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?

Multitasking Gone Too Far

Okay gang.  As online students, you understand perhaps better than most, the value in being able to juggle more than one activity at a time.  After all, you couldn’t effectively watch your young children if you had to go to some campus to study.  Multitasking and online study definitely go hand in hand.  But as with everything in life, there needs to be limits.  There needs to be moderation.  This is why I think this new device – a nose stylus for operating touch screen phones/tablets while in the tub – is a bridge too far.  I mean really, if you cannot take 15 minutes out of your busy day to take a bath without electronic distraction, you really need to step back.  A break may be in order.  But, if you’re intrigued by the possibilities this new nosey device unlocks, here’s a link to more information on the new product.

Ten Cover Letter Don’ts

How to keep your resume and cover letter out of the wastebasket

Online job aggregator Monster.com’s Kim Isaacs developed this list of 10 common cover letter mistakes:Mistake No. 1: Overusing ‘I’ Mistake No. 2: Using a Weak OpeningMistake No. 3: Omitting Your Top Selling PointsMistake No. 4: Making It Too LongMistake No. 5: Repeating Your Resume Word for WordMistake No. 6: Being VagueMistake No. 7: Forgetting to CustomizeMistake No. 8: Ending on a Passive NoteMistake No. 9: Being RudeMistake No. 10: Forgetting to Sign the LetterClick here to read the details behind each of these common errors and make your cover letters rock solid!

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.

What’s Inside Your Favorite Easter Candies?

Ok, so I am a “Peeps” person.  How about you?  One needn’t be religious at all to enjoy the plethora of yummy Easter treats that line store shelves each spring.  Jelly beans, creme eggs, marshmallow eggs, solid milk chocolate bunnies, pale-tinted malted milk robin’s eggs, gghghgh…Anyway, here’s a neat look at the things (some downright strange) used to create these springtime goodies.  You are what you eat right?  Anyway, happy Easter, happy Passover and happy Spring (for the neo-pagans among you).

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.

Top 10 Spingtime Superfoods

One of the best parts about Springtime is anticipating the return of greater varieties of fresh produce in the Northeast.  All winter long, we survive on produce either in cold storage since Fall or fruits and veggies weeks old and flown in from more southern latitudes.Here’s a great list of the top 10 superfoods for Springtime:1. Artichokes 2. Asparagus 3. Avocado 4. Blueberries 5. Fava Beans 6. Fresh Figs 7. Leeks 8. Oregano (and other fresh herbs) 9. Spinach 10. StrawberriesTo read more on why each of these are considered superfoods, click here for the Yahoo! article.

A Better Web Browsing Experience

I am not in the practice of making product endorsements, but this information is just too useful to those of us who spend a lot of time on the web.  For online students, it is of particular importance.  I would like to share with the readers of this blog, my experience with a web browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer.  Most people buy computers that come with Microsoft Windows operating systems already installed.  Part of the package included in the Windows OS is the latest version of Internet Explorer or “IE”.  Let me tell you, if that is the only program you’ve ever used to surf the ‘net, you have been missing out on a more satisfying experience.  I recently downloaded (for FREE) and installed a different browser called Firefox which is produced by a development company called Mozilla.  It took very little time and effort to install.  I can say with confidence that the Firefox browser is superior in every way to the IE.  It crashes/freezes way less, it is faster to load pages and is overall a better product.  In fact, Firefox has been downloaded more than a BILLION times so you can rest assured it isn’t a bad item.  If you are interested, click here to visit the trusted CNET site where you can safely download the Firefox browser.  It’s definitely worth the time.  And if you’re not happy with it, you’ll still have IE to fall back on.

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.