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.

As If Busy Students Needed an Excuse

Happy to report I found this research which seems to promote the idea that moderate coffee consumption is actually good for you!  Yes, science finally catches up to what this blogging genius already knows.  Coffee RAWKS.  But seriously, the high anti-oxidant content of coffee seems to have a positive effect on brain plasticity, liver and heart functions and a host of other benefits.  Read all about the good news in this article from Eating Well magazine’s Dr. Kerri-Ann Jennings.

Spam King Released From Prison

Robert Soloway, King of Spam

Just when you thought it was safe to open your email box again…  You probably don’t know Robert Soloway, but it is a certainty that your email box has been the victim of his decade-long, spam spree.  This fellow made a fortune using techniques of questionable legality to flood your inbox with offers for Viagra, porn, Christian singles and counterfeit Prada bags.  In 2007, the law finally caught up to him and he served nearly 4 years for his transgressions.  As online students, you’re probably grateful that he’s been punished for wasting so much of your time cleaning out the spam.  He’s paid his debt to society now though and has sworn off his old, evil ways.  But just in case, a condition of his release from prison requires his emails to be monitored by law enforcement.  Gone are his Mercedes Benzes, Gucci shoes and all his ill-gotten gains.  He now works in a copy shop for $10/ hr.  Maybe Mr. Soloway, you’re interested in a more lucrative new career in Medical Billing and Coding?  You can study it online!

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.

Free Speech Protected, but Discretion on Facebook Still Wise

The National Labor Review Board won its court case on behalf of an Emergency Medical Technician who was fired from her job for disparaging comments she made about her boss on Facebook.  The NLRB proved that the speech in question was protected under labor laws allowing employees to openly discuss their compensation, work conditions and hours. While the case was won, it still bears noting that what you post on Facebook and other social media sites is available for the world to see pretty much forever.  This case was won but it took a long and expensive legal challenge to prevail.  This is not something that every worker is in a position to accomplish.  More often than not, workers are fired without recourse for what their employers see on their social media pages.  So even though the law is on your side, you may still want to weigh the wisdom of posting anything your boss would be upset to read online (unless you’re prepared to defend it in court).  I generally limit my expressions of job disatisfaction on social media sites to statements I would be comfortable communicating to my superiors in person.  If I wouldn’t say it to their face, I won’t post it on my wall.

How to Promote Yourself

With so much competition for jobs these days, a good resume and cover letter alone aren’t enough to seal the deal with a hiring authority.  You may have studied to become a medical billing and coding professional, but what you really need to be a salesperson.  Your product?  Yourself!   Here’s a link to some excellent advice on how to sell yourself to employers.

5 New Years Job Hunt Resolutions

Lydia Dishman of www.payscale.com wrote this interesting piece of 5 New Years resolutions that job hunters owe it to themselves to make.  They are:
  • Hone your elevator pitch
  • Brush up on your hard skills
  • Solidfy your soft skills
  • Work better with others
  • Treat each failure as an opportunity
Click here to read the full article and learn why each of these resolutions can help you to be more effective in your job search for 2011!