5 Tips to Find a Satisfying Career

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Don’t get stuck in a career you really don’t like!

Work becomes such a big part of your life after college that it is really important to find a career you will be happy in. Don’t just jump into the first job that comes your way after graduation. No matter what anyone else says, you really have to look within yourself and decide what is going to make you happy and what you are going to enjoy doing for the rest of your life.

The truth is that you will be more successful when you are happy at work. So here are five tips to find a satisfying career:

1) Do what you want to do instead of what you feel like you should do.

It’s so easy to just go along that path of what you should do. You can save yourself so much time and trouble if you just start with what you want to do. The career you started in doesn’t necessarily have to be the career you end with. There is freedom in your career and you don’t have to stick with one career. You can be so many things. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

2) Do one small task daily that helps you get closer to your big goal.

If you do something daily on your way to your big goal, totally amazing things will start happening. Wake up earlier or schedule 30 minutes every evening to work on your passion. And don’t forget that the best investment you can make is always in yourself. Take a course or find a coach. It’s always worth it.

3) Learn more about yourself.

Once you recognize what your personal values are, it will feel like everything just comes into place so much more quickly as far as choosing a career that magnifies who you are. As you start to know your personality, motivations and interests more, you will learn what is important to you in the career that you pick. Then you can start searching for a career that will meet your personal and professional needs.

4)  Get clear about what you want.

If you don’t know what you want, you will probably just take the first job that comes your way. This can have bad consequences leading to becoming stuck in a career that you don’t really like. Instead, get clear on what it is you want so that you can job search more effectively. Dream up your ideal workday and create a vision board that you look at everyday to remind you of your career goals and dreams.

5) Ask for help.

It’s OK to ask for help. One of the best and easiest ways to gain experience is by asking others. There are so many people out there in the world who are simply waiting to help you, and all you have to do is ask.  It’s OK to seek out mentors, and it’s OK to boldly ask people for career guidance and insights. You have to be grabby. Don’t wait for opportunities to happen to you.

Take this opportunity now to decide what you want to achieve and start taking action to make your ideal career happen.

Anna Runyan is the creator of the “Love Your Career Formula.” She has an upcoming free online workshop on October 9th, 2014 called, “How to Ditch Your Dead End Job and Find a Career You Love.” If you want Anna’s proven step-by-step system to find a fulfilling career, grab your spot here!


Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Introducing GMAC’s New Reflect Self-Assessment Tool

Reflect Self-Assessment Tool


GMAC has just launched a self-assessment and development tool called Reflect™. The online program will help MBA applicants and MBA graduates discover and strengthen their professional and personal strengths, measure soft skills, identify and improve weaknesses, and create an action plan to help boost job performance. The tool will help put incoming students on the right path to find and then advance in their ideal careers.

John Byrne from Poets & Quants offers a thorough review of Reflect. He explains how the assessment works – 574 questions, some of them “rather silly or frivolous” (you can see his examples on his post), to be completed and then analyzed by the program. The user than receives grades in 10 different competencies. Bryne likens Reflect to the Myers-Briggs test, but instead of focusing on psychological preferences focuses on soft skills solutions. Applicants can use the tool to showcase their leadership qualities to graduate school adcoms, while graduates can gain a new way to present themselves to corporate recruiters.

One benefit of Reflect (compared to other assessment programs) is that the tool can be used effectively without a coach or facilitator – all you need is a computer.

Once you receive your scores, you’ll also gain access to 200 learning resources to help you develop a customized work plan, 300 tips, and guidance on career benchmarking in various job functions.

The Reflect tool costs $99.99.

See GMAC’s Reflect™ Self-Assessment and Development Tool for more details.

Accepted.com Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Busting Two MBA Myths


“Assess your needs.”

Thanks to those of you who stopped at Accepted.com’s table at the Los Angeles MBA Tour event a couple of weeks ago and shared your thoughts, doubts, questions, and experiences. I enjoyed meeting you.

I was bothered, however, by a certain refrain I heard a few times during the evening. Basically two related MBA myths that deserve busting:

Myth #1: Once you attend an MBA program outside the Top 10, it doesn’t matter which school you attend, so you may as well go to the cheapest one you get into.

Myth #2: It doesn’t pay to get an MBA outside the M7/Top 10.

When asked my opinion of these MBA memes, I politely explained why I thought they are utter nonsense, the product of lazy minds. Nothing more. The reality is much more complex.

Schools inside and outside the Top 10 vary in terms of their approach to management education and their strengths. Some schools outside the Top X may be excellent for a given specialty. For example, Smeal and Broad are generally not in any overall Top 10 ranking. However, both programs are very well regarded for supply chain management and logistics. They may be excellent choices if that’s your interest. Babson is renowned for teaching entrepreneurship; it is usually in the bottom half of the top 50 overall. Similarly Thunderbird is excellent for international business. For those specialties, these schools may be better programs than programs ranked overall in the Top 10.

Obviously there are a lot more schools outside the top 10 than in it, and the differences among all the schools are many. Applicants need to understand those differences and seek schools with the curricular, extra-curricular, and career management strengths to help them achieve their goals. Then applicants can compare costs and anticipated return. If applicants choose a school based on Myth #1 and without the analysis I suggest, applicants are simply basing a major investment in time and money on folklore.

