We’re Number 3!

Yahoo! recently published a list of the top 5 fastest growing jobs in the medical field.  Medical Records and Health Information Technician took the number 3 place on the list!  With a very attractive average annual salary, medical billing and coding specialists can anticipate continued strength in the job market for people with their qualifications.  Click here to view the list and the entire article.

Dress for Success or, The Idiot’s Guide to Ironing

Having your new certification and a brain full of knowledge is great, but as we all know, landing a job often comes down to making a good first impression at the interview.  Part of making that good first impression is obviously the way you speak and interact with the interviewer and how you convey your qualifications.  Yet, even more subtle but no less important is the visual first impression you make.  How you’re dressed and how you take care of your appearance is a powerful, unspoken indicator of how you will be as an employee.  To this point, it is critical that you wear appropriate clothes and that these clothes are nicely pressed and creased in the proper places.  This brings me to the point.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot afford to spend $12 per outfit to the dry cleaner for pressed shirts and pants.  Furthermore, I am challenged when it comes to ironing these items myself.  That was until I found this great post on Lifehacker.com explaining the finer points on DIY clothes pressing.  Read up on how to bone up your appearance and show up at the interview crispy, smart and ready to impress.

Interviewer: “Any Questions?” You: “Uhhh…”

Acing the interview is pretty much the key to landing a job.  The rock-solid resume gets you in to the interview.  But the interview itself is the “make-or-break” step in the job hunting process.  If you’ve done enough of these, you know that they typically ask you alot of questions about your background, experience, skills etc.  Then at the end, they always ask, “Do you have any questions for us?”  Most people don’t know how to answer this and either say, “No” which indicates unpreparedness or worse, being intellectually incurious.  Or many respond, “When do I get vacation” or “how much does the job pay?”  Both these questions do more damage than good.  There are questions you may ask of an interviewer which demonstrate that you are interested in the job and have a good head on your shoulders.  Click here to read “The Six Must Ask Interview Questions” as listed by Monster.com’s Joe Turner.  He explains why these are the most important questions to ask and what they say about the person who asks them.

New Jobs Numbers – Mixed (But Good For Medical Field)

In April, the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs — the third straight month to see an average of over 200,000 new positions created, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  However, despite the growth in employment, there is real concern that the jobs being added to the economy are not the high-wage, “quality” jobs lost over the course of the brutal recession.That’s bad news if you’re a manufacturing factory worker or a homebuilder as those fields don’t show the resiliency reflected in the latest employment figures.  If you’re in the following career fields, professional and business services, health care and leisure and hospitality, the news is good.  Those fields were called out specifically by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as areas where job and wage growth shows continued strength.  Now’s a good time to be studying for a career in medical billing and coding.  Don’t you feel smart?

Don’t Stress!!!

A new report circulating on the internet lists the top 10 most stressful jobs.  You’ll be glad to learn that only one of them is in the medical field, and that is “emergency medical technician”.  Reattaching someone’s severed arm on the side of the road after a motorcycle accident?  Stressful.  Also stressful?  Advertising Account Executive, Architect, Stockbroker, Emergency Medical, and Real Estate Agent.On the other hand, more than half of the top 10 LEAST stressful jobs in the report were in the medical field.  These included audiologist, dietician, dental hygienist, chiropractor, speech pathologist and occupational therapist.  Flossing someone’s teeth while listening to soft rock in a clean white environment?  Not so stressful.  Medical billing and coding did not make the list of either most or least stressful jobs.  But its good to know many of you will end up working in the offices of low-stress industries.

Doing a Career U-Turn

If you’re considering ditching your old career in favor of a new one in an exciting field like medical billing and coding, you may be wondering if it is the right thing to do.  With the employment picture being difficult to say the least, it can seem like a daunting challenge and one that you might consider holding off on.  However, there is never a better time than the present to make a life change and change can be fraught with challenges in any environment.  At the Geek Mom blog, Julia Sherred discusses her thoughts on mid-course career corrections.  Read her post and then share your thoughts and feelings on this topic in the comments below.

Spring Rebirth?

The Federal Reserve announced that the US economy improved in every region this Spring.  Despite the continued rise in fuel prices, the growth is a welcome event.  For those still seeking employment, the hiring numbers, while still grim, are showing modest improvements as well.  According to the Fed report, ” Consumer spending picked up modestly in most of the Fed’s 12 regions, despite the higher gasoline prices. Shoppers, however, focused on necessities and lower-priced goods. Auto sales rose and tourism also strengthened in most areas. Factories boosted production across most of the Fed’s regions, and many manufacturers increased hiring.”For those in the healthcare field, the news is even better with healthcare continuing to be among the fields least effected by economic fluctuations.  Hiring is expected to remain strong in healthcare relative to the rest of the market.

New Jobless Claims Falling

Lucky for you you’ve decided to work in a field that promises uninterrupted growth.  And the nature of medical billing and coding is such that it seems unlikely that the work could ever be outsourced to a foreign country.  Despite that good news, the economic picture still has an impact on overall hiring and it continues to look dicey out there.  However, very recently there seems to be a modest drop in the number of new claims for unemployment assistance.  This may be an indicator of slow growth in hiring.The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That’s the second decline in three weeks.Applications near 375,000 or below are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Applications peaked during the recession at 659,000.Click here for more details.

How You Look Affects Your Paycheck

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

This guy ALWAYS gets passed over for promotions!

For those of you getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce in your new career, consider the article here from the Business Insider courtesy of Yahoo!.   In this piece, we are shown the statistics illustrating that how you look has a material impact on how you’re treated and how much you earn in the market.  Cleanshaven men without any balding earn higher than their analogs who are losing hair or growing it on their faces.  Conservatively dressed women earn better than their more revealingly dressed counterparts.  Read the entire piece to learn how you can present yourself to earn the most on the job.

How to Get Paid What You’re Worth

WIRED magazine’s DIY section brings us another excellent piece.  Today’s topic is how to get paid what you’re worth when seeking a job.  Follow these easy steps to increase your chances of not only landing a job, but one in which you’ll be compensated commensurate with your abilities and experiences.1 Use an online salary calculator 2 Schmooze, schmooze, schmooze 3 Commit to negotiating 4 But don’t be a jerk 5 Negotiating Strategy 6 Discount future earnings 7 Above all, be flexible 8 Keep your eyes open 9 FinallyClick here to read the details of this strategy and get paid what you’re worth!