immediate boss, however – are there any colleagues who would be willing to vouch for you?

Staying involved with your local business network, or doing some volunteer work, can help you build up current references.

Getting back on your feet after a firing can be a challenge.

Use these tips to get proactive and with some honesty and determination, you’ll soon be back in the game.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to get back on your feet after being fired.

Working Moms Blazing a Trail

women_IT Women have been rising to the top of the business world for years.

Many of them are also mothers who must balance personal lives with their professional lives. It is a challenging task to manage a busy household and a business with numerous employees, customers and vendors.

However, it can be done and your life can be more fulfilling because of it.

Shoot for the Moon

As Marissa Mayer proved, you can begin a new career or take on a leadership goal when you are about to become a mother. She took over the reins at Yahoo as CEO as an expectant mother. A new career and impending parenthood made for quite a challenge.

While most women won’t have the prominence of such a career, they do know what it is like to try not to let anyone down. Mayer’s situation and that of other women in the corporate world show that you can dream your own dreams and make goals for your career even while being a dedicated mother.

Becoming a parent does not make you less of a person or turn you into someone who has no goals or desires of their own.

Be Great at What You Do

Be the best employee that you can be, especially if you are starting out at a new company. Once you have proven your value, the company will be more likely to offer flexibility when you are trying to balance family and work.

According to the article, “A Visual Guide to the Financial Lives of Working Mothers,” 48 percent of mothers who work are employed full-time. Employers are used to working with this demographic to manage workload and scheduling.

This advice is easiest to follow if you are planning a family. For those who already have kids, it can be more difficult. When you are at work, focus on your job.

Try to avoid personal phone calls and other distractions that keep you from doing the best job possible.

Be Honest

You cannot always be all things to all people. You will find times that you fail to live up to expectations even if those expectations come from you. You will miss your kids’ appointment or wait until the last minute to work on a project.

It is important that you are honest with yourself and with those around you. Don’t try to act like Super Woman all of the time because they already know you aren’t.

Be Honest with Yourself

Know what you can and can’t do and live within those limitations. Instead of trying to do everything, figure out a work-around.

If you know you can’t make it for a kid’s appointment; ask someone else to go in your place. If you are going to be pushing a deadline at work, find out if someone is available to work with you on it for a share of the credit.

Having it all, career and motherhood, sounds like a dream. But it is often a struggle for those caught in the middle. Instead, you must focus on what is most important. Don’t compare yourself to other working moms or men who are excelling in their careers.

Understand that you are doing what is best for your family and career even if it looks a little different from everyone else.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including finance and the workplace.

Is a Career Change in the Cards?

are_you_readyChanging careers can be an exciting but scary prospect.

If you have been feeling burned out at your current occupation, it may be time for a change to give you that excitement for your career. However, you may not want to start all over back at entry-level in your new career either for pay or for responsibility.

The key is to consider industries that hire people changing careers and utilize their current knowledge in a new way.

Consulting

Consultants are in high demand, especially from companies that are seeking to grow and expand. Use the knowledge you have gained in your previous field to help others. This is an ideal career choice if you once loved your job but were tired of some aspects.

Your knowledge comes at a good price, especially if you were in a management role or other high-level position.

Information Technology

As the following article shows, another of the industries that hire people making a career change is computer and network security or information technology. You often don’t need a special degree since many departments prefer to train you on their own.

A background working with computers, especially if you know a little coding, could be enough to get your foot in the door.

Even though you may start out in a lower position, you often see higher salaries because of the industry. It is easy to promote up in the ranks if you have good basic skills and learn quickly.

Online Media and Marketing

If you have a background that is compatible, you will find a wealth of jobs in this industry. From journalism to advertising to public relations to web design, there are many aspects of your former career that can give you the edge over the competition.

The key with this industry is to look for an online version of your prior job.

For example, you can find jobs in IT management working from a remote location. If you worked in sales, transfer that knowledge to internet marketing.

Teaching

More people are involved in virtual learning than ever before. This allows you to use your background to teach others online.

Traditional colleges offer online classes and often look for teachers dedicated to that aspect rather than having one teacher manage both physical and virtual classrooms.

Other educational sites hire people to write and teach courses as part of programs they offer to businesses.

The subjects are vast and can be generalized like how to be a good manager, or they may be specific to an industry. You often can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.

Making the Change

Before you quit your job, find out what options are available in a new career. Consider using some of what you have been doing in your current job to give you an advantage over others. Don’t forget to consider volunteer experience as well as your previous career.

It’s never too late to find a job that you love, so don’t hesitate to switch careers.

Just make a game plan and know where you are going.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and careers.