Whether it pays to get an MBA at School X, regardless of that school being in the Top 10, Top 20, or Top 50, depends on both the school and on you. Here are a few questions that you need to answer:

  1. How much are you making currently? (That will determine your opportunity cost if you are considering a full-time program.)
  2. What is the typical salary of MBA grads from your target program who found a job in your area of interest? (School averages are much less worthwhile.)
  3. Is there a non-financial benefit that you seek in addition to classic financial ROI? (Moving into a job you will enjoy, for example.)

While it is true that average salaries at different schools tend to decline as you go down the rankings, for the overwhelming majority of MBAs, ROI is positive and MBA alumni satisfaction per GMAC surveys is overwhelmingly high despite two recessions in the last ten years. And that data includes survey responses from non-Top 10 schools.

Don’t trust myths about rankings to determine where you invest your time and money. Don’t rely on fable and fantasy to make a major life decision. Do your homework, as the applicants at The MBA Tour were doing. Learn about the schools; don’t focus on their rankings.

Assess your needs. Determine your investment including opportunity cost. Evaluate probable return – both financial and non-financial – at schools that meet your needs.

Then, and only then, decide whether your MBA is worth the cost and which ones are right for you.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Job Opportunities Increase for B-School Students

MBA Jobs

“Things are looking good!”

We recently posted an article on the current job market for 2012 business degree holders (see “Job Market Looking Good for Class of 2012 Business Grads”). Now we’ll offer some related information from a Poets & Quants article on a report released by the MBA Career Services Council on February 4th. Here are some highlights from the P&Q post:

  • In 2012, 45% of b-schools reported a boost in on-campus activity for full-time jobs. (That’s following a 70% increase in 2011.)
  • Last year, 58% of programs reported an increase in full-time job postings (on top of a 68% increase the year before).
  • 45% of schools also reported an increase in on-campus recruiting (the same as last year), compared to 15% that experienced an on-campus recruiting decrease.
  • For schools ranked in the top 20, 47% of programs reported an increase in on-campus, full-time opportunities; 13% reported a decline.
  • Among those schools ranked from 21st to 50th place, 40% reported increases and 20% reported decreases.
  • 60% of b-schools ranked 51st to 100th reported increases while 15% reported a decrease.
  • 30% of schools reported job increases in the following industries: consulting, consumer products, energy, financial services, healthcare products/pharmaceuticals/biotech, real estate, and technology.
  • 50% of b-schools reported an increase in on-campus internship recruiting.
  • 53% saw increases in internship job postings.
  • For internships, the industries with the largest increases were the technology and consulting industries.

Notice that a school’s ranking bears little to no bearing on its increases in job offers.

Things are looking good!

Accepted.com Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best


Job Market Looking Good for Class of 2012 Business Grads

According to a recent GMAC press release, the job market is strong for 2012 business and management graduates. The report states that 92% of grads surveyed were employed within three months of graduating; in 2011, that percentage was 86%. GMAC surveyed 834 members of the class of 2012 among the 4,444 MBA and graduate business alumni who participated in the survey.

Here are some more highlights from the press release:

  • 77% of class of 2012 grads said that their starting salaries met or exceeded their expectations.
  • 76% of grads said they wouldn’t have been able to secure their jobs without their management/business degree.
  • Median salary for full-time two-year MBA grads was $85,000 last year; for full-time one-year MBA grads, that number was considerably less at $59,000.
  • Self-employment rates ranged depending on where grads operated their businesses. In the Middle East and Africa, that rate was at 20%, while in the U.S. it hit only 5%. Self-employment rates in Latin America were 13%, in Europe 11%, and 6% in Asia/Pacific Islands.
  • 95% of alumni value their business/management education as good to outstanding.

GMAC Alumni SurveyThe GMAC Alumni Survey certainly provides encouragement to those seeking a graduate management degree because of the incredibly high degree of alumni satisfaction combined with improving employment rates, but one should also note that there are other factors that improve salaries upon graduation:

  1. 2012 grads with at least three years of work experience at matriculation earned $25,000 more on average at graduation than those with less experience.
  2. Alumni who had an internship during their program saw an average $21,995 increase in salary at graduation compared to those who didn’t have an internship.

Take-aways for MBA Applicants from the GMAC Alumni Survey

  1. Reports of the MBA’s near-term demise are overblown. That doesn’t mean that inexorably rising tuition and fairly flat salaries will have no impact. If these trends continue, they definitely will. In fact, they are probably pushing the schools to experiment more with accelerated programs, as Kellogg is doing, and to offer more specialized, one-year masters degrees, as many programs are doing. However, in the short-term the threat to the traditional two-year, full-time MBA comes from alternatives not from lack of satisfaction with the degree or poor employment prospects.
  2. Early career applicants are going to find increasing difficulty making a case for themselves when applying. Employment is a big driver of admissions decisions. And average salaries are a major factor in school reputation and several rankings. If less experienced applicants don’t command similar salaries, two-year programs are going to prefer more experienced applicants.
  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You need to arrive on campus with a clear idea of what you want from your MBA. Then you’ll know which internships to aim for. Internship recruiting starts within weeks of schools opening, and you want to be ready. Landing a great internship can put you ahead when you seek your full-time job and pay off big time as you can see from #2 above. If you flounder due to lack of focus and direction, you reduce the likelihood of getting an internship at all, which can shrink the value of your entire MBA experience. Let your MBA goals guide you.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.